New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 3 Jan 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Pakistan governor Salman Tasser killed over Blasphemy law

Wives beat up Pak man for planning 5th marriage

400 Pak Hindus await Indian citizenship

Enrol Bangladeshi Hindus as voters: BJP

Ahmadinejad Was Slapped by General, Leaked Cable Says

Iran invites some world powers to visit atom sites

Iran: Scientist Tortured After Return, Web Site Says

 ‘Our own people' killed top Kashmir leaders: Bhat

Taliban behead militant for 'spying' for government in Pakistan

Clash in Mohmand; 39 suspected militants detained

US govt helped Boeing in fight against Airbus for max sales

What Digvijaya lent weight to: Mumbai attacks an RSS, Mossad, CIA conspiracy

BJP leaders defy party line, seek quota for Muslims

Bomb blast in Turbat wounds schoolchildren

Afghan violence leaves five civilians dead

Digvijay gives proof of conversation with Hemant Karkare

Pakistan must discard posture of compulsive hostility: India

Babri witness submits photos related to demolition

ATS links Best Bakery accused to Dargah blast

Federal government blast Iran over death sentence

US says it supports a democratic set-up in Pakistan

Sufi Muhammad’s trial begins in Peshawar prison

Qur’an is guide to success, says Prince Khaled

Bomb blast kills policeman in Kabul

NEW DELHI: After 60 yrs in France, painter Raza back home    

Ethnic discrimination infests Afghan army, soldiers say

Iran hangs eight for drug trafficking, murder

'Taliban getting stronger, Karzai becoming weaker'

5, including MQM, ANP activists, gunned down in Karachi

Manila: Dead fetus found in plane toilet

Asian aid convoy arrives in Gaza

Bank of America rushing to limit WikiLeaks damage

Krishna to visit Afghanistan

Gilani reaches out to PML-N, PML-Q as crisis threatens Govt

Egypt on high alert ahead of Coptic Christmas

Doda presents picture of complete harmony

Israel hails India's moves to tighten sanctions against Iran

US wants to scan travellers at Pak airports

Magsi asks Kayani to help trace the missing

Women fighters willing to die for Gaza

Jeddah will have world's biggest gold factory

Hamas men in Fatah jail on hunger strike

Saudi kills younger sister in Aden

Compiled by New Age Isalm News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/pakistan-governor-salman-tasser-killed-over-blasphemy-law/d/3872

 

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Pakistan: Punjab governor Salman Tasser killed by his guard

Jan 4, 2011

ISLAMABAD: The governor of Pakistan's powerful Punjab province was shot dead Tuesday by one of his guards in the Pakistani capital, police said.

The killing was the most high-profile assassination of a political figure in Pakistan since the slaying of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in December of 2007.

Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer was a high-profile member of Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party and a close associate of President Asif Ali Zardari, Bhutto's widower.

Taseer was vocal on a range of subjects, including speaking out against the country's blasphemy law in recent days. Islamists in Pakistan have defended the controversial law and slammed those who oppose it.

Police official Mohammad Iftikhar said Taseer was gunned down by one of his own elite security force protectors after he reached Khosar Market, a shopping center in Islamabad popular with Westerners and wealthy Pakistanis. The suspected assailant was taken into custody, Iftikhar said.

Five other people were wounded as other security personnel responded to the attack.

Another police official, Hasan Iqbal, said a pair of witnesses told the police that as the governor was leaving his vehicle, a man from his security squad fired two shots at him. Taseer then fell, while other police officials fired on the attacker.

It was unclear if the attacker was wounded.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-Punjab-governor-Salman-

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Wives beat up Pak man for planning 5th marriage

January 04, 2011

Islamabad:  A man in Pakistan's Punjab province was publicly beaten up by his two wives, who claimed that he is planning marry for the fifth time.

Mian Ishaq, a resident of Gujranwala city, was attending a friend's wedding reception with his third wife when his two other wives Mehvish and Uzma gate-crashed with dozens of relatives and beat him up before the guests yesterday.

"We know that he is trying to marry a fifth time and he should be publicly humiliated for his behaviour," Uzma told reporters.

TV news channels beamed footage of the two women beating Ishaq with shoes.

Ishaq and his friend own a soap-making factory. Uzma and Mehvish are currently engaged in a litigation against Ishaq in a district court.

Ishaq dismissed the claims of the two women that he had a fourth wife and was planning to marry again. "This is a blatant lie. I am willing to swear on my life that I only have three wives."

Ishaq said he lives with his third wife Fauzia and the other two had filed for divorce. "I have three wives and this is in accordance with Islam," he said.

The two other wives had spread a rumour that he had married a fourth time in secret, he alleged.

"They have already invented one wife for me and now are trying to convince people that I am trying for a fifth," Ishaq was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune newspaper.

Ishaq claimed his first wife Uzma had wanted to sell off his house and that is why she and his second wife Mehvish had conspired against him.

"That is why they filed a case against me in court when I married my wife Fauzia," he said.

Uzma, Mehvish and Ishaq were arrested for disrupting the reception and taken to a police station for questioning.

