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Islamic World News ( 19 Jul 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Ban on Burqa in Belgium is Distressing: International Imam Organisation

Killing of Female infants on the rise in Pakistan

Wife battering and sexual abuse get attention in Gaza

Somali Islamic Militias Recruit Child Soldiers, Amnesty International Says

Mosque Ban? Freedom of Religion Has to Be Freedom for Everyone

Manal Al-Sharif Driving toward gender equality in Saudi Arabia 

Bicycle bomb kills four in Mazar-i-Sharif: Afghanistan

Shariah law under legal spotlight after assault claim       

"Unclean" Girls Segregated In Toronto School Prayer Service 

Yemeni army shelling kills more than 20 militants

Suspected Al Qaeda chief in South Yemen killed: official

Four killed in attack on Afghan police in Kandahar

Four killed in South Waziristan blast

7 rebels dead, dozens wounded in east Libya

10 more fall prey to ongoing violence in Karachi

Syrian forces gun down 10 civilians

Yemen security forces open fire on protesters, 1 killed

Indo-Pak dialogue should be uninterrupted, says Pak FM

India voices concern about Taliban rising in Afghanistan

NIA given the go- by in Mumbai probe

ISI as NGO pushed $ 4 million into US for Kashmir cause

Ties with Pakistan at crisis point, says US Senator

Mullah Omar death report false: Taleban

New Al Qaeda Magazine: Bin Laden 'Confronted' SEALs in 'Fierce Battle'

J&K militants using women as couriers: Police

US Republican Burton largest recipient of money over Kashmir issue

US officials hold talks with Gaddafi regime

Rights Group Fears Syrian Detainees Being Tortured

Al-Aqsa Society calls for supporting Palestinian orphans

There is no place here for Shariah: NCW Police Commissioner

Aga Khan Trust helps restore 16th century tomb

British Museum to stage Hajj exhibition

Pakistan general angry over bin Laden polio ruse

Nadia Al-Sakkaf: See Yemen through my eyes

Syria: Clinton comments are a ‘provocative reaction’

US busts Kashmir racket: Fai is foul and foul is Fai

Serbia arrests last war crimes fugitive

Tech-savvy Taliban fights war in cyberspace

US charges 'Pakistani agents' over Kashmir scam

Afghan Taliban eyes Turkey political base

Qaida's new target: Sites outside US

Killer of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's aide received calls from Pakistan

We share terror intelligence with India: John Key

Concern in Indonesia over Withdrawal of AIDS Drugs

Indonesia urges ASEAN to harness Twitter, Facebook

UN declares famine in two parts of southern Somalia

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/ban-on-burqa-in-belgium-is-distressing--international-imam-organisation/d/5066

 

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Ban on Burqa in Belgium is Distressing: International Imam Organisation

July 20, 2011

Dr. Mehmood Khalid, Spokesperson and Deputy Chief of Advocacy Unit of International Imam Organization called upon the Government of Belgium about the shocking news Ban on Burqa for women in public places.

Dr. Mehmood highlighted the government about the importance of Burqa in Islam. Burqa represents the ideology of Muslim's worldwide. But by imposing a ban on it, is not only distressing but disgraceful for the Islamic community residing in the country as well as outside. Everyone has right to follow their religious values. He urged the Government of Belgium to re-consider their decision as well as also consider the Islamic Organizations like Islamic Cultural Centre for advice on how to adjust with such sanctions.

The government of Belgium should also take a public opinion before establishing such laws. Instead of taking such measures the Government should launch programs for integration of Muslims into belgium and implement open door policy so that all religion get to keep their idea. In fact the Government should fight for the ideological struggle, as it is undemocratic and against the freedom of an individual.

Muslim Women maintains the dignity and sanctity of their religion sentiments. So why is the Government of Belgium then forcing the muslim women not wear burqa. These measures or legislations will only create more tension between Islam and the West. We all should work together and increase the brotherhood and parity between Islam and other faiths instead of barging out with such legal sanction. This is the time too create harmony and peace and to welcome all religions with open arms.

IIO therefore requests the Government of Belgium to reconsider the law passed.

Media Contact Maria Rutowicz International Imam Organization www.globalimam.com

press@globalimam.com

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Killing of Female infants on the rise in Pakistan

By Reza Sayah

July 20, 2011

Karachi, Pakistan (CNN) -- At a morgue in Pakistan's largest city, five linen pouches -- each the size of a loaf of bread -- line the shelf of a walk-in freezer.

Wrapped inside each small sack is the corpse of an infant.

The babies are victims of what one relief agency calls Pakistan's worst unfolding tragedy -- the killing and dumping of newborns.

"Sometimes they hang them and sometimes they kill by the knife, and sometimes we find bodies which have been burned," said Anwar Kazmi, a manager at Edhi Foundation, Pakistan's largest privately run social service and relief agency.

Records at Edhi Foundation show more than 1,200 newborns were killed and dumped in Pakistan last year, an increase of about 200 from the previous year.

Families view many of these children as illegitimate in a culture that condemns those born outside of marriage.

Statistics show roughly nine out of 10 are baby girls, which families may consider too costly to keep in a country where women frequently are not allowed to work.

The babies are usually just days old. Their corpses are often dumped in Karachi's sprawling garbage dumps, where they're sometimes mutilated by street animals, Kazmi said. He estimates hundreds of baby corpses are never found.

The head of Edhi Foundation, 83-year-old Abdul Sattar Edhi, said he blames Pakistan's crippling poverty and a government that, for decades, has failed to educate the masses, generate jobs and provide citizens with the most basic needs.

"The distribution of resources by the government is wrong," Edhi said. "Many people don't pay taxes; there's no charity, and what you get from the government is all based on your wealth."

The Pakistani government has said it's improving education, but 55 million Pakistanis remain illiterate, according to the United Nations. And the government is billions of dollars in debt while entangled in a costly fight against the Taliban and other Islamic militant groups.

The killing of newborns gets little attention in Pakistan, and rarely are they investigated by a police force that's often poorly trained, lacks resources and stays focused on what's perceived to be more important crimes.

In many parts of the world, female infanticide is still practiced through direct violence but also by intentional neglect, according to the World Health Organization.

