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Over Two-Thirds of US Muslims Experience Islamophobia: Study by the University Of California

New Age Islam News Bureau

30 September 2021


• Kul Jamaat Tanzeem, Representing Several Muslim Organisations Hold Protest in Pune against Arrest of Clerics in Uttar Pradesh

• Pakistan Is Epicentre of All Kinds of Terrorism, Says MQM Chief Altaf Hussain

• Rohingya Refugee Leader, Mohibullah, 50, Shot Dead In Bangladesh Camp

• Cyprus’ Top Diplomat: Turkey Is Creating New Ottoman Empire


North America

• US 'Lost' the 20-Year War in Afghanistan: General Mark Milley, Chairman Of The US Joint Chiefs of Staff

• US defence chief says State Dept. failed to evacuate Americans sooner from Afghanistan



• Indian American Muslims Condemns Forced Evictions And Police Brutality In Assam

• Gujarat: Muslim Man allegedly tortured, killed in police custody, say SDPI and AILC

• Man alleges UP IAS Officer Mohammad Iftikharuddin lured him to convert to Islam

• Hyderabad: Man Arrested For Thrashing Hindu Boy For Travelling With Muslim Girl

• India Set to Take Part In Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Anti-Terror Exercise In Pakistan

• BJP Nominates Eight Muslim Candidates In Okha Municipality



• Ties between Taliban, Pakistan Will Be Not Easy As Hoped In Islamabad: Expert

• Alarm over anti-Pakistan bill moved in US Senate

• Pakistan denies providing military support to Taliban

• KSA supported Pakistan more than our expectations: Parvez

• PM Imran assures of expeditious progress on CPEC projects

• Pakistan Army captain martyred, TTP commander killed in Tank IBO: ISPR

• IBA Karachi expels student who exposed alleged harassment on campus

• Imran has harmed country with abusive language: Nawaz


South Asia

• Efforts to continue former government of Afghanistan useless, says Taliban

• Afghanistan central bank drained dollars before Taliban takeover: World Bank

• All government employees will get paid, money transfer allowed: Taliban

• Airline industry struggling after Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan

• EU allocated over $300 million in humanitarian aid for Afghan people



• France’s Role in Fighting Extremism In Question with Scandal

• Turkey praises Germany’s contribution to betterment of Turkish-EU relations

• Council of Europe adopts Turkish lawmaker's report on climate change

• EU allocates €300M for humanitarian aid in Afghanistan

• EU to provide nearly €150M extra fund for Syrian refugees in Turkey


Southeast Asia

• Don’t Breach Constitution by Banning Transgender Muslims from Entering Mosques: Sisters in Islam

• Deputy Minister: Clash at Chinese temple in Cheras triggered by a misunderstanding

• China’s humanitarian aid arrives in Kabul

• Former Malaysian diplomat says Dr Mahathir ‘needs to retire and stay retired’

• For Malaysians with Indian ancestry, a chance to get a scholarship and further your studies in India


Arab World

• US, Qatar Sanction Gulf-Based Hezbollah Financial Network; Bahrain Freezes Accounts

• US says it won't normalize or upgrade diplomatic ties with Syria's Assad regime

• Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince discusses Yemen war with US National Security Advisor

• Top Iraq Shia cleric Ali Sistani urges voting in parliamentary poll

• ‘We will remove you’, Hezbollah official told Beirut port blast judge

• No Need for Social Distancing During Prayers in Mosques, Says Awqaf



• Iran: UN Should Force Israel to End Aggression on Syria

• Estimated 100 Houthis, govt forces killed in clashes in Yemen’s Marib

• General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Mohandis dignified world Shiites: Belgian pilgrim

• AEOI Chief: US Shouldn't Meddle in Iran-IAEA Cooperation

• Iran Kills Notorious Ringleader of Terrorist Group

• Iran to hold military drill near border with Azerbaijan amid Tehran-Baku tensions



• Muslims In Nigeria Seek Justice, Fight Oppression: Sheikh Zakzaky

• Kenya launches crackdown on illegal Pakistanis

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Over Two-Thirds of US Muslims Experience Islamophobia: Study by the University Of California

Dilara Hamit 


Some 67.5% of the Muslims living in the US has experienced Islamophobia at least once in their life, according to a study by the University of California, Berkeley.

Women reported more Islamophobic experience than men as the rates stood at 76.7% for Muslim women compared to 58.6% Muslim men, the Othering & Belonging Institute said in a press release on Wednesday.

According to the survey, two out of three Muslims were exposed to Islamophobic acts, while 33% of respondents said they had hidden their religious identities at some moments to in fear of Islamophobic acts and 88.2% stated that they avoided certain speeches and actions for fear of facing backlash.

An overwhelming 93.7% of the respondents stated that Islamophobia affects their emotional and mental health.

Nearly 45% of those aged between 18-29 were more likely than any other group to have hidden their religious identity.

“The survey, conducted two decades after the 9/11 attacks which led to a surge of hate crimes and prompted government policies targeting Muslims, provides insight into the experiences, lived realities, and psychological impacts of Islamophobia on millions of US residents,” the press release read.

A total of 1,123 Muslims, roughly half women and half men, joined the survey. The participants live and/or work in the US and they are both citizens and non-citizens. Among them are Muslims of various ages, national and ethnic backgrounds, and educational levels. The survey includes over 60 questions.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Kul Jamaat Tanzeem, Representing Several Muslim Organisations Hold Protest in Pune against Arrest of Clerics in Uttar Pradesh

September 30, 2021


Members of Kul Jamaat Tanzeem protest at the District Collector’s office on Wednesday. (Express photo: Arul Horizon)


Kul Jamaat Tanzeem, a group representing several Muslim organisations in Pune, held a protest at the District Collector’s office on Wednesday to protest the arrest of Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui, Maulana Umar Gautam and Mufti Jehangir by Uttar Pradesh Police and the state Anti-Terrorist Squad.

The organisations which participated in the protest include Popular Front of India, All India Imam’s Council, Jamat-E-Islami E Hind, The Muslim Foundation, Jamiat Ulema E Hind, and the Seerat Committee. They alleged that the accusations against the Muslim clerics were politically motivated and should be dropped immediately.

“These arrests are undemocratic and unconstitutional. The conduct of the investigative agencies and the administrative machinery in targeting Muslim leaders and especially clerics is dangerous and a conspiracy to weaken the country. The arrest of Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui is aimed at targeting scholars of Islam and clerics, as part of the right-wing policy of the UP government. The charges of illegal funding and conversions carry no grain of truth,” said Jahid Shaikh, convenor of the Tanzeem.

Azhar Tamboli of the Tanzeem said that a memorandum has been submitted to the District Collectorate, demanding that the charges against the arrested persons be dropped and they be released immediately.

“The UP government is maligning the Muslim scholars on the basis of mere suspicion. This is being done keeping in mind the upcoming elections. However, we will raise our voices through the democratic mode of protest, so that such injustices being done to the Muslim community are stopped by the right-wing government in UP. We demand that the fake cases lodged against clerics be withdrawn immediately,” said Tamboli.

The Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) Pune, however, opposed the protest by Tanzeem. MRM state president and BJP spokesperson Ali Daruwala said the organisation opposes the “conversion of non-Muslims” and is against the stance taken by the Tanzeem.

Source: Indian Express

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Pakistan is epicentre of all kinds of terrorism, says MQM chief Altaf Hussain

30 September 2021

London [UK], September 30 (ANI): Altaf Hussain, founder and leader of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) has said that Pakistan is the epicentre of all kinds of terrorism.

In an important statement released on Twitter today, he said, "I have been pointing out to the democratic world including United Nations for many years but unfortunately, all in vain."

He said that Pakistan Army and its notorious Intelligence Agency - ISI had created and are still busy creating their terrorist proxies and exporting terrorists throughout the world e.g. Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (ISIS).

Hussain said, "Pakistani Army and ISI are also involved in creating, funding and patronising terrorist factions in the political parties including my party, MQM founded by me."

He said that to weaken the original MQM the Pakistan Army and ISI had created MQM Haqiqi, Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement - Pakistan (MQMP).

"Whereas original MQM led by me has been banned illegally, all of its offices including my house has been sealed, thousands of MQM office-bearers and members have been killed extra-judicially. Hundreds are incarcerated in jails and hundreds have been enforcedly disappeared," said the MQM chief.

Commenting on the Afghanistan situation, Hussain said that taking over Afghanistan is the result of the full support provided logistically, financially, medically, militarily and intelligence sharing by the Pakistan Army and ISI to Taliban.

In his statement, Hussain attached the list of other terrorist proxies created by the Pakistan Army and ISI.

The list included terror organisations like - Al Qaeda; Sipah-e- Mohammad; Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-fiqha-e- Jafaria; Sipah-e-Sahaba; Jamaat-ud-Dawa; Al Rasheed Trust; Jaish-e-Mohammad; Lashkar-e-jhangvi; Tehreek -e-Taliban; Lashkar-e-Taiba; Lashkar-e-Islam; Jamaat-ul-Ansar; Khuddam-e-Islam; Harkat-ul-Ansar; and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan. (ANI)

Source: Yahoo News

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Rohingya Refugee Leader, Mohibullah, 50, Shot Dead In Bangladesh Camp

Sep 30, 2021

DHAKA: An international representative of ethnic Rohingya refugees was shot to death in a camp in Bangladesh by unknown gunmen late Wednesday, police said.

Mohibullah, 50, was a teacher who emerged as a key refugee leader and a spokesman representing the Muslim ethnic group in international meetings. He visited the White House in 2019 for a meeting on religious freedom with then-President Donald Trump and spoke about the suffering and persecution faced by Rohingya in Myanmar.

That same year, he was bitterly criticized by Bangladeshi media after he led a massive rally of 200,000 refugees to mark the second anniversary of the crackdown by Myanmar’s military that caused about 700,000 Rohingya, including Mohibullah, to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.

The unidentified attackers shot Mohibullah at the Kutupalong refugee camp at Ukhiya in Cox’s Bazar district, said Naimul Haque, an commander of the Armed Police Battalion in Cox’s Bazar. He was rushed to a hospital where he was declared dead.

No groups claimed responsibility and it was not clear immediately who was behind the attack.

Human Rights Watch called Mohibullah a vital voice for the Rohingya community. “He always defended the rights of the Rohingya to safe and dignified returns and to have a say in the decisions concerning their lives and future. His killing is a stark demonstration of the risks faced by those in the camps who speak up for freedom and against violence,” Meenakshi Ganguly, the rights group’s South Asia director, said in a statement.

