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Ahmadis Worship Site Under Threat Of Demolition In Pakistan: Source

  • New Age Islam News Bureau

    6 Feb 2012
  • Gilani wants Pakistan to emulate Indian democracy
  • WUC Welcomes Amnesty for Kazakh Human Rights Activist
  • Graft, politics, militant Islam shakes the Maldives
  • Morocco king pardons jailed Islamist leaders
  • CIA, SSS in manhunt for Boko Haram kingpins
  • Aussies Counter Terror with Peaceful Islam
  • Imam Khomeini Initiates the Process of Making Unity in the Islamic World
  • Pak: Bill seeks to ‘rein in’ intelligence agencies
  • Obama says risky to attack Iran, wants diplomatic fix
  • 'Saif Gaddafi’s trial could begin within weeks’
  • Iran says will attack any country used to strike its soil
  • At least 56 dead in fresh Syrian violence
  • Hollywood veteran Liam Neeson says he wants to be Muslim
  • Pak Muslims told to shun Facebook for Millat version
  • Egypt Defies U.S. by Setting Trial for 19 Americans on Criminal Charges
  • Balochistan shut on third day running against killings
  • Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan summit to be held soon: Iran FM
  • Pakistan PM to Meet Qataris on Taliban Office
  • Pakistan govt. military heading for fresh confrontation
  • Pak-based banned extremist groups regain access to funding
  • NATO attack referred to the PCNS: Gilani
  • Pak President, PM vow all-out support to Kashmiris
  • Syrian deserters destroy army post, kill three: rights group
  • Pak: Two killed as troops open fire on protesters
  • Civilian deaths in Afghan war hit record high: UN
  • 15 men of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Student Wing held in city
  • Magnitude-6.8 quake in Philippines kills 13, buries homes
  • US won’t stop fighting in Afghanistan in 2013, says Panetta
  • Zamfara govt. sponsors 70 students in Islamic varsity
  • Islamic banking draft moots five-member Sharia board
  • Top Hamas member leaves Syria because of uprising
  • Over 30 trapped under Lahore building rubble
  • Judge wants Iraqiya MP's immunity lifted
  • Iraqi Vice-President: Murder Accusations 'Are All Fabricated'
  • Muscat: International human law session begins today
  • Europe to strengthen sanctions on Syria after China, Russia veto
  •  ‘Late King Abdul Aziz a source of inspiration’: Minister of Defence
  • Riyadh: Literature conference set to counter terrorism
  • Jeddah: Hundreds go without pay for 11 months
  • Jeddah: Court asked to reject retractions
  • Murder in Riyadh over financial dispute

Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: RAWALPINDI: Worshippers at Ewan-e-Tauheed, which is the main worship site



Ahmadis Worship Site under threat of demolition in Pakistan: Source

By Faiza Mirza

February 1, 2012

RAWALPINDI:  Worshippers at Ewan-e-Tauheed, which is the main worship site for Ahmadis in Rawalpindi, fear that the building will be demolished because of the recent propaganda embroiling Ahmadis and their religious practices, alleged Saleemuddin whilst taking to the reporters of

Saleemuddin, spokesperson of Jamaat Ahmadiyya Pakistan, whilst speaking to alleged, “ The conspiracy started in the May of 2011, however the situation deteriorated in September and we were asked to pack up and leave the town as it was a ‘residential area’ where a place like ‘a site to worship’ could not operate.”

The first rally was organised on January 29, 2012 which was attended by various religious clerics. During the rally, a deadline of one month was given to the administration of Ewan-e-Tauheed, to wind up their activities.

“One of the people who presided from the session said that we will not let Ahmadis pray on the next Friday. Closing down Ewan-e-Tauheed will be a huge victory for us and will be another step closer to extraditing them from Pakistan,” he further alleged.

Saleemuddin claims that along with him, other Ahmadis have also contacted the Punjab and Federal government, which motivated the Punjab government to instruct the local law enforcing bodies to stay active and protect the site and the worshipers.

“So far we have not received targeted threats, however, we know through sources that the perpetrators plan to demolish this site like 30 others which have been demolished in the past,” said Saleemuddin.

“According to the Constitution of Pakistan, we have a right to worship and profess our religion. We are not allowed to construct new mosques and now we are being threatened not to worship as well. We request the government and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) to look into the matter and help us before the situation blows out of proportion as has happened in the past,” he added.


Gilani wants Pakistan to emulate Indian democracy


Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani cited India's flourishing democracy and its "stark difference" from Pakistan as he lamented that no elected government had been allowed to complete its term in his country.

Highlighting the importance of maintaining democracy in Pakistan, Gilani said the completion of parliament's term is in the interest of the country but conspiracies were being hatched against his government to prevent the holding of elections to the Senate next month.

Pakistan and India were created on the same date but there was a "stark difference in how they have continued" with their democratic systems, Gilani told reporters on the sidelines of an official function in the federal capital.

For a long time, not a single government in Pakistan was allowed to complete its term, he remarked.

This had led to a spate of problems for Pakistan and the completion of parliament's term is in the interest of the country, he said.

Gilani said "lots of conspiracies" were being hatched to disrupt the polls to the Senate or upper house of parliament and the government had faced lots of difficulties.

"Even now, one party has gone to court to stop the Senate polls," he said, in an apparent reference to Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, which has approached the Supreme Court to stay the elections.

