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Islamic World News ( 24 Oct 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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307 Madrasas Including Darul Uloom, Deoband—An Islamic Education Institution Declared Illegal, Says UP Survey

New Age Islam News Bureau

24 October 2022

Darul Uloom


• 'Insaniyat' Above All: Muslims and Hindus Join Hands To Worship Kali In Kolkata

• Dubai’s Multi-Cultural Growth Shines As Diwali Begins: Community Leaders

• Islam Rejects Sectarianism, Extremism, And Terrorism In All Forms: PM’s Special Representative

• Salman Rushdie Loses Sight In One Eye And Use Of One Hand Following Attack: Agent



• RSS Leader Indresh Kumar Pays Visit To Delhi's Nizamuddin Dargah Ahead Of Diwali

• RSS Construct Of Muslim Unrelated To Real Muslims: Patnaik

• Germany Sticks To Jammu &Kashmir Line

• MHA cancels FCRA licences of Sonia Gandhi-led trusts accused of getting funds from China, Zakir Naik

• Marathi Muslim Seva Sangh Meets Uddhav Thackeray, Vows Support

• Muslim Personal Law Board Suspends Its Women’s Wing; Faces Criticism

• Security forces bust terrorist hideout in J&K

• Doctor Using ‘Zakat’ Money To Treat Patients From All Communities


Arab World

• Rights Commission Highlights Saudi Arabia’s Efforts, Reforms In Human Rights

• 9 Daesh/ISIS terrorists captured in al-Bab, northern Syria

• Lebanon’s top Christian cleric raps MPs for creating ‘presidential vacuum’

• Egypt’s Dar al-Iftaa launches ‘Fatwa Pro’ app

• Lebanon, Syria discuss sea border after Beirut’s deal with Israel

• Saudi Crown Prince will not travel to Algeria for Arab summit per doctor’s advice

• JPMorgan set to hire 20 more bankers to boost operations in Saudi Arabia

• West seeking to throw independent countries, like Iran, into disarray: Top Syrian diplomat



• Media’s Role In Countering Disinformation About Islam Critical: Marriyum

• Transgender rights law: Activists, religious leaders come face to face

• No bar on Imran from contesting election: IHC chief justice

• Bajaur peace body resents officials’ ‘failure’ to honour commitments

• Terrorist killed in Shalobar IBO: ISPR

• Soldier martyred thwarting terrorists’ attack from Afghanistan: ISPR



• Dutch Police Disperse Planned Quran Burning Rally Of Islamophobic Group Pegida

• UK says Russia continues to use Iran's UAVs against Ukraine

• Tens of thousands rally in Berlin in support of anti-government protests in Iran

• Türkiye rescues over 50 irregular migrants illegally pushed back by Greece

• Finnish delegation to visit Türkiye for talks on terrorists' extradition

• Iran blasts 'destructive' Western measures after 'baseless' drone claims


South Asia

• Taliban Says Educational Institutions Should Conform to International Standards

• Afghanistan: Islamic Clerics In Balkh Call On Taliban To Form Inclusive Govt

• Taliban Claims Killing ISIS Commanders in Northeastern Afghanistan

• Women’s Participation in Peace Negotiations Decreased: UN Report

• Taliban Criticize Alleged Abduction of Afghan Baby by US Marine 

• Afghan envoy demands UN committee to investigate Hazara genocide


North America

• US Envoy Malley Lambasted For Saying Iranians Protesting For ‘Respect’ From Regime

• Iran may be sending more drones to Russia: Blinken

• Iran says Washington lacks political will to revive nuclear deal

• Files seized from Trump home included secret docs on Iran, China



• Christian, Muslim Leaders Brainstorm On Religious Tolerance, Unity

• Northern APC Christians Seek Boycott Of Campaign Over Muslim-Muslim Ticket

• Bomb blast, gunfire at Somali hotel kill 3, wound 8

• Burkina Faso junta leader names lawyer as prime minister

• At least nine killed in Somalia car bomb, shooting attack on Kismayu hotel

• Sudan suspends NGO that took government to court over internet access

• Thousands protest deadly tribal clashes in Sudan’s south

• Somalia looks to Turkish support to help fight terror in communications domain


Southeast Asia

• Malaysia Int’l Quran Contest Manifestation of Islamic Unity: Religious Affairs Minister

• Malaysian politicians must reckon with a more demanding electorate

• Young ones don’t have what it takes, says Dr M

• Ex-Johor poster boy Hasni being considered for parliamentary seat

• Veterans group slams Hadi for masterminding Sheraton Move



• Iran’s Guards Accuse Cleric Of ‘Agitating’ Youths Against ‘Sacred’ Islamic Republic

• 'Türkiye doesn't see Iraqi peace, stability, well-being as separate from its own'

• President Rayeesi: Iran Ups Export by 40 Percent in 1 Year

• Iranian Army Ground Force Holds Large-Scale Military Exercise

• FM Reiterates Iran's Opposition to Geopolitical Changes in Region

• Iran says will provide Russia with ‘40 turbines’ to help its gas industry

• Yemen's National Defence Council labels Houthis as terror group

• Yemen’s separatists call for placing Houthi rebels on terror list

• Yemeni government condemns Houthi attack on oil port in Hadhramaut

• Palestinian resistance fighters open fire on Israeli forces in Nablus

• Iran supports Iraqi nation, government, determined to expand ties: Foreign minister

• Israeli court rejects early release of cancer-stricken Palestinian prisoner

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



307 Madrasas Including Darul Uloom, Deoband—An Islamic Education Institution Declared Illegal, Says UP Survey

Oct 24, 2022

Darul Uloom


SAHARANPUR: Saharanpur district officials on Sunday declared Darul Uloom, Deoband—an Islamic education institution — as an 'illegal' unrecognised Madrasa, following a survey conducted by the government submitted its report.

The district officials named 306 other unrecognised Islamic education institutions in their report as illegal. “Information about 306 illegal madrasas that were traced was sent to administration. Darul Uloom Deoband is also an illegal Madrasa and is deprived of scholarships & other schemes,” Bharat Lal Gond, district minority welfare officer said.

“An investigation was done on basis of parameters set by the administration like the year of establishment of the madrasa, the society that runs it, the name of the madrasa, and their source of income,” he added.

“Whatever decision the administration takes, based on that complaint will be filed,” BL Gond further said.

According to reports, 754Madrasas are registered with the district administration. Of which 664 runs up to fifth grade, 80 are up to eighth grade, and the remaining 10 Madrasas are class 10 bound.

Source: Times Of India

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'Insaniyat' Above All: Muslims and Hindus Join Hands To Worship Kali In Kolkata

Oct 24, 2022

Members of both Hindu and Muslim communities at the Kali Puja pandal on Sunday


KOLKATA: A more than four-decade-old Kali Puja in the city has been - and still is, in these times of religious intolerance - a beacon of inclusivity, with Muslims and Hindus celebrating the festival each year with equal gusto.

Both communities have been conducting the puja, now in its 42nd year, under the banner of Railways Lines Young Boys Association in Cossipore. As Ayub Rangrez, the president of the puja for the last three years, put it bluntly: "Insaniyat (humanity) is the greatest religion. Our blood is red."

For Amit Jaiswara, 32, the club's joint secretary, the idea is to include everyone - religion no bar - in the festivities. "We hear so much negative news nowadays, but here we celebrate the festive season together and help each other during crises. Ayub Bhai even proposed we celebrate Chhath together for the first time."

Shabnam Khan, 26, who is a member of the puja committee, as is her best friend Anjali Gond, 21, said: "For the last couple of years, we have been celebrating Kali Puja and Diwali with lots of fanfare, like we celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr every year." On Saturday, Shabnam and Anjali were busy receiving guests who had come to inaugurate the puja.

Priyadarshini Ghosh Bawa, one of those guests, said the experience was touching. "It was a beautiful moment when Shabnam felicitated us, Abda welcomed us, and Hindu members asked for a small pause in the inauguration programme to allow the evening azaan," she said.

‘We stay together and celebrate together’

Priyadarshini Ghosh Bawa, one of those who inaugurated the Kali Puja, said it was the perfect representation of “our secular, tolerant country, where humanity rises above the limits of religion”. Bawa works extensively in this belt, in which her father — Kolkata deputy mayor Atin Ghosh — is a councillor.

“The Isha azaan started around 7. 45pm on Saturday at Bibi Bazar Mosque, next to our pandal, when we were in the middle of the inauguration programme. It continued for about five minutes, and we had paused our inauguration,” said Ayub Rangrez, the president of the puja association.

The Kali Puja is held in an area popularly known as 22 Number Basti, where most residents are labourers in the Cossipore railway goods yard. “The puja was small before I took over as president in 2020. Now we have an average budget of Rs 1. 5 lakh,” Rangrez said. “We stay together and celebrate our festivals together,” said Abda Begum, a 45-year-old homemaker who is in charge of the arrangements. On Sunday morning, she was busy buying vegetables at the nearby Bibi Bazar market.

Vicky Begum, 34, in charge of handling the khichdi Bhog where more than 1,000 people will have Prasad on Tuesday evening, said: “This year, members of four nearby clubs have also been invited to have Prasad which we serve the day after the puja is complete. ”

Source: Times Of India

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Dubai’s multi-cultural growth shines as Diwali begins: Community leaders

24 October, 2022

Fireworks light the sky above Dubai Festival City to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, in the Gulf emirate of Dubai, on October 23, 2022. (AFP)


Diwali, the famous Indian festival of light, usually celebrated with crackers, gifts and sweetmeats, returns to Dubai with much-anticipated pomp following a brief lull owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Al Arabiya English connected with some Indian community leaders in the Gulf city, home to over three million from the Asian sub-continent, to understand what the festival stands for now ahead of the celebration today.

Traditionally celebrated by the Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities, the multi-day festival symbolizes the triumph of good over evil or light over darkness.

“Diwali in Dubai is special,” Dr Aman Puri, the Consul General of India, told Al Arabiya English.

Affirming a widely believed large-scale return of Diwali celebrations post-COVID, Puri said, “the Indian diaspora are eager to go in full swing with their celebrations this time after scaled-down events in the last two years.”

The vibrancy of the festival is best displayed on the streets of old Dubai, primarily Karama and Bur Dubai, where apartment balconies sport an array of colorful LED lights, clay oil lamps and flower decorations.

“Over the past couple of years, we have had the heads of state come around and acknowledge the celebration and allow us to integrate closely with them once again,” claimed the temple chairman.

“Every year, over 10,000 devotees flock to the Shri Krishna Temple to seek the Lord’s blessings… Now that Dubai has successfully helped bring the pandemic to a close, we are all free to congregate and celebrate,” said Karani.

“From the days of having to burst crackers for the children secretly to the point of complete acceptance and support [by the local authorities] has by far been the biggest celebratory change,” remarked the honorary chairman of the decades-old temple.

“The lights installed at everyone’s homes make the sky light up like never before. Dubai surely knows how to be outstanding at this, even here, building upon building all over Dubai look like they are ready for the next global event,” he told Al Arabiya English.

A festival for everyone

Another community leader, Surender Kandhari, Chairman of Dubai’s Guru Nanak Darbar, passionately explained the history of the festival’s relevance to the Sikh community.

“Diwali is doubly important for us,” said Kandhari in a chat with Al Arabiya English. The Gurudwara welcomes thousands of UAE residents through its doors during the celebration.

“Since the Gurudwara opened in 2012, every year we celebrate Diwali with great pomp,” said Kandhari, crediting the UAE government with aiding its success as a “community center” for people of all beliefs.

Backed by a long history of service to the community, the Sikh place of worship offers free food in a large hall throughout the day by employing cooks and volunteers in a community kitchen called ‘langar’.

“The society in the UAE is very inclusive. So, every single celebration of ours is done with everybody in mind; we celebrate Diwali, Christmas, New Year, and even Ramadan,” he said, adding that Iftar is made available for all 30 days in the Sikh place of worship for those who observe the Islamic tradition.

For Diwali, the Gurudwara is expecting nearly 40,000 attendees at its prayer hall and community dining place, with support from the Dubai Police and Roads and Transport Authority for security and traffic management, the Gurudwara chairman said.

With festivals like Diwali fostering a sense of cross-cultural understanding between the various communities and their traditions, Kandhari said that the government supports these activities to a great extent.

“Each religion shows us how to live together, how to exist together, how to support each other.

“Festivals like Diwali allow us to forward these aspects,” Kandhari said decisively.

Karani agrees and noted: “Diwali celebrations have grown in leaps and bounds like the city of Dubai. We as a community have never felt away from home for the warmth, openness and hospitality extended by the local communities.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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Islam Rejects Sectarianism, Extremism, And Terrorism In All Forms: PM’s Special Representative

Oct 23 2022

Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Maulana Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi. — Photo Tahir Ashrafi's Twitter


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Interfaith Harmony and the Middle East Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi said Islam rejected sectarianism, extremism, and terrorism in all their forms and manifestations.

Addressing an "International Tahzeem-e-Harmain Al-Sharifain Conference" in Abuja (Nigeria), he said to get rid of these social evils, it was necessary to disseminate the message of Islam in its actual context, which Muslims received from the holy lands of Makkah and Madinah.

Ashrafi, who is also the Chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council and Secretary-General of the International Tahzeem-e-Harmain Al-Sharifain Council, said there was no room for such myths in Islam as it was a religion of peace, security, and moderation.

He said the situation of unrest in some Islamic countries was due to external interference which could be stopped by forging unity in the Muslim Ummah.

He said the union would help contain Islamophobia and resolve the issues confronting the Muslim Ummah on the global level.

Ashrafi also endorsed the stance of Saudi Arabia on the oil issue and said that Pakistan and the entire Islamic world were standing by its narrative for global economic stability.

Ashrafi said the entire Muslim Ummah’s message was loud and clear that they would not compromise on the security, sanctity, and stability of the soil of Harmain Al-Sharifain at all costs.

The PM's aide further said that Kashmir and Palestine were the two burning issues of the Muslim Ummah, and they should be resolved as per the will of the Kashmiris and Palestinians.

He maintained that interfaith dialogue was also the need of the hour adding that Pakistan had prepared a document, titled "Paigham-e-Pakistan" (Message of Pakistan) to get rid of sectarianism, extremism, and terrorism.

Terming Harmain Al-Sharifain as the centre of Muslim Ummah, he said the way Saudi Arabia serves humanity was admirable and praiseworthy.

Besides leading Ulema, Mashaykh and religious scholars from all over the Islamic world addressed the conference, including Dr Ibrahim Jamia Otoyo, Dr Dawood Abdul Baqi Muhammad, Dr Imam Issa Abdul Kareem, Dr Sulaiman Usman, Dr Muhammad Abdullah Al-Thani, Dr Sharafuddin Badibur Aji, Dr Muhammad Munir Ilyas, Dr Muhammad Al-Haaj Abu Bakr, Dr Abu Bakr Muhammad Al-Thani, and Dr Al-Khizar Abdul Baqi Muhammad.

Source: Geo TV

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Salman Rushdie loses sight in one eye and use of one hand following attack: Agent


Salman Rushdie

File Picture


Salman Rushdie lost sight in one eye and the use of one hand following an attack on stage at a literary event in western New York in August, his agent said. Andrew Wylie, who represents literary giants such as Saul Bellow and Roberto Bolano, described the extent of the injuries Rushdie suffered in the“brutal” attack in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais. Wylie described the author's wounds as“profound,” and noted the loss of sight of one eye.

“He had three serious wounds in his neck. One hand is incapacitated because the nerves in his arm were cut. And he has about 15 more wounds in his chest and torso.” The agent declined to say whether The Satanic Verses author, 75, was still in hospital more than two months after police said a 24-year-old New Jersey man stabbed the writer in the neck and torso just before Rushdie was to give a lecture at Chautauqua Institution, a retreat about 12 miles (19 km) from Lake Erie.

