all kind of knew that this was happening,” Congresswoman Omar, a Somali
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar Says Trump’s Anti-Islam Remarks Inspire Attacks like
of Muslims Rally Outside White House Post-NZ Attack
Formally Recognises Israeli Control of Golan Heights
to Kerala, Mosque To Mosque: Journey of Grief and Comfort
Arabia Joins Arab Anger over ‘Theft of Occupied Golan Heights’
Violence Biggest Threat to World’s Peace
Istanbul's Hagia Sophia Could Be Turned Into Mosque
Than 80 Troops Dead As Taliban Step Up Attacks in Afghanistan
move on Golan will lead to war with Israel: Experts
rabbi attack ad calls Muslim lawmaker anti-Semite
High Court notice to MHA on Plea Challenging Ban On Jamaat-e-Islami
of Sharda Peeth in PoK can ease Indo-Pak tensions: Mehbooba Mufti
law board discusses content of submission to panel
man arrested for spying for ISI, says visited Pak 17 times in 18 years
properties of separatists in Jammu and Kashmir could be attached
to deliver 4 gunship helicopters to Afghanistan in July
ATS arrest two Bangladeshi terror suspects from Patna
UAE Convention to Shed Light on Islamic View of Tolerance
religious leaders join hands to promote peaceful coexistence
Kurds call for international court to try Daesh militants
refers 28 to court on charges of joining Daesh, Al-Qaeda
pumps in $2.2 billion in Pakistan's dwindling Forex reserves
willing for nuclear non-proliferation: Army
eyes package as IMF mission chief arrives today
suspected terrorists blow themselves up in Loralai raid: official
Khwan among 7 arrested over alleged forced conversion, underage marriages of
army accuses Hamas of firing rocket that hit near Tel Aviv
Honduras recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
war has failed despite US support: Yemen's Houthi
denies involvement in rocket attack on Tel Aviv
of Houthis killed as battles rage in Yemen
says no hurry to relocate Rohingya, in talks with UN bodies
strike kills 13 civilians, mostly children, in Afghanistan
praised for helping Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh
Arabia, Bangladesh share common views on regional issues
Chechen militants killed, wounded in Badakhshan artillery strikes
PM suggests interim government setup to end impasse in Afghan peace process
Taliban leader Mullah Turab arrested in Nangarhar province
kill Taliban’s newly-appointed shadow intelligence chief for Sangin of Helmand
Violence Kills 136 In Mali, Army Generals Sacked
Al-Shabaab Claims Attack on Government Building in Mogadishu
Haram kills 7 Niger villagers near Nigeria border
king cancels Romania visit in Jerusalem Embassy row
Muslim Group Sues Facebook, YouTube Over Christchurch Footage
Head Found at Site for Mosque in France
Russian servicemen killed in Syria
Responds To Taliban Slur with Communist Jibe
lawyers want observer status in Arun Kasi contempt case
by New Age Islam News Bureau
YORK: One of the first two Muslim women in the US Congress, has accused
President Donald Trump of inciting hatred of Islam and inspiring attacks like
the killing of 50 people last weekend in a mass shooting at mosques in New
at dinner hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Los
Angeles, the newly elected Democratic Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, said the New
Zealand attack by a white supremacist fit a pattern of threats and assaults at
American mosques and schools, according to American media reports.
all kind of knew that this was happening,” Congresswoman Omar, a Somali
immigrant, said. “But the reason I think that many of us knew that this was
going to get worse is that we finally had a leader in the White House who
publicly says Islam hates us, who fuels hate against Muslims, who thinks it is
OK to speak about a faith and a whole community in a way that is dehumanizing,
she told the crowd, “doesn’t understand, or at least makes us want to think
that he doesn’t understand, the consequence that his words might have. Some
people like me know that he understands the consequences. He knows that there
are people that he can influence to threaten our lives, to diminish our
House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said last week that it was outrageous to
suggest Trump had any responsibility for the New Zealand shooting.
her speech at the CAIR’s fundraiser, more than 100 people staged a protest
outside the hotel where she the was the guest speaker, the reports said. Police
closed the street leading to the hotel and uniformed officers stood watch over
demonstrators waving Israeli and U.S. flags and calling Congresswoman Omar an
of them marched with an enlarged photo of Omar, with a swastika over her face
and the slogan: “Your Hate Makes Us Stronger.”
comments by Congresswoman Omar that were described as anti-Semitic led the
House of Representative to pass a resolution condemning hate speech. She had
said that pro-Israel advocates “push for allegiance to a foreign country,” and
she’d apologized for suggesting money was the source of Israel’s influence in
Omar was applauded enthusiastically by the crowd at the dinner.
her remarks, she mocked the protesters.
are thoroughly fascinating people outside who for so many years have spoken
about an Islam that is oppressive, an Islam that lessens and isolates its
women, and today they gather outside to protest a Muslim woman who is in
Congress,” she said. “The irony in that is very entertaining to me.
don’t think many of them realize that people like myself, and many of the people
in this room, could care less about what they have to say, because we know who
we are, and where we belong, and what we stand for,” she added.
Omar, who wrote a column in The Washington Post last week backing a two-state
solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Of Muslims Rally Outside White House Post-NZ Attack
Hundreds of American Muslims and their supporters gathered outside the White
House on Sunday to underline their dual identity as Muslims and Americans.
by the March 15 attack at a mosque in New Zealand that killed 50 worshippers,
American Muslims are increasingly feeling the need to reach out to the wider
community. “It made us realise that it’s not enough to continue to live in our
comfort zones,” said Qazi Mannan, one of the organisers of the White House
march. “We need to reach out to others and tell them who we actually are.”
message was not lost on the larger American population.
visited mosques near their homes to express solidarity with their Muslim
neighbours after the March 15 attack in New Zealand.
are welcome to live and worship here. You are loved as valued members of our
community. May you never feel alone in the face of any adversary, for we stand
with you,” said one of hundreds of messages placed outside mosques across the
Christians, Jews, Sikhs and Hindus reached out to Muslim Americans, offering to
jointly confront the hate and racism that in recent years has led to scores of
attacks on religious institutions.
Daniel N. DiNardo, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged
Catholics to pray for the victims of the shooting and work with Muslims to
American Jewish Committee said it was “appalled by the murderous assaults”, and
called the attackers “racist individuals imbued with pure hatred” of Muslims.
“The answer must be unity, solidarity, and linked arms against evil,” the
horrific recurring pattern and epidemic of hate must end. No community or faith
should ever feel unsafe in their house of worship,” said Sikh Coalition
executive director Satjeet Kaur.
strong message also came from a non-religious group, the National Association
for the Advancement of Coloured People, which has been fighting for equal
rights for people of all colours and creed since 1909.
formally recognises Israeli control of Golan Heights
Donald Trump signed a proclamation on Monday recognising Israel's sovereignty
over the Golan Heights, reversing more than a half-century of US policy.
alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, Trump
made formal a move he announced in a tweet last week. The president said it was
time for the US to take the step after 52 years of Israeli control of the
strategic highlands on the border with Syria.
had pressed for such recognition for months. Trump's action gives him a
political boost weeks before what's expected to be a close Israeli election.
captured the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war but its sovereignty over
the territory is not recognised by the international community.
aggressive action by Iran and terrorist groups in southern Syria, including
Hezbollah, continue to make the Golan Heights a potential launching ground for
attacks against Israel very violent attacks," Trump said.
should have been done numerous presidents ago," he added.
two leaders met as the Israeli military was striking Hamas targets in the Gaza
Strip in response to a rocket that hit a house north of Tel Aviv and wounded
is responding forcefully to this wanton aggression,” said Netanyahu, who
planned to return to Israel to manage the attack following his meeting with
Trump and other US officials, including Vice President Mike Pence.
will not tolerate this. I will not tolerate it," he added.
a speech earlier Monday, Pence said the rocket attack "proves that Hamas
is not a partner for peace".
told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that "Hamas is a
terrorist organisation that seeks the destruction of Israel, and the United
States will never negotiate with terrorist Hamas.”
rocket destroyed a residential home in the farming community of Mishmeret,
north of the city of Kfar Saba. The sounds of air raid sirens jolted residents
of the Sharon area, northeast of Tel Aviv, from their sleep shortly after 5am,
sending them scurrying to bomb shelters. A strong sound of an explosion followed.
The Israeli military quickly mobilised troops and called up reserves, setting
the stage for a potential major conflagration shortly before Israel's upcoming
arrived in Washington on Sunday for what was to have been a three-day visit.
his remarks, Pence also took issue with comments by Rep Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.,
that he said were anti-Semitic.
a first-term lawmaker who is one of two Muslim women in Congress, has alleged
that congressional support for Israel reflected "allegiance to a foreign
country" and that Israel "has hypnotised the world".
also has accused Americans who support Israel of being bought off by campaign
has no place in the Congress of the United States, and any member who slanders
those who support the historic alliance between the United States and Israel
with such rhetoric should not have a seat on the House Foreign Affairs
Committee," Pence said.
against a tree outside the iconic Cheraman Juma Masjid in Kodungallur, a
coastal town in Kerala’s Thrissur district is a white board with a message that
starts with two words in English: “Ineffable gratitude.” The rest of the
message is in Malayalam: “For consoling a community, for giving hope and for
being a model for the world, thanks.”
Monday, over 11,000 km from Christchurch, where 50 people were killed in a
blaze of gunfire inside two mosques on March 15, India’s oldest mosque and its
faithful bowed in respect — to New Zealand, for bearing the tragedy with
fortitude, and its Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, for showing the way.
was the day Kodungallur received the body of Ancy, 23, who died in the shooting
at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch. It was also the day she was buried at
the Cheraman masjid, which is said to have been built in 629 AD.
the burial, for which over hundred mourners had gathered, Imam Saifudeen Al
Kasimi said: “This is not just a mayyath namaz (funeral prayer). It is a
gathering against terrorism, extremism and racist fascism… God, let there be
peace with the people of New Zealand and its Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
always. Let God give that country the strength to overcome this crisis. Let us
pray for that nation, which kept the victims of the attack close to its
had gone to New Zealand last year to pursue a diploma in agricultural engineering
after completing her graduation in Kerala. She was one of the five victims from
India; her husband P Abdul Nazer, who works at a store in Christchurch, escaped
unhurt. At the condolence meeting, the mosque committee president Dr Muhammed
Sayeed said: “We are sad that our Ancy is gone. But we have no reason to be
desperate, because she became a martyr for a genuine, positive cause. This
incident has shown how a nation (New Zealand) should behave towards its people.
We salute that country.’’
husband Nazer, who had seen the attacker spray bullets inside the mosque, stood
motionless. He had reached Kodungallur a day before his wife’s body arrived,
along with a relative who works in New Zealand. Today, Nazer stepped back,
leaving Ancy’s uncle Noushad K I, a trader in Kodungallur, to do the talking.
“After Ancy’s father died five years ago, she was the hope of the family — her
mother and a younger brother. She got married two years ago, and was to
complete her diploma course next month. She had shared her happiness with her
family recently… that she would soon get a job to support them. Now, everything
is gone,’’ Noushad said.
Arabia joins Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’
Saudi Arabia joined Arab states on Tuesday in condemning a decision by the
United States to recognize the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory.
decades of international consensus, US President Donald Trump signed a
proclamation at the White House on Monday recognizing Israeli sovereignty over
the border area that Israel seized from Syria in 1967.
Arabia firmly rejected the decision and affirmed its position that Golan
Heights was occupied Syrian Arab land in accordance with the relevant
international resolutions, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
also released an official statement on Tuesday expressing their regret over the
announcement made by US over Golan Heights.
declaration, made by the US, is a clear violation of the Charter of the United
Nations and the principles of international law, the report said.
US decision was a violation of Security Council resolutions 242 of 1967 and 497
of 1981, and would have devastating implications on the peace process in the
Middle East, as well as security and stability in the region, Saudi Arabia’s
official statement said.
Arabia called on all parties to respect the decisions of international
legitimacy and the charter of the United Nations.
the Arab League Secretary-General, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said that the decision
“does not change the area’s status” as illegally occupied territory,
said the decision was a blatant attack on its sovereignty.
does not have the right or the legal authority to legitimize the occupation,” a
foreign ministry spokesman said.
chief Nasr Al-Hariri said Trump’s decision would “lead to more violence and
instability, and it will have negative effects on efforts to engineer peace in
said the move “violates all the rules of international law” and “undermines any
effort to reach a just peace.”
