New Age Islam
Wed Dec 02 2020, 11:34 PM

Islamic World News ( 25 Jun 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Abu Jindal's arrest fallout: Pak President releases Sarabjit Singh from death row

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

India

Sarabjit Singh Gets Pakistan President Zardari's Pardon, To Walk Free

26/11 Handler’s Arrest: Pak Offers India Counter-Terror Cooperation

Separatist-sponsored strike disrupts normal life in Kashmir

Restrictions imposed in Srinagar following tension after shrine blaze

Mumbai attack II probable if Taliban, Haqqani triumph in south Afghanistan: ex-diplomat

Headley talks of Abu Hamza, investigators probe if it's Jundal

Maharashtra minister denies links with Jundal, says ready for probe

Mumbai Police moves court seeking custody of Zabiuddin

Delhi Police likely to seek extension of Zabiuddin’s remand

Islamic religious art hits a popular note

Abu Salem gets bail in extortion case; court lauds Salem's conduct

CRPF jawan among three injured in grenade attack by militants in J&K

How Zabihuddin Ansari became Abu Jundal

 

Pakistan

LeT founder Hafiz Saeed collecting donations for militants active in Kashmir

Militants kill 13 Pakistani troops, behead 7

Top Pakistani Taliban leadership eliminated: Malik

Taliban attack Pakistan's Aaj TV station in Karachi

TTP commander killed in police encounter

Pak power scam: PM could be summoned, says report

Pak sends reminder to Interpol to arrest Musharraf

Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi becomes Pak Deputy Prime Minister

 

South Asia

Do not want to topple Maldives govt: Nasheed

Dhaka honours ‘saviour’ of Mujib’s family in 1971 war

 Afghans sing again -- of love and war

 

Mideast Asia

West Bank's route 60 a 'road of death' for Palestinian children

Next Step to Defeating Al-Qaeda Is In Yemen

Iran Invites Morari Bapu, Ramayana 'Kathakar' As State Guest

Iranian pair faces death penalty after third alcohol offence

Israel Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial attack: Three held

Turkey Warns Syrian Forces Not to Approach Border

Settlers Begin Evacuation of a West Bank Outpost

Islamist victory leaves Israel jittery

 

Arab World

Morsi keen to renew severed ties with Iran

Mubarak’s sons shocked, in tears after poll verdict

Twin bombings claim 14 lives in Iraq: Officials

Iraq says it curbs media including BBC, VoA

Assad Supporters Suspected in New Beirut Incidents

Defections add to Syria-Turkey spat

 

Africa

Uganda Detains Five Pakistanis Suspected of Rebel Ties

List of Unexploded Arms in Libya Is Seen as Limited

African American Muslims Revolutionise the Message of Hip Hop

 

North America

Jewish group cancels speech by controversial author Pamela Geller

FBI probe targets extremists in US army

U.S. Muslims Congratulate Egyptian People on First Democratically-Elected President

 

Europe

Al Qaeda threatens Arab Spring nations: UK spy chief

MI5 chief talks of terrorist threat before Olympics

Italian soldier killed in Afghanistan blast

Milad Raza Qadri Launches ‘Messenger of Mercy’

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Sarabjit Singh's family 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/abu-jindal-s-arrest-fallout--pak-president-releases-sarabjit-singh-from-death-row/d/7744

 

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India

Sarabjit Singh Gets Pakistan President Zardari's Pardon, To Walk Free

PTI |

ISLAMABAD, Jun 26, 2012 : After being on the death row for 20 years over bombing charges, Indian national Sarabjit Singh is being released with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari today commuting his death sentence.

Zardari commuted Sarabjit's death sentence to life term which he has already completed having been in jail beyond 14 years. Therefore he is being released.

The 49-year-old Sarabjit convicted and sentenced to death for alleged involvement in a string of bombings in Punjab in 1990 that killed 14 people has maintained his innocence and said that his was a case of "mistaken identity".

Zardari has directed authorities to release him if he has completed his prison term, official sources said.

Following the summary or official proposal issued by the presidency, law minister Farooq Naek today asked the interior ministry to take steps to "immediately" release Sarabjit as he had completed a life term, the sources told PTI.

Sarabjit could be released in the next few days after the interior ministry and the home department of Punjab complete necessary formalities, the sources said.

Sarabjit is currently being held at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore.

President Zardari's action came a little over a month after ailing Pakistani virologist Khalil Chishti, detained in Rajasthan for nearly two decades on the charge of involvement in a murder, was freed on the orders of India's Supreme Court so that he could meet his family in Karachi.

Sarabjit had sent a fresh clemency appeal to President Zardari last month after the release of Chishti.

The mercy petition included a document with the signatures of 100,000 Indians that urged Zardari to reciprocate the release of Chishti by India.

Two letters addressed to Zardari by the chief cleric of Delhi's Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, and the caretaker of the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, Syed Muhammad Yamin Hashmi, were also attached to the petition.

Sarabjit has maintained that his was a case of mistaken identity, since even the FIR was not registered in his name.

"I have spent 22 years in prison for a crime I have not committed," he wrote in the petition.

Sarabjit's sister Dalbir Kaur too has contended that she has "vital evidence" which proves her brother's innocence.

Sarabjit was given the death sentence under Pakistan's Army Act. A mercy petition sent by him to the then army chief was rejected with a direction that it should be forwarded to the President.

Though Sarabjit was set to be hanged in 2008, Pakistani authorities put off his execution indefinitely after former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani intervened. His family has said he wandered across the border in an inebriated condition and was arrested by Pakistani authorities.

Reacting to the news of Sarabjit's pardon, human rights activist Ansar Burney, who has been campaigning for his release, said, "I think its great news for India, Pakistan and the family of Sarabjit. I would like to congratulate and I would also like to thank the President of Pakistan Mr Zardari.

"...It will create some more love, some more affection. It will be very good for the peace process between the two countries and the region. So its very good news. I'm very happy today that he will be with his family soon."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Sarabjit-Singh-gets-Pakistan-President-Zardaris-pardon-to-walk-free/articleshow/14414257.cms

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26/11 Handler’s Arrest: Pak Offers India Counter-Terror Cooperation

Jun 26, 2012

NEW DELHI: A day after reports of an Indian 26/11 accused and his links with Pakistani terrorists became public, Pakistan on Tuesday renewed its offer of counter-terror cooperation with India and said that terrorism was a common concern for both countries.

Responding to questions regarding the reported arrest of Abu Jundal Hamza on June 21, the spokesperson of the Pakistan high commission in New Delhi said that Pakistan has been in the forefront in the campaign against terror.

"As agreed at the highest level between Pakistan and India, terrorism is a common concern and counter-terrorism cooperation is in the mutual interest of both countries," the spokesperson said.

"Pakistan has renewed its offer of cooperation in this domain," he added.

The 30-year-old terrorist was arrested at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here on June 21 after his deportation from Saudi Arabia. Hamza, according to intelligence sources, was one of six people who were holed up in a "control room" in Karachi and directing the audacious Mumbai attack by 10 Pakistani terrorists in November 2008. The carnage left 166 people dead.

He was one of those who were heard on radio intercepts directing the terrorists to their targets in Mumbai and telling them who to kill. He had trained the killers to speak Hindi.

The sources said Hamza, whose real name is Sayyad Zabiuddin, was a more important catch than even Kasab, the only one among the 10 Pakistanis who was caught.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/26/11-handlers-arrest-Pakistan-says-terror-a-common-concern/articleshow/14404780.cms

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Separatist-sponsored strike disrupts normal life in Kashmir

Jun 26, 2012

SRINAGAR: Life across Kashmir was disrupted today due to a strike called by separatists over gutting of the 200-year-old Dastageer Sahib shrine in Khanyar area of the city.

Schools, colleges, offices, shops and other commercial establishments were closed due to the strike called by almost all separatist groups including both factions of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF.