The novelist was rushed to the hospital after sustaining severe injuries in the attack, including nerve damage in his arm, wounds to his liver, and the likely loss of an eye, Wylie said at the time.

The attack came 33 years after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then Iran's supreme leader, issued a fatwa, or religious edict, calling on Muslims to assassinate Rushdie a few months after The Satanic Verses was published. Some Muslims saw passages in the novel about the Prophet Muhammad as blasphemous. Rushdie, who was born in India to a Muslim Kashmiri family, has lived with a bounty on his head, and spent nine years in hiding under British police protection.

While Iran's pro-reform government of President Mohammad Khatami distanced itself from the fatwa in the late 1990s, the multimillion-dollar bounty hanging over Rushdie's head kept growing and the fatwa was never lifted. Khomeini's successor, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was suspended from Twitter in 2019 for saying the fatwa against Rushdie was“irrevocable.”

The man accused of attacking the novelist has pleaded not guilty to second-degree attempted murder and assault charges. He is being held without bail in a western New York jail.


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RSS leader Indresh Kumar pays visit to Delhi's Nizamuddin Dargah ahead of Diwali

Oct 23, 2022

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) National Executive member and Muslim Rashtriya Manch patron Indresh Kumar on Saturday paid a visit to Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, New Delhi, and lights earthen lamps inside the premises of the shrine, ahead of Diwali.

The RSS' Muslim wing, Muslim Rashtriya Manch called for peace and prosperity in the country.

The move of Muslim Rashtriya Manch patron and senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar lighting 'earthen lamps' inside the Nizamuddin Dargah complex, marks a message of peace, prosperity, and communal harmony.

RSS leader Indresh Kumar reached Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi yesterday. He also offered flowers and chadar at the dargah of Sufi saints.

Also Read | RSS body slams AAP govt in Delhi for firecracker ban: ‘Hurting sentiments…’

"The festival of Diwali is celebrated in the world including India. It brings happiness and prosperity to every household. This festival erases all the religious differences and the differences between the provinces. India is a land of pilgrimages, festivals, and fairs. All of them give bread to the poor and increase brotherhood among themselves. He said that every festival teaches us that we do not want bigotry, malice, hatred, riots, or war. We want peace, harmony, and brotherhood," Indresh Kumar said.

"No one should be forced to convert and do violence. Everyone should follow their own religion and caste. Do not criticize and insult other's religions. When all religions are respected in the country, then the country will be free from the fundamentalists who make stone pelting on Friday. India is the only country that respects and accepts all religions," he added.

Source: Hindustan Times

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RSS construct of Muslim unrelated to real Muslims: Patnaik

Subhoranjan Dasgupta  


If RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat is worried about the supposedly higher population growth among Muslims, he should advocate the spread of education among Muslim women and oppose the hijab ban in Karnataka that is keeping Muslim girls out of educational establishments: Prabhat Patnaik, professor emeritus with JNU The first part was published on October 17.

Q: If you analyse the entire past of the RSS, do you come across a single example of sympathetic understanding on its part of the role and position, genuine and alienated, of the Muslim in the Indian scenario?

Patnaik: The Muslim, as the RSS sees him, is a pure construction, unrelated to reality. (This pure construction is different from the construction of concepts that characterises thought in general). In fact, the RSS uses this phantom notion of a Muslim to attack flesh-and-blood Muslims.

This construction, however, can retain its integrity only if it is not empirically grounded, only if the empirical Muslim is not allowed to intrude into the picture. That is why you will find that very few staunch RSS cadres have any acquaintance with any real Muslim; and that is also why, when ordinary Hindus have any contact with a real Muslim, the RSS dissuades them by giving all such contacts a fantastic interpretation. Thus, if a Hindu girl marries a Muslim man, it becomes “love jihad”, a union with an ulterior motive.

This is not to say that persons who follow the RSS do not have Muslim contacts at all, or that persons with Muslim contacts do not get into the RSS flock, but typically their justification in such cases would be: “My Muslim contact is an exception.”

The question of the RSS developing any sympathy for the empirical Muslim or appreciating his role in any context runs contrary to its construction of the Muslim. It would either not have any sympathetic understanding of any empirical Muslim, or if perchance it does, it would do so with the idea that the object of its sympathy is not really a Muslim.

Q: Lalu Prasad has declared that the RSS should be banned as well. Your studied comment on this weaving of equivalence?

Patnaik: The RSS had been banned by the then home minister, Sardar Patel, following Gandhi’s assassination, but the ban was lifted when it gave an undertaking that it would abjure all political activity. It has blatantly violated that promise. Even the argument that it has never directly engaged in political activity (though it has done so through political parties that constitute its front organisations) cannot stand scrutiny any longer.

If it were a pure socio-cultural organisation, then foreign ambassadors, industrialists, educationists and prominent Muslims, not to mention ministers and BJP bigwigs, would not be making a beeline to meet its chief, Mohan

Bhagwat. Hence, even if we ignore its active role at present in fomenting communal hatred, it would still be liable to the serious charge of having violated its original undertaking. And, of course, the principle on which the PFI is banned applies equally to the RSS.

I am, however, generally opposed to the idea of banning organisations. If they engage in any criminal activity like terrorism, then that should be dealt with under the law of the land. But as far as their influence on people is concerned, that should be combated through counter-influence and through political activity by progressive, secular forces.

Q: Bhagwat’s annual Vijaya Dashami address this year dwells on a religion-based population imbalance and the silence of the minority community when it comes to criticising Islamist terrorism. On two other recent occasions, he has called for the total abolition of the caste system and urged that all Dalits and marginal groups be brought under the huge Hindutva umbrella. What are the political compulsions behind the pronouncement? Do these remind you of the famous French adage: The more it changes (outreach to Muslims and Dalits) the more it remains the same (Hindutva)?

Patnaik: In my answer I would like to concentrate on the aspect of population imbalance. Several writers have already pointed out that, according to the Government of India’s own National Family Health Survey, while the fertility rate has declined in India for all groups, this decline has been faster among Muslims than among other religious groups. In fact, the difference between the Hindu and Muslim fertility rates now is quite marginal, because of which many talk of a “convergence in fertility rates” across religious groups.

It is well established all over the world that a major determinant of population growth is the level of education among women. If Mohan Bhagwat is so concerned about the supposedly higher rate of population growth among Muslims, he should advocate the spread of education among Muslim women; and he should oppose the stand of the Karnataka government headed by the BJP, his own organisation’s front party, that is keeping Muslim girls out of educational establishments through its hijab ban.

But he does not do so, from which one can infer that he is not really worried about the so-called differential rates of population growth across these communities, which he knows to be untrue, but rakes it up only as a means of targeting the minority community. This completely belies the so-called “reaching out” he is supposed to be doing.

Even in discussing the “convergence” of fertility rates among religious communities, we are getting trapped in Bhagwat’s discourse. He has talked of the need for a population balance but a population imbalance, far more serious than between religious groups, exists between states in India.

Kerala and, to a lesser extent, other southern states, have been remarkably successful in effecting population control, while northern states like Uttar Pradesh have been much less successful. This has actually been a disadvantage for Kerala whenever the devolution of central funds occurs on the basis of population. This differential, therefore, requires urgent addressing because it entails penalising success in population control.

If Bhagwat is really concerned with population balance per se, he should be asking states like Uttar Pradesh to reduce birth rates. But his sole preoccupation is with the Hindu-Muslim dichotomy, where each of these categories is taken as an integrated and pure totality, and that too without drawing distinctions between, say, the “Kerala Muslims” and “UP Muslims”, and the “Kerala Hindus” and “UP Hindus”.

His so-called “outreach” to Muslims, therefore, involves a logical contradiction: it does not visualise an overcoming of differences but a perpetuation of differences within which adjustments have to be made by the minority community if it hopes to be “acceptable”.

Exactly the same holds on his stand vis-a-vis Dalits. If Bhagwat’s idea is to overcome differences between Dalits and upper caste Hindus, he should be welcoming marriages across these two groups, should be castigating atrocities on Dalits which are actually growing, and should be directing his organisation to protest against such atrocities. But none of this has been on the RSS agenda. His professed concern for Dalits therefore appears a mere electoral gambit.


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Germany sticks to Jammu & Kashmir line


Germany on Sunday said it had not changed its position on Kashmir and the “bilateral path” was the way forward to resolve the vexed issue, days after India rejected a call by the German and Pakistani foreign ministers for involving the UN for a solution.

German ambassador to India Philipp Ackermann told PTI in an interview that there was no new German policy on the Kashmir issue.

India reacted sharply after German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock and her Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at a joint media conference in Berlin on October 7 spoke about a possible role by the UN to resolve the Kashmir issue.

“Frankly, we were a little surprised by the harshness of the media. You know the media and social media were a bit harsh. We take note of it. So, apparently, the wording she (Baerbock) used was the reason for misunderstandings,” Ackermann said.


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MHA Cancels FCRA Licences Of Sonia Gandhi-Led Trusts Accused Of Getting Funds From China, Zakir Naik

Oct 24, 2022

NEW DELHI: The Union home ministry has cancelled the foreign funding licences of two trusts linked to the Gandhi family—Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) and Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT), citing violations of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.

Sonia Gandhi is the chairperson of both the trusts.

The FCRA cancellation follows investigations by a government panel set up in 2020 after BJP president J P Nadda said RGF had received $300,000 from China and the Chinese embassy in 2005-06 to “conduct studies that are not in the interest of India”.

RGCT was in the news for having got a Rs 50 lakh donation in 2011 from Islamic Research Foundation, an NGO headed by Zakir Naik, and now banned as an “unlawful association” under UAPA.

'Panel with MHA, CBI, ED and tax officials probed Sonia-led trusts'

The inter-ministerial committee probing the trusts comprised senior officials of MHA, CBI, ED and the income-tax department.

Apart from Sonia Gandhi, other trustees of RGF, set up on June 21, 1991, include former PM Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, P Chidambaram, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Suman Dubey and Ashok Ganguly.

BJP chief JP Nadda’s claim that RGF had received donations from China came close on the heels of Rahul questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership in the context of Chinese incursions along LAC in Ladakh in 2020.

Nadda had then said Congress had no moral right to talk about the country’s security after having taken money from China through trusts linked to the Gandhi family.

"This is a secret relationship between Congress and China. These people take funds from China and then conduct studies that are not in the interest of the country. These studies create the environment for that. The nation wants to know for what they were paid and what study they conducted,” Nadda had said.

RGF was also cornered by BJP for allegedly having received funds from fugitive Mehul Choksi; former Yes Bank CEO Rana Kapoor accused of money laundering; and foreign embassies.

BJP had also alleged that foreign receipts were being transferred between RGF and RGCT, in violation of FCRA rules.

As per FCRA, the Centre can prohibit an entity from accepting foreign donations if it finds that they are likely to prejudicially affect sovereignty and integrity of India, public interest or friendly relations with any foreign state, among others.

RGF, despite being a privately-run trust, has its office at Jawahar Bhawan, located on prime government land.

Gandhi family, organisations linked to it not above law: BJP

Welcoming the cancellation of the FCRA licenses of two NGOs headed by Sonia Gandhi, BJP on Sunday said the Gandhi family and organisations linked to them can't be above law and the action taken by them has exposed their corruption.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the MHA's decision to cancel the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act licences of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) and the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT) was as per law. He also hit out at the RGF for receiving donations from controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, the Chinese embassy and the Chinese government besides several people accused of corruption charges, including Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor, when the Congress-led UPA was in power.

Source: Times Of India

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Marathi Muslim Seva Sangh Meets Uddhav Thackeray, Vows Support

Oct 23, 2022

Mumbai: After the Communist Party of India, the Marathi Muslim Seva Sangh (MMSS) has met former CM Uddhav Thackeray and extended its support to him as his Shiv Sena eyes secular and Muslim votes riding on its anti-BJP stand ahead of the BMC polls.

Several prominent MMSS functionaries met Thackeray on Friday. The organisation said Thackeray was preserving the real Hindu culture. Assuring the team that his Sena would back Marathi Muslims, Thackeray said, “Nationalist Muslims have always supported the Sena. You have come with a feeling of brotherhood and extended support, I am very thankful. We are all Marathi, so we will work together.”

Meanwhile, Raigad Congress leader Snehal Jagtap, who is an arch rival of Mahad MLA Bharat Gogawale, also met Thackeray at Matoshree. Sources said she may join the Sena and fight against Gogawale.

Source: Times Of India

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Muslim Personal Law Board suspends its women’s wing; faces criticism

22nd October 2022

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board has dissolved its women’s wing after seven years of its formation. The body is now being criticised strongly by several members publicly complaining of the move as ‘unfair and unjust’.

Members have alleged that the move was prompted by the differences between the executive members with women members over their board’s position on the hijab row.

Women’s wing convenor Dr Asma Zehra, received a letter on October 11 from AIMPLB general secretary, Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani informing her that the wing was suspended, stopping her from holding any program under the wing banner. Social media accounts used by the wing members were also asked to be deleted, the letter said.

Executive member Qasim Rasool Ilyas, in a report by the Times of India, however, said that the wing was suspended temporarily for the board to study its mandate, and will be functional again. When asked about the reason for the dissolution of the wing, Qasim Rasool Ilyas said that the wing members carried out activities like teaching women sewing, tailoring, and stitching and also started giving scholarships to students which is not a part of the board’s purview.

In an open letter, Tahniyat Ather, a member of the board from Hyderabad, said that the wing was dissolved since the men were unhappy and the board was thus considered the board male and maulvi dominated. The board has over 251 general members, of which about 30 are women. Its executive committee, which is the governing body, has 51 members and about five women members.

“We do not know what happened, and we were not informed of the decision. We were actively working, and are shocked by the decision. I won’t be able to say more at this point,” Ather said.

The board suspended the wing on recommendations of a four-membered enquiry committee formed in March 2022. Many members including senior committee members called AIMPLB’s decision arbitrary and unilateral.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Dr. Shaista Amber, founder, and president of the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board said that the disbanding was shameful. “This is very unfortunate; the talent and the freedom of our sisters have been stopped. This move goes against the grain of gender equality, and is shameful,” she said.

Zakia Soman of the Bharatiya Muslim Andolan, also a petitioner in the triple talaq case, said that the move exposes the true face of the board. “The board has lost its relevance after women took matters into their own hands; they have no connections with women’s rights and equality and they work to create impediments to women’s rights. The board serves to maintain the status quo,” Soman said.

Source: Siasat Daily

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Security forces bust terrorist hideout in J&K

Oct 23, 2022

JAMMU: Security forces in a joint operation on Saturday busted a terrorist hideout in a forest area in the Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir, leading to the recovery of a huge cache of ammunition and explosives.

Police said that information was received through reliable sources regarding the presence of arms, ammunition, and related material in the far-flung hilly and forested area of Khari, following which a joint team of the Army’s 23RR and police launched a search operation and suspected hideout locations were searched, which led to the recovery of a huge haul of arms and ammunition. “The recovery included 310 AK-47 rounds (rusted condition), 30 rounds of 9mm ammunition (rusted), one 9mm magazine, six AK-47 magazines (rusted), one grenade and other material,” said a police official.

A case under Arms Act and Explosives Substances Act was registered at Banihal.

Source: Times Of India

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Doctor Using ‘Zakat’ Money To Treat Patients From All Communities

Oct 24, 2022

Mumbai: Nandu Yadav, a BMC contract employee has been visiting Dr Aqeel Khan’s clinic in Bandra for the past four months as his family gets treated there at a nominal cost. Yadav, 45, is among the 150-odd people who benefits from the clinic daily.

Dr Aqeel Khan, a pathologist from Bandra, has been using Zakat money contributed by members of the Muslim community to treat the poor and the needy regardless of the religion of the patient.

As per Sharia, zakat can be used only for the Muslim community and hence Dr Khan took permission from the head of a local mosque to use the money to buy medicines for all the communities.