Gilani's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) is widely expected to win a majority of the 54 Senate seats for which polls will be held next month.

The premier has repeatedly alleged that elements opposed to his government have been hatching conspiracies to disrupt the elections.

The premier said his government is holding talks with its allies and opposition parties for the unanimous passage of a constitutional amendment to legitimise recent by-polls.

All previous amendments in the recent past had been passed with consensus in parliament and the government wants the 20th amendment to be cleared in the same manner, he said.

Democracy has never been able to institutionalise in Pakistan as the country witnessed a series of military coups starting from 1958, the last one being Pervez Musharraf's overthrow of Nawaz Sharif's elected government in 1999.

The country has spent several decades under military rule.

Pak cannot afford war over Kashmir: Gilan

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani today acknowledged that the Kashmir issue would have to be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy as Pakistan "cannot afford wars" in the 21st century. Four wars have already been fought on the Kashmir issue and the region still "was a flashpoint", but in the 21st century "we cannot afford wars", Gilani said.

"We want to resolve issues through dialogue, diplomacy, prudent policy and national consensus," he said while addressing a convention at the Prime Minister's Secretariat to mark 'Kashmir Solidarity Day'.

Gilani said the Kashmir issue remained the cornerstone of the country's foreign policy.

"We are committed to continue with the moral, political and diplomatic support to Kashmiris. The whole nation, including all the political parties, is united on the cause of Kashmir," he said.

Since Pakistan is a responsible country and a responsible nuclear power, it has to make responsible policies, Gilani said.

Pakistan's policies should be made through national consensus and by the chosen representatives of the people, and not by individuals, he said.

The Kashmir policy had been the focus of the Pakistan People's Party-led government in line with the vision of the party's founder, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he said.

Rallies were held across Pakistan to mark 'Kashmir Solidarity Day', which is a public holiday.

The day has been observed by Pakistan since 1990 to highlight the Kashmir issue.


WUC Welcomes Amnesty for Kazakh Human Rights Activist

6 February 2012

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) welcomes the amnesty for prominent Kazakh human rights activist Yevgeny Zhovtis, announced by the court in a penal colony of Ust-Kamenogorsk city last week. He is due for release on 15 February 2012.

Zhovtis was sentenced in 2009 to four years in prison for a road accident that killed a pedestrian. The trial against him was politically motivated and the Kazakh authorities misused the case to silence an important critical voice in the country. In his position as chief of the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights ( in Almaty, Zhovtis was very outspoken on human rights buses in Kazakhstan and did not hesitate to denounce violations committed by the Kazakh authorities.

“I met Mr. Zhovtis in April 2008 in Kiev”, said WUC Secretary General Dolkun Isa today. “We were both attending the World Movement for Democracy’s (WMD) fifth international conference, where we discussed human rights and democracy issues in Central Asia and China, especially under the influence of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Mr. Zhovtis, wo is a member of WMD´s steering committee, is a devoted human rights activist, working hardly to improve democracy within the country. His amnesty is a positive sign for Kazakhstan, a country where human rights abuses are unfortunately still widespread.”

Kazakhstan is the country with the largest Uyghur diaspora in the world, counting around 250.000 people. They often suffer ethnic discrimination, and the close political and economic ties between Kazakhstan and China only worsen their situation. Kazakhstan has a terrible track record of forcibly deporting Uyghur refugees and asylum seekers to China. Past cases include, but are not limited to:

Ahmet Memet and Turgun Abbas, Islamic students from Kashgar, who both applied for UNHCR´s refugee status, are believed to have been forcibly returned to China after reportedly being detained in Kazakhstan in December 2001. There is no further information about their current whereabouts, legal status or state of health.

In spring 2003, Abdukakhar Idris “disappeared” in Almaty after having been forcibly returned from Kazakhstan to China. He had approached UNHCR for refugee status before he went missing. His current whereabouts, legal status or state of health are unknown.

On 30 May 2011, the Uyghur refugee Ershidin Israel was extradited from Kazakhstan to China, he is disappeared since then. Mr. Israel, who fled China in September 2009 after having given a media interview to Radio Free Asia (RFA) on the torture to death of a young Uyghur man in detention, had initially been granted UNHCR refugee status and Sweden had assured him resettlement. This case, which is only one among many others, has clearly shown what happens to Uyghurs if they dare to speak out on human rights abuses in East Turkestan.


Graft, politics, militant Islam shakes the Maldives

Mon Feb 6, 2012 2:26am EST

By C. Bryson Hull

MALE, Maldives, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Few of the million or so tourists who visit the Maldives each year would catch even a whiff of the troubled politics or growing militant threat roiling the islands of one of the world's most renowned get-away-from-it-all destinations.

President Mohamed Nasheed, who initiated multi-party democracy in the Indian Ocean archipelago with an historic election victory in 2008, stands accused of adopting the autocratic methods of his predecessor and bitter rival, which he had pledged to abolish.

Last month, Nasheed ordered the military to arrest Criminal Court Chief Justice Abdulla Mohamed, accusing him of being in the pocket of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

Nasheed's opponents have adopted a hardline style of political Islam to savage his religious credentials.

The entry of that brand of Islam into politics has unnerved practitioners of traditionally moderate Maldivian Islam and Western governments alike, and raised worries it could threaten the nation's toddler democracy.

In the outer islands of the Muslim archipelago, there are fears that hardline militant Islam is taking root.