“Mohibullah’s death undermines not only the struggle of Rohingya refugees for greater rights and protection in the refugee camps, but also their efforts to safely return to their homes in Myanmar. Bangladesh authorities should urgently investigate Mohibullah’s killing along with other attacks on Rohingya activists in the camps,” she said.

Overall, Bangladesh has been sheltering more than 1.1 million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar after previous waves of persecution.

Source: Times of India

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Cyprus’ top diplomat: Turkey is creating new Ottoman empire

29 September ,2021

The foreign minister of the divided island of Cyprus is accusing Turkey’s president of attempting to promote a new Ottoman empire in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East — and says such an approach to geopolitics could adversely impact regional security.

Nikos Christodoulides, whose Mediterranean island nation is divided into a breakaway Turkish Cypriot north and internationally recognized Greek Cypriot south that is a member of the European Union, pointed to what he called aggressive Turkish behavior not only in Cyprus but in Syria, Iraq, Libya and other Arab countries in the region.

“We see the militarization of the Turkish foreign policy,” Christodoulides said in an interview with The Associated Press, “and this is of great concern for all the countries in the region.”

Christodoulides invoked the Ottoman empire, which controlled much of southeastern Europe, western Asia and northern Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries from Constantinople, which is now Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul. The empire entered World War I on the side of Germany and the central powers that were defeated, leading to its breakup and the rise of the modern Turkish republic.

Christodoulides cited former Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s policy of “zero problems with neighboring countries,” which was a flagship concept of the ruling Justice and Development Party led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“From zero problems with the neighbors we end up today with Turkey having problems with all neighbors,” he said. “There is not a single country that doesn’t have problems with Turkey.”

“What we are witnessing from Turkey is an attempt to promote a new Ottoman policy in the region,” the Cypriot minister said. “Turkey wants to become the regional hegemony.”

Christodoulides was interviewed Monday, the final day of the UN General Assembly’s annual high-level gathering of world leaders, after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hosted Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar in hopes of jump-starting a return to negotiations to reunite the Mediterranean island nation.

Numerous rounds of UN-mediated talks have ended in failure, with the last push for a peace deal in July 2017 ending in acrimony. That meeting also led to a shift by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots toward seeking a two-state deal rather than pursuing their stated aim of reunifying the country as a federation made up of Greek and Turkish speaking zones as called for by the UN Security Council.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry didn’t immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

Turkey’s government, which takes pride in the country’s Ottoman past, denies it has expansionist ambitions in the region and insists that its actions in the Mediterranean are geared toward safeguarding its interests and those of Turkish Cypriots on the divided island against what it regards as Cyprus and Greece’s disproportionate maritime boundary and energy exploratory claims.

Turkey maintains troops in northern Iraq and frequently conducts cross-border operations there to battle Kurdish militants. It has also sent troops to Syria with the stated aim to clear militia forces linked to the Kurdish insurgency from its borders. In Libya, Turkey provided military support to the country’s UN-backed government, helping to tip the balance in the conflict against the Benghazi-based forces that controlled the east. Turkey also signed an agreement with the Tripoli-based government delineating the maritime boundaries which triggered protests from Greece and Cyprus.

Christodoulides said Erdogan’s recent announcement of a drone base in breakaway northern Cyprus is an example of Turkey’s Ottoman policy.

“The main reason for establishing this drone base is to control the Middle East, is to control Israel, it’s to control Egypt,” he said. “It’s not for Cyprus, actually, because you don’t need a drone base in Cyprus in order to see the situation in the island.”

Christodoulides said the Cypriot government vehemently opposes a two-state solution because it will give Turkey full control of “a so-called Turkish Cypriot sovereign state,” which isn’t the case today because only Turkey recognizes the Turkish Cypriot north, not the international community.

“So, they run with this to control the region, to promote its plan for the eastern Mediterranean,” he said.

The top Cypriot diplomat said that to understand Erdogan’s policy in Cyprus it must be seen in the context of what Turkish forces are doing in northern Syria and Iraq, in Libya and in some African countries.

Christodoulides said Cyprus is working to bolster its security with its neighbors, especially Israel and Egypt, but also the United States, recalling that Cyprus signed a statement of intent for security cooperation with the US in 2018 that is “very important.” Also important, he said: that the EU is considering developing “a security wing.”

The Cypriot minister renewed an invitation to Turkey — made last year by the leaders of Cyprus, Egypt and Greece — to become a partner in reaping the potential benefits of offshore gas deposits, while urging Ankara to end its “aggressive” actions in the eastern Mediterranean.

“We don’t exclude anybody,” he said. “We want all the neighboring countries to work in order to take advantage of the energy possibilities of our region.”

Christodoulides said all countries in the region have delineated their maritime borders except Turkey, adding that it has refused to enter bilateral relations to determine its border with Cyprus or go to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands.

“We want and we’re ready to work with Turkey,” he said. “What we’re asking from Turkey — just to respect international law, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.”

He said all other countries in the region understand the benefits of cooperation, “but also the fact that united we will be able to tackle the challenges of the region, to work together.” He pointed as an example to this summer’s wildfires in Cyprus, Greece and Israel which saw many countries in the region offer help.

Cyprus’ long-term vision, Christodoulides said, is to establish a regional organization for security and cooperation.

“It’s the only region in the world that no such organization exists,” he said. “And we believe that all the countries of the region, they can see benefits out of this regional cooperation.”

Source: Al Aarabiya

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North America


US 'Lost' the 20-Year War in Afghanistan: General Mark Milley, Chairman Of The US Joint Chiefs of Staff

Sep 30, 2021

WASHINGTON: The top US general conceded in a stark admission on Wednesday that the United States "lost" the 20-year war in Afghanistan.

"It is clear, it is obvious to all of us, that the war in Afghanistan did not end on the terms we wanted, with the Taliban in power in Kabul," General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the House Armed Services Committee.

"The war was a strategic failure," Milley told a committee hearing about the US troop pullout from Afghanistan and the chaotic evacuation from the capital Kabul.

"It wasn't lost in the last 20 days or even 20 months," Milley said.

"There's a cumulative effect to a series of strategic decisions that go way back," said the general, the top military advisor to President Joe Biden, who ordered an end to the 20-year US troop presence in Afghanistan.

"Whenever you get some phenomenon like a war that is lost -- and it has been, in the sense of we accomplished our strategic task of protecting America against al-Qaida, but certainly the end state is a whole lot different than what we wanted," Milley said.

"So whenever a phenomenon like that happens, there's an awful lot of causal factors," he said. "And we're going to have to figure that out. A lot of lessons learned here."

Milley listed a number of factors responsible for the US defeat going back to a missed opportunity to capture or kill al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora soon after the 2001 US invasion of Afghanistan.

Source: Times of India

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US defence chief says State Dept. failed to evacuate Americans sooner from Afghanistan

Servet Gunerigok  



Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Wednesday pinned the blame on the State Department for the US' delayed evacuation of Americans and special immigrant visa (SIV) applicants from Afghanistan.

Austin was testifying at the House Armed Services Committee hearing, along with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and CENTCOM Commander Frank McKenzie.

“Again the call on how to do that and when to do it is really a State Department call," said Austin. "We provide an input."

The defense chief said the State Department "rightfully" followed Afghanistan's former President Ashraf Ghani's caution that "if they withdrew American citizens and SIV applicants at a pace that was too fast, it would cause a collapse of the government

"And so, I think that went into the calculus," said Austin. adding that the "SIV process was very, at that point, very slow, deliberate and not very responsive."

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Indian American Muslims condemns forced evictions and police brutality in Assam

28th September 2021

WASHINGTON DC: The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) condemned the violent eviction drive that began on September 20 in Assam, which was aimed at driving mainly Bengali-speaking Muslims out of their homes. Nearly 800 families were evicted in the drive, and four “illegally constructed” religious structures were demolished.

The raid occurred despite the fact that 246 people had filed a petition for a stay, and a hearing scheduled for Tuesday had been deferred.

The Council discussed videos of the incident show police firing at civilians as they hid behind trees and huts, with two people confirmed dead from the gunfire. One of the victims was Sheikh Farid, a 12-year-old boy. The other victim, Moinul Haque, was shot in the chest and beaten to death with sticks. Even after Haque’s death, a photographer on the scene was filmed repeatedly kicking and jumping on his body. His wife, children, and parents have lost both their home and the only breadwinner of their family.

MS Education Academy

“The violent eviction drive in Assam’s Darrang district follows a pattern of state action against minority communities by treating them as ‘illegal encroachers,’” tweeted Indian journalist Mahmodal Hassan in condemnation of the evictions.

Both Farid and Haque were carriers of Aadhaar cards, proof of both their identification and their right to live in their homes. The fact that they were targeted as “illegal immigrants” shows that BJP leadership in Assam uses the term as a smokescreen for inflicting violence on Muslims.

The IAMC argued that the use of such terms adds fuel to the Hindutva rhetoric that Muslims are foreigners in India. Under the Citizenship Amendment Act, Muslims are already under additional pressure to prove their citizenship through the legal documentation, despite the fact that families like those in Assam have been living in India for decades, and such documentation is difficult to obtain. Even for those with documentation, such as Haque and Farid, identity cards do not guarantee protection against a discriminatory state.

Source: Siasat Daily

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Gujarat: Muslim Man allegedly tortured, killed in police custody, say SDPI and AILC

29th September 2021

Hyderabad: A joint delegation of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and All India Left Coordination (AILC) on Wednesday visited the family of Qasam Abdullah Hayat, who was killed in police custody in Godhra on September 16.

35-year-old Qasam Abdulah Hayat was a father of two minor sons, 17 and 10, who was reportedly intercepted whilst on his way back from Sewalya. The locality is 25 kilometers away from his residence in mohalla Eidgah, Godhra, Gujarat.

The joint delegation said in a statement to the press that as Hayat had a beard, and was visibly a Muslim, he was criminally assaulted by Hindutva goons in complicity with local police. “He was illegally kept in police station without producing him before the judicial magistrate,” the joint statement read.

MS Education Academy

Hayat was reportedly brutally tortured for three days until he died on September 16. The photographs taken of his deceased body show that every part of his body was fatally injured. It is likely that these injuries from the third degree torture led to Hayat’s dead, the joint statement read.