“Zakat amount is purely for helping the underprivileged Muslims. However, by using the ‘Ela Shari’ principle wherein a person or organisation helping the needy is made the owner of the Zakat amount, it can then be utilised for helping people from other communities as well,” said Maulana Tohid Akhtar, pesh Imam, Bandra mosque.

As some members of the community tried to take zakat money fradulently, Dr Khan thought of disbursing medicines to the needy, irrespective of their religion.

The doctor and his wife, who is also a doctor, now provide medicines for common ailments for ₹25 to underprivileged families from different communities. The small clinic at SV Road, Bandra, treats and gives medicines to nearly 150-170 patients a day and also offers various medical tests at discounted rates.

Taking out Zakat from one’s income and savings is one of the pillars of Islam and is a religious duty for all Muslims who meet the necessary criteria for wealth. A Muslim has to keep aside 2.5% of his annual savings and income as Zakat. The amount is meant to help the needy persons from the community and is a mandatory charitable contribution, often considered to be a tax, as per Sharia.

How did it start?

Dr Khan, who has been running a pathology lab at S V Road for more than 15 years, received a sum of ₹9 lakh Zakat amount from his acquaintances in the United Kingdom (UK) last year. He was told that as there were not many eligible people to receive the amount in that country, the amount should be disbursed to the needy Muslims in India.

When word of Dr Khan wanting to disburse a Zakat amount had spread, many needy persons approached him and after the initial verification, he gave them the amount. During this period, a couple approached him seeking a huge amount for their 14-year-old daughter’s cancer treatment. After going through the hospital and medicine bills, Dr Khan gave a substantial amount of the Zakat money to the couple.

After a couple of days, Dr Khan inquired about the couple and was stunned to know that the couple was well endowed as they owned two flats in the buildings in Bandra. The man also had a business from which he made a decent income, hence the couple was not eligible to get the benefit of the Zakat amount.

On learning about the fraud, he felt guilty about misusing the religious fund intended to help the needy and hence consulted Maulana Tohid Akhtar, the pesh Imam (head of congregation) of the Sunni Mosque outside Bandra station and discussed his dilemma.

The doctor also sought to know whether the remaining amount of Zakat with him could be used to buy medicines for the needy so that only the destitute would benefit. Maulana Akhtar permitted him after which Dr Khan and his wife Dr Nasreen Khan started offering medicines at ₹25 at the clinic next to the Badi Masjid at S V Road.

“I hit on the idea of buying and disbursing medicines among the poor after the fraud was played on me. Maulana Akhtar guided me on how the Zakat amount could be utilised for fulfilling the religious obligations of the givers,” said Dr Khan.

He added that he is relieved of not violating any religious norms by accepting the amount through an NGO which works for the upliftment of the needy, regardless of which religion they belong to.

According to patients, the medicines are very effective and economical hence they prefer to visit the clinic rather than consulting other doctors who charge at least ₹300 per consultancy. The patients are usually people who earn less than ₹15,000 a month and some of them who have moved away still prefer to visit the clinic whenever they are unwell and need medication.

“We were living at J J Nagar and used to visit the clinic for cheap medicines. However, after shifting to Kurla last month we realised that consultancy charges of doctors were very high,” said Shaukat Shaikh, a timely visitor of Dr Khan.

Source: Hindustan Times

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Arab World 

Rights commission highlights Saudi Arabia’s efforts, reforms in human rights

October 24, 2022

RIYADH: The President of the Human Rights Commission (HRC), Dr Hala bint Mazyad Al-Tuwaijri, highlighted Saudi Arabia’s latest efforts and reforms in human rights, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Sunday.

Al-Tuwaijri stressed that the advancements come as part of the leadership’s aim to protect and promote human rights and consolidate the principles of justice and equality, according to SPA.

The reforms in the Kingdom also aim to raise the quality of life in the country, protect various segments of society, and empower women, the HRC president said.

Saudi Arabia has placed empowering women, enhancing their rights, and activating their role in the national economy at the forefront of its reforms, she added.

The latest developments have also ensured the protection of the rights of children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities, as well as the combating of human trafficking, and developing a system of specialized legislation.

Source: Arab News

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9 Daesh/ISIS terrorists captured in al-Bab, northern Syria

Ahmet Sertan Usul 


Nine Daesh/ISIS terrorists, including four ringleaders, were captured in al-Bab, northern Syria, an area near Türkiye’s southern border, the Turkish Interior Ministry said Sunday.

Intelligence work by the Syrian Task Force al-Bab Gendarmerie Advisory Command under the follow-up and coordination of the Gaziantep Provincial Gendarmerie Command found that Daesh/ISIS units in Syria have been giving training to members of the group in the suicide bombing, sabotage, attack, handmade explosives (IED), assassination, and intelligence and that the terrorists are looking to attack al-Bab and Türkiye, said a ministry statement.

During the operation on Saturday, nine terrorists, including the group’s assassination/execution ringleader and also an assistant of the Syria/Damascus/Maddava region, codenamed Abu Mushap, was detained, along with two logistics supervisors and financial affairs supervisors.

A large cache of digital materials was seized during searches at the residences of the terrorists, who were arrested by the local court to which they were referred.

Al-Bab, cleared of the Daesh/ISIS terror group five years ago through Turkiye's Operation Euphrates Shield, became a safe haven for 400,000 civilians despite mounting attacks of the terrorist group YPG/PKK, but terrorists occasionally try to infiltrate the area.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Lebanon’s top Christian cleric raps MPs for creating ‘presidential vacuum’


October 23, 2022

BEIRUT: Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi has accused Lebanese MPs of trying to lead the country into a presidential vacuum.

Parliament is set to hold its fourth session to elect a new leader on Monday, as President Michel Aoun’s term ends on Oct. 31.

Addressing the Lebanese ruling class in his Sunday sermon, Al-Rahi said: “We have reached the height of political corruption, which is even worse than financial corruption.”

He said that during recent parliamentary sessions, some MPs had acted “as if they were in a play, instead of presenting our crises-hit Lebanon with a president who would be accepted by the Lebanese people and act as a true statesman, instead of a politician who is concerned with his own interests at the expense of the public good.”

He continued: “Is there higher treason toward the homeland than disrupting the election of a new president? Is there a better way to create more division than leading the country into a presidential vacuum?

“Is this how you respond to the statement issued by the International Support Group for Lebanon, calling on electing a president within the constitutional deadline who would assume his responsibilities at home and abroad in the current circumstances?”

Al-Rahi’s remarks came as Lebanon flounders with an economic crisis that has damaged infrastructure and caused social and health crises.

The latest challenge is a cholera outbreak in the Bekaa, the north and south, as water refining plants are no longer operating due to the public electricity network being out of service for more than two days. The power outage has also disrupted services at Beirut Airport and Beirut Port.

Caretaker Minister of Public Works Ali Hamiyeh said the airport had become dependent on three private generators.

“The cost of buying diesel for the generators is very high and we cannot guarantee that the airport can continue operating this way,” he said.

“We will discuss this issue with caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati and caretaker Energy Minister Walid Fayyad to find a solution.”

The airport relies on Middle East Airlines to supply it with diesel for the generators, but the carrier has expressed its inability to continue to help indefinitely due to the high costs involved.

Meanwhile, US mediator Amos Hochstein is expected to arrive in Beirut this week with the text of the official US agreement to demarcate the maritime borders between Lebanon and Israel.

On Sunday, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected all petitions against the deal, which paves the way for the Israeli Cabinet to approve it within the week.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the court’s decision “will allow us to move forward with the important agreement on the maritime border with Lebanon in the coming days.”

The UN Interim Force in Lebanon command in Naqoura is preparing to host the signing ceremony and Aoun is expected on Tuesday to name the official who will represent Lebanon at the event.

Lebanon and Israel are scheduled to send two separate letters to the UN about the terms of the understanding to ensure that no violations occur and to fix the coordinates of the maritime borders.

Meanwhile, a Cypriot delegation will arrive in Lebanon on Monday to discuss the demarcation of the borders between their two countries.

The delegation is expected to meet with Deputy Parliament Speaker Elias Bou Saab, caretaker Foreign Minister Abdullah Bou Habib and Fayyad.

The Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier received a letter from the Cypriot government calling for dialogue to “correct the maritime border points and coordinates between Lebanon and Cyprus in light of the Lebanese-Israeli maritime border demarcation agreement, before reestablishing them with the UN.”

Lebanon began demarcating its borders with Cyprus through negotiations between 2007 and 2009. But Cyprus violated the understanding with Lebanon in 2011 and demarcated its borders with Israel.

The agreement between Lebanon and Cyprus stipulated that the latter could not complete the demarcation with Israel without an understanding with Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Aoun instructed Bou Saab to head a delegation to Damascus to discuss the maritime border demarcation with Syria. The delegation includes Bou Habib, Hamiyeh and Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, director general of Lebanon’s General Security.

Aoun is reported to have contacted his Syrian counterpart Bashar Al-Assad a few days ago to discuss demarcating the borders.

Source: Arab News

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Egypt’s Dar al-Iftaa launches ‘Fatwa Pro’ app

October 23, 2022

The Egyptian Dar al-Iftaa institute announced the launching of its ‘Fatwa Pro’ application, during the seventh international edition of the “Fatwa and Sustainable Development Goals” conference.

‘Fatwa Pro’ is a multilingual app established to communicate with all forms of Muslim communities, especially in English and French speaking countries in its first stage to serve as a moderate mufti (judicial source of Islamic opinion) through a credible channel.

The application came out of a belief in the importance of internationalizing religious knowledge and overcoming all obstacles in order to reach its seekers.

It comes in response to issues Muslims face especially in abroad and the need for fatwas and religious rulings free of any extremist influence.

‘Fatwa Pro’ aims to be the #1 application for all legal and fatwa reference by providing a number of religious services, including: providing fatwas in an easy and simplified manner, receiving questions from all over the world and in more than one language, and responding quickly to various questions with educated opinions.

The application seeks to focus on placing fixed sections that include religious, social and psychological guidance for  Muslims to help them face various problems.

‘Fatwa Pro’s’ work cycle is supported by a group of experts, scholars, specialists and translators, to ensure the highest quality service.

Source: Egypt Independent

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Lebanon, Syria discuss sea border after Beirut’s deal with Israel

22 October, 2022

The Lebanese and Syrian presidents discussed delineating their countries’ shared maritime border on Saturday before a visit to Damascus next week by a Lebanese delegation tasked with negotiating the issue, a Lebanese official said.

A dispute over their shared sea boundary emerged last year after Syria granted a license to a Russian energy company to begin maritime exploration in an area Lebanon claimed. Several gas discoveries have been made in the eastern Mediterranean.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun earlier said demarcating the border would be next after Lebanon agreed its southern maritime boundary with longtime foe Israel following years of indirect US-mediated talks.

Aoun told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that Lebanon was keen “to begin negotiations with Syria to delineate its northern maritime boundary,” the Lebanese official told Reuters after Saturday’s talks.

Aoun then tasked Elias Bou Saab, the deputy speaker of parliament who negotiated on behalf of Lebanon in the indirect talks over the boundary with Israel, to head a delegation to Damascus next week to kickstart discussions, the official said.

The delegation would include the Lebanese foreign and transport ministers as well as the head of the General Security agency Abbas Ibrahim, the official added.

Syria’s Sham FM radio reported that details of the delineation had yet to be discussed and that Assad proposed holding direct talks via the countries’ foreign ministries.

The two leaders discussed delineation last year.

Aoun’s term as president of Lebanon, which is the midst of a deep political and economic crisis, ends on October 31. Three parliamentary sessions have failed to elect a successor.

Assad secured another seven-year term last year in an election derided by Syria’s opposition and the West as a farce.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Saudi Crown Prince will not travel to Algeria for Arab summit per doctor’s advice

23 October, 2022

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will not travel to Algeria to attend the Arab League summit based on the advice of his doctors, state news agency SPA reported on Sunday.

“King Salman had originally directed the Crown Prince to head the Kingdom’s delegation to the Arab League summit in Algeria. However, the medical team at the royal clinics recommended that the Crown Prince avoid traveling by plane for non-stop long distances to avoid ear barotrauma and effects on the middle ear. This made it impossible for the Crown Prince to visit Algeria, given that the length of the roundtrip journey should not exceed 24 hours,” SPA quoted the royal court.

Source: Al Arabiya

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JPMorgan set to hire 20 more bankers to boost operations in Saudi Arabia

23 October, 2022

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is set to add another 20 people to its Saudi Arabia operation by the end of the year as it looks to capitalize on one of the world’s few bright spots for equity capital markets.

The US bank will have doubled the size of its Saudi operations by the end of the year, compared to 2016, Bader Alamoudi, JPMorgan’s senior country officer said in an interview.

The bank will be hiring across investment bankers, local custody, client services and back office staff, he said.

“We see a very strong pipeline of deals coming up across M&A and IPOs, there’s still a lot of interest from local companies to list and from foreign investors looking to get exposure to the Saudi market,” he said.

JPMorgan chairman and chief executive officer Jamie Dimon is due to arrive in Riyadh later this week to attend Saudi Arabia’s flagship investment conference, dubbed Davos in the Desert.

US bankers have significantly expanded their presence in Saudi Arabia since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a plan to overhaul the Kingdom’s economy by opening up to foreign investors, selling off state-owned assets, and seeking to build one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds. That’s helped make Saudi Arabia a hotspot for initial public offerings even as deals dry up in other parts of the world.

Source: Al Arabiya

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West seeking to throw independent countries, like Iran, into disarray: Top Syrian diplomat

23 October 2022

Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mikdad has said that the West is seeking to plunge independent countries, like Iran, into confusion and disarray, stating that the US and its allies want the Islamic Republic to be dependent and in ruins.

Mikdad made the comments during a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Sunday.

The top Syrian diplomat pointed to the bitter and disastrous results of foreign interventions in his war-ravaged country under the false pretext of protecting human rights, and the abject failure of the Tel Aviv regime and its supporters in hatching plots and creating crises for the Syrian government and nation.

“They [the West] seek to plunge independent countries, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, into crisis. The United States and the West want Iran to ruin and become dependent, not prosperous, developed, and independent. Everyone saw what the US and its allies did to Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan,” Mikdad said.

Amir-Abdollahian, for his part, reiterated that the Palestinian issue and support for the resistance front as well as the Syrian government and people are among Tehran’s principled and logical positions.

“Political and propaganda campaigns could by no means undermine the Iranian government and nation’s determination to follow the path to progress, independence, and dignity, protect the stability and security of regional countries and counter foreign interference and the Zionist regime’s acts of aggression,” the Iranian foreign minister said.

The Iranian nation will vigilantly thwart the enemies’ plots, Amir-Abdollahian stated.

The two senior diplomats also discussed issues of common interest in regional and international affairs and stressed the need to promote the relations between Tehran and Damascus, especially economic and trade ties.

Last week, Iran’s Foreign Ministry vehemently censured the United States over meddling in the Islamic Republic’s domestic affairs after President Joe Biden voiced support for riots in the country, made an interventionist statement, and sought encouragement of violence.

“On Saturday, Biden interfered for the umpteenth time in Iran's state matters by supporting the riots as he has done ever since the outbreak of recent developments in Iran,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani said.

He added, “Given the fact he neither does enjoy trusted advisers nor a good memory, I remind him that Iran is so strong and steadfast that it would not give in to his cruel sanctions and idle threats. It is also so proud that would be unfazed by the interventions and exclamations of a politician tired of years of the futile campaign against Iran.”

Source: Press TV

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Media’s role in countering disinformation about Islam critical: Marriyum

October 23, 2022


Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb urged the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) member states to “optimally utilise” opportunities offered by digital platforms and social media to help improve the image of Islam and Muslims.