Public transport was off the roads across the Valley while few private vehicles could be seen on roads. Attendance in government offices was thin as employees could not make it to their duty places due to lack of transport facilities.

Work in courts was also affected as Kashmir High Court Bar Association, the representative body of lawyers, has also called for a one-day strike.

The separatist called for the one-day strike over the destruction of Dastageer Sahib shrine in a fire yesterday. They also demanded an impartial probe into the incident.

The state government has ordered a probe by Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, into the incident and also announced that the shrine will be reconstructed as per the old design.

The old city area witnessed violent protests yesterday after the blaze gutted the shrine and adjacent mosque. More than 50 persons including a dozen policemen were injured in the clashes.

Official sources said concertina wires have been used at many places to prevent people from pouring on the streets.

Additional policemen and CRPF personnel have been deployed in the old city and other vulnerable areas of the city like Maisuma to maintain law and order, the sources said.

Though eye witnesses said restrictions have been imposed on the movement of people, a police spokesman said there were no restriction anywhere in the Valley but additional forces have been deployed to maintain law and order.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Separatist-sponsored-strike-disrupts-normal-life-in-Kashmir/articleshow/14405001.cms

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Restrictions imposed in Srinagar following tension after shrine blaze

Jun 26, 2012

SRINAGAR: Undeclared curfew-like restrictions were imposed in the old city areas of Srinagar on Tuesday following tension in the city over the gutting of the revered shrine of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani in the Khanyar area.

Although no official announcement to this effect was made, police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) deployed in riot control gear disallowed pedestrian and vehicular movement in old city areas falling under the Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta, SR Gunj and Safakadal police stations.

The imposed restrictions were not enforced very strictly in uptown areas of the city although a heavy presence of security forces has been maintained to prevent any untoward incident.

Monday's restrictions followed widespread tension in the city after the highly revered shrine was gutted in a blaze.

Stone-pelting protesters clashed with the police in Khanyar, resulting in injuries to 20 persons on Monday. Clashes between the protesters and the police had continued for the entire day in the area.

A complete mourning shutdown was observed in Srinagar city as shops, other business establishments, educational institutions and public transport remained shut on Tuesday.

Attendance in banks, post offices and government offices was thin because of the restrictions and non-availability of public transport in the city.

Both, the hardline and moderate Hurriyat groups have called for a Kashmir-wide shutdown on Tuesday.

Reports from other district headquarters indicated the shutdown adversely affected life there as well.

The annual Amarnath Yatra which started here on Monday, however, continued smoothly despite the shutdown.

Scores of vehicles carrying the pilgrims to the base camps of Pahalgam and Baltal continued moving normally.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Restrictions-imposed-in-Srinagar-following-tension-after-shrine-blaze/articleshow/14404161.cms

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Mumbai attack II probable if Taliban, Haqqani triumph in south Afghanistan: ex-diplomat

Jun 26 2012

London : Possibility of yet another Mumbai-style attack in India cannot be ruled out and such a threat will arise if the Taliban or Haqqani network succeed in seizing large parts of Southern Afghanistan, a veteran Indian diplomat said.

"Given improvement and modernisation in internal security organisations in several States and improved coordination on intelligence issues, the threat posed by...the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed can be effectively contained, though the possibility of yet another Mumbai-style attack cannot be ruled out," former diplomat G Parthasarathy said.

He was speaking on 'Experiences, Challenges of Terrorism in India' on the opening day of the three-day conference on Securing Asia 2012 at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre here yesterday.

"The main terrorist challenges that India will now face are likely to arise primarily from developments in Afghanistan, especially if the Taliban or Haqqani network should succeed in seizing control of large parts of Southern Afghanistan," he said.

Parthasarathy, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in New Delhi, said: "The Taliban has, in the past, provided training facilities for anti-Indian groups like the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, colluded with the hijackers of Indian Airlines Flight IC 814 and even offered to send thousands of volunteers to establish control over high mountain areas in Jammu and Kashmir.

"In more recent times, the Haqqani network has attacked Indian construction projects and diplomatic and consular missions in Afghanistan".

He said India would like to cooperate with regional countries and the international community to ensure that Afghan soil does not become a haven for terrorists, who are determined to attack Indian soil and Indian interests abroad.

Noting that it would be a lunacy to send Indian soldiers to Afghanistan, Parthasarathy said "what we are interested in is economic prosperity of Afghanistan. India, Pakistan and Iran should work for development of Afghanistan.

"What is necessary is inclusive approach to economic development of Afghanistan. It is a question of getting a measure of stability there"

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/966935/

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Headley talks of Abu Hamza, investigators probe if it's Jundal

Jun 26 2012

New Delhi : As investigators seek to confirm the various aliases of Zabiuddin Ansari, arrested in connection with the November 26, 2008 terror attack in Mumbai, they are also trying to find out if he is Abu Hamza who appears frequently in the National Investigation Agency (NIA)’s interrogation report of Pakistani-American Lashkar operative David Headley.

Ansari, before he became Abu Jundal

Sources say Ansari, also known as Abu Jundal, could be Abu Hamza, although there is apparently no unanimity yet on either. The name Abu Jundal has been mentioned by Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist captured alive during 26/11, as the Indian Lashkar operative in Pakistan who trained Kasab and his nine accomplices to speak Hindi.

‘Hukumat yeh jaan le yeh trailer hai, film baaqi hai...’

Abu Hamza, on the other hand, is mentioned at least six times in the NIA’s Headley interrogation report. The agency had questioned Headley for 34 hours over seven days in 2010.

Delhi Police to question IM duo arrested in Karnataka

“After the attacks, Sajid briefed Headley about the attacks and he (Sajid) told Headley that two of the crew of ‘Kuber’ were killed by him (Sajid). Headley believes that Sajid was speaking the truth as he never blows his trumpet unlike Muzzammil and Abu Hamza,” the interrogation report says.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/966798/

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Maharashtra Minister Fauzia Khan denies links with Jundal, says ready for probe

June 26, 2012

Maharashtra's minister of state for education Fauzia Khan on Tuesday denied any links with arrested 26/11 terrorist Abu Jundal. Khan's denial came after allegations that Jundal, an Indian mastermind pf the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, allegedly spent a day in a room belonging to Khan at

the old legislators' hostel near Mantralaya in 2009. Khan was then a member of legislative council.

"Many people stay at my government accommodation and it is not possible for me to be aware of the credentials of everyone of them," said Khan while reacting to the allegation.

She, however, conceded to fully cooperating with the police in the investigation. "I have no idea why my name is being dragged into this. I do not know Jundal," Khan told mediapersons in Mumbai.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Maharashtra/Maharashtra-minister-denies-links-

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Mumbai Police moves court seeking custody of Zabiuddin

 26 June 2012

Mumbai Police on Tuesday moved a court here seeking custody of alleged 26/11 Mumbai terror attack key handler Zabiuddin Ansari, who is currently in the custody of Special Cell of Delhi Police.

The Crime Branch of Mumbai Police approached the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Vinod Yadav for Zabiuddin’s custody in connection with various cases of murder, attempt to murder and other offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Arms Act, which are being probed by Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Mumbai.

The court directed Delhi Police to file its reply on the application by tomorrow.

“Let the reply to this application be called from investigating officer (IO) of the Special Cell on June 27,” the CMM said.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3572646.ece

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Delhi Police likely to seek extension of Zabiuddin’s remand

 26 June 2012

Delhi Police is likely to seek an extension of remand of 26/11 handler Zabiuddin Ansari, which may put a spanner in Mumbai Police’s efforts to question him soon.

Sources in Delhi Police said Zabiuddin’s role was being examined in the larger conspiracy behind the Jama Masjid attack in 2010, a fortnight ahead of the Commonwealth Games to “avenge” the Batla House encounter in which suspected Indian Mujahideen operatives were killed.

Sources said they are likely to seek extension of police remand when Zabiuddin will be produced before a court when his custody ends on July five.