In some Asian countries, infanticide of girls is enough to skew the population figures in favor of males. The United Nations found, for example, that there are 130 boys to 100 girls in parts of Asia, especially in countries with extreme poverty and overpopulation such as China and India.

"Girls are seen as a burden, seen as a property which belongs to somebody else so people see that as a waste of money and the wasting of an education of a girl," said Bhagyashri Dengle, executive director of Plan India, a nonprofit for children. "Then when the girl gets married, the families have a big heavy dowry. So that is one of the reasons here."

Dengle said awareness and education at the grass-roots level are ways to combat this practice.

"I think we really need to reach out to young people (to) create an awareness, to change attitudes and dispel the notion that having a boy is better than a girl," she said. "We launched this program 'Let Girls Be Born' -- that campaign is reaching out to masses using televisions, through newspapers and through (the) Internet. What we are trying to do is positive messaging on the girls. That girls aren't a sect -- they are as good as boys."

In Pakistan, until things improve, the Edhi Foundation said it will keep more than 300 cradles in front of their offices throughout Pakistan, where families can drop off unwanted newborns. The foundation cares for them and puts them up for adoption, no questions asked.

"It's for awareness -- that please don't kill your innocent babies," Kazmi said.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/07/20/pakistan.infanticide/

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Wife battering and sexual abuse get attention in Gaza

July 20, 2011

GAZA (Reuters) - Most safe-houses in the Gaza Strip are meant to provide protection for armed militants on Israel's target list. Now Gaza is offering protected shelter to battered Palestinian women.

Its lone women's safe-house, opened two months ago, has had eight clients, all guarded by police from the Islamist Hamas movement that runs the enclave and enforces a conservative though not radical Muslim religious code.

So-called 'honour killings' are rare but not unknown among religious Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank, and like every society it is not immune to wife-beating.

"In 2010 there was no record of killing under the motive of family honour and this is a positive development," said Huda Naeem, a Hamas lawmaker who backed the safe house as a way station for women at risk within their own families.

But feminism in Gaza is a very fragile plant.

Women in many Arab communities can be killed by zealous relatives on the slightest suspicion of having relations with a strange man. And jurists in Gaza say there is no clear clause in the Palestinian law setting out the penalty for such murders.

Islam also prohibits adultery and some Islamic teachings call for the stoning to death of offenders.

Sobheya Joma, a woman lawyer at the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), said there was no way to know for sure if honour killings were really eradicated.

"The ICHR is worried because it has recently noticed that some deaths were listed as unexplained or accidental," Joma told Reuters in her Gaza city office.

"As long as there is no investigation into these cases and

the real causes were not uncovered, you are still going to have doubts," she said.

TABOOS

For Palestinian women, talking openly about sexual abuse in the family is still taboo. But if it's accompanied by violence, some women can finally opt for the shelter of the safe house.

Of the eight cases of abused women now under the roof of the compound, some were minors. Other women have visited briefly and discreetly, seeking professional advice and support.

"The first case who came to us was a woman who had been subject to physical violence and was raped and then escaped from her home," said resident psychiatrist Suhad Qanita.

"We supported her psychologically ... and, thank God, eventually we were able to find her a husband."

Local human rights groups say it is the first such refuge in this Mediterranean coastal enclave. At one stage, women under risk were transferred to the other Palestinian Territory -- the West Bank -- where they could be kept safe from angry relatives.

But it is now virtually impossible for Gazans to get to the West Bank because of an Israeli blockade, which is vigorously imposed following repeated Hamas attacks on the Jewish state.

The new safe-house sits in a large compound of Gaza's Welfare Ministry, alongside a rehabilitation unit for young offenders, and presence of guards provides security reassurance.

It can shelter up to 50 women, in large, clean rooms, watched over by attendants who provide advice.

There are four women currently staying in the shelter.

One woman, ready to give birth, said she came in because of a husband who beat her.

"We hope the new baby will lead to a reconciliation with her husband," said Qanita.

Of the three others, two minors abused by members of their families had been forced into prostitution.

BREAKING SILENCE

Qanita said she had been shocked at her new job when she came face to face with problems that were always hidden before.

"I hope this is not a widespread phenomenon, but to some extent it is worrying," she said. "There are girls who are being assaulted with impunity."

"We also try to educate families, and if a problem cannot be solved within the nuclear family we try to find an uncle or a relative ready to shelter the victim, but not in cases where a woman might be killed if returned to the family," Qanita said.

Providing aid to families and finding jobs in Gaza, where unemployment is over 40 percent according to the United Nations, are the main tools used by Welfare Ministry trying to help the enclave's 1.5 million people cope with a crippled economy.

Empowering women to speak up against abuse is tougher.

Women will tolerate physical and mental abuses in the family without bringing formal complaints, simply in order to safeguard the integrity of the home, said Naeem, who is one of just a handful of Hamas female lawmakers.

But women subjected to repeated sexual abuse are starting to seek outside help. Some go to police stations, others to tribal chiefs in what she said was a sign of growing public awareness.

Gaza might remain largely cut off from the outside world because of the Israeli blockade, but rooftop groves of satellite dishes indicate that modernity -- or the ideas of radical Islam elsewhere in the Arab world -- cannot be kept out.

"Opening the safe house has been a good step in the right direction, Everyday we are seeing a growing awareness amongst local people," said psychiatrist Qanita.

"The taboos are starting to crumble," she added.

(Editing by Douglas Hamilton)

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/news/international/Wife_battering_and_sexual_abuse_get_attention_in_Gaza.html?cid=30728484

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Somali Islamic Militias Recruit Child Soldiers, Amnesty International Says

By Brian Latham

Jul 20, 2011

The Islamic militias that control most of southern and central Somalia are stepping up their recruitment of child soldiers in the famine-ravaged country, Amnesty International said yesterday.

The “systematic recruitment of children,” many of them under 15 years old, is escalating, the London-based human rights organization said in an e-mailed report today.

At the same time, civilian casualties have mounted this year as fighting intensifies in the capital, Mogadishu, Amnesty said in a separate report. At two hospitals run by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the number of war- wounded “rose sharply” this year, with 933 patients treated between May 1 and May 15, 398 of them children under the age of five, Amnesty said, citing the Red Cross.

“It is shocking that the international community has not put into place a mechanism to systematically investigate war crimes and other serious abuses in Somalia,” Amnesty said.

