New Age Islam
Tue Aug 11 2020, 09:02 AM

Islamic World News ( 2 Apr 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

A bounty of USD 10 million on his head, Lashkar Chief Hafiz Saeed Dares US, Says He is not Hiding in Caves



Islamists Put North Mali Towns under Sharia Law

Pakistan: Ahmadi school teacher allegedly tortured to death

Is Hafiz Saeed back as key player in Pak's jihadi politics?

Syria's rebels abandon territory in major cities in favour of new guerilla war

India welcomes US bounty on Lashkar founder Hafiz Saeed

Iran crucial to India's energy needs but Delhi has global obligations: U.S. official

Yemeni airstrikes kill 43 al-Qaeda militants

Libyan Militias Turn to Politics, a Volatile Mix

Doubts over closure of ISI’s political wing

French Islamic Militants Were Planning Attacks, Prosecutor Says

Pakistan considers India as 'threat' but US differs: Leon Panetta

India set to cut sensitive list of Pak imports by 30 per cent

US is frustrated, says Hafiz Saeed on bounty

Saeed bounty proof Pak harbours terrorists: Indian Home Secy

Egypt's Orthodox Church walks out of constituent assembly

Explanation sought on separatists’ ISI links

Zardari trip may give push to new visa regime

Pakistan moving towards MFN status for India: Gilani

Bangladeshi prisoners to be repatriated, MHA write to Bengal

India to send to Pak 26/11 file authenticated by four witnesses

Now, take action against Lashkar chief, Chidambaram tells Pakistan

Pak PM Gilani's aircraft makes emergency landing in Rawalpindi

Bashar al-Assad cannot survive for long, his uncle says

Egypt accepts Spain's conditions for tycoon's handover

At least five killed, two dozen injured in Gilgit violence

Somali militant slams group’s killing of civilians

Maldives Prez Waheed to visit India in May

CM Mamata Banerjee delivers promise, accords Urdu ‘second language’ status

Supreme Court of Pakistan sets aside Shahzain Bugti's bail grant

President Asif Ali Zardari briefed on Lyari operation

Pakistan: Hazara women call for judicial inquiry

Karachi violence: ‘Zero tolerance’ against extortionists, says Zardari

Pak govt in no hurry to reopen NATO supply routes: Yousuf Raza Gilani

Pakistan wants China to help build dams

Syria: Russia rejects Kofi Annan's six-point peace plan deadline

Syria agrees April 10 deadline for peace plan: Kofi Annan

Changes in Egypt's family law: A step backwards?

Rowan Williams says veil helps Muslim women assert themselves

Kalifulla sworn in as Supreme Court judge

Syrian forces storm rebel areas, torch homes

Cabinet approves law to curb money laundering

600 jobs unveiled for Saudi women

Iraq wants Qatar to hand over fugitive VP

No clues yet on Saudi diplomat’s murder in Dhaka

Saudi philanthropist feeds Lankan maids stranded at Bahrain airport

Iran suspends news bureau for branding ninjas as terrorists     

Security failures in Afghan shootings: NATO

Bangladesh: Maulana Azad’s house cordoned off

Bulgarian Muslims Recall Communist Repression

Delhi car blast: Court denies bail to Syed Kazmi

Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Lashkar Chief Hafiz Saeed

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/lashkar-chief-hafiz-saeed-dares-us,-says-he-is-not-hiding-in-caves/d/6980

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Lashkar Chief Hafiz Saeed Dares US, Says He is not Hiding in Caves

PTI

ISLAMABAD, Apr 3, 2012: Lashing out at the US for putting a bounty of USD 10 million on his head, a combative Hafiz Mohammad Saeed today said Washington was "frustrated" with him for his countrywide protests against the resumption of NATO supplies and drone strikes.

"We are not hiding in caves for bounties to be set on finding us. I think the US is frustrated because we are taking out countrywide protests against the resumption of NATO supplies and drone strikes," LeT founder Saeed was quoted as saying by Al-Jazeera news channel.

He added, "I believe either the US has very little knowledge and is basing its decisions on wrong information being provided by India or they are just frustrated".

Saeed claimed the US move was prompted by the fact that he had been organising rallies against the reopening of NATO supply lines through Pakistan, which were closed after a cross-border attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.

The US had last night announced a USD 10 million bounty on the Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief who is also the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

The move has been welcomed by India today, which said it sends a strong signal to LeT and its "patrons" that the international community remains united in combating terrorism.

Wendy Sherman, the US Undersecretary of State, said a USD 2 million bounty had been announced for Abul Rehman Makki, the brother-in-law of Saeed.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik said he is yet to receive any official intimation from the US and noted that Saeed had been put under house arrest but was given bail by the Supreme Court.

"We should have been taken into confidence as to what has happened," he said when asked about the US putting a reward on Saeed's head.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Lashkar-chief-Hafiz-Saeed-dares-US-says-he-is-not-hiding-in-caves/articleshow/12519814.cms

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Islamists Put North Mali Towns under Sharia Law

3 April 2012

ISLAMIC militants moved to impose Sharia law in northern Mali yesterday after helping Tuareg separatists seize key towns, ransacking bars and banning Western-style clothes and music, residents said .

A 72-hour advance by rebels over the weekend, which exploited the chaotic aftermath of a military coup in the capital, is the latest threat to stability in West Africa.

Yesterday, a local in Timbuktu said Ansar Dine Islamists had declared they were in control and would impose Islamic law.

A witness in the northern city of Gao, seized by rebels on Saturday, said Islamists there were ransacking bars and hotels serving alcohol. In Kidal, the third main town of the region, one resident said music had been barred from radio stations and Western-style clothes had been banned.

The head of the body representing the region’s nations said last night that the bloc is imposing financial sanctions on Mali because the junior officers that seized power in a coup 12 days ago have failed to restore constitutional order.

The Economic Community of West African States held an emergency meeting in Senegal yesterday. Ivory Coast’s president Alassane Ouattara said the sanctions, including the closing of Mali’s land borders and the cutting off of the nation’s access to the regional central bank, would come into effect immediately.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/islamists-put-north-mali-towns-under-sharia-law-1-2211524#

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Pakistan: Ahmadi school teacher allegedly tortured to death

3 April 2012

FAISALABAD / LAHORE: Master Abdul Qudoos, a well known Ahmadi school teacher was allegedly tortured to death while in police custody in the Rabwah city of Punjab on Friday.

The Chenab Nagar Police has registered a case against two accused police officials.

Master Abdul Qudoos Ahmad, 43, was taken into custody by the police in the first week of February for questioning in the murder case of Muhammad Yousuf, a stamp-paper seller from Nusrat Abad.

He was allegedly tortured ruthlessly during the interrogation, causing severe internal injuries.

“When his body could not take further torture, his relatives were blackmailed and he was released. He was admitted to a local hospital where doctors tried to save his life, but Qudoos died due to several injuries and excessive loss of blood,” Abdul Qudoos’s brother-in-law Imtiaz Ahmed said.

SHO Khadim Hussain of the Chenab Nagar Police Station told The Express Tribune that on the complaint of Imtiaz Ahmad, a case had been registered against the two police sub inspectors, Sujhat Ali and Manazar Ali under sections 302, 148, 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

He, however, maintains that the accused was picked up on March 24 and was released two days later as the police was convinced of his innocence. Hussain says a fatal disease could be the possible cause of death.

