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Islamic World News ( 29 Nov 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Bangladesh Approves Hindu Property Restoration Act

Syrian Forces Abused, Killed Kids, Report Says

7 Jamaat men arrested in Bangladesh

Egypt begins second day vote for key parliament

Egypt hails election as successful ‘democracy test’

Islamists want new Libya based on Sharia law

Iran protesters storm UK embassy in Tehran

Key militant commander nabbed, Pakistan

Suicide bomber hits Iraq military base, 19 dead

NATO attack: Pakistan writes to UN

Indian consortium wins $10bn Afghanistan mines deal

Psychiatric evaluation finds Norway killer insane

Senators look to repatriate 1804 commandos of Tripoli

Iran hangs 3 for drug trafficking

UN resolution on Iran rights gets record votes

Iran hangs 3 for drug trafficking

Suspect in Yanbu rape murders claims alibi; judge orders fresh probe

Israel could soon release frozen Palestinian funds

Gilani to call joint session to discuss NATO raid

Pakistan strike probe report due next month: US

Murky border war won’t rupture Pakistan-US alliance: analysts

NATO attack: Pakistan to boycott Bonn Conference on Afghanistan

Traders convey concern over NATO strike to CJCSC

Kuwait’s opposition hails govt resignation

No scaling down of military operations against Taliban, says US

US suspects NATO forces lured into deadly raid

ISAF to retrain troops on civilian casualties: Kabul

Rockets from Lebanon strike Israel: military

Khartoum blocks oil exports of South Sudan

Police also detain Umar Patek's wife

Malaysia passes street protest ban as lawyers march

Compiled By New Age Islam News Bureau



Bangladesh approves Hindu property restoration act

By Anbarasan Ethirajan

BBC News,

Dhaka, 28 November 2011, The Hindu community have welcomed moves to restore their property rights

The Bangladeshi parliament has passed a landmark bill that will enable the return of property seized from the country's Hindu minority.

The land was taken under a controversial law enacted in the 1960s.

It was implemented by the East Pakistan administration before Bangladesh became independent in 1971.

The law, initially known as the Enemy Property Act, allowed the authorities to take over land and buildings of Hindus who migrated to India.

Under its terms, property belonging to millions of Hindus who fled to India was confiscated.

The law came into effect in 1965 when Pakistan and India fought a brief war.

The act was renamed as the Vested Properties Act after independence.

The Vested Properties Return (Amendment) Bill 2011 now enables Hindus to reclaim their property taken over by the government and individuals.

"There are some good provisions but it doesn't go far enough to address our demand that all the properties seized or taken over until recently should be returned to their rightful owners," Supreme Court lawyer Subrata Chowdhury told the BBC.


Hindu community leaders say that even after the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 the law was still used to discriminate against them.

Human rights groups and civil society activists have long urged successive governments to repeal the act.

The governing Awami League made an electoral promise in 2008 that confiscated properties would be given back to the original owners.

Experts say that while the changes to the law are welcome, it will be impossible to return all the land because some of it was confiscated more than 40 years ago.

Most of it appears to have been taken over by Muslims with links to the main political parties.

The government says that it will soon publish a list of properties that were seized. It that any Hindus wanting to make a claim will have 90 days to do so.

It is estimated by one prominent academic that about 400 to 500 Hindu people are migrating daily from Bangladesh.

Professor Abul Barkat told the BBC that if the current rate continues, Bangladesh will no longer have a Hindu community in 25 years' time.


Syrian Forces Abused, Killed Kids, Report Says

By Ashish Kumar Sen

The Washington Times, November 28, 2011, Children were raped, tortured during protests, U.N. asserts

Children were raped, tortured, illegally detained and shot dead in a crackdown by Syria's military and security forces on protesters for democracy, a U.N. investigation reported Monday.

“Several methods of torture, including sexual torture, were used by the military and the security forces in detention facilities across the country,” according to the 39-page report released in Geneva by a special commission.

“The substantial body of evidence gathered by the commission indicates that these gross violations of human rights have been committed by Syrian military and security forces since the beginning of the protests in March.”

One military defector told the commission that he decided to defect after witnessing the shooting of a 2-year-old girl by an officer who said that he did not want her to grow up to be a demonstrator. At least 256 children had been killed as of Nov. 9.

Syria “has failed its obligations under international human rights law,” the report added.

Neither the Syrian mission to the United Nations in New York nor the Syrian Embassy in Washington responded to requests for comment.

The U.N. Human Rights Council established the commission in March to investigate charges of Syrian human rights abuses. The Syrian government refused to allow the commission to visit the country.

