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Islamic World News ( 15 Jul 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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46 Cases of 'Love Jihad' Reported In UP's Bareilly in Seven Months; Most of the Girls Admitted That They Were Forced To Convert: Report

New Age Islam News Bureau

16 July 2022

 

Representational image. AFP

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• Joint Saudi, US Statement Sees Vital Agreements, Action Plan to Tackle Global Issues

• US, Saudi Arabia Agree On Stopping Iran Getting Nuclear Weapons -Joint Statement

• Pakistan Cannot Deviate from Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s Stand on Israel: Jamaat-i-Islami Chief Siraj ul Haq

• China to US: Middle East ‘Not the Backyard’ Of Any Country

 

India

• Allow worship of Shivling found at Gyanvapi mosque: Plea in Supreme Court

• Patna SSP issues clarification after backlash on PFI, RSS comparison

• Pakistan ‘Journo-Spy’: BJP Steps up Attack, Hamid Ansari Reiterates Denial

• Ansari asserts he never knew or invited Pak journalist Nusrat Mirza to any conference

• Rubaiya Sayeed identifies Yasin Malik as her abductors

• LuLu Mall: FIR against unknown people for offering Namaz

• Kerala: Two men get 7-year jail term in Valapattanam Islamic State case

• Amid Namaz row, Lucknow LuLu Mall puts up new notice, 3 detained for attempting to read Sundarkand outside

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Arab World

• Biden will announce $1 bln for food security during GCC summit in Saudi

• Saudi Arabia, US announce several agreements during Biden visit

• Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meet US President Biden

• Biden Welcomed To Saudi Arabia by Governor of Mecca Region

• Iraqi cleric Sadr’s supporters throng Baghdad streets in show of strength

• Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince receives Egypt, Kuwait, UAE leaders

• Syria Kurds urge Russia, Iran to prevent Turkey attack

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North America

• Joe Biden confronts Saudi crown prince over Khashoggi murder, expects action on energy

• US President Biden says ‘ground not ripe’ to restart Israel-Palestinian talks

• US President Biden visits Bethlehem, meets Palestinian president

• July 15 coup attempt, 9/11 attacks should be viewed equally: Ex-envoy

• Abbas tells Biden he 'extends hand' for peace with Israel

• US announces extension of visas for Saudi nationals from five to 10 years

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Pakistan

• Pakistan Court Declares PM Shehbaz Sharif's Son Suleman Proclaimed Offender In Money Laundering Case

• Nine terrorists killed, soldier martyred in Balochistan in search for abducted man

• Sri Lanka crisis sends warning signals to debt-ridden Pakistan

• JUI-F leader gunned down in North Waziristan

• Body to decide if President Alvi, ex-PM Imran can be tried for treason

• Efforts on to allay tensions after days of violence in Sindh

• Anchorperson Imran Riaz stopped from leaving country

• SC to hear PTI’s plea against changes to accountability law from 19th

• Army soldiers rendering great sacrifices for country: President, PM

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Southeast Asia

• Chinese President Xi Praises Paramilitary Group Accused of Abusing Uyghur Muslim Minorities

• PAS could quit PN over Hadi’s exclusion from deal, says analyst

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South Asia

• Man Shoots Himself in the Head, Adding to the Mystifying Suicides in Afghanistan

• Acting Foreign Minister Mutaqqi: Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Has Made Progress with International Countries Relations

• Cash-Strapped Taliban 'Exploiting' Afghanistan's Natural Resources to Boost Revenue

• Canada’s Special Afghan Immigration Program Closes to New Applicants

• Selling coal cheaply to Pak paints Taliban as Pakistani puppets

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Mideast

• Iranian President: Slightest Mistake by US, Allies to Face Iran's Rigid Response

• Iran: Biden-Lapid Statement Targets Entire Muslim States

• Iran: US-Israel Statement Makes Iran More Resolved to Go for Its Rights

• Israel strikes Hamas ‘military site’ after Gaza rocket fire: Army

• Gravestones in Istanbul’s Jewish cemetery vandalized

• Iran navy announces drone division in Indian Ocean during Biden’s Middle East visit

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Africa

• Islamic Cleric Stresses on Religious Tolerance

• Tunisia's Islamist Who Went From Kingmaker to Opposition

• Tunisia's Islamist leader says president moving country towards dictatorship

• Muslim-Muslim ticket brings division in Kaduna – PDP chieftain, Aliyu

• Presidency: Nigeria not divided by religion, ruling class manipulating masses – Keyamo

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Europe

• End of Iran Nuclear Talks Near, But Unclear If They Will Reach Deal: EU Official

• Western Balkans mark anniversary of defeated coup attempt in Türkiye

• G20 talks overshadowed by Ukraine war as host Indonesia seeks consensus

• Russian officials visited Iran to view drones, says US official

• Greece a top haven for FETO terrorists fleeing justice in wake of 2016 defeated coup in Türkiye

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:    https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/love-jihad-forced-convert/d/127497

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46 Cases of 'Love Jihad' Reported In UP's Bareilly in Seven Months; Most of the Girls Admitted That They Were Forced To Convert: Report

 

Representational image. AFP

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Sandeep Sharma

July 15, 2022

Bareilly: As many as 46 cases of 'Love Jihad' have been reported in Uttar Pradesh's Bareilly from January 2022 till 10 July, according to a news report.

As per the report in Dainik Jagran, many of these cases have been registered as extortion by police, while victims' statements tell a different story. In their statements recorded before the child welfare committee, most of the girls admitted that they were kept in deception and then forced to convert their religion, it added.

When asked about this, Priyank Kanoongo, Chairperson, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights said, "This is not just 'love jihad', but human trafficking and grooming. Grooming must be defined in the law as soon as possible and strict punishment be laid out for this".

There were as many as 250 cases of minors victims in the last six months, out of which 46 girls were lured by men of other religions, as per the report.

On average, at least seven girls in Bareilly were subjected to 'Love Jihad' every month, it noted, adding that "eight girls have said on record that Muslim boys posed as Hindus and lured them into a relationship". The victims got to know about the reality only after leaving homes.

One of the victims is said to be the daughter of a local leader. The report stated that a Muslim boy had come to her house to install CCTV cameras. Later on, the two got into a relationship and on 26 June, the girl left her house with cash and jewellery at night, while the accused kept her at his house.

Later on 28 June, police tracked the accused and arrested him, the report stated, adding that the girl in her statement alleged that the boy's family members were also involved in the matter.

The Dainik Jagran report shared another case wherein a Muslim boy posed as a Hindu and lured a 15-year-old Hindu girl. The boy reportedly gave a mobile phone as a gift to the victim and started talking to her. He brainwashed her completely and took the teenager with him to Punjab, it added. Later on, the victim reportedly got pregnant and asked her to not talk to her family. However, the girl managed to talk to her parents and inform them about the boy. Her parents later filed a complaint and brought her back from Punjab.

Source: Firstpost

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.firstpost.com/india/46-cases-of-love-jihad-reported-in-ups-bareilly-in-seven-months-report-10915121.html

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Joint Saudi, US Statement Sees Vital Agreements, Action Plan to Tackle Global Issues

 

Governor of Mecca, Prince Khaled al-Faisal al-Saud receives U.S. President Joe Biden upon his arrival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, July 15, 2022. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

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16 July, 2022

US President Joe Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia at the invitation of the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz has led to a series of vital agreements in future industries and action plans to tackle dominant regional and international issues.

That’s according to a joint statement released by the two countries following a lengthy meeting between the American president and the Saudi leadership.

The meeting, which included the presence of high-ranking officials, covered topic areas including energy security, climate cooperation, security and defence, technology, and regional considerations.

At the outset, the statement clarified that the US-Saudi partnership has been a “cornerstone of regional security over decades,” adding that both countries share the vision of a “secure, stable, and prosperous region, interconnected with the world.”

Noting the shared historic ties, both countries welcomed extending the validity of business and tourism visas to 10 years to facilitate greater social ties and economic cooperation.

Energy

In consideration of the Ukraine crisis and the ensuing energy issue, both sides reportedly decided to consult regularly on global energy markets in the near- and long-term, in addition to collaborating as strategic partners in climate and energy transition initiatives, “recognizing Saudi Arabia’s leading role in the future of energy.”

The US appreciated the Saudi Green Initiative and Middle East Green Initiative, and welcomed Saudi Arabia’s participation at the recent Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate. This is line with the Kingdom’s goal to meet 50 percent of its electricity generation from renewables by 2030.

This is in addition to finalizing the Partnership Framework for Advancing Clean Energy, which will see substantial investments in clean energy transition and addressing climate change, with particular focus on renewable energy, clean hydrogen, human capacity-building in the nuclear energy field, and more.

The US and Saudi Arabia will also aim to invest in projects that support digital connectivity, supply chain sustainability, and climate and energy security focused on low- and middle-income countries as part of a global infrastructure push, the statement said.

Security and defence

The US strongly affirmed its commitment to supporting Saudi Arabia’s security and territorial defence, importantly, facilitating the Kingdom’s ability to obtain necessary capabilities to defend its people and territory against external threats, the joint statement said.

The two countries also highlighted the need to deter Iran’s interference “in the internal affairs of other countries, its support for terrorism through its armed proxies, and its efforts to destabilize the security and stability of the region,” according to the statement.

Crucially, both countries agreed on the importance of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear arms.

To improve and streamline the exchange of information in the maritime domain, cooperation between the Royal Saudi Naval Forces and Combined Task Force 153 will supposedly be enhanced in the coordination center led out of the US Fifth Fleet Headquarters in Bahrain.

Also welcoming the next Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS ministerial meeting to be held in Saudi Arabia in early 2023, both countries underscored the importance of confronting terrorism and violent extremism.

Focus lied on countering al-Qaeda and ISIS, by stemming the flow of foreign fighters, countering violent extremist propaganda, and cutting off terrorist financing streams, the statement said.

The countries stressed on the need for the global coalition to continue its work and “make long-term and multi-year efforts to return both detained ISIS fighters and the tens of thousands of ISIS family members from northeastern Syria to their home countries,” according to the joint statement.

Vision 2030

The US welcomed and appreciated Saudi Arabia’s vision that will continue to see economic and social reforms under the Vision 2030 banner.

This includes efforts to increase women’s economic participation and promote interfaith dialogue, in addition to increasing Saudi investments in the American private sector.

The US also welcomed Saudi Arabia’s bid to host the World Expo 2030, which was last held in the neighbouring UAE emirate of Dubai.

Cooperation agreements in the field of tech, telecommunication, space, cybersecurity and public health were also signed.

Regional and international issues

Yemen

Both the US and Saudi Arabia expressed their unwavering support for the UN-backed truce in Yemen that is currently seeking to be transformed into a lasting peace agreement.

US President Biden expressed his appreciation for the role King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman played in achieving the truce, according to the joint statement.

Both sides also renewed their call to the international community to stand united in the face of threats brought on by the Iran-backed Houthis, while simultaneously calling on the group to return to peace talks that can help reverse a deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

The two countries reiterated their support for Yemen’s leadership council, a crucial political change in the country’s current socio-economic scene, that recently helped restart fuel imports and flights from Sanaa.

The Taiz blockade continued to be of concern since it impedes the flow of essential goods and aid delivery inside Yemen’s third largest city that has been under siege since 2015.

A provision in the truce agreement for the militants to ease their siege of Yemen’s third-biggest city Taiz has yet to be implemented, and the government has demanded roads to the city be opened.

Iraq

US President Biden welcomed the leading role of the Kingdom in strengthening relations with Iraq, which will link its electricity network to Saudi Arabia under a historic agreement that was signed on the margins of the Jeddah Security and Development Summit on July 16.

Israel, Palestinian conflict

Both countries “welcomed all efforts that contribute to reaching a just and comprehensive peace in the region,” according to the statement on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

They reportedly underscored their commitment to a two-state solution wherein “a sovereign and contiguous Palestinian state lives side-by-side in peace and security with Israel.”

Syria

Both countries underscored the importance of preventing renewed violence, maintaining established ceasefires, and to allow the unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid to all Syrians in need.

The two sides also expressed their support for the efforts of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to reach a political solution to the conflict consistent with the formula outlined in the UN Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015).

Lebanon

Saudi Arabia and the US emphasized the importance of the control of the government of Lebanon over its territory, while expressing their continued support “for Lebanon’s sovereignty, security and stability, and their support for the Lebanese Armed Forces that protect its borders and resist the threats of violent extremist and terrorist groups,” according to the statement.

A working government with a comprehensive political and economic reform implementation plan would help overcome the crisis in Lebanon and ensure that it does not become a “launching point for terrorists, drug smuggling, or other criminal activities that threatens the stability and security of the region,” the statement said.

Ukraine

Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to providing critical assistance to the Ukrainian people, while calling on solutions to ensure unhindered export of grain and wheat products to alleviate the global food crises, which threaten to acutely impact a number of Middle Eastern and African states.

Afghanistan

The two sides underscored the importance of continued humanitarian support in the Taliban-run country, while promoting the rights of the Afghan people including the rights of women and girls to education and availability of the highest attainable standard of health and, for women, the right to work.

Libya

“Both sides affirmed their support for the Libyan people as they engage in the UN-brokered political process to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections as soon as possible,” the statement said.

They reportedly expressed their “full support” for the Libyan ceasefire agreement and the Libyan call for the complete departure of foreign forces, foreign fighters, and mercenaries without further delay, in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2570 (2021).

Sudan

The two countries also highlighted the importance of dialogue between Sudanese parties and wishes the people peace and prosperity.

The joint statement concluded with: “The two sides decided to expand and strengthen bilateral cooperation in all areas discussed in this meeting, prior to the next annual Strategic Dialogue between Saudi Arabia and the United States to be held in the Kingdom later this year. This Jeddah Communique should form the basis of work going forward to consolidate and enhance the strategic partnership between the two countries.”

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/07/16/Joint-Saudi-US-statement-sees-vital-agreements-action-plan-to-tackle-global-issues

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US, Saudi Arabia Agree On Stopping Iran Getting Nuclear Weapons -Joint Statement

 

Bandar Aljaloud/Saudi Royal Palace via AP

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Jul 16, 2022

The United States and Saudi Arabia agreed on the importance of stopping Iran from "acquiring a nuclear weapon", during a visit by US President Joe Biden, a joint statement carried by the Saudi state news agency (SPA) said.

The statement said Biden also affirmed the United States’ continued commitment to supporting "Saudi Arabia’s security and territorial defense, and facilitating the Kingdom’s ability to obtain necessary capabilities to defend its people and territory against external threats."