Golan Heights are Syrian Arab land, no decision can change this, and no country
can revisit history by transferring ownership of land from one country to
another,” the Foreign Ministry said.
violence biggest threat to world’s peace
Religion-based violence and terrorism have become the biggest threat to the
world’s peace and human survival and religious leadership should jointly devise
a strategy to promote love and tranquillity among all religions, a joint declaration
issued by representatives of all religions Monday said.
conference titled increasing religious extremism and responsibilities of
religious leaders was jointly organized by Muslim Christian Federation and
International Peace and Education Foundation, urged leaders of all religions to
come up with their collective wisdom at all levels to promote the dialogue,
instead of fight and hatred.
the killings of 50 Muslims including nine Pakistanis in New Zealand, the
declaration noted that condemnation of brutal practice by the majority of
Western secular world was a powerful rejection to the creation of a clash
between Islam and the West.
after the New Zealand’s incident four mosques were attacked in Birmingham,
indicates that if the matter will not be taken seriously the situation would
gone out of control.
declaration urged religious leadership to come out with a firm strategy and
start the dialogue instead using power as Quran provides us the basis of
principle for dialogue.
conference announced making an International Council of Religious Leaders for
the protection of human rights.
council will decide unfaithful to persons and groups, who used the religion for
any kind of violence and terrorism.
act of terrorism on the name of religion will declare the war against
religions, and their actions as a rebellion against religions.
comprehensive system of mutual conferences at the national and international
level will be set up for the leaders, teachers, and media persons of all
religions to understand each other and to overcome misunderstandings.
conference demanded considering hatred for any religion should be considered a
crime, and legislation should be done as is western countries against the
Holocaust. Media should not be allowed to promote hate-related contents against
any religion it should be declared terrorism-related crime.
co-existence and respect of other religions should be made a part of curriculum
mediums of social media should be made of a code of ethics, and to ban the
hatred and hazardous content by referring to religions.
conference appreciated New Zealand Prime Minister for summoning the chiefs of
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft on March 27 to explain failure to stop
live broadcast of New Zealand incident on social media.
conference urged social media to share information of hatred with concern law
conference applaud the roll of New Zealand’s prime minister to tackle the
situation with great wisdom and courage.
conference condemned terrorism against mosques in Birmingham and demand all
such elements to be brought to the court of law.
the conference Council of Islamic Ideology Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz urged the
Muslim leaders to learn lesson from the incident. So far the negative aspects
of Western have been highlighted in Islamic world and now we should start
contemplating about positive aspects of Western world.
world especially Germany had welcomed refugees from Syria.
extremist organizations of white people had been eliminated, he said adding
that now the trend of white extremism was on the increase. However they are
very few in numbers.
should make Hijrat-e-Habsha as case study. Religious leaders should strive promoting
love and justice and avoid talking about hatred against any community.
said the Council of Islamic Ideology in its forthcoming session of April 4
would discuss such issues in detail.
Istanbul's Hagia Sophia could be turned into mosque
Istanbul's Hagia Sophia — a Byzantine-era cathedral that now serves as a museum
— could be reconverted into a mosque, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
made the comments during a television interview late on Sunday ahead of
Turkey's March 31 local elections.
former Byzantine cathedral had previously been converted into a mosque after
the Ottoman conquest of the city, then-known as Constantinople, in 1453.
Turkey's secular founder turned the structure into a museum in 1935 that
attracts millions of tourists each year.
have however, been increasing calls for the government to convert the symbolic
structure back into a mosque, especially following reports that the gunman who
killed Muslim worshippers in New Zealand left a manifesto saying the Hagia
Sophia would be "free of minarets."
himself recited prayers inside the Hagia Sophia last year.
suggestion that Hagia Sophia could be turned into a mosque drew ire in Greece.
is not only a great temple of Christendom — the largest for many centuries — it
also belongs to humanity. It has been recognized by UNESCO as part of our
global cultural heritage," Greek Foreign Minister George Katrougalos said.
"So any questioning of this status is not just an insult to the sentiments
of Christians, it is an insult to the international community and international
want to hope that the correct statements of March 16 by the Turkish leadership
will be valid and there will be no change of this status," he added, in
reference to a speech by Erdogan when he ruled out its conversation into a
than 80 troops dead as Taliban step up attacks in Afghanistan
Scores of Afghan troops have died in Taliban attacks, officials said Monday,
even as peace talks continue to resolve the decades-old conflict.
in the south concentrated on the Sangin and Marjah districts of Helmand
province, where more than 80 army and police personnel have died since
Saturday, lawmakers from the province told Arab News.
have been devastating attacks this month in Afghanistan, with the Taliban
targeting celebrations and festivals as well as military and law enforcement
the troop losses are huge. Some say over 80 have died,” MP Nimat Ghafari from
Helmand told Arab News. “The Taliban want to show their presence and strength
by increasing their attacks.”
Hashim Alokozai said 65 troops died on Saturday in Sangin, while another 17
were killed in Marjah.
Zwak, a spokesman for Helmand’s governor, said the Taliban had mostly attacked
government troops stationed at outposts. He said the militants could not seize
any territory and that they too had suffered “huge” casualties, mostly in drone
air strikes. He could not give an exact death toll, but told Arab News that
“dozens of security forces were martyred.”
defense ministry spokesman in Kabul refused to comment about the Taliban
attacks and reported casualties, the highest for months in a single province.
said fighting continued on Monday in parts of Sangin, with the government
relying on drones to hit Taliban sites as it was tough to dispatch troops on
this month Washington’s special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and the Taliban held
peace talks in Qatar, with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government sidelined
from the sessions at the militants’ behest.
has been urging the Taliban to declare a cease-fire, something the insurgents
are refusing to do.
winter gone, the Taliban has also increased its attacks in the northern and
northwestern provinces, residents said. Spring is the traditional fighting
season for the insurgents.
focus of the attacks has been the Qaisar district of Faryab province in the
country’s northwest. Lawmakers from the province said several thousand families
have been forced to leave their homes because of Taliban strikes and the
intensification of fighting.
have ended up in mosques, schools or rented houses. They live on scanty aid
from the government and people,” MP Fatehullah Qaisari told Arab News.
Fazl Rahman Orya said the rise of Taliban attacks, and the increase of troop
casualties, showed the government lacked the management and military capability
for deploying troops and protecting them.
Taliban has not announced its spring offensive while the government has
launched its offensive, named Khalid, but still the Taliban have the upper hand
militarily,” he told Arab News. “Whoever has the upper hand in the war front
will be able to speak from a position of strength and can impose its conditions
on the other side easily.”
on Monday, the UN confirmed that 13 civilians had died in US air strikes in
northern Kunduz province.
mission expresses serious concern that initial fact-finding indicates that 10
of those killed were children, part of the same extended family whom were
displaced by fighting elsewhere in the country,” it said in a statement.
President Donald Trump’s formal recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the
occupied Golan Heights, a Syrian territory, has assured that Israel will be in
a perpetual state of war with its Arab neighbors for many decades, according to
signed a proclamation recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian territory
on Monday as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump's Jewish
son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner were standing at his side in the White
House in Washington, DC.
many Arabs, the decision destroyed any hope that there will one day be a
negotiated peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians and increased doubts
that Washington is an impartial mediator, analyst say.
decision, following US recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital in
December 2017, could also tempt other regimes to annex land, undermine
Washington’s so-called peace plan between Israelis and Palestinians and tilt
Israel back into conflict with its Arab neighbors, Middle East analysts say.
Trump has made sure that Israel will be in a perpetual state of war with its
Arab neighbors for many decades to come,” said Fawaz Gerges, professor of
international relations at the London School of Economics and author of the
book Making the Arab World.
Trump has done is to hammer a deadly nail in the coffin of the peace process
and Arab-Israeli reconciliation. This is a fundamental turning point. There is
nothing left to discuss anymore," he told Reuters.
move is, according to many analysts, partly intended to boost his own chances
of re-election in 2020, by appealing to US evangelical Christians, a loyal
voter base who believe that the gathering of the Jews in Israel is a
prerequisite for the return of Jesus.
announcement on the Golan Heights was the latest in a series of decisions that
are widely seen as strategy to redraw the contours of the Israeli-Arab
1967, Israel waged a full-scale war against Arab territories, during which it
occupied a large swathe of Golan and annexed it four years later, a move never
recognized by the international community.
al-Quds was also occupied by Israel in 1967 and then annexed in a move that is
legally repudiated internationally.
House officials claim that the issues of Jerusalem al-Quds and the Golan
Heights must be the basis for legitimate peace negotiations.
Ross, a veteran Middle East negotiator, suggested that US recognition of
Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights could embolden the Israeli
right-wing to step up its push for annexing settlements in the occupied
Palestinian West Bank.
worry that the right in Israel can say ‘they recognized this. It will be a
matter of time before we can annex all or part of the West Bank’,” he said.
“That would be the end of the two-state solution.”
aides have indicated privately that they believe his moves on Jerusalem al-Quds
have provoked a less severe reaction in the Arab world than experts had
predicted, a person familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.
advice to Trump on recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights
was that Washington could again weather the storm, the same person said.
Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser and one of the administration’s
leading Iran hawks, was an important proponent of the policy shift, the
Trump administration has identified Iran as its main target in the Middle East,
and withdrew from an international nuclear deal signed by Tehran, the US and
other world powers in 2015.
American rabbi purchased a full page advertisement in the Washington Post
newspaper to attack congresswoman Ilhan Omar as anti-Semitic.
ad, published on the opening day of the annual American Israel Public Affairs
Committee (AIPAC) conference Sunday, attacked the Muslim lawmaker by directly
comparing Omar's words with anti-Semitic language from the "The
International Jew," "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and
"The White Man’s Bible".
Shmuley Boteach, who calls himself "America's rabbi," took it to the
AIPAC conference, where he presented it proudly, waving it at pro-Palestinian
demonstrators protesting outside the Washington Convention Center.
advertisement was posted days before Boteach will host top White House
officials Thursday at a fundraising gala in Carnegie Hall.
comparison was condemned by many on the left, including fellow Muslim
congresswoman Rashida Tlaib.
is a false ad that only serves to incite violence toward a Black Muslim woman.
It’s fear-mongering and we need to stand together and say this type of hate
should not have a place in our newspapers or society," Tlaib tweeted.
Zogby, founder of the Arab American Institute, called the ad
full page ad was in today’s @washpost. It’s shameful - based on lies, bigotry,
& fear. Who’s funding @RabbiShmuley slanderous
incitement against @IlhanMN? His
'gofundme' only raised $161. So who’s paying for this poison & why did the
Post run it?" Zogby said on Twitter.
this month, Omar was attacked for comments she made criticizing Israel.
want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK
for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country," Omar said,
referring to Israel, at a progressive town hall meeting.
remarks received widespread and bipartisan backlash, with others in Congress
labeling them as anti-Semitic. It led to the introduction of a resolution by
House Democrats seen as implicitly condemning the comments. However, the bill
was later changed to condemn all forms of hate.
has apologized for similar comments made, however, this time she doubled down
on her comments, saying she has "not mischaracterized our relationship
with Israel. I have questioned it, and that has been clear from my end".
the weekend the congresswoman travelled to Los Angeles, where she addressed a
fundraising event hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
the Woodland Hills Hilton, where the fundraiser was being held, 1,000 people
from Jewish and conservative groups protested Omar's appearance, according to
High Court notice to MHA on plea challenging ban on Jamaat-e-Islami
Jammu and Kashmir High Court has issued notices to the Union Ministry of Home
Affairs after a former Jamaat-e-Islami member challenged the ban on the
socio-religious organisation. The MHA has been asked to file its response by
Azeem (61), filed a petition before the High Court, saying the “respondents
have not followed the procedure” and that banning an organisation without
giving a chance to present its case is violative of the Constitutional
the voluntary services offered by the socio-religious outfit, the petition read,
“Presumably even if certain material is available with the respondents the same
would constitute an incriminating material against a single individual of the
organisation and not against the organisation as a whole… the same has to be
dealt in-accordance with the law of land and could not be used to muzzle and
gag an entire political organisation having decades of existence.”
respondents have not followed the procedure while announcing the impugned
notification. Respondents should have stated the grounds to support its
declaration. Section 3(4) (publication of notification) and Rule 4 (additional
mode of service of notification u/s. 3) lay down that the organisation which
has been declared ‘unlawful’ must be served a copy of the notification,” Syed Musaib,
the counsel for the petitioner said. “Subsequently, the government has not
cared to form a single judge (High Court) tribunal as the same had to be done
within 30 days of the impugned notification. Hence, the respondents cannot, at
will, declare an association unlawful and proceed to use its executive powers
against the association and its members. Banning an organisation without giving
the latter a chance to represent its case ‘is violative of the Constitution
safeguards’ as it has a drastic effect of curtailing the freedom under Article
19(1)(c) with immediate effect.”
February 28, the MHA declared Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir as an
“unlawful” association, banning it under Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities
Prevention Act (UAPA).
president Mehbooba Mufti Monday said opening of Sharda Peeth temple in Pakistan
occupied Kashmir (PoK) for Kashmiri Pandits can help India and Pakistan
navigate the current impasse.
too long ago I had written to PM imploring GoI to reopen Sharda Peeth, a temple
across LoC for Kashmiri Pandits. An initiative like this at a time when Indo -
Pak tensions are at an all time high could help navigate the current impasse,”
Mehbooba said in a tweet.
former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir was reacting to media reports that
Pakistan has given green signal for the opening of Sharda Peeth corridor.
Kashmiri Pandit organisations have been demanding opening of the Sharda Peeth
corridor for many years now.
an emergency meeting on the Ayodhya issue held on Sunday, the executive
committee of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) discussed
contents of its submission to the Supreme Court-appointed mediation committee
later this week.
said the committee members resolved that contents of the submission should be
carefully framed to deter any political party from making it an election issue.
The AIMPLB will make its submission to the five-member mediation committee led
by former SC judge F M Ibrahim Kalifulla on March 27.
members remained tight-lipped about the submission and cited the apex court’s
order stressing on confidentiality to ensure success of the mediation process.
AIMPLB executive committee member Kamal Farooqui said, “We have (always)
maintained that we are very positive about mediation – only the resolution should
keep in mind the dignity of both parties and uphold justice. We are positive.
Now it is for the other side to make a proposal.”
Jilani, another member, said, “The court’s order is very clear: no party can
disclose (to the media) either their own stand before the mediation panel, or
the proceedings before the panel,” In
its March 8 order, the top court had held, “Court-monitored mediation
proceedings will be confidential.”
general secretary Mahmood Madani, who is a member of the executive committee
but was not present in Sunday’s meeting, said: “Islam does not allow a mosque
to be built on the ruins of a temple – it does not even allow construction of a
mosque in a personal property even if that person is a Muslim. So all that
really needs to be done in this case if to prove in court that a temple existed
there before the masjid, and that the masjid was built on its ruins.