Soon after the arrest of Zabiuddin became public, a Mumbai court on Monday issued a production warrant against him.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3572343.ece

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Islamic religious art hits a popular note

Pritha Chakrabarti

 Jun 26, 2012

HYDERABAD: Islam is often seen as a religion without visual symbols or icons. But in practice, there are a variety of images that are revered by millions of Muslim believers, especially in South Asia and Iran. The mushrooming of shops on the streets of Charminar and elsewhere selling posters, metal plates, shiny stickers, CDs, etc., depicting these symbols only goes to show how the practice has become more 'popular' of late. This has also led to many old-timers lamenting the diluted character of Islamic devotional art.

While images of Mecca and Madina are always in great demand, a good chunk sold is also that of the shrines of local saints, their miracles and folklore. In some, the details portrayed are as graphic as the Hindu mythical scenes.

Though some orthodox Muslim clergy have raised objections to these graphic depictions, the Quran does not prohibit the drawing of representative figures though it does taboo idolatry, said Yousuf Sayeed, author of the book, Muslim Devotional Art in India. Miniature paintings throughout the medieval period have freely illustrated angels, prophets, Quranic anecdotes, and even Prophet Mohammad, including his family, he informed.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Islamic-religious-art-hits-a-popular-note/articleshow/14395843.cms

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Abu Salem gets bail in extortion case; court lauds Salem's conduct

Jun 26, 2012

NEW DELHI: Extradited gangster Abu Salem was today granted bail in a 2002 extortion case by a Delhi court, which also praised his "above board" conduct in jail.

Chief metropolitan magistrate Vinod Yadav granted him bail on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and a surety of like amount. Salem would, however, still be in jail as he is facing trial in seven other cases for which he was extradited to India from Portugal.

"This accused (Salem) has already undergone custody of almost five years in this case and even if he is ultimately convicted in this case he could be sentenced maximum for a period of seven years.

"The provision of section 436 A CrPC which are couched in mandatory terminology command this court to release the accused on bail if he has undergone almost half of the period for which he could be sentenced in the matter," the court said.

The court noted Salem's counsel M S Khan's submission that the public witnesses have already been examined in this case and that the three co-accused, Chander Prakash, Sadiq Ali and Ishtiyaq are already on bail and there is no threat that the accused may influence remaining witnesses.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Abu-Salem-gets-bail-in-extortion-case-court-lauds-Salems-conduct/articleshow/14408794.cms

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CRPF jawan among three injured in grenade attack by militants in J&K

Jun 26, 2012

SRINAGAR: A CRPF jawan was among three persons who were injured on Tuesday when militants hurled a grenade at security forces in Sopore area of Baramulla district of north Kashmir, officials said.

Militants hurled the grenade at the joint patrolling party of CRPF and police at Chanakhan in Sopore, 52 kms from here, at around 12.15pm, police said.

The grenade landed by the road side, resulting in injuries to two civilians and a CRPF jawan, they said.

No militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/CRPF-jawan-among-three-injured-in-grenade-attack-by-militants-in-JK/articleshow/14407577.cms

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How Zabihuddin Ansari became Abu Jundal

Mateen Hafeez

Jun 26, 2012

MUMBAI: Zabihuddin Ansari hailed from a small village Maharashtra's Beed district, where he lived for most of his life till terror called.

Born in Mazalgaon village on November 31, 1981, Zaby studied in an Urdu Medium school till class X. Ansari's father was employed in a small shop in Mazalgaon and later started his own plumbing business but quit it after sometime. Ansari's metamorphosis from a village youth to Abu Jundal, one of the prime suspects in the 26/11 attacks, began after he was indoctrinated by SIMI operatives shortly after the 2002 Gujarat riots.

He had earlier undergone training at the Indian Technical Institute in Beed, but only held odd jobs. "He went to Aurangabad in search of a job but without any success. It was where he befriended several youths from Aurangabad, Malegaon and Parbhani. He was a staunch supporter of SIMI and would meet fugitive members of the banned outfit at tea stalls or near a dhaba," said a source.

Ansari first went to Pakistan for training around 2005 or 2006, for 21 days, along with six more youths. Police however could not trace the six. "He was trained in a Muridke camp where Ajmal Kasab and his associates were later trained," said an officer. At the training camp, Ansari met two top LeT commanders, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah, both accused in the 26/11 terror attacks. "They chose him for a bigger job. He returned to India with a new assignment to brainwash youths boys and recruit them. He sent at least half a dozen youths to Pakistan for terror training. One of them, Aslam Kashmiri, was caught by the Delhi police's Special Cell on August 25, 2009, with arms and ammunition. Kashmiri too had met Lakhvi and Shah," said sources.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/How-Zabihuddin-Ansari-became-Abu-Jundal/articleshow/14396432.cms

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Pakistan

 

LeT founder Hafiz Saeed collecting donations for militants active in Kashmir

 26 June 2012

Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed has launched a drive in Pakistan’s most populous province of Punjab to collect donations for militants active in Jammu and Kashmir.

Saeed, who also heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, on Monday visited Gujranwala district, 80 k.m. from Lahore, and collected wheat from people at Al-Makka Centre.

“I am thankful to you for your generous help for the ‘mujahideen’ in the shape of wheat crop. I expect you to donate maximum of the corn crop in the coming season,” Saeed told people in Gujranwala.

Earlier, addressing a gathering in Gujranwala, Saeed claimed the U.S. had collapsed economically and no country was willing to bail it out by extending financial support.

“Our helpless rulers are talking of restoring the NATO supply routes but we will not allow them to do so,” he warned.

He further claimed that all the countries in NATO would disperse soon and accused the US of defaming Pakistan and ISI.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3572584.ece

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Militants kill 13 Pakistani troops, behead 7

Jun 26, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Militants crossed into Pakistan from Afghanistan and killed 13 Pakistani troops, beheading seven of them, the Pakistani military charged, and the country's outraged new prime minister said he would protest to the Afghan president.

The border skirmish is a new sign of tensions between the uneasy neighbors. Pakistan has complained that militants use parts of Afghanistan for sanctuary to stage attacks inside Pakistan. That claim helps Islamabad counter frequent US and NATO complaints that militants behind much of the violence in Afghanistan come from Pakistan.

Pakistani military officials said militants from Afghanistan crossed in the northwestern Pakistan's Upper Dir region Sunday night and clashed with Pakistan forces on a patrol. The military said six Pakistani troops were killed outright. Seven who went missing were beheaded, while four of the missing have not been found. The military's statement also said Pakistani troops killed 14 of the militants. The military's account could not be independently verified.

Reflecting the particularly gruesome nature of the attack, newly elected Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said he would complain directly to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

``We have strongly protested and I will, too, God willing, talk about this to Karzai,'' said Ashraf, speaking in Karachi.

The Pakistani Taliban say their fighters carried out the raid, but the statement didn't say whether the attackers had crossed over from Afghanistan. It said Pakistani claims of militant casualties were false.

Both sides often release false or partial information about such events, which usually happen in areas inaccessible to the media.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Militants-kill-13-Pakistani-troops-behead-7/articleshow/14404573.cms

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Top Pakistani Taliban leadership eliminated: Malik

June 26, 2012

The top leadership of the Pakistani Taliban has been eliminated, says Rehman Malik, the prime minister's advisor on interior affairs.    Speaking to the media outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad Tuesday, Malik said that the top leadership of the Tehrik-i-Taliban

Pakistan (TTP) had been killed but some low-level leaders of the banned outfit still exist, Dawn News reported.

He was responding to a querry on a Taliban attack on a private TV station in the southern port city of Karachi Monday night.

According to the BBC, two people were injured when motorcycle-borne gunmen fired at Aaj headquarters.