Hussain said the dead body was sent for postmortem examination, adding that if the autopsy proved the cause of death to be torture, action against the accused will be taken accordingly.

The spokesperson of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Pakistan, Saleemud Din condemned the incident, terming it ‘callous and inhuman’.

“The way Master Abdul Qudoos was tortured and brutalised is the lowest form of humanity. Police should investigate the murder case and whoever is involved should be brought to justice. The police have no right to pick up any person and subject them to extra-judicial torture,” Din said.

Saleemud Din alleged that the real reason for the teacher’s arrest was to taint the reputation of the local Ahmadiyya administration of Rabwah. “Master Abdul Qudoos was the President of Jamaat-e-Ahmediyya’s local chapter and he was arrested to defame the administration.”

Saleemud Din demanded the constitution of a high-powered commission to investigate the case. He also urged the government, as well as human rights organisations to take notice of the incident.

“The culprits behind the murder should be brought to justice so people can have faith in the police department,” Din said.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/357858/in-police-custody-ahmadi-school-teacher-allegedly-tortured-to-death/

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Is Hafiz Saeed back as key player in Pak's jihadi politics?

 Apr 03 2012

Islamabad : Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, who has been named among the world's five most wanted terrorists by the US, has reportedly re-emerged as a key player in Pakistan's jihadi politics after a brief setback in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Though Saeed was briefly placed under house arrest after the Mumbai incident, largely due to pressure from the West and the UN Security Council, the 61-year-old militant ideologue staged a powerful comeback last year by uniting over 40 hardline and extremist groups under the umbrella of the Defa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC).

Cashing in on anti-American sentiments following a NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November, the DPC -- which includes notorious banned groups like the Sipah-e-Sahaba -- has organised massive rallies across Pakistan.

At these gatherings, militant leaders like Saeed have backed calls for jihad while targeting the US and India.

Saeed maintained a low profile for over a year after the Mumbai attacks, carried out by the LeT, and for some time authorities barred him from appearing at gatherings.

However, he stepped up his public appearances in 2011, and came to Islamabad on April 11 last year to lead funeral prayers for Kashmiri leader Maulvi Showkat Ahmed Shah.

Since then, Saeed has shared the stage at public meetings with top politicians like PML-N chairman Raja Zafrul Haq and former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who appeared with the JuD chief at an anti-India meeting in Lahore on February 18.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/is-hafiz-saeed-back-as-key-player-in-paks-jihadi-politics/932085/

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Syria's rebels abandon territory in major cities in favour of new guerilla war

3 April 2012

Syria's rebels have been forced to abandon efforts to hold territory in major cities and towns after a series of devastating battlefield defeats, senior opposition commanders have conceded for the first time.

Reeling from the loss of key opposition strongholds in the cities of Homs, Deraa and Idlib to government troops, the rebels have been left with no alternative but to recalibrate their strategy by waging a fragmented guerilla offensive.

The first acknowledgment of the extent of the setbacks opposition fighters have experienced over the past six weeks came as Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League special envoy, announced that the Syrian government had promised to begin implementing his peace plan next Tuesday.

Appealing for Western and Arab patience, Mr Annan told the United Nations Security Council that, although he had made no progress yet in halting the bloodshed in violence, a breakthrough could be imminent.

President Bashar al-Assad, he reported, had agreed to abide by a timetable to begin the withdrawal of government troops and tanks from population centres on April 10th, with a full ceasefire following 48 hours later.

But many in Syria's opposition, as well as in the West, have openly questioned Mr Assad's sincerity, particularly after saying last week that he expected the rebels to take the first step by stopping fighting and disarming – a demand that runs counter to the Annan plan.

Since then, however, he has come under pressure from Russia, Syria's most powerful ally, to reverse course.

"The Syrian government must take the first step and start withdrawal in line with Kofi Annan's plan," Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said on Monday.

Yet with both his domestic and international adversaries in disarray, Mr Assad may be hoping that he can translate recent military successes into total victory.

The opposition's ability to hold territory was seen as crucial if they were to succeed in their hopes of overthrowing Mr Assad, but the rebels have wilted under the government's superior firepower, demonstrated in a string of remorseless artillery offensives since the beginning of February.

The Free Syrian Army, as Syria's loosely affiliated rebel militias call themselves, concede they have no choice now but to resort to guerilla warfare.

"After what happened in Deraa, in Homs, in Idlib, the Free Syrian Army is not focusing on holding cities anymore," said the commander of one rebel brigade, speaking from a safe house in northern Lebanon.

"We are now adopting guerilla tactics; we have watchers who spy on checkpoints and attack." The shift in tactics is also an acknowledgment that public support for the armed opposition's cause had been eroded by the government's policy of indiscriminately shelling villages where rebel fighters had taken refuge.

The rebel commander, who identified himself as Abu Suleiman, said that civilians in one border village where he and his men had conducted frequent operations had begged them to leave, fearing that government forces would destroy the town if they did not.

Despite being a tactic forced on the rebels by necessity, Abu Suleiman claimed that the guerilla campaign would still be extremely effective because it would make the Syrian capital its chief target.

"The plan is hit-and-run attacks against the military in Damascus," he said. "We have to cut off the head of the snake.

"The FSA is tightening the noose to reach al-Abbasyeen Square in the centre of Damascus. The best fighters from across the country are moving to the capital to join the resistance there." A loud explosion was heard in Damascus yesterday. Although its cause was unknown, there have been a series of bombings against military targets in the capital since the Free Syrian Army promised last month to co-ordinate attacks in and around the city.

There have also been a number of suicide bombings that have killed scores of civilians since last December, which the Syrian government and some Western officials have blamed on al Qaeda affiliates.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9181867/Syrias-rebels-abandon-territory-in-major-cities-in-favour-of-new-guerilla-war.html

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India welcomes US bounty on Lashkar founder Hafiz Saeed

 Apr 3, 2012

NEW DELHI: India's tormentor-in-chief Hafiz Saeed, the head of Pakistan's deadliest terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, now carries a $10 million bounty on his head. The US has announced this reward for the capture or information leading to the capture of Saeed, making him one of the most wanted terrorists in the world.

In her maiden visit to India, US undersecretary of state Wendy Sherman told Indian officials and a select audience at the Aspen Institute that apart from Saeed, his brother-in-law and co-founder of Lashkar Abdul Rehman Makki now carries a bounty of $3 million on his head.

LeT, and principally Saeed, are accused of planning and executing the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai with the help of Pakistan's spy agency, ISI. Under Saeed's watch, Lashkar has grown to become a terror group that rivals al-Qaida in its reach and lethality. Although primarily focused against India, LeT, which has links with the ISI (some claim it has been nurtured by it) has reached European and Australian shores.

The US has $25 million on the head of Ayman al Zawahiri, the head of Qaida after the killing of Osama bin Laden, making him the most wanted terrorist in the world. Saeed is in the second rung - he joins the ranks of Mullah Omar and the Qaida chiefs of Iran and Iraq, all of whom carry a reward of $10 million.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/US-announces-10-million-bounty-on-Lashkar-chiefs-head/articleshow/12510283.cms

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Iran crucial to India's energy needs but Delhi has global obligations, says U.S. official

3 April 2012

‘Both India and the U.S. share the same fundamental goal'

A senior U.S. official on Monday said Washington did not want to jeopardise India's energy security by asking it to reduce its dependence on Iranian oil, but made it clear that New Delhi was expected to join the West's attempts to pressure Tehran into accepting conditions on the nuclear issue.