“The media’s role in this regard, while critical, would only be meaningful if it is given a common sense of direction,” said Marriyum.

She was in the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul to attend a two-day 12th Conference of the Information Ministers of the OIC which concluded on Saturday.

The conference underscored the need to combat Islamophobia and hatred against Islam in all manifestations while calling for “utilising new and emerging platforms and technological innovations to present the truth” about Islam effectively.

It also emphasised the importance of cooperation among OIC member states in “developing necessary mechanisms to fight disinformation and other related challenges of the post-truth era, and devising short, medium, and long-term strategic processes in the total fight against disinformation.”

Pakistan's current role in OIC

Pakistan currently holds the chair of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), which Marriyum told Anadolu Agency, is a “singular honour and important responsibility” for the South Asian nation.

Read Pakistan seeks $6.3b China debt rollover

Several initiatives were taken under Islamabad’s leadership, she said, including the Plan of Action on the Kashmir dispute, the peace, and security architecture at the OIC, launching and strengthening of humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan, efforts for the appointment of a special envoy on Islamophobia and enhancing economic coordination amongst OIC member states in critical areas like trade, investment, and IT cooperation.

The initiatives are part of resolutions adopted at an Islamabad summit of OIC foreign ministers in March.

“Pakistan is committed to playing an active role in these important areas during and beyond our chairmanship of the CFM,” she said.

Fraternal relations with Türkiye

The minister said Pakistan and Türkiye “enjoy excellent fraternal relations” which have been “transformed into a strategic partnership.”

In recent years, Ankara and Islamabad have upgraded bilateral relations through what is called the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) – where annual meetings are held in either country.

“Both countries are making progress in deepening bilateral relations in diverse areas: political, defense, trade and economy, health, education, and agriculture and industry.

“We have excellent ongoing cooperation through Joint Working Groups (JWGs) in these respective areas as well as the Strategic Economic Framework (SEF),” said Marriyum, urging the two sides “to step up their cooperation in deepening economic and trade ties.”

She said because of the signing of the Trade in Goods Agreement (TGA) in August, during the Turkish trade minister’s visit to Pakistan, “We hope that both countries would be able to achieve the target of $5 billion in the next three years.”

Current trade stands at a little more than $1 billion while the target to boost trade to $5 billion was set when Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited Ankara in June.

Will ‘never forget’ Turkish solidarity during floods

Marriyum said Türkiye dispatched 15 humanitarian flights and 13 “Kindness Trains” to Pakistan during recent floods which devastated the country with damage of around $30 billion, according to government estimates.

More than 1,700 people were killed during the flooding which affected 33 million Pakistanis.

“Türkiye is one of the foremost countries contributing to the flood relief efforts in Pakistan.

Read More Muslim schoolchildren in France often denied food options that fit their faith

“We immensely thank President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and our Turkish brothers and sisters for generously contributing to relief efforts being undertaken in Pakistan after recent catastrophic climate-induced floods in the country,” she said. “Turkish solidarity with Pakistan during these challenging times is a testament to our heart-to-heart relations. We will never forget this.”

Cooperation in co-production of audio-visual services

Marriyum said her ministry had concluded two “cooperation protocols” with the Turkish Radio Television Corporation during the 6th High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council when the Turkish president visited Islamabad in March 2020.

In addition, two more “cooperation agreements” were signed within the same HLSCC framework.

“These instruments provide great avenues of bilateral cooperation on information and content sharing as well as collaboration in broadcasting,” the minister said.

She said an agreement on co-production in audio-visual services “is being actively considered from both sides.”

Presidential orchestra gives Turkish rendition of Pakistani anthem

Expressing “profound appreciation and indebtedness” to the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Türkiye, Marriyum said the Pakistani national anthem was given a fresh rendition by Turkish artists.

Thanking Turkish maestro Cemi'i Can Deliorman, she said he “not only graciously agreed to render the recording but also declined to accept any payment of a fee to the orchestra as an expression of the close friendship between the two nations.”

“An orchestral version of the national anthem using stringed instruments, in addition to brass band instruments, is a unique asset in the national anthem repertoire of Pakistan,” she said.

She said the excellent quality of the new Pakistani anthem by the Presidential Symphony Orchestra “reflects high levels of professional artistry and skills and its audio-visual content has been uploaded for streaming on relevant online platforms and websites of the government of Pakistan for everyone to benefit from.”

Pakistan’s ‘balanced, logical approach’ to disinformation

Acknowledging the “improved” penetration of the internet in Pakistani society and “into our lives as a global phenomenon,” Marriyum said the advent of powerful smartphones and easy-to-use graphic editing software, “users can create and post some content online, which is defamatory, or false or fake, leading to misinformation and disinformation.”

But she said Pakistan has “adopted a balanced and logical approach on this issue.”

“On one hand, the legal framework is being strengthened to protect people from the effects of this disinformation.

“On the other hand, the government is making every effort to educate, inform the masses on the topic as well as to create awareness in the masses,” she said.

Marriyum said her ministry is “taking every effort to inform and educate the masses on this.

“Any fake news worthy of clarification is rebutted through print, electronic and social media,” she said, adding that a dedicated cyber wing at the ministry responds to “fake news” related to the government of Pakistan.

Urges OIC to send journalists to Kashmir, Palestine

Calling for strategic partnerships with media organizations in OIC member states, the minister said: “The situation in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir is very well-known to the world. International media has regularly highlighted the plight and continued violation of human rights of Kashmiris at the hands of Indian occupation forces.”

“This is despite the fact that Pakistan and the Kashmiris have been subjected to one of the severest forms of sustained government-funded disinformation campaigns,” Marriyum said.

“The EU DisinfoLab’s revelations unearthed a years-long disinformation operation carried out by Indian agencies to target Pakistan and the Kashmiris,” she said.

A 15-year campaign to “denigrate” Pakistan and Kashmir at international forums was discovered by the Europe-based disinformation watchdog in late 2020.

The EU DisinfoLab exposed how India Chronicles targeted the European Union and UN with more than 750 fake local media outlets and more than 10 sham non-governmental organizations.

Source: Tribune Pakistan

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Transgender rights law: Activists, religious leaders come face to face

Sheharyar Rizwan

October 24, 2022

LAHORE: In a session on the concluding day of the Asma Jahangir Conference, while on one hand activists attempted to explain to the audience what the transgender rights law was all about, religious leaders stressed it needed to be in line with Islamic principles.

The session, ‘Transgender Rights Law Under Threat and the Plight of the Community in Pakistan’, was moderated on Sunday by lawyer Reema Omer.

In her keynote address on the occasion, National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) Chairperson Rabiya Javeri Agha talked about incidents of violence against transgender persons and how the killers have never been punished.

She also referredto the Khaki vs Rawalpindi case of 2009 that argued that the transgender community needed legal representation and equal treatment as granted under the Constitution.

“These directions under the judgement were realized in the 2018 transgender rights law; it’s not about homosexuality, gay marriage. It establishes the right to self-identify – the right of a person to choose their legal sex based on their perception of their gender, what you feel inside.”

She questioned why the transgender community should be subjected to the humiliation of a test for getting an identity card when a man or woman wasn’t.

“Rolling back of the law has made a vulnerable community extremely more vulnerable now,” she concluded.

Senator Kamran Murtaza of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) attempted to clarify how religious parties were not opposed to the law, and claimed the community was being exploited by society as a whole and not by the religious circles.

“If the Constitution and law gave them all the rights, there should not have been any problem, but since they didn’t, it means the problem lied somewhere else. We want to correct the law; our issue is Islam, religion.”

Explaining the concerns with the law, the senator said the idea that a person chose their gender based on their perception was problematic; genders were determined on physical features.

These things were in turn related to issues of inheritance among others, so if there was any ambiguity over a gender, a medical board could be engaged for clarification, otherwise perceptions would create many issues, he added.

Researcher and activist Mehlab Sheikh charted the history of violence, discrimination and persecution of the community since the British era.

She explained the law, in essence, was anti-discrimination and saved the community from embarrassing procedures to determine their genders, and provided mechanism to report gender-based violence through gender expression and identity.

“Once again, a moral panic has been created that the law endangered family values and promoted homosexuality. Transgender persons were only being scapegoated,” she added.

Activist and Transgender Protection Unit in-charge Nayyab Ali questioned under what research transpersonswere labelled homosexuals.

She remarked that vulnerable communities needed legal protections because they weren’t given constitutional rights, lamenting there was gatekeeping to stop the transgender community from benefiting from the law, becoming doctors, professor, experts in ministries.

She blamed religious parties of using the law to appease their vote bank, claiming if these parties won in courts, they could use it as a vehicle to undo all progressive legislation in the country.

Islamic scholar Haider Farooq Maududi said a solution to the issue lied in the scientific and biological aspect of a transgender that could be solved amicably by seeking views of relevant experts.

Nature created a man and woman, and transgenders were categorized as those with a different chromosomal composition due to certain medical reasons. To clear any doubts, an international medical commission under the World Health Organisation (WHO) had suggested names and titles for such people that could be referred to.

Source: Dawn

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No bar on Imran from contesting election: IHC chief justice

Tahir Naseer

October 24, 2022

Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah observed on Monday that PTI Chairman Imran Khan had not been barred from contesting in future elections following the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) verdict in the Toshakhana reference against him, adding that the former premier “won’t face any problems” to contest in the NA-45 (Kurram-I) by-election scheduled to be held on Oct 30.

His observation came during a hearing on Imran’s petition challenging the ECP decision to disqualify him over what the electoral watchdog said was his failure to properly account for monetary proceeds from the sale of Toshakhana gifts while he was the prime minister.

At the outset of the hearing, Imran’s lawyer, Barrister Ali Zafar, urged the court to start hearing the petition despite administrative objections by the registrar.

When Justice Minallah questioned what the hurry was, Zafar replied that his client had been disqualified ahead of the by-election in Kurram.

The IHC chief justice observed, “Imran Khan is not disqualified for that election.

“There should be one standard for all. There is no need to rush in this case.”

The court would hear the petition once the objections were removed, the judge said.

When Zafar requested the court to issue a stay order on the verdict, Justice Minallah pointed out that the ECP’s detailed judgement was not available yet.

“Which verdict should the court stay?” he asked. “Imran does not want to return to the same seat he was disqualified from, does he?”

Zafar argued that the stay was needed because the PTI chairman was contesting in an upcoming by-election. However, Justice Minallah said Imran would not face any problems in this regard.

When the counsel argued that the public would not understand the matter, Justice Minallah replied that it was not the court’s job to explain to the public.

“This has not happened previously. The court cannot set such an example,” the judge remarked.

Zafar then said the ECP’s decision was also unprecedented. However, the IHC chief justice observed that it was normal practice to issue a detailed judgement later.

The court expected a copy of the judgement to be released within three days, Justice Minallah said, adding that if it did not happen, then the court would look into the matter.

“The court issued directives to implement [its verdict] the same day in connection with a case related to inmates. The court should issue directives to the ECP to submit the verdict today in our case as well,” Zafar contended.

At this, the judge noted that in the case Zafar referred to, the inmates were being tortured which was why urgent directives were needed.

The PTI counsel said the present case was related to a democratic issue and the ECP could “change the verdict”.

Justice Minallah, however, remained firm, observing that the court would have listened to the petition if there was any reason to rush.

Zafar argued that the ECP had “changed its verdict” in the prohibited funding case against the PTI. “This case has become a black mark against Imran Khan. He does not want to contest the election with it.”

“Many [people] have been disqualified before this case. Did it affect their politics? This court does not issue directives to any constitutional body. We are giving a week’s time. If the verdict’s copy is not received, we will see [then],” Justice Minallah said.

“Wait for the [written] verdict. This is a routine matter. The Election Commission is not delaying it,” he observed.

Zafar then told the court that the ECP had also directed to initiate legal proceedings against Imran to which the judge replied that the sessions court would hear that matter.

Subsequently, the court directed the PTI counsel to remove the objections on the petition within three days.

Imran’s disqualification and plea

The Tosha­khana is a department under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division and stores precious gifts given to rulers, parliamentarians, bureaucrats, and officials by heads of other governments and states and foreign dignitaries.

According to Toshakhana rules, gifts/presents and other such materials received by persons to whom these rules apply shall be reported to the Cabinet Division.

A reference alleging that Imran had not shared details of the gifts he retained from the Toshaskhana and proceeds from their reported sales was filed by lawmakers from the ruling coalition in August, and the ECP concluded on Friday that the former premier had indeed made “false statement and incorrect declarations” regarding the gifts — a ruling that prompted widespread protests by the PTI.

The watchdog’s order said Imran stood disqualified under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution.

Subsequently, Zafar filed a writ petition in the IHC on Imran’s behalf, requesting the court to declare the order “against the settled principles of law” on Article 63.

The plea further urged the court to declare the ECP’s order “misconceived” and set it aside.

Imran also sought a court declaration stating that the ECP lacked the jurisdiction to decide “any questions of ‘corrupt practices and disqualification’” under the Election Act and Election Rules, 2017.

Kurram by-election

NA-45 was one of the four National Assembly constituencies of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where polling for by-elections was originally scheduled for Oct 16, but the ECP postponed it. It later issued a notification for holding the polls in the constituency on Oct 30.

Source: Dawn

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Bajaur peace body resents officials’ ‘failure’ to honour commitments

October 24, 2022

BAJAUR: Members of Bajaur peace action committee comprising elders and political leaders have deplored authorities’ failure to take concrete measures to curb attempts to sabotage the ‘hard-earned’ peace in the region.

They voiced their concern at a meeting held here on Sunday under the chair of the body’s president Maulana Abdur Rasheed, who is also Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazl’s Bajaur chief.

PPP leader Akhunzada Chattan, JI’s Sardar Khan, Qari Abdul Majeed, PML-N district president Malik Gul Kareem Khan, ANP’s Sheikh Jan Zada, PPP’s Mohammad Anees Khan, and other notables were in attendance.

The participants regretted that the local authorities had yet to honour their commitments made to the committee to take steps to curb sabotage activities in the district.

They said the officials had assured to implement a 12-point agenda put forward by the committee members at the end of their week-long protest on August 28, but to no avail.

The participants slammed the PTI local lawmakers for not playing their due role in that regard.

APPEAL: Family members have demanded of the authorities to help trace the body of a man drowned in the Indus River in Upper Kohistan when a car he was driving plunged into the waters a few days ago. Six members of a family, also travelling in the car, had also drowned in the incident. Search for the bodies is ongoing.

Source: Dawn

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Terrorist killed in Shalobar IBO: ISPR

October 24, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The security forces on Sunday killed a terrorist during an intelligence-based operation (IBO) conducted in general area Shalobar of Khyber District, following reports about presence of terrorists after intense fire exchange.

The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) informed in a news release that the forces also recovered weapon and ammunition from the killed terrorist. The killed terrorist remained actively involved in terrorist activities against the security forces, it added.

A day earlier, four terrorists were killed in an intelligence-based operation (IBO) conducted by the security forces in North Waziristan.

Security forces conducted the IBO in the Spimwam area of North Waziristan after a tip-off about presence of the terrorists. After an intense exchange of fire, four terrorists were killed by the security forces.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the killed terrorists had been involved in attacks on the security forces. Arms and explosive material were also recovered from the killed terrorists’ possession during the IBO, the statement added.

Source:Pakistan Today

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Soldier martyred thwarting terrorists’ attack from Afghanistan: ISPR

October 23, 2022

RAWALPINDI: A soldier of Pakistan Army on Sunday embraced martyrdom while thwarting terrorists’ attack from inside Afghanistan across the international border who opened fire on a military post in Hassan Khel Sector of North Waziristan district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a news release said the Pakistan Army troops responded in a befitting manner. The martyred soldier was identified as Assistant Lance Daffadar Waqar Ali, 32-year-old, resident of Chota Lahore, Swabi who embraced martyrdom during the fire exchange.