Malik was the interior minister but had to resign after the Supreme Court annulled his membership of the Senate on account of the fact that he held dual citizenship. He was thereafter appointed the prime minister's advisor on interior affairs.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/Chunk-HT-UI-HomePage-TopStories/Top-Pakistani-Taliban-leadership-eliminated-Malik/Article1-878847.aspx

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Taliban attack Pakistan's Aaj TV station in Karachi

26 June 2012

The Pakistani Taliban says it carried out the attack on Monday night on a private television station in the southern port city of Karachi.

Two people were injured when gunmen on motorbikes fired at Aaj headquarters.

A Taliban spokesman told the BBC it was a response to critical comments by Aaj about the militants and its failure to accommodate Taliban views.

Correspondents say this is the Taliban's first direct attack against a media group.

The Pakistani Taliban admitted killing a journalist in the volatile region of Mohmand in January.

Nevertheless, Pakistan ranks as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.

Witnesses say gunmen on motorbikes opened fire on the station' s offices in the busy Karachi neighbourhood of Gurumandir and then immediately fled the scene.

Both of those injured were reportedly employees of Aaj.

Aaj TV is a privately owned Urdu-language television station that covers national and international news.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18590179

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TTP commander killed in police encounter

Zahir Shah Sherazi

 26 June 2012

PESHAWAR: Key commander of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Dara Adamkhel, Umar, was killed in encounter in Badbher area of Peshawar, officials confirmed   

The TTP militants was with some other militants in Badbher when he was gunned down in the gun-battle by the police.

Umar was a close aide of Commander Tariq Afridi group of the TTP splinter group.

Police also recovered a hand grenade and a pistol from the car the other militants managed to escape.

The police conducted a search operation in the area after the clash and arrested five suspects.

http://dawn.com/2012/06/26/ttp-commander-killed-in-police-encounter/

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Pak power scam: PM could be summoned, says report

 Jun 26 2012

Islamabad : Pakistani authorities are still probing a multi-billion rupee scam involving private power projects and could summon Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, who held the power portfolio when some of the projects were cleared, according to a media report today.

The National Accountability Bureau, Pakistan's main anti-corruption agency, is pursuing the case involving “rental power plants” and no file has been closed.

The NAB could summon anyone, including the premier, if he or she is required in the investigation, The News daily quoted an official as saying.

“Yes, the probe is still on and the Prime Minister could be summoned. But that would depend on the gravity of situation as the investigation team will decide whether the Prime Minister should be summoned in person or whether a questionnaire should be sent to him,” NAB spokesman Zafar Iqbal Khan said.

The investigation team will decide whether the presence of a particular person is required or if a questionnaire could serve the purpose, he said.

In the past, NAB had sent a questionnaire to former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani on the issue of the appointment of the head of a state-run firm.

Similarly, NAB could send a questionnaire to Prime Minister Ashraf in the power projects case, Khan said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/966914/

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Pak sends reminder to Interpol to arrest Musharraf

Jun 25, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has sent a reminder to Interpol to immediately arrest former President Pervez Musharraf, a "proclaimed offender" in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

The Federal Investigation Agency has written another letter to Interpol to remind it to immediately arrest Musharraf and hand him over to Pakistan so that he can be produced before a court conducting the trial of those accused in the assassination of former Pakistan premier, senior public prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali said.

A formal request was made to Interpol in March to arrest Musharraf, 68, who has been living in self-exile in London and Dubai since early 2009.

The FIA also informed Interpol that an arrest warrant for Musharraf issued by the anti-terrorist court in Rawalpindi will remain valid till it is served.

"The Interpol, through a letter, had asked FIA about the expiry date of the arrest warrant. In response, we have informed them it will remain valid till the arrest of Musharraf," Ali said.

Interpol had been informed that the warrant would remain effective till Musharraf is handed over to Pakistan or the court cancelled it, he said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-sends-reminder-to-Interpol-to-

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Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi becomes Pak Deputy Prime Minister

Jun 26, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, a top leader of the ruling PPP's key ally PML-Q, has been appointed as Pakistan's deputy prime minister.

Besides, 15 PML-Q lawmakers have been included in new Premier Raja Pervez Ashraf's council of ministers taking its strength to 53.

66-year-old Elahi, who already holds the defence production and industries portfolios, has been appointed the deputy prime minister with immediate effect and until further orders, a notification issued by the Cabinet division said on Monday night.

The move will not confer on him "any powers of the Prime Minister in any manner whatsoever", it said.

President Asif Ali Zardari administered oath of office to another 15 ministers from PML-Q during a ceremony held at the presidency on Monday evening.

Eight lawmakers were inducted as federal ministers while seven were inducted as ministers of state.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-gets-deputy-prime-minister/articleshow/14405500.cms

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South Asia

 

Do not want to topple Maldives govt: Nasheed

Jun 26, 2012

WASHINGTON: Demanding a free and fair election in Maldives, the country's ousted President Mohamed Nasheed has said he does not want to topple the government of the day.

"We do not want to topple a government. We want an election," Nasheed told a Washington audience at an event organised by US Institute of Peace, an eminent American think tank.

Currently on a trip to the US, Nasheed on Monday met assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia Robert Blake. No details of the meeting were available.

"Give us an election and let's see who wins," said Nasheed, who was ousted in what he claims was a coup d'tat early this year.

During his stay here, he is also scheduled to meet US lawmakers and attend a round table being hosted by Amnesty International.

Nasheed is scheduled to return to Maldives on July 1. Responding to a question, he said if he was to be re-elected, he would be "naive again and would continue to do that.

"Purging the military and going on a vendetta would not help us. It might give us some satisfaction, to some of us... I can't see how that would serve us in having a better society."

Nasheed was the first democratically-elected President of Maldives.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Do-not-want-to-topple-Maldives-govt-Nasheed/articleshow/14403896.cms

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Dhaka honours ‘ saviour’ of Mujib’s family in 1971 war

 26 June 2012

MORE than 40 years after he saved the lives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her mother from Pakistani captivity, Bangladesh will honour a former Indian Army officer with the prestigious Friend of Liberation War award.

A cabinet meeting on Monday decided to confer Colonel ( retd) Ashoke Tara with the honour, cabinet secretary M. Mosharaf Hossain Bhuiyan said after a meeting chaired by Premier Hasina.

Bhuiyan said the cabinet decided to honour Tara as he “ with immense courage and valour freed Bangladesh’s founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s wife Fazilatunessa Mujib, two daughters including the incumbent Premier and minor son Sheikh Russell from Pakistani captivity”. Tara’s role was widely acknowledged in different documents as allied Indian troops was entrusted with the task to free Mujib’s family at the fag end of the Liberation War when the Indian Army entered Dhaka.

The Indian government had earlier honoured him with the Vir Chakra for his role during the 1971 war.

Former Indian PM Indira Gandhi was the first to receive the Bangladeshi honour posthumously last year with her daughter- in- law and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi receiving it in Dhaka.

Bangladesh subsequently conferred the honour to 83 other 1971 foreign friends in March this year.

Mail Today

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Afghans sing again -- of love and war

By Sardar Ahmad

 26 June 2012

KABUL — In a country where music was silenced in the name of Allah for five years, the beat is back and even rock shares the airwaves with the romantic strains of traditional Afghan songs.

The Islamist Taliban, who banned all music as sinful while they were in power between 1996 and 2001, are now waging an insurgency against the Western-backed government -- but they can't stop the music.

They have even developed an acapella style of their own, chanting religious poems to the glory of suicide bombers and their fighters waging war on government forces and some 130,000 NATO troops.

The Central Asian nation has an ancient tradition of songs built on its rich culture of poetry, ranging from war, heroism and epic tales of life in this harsh land, to delicate love stories.

But there is a vast difference between traditional lyrics and those of the Taliban:

-- Traditional: "Last night I stole a quick glance at your moon-like face through your dark hair," goes a famous Afghan song performed in the 1970s by celebrity Abdul Rahim Sarban.

"Your half-open crimson dress was prettier than a hundred roses in the garden... a narcissus shies away before the beauty of your seducing eyes."