Ishaq later gave the police his marriage certificates. A police officer said: "We are verifying if he has contracted other marriages but so far we have no proof against him."

http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/wives-beat-up-pak-man-for-planning-5th-marriage-

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400 Pak Hindus await Indian citizenship

Yudhvir Rana

Jan 04 2011

AMRITSAR: With the Centre agreeing before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, a couple of months ago, to grant citizenship to 120 Pakistani Hindus staying near Jalandhar for years, around 400 more such people placed in a similar situation here have intensified their demand for citizenship.

According to president of a local NGO, All India Hindu Shiv Sena, Surinder Kumar Billa, there were around 450 to 500 Pakistani Hindus settled in Amritsar who have been awaiting citizenship. He said most of them had fled from Pakistan fearing extortion and kidnapping by Taliban and Muslim fundamentalists.

Talking to TOI on Monday, Billa said his NGO had begun collecting papers of all Pak Hindus and would move court besides approaching human rights organization demanding citizenship for them so they could settle in peace at least.

Roop Chand, in late sixties, said he had left Peshawar in 1995, under the cover of darkness along with his wife, two sons and two daughters for India fearing kidnapping and extortion and his prime worry was to reach Amritsar safely. With fingers crossed he said, the family reached Lahore and boarded Samjhauta Express.

Chand said he had social freedom here. His daughters attend school without the fear of diktats of Muslim fundamentals and his sons don't have to get humiliated by sarcastic remarks by Muslim friends, but the family was still waiting to get Indian citizenship for a lifetime assurance.

Almost all Pak Hindus have similar stories to narrate. They have been staying here for past more than 18 years. A few came to settle down with their family members who had migrated earlier, a few came to earn good money and many out of fear. Earlier, hesitant to speak against the Taliban or militants fearing for the safety of around 40 remaining Hindu families in Peshawar, they finally broke silence to narrate their horrifying tale.

''There had been incidents of extortion and kidnapping with some Hindus of the area and I had two daughters, who could become their target, so I decided to leave Pakistan for good,'' said Roop Chand who was a sewadar at Dargah Sri Peer Rattan Nath Ji at Peshawar. But here he runs a small tea kiosk.

Another Pak Hindu, Shiv Kumar, said they were forced to embrace Islam so he decided to leave Pakistan. ''We can live in poverty, but can't go back to live in an environment of uncertainty,'' said another Pak Hindu, Bachan Devi.

''We will take up their cases with both human rights organizations and to the government so they could have a peaceful life in India,'' Billa said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/400-Pak-Hindus-await-Indian-

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Enrol Bangladeshi Hindus as voters: BJP

Neena Vyas

Jan 04 2011

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party has no problem with Bangladeshi Hindus settled in Assam being put on the electoral rolls. Its objection was only to Bangladeshi Muslims, the party in-charge of political affairs in Assam Vijay Goel said here on Monday. In fact, he said “Bangladeshi Hindus must be put on the voters' lists.”

Mr. Goel led a BJP delegation to meet the Election Commission and submitted a memorandum asking the Commission to undertake a proper revision of rolls ahead of the Assembly election and ensure Bangladeshi Muslims – those who have come after 1971 – are taken off the rolls.

However, the memorandum emphasised: “India has a moral responsibility to accept all Hindus of Pakistan and Bangladesh who have been displaced due to discrimination and persecution on the grounds of religion. Therefore, all such displaced persons must be granted citizenship status.” It also noted that Bengali-speaking Hindus settled in Assam were facing harassment from governments and this issue should be dealt with urgently.

The party also talked about the “high fertility rate” among the Bangladeshi Muslims settled in the State.

http://www.hindu.com/2011/01/04/stories/2011010465121400.htm

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Ahmadinejad Was Slapped by General, Leaked Cable Says

By ROBERT MACKEY

Jan 04 2011

Last January, as Iran’s leadership struggled to contain postelection protests, nerves frayed to such an extent that the country’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was slapped in the face by a military commander at one contentious meeting, according to a confidential Iranian source who spoke to an American diplomat in a neighboring country.

The incident, which reportedly took place during a meeting of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council just two weeks after several protesters were killed at a protest in Tehran, was described in a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable sent to Washington from the American embassy in Azerbaijan in February 2010.

As the German magazine Der Spiegel first reported last month, the source, whose name was redacted by the news organization (and by WikiLeaks, which published the cable last week), was described as a former Iranian revolutionary activist who “has reported accurately on several sensitive political and economic issues in the past.”

Full report at:

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/03/ahmadinejad-was-slapped-by-general-leaked-cable-says/?ref=world

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Iran invites some world powers to visit atom sites

Jan 04 2011

Tehran: Iran said today it has invited envoys of some of the six world powers and European Union nations to visit its nuclear facilities ahead of talks in Istanbul over its atomic programme.

The invitation to ambassadors of these countries represented in the UN atomic watchdog comes as Tehran attempts to garner support for its controversial atomic drive ahead of the Istanbul talks later this month.

"The representatives of some European Union countries, NAM (Non-Aligned Movement), and some representatives of the five-plus-one (six world powers) have been invited to visit our nuclear sites," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters.

He said the invitation was part of the Islamic republic's attempt to demonstrate "cooperation with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency).