Taking a page from the book of Gayoom, Nasheed ordered Mohamed's arrest and defied a Supreme Court release order, sparking more than three weeks of sometimes-violent protests by opposition parties that scented a chance for their own Arab Spring in the Indian Ocean.

The reason, Nasheed says, is because the judge, like the other 200-odd criminal court judges, was illegally sworn in for a life term and has blocked every attempt to bring multi-million-dollar corruption, rights abuse and criminal cases against Gayoom's allies and relatives.

"Gayoom is running the judiciary," Nasheed said. "When he lost the presidency, he was clever enough to carve out a territory and hide there, or get protected there. And none of the cases are moving."

So to make good on his electoral promise to enact a new constitution and establish an independent judiciary, Nasheed says he has acted outside of it.

"You have to push everyone to the brink and tell them 'You do this or we all fall'," Nasheed told Reuters in an interview at the presidential bungalow in Male, the capital island.

"I think it would be so wrong of me not to tackle this simply because I might fall or simply because people may raise eyebrows."


And it has done just that, drawing private diplomatic rebukes from Western nations which backed his ascendancy to lead the archipelago of 1,200 islands out of 30 years of Gayoom's rule, which was widely criticised as dictatorial.

"It's just indefensible. It's almost like Nelson Mandela coming out and locking up all the white people," a businessman based in Male who works with a government-linked company told Reuters, asking not to be identified.

An Asian diplomat serving in Male said Nasheed was undermining the very institutions he was supposed to build.

"He is a champion of democracy by soul and heart, make no mistake about that," the diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity. "But the worst thing that has happened here is people are doubting democracy and asking 'Did we do the right thing?'"

Even Nasheed appears uncomfortable, if unwavering.

"For god's sake, I don't want to arrest anyone. I have no intention of keeping anyone under arrest, and the man is kept very nicely - that's no justification at all - but it's not the kind of dump we were kept in."

There have been nightly and sometimes-violent opposition protests since the judge's detention, prompting the government to get U.N. and Commonwealth assistance to break the impasse.

The protests have also prompted virulent attacks on Nasheed's Islamic credentials.

The Dhivehi Quamee Party (DQP), run by the urbane former attorney general Hassan Saeed, issued a pamphlet accusing Nasheed of attempting to undermine Islam by bringing in Christianity, establishing diplomatic relations with Israel and of doing business with Jewish businessmen.

"It was a critique of the government's religious policy, and it must be read in that context," Saeed told Reuters in his law office near the Male port. "Our main problem is the business relationships with Jews of Nasheed and members of his cabinet."

On Twitter, opposition-linked groups or individuals have called for Nasheed's impeachment and, in at least one case, beheading under sharia law.


But while the political fray goes on with all eyes on the 2013 presidential election, Maldivian intelligence officers and Western officials say hardline Salafist and Wahabist groups are gaining political ground in the more distant atolls and making a beachhead in Male.

The capital island is home to almost 200,000 of the Maldives' 330,000 people, all Sunni Muslims. It is also home to the majority of the estimated 30,000 people on the islands who are addicted to heroin, according to U.N. estimates.

"It's potentially a tropical Afghanistan. The same forces that gave rise to the Taliban are there -- the drugs, the corruption and the behaviour of the political class," a Colombo-based Western ambassador who is responsible for the Maldives told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

"The Salafists are taking over atoll after atoll. They work on the ground and it is insidious. Nero is definitely fiddling while Rome burns."

None of the 931,000 well-heeled tourists who came in 2011 to visit desert islands swathed in aquamarine seas, ringed by beaches of icing-sugar sands, would get a hint of that.

Most tourists are whisked straight to their island hideaway by seaplane or speedboat, where they are free to drink alcohol and get luxurious spa treatments, insulated from the everyday Maldives, a fully Islamic state where alcohol is outlawed and skimpy beachwear frowned upon.

Pressure from Islamist parties prompted the government to briefly shut down all hotel spas in January, before realising they may be killing the golden tourism goose of the Maldivian economy, which is believed to account for two-thirds of gross domestic product.

"Whatever winds that blow with trade from the Middle East always stop in the Maldives first," Nasheed said, referring to conservative influences brought back from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan over the past three decades.

"They're really quite infiltrated into many, many islands and they have literally taken over our way of life."


The Maldivian government has under watch about 100 people who have links to al-Qaeda or other militant groups, or who trained in camps in Pakistan or Afghanistan, two Maldivian intelligence officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

"We do have a somewhat good understanding of who could be a violent extremist, who has trained in terrorist camps with terrorist groups," one of the officials told Reuters. "We do understand this problem is huge and if we don't tackle it, it is going to be a big problem in the future."

Though not on the top of Western intelligence agencies' radars, four diplomats from the United States and Europe, including Britain, confirmed Maldivian militants were being tracked and intelligence was being shared with the government.

"There are some extremely nasty people on some of the outer atolls, where you wouldn't want to go," an American diplomat told Reuters.

The geographic isolation creates an intelligence-gathering problem, the Maldivian official said: "Surveillance is very difficult because on an island, if you send anyone in, they can easily be spotted."


The arrest of the chief justice has given Gayoom, still active through his Progressive Party of the Maldives, a chance to put the shoe on the other foot and kick Nasheed in the political arena.