“Pakistan has consistently been requesting Afghanistan to ensure effective border management. Pakistan strongly condemns the use of Afghan soil by terrorists for activates against Pakistan,” the ISPR said.

Source:Pakistan Today

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Dutch police disperse planned Quran burning rally of Islamophobic group Pegida

Selman Aksünger


ROTTERDAM, Netherlands

Dutch police on Saturday arrested a leader of far-right Islamophobic group Pegida, which ended the planned Quran burning rally of the group in Rotterdam before it started.

Anti-Islam movement Pegida earlier announced that they would gather in the city center of Rotterdam on Saturday to burn a copy of Quran, Muslims’ holy book.

As a small group of people attended the demonstration, the police warned the Pegida members on the grounds that they used hate speech.

The Dutch police told Anadolu Agency that Edwin Wagensveld, head of Pegida Netherlands, who ignored the warnings and continued his hate speech, was arrested, while other members were dispersed.

Meanwhile, several Muslim communities in the Netherlands held a counter-demonstration in the same square in Rotterdam on Saturday.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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UK says Russia continues to use Iran's UAVs against Ukraine

Oct 24, 2022

Russia continues to use Iranian unscrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) against targets throughout the Ukrainian territory, the British Ministry of Defence said on Monday.

Russia is likely using the Iranian Shahed-136 UAVs to infiltrate Ukranian air defences and as a substitute for Russian-manufactured long-range precision weapons that are becoming increasingly scarce, the ministry said in its update on Twitter.

Source: Times Of India

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Tens of thousands rally in Berlin in support of anti-government protests in Iran



Tens of thousands of people rallied in Germany's capital on Saturday to show solidarity with the anti-government protesters in Iran.

Nearly 80,000 people gathered around the historical Victory Column in Berlin, chanting slogans against the Iranian government and calling for a regime change in the country.

Protesters held Iranian flags and signs bearing the messages "Free Iran," "No to dictatorship," "Women, Life, Freedom," and "Down with Theocracy."

The rally was organized by the Woman-Life-Freedom Kollektiv and supported by opposition groups and Iranian diaspora organizations from various European countries.

Iran has found itself in the midst of mass protests following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody last month.

Amini died on Sept. 16 under mysterious circumstances after being detained by the morality police in Tehran for allegedly violating Iran's Islamic dress code.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Türkiye rescues over 50 irregular migrants illegally pushed back by Greece

Ferdi Turkten, Gokhan Duzyol 


The Turkish Coast Guard on Saturday rescued 52 irregular migrants who were pushed back by Greece in defiance of international law.

Local Coast Guard teams rushed to the help of 15 irregular migrants on rubber boats off the coast of Mugla’s Bodrum district in the Aegean Türkiye and saved them, the Interior Ministry said.

It also said one of the rescued, who was identified to be a Turkish citizen, was electroshocked by Greek security forces when he and 14 others were caught on the island of Istankoy (Kos) on Thursday.

Other migrants also told Turkish authorities that they were also subjected to mistreatment and stripped of their valuable items by the Greek security forces, according to the ministry.

In a separate incident, 37 migrants, all foreign nationals who were pushed back by Greece, were rescued off the coast of Didim district in the western province of Aydin.

Türkiye has been a key transit point for irregular migrants aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

Human rights groups and media outlets have frequently reported on illegal pushbacks and other human rights breaches by Greek authorities.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Finnish delegation to visit Türkiye for talks on terrorists' extradition

Kemal Karadag 


A delegation from Finland will visit Türkiye next Tuesday to hold technical talks on the extradition of accused terrorists sought by Ankara, as stipulated in a recent treaty.

Finnish Justice Ministry officials will meet in the capital Ankara with a delegation headed by Kasim Cicek, director general of foreign relations and the European Union at the Turkish Justice Ministry.

During the meeting, Turkish officials will reiterate their request to the Finnish delegation to extradite members of two terrorist groups, the separatist PKK and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the latter the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Türkiye. Evidence of the accused terrorists’ guilt will also be laid out in documents.

Finland and Sweden formally applied to join NATO in June, a decision spurred by Russia's war on Ukraine.

However, Türkiye, a NATO member for over 70 years, voiced objections to the membership bids, criticizing the two countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.

The three countries signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding at NATO's June summit in Madrid, which stipulates that Finland and Sweden will not provide support to the YPG/PYD – the PKK terrorist group's Syrian offshoot – or FETO.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the European Union, and the US, and is responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG – which also has a presence in Europe, openly sanctioned by several governments – is the terrorist PKK’s Syrian branch.

The Nordic countries also agreed to address Ankara's pending deportation or extradition requests for terror suspects.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Iran blasts 'destructive' Western measures after 'baseless' drone claims

22 October 2022

Iran has condemned fresh sanctions the EU and Britain have imposed against Tehran under the “bogus and baseless pretext” that Iranian-built unmanned aerial vehicles were used in the Ukraine war.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani on Saturday severely denounced the decisions by the EU's Council of Foreign Ministers and London to slap the new embargoes, dismissing the claims raised by Britain, France and Germany.

The Iranian diplomat went on to refute the groundless allegations about the delivery of drones to Russia for use in the Ukraine war, reiterating that Tehran has “always insisted that all United Nations member states should fully respect the goals and principles enshrined in the UN Charter and the international law, including the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of world countries.”

Kan’ani underscored that Iran supports peace and an immediate end to the war in Ukraine through a political process.

He also lambasted the European troika for their “irresponsible, destructive and illegal measures” to create “a poisonous political atmosphere” against the Islamic Republic.

“They are attempting to give a misleading interpretation on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 and make a connection between their baseless claims and the Resolution,” the spokesman said.

He underlined that the issues regarding the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the UNSC Resolution 2231 are totally unrelated both in terms of subject and context.

Kan’ani also pointed to the deceptive policies of European governments, saying, “The great Iranian nation would never forget that certain European countries, which have raised claims against the Islamic Republic of Iran, are partner in [slain Iraqi dictator] Saddam Hussein’s crimes as they had supplied him with weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, during the eight years of imposed war.”

He stated that Tehran still holds those European governments accountable for aiding and abetting the former Iraqi dictator in perpetrating crimes against Iranians.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran considers the ongoing provocative approaches taken by the European Union and the UK as part of a purposeful political scenario that runs counter to their hollow and hypocritical claims on contributing to sustainable peace and stability in the world,” Kan’ani said.

He also denounced the European Union over its “destructive” moves in recent days, adding, “In order to protect the national interests and ensure the legitimate rights of the noble Iranian people, the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves the right to respond to any irresponsible action and would not hesitate about defending the Iranian nation’s interests.”

Iran has previously denied allegations it provided Russia with drones, asking Kiev to submit evidence of such drones if it has any.

"We have told Ukrainian officials to produce any evidence on deployment of Iranian drones in the Ukraine war," Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Wednesday during a telephone conversation with his Croatian counterpart Gordan Grlić Radman.

Amir-Abdollahian was commenting on claims made by some Ukrainian officials about alleged unmanned aerial vehicles provided by the Islamic Republic to Russia.

He also said, "We have been and continue to be strongly opposed to warfare and armament of either side of the war."

The Iranian official acknowledged Tehran's years-long defensive cooperation with Moscow, but asserted that the Islamic Republic had not "supported the war on Ukraine, and had not provided any Iranian armaments to Russia for application in this war."

Source: Press TV

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South Asia 

Taliban Says Educational Institutions Should Conform to International Standards

By Saqalain Eqbal

23 Oct 2022

The administrative Deputy of the Taliban government’s Prime Minister, Mawlawi Abdul Salam Hanafi, stated that educational institutions should conform to international standards during the ceremony introducing the new acting Minister of Higher Education.

The Taliban’s former Acting Minister of Higher Education, Abdul Baqi Haqqani, previously stated that he would align the curriculum with international standards.

The Taliban’s new Minister of Higher Education, Neda Mohammad Nadim, was introduced by Deputy PM Hanafi on Saturday, October 22, during a ceremony in Kabul, who also urged private universities to enforce international standards.

Nadim, who formerly held the position of Taliban governor for Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, stated in the ceremony that the academic curriculum will be produced in accordance with Islamic Sharia and international standards.

However, there has been a significant backlash against the Taliban’s approach in academic institutions because; over the past year, and due to the Taliban’s influence, there have been significant changes in Afghan universities.

There has been a threefold increase in the teaching of religious subjects, an 80% drop in student enrollment in some faculties, widespread gender segregation, and the hiring of professors with inadequate education.

All these occurrences demonstrate how Afghan educational institutions have deviated enormously from so-called international standards and have become religious hotspots.

There are currently 7 students in the class out of a total of 60, according to a graphic design department student at Kabul University. Despite the fact that the core subjects are not properly taught, he asserts that only the subject of Islamic Studies is taught seriously.

Source: Khaama Press

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Afghanistan: Islamic clerics in Balkh call on Taliban to form inclusive govt

23 October, 2022

Kabul [Afghanistan], October 23 (ANI): A gathering of Islamic clerics in Mazar-e-Sharif called on the Taliban to form an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

The clerics made the remarks in a gathering in which the charge d’affaires of the Iran embassy in Kabul also participated, saying that all tribes should be included in the government, reported Tolo News.

“All tribes– whether they are Pashuns, Uzbek, Tajik or Hazara or any other tribe, they should take them on their side based on their contribution,” said Mubaligh, a cleric.

“There is employment. They (Taliban) may pay attention to the employment to provide job opportunities for the citizens,” said Mohammad Younus Ayoubi, a tribal elder.

“The Islamic Emirate cannot address the problems due to the challenges it faces. Addressing the problems of unemployment is in fact addressing the hunger in Afghanistan,” said Rahmatullah, a cleric.

Earlier, the Taliban said that its government is inclusive and that calls from foreign countries for the formation of an inclusive government is an interference in Afghan internal affairs, reported Tolo News.

Several Afghan experts said the establishment of an inclusive government could be a pathway to ending challenges that currently exist in Afghanistan.

The international community has spelt out at least four conditions before recognizing the Taliban government: forming an inclusive government, respect for the rights of women and girls and other minorities, as well as that Afghanistan not becoming a haven for insurgent groups.

This comes at a time when Afghanistan is facing a dire situation as a result of the takeover by the Taliban in August 2021. The Taliban’s swift rise to power resulted in economic disorder and food shortages that pushed the country to the brink of a humanitarian crisis.

Source: ThePrint

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Taliban Claims Killing ISIS Commanders in Northeastern Afghanistan

By Saqalain Eqbal

23 Oct 2022

The Taliban government security authorities claim that the group’s forces have killed 4 ISIS militants including 2 commanders in the northeastern Afghan province of Takhar.

Qari Aminullah Tayeb, commander of the Taliban 217th Omari Army Corps in the Northeast Zone, was quoted as saying that they found an ISIS hideout in Takhar during a joint operation on Saturday, October 22, by the Taliban-controlled Bakhtar news agency.

ISIS 4 members, including 2 of their senior commanders, allegedly died in a village in Takhar province’s Dashti Qala district, according to Qari Aminullah, who made the claim in the report.

In a different statement on Saturday, the Taliban government claimed to have killed six ISIS members on Friday night in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

The people killed, the Taliban government claimed, were responsible for both the deadly assault on the Kaaj education center and the explosion that occurred close to the Wazir Muhammad Akbar Khan mosque in Kabul.

However, independent sources have not, to date, backed up the Taliban government’s assertions.

Source: Khaama Press

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Women’s Participation in Peace Negotiations Decreased: UN Report

By Saqalain Eqbal

23 Oct 2022

The percentage of women participating in peace negotiations is decreasing, according to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, despite evidence that indicates that such agreements are more enduring when women are present.

Only with equal representation of women in leadership and participation, we can build stable, peaceful societies, said the top UN official in a tweet on Sunday, October 23.

The latest UN Secretary-General report demonstrates that the women, peace, and security agenda is further away than ever from realizing its objectives against a backdrop of escalating violent conflicts and the rollback of generational gains in women’s rights.

The report makes clear that the abrupt decline in world peace and security is resulting in untold suffering, with women and girls in countries with active conflicts particularly impacted.

Women are being persecuted for speaking out or for simply being female in many countries where violent extremist groups and military actors have taken power through violent means and rescinded commitments to gender equality, according to the report.

Source: Khaama Press

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Taliban Criticize Alleged Abduction of Afghan Baby by US Marine 

Ayaz Gul

October 23, 2022


Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban have sharply reacted to reports a U.S. military officer had forcibly taken a child away from an Afghan couple who arrived in the United States as refugees.

The couple filed a federal lawsuit against Marine Corps Attorney Major Joshua Mast and his wife last month, accusing them of allegedly abducting their baby girl, accusations Mast has denied. Mast argues that he and his wife are the child’s legal guardians.

The Taliban Foreign Ministry said Sunday it “considers this case as worrying, far from human dignity and an inhumane act, and will seriously pursue this issue with American authorities so that the said child is returned to her relatives.”

The baby, now 3-and-a-half years old, had been rescued in 2020, two years ago from the rubble of a U.S. military raid that killed her parents and five siblings.

She had gone to live with her cousin and his wife after spending months in a U.S. military hospital before they were flown to Washington by Mast along with tens of thousands of Afghans during the chaotic U.S.-led foreign troop withdrawal from Afghanistan last year.

Court records say Mast, an active-duty Marine officer, took the baby from the couple five days after they arrived in the U.S. The couple hasn't seen the child since.

The marine and his wife had adopted the child in a Virginia court, according to court documents.

"After they took her, our tears never stop," the Afghan woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Associated Press. "Right now, we are just dead bodies. Our hearts are broken. We have no plans for a future without her. Food has no taste, and sleep gives us no rest,” she added.

The Taliban Foreign Ministry renewed its criticism of mass evacuation of Afghans, saying they were “inappropriately” taken out of the country by the United States and its allies. It went on to allege that many of the evacuees “are now kept in various camps in a state of legal limbo and deprived of basic human rights.”

The statement urged the host countries to safeguard the human and legal rights of Afghan refugees in line with international laws and through consular services.

The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in August 2021 when the U.S.-backed government in Kabul collapsed, and foreign forces withdrew after nearly 20 years of war with the then-Islamist insurgency.

The Taliban takeover prompted a chaotic evacuation by the United States and other Western allies of Afghans who feared retribution for siding with the international forces against the insurgency. The U.S. alone airlifted more than 120,000 people to safety.

Many of the evacuees were flown to third countries to be processed for resettlement in the U.S. but they have yet to be resettled and reportedly face housing issues as well challenges in sending their children back to school.

No country has yet formally recognized the Taliban government’s legitimacy, citing terrorism and concerns over human rights, particularly those of Afghan women and girls.

The radical group has placed restrictions on women, undermining their access to education and work. While public and private universities across Afghanistan are open to females, teenage girls are banned from attending secondary schools from grades seven to 12.

Thomas West, the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan, told VOA last week that his delegation held a fresh round of talks with the Taliban earlier this month in Qatar and renewed Washington’s concerns over human rights issues.

“I think both sides brought a constructive attitude to those talks. I think we are on our way to rebuilding trust,” West noted.

“I made very clear that it is my view that nothing would improve the Taliban standing domestically in Afghanistan or internationally more than were they to allow over a million girls who are currently denied secondary education, the fundamental right they have to pursue those studies, and also for women to work,” the U.S. envoy stressed.

Source: VOANews

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Afghan envoy demands UN committee to investigate Hazara genocide

23rd October 2022

KABUL: Afghanistan's representative to the UN, Naseer Ahmad Faiq demanded a committee to investigate and report the targeted attacks against the Hazaras, which he termed as "acts of genocide".

While speaking at the Committee on Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Affairs of the UN General Assembly, he accused the Taliban of not being able to establish security till now, the Khama Press reported.