The report - written by Paulo Pinheiro, Yakin Erturk and Karen Koning AbuZayd - is based on testimonies from 223 victims and witnesses of alleged human rights violations. The commission also interviewed Syrian defectors from the military and the security forces.

The report found that male detainees, especially boys, were sexually abused and tortured. Young boys were tortured at detention facilities across the country, including at the air force Intelligence detention facilities in and around Damascus.

“Numerous testimonies indicated that boys were subjected to sexual torture in places of detention in front of adult men,” the report said.

Detainees were beaten, subjected to electric shocks and deprived of food, water and sleep.

Military defectors told the commission that they had received orders to shoot at unarmed protesters without warning. They said that their comrades who refused to execute orders to fire at civilians were killed.

Defectors who were deployed at checkpoints and roadblocks said they were given “black lists” with names of people wanted by the authorities and orders to shoot them.

People injured in the crackdown were tortured and killed in military hospitals by security forces dressed as doctors, the report said.

Schools were used as detention facilities, and snipers were deployed on the rooftops, the report said.

The commission called on the Syrian government to put an immediate end to the ongoing human rights violations, initiate independent and impartial investigations and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Syrian President Bashar Assad has accused the protesters of being armed gangs and terrorists who are funded from outside the country.

On Sunday, the Arab League, which suspended Syria earlier this month, adopted unprecedented sanctions against Damascus and the Assad regime.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mouallem condemned the move as a declaration of “economic war” on Damascus.


7 Jamaat men arrested in Bangladesh

Our Correspondent,

Bagehot November 29, 2011 Police yesterday arrested seven activists of Jamaat-e-Islami from in front of the district court in the town. The arrestees are Abul Hasan Sheikh, 50, S M Nurul Islam, 17, Mohammad Sahidul Islam, 14, Abdul Kader Nakib, 27, Hafez Maulana Motier Rahman, 38, Al-Mamun, 25, and Maulana Asaduzzaman, 30. Mohammad Moazzem Hossain, officer in-charge of Bagerhat Model police station, said the seven were arrested at about 3:15pm while they were holding a clandestine meeting on the court premises. Earlier on Sunday the law enforcers arrested the party's district Ameer Maulana Mashiur Rahman and its two activists from Sonatola in sadar upazila.


Egypt begins second day vote for key parliament

CAIRO - 29 November 2011, (AP) , Polls opened Tuesday for a second day of voting in Egypt’s landmark parliamentary elections, the first since Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in a popular uprising earlier this year.

The historic election — which promises to be the fairest and cleanest in Egypt in living memory — will show whether the country that is one of America’s most important Middle East allies will remain secular or move down a more Islamic path as have other nations swept up in the Arab Spring.

The turnout Monday, the first voting day, was massive despite security concerns and turmoil over a deadly spate of violence in the week before the balloting. It reflects the Egyptians’ determination to break away from the past after 10 months of frustration over how the military rulers who took over from Mubarak have been handling the transition.

‘I am voting for this country’s sake. We want a new beginning,’ said Zeinab Saad, 50, who brought her young daughter to a polling station in Cairo. ‘Its a great thing to feel like your vote matters.’

The voting process, long and complicated, is staggered over the next six weeks across 27 provinces, divided into thirds with runoffs held a week after the first round in each location.

Voters have to pick two individuals and one alliance or party slate — a mechanics that has left many among the 50 million eligible voters puzzled and apparently still undecided.

While the overwhelming majority spoke with excitement over getting to cast their ballot, a few headed to the polls to avoid a 500 Egyptian pounds ($85) fee imposed by the ruling military on absent voters. In some of the country’s populous districts, younger voters dragged their elders to make sure they would not have to pay the fine.

‘I am voting here just because of the 500 Egyptian pounds,’ said Walaa Mohammed, a 33-year-old office employee, adding she didn’t think the lines outside polling stations would not be so long if it were not for the fine.

In the Menshiya neighborhood in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, long separate lines of men and women waited patiently in front of polling stations, where the ground was littered with Muslim Brotherhood fliers as activists campaigned into the last minute, whispering to voters to pick their candidates.


Egypt hails election as successful ‘democracy test’

CAIRO, (AFP)  29 November 2011, Egypt’s first post-revolution election entered its second day on Tuesday amid pride and triumphalism over the high turn-out and the orderly start to the country’s complex transition to democracy.

‘The birth of the new Egypt,’ declared the state-owned Al Akhbar newspaper on Tuesday, hailing the ‘huge turnout, free voting in a secure atmosphere’ witnessed on Monday.

‘The people have passed the democracy test,’ headlined the independent daily newspaper Al Shorouk on Tuesday. ‘On the road to democracy,’ said English-language Egyptian Mail.

Egyptians in Cairo and the port city Alexandria waited in long queues on Monday to cast ballots for a new parliament — the start of multi-stage elections that are the first since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February.