Tehran and Riyadh, the leading Shi'ite and Sunni Muslim powers in the Middle East, severed ties in 2016 over backing opposing sides in proxy wars across the region, from Yemen to Syria and elsewhere.

Saudi Arabia and the United States underscored the need to further deter Iran’s interference in "the internal affairs of other countries, its support for terrorism through its armed proxies, and its efforts to destabilize the security and stability of the region," the statement said.

Both sides stressed the importance of preserving the free flow of commerce through strategic international waterways such as the Bab al-Mandab and the Strait of Hormuz.

In 2015, Iran signed a deal with six major powers to limit its nuclear programme to make it harder to obtain a weapon in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. Iran says its nuclear programme seeks only civilian atomic energy.

In 2018, then-US President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the pact, saying it was insufficient to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Iran has since ramped up some nuclear activities, putting a ticking clock on an attempt to return to a deal in talks between Western powers and Tehran in Vienna.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/us-saudi-arabia-agree-on-stopping-iran-getting-nuclear-weapons-joint-statement/articleshow/92911270.cms

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Pakistan Cannot Deviate from Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s Stand on Israel: Jamaat-i-Islami Chief Siraj ul Haq

 

Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq addresses the Haripur district bar association on Friday. — Photo courtesy Jamaat-i-Islami Twitter

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July 16, 2022

HARIPUR: Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq has said Pakistan cannot afford to deviate from its policy on Israel that its founder Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had devised during his role as leader of the All India Muslim League and later at the independence of Pakistan.

“How can we change the policy of the founding father of Pakistan towards Israel and follow others,” he said while talking to Dawn after addressing members of the district bar association here on Friday.

Asked if, in the prevailing circumstances, Pakistan should also revisit its foreign policy regarding Israel when some Muslim countries had already recognised the Jewish state and some lobbyists were also tacitly busy urging Pakistan to join others in that regard, Mr Haq replied that Pakistan was the leading Muslim nation in the world and it would not follow others keeping in view the stance that Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had taken for the rights of Arab Muslims, especially Palestinians, before and after the partition of the subcontinent.

To a question about the JI’s governance model, especially the economic policy, the JI chief said his party had a complete programme that could help the country steer out of the prevailing economic and political crises.

Claims Jamaat has a plan to address economic crisis

Earlier, while addressing the lawyers, Mr Haq said Americans and their European allies had taken complete control of the economy, health and politics of the Muslim countries, including Pakistan, through international organisations like the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organisation and World Health Organisation, and both ruling and the opposition parties were dancing to their tunes.

He termed the PTI, PML-N and PPP the guardians of status quo and the interests of world powers, and added that they all were grown up in the nurseries of the establishment and caused irreparable loss to the country and disrespected the Constitution of Pakistan.

He said that the constitutions of 1956, 1962 and 1973 had clearly asked the government to ensure Riba-free economy and the Shariat Court had decided the case thrice against Riba, but the government had failed to implement the verdict.

He claimed that after the failure of three mainstream political parties in bringing relief to the general public, the people of Pakistan were left with the only choice of JI, which he said, had the capacity to introduce Islamic system, take the country out of economic crisis and bring real prosperity to the people.

Later, he inaugurated an Aghosh centre in Khalabat Township.

TWO DIE ON ROAD: Two persons were killed and four others injured in a road accident near Kotnajibullah Interchange of the Hazara Motorway on Friday evening.

According to the motorway police, six friends from Dera Ghazi Khan district of Punjab were on their way back after visiting Naran when their car skidded off the road while overtaking another car and fell into maize fields, killing two friends, namely Sultan and Ayaz, on the spot.

The injured were identified as Abid, Ghulam Asghar, Yaseen and Waheed. The bodies and the injured were shifted to the Haripur Trauma Centre, the police said.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1699794/pakistan-cannot-deviate-from-quaids-stand-on-israel-siraj

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China to US: Middle East ‘Not the Backyard’ Of Any Country

 

Photo: Pakistan Observer

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15 July, 2022

China’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday it won’t take a backseat to the US in the Middle East, as President Joe Biden visits the region to reassert American leadership.

“The Middle East is not the backyard of any other country and there is no such thing as vacuum in the region” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters in Beijing on Friday.

Underscoring the country’s efforts in promoting peace and fair resolutions on the regional issues, Wang said “China is ready to work with the international community to continue to play a positive role in realizing peace and development in the Middle East.”

Wang also insited that his country would “fully respect and listen to the will of the Pacific island countries” after the head of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) accused China of trying to pushing ahead with a sweeping new agreement covering everything from security to fisheries in the region in May.

Henry Puna, Secretary General of the PIF, told reporters Thursday that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi came to the region with a prepared “outcome document” for the meetings with his islands’ counterparts that yet to happen.

Wang argued that China had “consulted extensively” with the island nations over the document and that a “consultation process” is essential for the conclusion of an important deal.

“We will continue to maintain communication on this with the island countries,” Wang added.

The United States and the forum’s wealthiest nations, Australia and New Zealand, are concerned about China’s growing influence in the region, in particular its security pact with the Solomon Islands that could set off a large-scale military buildup.

Wang again stated Beijing’s readiness to work with other countries and international financial institutions to help Sri Lanka get over the difficulties as the country sought for an emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund to pay for food and other imports.

Beijing has promised 500 million yuan ($75 million) of emergency aid to Sri Lanka and delivered its second shipment of food this week, Wang said.

Beijing is one of Sri Lanka’s biggest creditors after building a port and airport under President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative to expand trade-related infrastructure across Asia and Africa.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/07/15/China-to-US-Middle-East-not-the-backyard-of-any-country

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 India

 Allow worship of Shivling found at Gyanvapi mosque: Plea in Supreme Court

Srishti Ojha

New Delhi

July 15, 2022

A plea in the Supreme Court has sought permission for the disciples and followers of Lord Shiva to pray to the Shivling reportedly found inside the wazukhana or reservoir in the Gyanvapi mosque complex during a court-ordered survey.

The president of the Shri Krishana Janma Bhumi Mukti Dal - the petitioner - has told the court that they would like to carry out their religious practices on the Shivling as guaranteed under the Constitution.

Although the Shivling is protected by court orders, there are no restrictions for the devotees of Lord Shiva to offer prayers and perform rituals at the place, the petition said.

Wazu is being performed near the Shivling and it is painful for the followers of Lord Shiva, it added.

The petitioner also referred to the Ayodhya case where it was held that “once a deity is always a deity and a temple, merely on being demolished, shall not lose its character, sanctity or dignity”.

It has been revealed from various records that the Gyanvapi Mosque was built after demolishing a Shiv temple. The Shivlinga was found on the same premises during the survey, the plea said.

“Therefore, being a worshipper, if Shivling is there, the applicant's rights to worship also survives,” the plea reasoned.

The mosque complex was sealed in May by a Varanasi court after it was informed that a Shivling had been reportedly found inside the premises during the survey.

Source: India Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/allow-worship-of-shivling-found-at-gyanvapi-mosque-plea-in-supreme-court-1976060-2022-07-15

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Patna SSP issues clarification after backlash on PFI, RSS comparison

15th July 2022

Patna: Patna Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Manavjeet Singh Dhillon who found himself in hot soup on Thursday for comparing the PFI with the RSS, on Friday said his statement was wrongly interpreted.

“There is no question of comparing an organisation with another. The meaning of my statement was wrongly interpreted which is absolutely wrong,” Dhillon said.

The senior police officer’s clarification came a day after the Bihar Police issued show-cause notice to him after he compared RSS with PFI.

Jitendra Singh Gangwar, the ADGP, law and order, had issued the show-cause notice to him and asked him to reply within 24 hours.

He had specifically asked Dhillon to clarify why he had compared RSS with PFI which led to an uproar. The comparison has come under stiff criticism by the BJP leaders.

On Thursday, five persons were arrested in Patna for indulging in anti-national activities following raids in the Phulwari Sharif area, which also led to the recovery of several incriminating documents, including PFI’s ‘Mission 2047’.

Speaking on the incident, Dhillon at a press conference on Friday said: “Now, I am focusing on the thorough investigation of the Phulwari Sharif incident. The investigation reveals that PM Narendra Modi was not having a direct threat.”

Earlier, it was suspected that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on the radar of the arrested individuals.

Dhillon, after the arrest of 5 persons including a former member of Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) named Akhtar Parvez, a retired sub-inspector of Jharkhand, Jalaluddin and a native of Phulwari Sharif Arman Malik, Tahir Ahmed and Shamim Malik on Thursday for providing training on Islamic extremism and terrorism to the Muslim youth of the country under the umbrella of PFI.

The Patna SSP said that they were providing training in martial arts and physical training similar to the Shakhas (branches) of the RSS.

During the questioning of these accused, it appeared that some individuals including suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma were on the target list of the suspected terror module.

Source: Siasat Daily

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.siasat.com/patna-ssp-issues-clarification-after-backlash-on-pfi-rss-comparison-2370292/

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Pakistan ‘journo-spy’: BJP steps up attack, Hamid Ansari reiterates denial

Jul 16, 2022

NEW DELHI: BJP on Friday intensified its attack on the former Vice-President Hamid Ansari and UPA government over frequent visas between 2005-10 to Pakistani journalist Nursrat Mirza, who recently said that he had shared with Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI the information he gathered during his visits to India.

“It had not been even one year of the 26/11 attacks and an ISI agent was invited to teach India how the country should tackle the menace of terrorism. That ISI agent shared the dais with the then vice-president of the country and a Union minister,” BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said.

Bhatia released photographs of the former VP with Mirza at a seminar on terrorism organised on October 27, 2009 in New Delhi by Jama Masjid United Forum.

Ansari, who had on Wednesday rejected BJP’s charge as a litany of lies, again referred to his assertion that Mirza’s trip was cleared by the government and not him.

In another twist, president of the International Council of Jurists and chairman of the All India Bar Association, Adish Aggarwala, claimed the VP’s office had insisted on inviting Mirza to a seminar organised by him.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pakistan-journo-spy-bjp-steps-up-attack-hamid-ansari-reiterates-denial/articleshow/92909731.cms

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Ansari asserts he never knew or invited Pak journalist Nusrat Mirza to any conference

Jul 15, 2022

NEW DELHI: In the face of a fresh attack by the BJP, ex-vice president Hamid Ansari on Friday said he stands by his previous statement that he never knew or invited Pakistani journalist Nusrat Mirza to any conference.

Mirza has claimed that he had visited India five times during the UPA rule and passed on sensitive information collected here to his country's spy agency ISI. Mirza purportedly commented that he had visited India on Ansari's invitations and also met him.

Ansari, however, has dismissed the charge as a "litany of falsehood".

The BJP on Friday stepped up its attack on the Congress over the matter and cited a photograph of Ansari and Mirza purportedly sharing the stage during a 2009 conference in India on terrorism.

"The former Vice President of India stands by his earlier statement that he never knew or invited Pakistan journalist Nusrat Mirza to any conference, including the 2010 conference mentioned by Nusrat Mirza or 2009 conference on terrorism or on any other occasion," a statement from Ansari's office said.

Rebutting the BJP's claim of inviting Mirza, Ansari had a couple of days earlier said it is a known fact that invitations to foreign dignitaries by the Vice-President of India are on the advice of the government, generally through the Ministry of External Affairs.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/ansari-asserts-he-never-knew-or-invited-pak-journalist-nusrat-mirza-to-any-conference/articleshow/92900941.cms

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Rubaiya Sayeed identifies Yasin Malik as her abductors

Jul 16, 2022

JAMMU: Former J&K chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed’s daughter Rubaiya Sayeed, who appeared before a special CBI court on Friday in a case related to her 1989 abduction, identified JKLF chief Yasin Malik and three others as her abductors.

Rubaiya was abducted near Srinagar’s Lal Ded Hospital on December 8, 1989, and freed from captivity five days later on December 13 after the then VP Singh government, supported by the BJP at the Centre, released five terrorists in exchange for her safe return. Her father was the Union home minister at the time.

Malik is at present lodged in Tihar Jail and he was present in the court through videoconferencing. He was arrested in early 2019 in connection with the 2017 terror-funding case registered by the NIA and was sentenced to life imprisonment in May this year.

This is the first time Rubaiya was asked to appear in the case. Rubaiya, who stays in Tamil Nadu, is listed as a prosecution witness by the CBI, which took over investigations into the case in early 1990. The case had gone cold and was revived after Malik was picked up by the NIA on charges of terror-funding.

In January last year, the CBI framed charges against 10 people, including Malik, for Rubaiya’s abduction. Besides Malik, others charged in the case are Ali Mohammed Mir, Mohammed Zaman Mir, Iqbal Ahmad Gandroo, Javed Ahmad Mir, Mohammed Rafiq Pahloo, Manzoor Ahmed Sofi, Wajahat Bashir, Mehraj-ud-Din Sheikh and Showkat Ahmad Bakshi.

During the investigation, Ali Mohammad Mir, Zaman Mir and Iqbal Gandroo voluntarily confessed before a magistrate to their role in the abduction of Rubaiya and four others made confessional statements before CBI’s superintendent of police.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/rubaiya-sayeed-identifies-yasin-malik-as-her-abductors/articleshow/92907949.cms

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LuLu Mall: FIR against unknown people for offering namaz

Piyush Srivastava   |   Lucknow 

16.07.22

Police have registered a case against unknown people who allegedly offered namaz at the LuLu Mall here, and put under informal house arrest a Hindutva leader who had threatened to recite from the Ramayan at the mall on Friday evening.

The FIR was lodged on Thursday night, invoking penal sections 153A (promoting enmity between groups) and 295A (outraging religious feelings), on a complaint from mall authorities who stressed that no religious activities are allowed there. They clarified that those seen offering namaz in a video were not their employees, the police said.

Shishir Chaturvedi, leader of the regional outfit Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, had created a furore over the video clip, bringing chief minister Yogi Adityanath under pressure from Right-wing groups that normally lionise him.

Adityanath, a known patron of the mall built by Yussuffali M.A. from Kerala who runs the Abu Dhabi-headquartered LuLu Group, had last year banned religious activities in public places.

The video shows purported shoppers walking around the seven or eight people offering namaz, suggesting the site was a public area.

Chaturvedi, who had agitated outside the mall gate on Thursday, told reporters on Friday morning: “We have seen a second video showing two people offering namaz in the mall.”

He added: “We had said on Thursday that we would recite from the Sundar Kand (of the Ramayan) as well as the Gayatri Mantra and Hanuman Chalisa at the mall if anybody was found offering namaz there again. Now nobody can stop us from doing Hindu puja there.”