Maintaining that up to a point the U.S. also wanted a diplomatic solution, U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman said it was up to India to fulfil its international obligation with respect to Iran.

Her comments come days after BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) warned in a joint communique that any attempt that resulted in a conflagration with Iran would be disastrous for the region.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3273999.ece

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Yemeni airstrikes kill 43 al-Qaeda militants

April 03, 2012

SANAA: Yemeni government forces regained control of a strategic gateway in the south on Tuesday after intense, three-day shelling of al-Qaeda hideouts in the area that left 43 militants dead, military and medical officials said.

The military had stepped up attacks and air strikes against al-Qaeda in the mountainous area of al-Rahha in the southern province of Lahj, a strategically important region that links the south with Yemen’s northern cities.

The offensive followed two consecutive surprise attacks by militants on Yemeni army bases in the area.

The military officials told The Associated Press that the government forces are trying to reclaim key cities in Aden and Abyan provinces in the south that have been overrun by al-Qaeda. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2012/04/03/yemeni-airstrikes-kill-43-al-qaeda-militants.html

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Libyan Militias Turn to Politics, a Volatile Mix

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

3 April 2012

TRIPOLI, Libya — The militia leaders who have turned post-Qaddafi Libya into a patchwork of semiautonomous fiefs are now plunging into politics, raising fears that their armed brigades could undermine elections intended to lay the foundation of a new democracy.

The militia leader from Zintan who controls the airport here in the capital has exchanged his uniform for a suit and tie and now talks about running for office — with his 1,200 armed men at his back. The head of Tripoli’s military council is starting a political party, and the military council in Benghazi is preparing its own slate of candidates for local office.

Regional militias and the ruling Transitional National Council have already blocked the city of Bani Walid, once a bastion of support for Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, from choosing its local government. Other militia leaders are volunteering their armed support as the military wings of newly formed parties.

Five months after Colonel Qaddafi’s death, Libyans are counting on the ritual of the ballot box to end four decades of rule by brute force. The brigades formed to fight Colonel Qaddafi, and many others that sprang up after the fact, have thwarted the consolidation of a new central authority and become a menace to security, trading deadly gunfire in the streets of the capital, detaining and torturing suspected Qaddafi loyalists, and last week even kidnapping two members of the Transitional National Council for two days.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/world/africa/libya-militias-turn-to-politics-a-volatile-mix.html?ref=global-home&gwh=A279D076530ABD33412804011ACAA9EF

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Doubts over closure of ISI’s political wing

3 April 2012

Pakistan’s powerful spy agency’s new chief Lt Gen Zahir-ul-Islam has reportedly closed its scandal- hit political wing temporarily but leading political parties are doubting the move.

“I have read about the ISI chief’s statement in the media but I don’t think the intelligence agency has stopped monitoring the activities of our politicians,” a senior leader of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, who did not want to be named, told PTI.

The leader said a woman colleague, who is a member of the National Assembly or Lower House of Parliament, had told him that her mobile phone was being bugged by the intelligence agency. “People may talk of the ISI’s political wing being closed but practically it is impossible,” the leader said, referring to reports that Gen Zahir had ordered a “temporary closure” of the Intelligence agency’s political wing.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/54652-doubts-over-closure-of-isis-political-wing.html

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French Islamic Militants Were Planning Attacks, Prosecutor Says

April 03, 2012

Islamic militants arrested last week across France were planning “imminent attacks,” Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.

French police on March 30 detained 19 people in dawn raids around cities including Paris, Toulouse and Marseilles. Two of those arrested, both women, were released the same day.

The 17 arrested men, who belong to an Islamic militant group called “Forsane Alizza,” or Knights of Pride, had tried to procure weapons and posted videos “that left no doubts as to the intentions of the cell,” Molins said at a press conference in Paris today. Under interrogation, some of them said they had discussed kidnapping a judge in Lyon, he said.

The arrests were unrelated to Mohamed Merah, the self- declared jihadist who murdered seven people in the Toulouse area last month, according to Molins. The initial probe into Forsane Alizza began last October and a formal investigation was opened on March 8, before Merah began his killing spree, Molins said.

President Nicolas Sarkozy, who faces re-election later this month, has sought in recent days to show he’s tough on security issues. The Interior Ministry yesterday issued deportation orders against five Muslims it accused of promoting violent views, and expelled two of them.

Full report at:

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-04-03/french-islamic-militants-were-planning-attacks-prosecutor-says

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Pakistan considers India as 'threat' but US differs: Leon Panetta

3 April 2012

WASHINGTON: Pakistan considers India as a "threat", US defense secretary Leon Panetta has said, underlining Washington's differences with Islamabad on the common threats facing them.

"It is a complex relationship. It always has been and I suspect it always will be," Panetta told CBC TV in an interview.

"In some ways we share a common concern and a common threat. Terrorism is as much a threat to Pakistan and the people of Pakistan as it is to us and to the people of Afghanistan," he said.

At the same time, Panetta noted that the two countries differ on the threat perception.

He said while they "have common cause" "the problem" is that Pakistan view their position as "threatened by India".

"As a result of that, sometimes we get very mixed messages from Pakistan as to just exactly where they're going to be," he said.

On the issue of keeping the raid on Osama bin Laden's safehouse in Abbottabad a secret, the Pentagon chief said he did not provide information to Pakistan because he feared this could be leaked by them and would not be able to accomplish their mission.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Pakistan-considers-India-as-threat-but-US-differs-Leon-Panetta/articleshow/12509007.cms

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India set to cut sensitive list of Pak imports by 30 per cent

 Apr 03 2012

New Delhi : With domestic political pressure building up in Islamabad on New Delhi’s delay in reciprocating Pakistan’s gesture of granting India Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status, the commerce and industry ministry plans to prune its sensitive list of imports by up to 30 per cent soon.

India’s sensitive list of Pakistani imports has 878 items, mostly textiles and chemicals products, which attract high import duties.

“We may knock off some 263 items from our sensitive list,” a senior official of the Department of Commerce told The Indian Express.

The sectoral break-up of the items will be firmed up during the commerce secretary-level talks in the second week of April. “Details will be chalked out during our talks with Pakistan’s senior minister of commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim and commerce secretary Zafar Mahmood, who will be here for the Pakistan Expo,” the official said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/931818/

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US is frustrated, says Hafiz Saeed on bounty

Apr 03 2012

Islamabad : Lashing out at the US for putting a bounty of USD 10 million on his head, a combative Hafiz Mohammad Saeed today said Washington was "frustrated" with him for his countrywide protests against the resumption of NATO supplies and drone strikes.

"We are not hiding in caves for bounties to be set on finding us. I think the US is frustrated because we are taking out countrywide protests against opening routes for supplies to NATO, and also against drone strikes," LeT founder Saeed was quoted as saying by Al-Jazeera news channel.

He added, "I believe either the US has very little knowledge and is basing its decisions on wrong information being provided by India or they are just frustrated."