Rajasthan Police Monday arrested a 42-year-old man from Delhi for allegedly
spying for Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI, officials said.
Parvez was already arrested by the NIA for anti-national activities and was in
judicial custody since 2017. He was brought here on Monday for interrogation,
following which the state police arrested him, Additional Director General
(Intelligence) Umesh Mishra said.
allegedly honey-trapped Indian Army soldiers through fake identity to collect
confidential and strategic information and passed those to the ISI, which gave
him financial support, the officer said.
questioning Pervez revealed that he was in contact with ISI handlers and had
travelled to Pakistan 17 times in the last 18 years, he said.
gave all necessary support for passing confidential information, Mishra added.
got mobile SIM cards on photo and identity card copy of people on assurance of
quick visa formalities done at the Pakistan High Commission in Delhi. Conniving
with SIM card retailers, he got the numbers activated to share information with
his handlers, the officer said.
many as 31 properties worth over crore belonging to separatists leaders of
Jammu and Kashmir have been “identified” for attachment as “proceeds of crime
by enforcement agencies, a senior MHA official who did not want to be
properties earmarked for attachment includes the Islamabad house of Hizbul
Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin. He is already a designated as terrorist by
the United States and India. “New Delhi will ask Pakistan to attack the
Salauddin’s property as ‘proceeds of crime’,” a second senior MHA official who
did not want to be named said. “If Pakistan refuses, India is free to raise the
issue at appropriate forum, including the Financial Action Task Force (FATF),”
he said. Pakistan is in the “Greylist” of FATF.
other 30 properties belong to nine prominent members separatists leaders. The
properties identified for attachment are spread across Srinagar, Jammu,
Kupwara, and Budgam.
of the 30 properties, as many as 10 belong to Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad
inquiries suggest that Wattali acted as the conduit passing on funds, at times
washed money received from Pakistan and held it for the separatists. He is in
Jail now and is suspected to be a conduit for the separatist. Earlier this
week, the Enforcement Directorate attached Watli’s house in the National
Capital Region (NCR) as “proceeds of crime.”
National Investigative Agency (NIA) that started probing terror financing in
2017 charged as many as 12 people under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention)
Enforcement Directorate that enforces the Prevention of Money Laundering Act,
2002 which came into force from July 2005.
the NIA investigation unfolded, a decision was taken to go for the key players
to cripple the network of terror financing. As a result of this decision, three
properties of Aftab Ahmed Shah, charged by the NIA and believed to close to
several separatists leaders, have been taken-up for attachment” the second
senior MHA official said.
whose properties have been identified for attachment include Altaf Ahmad Shah,
Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar, Basir Ahmad Bhat. They have all been charged by
is expected to supply four gunship helicopters to Afghanistan by July, with the
deliveries falling almost a year behind schedule, people familiar with
developments said on Monday.
first reported by Hindustan Times in March 2018, Afghanistan, Belarus and India
had inked a trilateral pact to supply the refurbished Mi-24 helicopters.
Belarus was to upgrade the helicopters, which were to be paid for by India, the
then Afghan envoy, Shaida Abdali, had said.
is now expected that two helicopters will be delivered to Afghanistan in April.
The other two are expected to be handed over in June or July,” a person
familiar with discussions on the matter said.
is only the second instance of India supplying lethal military equipment to
Afghanistan. India had provided four Mi-24s to the Afghan armed forces during
2015-16, marking a significant shift from its earlier position of supplying
only non-lethal equipment.
some of the helicopters provided earlier had been grounded because of a lack of
spares and India was also working on plans to help repair and refurbish the
Mi-24s and other Russian-origin helicopters and transport aircraft of the
Afghan Air Force, officials had said earlier.
issue of the four additional helicopters and other military assistance had
figured in Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib’s
discussions with Indian officials during his visit to New Delhi in January.
has committed $3 billion in aid to Afghanistan since 2001, when the Taliban
were removed from power. It has also trained personnel from the Afghan National
Security Forces and Afghan National Police.
anti-terrorist squad (ATS) arrested two Bangladeshi terror suspects near Patna
Junction railway station close to the popular Mahavir Mandir early Monday and
seized photocopies of letters related to deployment of central forces in Jammu
and Kashmir after the Pulwama attack, fake voter identity cards, PAN cards, and
ISIS posters from them.
duo has been identified as Khairul Mandal and Abu Sultan, residents of
Chhapatalla under the limits of Jhenaidah district in Khulna division of
Bangladesh. ATS officials said they are affiliated with banned
Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Islamic State Bangladesh (ISBD)
ATS said the two men had entered India without valid passports and had procured
fake voter and PAN cards to conceal their identities. They were nabbed on
specific inputs from the intelligence bureau (IB).
procuring documents, they freely moved around different parts of India,
including Kolkata, Kerala, Delhi and Bihar as per instructions from their JMB
bosses. They were tasked to lure and induct Muslim youth into their
organsiation. The duo carried out reconnaissance of popular Buddhist shrines
and other religious places in Bihar. They also stayed in Gaya for 11 days in
connection with their nefarious designs,” said an ATS officer.
JMB was involved in the January 2018 Bodh Gaya explosion. A low intensity bomb
blast had taken place near Kalchakra ground in Bodh Gaya on January 19, 2018
when Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama was present in the town. A couple of
crude bombs and large quantity of explosives were also recovered from the
and Sultan are the first terror catches by the ATS since its inception in Bihar
in 2013. During initial interrogation, ATS members found that the two suspects
were in touch with their sponsors and had been trying to enroll youth to
develop their sleeper cells. They had fled from Bangladesh and entered India
after their top leaders were nabbed in a crackdown by the Seikh Hasina
were in search of some safe hideout in Patna and could have had plans to carry
out some subversive activity,” said the officer, adding the duo has been
forwarded to judicial custody. “We would pray for their remand soon for further
questioning. Their revelations would help us look into the nature of their
activity in Bihar and how far have they been successful in strengthening their
network. Two separate teams have been dispatched to Mumbai and other places for
investigation,” the officer said.
UAE convention to shed light on Islamic view of tolerance
10,000 people are expected to visit the Al Manar International Tolerance
the global struggle to deal with Islamophobia continues, the UAE is
reintroducing the concept of tolerance from the Islamic perspective.
a three-day tolerance convention to be held next week, Dubai's Al Manar Islamic
Centre will be sharing with the world how Islam views tolerance and how its
different aspects can be applied in life.
10,000 people are expected to visit the Al Manar International Tolerance
Convention, which will be held at the Sheikh Rashid Hall of the Dubai World
an Islamic centre it is our responsibility to share our Islamic perspective of
the concept of tolerance itself. Secondly, we would like to be the key
contributor in the initiatives, themes, campaigns run by the UAE. We aim to
promote the essence of tolerance among the young people in order to prevent
them from any kind of extremism, fanaticism ¬- which is not from Islam. We also
aim to enrich the masses with the true values, moderation, love, respect,
compassion in the sight of Islam," said India's Ahmed Hamed, one of the
renowned speakers who will be leading discussions at the convention.
the speakers lined up are Mufti Menk from Zimbabwe; Assim Al Hakim from Saudi
Arabia; Said Rageah from Canada; and Abu Abdissalam and Abdul Raheem Green from
convention is being organised under the patronage of Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum
bin Juma Al Maktoum, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al
Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
the press event held on Monday (March 25) to announce the details for the
upcoming tolerance summit, Hamed said: "Dubai is home to more than 200
nationalities of various cultures, backgrounds and diversities. It is apt to
host an event of such nature to share the message of tolerance from UAE to the
event was also attended by Shamsuddin Bin Mohiuddin, chairman of Al Manar
Islamic Centre; Mohammed Sohail Al Muhairi from Islamic Affairs and Charitable
Activities; and other board members of the Islamic centre.
is free for all. There will be on-site registrations but the organisers are
encouraging people to register online at www.almanarconvention.com.
Iraq — A high-ranking Shiite cleric delegation from Najaf visited the holy
Yazidi temple in Lalish northern Iraq on March 17. Yazidis witnessed a horrible
genocide by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The visit is a part of a
campaign carried out by Shiite clerics to gather religious leaders in different
parts of Iraq in order to promote coexistence and tolerance.
March 7, high-level Christian, Muslim and Yazidi religious leaders met in the
Imam Hussein Shrine in Karbala, southern Iraq. The shrine is one of the holiest
places for Shiite Muslims.
participants toured the holy place to send a message to the people of Karbala and
to the Iraqi people that they seek to join hands for peace and a shared
coexistence between Iraqis of all religious denominations.
Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai, the representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the
highest religious authority in the country, received the religious leaders and
representatives and was briefed on the outcome of the previous high-level
stressed the importance of the cross-religious joint action, and the need to
translate these dialogues into a plan of action to be submitted to the Iraqi
convention of religious leaders was held under the slogan of “God loves to
spread peace.” It was inaugurated by Talal al-Kamali, a member of the board of
directors of the Imam Hussein Shrine, who welcomed the participants and
expressed joy that a holy Shiite site had welcomed leaders from across the
religious spectrum in Iraq.
said several previous conventions had been held with many prominent religious
figures, which is further proof of the seriousness of a joint action to promote
peaceful coexistence under the current circumstances as Iraq has emerged from
the crisis of the Islamic State (IS), which had previously taken over parts of
high-level meeting touched on the main current issues of major importance for
Iraqis. Most notably, participants discussed the Vatican announcement that
conditions for a papal visit to Iraq are "not yet met" and also the
trip Pope Francis took to the United Arab Emirates, and the subsequent historic
declaration on “human fraternity” between Christians and Muslims. Also,
Cardinal Mar Luis Rafael I Sacco, the Chaldean patriarch of Iraq, issued a
“homeland declaration” to urge the three Iraqi presidencies to meet and resolve
the outstanding problems between the political parties and movements in Iraq.
This is in addition to the “Mandaean hope document” put forth by Mandaean
groups outside Iraq, sounding the alarm on the reality that Mandaeans are on
the verge of extinction in Iraq.
meeting also discussed the seriousness of what was termed Sunni and Shiite hate
speech during Christmas celebrations, as many have called on Christians not to
take part in Christmas festivities.
consequences of the reported slaughter of 50 Yazidi victims in Syria’s Baghouz
at the hands of IS also were on the convention’s agenda.
the context of all this, the Chaldean patriarch stressed the need for a
high-level pilgrimage visit to the historic city of Ur in southern Iraq, where
the Prophet Abraham was born. The cardinal said that leaders of Abrahamic
religions should go on this pilgrimage in an effort to show unity among Iraqis
and to encourage the Holy See to visit this holy and highly symbolic place.
the sidelines of his discussion of the “Mandaean hope document,” Mandaean
community leader Jabar Helou said these meetings help bridge the gap between
the different religions in Iraq and help dissipate Mandaeans’ fear as to the
possibility of their extinction in Iraq, in light of their thin demographic
weight and the departure of nearly 90% of the community's members from the
country. He expressed hope that the outcomes of these conventions would
encourage the remaining members of the Mandaean community to stay in Iraq,
which he believes is the most challenging issue on the agenda of these
director of Al-Khoei Institute in Najaf, Jawad al-Khoei, said the meetings
yielded some practical results, including the decision to issue a book on
religions that are officially recognized in Iraq and provide a definition of
religious diversity. Millions of copies of the book are to be distributed.
response to the message from the self-styled Sunni grand mufti of Iraq, Sheikh
Mahdi al-Sumaidaie, who called on Christians not to take part in Christmas
celebrations, Sunni Sheikh Anas al-Issawi told Qadiriyya community members in
Baghdad that such messages are not acceptable at all.
said the Sunnis of Iraq do not actually have the position of mufti and called
for caution when it comes to fatwas that are issued based on political agendas
that do not reflect the positions of the Iraqi Sunni community toward Christian
were represented at the convention by Nadia Fadel Mghames, the first Iraqi
woman to become the director of Mandaean Endowment.
said her participation in the convention reflects a desire to strengthen the
status of women in religious dialogues and to add another level of diversity to
high-level meetings, where women are usually excluded.
said these meetings are important to help end religious and social
discrimination against minorities and women.
also referred to the previous meeting between Sheikh Abdul Waha al-Samarrai
from the Iraqi Jurisprudence Council of Senior Scholars, stressing that the
fourth meeting is a continuation of the previous ones. He said these
conventions have become an urgent necessity to confront any possible attempt at
sedition in light of the political conflict in Iraq.
ISSA, Syria: Syria’s Kurds on Monday called for an international court to be
set up in the country to try suspected Daesh militants following the announced
fall of their “caliphate.”
imposed its brutal interpretation of Islam on millions living in the
proto-state that it declared across a large swathe of Syria and neighboring
Iraq in 2014.
extremists stand accused of carrying out numerous crimes including mass
executions, kidnappings and rape.
call on the international community to establish a special international
tribunal in northeast Syria to prosecute terrorists,” the Syria Kurdish
this way, “trials can be conducted fairly and in accordance with international
law and human rights covenants and charters,” it said in a statement.
Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces on Saturday announced the end of the
“caliphate” after defeating Daesh militants in the eastern village of Baghouz
near the Iraqi border.
forces, backed by a US-led coalition, have detained thousands of suspected
Daesh fighters in more than four years battling the militants, including around
alleged Daesh fighters are held in jail, women and children suspected of being
affiliated to the group are housed in Kurdish-run camps for the displaced.
than 9,000 foreigners, including over 6,500 children, were held in the main
camp of Al-Hol, a Kurdish spokesman said, giving the latest figures from a week
Kurdish administration has repeatedly called for the repatriation of foreign
Daesh suspects, and warned it does not have capacity to detain so many people.
the home countries of suspected Daesh members have been reluctant to take them
back, due to potential security risks and a likely public backlash.
