Photo: Winds of change. A general view of al-Azhar
University in Cairo. (Reuters)
education move a blow to extremism
Pakistan housing scheme will create 6 million jobs: PM Imran
War On Islam: Dolkun Isa Escaped Xinjiang and Interpol to Defend Uyghur
UP Govt Cancels Recruitment of 4,000 Urdu Teachers,
Muslim Clerics Cry Foul
artisans bridge the divide
Bihar Ramlila has prominent characters, from Sita to Shiva, played by Muslims
UK universities changing mindsets of Muslim students: Mumbai attack mastermind
and LeT chief Hafiz Saeed
scholar-turned-militant Manan Bashir Wani killed in Kupwara encounter
training cadre in deep sea diving, India on alert for attacks from sea:
issue: Mosque at disputed site against Islamic principles, says Shia Waqf Board
chief Wasim Rizvi
Muslim University suspends 3 students for trying to hold prayer meet for killed
Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Manan Wani
condemns 17 to death for Islamic State church attacks
of More US Victims Found in Raqqa
Militants Killed in Kurdish Operations in Afrin
Coalition Attacks in Deir Ezzur Still Take Toll from Civilians
Commander of Tahrir Al-Sham Killed in Northern Syria as Tensions Hike
Violate Sochi Agreement by Continued Offensives on Army Positions in Hama
condemned for calling Syrian White Helmets a ‘threat’
coalition forces arrest suspected members of ISIS funding network
militants in Syria say holding 900 Daesh militants
Terror fight remains absolute priority in Syria, world
Arif Siddiqui exposes influence of Jewish and Christian wives on Muslim rulers
slams Pakistan for failing to plug terror funding
body wants judge out for criticising ISI
police seize ancient Buddhist sculptures
panel to probe massive surge in foreign debt
is modern democratic state: Fawad Chaudhry
soldiers martyred, five injured in S Waziristan blast
terror attacks left 34 dead in KP, Balochistan: report
allow ICRC to resume operations
rejects China's plea, frees 11 Uighur Muslims
Sarawak wants Muslim communities to shun Miri's beer festival
working where alcohol is served, Mujahid tells Muslims
Ibrahim bids to return to heart of Malaysian politics
China, Malaysia releases Uighur detainees to Turkey
Capital Index: Bangladesh outshines India, Pakistan
family makes rare return to Myanmar from Bangladesh
among 9 killed, wounded in separate IED explosions
dead as airstrikes target gathering of Taliban leaders in Wardak
airstrikes inflict casualties on Taliban, destroy 3 APCs in Faryab
refugee camp murders blamed on rivalry, grudges
to host int’l conference on ‘Muslim Ummah’
conflicts, assassinations, and tank attacks between Houthis on the rise
envoy ‘no longer acceptable’ for Palestinians
Army Continues Reinvigorating Positions in Idlib
says Turkey-US deal on Syria’s Manbij delayed but ‘not dead’
zone around Syria’s Idlib set up, Turkey says
govt. branches must join forces to confront US bans, solve economic issues:
ambassador summoned over extradition of Iranian diplomat to Belgium
set to worsen prison conditions for Palestinian inmates
Kuwait sign 2019 military cooperation agreement
destroys Hamas attack tunnel from Gaza
troops kill 76 Boko Haram militants
approves ‘final’ extension of Sudan peace mission
reshuffles cabinet with focus on economic growth
wants return of Egypt militant held in Libya
Shabaab claims it killed five foreign spies
Faso attacks open new front in France's anti-terror fight
officials have evidence proving Khashoggi was assassinated: Report
senator calls for arms sales halt to Saudi Arabia
says no more US reconstruction aid to Syria until Iran troops withdraw
Muslim wartime commander charged with crimes against Serbs
security approach to Islam
lawmakers slam AfD party for anti-Islamic motion
increase on British museum to cancel Saudi embassy event
Bahraini cleric Sheikh Qassim re-hospitalized in UK
suspect who fled Britain ‘executed’ in Somalia
Pompeo offers US support as Belgium questions Iran diplomat
destined for ISS make emergency landing in Kazakhstan after takeoff malfunction
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Govt Cancels Recruitment of 4,000 Urdu Teachers, Muslim Clerics Cry Foul
The Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has stalled the
recruitment process of 4,000 Urdu teachers which was initiated by the erstwhile
Samajwadi Party government.
Chief Secretary of Basic Education Department Prabhat Kumar said that there
were enough Urdu teachers in primary schools and that the additional
recruitment wasn’t required.
Akhilesh Yadav government had announced a total of 16,460 posts for assistant
primary teachers in the state on December 15, 2016, out of which 4,000 posts
were reserved for Urdu teachers.
their recruitment was put on hold as soon after the BJP came to power in 2017.
clerics find this decision as a veiled attack on the Urdu language.
step is a setback for Urdu language and as well as Urdu teachers,” Maulana
Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali told News18. “The government should reconsider
its decision. Urdu is like any other Indian language and should not be looked
upon only as the language of Muslims.”
is not for the first time the Muslim community is dissatisfied with the BJP
government in the state. The Yogi government’s decision to register and geo-tag
all madrassas across the state through a GPS-based service was met with
resentment. Also, on August 15, the state ordered monitoring the tri-colour
hoisting in madrasas through video cameras.
- Al-Azhar has approved new school curricula that reflects provisions stated in
the constitution regarding education, Egyptian Education Minister Tarek Shawki
constitution recommends that education curricula focus on national identity and
recognises that there should be a balance between modernising educational
materials and upholding cultural heritage. Schools should offer activities that
deepen notions and cultures of citizenship and tolerance.
and foreign experts collaborated in developing the new curricula and class
materials, creating up-to-date content that includes Egypt’s cultural heritage.
It was designed so learners become rooted in their cultural heritage, aware of
the challenges of modernity and can distinguish between tolerance and hatred.
action reflects a further aspect of the changes in the ideological atmosphere
at the institution. In the face of great pressure from the authorities and
public outcry and accusations of encouraging extremism, al-Azhar leaders have
accepted the need to change and moved towards adopting attitudes and ideas in
line with modern times.
move might also reflect a more comprehensive strategy inside al-Azhar to update
its leadership and departments after a long period of stagnation. During that
period, al-Azhar at best kept silent regarding key events and issues in Egypt
and that silence was seen as encouraging extremist thought. Al-Azhar’s silence
reflected poorly on the spread of tolerance in Egyptian society.
removal of Abbas Shuman as al-Azhar vice-president tasked with reforming
curricula indicates a link between al-Ahzar’s approval of the modernised
standards and the firing of important figures inside al-Azhar who had opposed
revising the traditional curricula and materials, even though some of those
books were based on traditional reference works that encourage intolerance and
only have curricula been reformed but the new standards are to be used in both
public schools and al-Azhar’s religious schools. For many, this step is an
acceptable alternative to stripping al-Azhar from its status as an independent
educational institution and placing its schools and educational programmes
under the oversight of the Ministry of Education. Al-Azhar had opposed such a
move because it would be tantamount to stripping it of its religious authority
the new educational reform, religion is considered as a subject of study rather
than the basis of studies. Study of religion has become a separate subject to
teach religious concepts, the advantages of compassion and tolerance between
faiths and the necessity of respecting the ideas and beliefs held by others
specialist Tarek Noureddine said modern curricula are the gates to social
tolerance because they teach students to base interactions on mutual respect
and goodwill, rather than on exclusion because of differences in beliefs,
ideologies and cultures. When educational institutions refuse to let go of
unproductive and outdated curricula, social peace is at risk.
said fighting intellectual narrow-mindedness begins with adopting a modern
educational system that refuses to be backward-looking and combats extremists.
Graduates of that system would believe in freedom of thought, creativity and
the concepts included in the educational reforms were religious tolerance,
globalisation, citizenship, intercultural learning and communication and family
education based on respecting society and the environment. The new curricula
promote the idea of treating the other as a human being irrespective of his or
her religious background and encourage basing social relations on goodwill,
fraternity and solidarity rather than on religious affiliations.
recently, curricula and textbooks in Egypt contained lessons encouraging hatred
and punishment by beheading or burning. As public outrage grew, those lessons
were removed but educational curricula were basically untouched. Efforts to
reform educational programmes and remove religion as the foundation of all
education had been met with heavy resistance by al-Azhar scholars who saw the
changes as an attempt to bring down the religious institution.
elements inside al-Azhar had attacked the traditional curricula as extremist. A
group calling itself “Pro-civil State Azharites” said “the reference books and
curricula inside al-Azhar are the source of religious extremism.” It pointed
out lessons in secondary-education textbooks used in al-Azhar schools that
contained notions including executing religious offenders such as fornicators
and those who do not pray.
noted that al-Azhar’s compliance with the educational reforms was the result of
government pressure. Government institutions had concluded that wiping out
intolerance and extremism must start with education and educational
institutions regardless of their leanings. The observers said the official
adoption of modern curricula that value treating all members of society with
respect and kindness represents a painful blow to extremist ideologies.
Mohammed, the mother of two children attending al-Azhar schools in Cairo, said:
“The fact that al-Azhar implemented the new curricula in its schools is a
revolution against hatred.” She said she had felt that al-Azhar’s educational
programmes were exclusively addressed to Muslims and that everyone else was
considered second-class citizens. She said she considered moving her children
to state schools.
said: “Modernising curricula at al-Azhar and state schools was a defeat for
extremists since teaching children the values of tolerance will make them
moderate in their thinking and they will refuse to support the actions of those
religious currents that demean the Copts and all enemies, for example.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme
will be Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s “most ambitious and a
landmark” initiative in which six million jobs will be created, raising the
demand in 40 industries.
by PM Imran on Wednesday, five million houses will be constructed over the next
five years under the residential project.
to Twitter on Thursday, the prime minister said: “We have launched our most
ambitious, landmark housing policy of building five million homes in five
will provide affordable houses for our less privileged strata of society, plus
six million jobs, create demand in 40 industries directly involved in house
building and attract foreign direct investment (FDI),” he added.
PAKISTAN HOUSING PROJECT:
on Wednesday, PM Imran had said that the government wants to build houses for
those who ordinarily do not even dream of owning a house, as they fall in
low-income group and barely manage to find a shelter.
target is to build five million homes in five years. The homes are to be made
for the common man, who earns Rs10,000 to 25,000 a month,” PM Khan had said.
premier, vowing that he will supervise the project himself, had expressed
confidence that the programme would not only provide affordable housing to the
poor but also create employment opportunities in the country.
project will also attract local and foreign investment”, he had said.
special housing authority would be established in three months to serve as one
window for all construction-related formalities. A task force would look after
the housing project until then,” he had added.
its initial stages, the mega-project will be launched in seven cities,
including Muzaffarabad, Sukkur, Quetta, Gilgit-Baltistan, Dera Ismail Khan,
Faisalabad and Islamabad.
prime minister had said the government would remove obstacles to home ownership
and that this would include working with the Law Ministry to draft legislation
to make this possible.
prime minister had said that the data of the ‘kaachi abadis’ (slums) would also
be collected and added estimates say that 40 per cent land in Karachi and most
precious land in Islamabad were encroached due to illegal construction. He said
that after reviewing international models, high-rise buildings, having all
basic facilities would be constructed and the owners would have full property
had expressed hope that the provinces, particularly Punjab, would also emulate
the trend set in by the federal government.
prime minister mentioned the trend for the borrowing of house building loans in
other countries and said that in the United States, almost 80 per cent people
construct houses through loans, in Malaysia 33 per cent, India 11 per cent,
Bangladesh 3 per cent, while in Pakistan only 0.25 per cent.
most of his life, Dolkun Isa had been a wanted man.
Uyghur from Xinjiang, a province in northwestern China, Isa is one of the most
prominent voices in the international community advocating for Uyghur and
Kazakh rights; minority groups that are now being systematically monitored and
jailed en masse.
considers him a terrorist and has been seeking his arrest for decades. Until
February of this year, Isa had a red notice put out against him by Interpol,
which called for him to be found and extradited to China on terror-related
charges, despite being a peaceful dissident.
is the President of the World Uyghur Congress, and has traveled the world
speaking at international forums, parliaments and special committees all in the
hopes of drawing awareness to China’s attempts at erasing his history and
began surfacing last year that China was detaining Uyghurs and forcing them
into detention and re-education centers that are functionally concentration
camps. But as Isa’s lived experience shows, China has been trying for decades
to tightly control Uyghurs in Xinjiang, attempting the impossible task of
disappearing an entire ethnicity.
spoke with Al Bawaba about his upbringing and life on the run from Chinese
authorities, and his struggles to reach his family, who are stilled trapped in
Isa’s birth as a Uyghur doomed him to a life of being watched, interrogated and
arrested. From infancy on, he was labeled an enemy of the state.
was born in 1967, a year after Mao Zedong had announced the Cultural Revolution
that sought to unify the identity and ideology of all Chinese citizens under
the banner of the Chinese Communist Party. Because Uyghurs spoke their own
language and largely practiced Islam, they were outliers from the ideal Chinese
citizen formulated by Mao, and so they were targeted.
remembers hearing of Uyghur intellectuals being jailed by the thousands, and
China preventing Uyghur cultural texts from being published. Imams, as local
figureheads whose religious beliefs stood against Mao’s secular project, were
publicly humiliated. A paramilitary student group who called themselves Red
Guards burned Qurans and vandalized mosques throughout Xinjiang.
the 10 years [of the Cultural] Revolution time, all the religious freedom and
all the Uyghur language writings [were] forbidden,” Isa says.
the Revolution subsided in 1976, Uyghurs were targeted less but still faced
residual pressures to assimilate into a mainstream Chinese identity. They
reforged parts of their culture that were effectively outlawed: namely being
able to practice their faith and speak their language.
the 1980s, Isa enrolled in Xinjiang University to study Physics. In our
conversation, he was quick to note that Han Chinese students were able to
graduate in four years whereas Uyghurs took five: they were forced to take a
year-long language course in Chinese. All their university textbooks were
written in Chinese. The professors however, spoke Uyghur when their students
studying, Isa grew politically conscious of the two-tiered society in which he
lived that privileged Han Chinese over Uyghurs. He also noticed that many
Uyghurs were illiterate and were not receiving adequate education from Chinese
established a students’ union, a scientist students’ union” organized around
educating Uyghurs, Isa says. Members of his student union would spend the
Summer and Winter breaks in between their university courses to teach Uyghurs how
to read and write.
was stopped by China in 1988.
1988, I had a big discussion with a high-level government officials,” who told
him to dissolve his union, which was deemed politically radical. In protest,
Isa organized a demonstration against Uyghur discrimination on June 15. The
next day, he was placed under house arrest for four months and expelled from
Xinjiang University. He was set to graduate just a few months after the
Uyghur and teaching others to do the same, in the eyes of China, was
effectively a form of anti-Chinese militancy.
convinced that the Uyghur identity was under a serious threat by China’s
repressive policies, Isa began an underground publishing firm, printing and
distributing important Uyghur cultural texts. “I made [a] small business,” out
of the secret publishing firm, because it was one of the only publishers
producing texts that explored Uyghur history, he explains.
had banned such books from being released, so Isa set about finding and
re-printing copies of them.
Chinese authorities found this and shut it down, Isa moved to Beijing and
engaged in a different kind of civil resistance: fighting China’s erasure of
Uyghur identity by cooking. He opened up a restaurant and served traditional
Uyghur cuisine in a popular eating district in Beijing, which he ran for two
lot of Western students, foreign students came to my restaurant,” apparently
unaware there was such a thing as a Uyghur.
wanted to practice my English, and I had conversations with them and I
explained to them [about Uyghur cuisine], because most of the students and
foreign tourists had no idea who the Uyghurs are, you know?” Many came inside
expecting to find the typical Chinese dishes, but were surprised to find items
on the menu like laghman, naan and yutaza bread, lamb soup called shorpa and
talking with the tourists and students, “I explained to them that we are
Uyghur, we are not Chinese and in history, we had an independent country,” Isa
slowly, Chinese police began persecuting me.” He was regularly visited by
Chinese authorities, who interrogated him.
this time, Isa sensed his life was in danger. “In 1994 I escaped.”