"If Nasheed's solution is to remove people from the system, when does that stop? If you allow the military to intervene in a political issue, that's dangerous," former Gayoom spokesman Mohamed Hussain "Mundhu" Shareef said.

Shareef and Faris Gayoom, the former president's eldest son, said Nasheed had resorted to extra-constitutional measures because he was facing an election in 2013.

"We have seen abuses now we didn't even imagine," Faris Gayoom told Reuters in a café in Male. "They (Nasheed) came into power after character-assassinating my father, with allegations of torture and corruption."

The government has implicated Gayoom's relatives and allies in human rights abuse cases and graft cases involving hundreds of millions of dollars pilfered from state institutions including the Bank of Maldives and the oil trading administration.

"We totally, 100 percent deny everything," Gayoom said. "For me, this is personal and for my father as well."

Nasheed denied it was a vendetta against the man who jailed him 27 times, but simply a refusal to let a handful of corrupt men stop the Maldives from having an independent judiciary.

"They have their resorts, they have their property and the government can get it through the courts," Nasheed said. "All of it goes right back to them and that is why they can't let go of Abdulla Mohamed (the chief justice). That would be the end of them."  (Editing by John Chalmers and Robert Birsel)


Morocco king pardons jailed Islamist leaders


Feb 5, 2012

RABAT: Morocco’s King Mohammed issued pardons to several leading Islamists who rights groups say were unfairly jailed, signalling a less hard-line approach after moderate Islamists came to power in an election last year.

Royal pardons are customary each year to coincide with the Muslim holiday of Mawlid, the birthday of the Prophet Mohammad which fell this weekend, but it is unusual for the monarch to pardon such high-profile detainees.

Full Report At:


CIA, SSS in manhunt for Boko Haram kingpins

Taiwo Adisa and Johnson Babajide

Monday, 06 February 2012

A combined effort by some international intelligence bodies, including the Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) of the United States of America (USA) has been launched in search of top kingpins of the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram, sources said on Sunday.

It was learnt that the intelligence network has become worried that the sect was fast becoming a threat to everyone around the world and that the time to tackle it should be fast-tracked.

Sources said that the international community had been treating the Boko Haram sect as a local Nigerian issue until the attack on the United Nations House in Abuja.

It was, however, gathered that the attack on the UN House changed the perception.

Right now, a number of options, including political solutions are said to have been pushed to the Nigerian authorities, sources confirmed.

Full Report At:


Aussies Counter Terror With Peaceful Islam

Sunday, 05 February 2012

6 February 2012

CAIRO – Preaching the peaceful nature of Islam, Australian Muslim youth are participating in a government-funded program aiming at countering violent ideas that might affect the Muslim community.

“I am a big believer in doing things from the inside rather than the outside,” Hayder Shkara, a 21-year-old journalism-law student and the Australian welterweight taekwondo champion, told The Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday, February 5.

Full Report At:


Imam Khomeini Initiates the Process of Making Unity in the Islamic World

“The basis of unity and activating it was one of the innovations of Imam Khomeini (RA),” said Secretary General of Ahlul Bayt (A.S) World Assembly.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Secretary General of Ahlul Bayt (A.S) World Assembly, Hojjat-ol-Islam Mohammad Hassan Akhtari pointed to the key role of Imam Khomeini (RA) in spreading the Islamic unity among Muslims and underlined,” the basis of unity and proximity in the Islamic world was one of the innovations and initiations of Imam Khomeini (RA)”.

The Islamic scholar underscored, ”each year, new horizons appeared and new issues proposed in the realm of unity and proximity in the Islamic World.”

“There stand past achievements in this area and future prospects to move forward,” said Hojjat-ol-Islam Mohammad Hassan Akhtari.

Full Report At:


Pak: Bill seeks to ‘rein in’ intelligence agencies

6 February 2012

ISLAMABAD: Senators from the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) on Saturday submitted a bill in the Upper House of parliament, seeking a reduction in powers of intelligence agencies regarding preventive detention.

JI senators Prof Khurshid Ahmad, Prof Muhammad Ibrahim Khan and Aafiya Zia signed the bill that was submitted to the Senate Secretariat.

The bill calls for a prohibition on handing over any citizen to a foreign country without prior permission of the high court concerned. Articles 9 and 10 of the constitution need to be amended for the purpose, the bill read.

Full Report At:\02\05\story_5-2-2012_pg1_1


Obama says risky to attack Iran, wants diplomatic fix

6 February 2012

U.S. president Barack Obama said on Sunday there were important risks to consider before any military strike against Iran and made clear he does not want to see more conflict in the oil-producing Gulf region.

In a television interview, Obama also said he did not believe Tehran had the "intentions or capabilities" to attack the United States, playing down the threats from Tehran and saying he wanted a diplomatic end to the nuclear standoff.

"Any kind of additional military activity inside the Gulf is disruptive and has a big effect on us. It could have a big effect on oil prices. We've still got troops in Afghanistan, which borders Iran. And so our preferred solution here is diplomatic," Obama said.

His comments echoed concerns expressed by earlier by Iran's neighbor Turkey that an attack on Iran would be disastrous.

Full Report At:


'Saif Gaddafi’s trial could begin within weeks’

6 February 2012

Tripoli: Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) has said that the trail of slain dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, could begin ‘within weeks or months’.

The trial, which will focus on Saif's role as a key member of the previous regime in Libya, could eventually see the former dictator’s son facing a death sentence.