--Taliban: "The youth is out on a fedayee (suicide) mission, his heart filled with passion for his religion.

Full report at: Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.

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Mideast Asia

 

West Bank's route 60 a 'road of death' for Palestinian children

Phoebe Greenwood

 26 June 2012

Palestine-Israel bureaucratic hold-ups and emergency services delays turned an accident on a dangerous road into a tragedy

Manar Juwali's five-year-old daughter Miri is lying in a drug-induced coma after suffering burns to 75% of her body. The 32-year-old Palestinian woman holds her pregnant belly as she talks about the accident. Four months on, it is still difficult for her – and for all the parents whose children were killed or injured in the inferno on the West Bank's route 60 – to identify who is to blame.

Juwali blames her daughter's nursery for allowing more than 100 toddlers to board an unlicensed ancient bus in torrential rain. She blames the narrow, poorly maintained, Israeli-controlled road into Ramallah. She blames the truck driver who crashed headlong into a bus packed with children. She blames the Palestinian Authority emergency services for leaving her daughter in a burning wreck for 45 minutes. Finally, she points the finger at the Israeli soldiers standing less than 150 metres away at Jaba checkpoint for not doing more to help.

"Of course it was God's will, but someone had to be the cause," she says carefully.

The exact sequence of events leading to the crash on the morning of 16 February is unclear. The collision happened 10 minutes from Qalandiya, the major crossing from the West Bank into Israel, three minutes from an Israeli settlement and less than a minute from an Israeli checkpoint. Families of the victims are dumbfounded as to how the accident was allowed to escalate into a tragedy.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2012/jun/26/west-bank-route-60-palestinian-children?newsfeed=true

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Next Step to Defeating Al-Qaeda Is In Yemen

 25 June 2012

Yemen, we are told, is the next Afghanistan. Yet with some relatively minor and inexpensive initiatives, the United States may be able to keep it from becoming Al-Qaeda’s next haven.

From the bombing of the U.S. Navy destroyer Cole in 2000 to the failed Christmas Day attack on an airliner over Detroit in 2009, Al-Qaeda has used the arid, mountainous country as a sanctuary and staging ground for attacks against the West. Even the 2009 shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, track back to Yemen and the American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki inciting jihad over the Internet.

As drone strikes have debilitated Al-Qaeda’s leadership in Pakistan, its Yemeni affiliate—Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)—has emerged as the next vanguard of global jihad. But the group has a second, more tangible objective: Yemen itself.

Emboldened by political turmoil and eager to hijack the Arab Spring, AQAP began a Taliban-style insurgency in the spring of 2011. Operating under the name Ansar al-Sharia (“Supporters of Islamic Law”) and reinforced by foreign fighters from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Somalia, the movement seized two provinces and infiltrated 10 more.

Not surprisingly, a suicide bombing May 21 in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, bore all the hallmarks of an Al-Qaeda operation. Clad in a Yemeni army uniform, the perpetrator infiltrated long columns of marching soldiers and set off an explosion tearing through their ranks like fire through a stand of birch trees. As soldiers lay dying in Sana’a’s Sabeen Square, a second assailant rushed forward to attack Yemeni officials on a reviewing stand with a rocket-propelled grenade. More than 90 troops were killed. Another suicide attack this week killed the army’s top commander.

Full report at:

http://www.yementimes.com/en/1584/opinion/1049/Next-step-to-defeating-Al-Qaeda-is-in-Yemen.htm

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Iran Invites Morari Bapu, Ramayana 'Kathakar' As State Guest

Jun 25, 2012

MAHUVA: Well-known 'kathakar' of Ramayana Morari Bapu has been invited as state guest of Islamic Republic of Iran. Director, cultural house, Islamic Republic of Iran in Mumbai, Mehdi Hassan Khani visited Mahuva in Bhavnagar on Sunday and handed over to Morari Bapu the invitation, a close associate of the spiritual motivator Jaydev Mankad said.

"Bapu has been invited as state guest of Iran. He is welcome to visit the country as per his schedule in future. Bapu has accepted the invitation," Mankad said. Mehdi Hassan Khani was in Mahuva to attend a communal harmony function.

Bapu has done about 711 'Ram Kathas' across the globe. He plans to do a Ram Katha in the Holy Muslim city of Karbala near Imam Hussein Shrine and is awaiting clearance from Government of Iraq.

Bapu recently did a Ram Katha in Jerusalem, Israel. He is scheduled to do a Ram Katha in Nagasaki from August 4 to 12 so as to coincide with the anniversary of bombing on the Japanese city on August 9.

He has been spreading the message of communal harmony through the Ram Kathas. The spiritual motivator was among the first Hindu religious leaders to lead a peace march through the riot-torn areas of Ahmedabad in 2002.

He organized a religious conference in Mahuva in January 2009. The 'Dharmasanwad' had speakers from Jain, Hindu, Sikh, Christian and Muslim communities. Bapu had earlier told TOI, "The world wants the fifth yuga (fifth age) to be the age of love. My Ram Katha at Karbala will talk about truth, love and compassion."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/rajkot/Iran-invites-Morari-Bapu-as-state-guest/articleshow/14393679.cms

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Iranian pair face death penalty after third alcohol offence

Saeed Kamali Dehghan

 25 June 2012

Two people previously lashed 160 times for consuming alcohol, which is forbidden under Islamic Sharia law

Two Iranians have been sentenced to death for persistent consumption of alcohol under the country's Islamic Sharia law, which forbids the use, manufacturing and trading of all types of alcoholic drinks.

The two, who have not been named by the authorities, have each previously been lashed 160 times after twice being arrested for consuming alcohol. Being convicted for the third time makes them liable for the death penalty.

The head of the judiciary Seyed Hasan Shariati, based in Iran's north-eastern province of Khorasan Razavi, told the semi-official Isna news agency that the supreme court had upheld their death sentences and that officials were preparing for their execution.

"Two people who committed the offence of consuming alcohol for the third time have been sentenced to be executed. The verdict has been confirmed by the supreme court and we are preparing to administer it," he said.

Under Iranian Sharia law, certain crimes such as sodomy, rape, theft, fornication, apostasy and consumption of alcohol for the third time are considered to be "claims of God" and therefore have mandatory death sentences.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/25/iranian-pair-death-penalty-

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Israel Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial attack: Three held

26 June 2012

Three ultra-Orthodox Jewish men have been arrested in Israel, suspected of defacing the national Holocaust memorial with anti-Zionist graffiti.

One of the slogans daubed in paint on the walls of the memorial read: "If Hitler had not existed, the Zionists would have invented him."

The suspects have admitted vandalising the site, a police spokesman said.

Suspicion for the attack had fallen on radical ultra-Orthodox Jews who oppose the creation of the state of Israel.

One of the slogans, all in Hebrew, was signed "world ultra-Orthodox Jewry".

Another read: "Thanks Hitler for the wonderful Holocaust you organised for us. Only thanks to you we got a state from the UN."

Another said: "Honourable government of Poland, stop allowing the Zionists to hold manipulative 'memorial' ceremonies in Auschwitz."

Some ultra-Orthodox Jews believe a Jewish state can be established only after the coming of the Messiah, and that the state of Israel is therefore illegitimate.

A small number of extremists believe the myth that Israel's founders conspired with Hitler to bring about the Jewish state.

Yad Vashem was established in 1953 and commemorates the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis during World War II.

The three suspects are to appear before a Jerusalem court later on Tuesday.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18591455

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Turkey Warns Syrian Forces Not to Approach Border

By PAUL GEITNER and ALAN COWELL

 26 June 2012

BRUSSELS — Warning Syria not to test its resolve, Turkey sought support on Tuesday from its partners in the NATO alliance at an emergency meeting of envoys in Brussels called after Syria shot down a Turkish warplane over the Mediterranean Sea.