He said he would do so at 6pm on Friday. Soon after, policemen surrounded Chaturvedi’s home and said he wouldn’t be allowed to move out. The police did not officially declare a house arrest, and the Mahasabha leader continued meeting reporters at his home.

“They may have stopped me today but they cannot stop me forever. Very soon you will see me there, praying to our gods and goddesses, if the guilty are not brought to book,” he said.

The mall authorities put up notices at several places in the facility on Friday declaring: “No religious prayers will be permitted in the mall.”

Rajesh Kumar Srivastava, additional deputy commissioner of police, south Lucknow, said: “We have registered a case against unidentified people for conducting religious activity in the mall against its rules on the basis of a complaint from Sebtain Husain, public relations officer of the LuLu Mall. He has said the people seen in the video don’t belong to the mall.”

Srivastava said the police were probing both videos and trying to identify those seen offering namaz.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Adityanath had reportedly been keen on bringing the mall, one of the biggest in north India, to Lucknow.

Source: Telegraph India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/lucknow-lulu-mall-lodges-fir-against-unknown-people-for-offering-namaz/cid/1874920

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Kerala: Two men get 7-year jail term in Valapattanam Islamic State case

Jul 15, 2022

KOCHI: An NIA special court in Kochi on Friday sentenced two men in the Valapattanam Islamic State (IS)-related case to seven years imprisonment while a third person has been sentenced to six years in jail.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) court special judge Anil K Bhaskar sentenced the first and fifth accused in the case -- Mildhilraj (31) and Hamsa (61) -- to seven years of imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 each.

The court has sentenced the second accused, Abdul Rasaq (38), to six years in jail and imposed a fine of Rs 40,000.

The trio were on Tuesday convicted by the court in the case in which they were charged with spreading the terror outfit's ideology and attempting to migrate to Syria.

The court had convicted the culprits under Sections 38 (offence relating to membership of a terrorist organisation) and 39 (offence relating to support given to a terrorist organisation) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and various other sections of the Indian Penal Code including Section 120B (criminal conspiracy).

Source: Times Of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/kerala-two-men-get-7-year-jail-term-in-valapattanam-islamic-state-case/articleshow/92899933.cms

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Amid Namaz row, Lucknow LuLu Mall puts up new notice, 3 detained for attempting to read Sundarkand outside

Jul 16, 2022

After a controversy broke out over the viral video of people offering namaz inside the newly inaugurated LuLu Mall in Lucknow, the mall authorities on Friday put up notice boards at several places inside the mall mentioning that religious prayers will not be permitted in the mall. Meanwhile, the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha released another video of people offering namaz at the mall and called the mall LuLu Masjid.

The Uttar Pradesh Police on Friday detained three people from the LuLu Mall for allegedly attempting to recite Sundarkand inside the mall premises. Police said they belonged to Hindu Samaj Party and were detained at the mall's entry gate.

"Three people were detained from the entry gate of Lulu Mall in Lucknow for allegedly attempting to recite Sundarkand inside the mall premises. Three people of the Hindu Samaj Party were detained at the mall's gate. Currently, there's a peaceful situation," ADCP South, Lucknow, Rajesh Srivastava said.

What is the controversy over Lucknow LuLu Mall?

LuLu Group opened its first mall in Lucknow on July 10. Chief minister Yogi Adityanath inaugurated the mall. Group chairman, Indian-origin billionaire Yusuff Ali MA was also present. Soon after its inauguration, the namaz video surfaced leading to complaints from the Hindu group that claimed the mall is practising 'love jihad' as 70% of the mall staff are Muslim, the complaint read.

Countering the complaint of the Hindu group, the LuLu Mall authorities filed an FIR against unidentified persons.

According to reports, LuLu Mall authorities on Friday went to Hindu Mahasasabha national spokesperson Shishir Chaturvedi's residence as the Hindu group were planning a protest and assured him that there will be no namaz reading inside the mall.

Who were seen offering namaz in the viral video?

Source: Hindustan Times

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/amid-namaz-row-lucknow-lulu-mall-puts-up-new-notice-3-detained-for-attempting-to-read-sundarkand-outside-101657930470716-amp.html

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Arab World

 

Biden will announce $1 bln for food security during GCC summit in Saudi

16 July ,2022

President Joe Biden will announce on Saturday during an Arab summit that the United States has committed $1 billion in new near and long term food security assistance for the Middle East and North Africa region, a senior administration official said.

Biden, on the second leg of his first Middle East trip as president, has focused on the planned summit with six Gulf states that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council and Egypt, Jordan and Iraq.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/07/16/Biden-will-announce-1-bln-for-food-security-during-GCC-summit-in-Saudi-

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Saudi Arabia, US announce several agreements during Biden visit

15 July ,2022

Saudi Arabia and the US will cooperate on a range of future industries including 5G networks, enhanced cybersecurity, and space exploration, in addition to public health, the two countries announced on Friday.

The announcement came after US President Joe Biden met with Saudi Arabia’s leaders King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah.

Telecommunication

An MoU will connect Saudi and US technology companies to deploy 5G technology using open, virtualized, and cloud-based radio access networks locally, in addition to developing 6G cell technology, a White House statement announced.

It came as part of an MoU between the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the US National Telecommunication and Information Administration.

Saudi Arabia had reportedly committed to a significant investment toward this project under the umbrella of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment announced at the G7 Summit in June.

Cybersecurity

An additional stage of cooperation will see the two countries expanding an existing bilateral relationship on sharing critical threats and malicious activities in the cyberspace.

The statement said that the move would “enhance the shared defense” of both countries and help collaborate on “best practices, technologies, tools, and on approaches to cybersecurity training and education.”

An agreement was reportedly signed between Saudi Arabia’s National Cybersecurity Authority and two US agencies – the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

Space exploration

Human spaceflight and commercial development in the space sector will also be amplified following expanded cooperation, the statement added.

“The US and Saudi Arabia are expanding cooperation in all fields of space exploration, including human spaceflight, earth observation, commercial and regulatory development, and responsible behavior in outer space,” according to the statement.

The US President also welcomed the Kingdom’s dedication to preserving peace in space through the signing of the Artemis Accords and “reaffirming its commitment to the responsible, peaceful, and sustainable exploration and use of outer space.”

Public health

The Saudi Ministry of Health and the US Department of Health signed an MoU that will strengthen the nations’ commitment to public health.

The agreement will bring greater collaboration in capacity building, disease surveillance, public policies to promote health, and health information systems.

Biden also said that he discussed Saudi Arabia’s defensive needs during his meetings with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah.

Biden, who arrived in the Kingdom earlier in the evening, met with King Salman at Al Salam Royal Palace in Jeddah before the Crown Prince headed a meeting with the US president and officials from both countries.

Speaking to reporters following his meetings, Biden said he had good discussions on ensuring global energy security and adequate oil supplies during his meetings with King Salman and the Crown Prince.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/07/16/Saudi-Arabia-US-announce-several-agreements-during-Biden-visit

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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meet US President Biden

15 July ,2022

US President Joe Biden said on Friday that he discussed Saudi Arabia’s defensive needs during his meetings with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah.

Biden, who arrived in the Kingdom earlier in the evening, met with King Salman at Al Salam Royal Palace in Jeddah before the Crown Prince headed a meeting with the US president and officials from both countries.

Speaking to reporters following his meetings, Biden said he had good discussions on ensuring global energy security and adequate oil supplies during his meetings with King Salman and the Crown Prince.

“I expect further steps from Saudi Arabia on global oil supply in the coming weeks following a discussion with the Kingdom's leaders,” Biden said.

He also said that the US and Saudi leaders have finalized an agreement to connect Iraq’s electric grid to the Gulf Cooperation Council’s grids through Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

During the discussions which tackled Yemen, Biden said he agreed with the Kingdom to work to deepen and extend the ceasefire which has been in effect since April.

Biden also announced that he concluded a deal under which international peacekeepers, including US troops, will leave the strategic Tiran Island that lies between Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Peacekeepers have been stationed in the island as part of accords reached in 1978 and which led to a peace deal between Israel and Egypt.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/07/15/Saudi-Arabia-s-King-Salman-meets-US-President-Biden-in-Jeddah

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Biden welcomed to Saudi Arabia by governor of Mecca region

July 15, 2022

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, July 15 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden was welcomed on Friday on arrival in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah by the regional governor, at the start of a visit to the kingdom that is part of a Middle East tour, Saudi state television Al Ekhbariya reported.

Biden was greeted by Prince Khalid al-Faisal, the governor of Mecca province, where the Red Sea port city of Jeddah is located. Other people in the Saudi greeting party including the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Reema bint Bandar Al Saud.

Source: Reuters

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https://www.reuters.com/world/biden-welcomed-saudi-arabia-by-governor-mecca-region-2022-07-15/?rpc=401&

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Iraqi cleric Sadr’s supporters throng Baghdad streets in show of strength

15 July ,2022

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s followers thronged the streets of Baghdad on Friday, answering the populist leader’s call to a mass prayer in a show of strength to his political rivals.

Al-Sadr, a Shia Muslim whose party came first in a general election in October, has vowed to disband powerful Iraqi militia groups loyal to Shia Iran and to hold corrupt Iraqi politicians to account.

But the mercurial leader ordered all 74 of his lawmakers - around a quarter of the parliament - to resign last month after his attempts failed to form a government free of Iran-backed parties that have dominated many state institutions for years.

Divisions between al-Sadr and the Iran-aligned groups as well as Kurds vying for the post of Iraqi president have already forced the country into its second-longest period without an elected government. The country is currently being run by the outgoing government of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

Iraqi officials, especially those close to Iran, fear al-Sadr will now use his large popular following of mainly working-class Shia to disrupt attempts to form a government, or to threaten to bring down future leaders with protests.

“We could be millions strong today,” said Riyadh Husseini, 42, a manual laborer from the southern town of Hilla who travelled to Baghdad and slept on the street overnight in front of the podium where he hoped Sadr would appear.

“If al-Sadr calls for the removal of the corrupt parties in power, they’ll be gone within the hour,” Husseini said.

Loyalists from across southern and central Iraq attended the Friday prayer in stifling summer heat in Sadr City, the vast Baghdad district where millions of al-Sadr’s followers live.

Al-Sadr did not attend the prayer, despite rumors he would deliver a fiery address.

Instead, a representative reiterated al-Sadr’s calls for the next government to disband militia groups loyal to Iran and punish corrupt politicians for squandering Iraq’s vast oil wealth, which Iraqi officials and independent analysts view as directed at his arch rival former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

“It’s not possible to form a strong Iraqi government with unlawful militias. You must dissolve those all those factions,” the representative, Mahmoud al-Jayashi, said, adding, “the first step to repentance is to punish the corrupt without delay.”

The task of forming a government now falls to al-Sadr’s Iran-aligned rivals and the country’s Sunni and Kurdish parties.

One foot in power

Before withdrawing his lawmakers, al-Sadr had pushed for a coalition with Sunni and Kurdish allies to form what he called a national majority government - a euphemism for a government free of Iran-backed parties.

Many Iraqis blame those groups for mismanaging the country since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein and catapulted Iraq’s Shia majority to power.

Al-Sadr distances himself from day to day politics and does not run for office, but has always kept one foot in power.

His politicians still control hundreds of powerful jobs across the government, including ministerial and civil servant posts.

On Friday, some of those who spent hours in the heat to see al-Sadr were disappointed he did not show up - several young men privately complained, but declined to give their names.

Others said they had faith that al-Sadr has a strategy.

“Al-Sadr was here watching us. Loyalty is about answering his call,” said Safaa al-Baghdadi, a 42-year-old religious instructor who works in the southern holy city of Najaf.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/07/15/Iraqi-cleric-Sadr-s-supporters-throng-Baghdad-streets-in-show-of-strength

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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince receives Egypt, Kuwait, UAE leaders

16 July ,2022

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received the leaders of Egypt, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, ahead of the scheduled GCC+3 summit in Jeddah. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi arrived earlier in the morning followed by Kuwait’s Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah.

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed arrived later and was welcomed by the Crown Prince upon arrival.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/07/16/Saudi-Arabia-s-Crown-Prince-receives-Egypt-s-president-in-Jeddah-

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Syria Kurds urge Russia, Iran to prevent Turkey attack

15 July ,2022

The commander of US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria on Friday urged Russia and Iran to prevent Turkey from launching a new attack in the country’s north, days before an expected Syria summit.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - who will meet his Russian and Iranian counterparts next week to discuss Syria - has warned that he may soon launch a new offensive in Syria against Kurdish fighters.

These include the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which formed a crucial part of an international coalition against ISIS.

Mazloum Abdi, chief commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces, accused the international coalition of taking a “weak” position that is “insufficient to end the threats.”

Abdi said that following negotiations with Russia, Kurdish forces had allowed the Syrian regime to bring more troops into Kurdish-controlled areas such as Kobane and Manbij in the north of the country.

Russia, Turkey and Iran have in recent years been holding talks on Syria as part of the so-called “Astana peace process” to end more than 11 years of conflict in the Middle Eastern country.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is set to host Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

Turkey has launched successive offensives in neighboring Syria since 2016, targeting Kurdish fighters as well as ISIS and forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian government has repeatedly condemned Turkish threats to mount a new incursion and has called Erdogan’s bid to create a so-called “safe zone” inside Syria an attack on its unity.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/07/15/Syria-Kurds-urge-Russia-Iran-to-prevent-Turkey-attack-

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North America

 

Joe Biden confronts Saudi crown prince over Khashoggi murder, expects action on energy

Jul 16, 2022

JEDDAH: US President Joe Biden said on Friday he told Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman he held him responsible for the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, shortly after exchanging a fist bump with the kingdom's de facto ruler.

On a trip to reset relations with a country he had called a pariah after Khashoggi's killing in 2018, Biden said the crown prince, known as MbS, denied involvement in the murder and said he had held those responsible to account.

"With respect to the murder of Khashoggi, I raised it at the top of the meeting, making it clear what I thought of it at the time and what I think about it now," Biden told reporters.

"I was straight forward and direct in discussing it. I made my view crystal clear. I said very straightforwardly, for an American president to be silent on an issue of human rights is inconsistent with who we are and who I am."

US intelligence says the crown prince approved an operation to capture or kill Khashoggi, a Saudi insider-turned-critic, who was murdered and dismembered by Saudi agents inside the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. Biden said what happened to Khashoggi was outrageous.

"He basically said that he was not personally responsible for it," Biden said of the crown prince's response during their meeting. "I indicated that I thought he was."