The "visit to our nuclear sites once more shows the goodwill of our country and the peaceful and cooperative nature of our (nuclear) activities," Mehmanparast said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/iran-invites-some-world-powers-to-visit-atom-

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Iran: Scientist Tortured After Return, Web Site Says

By WILLIAM YONG

January 4, 2011

An Iranian nuclear scientist who said he had been abducted by the C.I.A. has been imprisoned and tortured since his return to Iran in July, an opposition Web site reported Monday. The scientist, Shahram Amiri, spent the past two months in solitary confinement in a military prison and was hospitalized at least once because of physical and psychological pressure, according to the report on IranBriefing.net. Before his imprisonment, Mr. Amiri was subjected to three months of intensive interrogation, the report said. The report could not be verified, and much that has been reported about Mr. Amiri’s case has been confusing and contradictory. American officials said Mr. Amiri was a C.I.A. informer who voluntarily defected to the United States in 2009. When he returned to Iran, he said he had been abducted and tortured by the Americans, and Iran said he was a double-agent sent to spy on the C.I.A.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/04/world/middleeast/04briefs-Iran.html?ref=middleeast

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‘Our own people' killed top Kashmir leaders: Bhat

Shujaat Bukhari

Jan 04 2011

JAMMU: Sunday's remark by the former Hurriyat Conference chairman, Abdul Gani Bhat, that “our own people” killed Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq, Abdul Gani Lone, and academicians like Abdul Ahad Wani has created a flutter in Kashmir.

Professor Bhat, at a seminar organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) in Srinagar to pay tributes to one of its ideologues, Professor Wani, had said: “Lone sahib, Mirwaiz [Mohammad] Farooq, and Professor Wani were not killed by the Army or the police. They were targeted by our own people. The story is a long one, but we have to tell the truth.”

He added: “If you want to free the people of Kashmir from sentimentalism bordering on insanity, you have to speak the truth. Here I am letting it out. The present movement against India was started by us killing our intellectuals.”

Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq, father of the Hurriyat Conference's current chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, was killed by “unidentified gunmen” on May 21, 1990.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/01/04/stories/2011010465091400.htm

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Taliban behead militant for 'spying' for government in Pakistan

Jan 04 2011

PESHAWAR: Taliban fighters beheaded a fellow militant on charges of spying for the government in the lawless Orakzai tribal region of northest Pakistan on Monday.

Gulbat Khan was beheaded by militants in Ismail Zai area of Orakzai Agency, local residents said.

His body was found in Masam Mela area. Local residents said that Khan was found guilty of spying by Taliban court and sentenced to death.

In a separate development, five militants were killed and as many injured when the vehicle they were travelling in turned turtle in Orakzai Agency, local residents said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Taliban-behead-militant-for-spying-for-

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Clash in Mohmand; 39 suspected militants detained

Jan 04 2011

KHAR: Militants attacked a checkpoint Tuesday in northwest Pakistan’s Mohmand tribal region, triggering a shootout and prompting security forces to round up 39 suspected insurgents, a local official said.

The clash occurred in the Bhai Corr area of Mohmand, a tribal area where the Pakistani military has fought Taliban militants.

Several recent attacks in Mohmand — including pitched battles involving some 150 militants attacking five security posts — have shown the insurgents’ tenacity despite the security operations.

Government administrator Rasool Khan said no soldiers were wounded in Tuesday’s fighting but did not give any details on potential militant casualties. A search operation launched in the attack’s aftermath netted 39 suspected militants from nearby areas, he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/04/thirty-nine-suspected-militants-detained-after-

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US govt helped Boeing in fight against Airbus for max sales

Jan 04 2011

The King of Saudi Arabia wanted the US to outfit his jet with the same high-tech devices as Air Force One. The President of Turkey wanted the Obama administration to let a Turkish astronaut sit in on a NASA space flight. In Bangladesh, the Prime minister pressed the State Department to re-establish landing rights at Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Each of these government leaders had one thing in common: they were trying to decide whether to buy billions of dollars’ worth of commercial jets from Boeing or its European competitor, Airbus. And US diplomats were acting like marketing agents.

This is the high-stakes, international bazaar for large commercial jets. At its heart, it is a wrestling match fought by executives at two giant companies, Boeing and Airbus.

To a greater degree than previously known, diplomats are a big part of the sales force, according to hundreds of cables released by WikiLeaks.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us-govt-helped-boeing-in-fight-against-airbus-for-

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What Digvijaya lent weight to: Mumbai attacks an RSS, Mossad, CIA conspiracy

PRADEEP KAUSHAL

Jan 04 2011

Congress general sec retary Digvijaya Singh says he has finally obtained the call records that validate his claim that Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare rang him hours before he was killed in the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Singh has said he will display the proof at a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The BSNL call records apparently show that Karkare called Singh from his office landline between 5 pm and 6 pm on that fateful day.

"Despite the fact that BSNL does not keep records of calls for more than a year, I got the record after talking to some concerned people and I will be showing it to you tomorrow," Singh told The Indian Express on Monday.

"People called me liar...

Now I have a letter from BSNL about the call records that will prove what I said.

The call came from his (Karkare's) office landline on my mobile phone number 9425015461," Singh said.

Full report at: Indian Express

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BJP leaders defy party line, seek quota for Muslims

Jan 04 2011

JAIPUR: Defying their stated party stance, two leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party have called for implementation of the Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee's recommendations for betterment of Muslims and favoured a serious consideration of the community's demand for reservation in government jobs. They also raised the issue of encroachments on Waqf lands across the country.