Somalia has been mired in a civil war for two decades and hasn’t had a functioning central government since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. People under 20 years old in Somalia have never experienced peace or the rule of law, while about 32 percent of all Somalis, or 2.4 million people, face a food crisis this month, up from 2 million at the beginning of the year, Amnesty said.

A drought in the Horn of Africa may affect as many as 10 million people this year, according to the United Nations World Food Programme. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said July 8 that the infant fatality rate in some refugee camps for Somalis is three times the normal for emergency situations.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Latham in Johannesburg at blatham@bloomberg.net.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-19/somali-islamic-militias-recruiting-child-soldiers-amnesty-says.html

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Mosque Ban? Freedom of Religion Has to Be Freedom for Everyone

July 20, 2011

On Sunday, I record all the talk shows and watch them later in the day. One of the best interviewers (second only to Candy Crowley) is Chris Wallace. This week he asked Herman Cain an important question in light of Cain's early comments about Muslims in appointed office.

His comments concern me as I see other Christians with similar ideas. My concern is simple: what you "use" on Muslims now will probably be "used" on Christians later.

Fox News reported on the exchange:

Presidential candidate Herman Cain on Sunday defended his opposition to a new mosque in Tennessee, expressing concern about Shariah law and declaring Americans "have the right" to ban mosques in their communities...

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," Cain said he came out against the Tennessee mosque after talking to members of that community. He said the site is "hallowed ground" to Murfreesboro residents and that they're concerned about "the intentions of trying to get Shariah law" -- the code governing conduct in Islamic societies.

"It's not just a mosque for religious purposes. This is what the people are objecting to," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.christianpost.com/news/mosque-ban-freedom-of-religion-has-to-be-freedom-for-everyone-52501/

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Manal Al-Sharif Driving toward gender equality in Saudi Arabia

Jul 20th, 2011

By Natana J. DeLong-Bas

BOSTON, Massachusetts: Should women drive or not drive? That is the question many in Saudi Arabia are asking today.

When Manal Al-Sharif posted a video of herself driving on YouTube and launched her Women2Drive campaign on Facebook, she drew the eyes of the world yet again to the status of Saudi women.

Driving is only one issue among many. Of more importance to many Saudi women is their personal security and freedom: choosing their own husbands and professions; legal recognition as adults and citizens; preventing sexual harassment and domestic violence; and institutional support for their financial and legal rights.

To this end, there have been many campaigns and petitions circulating via Facebook, SMS, Flickr, WhatsApp and Twitter. This not only raises public awareness but also offers a way for people to join their voices for a common cause in a country where public demonstrations are prohibited. In 2009 alone, internet campaigns called not only for women’s right to drive, but also for the right to work or establish businesses without the permission of a male guardian, to have greater access to divorce, to make the hijab (headscarf) a personal choice and to ban child marriages.

Full report at:

http://bikyamasr.com/wordpress/?p=36884

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Bicycle bomb kills four in Mazar-i-Sharif: Afghanistan

Jul 20 2011

MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan: A bomb attack Wednesday killed four people and wounded 11 others in the Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif, due to transition from foreign to local control this week, police said.

Local police Chief Abdul Rauf Taj said explosives carried by a man with a bicycle in the Dasht-i-Shor area of the northern city detonated, but it was not yet clear if the man was a suicide bomber.

“The explosives detonated and killed four people and injured 11 other people. They were all civilians,” said Taj. “We’re investigating.”

Mazar-i-Sharif is one of seven areas to transition from foreign forces to Afghan control this week, as Nato-led troops begin a gradual withdrawal designed to recall all its combat troops by the end of 2014.

The city was thrown into turmoil in April when demonstrators, protesting at the burning of a Koran by a US pastor, attacked a UN compound and killed seven foreign staff.

Government officials said the demonstration had been infiltrated by insurgents.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/20/bicycle-bomb-kills-four-in-mazar-i-sharif.html

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Sharia law under legal spotlight after assault claim

Jul 20 2011

A Sydney man has appeared in court on multiple charges over an assault in which a Muslim convert was allegedly whipped with an electircal cable for drinking alcohol, in what prosecutors said was a misguided interpretation of Shariah or Islamic law.

A Sydney man has appeared in court on multiple charges over an assault in which a Muslim convert was allegedly whipped with an electrical cable for drinking alcohol, in what prosecutors said was a misguided interpretation of Shariah or Islamic law.

Tolga Cifci, 20, was one of four men who allegedly held the victim against his bed and whipped him with a cord as a religious punishment for drinking, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The victim who converted to Islam recently was allegedly whipped up to 40 times for going out for alcoholic drinks with friends.

The man awoke in the middle of the night to find that four men had broken into his bedroom. As three men held the victim down on the bed, the fourth man is alleged to have lashed him with a cable.

Full report at:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/down-under/sharia-law-under-legal-spotlight-after-assault-claim

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"Unclean" Girls Segregated In Toronto School Prayer Service

BY R. CORT KIRKWOOD

Jul 20 2011

A photograph in the Toronto Star shows a Muslim prayer service in a Canadian middle school, in which Sharia law is being imposed. Muslim girls who are “unclean” may not join the prayer service. “Clean girls” sit in rows behind the boys, who occupy the front rows.

“Unclean” is the word Muslims use for girls who are menstruating. Sharia law states they must be separated from the "clean" students. The story focused on whether such Friday prayer services, which run between November and March for 30 minutes during class time after lunch, are permissible under Canadian law.

Amazing Photograph

Two bloggers took note of the photograph’s message in its caption: "At Valley Park Middle School, Muslim students participate in the Friday prayer service. Menstruating girls, at the very back, do not take part." Kathy Shaidle, who writes the Five Feet of Fury blog, observed thusly:

Yep, that’s part of the caption of the Toronto Star photo.

Yes, the country is Canada and the year is 2011.

Meanwhile over 150 Canadian soldiers died in Afghanistan to (ostensibly) fight for the rights and dignity of young Muslim women like these.

Full report at:

http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-mainmenu-26/north-america-mainmenu-36/8274-quncleanq-girls-segregated-in-toronto-school-prayer-service

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Yemeni army shelling kills more than 20 militants

Jul 20 2011

SANAA, Yemen — Residents of a town in southern Yemen overrun by radical Islamists say government shelling has killed more than 20 militants in the past two days.