The president said they also discussed energy and that he expected to see action from Saudi Arabia, a major oil producer, on energy in the coming weeks.

As a presidential candidate, Biden had said the kingdom should be made a "pariah" on the world stage because of Khashoggi's murder. He said on Friday he did not regret that comment.

With the body language being watched closely, at the start of Biden's Middle East trip officials had said he would avoid close contact, such as shaking hands, as a precaution against COVID-19. But the president ended up engaging in hand-shaking during the Israel leg of the tour, too.

Biden's interaction with the crown prince drew immediate criticism at home - including from The Washington Post and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile in Virginia. The late journalist's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, posted a photo of the fist bump on Twitter and said Khashoggi would have written: "Is this the accountability you promised for my murder? The blood of MBS's next victims is on your hands."

Biden told reporters in Jeddah he was sorry she felt that way.

US reporters shouted questions about Khashoggi at the crown prince at the beginning of the meeting. "Will you apologise to his family?" one called out. MbS, with the Saudi energy minister seated beside him, did not respond and appeared to smile slightly as the reporters were led from the room.

Pressure over oil

Energy and security interests prompted Biden and his aides to decide not to isolate the Gulf oil giant, which has been strengthening ties with Russia and China, despite the president's disgust over the killing. Biden wants to "recalibrate" Washington's relations with Saudi Arabia and not rupture them, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.

The Saudi ambassador to Washington, Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, who was part of the Saudi greeting party, reiterated in an article for Politico the kingdom's "abhorrence" of the killing, describing it as a gruesome atrocity, and said it cannot define U.S.-Saudi ties.

Jeddah hosts a larger gathering of Arab leaders on Saturday.

Biden will discuss energy security with leaders of Gulf oil producers and hopes to see more action by OPEC+ to boost output, but there were unlikely to be any bilateral announcements from the talks, Sullivan told reporters en route to Jeddah.

Biden indicated he expected action soon.

"We had a good discussion on ensuring global energy security and adequate oil supplies to support global economic growth," Biden said. "I'm doing all I can to increase the supply for the United States of America, which I expect to happen. The Saudis share that urgency and based on our discussions today I expect we'll see further steps in the coming weeks."

Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said there was no agreement made on oil and that Saudi and OPEC countries would make a decision based on the market, not "hysteria" or "politics."

The OPEC+ group that includes Russia meets next on Aug. 3.

The United States and Saudi Arabia have reiterated their commitment to the stability of global energy markets, a joint statement carried by the Saudi state news agency, SPA, said.

The US is eager to see Saudi Arabia and its OPEC partners pump more oil to help bring down the high cost of gasoline and ease the highest U.S. inflation in four decades.

Biden, who flew to Jeddah after visiting Israel, also touted a pair of Saudi moves widely seen as signs of a gradual thaw between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Riyadh agreed to allow more overflights of its territory from Israel, which Biden said he hoped would lead to broader normalization of relations.

He also announced a US-brokered deal between Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia under which a small U.S.-led international peacekeeping contingent will leave the strategic Red Sea island of Tiran.

Cairo ceded control to Riyadh in 2017. Israeli approval was required for any change in the security arrangement there, and lengthy and complex negotiations were required to seal the deal because of the lack of Israeli-Saudi diplomatic relations.

Biden was the first American president to fly from Israel directly to Jeddah. Ahead of the visit, Saudi Arabia said it would open its airspace to all air carriers, paving the way for more overflights to and from Israel, in what Biden described as a historic and important step toward building a more integrated and stable Middle East.

The United States and Saudi Arabia agreed on the importance of stopping Iran from "acquiring a nuclear weapon" during the Biden visit, a joint statement carried by the Saudi state news agency (SPA) said.

The statement said Biden emphasized his country's strong and enduring commitment to supporting the security and defence of the oil-rich kingdom.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/joe-biden-confronts-saudi-crown-prince-over-khashoggi-murder-expects-action-on-energy/articleshow/92910671.cms

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US President Biden says ‘ground not ripe’ to restart Israel-Palestinian talks

15 July ,2022

US President Joe Biden reaffirmed the US support for “two states for two peoples,” adding, however, that the “ground is not ripe” to restart Israel-Palestinian talks.

Speaking alongside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, Biden said the Palestinians require a political path toward peace with Israel, even if a two-state solution to the conflict appears far off.

“There must be a political horizon that the Palestinian people can actually see or at least feel. We cannot allow the hopelessness to steal away the future,” Biden said.

Abbas articulated long-standing Palestinian frustrations over Israel’s five-decade occupation.

The veteran leader said Palestinians “look forward” to US efforts to “stop settlements and settler violence” and an end to the “expulsion of Palestinians from their land.”

“The key to peace begins with recognizing the state of Palestine,” Abbas said.

On Abu Akleh, a veteran reporter revered among Palestinians, Biden described her death an “enormous loss to the essential work of sharing with the world the story of the Palestinian people.”

She was killed while covering an Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin in May.

The United Nations has concluded she was killed by Israeli fire, something Washington said was likely while noting the US found no evidence to suggest Israeli forces intended to kill an unarmed journalist.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/07/15/US-President-Biden-says-ground-not-ripe-to-restart-Israel-Palestinian-talks

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US President Biden visits Bethlehem, meets Palestinian president

15 July ,2022

US President Joe Biden arrived in the biblical town of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on Friday for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Biden was given a bouquet of flowers by a pair of Palestinian children as he arrived. He held his hand over his heart as a Palestinian band played the US national anthem before he entered Abbas’ office.

The brief meeting with the Palestinian leader comes after two days of nonstop talks with Israeli leaders. Biden is then to continue to Saudi Arabia for talks with Arab leaders.

In the West Bank, Biden is expected to announce some $200 million in additional assistance to the Palestinians, after pledging $100 million to hospitals that serve Palestinians in east Jerusalem earlier Friday.

While voicing support for a Palestinian state, Biden is not expected to float any new diplomatic initiatives during his visit.

Palestinian officials have expressed disappointment over the US inability to restart peace talks.

On his way from Jerusalem, Biden’s motorcade passed by a billboard posted by an Israeli human rights group saying, “Mr. President, this is apartheid.”

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/07/15/Palestinian-president-receives-US-President-Joe-Biden-in-Bethlehem

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July 15 coup attempt, 9/11 attacks should be viewed equally: Ex-envoy

Michael Hernandez 

16.07.2022

WASHINGTON

The US “could have done better” in its immediate response to the thwarted July 15, 2016 attempted coup, the former ambassador to Türkiye said on Friday.

James Jeffrey, who served as Washington’s envoy to Ankara from 2008-2010, told Anadolu Agency that both the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the attempted coup should be viewed as equal “attacks on not only democracy, but also our alliance,” a reference to the long-standing NATO ties shared by the US and Türkiye.

Reflecting on the US response, Jeffrey said “some in the” Obama administration were “slow and inaccurate in their descriptions of what happened.”

“We could have been better,” he said during a brief interview. “Administrations are often slow when they don't have all the information. I know for a fact that was part of the problem with the White House. They didn't have all the information immediately. They were trying to get more information.”

Also complicating the response was what Jeffrey described as “friction” in the bilateral relationship, which he said “unfortunately” has some in the US and Türkiye to “not immediately assume the best of each other.”

“I think we have to work on that,” he said.

The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup, which left 251 people dead and 2,734 injured.

The Türkiye-designated terror group sought to wrest control of the country using its members that had infiltrated the Turkish state, including the police and military.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/july-15-coup-attempt-9-11-attacks-should-be-viewed-equally-ex-envoy/2638107

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Abbas tells Biden he 'extends hand' for peace with Israel

Qais Abu Samra  

15.07.2022

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday that he is ready to extend his hand to Israel to restart peace negotiations.

"The opportunity for a two-state solution on the 1967 borders may only be available today, we don't know what will happen in the future," Abbas said in a press conference alongside US President Joe Biden in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

"I extend my hand to the leaders of Israel to make peace," he added.

Abbas called for ending the decades-long Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and allowing Palestinians to obtain their "legitimate rights" based on international resolutions.

The Palestinian leader said Israel can be accepted to live in peace with its neighbors in the region with the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Abbas also called for reopening the US Consulate in East Jerusalem and removing the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from the US terrorist list.

"We are not terrorists," he stressed.

The Palestinian president also called for bringing the killers of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh to accountability.

Abu Akleh, 51, a Palestinian-American journalist working for the Doha-based Al Jazeera network, was shot dead May 11 while covering an Israeli military raid near the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

While Palestinian officials and Al Jazeera accused Israel of killing the reporter, Tel Aviv denied any responsibility.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/abbas-tells-biden-he-extends-hand-for-peace-with-israel/2637704

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US announces extension of visas for Saudi nationals from five to 10 years

16 July ,2022

The US has announced that business and tourism visas for Saudi nationals will be extended from five to 10 years, the official news agency SPA reported Saturday.

A joint statement (Jeddah Communique) was issued late Friday between Saudi Arabia and the US, and, as part of the raft of agreements, the Kingdom welcomed “extending the validity of business and tourism visas to 10 years to facilitate closer people-to-people ties and economic cooperation”, the statement said.

The news comes amid US President Joe Biden’s visit to the Kingdom, which has led to a series of vital agreements in future industries and action plans to tackle dominant regional and international issues.

The US President is in the Kingdom at the invitation of Saudi's King Salman bin Abdulaziz as part of a wider Middle East tour.

On Saturday he will join the two-day Gulf Co-operation Council summit (GCC+3) which will bring together GCC leaders including Jordan’s King Abdullah, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Bahrain’s Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad and Iraq’s premier.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/07/16/US-announces-extension-of-visas-for-Saudi-nationals-from-five-to-10-years

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Pakistan

 

Pakistan court declares PM Shehbaz Sharif's son Suleman proclaimed offender in money laundering case

Jul 15, 2022

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani court on Friday declared Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's younger son Suleman Shehbaz and another person proclaimed offenders in a money laundering case.

The Lahore Special Court (Central-I) declared Suleman and Tahir Naqvi proclaimed offenders after they failed to appear despite being summoned, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had booked Shehbaz and his sons Hamza and Suleman in November 2020 under the Prevention of Corruption Act and Anti Money Laundering Act.

Arrest warrants were issued for Suleman and Naqvi on May 28. At the same hearing, the court had also issued arrest warrants for another suspect, Malik Maqsood alias Maqsood ‘Chaprasi', who passed away in the United Arab Emirates last month.

On June 11, the FIA had submitted a report about non-bailable arrest warrants issued for Suleman, Naqvi and Maqsood. In its report, the FIA had stated that the warrants could not be executed since Suleman was not present at his address and had gone abroad.

At Friday's hearing, the court sought details about the properties of Suleman and Naqvi as well as Maqsood's death certificate.

The court also accepted the request for granting Prime Minister Shehbaz a one-time exemption from attending the hearing but directed that he appear before the court at the next hearing.

The hearing was subsequently adjourned till July 30.

The FIA in December 2021 submitted the challan against Shehbaz and Hamza to a special court for their alleged involvement in laundering an amount of Rs 16 billion in the sugar scam case.

“The investigation team has detected 28 benami accounts of the Shehbaz family through which money laundering of Rs 16.3 bn was committed during 2008-18. The FIA examined the money trail of 17,000 credit transactions,” according to an FIA report submitted to the court.

The amount was kept in “hidden accounts” and given to Shehbaz in a personal capacity, the report added.

This amount (Rs 16 bn) has nothing to do with the sugar business (of the Shehbaz family), it claimed. The money received from the accounts of low-wage employees by Shehbaz was transferred outside Pakistan via hundi/hawala networks, ultimately destined for the beneficial use of his family members, the FIA had alleged.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-court-declares-pm-shehbaz-sharifs-son-suleman-proclaimed-offender-in-money-laundering-case/articleshow/92899762.cms

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Nine terrorists killed, soldier martyred in Balochistan in search for abducted man

Saleem Shahid

July 16, 2022

QUETTA: Nine terrorists were killed and a havildar was martyred during an operation against the killers of Lt Col Laiq Baig Mirza, an army officer who was kidnapped earlier this week while travelling to Quetta from Ziarat, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement on Friday.

However, Lt Col Mirza’s cousin, Umer Javed, who was kidnapped alongside him en route to Quetta, has yet to be recovered.

Security forces swooped down on a “hideout of terrorists” in the mountains near Ziarat after Thursday midnight, ISPR said.

Once the terrorists realised they had been encircled, according to the statement, they opened fire at the advancing contingent, resulting in the martyrdom of Havildar Khan Muhammad.

The security forces later undertook a “clearance operation” and managed to eliminate five fighters belonging to the proscribed Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) after a heavy exchange of fire.

The security forces then spotted another group of terrorists near Ziarat Nullah and killed four of them, the statement added. The rest escaped under cover of heavy rain and darkness.

“The nine bodies of terrorists are being handed over to the civil administration for completion of legal formalities,” officials said.

In a statement on Thursday, ISPR had said that SSG commandos had launched a search operation to recover the men and that on the night between July 13 and 14, a group of six to eight terrorists was spotted moving in a nullah in nearby mountains. Seeing the forces closing-in, the militants shot Lt Col Mirza in the head and attempted to flee, the statement added.

In the ensuing exchange of fire, two terrorists were killed while the remaining managed to flee, along with their other captive, Mr Umer.

According to APP, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif paid tribute to the martyred Lt Col Laiq Baig, saying his sacrifice would not go in vain and that the killers would be taken to task.

Mr Shehbaz offered condolences to the family of Lt Col Laiq Baig and prayed that his soul rest in peace.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1699841/nine-terrorists-killed-soldier-martyred-in-balochistan-in-search-for-abducted-man

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Sri Lanka crisis sends warning signals to debt-ridden Pakistan

Jul 15, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The economic meltdown in Sri Lanka triggering unrest and unprecedented political upheaval has sent alarm bells ringing in the Indian Ocean region and the loudest among them is in Pakistan, according to foreign policy analysis.

"We may not be in Sri Lanka's shoes yet, but are not very far off as there are some comparable symptoms. With negotiations with the IMF apparently inconclusive, and the much-awaited financial support from friendly countries yet to come, the country is not in a good state," Journalist and author Zahid Husain warned in Pakistan daily Dawn, according to a report published in Islam Khabar.

Similar to China, Sri Lanka is indebted to heavy loans and investments from China. While Sri Lanka has defaulted on repayment and is already in a debt trap, Pakistan, with investments under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a close second.