China, corruption is very high,” Isa adds, explaining that he was able to bribe
officials to forge him a passport, which he used to fly to Turkey. After this,
Isa would never be able to go back to Xinjiang, his home province, or anywhere
else in China.
spent two years studying politics at Gazi University, and then moved to Germany
in 1996, which he has now claimed as his newfound home.
after arriving in Germany, Isa deepend his involvement in Uyghur activism by
helping to establish the World Uyghur Youth Congress and the World Uyghur
Congress. He didn’t know that he was considered a terrorist back in China, and
that Chinese authorities sent a red notice to Interpol for his arrest, which
was approved by the international policing agency.
only found out in 1999, when he was invited to the United States to speak at a
conference in Washington D.C. When he went to the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt
to apply for a U.S. Visa, he was taken by U.S. officials and German police when
they saw there was a notice for him to be arrested and extradited to China for
terrorism charges. “They asked me ‘well, did you kill someone?’”
I was a little bit worried, but I was a political asylum seeker,” Isa recalls.
But after a few hours of waiting, Isa was told by German authorities that they
would protect him from extradition to China, but that he should not travel to
any country with an extradition agreement with China or else he would be at
risk of being sent back to China and likely never be heard from again.
the red notice made him cautious, he traveled the world speaking at
international conferences; sometimes to countries that had extradition
agreements with China. Isa said he felt safe for the most part, and traveled to
them anyway, but had one close call in South Korea.
2009, Isa flew to South Korea to attend the annual World Forum for
Democratization in Asia, but was barred from leaving the airport.
was detained in South Korea for four nights and four days,” and ultimately, he
was denied entry into the country, but according to him, he was almost sent
back to China.
suspects he was about to be flown to China, but at the last minute,
representatives from the U.S. state department and German foreign ministry
intervened and saved him, flying him out of South Korea and back to Germany,
where was a citizen at this point.
Korea, I thought was a democratic country. I was invited by one of the
international human rights organizations,” Isa says.
faced continual difficulty in speaking at U.N. assemblies.
addition to being denied entry into India, he was prevented from entering an
event for the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII),
without any explanation from the U.N.
was also barred from entering another UNPFII event at the U.N. headquarters in
New York in 2018, again with no explanation but all fingers pointing to Chinese
meddling. In a video recorded outside the building, an outraged Isa accused
China of trying to monopolize the U.N. and push out vocal minority rights
activists like him from speaking out about China’s repressive policies. By this
point, the red notice against Isa had been redacted by Interpol and he was no
longer an internationally wanted man.
is completely wrong. All the democratic nations, democratic countries [should]
speak up loudly. Don’t let China continue influenc[ing] the United Nations,” he
says in the video.
finding relative safety in Europe, the rest of Isa’s family is still trapped in
Xinjiang and he has been unable to communicate with them since the crackdown
began last year.
summer, Isa found out that his 78 year-old mother died while inside one of the
concentration camps, but only received the news 24 days after she passed. “I
had no idea what was happening with her,” he says, noting that the last time
they talked was in April 2017.
journalists with Radio Free Asia told him that she had died, but did not know
further details. As a detainee in the camps, China suspected her of supporting
far, almost 40 people have reportedly died in the concentration camps, and up
to three million have been detained.
happens inside the camps is often sealed inside; the little information
shedding light on what happens inside is leaked out by former detainees or
gleaned from opaquely worded government documents.
are often detained without notice by communist party officials, taken to either
a detention or re-education center, and held there indefinitely. Reports of
physical abuse, solitary confinement and suicide attempts have begun to surface
from within the camps, which are rapidly expanding to meet China’s goals of
neutralizing the entire region of its restive minority groups.
notes that after the last conversation with his mother last April, he has lost
all contact with the rest of his family, who all live in Xinjiang and may be in
know my younger brother was detained in the beginning of March last year. Since
then, I didn’t get any news from him. My older brother is a professor; I hear
he’s detained as well.”
every Uyghur in the world has family members in camps, but the whole region has
a blackout imposed on it. Family members outside cannot communicate with loved
ones inside and vice versa; all communication is blocked.
are required to install an app on their phone that filters content China
considers disruptive or radical. The social scoring system China has introduced
to its entire population has been especially punitive for Uyghurs and other
Muslim groups. They are routinely barred from renting, traveling outside the
country, taking out loans or even buying certain products like knives or
entire region of Xinjiang, as Isa sees it, is a jail.
an open jail. We can completely say it’s an open-air jail.”
incenses Isa the most is not necessarily that China is escalating its
assimilationist policies against the Uyghurs, but that it is doing so in full
view of the world with impunity. The international community has been largely
silent on the matter, save for a few E.U. parliamentarians and U.S.
politicians, who have spoken out against the repression but stopped short of
implementing punitive policy measures to deter China.
of the Islamic world, nearly all, [are] just silent,” Isa says, thinking of
Muslim-majority countries that have been eerily silent regarding the mass
detention of fellow members of the global Muslim community.
are even supportive of China. Pakistan appears happy to receive critical
development aid from China without raising concerns of the China’s treatment of
its own Muslims.
Isa has pleaded with international Islamic organizations to condemn the
systemic violence incurred against Muslims in Xinjiang, but has not received
responses from them regarding plans of actions.
political evolution is a living example of how state projects to forcibly shape
and assimilate minority groups can backfire.
than giving up his ethnic roots and cultural traditions to conform, Isa has
risked his life to preserve them. In a more general sense, the decades-long
project of assimilating Uyghurs into a Han Chinese identity has actually
explicated those ethnic differences it has sought to eliminate. By targeting
mosques, Qurans and the Uyghur language, they have become as politically
strategic as they are culturally precious.
living as a Uyghur is now a form of political resistance, and Isa stands at the
vanguard of that resistance.
talking about the life of around three million people. This is the 21st
century. After World War II, world leaders gathered together saying ‘never
again.’ But it’s happening again now,” Isa says.
has started a war against Islam.”
the past 20 years, two Muslim septuagenarians have been travelling from Meerut
to Mohali to make effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhakarna for the Dasehra
celebrations. This year as well, Vakeel Ahmed (75) and Mohammad Ilias (70) are
on the job, along with 13 other members of their team.
year, they are preparing a 75 feet tall Ravana effigy for the Dasehra
celebrations to be held at the Phase 8 ground here. Ilias said before they
leave for Meerut every year, organisers book them for the next year. “We
receive so much love here that we are unable to decline their request,” says
and Ilias remain associated with the team each year while other members keep
changing. The duo say they feel it is an honour to have the opportunity of
being a part of a Hindu festival.
are proud that we are spreading the message of peace, love, brotherhood and
harmony,” says Vakeel Ahmed.
in Meerut, these artisans are involved in all types of decoration works be it
flower decorations in temples, weddings or preparing sets for shoots of movies
and music videos.
20-year-son Shoib, who also accompanies them, said they spend around a month
each year here for the preparation of effigies and leave for Meerut a day after
duo claim that their work is the best in the tricity as they bring with them
the best artisans from Meerut. Every item is handmade and is carefully crafted
wherein the detailing is given proper attention, said Ilias.
an honour to be part of Hindu festival’
and Ilias remain associated with the team each year while other members keep
changing. The duo say they feel it is an honour to have an opportunity of being
part of a Hindu festival. “We are proud that we are spreading the message of
peace, love, brotherhood and harmony,” says Vakeel Ahmed.
of ‘corruption’ also to be burnt
the past few years, it has been a trend to burn a fourth effigy during the
Dasehra celebrations. This year, the fourth effigy will signify corruption and
will also be burnt along with those of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhakarna. While
Ravana’s effigy will be 75 feet tall, Kumbhakarna’s will be 70 feet and
Meghnad’s will be 65 feet.
stage is set for the Ramlila — the dramatic re-enactment of the life of Hindu
god Lord Ram performed in the run-up to Dussehra — in this small Bihar village,
with Muslims plentiful among the performers, organisers and the audience.
Mumtaz Ali, the director, has taken his routine place on stage with a mike in
hand, chanting ‘chaupais’ (verses) of Hindu epic, the Ram Charit Manas, to
prompt the characters for their next dialogues. His son, Akleem (19) is playing
the role of Sita.
Wednesday, the second day of holy Navaratri —the nine nights leading up to
Dussehra -- the artistes are enacting the birth of Lord Ram and his three
like ‘Siyavar Ram Chandra Ki Jai’ (Victory to Lord Ram, the husband of Sita)
rent the air as spectators cheered the characters on stage, leaving any
outsider oblivious to the fact that the crowd contains were many Muslims, from
Sato Awanti village and around, who have been devotedly traveling miles since
years to participate and watch the Ramlila.
Ramlila at Sato Awanti village, situated 190 km from Patna in Kaimur district,
is a long-standing exemplification of the region’s composite culture.
elders said that Ramlila was started in the village in 1982 with efforts of the
then sarpanch, Jamaluddin Ansari and Master Nurul Ansari. Though being devout
Muslims, they revered Ram Charit Manas and its teachings, and listening to the
epic poem, they believed, brought a positive change in a person, his family and
eventually, the society.
called a meeting of villagers and expressed their desire to start a Ramlila.
The idea was welcomed by people of both the communities who agreed to provide
all help,” Ramlila ‘sanrakshak’ (patron) Suresh Singh recalled.
was not easy to arrange the resources, stage, costumes, decoration and other
necessary things in a remote village having no irrigation and electricity facilities
those days. Still, the Ansaris and others struggled hard and did the shopping
for all essential things from Varanasi and adjoining places before they kicked
off the annual festival.
the first show in 1982, Khursheed Alam played Ram and Jamaluddin Ansari played
Kumbhakaran, while martial arts experts Khalifa Sadruddin Ansari and
Shahabuddin Ansari directed and supervised the war scenes, a responsibility
they are still fulfilling 36 years later.
Ramlila is organized from 5 pm to 7.30 pm for a fortnight in the Hindu month of
Ashwin and ends on Dussehra with the coronation ceremony of Lord Ram. People of
both communities contribute every year and always try to give their best show,
the crowd at the Ramlila, at least 35 percent are Muslims and their
participation is increasing every year. This year, apart from director Mumtaz
Ali and his son Akleem Sheikh playing Sita, Taukeer Ansari is acting as
Kumbhakaran, Azad Ansari is enacting the character of Sumitra, Imran Ansari is
playing Kaikeyee while Afzal Ansari is playing Lord Shiva.
Hoda Ansari forces the audience to break into laughter in his role of
Uttanpaada (comedian). Just not elders, Muslim children too are actively
involved and play role of soldiers of Lord Ram and Ravana’s armies.
Guddu Tiwary plays Lord Ram, Yashwant Singh his younger brother Lakshman while
Amit Singh is set well in the role of Hanuman. With his gruff and roaring
voice, Ishwar Chandra Singh epitomizes the role of Ravana.
of the village provide all help in organizing Muharram and Yome Paidayeesh. We
celebrate Eid and all festivals together. I become surprised to read news about
communal hatred in other parts of the country. How can a man hate another when
we are creatures of one almighty father”, says Akleem.
sharing, understanding and respect for each other’s religion are the unique
selling point of our village with a population of around 7,000 people. Here we
live like one family and do not allow anyone to spread hatred,” said the
Ramlila manager, Jhabloo Upadhyay, a teacher by profession.
(LeT) chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed has blamed universities in the United States
and the United Kingdom for changing the mindset of Pakistani students.
his recent address at Markaz Al Qadsiya in Lahore, Saeed said the Jews and
Christians are using their puppeteer Muslims for implementation of their
policies in the Muslim World.
criticizing the rulers in Pakistan, who entered politics after studying in US
and UK universities, Saeed said, "Jew professors (in the U.S.) are giving
PhD degrees to Pakistanis after changing their thoughts about Islam. When they
realised that the person, upon returning to Pakistan, will work and think as
per their system, they offer them big degrees. Foreign-educated people are in
great demand in the country; they easily get higher posts in different
government offices and ministries. If Pakistan to be a Madina-like welfare
state; then it can`t be made possible by those educated by the Jews and
urged Imran Khan`s government to evolve a new policy on tackling the
above-mentioned issues with the help of enforcing laws in accordance with
Shariat of Islam, Quran and Hadith. He also criticized the US and urged
Pakistani rulers to stop following their orders which have created chaos in
Saeed is heading Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which is believed to be the front
organisation for the LeT, a terror organisation responsible for carrying out
the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people.
has been declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the U.S. in June 2014.
militants, including scholar-turned- militant Manan Bashir Wani, were shot dead
during an encounter between terrorists and security forces at Handwara in Jammu
and Kashmir's Kupwara district on Thursday morning.
second militant who was killed was identified as Ashiq Hussain Zargar. Soon
after the news of the encounter broke, violent clashes erupted in parts
Kupwara and Handwara.
27, was a PhD scholar at Aligarh Muslim University before he joined the
militant ranks of the Hizbul Mujahideen in January 2018.
Democratic leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti
called Wani's death a loss. She urged all political parties to facilitate a
solution to end the bloodshed through dialogue with all the stake holders,
Umar Farooq, chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, called for a
complete shutdown on Friday to observe Wani's "martydom".
encounter broke out in the early hours of Thursday at Shartgund Bala village in
Handwara following a specific intelligence about presence of Wani, along with
two others, officials said.
exchange of fire continued till 11 am with a lull at around 9 am, when the
police initiated search operations at the encounter site. However, search
operations were suspended within 15 minutes of starting as militants resumed
police have recovered arms and ammunitions of the slain militants.
commander Lt General AK Bhat said, "The militant groups will try harder to
infiltrate in next two months."
top officer in the security grid said on the condition of anonymity:
"Manan was an militant ideologue. The scholar turned militant's open
letter had influence[d] many youth to pick up guns."
source said that at the time of crucial urban body polls and upcoming panchayat
polls, the death could have a huge negative impact.
Indian Navy and the Coast Guard, defending the country’s 7,517 kilometer long
coastline, have been put on alert against attacks on ports, cargo ships and oil
tankers by Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which has been
building its sea strike capabilities since June this year, Pakistan watchers
and counter-terrorism officials in India said on condition of anonymity.
(JeM), another Pakistan-based Islamist terror group targeting India, has also
started a rigorous training programme that involves swimming and deep diving
techniques, according to these officials.
naval ambitions aren’t new, although they are closer to fruition now than they
have ever been. According to the officials, it first came to light during the interrogation
of 26/11 accused David Coleman Headley by the National Investigation Agency in
2010 with the jihadist naming a certain Yaqoob as head of the terror group’s
marine wing; he also added that the 10 gunmen involved in the Mumbai terror
attack on 26/11 were trained by Pakistan Navy deep sea divers or frogmen.
was attacked from the sea with the terrorists entering the Indian exclusive
economic zone (EEZ) on the Al Hussaini, a trawler registered with the
Baluchistan Fisheries Department. The Lashkar gunmen then commandeered Indian
boat M V Kuber to bring them off the Mumbai coast, completing the final leg of
their journey using inflatable boats. The attack left 164 people dead and 304
available with the Navy and Coast Guard show that LeT’s front organisations
including Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, Al Dawa Water Rescue, Life Line Water
Rescue and Rescue Mili Foundation have been imparting training in deep water
diving techniques to cadres at swimming pools and canals at various locations
in Sheikhpura, Lahore and Faisalabad in Punjab since June 2018, the officials
on the inputs, the officials said that India’s assessment is that LeT cadres
could hijack cargo ships or oil tankers on high seas and then strike at Indian
ports or infiltrate suicide attackers through sea and inland water channels.
aquatic training includes down proofing, where the hands and feet of the
swimmer are tied so that only a form of breast stroke is used to keep afloat.