According to The Independent, his trail could coincide with the publication of a report into the circumstances surrounding the death of Muammar Gaddafi.

Full Report At:


Iran says will attack any country used to strike its soil

6 February 2012

TEHRAN: Iran will attack any country whose territory is used by 'enemies' of the Islamic state to launch a military strike against its soil, the deputy head of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards told the semi-official Fars news agency on Sunday.

"Any spot used by the enemy for hostile operations against Iran, will be subjected to retaliatory aggression by our armed forces," Hossein Salami said, during military manoeuvres.

Full Report At:


At least 56 dead in fresh Syrian violence

6 February 2012

DAMASCUS: At least 56 people were killed in violence across Syria on Sunday, half of them civilians, rights group the Syrian Observatory said Sunday.

Government forces had launched an assault on the city just hours before the UN vote, leaving scores of people dead.

The opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) reported a "massacre" in Homs on Friday, saying more than 230 civilians were killed during the assault by regime forces.

The killings have prompted a wave of anger against Syria around the world - and sparked protests at Syrian embassies and missions in countries, including Australia.

Opposition groups in Syria say Russia and China have effectively handed the Syrian regime a "licence to kill" by refusing to support the UN resolution.

Full Report At:


Hollywood veteran Liam Neeson says he wants to be Muslim

6 February 2012

Hollywood veteran Liam Neeson, raised a Catholic, has announced that he is considering becoming a Muslim.

The Schindler’s List star told the Sun that, while filming in Istanbul recently, the Islamic call to prayer, Adhaan, “got into his spirit”. (“Adhaan” or “Azaan” is rendered five times day as a proclamation of prayer time, just ahead of namaaz. It has a uniquely mellifluous and haunting ring to it.)

The actor’s desire to be a Muslim doesn’t per se so much excite me as the possibility of an individual to viewIslam in a different light, despite everything, which should tell us something.

Whatever your opinion of Islam, a good way of knowing it comes from exploring the so-called Muslim world. The worst way is by “googling” Islam on your desktop.

There is a great deal of confusion about what Islam is and isn’t. I have always believed that negative stereotypes associated with Islam will get shaken every once in a while, especially when people discover it first hand, as it is normally practised and exists in the lives of millions.

Full Report At:


Pak Muslims told to shun Facebook for Millat version

ANI | Feb 6, 2012

Intellectuals and scholars have urged Muslims to use Millat Facebook

ISLAMABAD: Intellectuals and scholars have urged Muslims to use Millat Facebook, a Muslims alternative to the US Facebook, saying they should boycott products of the countries and organizations involved in blasphemy of the Holy Prophet (SAW).

Muslim leaders at a round table conference have claimed that the social networking website, Facebook, which had been adamant on hosting a blasphemous page in the name of freedom of speech, was callously ignoring the annoyance of the whole Muslim world, The News reports.

Full Report At:


Egypt Defies U.S. by Setting Trial for 19 Americans on Criminal Charges


February 5, 2012

CAIRO — Egypt’s military-led government said Sunday that it would put 19 Americans and two dozen others on trial in a politically charged criminal investigation into the foreign financing of nonprofit groups that has shaken the 30-year alliance between the United States and Egypt.

Walls Prove No Barrier to Clashes on Streets of Cairo (February 6, 2012)

The decision raises tensions between the two allies to a new peak at a decisive moment in Egypt’s political transition after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak a year ago. Angry protesters are battling security forces in the streets of the capital and other major cities. The economy is in urgent need of billions of dollars in foreign aid. And the military rulers are in the final stages of negotiations with the Islamists who dominate the new Parliament over the terms of a transfer of power that could set the country’s course for decades.

The criminal prosecution is a rebuke to Washington in the face of increasingly stern warnings to Egypt’s ruling generals from President Obama, cabinet officials and senior Congressional leaders that it could jeopardize $1.55 billion in expected American aid this year, including $1.3 billion for the military. But for Washington, revoking the aid would risk severing the tie that for three decades has bound the United States, Egypt and Israel in an uneasy alliance that is the cornerstone of the American-backed regional order.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she had personally warned the Egyptian foreign minister, Mohammed Amr, at a security conference in Munich on Saturday that the continuing investigation of the nonprofit groups cast new doubt on the aid. “We are very clear that there are problems that arise from this situation that can impact all the rest of our relationship with Egypt,” she told reporters there.

Full Report At:


Balochistan shut on third day running against killings

Sunday, February 05, 2012

QUETTA: A complete shutter-down and wheel-jam strike was observed in major parts of Balochistan on third consecutive day on Saturday, condemning killings of lawmaker Nawabzada Bakhtiar Khan Domki’s wife and daughter. The deceased, who were sister and niece of Baloch Republican Party chief Brahamdagh Bugti, were shot dead in Karachi on January 31. The strike call was given by BRP and supported by the Balochistan National Party and National Party, trade and transport unions. All roads wore a deserted look in most parts of Balochistan. Heavy contingents of police, Frontier Corps and other law enforcement agencies were deployed at different places. staff report\02\05\story_5-2-2012_pg1_3


Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan summit to be held soon: Iran FM

6 February 2012

Shahr-e rey, Tehran prov, Feb 4, IRNA – Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said here on Saturday that Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan will hold their second summit soon.

He made the remark while talking to IRNA at the mausoleum of the Founder of the Islamic Republic the Late Imam Khomeini. He paid tribute to the Father of the Islamic Revolution on the occasion of the ten-day celebrations of the 33rd victory anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in the country.