Major investments in both the South Asian countries are in infrastructure and since both the countries lack economic, industrial and managerial skills, they have leased such projects to Chinese firms to manage, which as resulted in the two countries incurring further debts plunging them in a vicious circle they cannot escape from, the Islam Khabar report added.

Even though there is a new government in Pakistan, the new regime is fighting on multiple fronts. The previous government of the Pakistan Tahreek i-Insaf has always been blamed for not being able to control inflation by the incumbent rulers when they were in the opposition.

Imran Khan was ousted from power after losing a no-confidence vote, which he alleged was part of a US-led conspiracy targeting him because of "independent" foreign policy. Even after his ouster, the former PM has continued with foreign conspiracy tirades at every rally.

The result is the absence of economic activity, pushing away modest foreign and domestic investment but above all, foreign aid is coming to a halt. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is also tightening the screws on Pakistan's economy before it can release the much-needed USD three billion bailouts, the report added.

The Sharif Government has imposed unpopular measures like raising fuel prices, slashing subsidies and imposing a ten per cent' super tax' on large-scale industries. The dollar exchange rate is PKR 210. All these have sent inflation skyrocketing at 15 per cent.

The country has been facing a serious threat on the external front as the State Bank of Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves fell to single digits despite a USD 2.3 billion inflow from China late last month.

"The increasing size of the external debt servicing in each quarter indicates the government has been borrowing dollars at higher commercial rates to meet its foreign debt repayment obligations," the report said.

Meanwhile, the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and heavy rainfall affecting a large number of households and lives have added to the woes of the country.

While the IMF is in no hurry to release USD three billion - Pakistan is estimated to require between USD 9 billion to 12 billion by the end of 2022 - China is also playing its game, considering that both the IMF and Beijing are rivals.

Initially, Beijing had agreed to roll over the syndicated loans before the ouster of the previous PTI government. However, Sharif's administration had to wait for two months to secure the Chinese loan.

Since the IMF has visibly slowed down its negotiations with Pakistan, the country is not getting project funding from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

The governments in FY22 that ended on June 30 could not control the influx of huge imports totalling USD 80 billion creating a large current account deficit (CAD), which alone is enough to understand the external weakness of the economy.

For Pakistan, the Sri Lanka comparison is unmistakable, both in over-dependence on China and its own handling of the economy. "The Sri Lankan turmoil is a classic example of an economy caught in an acute debt trap while failing to boost its revenues. Indeed, political corruption, too, played a role in the country's financial collapse," Zahid Husain said.

"Now the IMF is the last hope for the country of 22 million, but aid will not come without stringent conditionalities that may increase the hardship of the people. In fact, a bailout by itself won't provide a long-term solution, which requires undertaking fundamental structural reform to resuscitate the economy," he added.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/sri-lanka-crisis-sends-warning-signals-to-debt-ridden-pakistan/articleshow/92897602.cms

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JUI-F leader gunned down in North Waziristan

July 16, 2022

NORTH WAZIRISTAN: Unknown attackers gunned down a local leader of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl and his colleague near Mirali town here on Thursday night.

Locals and officials said Qari Samiuddin and his colleague, Hafiz Numan Dawar were on way home in Eidek village when their car was ambushed on Bichi Road. Both died on the spot.

Relatives said Qari Sami had no feud with anyone.

His funeral prayers were held at a seminary attended by MNA Mohsin Dawar and a large number of people.

This was the second targeted attack on JUI-F leadership in the restive district during last one week.

On Monday, unidentified gunmen had killed a party’s councilor-elect Malik Murtaza, also belonging to Eidak village.

He was elected councillor during the second phase of the local body elections.

Qari Sami was head of the JUI-F’s Mirali subdivision. He had contested election on the party ticket from PK-111.

The deceased actively participated in local politics, often criticising the administration and law enforcement agencies for not handling law and order situation in the district, particularly targeted killing.

Army’s General Officer Commanding Maj-Gen Naeem Akhthar, in a statement, condemned the killing.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1699799/jui-f-leader-gunned-down-in-north-waziristan

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Body to decide if President Alvi, ex-PM Imran can be tried for treason

Khaleeq Kiani

July 16, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Just a day ahead of the by-elections in Punjab, the federal cabinet on Friday constituted a special ministerial committee to pursue high treason proceedings against top office-holders of the former PTI government, and also decided to appoint a commission of inquiry (COI) to probe into allegations of sexual abuse against head of the country’s accountability watchdog and misuse of its evidence for political objectives by the former prime minister’s office.

Briefing the media after the cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said the meeting through a resolution welcomed the detailed judgement of the Supreme Court, and constituted a special committee, led by Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar and comprising ministers for information and interior and members of all coalition partners, for legal action under Article 6 of the Constitution.

She said the apex court decision was very clear and had mentioned the names of the president, the then prime minister, speaker and deputy speaker of the National Assembly who used their constitutional offices for personal political purposes. She claimed the court had concluded that the narrative of regime change through a foreign conspiracy was fabricated, false, and baseless. The resolution also said the former PTI government had made serious efforts to damage economic security and national interest on the foreign front.

The minister said the cabinet also decided that constitutional disobedience and violations and attacks on parliament should be taken seriously to avoid their recurrence in the future. The special committee was therefore directed to come up with recommendations on the future course of action before the next cabinet meeting. The apex court had also buried the law of necessity and observed that constitutional violations had been committed by the PTI government’s top office-holders. The committee would cover all the points raised by the court.

Commission of inquiry also appointed to look into harassment allegations against ex-NAB chief

The SC had ruled that the April 3 ruling of the then deputy speaker Qasim Suri had apparently breached the Constitution and led to a chain of actions, including allowing the then prime minister Imran Khan to hold on to the constitutional office by illegally avoiding the no-confidence motion without a vote by the assembly.

Under Article 6, “any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or holds in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance, the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason”. As of now, proceedings under this article had been held only once in the country under which military dictator former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf was convicted by a special court, but the judgement remained unimplemented.

Ms Aurangzeb further said the cabinet also decided to appoint a commission of inquiry under the COI Act 2017 to probe all aspects of the allegations by Tayyaba Gul and other women against outgoing chairman of the National Accountability Bureau and head of the Commission on Enforced Disappearances, retired Justice Javed Iqbal, and involvement of the Prime Minister Office in the matter for political gains.

She said Law Minister Tarar was designated as the head of another committee of the cabinet to finalise the terms of reference of the COI in line with discussions in the cabinet meeting, as well as asked to suggest a panel to choose a name from for the head of the COI, and return to the cabinet for approval.

Tayyaba Gul, she said, had lodged a complaint on the Citizen’s Portal of the prime minister during the previous government against sexual harassment and abuse by former NAB chief Javed Iqbal and sought justice. Ms Gul was first informed that her complaint had been referred to the Human Rights Ministry, but then called to the PM Office and “held in captivity” for 18 days.

The minister alleged the then rulers “abducted” Gul and kept her hostage, and instead of providing her justice or taking any action, all the evidences and videos were collected from her and used by the PMO to blackmail and pressurise the former NAB chairman to victimise the political opponents of Imran Khan. This way, not only were Mr Iqbal and the NAB as an institution compromised, but were used for political objectives and victimisation of opponents.

The minister further said the COI would be time-bound to conclude its probe because sexual harassment and abuse were not only serious social crimes, but involved the office of the prime minister and its complaint portal.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1699842/body-to-decide-if-president-alvi-ex-pm-imran-can-be-tried-for-treason

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Efforts on to allay tensions after days of violence in Sindh

July 16, 2022

KARACHI: With violence escalating in the wake of the killing of 35-year-old Bilal Kaka, political leaders continued efforts to allay the tensions and appealed to people to beware of conspiracies that aim to sow the seed of disharmony among Sindhis and Pashtuns.

On Friday, the Sindh government announced that another suspect accused of Mr Kaka’s killing was in custody, while 76 people involved in the violence at Karachi’s Sohrab Goth area, as well as forcibly closing businesses in other districts, have also been arrested.

Hyderabad SSP Amjad Sheikh told Dawn that the suspect, Afzal Khan, was the brother of Shah Sawar, the hotel owner who was already in custody.

In a press conference, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon claimed that social media accounts of deceased people were used to circulate hate messages and share videos to further fuel tensions.

Sindh govt asks FIA to move against social media accounts fanning hate; political leaders reiterate calls for calm; another suspect held for Kaka’s murder

He said the federal interior ministry had been asked to take action against those spreading hatred on social media, he said, while warning that such miscreants will be arrested.

The minister alleged that the PTI leaders tried to exploit the situation and spread chaos to further their own vested interests.

“Special Branch has sent photos of people leading the Sohrab Goth sit-in. The same person was [previously] walking around with the flag of Afghanistan and his brother is contesting local bodies elections on a PTI ticket,” he added.

‘Pashtuns playing vital role in Sindh’s economy’

On Friday, Acting Sindh Governor Agha Siraj Durrani met a 19-member delegation from the Pashtun community at the Governor’s House, where the delegates assured him of their complete support for the Sindh government in defusing tensions and maintaining the peace.

Separately, Karachi JI chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman said that ethnic polarisation was being fanned for political point-scoring in the wake of Mr Kaka’s murder.

Addressing a press conference at Idara Noor-e-Haq in Karachi, the JI leader said that some political parties who have lost popular support are attempting to regain the people’s sympathies by exploiting the situation.

Also on Friday, an MQM-Pakistan delegation, led by deputy convener Waseem Akhtar met ANP Sindh president Shahi Syed at Bacha Khan House in Karachi.

Mr Akhtar condemned the Pashtun community’s victimisation in the backdrop of the killing. Calling Sindhis “his brothers”, he urged all sides to amicably resolve their differences.

Sindh United Party (SUP) chairman Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah also appealed to nationalist leaders to avoid provocation and maintain peace in the province.

Addressing a press conference at the Hyderabad Press Club, Mr Shah said Pashtuns living in Sindh were their brothers, but called for the repatriation of illegal immigrants.

Protests over police inaction

Workers of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz and other activists held a demonstration in Mirpurkhas’ Naokot and Jhuddo town on Friday. Protesters carrying banners and placards demanded the police to immediately arrest all the accused responsible for Mr Kaka’s killing.

Separately, activists from the Awami Tehreek also staged a token hunger strike outside Hyde­r­abad Press Club on Friday against the alleged maltreatment of Sindhi families during protests at several locations in Karachi on Thursday.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) also issued a statement expressing concern over the “escalation in ethnic and political tension in Sindh.”

The commission called for a “fair and transparent” investigation into the killing and demanded the Sindh government to control violence. “At the same time, it falls to the authorities as well as to all progressive voices in Pakistan to shun divisive or racist rhetoric,” the statement added.

The HRCP said it intends to conduct a fact-finding mission to ascertain the evidence surrounding the murder and ensuing ethnic tension.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1699845/efforts-on-to-allay-tensions-after-days-of-violence-in-sindh

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Anchorperson Imran Riaz stopped from leaving country

July 16, 2022

LAHORE: Anchorperson Imran Riaz was offloaded from a Dubai-bound flight, Geo TV reported on Friday.

Immigration sources said his name was on the black list since he is facing sedition cases registered across the country.

In a tweet, Riaz said he was leaving for Dubai for some medical tests. “My doctors told me that I was fed something while in jail that could be fatal for me [...] thus, to prove this, I wanted to get my tests done,” he said.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1699888/anchorperson-imran-riaz-stopped-from-leaving-country

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SC to hear PTI’s plea against changes to accountability law from 19th

Nasir Iqbal

July 16, 2022

ISLAMABAD: A three-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC) will commence hearing of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s petition, challenging the recent amendments to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) on Tuesday (July 19).

A bench will comprise Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah. It will take up the petition which Justice Ahsan had ordered placement before a bench for regular hearing in his chamber on July 6.

In its objection, the registrar office had returned the petition seeking to strike down the amendments made through the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Act 2022 for being ultra vires to the Constitution.

The PML-N-led coalition government introduced 27 key amendments to NAO but President Dr Arif Alvi did not accord his assent to it. However, the bill was later adopted in the joint sitting of parliament and notified.

Imran claims amendments will have effect of legitimising certain forms of corruption

In its petition, the PTI chairman argued that the amendments tended to scrap corruption cases against the prime minister, chief ministers and ministers and would provide an opportunity to already convicted public office-holders to get their conviction undone.

The amendments are tantamount to depriving the people of Pakistan of their right to having access to law to effectively question their chosen representatives in case of breach of their duty towards them, the petition argued, adding that the amendments would have the effect of legitimising certain forms of corruption and creating select islands of accountability to exclude from prosecution certain members of the parliament, including ministers and the prime minister.

Moreover, the word “benamidar” has been redefined making it difficult for the prosecution to prove someone as the fictitious owner of a property. Redefining “assets” was manifestly aimed at and will result in acquittal or discharge of all those holders of public office who are presently facing trial for offences of corruption, it added.

About the deletion of Section 14 of NAO, which provided for presumptions of guilt and shifting burden of proof on the accused person, the petition said this was inevitable to prevent commission of crime by holders of public office with impunity. After its omission, it becomes impossible for the prosecution to prove white collar crime against the holders of public office.

The petition also argued that the amendments were unreasonable and would defeat the purpose for which the law was enacted by restricting the prosecution from taking action against decisions taken by the prime ministers, ministers, cabinet members, members and officials of committees and subcommittees, State Bank of Pakistan and other bodies.

Under the amendments, according to the petition, NAO would move only to those cases of corruption where the concerned holder of public office had received a monetary gain as a result of decisions taken by the high office.

It said the amendments had not taken out of the ambit of accountability all such cases of corruption where the facts indisputably reveal that through the act of corruption, monetary, material or any other benefit had definitely been provided to a private person, but no evidence of receipt of a monetary gain by the holder of public office could be collected during investigation, thereby protecting both the ‘private person’ and the holder of public office from being prosecuted for their (proven) illegal gain provided by one to the other.

Likewise, the blanket immunity from prosecution given to officials of all regulatory bodies, regarding all matters decided by them, is also unreasonable, unconstitutional and against the very concept of accountability, in that most, if not all of these regulatory authorities, such as Nepra, SECP, the Competition Commission of Pakistan, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority which deal with matters vital to the financial interests and welfare of the people of Pakistan.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1699809/sc-to-hear-ptis-plea-against-changes-to-accountability-law-from-19th

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Army soldiers rendering great sacrifices for country: President, PM

July 15, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday paid tribute to the martyred Lieutenant Colonel Laiq Baig, saying that the officers and jawans of the Pakistan Army were rendering great sacrifices for the motherland.