The brother-in-law of the victim, Qaim and his sister Bilkis had reportedly visited the police station to see and serve food to Hayat on September 14. Hayat reportedly narrated the torture he had gone through at the hands of the in-charge of police station, H.N. Patel, SINR Rathod, constables Bhasker and Ramesh Sidhraj. He was allegedly also assaulted by two notorious cow vigilantes and Hindutva goons, Pravesh Soni and Partik Kharadi.

Bilal, the elder brother of Hayat and Sahil, and his friend also reportedly went to the police station and met him under police custody. Hayat had then narrated the brutal thrashings he had got on September 15. Subsequently, Sahil was not allowed to meet Hayat since the morning of September 16, when he wanted to serve breakfast to him. However, he was forced to leave without “even serving the tea,” SDPI and AILC narrated in the joint statement.

The custodial death

On the afternoon of the same day, Salim, a policeman, visited the house of Hayat and informed Bilal that he had died. When the family members went to the police station, they were informed that Hayat had committed suicide. SDPI and AILC stated that if this incident was staged, which if put to scrutiny may not stand. Hayat was reportedly later surreptitiously introduced as a beef trader to the general public after his custodia death inside the police station.

HN Patel had allegedly threatened Qasam, to kill him in an encounter claiming himself to be a ‘master of encounters.’ SDPI and AILC further alleged that the due of hindutva goons, Pravesh Soni and Pratik Kharadi were given free access to beat Qasam in the police station.

Source: Siasat Daily

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Man alleges UP IAS Officer Mohammad Iftikharuddin lured him to convert to Islam

Sep 30, 2021

Even as the SIT begins its investigation into charges of forcing religious conversions against Uttar Pradesh IAS officer Mohammad Iftikharuddin, former president of Rajkiya Unnayan Basti in Kalyanpur has alleged that the officer had once even "lured him to convert to Islam".

Nirmal Kumar Tyagi, former president of Rajkiya Unnayan Basti, told reporters that in October 2016, the then divisional commissioner Mohammad Iftikharuddin's convoy reached Kalyanpur and residents of the settlement were told that they would have to vacate the place, as this land was to be used for the Metro project.

Tyagi alleged that when he pleaded the commissioner not to destroy their houses, keeping in mind their poor financial conditions, the commissioner started to lure him to convert to Islam by offering him money. "When the commissioner was making this suggestion, a person present there started giving him literature related to Islam," said Tyagi.

He further said, "Several attempts of conversion were made in the settlement. However, the locals decided that they would not accept the offer. When they approached the court regarding the issue of vacating the settlement, the crisis was resolved."

When asked, he said that he would testify against the IAS officer if summoned by the SIT.

Iftikharuddin is presently serving as the Chairman of Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation.

It may be recalled that the national vice president of Math Mandir Coordination Committee, Bhupesh Awasthi, had alleged that Iftikharuddin was indulging in anti-Hindu propaganda.

Awasthi released videos of religious programmes of the officer who was then the Kanpur Zone Commissioner. It is alleged that in these videos, Iftikharuddin is telling people about the benefits of adopting Islam as a religion. The purported videos also show a religious leader sitting besides the IAS officer.

Source: Zee Newn

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Hyderabad: Man arrested for thrashing Hindu boy for travelling with Muslim girl

By Usama Hazari

28th September 2021

Hyderabad: What seems to be an implementation of the Uttar Pradesh (U.P) model of moral policing, a Hindu boy was allegedly thrashed by a group of people for travelling alone with a Muslim girl on his two-wheeler few days ago in the Golconda area.

Deputy commissioner of west zone, A. R. Srinivas, that the boy and girl were stopped by the accused Mohammed Rafee. Subsequently, a few others joined him and allegedly thrashed the boy for absolutely no other reason but for commuting with a person of a different religion.

The issue came to light after a video of it was floating on social media, and Twitter. According to Srinivas, the case took place three days ago and came to light on September 27 after the video surfaced on. The DCP said that this is a case of moral policing with a communal angle.

MS Education Academy

“These type of incidents are very rare,” DCP Srinivas remarked. A case was registered against Mohammed Rafi under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the accused was taken into custody. The DCP said that on Tuesday he was remanded.

Source: Siasat Daily

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India Set to Take Part In Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Anti-Terror Exercise In Pakistan

Sep 30, 2021

NEW DELHI: India is likely to send a 3-member team to participate in a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Pakistan next week, ToI has learnt. The Pabbi Anti-terror Exercise 2021 is being held at Pabbi in Pakistan’s Nowshera district from October 3 under the aegis of SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) which seeks to promote counter-terrorism cooperation between SCO member-states.The government believes its participation in the exercise, an SCO event, will not in any way dilute its position that Pakistan continues to promote cross-border terrorism. India's presence though will be seen as a sign of the importance it attaches to the role of the Central Asia-focused regional bloc in security-related issues, especially in Afghanistan.

With Iran too joining the group, comprising Russia, India, China, Pakistan and 4 Central Asian countries as full members, SCO is likely to play a key role in the efforts for a political and diplomatic solution to the situation in Afghanistan.

India was apparently the last country to confirm its participation in the exercise which was announced in March this year following a meeting of the Council of RATS in Tashkent. In line with the SCO protocol, Pakistan had invited all member-states, including India, for the exercise which doesn’t involve troops and is meant to identify and suppress channels that finance terrorist activities. India is likely to be represented by officials of National Security Council Secretariat in the exercise.

The SCO Dushanbe Declaration earlier this month reaffirmed the ``special role’’ of the SCO RATS in the joint fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism in order to ensure regional security. It had also said that member-states will continue to conduct joint anti-terrorism exercises, including the upcoming Pabbi Anti-Terror 2021 exercise.

Source: Times of India

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BJP Nominates Eight Muslim Candidates In Okha Municipality

September 27, 2021

In an apparent bid to woo the sizeable number of Muslim votes, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has nominated eight candidates from the community for the October 3 election to Okha municipality in Devbhumi Dwarka district. This is two more than the previous election in 2016.

Election to 36 seats of the Okha municipality is due to be held on October 3 and counting on October 5. Total 85 candidates are in the fray. Besides the BJP and its main rival Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is also contesting from a majority of seats.

“We have tried to give fair representation to all communities. Hence the number of tickets given to Muslims is higher,” said Pradip Khimani, convener of the municipalities cell of Gujarat BJP.

“In 2016, we had fielded six Muslims and only one had won. Muslims account for almost 80 per cent of voters in ward No. 2 and Ward No. 5… So the party has given one more ticket each for Muslims in those wards,” said an insider.

This year, three out of four BJP candidates in Ward No.2 are Muslims. Similar is the case in Ward No. 5. The saffron party has fielded one Muslim candidate each in Ward No.3 and Ward No.7 also. “Ward No.3 and 7 are seats where Muslim voters are the largest electorate group but not as dominant as in Ward No.2 and 5. Therefore, the party has continued with the same strategy as the previous election,” said a party source.

There are 50,196 registered voters in Okha municipality where share of Muslim voters is estimated to be around 20,000.

Source: Indian Express

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Ties between Taliban, Pakistan will be not easy as hoped in Islamabad: expert

Sep 29, 2021

Brussels [Belgium], September 29 (ANI): After the Taliban's take over of Afghanistan, the relations between the outfit and Pakistan will be not as easy as hoped in Islamabad and the Durand-Line will remain as a 'severe issue of content' between both countries, according to an expert.

This assertion was made by Siegfried O. Wolf, Director of Research at the South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF), during a webinar titled 'After Kabul' on September 24.

Wolf stated that considering the manifold support offered to the Taliban during the last two decades, Pakistan has reason to anticipate a friendly regime in Kabul.

"There are also reasons to believe that the relations between the Taliban government and Pakistan will be not as easy as hoped in Islamabad." Wolf stated that the Durand-Line will remain as a 'severe issue of content' between both countries and added that the Afghan Taliban does not support Pakistani efforts fighting the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

"The Haqqanis [a major component of the Afghan Taliban and traditionally close to Pakistan] seemed to have recalibrated their relations with Islamabad in favour of the TTP," he added. According to Wolf, this could "energize anti-state militant extremists and bolster Pakistan's ultra-conservative religious groups."

Another expert Antonio Giustozzi, visiting Professor at King's College London, described the Taliban as "essentially quite loose and federal in structure". He argued that the leadership [foremost the Quetta Shura] rejected centralisation attempts and adopted a model which is 'resilient' and 'adaptive' to 'manage the diversity among the Pashtuns'.

The "Taliban are designed to tolerate and to coexist with internal conflict". "The Taliban, like in the past, are divided into groups, there are leaders and figures who are competing for influence, there are regional differences, but that does not imply that they are on the verge of collapse or splintering," he said.

Meanwhile, another expert of the region James M Page highlighted that the rapidity (and shock) of the Taliban offensive that culminated, in its latter stages, in the fall of Kabul should not have come as a surprise.

Source: Times of India

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Alarm over anti-Pakistan bill moved in US Senate

Iftikhar A. Khan

September 30, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The bill moved in the US Senate seeking to assess Pakistan’s alleged role in Afghanistan before and after the fall of Kabul to Afghan Taliban set alarm bells ringing in the upper house of parliament on Wednesday.

Raising the issue of the anti-Pakistan bill that aims to penalise and sanction different countries, Pakistan Peoples Party parliamentary leader in Senate and chairperson of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Senator Sherry Rehman said Pakistan was faced with a moment of serious peril after the hasty pullout of US forces from Afghanistan.

Referring to the Afghanistan Counterterrorism, Oversight, and Accountability bill moved by 22 Republican senators, Senator Rehman regretted the US left Afghanistan under a deal that it had directly made with the Taliban yet it was pressing Pakistan to take responsibility for whatever was happening in Afghanistan. “What is happening to Pakistan is actually worse than what has happened before,” she remarked.

Read: 'Unwarranted' references to Pakistan in US Senate bill inconsistent with spirit of cooperation: FO

Mentioning that the bill directly targeted Pakistan, she said it was not the US administration’s policy bill but it was important as it could gather critical mass. “It also points to a rise in toxic sentiments about Pakistan on the Hill, which many of us have worked very hard to reverse,” she observed.

US left Afghanistan after striking a direct deal with Taliban, Senate told

Noting that a smart policy was about anticipating challenges and tackling them with unity and rational response, she said that at least a beginning should be made to address the threats. Section 202 of the bill directly mentions Pakistan and calls for an “assessment of support by state and non-state actors, including the government of Pakistan, for the Taliban between 2001 and 2020.”