Full Report At:,-FM/30797731


Pakistan PM to Meet Qataris on Taliban Office


FEBRUARY 5, 2012

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani of Pakistan will travel Monday to Qatar for talks on the Taliban's plans to set up a representative office in the Gulf state, Pakistani officials said.

Taliban leaders said last month the insurgent movement plans to set up an office in Qatar, a U.S. ally, as part of a fragile peace process.

The U.S. is continuing to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan but also is tentatively exploring peace talks as a way to end the 11-year conflict, including a potential offer to release Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo.

Some U.S. and Afghan officials believe Pakistan—which sees Afghanistan as within its sphere of influence—is attempting to derail peace efforts and continues to support some elements of the insurgency.

Pakistan denies this and complains the U.S. and Afghanistan has kept it in the dark about plans to launch peace talks.

Full Report At:


Pakistan govt. military heading for fresh confrontation

Saturday, Feb 4, 2012,

Days after the partial easing of their tensions over a mysterious memo, Pakistan's government and army could be engaged in a fresh standoff over the issue of handing over control of all cantonment boards and military lands across the country to civilians.

The process for appointing a new director general of the Military Lands and Cantonments Department could trigger a fresh confrontation, The News daily reported on Saturday.

The incumbent, a serving Major General, is set to retire on February 20 and the army apparently wants to retain control of the multi-billion rupee enterprise.

The Defence Ministry has moved a summary or formal proposal to the prime minister for appointing another serving officer, Major General Tahir Masood, but the Premier's office appears to be in "no mood to accommodate the request," the report said.

The prime minister's secretariat has "declared in categorical terms that no summary for appointment of a serving army general to a civilian position will be entertained," it said.

Civilian officials said the post is a "purely civilian" one.

These developments come days after the partial easing of civil-military tensions over a secret memo that sought US help to stave off a feared coup in Pakistan in May last year following the killing of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in a covert American raid in Abottabad.

The director general of Military Lands and Cantonments is the head of 43 cantonment boards and military estate offices dealing with 5.5 million civilians.

Since the formation of the Military Lands and Cantonments Group, the post of its chief had been filled by a civilian bureaucrat but former military ruler Pervez Musharraf grabbed it in 1999 and appointed a major general in violation of rules.

Full Report At:


Pak-based banned extremist groups regain access to funding

Islamabad, Feb 4, 2012

Banned extremist groups in Pakistan, including Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizb-ut-Tahrir, have regained access to funding after their front organisations began opening local and foreign currency accounts.

Intelligence agencies have compiled a list of banned 'jihadi' groups which have been opening new accounts in the name of their front organisations to receive funds from local and foreign sources, BBC Urdu reported.

The intelligence agencies have been monitoring the 'jihadi' groups that were blacklisted by the government.

Full Report At:


Nato attack referred to the PCNS: Gilani

6 February 2012

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said the issue of Nato attack was also referred to the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, which comprised the chosen representatives and had complete backing of the people of Pakistan.

The Committee has finalized its recommendations and now the Joint Sitting of the Parliament would debate on the issue and would make a decision, the decision to be made by chosen representatives would be reflective of the aspirations of the masses, he said.

“Gone are the days, when the foreign policy was made by individuals. Now, the policies would be made by the chosen representatives and through the Parliament,” Gilani said.

The Prime Minister said the Parliament would debate on all issues and policies including Kashmir policy, nuclear policy, new terms of engagement with United States (US), the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), adding, these policies would have the backing of 180 million people, as they would know that these policies were finalized by their representatives.

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Pak President, PM vow all-out support to Kashmiris

6 February 2012

Islamabad - Seeking a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute, President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday said Pakistan would continue to extend complete political, moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris.

“The government and the people of Pakistan observe the Kashmir Solidarity Day by renewing their unswerving support for the just struggle of the Kashmiri people for the realisation of their fundamental and inalienable rights,” the president said in his message on Kashmir Solidarity Day.

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Syrian deserters destroy army post, kill three: rights group

6 February 2012

NICOSIA: Syrian army deserters destroyed a military control post in the northeast overnight, killing three officers and capturing 19 soldiers in the process, a rights group said on Monday.

The attack happened in the village of Al Bara in the Edleb region, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that none of the army deserters involved was killed.

The regular army post was completely destroyed, according to the London-based group.

The news is the latest sign of growing unrest within the ranks of the Syrian forces, as outrage grows in Syria and in the West over the regime’s bloody crackdown on opposition protests.

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Pak: Two killed as troops open fire on protesters

Sunday, February 05, 2012

y Mohammad Zafar

QUETTA: Two people were killed and four others, including a TV cameraman, were injured as the security forces opened fire on protesters in Sibi on Saturday.

According to reports, scores of people blocked the National Highway near the bridge over River Nari in Sibi during the wheel-jam strike called by Baloch Republican Party (BRP).

A convoy of security forces was passing through the highway and was stopped by the demonstrators. The protesters were chanting slogans condemning the deaths of granddaughter and great granddaughter of Nawab Akbar Bugti during which some people exchanged hot words with the security forces, resulting in deaths of two people and injuries to four others. The security forces opened fire when protesters refused to open the highway for traffic.