Lt-Col Laiq Baig, who was abducted on the night between July 12 and 13 while returning from Quetta, was martyred while two terrorists were also killed in a rescue operation.

The prime minister said the sacrifice of Lt-Col Laiq Baig would not go in vain and the terrorists would be taken to task. He said the entire nation was determined to eliminate terrorism from the country.

PM Sharif extended condolences to the family of Lt Col Laiq Baig and prayed for the departed soul of the martyred to rest in peace.

Meanwhile, President Dr Arif Alvi also expressed grief and sorrow over the martyrdom of Lt Colonel Laiq Baig Mirza in Ziarat Balochistan.

In a message of condolence, he prayed for the elevation of the ranks of the martyr in heaven and for giving patience to the bereaved family to bear the immense loss with fortitude.

Source: Pakistan Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/07/15/army-soldiers-rendering-great-sacrifices-for-country-president-pm/

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Southeast Asia

 

Chinese President Xi Praises Paramilitary Group Accused of Abusing Uyghur Muslim Minorities

Sophia Yan

July 16 2022

China’s leader Xi Jinping praised a paramilitary group sanctioned for human rights abuses in Xinjiang as he made his first visit to the country’s remote north-west in eight years amid a crackdown that Western countries have called a genocide.

Mr Xi used the trip to meet with leaders of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), which oversees much of Xinjiang’s development and security and operates its own courts, schools and health systems.

It is accused of forcing the region’s primarily Uyghur Muslim minorities to work for little or no pay, prompting the US government to sanction the organisation for “serious human rights abuses” in 2020.

“The strategic role of the XPCC cannot be replaced,” Mr Xi said, according to state media. “The rank and file ought to be proud of their progress.”

His three-day tour included visits to a university and a trade zone in the regional capital of Urumqi, where he called Xinjiang a “core area and a hub”, given its role as a crucial link for his Belt and Road initiative, a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure plan aimed at boosting China’s global clout.

A photo by the Xinhua news agency showed a maskless Mr Xi surrounded by smiling and clapping residents, many of them appearing to be Uyghurs.

A long-time crackdown against Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic minorities led to sporadic anti-government and anti-Han Chinese violence, prompting Chinese authorities to intensify its suppression campaign in 2017.

The United Nations in 2018 estimated that at least one million people had since been thrown into “massive internment camps”.

Former detainees have recounted to The Daily Telegraph horrific stories of physical torture – shackled, beaten and electrocuted with cattle prods – and being made to pledge loyalty to the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

Others said they were made to work in factories, one of the conditions for release from the camps, while others said they were compelled to do so after their spouses or relatives were detained.

Source: Independent

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/asia-pacific/chinese-president-xi-praises-group-accused-of-abusing-uyghur-muslim-minorities-41844032.html
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PAS could quit PN over Hadi’s exclusion from deal, says analyst

July 15, 2022

PETALING JAYA: PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s exclusion from a deal between Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Ismail Sabri Yaakob on the deputy prime minister’s post could see the Islamic party quit the coalition, says a political analyst.

Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara said the fact that Hadi did not know about the agreement showed there was a lack of unity within PN.

Last week, Hadi, the PN deputy chairman, said there was no official agreement between the coalition and Ismail on the DPM’s post for Bersatu.

This prompted PN chairman Muhyiddin Yassin to tell Hadi to ask PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan on the matter as Takiyuddin was the one who drafted the agreement.

“This is a big issue (Hadi being unaware of the agreement),” Azmi told FMT.

“It gives PAS a reason to distance itself from PN ahead of the next general election (GE15). Essentially, for PAS, it’s a ticket to ditching Bersatu.”

Azmi said he believes it would be more beneficial for PAS to contest GE15 on its own as it could use its own logo and would not have to share seats with Bersatu or any other PN component.

Another analyst, Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya, said PAS should have been kept in the loop as a key member of PN.

He said PN must now address the issues arising from the agreement as it could affect PAS’ decision to contest under the coalition in GE15.

Awang Azman said PAS grassroots were bound to be upset that Hadi had no knowledge of the agreement.

“I believe that at the end of the day, all PAS leaders will abide by whatever Hadi decides on the matter.

“Right now, Takiyuddin is trying to downplay the crisis by saying it is not an agreement that was signed but a memorandum of agreement, but I think this is confusing (for the grassroots).”

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/07/15/pas-could-quit-pn-over-hadis-exclusion-from-deal-says-analyst/

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South Asia

 

Man Shoots Himself in the Head, Adding to the Mystifying Suicides in Afghanistan

By Saqalain Eqbal

16 Jul 2022

A 20-year-old man allegedly committed suicide in Afghanistan’s Northern Province, Faryab, according to local sources.

This occurrence reportedly occurred on Friday night, 15 July, in the Shirin Tagab district’s Tortakal village in Faryab province.

The media was informed by sources that this young man, Mohammad Essa, was a resident of the said village and committed suicide by shooting a rifle bullet into his head.

This young man committed suicide, although its exact cause and motivation still remain unknown.

In particular, Faryab province in northern Afghanistan is experiencing a rise in suicide occurrences.

In the most recent incident, a 20-year-old man took his own life on Wednesday night by hanging himself in this province’s Almar district.

He hanged himself in his chamber and went by the name of Mohammad. His suicide was the result of an undetermined reason.

Source: Khaama Press

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.khaama.com/man-shoots-himself-in-the-head-adding-to-the-mystifying-suicides-in-afghanistan-384932/

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Acting Foreign Minister Mutaqqi: Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Has Made Progress with International Countries Relations

July 16, 2022

In a gathering on Thursday, Amir Khan Mutaqqi, the acting foreign minister, said that the Islamic Emirate has made advances in interacting with the international community.

The acting foreign minister, who travelled to Kunduz province after visiting Badakhshan, said that Kabul possesses good relations with all neighbours and international countries.

Mutaqqi met with local officials and residents across Kunduz.

“Our relations are getting stronger every day. You witness these high-ranking delegations of foreign countries who visit Kabul, and Kabul’s delegates are going abroad,” said Amir Khan Mutaqqi.

It has been eleven months since the Islamic Emirate seized power in Afghanistan and its government has not yet been officially recognized by a single country. Mutaqqi mentioned recognition as well.

“Our relations with countries and our travels abroad are official, but there is a separate issue involving the many reasons that recognition has not been announced, we have progress toward recognition as well,” said Amir Khan Mutaqqi.

Meanwhile, political analysts said that the Islamic Emirate government has not been recognized because it has not fulfilled conditions set by the international community.

An inclusive government, respecting the rights of women and girls, and fighting insurgency are prominent demands made by the international community.

“A lack of an inclusive government ... is a main reason that the Taliban-led government is not recognized,” said Sayed Jawad Sajadi, international relations expert.

“The countries engage with ruling groups to prevent a humanitarian crisis,” said Naseer Ahmad Taraki, an international relations expert.

Source: Tolo News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://tolonews.com/afghanistan-178945

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Cash-Strapped Taliban 'Exploiting' Afghanistan's Natural Resources To Boost Revenue

July 15, 2022

By Abubakar Siddique

Cash-strapped and cut off from international aid, the Taliban-led government is tapping into Afghanistan's natural resources to boost revenue.

Since the Taliban toppled the Western-backed government in Kabul and seized power in August 2021, the export of and custom duties from coal have become a key source of revenue for the militant group.

Afghanistan has significant deposits of coal. Out of the country's 80 coal mines, 17 are operational, with most located in central and northern Afghanistan. Much of the coal is being trucked to neighboring Pakistan, which is facing a severe energy crisis.

But exports have hit snags recently after the Taliban hiked prices, in a move that has put off importers. Competing claims over coal mines has also triggered Taliban infighting.

‘Desperate Need To Raise Funds'

Foreign trade has fallen off dramatically since the Taliban seized power, and the international assistance that once propped up the Afghan economy has evaporated, leaving the Taliban to fund its government on its own. No country has recognized the Taliban-led government, which has been hit by international sanctions.

The Taliban has relied heavily on tax collection and the increased export of valuable natural resources like coal to generate revenue.

In May, the militants increased coal exports to Pakistan, aiming to generate more revenue from Afghanistan's mining sector and capitalize on record prices for coal. Global supplies have fallen due to Russia's war against Ukraine and top exporter Indonesia's ban on exports.

The Taliban reportedly collected around $40 in million in customs duties from coal exported to Pakistan in the first six months of this year. The hard-line Islamists have also boosted coal exports to 1.8 million tons in the past year, a rise of 16 percent. The Taliban has been exporting an estimated 12,000 to 14,000 tons of coal, mostly to Pakistan, each day.

But the Taliban's plan to use Afghanistan's easy-to-extract coal deposits to generate much-needed revenue has hit roadblocks in recent weeks.

Last month, the Taliban increased its taxes on coal exports from 20 percent to 30 percent. In early July, the Taliban's Finance Ministry said it also lifted prices for coal from $90 per ton to $200. On July 15, coal was trading at over $300 per ton on international markets.

The price hike came soon after Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced plans to import heavily discounted coal from Afghanistan using Pakistani rupees to save dwindling foreign reserves.

The revelation sparked a public outcry in Afghanistan, where many have long viewed the Taliban as a Pakistani proxy. Islamabad has been the militants' key foreign sponsor for decades and sheltered the Islamist group during its nearly 20-year insurgency against Afghan and international forces.

"The Taliban are sensitive to how Afghans domestically perceive them," said Hameed Hakimi, an Afghanistan expert at the Washington-based Atlantic Council. "Therefore, selling coal cheaply to Pakistan would inevitably paint them as Pakistani puppets."

Ultimately, Hakimi said, the price hike has "a lot to do with the Taliban's desperate need to raise funds and maximize revenues."

Pakistan is reportedly reevaluating its purchase of Afghan coal following the Taliban's decision to more than double prices for the commodity. Chinese energy companies in Pakistan have threatened to stop importing Afghan coal.

‘Exploited Mining'

In forecasting a $2.6 billion budget that has impressed experts despite a projected $500 million deficit, the Taliban claimed to have cleaned up corruption in the collection of taxes and from the illegal mining and export of natural resources.

But experts said that significant amounts of coal were still being smuggled to Pakistan, an issue also faced by the previous government. Observers said some Taliban leaders and commanders were benefiting from illegal exports that skirted their own government's revenue collection systems.

"Right now, there is no legal and administrative framework for mining," said an Afghan mining expert who did not want to reveal his identity for security reasons. "The most powerful figures in successive Afghan governments have exploited mining to line their pockets and this has continued."

Control over natural resources has led to Taliban infighting. Last month, the Taliban launched a major offensive against Mehdi Mujahid, formerly the most senior ethnic Hazara security official in the Taliban government. Observers said the violence was at least partly over the control of coal mines in Mujahid's native northern province of Sar-e Pul.

"Competition over mineral resources will be a key driver of Taliban infighting," the Afghan mining expert said.

During its insurgency, the Taliban partly funded its insurgency by operating mines and imposing illegal taxes on the trade.

Source: Gandhara

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https://gandhara.rferl.org/a/cash-trapped-taliban-exploiting-afghanistans-natural-resources/31945420.html

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Canada’s Special Afghan Immigration Program Closes to New Applicants

By Saqalain Eqbal 

16 Jul 2022

The federal government of Canada is no longer accepting new referrals for the special immigration program designed to give priority to former employees of the Canadian Armed Forces or government and their families, even though it is less than halfway to its target of bringing 40,000 Afghans to Canada.

According to CBC News, the Canadian government is reviewing the last of the 18,000 applications submitted by Afghans seeking to enter the country through the program.

The online referral platform for the program is still up and running, but a spokesman for the Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser confirmed in a media statement that all slots in the program have been filled.

The program appeared to be poised to terminate in mid-June, according to Canadian media, causing a coalition of humanitarian organizations to release a joint statement criticizing the action.

Refugee advocates continue to argue that the decision to phase out the program abandons Afghans who are longing to go to Canada.

However, other options for Afghans who want to come to Canada, according to the Canadian Immigration Ministry, include a humanitarian program and another that assists the families of former military translators.

Since August of last year, around 16,540 Afghans have entered Canada through the program.

Source: Khaama Press

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https://www.khaama.com/canadas-special-afghan-immigration-program-closes-to-new-applicants-584943/

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Selling coal cheaply to Pak paints Taliban as Pakistani puppets

Jul 16 2022

New Delhi, Jul 16 (IANS): Cash-strapped and cut off from international aid, the Taliban-led government is tapping into Afghanistan's natural resources to boost revenue, media reports said.

Ever since the Taliban toppled the Western-backed government in Kabul and seized power in August 2021, the export of and customs duties from coal have become a key source of revenue for the militant group, RFE/RL reported.

Afghanistan has significant deposits of coal. Out of the country's 80 coal mines, 17 are operational, with most located in central and northern Afghanistan. Much of the coal is being trucked to neighbouring Pakistan, which is facing a severe energy crisis, the report said.

The revelation sparked a public outcry in Afghanistan, where many have long viewed the Taliban as a Pakistani proxy. Islamabad has been the militants' key foreign sponsor for decades and sheltered the Islamist group during its nearly 20-year insurgency against Afghan and international forces.

"The Taliban are sensitive to how Afghans domestically perceive them," said Hameed Hakimi, an Afghanistan expert at the Washington-based Atlantic Council.

"Therefore, selling coal cheaply to Pakistan would inevitably paint them as Pakistani puppets," he said, RFE/RL reported.

Ultimately, Hakimi said, the price hike has "a lot to do with the Taliban's desperate need to raise funds and maximise revenues".

The price hike came soon after Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced plans to import heavily discounted coal from Afghanistan using Pakistani rupees to save dwindling foreign reserves, RFE/RL reported.

Pakistan is reportedly re-evaluating its purchase of Afghan coal following the Taliban's decision to more than double prices for the commodity. Chinese energy companies in Pakistan have threatened to stop importing Afghan coal.

But exports have hit snags recently after the Taliban hiked prices, in a move that has put off importers. Competing claims over coal mines has also triggered Taliban infighting, RFE/RL reported.

Foreign trade has fallen off dramatically since the Taliban seized power, and the international assistance that once propped up the Afghan economy has evaporated, leaving the Taliban to fund its government on its own. No country has recognized the Taliban-led government, which has been hit by international sanctions.

The Taliban has relied heavily on tax collection and the increased export of valuable natural resources like coal to generate revenue.

In May, the militants increased coal exports to Pakistan, aiming to generate more revenue from Afghanistan's mining sector and capitalize on record prices for coal. Global supplies have fallen due to Russia's war against Ukraine and top exporter Indonesia's ban on exports.