Walid al-Hawshadi said Tuesday he saw a militants driving the bodies out of Jaar for burial. Other residents gave similar accounts.

More than five months of mass protests seeking to oust longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh have shaken security across Yemen. Radical groups linked to al-Qaida have overrun at least two towns in the country’s south and government forces have been trying to force them out.

The US fears al-Qaeda and other radical groups could exploit chaos in Yemen to step up operations

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/July/middleeast_July428.xml&section=middleeast&col=

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Suspected Al Qaeda chief in South Yemen killed: official

Jul 20, 2011

A leader of suspected Al Qaeda militants in Abyan province in south Yemen has been killed by the army, a government official said yesterday.

The killing comes as tribesmen across Abyan began expelling the militants from the province.

Hassan Basonbol, who went under the alias Abu Issa, was killed in fighting with the army on Monday in Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan, where security forces have battled suspected Al-Qaeda-linked militants since May, the official said.

Meanwhile, armed tribesmen were able to expel suspected Al Qaeda fighters from the town of Shaqra, tribal leader Mohamed Sakin Jaadani said.

The tribesmen were able to regain control of the police station in Shaqra, a clinic and a local government building, all without a fight, he said.

In the town of Wadia, police chief Abdullah Nasser said that armed men from his tribe were able to “expel Al Qaeda elements,” also without clashes.

Full report at:

http://www.gulf-

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Four killed in attack on Afghan police in Kandahar

Jul 20 2011

KANDAHAR: Gunmen attacked a police station in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Wednesday, killing at least four people and wounding three others, government and hospital officials said.

Kandahar provincial spokesman Zalmai Ayubi said the attack began at 8:30 am and was still ongoing more than an hour later, with a district police chief among those killed.

“The police department of Kandahar’s 1st district came under attack an hour ago by unknown gunmen. So far the police chief of 1st district has been killed and a number of other policemen are dead or injured,” said Ayubi.

A doctor at Kandahar’s Mirwais hospital said it had received four dead and three wounded.

“All are policemen,” said Sardar Wali.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/20/four-killed-in-attack-on-afghan-police-in-kandahar.html

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Four killed in South Waziristan blast

Jul 20 2011

WANA: At least four volunteers of the peace committee were killed and three others injured when a remote controlled explosive device went off in Shakai area of South Wazirstan Agency on Tuesday. According to authorities, members of the peace committee were travelling in a car towards Shakai Bazaar when miscreants attacked them with a remote controlled bomb. As a result of the blast, four volunteers of the peace committee, identified as Abdul Samad son of Muhammad Ghulam, Wali Jan son of Wawry Khan, Syed Rasool and Ismail Khan died on the spot while three others, including Ayaz Khan, Khatim Muhammad and Muhammad Ali sustained injuries. app

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\07\20\story_20-7-2011_pg7_9

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7 rebels dead, dozens wounded in east Libya

Jul 20 2011

AJDABIYA, Libya: Government forces shelled rebel positions Tuesday near the strategic oil town of Brega, killing seven rebel fighters and wounding dozens, a medic said.

Rebel forces have been pushing to seize the front-line town on Libya’s coast for close to a week, but they say fields of land mines laid by Muammar Qaddafi’s forces have slowed the advance.

Medic Mohammed Idris said government shelling killed seven rebels and wounded 25 Tuesday.

Rebels have been struggling to oust Qaddafi since the uprising against his rule broke out in February.

Last week, more than 30 nations including the United States gave them a boost by recognizing their National Transitional Council as the country’s legitimate government.

Rebels now control much of Libya’s east, the western port city of Misrata and most of the western Nafusa mountain range south of the capital, Tripoli.

Still, rebel forces — mostly volunteers with looted weapons — have made slow progress on the battlefield, despite NATO’s bombing of Qaddafi’s troops to enforce a UN resolution protecting civilians.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article474773.ece

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10 more fall prey to ongoing violence in Karachi

Jul 20 2011

KARACHI: The ongoing violence claimed 10 more lives on Tuesday, including activist of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and a police cop, in several parts of the provincial capital on Tuesday.

A policeman, 26-year-old Ali Mazhar, a gunman of Bilal Sheikh, who is the security officer of President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari, was targeted while going home. When Mazhar reached near Rabbani Area Frontier Colony No 3, unidentified armed men stalked him and opened fire at him. Resultantly he died after few moments.

Pirabad police station officials said the victim was deployed in security zone and also performed duty as a gunman of Bilal Sheikh.

Police officials said that criminal elements were involved in his murder.

In another incident, police found shot dead body of a young man from Azeempura graveyard Malir in the limits of Al Falah police station.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\07\20\story_20-7-2011_pg7_10

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Syrian forces gun down 10 civilians

Jul 20 2011

Syrian security forces shot dead at least 10 civilians overnight in a central city where dozens have been reported killed since the weekend, activists and witnesses said.

Mohammed Saleh, a resident of Homs, said smoke was billowing over the city after a night of intense gunfire.

The death toll was confirmed by Syrian rights activist Mustafa Osso and the Local Coordinating Committees, which organise and track the protests. Damascus-based Abdul-Karim Rihawi, head of the Syrian Human Rights League, also said there were casualties in Homs but he did not have an exact figure.

Syria has been trying to crush a four-month-old uprising that has posed the gravest challenge to the 40-year ruling dynasty of the Assad family.

Human rights groups say more than 1,600 people, most of them unarmed civilians, have been killed in President Bashar Assad’s crackdown on a largely peaceful protest movement.

The Government disputes that toll and blames the unrest on gunmen and religious extremists looking to stir up sectarian strife.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/354341/Syrian-forces-gun-down-10-civilians.html

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Yemen security forces open fire on protesters, 1 killed

Jul 20 2011

Security forces in Yemen opened fire on protesters calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh during a march in a main street in the capital, killing one person and injuring eight others, a medical official said.

Security forces also lobbed tear gas at the protesters in the latest of four months of demonstrations calling for an end to Saleh’s 33 years in power in Yemen, activist Mukhtar Abdullah said.

The medical official who provided the death toll spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to reporters.

The months of protests and intense international pressure have left Saleh clinging to power.

The president is in Saudi Arabia recuperating from wounds he sustained in an attack on his compound on June 3, but he has been able to maintain power through loyal figures, including a son who commands some of the country’s best trained military forces.