The crisis between the two neighbors showed no sign of abating as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey threatened a military response against Syrian forces approaching his country's long border with Syria in a threatening way and said Turkey had revised military rules of engagement.

"Every military element that approaches the Turkish border from Syria in a manner that constitutes a security risk or danger would be considered as a threat and would be treated as a military target," he said in a speech to lawmakers and Arab diplomats in Ankara.

"From here onwards, we warn the Syrian regime not to make any mistakes, not to test Turkey’s decisiveness and wisdom," Mr. Erdogan said.

While Syria maintains the plane was brought down well within its airspace, Turkey says the two-seat F-4 fighter plane was attacked over international waters after straying briefly into Syrian space.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has told state-owned TRT television that the aircraft was struck by Syrian antiaircraft fire outside of Syrian airspace. "Our plane was hit in international airspace, 13 nautical miles out of Syria, when Syrian territorial space is 12 miles," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/27/world/middleeast/turkey-seeks-nato-backing-in-syria-

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Settlers Begin Evacuation of a West Bank Outpost

By JODI RUDOREN

 26 June 2012

BEIT EL, West Bank – The moving trucks arrived here Tuesday morning while the men were in the middle of morning prayers, their heads covered by prayer shawls, and so began the first peaceful evacuation of a Jewish settlement from the occupied territories in memory.

More than 100 employees of Israel’s Defense Ministry, in neon-yellow vests, helped families pack books and diapers and then carried boxes to the brick path behind the 33 apartments in the neighborhood known as Ulpana that were declared illegal because they sit on private Palestinian land. The families moved quietly, though not willingly, to temporary homes down the hill that the Defense Ministry had constructed over the last 21 days, resentful of losing homes they love but grateful that the government had agreed to build 10 times their number in this sprawling religious settlement near Ramallah.

“This is a dark day for Israel,” said Brad Kitay, a 26-year-old rabbi whose family is one of 30 being displaced. “This is the evening before the morning, this is the darkness before the light. The Ulpana neighborhood will expand.”

With Israel’s Supreme Court having ruled that five of Ulpana’s 14 multifamily buildings had to be removed by July 1, the government spent the past several months struggling to find a solution that would appease the settlers without enraging the international community. Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he would not only add around 300 homes to Beit El but also 500 elsewhere in the West Bank and that he would try to relocate rather than demolish the Ulpana buildings in a feat of engineering whose prospects are yet unclear.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/27/world/middleeast/jewish-settlers-begin-evacuation-

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Islamist victory leaves Israel jittery

Jun 26, 2012

JERUSALEM: Israel expressed anxiety on Monday after Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi was elected Egypt's next president, with the media and officials warning of a difficult new reality. Near unanimous concern in the media appeared to mirror an official uncertainty about what the election of an Islamist president for Israel's most important Arab ally will mean.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu issued a careful statement on Sunday, after Morsi was declared Egypt's first democratically elected leader. "Israel values the democratic process in Egypt and respects the results of the presidential election," his office said in a statement. "Israel hopes to continue cooperation with the Egyptian government on the basis of the peace treaty" signed by the two former enemies in 1979. A senior official said Morsi's win was not encouraging for Israel.

"The victory of Islamists is not likely to reassure Israel ... We hope for a pragmatic attitude on their part," he said. "Israel and Egypt have the same imperatives, the security of their 240-kilometre border, the negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and economic interests," he added. Defence Minister Ehud Barak noted that the new regime could provide both "opportunities and challenges".

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Islamist-victory-leaves-Israel-jittery/articleshow/14399635.cms

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Arab World

 

Morsi keen to renew severed ties with Iran

Jun 26 2012

Dubai : Egypt's Islamist President-elect Mohamed Morsi voiced interest in restoring long-severed ties with Tehran to create a strategic balance in the region, in an interview published on Monday with Iran’s Fars news agency.

Morsi’s comments are likely to unsettle Western powers as they try to isolate Iran over its disputed nuclear programme.

Since former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was toppled by a popular uprising last year, both countries have signalled their interest in renewing ties which were severed more than 30 years ago. “We must restore normal relations with Iran based on shared interests,” Morsi was quoted as saying in a transcript of the interview.

Fars said it had spoken to Morsi a few hours after he was declared the winner of Egypt’s presidential election.

Asked to comment on reports that, his first state visit would be to Riyadh, Morsi said: “I didn’t say such a thing and until now my first international visits following my victory in the elections have not been determined.”

Iran hailed Morsi’s victory as a splendid vision of democracy that marked the country’s Islamic Awakening. Iran is hoping for Egypt to become a deterrent against an Israeli attack as well as a regional player that Iran can use as a potential counter-balance against Turkey and Saudi Arabia, said a diplomat based in Tehran.

In contrast to comments Morsi made in a televised address after his victory was announced on Sunday, Fars news quoted him as saying Egypt’s Camp David peace accord with Israel will be reviewed, without elaborating. The peace treaty remains a lynchpin of US Middle East policy and, despite its unpopularity with many Egyptians, was staunchly upheld by Mubarak, who also suppressed the Muslim Brotherhood movement to which

Morsi belongs.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/morsi-keen-to-renew-severed-ties-with-iran/966705/

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Mubarak’s sons shocked, in tears after poll verdict

Jun 26, 2012

CAIRO: While Egyptians of most creeds rejoiced over the results of the historic presidential election, there was shock and despair in a corner of Cairo's Tora prison where the Mubarak brothers are lodged. The imprisoned sons of ousted president Hosni Mubarak — Gamal and Alaa — who would have desperately hoped for an Ahmed Shafiq victory, were a shattered duo.

"Gamal and Alaa reacted with shock and tears at Sunday's announcement that the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi was Egypt's new president," security sources were quoted as saying by the state news agency MENA.

The Muslim Brotherhood was at the receiving end of much of Mubarak's crackdown on political dissent for 30 years. Ironically, Morsi himself spent time in jail under the Mubarak rule.

Shafiq, on the other hand, was Mubarak's last prime minister and would have been much more sympathetic to the down in the dumps Mubarak family.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Mubaraks-sons-shocked-in-tears-after-poll-verdict/articleshow/14399675.cms

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Twin bombings claim 14 lives in Iraq: Officials

 26 June 2012

BAGHDAD: Two bomb blasts nearly 150 kilometers apart killed 14 people Monday night, officials said, as Iraq’s death toll continued to climb in the second bloodiest month since US troops withdrew late last year.

Officials and experts fear the surge in violence may signal Iraq’s potential descent into a failed state, despite its oil wealth, billions of dollars in foreign aid and years of security assistance from the US.

“This is chaos,” lamented Fadhil Mohammed, who was passing a youth football field in the city of Hillah when an approaching minibus exploded, killing six people. “Police are unable even to secure a popular field that has nothing to do with political parties.”

A political crisis that has gripped Iraq since the day after the American military left in December has heightened sectarian tensions and potentially fueled some of the attacks.

Another 26 people were wounded in the blast in Hillah, about 100 kilometers south of Baghdad and three of them succumbed to their wounds later. Hillah is a mostly Shiite Muslim city just outside the so-called Triangle of Death, an area controlled by al Qaeda during the darkest days of the nation’s bloodshed in the last decade.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/26/twin-bombings-claim-14-lives-in-iraq-officials/

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Iraq says it curbs media including BBC, VoA

 26 June 2012

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi Communications and Media Commission official said Monday it had decided to restrict 39 media outlets including the BBC and Voice of America, but some outlets said there were no problems so far.

The Journalism Freedoms Observatory (JFO), an Iraqi media rights organisation, meanwhile, said the CMC had in fact recommended banning 44 news outlets, and called for the move, which it said violated the constitution, to be reversed.

“The commission published an announcement in all newspapers in February calling for (media outlets) to take licences in two months to resolve their situations,” said Salem Mashkur, a member of the board of trustees of the CMC, the independent authority charged with regulating media organisations in Iraq.