Kurdish administration in northeast Syria has appealed to the international
community to shoulder its responsibilities” with regards to Daesh suspects, it
unfortunately there was no response.”
urged the international community, particularly countries that have nationals
detained, to support the establishment of an international tribunal.
top foreign official for the Kurdish administration said foreign experts could
work side by side with local judges.
could be foreign judges working with local judges and be experts in crimes
committed by terrorist groups,” Abdel Karim Omar told AFP.
international courts include the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
which tried genocide perpetrators in the African country.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia meanwhile tried those
accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in conflicts that
tore apart the Balkans in the 1990s.
Hubrecht, a Paris-based expert in transitional justice expert, said setting up
an special tribunal to judge Daesh was a good idea in theory in view of the
international dimension of its alleged crimes.
idea of an international criminal court is relevant and interesting,” he told
in northeast Syria it’s not realistic.”
Syrian Kurdish authorities are not internationally recognized, setting up such
a tribunal usually takes time, and ensuring witness protection is tough in a
war-torn country, he said.
the declared victory against Daesh in Baghouz, the militants still maintain a
presence in the country’s vast desert and have continued to claim deadly
attacks in SDF-held territory.
Bashar Assad’s forces have made a territorial comeback against rebels and
militants with key Russian backing since 2015, but the war is far from over.
battle to end the “caliphate” has triggered an exodus of tens of thousands of
people — mainly women and children — out of crumbling Daesh territory, sparked
a humanitarian crisis.
main camp in Al-Hol is now bursting at the seams, housing more than 70,000
people — in a place designed for just 20,000.
conditions in Hol camp are extremely critical,” World Food Programme
spokeswoman Marwa Awad said Monday.
least 140 people — overwhelmingly young children — have died on the way to the
camp or shortly after arriving, the International Rescue Committee aid group
Kurdish administration on Monday called on the United Nations to improve living
conditions at the Al-Hol camp.
particularly called for more humanitarian assistance, expanding the camp, and
better water and sewage networks.
war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since starting
in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.
Egyptian prosecutors have referred 28 terror suspects in two separate cases to
court on charges of joining local affiliates of the Daesh group and Al-Qaeda.
said Monday the suspects were plotting attacks against security forces and the
headquarters of the high state prosecution in Cairo.
say only 17 of the 28 suspects are in custody. No date has been set for their
trials. It was not clear when or where they were arrested.
Daesh affiliate based in northern Sinai has carried out attacks across Egypt in
recent years, mainly targeting security forces and the country’s Christian
pumps in $2.2 billion in Pakistan's dwindling forex reserves
China on Monday pumped-in $2.2 billion to cashstrapped Pakistan to shore up its
close ally's foreign currency reserves and help avert a possible default on
external debt payments.
the generous Chinese assistance, Pakistan has so far received a total of $9.1
billion in financial assistance packages from friendly countries during the
current fiscal year, The Express Tribune reported.
China has pumped-in $4.1 billion, Pakistan has got $3 billion from Saudi Arabia
and $2 billion from United Arab Emirates (UAE), it said.
State Bank of Pakistan has received RMB 15 billion value equivalent to $2.2
billion as proceeds of the loan obtained by the government of Pakistan from
China," the central bank tweeted.
ministry Spokesperson Khaqan Hassan Najeeb said the funds deposited in the
State Bank of Pakistan would strengthen the stability of the country.
SBP's reserves stood at $8.84 billion as on March 15, 2019, according to the
central bank's latest weekly report. The latest deposits came from Beijing are
expected to boost the SBP'S reserves into double digit after a gap of almost
one year, the report said.
comparatively higher imports than exports and debt repayments did not allow the
reserves to stay stable, as the government was partially financing such
international payments using the reserves.
from the financial help, Riyadh has also enabled a $3 billion petroleum oil
supply line on deferred payment for Pakistan as well.
minister Asad Umar has estimated a financing gap of around $12 billion for the
ongoing fiscal year 2019 and another $7-8 billion for the fiscal year 2020, the
friendly countries have extended the soft loan at an interest rate ranging
2.5-5 per cent to shore up SBP's foreign currency reserves and averting payment
is also negotiating with the International Monetary Fund for an aid package but
talks have been inconclusive, media reports said.
the UAE had announced a $6 billion package for Pakistan in December 2018
including $3 billion in cash deposit and a credit line of another $3 billion
for the supply of petroleum on deferred payment.
Pakistan has not been able to secure the $3.2 billion oil on deferred payments facility
from the UAE.
deposits are coming at a very critical time as Islamabad is set to make a large
external debt payment next month – April, while its reserves remain under
pressure,” Arif Habib Limited Head of Research Samiullah Tariq said recently "Pakistan
is scheduled to pay off $1 billion for a maturing Eurobond in April.. this will
be in addition to other external debt payments during the month," he said.
increased international payment pressure led to depletion of Pakistan's foreign
currency reserves to almost five-year low at $6.63 billion as on January 18,
Ruling out the possibility of using its nuclear weapons, Pakistan has expressed
its willingness to take steps towards non-proliferation of nuclear arms, but
only “if India does the same”.
an interview with Russian state-owned news agency Sputnik, Pakistan’s military
spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said that Islamabad sees nuclear
weapons as more of a deterrence tool to prevent actual wars.
we have gone overtly nuclear, as India also, in 1998, our stance is that this
capability eliminates the possibility of conventional war between the two
states. So that is to say, this is a weapon of deterrence and a political
choice. No sane country having this capability would talk about using it,”
Ghafoor said. “Even though the protection of the country was of the utmost
importance, it would be “insane” to discuss the use of nuclear weapons,” the
non-proliferation of nuclear arms, Ghafoor said, “Pakistan will undertake
anything (preventive steps) which is based on equality. You cannot tie the
hands of Pakistan and keep India open. Anything that happens should happen for
both countries,” Ghafoor said.
also advocated third party mediation in resolving tensions between Pakistan and
India. “We would welcome any thirdparty mediation, which can bring peace in the
region. And Russia is more than welcome,” he said.
As the arrival of $2.1 billion Chinese loans jacked up Pakistan’s total foreign
exchange reserves to $17.58bn — highest since April 2018 — the government is
expecting finalisation of a bailout package with the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) in four-six weeks to form the basis for next year budget.
new mission chief for Pakistan Ernesto Ramirez Rigo is set to touch base with
Finance Minister Asad Umar and senior officials of his ministry on Tuesday over
authorities’ preparedness to enter into a three-year programme. Assisted by
IMF’s country representative Maria Teresa Daban, Mr Rigo will also visit
Karachi the following day for interactions at the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
the two-day discussions, both sides are expected to set dates to field a formal
mission by the middle of next month to finalise a reform package, a senior
official told Dawn.
said that before the mission chief’s visit, a team of IMF’s representative
office in Islamabad had been engaged with finance ministry’s authorities for
the last couple of days on actionable issues. The two sides are of the shared
opinion that most of the policy initiatives should become part of the coming
budget to sail through the parliamentary approval as part of the money bill
2019-20 for implementation at the start of the next fiscal year.
sources said this was considered crucial to effective implementation of the
reform agenda before the government descended into popular mode. “First two
budgets are most important for any difficult reform to succeed and the
conclusion of first fiscal year is already upon us and the third budget would
be too close to election cycle,” they said.
the heart of most crucial policy action is the power sector where the relevant
authorities have yet to come up with a plan to address circular debt that now
stands at over Rs1.6 trillion, the sources said.
finance ministry has clearly told the power division to finalise a plan over
the next two weeks with prior warning that it would not get more than Rs120bn
tariff differential subsidy budgeted this year. This would remain frozen at
this level over the next couple of years to achieve automatic reduction in
subsidy-to-GDP ratio as the size of the economy goes up.
officials said the full cost of recovery was difficult to materialise in the
first year but 20-30pc increase in tariff in the first year was unavoidable to
ensure a sustainable deficit. The government also has to pass on the impact of
about Rs200bn in capacity payments to consumers over the next couple of months.
top of that, gas tariff will also be increased by 15-22pc notwithstanding gas
companies’ demand for up to 145pc increase.
sources said the SBP was still opposed to a complete free float of the rupee,
but the government believed that the market-based exchange rate regime could
gradually take place. They said Pakistan had taken a series of policy actions
since November last year when talks with the IMF mission were suspended and the
Fund had softened in stance. For example, the improvement in current account is
greater than the IMF expectations as Islamabad now expects current account
deficit of about $12bn, significantly lower than previous estimates of
$16-17bn. The exchange rate has also reached closer to its real effective rate
as remittances and exports have improved and imports gone down.
of a successful strategy has ensured total reserves of the country rising to a
comfortable level of $17.58bn,” finance ministry’s spokesman Dr Khaqan H.
Najeeb said on Monday after “deposits of RMB 15bn equivalent to $2.1bn received
in SBP account”.
said the foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank had hit a
double-digit mark of $10.67bn. The net reserves held by commercial banks stood
at $6.91bn. He said the government’s successful multi-pronged strategy to
ensure stability in balance of payments, including curtailing current account,
improving remittances and ensuring adequate foreign exchange financing, helped
increase the reserves to comfortable level.
talking to reporters, Finance Minister Asad Umar said Pakistan had come closer
to reaching an agreement with the IMF as the differences had reduced over a
possible bailout package. He said Pakistan had not changed its stance in talks
with the IMF but the Fund had revised its position and the gap between the two
sides had reduced.
least four suspected suicide bombers blew themselves up during a raid conducted
by security forces in Balochistan's Loralai area on Tuesday.
Counter-Terrorism Department and other security agencies conducted the raid in
Nasirabad, Loralai, on the basis of intelligence reports, Assistant
Superintendent of Police, Attau Rehman said.
a look: 119 killed in terror incidents in Balochistan last year: IG
least four security personnel were injured during the raid and taken to Loralai
hospital, he added.
area surrounding the compound was sealed off as a combing operation went
underway in the area following the raid.
intelligence officer who declined to be named told DawnNewsTV that a mastermind
of attacks on levies personnel was also among the suspects who blew themselves
has witnessed a sharp rise in violent attacks by militants in the recent past.
few days ago, six Levies personnel were martyred in a terrorist attack in
Balochistan's Sanjavi. According to sources the six members of a law
enforcement agency were posted at the check-post in Lal Katai on
Sanjavi-Loralai road, which was attacked by assailants with heavy weapons.
Bhutto | Inamullah Khattak
have detained at least seven people, including a Nikah Khwan (marriage
officiator), suspected of involvement in the alleged abductions, forced
conversions from Hindusim to Islam, and underage marriages of two minor sisters
reported in Ghotki.
Saturday, the government took notice of the incident after two separate videos
started doing rounds on social media. The father and brother of the girls in
videos circulating on social media said that the two sisters were abducted and
forced into changing their religion from Hinduism to Islam. However, a separate
video of the girls went viral, in which they said that they accepted Islam of
their own free will.
the video, a cleric can be seen next to the girls and two men who they were
married to. The cleric said the girls were inspired by Islam and alleged that
their family was spreading "false propaganda" and threatening their
March 20, the girls' family lodged a First Information Report against their
alleged forced conversion to Islam.
Commissioner Saleemullah Odho and Superintendent Police Farrukh Lanjhar paid a
visit to the girls' father on Sunday night and assured him of the government
and police's full cooperation in the case.
on Sunday said they had conducted several raids in Punjab's Rahim Yar Khan
where it was believed the girls were taken from Ghotki ─ and arrested the Nikah Khwan who solemnised
their marriages, a leader of the Pakistan Sunni Tehreek, and some relatives of
the two men who had married the two girls. The detained suspects were handed
over to Sindh police.
Lanjhar said that action was being taken on all available information to
recover the girls. He was confident that the girls would be recovered soon.
minister Syed Owais Shah also visited Hari Lal, the father of the two girls. He
said that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had contacted his counterpart in
Punjab over the issue. He also expressed his hope that the two would be
Shiv Lal, a Manghwal community leader, described the assurances as lip service.
He said that if the girls had embraced Islam, they should be produced before a
court of law. He said that their alleged forced conversion and marriages would
be challenged in the court, as both the girls are under 18 years of age.
dissatisfied with the police efforts, a group of Manghwal community members
staged a protest sit-in in front of the Daharki police station on Monday.