The attack by security forces followed a separate protest by about 100 journalists earlier in the day in the capital, Sanaa.

Journalists were protesting harassment and censorship by authorities. One newspaper editor said he was forced to distribute his daily in banana boxes to avoid Government censors.

The journalists’ protest was held outside the residence of Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is acting head of State while the president is in Saudi Arabia.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/354331/Yemen-security-forces-open-fire-on-protesters-1-killed.html

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Indo-Pak dialogue should be uninterrupted, says Pak FM

Jul 20 2011

ISLAMABAD: The India-Pakistan dialogue process should be "uninterrupted and uninterruptible" and help in building trust between the two countries, Pakistan's minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar said on Tuesday.

Hina Rabbani Khar, who is set to be elevated as a full-fledged foreign minister before she travels to New Delhi for talks with external affairs minister S M Krishna at the end of this month, made the remarks during a meeting with Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal at the Foreign Office.

"The dialogue process should be uninterrupted and uninterruptible, help in building trust and be result-oriented," Khar was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Indo-Pak-dialogue-should-be-uninterrupted-says-Hina-Rabbani-Khar/articleshow/9284068.cms

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India voices concern about Taliban rising in Afghanistan

Jul 20 2011

During the second round of India-US Strategic dialogue, New Delhi expressed concerns to the United States that the planned US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan that began this month could lead to a resurgence in Islamic extremism.

Expressing India's concern's Foreign Minister SM Krishna said, "We have impressed upon the United States and the other countries who have made their presence in Afghanistan that it is necessary for them to continue in Afghanistan depending upon the comfort level of the Government of Afghanistan and the President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai"

Pointing that in the larger interest of the region, it is necessary for the United States to work very closely with President Karzai and the Government of Afghanistan and thereby create conditions where terrorists do not make any more advances in Afghanistan.

New Delhi believes that it is necessary for the United States to factor in Afghanistan's "ground realities" as they see it, so that they can appreciate that Afghanistan would be in a position to defend itself against the terrorists sponsored by Taliban. "We agreed to remain in close touch as the transition phase gets underway in Afghanistan," Krishna said in a joint Press interaction.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/354482/India-voices-concern-about-Taliban-rising-in-Afghanistan.html

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NIA given the go- by in Mumbai probe

By Dalip Singh

Jul 20 2011

THE NIA was constituted in December 2008 after the 26/ 11 Mumbai attack especially to probe terror strikes.

But two- and- half years later, and after having investigated quite a few terrorism related cases, the NIA is faced with a frustrating situation which defeats the purpose for which it was created.

The ministry of home affairs’ ( MHA) decision to allow the Maharashtra Anti- Terrorism Squad ( ATS) to probe the Mumbai serial blasts, that left 20 dead and more than 100 injured, deprives the NIA of an opportunity to handle a terror strike of this magnitude and in the process hone its skills and create a database that would help the investigators in the future.

To investigate a case is vastly different than assisting another organisation as it is happening in Mumbai bomb blasts, accepts a senior police officer who has handled many terror crimes. While ATS is probing, NIA officials are merely assisting them in Mumbai.

As per the NIA Act, the Centre can order a state or Union Territory to hand over a terror case to the NIA. Since law and order is a state subject, the FIR has to be registered in a police station and the state then has to intimate the Union home ministry which takes a call whether to hand over the case to the NIA. NIA sources said immediately after the July 13 triple blasts, the Centre directed them to send a team to Mumbai. Accordingly, a team of senior officers visited the spot to study the nature of the blasts and pick- up threads to close in on the perpetrators.

Full report at: Mail Today

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ISI as NGO pushed $ 4 million into US for Kashmir cause

By Aman Sharma

Jul 20 2011

PAKISTAN’S infamous intelligence agency, the ISI, has been funding a US- based NGO to propagate Pakistan’s cause of Kashmir, the US department of justice has said.

The revelation came to light following the arrest of 62- year- old Fairfax resident Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai on Tuesday.

The Indian government officials are said to have been alarmed by this development, which confirms the ISI’s nefarious designs on Kashmir.

Dr Fai, who is now a US citizen, serves as the director of the Kashmiri American Council ( KAC), an NGO in Washington, DC. Founded in 1990, it also goes by the name of “ Kashmir Centre”. The justice department has charged Dr Fai with concealing the fact that a foreign government ( Pakistan) was funding and directing his lobbying and public relations exercise in the US to further its efforts with regard to Kashmir.

“ Dr Fai is accused of a decadeslong scheme with one purpose — to hide Pakistan’s involvement behind his efforts to influence the US government’s position on Kashmir. His handlers in Pakistan allegedly funnelled millions of dollars through the Kashmir Centre to contribute to the US elected officials, fund high- profile conferences and pay for other efforts promoting the Kashmiri cause to the decisionmakers in Washington,” US attorney MacBride said.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Ties with Pakistan at crisis point, says US Senator

Jul 20 2011

Despite reports of a patch-up between the CIA and ISI, a senior US Senator, heading the Select Committee on Intelligence, regards US-Pakistan relations are at a crisis point.

According to Senator Dianne Feinstein, tests meant to show that the two intelligence agencies can work together have failed.

“I think both sides do want to de-escalate the crisis. However, those tests that were set up to show that Pakistan intelligence service and the American intelligence service could work together have failed,” Feinstein told MSNBC.

“In other words, specific targets were put out on four occasions, and the Pakistanis essentially went before, and all these target areas were emptied out before the military, the Pakistani military and others got to them,” the Democrat from California said, noting: “So this was really a crisis in confidence.”

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/354398/Ties-with-Pakistan--at-crisis-point-says-US-Senator.html

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Mullah Omar death report false: Taleban

20 July 2011

KABUL - Two Taleban spokesmen said their mobile phones, emails and a website had been hacked and messages issued on Wednesday falsely reporting the death of the movement’s supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.

The one-eyed, reclusive leader is one of the most wanted men in the world, and is believed to be living in Pakistan, probably in the city of Quetta. Pakistan and the Taleban movement both deny this and say he is in Afghanistan.