Saeed claimed the US move was prompted because he had been organising rallies against reopening of NATO supply lines through Pakistan, which were closed after a cross-border attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us-is-frustrated-says-hafiz-saeed-on-bounty/932103/

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Saeed bounty proof Pak harbours terrorists: Indian Home Secy

April 03, 2012

The US announcement of a $10 million bounty on Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, who roams freely in Pakistan, is a proof that the neighbouring country harbours terrorists, Union home secretary RK Singh said on Tuesday.

"I think it has become  clear before the world and everybody recognises that a terror mastermind, who was instrumental in terror attacks, is being sheltered and harboured there (Pakistan)," Singh told reporters when asked about the US reward.

He said the home ministry welcomed the US government decision which was going to put pressure on Pakistan to act against Saeed.

"We welcome it. It is a very good step. It is absolutely appropriate and necessary. I hope this move will add pressure on Pakistan to act," he said.

Late on Monday night, the US government announced an award of upto $10 million for information leading to arrest and conviction of Saeed and upto $2 million for Hafiz Adbul Rahman Makki, his jihad financier brother-in-law under the Rewards for Justice programme, for information on the two terrorists.

Saeed, accused in the 26/11 Mumbai attack and several other terrorist acts in the country, is one of the most wanted in India.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/Saeed-bounty-proof-Pak-harbours-terrorists-home-secy/Article1-834800.aspx

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Egypt's orthodox church walks out of constituent assembly

 Apr 3, 2012

CAIRO: Egypt's Coptic Church has decided to boycott an Islamist-dominated panel charged with drafting the country's new constitution, media report said on Monday.

The 20-member Holy Synod made a unanimous decision to withdraw the two church officials elected to the committee.

The church "considers it inappropriate to continue to be represented given the reservations of various political forces on how the constitutional commission was composed," state-run MENA news agency reported.

The panel comprises 100 members selected by parliament, but it is mainly made up of Muslim Brotherhood members and radical Salafi who constitute the majority of lawmakers.

Several parties and secular groups in recent days have withdrawn from the panel, saying their presence was used as collateral for Islamists to draft a constitution that reflects their political and religious ideologies.

Al-Azhar, the key reference institution in Sunni Islam, also announced its withdrawal, distancing its ideology of moderate Islam from that of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis.

Coptic Christians constitute 6 to 10 per cent of the country's population of about 82 million.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Egypts-orthodox-church-walks-out-of-constituent-assembly/articleshow/12511972.cms

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Explanation sought on separatists’ ISI links

3 April 2012

Two prominent separatist leaders in Kashmir have been forced to explain their position on “covert connections” that amount to defying the perception that separatist movement in Kashmir is totally indigenous.

While chairman of the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference denied the allegation that he is controlled by Pakistan’s spy agency ISI, chief of his own faction of Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) travelled all the way from Srinagar to Islamabad to explain before a judicial commission that he never met with a top official of Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) in Delhi.

A US Attorney Neil H MacBride while seeking punishment for Kashmiri American Council Director Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai for his involvement in tax evasion and working for ISI without US Government’s knowledge told a US Court that Mirwaiz was an individual “supported and controlled by Pakistan’s ISI”. The allegation was leveled in response to Mirwaiz’s letter to the US court seeking leniency for Fai citing his “commitment to the Kashmiri cause”.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/nation/54443-explanation-sought-on-separatists-isi-links.html

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Zardari trip may give push to new visa regime

Apr 3, 2012

NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan are trying to take advantage of a visit by Pakistani President Asif Zardari to India on Sunday to liberalize a bilateral visa regime.

The two countries have already agreed in principle to liberalize business visas, a decision taken after the commerce secretaries' meeting last year. That agreement may be given concrete shape, though, officials said that given the short time, it was not clear whether the pact would be signed during Zardari's visit or soon after. Pakistani president's visit might even give a fillip to an overdue meeting between home secretaries, since talks have been postponed a couple of times.

Zardari's visit will not only give a higher profile to the interaction, which have been steadily on the increase, but New Delhi will also lay out the red carpet for the Pakistani president. Even though its not strictly an official or state visit, Zardari will be accorded all the trappings of a state visit. He will be received by a minister in Delhi, and will have a minister accompanying him during his trip to Ajmer.

The government received a formal request by the Pakistan government on March 28 for a visit by Zardari to Ajmer, though informal feelers had been sent a week before. It was instantly agreed to by the Manmohan Singh government that has pushed for better ties with Pakistan. The visit will also give the government an opportunity to show its support for the Pakistan's civilian dispensation that has hit stormy weather recently, thanks to recurrent battles with the country's powerful army and the newly-empowered judiciary.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Zardari-trip-may-give-push-to-new-visa-regime/articleshow/12510889.cms

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Pakistan moving towards MFN status for India: Gilani

03 APRIL 2012

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has urged Asian countries to establish regional harmony and sustainable development through increased trade and economic growth. He said Pakistan is taking steps towards most favoured nation (MFN) status for India, it was reported here.

"If we do not establish a regional harmony based on trade, investment and economic growth, we fear we will remain hostage to the past. We can break free of this past," Gilani said while addressing Boao Forum for Asia's annual conference in Boao, China.

Gilani mentioned the initiatives for deepening economic relations with other countries and pointed to the tariff liberalisation with China, a new Transit Trade Agreement with Afghanistan, steps towards MFN for India, and regional projects in gas pipelines and communication, reported the Associated Press of Pakistan.

India March 1 welcomed Pakistan's decision to move from the "positive list" to a short "negative list", a key step towards towards granting MFN status and normalising trade relations across the border.

Gilani said the 21st century is the "Asian Century" and stressed that Asia's role in the global economic order had changed rapidly.

He said China's role in Asia, and Asia's economic, political and strategic importance was central.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/home/online-channel/top-story/54773-pakistan-moving-towards-mfn-status-for-india-gilani.html

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Bangladeshi prisoners to be repatriated, MHA write to Bengal

 Apr 03 2012

Kolkata : Bangladeshis lodged in various West Bengal jails are likely to spend the remaining part of their prison term in their own country.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has asked the Bengal government to appoint a nodal officer to identify Bangladeshi nationals lodged in correctional homes in the state. They will be repatriated through a nodal point identified by Indian and Bangladeshi authorities. Similarly, a list of Indian nationals undergoing prison terms in Bangladesh will also be prepared. Both sides will exchange their respective citizen later.

In a landmark move, India and Bangladesh on August 9, 2010 agreed to exchange sentenced prisoners so that they could serve the rest of their term in their own country.

“An agreement between India and Bangladesh has been signed on transfer of sentenced prisoners with the objective to facilitate the social rehabilitation of persons who have been convicted and sentenced as a result of their commission of a criminal offence. This treaty provides an opportunity to such convicted prisoners to serve their sentence within their own country,” reads the letter sent to Bengal Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh by MHA Joint Secretary Sambhu Singh. The letter was dispatched on February 10.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/931713/

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India to send to Pak 26/11 file authenticated by four witnesses

3 April 2012

NEW DELHI: India will soon send to Pakistan all documents related to 26/11 terror attacks case that were authenticated by four key witnesses during the visit of a Pakistani Judicial Commission last month.

The nearly 700-page bulky file contain documents like the confessional statement of the lone surviving Pakistani perpetrator Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, post mortem reports of slain terrorists and 26/11 victims prepared by two doctors and the case diary of Mumbai attack case.