Holding placards, they said that the two girls had not been recovered despite
the passage of six days and that the police was only giving them assurances.
the protest, the girls' father attempted self-immolation by pouring petrol on
himself, however, he was saved by other demonstrators.
seek protection from IHC
a related development, the two girls and the men they were reportedly married
to approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to seek protection.
petition, filed by them through their lawyer Muhammad Umari Baloach, has listed
the interior ministry; Sindh chief minister; inspectors general of police of
Punjab, Sindh and Islamabad; MNA Ramesh Kumar Vankwani; Pakistan Electronic
Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) and Hari Lal as respondents.
application, which has not been accepted for hearing as yet, states that
"false propaganda" is being done in the media regarding the alleged
forced conversion of the two sisters who are "law-abiding adult
states that because of the alleged propaganda, the lives of the two girls and
the men they are married to are under threat.
petitioners say that the two sisters had been "impressed by the teachings
of Islam since [a] long time" but that they did not disclose their
conversion to Islam due to the fear of being killed.
on March 22, 2019, the duo formally acknowledged that they have converted to
Islam before "numerous lawyers" of the Khanpur Bar, the petition
sisters have stated in the application that they were not forced into accepting
Islam and that they did so of their own free will.
to the application, the girls and their purported husbands first moved to
Khanpur tehsil of Rahim Yar Khan and upon finding out about a police operation
being launched against them, they later moved to Islamabad.
petition requests the IHC to restrain the government, police and the girls'
father from "harassing" the petitioners for the return of the sisters
to their previous family "and their forceful reversion to Hindu
army accused Hamas of firing a rocket that hit a house north of Tel Aviv on
Monday, wounding seven people, and announced it was sending reinforcements to
the Gaza area.
military said on Twitter the rocket had been fired from the Rafah area in the
southern Gaza Strip.
announced it was sending two additional brigades to the area around the Hamas-run
enclave and was carrying out a limited call up of reservists.
launch was carried out by Hamas from one of its positions in the Rafah area,”
Israeli army spokesman Ronen Manelis said.
can confirm that #Hamas is responsible for firing a homemade rocket. It flew a
distance of 75 miles across Israel and then destroyed this home:
PM - Mar 25, 2019
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rocket would have had to travel some 120 kilometers from Rafah to hit the house
in the community of Mishmeret.
has raised fears of a severe military escalation between the two sides just
ahead of April 9 Israeli elections.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced earlier he was cutting short a trip
to the United States and returning home due to the security situation.
said he would return after meeting US President Donald Trump later Monday,
canceling an address to pro-Israel lobby AIPAC’s annual conference on Tuesday.
had so far not commented on Israel’s accusations.
its ally in Gaza, Islamic Jihad, said “we warn the Zionist enemy from
committing an aggression against the Gaza Strip”.
leaders should be aware that we will respond with force against their
aggression,” it said in a statement, without commenting on who may have been
responsible for the rocket.
leaders of Romania and Honduras on Sunday announced that they will recognize
Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, following the lead of US President Donald Trump.
Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez
delivered their announcements at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s
annual conference in Washington.
announcements were welcomed by Israeli politicians.
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, a government rival who’s in charge of the
East European nation’s foreign policy, said the prime minister hadn’t consulted
with him over the decision. He accused her of “total ignorance” of foreign
move is considered controversial as it goes against the rest of the European
currently holds the bloc’s rotating presidency.
recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the US Embassy to the city,
a move that was applauded by Israel. Guatemala followed suit.
move angered the Palestinians, who seek east Jerusalem as capital of a future
countries have embassies in Tel Aviv out of sensitivity over the contested
Saudi regime has failed in its deadly campaign against Yemen to achieve its
objectives despite enjoying support provided by Washington and other allies.
That is part of a speech by the leader of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement on
the fourth anniversary of the Yemeni nation's resistance against Riyadh's
a televised speech broadcast live on Monday evening, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said
Saudi Arabia's “unprecedented oppression” aimed to divide the Yemeni people and
control them in order to serve the aggressors' interests.
campaign is also aimed at occupying Yemen and looting it oil resources, he
Ansarullah leader said it was a religious and national duty to keep confronting
Saudi Arabia's agressive behavior.
also condemned the stance of traitors and those irresponsible people who act in
support of Riyadh.
to Yemen's former President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, Houthi said no one has the
right to sell his country and to waste the blood of his people.
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, he said, are facing economic challenges
due to the campaign against Yemen. Houthi did not elaborate on the matter.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating campaign on
March 26, 2015, with the aim of bringing a former government to power and
crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement. Riyadh has failed to fulfill its
to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED),
a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far
claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure,
destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a
record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million
threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering
from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has rejected Israel's claim that it
launched a rocket which hit a house north of Tel Aviv and wounded seven
one from the resistance movements, including Hamas, has an interest in firing
rockets from the Gaza Strip towards the enemy," a Hamas official, who
asked not to be named, told AFP on Monday.
added that the same message had been conveyed to Egypt, which intervened to
broker a ceasefire and prevent Israel from launching another war on Gaza after
tensions escalated last year.
remarks evoked the possibility that the rocket strike may have been caused by
on Monday, Israeli authorities said a long-range rocket launched from the Gaza
Strip had struck Mishmeret, a settlement north of Tel Aviv, wounding seven
military said the rocket was fired by Hamas from the Rafah area in the south of
incident had forced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cut short his
trip to Washington as he pledged to "respond with force" to the
Israeli military said it was sending two additional brigades and carrying out a
limited call-up of reservists, raising fears of a severe military escalation.
attack came a day after Israeli warplanes bombed the besieged enclave ahead of
the anniversary of Gaza fence protests at the weekend.
Dozens of Houthi militia have been killed in battles across Yemen, the Saudi
Press Agency reported on Monday.
Yemeni army killed 45 militia and wounded 30 in Ibb province, while another 40
Houthi fighters were killed in clashes in Qaataba district.
province, coalition raids killed a Houthi commander and his men.
coalition-backed forces sieged the main route that connects the provinces of
Al-Dhale and Ibb south of Sanaa.
picked up in Hodeidah despite a truce agreement between the warring sides in
December. An offensive by Yemeni forces last year liberated much of
Houthi-controlled territory along the strategic Red Sea, about four years after
the Iran-supported group ousted the internationally-recognized government.
is not in a hurry to relocate Rohingya refugees to a Bay of Bengal island, a
minister told Reuters on Monday, after the United Nations sought more details
on the government's plan, criticized by some human rights groups.
wants to move 100,000 of the nearly 1 million Rohingya Muslims sheltered in
cramped camps in its southeastern district of Cox's Bazar to the remote island,
known as Bhasan Char, which it has been developing for the past two years.
United Nations is making plans to help Bangladesh with the move, Reuters
reported last week.
in a statement on Monday, the world body called for a thorough assessment to
ensure the viability of the move, saying it was discussing "critical
protection and operational issues" ahead of any relocation.
also examining the potential operational implications of setting up a humanitarian
response on Bhasan Char, including the requirements, time frames and costs
involved," it said.
is in talks with UN humanitarian bodies, and working on their observations,
said Enamur Rahman, the junior minister for disaster management and relief.
we are going a little slow. There is no exact date to relocate," he added.
are not in a hurry, and it will start only when all these UN bodies and
Rohingya people feel the area is ready."
said the government was working to build more cyclone shelters on the island,
which is hours from the mainland by boat. Many Rohingya have opposed the
World Food Programme document shows the UN's food agency supplied Bangladesh
with detailed plans, including a timeline and a budget, on providing for
thousands of Rohingya taken to the island within weeks.
March 12 plans show how the agency and its partners "may facilitate the
identification, staging, forward movement, reception, and sustainment of
refugees" on the island, based on an initial appeal for donor funds from
$9 million to $19 million.
populated Bangladesh says it has been grappling with the large refugee numbers.
number of refugees in Cox's Bazar has swelled since August 2017, when a Myanmar
military-led crackdown that UN investigators have said was conducted with
"genocidal intent" prompted some 730,000 Rohingya to flee.
Myanmar has denied almost all accusations of atrocities made by refugees,
saying its security forces engaged in a legitimate counterterrorism operation.
least 13 civilians were killed, mostly children, in an air strike by
“international forces” in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz late last week,
the United Nations said Monday.
strike happened between late Friday and early Saturday in support of ground operations
conducted by pro-government forces fighting Taliban militants in the area.
fact-finding indicates that 10 of those killed were children, part of the same
extended family whom were displaced by fighting elsewhere in the country,” the
UN mission in Afghanistan said in a statement.
US is the only member of the international coalition in Afghanistan that
provides air support in the conflict.
NATO spokesperson told AFP the coalition was investigating the claims.
who were killed were internally displaced families who had fled the war in
Dasht-e-Archi district and had recently moved to the city,” added Khosh
Mohammad Nasratyar, member of Kunduz provincial council, saying three children
were also wounded in the attack.
deaths come as ordinary Afghans continue to bear the brunt of the conflict,
with more civilians killed in the Afghan war in 2018 than during any other year
on record, according to a UN report.
uptick in violence in 2018 coincides with a significant increase in the number
of deaths caused by the “deliberate targeting of civilians”, according to the
report, mostly stemming from suicide attacks by insurgents allied with the
Taliban or ISIS.
increase in air strikes by US and Afghan forces also led to more civilian
deaths in 2018, with more than 500 killed by “aerial operations for the first
time on record.”
continues to flare across Afghanistan even as the US and Taliban press forward
in peace talks aimed at ending nearly 18 years of fighting.
ongoing peace talks with the Taliban follow years of escalating violence in
to the UN, at least 32,000 civilians have been killed and another 60,000
wounded in the last decade.
has been the scene of repeated air strikes gone awry over the course of the
conflict, including an Afghan strike last April on an outdoor religious
gathering in Dashte Archi that killed or wounded 107 people, mostly children,
according to the UN.
is celebrating its 49th Independence and National Day today. In this context,
we pay our deepest respects to our Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh
Mujibur Rahman and millions of martyrs who laid down their lives for the
independence of Bangladesh in 1971.
this momentous occasion, we express our deepest gratitude to His Majesty Sultan
Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar
‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei
Darussalam for the opportunity given to our expatriates and the care and
hospitality extended to them by his government as well as the people of Brunei.
We also take this opportunity to offer our prayers for good health, long life
and well-being of His Majesty, and members of the royal family.
history of Bangladesh is somewhat complex; therefore, a brief idea about its
genesis will be interesting to our Bruneian friends.
as a state, has been independent only for the last 49 years but its cultural
and linguistic history is very old.
Bangla language, whose English rendering as Bengali given by the British
colonial heritage, is the seventh most spoken language of the world.
history of Bangladesh is intertwined with that of India, Pakistan and other
countries of South Asia. lts national character within a broader South Asian context
dates to the ancient past.
has also tended to set the Bangla-speaking people apart. From the 3rd Century
BC, Buddhism flourished in Bengal.
reestablished its hold from the late 6th Century AD, but Buddhism did not fully
disappear. The two religions coexisted until 12th Century.
made its first appearance in Bangladesh during the 7th Century through Arab
Muslim traders and Sufism. About 1200 AD, the first Muslim ruler, Muhammad
Bakhtiyar Khalji, a Turk, captured Bengal, established Muslim rule and spread
Islam across entire Bangladesh.
is the world’s eighth most populous country. The current population of
Bangladesh is 167,529,756 as of March 9, 2019, based on the latest UN
population is equivalent to 2.18 per cent of the total world population.
Bangladesh ranks eighth in the list of countries (and dependencies) by
population density in Bangladesh is 1291 per km2. The total land area is
130,170 km2. Around 37.2 per cent of the population is urban (62,561,286 people
median age in Bangladesh is 26 years. For the last three years, the annual
population growth is 1.03.
has also become one of the world’s economic success stories.
market-based economy of Bangladesh is the 46th largest in the world in nominal
terms, and 33rd largest by purchasing power parity; it is classified among the
‘Next Eleven’ emerging market economies and a ‘Frontier Market’.
capita income has risen nearly threefold since 2009, reaching USD1,750 in 2018.
2018, Bangladesh reached a pivotal moment when it met the UN criteria to
graduate from ‘least developed country’ status by 2024.
the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the elevation of status to
‘developing economy’ is a significant boost to the nation’s self-image.
garment industry is second only to China in the global market. This sector is
on track to meet the government’s goal of USD39 billion in 2019, and Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina has urged the industry to reach a USD50 billion valuation by 2021
to mark the 50th anniversary of independence.
vast community of about 2.5 million Bangladeshi overseas workers further buoys
the economy with remittances that jumped an annual 1800 to top USD15 billion in
2018. Sheikh Hasina launched a ‘Digital Bangladesh’ strategy in 2009 backed by
Dhaka, the nation’s capital, is home to a small but growing technology sector
led by CEOs who talk boldly about ‘leapfrogging’ in IT.
exports of software and IT services reached nearly USD800 million in 2018, and
are on track to exceed USD1 billion this fiscal year.
manufacturing is also on the rise. With its “least developed country” status,
the country has enjoyed a waiver on drug patents. This has fuelled intensifying
competition in the field of generic and bulk drugs. This sector provides 97 per
cent of the total medicinal requirement of the local market.
has great potentials in Bangladesh since it has a long history of shipbuilding
dating back to early modern era.
Bangladesh has started exporting locally made ships to Europe.
has now over 200 shipbuilding companies.
is considered one of the most suitable regions for fisheries in the world, with
the world’s largest flooded wetland. Shrimp culture is of central importance to
Bangladesh as a source of earning.
contributes about four per cent to GDP, and three per cent to foreign exchange
earnings, with Europe and the United States being the major destinations.
its Belt and Road Initiative, China has financed various mega projects in
Bangladesh, including most of the nearly USD4 billion Padma Bridge rail link,
which will connect the country’s southwest with the northern and eastern
all, China has committed USD38 billion in loans, aid, and other assistance for
is now the second-largest importer of Chinese military hardware after Pakistan.