“But only a small number applied, and 39 media outlets preferred not to come and not to apply the law,” he said.

Mashkur alleged that Voice of America (VoA) had never obtained a licence, while the BBC had done so for its Arabic but not its English service.

“The interior ministry requested a list of names of unlicensed channels from us and began to limit their travel only, and did not carry out raids or closures or confiscation of equipment, as is our right,” he said, adding that the aim was to “help them and the organisation of the work, only.”

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/26/iraq-says-it-curbs-media-including-bbc-voa/

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Assad Supporters Suspected in New Beirut Incidents

By ROD NORDLAND

 26 June 2012

BEIRUT — Gunmen threw up roadblocks, burned tires and fired into the air in downtown Beirut in the predawn hours of Tuesday morning, while in the eastern suburb of Jounieh, a land mine and grenades were found on the grounds of a hospital.

The roadblocks were manned by young men who were apparently supporters of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria who were angry over the arrest of a young man for firebombing the offices of New TV, which has been critical of the Syrian regime.

The incidents aroused renewed concern that Lebanon would once again be dragged into the conflicts of its neighbor.

Syria has close ties with Hezbollah, the dominant Shiite political party here, and Hezbollah activists have been strong supporters of the Assad regime.

The young man arrested for taking part in the firebombing of the television station was identified as Wissam Alaaeddine, according to local news reports. A Facebook page in that name shown on the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation TV network showed photographs of the Syrian president.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/27/world/middleeast/assad-supporters-suspected-in-

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Defections add to Syria-Turkey spat

ATUL ANEJA

 26 June 2012

General among those who crossed border

The slide in ties between Turkey and Syria remains in focus after dozens of Syrian soldiers defected overnight to Turkey, a few days after the shooting down of a Turkish warplane increased tensions between the two neighbours.

Turkey’s Anatolia news agency is reporting that a general, two colonels, two majors and 30 soldiers crossed the border on Sunday night and entered the Hatay province, signalling that military defections from Syria is gathering momentum. Turkish authorities say 12 Syrian generals have already defected.

Last week a Syrian Air Force pilot was granted asylum in Jordan after he landed his fighter jet in the Hashemite Kingdom. More than 33,000 people have fled into Turkey since Syria’s bloody uprising began last year in March.

The timing of the latest defections fed into growing tensions between the two countries over the shooting down of a Turkish F-4 Phantom fighter jet on Friday by Syrian ground forces. Breaking from the path of studied restraint that both sides seemed to have exercised so far, a war of words began to simmer on Monday. The Syrian side openly contested Turkey’s assertion that its plane had been shot down outside Syrian airspace.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3569971.ece

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Africa

 

Uganda Detains Five Pakistanis Suspected of Rebel Ties

 26 June 2012

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda has arrested five Pakistanis suspected of militant links, police said on Tuesday, two weeks before the second anniversary of a bombing attack in Kampala for which Somali Islamist rebel group al Shaabab claimed responsibility.

Officials say the country is vulnerable to further attacks from al Shabaab who have vowed to keep striking until a Ugandan army contingent, leading an African Union-mandated force protecting Somalia's government, withdraws.

The area where the five men were arrested was formerly a base for now-dormant Islamist rebel group, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF-NALU), which officials say has links to al Shabaab. Chaos in Somalia has allowed militants to thrive and launch deadly attacks in the region.

Deputy police spokesperson Judith Nabakoba told Reuters the men were detained in the western district of Ntoroko near the Rwenzori mountains on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Sunday.

"We got suspicious because these five Pakistanis were coming from Congo and entering Uganda through an ungazetted border point," Nabakoba said.

She said they were with a Congolese man who was not carrying proper identification documents, and that they had been taken to Kampala for further investigation.

Al Shabaab, which is closely linked to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the July 2010 bombing in which 79 people were killed while watching the final of the football world cup.

Although ADF-NALU has long been inactive, officials say they are still a credible security threat from their bases in eastern DRC, where they fled after being defeated and ejected from western Uganda in the late 1990s.

The group, formed in 1996, wants to establish an Islamic state in Uganda and the Ugandan army says ADF's recruits are predominantly young Muslims.

(Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Duncan Miriri and Louise Ireland)

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/06/26/world/africa/26reuters-uganda-security.html?ref=global-home&gwh=923FCBC734DFB8472A02B97D1FD4020E

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List of Unexploded Arms in Libya Is Seen as Limited

By C. J. CHIVERS

 26 June 2012

The release by NATO of a list of unexploded munitions from the alliance’s military action in Libya has been both welcomed as a step toward postconflict accountability and criticized as a half-measure that falls short of protecting civilians and specialists trying to rid the country of its hazards.

The United Nations said this month that NATO, in an exchange not publicly disclosed, had shared details of 313 possible sites of unexploded ordnance from the alliance’s action against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s government last year. The alliance provided the latitude and longitude for each site, the weight of the ordnance and a description of the means of delivery (fixed-wing aircraft, helicopter gunship or naval vessel).

With the widespread use of sophisticated targeting sensors, with which aircrews record infrared video of the impact of a missile or bomb, air forces have a greater capacity than ever to know exactly where weapons struck and when they have failed to function properly. Such data is routinely gathered as part of what militaries call battle damage assessment. It is used to determine whether a target has been destroyed or should be hit again, and to assess the reliability and effectiveness of various missiles and bombs.

The data also presents options for humanitarian and cleanup efforts. When shared, it can allow for governments and mine-clearing organizations to alert residents of specific risks at specific places, and to focus efforts on removing high-explosive remnants of war. Its existence also suggests an opening for Western militaries to adopt a new standard for responsibility in air campaigns.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/26/world/africa/nato-gives-un-list-of-unexploded-bomb-

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African American Muslims Revolutionise the Message of Hip Hop

Shirin Lakhani

 June 21, 2012 

African American Muslim artists across the nation have taken advantage of the popular medium of hip hop to revolutionise the notion of Islam in the United States in two distinct, but related ways. Popular, more mainstream, artists like Lupe Fiasco and Mos Def present a message of Islam through subtle references to core beliefs or key figures and as a parallel to their perceived duty towards social activism.

These artists use the medium of hip hop to deliver their own personal message of Islam to a generally non-Muslim public that seems to be receiving a highly vilified perspective of the faith in general, and of American practitioners of the faith specifically. Along the same spectrum are artists like Native Deen and Boonaa Mohammed who choose the mediums of hip hop and spoken word to disseminate a message to Muslims in America who face a constant struggle of identity. Their messages generally aim to assist in the development of a balance between the two seemingly divergent ideologies as well as a peaceful approach to all things as a result of association with Islam. Both methodologies use music as a “messaging instrument,” “technology of information and communication,” and a “vehicle of cultural expression.”

Full report at:

http://www.the-platform.org.uk/2012/06/21/who-speaks-for-islam/

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North America

 

Jewish group cancels speech by controversial author Pamela Geller

By Rick Rojas

June 25, 2012

Hours before the activist was set to give a lecture, the Jewish Federation cancels the event. She later speaks at a hall a few miles away.

Pamela Geller, the controversial author and activist, was set to deliver a lecture Sunday morning to the Zionist Organization of America that she had given many times before, billed by organizers as a revelation of the "root cause of war in the Middle East."

But instead of taking her place before the few dozen people inside the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Geller and those who had come to see her milled around the sidewalk on Wilshire Boulevard. The Jewish Federation, just hours earlier, canceled the event.

Cancellations, just like death threats — "I have a huge file of death threats," Geller says — are something of an occupational hazard, particularly after the Southern Poverty Law Center deemed her organization a hate group. Both Jewish and Islamic associations have condemned her as a "fear-monger."

But in this instance, she said, the Jewish Federation "cravenly submitted to Islamic supremacists who wanted to suppress free speech."

Officials with the federation declined to comment Sunday.