‘This is the work of American intelligence, and we will take revenge on the telephone network providers,’ said spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, when contacted by Reuters to confirm the veracity of one text message.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/July/international_July983.xml&section=international&col=

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New Al Qaeda Magazine: Bin Laden 'Confronted' SEALs in 'Fierce Battle'

By LEE FERRAN

Jul 20 2011

A new edition of Al Qaeda's official magazine claims that Osama bin Laden fought back in a "vicious battle" with the U.S. Navy SEALs before his death in May.

"He confronted them, his weapons against theirs with his, and his strength against theirs, and he accepted the challenge of those who came out with their fancy equipment, machinery, weapons, aircrafts and troops, all haughty and pompous," the magazine, Inspire, said in a eulogy for the al Qaeda leader. "His determination did not weaken in front of them, nor was he sapped of strength. Rather, he stood and confronted them face to face like a firm mountain, and continued to engage them in a fierce battle... after which he excused himself and fulfilled the trust, receiving bullets of treachery and infidelity."

The account, which is attributed to the al Qaeda organization, appears to contradict the White House version of events in which bin Laden did "resist" the SEALs, but was unarmed when he was killed.

Full report at:

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/al-qaeda-inspire-magazine-pushes-personal-jihad-bomb/story?id=14105572

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J&K militants using women as couriers: Police

Jul 20 2011

Srinagar : Investigations into the twin attacks on Sopore police station in Baramulla district has revealed that the militants might have established a wide network of women to act as couriers and conduits for them, officials said on Wednesday.

Police has arrested a 22-year-old woman, Qurat-ul-Ain, on July 10 while probing the rifle grenade attack followed by an IED explosion at Sopore police station.

One policeman was killed in the attack by the militants, who, according to police, were later killed in an encounter with security forces in Lolab area of Kupwara district on July 15.

Police claims that the investigations so far have revealed that Ain was acting as a conduit for Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants operating in north Kashmir and summer capital of Srinagar.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/j&k-militants-using-women-as-couriers-police/819969/

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US Republican Burton largest recipient of money over Kashmir issue

Jul 20 2011

Washington : US Republican Party member Dan Burton is reportedly the largest individual recipient of money from two alleged Pakistani spies who channelled million of dollars to influence members of the US Congress on the Kashmir issue.

According to Politico, Burton, who has been an outspoken advocate on behalf of the Pakistani claim to Kashmir, received at least 10,000 dollars in contributions from Kashmiri American Council (KAC) executive director Ghulam-Nabi Fai since 1990.

Zaheer Ahmad has given at least 2,000 dollars.

Fai and Ahmad are accused of having conspired to act as agents of a foreign government without that interest being declared and falsifying, concealing and covering up the fact.

Both are US citizens and face a prison sentence of five years if convicted.

Shortly before receiving a donation from both Fai and Ahmad, Burton had announced the formation of a Kashmir caucus in the US Congress.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us-republican-burton-largest-recipient-of-money-over-kashmir-issue/819949/

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US officials hold talks with Gaddafi regime

Jul 20 2011

US officials have held a rare face-to-face talks with representatives of Muammar Gaddafi’s Government and asked the Libyan leader to step down.

Officials of the US and the Gaddafi regime met and held meetings for three hours in the neutral grounds in Tunisia recently.

The countries though made the information public but differed on the nature, content and outcome of the meeting.

The meeting comes within days of the US recognising the Opposition coalition based in Benghazi, which paves the way for it receiving aid from the US and access to the funds seized by the United States.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/354338/US-officials-hold-talks-with-Gaddafi-regime.html

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Rights Group Fears Syrian Detainees Being Tortured

July 20, 2011

BEIRUT (AP) — Amnesty International says it fears dozens of Syrian detainees are being tortured after mass arrests outside the capital, Damascus.

The international rights group said in a statement Tuesday that dozens of men are being held incommunicado following a raid last weekend targeting pro-reform protesters.

The Syrian regime is trying to crush a four-month-old uprising that has proved to be the most serious challenge to the Assad family's 40-year ruling dynasty.

Human rights groups say more than 1,600 people have been killed in the crackdown.

Activists say Syrian security forces opened fire on a funeral procession Tuesday, killing up to 10 people in the central city of Homs.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/07/20/world/middleeast/AP-ML-Syria.html?_r=1&ref=global-home

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Al-Aqsa Society calls for supporting Palestinian orphans

Jul 20 2011

Al-Aqsa society calls on all Yemeni people and philanthropists to support the Palestinian orphans and poor families project as a notion of Islamic solidarity.

Adnan Al-Muntaser director general of the society says they are trying to reduce the suffering of Palestinians through providing monthly support to the new orphans and continue supporting the ones already in the society’s list.

Al-Aqsa society currently supports more than 2,600 orphans and 508 poor Palestinian family. The support includes financial aid, clothing, gifts on Eid and rehabilitation and training programs in the Palestinian territories and return camps outside Palestine.

“There is an increasing number of Palestinian children and families that need your help. They are being subjected to massive suffering everyday and deserve your material and emotional support because of what they are going through,” said Al- Muntaser.

http://www.yementimes.com/defaultdet.aspx?SUB_ID=35437

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There is no place here for Shariah: NSW Police Commissioner

Leesha Mckenny

July 20, 2011

THE NSW Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, made it clear where he stood on Islamic law as practiced in Australia. ''When it comes to Shariah … I've said it before and I'll say it again. There is no place in Australia for Shariah law, full stop,'' he said.

But the reality for Muslims might not be so clear cut. From the religious requirements for divorce to issues around seeking a loan, the detailed religious regulatory system of all aspects of life is practiced by many in the diverse Islamic community.

A Melbourne University professor of Islamic studies, Abdullah Saeed, said far from the stereotypical cutting off of hands or floggings, Shariah in Australia sought to harmonise religious laws - such as the prohibition of alcohol, adultery or theft - within those of the state.

Full report at:

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/there-is-no-place-here-for-sharia-says-scipione-20110719-1hnc0.html#ixzz1SctajFOD

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Aga Khan Trust helps restore Sunderwala Burj 16th century tomb

Jul 20 2011

New Delhi : The Sunderwala Burj, a 16th century mausoleum adjacent to Mughal emperor Humayun's tomb, has been given a major facelift by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, with the US embassy funding and support of the Archaeological Survey of India.