The occasion was a national seminar on “Challenges before minorities” organised by Eenadu TV-Urdu at Rajmahal Palace grounds here on Sunday. A large number of political leaders, Parliamentarians, academicians, film celebrities and religious scholars addressed the day-long seminar. BJP MP and former Union Minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said while every government appoints committees, boards and working groups for marginalised communities, their recommendations rarely see the light of the day: “In this context, we would like the Sachar Committee report to be debated in the Parliament”.

The BJP has been opposing the appointment of Sachar Committee and has cited it as an instance of “minority appeasement” by the UPA Government. It has also taken exception to the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission recommending 15 per cent reservation to Muslims and inclusion of Muslim and Christian Dalits in the Scheduled Caste list.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/01/04/stories/2011010457860700.htm

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Bomb blast in Turbat wounds schoolchildren

Jan 04 2011

QUETTA: A bomb blast tore through a school bus in the insurgency-hit southwestern province of Balochistan on Tuesday, wounding at least five children, officials said.

The bus was taking more than 30 children of paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) fathers to a school in Turbat town, near the Iranian border, police and military officials said.

A remote-controlled bomb exploded when the bus neared Ata Shad College, about 550 kilometres west of the provincial capital Quetta, an FC spokesman told AFP.

“Five children were wounded, three of them are in a serious condition,” he said.

Police said more than a dozen children, aged eight to 12 years, were wounded but most of them were discharged after receiving first aid at a hospital.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Balochistan, which also borders Afghanistan, is gripped by violence blamed on separatist insurgents and Taliban militants.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/04/bomb-blast-in-turbat-wounds-schoolchildren.html

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Afghan violence leaves five civilians dead

Jan 04 2011

KABUL: Gunmen opened fire in a mosque northwest of the Afghan capital, killing four civilians, while a fifth was killed in a bombing outside a butcher’s shop in the western part of the country, officials said on Monday. The shop in Herat supplies meat to the Afghan army, and officials think the bomb targeted security forces, said Noor Khan Nekzad, the spokesman for Herat province’s police chief. At least four other civilians were wounded in the explosion, Nekzad said. A day earlier, gunmen entered a mosque in Baghlan province’s Markazi district, killing four civilians and wounding two, the provincial governor’s office said on Monday. Officials said they did not know why the mosque was targeted. Past mosque attacks have targeted government officials. The attacks were a sobering reminder that the war against the Taliban, approaching the start of its 10th year, is far from won. ap

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\04\story_4-1-2011_pg7_9

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Digvijay gives proof of conversation with Hemant Karkare

Jan 4, 2011

NEW DELHI: Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Tuesday came out with evidence to back his claim that slain Maharashtra ATS chief had indeed called him on the evening of November 26, 2008.

The congress leader had created a flutter last month as he claimed that Hemant Karkare had called him hours before his death and spoke of threats from right-wing groups.

Digvijay Singh released the records of his conversation with Hemant Karkare and demanded an apology from all who had cast aspersions on his motives and claims.

He said the phone call details were provided by the BSNL after he diligently pursued it.

Digvijay Singh said the call by Hemant Karkare was made from Maharashtra ATS office from the number 022-23087336.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Digvijay-gives-proof-of-conversation-with-Hemant-

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Pakistan must discard posture of compulsive hostility: India

Jan 04 2011

New Delhi: In a forthright message to Pakistan, India has said that its posture of “compulsive hostility” will not help a “serious and sustained” dialogue between the two countries.

Noting that the country “walked the extra mile in reaching out” to its neighbours, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said, “We earnestly hope that our neighbour would see the merit in constructive engagement and discard the posture of compulsive hostility.”

During an exclusive interview to PTI, the Minister said, “our only expectation from Pakistan is to dismantle the terror infrastructure that operates from the territories under its control. A serious and sustained dialogue can thrive only in a peaceful and terror-free climate.”

He said, “terrorism, whether State-sponsored or not, has no place in today's world and needs to be rooted out through concerted efforts of each and everyone.”

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/01/04/stories/2011010460680200.htm

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Babri witness submits photos related to demolition

Jan 04 2011

RAE BARELI: Key witness in the Babri mosque demolition case and IPS officer Anju Gupta on Monday submitted some photographs relating to demolition period before the special CBI court here.

Gupta, who was posted as security officer to BJP leader L K Advani during demolition, submitted the pictures during cross examination by the defence lawyer as to what she witnessed on December 6, 1992.

During the cross examination, counsel of Acharya Giriraj Kishore and Vishnu Hari Dalmiya told Gupta that she had earlier said in the court that those who were climbing the dome of the mosque were carrying rods and other equipments.

He questioned whether people carrying equipment were scaling the dome with both hands.

In her reply, Gupta said she could not tell whether the people were scaling the wall with one or both their hands, but could present two-three pictures which could help the court in arriving at an opinion.

Full report at:

 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Babri-witness-submits-photos-related-to-

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ATS links Best Bakery accused to Dargah blast

APURVA

Jan 04 2011

HE Rajasthan ATS now believes that all four accused in the 2002 Best Bakery case in Vadodara were part of the plot to carry out the Ajmer Dargah bombing five years later.