Those selected using this rigorous regime are then trained for deep diving in
inland estuaries and deep sea by specialised instructors.
used in training includes complete neoprene suit sets, weight belts, open air
circuit breathing apparatus, and Gemini or Zodiac dinghies with powerful
outboard motor engines.
in a nascent stage as compared to Lashkar, the Pakistan deep state’s other
hand, the Jaish-e-Mohammed, has also been preparing its cadre in Bhawalpur on
using sea or water channels infiltration and strike purposes.
after terming the Babri Masjid as “a blot on India’s landscape”, Shia Waqf
Board chairman Wasim Rizvi has once again raked up the issue of Ram
Janambhoomi. Rizvi on Thursday cited a fatwa by top Iranian shiite cleric
Ayatollah Sistani to allege that a mosque on a disputed site is not permitted
according to the principles of Islam.
said that he had sought a fatwa from the cleric on whether Maulanas and Mauvlis
can expel someone from Islam. He said that the Iranian cleric has clearly
stated that Maulana and Maulvi have no authority to expel anyone from Islam.
Rizvi said this while rejecting the last month’s announcement by a few Muslim
clerics that he has been expelled from Islam for making objectionable
to a report in Aaj Tak, Rizvi had put up a question to Sistani whether a mosque
can be constructed on a disputed piece of land. The cleric had responded
saying, “As per the Islamic principles, it is not permitted.”
development comes a few months after a Kanpur-based resident had claimed that
he had asked Sistani whether the Waqf Board can give away the property owned by
it to people of other religion for religious purpose. In his response,
according to the Indian citizen, Sistani had said that “it is not possible”.
said that Sistani’s fatwas are accepted worldwide and therefore, “Muslims
should not comment on the Ayodhya issue now”.
week, Rizvi had said that it is a crime to call “that (Babri Masjid) blot a
mosque”. He said that the ASI had during the excavation process found a
platform of bricks underneath the pillars of the mosque. “The Babri Masjid was
made using the rubbles of the temple.”
also called on the involved parties to reach an agreement on the issue and let
the Hindus construct a temple on the site. “There is still time… mullas of
Babri should accept their mistake and follow practising the teachings of
Prophet Mohammed,” Rizvi said.
is not the first time when Rizvi has openly advocated for a Ram Temple at the
disputed 2.77 acres of land in Ayodhya. On several occasions, he had publicly
supported the Hindus and called for constructing of a temple in Ayodhya and a
mosque in Lucknow. Last year, the Shia Waqf Board had even passed a resolution
to extend support for a Ram Mandir temple in Ayodhya.
Aligarh Muslim University Registrar Dr Abdul Hamid on Thursday informed that
Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Manan Wani was rusticated from the University and
that the varsity had no knowledge of his know-how ever since.
to ANI, Hamid said, "Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Manan Wani who was killed
in Handwara encounter on Thursday was once a student at AMU but he was
rusticated from the University. AMU had nothing to do with him now." He
also underscored that three students have been suspended after a group of them
attempted to gather inside the university premises following the death of the
students tried to hold a gathering today over his death but we have given a
clear message that no anti-national activity will be tolerated in AMU. We did
not allow them to gather and 3 students were also suspended," Hamid said.
Egyptian military court on Thursday sentenced 17 people to death over a series
of suicide bombings of churches claimed by the Islamic State group that left
19 people were handed life prison terms and 10 were sentenced to between 10 and
15 years, judicial and security officials said.
people were killed in the attacks in 2016 and 2017 in Cairo, Alexandria and the
Nile Delta city of Tanta targeting Coptic Christians, who make up about 10
percent of Egypt's predominantly Sunni Muslim population.
sites of worship across Egypt have been repeatedly targeted in attacks claimed
by IS, prompting the authorities to impose a state of emergency.
suicide attack on December 11, 2016 on the Saint Peter and Saint Paul church
killed 29 in the heart of Cairo The following April, 45 people were killed as
Christians gathered to celebrate Palm Sunday in the cities of Tanta and
the military overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, hundreds of
police officers, soldiers and civilians have been killed in jihadist attacks.
November last year, suspected IS militants killed more than 300 Muslim
worshippers in a gun and bomb assault on a mosque in the Sinai Peninsula.
Egyptian army is waging a major operation focused on the Sinai aimed at wiping
activists reported on Wednesday that the corpses of 8 people were unearthed from
a mass grave in Panorama in the Southern parts of Raqqa city.
added that at least 20 bodies have been found in the past 2 days, noting that
they belong to the civilians killed in the US airstrikes and attacks by the
Washington-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) when the region was occupied
by the ISIL.
Russian media outlet reported on Tuesday that more than 1,500 victims killed in
the US air raids and its allied militants were buried in the largest mass grave
in Raqqa city in Northeastern Syria,.
Arabic-language website of Russia's state news agency, RT, reported that the
largest mass grave of civilians is in Panorama in Raqqa city with over 1,500
bodies of victims killed in the US air raids or in the Washington-backed
militants' attacks when the city was under ISIL's rule.
the meantime, the Kurdish-language Hawar news reported that Raqqa Civil Team
has thus far discovered 11 mass graves, adding that excavations have completed
in 8 mass graves.
Kurdish-language Hawar news reported on Thursday that the Kurds have detonated
two bombs in the vehicles carrying the Ankara-backed militants in Shieh and
Rajou regions of Afrin, killing 3 of them.
the Kurdish snipers killed one of the militants of Sultan Murad terrorist group
in the village of Deir Baltou in Jandaris region, the report added.
the Kurdish forces could infiltrate into one of the military points of Jabhat
al-Shamiyeh in the village of Mariman in Shara region, killing 4 Ankara-backed
militia men, it concluded.
affiliated to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) disclosed on Wednesday that
tensions were likely to intensify between the Turkish army and Kurdish militias
in Northeastern Syria as the SDF was reinvigorating positions and the US
provided more logistic back-up for the Kurds.
sources claimed that the US Army handed over 7 heavy construction machinery to
the Manbij Military Council in Northeastern Aleppo to use them for fortifying
the meantime, commander of the Council underlined that his forces have taken
all the necessary security measures to protect all entrances and roads to
Manbij against any threat by the Turkish army.
sources in Eastern Deir Ezzur reported on Thursday that the US-led coalition
fighter jets targeted the town of al-Sha'afah, killing at least 4 civilians,
including a child, and injuring a number of others.
added that some of the wounded are in critical conditions, raising the
possibility for increased toll.
a similar case last Wednesday, several civilians, including women and children,
were killed in the US-led coalition's airstrikes on a region in Southeastern
sources in Southeastern Deir Ezzur reported
that the US-led coalition fighter jets targeted the town of al-Souseh,
killing at least 4 members of a family.
added that the US warplanes attacked a house in al-Souseh, leading to the death
of the members of a family, including a woman and a child, and injuring a
number of others.
in August, several civilians were killed in the US fighter jets' attacks on
Eastern Deir Ezzur.
sources in Eastern Deir Ezzur reported at the time that the US warplanes
attacked the town of al-Souseh, killing 3 civilians and wounding a number of
affiliated to the terrorists reported on Thursday that one of the military
commanders of Tahrir al-Sham namely Abu Laith al-Misri has been killed by
unknown assailants in the town of Kafr Nobl in Southern Idlib.
reports from Northern Idlib said that one of Jeish al-Ahrar terrorist group's
commanders, Abu Yazan, was also killed after a bomb was detonated in his car.
local sources in Southern Idlib reported that a number of militants were killed
in clashes between Tahrir al-Sham and Jeish al-Tahrir in Jarjanaz region in the
Eastern parts of Ma'arat al-Na'aman.
activists also reported that tensions and clashes among the terrorist groups
have increased in the past two days, adding that tens of civilians, including
children, have been killed and wounded during this and similar cases of
a relevant development on Wednesday, a Saudi commander of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at
who was also a senior aide to the ringleader of the terrorist group Abu
Mohammad al-Joulani, was gunned down by unidentified attackers in Idlib
Arabic-language al-Manar TV Channel reported that Abu Yusef al-Jazrawi, a Saudi
field commander of Tahrir al-Sham, was killed after unknown gunmen opened fire
at him near the village of Ma'aratah in Southwestern Idlib.
further added that al-Jazrawi was a security advisor to Abu Mohammad
al-Joulani, Tahrir al-Sham's Chief commander.
Arabic-language website of the Russian state-run news agency, Sputnik, reported
on Wednesday that snipers of Horas al-Din terrorist group launched heavy
attacks on the army points near the town of Ma'an in Northern Hama.
added that Jeish al-Izza terrorists stationed near the town of al-Latamineh
also used 23-mm artillery to attack the army positions in Zalaqiyat.
al-Din and Jeish al-Izza has several times in the past few days underlined
opposition to the Sochi agreement.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper also reported that the Syrian army pounded
the terrorists' moves and strongholds near the towns of Murak and al-Latamineh,
leaving heavy damages and tolls among the militants.
a relevant development on Monday, the Syrian army troops repelled heavy
offensives of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the
Al-Nusra Front) and other terrorist groups in Northern Hama, inflicting major
losses on the terrorists.
army's artillery and missile units pounded the movements of a group of
al-Turkistani Islamic Party near the village of al-Mansourah and Tal Waset
North of al-Ghaab Plain in Northern Hama, killing and wounding a number of
terrorists and forcing their remaining pockets to retreat.
the meantime, the Arabic-language al-Watan daily reported that Tahrir al-Sham
terrorists, deployed in Southeastern Idlib, launched missile attacks on army
positions in the village of Jorin in Western al-Ghaab Plain.
was denounced at the United Nations Thursday after describing the Syrian rescue
volunteers known as the White Helmets as a “threat” and demanding their removal
from the war-torn country, diplomats said.
presence of White Helmets is a source of threat,” the Russian representative
said in a closed meeting of the UN Security Council called by Moscow, according
to a diplomat present at the talks.
call on western countries to move the White Helmets from Syria. Terrorists
should be removed. (It’s) not a good idea to have them in civilized society,”
the diplomat quoted the Russian envoy as saying.
representative specifically highlighted their presence in Idlib, Syria’s last
major rebel stronghold, according to another diplomat speaking anonymously.
in 2013, the Syria Civil Defense, or White Helmets, saves those wounded in
attacks on rebel zones.
does not consider members present in Syria’s rebel areas to be rescue workers
and has already accused them several times in the past of being linked to
to several diplomatic sources, the United States, Britain and France reacted
with fury and dismay.
US condemned the “outrageous and false accusations of Russia. The White Helmets
are a humanitarian organization. Russia continues to spread false information,”
according to the sources.
meanwhile called on the Russians to “stop wasting the council’s time” while
France said it was “surprised and dismayed,” adding that the group has “saved
hundreds of people.”
loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have retaken large parts of Syria from
opposition fighters and extremists since Russia intervened in September 2015.
demands to the Security Council came as a planned buffer zone in northwest
Syria was cleared of heavy armaments and a new deadline loomed for the tougher
task of Turkey convincing extremists to pull out.
joint task force of US coalition and Iraqi special forces have arrested 10
suspected members of a network that provided funding for ISIS in the capital
Baghdad and the northern city of Erbil, the coalition said on Thursday.
task force conducted raids from October 7-9 and arrested suspected members of
the Rawi financial network, which operated as a “financial facilitation group”
for the militants, the coalition said in a statement.
arrests deal a major blow to ISIS’s capacity to threaten and terrorize
civilians,” said Major General Patrick B. Roberson, commander of Special
Operation Joint Task Force- Operation Inherent Resolve.
demonstrates that those who assist in, sponsor, or provide financial, material
or technological support to ISIS will face severe consequences.”
US-backed Kurdish militant group says it is holding around 900 foreign members
of the Daesh terrorist group in Syria.
spokesman Nuri Mahmud said on Thursday the so-called People's Protection Units
(YPG) had rounded up thousands of Daesh members during the last few years.
900 Daesh terrorists are in our jails... from 44 countries," said Mahmud
whose tally is a sharp rise from the figure of 520, given by another Kurdish
official last month.
said Kurdish authorities have repeatedly called on the home countries of the
militants to take them back. "Most countries have been flouting their
responsibility," he added.
Kurds also hold 550 women and around 1,200 children from the families of Daesh
members, he said.
King’s College London study earlier estimated that around one fifth of Daesh's
militants were residents or nationals of Western Europe.
June, the Daily Telegraph said the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a
Western-backed coalition of mainly Kurdish militants, had released foreign
Daesh elements, including Europeans, back to the Takfiri terrorist group
through secret prisoner swap deals.
daily cited people with knowledge of the talks between the two sides and
relatives of those detained as saying that the SDF had struck three agreements
with Daesh to exchange terrorists and their families with its own captured
officials in Damascus have accused Washington of using Kurdish militias, now
that other US-backed militant outfits have lost ground on the battlefield.
September, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said that American aircraft
in Syria were transporting Daesh terrorists to other places presumably to be
later used in those areas.
US has been conducting airstrikes against what it says are Daesh targets inside
Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus
government or a United Nations mandate.
US and its allies have repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing
civilians and drawn criticism over their failure to destroy Daesh, which they
claim to be fighting.
Russian leader says fighting global terrorism, especially in Syria, remains an
“absolute priority” for his country, emphasizing that any solution to over
seven years of crisis in the Arab state should guarantee its sovereignty and
official SANA news agency cited Vladimir Putin as saying on Thursday while
receiving the credentials of 23 new envoys to the Russian capital, Moscow.
president further said Moscow was seeking a solution to the Syria crisis, which
would protect its “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.”
on Syria’s reconstruction process in the post-crisis era, Putin expressed hope
that the world community would join forces to rebuild the country when the
terrorists are uprooted.
are underway to facilitate the recovery of Syrian economy and infrastructure as
well as the return of those displaced by violence to their homeland, added the
Russian head of state.
– along with Iran and Turkey – has been serving as a mediator of a fruitful
peace process, which has brought the Syrian government and armed opposition
groups to the negotiating table in Astana, Kazakhstan, since January last year.
peace process has sharply reduced the violence in Syria, paving the way for
Damascus government forces, backed by its Russian and Iranian allies, to
liberate almost all areas from the grip of foreign-backed terrorists.
efforts in Syria are now focused on the northern province of Idlib, which
serves as the last major terrorist stronghold in the country.
Russia, Iran has also voiced readiness to help speed up Syria’s reconstruction
process as the Middle Eastern state seems to be on the verge of full victory
August, Tehran sent a delegation of experts from several ministries to Syria to
lay the ground for a post-war “transformation” in their economic ties. Those
talks focused on a series of agreements previously signed between the two
sides, including during a May visit to Damascus by the Iranian minister of
roads and urban development.
this video, Dr Arif Siddiqui has exposed Muslim rulers and Jewish influence on
them because of their Jewish, Christian and foreigner wives.
says women have always been used for wealth and power. Hassan-i Sabbah used
hashish to enlist the aid of young men into his private army known as assassins
(aschishin – or follower of Hassan). They carried out Fedayeen attacks. In the
First World War Margarethe better known as Mata Hari, a nude dancer played the
role of double agent for France and Germany.
says Jews have always used the youth and beauty of women for Zionist domination.
He cited the examples of Sylvia Raphael the Mossad agent and Victorian nano. He
says Jews have always been using wealth and women for accomplishing their plan
for greater Israel.