His statement came in the wake of the deadly attack on the Kaaj education centre in the Afghan capital. He expressed his concern about the targeting of children from a particular ethnic group.

Faiq demanded a committee to investigate and report on serious human rights violations, citing the most recent attack on the Kaaj education centre as evidence that Hazaras are systematically targeted in these attacks.

The representatives of the country in the UN also termed this situation as "extremely worrying", reported Khama Press.

He elaborated his demand saying that a fact-finding committee will be able to look into and report on all serious violations of human rights, such as the genocide of Hazaras, forced migration, and extrajudicial killings of people without a fair trial.

A serious violation of human rights, according to him, includes "killings without trial, torture, harsh treatment, and arbitrary arrests of former security forces, journalists, human rights defenders, and people connected to the resistance front."

The Afghan representative also highlighted the Taliban's "hostility" against Afghan women and termed the situation as worrying.

"The Taliban must be put under the necessary pressure by the international community in order to hold them responsible for their crimes," Faiq said.

This comes at a time when the international community is concerned about the growing human rights violations of the Taliban resulting in the deterioration of the human rights situation in Afghanistan, reported Khama Press.

Earlier on September 30, a terrorist attack at the Kaaj education centre west of Kabul killed over 54 students, mostly girls.

It led to worldwide protests and Twitter campaigns around the world raising the topic of the Hazara genocide.

After the attack on the Kaaj education centre on September 30, protests around the world began in Sydney, Australia, and later spread to more than 100 cities, parallel to the Twitter campaign.

The Hazara demonstrations still continue bringing numerous people to the streets screaming for justice. Thousands marched in London, the capital of England on Wednesday to raise the topic of the Hazara genocide to the British Parliament, reported The Khaama Press.

The violent persecution of the Afghan Shia Hazara goes back more than a century but has reached unprecedented levels in the last year under the Taliban.


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North America

 US envoy Malley lambasted for saying Iranians protesting for ‘respect’ from regime

23 October, 2022

US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley came under fire on Twitter on Sunday after tweeting that protesters in Iran have been demonstrating for “respect” from the Iranian regime.

“Marchers in Washington and cities around the world are showing their support for the Iranian people, who continue to peacefully demonstrate for their government to respect their dignity and human rights,” Malley wrote on Twitter.

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Malley’s tweet prompted a backlash from hundreds of Iranian users who noted that Iranian protesters have been calling for the downfall of the regime, not for the regime to respect their rights. Others called on Malley to resign.

Anti-government protests sparked by the death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini have rocked Iran for the past five weeks.

The protests quickly escalated and turned political with demonstrations taking place country-wide. Protesters have been chanting against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and calling for regime change.

“To be clear, the protestors in Iran are not just demonstrating for their government to respect their dignity and human rights,” Iranian-born Hollywood actress and activist Nazanin Boniadi, who recently met with State Department officials - including Malley - to discuss the protests, wrote on Twitter.

“They are saying “death to the dictator,” and “death to the Islamic Republic.” They don’t want reforms. They want an end to theocracy. Plain and simple,” she added.

Malley’s statement was “absolutely unacceptable,” Iranian American journalist Yashar Ali said on Twitter.

He added: “Iranians are fighting for their freedom from the Islamic Republic. Iranians are calling for the Islamic Republic to end. Who approved this statement??”

Columnist and commentator Bobby Ghosh said Malley’s statement was a “poorly phrased” one.

“The Iranian people are not asking for “their government to respect their dignity…” They are saying this is NOT their government, and are calling for its downfall,” Ghosh wrote on Twitter.

“If a diplomat feels he can’t say exactly what the people are demanding (although I can’t imagine why) he shouldn’t misrepresent their demands.”

Malley is an unpopular figure among many Iranians opposed to the Islamic Republic who view him as overly lenient with the Iranian regime.

Iranian dissidents accuse Malley of prioritising reaching a nuclear deal with Tehran over human rights.

Malley was a key member of former President Barack Obama’s team that negotiated the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Washington withdrew from the deal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, reimposing sweeping sanctions on Tehran.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iran may be sending more drones to Russia: Blinken

23 October, 2022

Iran may be sending more attack drones to help Russia’s equipment-starved forces strike targets in Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, as the US reiterated its condemnation of Tehran for aiding President Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

“We believe that Russia’s received dozens of these UAVs so far from Iran, with more potentially in the works,” Blinken told reporters at a briefing alongside French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna on Friday, referring to unmanned aerial vehicles.

Blinken spoke a day after the White House accused Iran of sending trainers and technicians to Crimea to help advise and support Russian attacks on Ukrainian targets.

Tehran moved some trainers and technical support to help the Russians use them, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Thursday.

Blinken said the US was working to counter Iran’s efforts and bolster Ukraine’s ability to ward off attacks.

He has previously criticized Moscow’s reliance on Iran for weapons exports as a sign of desperation amid US efforts to sanction and undermine Russian industry.

“We’re interdicting the illicit traffic in arms, including UAVs, wherever we can see them, find them and interdict them,” Blinken said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iran says Washington lacks political will to revive nuclear deal

October 24, 2022

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Monday that the United States lacked the political will for the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal.

“We do not do talks for the sake of talks. Iran is ready for the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, but it seems Washington does not have the political will,” ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said in televised news conference.

Source: Arab News

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Files seized from Trump home included secret docs on Iran, China

23 October 2022

Highly sensitive US intelligence reports on Iran and China were among the documents recovered by federal agents during their August search of former president Donald Trump's home in Florida, a report has unveiled.

They included secret documents that described US spying efforts against China and at least one of them described Iran's missile program, Washington Post daily reported Friday, citing unidentified “people familiar with the matter,” emphasizing that the documents were considered to be “among the most sensitive” in the materials seized by the FBI.

The report then cited experts as insisting that the release of information in such documents would pose multiple risks, including the leak of spies and other intruding elements collaborating with US spying efforts as well as compromising intelligence collection activities.

The FBI searched Trump's Mar-a-Lago home as part of a probe into the potential mishandling of classified information, obstruction, and destruction of government records. With thousands of documents recovered, however, Trump and his supporters have rebuked ongoing investigations and suits as a political scheme to undermine his legitimacy.

Newly surfaced findings have indicated that some of the documents seized during the FBI search were so sensitive that many top officials were not aware of their contents. In fact, confidential information about Iran and China have since been regarded as among the most top secret recovered so far.

The US Justice Department is investigating whether Trump broke the law by taking government records, including about 100 classified documents, to his Florida estate after leaving office in January 2021.

The department is also looking into whether Trump or his team obstructed justice when the FBI sent agents to search his home, and has warned that more classified documents might still be missing.

The sensitivity of the top secret documents, which could endanger US intelligence liaisons, will count as an aggravating factor when prosecutors decide whether or not to file charges in relation to the case.

Trump, meanwhile, has been careful to deny any allegations, claiming in a recently televised interview that presidents have the ability to declassify information “even by thinking about it.” Lawyers who specialize in matters of national security have dismissed such remarks.

“Who could ever trust corrupt, weaponized agencies, and that includes NARA (National Archives and Records Administration), who disrespects our Constitution and Bill of Rights, to keep and safeguard any records, especially since they’ve lost millions and millions of pages of information from previous Presidents,” said the hawkish ex-president.

“Also, who knows what NARA and the FBI plant into documents, or subtract from documents — we will never know, will we?” asked Trump on his media platform, Truth Social, on Friday afternoon.

Source: Press TV

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Christian, Muslim leaders brainstorm on religious tolerance, unity

October 23, 2022

Joseph Obung

Christian and Moslem leaders, including leaders of traditional religion, weekend, converged at the international headquarters of a Calabar-based Brotherhood of the Cross and Star (BCS) to brainstorm on how to enhance religious tolerance and foster peace among diverse religious bodies and tribes in Nigeria.

The event, which was organised by the Inter-Religious Mega Conference of the BCS, had in attendance Sheykh Imaam, Dr. Salih Animashaun, a one- time Chief Imam of Muslim Students Society, as well as HRM, Barrister Evans Nwansi, from Imo state.

Others were Dr. Amaechi Ogbeje, founder of Heaven Concern Deliverance Ministry in Agbor, Delta state, Apostle Chinedu Odenigbo, Protus Nathan Uzorma, professor of philosophy of religions and lecturer at department of religious studies, University of Uyo, amongst others.

Participants, who were united in their calls for peace and unity amongst many tribes, beliefs and races, said Nigeria, with its many tribes and religious beliefs, was better staying together. 

Chairman of the International Organizing Committee, Archbishop Emmanuel A. Ekuri, himself an academic, spoke to journalists shortly during th event.

“The week-long event featured three eventful days of intensive Evangelical Visitations to Royal fathers, top military personnel, government functionaries, and 3-day Calabar Metropolitan City Crusade for people to avail themselves with the Everlasting Gospel delivered by Leader Olumba Olumba Obu.

He said, “The event was to lay a strong foundation for the rejuvenation of the integrative spirit of unity, tolerance, love and brotherhood.”

Source: BluePrint

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Northern APC Christians seek boycott of campaign over Muslim-Muslim ticket

By Sodiq Omolaoye

24 October 2022

Following the inauguration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), some stakeholders in the party, under the auspices of Concerned Northern APC Christians Forum, have called for total boycott, reiterating their rejection of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

They insisted that the ruling party must jettison its current combination of Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima to get the support of Christians. Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja, yesterday, General Secretary of the forum, Lukas Bako, described the inauguration of the campaign council as a mere charade, saying APC’s chances at the presidency is a failed mission.

He observed that under the current arrangement, Christians would suffer untold persecution under an APC government in Nigeria. Bako said Northern Christians stand with the position of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Noting: “Christians in the APC’s PCC are betrayers who have sold their conscience in return for a plate of porridge.”

The group urged the party leadership to “do the needful by replacing the vice presidential candidate with a Christian before the commencement of campaigns.”

It also advised Christians in the PCC to resign honourably in protest, until the needful is done.

Bako said: “APC must come to terms with the reality that northern Christians are indeed notable stakeholders in the APC, and their contributions to the growth and development of the party over the years cannot be overemphasized.

“It is our firm position that the issue of a Muslim-Muslim ticket has been treated with kid gloves by the leadership of the APC. This, in our considered opinion, is a gross disregard for the religious configuration of the country and the need to ensure a balanced ticket that would address the concerns and reservations of religious groups in the country.”

Bako noted further: “It remains a hard pill to swallow for the country’s Christian community, given APC’s action in fielding a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the 2023 presidential elections.

“We also find it worrisome that the APC has not deemed it necessary to address this genuine concern in the overarching objective of carrying all members of the APC family along in preparation for the 2023 presidential elections.

“The Northern APC Christians Forum is concerned that the APC leadership’s lack of respect for the Christians in northern Nigeria has reached an alarming crescendo, which could pass for a deliberate attempt to delineate the Christian population in the north.

“Our concern also stems from the fact that the action of the APC can breed distrust among the religious groupings in the country. It must be stated that, with the Muslim-Muslim ticket, northern Christians have been marginalised without recourse to the implication of such actions in the overall psyche of the people.

Source:Guardian Nigeria

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Bomb blast, gunfire at Somali hotel kill 3, wound 8



At least three people were killed and eight others wounded when the terrorist group al-Shabaab attacked a popular hotel in the southern port city of Kismayo on Sunday, police said.

Mahad Abdi, a regional police officer in Kismayo, said the attack started with bombing followed by gunfire after al-Shabaab terrorists stormed Tawakal Hotel.

“We can confirm that at least three people, including school children, were killed in explosion,” Abdi told Anadolu Agency over the phone.

He added that the wounded people, mostly civilians, were rushed to hospitals for treatment.

Tawakal is a popular hotel frequented by Jubaland state officials and security officials.

Mahamed Nasi Guled, deputy police chief of Somalia’s southern Jubaland state, told reporters in Kismayo that the police believe that three attackers are inside the hotel battling with security forces who are trying to eliminate them.

He urged the public to stay calm.

Kismayo is a major city which is the administrative capital of Jubaland. The port city is located 500 kilometers (310 miles) south of Somali capital Mogadishu.

The al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab terrorist group claimed responsibility for the deadly attack and said it involved a suicide bombing before its fighters entered the hotel.

The attack comes as Somali military continues its offensive against the terrorist group in central region and said gained a significant ground from al-Shabaab.

Somalia has been grappling with security threats for years, with al-Shabaab being one of the main ones in the country.

Since at least 2007, al-Shabaab has waged a deadly campaign against the Somali government and international forces that has claimed thousands of lives.

The UN has warned of growing instability in the country, with its periodic reports on Somalia this year detailing attacks by al-Shabaab and groups aligned with the Daesh/ISIS terror group.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Burkina Faso junta leader names lawyer as prime minister

Aurore Bonny 


DOUALA, Cameroon

The junta leader in Burkina Faso has appointed Joachim Kyelem de Tambela, a lawyer, as prime minister by presidential decree.

Capt. Ibrahim Traore's decision came late Friday after his own swearing-in as transitional president in the West African country after a coup late last month – the second in less than a year.

Traore decided by decree to appoint Tambela, 64, as prime minister under the Constitution and the Oct. 14 transition charter.

The new head of government is a popular lawyer and writer in Burkina Faso, as well as a research professor.

Head of the Center for International and Strategic Research (CRIS) think tank, he is known for frequent appearances on local TV and radio public affairs programs, speaking on the country’s social and political situation.

The lawyer will be in charge of leading a 25-member government amid general instability.

He succeeded Albert Ouedraogo, who held the same position this March to September as part of the transition after the previous coup.

The current junta staged a coup on Sept. 30 against Lt. Col. Henri Sandaogo Damiba, the former leader of the junta known as the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration (MPSR).

Source: Anadolu Agency

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At least nine killed in Somalia car bomb, shooting attack on Kismayu hotel

23 October, 2022

A car bomb and shooting attack on a hotel in the Somali city of Kismayu killed nine people on Sunday before security forces ended the siege at the hotel and killed the attackers, a regional official said.

Gunfire erupted after an explosives-laden vehicle rammed into the gate of the port city’s Tawakal Hotel. The al Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab militant group said it had carried out the attack.

“In the explosion, nine people including students and civilians were killed and 47 others were injured, some of them seriously,” Yussuf Hussein Dhumal, Security Minister for Jubbaland, told Reuters.

“The hotel where the explosion happened was near a school, so many students were injured.”

Security forces killed three of the attackers and a fourth died in the bomb blast, Dhumal said.

Before the attack, a meeting was being held at the hotel to plan how to fight al-Shabaab, Farah Mohamed, a security officer, told Reuters from Kismayu.

Mohamed Nur, a police captain, and Farah Ali, a shopkeeper in Kismayu, told Reuters the blast at the hotel preceded the gunfire.

Video footage from the Somali National Television posted on its Twitter account showed security personnel load one of the wounded into an ambulance.

Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabaab’s military operation spokesperson, said the group was behind the attack, which he said had targeted Jubbaland region’s administrators who work from the hotel.

Kismayu is the commercial capital of Jubbaland, a region of southern Somalia still partly controlled by al-Shabaab.

Al-Shabaab was driven out of Kismayu in 2012. The city’s port had been a major source of revenue for the group from taxes, charcoal exports and levies on arms and other illegal imports.

In 2019, a similar attack at another hotel in Kismayu killed at least 26 people.

The group is battling to topple Somalia’s central government and impose its own rule based on a strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law. It has killed thousands of Somalis and hundreds of civilians across East Africa in a decade-long insurgency.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Sudan suspends NGO that took government to court over internet access

23 October, 2022

Sudan’s military government has withdrawn the accreditation of a consumer protection group that took it to court over internet cuts during last year’s military coup, the group said Sunday.

The Sudanese Consumer Protection Society (SCPS) asked a court last year to order the government to restore internet services blocked during the October 25 coup, a power grab that has derailed a fragile transition to civilian rule.