The Taliban reportedly collected around $40 in million in customs duties from coal exported to Pakistan in the first six months of this year. The hard-line Islamists have also boosted coal exports to 1.8 million tonnes in the past year, a rise of 16 per cent. The Taliban has been exporting an estimated 12,000 to 14,000 tonnes of coal, mostly to Pakistan, each day, RFE/RL reported.

But the Taliban's plan to use Afghanistan's easy-to-extract coal deposits to generate much-needed revenue has hit roadblocks in recent weeks.

Source: Daiji World

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay?newsID=979537

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Mideast

 

Iranian President: Slightest Mistake by US, Allies to Face Iran's Rigid Response

2022-July-15

Iranian president's remarks came a day after US President Joe Biden embarked on his first visit to the region since taking office.

"I say that any mistake by the Americans and their allies in the region and the world will be met with a harsh and regrettable response," President Rayeesi said while referring to the hostile and destabilizing activities of the US and its allies in the region.

"Today, Islamic Iran is stronger than ever and the United States on the contrary is weaker than ever," he added. 

The Iranian president reiterated that the great nation of Iran does not accept any kind of insecurity and crisis in the region, and the Muslim nations of the region hate the humiliating relations of their governments with America, which has led to the looting of their country's wealth.

The US president and the Israeli premier signed a joint statement on their strategic partnership, which includes the United States’ official commitment to the region in particular concerning the regime’s constant allegation over preventing of the Islamic Republic from attaining atomic weapon.

In the joint statement, which was published by the White House’s official website on Thursday, Washington stressed on its steady abidance by maintaining and enhancing Tel Aviv’s capability in deterring its enemies and defending itself in the face of any threat or a combination of threats.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010424000434/Iranian-Presiden-Slighes-Misake-by-US-Allies-Face-Iran's-Rigid

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Iran: Biden-Lapid Statement Targets Entire Muslim States

2022-July-15

"In the joint Biden-Lapid statesment, stable and firm commitment of the US to maintain security and military superiority of Israel has been emphasized," Kana'ani said in a tweet.

"It should not be mistaken that the target is merely Iran, but Arab and Islamic countries should constantly accept superiority of the Zionist regime," he added.

Kan'ani reiterated that therefore, the main source of threat for the region is completely clear.

The US president and the Israeli premier signed a joint statement on their strategic partnership, which includes the United States’ official commitment to the region in particular concerning the regime’s constant allegation over preventing of the Islamic Republic from attaining atomic weapon.

In the joint statement, which was published by the White House’s official website on Thursday, Washington stressed on its steady abidance by maintaining and enhancing Tel Aviv’s capability in deterring its enemies and defending itself in the face of any threat or a combination of threats.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010424000253/Iran-Biden-Lapid-Saemen-Targes-Enire-Mslim-Saes

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Iran: US-Israel Statement Makes Iran More Resolved to Go for Its Rights

2022-July-15

"The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue its path towards enhancing steady economic development and honorable effort to lift sanctions by the use of power and reasoning," the Iranian foreign minister tweeted.

“We will not fall short to pursue the inalienable rights of the great nation of Iran,” he added.

Amir Abdollahian reiterated that reaching a good, powerful and stable agreement is Iran's goal, and said, "Undoubtedly, the puppetry by the White House and Zionism in the region will make us more determined."

The US president and the Israeli premier signed a joint statement on their strategic partnership, which includes the United States’ official commitment to the region in particular concerning the regime’s constant allegation over preventing of the Islamic Republic from attaining atomic weapon.

In the joint statement, which was published by the White House’s official website on Thursday, Washington stressed on its steady abidance by maintaining and enhancing Tel Aviv’s capability in deterring its enemies and defending itself in the face of any threat or a combination of threats.

The anti-Iran statement also mentioned that the US underlines that one of the essentials of the commitment is complying with "preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapon forever", and that the United States is prepared to utilize all elements of its national might to guarantee this matter.

In a relevant developmenton Friday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kana'ani underlined that the joint statement issued by US President Joe Biden and Israeli regime prime minister Yair Lapid does not merely target Iran but it tries to dictate Tel Aviv's superiority over the Muslim and Arab states.

"In the joint Biden-Lapid statesment, stable and firm commitment of the US to maintain security and military superiority of Israel has been emphasized," Kana'ani said in a tweet.

"It should not be mistaken that the target is merely Iran, but Arab and Islamic countries should constantly accept superiority of the Zionist regime," he added.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010424000287/Iran-US-Israel-Saemen-Makes-Iran-Mre-Reslved-G-fr-Is-Righs

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Israel strikes Hamas ‘military site’ after Gaza rocket fire: Army

16 July ,2022

Israeli warplanes struck a weapons manufacturing facility in the Gaza Strip early Saturday, the military said, after rocket fire against Israeli territory.

The exchange of fire came hours after US President Joe Biden visited Israel and the occupied West Bank.

“A short while ago, IDF fighter jets struck a military site in the central Gaza Strip belonging to the Hamas terrorist organisation,” a statement from the Israel Defense Forces said.

“The military site consists of an underground complex containing raw materials used for the manufacturing of rockets.

“The strike on this site will significantly impede and undermine Hamas' force-building capabilities,” it said, adding that Israel was responding to “attacks from the Gaza Strip on Israeli territory”.

During the night there had been two separate launches, each of two rockets, towards Israeli territory, the military said.

Warning sirens alerting residents to the rocket fire had sounded during the night in the city of Ashkelon and elsewhere in Israel's south.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/07/16/Israel-strikes-Hamas-military-site-after-Gaza-rocket-fire-Army-

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Gravestones in Istanbul’s Jewish cemetery vandalized

15 July ,2022

Vandals broke into a Jewish cemetery in Istanbul overnight and smashed dozens of gravestones, the local Jewish community said Friday.

It said in a post on Twitter that gravestones were destroyed in the Haskoy cemetery, sharing pictures of the vandalism.

“The matter has been conveyed to the relevant authorities with all the pictures and night recordings, and we expect the perpetrators of this vandalism to be caught as soon as possible,” it added.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu took to Twitter to condemn the “heinous” attack.

“Two of the perpetrators were detained with the meticulous work of our Istanbul Police Department, the investigation continues,” he said.

“Those who try to disrupt our unity and solidarity with such provocative attacks will never be allowed” to succeed, he added.

Istanbul governor’s office said in a statement that five minors aged between 11-13 were responsible for destroying the 81 gravestones in the Jewish cemetery.

“As a result of the examination of the security camera footage, it was determined that 81 gravestones were destroyed in the cemetery, and that the incident was carried out by children aged 11-13,” it said.

The suspects “have been apprehended and the investigation is continuing. We offer our best wishes to our Jewish citizens.”

Turkey’s Christian and Jewish cemeteries are regular targets of vandalism in the predominantly Muslim country.

In 2020, graves in an Armenian cemetery in the capital Ankara were desecrated.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/07/15/Gravestones-in-Istanbul-s-Jewish-cemetery-vandalized

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Iran navy announces drone division in Indian Ocean during Biden’s Middle East visit

15 July ,2022

Iran on Friday announced its first drone division in the Indian Ocean, state TV said, as US President Joe Biden visits the Middle East to rally support to counter Iranian threats.

The TV report did not say how many vessels or drones were included in each unit, only that one ship carried 50 drones.

On Monday, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington believed that Iran was preparing to provide Russia with up to several hundred drones, including some that are weapons capable, and that Iran was preparing to train Russian forces to use them.

Iran’s foreign ministry neither confirmed nor denied Sullivan’s statement.

Iran has supplied unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to its allies in the Middle East.

Iranian TV said the drones that were displayed on Friday included the Pelican, Arash, Homa, Chamrosh, Jubin, Ababil-4 and Bavar-5.

On Thursday, Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid signed a joint pledge in Jerusalem to deny Iran nuclear arms, an apparent move toward accommodating Israel’s calls for a “credible military threat” by world powers.

Asked by Israeli television this week whether his past statements that he would prevent Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon meant he would use force against Iran, Biden replied: “If that was the last resort, yes.”

“The Americans and Zionists (Israel) know very well the price of using the word ‘force’ against Iran,” Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, spokesman for the Iranian armed forces, was quoted as saying by Iranian media on Friday.

The United States and Israel are seeking to lay the groundwork for a security alliance with Arab states that would connect air defense systems, sources familiar with the plan have said.

Iran denies it seeks nuclear weapons, saying that its nuclear program is for solely peaceful purposes.

Tehran struck a deal with six major powers in 2015 under which it limited its uranium enrichment program to make it harder to develop a nuclear weapon in return for relief from international sanctions.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/07/15/Iran-navy-announces-drone-division-in-Indian-Ocean-during-Biden-s-Middle-East-visit

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Africa

 

Islamic Cleric Stresses on Religious Tolerance

By Salifu Usman

Amid rising religious intolerance in the country, Nigerians of different faiths have been urged to imbibe the culture of mutual trust and sincerity to ensure freedom of religion.

The chief missioner of Nasrul-Lahi-l-Fatih Society (NASFAT), Imam Abdul-Azeez Onike, gave the admonition in his goodwill message to Nigerians as Muslims set to celebrate Sallah.

He said only the culture of mutual trust and sincerity to one another would guarantee good interfaith relations and peaceful co-existence, stressing that the continuous accusation and counter accusations of religious persecution and intolerance will not do the nation any good.

Citing the presentation of Prof Usman Yusuf who represented the president of Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs and Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Abubakar Sa’ad, at the 2nd Annual International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit in Washington DC on June 28-30, 2022, Onike said: “The situation where the religion of Islam is painted as the aggressive party, violators of peaceful coexistence and religious freedom by people who profess other faith, will not assist our resolve to fight our common enemy: those who are involved in banditry, kidnapping and other vices.

“As the people of faith, we are not expected to fan the embers of discord and heat up the polity by feeding our members and the outside world with distorted facts about the insecurity situations in the country, which evidently does not discriminate on the basis of religion or ethnicity.

Both Muslims and Christians and their worship centers have fallen victims to the dastardly acts of haters of peace, and we all should work together to defeat the enemies of peace. We need peace, security, love and tranquility, our Noble Prophet (SAW) says.”

https://leadership.ng/islamic-cleric-harps-on-religious-tolerance/

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Tunisia's Islamist who went from kingmaker to opposition

July 16, 2022

By Angus Mcdowall

TUNIS, July 15 (Reuters) - Tunisia's Rached Ghannouchi is coming full circle.

From political prisoner and exile before the 2011 revolution to kingmaker and parliament speaker after it, the Islamist leader is back under investigation by authorities while an adversary sits in the presidential palace.

After President Kais Saied last summer closed the elected parliament and started to rule by decree, Ghannouchi accused him of a coup and positioned his Ennahda party as one of Saied's fiercest critics.

Now, with Saied having assumed extensive authority over the judiciary, a judge has put Ghannouchi under investigation over suspicions of money laundering, charges Ennahda have denied, calling them a political attack.

The investigation comes soon before a July 25 referendum on Saied's new constitution, which Ghannouchi and his party have vowed to boycott, seeing it as a charade intended to enshrine the president's march to one-man rule. read more

It means that Ennahda and its leader Ghannouchi, now old and frail, his hands often shaking, is once more centre stage in the tussle for Tunisia's future.

To his admirers, Ghannouchi is a moderate whose penchant for compromise helped avert political violence after the revolution and brought Tunisia to adopt a democratic constitution.

However, critics say he is a polarising and largely unpopular figure, due to ideological divisions over Islamism and because of Ennahda's central part in years of political paralysis and misgovernance that poisoned the well of democracy.

They see him as a Trojan horse for more radical Islamists who used his party's predominant position after 2011 to infiltrate every level of the state, charges Ennahda denies.

REVOLUTION

Governing power was a far cry from Ghannouchi's roots in a banned Islamist movement in the 1980s, when he was imprisoned twice and then driven into two decades of exile in the West London suburb of Ealing, accused of attempting a coup.

While there he softened his ideology with democratic ideas and befriended fellow Islamist leader Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

When Tunisians rose up against president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011, Ghannouchi flew home. He landed a week after the autocrat had fled, and was met by an exultant crowd.

Thousands of his supporters filled the terminal, climbed roofs and perched on signposts for a better view, chanting their support and sobbing with joy.

As the small greying figure in a red scarf left the building with the throng pressing around him, he took a loudspeaker to exhort them: "Continue your revolution".

Ennahda won the most seats in Tunisia's first free election nine months later, the prelude to tense manoeuvring among rival factions with Islamists and secularists increasingly at odds.

Ghannouchi did not run for any public office until years later - an approach that set him apart from Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood which won a presidential election within 16 months of the Arab Spring only to be forced from power by the army.

But he remained the key figure behind an increasingly influential Ennahda.

As divisions deepened in 2013 and spilled over into the streets, many Tunisians feared the violence that had followed the revolt in neighbouring Libya would break out at home too.

Ghannouchi and a secularist president worked to calm the street, the launchpad for a new constitution that was jubilantly ratified in parliament as rival politicians embraced, weeping.

"We succeeded in a peaceful revolution. We succeeded in avoiding civil war. We achieved consensus," he said.

But, for some, the compromises rankled.

Opponents of political Islam accused Ghannouchi of turning a blind eye towards the Tunisian jihadists who flocked to join Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and carried out assassinations at home, something he denied.

Many of his supporters meanwhile attacked his decision to support a controversial law granting amnesty to officials accused of corruption under Ben Ali. He said that as a former victim of political exclusion, he believed the new Tunisia must include even those connected to the old regime.

But as Tunisia's economy faltered and state services deteriorated, Ennahda was tied to unpopular policies.

Meanwhile, Ghannouchi sought to distance Ennahda from political Islam, rebranding it as a "Muslim democrat" party and splitting its political mission from its social and religious activities.

When he stood for public office for the first time, in the 2019 parliamentary election, Ennahda turned in its weakest performance for years but was still the largest party with about a quarter of the seats.

He won the speaker's office, a splendid 19th century confection of rich stonework, carved plaster and gilt partitions, along a corridor from the main parliament chamber under its stuccoed dome and arcade of horseshoe arches.

But, with parliament fragmented, his own party restive and political leaders squabbling, he was an old lion at bay.

Sitting at the red wooden dais to address parliament members on their green leather benches, his voice was often faint and his hands trembling as rivals stood to challenge or bait him.