Siddiqui says, Many Muslims rulers were influenced by their Jewish, Christian
and foreigner wives and helped in Jewish domination. He gave the example of the
former president of Turkey, Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, Iranian monarch Mohammad
Reza Pahlavi, former president of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser, Iranian Prime
Minister Amir Abbas Hoveyda, Emir of Afghanistan Habibullah Khan, Maharaja
Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, Nawab Raza Ali Khan of Rampur etc.
says Jehan Sadat former First lady of Egypt, wife of Anwar Sadat former
president of Egypt, was a Jew. Suha Arafat wife of Yasser Arafat was also a Jew
woman. She played an effective role in bringing Yasser Arafat close to
freemason. Zalmay Mamozy Khalilzad US ambassador to Afghanistan was also the
husband of Jewish lady.
further claims many politicians in Pakistan also had foreign or non-Muslim
wives. Liaquat Ali Khan’s second wife Rana was Christian before her marriage.
Third governor general Ghulam Mohammad has Secretary Ruth Borell. Pakistan’s
ex-President Iskandar Mirza’s second wife Naheed Mirza was the wife of Iranian
ambassador. Iskandar Mirza belonged to the progeny of Mir Jafar II. 3rd prime
minister of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Bogra married Aliya Saadi. 5th prime minister
of Pakistan Husseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy supported the stance taken by Israel,
France and Britain on the Suez Canal issue instead of supporting Egypt. He was
the husband of Vera Alexandrovna a Zionist Russian woman.
prime minister Malik Firoz Khan’s wife Viqarunnisa’s name was Victoria. And she
was an Australian. A British call girl Christine Keeler admitted her relations
with Ex-president Gen. Ayub Khan. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s wife Nusrat Asfahani
was an Iranian. His son Murtuza Bhutto married Ghinwa Bhutto a Lebanese dancer.
Wife of Parvez Musharraf Saheba Musharraf was a Qadiani.
impressed with Pakistan’s efforts to combat terror financing, a delegation of
the Financial Action Task Force has asked it to do more to strengthen its legal
framework to avoid being blacklisted by the watchdog, a media report said on
Thursday. Dawn reported that FATF’s Asia Pacific Group delegation was not
impressed with the progress made by Pakistan so far as it found the legal
framework insufficient, and the institutional arrangements weak.
A constitutional body in Pakistan on Thursday recommended the removal of a high
court judge for his scathing remarks against the country's powerful spy agency
ISI, the first such case in nearly five decades.
Supreme Judicial Council recommended to remove Islamabad high court Justice
Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, who was facing a case of alleged misconduct over his
controversial speech targeting the ISI. Justice Siddiqui while addressing the
Rawalpindi District Bar Association on July 21 had alleged that the ISI was
manipulating judicial proceedings to constitute panel of judges to get
army had asked the CJ of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar to take notice of the
remarks after IHC CJ Anwar Kansi rejected the allegations against Siddique.
Pakistani police have seized several ancient Buddhist sculptures that smugglers
were attempting to smuggle out of the country.
police seized the artifacts from a passenger vehicle on way to Gilgit Biltistan
from Abbotabad district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
seized artifacts included four big and eight small sculptures of Buddha.
Abbotabad Cantonment told media on Thursday that they had received a tip-off
that artifacts stolen from an archaeological site would be smuggled to Northern
areas. Acting on the information, police started searching vehicles on a check
post at Muslimabad area.
checking, police intercepted a vehicle and recovered 11 sculptors of Buddha
hidden in a luggage loaded on the roof of the vehicle.
has arrested one person.
The federal cabinet on Thursday decided to form a parliamentary commission to
conduct an inquiry into the surge of the country’s foreign debts from Rs6,000
billion to Rs30 trillion during the last 10 years.
meeting of the cabinet, presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan, agreed that
responsibility should be fixed on those people who were responsible for the
fast-increasing foreign debts.
we are getting more loans to retire previous loans obtained by our
predecessors, we should know why the amount of loans went so high in the last
10 years and for which purposes it was used,” the prime minister said.
the cabinet decided to initiate an inquiry into mega development projects like
the New Islamabad Airport, which had been completed at a cost of over Rs100bn
against its initial cost of Rs38bn, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry told a
press conference after the cabinet meeting.
know who benefited in this contract.”
prime minister and the cabinet have decided that a thorough audit of the
project should be conducted, including a performance audit,” the minister said.
Referring to the collapse of a boarding bridge at the newly-built airport the
other day, he said the incident had raised questions on the quality of the construction
blaming the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government, Fawad Chaudhry
said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government knew which construction
company had been assigned the contract. “Ishaq Dar Sahib, Munir Sahib, everywhere
you look, you will find one of their people.”
cabinet also accorded approval to the appointment of heads of Pakistan
International Airlines (PIA), Privatisation Commission and Baitul Maal.
information minister said the cabinet approved appointment of serving Air
Marshal Arshad Khan as PIA chairman. “Mr Arshad is a seasoned officer of the
air force and it is expected that he will manage to overcome increasing losses
in the organisation,” he said.
government had also initiated a process to appoint permanent chief executive
officer of the national flag career, which would take some time, the minister
finance minister has also prepared a plan for the restructuring of the PIA
which will be unveiled by him after his return from a foreign visit,” Mr
Chaudhry said, adding no employee of the PIA would be laid off.
per other decisions of the cabinet, Muhammedmian Soomro has been appointed
chairman of the Privatisation Commission and PTI leader Aun Abbas head of the
cabinet also decided to revisit Exit Control List (ECL) which carries names of
3,000 people, including those who are said to be innocent and politically
information minister said several people among the 3,000 had filed applications
for removal of their names on the ground that they had been placed on the list
due to political victimisation or personal differences.
to a question, Mr Chaudhry claimed that neither former prime minister Nawaz
Sharif nor any of his family member had filed any appeal for removal of their
names from the ECL.
National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) has claimed that the Naya
Pakistan Housing Programme had received a significant response not only from
the country, but also other parts of the world. As many as 150,000 application
forms had been downloaded on Thursday, Nadra said in a press release. The
applicants will have to pay Rs250 registration fee at the time of submission of
the forms to the prescribed Nadra offices and the authority will start
receiving forms from Oct 22 simultaneously from all districts of the country.
mortgage financing model, the information minister said, state land would be
used as the collateral on which houses would be constructed. This way, the
banks will also have a safety net (to recover credit if need be).
claimed the government was not investing any money in the housing programme.
Chaudhry said it had been found that 89 per cent of taxes levied on cigarettes,
amounting to around Rs77 billion, were paid by two companies only. “The
remaining companies are illegally selling cigarettes,” he said and promised a
crackdown on those companies soon.
the tax collected from paint companies shows that only two or three companies
are paying tax and the rest are not.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on
Thursday said that Pakistan is a modern democratic state where judiciary was
independent, civil society highly vibrant and media pro-actively playing its
role of watchdog.
said this in a meeting with Swedish Ambassador of Human Rights Annika Ben David
and Swedish Ambassador Ms Ingrid Johansson who had called on him in the federal
said that the current dispensation believed in freedom of expression and highly
valued human rights as enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan. He said that
Pakistan attached great importance to its relations with Sweden as they were
based on commonality of views and shared interests of democratic pluralism.
information minister said that Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan had always
referred Scandinavia as a model in regards to the establishment of a welfare
state, therefore we would like to learn from the Scandinavian system of
governance, particularly in the areas of local government.
said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) was the only political party which
vigorously raised its voice on the important subject of the environment. He
said that the PM’s initiative Clean and Green Pakistan was aimed at the
provision of clean drinking water, clean environment and proper sanitation.
said that northern areas of Pakistan are the epitome of natural beauty and has
eight of the ten top mountain peaks of the world. He invited Swedish filmmakers
to shoot the scenic beauty of the area.
said that the media enjoys unprecedented freedom in Pakistan and the government
would continue to support the growth of free and independent media. The
security situation in the country has also improved due to the Pakistan Army’s
operation in troubled areas.
to the improved security situation, the people including media persons feel
more secure and business and investment environment has also gained momentum.
The Right to Information Act has been implemented and the whistleblower act is
being formulated as the government believes in openness and transparency in
affairs of the governance,” he added.
Annika Ben David said that Sweden highly regards the values of democracy and
human rights and would like to enhance cooperation with Pakistan in these
said that Sweden is keen to further strengthen its trade ties with Pakistan and
promote business contacts between the two countries. She also appreciated the
increased participation of women in various fields and said that gender
equality is a thing that benefits the whole society.
least three soldiers lost their lives and five others were wounded in a
roadside bomb blast in South Waziristan near the Pak-Afghan border on Thursday,
soldiers were reportedly carrying out routine search operations in Makeen
Tehsil of South Waziristan district when the explosion took place, local
officials told AFP.
there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bomb attack, the
military has been battling Taliban and Al Qaeda linked militants in the region
across the country has declined in recent years following a series of military
operations along the border with Afghanistan, but militant groups are still
able to carry out deadly attacks.
have been a number of fatal assaults in recent months in the northwest, as well
as in Balochistan.
army launched an operation in mid-2014 to wipe out militant bases in the area
and end the near decade-long insurgency that has cost thousands of lives.
operation was intensified after the Taliban massacred more than 150 people, the
majority of them children, in the attack on the Army Public School (APS) in
Peshawar in December 2014.
total of 34 lives were claimed in 17 terrorist attacks in September, while 35
incidents of violence of different types were noted which claimed the lives of
67 people and injured 32 others, reports in the local media have informed.
statistics were revealed in a monthly terror report compiled by the Pakistan
Institute of Peace Studies (PIPS), an independent, non-profit, non-governmental
research and advocacy think-tank.
report stated that of the 17 reported terror attacks, 10 took place in
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and seven in Balochistan while no terror attack was
reported in any other region of the country.
the 34 people killed in these attacks, 18 were security and law enforcement
personnel —nine army soldiers and nine levies officials, accounting for the
main targets in 59 percent of all attacks across the country. At least seven
civilians were also killed along with nine militants in the retaliatory fire
following some of the attacks.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Jamaatul Ahrar and local Taliban groups were
reportedly involved in the 10 reported incidents of terror in KP which claimed
22 lives and injured nine others.
Balochistan, Baloch nationalist insurgents stepped up attacks in September
after a month of relative calm.
many as 12 people lost their lives while as many were injured in the seven
attacks reported from Balochistan. The attacks were allegedly perpetrated by
different Baloch insurgent groups, including the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA)
and the Baloch Republican Army (BRA).
total of 11 cross-border attacks were noted in September 2018, including nine
from across the Indian and two from the Afghan border. These attacked killed
six people and injured one.
Afghan Taliban said on Thursday that they had allowed the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to resume activities in Afghanistan after the
aid agency addressed their reservations in talks in Qatar.
Taliban announced in August that they would not allow safe passage to Red Cross
staff working in Afghanistan because of their “failure to check maltreatment”
of prisoners in the infamous Pul-i-Charkhi jail.
Times had reported on September 18 that political representatives of the Afghan
Taliban were involved in talks with the officials of the ICRC in Qatar to
resolve differences over the ICRC working in the war-shattered country.
ICRC and the Taliban officials held two-day talks in Doha, Qatar, and discussed
the reservations of the Islamic Emirate. The ICRC officials promised positive
measures regarding the Taliban reservations and both sides reached an agreement
on the activities of the ICRC in Afghanistan,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah
Mujahid said. Taliban call themselves as the Islamic Emirate, the name they
would use during their 1996-2001 rule.
have restored their security commitment with the ICRC and directed all members
to pave the way for the ICRC’s smooth activities across Afghanistan and also to
protect its staffers and goods, Mujahid said in a statement.
earlier said hundreds of their prisoners had been languishing in Pul-i-Charkhi
jail but the ICRC demonstrated “blatant negligence” and failed to take notice
of hunger strike by thousands of inmates in August.
Taliban official had earlier told Daily Times that the meeting with the ICRS
was only limited to the issue of prisoners and had nothing to do with peace
ICRC has been seeking meeting with the Islamic Emirate to solve the problem.
These are routine meetings to explore ways on how to facilitate foreign aid
agencies in areas under the control of the Islamic Emirate,” he said,
requesting not to be identified.
had alleged that hundreds of prisoners had gone into coma in jail in August and
their lives were severely threatened but the ICRC did not address their
International Red Cross has neither made any arrangements to treat the
prisoners nor provided proper medical care to patients. Therefore, the Islamic
Emirate of Afghanistan announces the withdrawal of security commitment that had
given to the International Red Cross for their activities in Afghanistan,” the
Taliban had said last month.
sources earlier said that release of prisoners was also one of the issues
during their talks with the Americans in Qatar.
of the Taliban office and senior US officials met in July in their first
meeting that mainly focused on confidence building measures and the possible
agenda for the official talks.
of the Taliban leaders from the UN Security Council’s sanctions list and
reopening of the Taliban office were also among agenda items, according to the
second meeting was scheduled to take place in September; however, a Taliban
official said the meeting could not take place apparently due to the appointment
of Zamlay Khalilzad as special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation,
who will now supervise the dialogue with the Taliban.
LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia has released 11 ethnic Uighur Muslims after
dropping charges against them for entering the country illegally and rejecting
China's request that they be deported back to Beijing, their lawyer said
Abdul Moin said the 11 men flew out of Kuala Lumpur late Tuesday and have
arrived in Turkey.
men were part of a group that was detained in Thailand in 2014. They bolted
from their Thai prison last November by using blankets to climb out of their
cells and made their way to Malaysia. Their release, which came under a new
Malaysian government that unexpectedly won general elections last May, appeared
to be a departure from the country's past norm of forcibly repatriating Uighur
Muslims to China despite concerns it could endanger their lives.
said prosecutors agreed to drop the charges against the men after defense
lawyers made an appeal on humanitarian grounds. He said the men wanted to go to
Turkey, as they claimed they were from Turkistan and there is a large Uighur
community in Turkey.
ministry officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
has insisted that Uighur refugees be sent back, saying that some Uighurs, a
Muslim minority from the restive western region of Xinjiang, are extremists who
have ties to foreign terror groups. It has given little evidence to support
Muslims must stay away from attending the "Neon Beer Fest Miri 2018"
beer festival that was being held starting today until Sunday at the beach of Coco
PAS Commissioner Jofri Jaraiee said the festival would bring more harm than
good as consuming excessive alcohol could lead to a lot of social problems that
not only would affect the festival goers but others too who did not attend the
example, when they are drunk, they will get dizzy and lose their memory and can
cause fights between one another and can also cause an accident when they drive
the vehicle in a drunken state," he said in a statement here today.
addition, he said, the biggest beer festival in Miri City was not in line with
the culture and customs of the locals, especially Muslims here.
consumption has been banned by religions, either Islam or Christian or
Buddhism. In the Quran, Muslims can refer to Surah Al-Maidah verse 90 while
Christians can also refer to the Gospel, Proverbs 20: 1 and Ephesians
5:18," he said.
said even Buddhist scholars themselves like Master Hsing Yun in his book The
Five Precepts says if one takes a little liquor, it is also prohibited.
an Imam, the person who leads a prayer in a mosque, has lodged a police report
at Miri Central Police Station at 4.25pm today urging the relevant authorities
including the police to prevent Muslims from attending the event.
Gani, who is an imam from Darul Ehsan Mosque, claimed that he lodged the report
after discussion and agreement with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO),
mosque committee members from Lutong and Piasau as well as member of the
have held a discussion with them today and after careful consideration I,
representing the Muslim communities here, want relevant authorities including
Jabatan Agama Islam Sarawak (Jais) to prevent Muslim attending the
avoid misconception, he said, the police report was intended to remind the
police or authorities to act against Muslims attending the festival and not
against the organiser of the festival.
LUMPUR: The minister in charge of Islamic affairs today advised Muslims to
avoid working in outlets that sell alcohol to steer clear of situations in
which they may be forced to handle such beverages.