Three of these accused — Ramesh Gohil, Jayanti Gohil and Mahesh Gohil — are from the same family and have been on the run from Gujarat Police since 2004. The fourth, Harshad Solanki, was arrested by the ATS on November 1 last year.

In a proposal sent to the state

Home department over the weekend, the ATS suggested a reward of Rs 5 lakh for information on each of the three Gohils. “We believe they might have helped transport the two bombs used in the Dargah blast from Godhra to Ajmer,” a senior ATS officer told The Indian Express on Monday. He added that all three were residents of Vadodara.

Fourteen people were killed after a mob burnt down the Best Bakery in Hanuman Tekri in Vadodara on March 1. A local court acquitted the 22 accused in the case, but the Mumbai High Court re-opened

Full report at: Indian Express

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Federal government blast Iran over death sentence

By BRYN WEESE

Jan 04 2011

OTTAWA -- The federal government has kicked off 2011 with a strong condemnation of Iran, particularly its treatment of a woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was convicted in 2006 of adultery and for allegedly helping her lover kill her husband a year earlier, could reportedly have her stoning punishment commuted to life behind bars. The case has been under review since the fall, when Iranian authorities suspended the sentence amid overwhelming international pressure.

Since then, though, Ashtiani has made several appearances on Iranian TV to admit to her crimes. On the weekend, in a bizarre press conference with her son, she swore her confessions were of her own free will and not elicited through torture.

"With the airing of 'special programs' on Iranian TV, she is being subjugated to a sensationalist public trial that is completely at odds with international standards of due process and the rule of law," wrote Melissa Lantsman, a spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon. "Iranian authorities must respect its human rights obligations, stop this trial by media, and afford Ms. Ashtiani, and all Iranian prisoners, a fair judicial process."

Full report at:

http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2914044

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US says it supports a democratic set-up in Pakistan

January 4, 2011

The US today downplayed the impact of current political turmoil in Pakistan on war against Islamic extremists saying that its focus was on building strategic ties with Islamabad, but said it supported a democratic set-up in the country.

In its first comment on the developing political chaos in Pakistan, state department spokesperson PJ Crowley said US was watching the situation closely and was "supportive of the democratic resolution of all internal disputes in Pakistan."

"We will continue to work with the Pakistani government. We're building a strategic relationship with Pakistan," he said if US feared that political crisis could be a distraction in the fight against terrorists.

"This is about internal politics within Pakistan, which has a parliamentary system, and a coalition government, and there's activity within that coalition, and the government is working to clarify what their support is," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_us-says-it-supports-a-democratic-set-up-in-

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Sufi Muhammad’s trial begins in Peshawar prison

By Akhtar Amin

Jan 04 2011

PESHAWAR: An anti-terrorism court judge on Monday started the trial of Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) chief Maulana Sufi Muhammad amid tight security in the Central Prison.

Sufi Muhammad is facing charges of sedition, conspiring against the state and encouraging terrorism.

Public Prosecutor Khurshid told Daily Times that there were also a host of other charges against him, including those under Section 302 and 324 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

He said Swat Anti-Terrorism Court Judge Asim Imam started the trial of TNSM chief by establishing a camp court in the prison. The proceedings lasted for five hours.

The public prosecutor, who accompanied the judge, said the judge presented a charge sheet of nine cases filed against him in 1994, including the murder of MPA Badiuzzaman. Sufi Muhammad refused to sign the charge sheet, he added.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\04\story_4-1-2011_pg7_4

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Qur’an is guide to success, says Prince Khaled

Jan 04 2011

JEDDAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal has highlighted the significance of learning and memorizing the Holy Qur’an.

“There is no objective higher than the learning of Qur’an,” he said, adding that the memorizers of the holy book are among the most honored near God.

Prince Khaled made this comment while addressing a ceremony at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Sunday night, which was held to honor 25 winners of the King Abdul Aziz International Qur’an Recitation and Memorization Contest.

“The Qur’an is the guide to success in this life and the hereafter,” Prince Khaled said. “It’s the divine constitution for the whole humanity.”

He said King Abdul Aziz established the Kingdom, which reached the peak of its progress during the rule of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, on the basis of the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article228942.ece

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Bomb blast kills policeman in Kabul

Jan 04 2011

KABUL: A bomb placed in a bag exploded on a road in downtown Kabul on Tuesday, killing a policeman and wounding two civilians, authorities said, in a relatively rare attack in the Afghan capital.

There have been few attacks in Kabul since a “ring of steel” was erected in the city before a parliamentary election last September.

The bag of explosives was planted near a bridge and detonated when the officer opened it, police said. It was unclear what the device had targeted.

Violence is at its worst across Afghanistan since a US-led invasion ousted the Taliban in 2001, with record deaths on all sides of the near-decade long conflict.

Last month, two militants wearing suicide vests attacked a bus of Afghan army officers in Kabul, killing five and wounding nine.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for that assault, the first major attack in the Afghan capital since May, when six foreign troops were killed by a large suicide car bomb blast.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/04/bomb-blast-injures-three-in-kabul.html

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NEW DELHI: After 60 yrs in France, painter Raza back home

Meenakshi Sinha

Jan 04 2011

NEW DELHI: At a time when M F Hussain has taken up Qatar citizenship, another distinguished painter Syed Haider Raza has moved back to India after spending nearly six decades in France. Speaking exclusively to The Times of India, Raza, who will be 89 next month, turned nostalgic. "I love my country and want to spend my last years here. I'm very happy to return to India. India is mine and I am all Indian. Despite living in France for 60 years, I remained an Indian citizen, maintained relations with my country and read Gita Pravachan and Ramayan. I continue to read and write in Hindi," says the veteran artist who's decided to make Delhi his home.