A court had twice ruled that the internet should be restored, to no avail, before services eventually resumed on November 18 last year.

Yasir Mirghani, head of the SCPS, told AFP he was handed on Sunday a decision dated October 9 to revoke the group’s permit after 24 years of operations.

A copy of the order, which has been seen by AFP, stipulated the “deregistration, seizure of assets and property, and the freezing of assets and accounts of the Sudanese Consumer Protection Society in all banks within and outside Sudan,” but did not list the group’s alleged violations.

Sudan has been in turmoil since army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan ousted the mainstream civilian bloc from a power-sharing government a year ago, triggering widespread international condemnation.

The power-sharing administration had been established in 2019 after the military ousted long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir amid enormous street protests.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Thousands protest deadly tribal clashes in Sudan’s south

23 October, 2022

Thousands of protesters gathered Sunday in front of army headquarters in the Sudanese city of Damazin, eyewitnesses said, protesting recent ethnic clashes in the country’s south that have killed 200.

Protesters “tried to enter the army headquarters” before “setting fire to the state government building,” resident Abdel Qader Ibrahim told AFP by phone from Damazin, the capital of Sudan’s southern Blue Nile state, which borders Ethiopia and South Sudan.

At least two hundred people were killed in two days last week, official media said Saturday, after clashes broke out over reported land disputes between members of the Hausa people and rival groups.

Residents said homes and shops were set ablaze and that hundreds had fled intense gunfire.

“Hospitals are facing a huge shortage of medicine as the number of the injured increases,” the state’s Minister of Health Jamal Nasser told AFP on Sunday.

State governer Ahmed al-Omda Badi declared a state of emergency on Friday to quell some of the worst fighting in recent months.

From July to early October, at least 149 people were killed and 65,000 displaced in Blue Nile, according to the United Nations.

Protesters chanted, “Al-Omda must leave,” accusing the governer of failing to protect them, according to eyewitness Haram Othman.

The Hausa have mobilized across Sudan, claiming tribal law discriminates against them by preventing them from owning land in Blue Nile because they were the last group to arrive there.

Access to land is highly sensitive in the impoverished country, where agriculture and livestock account for 43 percent of employment and 30 percent of GDP, according to UN and World Bank statistics.

Sudan has been grappling with deepening political unrest and a spiraling economic crisis since a military coup last year led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

A surge in ethnic violence in recent months has highlighted the security breakdown in Sudan since the coup.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Somalia looks to Turkish support to help fight terror in communications domain

Riyaz ul Khaliq 


Somalia is looking to learn from Türkiye’s experience to better fight al-Shabaab’s “terror ideology” in the communications domain, according to a senior official in the Horn of Africa nation.

Daud Aweis, the minister for information, culture and tourism, said the East African nation is fighting terror groups on various fronts.

“We have the military front in which we are making some progress and then there is a financial front that we are trying to regulate,” Aweis told Anadolu Agency in Istanbul, where he took part in the two-day 12th Conference of the Information Ministers of the OIC which concluded Saturday.

“The last front which is very crucial is about the ideology and that is supposed to be (spread) by using communication means,” said Aweis, who also held a meeting with Türkiye's Communications Director Fahrettin Altun.

“We discussed how the two countries can work together” in the information domain, he said.

The al-Shabaab terror group has been carrying out deadly attacks in Somalia against government officials and African Union peacekeepers since 2007, including a 2017 bombing in the capital Mogadishu that killed more than 600 people and wounded nearly 1,000 others.

Aweis said disinformation and misinformation are “really part of the problem” and Somalia was a victim of the menace.

“There are media outlets run by al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups. They were disseminating information or reports affecting the society sometimes … causing conflict and problems inside Somali society (which) also is trying to brainwash the people, especially youth,” he said.

“Now, we are trying our best to make sure we tackle this problem.

“We are trying to regulate how reports are disseminated by closing some of the media outlets owned by al-Shabaab – like social media accounts owned by terrorist groups that we identified and closed some of them,” said Aweis.

He warned, however, that the war was still going on and “it is just the beginning.”

“Misinformation is one of the challenges that we are facing.”

“Türkiye, with a background and experience, can work with Somalia and from that cooperation Somalia will achieve something big to make sure that the (terror) menace is completely eliminated from Somalia and the two countries can work together in that (area),” he said.  

Erdogan’s 2011 trip ‘crucial’

Aweis said Türkiye and Somalia have longstanding relations “but the crucial time” was when Recep Tayyip Erdogan, currently the nation's president, visited in 2011 amid a devastating drought.

“That ushered a new era for Somalia (as) the international community, which was kind of dormant about Somalia’s situation, came to wake up about Somalia because of Erdogan’s visit to Mogadishu,” he said.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Southeast Asia 

Malaysia Int’l Quran Contest Manifestation of Islamic Unity: Religious Affairs Minister

October 23, 2022

Kuala Lumpur (IQNA) – The Malaysian minister for religious affairs described the participation of Quran activists from various countries in Malaysia’s international Quran competition as a manifestation of Islamic unity.

Speaking to IQNA’s correspondent in Kuala Lumpur, Idris bin Ahmad noted that the 62nd edition of Malaysia’s international Holy Quran competition is being held after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said this year’s event has been organized in the recitation category only and the memorization category has been ditched given the continued COVID-19 restrictions

Idris bin Ahmad added that the religious affairs ministry has been working to hold the event since six months ago.

He also said that representatives of different countries are present in the final round underway in Kuala Lumpur.

Stressing the need for safeguarding Islamic values like Muslim unity, he said the organizers of the contest have always sought to bring Muslims from all over the world together under the banner of the Holy Quran and portray the true image of Islam.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Malaysian official hailed the Islamic Republic of Iran for sending top Quran reciters and memorizers to the competition every year, saying it shows the importance that Iranian officials attach to the Quranic event’s quality.

He said he enjoyed the recitation of Iranian representative Masoud Nouri on the first night of the competition, hoping that the Iranian qari, like the country’s representatives who shone in previous editions, will be successful on the path of promoting the Quran and Islamic teachings.

Idris bin Ahmad also appreciated the International Quran News Agency for sending correspondents to Malaysia to cover the international Quran event and for producing Quranic content based on moderation in different languages, including Malay.

Source: IQNA

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Malaysian politicians must reckon with a more demanding electorate

Bridget Welsh

October 23, 2022

The leaders of Malaysia's longtime ruling party sought the early election that will be held Nov. 19 to strengthen their hold on power and the spoils of office.

But the announcement of the vote last month was less welcomed by the public. Many worry about unnecessary risks from holding an election during the flood-prone monsoon season and are fatigued by seemingly endless politicking by a self-centered elite.

In their rush for an election at all costs, it is the elite politicians of the historically dominant United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) who will now face a necessary reckoning, one in which Malaysians will determine whether the country will continue to be held hostage to leaders more interested in themselves than the country.

Malaysia has gone through unprecedented, conflicting changes over the past four years. Greater political instability has been accompanied by an expansion of democratic space and greater citizen empowerment. Preelection coalition politics has evolved into more fluid post-election coalition dynamics, forcing policy compromises.

After years of neglect, the east Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo are getting more acknowledgment. With weaker and fragmented parties, political polarization around race and religion has ebbed. Yet ethnic minorities have been increasingly displaced in new political alliances. At the same time, calls for better governance have increased, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The instability that has brought four prime ministers in four years began with the May 2018 victory of the opposition Pakatan Harapan coalition over the incumbent front led by UMNO, which had led the country since independence.

Prime Minister Najib Razak was ousted from office by predecessor Mahathir Mohamad over the multibillion dollar 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal and policies that had increased the cost of living, including a poorly implemented goods and service tax. Najib was subsequently convicted on multiple corruption and abuse of power charges.

After pledging a political reset, Harapan's victory opened the political system but the coalition underestimated the costs of overpromising, lacking clear priorities, internal differences and subsequent voter disappointment. Mahathir and longtime nemesis Anwar Ibrahim were unable to work together.

In various state elections and federal by-elections since 2019, Harapan has been punished by former supporters who either did not vote or changed political loyalties. The coalition has struggled to win over younger voters, who now represent a larger share of the electorate after the voting age was lowered to 18 and an automatic voter registration system was introduced.

After 2020, a new coalition led by defectors from Harapan working with UMNO and the Malaysian Islamic Party, known as PAS, took over. UMNO built on its return to power with political deals and state election victories in Malacca and Johor.

Driven by its leaders' persistent destabilizing maneuvers, UMNO has positioned itself as the favorite to win the lion's share of seats in the upcoming 15th national general election, although it likely will not win a majority of votes and considerable uncertainty looms over the outcome.

Over a third of parliament's 222 seats are highly competitive and could be decided by small vote swings. Another third of its constituencies include substantial numbers of swing voters.

What is locally known as GE15 will also feature many new voters, as registrations have increased from 14.9 million people to over 21 million. Those under 30, with less clear political loyalties, now make up 30% of the electorate.

Unlike past elections that were touted as solutions to Malaysia's problems, this election is more of a reflection of the country's challenges.

The main battle lines are drawn between three major coalitions -- UMNO's Barisan Nasional, Harapan and the Perikatan National comprised of PAS and Bersatu, its defector allies from Harapan -- instead of two as in 2018. The vote will also feature stronger regional blocs in Borneo.

The national coalitions are led by UMNO President Zahid Hamidi, Harapan's Anwar Ibrahim and former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, respectively.

Barisan Nasional's official prime ministerial candidate, however, is incumbent Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaacob. But following the party's recent maneuver in Johor to replace its ostensible nominee to lead the state with another party official following elections, there is doubt whether it will stick with Ismail.

Traditionally, Malaysian elections have been a contest between economic performance legitimacy and stability on the one hand and demands for reform on the other, a mirror of tensions between conservative and liberal democratic forces globally.

Implicit in Malaysia's identity politics is disagreement about the best way to accommodate ethnic and regional minorities: whether through acceptance of a secondary role to the Malay Muslim majority or by meeting demands for fairer representation. Identity politics around race and religion have been the most common forms of political mobilization.

Narratives shaping GE15 have widened and been reframed. Barisan Nasional is pushing the notion that it can end instability -- ironic given UMNO's recent destabilizing role -- while Harapan still anchors itself around greater democratic governance, especially reducing corruption and protecting the independence of the country's political institutions.

UMNO has called for Najib to be pardoned and released, citing alleged political persecution. Even imprisoned, Najib continues to be an election issue.

Messaging on inclusion varies widely. UMNO's Malay nationalist narratives highlight displacement, while Harapan touts its greater pluralism. Borneo parties are demanding greater decentralization, while PAS is pushing for more exclusivist and Islamist conservative governance. New youth party Malaysian United Democratic Alliance and Warisan, Sabah's regional opposition party, are calling for a move away from identity mobilization altogether.

Voters themselves are less interested in grand political narratives. Their focus is on the economy, service quality and delivery, the social safety net such as it is, and policies to address key challenges such as climate change.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought home the realities of vulnerability and encouraged more public engagement on policies and calls for political competence. Malaysian politicians are struggling to keep up with a more demanding and vocal electorate.

From afar, Malaysia's politics looks messy. Political transitions often are.

This election will be pivotal in whether the country maintains momentum toward more democratic, robust governance. Resistance to change is strong, especially as reforms impact political patronage and ultimately involve difficult structural changes in the economy.

Source: Asia Nikkei

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Young ones don’t have what it takes, says Dr M

October 22, 2022

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad remains unconvinced that the younger generations have what it takes to lead the country to greater heights, saying their lack of experience works against them.

“Yes, I think it is time that they become more prominent in the political field, but of course their lack of experience works against them,” Mahathir told the South China Morning Post in an interview published today.

Mahathir, 97, conceded that the space for youth to shine is cramped by the lack of opportunity afforded to them in Malaysia’s politics over the years.

The report said the youth vote is an issue with a real political edge as more than one million voters between the ages of 18 and 20 are taking part in a general election for the first time.

Mahathir, who has been an MP for nine terms since 1964, said it is difficult for the young to show their abilities because they are not actually leaders although he agreed that old people should make way for the young.

“But they must show in many other ways that they are very interested in the affairs of the nation and that they can contribute towards the setting up of better governance for this country,” the daily said.

Mahathir was dismissive when asked if political parties should focus on fielding new and young faces across the board for this election.

Instead, he said that his experience is vital as a touchstone for voters who want leaders with proven track records rather than unfamiliar faces advertising their potential.

Mahathir said real experience is needed to tackle big issues such as the growing wealth disparity, weak management of the economy and an education system that has fallen behind global trends.

Source:Free Malaysia Today

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Ex-Johor poster boy Hasni being considered for parliamentary seat

October 22, 2022

JOHOR BAHRU: State Umno chief Hasni Mohammad, who was passed over for the menteri besar’s post after the state elections in March, says he is being considered as a parliamentary candidate.

“I do not deny that I am being considered by the party leadership to be listed as a candidate in another area besides my parliamentary constituency, Pontian,” he told Bernama today.

“As long as I am given a chance to stand, it’s good enough,” said Hasni, who is Pontian Umno division chief and the state assemblyman for Benut since 2008.

He was the menteri besar from February 2020 to March 2022, when state elections were held and was believed to be the frontrunner to be appointed menteri besar again.

However, Onn Hafiz Ghazi, the assemblyman for Machap, received the nod and was appointed menteri besar.

Hasni, who had previously been MP for Pontian from 2004 to 2008, said he did not discount the possibility of negative reactions from local party members should outsiders be fielded in any constituency.

“I think such initial reactions are a normal thing, with some being lukewarm towards such candidates but with Barisan Nasional’s experience, we can overcome such problems. I am confident that it could be managed wisely.”

Hasni said the choice of candidates for the general election would not be based on the interest of individuals, but on ensuring victory for the party and the peace and prosperity of Malaysians.

Source:Free Malaysia Today

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Veterans group slams Hadi for masterminding Sheraton Move

October 22, 2022

PETALING JAYA: PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has come under fire for admitting that he masterminded the Sheraton Move that caused the fall of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government in February 2020.

Arshad Raji, president of the National Patriots Association of military veterans, said it was shocking that Hadi had announced this act proudly despite it being a despicable act that had robbed the nation of its democratic rights, peace, harmony and progress.

“By engineering the Sheraton Move and nominating Muhyiddin Yassin as the prime ministerial candidate, Hadi robbed the citizens of their democratic rights, desecrated the Federal Constitution and certainly pushed the monarchy into an unsavoury corner,” he said in a statement.

Hadi had said last night that he was the prime mover of the Sheraton Move as PAS felt that the then ruling coalition was moving to eradicate the special rights of Malays by ratifying the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Arshad said the justification that Hadi helped pull the rug because of attempts by PH to ratify the convention was “most despicable”.

He said: “What is so un-Islamic about eradicating all forms of racial discrimination? Islam preaches that racial discrimination goes against the very teachings of the Prophet.”

Source:Free Malaysia Today

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Iran’s Guards accuse cleric of ‘agitating’ youths against ‘sacred’ Islamic Republic

22 October, 2022

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards accused a Sunni cleric of agitating against the Islamic Republic and warned it may cost him dearly after he said officials including the supreme leader were responsible for dozens killed in the city of Zahedan last month.

Amnesty International has said security forces killed at least 66 people in a crackdown after Friday prayers in Zahedan, in the southeast, on September 30, some of the deadliest unrest during five weeks of protests ignited by Mahsa Amini’s death.

Molavi Abdolhamid, Zahedan’s leading Sunni cleric, said during his Friday sermon that officials including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, head of the Shia-dominated state, were “responsible before God” for the September 30 killings.

A short statement on Sepah News, the Revolutionary Guards official news site, said: “Mr. Abdolhamid, encouraging and agitating youths against the sacred Islamic Republic of Iran may cost you dearly! This is the last warning!”

The protests ignited by the death of Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd who died after being detained by morality police for “inappropriate attire,” have posed one of the boldest challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution.