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Civilian deaths in Afghan war hit record high: UN

6 February 2012

KABUL: A record number civilians were killed in Afghanistan’s decade-long war in 2011 — the fifth straight year the death toll has risen, the United Nations reported Saturday.

A total of 3,021 civilians died - mostly at the hands of insurgents - up eight percent from 2,790 in 2010, the UN mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in its annual report. The report stands in contrast to an upbeat assessment of 2011 as “remarkably successful” by NATO-led forces, who are preparing to withdraw combat troops in 2014 and hand security over to the Afghan government.

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15 men of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Student wing held in city

Monday, February 6, 2012

Police arrested 15 members of Islami Chhatra Shibir, student wing of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, in the city’s Mirpur area on Monday.

Kazi Wazed Ali, officer-in-charge of Mirpur Police Station, told The Daily Star that at least 500 Shibir activists brought out a procession in Mirpur-10 around 10:00am.

A chase and counter-chase took place when the processionists attempted to block a road and were resisted by the law enforcers.

Police picked up 15 activists from the spot, the OC said.


Magnitude-6.8 quake in Philippines kills 13, buries homes

Monday, February 6, 2012

Bartolome Bautista, Deputy Director of Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, points to the epicenter of the magnitude- 6.9 earthquake which hit central Philippines on Monday. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)


Published: Feb 6, 2012 09:34 Updated: Feb 6, 2012 12:22

MANILA: A strong earthquake in the central Philippines killed at least 13 people Monday as it destroyed buildings and triggered landslides that buried dozens of houses, trapping residents. At least 29 people were missing.

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US won’t stop fighting in Afghanistan in 2013, says Panetta

Monday, 6 Feb 2012

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta on Saturday clarified that NATO forces will not stop fighting in Afghanistan in 2013, but he confirmed that the US hoped to hand over the combat lead to Afghan forces that year.

According to a report in the Foreign Policy magazine, many European and NATO officials at the 2012 Munich Security Conference were still a little miffed they had to learn about the strategy shift in the newspapers two days ago. On the way to Brussels to attend the NATO defence ministers meeting on February 2, Panetta made news by saying that US forces will transition out of a lead combat role next year.

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Zamfara govt. sponsors 70 students in Islamic varsity

on FEBRUARY 6, 2012


ABEOKUTA— Zamfara State governed by the Sharia law is currently sponsoring 70 students in the Crescent University, an Islamic university in Abeokuta owned by former World Court judge, Justice Bola Ajibola.

To reflect its intolerance for any form of truancy, that northern state government has threatened to prosecute students of its origin  caught  for engaging in examination malpractice in  higher  institutions across the country.

The state  Director of Higher and Technical Education, Mallam Ahmadu Abdulahi gave the hint while speaking at this year’s   matriculation of 242 students of Crescent University, Abeokuta, at the weekend.

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Islamic banking draft moots five-member Sharia board

A. E. James

Mon Feb 06 2012

MUSCAT: A five-member Sharia board, exclusive branches for window operation, clear cut segregation of conventional and Islamic banking with separate teams of people and accounts and a 12 per cent capital adequacy ratio are the main highlights of the Islamic Banking Draft Framework (IBRF) presented by the Central Bank of Oman before chief executives of banks in Oman.

CBO has organised a consultative meeting for top officials of banks on January 25 for presenting the draft Islamic banking rules, which the apex bank’s consultants Ernst & Young termed as a ‘unique model.’ The banking regulator is still working on the regulation, and may incorporate changes on the basis of feedbacks from banks, before announcing it. Ernst & Young has advised the CBO on fixing of lending limits, single borrower limit, writing of rule books, procedures for reporting structure for Islamic banks and formation of Sharia board.

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Top Hamas member leaves Syria because of uprising


Feb 5, 2012

JERUSALEM: Hamas officials say a senior member of the Palestinian militant group has left Syria because of the government’s crackdown on an uprising there.

Hamas officials said Sunday that Imad Al-Alami could not guarantee his safety in Damascus and was expected to enter Gaza later in the day.

Al-Alami, a member of Hamas’ politburo, is the highest ranking official to leave the group’s headquarters in Syria so far.

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Over 30 trapped under Lahore building rubble

6 February 2012

LAHORE: The roof of a factory building caved in in Lahore when its boiler exploded, DawnNews reported.

More than 30 people, including women and children, were trapped under the rubble whereas eight people had been rescued.

The building of the pharmaceutical factory is located on the city’s Multan Road.

Rescue services reached the site of the incident soon after and managed to rescue eight people, including two women.


Judge wants Iraqiya MP's immunity lifted

6 February 2012

BAGHDAD: A judge has called for parliament to lift the immunity of an MP with the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc, the deputy and a judicial spokesman said Sunday, at a time of crisis with Iraq's Shiite-led government.

Two other MPs who are opponents of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki also face arrest warrants and requests for their immunity to be lifted. Parliament is to vote on the three cases "soon", according to a parliamentary source.

"I received a request on Thursday to have my immunity lifted," MP Haidar al-Mullah, spokesman for the bloc, told AFP.

"I am accused of offending the judiciary and saying that the judicial system is politicised," Mullah said. "This is a new attack against Iraqiya and part of the continuous attacks against us."

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Iraqi Vice-President: Murder Accusations 'Are All Fabricated'

6 February 2012

ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan -- Tariq al-Hashimi, Iraq's vice-president, fled to the Kurdistan Region six weeks ago after an Iraqi court issued an arrest warrant against him for his alleged involvement in terrorism. In an interview with Rudaw, Hashimi denied the charges brought against him and his bodyguards by Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki, saying can prove his innocence in a fair trial. The Sunni leader said the current crisis threatens the country's political system.