A wistful Raza looks forward to visiting his native village in Madhya Pradesh's Mandla district coming summer. Health permitting, of course. "I want to kiss the ground of Mandla, my birthplace where I spent my early days with my brother, sister, mother and father. Jee karta hai ki iss dharti ko phir se choom loon. It is like touching my mother's feet," says Raza, who arrived in India on the night of Dec 29, 2010. He made his first public appearance for artist Teji Grover's exhibition at Arpana Fine Arts Gallery in the Capital on Monday.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/After-60-yrs-in-France-painter-Raza-back-

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Ethnic discrimination infests Afghan army, soldiers say

Jan 04 2011

MUSA QALA: Disgruntled Afghan soldiers dish out five-dollar dinner plates of fried rice and potatoes to US Marines at a camp on the frontline against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.

This culinary sideline, which supplements the US forces’ spartan rations, helps the Afghans save enough cash to bribe their commander to give them time off to see their families, the men say. Some never return.

Speaking in secret afterwards, the Afghan troops told AFP that because they are ethnic minorities in the country’s Pashtun-heavy army, bribery is the only way they can make sure their Pashtun commander gives them a break.

“The commander tells us, ‘search your pockets’. If somebody gives him money, he can take vacation. I don’t have any money so I can’t go,” said one soldier, a 20-year-old ethnic Hazara man.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/03/ethnic-discrimination-infests-afghan-army-soldiers-

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Iran hangs eight for drug trafficking, murder

Jan 04 2011

Tehran : Iran on Monday hanged seven people convicted of drug trafficking in the western city of Kermanshah and a man found guilty of murder, media reports said.

Fars news agency quoted Kermanshah prosecutor Mojtaba Maleki as saying that the seven drug traffickers were hanged "simultaneously" after their request for pardon was rejected.

"The hanging sentences were carried out simultaneously today at the central prison following the order of the revolutionary court and the head of the judiciary," he said.

The men, who were not identified, were convicted of producing and distributing drugs, such as heroin and crack, Fars reported.

The state television reported on its website another hanging in the restive southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan.

Bahman Rigi was executed in the central prison of the provincial capital Zahedan after he was found guilty of murder, "moharebe" (waging war against God) and drug trafficking, the report said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/iran-hangs-eight-for-drug-trafficking-murder/732703/

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'Taliban getting stronger, Karzai becoming weaker'

Tue Jan 04 2011

Washington : As the Obama Administration hopes to start withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan from July this year, a prominent American expert has said that situation in this war-torn country is not getting better as Taliban is becoming stronger and the Karzai government weaker.

"Washington's strategy is based on making the Taliban weaker and Afghan government stronger, but the situation on the ground is the reverse - Taliban are getting stronger and the government is getting weaker. This will be a tougher and tougher problem," said Jessica Mathews, president, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington-based think tank.

"This will be a tougher and tougher problem. As members of the coalition leave, the United States will have to pick up more of the slack. Despite talk of a draw down, this reality may mean instead that there is a request for more funds and forces," she said.

"In Afghanistan, we're likely going to see a lull in fighting during the harsh winter, but violence will pick back up," she said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/taliban-getting-stronger-karzai-becoming-

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5, including MQM, ANP activists, gunned down in Karachi

Jan 04 2011

KARACHI: At least five people, including a senior activist of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and another of the Awami National Party (ANP) were gunned down in separate incidents of targeted killing and violence in different areas of the metropolis on Monday.

According to details, unidentified armed men shot dead an activist of the MQM in front of the Nazimabad Inquiry Office. Area police said MQM’s joint sector in-charge Adil Jaffery was passing from the said locality when unidentified men on a motorcycle intercepted him, sprayed him with bullets and fled.

On receiving the information, police rushed to the spot and moved the body to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital while tension engulfed the area. Following the incident, an angry mob took to the streets and staged a protest demonstration causing suspension of traffic and business activities in Nazimabad, Paposh Nagar and surrounding areas. Aerial firing was also reported from different areas. Two buses, one rickshaw and a tea hotel were set on fire in the said locality.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\04\story_4-1-2011_pg7_2

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Manila: Dead fetus found in plane toilet

Jan 4, 2011

MANILA: A dead fetus was found in the bathroom of a plane that arrived in the Philippine capital on Monday, according to police.

Aviation police investigator Marcelino Peninoy says a cleaner discovered the remains of the 5 to 6-month-old male fetus Monday on the Etihad Airways aircraft after it arrived from Abu Dhabi.

The identity of the mother was unclear.

The gruesome discovery comes months after a woman gave birth on another flight to Manila and dumped the live infant in an airplane trash bag.

Abortion is illegal in the Philippines and the mother could face charges if she terminated the pregnancy.