Though the protests do not appear close to toppling the government, unrest has swept the whole country including areas home to ethnic minorities with long-standing grievances against the state.

Zahedan is the provincial capital of the Sistan-Baluchistan province of southeastern Iran at the border with Pakistan and Afghanistan, home to the Baluch ethnic minority.

State media said at the time of the September 30 violence that “unidentified armed individuals” opened fire on a police station, prompting security forces to return fire.

The Revolutionary Guards said five members of its forces and the volunteer Basij militia were killed during the September 30 violence. Authorities blamed a Baluchi militant group. Neither that group nor any other faction claimed a role.

More protests

After protests erupted in Zahedan again on Friday, deputy interior minister for security, Majid Mir Ahmadi, said calm had returned, official news agency IRNA reported on Saturday.

He said 150 “thugs attacked public property and even those shops belonging to Sunnis.”

On Friday, police arrested at least 57 people, described as “rioters,” after protesters threw rocks and attacked banks in the city, provincial police chief Ahmad Taheri was quoted as saying by the official news agency IRNA on Friday.

State television said up to 300 protesters marched in the city after Friday prayers. It showed banks and shops with smashed windows.

Abdolhamid, the Sunni cleric, described the September 30 killing as a massacre, saying bullets had been fired at heads and chests. “Scores were killed here. I don’t have the exact number. Some have reported 90, some say less, some say more,” he said in the sermon posted on his website.

Rights groups say the government has long discriminated against ethnic minorities including the Kurds, in whose region unrest has also been particularly intense since Amini’s death.

The state denies accusations of discrimination.

Iran has blamed unrest on an array of enemies including armed dissidents. The Revolutionary Guards have attacked bases of armed Iranian Kurdish groups in neighboring Iraq.

Protesters have sought stress national unity with chants expressing solidarity between various ethnic groups.

Rights groups Hengaw reported that shopkeepers had gone on strike on Saturday in the provincial capital of Iran’s Kurdistan province, Sanandaj, and Saqez – Amini’s hometown, in addition to Bukan, another northwestern city.

Source: Al Arabiya

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'Türkiye doesn't see Iraqi peace, stability, well-being as separate from its own'

Diyar Guldogan



Ankara does not consider the peace, stability, and well-being of neighboring Iraq as separate from its own, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday told his new Iraqi counterpart.

In a phone call, Erdogan congratulated Abdul Latif Rashid on his election as Iraq’s new president, according to a statement from Türkiye's Communications Directorate.

Iraqi lawmakers elected Rashid on Thursday by a vote of 162-99, succeeding Barham Salih, who had been president since 2018.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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President Rayeesi: Iran Ups Export by 40 Percent in 1 Year


The Iranian president made the remarks at a ceremony on National Day of Export on October 21.

"All efforts should be taken towards production and development of basic technology," President Rayeesi said, adding that the value of Iran's exports to the world countries has increased by 40 percent.

He reiterated that Iran is achieving success as, according to the US officials’, their maximum pressure policy on Iran has been defeated.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iranian Army Ground Force Holds Large-Scale Military Exercise


The wargame is staged at Pasveh and Piranshahr counties in Northwestern Iranian province of West Azarbaijan, the public relations office of Iran's Army’ Northwestern headquarters announced on Sunday.

Colonel Hamid Firuzjaei, the commander of the 164th Mobile Assault Brigade of the Army’s Ground Forces, said the three-day exercise, codenamed ‘Brigade’s Role Model’, launched in Pasveh District in Piranshahr County on Saturday in order to evaluate the combat power of the forces and to display their military capabilities.

“The forces partaking in the exercise use organizational, light, semi-heavy and heavy weapons in line with the goals of the exercise and demonstrate their combat and defense capabilities,” Firuzjaei added.

The commander stressed that the forces carry out heliborne parachute operations, overnight raids, helicopter combat, control of communication roads, capture of heights and offensive destruction and urban warfare during the drill in Piranshahr.

Last month, the Iranian Army's Ground Force staged a two-day-long set of wargames in the city of Nasr Abad in Central Iran. The drills were participated by various units that hail from the Army's infantry, armored, artillery, Army Aviation, drone, engineering, airborne, and electronic warfare divisions.

Military officials say Iranian forces are in the best possible conditions and ready for defense against any possible aggression with the most state-of-the-art home-made equipment.

Iranian officials have repeatedly stressed that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, including its missile power, which are entirely meant for defense, and that Tehran’s defense capabilities will be never subject to negotiations.

Back in April, Iranian Army Commander Major General Abdolrahim Moussavi warned enemies of Iran’s crushing response and dire consequences of any aggression against the country.

The Iranian Army has experienced real fighting in every geographical condition and would respond to any threat at the highest level of capability, Major General Moussavi said.

He added the enemies that any aggression against Iran would cost them dearly.

The military official stated that his forces are vigilantly monitoring threats against the country and will confront them powerfully.

He underscored that the army will counter any threat targeting the Islamic Republic and its borders, as well as the Iranian people’s tranquility.

Brig. Gen. Moussavi added that it has made significant progress in recent years in different fields, including equipment and training.

He also underlined that the Ground Force has promoted its combat power and made progress on how to apply it during military missions.

Source: Fars News Agency

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FM Reiterates Iran's Opposition to Geopolitical Changes in Region


Amir Abdollahian made the comment during a meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Saturday.

The foreign minister also expressed opposition to the presence of foreign forces in the region, emphasizing that regional problems should be resolved by regional countries.

The top diplomat expressed Iran’s support for lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan Republic, adding that Tehran is ready to help its Northwestern neighbors resolve their border dispute.

Amir Abdollahian noted that the territorial integrity of all countries should be protected.

He called for protecting and developing the North-South Corridor via Armenia as well.

Pashinyan, on his part, thanked Iran for its efforts to establish peace and stability in the Caucasus region.

The two officials discussed bilateral relations between Tehran and Yerevan as well, exploring ways on how to further develop the ties. Both expressed satisfaction over the opening of the Iranian consulate general in the city of Kapan.

The Armenian premier announced his country’s readiness to open a consulate general in Iran’s Northwestern city of Tabriz, which was welcomed by Amir Abdollahian.

Iran's foreign minister concluded his three-day visit to Armenia on Saturday.

Iranian officials have repeatedly underlined Tehran’s opposition to geopolitical changes in the region, and reaffirmed the country is ready to use all its capacities to establish peace and stability in the Caucasus region and its growth and development.

Tehran believes that peace and stability in the region is enhanced through cooperation among the regional countries, voicing hope that the ongoing negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan over their long-running territorial dispute results in lasting peace.

Back in September, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to solve their territorial disputes through dialogue, warning that Tehran will not tolerate any change to the borders of the countries in the region.

Delivering a stern warning against any attempt aimed at changing the regional borders in the vicinity of Iran, the top military commander called on neighboring Azerbaijan and Armenia to resolve their border issues peacefully.

“We have repeatedly declared that we do not tolerate any changes to the region’s borders,” Major General Baqeri said.

“We advise Azerbaijan and Armenia to resolve their problems through peaceful channels. We do not tolerate any resort to clashes and war and will not sit idly by in the face of it,” he added.

Iranian officials have stressed the necessity for the settlement of the crises and problems in the region through collective cooperation among the regional states, and underscored that the presence of foreigners is harmful.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran says will provide Russia with ‘40 turbines’ to help its gas industry

23 October, 2022

Iran announced Sunday a contract with Russia to supply it with 40 turbines to help its gas industry amid Western sanctions over Moscow's war in Ukraine, local media reported.

Iran's “industrial successes are not limited to the fields of missiles and drones,” Iranian Gas Engineering and Development Company's CEO, Reza Noushadi, was quoted as saying by Shana, the oil ministry's news agency.

“Currently, 85 percent of the facilities and equipment needed by the gas industry are built inside the country, and based on this capability, a contract has recently been signed to export 40 Iranian-made turbines to Russia,” he added.

Noushadi did not specify when the contract was signed, and when the turbines are due to be delivered.

Following the imposition of economic sanctions over the Kremlin's offensive in Ukraine, Russia reduced or halted supplies to different European nations, causing energy prices to soar.

The Kremlin insists sanctions have prevented the proper maintenance of Russian gas infrastructure and, in particular, blocked the return of a Siemens turbine that had been undergoing repairs in Canada.

“Give us a turbine, we will turn Nord Stream on tomorrow”, Putin said at the Vladivostok forum in September, referring to a vital gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.

Western countries have accused Russia of using gas supplies as a “weapon”.

Noushadi said the US sanctions on Russia are aimed at excluding Moscow from the gas market.

“In recent years, the United States of America has widely set up LNG production plants, and recently, with the all-out embargo on Russia and then the explosion in the Nord Stream gas pipeline, it effectively eliminated one of its biggest competitors in gas exports,” he noted.

Russia and Iran hold some of the world's largest gas reserves, and are both under strict US sanctions.

Both countries have in recent months stressed the importance of enhancing bilateral cooperation.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin visited Tehran in July where he met his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi and the Islamic republic's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who also called for stronger “long-term co-operation” with Moscow.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Yemen's National Defence Council labels Houthis as terror group

Zeynep Tüfekçi Gülay  


ADEN, Yemen

Yemen’s National Defense Council said Saturday that the Houthis are defined as a terror organization and strict measures will be taken against people and entities that support the rebel group.

The Council decided on the move in accordance with its decision no. 1 dated 2022, according to state news agency, Saba.

It added that the decision was taken in accordance with international and regional conventions adopted by Yemen, as well as the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Penal Code.

The National Defense Council, chaired by the President of the Yemeni Presidential Council, Rashad al-Alimi, is the largest defense and security authority in the country.

The Houthis have commented on the move.

Governor Mebhut bin Madi said Thursday that the Houthis attacked the Al-Dabba Port in Hadhramaut with two unmanned aerial vehicles.

In a written statement, the Houthis said: "We carried out the attack as a minor warning to prevent a ship attempting to loot crude oil from the Al-Dabba Port.”

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Yemen’s separatists call for placing Houthi rebels on terror list


SANAA, Yemen

Yemen’s separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) has called for labelling the Houthi rebels a terrorist group.

The call came shortly after the rebels said on Friday that they had attacked a ship trying to “loot oil” at the port of Dhabah in the southeastern Hadhramaut province.

“The terrorist Houthi militia continues its aggression with drones on oil facilities,” STC spokesman Ali al-Kathiri said in a statement.

He called on the international community “to place the Iranian-backed Houthi militia on lists of terrorist groups.”

There was no comment from the Houthi group on the STC call.

The Yemeni government, for its part, said “all options are open” to deal with the Houthi military escalation in Yemen.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Yemeni government condemns Houthi attack on oil port in Hadhramaut

Hacer Baser


The Yemeni government on Friday condemned a recent attack by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels on a port in Hadhramaut.

“All options against the attack are on the table,” said state news agency Saba, citing a statement by the government.

The statement urged all countries to take firm steps to condemn the attack.

The Houthis have shown with the attacks that they are insistent on escalating the war and humanitarian crisis and further disrupting international navigation security, said the statement.

Governor Mebhut bin Madi said Thursday that the Houthis attacked the Al-Dabba Port in Hadhramaut with two unmanned aerial vehicles.

In a written statement, the Houthis said: "We carried out the attack as a minor warning to prevent a ship attempting to loot crude oil from the Al-Dabba Port.”

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Palestinian resistance fighters open fire on Israeli forces in Nablus

24 October 2022

Palestinian resistance fighters have opened fire on Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Nablus, amid heightened tensions in the occupied territories.

Palestinian sources said resistance fighters intensively opened fire on an Israeli military position on Gerizim Mountain in Nablus on Sunday night.

The Israeli army has imposed a strict siege on Nablus since October 11, blocking the city’s entrances with military checkpoints and earth mounds, while Israeli drones constantly hover over the northern West Bank city.

The siege came in the wake of a shooting attack carried out by the Lion’s Den group near Nablus which killed an Israeli soldier.

The siege, which Israeli officials said will continue until further notice, has had economic repercussions on a city that has a particular industrial and commercial importance for the West Bank.

The shooting took place as the Arin al-Osoud (Lion’s Den) group on Sunday vowed a strong response to the assassination of one of its members earlier in the day.

In the early hours of Sunday, Tamer al-Kilani was killed in Nablus in a bomb blast blamed on Israeli forces.

Israeli forces have recently been conducting overnight raids and killings in the northern occupied West Bank, mainly in the cities of Jenin and Nablus, where new groups of Palestinian resistance fighters have been formed.

At least 175 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank as well as in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the year, including 51 Palestinians during Israel’s three-day assault on Gaza in August, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

Local and international rights groups have condemned Israel’s excessive use of force and “shoot-to-kill policy” against Palestinians.

Moreover, reports said Palestinian acts of resistance intensified in the past 24 hours amid increased attacks by Israeli settlers and military.

Source: Press TV

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Iran supports Iraqi nation, government, determined to expand ties: Foreign minister

24 October 2022

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has reiterated the Islamic Republic’s support for the Iraqi government and nation, saying Tehran intends to expand ties at all levels with Baghdad.

Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks during a meeting with former Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi in Tehran on Sunday.

Iran will always stand by the Iraqi nation and government, Amir-Abdollahian said, expressing satisfaction with the current level of bilateral ties in political, economic, and security fields.

He highlighted, however, the need to make greater efforts to expand ties to a level proportional to the available resources, particularly in the economic sector. 

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian foreign minister also hailed Abdul-Mahdi and other Iraqi leaders’ attempts in preserving the country’s national unity resulting in the election of a new president.

Last week, Iraqi lawmakers elected Abdul Latif Rashid as the Arab country’s new president, who immediately named a prime minister, thus breaking a months-long political deadlock and paving the way for the formation of a new government.

Iraq witnessed months of political deadlock after influential Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s bloc emerged from last October elections as the biggest parliamentary faction, but was still far short of a majority, causing the longest political vacuum in the country since the 2003 devastating invasion of the Arab country led by the United States.

During the Sunday meeting, the two sides also discussed the recent developments concerning the talks over the removal of anti-Tehran sanctions and reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The former Iraqi official and the Iranian minister also exchanged views on reconciliation talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia mediated by Baghdad.

Iraq has hosted several rounds of talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran at the level of intelligence and security heads since last April.

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters, enraged by the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, stormed its embassy in Tehran.

Source: Press TV

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Israeli court rejects early release of cancer-stricken Palestinian prisoner

23 October 2022

An Israeli court has rejected an appeal for the early release of a cancer-stricken Palestinian patient held in jail, as his health condition has been seriously deteriorating.

The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) said the district court in Lod on Sunday turned down another request submitted by the lawyer of Nasser Abu Hamid who asked Israeli judges to consider his critical health condition and order his early release.

The court hearing was held in the absence of the Palestinian prisoner due to his medical condition.

The PPS warned that Abu Hamid is wrestling with death as the Israeli prison service (IPS) continues to deny him necessary medical care.

Last September, Israeli doctors issued a medical report recommending Abu Hamid’s release, saying his cancer had reached an irreversible stage.

The prisoner had not received any dose of chemotherapy for several months because of extreme lethargy leading to an inability to respond to cancer drugs.

The 49-year-old is serving seven life sentences and an additional 50 years in prison for activism in favor of Palestinians' freedom from Israel’s decades-long occupation and aggression. He began suffering from a life-threatening condition in his lungs a few months ago, but the IPS refused to allow him to receive medical attention in time.

bu Hamid had contracted pneumonia, which prompted his transfer to hospital, but he was later brought back to Israel’s Ramla prison.

Rights groups have urged all advocates to urgently intervene and pressure the Israeli regime to release him.

There are reportedly more than 7,000 Palestinians held at Israeli jails. Human rights organizations say Israel violates all the rights and freedoms granted to prisoners by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Source: Press TV

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