The documents were authenticated by Magistrate R V Sawant Waghule, who had taken down the confession of Kasab, senior inspector Ramesh Mahale, who had investigated the terror attacks case and by the two doctors, official sources said here.

The documents, sent to the home ministry by Mumbai Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S S Shinde, who executed the Commission's visit to the metropolis, will be sent to Pakistan through diplomatic channel in the next few days, they said.

The documents are expected to help the Rawalpindi court which is hearing the 26/11 case in Pakistan.

During the five-day visit of the 8-member Judicial Commission from Pakistan beginning March 15, Waghule told the panel that Kasab had given the confession voluntarily and told her that he and nine others had been sent by Lashkar-e-Taiba to unleash terror in Mumbai.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-to-send-to-Pak-26/11-file-authenticated-by-four-witnesses/articleshow/12506558.cms

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Now, take action against Lashkar chief, Chidambaram tells Pakistan

Apr 3, 2012

NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday hoped the US announcement of $10 million bounty for 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed will put pressure on the Pakistan government to take action against the founder of the Laskhar-e-Taiba.

"We hope it will put pressure on the Pakistan government to take action against him," Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters here when asked about the US' decision to target Saeed.

"We continue to compile information against his activities," said Chidambaram, adding that India has given many dossiers to Pakistan pertaining to Saeed's anti-India activities.

The US Monday announced an award of up to $10 million for information leading to arrest and conviction of Saeed and $2 million for Hafiz Adbul Rahman Makki, under the Rewards for Justice programme, for information on the two terrorists.

Saeed, known in India for his virulent anti-India rhetoric and patronized by a section of the powerful military-dominated Pakistani establishment, has sharpened his tirade in recent months. India has been consistently pressing Pakistan to prosecute Saeed for his key role in the 26/11 terror carnage, but Pakistan has resorted to legal niceties, saying there is no evidence against him.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Now-take-action-against-Lashkar-chief-Chidambaram-tells-Pakistan/articleshow/12519455.cms

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Pak PM Gilani's aircraft makes emergency landing in Rawalpindi

Apr 3, 2012

ISLAMABAD: A special aircraft carrying Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and several federal ministers made an emergency landing today shortly after taking off from a military airbase in the Pakistani garrison city of Rawalpindi.

The aircraft, which was going to Sukkur in Sindh province, returned to Chaklala airbase shortly after take-off and made an emergency landing as it had developed technical problems, TV news channels quoted officials as saying.

All persons on board the aircraft, including Gilani and Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan, were safe, officials told the media.

The pilot informed the control tower of technical problems and then made the emergency landing, they said.

The exact nature of the technical problems could not be immediately ascertained.

The premier and other ministers were on their way to Sindh to participate in special events to be held tomorrow to mark the death anniversary of President Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

The premier and his delegation later left for Sukkur in a different aircraft.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-PM-Gilanis-aircraft-makes-emergency-landing-in-Rawalpindi/articleshow/12519609.cms

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Bashar al-Assad cannot survive for long, his uncle says

Apr 3, 2012

The uncle of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad believes it is unlikely that he can hold onto power much longer.

Rifaat al-Assad told the BBC that the level of violence on the streets was too high for his nephew to survive.

Mr Assad has lived in exile since he unsuccessfully tried to seize power from his brother, Hafez, in the 1980s.

In February 1982, he led a military assault on Hama to suppress an uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood, leaving between 10,000 and 25,000 people dead.

Meanwhile, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Jakob Kellenberger, is meeting top Syrian officials in Damascus to try to get them to allow aid workers better access to those who have been wounded or displaced by the conflict.

Mr Kellenberger will also press the Syrian authorities to implement a daily two-hour ceasefire, as stipulated in the peace plan proposed by the UN and Arab League envoy, Kofi Annan.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17594988

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Egypt accepts Spain's conditions for tycoon's handover

Apr 3, 2012

Egypt has accepted Spain's conditions for the extradition of a tycoon who was a close associate of Hosni Mubarak, legal sources have told BBC Arabic.

Egyptian officials have promised Hussein Salem a free and fair trial, clearing the way for his transfer.

Spain's National Court ordered the 78-year-old's extradition last month.

After his arrest on money laundering and corruption charges in June, police froze 32.5m euros in his bank accounts and properties worth 10m euros.

Money was allegedly obtained illegally in Egypt and sent to accounts in Spain held by Mr Salem through companies created by a Turkish "frontman".

Many Egyptians are demanding that businessmen who enriched themselves through alleged corruption under former President Hosni Mubarak should face justice.

Gas deal

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17598435

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At least five killed, two dozen injured in Gilgit violence

3 April 2012

GILGIT: At least five people have been killed and around two dozen wounded after a wave of violence erupted in different areas of Gilgit on Tuesday; curfew has been imposed in the area, DawnNews reported.

 The violence in the area started after a bomb blast at a rally of people protesting for the release of Maulana Ataullah of Ahl-e-Sunnat wal Jamaat at Ittehad chowk.

The bomb blast left at least 22 people wounded.

The blast caused a state of panic in the area resulting in continuous firing in the different parts of Gilgit.

 At least seven people were wounded in different incidents of firing and five of them succumbed to wounds, the latest reports suggest.

Overall two dozen people suffered wounded in the incident including two police officials.

Curfew has been imposed in the area for an indefinite period but the gunshots can still be heard.

The students and office workers are confined in their respective institutes because of the law and order situation in the area.

http://www.dawn.com/2012/04/03/at-least-five-killed-two-dozen-injured-in-gilgit-violence.html

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Somali militant slams group’s killing of civilians

3 April 2012

MOGADISHU, Somalia: One of Al-Shabab’s senior leaders has lashed out at the group’s brutality against civilians, but a Somali government spokesman is dismissing that outburst, calling the leader a “murderer.”

Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys said over the weekend that killing civilians in the name of Islam is wrong in a message apparently intended for more hard-line members of the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab.

Despite the fact Aweys’ words appeared to cut against Al-Shabab, Somali government spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman on Monday did not welcome them. He said that Aways is also a murderer who deceives children and killed them.

Al-Shabab declared earlier that it had formally joined Al-Qaeda. It is trying to apply an austere version of Islam that has caused the group’s popularity to plunge.

http://arabnews.com/world/article603698.ece

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Maldives Prez Waheed to visit India in May

3 April 2012

In his first trip abroad since assuming the top post in Maldives, President Mohammed Waheed will travel to India next month, the Government here said on Monday, even as after two tumultuous sittings marred by protests by the Opposition MDP, Maldives' parliament commenced its first session of the year on Monday, indicating that the new Government may finally be getting on with work.

The announcement came close on the heels of his predecessor Mohammed Nasheed’s statement that he will visit India in mid-April to seek support for his efforts to hold early elections and restore a democratically-elected Government in Maldives.

President Mohammed Waheed, who assumed office after the February 7 ouster of the country’s first democratically-elected President Nasheed, will visit India in May on an official visit at the invitation of Indian Government, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dhunya Maumoon told a Press conference here. She, however, did not give the exact date for the visit.

The President will hold with the Indian leaders on improving bilateral ties, she said.