In September, a returning Filipino worker who abandoned her baby after giving birth on a plane claimed she was raped by her employer.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Manila-Dead-fetus-found-in-plane-

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Asian aid convoy arrives in Gaza

Atul Aneja

Jan 04 2011

DUBAI: More than 100 Asian activists calling for the lifting of the Gaza blockade and ferrying vital humanitarian aid entered the Palestinian coastal strip on Monday

They are part of an Asian aid convoy, Asia1, which started on December 2 from Rajghat in New Delhi and travelled by road to Syria, after crossing Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.

As a part of the convoy, a ship named Salam, which sailed from the Syrian port of Latakia, brought for Gaza residents humanitarian supplies worth a million dollars. Apart from medicines, foodstuffs and toys, the aid cargo includes four buses.

The eight members of the caravan on the ship were Sudhir Sawant (former MP), Shaheen Kattiparambil (Student Islamic Organisation), Ajit Sahi (journalist) and Aslam Khan (All India Students Association) from India; Koichi Sakaguchi from Japan; Hakim Alizade from Azerbaijan; Muhammad Hussein from Indonesia and Norazli Bin Musa from Malaysia.

Around 170 human rights activists from 18 Asian countries were part of this humanitarian task force.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/01/04/stories/2011010453411900.htm

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Bank of America rushing to limit WikiLeaks damage

Narayan Lakshman

Jan 04 2011

Washington: United States banking giant Bank of America is scrambling to save itself from becoming the next institution to be exposed by WikiLeaks, the whistleblower website that raised a storm by revealing secret State Department diplomatic cables.

Reports suggest BoA has appointed “a team of 15 to 20 top... officials, led by the chief risk officer, Bruce Thompson” to oversee wide-ranging internal investigations, covering thousands of documents and instances where computer files and security could have been compromised.

The BoA's actions came shortly after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hinted in an interview with the Forbes magazine over a month ago that his organisation would be releasing tens — possibly hundreds — of thousands of documents pertaining to “a big U.S. bank” that would expose an “ecosystem of corruption” within that bank.

In that interview, Mr. Assange also said the upcoming exposé would not only reveal flagrant violations of law and unethical practices, but also supply a vast number of documents describing the supporting decision-making structures and the internal executive ethos of the bank.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/01/04/stories/2011010453431900.htm

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Krishna to visit Afghanistan

Sandeep Dikshit

Jan 04 2011

NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will visit Afghanistan on January 8 and 9 at the invitation of his Afghan counterpart Zalmai Rassoul, said a Foreign Office statement.

“The visit is part of the regular high level consultations between the two governments and is an expression of the friendship and understanding that exists between India and Afghanistan.''

As a strategic partner of Afghanistan, “India stands steadfast with the government and people of Afghanistan in their efforts to build a strong, peaceful, democratic, pluralistic and prosperous Afghanistan,” it said.

http://www.hindu.com/2011/01/04/stories/2011010465111400.htm

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Egypt on high alert ahead of Coptic Christmas

January 04, 2011

Egypt was on high alert on Monday ahead of the Coptic Christmas holiday following a New Year's Day church bombing that killed 21 people as investigators raced to identify those behind the attack.

Police cancelled leave for top officers and were tightening surveillance of airports and ports to prevent suspects from leaving the country, as new checkpoints were set up across the nation. Security was also to be beefed up at churches for Christmas which Copts celebrate on January 7.

The clampdown comes amid fears of new protests by Copts following overnight clashes at Cairo's St Mark's Cathedral — headquarters of Coptic leader Pope Shenouda III — during which 45 policemen were wounded.

The protesters pelted with rocks a Minister who had come to visit the pope and heckled other Government officials while other demonstrators blocked off four main streets in Cairo before police dispersed them. Coptic Christmas will fall on Friday — the weekly Muslim day of prayer and rest — and Shenouda said he intended to say mass as usual on Christmas Eve.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/308023/Egypt-on-high-alert-ahead-of-Coptic-Christmas.html

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Doda presents picture of complete harmony

January 04, 2011

At a far-off mountain, a top-ranking Hizbul Mujahideen militant was killed while sleuths of the police were interrogating another following his arrest in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh. This was not a hot topic among the people living in this mountainous district headquarters. Instead, they preferred to watch a rally of 700 children spreading awareness on environment and listening to Ministers and top officials on development and transparency.

For more than 15 years, Doda was the hub of militant activities. Hundreds of militants were sheltering in its mountain tops and intermittent plains. Security camps located in every nook and cranny indicate how much deployment was pressed in pursuit of the insurgents.

The area was often in news for killings and human rights abuses.

The scenario has changed now. The last militancy incident reported in the city was a grenade blast around a year ago. Officials admit that the security scenario has changed in the area as most of the militants have been neutralised. A recent security review encouraged the authorities to strip many mainstream political leaders and workers of their body guards. Even the Deputy Chief Minister’s rally was guarded by a skeletal security staff.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/308051/Doda-presents-picture-of-complete-harmony.html

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Israel hails India's moves to tighten sanctions against Iran

Jan 04 2011

Jerusalem : Israel described as a "positive trend" India's moves to tighten sanctions against Iran and stop illicit business with the country and said this signaled an evolving attitude of New Delhi towards the Islamic Republic.

Attributing the change in trend to US President Barack Obama's trip to India in November last year, The Jerusalem Post reported that this change in India's relations with Iran was seeing evolving even before Obama's visit, which had helped the trend.