The mausoleum, part of the Humayun's tomb complex, was restored at a cost of $50,000 from the American Ambassador's Fund for Culture Preservation and a matching grant of the Aga Khan Trust, said conservation architect Ratish Nanda, who head the trust's projects in India.

The trust is also spending in excess of $10 million to landscape the Sunder nursery surrounding the tomb as part of its Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Initiative.

"Though protected, the Sunderwala Burj had lost its original architectural and historic character due to inappropriate repairs using modern materials such as cement," nanda told IANS.

Full report at:

http://twocircles.net/2011jul19/aga_khan_trust_helps_restore_16th_century_tomb.html?

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British Museum to stage Hajj exhibition

Jul 20th, 2011

The world's largest exhibition on the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, is to be staged at the British Museum, it has announced.

Manuscripts, diaries, historic photographs and contemporary art will be displayed to mark the annual ritual, undertaken by Muslims across the world.

The museum's director, Neil MacGregor, said the Hajj was a cultural phenomenon "that needs to be better understood".

Hajj: Journey To The Heart Of Islam will run from 26 January to 15 April.

Pilgrim's journey

Every adult Muslim is meant to undertake the Hajj at least once in their life if they can afford the journey to Saudi Arabia and are physically able.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-14214855

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Pakistan general angry over bin Laden polio ruse

Jul 20 2011

A top Pakistani general says the CIA's use of a fake polio vaccination program during the hunt for slain Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden represented a "breach of trust" between the US and Pakistan's government.

Bin Laden was killed when US special forces attacked his compound in a secret raid in May.

It has since been reported the CIA used a fake international polio eradication program as a front to track the fugitive terrorist leader down in the city of Abbottabad.

Reports say the vaccinations were offered in Abbotabad and then DNA from the program was checked to see if any of bin Laden's family members were present in the town.

General Nadeem Ahmed, a member of the Pakistani board of inquiry into the US raid, said in an interview with 774 ABC Melbourne's Jon Faine that the CIA's undermining of people's trust was "unfortunate".

"No intelligence agencies are supposed to be using NGOs [non-government organisations] or implementing partners to get some information," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-07-19/general-ahmed-speaks-to-abc/2799780/?site=melbourne

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Nadia Al-Sakkaf: See Yemen through my eyes

Jul 20 2011

As political turmoil in Yemen continues, the editor of the Yemen Times, Nadia Al-Sakkaf, talks at TEDGlobal with host Pat Mitchell. Al-Sakkaf's independent, English-language paper is vital for sharing news -- and for sharing a new vision of Yemen and of that country's women as equal partners in work and change.

http://www.yementimes.com/defaultdet.aspx?SUB_ID=36349

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Syria: Clinton comments are a ‘provocative reaction’

Jul 20 2011

Syria accused Washington of provocation Tuesday after the U.S. said President Bashar Assad had lost legitimacy and the American administration had nothing invested in him remaining in power.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued her strongest condemnation yet of Assad late Monday after mobs of hundreds of regime supporters attacked the American and French embassies in Damascus, smashing windows and spray-painting obscenities on the walls. Three French Embassy employees were injured.

The attacks also prompted withering criticism from France, which called for the U.N. Security Council to condemn Syria. Germany added to the pressure, as well, saying international law obliges Syria to protect diplomatic missions.

The U.S. and France both accused Syrian forces of being too slow to respond.

Assad is facing a four-month-old uprising that has posed the gravest challenge to his family’s 40-year dynasty in Syria, one of the most tightly controlled countries in the Middle East.

Full report at:

http://www.yementimes.com/defaultdet.aspx?SUB_ID=36325

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US busts Kashmir racket: Fai is foul and foul is Fai

Chidanand Rajghatta

Jul 20, 2011

WASHINGTON: In a city where lobbyists represent scores of interests, issues, and causes from across the world, Ghulam Nabi Fai was a familiar figure on Capitol Hill as the principal representative of the Kashmiri separatist movement. A stocky man 62-year old man with a scraggly beard sans mustache, he spoke the language of engagement and claimed to seek a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

But Kashmiris, of whom he claimed to be one, were not who he was serving. An FBI affidavit charging him with "conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign principle," shows that Fai was a frontman for Pakistani – and not Kashmiri – interests in the US. He took dictation from his masters in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, and according to the FBI count, was funded to the tune of at least $4 million to manipulate the debate about Kashmir. The FBI recorded 4000 email and telephone exchanges with his Pakistan handlers.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-busts-Kashmir-racket-Fai-is-foul-and-foul-is-Fai/articleshow/9294830.cms

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Serbia arrests last war crimes fugitive

Jul 20 2011

BELGRADE: Serbia’s last major war crimes fugitive, a Croatian Serb wartime leader indicted for crimes against humanity during the 1991-95 Croatian war, has been arrested, a Serbian official told Reuters on Wednesday.

Goran Hadzic was a key figure in the breakaway Krajina Serb republic in Croatia, and after the arrest of wartime General Ratko Mladic earlier this year, he was Serbia’s last remaining figure sought by the United Nations war crime tribunal in the Hague.

A Serbian official confirmed the arrest but declined to give details. President Boris Tadic, who announced the arrest of Mladic in May, scheduled an urgent news conference for 11 a.m.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/20/serbia-arrests-last-war-crimes-fugitive.html

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Tech-savvy Taliban fights war in cyberspace

Jul 20 2011

KABUL: The war in Afghanistan entered cyberspace on Wednesday when the tech-savvy Taliban said their phones, email and website had been hacked to spread a false report that the movement’s spiritual leader, Mullah Omar, was dead.

Although the Islamist group banned television during its time in power between 1996 and 2001, its communication strategy in the decade-long war now includes a website, mobile phone text messages, emails and posts on Twitter and Facebook.

The Taliban — ousted by US-backed Afghan forces for harbouring al Qaeda militants blamed for the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States — regularly promote their attacks, opinions or exploits online in a publicity war with the West.

Pakistani author and Taliban expert Ahmed Rashid said that, prior to 2001, the Taliban’s “media reach to the Afghan people and the world had been virtually zero and totally ineffective”.

“They learnt quickly that the war against the Americans had to be fought on many fronts,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/20/tech-savvy-taliban-fights-war-in-cyberspace.html

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US charges 'Pakistani agents' over Kashmir scam

Jul 20 2011

US justice officials charged two alleged Pakistani agents on Tuesday over a decade-long effort to illegally funnel millions of dollars to push the Kashmiri cause in Washington.