Separately, Press Secretary at President’s Office Masood Imad told media here that Waheed has not yet started undertaking trips abroad as his nominees for vice-president and Cabinet Ministers are not so far confirmed by Parliament.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/54665-maldives-prez-waheed-to-visit-india-in-may.html

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CM Mamata Banerjee delivers promise, accords Urdu ‘second language’ status

03 APRIL 2012

In what was termed as “historic development” by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee the State Government has provided the “second official language” status to Urdu in areas where the language is spoken by more than 10 per cent people.

“This is a historic decision taken by our Government and would help many poor people of Muslim community to use the language for official communication,” the Chief Minister said even as State Opposition Leader Surya Kanto Mishra doubted the efficacy of the move saying “the decision sounds good before the panchayat elections but it would have been better if the Government had given effect to its decision after making the spade work.”

He said there was a lack of people trained in this language which would make the work of those communicating in this language with the Government more difficult. “There files will end up in the departmental cupboards,” he said, adding the Government did not also specify whether the Urdu-speaking people would be able to use this language in the college or school services examinations.

However, State Municipal Affairs Minister Firhad Hakim said, “Our Government has fulfilled this long-standing demand of the Urdu-speaking people of the State” reminding there were 18 areas throughout the State where more than 10 per cent of the population spoke Urdu.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/nation/54691-didi-delivers-promise-accords-urdu-second-language-status.html

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Supreme Court of Pakistan sets aside Shahzain Bugti's bail grant

3 April 2012

QUETTA: The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry has set aside the Balochistan High Court orders under which a bail was granted to Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) leader Shahzain Bugti and his 27 accomplices.

Shahzain Bugti, the grandson of Nawab Akbar Bugti, was arrested along with his 27 guards on December 22, 2010, when Frontier Corps (FC) intercepted his convoy near Buleli check in Quetta and recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition. The security forces also recovered 50 Kalashnikovs, 46,000 rounds and anti-aircraft guns, said sources.

However, Shahzain Bugti and his accomplices were released after their bail pleas were accepted by the Balochistan High Court (BHC) hearing into the case.

The Supreme Court bench on Tuesday, after hearing the arguments presented by the prosecutor general and counsel of Shahzain Bugti, set aside the bails orders of the high court. This order makes the arrest of Shahzain Bugti and his accomplices possible, however no direct instructions were issued by the bench.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/359139/supreme-court-bench-sets-aside-shahzain-bugtis-bail-grant/

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President Asif Ali Zardari briefed on Lyari operation

3 April 2012

KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday urged for action against criminals in areas other than Lyari as well, and said that the president himself as well as the chief minister of Sindh should be informed in case of any political pressure faced in this regards, DawnNews reported.

The co-chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party expressed his sorrow over the killing of a local PPP leader in Lyari.

IG Police Sindh Mushtaq Shah apprised the president of the difficulties being faced during the operation.

During the briefing the IGP Sindh told President Zardari that the terrorists have latest and sophisticated weaponry where as the Sindh Police employs weapons purchased in the 1980’s.

Shah added that if the police pursue the terrorist on aMobilethen criminals take advantage of the narrow alleys and that the police has only three armoured vehicles where as the rest have been rendered inoperative.

The IG Sindh said that the operation was not conducted against the whole of Lyari rather against criminal elements only.

The president then questioned that if the action is taken against criminal elements only, then how come whole of Lyari is affected by it, he further asked if criminals existed in Lyari only and urged for action to be taken in other areas as well.

http://www.dawn.com/2012/04/03/president-briefed-on-lyari-operation.html

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Pakistan: Hazara women call for judicial inquiry

3 April 2012

QUETTA: The women’s wing of the Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) took out a procession here on Monday to press its demand for a judicial inquiry into the March 29 incident in which six people were killed.

The women gathered in front of the Balochistan Assembly, held a demonstration and raised slogans against the government.

Addressing the demonstrators, Nazneen Zaman, Rafat Hazara and Ansa Keshmand criticised the government and police for their failure to protect the Hazara community in the city.

They appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan, who is in Quetta, to take up a constitutional petition for hearing to provide justice to the Hazara people.

They said there was lawlessness in the city, but law-enforcement agencies did nothing to resolve the problem.

The HDP leaders said the lukewarm response of the government and police had encouraged the terrorists to continue with their acts against humanity.

They called for strict action against the killers.

http://www.dawn.com/2012/04/03/hazara-women-call-for-judicial-inquiry.html

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Karachi violence: ‘Zero tolerance’ against extortionists, says Zardari

3 April 2012

KARACHI: Not forgetting the rhetoric of ‘zero tolerance’ for extortion and other street crimes, President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday called for the use of the latest technology to combat violence and innovative ways to raise funds for this purpose.

A meeting was held at Bilawal House to deliberate the law and order situation, which has cost the city heavily in terms of lives and economic activities. More than 40 people have lost their lives in the past few days after political murders left the city in disarray.

Predictably, President Zardari directed the provincial authorities and interior minister Rehman Malik to equip the law enforcement agencies with modern combat equipment.

He asked them to supply the police and Rangers with aerial patrolling equipment including helicopters and armed personnel carriers (APCs) along with the ‘geo-fencing’ of certain localities to mark territories prone to criminal activities with virtual parameters. He said there needed to be a strict surveillance along the Karachi-Balochistan border to prevent militants from seeking hideouts in the latter region.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/359017/karachi-violence-zero-tolerance-against-extortionists-says-zardari/

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Pak govt in no hurry to reopen NATO supply routes: Yousuf Raza Gilani

 Apr 03 2012

Islamabad : Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said his government is in no hurry to reopen the NATO supply routes that were closed after a cross-border air strike last year and that a decision on the issue will be made only after evolving consensus among political parties.

Gilani made the remarks during an interaction with reporters on board his special plane while flying back to Pakistan from China yesterday after attending the Boao Forum conference.

He said the Parliamentary Committee on National Security will make a decision on the issue of reopening the supply routes to Afghanistan.

"Let the committee, which has representation from all political parties in parliament, decide what they want. The government has not set a time frame for the committee to complete its deliberations and will wait for a final outcome," the premier said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pak-govt-in-no-hurry-to-reopen-nato-supply-routes-gilani/932061/

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Pakistan wants China to help build dams

Apr 3, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan wants the Export-Import Bank of China to help in the construction of small and medium dams.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday urged the EXIM Bank of China to focus on the construction of small and medium dams to help the country meet its agriculture needs, Associated Press of Pakistan reported from Boao in China.

Talking to the president of the Export-Import Bank of China Li Ruogu on the sidelines of the Boao Economic Forum, Gilani noted that the EXIM Bank was funding projects worth $3.8 billion in different sectors of Pakistan.

He said the EXIM Bank was playing a key role in the economic development of Pakistan.

The bank's president said Chinese companies were keen to invest in Pakistan and said all measures would be taken to ensure timely completion of the project that were vital to Pakistan's economic development.

Gilani said a delegation from the Economic Affairs Division will visit China April 9 to finalise the development projects.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-wants-China-to-help-build-dams/articleshow/12516496.cms

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Syria: Russia rejects Kofi Annan's six-point peace plan deadline

3 April 2012

Russia on Monday rejected the deadline for Kofi Annan's six-point peace plan whilst Syrian government forces continued their crackdown on rebel bastions in the north, killing at least 18 people.

"Ultimatums and artificial deadlines rarely help matters," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said while on a visit to Armenia.

Lavrov added that only the United Nations Security Council – on which Russia wields veto power – could put any time restrictions on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's compliance with Annan's peace plan.