Rudaw: It's said that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has suspected you of supporting terrorism for years. Why do you think he has made this public now?

Tariq al-Hashimi: I hope we are part of the solution, not the problem. I have personally become the target of prejudice and a grudge that is perhaps unprecedented. Over the past few years, the work I have done in the government or for the political process has been aimed at implementing my duties in serving this country. I have not violated the law or the constitution. Those who have worked with me -- whether during the times that I have held official posts or otherwise -- I have not allowed them to violate the constitution or the law. Therefore, the accusations are all fabricated. The confessions have been taken by force and the future will show how my bodyguards have been treated and investigated.

Rudaw: Are you sure you can prove your innocence in a court of law?

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Europe to strengthen sanctions on Syria after China, Russia veto

February 06, 2012

EUROPE will strengthen sanctions imposed on Damascus in a bid to boost pressure on the regime after China and Russia vetoed a UN resolution on the Syrian crisis, France has said.

"Europe will again harden sanctions imposed on the Syrian regime. We will try to increase this international pressure and there will come a time when the regime will have to realise that it is completely isolated and cannot continue," French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on BFMTV television.

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Muscat: International human law session begins today

Mon, 06 February 2012

MUSCAT — The Ministry of Legal Affairs will participate in a 12-day annual international human law session which begins in Beirut today. The session is organised by the Arab Centre for Legal and Judicial Studies in co-operation with the International Red Cross Committee.

The agenda of the session identifies the international human law and features the relationship between this law and the Islamic Sharia, as well as the role of the International Red Cross Committee in resolving armed conflicts and promoting respect for the international human law at national levels.

The participation of the Ministry of Legal Affairs in these sessions stems from its keenness in upgrading the skills of its technical personnel concerned, some of whom obtained certificates as lecturers in international law after successfully completed the prescribed courses. — ONA


‘Late King Abdul Aziz a source of inspiration’: Minister of Defence


Feb 6, 2012

RIYADH: Prince Salman, minister of defense, said in Riyadh Saturday night that the late King Abdul Aziz, a great visionary leader of Saudi Arabia, has been a source of inspiration for citizens and rulers of this country. He said King Abdul Aziz was a leader of masses and a great statesman, who knew well about the complexities of politics, economy, foreign relations and how to exploit the natural resources of the country for the benefit of people.

“Late King Abdul Aziz success derived from his faith in Islam and his determination to maintain and build on the traditions of the region,” said Prince Salman, while addressing a major symposium here at King Saud University (KSU) Saturday night. The title of the symposium was “Humanitarian and Social Aspects of the History During the Reign of King Abdul Aziz.”

The event was organized by KSU’s Prince Salman Chair for Historical and Civilization Studies of the Arabian Peninsula.

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Riyadh: Literature conference set to counter terrorism

Feb 6, 2012

RIYADH: Imam Mohammad bin Saud Islamic University will organize a conference on literature to counter terrorism on Tuesday.

The conference will be held under the auspices of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah. It aims to highlight the impact of literature in the service society and the role of writers in spreading the culture of tolerance.


Jeddah: Hundreds go without pay for 11 months


Feb 6, 2012

JEDDAH: Two hundred and fifty-five employees have been working without pay for 11 months. For the past 14 years, the company has repeatedly delayed paying their salaries. Some of the workers are in the Kingdom illegally because the company did not renew their iqamas.

A hearing in the case will take place Monday. The delayed salaries and end of service benefits add up to a total of SR28 million, a source told Arab News.

Many of the workers have been working for the company for up to 20 years with salaries ranging between SR1,500 and SR1,200. Asian and Arab nationals, as well as a few Saudis, have filed a lawsuit at the Ministry of Labor three times in a row. The first time was in 2009, when their company promised to pay them if they dropped the case. The company paid, but it delayed payment again, which forced the workers to submit another complaint mid-2011. As nothing happened they filed another case last December.

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Jeddah: Court asked to reject retractions


Feb 6, 2012

JEDDAH: A special criminal court in Riyadh continued the trial on Sunday of the seven-member terror cell allegedly formed by a Saudi academic, who was also a well-known preacher.

The trial began on Jan. 16, with the defendants charged with operating a terror cell to undertake activities aimed at spreading sedition in the country.

Defendant No. 3 requested the court for more time to reply to the charge against him that a computer seized from his house carried incriminating data. He had denied all other charges made by the public prosecutor against him.

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Murder in Riyadh over financial dispute


Feb 6, 2012

RIYADH: An African expatriate is alleged to have murdered a Saudi man over a financial dispute, Riyadh police said Saturday.

The police apprehended the suspect who was hiding in Hail, 581 km from the capital.

According to the police, the killing occurred in an apartment in the Ghornatah area in the east of the city. After receiving a call from the victim’s brother-in-law, Alhambra police found the body in the apartment where the Saudi was living with his wife.

The brother-in-law of the deceased discovered the body when he forced open the apartment with his sister, the victim’s wife.

According to the brother in law, the door of the apartment was locked when he went to the house with his sister. He had broken the door lock of the apartment with the help of a carpenter who was living in the neighborhood. As he entered the house, he found the decomposing body.

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