The Justice Department unsealed conspiracy charges against Ghulam Nabi Fai, 62, a US citizen, and Zaheer Ahmad, 63, a US citizen and resident of Pakistan, and said both faced up to five years in prison if found guilty.

The influence peddling allegations, which come amid strained ties between the United States and its nuclear-armed ally, center on the Kashmiri American Council (KAC), a Washington-based NGO founded in 1990.

"According to the affidavit, Fai and the KAC have received at least $4 million from the Pakistani government since the mid-1990s through Ahmad and his funding network," the Justice Department said.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/international/us-charges-pakistani-agents-over-kashmir-scam-676

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Afghan Taliban eyes Turkey political base

Jul 20 2011

THE proposed political office of the Taliban is likely to be set up either in Turkey or Turkmenistan that will pave the way for interaction and future dialogue aimed at ending the conflict in Afghanistan, a senior member of the Afghan High Peace Council has said.

Arsala Rehmani, a member of the council and ex- deputy minister for higher education during the Taliban regime, said Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates too had been proposed for the Afghan Taliban’s political office.

“ I believe that Turkey and Turkmenistan are now emerging as the likely hosts for the Taliban political office,” Rehmani said.

He said the Afghan High Peace Council needs a representation and political address of the Taliban for interaction to take the peace process forward. The world community too is interested in a political office for the Taliban as we do not know where we should meet the Taliban leaders, said Rehmani, whose name was removed from a UN blacklist on Friday along with 13 others.

Channels of communication remained open for discussion on the issue of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar hosting the office, he said. Turkey was first proposed for the office last year when the Presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey met in Istanbul.

 Full report at: Mail Today

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Qaida's new target: Sites outside US

Jul 20, 2011

WASHINGTON: Under the new leadership, al-Qaida is planning to shift its strategy from attacking inside the US to those western targets outside America , a report has said. This is because , new al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri , believes that it is easier to attack western targets outside the US rather than within.

"This attack strategy better aligns with the goals of al-Qaida's leaders in Pakistan and affiliates , which are increasingly becoming the group's frontline operators," the Wall Street Journal reported. However it is not clear how the new al-Qaida leader would execute his new strategy.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Qaidas-new-target-Sites-outside-US/articleshow/9292848.cms

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Killer of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's aide received calls from Pakistan

Jul 20 2011

KABUL: The killer of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's close ally Jan Mohammad Khan had received telephone calls before and after the deadly shooting from Pakistan, the interior minister told parliament today.

Khan, the former governor of southern Uruzgan province and a key ally of the embattled Karzai, was killed in a gun attack on his Kabul home just days after the president's younger brother was killed in the south.

Interior minister Besmullah Mohammadi told parliament today that the government was investigating two calls made to the gunmen from Pakistan, according to another MP Mohammad Akbari.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Killer-of-Afghan-President-Hamid-Karzais-aide-received-calls-from-Pakistan/articleshow/9290807.cms

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We share terror intelligence with India: John Key

Jul 20 2011

Mumbai: Expressing concern over the attack on the Inter-Continental hotel in Kabul, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Wednesday said his country had put in all efforts to tackle terrorism and was partnering with India on many fronts.

“We do share information with India. New Zealand is working very hard to combat the global threat of terrorism. Obviously we are very concerned about the terrorist attack that India suffered in Mumbai very recently. We are working with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and other [bodies] and doing everything we can to make the world a safer place.” Mr. Key told journalists here.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/06/30/stories/2011063063712000.htm

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Concern in Indonesia Over Withdrawal of AIDS Drugs

Dessy Sagita

July 20, 2011

As someone living with HIV, Chacha said he was concerned by reports suggesting his much-needed antiretroviral medication may soon be harder to come by.

Chacha, not his real name, said he feared that potential changes to the supply of some patented antiretroviral drugs, which are provided free of charge or generously subsidized at many hospitals, would make them even more difficult to obtain.

“I’ve experienced it once before when stocks ran out at the hospital in Serang [in Banten province] where I usually get my ARVs,” he said on Tuesday. “So I had to borrow the medicine from a friend.”

Although people living with HIV/AIDS commonly borrow medicine from one another in Indonesia, Chacha said it was not something he wanted to do.

“If you borrow money from your friend and pay it back on time, they probably won’t mind that much,” he said. “But when it comes to ARVs, the other person needs the medicine as much as you do, so you can’t afford to not repay them on time.”

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/concern-in-indonesia-over-withdrawal-of-aids-drugs/453912

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Indonesia urges ASEAN to harness Twitter, Facebook

July 20, 2011

NUSA DUA, Indonesia — ASEAN must maximise the use of Twitter, Facebook and other social media to engage the region's citizens, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Tuesday.

Speaking to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers on the island of Bali, Yudhoyono expressed support for the establishment of an ASEAN blogger community.

"For the first time, and in contrast to just four decades ago, we are facing a reality where the frequency and depth of contacts between our citizens -- through cable television, email, Twitter, Facebook -- far exceed the formal contacts between government officials," he said.

"Indonesia, being the world's second largest Facebook nation and third largest for Twitter, knows this very well."

Full report at:

Copyright © 2011 AFP

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UN declares famine in two parts of southern Somalia

Jul 20, 2011

NAIROBI: The United Nations said on Wednesday that famine has hit two parts of rebel-held Somalia, due to a severe drought affecting more than 10 million people in the Horn of Africa.

"The United Nations declared today that famine exists in two regions of southern Somalia: southern Bakool, and Lower Shabelle," a statement by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for Somalia said.

Both are areas controlled by al-Qaida inspired Shebab insurgents.

"Across the country nearly half of the Somali population -- 3.7 million people -- are now in crisis, of whom an estimated 2.8 million people are in the south," the statement read.

"Consecutive droughts have affected the country in the last few years, while the ongoing conflict has made it extremely difficult for agencies to operate and access communities in the south of the country," it added.

Officials warned that unless urgent action was taken the areas afflicted by famine would grow.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/UN-declares-famine-in-two-parts-of-southern-Somalia/articleshow/9296075.cms

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/ban-on-burqa-in-belgium-is-distressing--international-imam-organisation/d/5066


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