"Annan has a Security Council mandate and it is up to the UN Security Council to decide who is complying with this plan and how," he said.

At the "Friends of Syria" meeting in Istanbul over the weekend Western and Arab nations agreed to ask the UN to set a deadline for Assad to comply with Annan's Syria peace plan.

Full report at:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9181439/Syria-Russia-rejects-Kofi-Annans-six-point-peace-plan-deadline.html

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Syria agrees April 10 deadline for peace plan: Kofi Annan

Apr 3, 2012

UNITED NATIONS: Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has agreed to start implementing a peace plan by April 10, but UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan told the UN Security Council on Monday there has been no progress yet in halting the bloodshed.

Annan appealed to the 15-member council to back the deadline to increase pressure on the Syrian government to halt its offensive against the opposition, diplomats at a closed-doors briefing by the special envoy told AFP.

Syria has agreed to start partially implementing his peace plan by April 10 and that there should be a "full cessation of hostilities" within 48 hours, Annan told the council.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Syria-agrees-April-10-deadline-for-peace-plan-Kofi-Annan/articleshow/12510112.cms

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Changes in Egypt's family law: A step backwards?

3 April 2012

Family and personal status issues, particularly in relation to women, remain hotly debated with some seeing a move on behalf of Islamists to rescind recently won rights

Over the past year and a half, much debate has taken place regarding Egypt's Family Law. Whereas some, mostly Islamists, have argued that certain articles must be changed or removed, many, women and men, have taken the streets demanding that rights be added, not stripped away.

For instance, Law 1 of 2000, otherwise known as the Khulaa Law, acts as an alternative route for women whose husbands refuse to grant them divorce. MP Mohamed El-Omda of the Wafd Party, who is also the head of People's Assembly Constitutional Affairs Committee, suggested with a coalition of other MPs that the law must be canceled. He and Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) MPS also suggested that the National Council for Women be disbanded and that a National Council for the Family be activated instead.

Through the Khulaa Law, courts grant women a divorce as long as they return the dowry paid by her husband prior to the marriage. Opponents argue that the process of the law is against Islamic Sharia law and that it also increases divorce among married couples.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/38053/Egypt/Politics-/Changes-in-Egypts-family-law-A-step-backwards.aspx

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Rowan Williams says veil helps Muslim women assert themselves

3 April 2012

Archbishop of Canterbury has 'never been much of a feminist', says Janet Street Porter

THE OUTGOING Archbishop of Canterbury has shown he will not leave quietly after he reopened the debate over the veil by insisting that the controversial garment can help Muslim women "assert themselves".

Dr Rowan Williams has questioned the view that women hide behind their veils and warned against "what we sometimes think of wrongly as stereotypes".

Speaking at The Sunday Times Literary Festival in Oxford at the weekend, the Archbishop said that his views were influenced by a recent encounter with a teenage Muslim pupil at a Church of Wales school.

"She told me how she would wear her veil and yet take part, too, in some of the school's Christian lessons. It gave her an understanding of Christianity and yet wearing her veil was also very important for her to assert herself and her religion," said Williams, who will step down as Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of this year.

Full report at:

http://www.theweek.co.uk/society/religion/46144/rowan-williams-says-veil-helps-muslim-women-assert-themselves#ixzz1qyAtgiew

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Kalifulla sworn in as Supreme Court judge

3 April 2012

Jammu and Kashmir High Court Chief Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla was on Monday sworn in as Supreme Court judge. Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia administered the oath of office to him at a function in the presence of the Full Court and members of the Bar.

SECOND TAMILIAN

Justice Kalifulla, who hails from Tamil Nadu, will be the second judge to represent the Madras High Court in the Supreme Court after Justice P. Sathasivam.

In February 2011, Justice Kalifulla was transferred as judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. He became its acting Chief Justice in April 2011 and regular Chief Justice in September 2011. He will have a tenure of little over four years in the Supreme Court, where the number of judges has now gone up to 26 as against the sanctioned strength of 31.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3274281.ece

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Syrian forces storm rebel areas, torch homes

Apr 03 2012

Beirut : The Syrian government has sent troops backed by tanks into rebellious areas, hunting down activists and torching their homes and bulldozing others, opposition groups said.

At the United Nations, international envoy Kofi Annan set an April 10 deadline for full compliance with a peace plan to end the violence in Syria. He also told the Security Council at a closed door briefing Monday that Damascus has agreed to withdraw its troops from cities by that date, reversing its previous refusal to implement the measure, diplomats said.

The opposition is deeply skeptical of Assad's intention to abide by his promises, describing it as another attempt to buy time while government troops continue their assault on the rebels.

Several times over the past few months, the Assad regime has agreed to a peace plan, only to ignore it on the ground. Most recently, it signed on to a plan by Annan, but then rejected his appeal for the government to lay down its weapons before the rebels did.

Also, several months ago Syria accepted an Arab League plan to send monitors to work for a cease-fire, but the mission collapsed in violence.

Activists on Monday said fierce clashes were taking place in the central region of Homs, after which rebels took control of the national hospital in the Jouret al-Shayah district. Human rights groups and the opposition have accused government forces of abusing and torturing wounded activists in the hospital in previous months.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/932016/

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Cabinet approves law to curb money laundering

3 April 2012

The Council of Ministers yesterday approved the law for combating money laundering, which will also be applied to fight funding terrorism and terror organizations.

The Cabinet meeting, which was chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, also approved the establishment of Makkah Techno Valley as a Saudi joint stock company.

“The new company is aimed at promoting a knowledge-based economy through partnership with educational and research institutions as well as the business and investment community,” said Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja.

Spelling out Makkah Techno Valley’s objectives, Khoja said it would invest in industries for the transfer of technology; prepare university students to work in the private sector; and create a suitable atmosphere for economically viable research projects.

 Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article603909.ece

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600 jobs unveiled for Saudi women

Apr 3, 2012

The recruitment center of the ladies section at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) has announced 600 vacancies for Saudi women at stores selling ladies requirements and cosmetics.

The announcement comes in the context of the ladies section’s efforts to help feminize and saudize such stores.

The center called on Saudi women to apply for these vacancies through its branch at the National Products Center, King Abdullah Road, between Saturday, April 7 and Wednesday, April 11.

Princess Haila bint Abdulrahman, director of RCCI Ladies Section, said they have given special care to the store feminization decision for its role in curbing un-employment among Saudi women through the provision of job opportunities for them.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article603913.ece

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Iraq wants Qatar to hand over fugitive VP

3 April 2012

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s deputy prime minister called on Qatar yesterday to hand over the nation’s fugitive Sunni vice president to face terror charges in Baghdad, in a move which is likely to further strain ties between Shiite-led Iraq and Gulf Arab states.

Hussain Al-Shahristani said at a news conference in Baghdad that Qatar’s decision to host Tariq Al-Hashemi, the top Sunni official in Iraq’s government, was “unacceptable.”

“Qatar should review its position and send Al-Hashemi back to Iraq so that he stands trial,” he said.

Al-Hashemi yesterday rejected Baghdad's demand for Qatar to hand him over, saying he enjoys constitutional immunity and has not been convicted.