The daily claimed Teheran had refused to sell oil to India because of new rules instituted by New Delhi to prevent Indian businesses from doing illegal trade with Iranian companies.

Officials from the central banks of both countries are expected to meet Friday to discuss the new regulations.

India, said to be importing 400,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Iran, has barred its companies from dealing with Iran through the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), a financial clearinghouse that includes the central banks of India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Iran, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka, the report said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/israel-hails-indias-moves-to-tighten-sanctions-

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US wants to scan travellers at Pak airports

Jan 4, 2011

ISLAMABAD: The US has sought data of all passengers flying out from Pakistan and proposed to deploy American security officials at Pakistan's airports to thwart terror attacks on its soil, a Pakistani Foreign Office official has revealed.

According to the official, Washington had been pushing Pakistan for months to give it access to the Passenger Name Record (PNR) — a manifest of passengers used by airlines and travel agency databases, the Express Tribune reported on Monday.

The proposed plan also includes the deployment of US homeland security officials at Pakistan's airports for enhanced scrutiny of passengers travelling to America.

"Initially, they had asked for the record of all passengers travelling outside Pakistan," the official was quoted as saying. "We resisted that idea and now they are asking for the record of passengers who travel to the US from Pakistan." He said the US believes that the step would ensure Pakistani passengers have a "trouble-free" journey.

"The US government thinks allowing its officials to be deployed at Pakistan's airports will stop mistreatment," said another official.

 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/US-wants-to-scan-travellers-at-Pak-

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Magsi asks Kayani to help trace the missing

Jan 04 2011

SUI: Balochistan Governor Zulfiqar Magsi has requested Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to take steps for resolving the issue of missing people.

“It is a very serious and important issue of Balochistan and should be resolved without any delay.”

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the Sui Military College, he said that anti-state elements were exploiting the issue.

“Where are these missing people. It is the right of their families to know their whereabouts,” Mr Magsi said, adding that if they were in the custody of a civilian agency or with the ISI and MI, they should be handed over to police and produced before courts.

He said the missing people should be tried in a court of law if they were involved in any crime.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/04/magsi-asks-kayani-to-help-trace-the-missing-2.html

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Women fighters willing to die for Gaza

Jan 04 2011

Gaza (CNN) -- With faces covered and guns loaded, Palestinian militants are training among the sand dunes of Gaza.

Shouts of "Allahu Akbar" -- God is great -- are followed by intense target practice. These militants are preparing to fight their sworn enemy, the state of Israel. But there is a difference -- they are women.

Training alongside men, they say they are ready to go into battle and are calling on more Palestinian women to join what they call the resistance against Israel.

CNN was given rare access to some of these women inside Gaza. The militant group insisted the location was kept secret, so we were blindfolded in the back of a car and driven to a house.

Five women are sitting in the back garden, all from the Salah ad-Din Brigades -- one of several militant groups in Gaza -- all veiled and armed. Only their eyes are uncovered.

Sitting beside a table of guns, rocket-propelled grenades and land mines, the scene is carefully choreographed for our camera and the message is clear.

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/01/03/gaza.women.fighters/

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Jeddah will have world's biggest gold factory

Jan 04 2011

JEDDAH: Jeddah is home to a thriving local gold industry. Now it will be home to the world's largest gold factory.

"The factory will become a reality by the end of this year," Essam A. Aziz Sultani Al-Ashrafi, chief executive officer of Taiba for Gold & Jewels Co. Ltd., told Arab News on the sidelines of a news conference on Monday. The press meet was convened to announce the launch of the "Golden Plume Contest" for gold jewelry designers at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI).

The contest has been organized by the World Gold Council (WGC) in cooperation with the head of the Jeddah Jewelers Board, Taiba and the Khadija Bint Khowailid Businesswomen Center of the JCCI.

The factory, once operational, will employ 500 to 800 workers, thus creating jobs for young Saudis, Al-Ashrafi said, adding that this ambitious project is the brainchild of Taiba for Gold & Jewels.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/economy/article228917.ece

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Hamas men in Fatah jail on hunger strike

Jan 04 2011

RAMALLAH: An official Palestinian human rights organization on Monday said that the “health of striking Hamas prisoners is deteriorating.”

Mamdouh Al-Aker, the director of Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), told the Hamas website that representatives of his commission visited the Bethlehem hospital where the prisoners are receiving medical care.

Hamas said its seven prisoners were being held in the Palestinian Authority (PA) central prison in West Bank city of Jericho. They launched the hunger strike late in December to protest what they called “cruel treatment and humiliation” and to demand to be released in accordance with the Palestinian High Court of Justice ruling. They were transferred to the Bethlehem hospital after their health deteriorated.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article228838.ece

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Saudi kills younger sister in Aden

Jan 04 2011

ADEN: A 24-year-old Saudi is in police custody on charges he murdered his 23-year-old sister in Mansoura, Aden province, Yemen.

The Yemeni Ministry of Interior said M.A.A. Al-Thabhani was arrested for stabbing his sister repeatedly in the neck, chest and left hand. The motive behind the murder was cited as a domestic dispute.

Al-Thabhani is detained as the investigation progresses. The body of the woman, who was not identified by name, is being kept at a local morgue until the investigation is over.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article228836.ece

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/pakistan-governor-salman-tasser-killed-over-blasphemy-law/d/3872


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