“They are clearly saying that the government of Pakistan has supported the Taliban but it’s disappointing to see that no one has actually put it to the parliament for shaping collective responses nor dispelled disinformation that is damaging and painful,” she added.

Senator Rehman said: “While it is important to engage with all countries with self-respect, particularly angry superpowers like the US that itself is in turmoil over its 20 years occupation of Afghanistan, what are we doing to empower our own selves? Instead of trying to unite the parliament around a bipartisan foreign policy, the parliament has never met on the Afghan transition, the humanitarian crisis there, and the response. All over the world joint meetings are being held on Afghanistan but Pakistan’s government is in a state of denial over dealing with the parliament”.

She regretted that national unity, which should be the first step in foreign policy was missing and said the PTI government was ignoring the constitution and the parliament, and was busy in their war narrative.

“If we even try to help Pakistan, we are told our leaders are corrupt. How is that helping Pakistan? Our president Zardari also wrote op eds in the Washington Post. He defended the whole of Pakistan, not just his party. Read the op eds and see how parliament was conducted to unite in moments of danger. You need to pay attention to what’s going on in the Pakistan Senate, not just the US Senate. The PM of this country needs to respect the sanctity of the parliament and come here and discuss the situation instead of playing the blame game and disrupting unity. Is this how you defend the country?” she questioned.

She said, “We are friends of Afghanistan, not spokesmen for any particular group. We should not make decisions that hurt the country. The PM mentions sacrifice. Yes, that is correct, but why make fun of that sacrifice by saying we will give amnesty to outfits like TTP that have martyred not just our twice elected PM Benazir Bhutto but also the children of Army Public School and many of our brave soldiers.”

Source: Dawn

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Pakistan denies providing military support to Taliban

September 29, 2021

Reacting to a bill seeking imposition of sanctions on the Afghan Taliban that could also potentially extend to Pakistan in US Senate, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Wednesday said that the country did not provide any military support to the Taliban.

"US is accusing us that we facilitated Taliban but we only facilitated them to bring them to the table at the request of US," he said while addressing a ceremony in Islamabad.

The statement came a day after the bill, titled ‘Afghanistan Counterterrorism, Oversight, and Accountability Act’, was moved by Republican senators. It triggered an angry rebuke from Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari.

Rashid, in today’s presser, said that Pakistan wanted the world to engage with the Taliban so that peace can prevail in the neighbouring country. "We are standing with the world and we want the world to stand with Afghanistan in this difficult situation," he added.

Talking about Pakistan's role in the recent developments in Afghanistan, he said that Pakistan helped evacuate 20,000 to 22,000 people and the process will continue till October 30, adding that the entire world lauded Pakistan's efforts in this regard.

He said that Pakistan's geostrategic position was very important and the world powers understood it’s importance. "We will face more challenges [in future as well] but we will emerge victorious eventually."

Criticising India's role in Afghanistan, the interior minister said that India suffered humiliation in the war-torn country and was now trying to harm Pakistan in any way possible.

Source: Tribune Pk

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KSA supported Pakistan more than our expectations: Parvez

September 30, 2021

Lahore - Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan Nawaf Saeed Al-Maliki called on Speaker Punjab Assembly Ch Parvez Elahi at the Assembly Chambers here on Wednesday. On this occasion, both the personalities exchanged views about bilateral relations and matters of mutual interest. Provincial Minister Hafiz Ammar Yasir, MNA Salik Hussain and Rasikh Elahi were also present during the meeting.

Ch Parvez Elahi said: “The basis of our relations with Saudi Arabia is “La Ilaha Illallah Muhammad Rasoolullah”. Whenever Pakistan faced a difficult time Saudi Arabia supported us more than our expectations”.  Parvez Elahi told the Saudi Ambassador that the Punjab Assembly had passed the Quran Majeed Act making teaching of Holy Quran Nazira up to class six and with translation up to Matric compulsory in all government and private educational institutions and its implementation had commenced in the right earnest. The speaker said that Punjab Assembly had made it compulsory to write Khatamun Nabiyeen and Darood Pak with the name of Holy Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him). 

Source: News Nation Pk

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PM Imran assures of expeditious progress on CPEC projects

September 30, 2021

Prime Minister Imran Khan assured on Thursday of expeditious progress on projects falling under the umbrella of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), despite some relevant departments having faced difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the past.

The prime minister, who was addressing a ceremony held in Islamabad to mark the inauguration of a 600 kilovolt (kV) transmission line running between Matiari and Lahore, pointed out that the pandemic had stalled communications in many areas, led to travel bans and affected supply chains across the world.

Consequently, difficulties were also faced in the execution of CPEC projects, PM Imran explained, adding that the setback, however, was "temporary".

He expressed the hope that with vaccinations against the coronavirus picking up pace across the world, the coming waves of the pandemic would not be as intense as earlier ones and in turn, the work on CPEC projects would not be affected but expedited instead.

Earlier this month, a Senate panel had expressed concern over the slow pace of development on the CPEC and dissatisfaction being expressed by Chinese companies over the negligible progress in the last three years.

Presiding over a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Planning and Development, its chairperson, Saleem Mandviwalla, had said that the Chinese were not satisfied with the pace of work on the CPEC and no progress on the portfolio had been seen during the last three years.

“They (the Chinese) are crying," Mandviwalla had said, adding the “Chinese ambassador has complained to me that you have destroyed CPEC and no work was done in the past three years."

However, Federal Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Minister Asad Umar had dismissed the reports a day after the Senate body's meeting.

He had rejected a perception that CPEC had been slowed down over the past three years and claimed that major work on the corridor projects had been completed during the tenure of the current PTI government.

Politicians ought to be careful while commenting on CPEC, Umar had said, adding that there was no bar on criticism and recommendations but CPEC should not be described like it had been “closed down, finished or destroyed”.

Without naming Mandviwala, the minister had said he was a seasoned person and could not be expected of speaking irresponsibly but perhaps he had been misled.

'State-of-the-art transmission line'

The Matiari-Lahore transmission line is one of the projects completed under the CPEC, dubbed "state-of-the-art" by PM Imran in his address on Thursday.

He said the project was officially commenced in 2013, but work on it had not been started until 2018.

"On this occasion, I congratulate all those involved in the speedy completion of this project over a course of three years," he added.

Source: Dawn

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Pakistan Army captain martyred, TTP commander killed in Tank IBO: ISPR

September 30, 2021

A Pakistan Army captain was martyred during an intelligence-based operation (IBO) in Tank, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa against Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Thursday.

In a statement, the military's media affairs wing said that security forces conducted an operation after receiving information about the presence of terrorists in the area.

During the exchange of fire, Captain Sikander — who was 27-years-old and hailed from Pakpattan — was martyred, the statement said.

"TTP terrorist commander Khawaza din alias Sher Khan was killed. Weapons and ammunition [were] recovered from the hideout," the statement added.

On Tuesday, security forces killed 10 terrorists in a similar operation in the South Waziristan tribal district.

The ISPR said security forces conducted the operation after receiving information that terrorists were present at a hideout in the area.

During intense exchange of fire, 10 terrorists, including four commanders, were killed, it said, adding that weapons and a large quantity of ammunition were also recovered.

"All the killed terrorists remained actively involved in planting IEDs (improvised explosive devices), conducting fire raids, and target killing of innocent civilians. These terrorists were planning to conduct more acts of terrorism inside the South Waziristan district," the statement had said.

Source: Dawn

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IBA Karachi expels student who exposed alleged harassment on campus

Sumaira Jajja

September 29, 2021

The Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi on Wednesday expelled a student who had witnessed and publicly highlighted an alleged harassment incident at the varsity and had supported the female victim in lodging a formal complaint with the management.

Mohammad Gibrail was punished for taking to social media to report the incident instead of using the "right channels" established by the institute, according to a statement shared on IBA's Facebook page.

It said the student "was given multiple occasions to reconsider his actions and was counselled numerous times to reassess his actions. Having failed to do that, the Disciplinary Committee has decided to expel the student as the IBA has zero-tolerance policy towards the violation of its rules and regulations.”

Disciplinary proceedings were started against Gibrail after he posted on Facebook about an incident he observed in the IBA's finance department on August 25, wherein he heard the manager of the department screaming at a female employee and saying, "Mein tumhe puri raat betha kar rakhoon ga (I will make you sit here all night)." The student later refused IBA's demand to take down the post.

In its statement, the IBA said “it is important to note that [Gibrail's] highlighting [of] the incident of alleged harassment within IBA has been appreciated by the IBA administration.”

“However, we need to emphasise, the act of the student of whistleblowing of alleged harassment has nothing to do with the Disciplinary matter which was the basis of the hearing and recommendation. The IBA Anti-Harassment Committee is investigating the case as per IBA and HEC rules, regulations, and procedures. We do not jump to any conclusions on the basis of hearsay and always follow processes before any decision can be taken,” it added.

The decision drew a strong reaction on social media and within the student community. Though there was an outpouring of support for Gibrail, many students and working women felt the next time many would simply look away if they saw any wrong being done.

“In a society where women are questioned again and again for their actions, we are simply giving harassers a free hand and enabling them,” a female student from Karachi University said.

Gibrail's lawyer and activist Jibran Nasir said: "Shame on [IBA Karachi] for expelling a student for exposing harassment of a female staff member by a male staff member.

"It's not the student who defamed IBA, it is IBA which is defaming rather exposing itself with this step. A student's career has been ruined for speaking truth."

Journalist Zarrar Khuhro termed the decision "a gross overreaction from IBA which must be set right".

"Such measures can and will only backfire," he tweeted.

Meanwhile, the now-expelled student maintains that he will not offer an apology. Talking to, Gibrail confirmed the news of his expulsion from the IBA.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday night, he wrote: “Have perceived from today's DC behaviour that they have finalised my expulsion. I know that the people will not stand with me when they will expel me because everyone would worry about their career and well-being. Even still, I'm saying with all my complete senses that I WILL NOT SAY SORRY EVEN IF IT WILL COST MY HEAD. I cannot be a hypocrite, a person who has difference in his words and deeds, and a person who takes decision by looking towards the number of people supporting him; I cannot be that person."

The expulsion letter issued to Gibrail, shared on Twitter by Nasir, stated that the student "may file a decision review request with the Registrar office and Executive Director office in writing" if he had any reservations about the decision.