Policy of Bangladesh
foreign policy of Bangladesh emanates from the principle of ‘Friendship towards
all, malice towards none’. Bangladesh follows a pragmatic approach to develop,
continue and sustain friendly relations with other nations in consonance with
its national interests.
stands to protect the rights and dignity of the oppressed and the persecuted
and collaborates with the international community for humanity.
will be a close observant of the evolving political dynamics of the world and
embark on innovativeness to formulate, maintain and/or modify its foreign
supports rule of law, justice and good governance. It adheres to international
law and principles enunciated in the UN Charter and other international
treaties of which Bangladesh is a party.
stands to support all global peace initiatives and dialogues. It aims at
building alliances for the well being of its people and for realising common
Asia-Pacific region is all set to assume great significance in future. Around
the middle of the present century, China’s economy is predicted to be
overtaking that of the United States, India would be a close third and BRlCs
would be a match for G-7.
is a star performer in UN peacekeeping missions. It is one of the top five
troop contributors in the world.
appointment of several Bangladeshi military generals as the commander of the UN
peacekeeping missions, and senior military liaison officers may be seen as
further recogni-tion of the Bangladesh Forces’ growing esteem in the world
recognised Bangladesh quickly after its independence in 1971. Bangladesh’s
historical tie with Brunei is very old. People from Bengal coast would make sea
voyages through Malacca straits to Borneo island for trade and business.
the home to Brunei Darussalam and Bengal Delta, the home to Bangladesh, shared
similar nature and environment; rain, hot climate, sunny weather, mangrove
forest, river, seashore and common cultural values.
historical bond is reflected in our deep friendship and mutual respect.
largest gathering of Muslims in Bangladesh is during the Bishwa Ijtema, held
Ijtema is the second-largest Muslim congregation in the world.
year 2018 has been significant in improving bilateral relations between our
friendly countries. Bangladesh established its residential diplomatic mission
in 1985, and Brunei in 1999.
is almost after 20 years that the first ever Foreign Office Consultations (FOC)
was held in last year.
consultations were fruitful, and opened up new areas of business and trade,
particularly in agriculture, fishery, Halal food, ship repair and maintenance,
and petroleum. Following the FOC, a number of visits by different trade bodies
of both sides have taken place.
are about 20,000 expatriate Bangladeshis employed in Brunei. They are working
in petroleum and gas, infrastructure building such as bridges, roads and land
renovation. Bangladeshi doctors are spread all across the four districts in
Universiti Brunei Darussalam and Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB)have a good
number of faculty and students from Bangladesh.
2018, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in education sector at
tertiary level between Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) and Islamic
University of Bangladesh, UTB and Dhaka University of Engineering were signed.
Strata, a Bruneian Company involved in Geoscience research visited Dhaka
University in February to hold lectures and workshops on ‘Earth Modelling in
the 21st Century: Advanced Techniques & Techniques’ and explore areas of
cooperation in energy, power and geological experimentation.
relation is improving. Bangladesh and Brunei exchange officers for courses on regular
basis. In 2019, a major from Bangladesh army is attending Brunei Staff College.
is expected that Brunei will reciprocate by sending its officers to attend
courses at Bangladesh Staff and National Defence Colleges.
commitment to supporting the Bangladesh government to tackle the humanitarian
crisis is highly commendable.
aid groups from Brunei are regularly visiting Bangladesh with food, medicine,
clothing, shelter items and reading materials.
Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia have maintained cordial and close bonds since the
establishment of diplomatic ties in 1975. The friendship is characterized by
mutual understanding and a deep sense of fraternity.
Kingdom is the largest and most valued destination for the Bangladeshi
workforce, which contributes significantly to the national development of both
countries. Remittance flows from Saudi Arabia to Bangladesh comprised almost 22
percent of the total amount, which was approximately $34 billion, in 2018.
countries share common views on many regional and international issues, particularly
those relating to the Islamic community. These shared priorities, perspectives
and fraternal relations have strengthened the collaboration within the United
Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other international and
regional forums. Existing bonds have been reinforced by ever-deepening
bilateral ties in the fields of trade, investment, defense, culture, education
and manpower. The Kingdom now stands as one of Bangladesh’s most important
bilateral partners and the relationship dynamics have evolved from
one-dimensional to multilayered cooperation over the years to reach its present
Minister Sheikh Hasina embarked on her sixth official visit to Saudi Arabia
last October to strengthen bonds at the highest levels. She had an audience
with King Salman and met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
king and prime minister discussed ties, as well as regional and international
issues of mutual interest. Both leaders commended the unprecedented gain in
momentum of bilateral relations in recent years, and emphasized the further
expansion of relations through cooperation and engagement.
Arabia’s Vision 2030 reform plan gives Bangladesh the opportunity to explore
new areas of engagement in manpower, trade, investment, education and
also has a vision: To become a middle-income country by 2021 and to attain the
status of a high mid-income country by 2041. These goals warrant engagement in
fast-growing trade and economic cooperation with major partners like Saudi
the meeting between the king and prime minister it was reiterated that the
cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh would continue, and that both
countries would be development partners.
will be an exchange of economic and investment-related delegations and
economic, cultural and defense cooperation will play a pivotal role in
fulfilling those objectives.
prime minister appreciated the visionary role played by King Salman in the
development of the Muslim community. There is a special place for Saudi Arabia
in the heart of Bangladeshi Muslims, as the Two Holy Mosques exist in Makkah
and Madinah, and Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad (peace be
a great opportunity exists between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia to work together
to disseminate the real message of Islam so that nobody can benefit from
misrepresenting the religion.
her meeting with the crown prince, the prime minister highlighted recent
development activities, particularly in food security, housing, education, and
poverty reduction. Bangladesh offered to allocate land for an exclusive
economic zone for Saudi Arabia, which should encourage more Saudi investors to
Bangladesh. The crown prince said Saudi Arabia was interested in broadening its
relationship with Bangladesh for the mutual benefit of both countries. He
emphasized regular interaction of business bodies to further accelerate trade
prime minister also attended a business seminar in the capital that was
organized by the Council of Saudi Chambers and Bangladesh Embassy in Riyadh.
She urged Saudi entrepreneurs and businessmen to invest in the 100 Special
Economic Zones in priority sectors such as energy, power, infrastructure and
communication networks, IT, textiles and agro-based industries. She also called
on them to take advantage of the investment and business climate in Bangladesh.
expressed hope that Saudi entrepreneurs would particularly benefit if they
opted for those zones set aside for Saudi investors.
this month a ministerial-level delegation went to Bangladesh to explore
business and investment opportunities. The team comprised 32 members from the
government and private sector, including delegates from the Public Investment Fund
and the Saudi Fund for Development. Two agreements and four memoranda of
understanding were signed on investment cooperation. The two sides also agreed
to review progress within the next two months.
is expected that the overall relationship dynamic between Bangladesh and Saudi
Arabia will fundamentally change in the next few years.
Message: Working together to honor our independence
is March 26, the Independence Day of Bangladesh. On the occasion of our great
Independence and National Day, I extend my heartfelt greetings and warm
felicitations to my fellow countrymen living at home and abroad.
this historic day, I recall with profound respect the architect of our independence,
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. I pay my deep homage to
the martyrs and valiant sons of the soil, who made the supreme sacrifice in the
war of liberation. I also recall with deep reverence our four National Leaders,
valiant freedom fighters, organizers, supporters, our foreign friends, and
people from all walks of life who made immense contributions to attain our
right to self-determination and the war of liberation. The contributions of all
will be written in golden letters in the history of our independence forever.
have achieved our hard-earned independence through huge sacrifice. Bangabandhu
always cherished a dream of building a happy and prosperous country along with
achieving political emancipation. Immediately after independence, he took all
our steps in rebuilding the economy of the war-ravaged country. Keeping that in
mind, the present government has been rendering untiring efforts in
materializing the dream of Bangabandhu.
a long struggle, Bangladesh is now moving toward development and prosperity.
Besides the overall development, implementation of megaprojects such as Padma
Bridge, the metro rail and the nuclear power plant are ongoing. With the launch
of a Bangladeshi satellite, we have cemented our place in space. We are
dreaming of a developed Bangladesh by the year 2041. Bangladesh is now being
branded as a role model for outstanding success in socio-economic development.
pursuing our diplomatic objectives, the government has been consistent in upholding
the principle of “friendship to all, malice toward none,” as enunciated by
Father of the Nation. Our achievement in the international arena is also
commendable. Our expatriate Bangladeshis have been making significant
contributions to our national economy by sending their hard-earned remittances.
Nevertheless, we have to go a long way to achieve the desired goals of
independence. We must ensure good governance, social justice, transparency and
accountability to make development people-oriented and sustainable.
and development complement each other. Jatiya Sangsad and the government have
started a new journey after the 11th parliamentary election. Collective
initiative is necessary to implement the government’s development ideas and
make Parliament meaningful. I hope Parliament will be the center of the
people’s hopes and aspirations.
this, the ruling party and the opposition will have to play a constructive
role. The present government has set Vision 2021 and Vision 2041 to materialize
Bangabandhu’s dream of transforming Bangladesh into “Sonar Bangla.” Sincere and
collective efforts are imperative to implement the programs.
with the spirit of the war of liberation and democratic values, let us work
together, irrespective of party affiliation, to make our heard-earned
independence more meaningful. Let this be the pledge on Independence and
Bangladesh live forever.
Minister's Message: Realizing the dream of our nation’s father
Minister of Bangladesh
convey my heartiest greetings and congratulations to my countrymen as well as
all expatriate Bangladeshis on the occasion of the great Independence and
National Day of Bangladesh.
26 is the day of earning our nation’s identity. It is the day of breaking the
shackles of subjugation. On the eve of Independence Day, I recall with deep
gratitude the greatest Bangladeshi of all time, Father of the Nation
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, under whose undisputed leadership we earned our
coveted independence. I pay my deep homage to the 3 million martyrs and 200,000
women who lost their honor in the war of liberation.
also pay tribute to our four National Leaders who steered the war of liberation
in the absence of Bangabandhu. My homage goes to the valiant freedom fighters,
including the wounded ones. I extend my sympathies to those who lost their near
and dear ones, and were subjected to brutal torture during the war. I recall
with gratitude our foreign friend who had extended its wholehearted support and
cooperation for the cause of our liberation.
Bangladeshi nation fought against Pakistani rulers’ oppression and deprivation
for 23 years under the leadership of Bangabandhu. They were compelled to hold
general elections in 1970. The Bangladesh Awami League led by Bangabandhu won
an overwhelming majority in the elections. But Pakistani rulers, instead of
handing over power to the majority party in a democratic way, launched
repressive measures against it.
in his March 7 historic address, declared: “The struggle of this time is for
emancipation. The struggle for this time for our independence. Joi Bangla.” He
instructed the Bangladeshi nation to resist the enemies.
occupation forces unleashed a sudden attack and started killing innocent and
unarmed Bangladeshis on the black night of March 25, 1971. They killed
thousands of people in cities and towns, including Dhaka. Bangabandhu formally
proclaimed the independence of Bangladesh at the first hour of March 26, 1971.
proclamation was spread all over the country through telegrams, tele-printers
and EPR wireless. The international media also circulated Bangabandhu’s
proclamation of independence. Under his brave and dauntless leadership, we
earned the ultimate victory on Dec. 16, 1971, after a nine-month bloody war.
earned through the supreme sacrifices of millions of people is the greatest
achievement of the Bangladeshi nation. To ensure that this achievement remains
meaningful, all have to know the history of our great liberation war and retain
the spirit of independence. The spirit of the liberation war has to be passed
on from generation to generation.
imbued with the spirit of the freedom struggle, the Awami League government has
relentlessly been working to develop the country. We have been accomplishing
the unfinished work of the Father of the Nation. We have achieved expected
development in every sector during the last 10 years. Bangladesh has become the
role model of socioeconomic development in the world.
government is maintaining a zero-tolerance policy to tackle militancy,
terrorism and the drug menace. For the first time in the world, we have
formulated a 100-year plan named Delta Plan 2100. Bangladesh is one of the top
five countries in the world in economic development. Ninety percent of
development work is financed by our own resources.
have executed the verdict of the trial of the killers of Bangabandhu,
establishing the rule of law. The verdicts of the trials of the war criminals
are also being executed. The trails of war criminals will continue as per our
pledges to the nation. Due to the continuation of the Awami League government,
the people are now getting the dividends of development. Bangladesh is moving
forward, and will continue to do so. The next generation will get a prosperous
people made the Awami League victorious in the recent 11th parliamentary
election. We will fully honor the huge mandate that the people of our country
have given us. We will turn Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021,
and a developed and prosperous one by 2041, InshaAllah.
us uphold the development and democratic spree being imbued with the spirit of
the freedom struggle. Let us engage ourselves for the welfare of the country
and nation. Let us build a happy and prosperous “Sonar Bangla,” free of hunger
and poverty, as dreamt by the Father of the Nation. On this historic day, let
this be our commitment.
Bangla, Joi Bangabandhu,
a prosperous, developed Bangladesh under dynamic leadership
A.K Abdul Momen
Minister of Bangladesh
the occasion of March 26, the great Independence and National Day of
Bangladesh, I extend my heartfelt greetings and warm felicitations to all
Bangladeshis living both at home and abroad.
this great historic day, I recall with profound reverence the greatest
Bangladeshi of all time, the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur
Rahman, who proclaimed our country’s independence on March 26, 1971.
his visionary leadership, we achieved our long-cherished independence through a
nine-month armed struggle.
deep respect, I recall the supreme sacrifices made by our war heroes, the 3
million martyrs and the wounded freedom fighters.
am also profoundly grateful to the people from all walks of life, especially
members of our diaspora and the diplomatic front, who during and after our
liberation war played a vital role in gaining international recognition.
also acknowledge with deep gratitude the enormous contributions of our foreign
friends in the emergence of an independent Bangladesh.
charismatic leadership of the Father of the Nation united the whole nation like
a solid rock under one umbrella. Bangabandhu was not only the leader of the
Bangladeshis, but also a forerunner in realizing the rights of the oppressed
and deprived people of the world. Bangabandhu, the great architect of our
liberation war, dreamt of a happy, prosperous, exploitation-free and equitable
able successor and daughter, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, aims to make
Bangladesh a middle-income country by 2021, and a developed country by 2041.
She hopes to realize Bangabandhu’s dream of “Sonar Bangla.”