Yusof Rawa said Islam forbids its adherents from having anything to do with
alcohol, adding that religious scholars had said it was haram or prohibited for
Muslims to be involved in grape-pressing, even if they do not consume the wine.
you know that your work place deals with such matters (selling alcoholic
beverages), you should be wary.
you decide to take the job, you must know that it will include serving customers
who buy alcohol,” he said at a dialogue here last night.
was asked to comment on a video of a patron at a convenience store in Johor
Bahru, who berated the cashier for refusing to scan an alcoholic beverage. The
cashier had said she was not allowed to handle such drinks, and that she had
just performed ablution.
also urged social media users not to share the video, saying it concerned an
issue that was sensitive to Muslims.
Dickson, Malaysia - On a soggy evening in a small town just south of Kuala
Lumpur's international airport, Anwar Ibrahim fires up the crowd.
up to the stage he talks mostly in Malay, peppering his speech with English and
delighting the mainly Chinese crowd with a few words of Mandarin.
tells them he will fight for all Malaysians, regardless of where they come
from: "We are all family."
few hundred-strong crowd, seated beneath a giant canopy next to shuttered
shops, claps and cheers.
of a sodomy conviction that put him behind bars for a third time in 2015, Anwar
is taking his first steps back to power, standing in a specially engineered
by-election on Saturday that could eventually allow him to take over from
Mahathir Mohamad - his ally-turned-nemesis-turned-ally - and become Malaysia's
eighth prime minister.
[Anwar] wins, it brings him back into the political mainstream of
Malaysia," said Keith Leong, head of research at the KRA Group in Kuala
Lumpur. "It allows him to be in contention to succeed Mahathir. [But] if
he loses, it will be a significant blow to his credibility and his claim on the
the by-election in Port Dickson appears to be Anwar's to lose - the
representative who stepped down to allow Anwar to contest won a 17,710 majority
in May's general election - any margin of victory will be closely watched given
the potential implications for the country’s leadership.
convincing victory is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for a smooth
transition and political stability," said Wong Chin Huat, a political
scientist at the Penang Institute.
because a weak victory for Anwar will invite some to try blocking his
ascendance and the succession battle will be wide open. Not sufficient because
it depends on the arrangement between Mahathir and Anwar. There needs to be a
clear division of labour between Mahathir and Anwar."
two men gave little away when they campaigned together in the seaside town
earlier this week. It was the first time they had appeared together at a
political rally in more than 20 years - when Mahathir sacked and jailed his
turned out for the event, according to the local Star newspaper. "I hope
that we can work together," the paper quoted Mahathir saying. "Not
for Anwar. Not for Mahathir, but for our beloved country and the Malaysians who
entrusted us with this opportunity to rebuild the nation."
multicultural country of more than 30 million people, Malaysia's population is
mostly Malay Muslim, but has substantial communities of ethnic Chinese and
Indian, as well as numerous indigenous people. Government policies that favour
the Malays have left many minorities feeling bitter, while some worry that
increasing religious conservatism risks further undermining national cohesion.
say Anwar, who got his break in politics in the 1970s as leader of the Muslim
Youth Movement of Malaysia, known by its Malay acronym ABIM, may be best placed
to tackle the issue.
has become so divisive as a factor in Malaysian society," said Kee Thuan
Chye, author of a forthcoming book on the May election, The People’s Victory.
"He will have to moderate it and he is the best person to do that because
of his Islamic credentials. If he's to do this country a favour then he must
use this credibility to bring about a Malaysia that is less fundamentalist in
its approach to Islam."
was those religious credentials that persuaded Mahathir, then in his first
stint as premier, that Anwar would be a useful ally. In the 1980s, he persuaded
the man US officials had called a "firebrand" and had already served
time in prison under the Internal Security Act, to join him in the ruling
party. Under Mahathir's tutelage Anwar rose quickly, becoming education
minister, then finance minister and finally deputy prime minister and heir apparent.
will be like before'
a breakfast of thosai (an Indian pancake) and curry, in a voice made hoarse by
days of campaigning, Anwar urges local residents to vote - there are some
75,000 people in the constituency with seven candidates on the ballot - and
promises to work hard for everyone.
Kamaurddin, 67, a retired airline pilot, is finishing up his breakfast with a
friend at a nearby table. He jumps up to shake Anwar's hand, almost missing the
chance in the crowd of supporters and security.
what I hear and see, I think he will bring the races together and that's what
we want," he says. "It will be like before."
town, Stevie Chan, 51, is taking a break from campaigning at a park by the
waterfront. The independent candidate has worn out one pair of shoes already in
his bid for election.
threw his hat into the ring because he believes that Anwar should have waited
for a seat to become available rather than deliberately triggering an election
by having a loyal party member resign. While not illegal under Malaysian
election law, Chan believes the move is unethical.
Pakatan supporter in the May election, he says he is committed to the
coalition's reform agenda, but he has doubts about the myths that he says have
grown up around Anwar.
tragic hero and all that," Chan said. "I don't buy these things. I
don't like all that."
prime minister-in-waiting during Malaysia's boom years of the 1990s, Anwar's
spectacular fall from grace came in the midst of the Asian Financial Crisis in
1998. Thousands of Malaysians poured onto the streets of Kuala Lumpur when he
was sacked and accused of sodomy, demanding reform. His appearance in court
with a black eye - the result of a beating from the then chief of police - only
fed their anger and hunger for change.
a lengthy and lurid trial that was criticised internationally, Anwar was
eventually found guilty and jailed.
was only once Mahathir had resigned that Anwar was freed. Thousands thronged
his house in an upmarket Kuala Lumpur suburb on the night in 2004 when he
returned home, an early indication that while Anwar had been gone, he had not
been forgotten. Unable to return to politics until 2008, he took up teaching in
to run the gauntlet'
sodomy allegations emerged in 2008, but that didn't stop Anwar from standing
for election and becoming leader of the opposition, where he called for
of the charges four years later after the High Court found the DNA evidence
unreliable, it seemed the case had gone away. But in 2014, the decision was
suddenly overturned and Anwar found himself facing five years in prison. The
country's top court upheld the verdict in 2015 and he was once again out of
politics and behind bars.
had an opportunity to leave and do anything he wanted, but he chose to stay in
Malaysia and to make that choice speaks volumes of his character,"
observed Charles Allers, author of The Making of a Muslim Democrat, a biography
of Anwar that was published in 2011.
had put him in jail once and could do it again. Knowing that was a possibility
he was still willing to run the gauntlet whatever the personal cost might
remained imprisoned throughout the 2018 election, but as his party's de facto
leader, his support was crucial to the coalition's decision to stand behind
together by a joint determination to oust former prime minister Najib Razak,
now on trial in connection with billions of dollars that went missing from state fund 1MDB, the two reached a pact.
Anwar would back Mahathir while the 93-year-old would ensure Anwar was pardoned
and released from jail. He also agreed to step down within two years to allow
the younger man to take over.
so many decades in the tumult of Malaysian politics, it seems Anwar's time may
finally have arrived.
is the most historic by-election in the history of Malaysia," Lim Kit
Siang, a veteran of Malaysia's long struggle for democracy, told the crowd as
Anwar said his goodbyes.
LUMPUR — Malaysia has freed from detention 11 ethnic Uighur Muslims who fled to
the South-east Asian nation after a Thai jailbreak last year, and sent them to
Turkey, their lawyer said on Thursday (Oct 11), in disregard of China's request
to hand them to Beijing.
move is likely to strain ties with China, already tested since Tun Dr Mahathir
Mohamad became prime minister after a stunning election victory in May and
cancelled more than US$20 billion (S$27.6 billion) worth of projects awarded to
dropped charges against the Uighurs on humanitarian grounds and they arrived in
Turkey after flying out of Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, their lawyer, Fahmi Moin,
charges were withdrawn because the attorney general's chambers agreed to the
(appeal) from our side," he told Reuters.
immigration department, home ministry and the attorney general's office did not
immediately respond to requests for comment. China's foreign ministry did not
immediately respond to a request for comment.
men were detained and charged with illegally entering Malaysia after last
November's daring prison break, by punching holes in a prison wall and using
blankets as ladders.
February, Reuters reported that Malaysia was under great pressure from China to
deport the men there, citing sources.
Western missions sought to dissuade it from sending them to China, which has
been accused of persecuting Uighurs.
accuses separatist extremists among the Uighur minority of plotting attacks on
China's Han majority in the restive far western region of Xinjiang and
has been accused of rights abuses in Xinjiang, torture of Uighur detainees and
tight controls on their religion and culture. It denies wrongdoing.
the years, hundreds, possibly thousands, of Uighurs have escaped the unrest by
travelling clandestinely via South-east Asia to Turkey.
Uighurs in Malaysia were part of a group of more than 200 detained in Thailand
they identified themselves as Turkish citizens and asked to be sent to Turkey, more
than 100 were forcibly returned to China in July 2015, sparking international
February, Malaysia said it was considering China's request to extradite the 11
men. In the past, it has sent some detained Uighurs to China.
detention came as Malaysia drew closer to China under former prime minister
Najib Razak, but 93-year-old Dr Mahathir, in his second stint as premier, has
been vocal in backing Muslim communities against persecution.
child born today in Bangladesh would be more productive than his peers in India
and Pakistan, as the country fared better than its larger regional competitors
in a new World Bank ranking.
has outpaced both the South Asian average and the lower middle-income average
in all criteria, except for stunting, in the first Human Capital Index (HCI) prepared
by the World Bank.
in Bangladesh scored 368 on a scale of 625, with the highest representing
advanced attainment and 300 representing the minimum attainment.
Bangladesh ranked 106th among 157 countries that were used by the WB for the
list. Sri Lanka topped the list among South Asian countries, with a ranking of
72. Nepal was placed at 102, India at 115, Afghanistan 133, and Pakistan 134.
HCI reflects the productivity as a future worker of a child born today,
compared with what it could be if he or she had full healthcare access and
complete, high-quality education, on a scale from zero to one, with one as the
best possible score.
said a child born in Bangladesh today would reach only 48 percent of their full
potential unless they enjoyed complete education and full health.
India, a child will be 44 percent productive and in Pakistan 39 percent. Sri Lanka tops South Asian countries with
children reaching 58 percent productivity, followed by Nepal with 49 percent.
stunting (impaired growth and development of children) and quality of education
holds back a child from achieving their full potential, the WB report said.
index, launched yesterday at the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings in Bali of
Indonesia, shows that 56 percent of children born today across the world will
lose more than half their potential lifetime earnings because governments are
not currently making effective investments in their people to ensure a healthy,
educated, and resilient population ready for the workplace of the future.
rankings, based on health, education and survivability measures, assess the
future productivity and earnings potential for citizens of the WB members, and
ultimately those countries' potential economic growth.
topped the list, followed by South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, while African
countries fared the worst in the rankings, with Chad and South Sudan taking the
two lowest spots.
to the report, in Bangladesh, 97 percent of children are likely to survive to
the age 5 and about 87 percent of 15-year olds are likely to survive to the age
statistic is a proxy for the range of fatal and non-fatal health outcomes that
a child born today would experience as an adult under current conditions.
a child who starts school at the age of four will complete schooling by their
18th birthday. The country performs well in gender equity. A girl has a higher
human capital than a boy.
with about 36 percent children stunted, there is no room for complacency.
the healthy growth, the WB said 64 out of 100 children were not stunted.
However, some 36 out of 100 children are stunted and at risk of cognitive and
physical limitations that can last a lifetime.
Mirza Azizul Islam, a former adviser to a caretaker government, told The Daily
Star that through this report Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen's remark on
development of Bangladesh had come true as Bangladesh was ahead of India in the
performed better than India and Pakistan due to growth acceleration and
improvement of health and education sector in the last few years, said Islam.
is also a contribution of women empowerment as the female involvement is
increasing in income generating activities, he noted.
country score of 0.5 means that individuals -- and the country as a whole --
are forgoing half of their future economic potential. Calculated over 50 years,
this translates into deep economic losses: a 1.4 percent annual loss in GDP
study report gives policymakers compelling evidence that delivering better
outcomes in children's health and learning can significantly boost the incomes
of people -- and of countries - with returns far into the future.
capital -- the knowledge, skills, and health that people accumulate over their
lives -- has become a key factor behind the sustained economic growth and
poverty reduction rates of many countries in the 20th century, especially East
a statement, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said, “For the poorest
people, human capital is often the only capital they have.”
capital is a key driver of sustainable, inclusive economic growth, but
investing in health and education has not gotten the attention it deserves.
This index creates a direct line between improving outcomes in health and
education, productivity, and economic growth. I hope that it drives countries
to take urgent action and invest more and more effectively in their people.
bar is rising for everyone,” Kim added.
human capital is critical for all countries, at all income levels, to compete
in the economy of the future.”
the World Bank's statement, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said: “Over the last
decade, our government has consistently improved human capital and created
better opportunities for our population. We have reduced child and maternal
mortality, and the fertility rate.”
said Bangladesh was among a few developing countries to have achieved gender
parity in school enrollment. This progress is reflected in the Human Capital
the performance of Bangladesh, Qimiao Fan, country director of the WB for
Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal, said: “Bangladesh's strong track record of
poverty reduction and development shows that with the right policies and actions,
further progress is possible.”
A Rohingya family of five has returned to Myanmar from Bangladesh, sources said
Thursday (Oct 11), a rare development while a large-scale repatriation deal
than 720,000 of Myanmar's stateless Muslim minority fled a brutal military
crackdown in August last year, taking shelter in crowded camps in Bangladesh.
they recounted tales of rape, murder and arson as villages in Rakhine state
were burned to the ground.
Nations investigators have said senior Myanmar military officials should be prosecuted
for genocide, but the country has rejected these calls, insisting it was
defending itself against militants.
and Bangladesh signed a deal to bring back the Rohingya but many fear returning
without guaranteed rights such as citizenship, access to healthcare and freedom
in Myanmar say more than 100 displaced Rohingya have returned in recent months
though rights groups have questioned whether the returnees did so voluntarily.
family of five "displaced people" came back to Rakhine state on
Wednesday morning, state mouthpiece Global New Light of Myanmar reported
government has trumpeted each return but Bangladesh insists that the official
process has not commenced.
Bangladesh government's Rohingya camp commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam said he
had only heard about the family leaving, but has not received official
confirmation of their return to Myanmar.
can go back if he/she wants," he said.
formal repatriation has not begun."
Rahim, a Rohingya camp leader in Bangladesh, said the family had been staying
in the Balukhali camp in Cox Bazar district.
returned to their home ... near Maungdaw township in Rakhine yesterday,"
agencies, which signed a deal with the Myanmar government to assess conditions
on the ground in northern Rakhine, said they had carried out an initial survey
in September of about two dozen villages.
least nine civilians including children were killed or wounded in separate
Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosions in southeastern Ghazni and Paktika
203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in the Southeast in a statement said
at least three children lost their lives in an explosion triggered by an IED
planted by the Taliban militants in Orgun district of Paktia province.
statement further added that another IED planted by the militants in Moqor
district of Ghazni province went off targeting a civilian vehicle which left
one civilian dead and five others wounded.
Taliban militants and other militants often use improvised explosive device as
the weapon of their choice to target the security forces and government
in majority of such attacks the ordinary civilians are killed while in some
cases the Taliban militants are themselves blown up in premature explosions.
elements must immediately end the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of
all improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in areas frequented by civilians, said
UNAMA in a special human rights report released few days earlier.
Taliban militants including their high ranking leaders were killed during the
operations of the Afghan armed forces in central Maidan Wardak province.
Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), in a statement
said the intelligence opertives conducted a special operation in Syedabad district
with the support of the air forces.
statement further added that 21 militants including some high ranking leaders
of the Taliban and Haqqani network were killed during the operations.
key Taliban leaders killed during the operations include Taliban’s shadow
intelligence chief Mawlavi Naqibullah also famous as Majid, Taliban leader in
charge of looking after the disabled militants Mawlavi Abdul Rahman, Haqqani
network leader Mawlavi Saif Ur Rehman, Mawlavi Samad, Taliban’s shadow district
chief for Syedabad, Taliban’s commander for Tangi area of Syedabad Mawlavi
Syedullah, and Taliban commander in charge of a group of 15 militants Mullah
Naqi,b NDS said.
least 15 other militants were also killed during the operations and 2 others
sustained injuries, NDS added in its statement.
U.S. forces carried out airstrikes on a hideout of the Taliban group in
northern Faryab province of Afghanistan, leaving at least 13 militants dead or
wounded and destroying three armored personnel carriers.
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North in a statement said the
airstrikes were carried out at around 11:00pm local time on Wednesday in
statement further added that ten Taliban militants were killed during the
airstrikes and three others sustained injuries.
to 209th Shaheen Corps, a commander of the Taliban group identified as Qari
Nasir, also famous as Ansar, was among those killed.
airstrikes also destroyed three Armored Personnel Carriers equipped with heavy
weapons, the 209th Shaheen Corps added in its statement.
grudges, group rivalry and crime have been blamed for at least 19 mysterious
murders in Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar over the last 13
Nikruzzaman, chief government officer at Ukhiya, Cox's Bazar, puts the murders
down to long-standing personal disputes within the Rohingya refugee community.
far as I can see, the murders occurred over personal enmity between Rohingya
and it started in Rakhine," said
Nikaruzzaman. "In one case, a man stabbed another man to death who
he accused of killing his brother back home."
Mazi, the title of an appointed community leader in the camps, blamed rivalry
within the camps.
are several rival groups active in the camps ... agents of the Burmese
government who oppose repatriation and those who want to go back," Sirajul
Huq, 47, a Mazi in Kutupalong camp told ucanews.com.
are not sure if any Mazi are involved with groups, but we suspect the rivalry
between the groups might be a cause of the violence and the killings."
of the most brutal attacks was on June 18 when 35-year-old community leader
Arifullah was stabbed to death at a busy road outside the Balukhali camp,
said a group of men surrounded Arifullah and stabbed him at least 25 times.
Arifullah spoke English and had worked for international agencies in Myanmar
and had met foreign delegates visiting the camps.
wife said Arifullah had been a critic of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army
(ARSA) but police investigators said at the time they had no evidence to link
the attack to the militant group. ARSA denied any involvement in the killing
and said other "armed groups" were trying to malign its name.
have bolstered security at the camps to over 3,400 personnel to protect the
total refugee population which is put at 1 million.
also believe that the murders could be connected to Bangladeshi human- and
drug-trafficking networks, according to a report in the Dhaka Tribune.
Haque Tutul, who until mid-August was deputy police chief of Cox's Bazar, said
gangs were extorting "huge money" from refugees desperate for land,
food and shelter.
said few officers spoke the Rohingya language, further hampering inquiries and
fear of reprisals had kept mouths shut.
is why Rohingya do not come forward. They are scared. In your town, if
criminals or terrorists or robbers were there, you will definitely be
scared," Tutul told the Dhaka Tribune.
leader Sirajul Huq said he could not give a reason for the murders. But he
added: "I can tell no outsider was involved. The clashes occurred over
repatriation and doing businesses in the markets of the camps."
than 720,000 Rohingya Muslims were forced to flee their homes in Myanmar's
northern Rakhine State from August 2017 after the military launched a brutal
crackdown in response to militant attacks on security posts.
Istanbul university will host the second edition of the “International
Conference on the Muslim Ummah” between Oct. 14 and 16 that will bring together
20 international scholars.
conference, to be organized by Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University (IZU) at its
Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), aims to discuss problems across the
theme of the conference is “Fault lines and Perils Facing Muslim Societies: The
Challenges of Sectarianism, Secularism, Nationalism, and Colonialism.”
are some of the problems that exist in the Muslim societies that cause tension
and upheaval, and we are trying to analyze and understand them and offer
solutions,” Sami Al-Arian, the director of CIGA, told Anadolu Agency.
who also teaches courses on politics and Islamic civilization at the
university, said nationalism in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India, as well as
nationalism within the context of the Arab world, will be discussed during the
said the conference will also discuss as to how colonialism affected the Middle
East, and "settler colonialism in Israel/Palestine.”
have become common between Houthi militias, majorly caused by internal
divisions and splits between top leaders.
who split from the militias are said to be killed directly in assassination
attacks or through blowing up their houses.
in Sanaa attacked the house of Doctor Abbas Mohammed Zaid and stole documents
and devices from him.
Mohammed Zaid is the brother of the 14th most wanted man by the coalition
forces supporting the legitimate government in Yemen - Hassan Mohammed Zaid,
the minister of sport in the Houthi government that is not recognized
internationally, and one of the Houthi leaders.
Zaid family is considered a supporter of Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, and it helped
him enter Sanaa in September 2014.
and splits have been increasing within the Houthi leadership lately, the
biggest such incident happened a few days ago, when Abdul-Malik al-Houthi had a
bloody confrontation with the mufti of the Houthi militias in Saada and Majz
militias attacked the house of the mufti with tanks, missiles, and mortar
bombs, killing more than 30 people, injuring dozens, and blowing up houses
owned by supporters of the mufti.
Houthi militias are also suppressing demonstrations that went out recently in
Sanaa complaining about the plunging living standards, as soaring prices put
basic commodities out of reach of many people.
Palestinian leadership will no longer work with the UN peace envoy, a senior
official said Thursday, accusing him of overstepping his role by seeking a deal
between Israel and the extremist movement Hamas.
Majdalani, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) executive
committee, said it had informed the UN secretary general that envoy Nickolay
Mladenov was “no longer acceptable” to the Palestinian government.
had “gone beyond his role” in seeking agreements between Israel and rival
Palestinian faction Hamas, which controls Gaza, he said, adding that his
actions impacted “Palestinian national security and the unity of our people.”
was no immediate comment from Mladenov or confirmation from the United Nations.
the Palestinians said ‘no’ to Israel and ‘no’ to the Americans, they are now
saying ‘no’ to the UN as well,” Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Danny
Danon said in a statement. “In this decision, Abu Mazen (Palestinian president
Mahmoud Abbas) is continuing to lead the Palestinian Authority to international
isolation, which ultimately harm the Palestinians.”
alongside Egypt, has been seeking a long-term truce agreement between Hamas and
the Jewish state, without including Abbas’s internationally recognized
government in the indirect negotiations.
talks have stalled, partly due to pressure form Abbas, but on Tuesday a smaller
UN-brokered agreement was reached for Qatar to finance fuel deliveries to Gaza
for six months.
government was not involved in that deal and Mladenov’s strategy has angered
Palestinian Authority headed by Abbas has semi autonomy in parts of the
occupied West Bank but lost control of Gaza to Hamas in a near-civil war in
international community has since worked with the PA.
Arabic-language Turk Press claimed that the Turkish army has sent a military
convoy to Northern Syria after the terrorist groups evacuated their heavy
weapons from the demilitarized zone.
added that the convoy consisted of 20 trucks, carrying 20 cement blocks, that
entered the Turkish army-held regions in Idlib province.
report said that each cement block is four meters long, and added that the
Turkish army will continue sending military convoys to the regions under its
supervision in Idlib.
Turkish media have reported evacuation of heavy weapons from demilitarized zone
as the Syrian media sources said that Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant
Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) has demanded Turkey delay its retreat
from the weapons-free zone mentioned in the Sochi Agreement until October 20.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted sources close to the terrorist groups
in Aleppo and Idlib on Wednesday as saying that Tahrir al-Sham has not
evacuated its heavy weapons from the demilitarized zone, adding that they have
hidden their tanks, artilleries and missile-launchers.
added that Tahrir al-Sham has informed the Turkish intelligence agency that it
will not withdraw from the weapons-free zone because of a lack of agreement on
areas to be held by the Ankara-backed militants which are due to host Tahrir
to the report, Tahrir al-Sham has called for continued negotiations and
demanded Turkey to hold talks with Russia to give militants some more time for
withdrawal until October 20.
deal between Turkey and the United States regarding the northern Syrian town of
Manbij is delayed “but not completely dead”, President Tayyip Erdogan was
quoted as saying by Hurriyet newspaper on Thursday.
made the comments to reporters on Tuesday on the flight back from his visit to
about the trial of US evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey, Erdogan said
he was not in a position to interfere with the judiciary because Turkey is a
state of law.
extremists and Turkish-backed militants have withdrawn most heavy weapons from
territory around Syria’s last major opposition stronghold ahead of a deadline,
a monitor said.
weapons pullback is the first major test of a truce deal brokered by
government-backed Russia and opposition militants-backer Turkey last month to
avoid what the United Nations warned would be the appalling humanitarian
consequences of a major government offensive.
defense ministry said on Wednesday the demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib has
been formed and heavy weapons have been withdrawn, following an agreement by
Russian and Turkish leaders in Sochi last month.
agreement dictated that heavy weapons, tanks, rocket systems and mortars of all
opposition groups would be withdrawn by October 10, and the zone will be
monitored by coordinated Turkish and Russian patrols.
the deal agreed last month between Turkey and Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad’s ally Moscow, militants will be required to withdraw by the middle of
this month from the zone, and heavy weaponry must be withdrawn from the 15-20
km buffer zone by October 10.
Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday over 1,000 militants had left the zone.
about Turkish reports that all heavy weapons had been removed, Russian Foreign
Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters that around 100 heavy
weapon units had been withdrawn from the zone, but gave no further details.
of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has called on all
branches of the government to join forces to counter the negative impacts of
brutal American sanctions against the Iranian nation.
Khamenei made the remarks on Wednesday night in a meeting with the heads of
Iran’s executive, legislative and judicial branches over economic issues.
Leader underlined the need for unity and “convergence” among the three branches
of the government and other institutions to step up efforts towards overcoming
the economic challenges currently facing the nation.
is no deadlock and no irresolvable problem in the country,” emphasized
Ayatollah Khamenei, assuring that the country “will definitely overcome the
internal difficulties imposed” against it with the determination of people and
the economic problems into “internal challenges of the country’s economy” and
“the issues arising from cruel US sanctions," the Leader called on the
authorities to find “wise solutions” to the existing hardships and “to
frustrate the enemy” in its attempts to use sanctions as a tool to influence
soaring prices and the drop of purchasing power of those lower-income Iranians
have put pressure on them,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
solve certain key economic issues, including those gripping the banking system,
liquidity, employment, inflation and the budget planning process, you need to
take decisive and practical decisions,” the Leader told the officials, urging
them to get help from economic experts and businessmen to that effect.
national currency has lost much of its value since the beginning of the year,
especially after US President Donald Trump abandoned a nuclear deal with Tehran
and announced new sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
sharp rial drop resulted in a jump in inflation rates as consumer prices grew.
has summoned the German ambassador to protest Berlin’s extradition of an
Iranian diplomat to Brussels over his alleged link to a planned July attack
against the terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) in France.
Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Wednesday that the director general for
Europe affairs at the ministry met Michael Klor-Berchtold to convey the Islamic
Republic’s strong opposition to the arrest, detention and extradition of the
Iranian diplomat and said the move was part of a manufactured plot by those
opposing Iran-Europe relations and was planned by the MKO itself.
was stressed during the meeting that “this ploy is in line [with efforts] to
damage Iran-Europe ties,” and was a show to compensate for the failures of the
terrorist group as well as those of the Israeli regime, Qassemi said.
added that the treatment of the Iranian diplomat was in contravention of the
accepted rules of diplomatic law, and said Tehran demanded the immediate
repatriation of the diplomat.
said that to “help protect the basic fundamentals of international law and to
fight various forms of terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves its
right to follow up on the issue through legal and political channels and will
implement a proper decision in due time.”
extradited to Belgium an Iranian diplomat suspected of plotting a bomb attack
in France, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
in June, Belgian authorities said that the Iranian diplomat had been arrested
along with a 38-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman, suspected of plotting a
bomb attack on the MKO meeting in Paris attended by US President Donald Trump's
lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and several former European and Arab ministers.
added that Belgian police intercepted the two suspects in Belgium with 500
grams of the homemade explosive TATP and a detonation device found in their
diplomat, 46-year-old Assadollah A, was arrested in Germany, suspected of
having been in contact with the two arrested in Belgium.
other people were also arrested in France in connection with the case, two of
whom were released.
Iranian officials have dismissed the claims against the diplomat, saying they
were part of a plot to harm Iran-Europe ties as the two sides seek to bolster
once again on Wednesday voiced Iran’s deep regret and dissatisfaction over the
German government’s extradition and pledged the Islamic Republic’s
determination to the plot behind the diplomat’s arrest and extradition.
“will firmly and through diplomatic channels follow up on the case of this
diplomat, who has fallen prey to a plot by those opposing further constructive
ties between Iran and Germany and other European countries, until the truth
will out and until the clarification of the terrorist groups’ malicious move,”
is set to heavily lower prison standards for Palestinian inmates, a decision
that is likely to ignite a new wave of protests both inside and outside of
committee established by Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan to
explore ways to downgrade quality of life for Palestinian prisoners into a bare
minimum is about to hand in the results of its studies, Israeli media reported
forming the committee in June, Erdan said his objective was to pressure Hamas
and other Palestinian resistance groups to hand over the remains of Israeli
soldiers they hold in the Gaza Strip.
committee would recommend a drastic cut in the number of family visits for
prisoners and revoke their permissions to buy meat, fish, fruits and vegetables
from outside the prison.
inmates will also lose their right to cook food inside the jail cells while
authorities would also take away their food grinders and blenders.
prison officials would also recommended in the report that Tel Aviv limit the
number of television channels the inmates could choose from.
status of “ward spokesperson” would also be removed in the new approach,
meaning that the prisoners’ representative would only be allowed to raise a
certain range of issues with prison officials.
the Israeli Knesset is looking forward to pass a bill that can increase minimum
jail sentences of 40 years to more than 60 years for alleged “terror suspects,”
the Israeli media reported.
right-wing party Yisrael Beiteinu, headed by minister of military affairs
Avigdor Lieberman, is pushing for a separate bill that eases the use of death
penalty by courts for such cases.
cruel treatment of Palestinian detainees in recent years has led to mass hunger
strikes by inmates as a last-ditch effort to raise international awareness and
force Israeli officials to change the conditions.
year, hundreds of Palestinian inmates heeded a call by popular prisoner Marwan
Barghouti to go on a hunger strike.
protest went on for 40 days before Israeli authorities agreed to strike a deal
with the inmates. According to prisoners, the deal only met 80 percent of their
and Kuwait have signed a joint defense plan for 2019 aimed at boosting military
cooperation between the two Middle Eastern countries.
signing of this plan is a continuation of the joint military coordination aimed
at achieving greater harmony, exchange of experience and uniting efforts
between Kuwait and Turkey,” Kuwait's official news agency, KUNA, on Thursday
quoted a statement by the army’s Moral Guidance Department as saying.
agreement was signed during a ceremony by top military officials from both
countries in the Kuwait City on Wednesday, KUNA added.
to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, which also confirmed the news, the
Turkish-Kuwaiti Cooperation Committee had held a series of meetings in the
Kuwaiti capital on October 9 and 10.
year, the two countries signed agreements in several areas during Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Kuwait and Kuwaiti Prime Minister
Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah's visit to the Anatolian country.
has strong diplomatic, economic and military ties with the Persian Gulf
countries of Qatar and Kuwait, but its relations with the United Arab Emirates,
Saudi Arabia and Bahrain deteriorated after the trio, plus Egypt, abruptly cut
off ties with Doha last year and targeted the Persian Gulf state with an
all-out economic blockade, accusing it of supporting terrorism, among other
things. Doha rejects those allegations as baseless.
bilateral agreement comes as the United States has recently announced its
decision to withdraw four of its advanced Patriot missile systems from Kuwait,
Jordan and Bahrain, a move that would considerably weaken air defense
protection for the trio.
army destroys Hamas tunnel running from besieged Gaza Strip
Israeli military says it has destroyed a tunnel running from the southern part
of the Gaza Strip into the occupied territories, which it claimed was dug by
the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement with the aim of carrying out attacks.
military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus told reporters on a
conference call that the tunnel was around one kilometer in length (less than a
mile), and originated from the city of Khan Yunis, located about 25 kilometers
south of Gaza City.
added that the tunnel extended around 200 meters (650 feet) into the occupied
territories, claiming that the Israeli army had been monitoring its
construction for several months.
declined to elaborate on how the tunnel was destroyed, but said “combat
engineering means” were used.
called it a “complex tunnel system with various connections and branches,”
noting that it was equipped with electricity and communication hardware.
senior Israeli military official said Hamas had used new methods in building
the tunnel, and the techniques seemed intended to evade Israel's detection
the past few months, the Israeli military has employed technology to detect and
destroy tunnels without bombing them. It has filled tunnels with material to
make them unusable.
military has also been building an underground wall around the blockaded Gaza
Strip to stop tunnel digging. Work on the massive project is expected to be
completed by the end of 2019, Conricus said.
destruction of the tunnel comes as nearly 200 Palestinians have been killed by
Israeli forces ever since “The Great March of Return” protests began in the
Gaza Strip on March 30. Over 21,600 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.
Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, on the eve of the 70th anniversary
of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US
embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
June 13, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by
Turkey and Algeria, condemning Israel for Palestinian civilian deaths in the
resolution, which had been put forward on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries,
garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with eight
votes against and 45 abstentions.
resolution called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to make proposals
within 60 days “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and
well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation,” including
“recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”
least 76 Boko Haram militants were killed as Nigerian troops thwarted an attack
in the restive northeast region, an official said on Thursday.
Agim, defense spokesman in capital Abuja, told Anadolu Agency that militants
launched an attack on the troops in Metele area of northeastern Borno state,
seemingly the last stronghold of the insurgency now in its tenth year.
men in the 157th Battalion had an encounter with the Boko Haram terrorists
earlier this week. The troops overpowered the terrorists with superior
firepower and killed 76 of them while dozens others escaped.
we lost seven of our gallant [soldiers] in the attack while 16 others sustained
injuries and are being given adequate medical attention,” he said.
YOR: The UN Security Council on Thursday approved a final extension of its
peacekeeping mission in the disputed Abyei region between Sudan and South Sudan
— unless the two sides make progress on border demarcation and other
its unanimous decision, the Security Council extended for six months the United
Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei but said “this shall be the final such
extension unless the parties take the specific measures.”
repeated a previous warning that the situation in Abyei and along the
Sudan-South Sudan border “continues to constitute a serious threat to
international peace,” and called on the two countries to show concrete progress
on border demarcation and monitoring, as well as other benchmarks.
is an area of about 4,000 square miles (10,500 square kilometers) contested
since Sudan split into two countries in 2011.
have been tensions between the Arab Misseriya and Ngok Dinka peoples of the
and South Sudan years ago agreed to take steps for setting up an administrative
structure for Abyei but the Security Council in May, when it last renewed
UNISFA’s mandate, expressed disappointment that “few steps” had been taken in
Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz announced a cabinet reshuffle on Thursday that
officials said consolidates the grip of technocrats charged with speeding up
IMF-guided reforms crucial to rejuvenating economic growth.
a former World Bank economist, was appointed by King Abdullah in June to
replace Hani al-Mulki, who resigned to defuse a crisis that saw some of the
largest protests in years over IMF-driven austerity measures, including tax
downsized the 29-member cabinet to 27 ministers, and removed the health and
higher education ministers over alleged nepotism scandals, in an apparent bid
to calm widespread discontent over rising economic hardship and corruption. But
he kept the key interior, finance and foreign ministry portfolios unchanged.
seen as a better communicator than Mulki, has promised to restore public trust
in a country where many blame successive governments for failing to deliver on
pledges of reviving growth and curbing corruption.
disappointed public opinion and activists when he was first appointed by
installing old-guard conservatives and tribal figures in his cabinet who held
sway in previous administrations.
has already angered unions and civic bodies by reintroducing a modified,
IMF-inspired tax bill that makes only cosmetic changes to one that brought down
Mulki. But opponents have so far stopped short of calling for new street
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi asked Thursday for a suspected extremist
leader and former Egyptian special forces officer captured this week in Libya
to be handed over to his country.
of Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar, who supports an administration
vying for power with Libya’s UN-backed unity government, have said they
arrested Hisham el-Ashmawy on Monday in the eastern city of Derna.
want him to serve time in prison,” El-Sisi said in a televised speech on the
sidelines of a military conference.
spokesman for Haftar’s forces, who are backed by Egypt and the United Arab
Emirates, said Ashmawy was an alleged member of the Islamist extremist group
Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis and wanted over the attempted assassination of an
ex-interior minister in September 2013.
left the Egyptian army in 2012 and joined Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, based in the
eastern Sinai Peninsula.
is believed to have gone to Libya in 2013, before Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis pledged
allegiance to the Daesh group in November 2014.
Al Shabab militants have claimed to have executed five men they said were spies
working for US, British and Somali intelligence services, a monitor that tracks
extremists reported on Wednesday.
five men, aged between 22 to 36, were killed in the southern Somali town of
Jilib on Tuesday, the US-based Site Intelligence Group said, publishing a
translation of a Shabab statement.
statement said that before they were killed, several of the men admitted to
transmitting information that led to attacks against Shabab militants.
an Al Qaeda affiliate, is fighting to overthrow the internationally backed
Somali government in Mogadishu.
collapsed into civil war in 1991 that destroyed state institutions and has been
wracked by the Shabab insurgency since 2006.
Shabab were forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011 but still
control parts of the countryside and carry out attacks against government,
military and civilian targets seemingly at will in Mogadishu and regional
week, UN sanctions monitors said that the group's militants run a tax system
that rivals the federal government in sophistication. The taxation of illicitly
exported charcoal and other tolls netting the group tens of millions in revenue
monitors said that domestic revenue generation by Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Shabab
"is more geographically diversified and systematic" than that of
Somalia's federal government.
to the militants' provision of receipts, the taxation system is
"accountable and predictable", in contrast to the network of
checkpoints manned by the government's armed forces in some parts of the
controlling far less territory than it did at the height of a decade-long
insurgency, "the group's "ability to carry out complex asymmetric
attacks in Somalia remains undiminished", the monitors wrote.
Shabab's most lucrative checkpoint is about 160 km north-west of the capital
Mogadishu on the road to Baidoa, the monitors said, citing an Al Shabab
defector who reported that the location earns the group approximately $30,000
per day, or $10 million a year.
exported charcoal, much of which transits Iran and ends up in barbecues and
shisha pipes in the UAE, generates millions in revenue.
charcoal trade continues to be a significant source of revenue for Al Shabab,
generating at least $7.5 million from checkpoint taxation," they wrote.
alarming increase in deadly jihadist attacks has led to expanded French
military action in Burkina Faso, a marked shift after years of reticence by the
west African nation to call in help from its former colonial master.
now France's 4 500-member Barkhane anti-terror force in West and Central Africa
has intervened mainly in Mali, while focussing on training in Burkina Faso and
the other nations of the G5 Sahel military alliance - Chad, Mauritania and
over the past two weeks, more than 20 members of Burkina Faso's security forces
have been killed in the country's restless north and east.
rebels raided a police station in the north last week, officials asked
Barkhane's command for air strikes, which killed around 10 of the attackers as
also deployed two attack helicopters to the suspected rebel haven in the
heavily forested Pama region last weekend after a Burkinabe soldier was killed
by an IED, military sources said.
new theatre for operations highlight the challenges facing France as it tries
to contain the jihadist threat in the region, which has taken a toll on
economic growth and helped fuel the wave of migrants fleeing toward Europe.
strategy has been based on trying to build up local African forces in the
stuttering G5 Sahel alliance, but the growing instability in Burkina now looks
likely to draw its troops into more frontline fighting.
Defence Minister Florence Parly sought to put a positive spin on the prospect
of deeper French involvement last week during a visit to Chad.
pragmatic and constructive step has been taken," she said.
new front could put further strain on the Barkhane force, whose command was
taken over two months ago by General Frederic Blachon.
officials are playing down such risks for now, pointing to the rapid air
responses possible from the Barkhane air base in Niger's capital of Niamey.
plan can be adapted," Blachon said recently, adding that Burkina Faso's
government "will have the same support that we give to others in the
always maintain sufficient intervention capacity to lend support" outside
Mali, a senior military officer said in Paris, requesting anonymity to discuss
requests for help underline the worsening security situation in the country due
to the state of the country's armed forces and the difficulty in containing
numerous armed jihadist groups operating in the region.
the 2014 ouster of Burkina leader Blaise Compaore, who used elite forces as his
personal guard, the government has been wary of giving the military too big a
role in a country scarred by several coup attempts.
the attacks are now jeopardising President Roch Marc Christian Kabore's vow to
improve security, education, health and drinking water in the country's Sahel
officials have made no secret of their concerns about the violence, and the
risk of contagion to countries further south like Ghana and Ivory Coast.
has for years stationed special forces in the Burkina capital Ouagadougou, who
intervened after twin attacks last March on the French embassy and Burkina's
military headquarters which left eight soldiers dead.
attack was claimed by the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM), one of
several prowling across the vast desert expanses of the Sahel.
French forces are still trying to identify the insurgents operating with
increasing boldness in the country's east.
appears they are not with Ansarul Islam," a jihadist group based in the
country's north which has carried out several attacks against the army along
the 1 000km border with Mali, a Barkhane intelligence officer said.
officials have shared contents of video and audio recordings that reportedly
contain evidence supporting claims that a Washington Post contributor was
murdered by the Saudi government with the Trump administration.
Washington Post reported Thursday night that recordings of Saudi consulate
officials in Turkey obtained by Turkish investigators and shared with their US
counterparts detail how Jamal Khashoggi was tortured, killed, and dismembered
by a Saudi Arabian security team at the country's consulate in Istanbul.
is unclear whether the US has been given direct access to the recordings, the
Post reported, but US officials confirmed that the Trump administration was
made aware of their contents.
can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic,” one person with
knowledge of the recordings told the Post. “You can hear how he was
interrogated, tortured and then murdered.”
voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after
he entered,” the Post's source added, while a second official told the
newspaper that Khashoggi could be heard on the recording undergoing beatings
from his captors.
disappearance has evolved into a full-fledged international diplomatic crisis
for the Saudi government, led by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Salman cast
himself as a progressive reformer, but the disappearance and possible murder of
a critical voice against his government has thrown Salman's relationship with
foreign leaders and organizations into question.
New York Times, The Economist and a number of notable journalists announced
Thursday that they would withdraw from an international media event in Riyadh,
Saudi Arabia, later this month as a result of the Khashoggi's disappearance.
Trump indicated Thursday that his administration was investigating Khashoggi's
disappearance. "I have to find out what happened. I mean, I do have to
find out. And we're probably getting closer than you might think. But I have to
find out what happened," the president said in an interview on Fox News.
news noted that Trump was not willing to sour relations with the Saudis over
is widely believed that Khashoggi was assassinated by Saudi operatives and his
dismembered body was flown from Turkey to Saudi Arabia in two jets.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul on Wednesday demanded a halt in military support to
Saudi Arabia until a Saudi journalist who disappeared in the Consulate in
Istanbul was “returned alive”.
Khashoggi has been missing since Oct. 2, when he visited the Saudi Consulate in
Istanbul, amid speculation that he was killed by Saudi authorities.
an article in The Atlantic, Paul said that he intended to introduce legislation
to “cut all funding, training, advising, and any other coordination” with and
to the Kingdom until Khashoggi is confirmed to be alive.
regime must be held accountable for Jamal Khashoggi,” he said.
the Saudi “oppressive regime”, Paul expressed “deep disappointment” with his
fellow senators for not taking measures earlier.
amount of oil business or arms deals justifies our collusion with a regime that
sponsors jihadism around the world,” he said.
also criticized the OPEC nation’s “reckless” actions in the Yemen conflict.
authorities have yet to give a clear explanation on the fate of Khashoggi as
several countries -- particularly Turkey, the U.S. and the UK -- press for
to his fiancée Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi first arrived at the Saudi Consulate in
Istanbul on Sept. 28. After being told his documents would be ready in a week,
Khashoggi went to London and returned to Istanbul on Oct. 1.
called the consulate and was told "that documents are being prepared"
and he could come to the consulate. He went to the diplomatic building on Oct.
2 with Cengiz but was not seen after entering it.
United States will refuse any additional reconstruction assistance to war-torn
Syria so long as Iranian troops are present in the country, Secretary of State
Mike Pompeo said Wednesday.
to a pro-Israel group, Pompeo vowed to press forward with President Donald
Trump’s push to isolate Iran, while talking of imposing “some of the harshest
sanctions in history.”
onus for expelling Iran from the country falls on the Syrian government, which
bears responsibility for its presence there,” Pompeo told the Jewish Institute
for National Security of America.
Syria doesn’t ensure the total withdrawal of Iranian-backed troops, it will not
receive one single dollar from the United States for reconstruction,” Pompeo
remarks come as the Trump administration shifts its reasoning for US
involvement in Syria’s brutal civil war, which a war monitor says has killed
close to 365,000 people since 2011.
United States has some 2,000 troops in Syria, mainly training and advising rebels,
after former president Barack Obama authorized the mission to defeat ISIS.
said that fighting ISIS “continues to be a top priority” but listed rolling
back Iran as another.
security adviser, John Bolton, said last month that US troops would stay “as
long as Iranian troops are outside Iranian borders.”
ruled by Shiite Muslim clerics, and Russia are the primary supporters of Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad in his bloody campaign against largely Sunni Muslim
rebels and ISIS.
did not make similar demands for a withdrawal by Russia, which has long
considered Syria a major ally.
Bosnian Muslim wartime commander Atif Dudakovic and 16 senior members of his
unit were charged on Thursday with carrying out atrocities against Serbs in
western Bosnia during the 1992-95 war.
65-year-old was also charged with war crimes against fellow Muslims who were
members of, or supported, a rival faction in the area during the conflict,
Bosnia's state prosecutor's office said in a statement.
has regularly dismissed all the accusations as politically motivated.
has been ruled by Serb, Croat and Muslim nationalist parties for the most part
since the end of the war in which more than 100,000 died. It remains deeply
divided along ethnic lines and steps towards reconciliation have been small.
was a general in the Bosnian Muslim-dominated army who commanded the 5th Corps
operating in the Bihac enclave, which was surrounded and besieged by the
Bosnian Serb forces from 1991-1995.
the war, he served as the general commander of the army in Bosnia's autonomous
Bosniak-Croat Federation, which was later merged in the country-wide armed
defendants are accused of the murder of more than 300 Serbs, most of them
civilians, mainly elderly, as well as soldiers who had surrendered or were
detained," the statement said.
prosecutors said that bodies of a number of the victims were found in several
mass and individual graves after the war, while the search for the others was
still under the way.
of the indictment refers to crimes committed against Muslims led by renegade
leader Fikret Abdic, who had set up a breakaway province around the western
town of Velika Kladusa.
himself was jailed for 20 years in 2002 for war crimes against Muslims loyal to
the Bosnian government by a court in Croatia, which later reduced his prison
term to 15 years and released him in 2012.
and another 11 members of his Corps were arrested in April on war crimes charges
but were later released with restrictions on their movement.
prosecutors said they will invite 447 witnesses and present more than 1,100
documents as evidence. Bosnia's state court needs to confirm the indictment.
represent the second largest religious community with approximately 1.4 million
adherents in 2017 (3,1 percent of the whole Italian population). While Islam
and Muslims were not a priority issue for Italian policy-makers for decades,
the post-9/11 context led politicians to intervene more and more in Muslims’
daily life and worship. Between 2005 and 2017, Italian politicians made a set
of rules aimed at regulating and controlling Muslims in Italy. Mostly motivated
by security and counter-terrorism priorities, these policies tend to treat
Muslims as internal enemies instead of viewing them as common citizens and
potential partners in the public policy-making process. This situation has even
further deteriorated these last months with the refugee crisis and the
formation of the far-right/populist “Salvini-Di Maio” coalition government in
the spring of 2018.