Gibrail, who hails from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Lakki Marwat, was on a full scholarship and has been a star student. He was set to graduate in two months. The student said he was not even allowed to collect his possessions from the IBA hostel.

According to the IBA statement, the BS Economics programme student was "counselled" by various members of the IBA community. “However, despite the counselling provided to him, the student refused to adhere to the right channels that are expected to be followed by all members of the IBA faculty, students, and staff,” it said.

The Disciplinary Committee found him guilty of sharing details of the alleged harassment incident on social media "without first following the SOPs that are expected to be followed at IBA".

"Sharing details about an alleged incident without having complete knowledge of the context/ background on any public platform is against IBA’s rules and regulations," the statement said.

The student was also found to have “shared details of the employee (Facebook profile including picture of the person) of the Institute even before the victim filed an official complaint, which led to endangering the physical and psychological safety of the employee, his coworkers, and the department".

Gibrail "defamed the Institute, its Finance Department, and the employee [besides] senior professors on various national forums" as well as "incited students to protest and led demonstrations against the Institute and pit the students and the IBA administration against one another which could have jeopardised the security of the protesters and the administration personnel”, the statement added.

The IBA disciplinary committee further charged him with endangering the physical and psychological safety of other students, employees, and faculty members through the protests. He also “[attempted] to influence the decisions of the relevant committees, which are completely independent and neutral, to achieve desired outcomes through dissemination of the incident and chain of events on mediums of communications outside the IBA and spreading misinformation and twisting of facts”, the statement said.

When reached out for comment earlier on, a lawyer had suggested that if a disciplinary committee had been formed against the student or any other similar action was being taken against him, he could approach the Sindh High Court to challenge the legality and validity of such a committee as he had highlighted the matter being a concerned and responsible citizen and had no personal interest in the issue, and should, therefore, not be punished for performing his civic duty.

Source: Dawn

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Imran has harmed country with abusive language: Nawaz

September 30, 2021

LAHORE: PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif says Prime Minister Imran Khan has destroyed the country as well as its culture and politics with his abusive language.

“It was a grave misfortune for Pakistan that this person was brought and placed in government’s highest office,” he said.

Addressing his party leaders and workers from Lahore division through video-link from London on Wednesday, Mr Sharif stressed his party workers should avoid indecent language and respond to the government functionaries with facts and figures.

He said the PML-N had become the most favourite party of the people of Pakistan. He said the party leadership could proudly say that the PML-N was the only party that took country to new heights. He said the PML-N government had constructed motorways, farm to market roads, launched power projects, largely controlled terrorism, launched orange line and metro bus projects and took country’s economy to new heights.

Source: Dawn

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South Asia


Efforts to continue former government of Afghanistan useless, says Taliban

Sep 30, 2021

KABUL: The Taliban have said that it was useless to continue the former government of Afghanistan.

Anaamullah Samangai, a member of the Cultural Commission of the Information and Culture Ministry, said their efforts are useless, reported Tolo News.

"Now there is and will be no opportunity for such opportunistic people to deceive the international community from the address of Afghanistan and the people of Afghanistan," said Samangani.

This comes in response to the efforts of former officials of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to continue the Afghan government in exile, headed by the former Vice-President Amrullah Saleh.

A number of officials and leaders of the former government said they will make the former government operational.

In an 18-article statement released by Afghanistan's embassy in Switzerland, a number of leaders and officials of the former government said the activities of the former government will continue, saying it is the only legitimate government based on the peoples' vote, reported Tolo News.

Source: Times of India

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Afghanistan central bank drained dollars before Taliban takeover: World bank

30 Sep 2021

An assessment prepared for Afghanistan’s international donors indicates that the central bank of Afghanistan-De Afghanistan bank- drained $1.5 billion before the Afghan capital collapse to the Taliban.

The two-page report is compiled by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund early this month.

As per the confidential report of International financial experts, the cash shortage of the central bank of Afghanistan had started before the Taliban took control of the country.

The report also criticized the way De Afghanistan bank handled the crisis of the bank months before the Taliban’s conquest, including the decision to auction unusually large amounts of US dollars and move money from Kabul to provincial branches.

Source: Khaama Press

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All government employees will get paid, money transfer allowed: Taliban

29 Sep 2021

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan said that they have partly or/and completely paid salaries of five ministries namely education, higher education, public health, finance, and the central bank.

The officials said that they are working to pay on a mechanism based on which they will pay the salaries of all the government employees.

Speaking in a press conference in Kabul on Wednesday, September 29 deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salaam Hanafi said that they have established an exclusive commission to address the looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

Abdul Salaam Hanafi said that the commission has allowed all the private banks in Afghanistan to conduct money transfers in order for the traders to access their money and import food ingredients and medicine.

“We have created this exclusive commission so that we address the ongoing economic problem, a spike in prices, and preparation for the upcoming winter season.” Said Hanafi.

Source: Khaama Press

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Airline industry struggling after Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan

Sep 30, 2021

KABUL: Post-Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, its airspace revenue has dropped and the airline industry is struggling.

As per industry analysts, the suspension of airline flights has harmed the airline industry and the closing of Afghan airspace has caused revenue to plummet, reported Tolo News.

The estimated revenue loss from the closed Afghan airspace since the fall of the former government is around USD 7 million, said analysts.

Airlines that stopped or changed their offered flight routes have lost around USD 20 million, say airline officials, reported Tolo News.

Airline companies expressed concern over the closed airspace and the reduction of flights, saying that the airlines should immediately resume operations.

Officials at Kabul Airport said all types of flights will resume in the future.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Afghanistan, the country was receiving over five billion Afs (Afghani currency) in revenue for the use of its airspace annually, reported Tolo News.

Hakim Reshad, a business analyst, said that the problems for the airlines could also damage secondary industries.

Source: Times of India

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EU allocated over $300 million in humanitarian aid for Afghan people

30 Sep 2021

President of the European Union Ursula Von der Leyen on Wednesday, September 29 said that they have allocated US$ 348.2 million in humanitarian aid for the people of Afghanistan.

Leyen on her Twitter post wrote that the EU is standing by the people of Afghanistan and added that the EU’s flight brought aids to Afghanistan.

In the meantime, the EU commissioner for crisis management Janez Lenarcic has said that they have delivered 32 tonnes of humanitarian aids to Afghanistan.

Lenarcic has added that the aid will be distributed by UNICEF and WHO to the people who are most affected by conflicts and cholera in Afghanistan.

Prior to that, the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund released US$45 million to help prevent the collapse of Afghanistan’s health sector.

The humanitarian aid comes at a time when the people of Afghanistan are grappling with a looming humanitarian crisis and they are in desperate need of relief assistance.

Source: Khaama Press

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France’s role in fighting extremism in question with scandal

James Tasamba


KIGALI, Rwanda

News of a scandalous cover-up involving the French Interior Ministry and cement giant Lafarge’s ties with the notorious Daesh/ISIS terror group is nothing but “hypocrisy,” according to an expert, especially given that France is rallying a coalition of countries fighting extremist militants in Africa’s Sahel region.

Leaked official French documents suggest that France’s intelligence agencies never warned Lafarge that they were committing a crime before the company was charged with “complicity in crime against humanity” over funding Deash/ISIS in order to continue the company’s operations in Syria.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Freddie David Egesa, a Uganda-based security analyst, said some superpowers “show face” internationally, but join the fight against terrorism as “double dealers” depending on which side their country benefits most.

“In this particular case, France dealing with Lafarge was not by default but a fulfillment of one of their objectives. Against such a background, clearing the affected countries of terrorism with such a level of hypocrisy by some superpowers is putting expectations so high,” he said.

“It is common knowledge that some superpowers join the fight against terrorism as business in a way, getting cheap minerals and war-associated business. For example, trading in arms in exchange for relevance as a protector.”

France maintains about 5,100 soldiers in West Africa as part of its Operation Barkhane with its headquarters in Chad’s capital N’Djamena.

Its forces are mainly focused on tackling armed groups in Burkina Faso, Chad, and Niger.

Thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced in the Sahel, a region that has become a major front for militants over the past decade.

French President Emmanuel Macron in July announced a drawdown in its military presence there.

The French military has killed a number of major militant leaders in the Sahel in recent years, the latest being Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, the leader of regional Daesh/ISIS affiliate known as Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, the militant group responsible for some of the worst violence in West Africa’s Sahel region.

The death of al-Sahrawi, who France listed as enemy number one and was wanted for deadly attacks on US soldiers and foreign aid workers, followed the killing in June 2020 of al-Qaeda leader Abdelmalek Droukdel.

Sahrawi had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in 2015.

In announcing the death of Sahrawi last week, Macron described it as “yet another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel.”

However, Egesa argued that France’s blunder in Syria will bring its commitment under serious scrutiny and it could complicate its efforts to rally support for concerted action against extremism.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Turkey praises Germany’s contribution to betterment of Turkish-EU relations

Nazlı Yüzbaşıoğlu  


Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Faruk Kaymakci on Wednesday praised Germany’s contribution to the advancement of relations between Turkey and the European Union.

Addressing a webinar on Turkish-German relations and prospects for the post-Merkel era, Kaymakci drew attention to the special ties between the two countries.

Historical ties, cooperation in commerce and investment, the NATO alliance and the large Turkish diaspora living in Germany a play role in the special ties between Germany and Turkey, he noted.

Germany, being the most important pillar and biggest net contributor to the EU budget, also played a positive role in returning to a calmer state of affairs the disputes over the Aegean, Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean after the escalation in the summer of 2020, Kaymakci noted.

Referring to remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Turkey will soon ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change, he noted that Germany is an essential partner of the country in green transformation.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Council of Europe adopts Turkish lawmaker's report on climate change

Omer Tugrul Cam  


A Turkish lawmaker's report on the climate change was unanimously adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Wednesday.

Ziya Altunyaldiz, a member of the Turkish delegation to PACE, said the global warming and climate change have triggered extraordinary meteorological events.

The report, Addressing Issues of Criminal and Civil Liability in the Context of Climate Change, is a recommendation for 47 Council of Europe member states to act against those triggering the climate change.

Altunyaldiz said the world is deeply feeling the effects of climate change as glaciers are melting fast and Earth's temperature is rising.

According to the lawmaker, if global environmental policies and practices continued the same way, the cumulative damage caused by the climate change would reach up to $8 trillion by 2050.

He said urgent steps have to be taken to control the effects of climate change "before it is too late."