Geller came to prominence as a dogged and sharp-tongued critic of what she sees as the encroachment of Islamic law in the United States and the threat of radical Islam. She was also a fierce opponent of the Muslim community center that was to be built blocks from the World Trade Center.

Full report at:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-geller-speech-20120625,0,1699316.story

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FBI probe targets extremists in US army

 26 June 2012

WASHINGTON: The FBI is investigating more than 100 suspected Muslim extremists in the US military, following the 2009 “lone wolf” attack by an alleged al Qaeda sympathiser that killed 13 people at a Texas army base, a news report said Monday.

About a dozen of the cases are considered “serious” threats involving suspects believed to be actively planning attacks or in contact with dangerous extremists, National Public Radio reported.

The potential internal threats come from active duty military as well as reserves and civilians with access to military installations, the radio broadcaster reported.

The Pentagon declined to comment on the investigations.

The FBI discussed the investigation at a joint House and Senate committee closed-door hearing last December, according to NPR.

“I know one can say that as a percentage of the millions of people in active military service or working with contractors, the numbers you talk about are a small percentage of the total,” Joseph Lieberman, the senator who presided over the hearing, told NPR.

“But the reality is it only took one man, Nidal Hasan, to kill 13 people at Fort Hood and injure a lot more.” In November 2009, US Army Major Nidal Hasan opened fire on his fellow soldiers at a base in Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13.

An investigation revealed that Hasan was in contact with Anwar al-Awlaqi, a radical Yemeni American imam tied to al Qaeda.

Al-Awlaqi was killed in an American drone attack in Yemen in September 2011. Hasan’s martial court trial has been set for August 20.

http://dawn.com/2012/06/26/fbi-probe-targets-islamic-extremists-in-us-army/

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U.S. Muslims Congratulate Egyptian People on First Democratically-Elected President

by CAIR on Monday, June 25, 2012 at 12:01pm ·

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/25/12) –- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today congratulated the people of Egypt on their first free and democratic presidential election. On Saturday, Mohamed Morsi was elected president of Egypt with a majority of the popular vote. He is the first civilian president in Egypt’s history.

SEE: Egypt Election Results Fill Tahrir Square with Joy (Los Angeles Times)

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/middleeast/la-fg-egypt-president-scene-20120625,0,2094612.story

“We congratulate the Egyptian people and their new president on this great achievement in Egypt’s struggle for freedom,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “We continue to support the revolution for freedom, democracy and social justice in Egypt and throughout the region, and we hope for further steps toward political stability and respect for the will of the people, including a complete and peaceful transfer of power from the military to an elected civilian government.”

President Obama called Morsi to congratulate him on Sunday night. According to a White House statement, Obama "underscored that the United States will continue to support Egypt's transition to democracy and stand by the Egyptian people as they fulfill the promise of their revolution."

SEE: Obama Calls Egypt's President-Elect, Runoff Opponent (USA Today)

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2012/06/obama-calls-egypt-president-general

 CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?saved&&note_id=10150944875569442&id=42590232694

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Europe

 

Al Qaeda threatens Arab Spring nations: UK spy chief

 Jun 26 2012

London : Al Qaeda militants are using the countries which toppled their leaders in the Arab Spring as bases to train radical Western youths for potential attacks on Britain, the chief of the MI5 Security Service said on Monday.

In his first public speech for nearly two years, Security Service Director General Jonathan Evans said the Arab Spring revolts in Tunisia, Libya, Yemen and Egypt offered long-term hope of a more democratic Middle East.

But Britain's domestic spy chief said al Qaeda, which moved to Afghanistan from Arab countries in the 1990s and thence to Pakistan after the fall of the Taliban, was once again trying to gain a foothold in the Arab world.

“Today parts of the Arab world have once more become a permissive environment for al Qaeda,” Evans said, according to an advance text of a rare speech in London outlining the key threats to British interests.

“A small number of British would-be jihadis are also making their way to Arab countries to seek training and opportunities for militant activity, as they do in Somalia and Yemen. Some will return to the UK and pose a threat here.”

“This is a new and worrying development and could get worse,” said Evans, a career officer who has served as head of the Security Service since April 2007.

The Arab Spring was lauded by Western leaders who hoped the revolts would usher in prosperity and freedom to the Middle East and North Africa, though Islamists have come to power in elections in Tunisia and Egypt.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/966863/

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MI5 chief talks of terrorist threat before Olympics

Jun 26, 2012

LONDON: Britain has seen a credible terrorist attack plot about once a year since the Sept.11 attacks - a worrying pattern as security officials brace for an array of threats ahead of next month's summer Olympics, the head of the country's domestic spy agency says.

Although Britain's threat level is a notch below what it has been for much of the past decade, it is still at substantial. The level means an attack is a strong possibility.

"Our assessment is that Britain has experienced a credible terrorist attack plot about once a year since 9/11," MI5's Director General Jonathan Evans said in prepared remarks ahead of a rare public speech Monday to the Lord Mayor's annual defense and security lecture in London.

"The (Olympic) games present an attractive target for our enemies and they will be at the center of the world's attention in a month or so," he said. "But the games are not an easy target, and the fact that we have disrupted multiple terrorist plots here and abroad in recent years demonstrates that the UK as a whole is not an easy target for terrorism."

Not so long ago, 75 percent of the terror threats prioritized by MI5 had links to Afghanistan or Pakistan. But Britain's efforts, along with those of its international partners, has brought that percentage down to below 50 percent, Evans said.

"You could say that we are near to reaching a form of stalemate," said Evans. "They haven't stopped trying but we have got better at stopping them."

But the terrorist threat is also widening to include al-Qaida affiliates in Mali, Yemen, Somalia and parts of the Middle East, he noted.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/MI5-chief-talks-of-terrorist-threat-before-

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Italian soldier killed in Afghanistan blast

 26 June 2012

ROME/KANDAHAR: An Italian soldier was killed on Monday and two others were wounded in an explosion at a police training camp in Adraskan in western Afghanistan, Italy’s Defence Ministry said.

“The explosion hit an observation hut near a shooting range,” the ministry said in a statement, without giving further details on what caused the blast.

Military spokesman Francesco Tirino in Herat told SKY TG24 television that the blast was caused by “a rocket launched from outside the camp”.

Manuele Braj, 30, who was married, with an eight-month-old baby, was killed instantly. Two other Italian soldiers were wounded to the legs but are out of danger. All three belonged to the Police Speciality Training Team (PSTT).

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti expressed his “deep and most sincere condolences” to “Braj’s family and the troops engaged in an important training mission of the Afghan police”.

Separately, six Afghan police officers were killed when a bomb tore through their vehicle in southern Afghanistan, an official said on Monday.

The roadside bomb hit a police patrol vehicle in Chora district of Uruzgan province late on Sunday, provincial spokesman Abdullah Hemat told AFP.

The Taliban, who frequently use roadside bombings to target Afghan and foreign military forces, claimed the responsibility for the deadly attack on their website.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\26\story_26-6-2012_pg7_27

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Milad Raza Qadri Launches ‘Messenger Of Mercy’

JUNE 25, 2012

Milad Raza Qadri is an extremely talented and increasingly popular young Sufi-inspired nasheed artist who has captured the love and passion for the noble Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in his nasheeds. He has now released his album named ‘Messenger Of Mercy’.

Milad Raza Qadri’s journey began at the tender age of four years old, where he sung his first nasheed in front of a live audience. He has since committed himself to his faith and pursued his talents in spreading love and harmony around the world. He has also been strongly encouraged by the renowned scholar of Islam, Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri.

He is signed to the record label Al-Mustafa Productions.

The day of the album launch (23/06/12)

Milad Raza Qadri performed in the city of Bradford in the UK, to a large crowd at the St Full report at:

http://www.blessedislam.com/entertainment/milad-raza-qadri-launches-messenger-of-mercy/

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/abu-jindal-s-arrest-fallout--pak-president-releases-sarabjit-singh-from-death-row/d/7744

 

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