Article 8 of the Italian Constitution allows the representatives of each
non-Catholic religious community to sign an agreement with the Italian state in
order to regulate their mutual relations and support. Currently, it is only the
Catholic Church that has benefited from a specific status since 1929. For other
religious groups, any demand for agreements or accords with the state is
followed by a long political and administrative process, and should be finally
approved by both the government and the Parliament. Religious groups that are
beneficiaries of such accords are the Catholic Church, the Confederation of
Methodist and Waldensian Churches, the Seventh-day Adventists, the Assemblies
of God, Jews, Baptists, Lutherans, Mormons, the Orthodox Church of the
Constantinople Patriarchate, the Italian Apostolic Church, the Buddhist Union,
the Soka Gakkai Buddhists, and Hindus. As for the Muslim communities, none of
them are officially recognized by the Italian state.
argue that the Italian state aimed at filling this gap in 2005 by launching the
“Consulta”, which is an advisory body composed of 16 members of the Muslim
community selected by the government. Yet, this project, initiated by Interior
Minister Giuseppe Pisanu (Forza Italia), did not lead to any consistent
actions. In fact, this first trial, in a way, is an example of a public policy
that attempts to shape Muslim communities from the top down, without involving
Muslim citizens in the decision making process. Moreover, the Italian state’s security
and counter-terrorism-oriented approach prevents it from adopting collaborative
policies on Islam, namely, those that not only do not criminalize Italian
Muslims but also aim at working with them hand-in-hand toward reaping mutual
little more than a decade on, this biased approached was confirmed by two
state-sponsored projects. In Jan. 2017, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano (from
the New Centre-Right party, Nuovo Centrodestra) announced the creation of a new
“Council of Relations with Italian Islam”, another advisory body whose official
mission is to “improve the integration of Muslims in the country”. Its
discourse and methodology are thus based on a security-oriented top-down
approach. Angelino Alfano claimed that the Muslim members of the Council of
Relations with Italian Islam would work towards the formation of what he called
“an Italian Islam that would align the religion more with the country’s
Christian and humanist tradition”. He also said the council aimed at further
integrating Muslim immigrants, preventing extremism, training imams and
validating the establishment of new mosques. The council is composed of
so-called “academics and experts in Islamic culture” and it is to present
proposals and recommendations on integration issues on a monthly basis.
month after Alfano’s announcement, in Feb. 2017, the National Pact for an
Italian Islam” (officially, “the National Pact for an Italian Islam, the
expression of an open and integrated community, adhering to the values and
principles of the Italian legal system”) was signed by Minister of Interior
Marco Minniti (from the Democratic Party, Partito Democratico), the coordinator
of the Council for Relations with Islam and nine Islamic organizations in
Italy, among them the Union of Italian Muslim Communities (UCOII) -- the
country’s largest Muslim organization; Muslim Brotherhood-linked --, the
Organization of the Rome’s Grand Mosque (the biggest mosque in Europe), the
Shiite “Ahl-Al-Bait” organization, the Muridiyya Sufi Brotherhood (of
Senegalese origin), and the Albanian Muslim organization. The Italian
government claims that these organizations represent more than 70 percent of
Muslims in the country. Yet, this pact is not an agreement in the
constitutional sense and does not provide advantages, such as public funds, the
legal recognition of Islamic weddings, and giving Muslims days off for their
religious holidays. Instead, the state is demanding that the Italian Islam’s
representatives make a series of commitments, including giving their consent to
the state’s training of imams, the management of the Islamic centers
transparently, and the delivering of sermons in Italian. It should be noticed
that such commitments have never been required of any other religious group in
the country. The document also adds that the degree of respect shown to these
commitments may pave the way for an official agreement between the state and
attempt to shape Muslims’ worship and lifestyle is a fact of decentralized
institutions, especially universities and municipalities. In Oct. 2017,
following this pact, the University of Bari (Apulia Region) launched a one-year
M.A. course with the declared goal of “preventing radicalization and terrorism
for supporting interreligious and intercultural integration policy”. The course
also aims at training members of the police forces, the armed forces, the
judicial power, as well as researchers, experts on national security, lawyers,
journalists, university graduates from the fields of law, economics and
humanities. The program deals with legal, political and strategic issues, with
a specific focus on Islam. It also teaches surveying and risk prevention
techniques, while investigating the sociological aspects and media profiles of
the phenomenon that is terrorism.
municipalities have also been making efforts to shape Muslims’ daily lives in
different ways. In 2016, the regional council of Veneto and Liguria adopted
laws that made the construction of mosques harder and the use of Italian compulsory,
and it made the building of new Muslim places of worship contingent on the
holding of local referenda. The same year, the municipality of Florence even
signed a kind of agreement with the local Muslim community for imams to deliver
the Friday sermon in Italian, to keep mosques open for the entire public, and
to inform it on local religious and cultural events.
from different parties heavily criticized the far-right Alternative for Germany
(AfD) party on Thursday over its controversial motion demanding a ban on the
Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) accused the AfD of distorted
generalizations about Islam and stereotyping Muslims as violent.
allegations are malicious, discriminating and also destructive. What you are
trying to achieve is not social peace but discrediting Islam and its
believers,” CDU lawmaker Christoph de Vries said during a debate at the
coalition partner Social Democratic Party (SPD) also rejected the motion,
saying that it was another attempt by the AfD to stigmatise Muslims.
are inciting hatred against Islam in a calculated political manoeuvre,” said
SPD lawmaker Lars Castellucci.
big majority of Muslims in this country stand for democracy, they are loyal to
our country,” he stressed.
opposition Left Party lawmaker Christine Buchholz said AfD’s leader Alexander
Gauland was increasingly resembling Adolf Hitler.
is trying to denigrate Islam with the same methods used by anti-Semites against
Jews,” she said.
accused the AfD conducting an anti-Muslim campaign by using passages from
Quran, which were always taken out of context.
Left Party supports religious freedom of all people in this country,” she
far-right AfD’s controversial motion, which was submitted to the Committee on
Legal Affairs on Thursday for further debate, demands the government to take
necessary measures to ban disseminating messages of the Quran.
AfD scored record gains in federal elections last year and entered the
parliament for the first time.
rights campaigners are becoming increasingly angry at a decision by Britain’s
Natural History Museum to host a reception for Saudi Arabia’s embassy, saying
the NHM should definitely cancel the event over growing concerns about
Kingdom’s rights violations.
Saudi authorities have a contempt for human rights, and events like this will
undoubtedly be regarded as an endorsement. It’s time for the Museum to take a
stand,” said Andrew Smith, from the Campaign Against Arms Trade, on Thursday,
hours before the NHM was to host the reception for Saudi Arabia Day.
call for scrapping the event comes amid a global outrage about Saudi Arabia’s
alleged killing of a prominent anti-government journalist in a diplomatic
mission in Turkey. Jamal Khashoggi have been unaccounted for since he entered
the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Many, including Turkish
authorities, believe the journalist was killed inside the consulate. Saudis
have denied the allegations.
said the NHM’s hosting of the Saudi embassy event would be an endorsement of
Riyadh’s gross human rights violations, adding that the museum “should not be
hosting a regime which has been accused of killing journalists and is
inflicting a humanitarian catastrophe on the people of Yemen”.
than 15,000 people have been killed in a relentless Saudi military campaign on
Yemen over the past three years. Riyadh has defied international calls for
stopping the illegal operation.
International UK’s foreign affairs expert Polly Truscott also urged the UK
authorities not to send any of its officials to the event which he said “might
appear to dignify human rights violations”
most prominent Shia cleric, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, will undergo a second
surgery on his eye on Thursday in a hospital in the British capital, London.
team tasked with caring for the Sheikh released a statement on Thursday asking
Bahrainis and Sheikh Qassim supporters to “pray to God Almighty to heal him and
that the surgery be successful and that God grants him good health and
also revealed that this latest surgery is “complicated and accurate and needs a
longer period and more accurate follow-ups.”
latest operation follows on from two other “successful” procedures which were
carried out by doctors also in London.
Qassim left his home country for England on July 9 after doctors emphasized the
need for his immediate transfer to a specialized hospital to prevent further
deterioration of his health.
Sheikh was initially hospitalized in Bahrain after his health began to
deteriorate following a lengthy spell living under regime-imposed house arrest.
Qassim is the highest religious authority on the island of Bahrain and is the
spiritual leader of Bahrain’s main Shia opposition group, the Al-Wefaq National
Islamic Society. He has been an outspoken critic of the Manama regime’s
regime court convicted the Sheikh last year for allegedly collecting illegal
funds and money laundering. He was sentenced to one year in jail, suspended for
was also ordered to pay $265,266 in fines in a ruling which sparked widespread
outrage and demonstrations across Bahrain. Sheikh Qassim and his supporters
strongly rejected all the allegations.
cleric was also stripped of his Bahraini citizenship on June 20, raising fears
that after his stay in London he may not be allowed to return to the country.
Al-Wefaq opposition party, which has been banned in Bahrain, recently announced
a boycott of the kingdom's upcoming parliamentary elections.
an opposition press conference, held in London on Tuesday, opposition figures
publicly urged for a boycott denouncing the elections as “a sham.”
can be gained from these elections or this parliament. It is just legitimizing
all the crimes committed against the people of Bahrain. Today we have more than
4,500 political prisoners which is the largest number in relation to population
in the world,” said Jawad Fairooz, a former-Bahrain MP and Chairman of Salam
for Democracy and Human Rights, while speaking to Press TV.
terror suspect who fled Britain disguised as a woman in a burka has reportedly
been killed by Al Shabaab militants in Somalia for spying.
man, identified as Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed, was among five people shot dead in a
public execution for espionage on behalf of Britain, the United States and
Somalia, according to Al Shabaab officials.
said that he travelled to the country to help establish ISIL but was arrested
in 2015 as a suspected spy for MI6, the UK intelligence agency, and tortured
while he was in prison, the Voice of America reported.
Al Shabaab court in the town of Jilib, 350 kilometres southwest of the
government-held capital Mogadishu, convicted the men on Tuesday and they were
executed by firing squad in a square. Some of the men were accused of hiding
homing devices to help US forces target airstrikes against the group’s leaders.
of them were publicly shot to death this afternoon after they admitted
espionage before the court,” Mohamed Abu Abdalla, Al Shabaab's governor for the
Jubba regions, told Reuters.
Mohamed, 32, came to public attention in Britain in 2013 after he fled from a
mosque in west London, disguised as a woman, while he was being monitored by
the security services.
was one of a handful of terror suspects subject to tight monitoring rules
because he had previously received training and fought overseas for the Al
Qaeda-linked group in Somalia. Mohamed was supposed to report daily to a police
station and wear an electronic tag that tracked his movements, but he cut it
off and walked away.
had been suing the British government at the time of his flight after claiming
that British officials were involved in their torture when he was arrested with
another man in Somaliland in 2011.
the unsuccessful nationwide hunt for Mr Mohamed, officials believed that he
headed to Somalia to join the extremist group. Little was heard of him until
his apparent execution after officials claimed that he had been a ringleader
for pro-ISIS factions within the group.
Britain’s Foreign Office nor Mr Mohamed’s lawyers returned calls for comment.
say that spying claims are routinely used against fellow militants to resolve
power struggles within the group. Al Shabaab’s influence in the country has
declined after being pushed out of the capital by African Union peacekeepers in
Iranian diplomat extradited by Germany to Belgium has undergone questioning in
prison near Antwerp over his alleged role directing a plot to bomb an
opposition rally featuring high profile Western politicians including Rudy
Assadi, who worked as station manager in Vienna for Tehran’s Ministry of
Intelligence and Security (MOIS), was sent to Belgium on Wednesday. All four
people connected with the cross-border assassination attempt – the rally was
held near Paris in June – are now in custody in Belgium, where prosecutors are
building a case for trial later in the year.
Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, welcome the latest developments including
the German decision to proceed with extradition after Austria waved diplomatic
scale of this plot, which involved arrests of numerous suspects across Europe –
including in Belgium, France, and Germany – reminds us that Iran remains the
world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism,” Mr Pompeo said. “This plot also
lays bare Iran’s continued support of terrorism throughout Europe.
support our European allies in exposing and countering the threat that
Iranian-backed terrorism poses around the world. The United States will
continue working with our partners and allies to confront the threat posed by
the Iranian regime.”
a display of its anger, Iran’s foreign ministry summoned the German ambassador
on Wednesday to protest the extradition. In its latest denial of orchestrating
the plot, Tehran said the extradition was the result of "a fabricated
conspiracy by enemies of Iran and European relations".
anti-terrorism prosecutors announced on July 2 that they had foiled the plot
after receiving intelligence tip offs. Mr Assadi was held within days near the
German city of Aschaffenburg on a European warrant alleging his involvement in
the plot to bomb the rally. His arrest came after Amir Saadouni, 38, and his
wife Nasimeh, 34, a couple with Iranian roots, was stopped in Belgium and
authorities reported finding powerful explosives in their car. Brussels
requested the extradition of both Mr Assadi and a man identified as Merhad A
who was detained in Paris.
police believe Merhad is an accomplice of a husband and wife team caught in
possession of 500 grammes (about a pound) of the powerful explosive TATP and a
of the Iranian opposition movement NCRI claim that Mr Assadi played a pivotal
role as head of intelligence for Europe since 2014 and had previous experience
in handling explosives and demolition.
and American astronauts destined for the International Space Station safely
made an emergency landing after an engine malfunction during takeoff on
Russian rescue mission found both members of the crew alive and well about 12
to 15 miles outside a small city in central Kazakhstan.
issue with the booster rockets shortly after takeoff meant the crew had to make
an emergency landing, freefalling instead of using propulsion.
crew contained American astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey
of the astronauts feel "good, as well as possible after experiencing such
from inside the rocket show the two men being shaken at the moment the fault
occured, their arms and legs flailing.
transport plane dropped a team of paratroopers to the site to make first
contact with the crew, while helicopters were dispatched to pick up the
already on the International Space Station were preparing to welcome two new
members to the satellite station, but have since changed their plans.
crew launched at 12:40 (UAE time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
But eight minutes after takeoff, Nasa tweeted there was an issue with the
been an issue with the booster from today’s launch. Teams have been in contact
with the crew. Updates: https://t.co/mzKW5uV4hS
NASA (@NASA) October 11, 2018
later clarified that the issue caused the boosters to switch off. The
spacecraft was able to separate with the booster and return to earth using the
backup ballistic descent mode.
immediately suspended all manned space launches and set up a state commission
to investigate what had gone wrong.
descent subjects astronauts to a heavy g-load and is only used in emergencies.
The module lands at a steeper angle than they would in a normal landing.
crews are expected to reach the crew at approximately 14:30 (UAE time).
spacecraft was a Russian Soyuz MS-10 and it was on expedition 57/58 to the
International Space Station.
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