Source: Anadolu Agency

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EU allocates €300M for humanitarian aid in Afghanistan

Jeyhun Aliyev


The EU has allocated €300 million ($348.2 million) for humanitarian aid in Afghanistan, the president of the European Commission said Wednesday.

"We stand by the people of Afghanistan. Today’s EU humanitarian flight to Kabul brought critical aid. More will come," Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter.

Separately, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic announced that the EU Humanitarian Air Bridge delivered more than 32 tons of life-saving cargo to Afghanistan.

"This EU-funded plane enables our partners @UNICEF & @WHO deliver critical aid to Afghans affected by conflict & cholera outbreak," Lenarcic said, adding that the EU "remains committed" to helping the Afghan people.

Earlier this month, the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund released $45 million to help prevent Afghanistan’s health-care system from collapse.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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EU to provide nearly €150M extra fund for Syrian refugees in Turkey

Agnes Szucs  



EU ambassadors approved on Wednesday €149.6 million ($174 million) extra funding for Syrian refugees in Turkey.

The financial support will extend the bloc’s multi-purpose cash assistance program that provides monthly transfers for the most vulnerable refugees in the country, the Council of the EU wrote in a press release.

The scheme, officially named Emergency Social Safety Net, is the biggest humanitarian program in the bloc’s history that has been helping 1.8 million refugees to cover essential needs of rent, bills, food, and medicine.

The additional €149.6 million will be financed from the remaining margin of the 2021 budget.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Southeast Asia


Don’t Breach Constitution by Banning Transgender Muslims from Entering Mosques: Sisters in Islam

29 Sep 2021


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 — Banning transgender persons from entering mosques impedes on their rights and personal liberties as enshrined under the Federal Constitution, said women’s rights group Sisters in Islam (SIS).

In a statement today, SIS also stated that the ruling by the Perlis state religious authorities to ban transgender persons or “mukhannats” from entering mosques along with several other state religious authorities to emulate such decisions, is not justified as there is no appropriate context within Islamic teachings for such actions.

“There is no evidence from the Quran and Hadith that forbids a mukhannats from entering the mosque,” it said, referring to the Islamic scriptures.

“Therefore, the fatwa and statement of the mufti not only contradicts the Federal Constitution but in fact not in accordance with inclusive Islamic traditions.”

Referring to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia’s (Suhakam) report on discrimination against transgender persons in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor in 2019, SIS reiterated that the community faces discrimination in terms of employment, education, access to health treatment, harassment, violence and abuse by the general public.

However, SIS stated that the situation for the community would further worsen with the fatwa and recent statements issued by religious authorities supporting it.

“We once again hope that the muftis do not extend beyond their jurisdiction and respect the Federal Constitution as the supreme law of the land that guarantees not only the right of its citizenship but anyone else not to be discriminated against.

“The Federal and State Governments also have constitutional duties to protect and ensure that there are no laws and government policies that oppress and oppress anyone, including transgender people,’’ said the statement.

Following the decision made by the Perlis state religious authorities, with the fatwa announced by Perlis mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, other religious figures such as Penang mufti, Datuk Seri Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor also stated that transgender persons must change their appearance to be gender appropriate before they are allowed in mosques.

As further reference, SIS stated that the fatwa and supporting statements go against Article 5 of the Federal Constitution which details that no person may be deprived of life or personal liberty except in accordance with the law.

Source: Malay Mail

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Deputy minister: Clash at Chinese temple in Cheras triggered by a misunderstanding

29 Sep 2021


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 — The commotion, which took place outside a Chinese temple in Sungai Besi, Cheras yesterday, stemmed from a misunderstanding between authorities and temple devotees who thought the building was about to be demolished, a deputy minister asserted today.

Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias explained that officials from two government agencies and contractors had initially gone to the Wong Low Shen See Chee How Temple to set up a construction hoarding beside the house of worship.

The two agencies present were the Kuala Lumpur Land and Mines Office and the Department of Director General of Land and Mines (JKPTG).

A construction hoarding is a fence or barrier between a construction site and areas accessible to the public.

Jalaluddin noted that a site vacation notice had already been issued several months prior, on May 6 this year, by JKPTG in regards to a basketball court, guard post, parking lots, pedestrian bridge and walkway located near the temple.

“As announced, two schools are located in the vicinity of the temple — SJKC Tai Thung dan SMK Jalan Sungai Besi — where 24 classrooms involving the secondary school are due to be constructed.

“The agencies along with the contractors had gone to set up a hoarding beside the temple to pave way for an entry route to the aforementioned construction site at the school and not to demolish any temple structures as claimed by a group of devotees.

“In the viral video shared on the temple’s official Facebook page, it was seemingly portrayed as the authorities seeking to demolish the house of worship. This has generated an unhealthy and negative perception among netizens, especially on social media,” he said in a statement here.

Although the incident has now been resolved, Jalaluddin said he viewed the matter seriously as it involved public misconception between the temple devotees and their trust towards the authorities, especially when certain quarters had attempted to manipulate and exploit the incident through social media to sow public disorder.

In the incident, four individuals aged between 19 and 50 were arrested by the police after a viral video that was posted on social media depicted a group of people armed with sticks and metal rods clashing with police.

Source: Malay Mail

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China’s humanitarian aid arrives in Kabul

30 Sep 2021

The first consignment of humanitarian aids arrived from China to Kabul on Wednesday, September 29, and was submitted to the acting minister of the refugees and repatriates Khalil-ur Rahaman Haqqani.

The assistance relief will be distributed to people in need in Afghanistan through the ministry of refugees and repatriates.

The aids include blankets and warm clothes that will be distributed to IDPs as the winter season is approaching.

Earlier, China had pledged to provide the people of Afghanistan with $1.5 million unconditional aid and one million doses of the Corona vaccine.

Source: Khaama Press

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Former Malaysian diplomat says Dr Mahathir ‘needs to retire and stay retired’

29 Sep 2021


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 — Former Malaysian ambassador Datuk Dennis Ignatius has urged former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to step down and stay away from Malaysian politics.

The author of Paradise Lost: Mahathir and the End of Hope claimed that if Malaysians keep trusting older leaders, the country will be stuck in a loop as old policies will keep coming back again.

“I think he needs to retire and stay retired. I am a firm believer (that) we need to stop looking at all these older people and I think we need to start looking at the younger generation as in other parts of the world, people who are 30 to 35 years old are becoming prime minister and all that.

“For us, we keep looking to all these older leaders and we expect things to be different? It will never be different because they will come back with the same old policies, the same mindset, the same ideas.

“It’s time to let younger generations come up and I believe that the new generation will be different from our generation,” the 72-year-old former diplomat told Malay Mail today.

In his book that was launched earlier this month, Ignatius claimed Dr Mahathir was responsible for the fall of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.

He wrote that he believes the Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) founder created a culture that allows corruption, racism and religious extremism to thrive ever since he joined Malaysian politics.

Ignatius also said that Dr Mahathir had a role in PH electoral victory back in 2018, but subsequently, betrayed the coalition that he had been entrusted to lead.

“My contention is that not only did he see it (Sheraton Move) coming, he organised it. He was the man behind the Sheraton Move, he was planning it.

“I mean if we look at the Malay Dignity Congress and the way it was going and the way he was talking about ‘the Malays are weak’, ‘they have lost power’, what does all that mean? He was instigating it.

“If we look at the ICERD (International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) ratification issue, Mahathir was the one who announced that the country will ratify the accord at the UN (United Nations) convention back in 2018. But when Umno and its allies made a big noise about it, Mahathir did not defend his own policy,” he said.

In October 2019, Dr Mahathir attended the Malay Dignity Congress and was presented with the resolutions produced by the congress’ five clusters.

Over 5,000 people attended the congress, co-organised by five universities and NGOs to look into the socio-political problems faced by the Malay community.

Prominent political and cultural figures in attendance included Umno veteran lawmaker Tan Sri Annuar Musa, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, then PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, and singer Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza.

On November 2018, PH government has decided not to ratify ICERD after a few demonstrations were held in protest against the United Nations treaty that prohibits racial discrimination, with Malay-Muslim groups and political parties claiming that the convention will remove Malay privileges.

Malaysia is one of 14 countries in the world that has not signed or ratified ICERD. Some of the others are Brunei, Myanmar and North Korea.

Out of 197 countries, 179 countries have ratified, acceded or succeeded and agreed to be bound by the ICERD.

Source: Malay Mail

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For Malaysians with Indian ancestry, a chance to get a scholarship and further your studies in India

30 Sep 2021


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — The Indian government is offering 150 scholarship spots to the children of its diaspora looking to further their studies in India.

The High Commission of India in Malaysia has opened applications for the Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children (SPDC) for the 2021-22 academic year.

The programme is under the Indian government’s Ministry of External Affairs and is open to those aged between 17 and 21 first year undergraduate course applicants.

Application is also based on four categories: children of Persons of Indian Origin (POI), children of Non-Resident Indians (NRI), children of Indian workers in ECR countries (studying outside India) and children of Indian workers in ECR countries (studying in India).

The high commission said 50 spots are reserved for the last two categories. However it added that they will be open to applicants in other categories if not filled.

The deadline for submissions is November 30, 2021.

“The amount of scholarship would be 75 per cent of the total Institutional Economic Cost (IEC) subject to a maximum of US$ 4,000/- per annum in respect of NITs and other Institutions covered under the Direct Admission of Students Abroad (DASA) Scheme.

“IEC includes tuition fee, hostel fee & other institutional charges (Food charges are excluded).

“Applicants who passed the qualifying examination (equivalent to 12th standard in India) and have secured admission in an undergraduate course in the designated institution and fulfil other eligibility criteria can apply for the SPDC,” the Indian High Commission said in a statement today.

Source: Malay Mail

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Arab World


US, Qatar sanction Gulf-based Hezbollah financial network; Bahrain freezes accounts

29 September ,2021

The US and Qatar announced “coordinated actions” against a major Hezbollah financial network based in the Gulf, the State Department said Wednesday.

Seven individuals were added to the Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) group for their alleged support to Iran-backed Hezbollah.

Qatar-based AlDar Properties was also designated for being owned, controlled or directed by one of the designated individuals.

“This represents one of the most significant joint actions we have taken with a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) partner to date and underscores our extensive bilateral cooperation on countering terrorism finance,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in the statement.

Lebanon-based Hezbollah was designated as a terrorist organization by the US in 1997. The GCC followed suit in 2016, and several European and South American countries have also deemed the group a terrorist organization.