"There has not been a judicial decision against me from any court, and the demand does not respect Article 93 of the constitution, which provides me with immunity," he said in the Qatari capital.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article603847.ece

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No clues yet on Saudi diplomat’s murder in Dhaka

Apr 3, 2012

Almost one month has passed since the gruesome murder of Saudi diplomat Khalaf Al-Ali in Dhaka; but the Bangladesh government has miserably failed to come anywhere close to solving the murder mystery or making any headway in the case.

“The Bangladesh’s security agencies are yet to make any arrests or name suspects in the murder case,” said Alauddin Alaskari, deputy foreign minister for protocol affairs, here yesterday.

Alaskari said that “a four-member team of Saudi officials had been sent to Dhaka to assist the Bangladeshi security agencies in the investigation of the diplomat’s murder.” Al-Ali, 45, an official with the consular section of the Saudi Embassy in Dhaka, was shot dead by unknown gunmen near his Gulshan house in the wee hours of March 6 this year. He died at Dhaka’s United Hospital, where he was admitted in a serious condition after receiving severe gun injuries.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article603911.ece

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Saudi philanthropist feeds Lankan maids stranded at Bahrain airport

3 April 2012

A Saudi philanthropist offered a helping hand to a group of Riyadh-bound housemaids who did not have money to buy food at Bahrain International Airport on Sunday.

The housemaids, who were coming into the Kingdom from Colombo, were in transit at the airport in Muharraq for more than five hours without food or drink. They were told by their local recruiting agents in Colombo that their meals would be looked after by their counterparts in Bahrain.

A group of more than 20 maids left Colombo airport on Sunday at 5 a.m. on a Gulf Air flight, which landed at Bahrain airport at 7.45 a.m. the same day. Their connecting flight to Riyadh was scheduled at 1.15 p.m. the same day.

The Saudi philanthropist, who offered meals and drinks to some of these maids, told Arab News it was a disgrace the local recruiting agent had not given them money to buy snacks at the Manama airport.

One of the housemaids, Ramani, told Arab News at the airport that she was quite hungry since she did not have any food in the morning.

“On board they served some light snacks which was good enough to cover breakfast.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article603898.ece

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Iran suspends news bureau for branding ninjas as terrorists     

3 April 2012

TEHRAN: The Tehran bureau of international news agency Reuters has been “suspended indefinitely” because of a report it did mischaracterising Iranian female ninjas as “terrorists,” authorities said on Monday.

The head of the department in the culture and Islamic guidance ministry that monitors foreign media in Iran, Mohammad Javad Aghajari, announced the decision in a statement published by the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

“The decision was taken following the production of a video clip by this news agency`s video department branding some Iranian female athletes who practice ninjutsu as terrorists,” he was quoted as saying.

The report referred to was sent to Reuters clients in early February and showed female ninjas training in the city of Karaj, northwest of Tehran.

Reuters said last week the report went out with the headline “Thousands of female Ninjas train as Iran`s assassins” but, after complaints were received from Iran, it was changed to “Three thousand women Ninjas train in Iran”.

Iran`s state-funded Press TV reported that several female ninjas in the story planned to sue Reuters for defamation.

In a report on Monday, Press TV said Reuters had failed to apologise for accusing the female ninjutsu practitioners of being “undercover assassins in the service of the Islamic Republic”.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2012/04/03/iran-suspends-news-bureau-for-branding-ninjas-as-terrorists.html

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Security failures in Afghan shootings: Nato

3 April 2012

There have been failures in security procedures meant to identify potential killers of Western troops before they join Afghanistan's army and police, Nato-led international forces admitted yesterday.

So far this year 17 foreign troops, including at least seven Americans and five French trainers, have been shot dead by Afghan security personnel in 10 separate so-called "green on blue" killings.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which is training Afghans to take over responsibility for security for the whole country by the end of 2014, said the deaths had sapped morale among its troops.

"Although the incidents are small in number we are aware of the gravity they have as an effect on morale," ISAF spokesman Brigadier-General Carsten Jacobson said in Kabul.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=228840

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Bangladesh: Maulana Azad’s house cordoned off

3 April 2012

Police cordoned off the house of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, known as Bachchu Rajakar, at Uttarkhan in the city Tuesday to arrest him in connection with crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.

A number of members detectives joined Uttarkan police in the afternoon in cordoning off Azad’s house after the International Crimes Tribunal-2 issued arrest warrant against the former Islami Chhatra Sangha leader.

Yunus Ali, officer-in-charge of Uttarkhan Police Station, told The Daily Star that they would enter the house after getting the copy of the court directive at their hands.

Earlier in the day, the tribunal asked the Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner to arrest Azad and produce him before it 24 hours within his arrest.

The student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami was known as Islami Chhatra Sangha before Bangladesh's independence in 1971. It was renamed Islami Chhatra Shibir on February 6, 1977 at a mosque in Dhaka.

The three-judge panel headed by its Chairman Justice ATM Fazle Kabir came up with the order after accepting a petition of the prosecution to issue arrest warrant against Azad.

The court said the arrest warrant was issued for the sake of proper investigation after it was reported that witnesses in the cases were being intimidated either by Azad or his supporters.

The court also asked the prosecution to provide the accused with a copy of the allegations levelled at him.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=36847

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Bulgarian Muslims Recall Communist Repression

3 April 2012

KORNITSA, Bulgaria (AP) — Ibrahim Byalk has had a bullet stuck in his arm for nearly four decades. It adds to the painful memories of communist repression in this quiet village in southern Bulgaria.

"It hurts sometimes when I move my arm, but it is nothing compared to the pain left in my mind," said Byalk, looking over the square where he was shot on March 28, 1973. That day, police and army units stormed the village and opened fire on hundreds at people gathered in the square to protest the communist regime's campaign to force Bulgaria's Muslims to adopt non-Islamic names and break up their communities.

Villagers in traditional colorful dress gathered here last week to raise their hands in prayer in memory of the victims. The brutal crackdown left five men dead and more than 100 wounded. More than 70 families, including Byalk's, were forced to leave their homes and settle in remote villages.

"All we wanted was to keep our names and our faith," said the 64-year-old Byalk.

The events in Kornitsa were long one of communist-ruled Bulgaria's many dark secrets. It was only after the regime fell in 1989, and the rights of Bulgaria's Muslims were restored, that the truth surfaced.

Like many other Muslims, Byalk won't reveal the new name he was forced to adopt — he says he has "forgotten." Most often the new names would take the first two initials of the old Muslim one.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/04/03/world/europe/ap-eu-bulgaria-muslims-oppressed.html?ref=europe&gwh=EB108A05DAD2BDE68AB9F64309BCFBCF

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Delhi car blast: Court denies bail to Syed Kazmi

April 03, 2012

New Delhi: Journalist Syed Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi, arrested for his alleged role in the February 13 bomb attack at an Israeli diplomat's car here, was on Tuesday denied bail by a Delhi court.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Vinod Yadav dismissed Kazmi's bail plea saying there was no substance in his bail plea.

"I have gone through the case diaries brought to the court by the special team of Delhi police... I have not found any substance in the defence arguments," the CMM said.

Full report at:

http://zeenews.india.com/news/delhi/delhi-car-blast-court-denies-bail-to-syed-kazmi_768028.html

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/a-bounty-of-usd-10-million-on-his-head,-lashkar-chief-hafiz-saeed-dares-us,-says-he-is-not-hiding-in-caves/d/6980


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