Source: Reuters

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/tunisias-islamist-who-went-kingmaker-opposition-2022-07-15/?rpc=401&

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Tunisia's Islamist leader says president moving country towards dictatorship

July 16, 2022

TUNIS, July 15 (Reuters) - Tunisia's president is using a referendum on a new constitution to move back towards dictatorship, the head of the biggest Tunisian opposition party, the Islamist Ennahda, warned on Friday.

Rached Ghannouchi, who was parliament speaker until President Kais Saied shut the chamber and seized most powers last summer, said the atmosphere in the build-up to the July 25 vote was "undemocratic and funereal".

Saied's focus on political changes while the economy slid further towards crisis also meant Tunisia faced a "Sri Lanka situation" with a looming social explosion, Ghannouchi told Reuters in an interview.

"Saied's speeches can only be translated into clashes, chaos and assassination... Tunisia could reach the point of famine and is in dire need of dialogue to confront these crises," he said.

Ghannouchi, a former political prisoner, has been a leading player in Tunisian politics since the 2011 revolution that ousted autocratic leader Zine al-Abidin Ben Ali, introduced democracy and triggered the Arab Spring uprisings. read more

He has been a main critic of Saied since the president's seizure of broad powers last year.

"Tunisia is moving towards a dictatorial regime that brings together all powers (under one person)," he said.

Saied has said his actions were needed to save Tunisia from years of political infighting and stagnation, and that his constitution is correcting the course of the 2011 revolution.

This year, in the run-up to the referendum, Saied has greatly expanded his control over the judiciary and the formerly independent electoral authority, raising questions over rule of law and a fair vote.

His proposed constitution gives him nearly unlimited powers while diluting the role of the parliament and judiciary. Ennahda and most other parties have urged a boycott of the referendum.

INVESTIGATION

Next week, Ghannouchi must appear before an investigating judge on suspicion of corruption, which he and Ennahda both deny, calling the charges political.

Activists have warned that the authorities may use his hearing to arrest Ghannouchi. "It would not be surprising if I am arrested," he said.

"Dictatorial regimes seek to use the judiciary and employ the security services, as Ben Ali did, against the opposition," he said.

Ghannouchi compared the new constitution, which contains a legislative body based on regional councils, to that of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and other Arab autocrats.

"The constitution establishes a unilateral, populist regime reminiscent of that of Gaddafi and the Arab dictators," he said.

However, he said, democratic principles had become well established among Tunisians over the period since the revolution. He said Ennahda was urging its supporters to boycott the referendum instead of voting 'no' because "entering a game where your opponent sets all the rules is unwise".

Source: Reuters

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/tunisias-islamist-leader-says-president-moving-country-towards-dictatorship-2022-07-15/?rpc=401&

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Muslim-Muslim ticket brings division in Kaduna – PDP chieftain, Aliyu

July 15, 2022

By John Gabriel

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in Kaduna State, Dr. Mustapha Aliyu, has warned the governorship aspirant of the ruling All Progressives Congress Party (APC), in the state, Senator Uba Sani over his choice to fly a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

DAILY POST recalls that Uba Sani, a serving Senator, had on July 3, 2022, picked Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s deputy, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe as his running mate for the upcoming 2023 gubernatorial elections in the state.

Reacting on Friday, Aliyu said for equity, justice, and fairness, Sani would have chosen a Christian as deputy.

According to him, Balarabe is even more than qualified, coupled with all her working experiences in life, but when it comes to governance, it must be genuinely looked at so that others may not see it as being cheated.

He said Kaduna State is known to have two main religions; Christianity and Islam.

“Mallam Nasir El-Rufai introduced Muslim-Muslim governorship in the state. He may think he succeeded but other religions are not happy, because they have no representative at the Government House to channel all their grievances when the need arises,” he said.

According to him, with a Muslim-Muslim ticket, the state is not only divided along religious lines, but that other religion may feel inferior, unattended to, rejected, or feel orphaned.

He said the politics today is a complete departure from the past that brought Christians and Muslims as one entity, adding that if politicians continued to introduce what is not in the Constitution, people will hate themselves more.

“We are not talking of failure or success of a political party candidate with muslim-muslim ticket. At least, a candidate who introduced muslim-muslim ticket knows how to manipulate elections to win. Our concern is not winning, but the effect of muslim-muslim ticket on the people of the state. Many will see it as division, hatred, instead of togetherness,” he said.

Source: Daily Post Nigeria

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://dailypost.ng/2022/07/15/muslim-muslim-ticket-brings-division-in-kaduna-pdp-chieftain-aliyu/

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Presidency: Nigeria not divided by religion, ruling class manipulating masses – Keyamo

July 15, 2022

By Fikayo Olowolagba

Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Labour and Employment says Nigeria is not divided by religion or tribe as opposed to popular opinions.

Airing his opinion via his Twitter page, the Minister said Nigeria is rather divided into the ruling class and the masses.

According to him, the ruling class projects division in Nigeria by manipulating the masses with sentiments of religion and tribe so they don’t question the real capacities of public officers.

His tweet read: “Our nation is not divided by religion or ethnicity.

“It is divided into the ruling class and the hapless masses who the ruling class continuously manipulate by sentiments of religion and tribe so that the masses will not wake up to interrogate their real capacities for public office.”

For the past few days, Keyamo has been defensive of the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2023.

Source: Daily Post Nigeria

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://dailypost.ng/2022/07/15/presidency-nigeria-not-divided-by-religion-ruling-class-manipulating-masses-keyamo/

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Europe

 

End of Iran nuclear talks near, but unclear if they will reach deal: EU official

15 July ,2022

Negotiations to bring Iran back into compliance with a landmark 2015 nuclear accord are coming to an end, but it is not clear if they will result in an agreement between Tehran and world powers, a senior EU official said on Friday.

In 2018, then-US President Donald Trump abandoned the deal, calling it too soft on Iran, and reimposed harsh US sanctions, spurring Tehran to breach nuclear limits in the pact.

“We are very, very advanced in the negotiations. We have had a round of so-called proximity talks in Doha; they produced no results and the reason is very clear because we have negotiated everything that was on the table,” the official said.

“We can be more precise on some details that are still pending, we are waiting for some ideas from Tehran and what the Americans have to say... I don’t know (if it is) the end of the process, but the end of the negotiation, yes.”

France’s foreign minister said this week there were only a few weeks left to revive the deal and it was up to Iran to decide whether to sign what had been negotiated. The United States says Iran has tacked on demands unrelated to discussions on its nuclear program and had made alarming progress in enriching uranium.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/07/15/End-of-Iran-nuclear-talks-near-but-unclear-if-they-will-reach-deal-EU-official-

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Western Balkans mark anniversary of defeated coup attempt in Türkiye

Talha Ozturk 

16.07.2022

BELGRADE, Serbia 

Western Balkan countries marked the sixth anniversary of the defeated 2016 coup attempt in Türkiye with events across the region on Friday.

Residents hailed Turkish courage in defeating those who attempted to stage the coup on July 15, 2016 -- a day that has since been commemorated as Democracy and National Unity Day in Türkiye.

The Turkish Embassy in Belgrade organized a conference with academics at the Serbian National Policy Center.

Foreign Ministry State Secretary Nemanja Starovic, said then-Prime Minister and current President Aleksandar Vucic was among the first European and world leaders to support Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the night of the coup attempt.

The Turkish Ambassador to Belgrade Hami Aksoy said in a video message that it was the will of the Turkish people that confronted the putsch and brought it to its knees.

Also to mark the day, Türkiye's Yunus Emre Institute organized a chess tournament in Serbia for youngsters under the age of 18, including those with disabilities.

In Novi Pazar, a photo exhibition on the coup attempt, featuring scenes captured by Anadolu Agency, was opened to viewers.

The city also hosted a football match between local FC Novi Pazar and FC Napretka from Krusevac in honor of those killed in the putsch.

- Kosovo

In neighboring Kosovo, the Turkish Embassy organized a memorial ceremony to mark July 15.

Prime Minister Albin Kurti was among those in attendance.

Kurti said Turkish democracy had successfully overcome a serious challenge by beating back the coup attempt and expressed his country's respect for those killed and wounded.

- Bosnia and Herzegovina

A separate exhibition featuring photos by Anadolu Agency was also held in Bosnia and Herzegovina's capital of Sarajevo.

The president of the Srebrenica Mothers' Association, Munira Subasic, voiced astonishment that such scenes could occur in Türkiye, praising its good people.

Also, Sefik Dzaferovic, chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said the Turkish people had shown their strength in resisting the coup and that they would continue to have the strength.

- Defeated coup

Türkiye commemorated those killed during the defeated coup on Friday.

Since its designation in October 2016, the country has marked July 15 as Democracy and National Unity Day, with events to commemorate those who lost their lives beating back the putschists and remembering the bravery of the nation.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup, which left 251 people dead and 2,734 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

The attempt by FETO to overthrow the government began around 10 p.m. local time (1900GMT) on July 15, 2016, and was thwarted by 8 a.m. the following day.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/western-balkans-mark-anniversary-of-defeated-coup-attempt-in-turkiye/2638120

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G20 talks overshadowed by Ukraine war as host Indonesia seeks consensus

July 15, 2022

NUSA DUA, Indonesia: G20 finance leaders meeting in Bali must make progress tackling the global economic threats sparked by Russia’s war in Ukraine or the humanitarian consequences would be catastrophic, host Indonesia said on Friday.

Some Western ministers blasted Russian officials attending the talks, with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen saying Russia’s “brutal and unjust war” was solely responsible for the economic crisis the world now faced.

Finance leaders from the Group of 20 major economies are meeting on the resort island, as host Indonesia tries to find common ground in a group frayed by the Ukraine war and rising economic pressures from soaring inflation.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which the Kremlin calls a “special military operation,” has overshadowed recent G20 meetings, including last week’s gathering of foreign ministers.

Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the world had high hopes the group could find a solution to the threat of war, rising commodity prices and the spillover effects on the ability of low-income countries to repay debt.

“We are acutely aware that the cost of our failure to work together is more than we can afford. The humanitarian consequences for the world, and especially for many low income countries would be catastrophic,” she said.

G20 members include Western countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia and accuse it of war crimes in Ukraine — which Moscow denies — as well as nations like China, India and South Africa, which have been more muted in their responses.

Sri Mulyani called for G20 members to talk less about politics and “build bridges between each other” to deliver more technical decisions and concrete action.

Yellen said Russian finance officials at the meeting shared responsibility for the “horrific consequences” of the war.

“By starting this war, Russia is solely responsible for negative spillovers to the global economy, particularly higher commodity prices,” Yellen said.

Russian Deputy Finance Minister Timur Maksimov was attending the meetings in Bali, while Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov was participating virtually at the time, a source familiar with the matter said.

Maksimov addressed the gathering and there was no walk out by other leaders, the source said.

Western countries have repeatedly said there cannot be “business as usual” at the G20 meetings due to Russia’s presence.

Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland told Russian officials that she held them personally responsible for “war crimes” committed during Russia’s war, a Western official told Reuters.

Freeland, whose maternal grandparents were born in Ukraine, told the opening G20 session that the war was the “single biggest threat to the global economy right now,” the official said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov walked out of one session of a G20 meeting with his counterparts in Bali last week, following what he called “frenzied criticism” of his country over the war.

That meeting ended without a communique nor any announcements of agreements.

Source: Arab News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2122741/world

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Russian officials visited Iran to view drones, says US official

July 16, 2022

JEDDAH: The United States believes that Russian officials visited an airfield in Iran recently to view attack-capable drones, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Saturday.

The United States earlier this week said it has information that shows Iran is preparing to provide Russia with up to several hundred drones, including some that are weapons capable, and that Tehran is preparing to train Russian forces to use them. Iran’s foreign minister denied that.

“We assess an official Russian delegation recently received a showcase of Iranian attack-capable UAVs....To our knowledge, this is the first time a Russian delegation has visited this airfield for such a showcase,” Sullivan said in a statement.

The statement included satellite imagery dated June 8 showing Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) “that the Russian government delegation saw that day.” It said similar equipment was showcased for a second Russian visit to the airfield on July 5.

On Friday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, in a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, rejected as baseless US accusations about Iranian drones being sent to Russia for use in the war against the Ukraine.

Iran, which has supplied UAVs to its allies in the Middle East, on Friday announced its first naval drone-carrying division in the Indian Ocean as US President Joe Biden visits the Middle East.

Biden is expected to meet with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia on Saturday and discuss integrating missile and defense capabilities in the region to combat Iranian drone and missile attacks in the Middle East.

Source: Arab News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2123331/middle-east

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Greece a top haven for FETO terrorists fleeing justice in wake of 2016 defeated coup in Türkiye

Derya Gulnaz Ozcan 

15.07.2022

ATHENS

After the July 15, 2016 defeated coup attempt in Türkiye, neighboring Greece became a top destination for members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) fleeing justice.

According to the Greek press estimates, since July 15, 2016, nearly 20,000 Turkish citizens, mostly FETO members, crossed into Greece via the Aegean islands or the Meric (Evros) River. While some of them went on to other European countries, about 9,000 of them sought political asylum in Greece itself.

Greece rejects Ankara’s request for extradition of 8 coup plotters

Notoriously, just one day after the coup bid, eight FETO member soldiers fled to the Greek city of Alexandroupolis in a military helicopter belonging to Türkiye and sought asylum there.

In Greece, the soldiers claimed that they were unaware of the coup plot, and Athens refused to agree to insistent extradition requests from Turkish officials.

This April the Greek media claimed that the FETO member soldiers were sent abroad by Greek authorities out of fear Türkiye’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) might seek to bring them home to face justice.

In March 2021, FETO ringleader Fetullah Gulen sent a video message to a promotional event in Athens for a book written about him.

"Greece is a sister country," Gulen said. “Thanks to this brotherhood, we remember them with gratitude and appreciation. [What Greece did] will be written with gold and silver on the glorious pages of history.”

The book about the terrorist leader, Fethullah Gulen: A Life of Service, was written by US historian Jon Pahl and published in Greek by Papazisis Publishers.

Defeated coup

Türkiye on Friday commemorates those killed during the July 15, 2016 defeated coup.

Since its designation in October 2016, every year, the country marks July 15 as Democracy and National Unity Day, with events held to commemorate those who lost their lives beating back the putschists and remembering the bravery of the nation.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup, which left 251 people dead and 2,734 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

The attempt by FETO to overthrow the government began around 10 p.m. local time (1900GMT) on July 15, 2016, and was thwarted by 8 a.m. the next day.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/greece-a-top-haven-for-feto-terrorists-fleeing-justice-in-wake-of-2016-defeated-coup-in-turkiye/2637548

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