“Hezbollah seeks to abuse the international financial system by utilizing global networks of financiers and front companies to support its malign activity,” Blinken said, adding that the US would continue to work with partners to protect the US and international financial systems from terrorist abuse.

Source: Al Aarabiya

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US says it won't normalize or upgrade diplomatic ties with Syria's Assad regime

30 September ,2021

The US has no plans to “normalize or upgrade” diplomatic relations with the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and also does not encourage others to do so, a State Department spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The comments came in response to Reuters questions on whether Washington was encouraging and supporting a rapprochement between Jordan and Syria after Jordan fully reopened its main border crossing with Syria on Wednesday.

The move was to boost the countries' struggling economies and reinforce a push by Arab states to reintegrate Syria after shunning it during its civil war.

“The US will not normalize or upgrade our diplomatic relations with the Assad regime nor do we encourage others to do so, given the atrocities inflicted by the Assad regime on the Syrian people,” a State Department spokesperson said in an email. “Assad has regained no legitimacy in our eyes, and there is no question of the US normalizing relations with his government at this time.”

It was among the strongest comments to date on Syria from the Biden administration, whose Syria policy has largely focused on ensuring the permanent defeat of ISIS and providing humanitarian aid to Syrian people.

The US has suspended its diplomatic presence in Syria since 2012.

The Trump administration last June imposed its most sweeping sanctions ever targeting Assad and his inner circle to choke off revenue for his government in a bid to force it back to United Nations-led negotiations and broker and end to the country's decade-long war.

Arab states cut ties with Syria during the civil war, which the United Nations says killed at least 350,000 people, and US-allied Arab states backed opposition groups fighting Assad.

The Egyptian and Syrian foreign ministers met on Friday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, in what Egyptian media said was the first meeting at that level for about a decade.

Source: Al Aarabiya

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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince discusses Yemen war with US National Security Advisor

29 September ,2021

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman affirmed the Kingdom’s initiative to end Yemen’s conflict in talks with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, state news agency SPA reported on Wednesday.

The Crown Prince stressed the Saudi stance on the importance of reaching a comprehensive ceasefire under UN supervision, allowing oil shipments to enter Yemen's Red Sea port of Hodeidah and opening Sanaa international airport to selected destinations aside from allowing humanitarian flights.

The Crown Prince and US official also underlined the importance of Yemen’s Houthis participating in good faith in political settlement talks with Yemen’s internationally recognized government under UN guidance.

Sullivan reaffirmed US support to Saudi Arabia in defending its lands against all threats including missile and drone attacks by Iran-backed Houthis, SPA reported.

Since January, Yemen’s Houthis have ramped up their attacks on the Kingdom and launched dozens of cross-border aerial attacks on Saudi Arabia. The Iran-backed militia targeted civilian areas and energy facilities in the Kingdom with explosive-laden drones and ballistic missiles.

Source: Al Aarabiya

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Top Iraq Shia cleric Ali Sistani urges voting in parliamentary poll

29 September ,2021

Iraq's top Shia Muslim cleric on Wednesday urged Iraqis to vote in order to “carry out real change” in next month's parliamentary elections.

The statement from Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani's office came against the backdrop of potentially high rates of abstention in the October 10 ballot, which follows a popular uprising.

Initially expected in 2022, the vote was brought forward in a rare official concession to autumn 2019 protests, when tens of thousands of Iraqis took to the streets to demonstrate against crumbling public services and a government they decried as corrupt and inept.

Hundreds died in months of protest-related violence.

But the ballot has generated little enthusiasm among Iraq's 25 million voters, while the activists and parties behind the uprising have largely decided to boycott the ballot.

“The supreme religious leader encourages everyone to participate consciously and responsibly in the next elections,” the statement from Sistani's office said.

Even if the process has shortcomings, “it is the best way to move the country toward a future that one hopes will be better.”

One of Shia Islam's top clerics, Sistani spent years under house arrest during Saddam Hussein's repressive regime. After Saddam's fall in 2003, Sistani threw his support behind elections, was a voice for moderation, and criticized government graft.

In his statement on Wednesday, he asked voters to “benefit from this opportunity to carry out real change in the administration of the state and dismiss the corrupt and incompetent hands from its main cogs”.

The statement emphasized that Sistani does not support any candidate and appealed to voters to choose those “who support the sovereignty of Iraq, its security and prosperity.”

Political scientist Marsin Alshamary said that in Iraq's last elections, held in 2018, Sistani had said people could choose to vote or not.

Source: Al Aarabiya

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‘We will remove you’, Hezbollah official told Beirut port blast judge

29 September ,2021

A senior official in the Lebanese group Hezbollah told the judge investigating the disastrous Beirut port blast that it would remove him from the probe, according to a journalist who says she conveyed the message and a judicial source.

Judge Tarek Bitar described the message in a letter to the public prosecutor, said the judicial source. The justice minister and judiciary were following up on the matter but a formal investigation has yet to be opened, the source said.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity because it was a judicial matter and judge Bitar’s letter was marked private.

Reuters could not reach Bitar, who is not permitted to speak to the media in his capacity as an investigating judge. He has not issued any statement about the matter since reports of the warning began circulating in Lebanese media last week.

Neither the Hezbollah official in question, Wafik Safa, nor other Hezbollah officials could be reached for comment.

More than 200 people died when a huge stockpile of chemicals stored unsafely at Beirut port for years exploded on Aug. 4, 2020.

Bitar is the second judge whose investigation has been stymied by powerful factions in Lebanon, where a lack of high-level accountability are blamed for systemic corruption, governing gridlock and economic meltdown.

LBCI journalist Lara al-Hashem told Reuters she was entering Beirut’s Palace of Justice on Sept. 20 to follow up on news of a scheduled session of the inquiry with lawyers and fellow journalists when she ran into Hezbollah official Safa.

“He asked me will you see Judge Bitar? If you meet him, give him this message,” she said.

Hashem declined to give details of the verbal message but described as accurate an account posted on Twitter on Sept. 21 by Edmond Sassine, a fellow journalist at the privately-owned broadcaster.

He said Safa had asked Hashem to tell Bitar “we have had it up to here with you.”

“We will go along with you until the end of the legal road but if it doesn’t work we will remove you,” Sassine tweeted, citing the message Safa sent to Bitar via Hashem.

Sassine declined to reveal the source of the account when Reuters reached him by phone. Hashem told Reuters she was not the source for his information.

Inquiry struggles

The judicial source told Reuters that Bitar had sent a letter to the public prosecutor “the contents of which were what Lara Hashem said - that Wafik Safa told her ‘tell Judge Bitar that we will remove you’,” the source said.

Bitar sent the letter at the prosecutor’s request, the source added.

“Bitar did not put extra information in the letter. He put verbatim what Lara Hashem communicated to him: ‘that we will remove you’. Specifically, Bitar wrote in his letter ‘we will remove you through legal means’.”

The justice minister, who the source said was following up on the matter, could not be reached for comment.

Popular anger

On Monday Prime Minister Najib Mikati told LBCI, a private broadcaster whose editorial line is critical of Hezbollah, that security precautions had been taken as a result of threats said to have been made against Bitar. He did not elaborate.

Reuters could not reach Mikati for comment.

The blast probe was frozen on Monday following a complaint from Nohad Machnouk, a former interior minister Bitar wanted to question on suspicion of negligence and maladministration.

If the complaint is upheld, Bitar will be removed from the case. His predecessor, Fadi Sawan, was removed in February following similar accusations of bias.

The prime minister said he hoped Bitar will continue in his role, saying he did not think Lebanon “could withstand the second judge being removed.”

Angry families of the victims demonstrated outside the judiciary headquarters on Wednesday after the investigation was frozen on Monday, some chanting slogans against Safa.

Many Lebanese say they are furious that no one has been held to account for the disaster and they accuse the political elite of covering up one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions on record.

Efforts to question former and serving state officials, including the prime minister at the time of the blast, ex-ministers and senior security officials on suspicion of negligence have been repeatedly blocked.

Source: Al Aarabiya

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No need for social distancing during prayers in mosques, says Awqaf

September 29 2021

The Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (Awqaf) has announced the easing of some Covid-19 precautionary measures in mosques.

This is in line with the plan to gradually lift the restrictions imposed to combat the spread of Covid-19 and work to restore normal life, starting Sunday (October 3).

The ministry said in a notice on social media on Wednesday that social distancing will not be in place during the five daily prayers as well as Friday prayers. However, worshippers have to maintain a distance of 1m during the Friday sermon, while toilets and ablution areas can be opened in non-crowded areas.

Source: Gulf Times

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Iran: UN Should Force Israel to End Aggression on Syria


Takht Ravanchi made the remarks on Tuesday during a UNSC meeting on the most recent political and security developments in Syria.

“The Security Council must act responsibly and force the Israeli regime to immediately end its violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria,” he said.

“Such acts of adventurism, which we strongly condemn, are a blatant breach of international law and a threat to regional and international peace and security," Takht Ravanchi added.

The following is the full text of the Iranian ambassador's speech at the UNSC meeting:

 In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

Madam President,

I thank Mr. Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria for his input.

Thanks to his efforts and cooperation of the Syrian Government, the next meeting of the Constitutional Committee is expected to take place soon. This is an encouraging development.

We reiterate our support for efforts of the Special Envoy and the constructive engagement of the Syrian Government in facilitating the work of the Committee.

We encourage the Committee’s Co-Chairs to engage constructively and work in a spirit of flexibility and compromise.

The Committee must continue its work without any external interference or pressure. Setting any artificial deadline for its conclusion or any other conditions or requirements of such nature will negatively impact the Committee’s work.

It must be ensured that it is a truly Syrian-led, Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process.

Concurrent with the Committee’s work, serious efforts must also be made in other areas.

First and foremost, occupation of parts of Syria by foreign forces must come to an end. Accordingly, all uninvited foreign forces must leave that country without any precondition or further delay.

Equally important, the Security Council must live up to its responsibility and compel the Israeli regime to put an immediate end to its acts of aggression against sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria. Such adventuristic practices, which we condemn in the strongest terms, constitute flagrant violations of international law, threatening regional and international peace and security.

Additionally, fighting all terrorist groups must continue unabated as their presence and criminal activities threaten security and territorial integrity of Syria as well as peace and security in the region.

We reject separatist activities or illegitimate self-rule initiatives in Syria and condemn any efforts to support them. The sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Syria must be fully respected by all.