Bangladesh is on a pathway to prosperity. Currently, it is marching forward
with a gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of more than 7.86 percent.
number of working women has increased from 6 percent to 38 percent of the
introduction of six-month leave, maternity allowances and free community
clinics have contributed to lowering maternal mortality by 67 percent and
infant deaths by 75 percent.
recent years, the size of our national budget has grown about five and a half
times. While Bangladesh is now recognized as a role model of development, it
has been steadily achieving successes, earning many international awards and
accolades. As a consequence, the UN recently announced Bangladesh’s eligibility
for graduation to the status of “developing country” from “least developed
the successful launch of the Bangabandhu-1 satellite, the first Bangladeshi
geostationary communication satellite, we have taken communication technology
to new heights.
congratulate the Bangladeshi diaspora in every corner of the world, which is
contributing to the escalation of the image of Bangladesh.
thank all the members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our missions
abroad who have been working with deep commitment to uphold our national
interest across nations.
this historic day of independence, let us all vow to transform Bangladesh into
a prosperous, technology-based, developed “Sonar Bangla.”
Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu.
Bangladesh live forever.
in 2050: Aspirations, challenges and milestones
justice and parliamentary affairs minister
has undergone a remarkable transformation in the 48 years since gaining
independence — and disproved many predictions.
dismissed the newborn country as an economic basket case, unable to survive on
its own. Now, almost half a century later, Bangladesh has not just survived, it
has made remarkable progress in ways that have eluded other nations.
is forecast that Bangladesh will be the world’s 28th largest economy by 2030
and the 23rd largest by 2050.
PricewaterhouseCoopers report predicted that our gross domestic product at
purchasing power parity will grow to $1.324 billion in 2030 and to $3.064
billion by 2050, despite the challenges facing us.
is also believed that transforming the huge population into assets is key to
our aspiration for faster economic growth. The country’s plan to turn every
village into a township will go a long way to ensure growth opportunities for
every citizen, connecting them with the nation’s mainstream economic activities
government has also adopted a plan to address climate change vulnerability and
risk factors, not only in the short term but for the next 100 years.
government has undertaken a number of megaprojects to be implemented in the
next 10 years to overcome infrastructure challenges, including a nuclear power
plant, an elevated expressway, a deep sea port, and a metro railway in the
will transform existing infrastructure, while also contributing substantially
to the national economy. A fast-growing manufacturing sector, thanks to the
garment industry which is now second only to China’s, our economy has averaged
above 6 percent annual growth for nearly a decade, reaching 7.5 percent last
industry is a key factor in the country's success story. It is also the
country's largest employer, providing about 4.5 million jobs and accounting for
nearly 80 percent of our total merchandise exports in 2018. The industry has in
recent years implemented reforms including factory upgrades, inspections, and
improved worker conditions in order to maintain its competitive edge in the
global market. It appears to be on track to meet the government goal of
exporting $39 billion in 2019, and the country aspires to reach a $50 billion
export valuation in this sector by the end of 2021 to mark the 50th anniversary
of its independence.
in agro-fisheries is also phenomenal. From acute food shortages in 1974, the
country has achieved self-sufficiency in food production for its population of
more than 170 million.
country is now ranked third in the world in terms of freshwater fish
production, and developments in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors have
lifted people out of poverty. There used to be 19 percent of the population
living in extreme poverty, on less than $1.25 a day, and that figure is now
less than 9 percent.
manufacturing is also on the rise, with locally produced goods exported to more
than 100 countries. The nation has a waiver on drug patents until 2032 and,
with favorable conditions, Bangladesh is hoping to challenge Asian giants in
the pharmaceutical production field in the near future.
government is implementing an ambitious scheme to build a network of 100
special economic zones (SEZs) around the country: 11 of them are complete and
79 are under construction.
is expected that these SEZs will cater for the country’s needs in the decades
to come. These areas should also be able to guarantee foreign direct investment
inflows beyond 2050.
also has a huge working-age youth population that should reap economic
dividends until 2052. If we are able to sustain the momentum of growth for the
next 30 years, and utilize the population dividend effectively, our dream of
attaining the status of a developed country by 2050 is well within reach.
benefits of Saudi-Bangladeshi cooperation
Ambassador to Riyadh
pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of our heroes for their supreme
sacrifices for the independence of our motherland. My deep respect goes to the
3 million martyrs, freedom fighters, elderly, women, children, and all those
people who withstood suffering in the war of liberation in 1971.On this
auspicious occasion of our National and Independence Day, I pay my deep respect
to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who led the
nation to achieve independence through a nine-month popular struggle. The
greatest Bangladeshi of all time, Bangabandhu is truly the source of
inspiration for our nation, and for millions of Bangladeshis living all over of
would also like to convey my heartfelt felicitations and warm greetings to the
valued members of the Bangladeshi community living in the brotherly Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia. Their hard work, contributions and invaluable support toward
building our two economies are the strengthening blocks of the bonds and
relationships that exist between Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh.
deep appreciation and gratitude goes to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques,
His Majesty King Salman, and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammad bin
Salman, who have extended support to the wellbeing of Bangladeshi expatriates
employed in various sectors in Saudi Arabia. The extraordinary gestures and
generosity of the Kingdom’s leadership and people toward the expatriate
community in Saudi Arabia are always revered by the people and government of
has long maintained excellent relations with Saudi Arabia in the field of human
resources, with growing engagements in trade and investment in recent years.
Over these years, both countries have learned to identify potential areas of
economic cooperation for mutual benefit.
Vision 2030 reform plan, promoted by the Saudi government under the guidance of
His Majesty the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and the transformational
development of the Kingdom, offer Bangladesh new areas of engagement in the fields
of education, agriculture, power and infrastructure.
the same time, Bangladesh’s Vision 2021 plan to become a middle-income country,
and its Vision 2041 plan to become an upper-middle-income country, warrants
that Bangladesh engage in multisector cooperation with a major partner such as
growing engagements, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina undertook six
official visits to Saudi Arabia in an effort to further strengthen bilateral
relations. During these visits, she had meetings and an audience with His
Majesty the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Royal Highness the crown
prince, where the entire gamut of bilateral relations, as well as regional and
international issues of mutual interest, were discussed.
developments in Bangladesh, particularly in the areas of food security,
housing, education and poverty reduction, were also discussed. The leaders
commended the unprecedented momentum of bilateral relations in recent years,
and emphasized further expansion of those ties through cooperation and
engagements at different levels. They also reiterated their commitment to
continued cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh as development
fulfil this commitment, exchanges of economic and investment-related
delegations between the two countries, as well as utilizing opportunities for
economic, cultural and defense cooperation, will play pivotal roles. It is a
matter of great joy that exchanges of delegations have already commenced,
resulting in both countries signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on
defense cooperation on Feb. 14, 2019.
high-level investment delegation from Saudi Arabia visited Bangladesh on March
7 and signed two agreements and four MoUs on investment cooperation. During this
visit, both countries agreed to formulate a joint investment strategy and
establish a ministerial-level joint working committee to oversee business and
investment cooperation between the two countries. A joint business council will
also be formed. Bangladesh gratefully acknowledges the kind gesture of the king
and crown prince of Saudi Arabia for taking a personal interest in sending the
ministerial-level investment delegation to Bangladesh in March.
also appreciates the great visionary roles played by King Salman and the crown
prince for the development of the Muslim Ummah around the world and within the
Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Bangladesh welcomes and actively
participates in developing a peaceful Ummah devoid of extremist views. To that
end, Bangladesh, like Saudi Arabia, maintains a zero-tolerance policy against
violent extremism and terrorism.
order to suppress extremism within Muslim society, both Bangladesh and Saudi
Arabia are willing to work together through sharing of information and
experience. Both countries are determined to work to disseminate the real
message of Islam worldwide so no one could benefit by misrepresenting the
religion. It is expected that concerted initiatives will support efforts to
establish a peaceful, progressive and harmonious world.
gratefully recall Saudi support to Bangladesh regarding regional and
international issues, including the Rohingya issue. Bangladesh is committed to
standing by Saudi Arabia in all regional and international issues of importance
to the Kingdom. Bangladesh is prepared to extend active military support to
protect the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah as and when requested by the
has been playing an active role in building a peaceful world by contributing
one of the largest number of troops to UN peacekeeping operations engaged in
protecting and promoting the peaceful interests of all nations.
enlightened policy of highlighting the need for effective global cooperation on
issues of strategic importance has made the country an important player in the
UN, the Non-Aligned Movement, the OIC, the Commonwealth of Nations, and other
international and regional organizations. Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia can work
together for global peace and stability through the UN and the OIC.
assumed the chairmanship of the OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers from May
2018 to February 2019. During these 10 months, OIC countries met successfully
at the annual coordination meeting in New York during the UN General Assembly
(UNGA), and in an extraordinary summit on Palestine in 2018. Bangladesh’s
leadership in New York resulted in the UNGA adopting emergency resolutions.
number of ministerial meetings have also been hosted with tangible and verifiable
outcomes, and quite a few meetings of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts
have taken place. The New York chapter of the OIC, under Bangladesh’s
chairmanship, agreed on some best practices and modes of work.
hope to build on our productive engagements, both at the multilateral and
bilateral levels, for a future of even closer cooperation and understanding
between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia. We would like to see the peoples of both
countries going through a defining moment of heightened political and economic
relationships, especially in the fields of trade, investment, education, health
would like to urge all members of the Bangladeshi community to contribute with
their valuable experience and hard work to further accelerate the socioeconomic
development of both Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh, and to further strengthen the
excellent relationship between our two brotherly countries for mutual gains.
us all work together to fulfil the dream of Bangabandhu to make Bangladesh
“Sonar Bangla,” a country of peace, prosperity and happiness under the dynamic
leadership of our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Bangla, Joi Bangabandhu.
achieving unimpeded and envious economic growth
General of Bangladesh in Jeddah
express my happiness to celebrate the 48th anniversary of the Independence and
National Day of Bangladesh.
this auspicious day, I recall with profound respect the Father of the Nation
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the architect of our nation. I pay special
tribute to the memories of the martyrs of the liberation war, as well as to the
valiant freedom fighters, whose supreme sacrifices made us free. On this
wonderful occasion, I extend my sincere felicitations to the brotherly people
and government of Saudi Arabia, to our friends, well-wishers and Bangladeshi
expatriates living in the Kingdom.
government of Bangladesh, under the dynamic and prudent leadership of Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina, has been achieving unimpeded and envious economic
growth. Bangladesh will transform into a middle-income country with the
implementation of Vision 2021, declared by the prime minister, and is expected
to turn into a developed nation through Vision 2041. After tremendous success
in achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, Bangladesh is moving
forward in pursuit of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
has been able to maintain steady growth of around 6.5 percent in the last
decade, and looks forward to achieving more than 7 percent in the coming years.
Bangladesh has been identified as one of the Next 11 countries, which Goldman
Sachs investment bank says will probably become some of the world’s largest
economies in the 21st century.
to PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bangladesh will be one of the top 30 countries by
2030 in terms of real gross domestic product (GDP) size. Bangladesh will be the
23rd-largest economy in the world by 2050. Bangladesh is one of the
fastest-growing economies in South Asia.
its recent study, Global Economic Views highlighted Bangladesh as a profitable
investment destination for the next five, 10, 20 and 40 years. Emerging sectors
of Bangladesh include garments, pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding, ceramics, jute
and jute products, agriculture and processed foods. As one of the largest
Muslim-majority countries, Bangladesh enjoys excellent bilateral relations with
Saudi Arabia based on common Islamic values, traditions, faith, culture and
the years, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh have played a responsible and
contributory role as members of international organizations, including the
Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the UN. We attach great
importance to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its cooperation with Bangladesh
as a valued development partner, particularly through the generous hosting of a
significant number of Bangladeshi expatriates.
least two Chechen militants were killed or wounded during the artillery strikes
of Afghan armed forces in northeastern Badakhshan province.
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North said the militants were
in Ambi Yardar area of Baharak district.
to a statement released by 209th Shaheen Corps, the artillery strikes were
carried out at around 5:30 pm local time on Sunday, leaving a Chechen militant
dead and another wounded.
militan who was killed during the operation has been identified as Talah and
was affiliated with Jamiat-e-Ansarullah group, the 209th Shaheen Corps said.
209th Shaheen Corps also added that a Taliban fighter belonging to Mullah
Mansoor group was killed and another militant was wounded during the airstrikes
in Kanam Village of Kunduz province on Sunday.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has suggested an interim government setup
in Afghanistan to help end the impasse in Afghan peace process.
Khan reportedly made the remarks during an interaction with the local
journalists in his office on Monday.
went on to claim that the Afghan government was a hurdle in peace process as it
was insisting on direct talks with the Taliban group.
to PM Khan, a neutral interim government can help with the success of peace
process in Afghanistan by holding a free and transparent election.
prominent Taliban leader identified as Mullah Turab has been arrested during an
operation of Afghan security forces in eastern Nangarhar province.
Ministry of Interior in a statement said Mullah Turab was arrested during an
operation of the Special Forces of Afghan National in Surkh Roddistrict.
statement further added that the operation was conducted on Sunday night and as
a result three other militants were also arrested and a motorycle and a weapon
to Ministry of Interior, Mullah Turab was involved in planning terrorist
attacks in Surkh Rod district and was leading a group of 40 militants.