Likewise, Syria’s reconstruction and the return of refugees and displaced persons must go hand in hand with the political process. They are interlinked, mutually inclusive and mutually reinforcing.

This requires depoliticizing humanitarian aids and the return of refugees and displaced persons, as their politicization only prolong both the crisis and woes of the Syrian people, who have already been suffering seriously from over 10 years of conflict.

In this context, we recall resolution 2585 through which the Security Council has called upon all Member States “to respond with practical steps to address the urgent needs of the Syrian people”.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Estimated 100 Houthis, govt forces killed in clashes in Yemen’s Marib

29 September ,2021

At least 100 Iran-backed Houthi militia and pro-government troops have been killed in the past 48 hours as fighting intensifies for the key city of Marib, military and medical sources said Wednesday.

A string of air strikes from the Arab Coalition targeted the Houthis, who have stepped up their assault on Marib, the government’s last northern stronghold.

Sixty-eight Houthis and 32 loyalists were killed in the latest clashes, military sources told AFP. The tolls were confirmed by medical sources.

The Iran-backed militia rarely announce casualties among their own ranks, but their al-Masirah channel reported around 60 coalition air strikes in Marib governorate in the past two days.

Hundreds of fighters have been killed this month after the Houthis renewed their campaign for the capital city of the oil-rich province.

The Houthis initially escalated their efforts to seize Marib in February, hoping to gain control of the region’s oil resources and strengthen their position in peace talks.

Marib, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of the Houthi-held capital Sanaa, sits at a crossroads between the southern and northern regions and is key to controlling Yemen’s north.

Source: Al Aarabiya

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General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Mohandis dignified world Shiites: Belgian pilgrim

September 30, 2021

Regarding the role of General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Mohandis in establishing security in Iraq, the Belgian pilgrim stated, “What they did was great. They dignified the Shiites so that no one can disturb the Shiites today. This is true not only in Iraq and Iran but also in other countries.”

The Belgian pilgrim who took part in the Arbaeen walk said, “Love for Imam Hussain (a.s.) is the main love of life. This love creates gravity for us in such a way that we cannot give up going in the Arbaeen walk in Karbala.”

“Some pilgrims come to Arbaeen pilgrimage to pray for their needs to be met and for their patients to be healed. They believe that they should get their needs from Imam Hussain (a.s.) and Hazrat Abbas (a.s.). Because these holy lights will surely answer their pilgrims. Therefore, whoever has any need, the main source of light of divine grace is Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) and his family (AhlulBayt), and these lights must be resorted to,” said Hojat al-Islam Sayed Mustafa, who is of Moroccan origin, in an interview with ABNA News Agency.

“How to describe the taste of honey? It is difficult to express. In the same way, the Arbaeen Walk stems from the love and affection for Imam Hussain (a.s.) and is indescribable. If you ask anyone who participated in Arbaeen Walk, he will answer that that he has a great feeling in his body, heart, and soul that cannot be described,” Sayed Mustafa, who is active in propagation Islam and teaching in Belgium, said, describing his feelings about the Arbaeen Walk.

“The lessons of justice, the uprising against the oppressors, and the uprising of truth against falsehood are the lessons of the uprising of Karbala. These are not only lessons for Shiites and Muslims, but the uprising of right against wrong is attractive to all freedom seekers in the world. Human beings should not only defend their family members and religion but should support all the oppressed. These messages are taught to us by the uprising of Imam Hussain (a.s.),” said Hojat al-Islam Sayed Mustafa in response to the question “What lesson do we learn from the uprising of Imam Hussain (a.s.)?”

“The way and lesson of the Prophet Muhammad and his family (a.s.) and Imam Hussain (a.s.) is to have humanity. Because humanity leads to the final destination. The path of humanity is only in the school of Muhammad (p.b.u.h) and his AhlulBayt (a.s.) and there is nothing other than this path,” he said on the messages of Imam Hussain (a.s.) and his Arbaeen.

“In Arbaeen Walk, we see that millions of people visit the shrine of Imam Hussain (a.s.). Just imagine what will happen when Imam Mahdi (a.s.) appears? Hundreds of times of this population, people will gather. “Indeed, my ancestor was killed while he was thirsty”, Imam Mahdi (a.s.) will say from the side of the Kaaba, as he appears. Then, the people of the world will hear this and will rush to his aid. Today, Labbayk YA Hussain (a.s.) is Labbayk YA Imam Mahdi (a.s.),” said the religious expert on the relationship between the beauties of Arbaeen and the time of Advent of Imam Mahdi (a.s.).

“The AhlulBayt (a.s.) taught us good and pure morality, and it is our duty to propagate this ethic to the world. We hate the so-called Islam of ISIL, blood, and murder. The behavior of ISIL and terrorists is not based on Sharia. They introduce religion through murder and slaughter,” he said, introducing propagation of religion of truth and good and pure morality of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) as the most important duty of Muslims in the present age.

Source: ABNA

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AEOI Chief: US Shouldn't Meddle in Iran-IAEA Cooperation


Eslami made the remarks on Tuesday upon his arrival in Russia to meet with the Director-General of Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) Alexey Likhachev.

"Washington is not in a position to comment on how Iran and the IAEA work together. Unfortunately, the IAEA, under pressure from the United States and the Zionist regime, has replaced political cooperation with a political approach," the AEOI chief said.

"The US claim about the need for the IAEA to have access to the Karaj centrifuge parts plant is null and invalid," he added.

Eslami pointed out that Iran will not accept the IAEA’s insistence on installing CCTVs in places that were damaged in the terrorist operations is in line with the goal of the same [sabotage and terrorist] operation against Iran.

He reiterated that the IAEA's demand regarding the damaged sites that have yet to be rebuilt and their legal cases are still open will not get anywhere.

Commenting on his visit to Russia, Eslami said that his trip is taking place in continuation of regular consultations between Tehran and Moscow with the aim of developing and strengthening cooperation between the two countries in the field of peaceful nuclear energy.

Eslami arrived in the Russian capital of Moscow on Tuesday to discuss bilateral ties and mutual cooperation with his Russian counterpart.

Meeting with his Russian counterpart and the Director-General of Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) Alexey Likhachev is the main reason for Eslami's visit to Moscow.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran Kills Notorious Ringleader of Terrorist Group


The statement said on Tuesday that the ministry officers in a complicated operation spotted the headquarters of the terrorist group that was both supported and led by the intelligence services of antagonist countries and intended to launch terrorist attacks in Iran, and launched their attack against them in a timely manner.

The details of the Intelligence Ministry operation and the moment the head of the terrorist group was killed are all recorded in a documentary titled “a thousand knives” which will be aired in the news editions of the National Iranian Radio and Television (IRIB) for information of the Iranian nation.

In a relevant development last Sunday, the Iranian intelligence forces confiscated a weapons cargo in Khuzestan province, Southwestern Iran.

Iranian security forces identified and dismantled an anti-security group in Southwestern Iran on Sunday evening.

Dozens of weapons were seized in the operations which was carried out in the Southwestern border region of Khuzestan Province, Southwestern Iran.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran to hold military drill near border with Azerbaijan amid Tehran-Baku tensions

30 September ,2021

Iran will hold a military exercise on Friday near the border with Azerbaijan, the Iranian army announced on Thursday, amid tensions between the two countries over drills.

The exercise will be held “with the aim of improving combat readiness” in northwest Iran, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Brig. Gen. Kioumars Heydari, commander of the army’s ground forces, as saying.

The drill is dubbed “Conquerors of Khaybar” in reference to the battle of Khaybar, fought in 628 CE between Muslims and Jews. Iran has been wary of Azerbaijan’s relations with Israel, a major supplier of arms to Baku.

The announcement comes after Azeri President Ilham Aliyev earlier this week criticised Iran for holding military drills near his country’s borders.

‘Why now? Why on our border?’

“Every country can carry out any military drill on its own territory. It’s their sovereign right. But why now, and why on our border?” Aliyev said in an interview published Monday with Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency.

“Why weren’t the drills held when the Armenians were in the Jabrayil, Fizuli and Zangilan regions? Why is this being done after we liberated these lands, after 30 years of occupation?” he added.

Source: Al Aarabiya

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Muslims in Nigeria seek justice, fight oppression: Sheikh Zakzaky

September 30, 2021

Leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky told Tehran-based Press TV that the Shia Muslims are fighting against oppression, saying that commemorating Arbaeen will continue in the African country.

The Tehran-based English-Language TV interviewed Secretary General of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) Sheikh Ibrahim on Wednesday during which he discussed the situation of Shia Muslims in Nigeria and their struggle against oppression and tyranny.

Senior Nigerian Shia cleric Sheikh Zakzaky said that “The Nigerian people will choose the Islamic government if they have the right to vote.”

He said he was sure that the Nigerian people would elect an Islamic government if they had the right to vote.

On the latest attack on the Arbaeen mourners in Abuja on Arbaeen mourners, he said dozens of marchers were killed or wounded.

Meanwhile, he said that the Nigerian security forces took away some of the casualties, so he said that he could not give an exact number of casualties.

It is not yet clear how many people were killed during the Arbaeen procession yesterday and the day before yesterday in Abuja, the Sheikh said.

He expressed certainty that dozens of people were wounded.

On the previous attacks on Shia Muslims in Nigeria, the IMN secretary-general said that the court gave them the right to claim damages, but so far they have not been compensated.

He stressed the right to hold the Arbaeen mourning procession, saying that their Islamic movement in Nigeria is completely peaceful in line with the teachings of Imam Hussein.

“The victory of blood over gun,” he said adding the Shia Muslim in Nigeria are fighting an ideology.

Source: ABNA

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Kenya launches crackdown on illegal Pakistanis

Andrew Wasike


Kenya suspended a visa-free transit agreement with Pakistan on Wednesday after social media sites showed videos of crowds of Pakistani nationals crowding residential areas across the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

The Interior Ministry ordered a crackdown on illegal Pakistani immigrants, saying there has been an influx of Asian foreigners who at first were thought to be Afghan refugees.

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho ordered police working with the immigration services to crack down on illegal foreigners.

“The majority of these travellers have originated from Pakistan and have valid transit visas to Saudi Arabia that are issued on arrival,” Kibicho said in a statement. “Going forward, the government will restrict the number of foreigners transiting through the country to levels that do not pose a risk to Kenya's national interest.”

Source: Anadolu Agency

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