Afghan Police Special Forces did not suffer casualties during the operation,
the Ministry of said.
newly-appointed shadow intelligence chief of Taliban for Sangin district has
been killed durig the airstrikes conducted by security forces on Monday, the
provincial government said.
to a statement released by media office of Helmand government, the airstrike
was carried out in Sharafat Bazar area of Sangin targeting a compound of
statement further added that the newly-appointed shadow intelligence chief of
Taliban Jahadyar was killed along with 5 others in the airstrike.
military source also confirmed “Airstrikes in Sangin district of Helmand
province killed Taliban fighters today. More than 20 Taliban fighters have been
killed in Helmand in the last week.”
violence kills 136 in Mali, army generals sacked
government on Sunday announced the sacking of senior military officers and the
dissolution of an ethnic militia, a day after the massacre of more than 130
Fulani villagers, including women and children.
of the attack said ethnic Dogon hunters carried out the deadly raid a day
earlier in Ogossagou, a village in central Mali inhabited by the Fulani
least 136 men, women and children were killed in the attack, according to a
“provisional toll,” public television ORTM said late Sunday. The television
showed images of burned huts and livestock and shell casings in the village.
the wake of the violence, the army chief of staff General M’Bemba Moussa Keita
was removed and replaced by General Abdoulaye Coulibaly, while chief of land
forces General Abdrahamane Baby was replaced by Brigadier-General Keba Sangare.
Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga said in a statement after an emergency
cabinet meeting that President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita had also ordered the
dissolution of an anti-militant vigilante group called Dan Na Amassagou.
of the group’s ethnic Dogon fighters were suspected of being behind the attack.
dissolution of the militia was to send a clear message, Maiga told journalists:
“The protection of the population will remain the monopoly of the state.”
local attacks are fueled by accusations of Fulani herders grazing cattle on
Dogon land and disputes over access to land and water, the area is also
troubled by Takfiri influence.
Takfiri militants active in the region have consistently tried to exploit a
sense of persecution among the Fulani, whose semi-nomadic, pastoral way of life
sometimes brings them into conflict with more settled farmers like the Dogon,
by arming and training them. Some Dogon traditional hunters in turn took up
arms to protect themselves.
ethnic bloodshed took place less than a week after a deadly assault by Takfiri
terrorists on an army post killed at least 23 soldiers, also in Mali’s central
region. That attack was claimed by an al-Qaeda affiliate.
government delegation led by Justice Minister Tiena Coulibaly went to the site
of the latest massacre Sunday. They were sent by the president to “tell the
people of Ogossagou that what happened here is unacceptable and that it will
not go unpunished,” Coulibaly said.
have grown increasingly frustrated by the failure of government forces to
protect them from both Takfiri militant onslaughts and ethnic reprisals. But
the massacre of civilians at the villages of Ogossagou and Welingara on
Saturday, which left the charred bodies of women and children smoldering in
their homes, has shocked a population long inured to gratuitous killing.
UN Children’s Fund said, “Malian children are paying a heavy price for the
intensification of violence.”
insecurity since 2017 has led to an increase in murders, mutilations and the
recruitment of children,” UNICEF said.
its part, the European Union called for “immediate steps (including) the
disarmament and dismantling of all militias” in Mali.
was the deadliest attack since the end of the 2013 French-led military intervention
in the country.
massacre took place as a delegation from the UN Security Council visited the
Sahel region to assess the threats being posed by the Takfiri militants there.
secretary general is shocked and outraged” by the bloodshed, Antonio Guterres’s
spokesman said in a statement late Saturday.
UN chief called on the Malian authorities “to swiftly investigate it and bring
the perpetrators to justice,” the statement added.
spokesman said the UN mission in Mali, MINUSMA, provided air support to deter
further attacks and assisted with the evacuation of the injured.
attack was launched at dawn on Saturday in the village near the border with
Burkina Faso, in a district that has seen frequent inter-communal violence.
Al-Shabaab Claims Attack On Government Building in Mogadishu
militant group al-Shabab has launched yet another complex attack in the
capital, Mogadishu, witnesses, and officials say. A car bomb blast rocked the
Shangani district of Mogadishu early Saturday.
said the explosion targeted a building housing the ministries of Labor and of
General Works, Reconstruction, and Housing. The Headquarters of Mogadishu
regional police are also located in the area.
second explosion was reported minutes later in the same area. Witnesses said
the explosion came from another car believed to have been used by armed gunmen.
The gunmen stormed the building according to witnesses.
has been heard at the building housing the two ministries. Pictures taken by
local media show some of the workers escaping through the back windows.
al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the attack. Through its
affiliate media, al-Shabab also claimed its fighters entered the buildings of
Labor, and General Works, Reconstruction & Housing.
Haram jihadists killed at least seven villagers in a series of attacks in
southeastern Niger near the border with Nigeria, a local official and an NGO
attackers carried out three separate raids overnight Saturday, said a senior
official in the Diffa region, which borders northeastern Nigeria, Boko Haram's
the course of the raids they killed seven people, abducted two women and burned
down a market and several houses, the official said.
Espace Citoyen, a group active in the region, posted a message on Facebook
saying there had been four attacks in which 11 people had been killed.
last Thursday, a Boko Haram attack in Karidi, a village on the border with Nigeria,
killed eight people including one woman, according to local officials.
March 9, jihadists killed nine Niger soldiers in an attack in the same area.
And another seven soldiers perished last month in a Boko Haram attack on their
position near the border.
this month, the authorities in Niger said they had killed 33 Boko Haram
fighters in an operation in the region.
which borders northeastern Nigeria, has suffered a string of cross-border
estimated 27,000 people have been killed and two million displaced since Boko
Haram launched its insurgency in 2009.
The Jordanian Royal Hashemite Court announced on Monday that King Abdullah II
had decided to cancel a visit to Romania.
Salameh, a spokesman for the royal court, confirmed to Arab News that the trip
“had been scheduled to start Monday,” but that “in solidarity with Jerusalem,
and following Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila’s remarks expressing the
intention to move her country’s embassy to Jerusalem, the king has decided not
to travel to Romania.”
royal court press release said that King Abdullah’s visit to Romania, “which
currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union,
had been planned to include meetings with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and
king had also been scheduled to participate in the Aqaba meetings, which had
been planned to be hosted by Romania in partnership with Jordan.
Jordanian and Romanian governments had been due to sign an agreement, two
memorandums of understanding and a cooperation program, while a
Jordanian-Romanian business forum had been planned to be held with the
participation of private-sector representatives from the two countries.
Bani Mustafa, a veteran member of the Jordanian Parliament and a member of the
International Parliament, told Arab News that the king’s decision “is an
important message to all those countries that are trying to follow the
isolationist decisions of the United States.”
Mustafa said that the decision of the king follows his appeal a week earlier
for public support for the pressures that are being placed on Jordan regarding
Jerusalem and the Palestinian cause.
us in Jordan the issue of Jerusalem is not only a Palestinian issue but it is
part and parcel of Jordan’s national interests.”
Rihani, spokesperson for the Jordan Evangelical Council, said the king’s
decision was a clear message to the world of his solidarity with Jerusalem to
remain a holy city for all.
Majesty is steadfast in his position for a just and a comprehensive peace in
the region,” he said.
Kailani, the director of the Royal Hashemite Fund for the Restoration of
Al-Aqsa, told Arab News that the Romanian move is risky for both regional peace
and the Jordanian safeguarding of Jerusalem’s Holy Sites.
His Majesty, as custodian of Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian holy sites,
nothing encourages the Israeli escalation of illegal violations on the ground
more than the international community’s blessings and silence toward Israel’s
flagrant desecrations of Jerusalem’s genuine identity.”
said that moving the embassy of “a UN member state to Occupied Jerusalem does
not only erode the status quo and kills peace but also it puts the credibility
of the UN at risk.”
Farneh, a member of the Palestine National Council and a former Jordanian
member of Parliament, told Arab News that Jerusalem is important to Hashemites
and King Abdullah.
is the source of the historic and religious legitimacy and what affects Jerusalem
infringes on Jordan’s legitimacy.”
said that the decision to cancel the trip to Romania is intended to “reflect
the King’s anger and to ensure that countries like Romania don’t get any
rewards for such decisions.”
Awad, the director of the Phenix Center for Economic and Informatics Studies,
told Arab News that the king’s decision was in the interests of Jordan and in
support of the Palestinian cause.
is occupied by Israel and this decision is a message to all that our interests
and our causes are the compass to which we focus our political decisions.”
Abdul Hadi, a member of the Islamic Waqf Council and head of the PASSIA think
tank in Jerusalem, told Arab News that the decision of the government of
Romania to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem represented a preemptive
decision to the two-state solution, in violation of international law.
government of Romania’s announcement is an attack on Palestinian national,
political and religious rights that panders to the Israeli occupation narrative
of Jerusalem, one that is strongly rejected by the international community. The
king of Jordan’s decision to cancel his visit is not only in line with
international consensus but also a clear message that Jerusalem is a red line.”
Atiyeh, one of the most popular members of the Jordanian Parliament, told Arab
News that the King’s move is part of a continuous royal interest in Jerusalem.
decision as stated by the prime minister of Romania is refused in Jordan by the
King, the government and the people. We are proud of the royal decisions and we
stand behind the king as he exposes the Zionist entity.”
Samhouri, a Jordanian human rights activist, told Arab News that the decision
by the king is a practical translation of his statement in Zarqa that Jerusalem
is a red line and that he will never agree to any decision that affects
Jerusalem as the capital of the independent Palestinian state.
Muslim group sues Facebook, YouTube over Christchurch footage
One of the main groups representing Muslims in France said on Monday it was
suing Facebook and YouTube, accusing them of inciting violence by allowing the
streaming of footage of the Christchurch massacre on their platforms.
French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) said the companies had disseminated
material that encouraged terrorism and harmed the dignity of human beings.
There was no immediate comment from either company.
shooting at two mosques in New Zealand on March 15, which killed 50 people, was
live-streamed on Facebook for 17 minutes and then copied and shared on social
media sites across the internet.
said it raced to remove hundreds of thousands of copies.
a few hours after the attack, the footage could still be found on Facebook,
Twitter and Alphabet Inc’s YouTube, as well as Facebook-owned Instagram and
Zekri, president of the CFCM’s Islamophobia monitoring unit, said the
organization had launched a formal legal complaint against Facebook and YouTube
companies have faced widespread criticism over the footage.
chair of the US House Committee on Homeland Security wrote a letter last week
to top executives of four major technology companies urging them to do a better
job of removing violent political content.
head found at site for mosque in France
Workers building a mosque in southwestern France found a pig’s head and animal
blood at the entrance to the site on Monday, the latest in a series of attacks
on Muslim places of worship over the past decade.
of the mosque in the small town of Bergerac — known for its fine Bordeaux wines
and for its association with literary figure Cyrano de Bergerac — has been
contested since it was first proposed in 2017 and finally approved in October
2018, despite widespread local opposition.
perpetrators smeared the walls with animal blood and placed a severed pig’s
head” on the front gate of the construction area, the deputy public prosecutor
of Bergerac, Charles Charollois, said.
vandalism took place overnight and wasn’t discovered until workers arrived in
the morning. “This building project is controversial,” Charollois said.
have been administrative and legal appeals to stop it, so there are many leads
for us to follow.” Bergerac’s police commissioner, Frederic Perissat, “strongly
denounced and condemned these acts that damage our freedom of conscience and
expression and are contrary to the principles of separation of church and
state,” and called for “mutual respect” in the community.
the past few days, posters declaring “Bergerac is the city of Perigord, not
Islam!” — referring to the former name of the Dordogne region — had been pasted
around the town, according to its mayor Daniel Garrigue.
can’t say that they’re connected, but I note that they’re in the same spirit,”
Russian servicemen were killed in eastern Syria in a militant attack late
February, the Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.
Russian troops were returning back to their base after delivering humanitarian
aid to a village in the city of Deir ez-Zor.
were caught in an ambush and later went missing.
group, involved in the attack, was found and destroyed, a statement by the
bodies of Russian soldiers were delivered to their country, it added.
launched a military operation in Syria in September 2015.
responds to Taliban slur with communist jibe
LUMPUR, March 25 — PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang suggested yesterday
those comparing his party to the Taliban were supported by Communists, in a
poem appeared intended for DAP’s Nga Kor Ming.
Speaker Nga reportedly warned that the PAS-Umno collaboration risked introducing
Taliban-style rule in Malaysia, leading to repeated disagreements with
Opposition lawmakers both in and outside of Parliament.
posted his short poem on his Facebook account yesterday.
accuse us of being Taliban; behind you are the Communists,” he wrote.
Islam, Malays and all safe races!”
leaders continue to criticise Nga over the Taliban comparison, using it to
question his impartiality in his role as a Deputy Speaker.
has resisted calls for him to apologise and withdraw the remark, insisting it
was “hearsay” as the offending statement was from a Chinese vernacular
row led him to suspend Umno’s Tan Sri Noh Omar from Parliament last week after
latter called Nga unfit to be Deputy Speaker.
Taliban regime in Afghanistan is synonymous with extreme religious conservatism
JAYA: The Muslim Lawyers’ Association has applied for a watching brief in
contempt proceedings against lawyer Arunachalam Kasi, better known as Arun
Kasi, who wrote two articles critical of a court judgement in February.
president Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar said the committal proceedings brought by
Attorney-General Tommy Thomas provided cause for concern, as the outcome of the
case would have a wide ramification on the legal profession.
said a lawyer must be allowed to act without fear or favour in conducting a
case. “A lawyer cannot be above the law but he can express his views even it
means supporting or criticising court judgments,” he said.
Bar Council has also appointed lawyer Robert Lazar to observe the proceedings
and to make submissions if invited by the court.
Federal Court will hear the charge against Arun on March 28
Kasi had written two articles about an affidavit of Court of Appeal Judge,
Abdul Hamid Abu Backer which described alleged judicial misconduct.
articles, published at the Aliran website, were under the headlines “How a
dissenting judgment sparked a major judicial crisis” on Feb 16 and “Tommy
Thomas must look into arbitration centre that sparked judicial crisis” on Feb
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