On Tuesday, polls opened again, but the volume of people was a trickle rather than the deluge seen the day before.

‘I decided to come today to avoid the crowds,’ 30-year-old Rafik told AFP in the Heliopolis area of Cairo. ‘It was important for me to vote because I feel it’s the first time that my opinion is taken into account.’

The formerly banned Muslim Brotherhood, a moderate Islamist group, is widely expected to emerge as the largest power, but without an outright majority, when results for the election are published on January 13.

Full Reportat:


Islamists want new Libya based on Sharia law


TRIPOLI: Nov 28, 2011 Dozens of Libyan imams and other religious leaders have demanded the country’s constitution be based on Sharia law and have also urged the transitional government to get weapons out of the hands of former rebels.

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council, said last month that Sharia law would be the main source of legislation in the new Libya.

But he stressed it would reflect a moderate Islam. Other leaders said the matter is still to be decided.

The 250 Muslim leaders met in Tripoli on Monday for a conference organized by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. They were seeking a common voice on pressing issues for Libya.

They urged leaders to deal with tribal tensions and disarm the ex-rebels who toppled Muammar Qaddafi, calling them “mujahedeen.”


Iran protesters storm UK embassy in Tehran

29 November 2011

Protesters in the Iranian capital, Tehran, have broken into the UK embassy compound during an anti-British demonstration, reports say.

Militant students are said to have removed the British flag, burnt it and replaced it with Iran's flag. State TV showed youths smashing embassy windows.

The move comes after Iran resolved to reduce ties following the UK's decision to impose further sanctions on it.

The UK's Foreign Office said it was "outraged" by the actions.

It urged Iran to honour international commitments to protect diplomatic missions and their staff.

After a series of ups and downs in relations following the 1979 Iranian revolution, London and Tehran restored full diplomatic ties in 1988.

Iran broke off relations the following year after Ayatollah Khomeyni's fatwa on the author Salman Rushdie. Partial diplomatic relations were restored in 1990 and these were upgraded in 1999 to ambassadorial level.

In 2001, UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw visited Iran.

In March 2007, Iranian forces seized eight Royal Navy sailors and seven marines from their patrol boat on the border between Iran and Iraq, saying that the sailors had entered Iranian waters. They were freed the next month.

Full Report at:


Key militant commander nabbed, Pakistan

MINGORA: November 29, 2011,Police arrested key militant commander Badshahzada on Monday in a successful raid on a house in the Tehsil Matta area, police sources said.

He was arrested when police, acting on a tip-off, raided a house in Matta. He was shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation. Badshahzada was wanted by police for the murder of Lashkar chief Pir Samullah, as well as other terror incidents. app\11\29\story_29-11-2011_pg7_4


Suicide bomber hits Iraq military base, 19 dead

BAGHDAD: November 29, 2011, A suicide bomber attacked a military base in the Iraqi town of Taji on Monday, killing at least 19 people, in the latest assault by insurgents trying to undermine the government. In central Baghdad an explosion in a car park at Iraq’s parliament killed at least one person and wounded several others, including a politician, security officials said. The Taji bombing was the third major attack in the last five days and underscored the fragile state of security as Washington prepares to pull out its remaining 14,500 troops by the end of the year, nearly nine years after the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. The attacker detonated explosives packed into a minibus at the entrance to the base, which houses a jail holding prisoners from al Qaeda. reuters\11\29\story_29-11-2011_pg7_9


NATO attack: Pakistan writes to UN

UNITED NATIONS, November 29, 2011, Pakistan has formally communicated to the United Nations its protest and condemnation of the NATO airstrike that killed its 24 soldiers and has strained ties between Washington and Islamabad.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.N. Abdullah Hussain Haroon has written a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon informing him of the NATO attack of November 26 “on Pakistan’s border posts (that) resulted in the martyrdom of 24 officers and soldiers of the Pakistani army.”

He further wrote in the letter that 13 personnel were also injured in the attack.

Mr. Haroon was in Pakistan for the last few weeks and writing the letter, dated November 27 and marked “most urgent”, to the U.N. Chief is understood to have been among the first things he did after returning to New York.

Mr. Haroon has also forwarded to the Secretary-General the statement that was issued in Islamabad by the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) after it held an emergency meeting, chaired by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, following the attack on Saturday.

Full Report at:


Indian consortium wins $10bn Afghanistan mines deal

29 November 2011

A consortium of Indian companies has won the right to develop some of Afghanistan's large iron ore deposits, Afghan mining ministry officials say.

Seven Indian companies, led by the state-owned Steel Authority of India, won a $10.3bn (£6.6bn) deal to mine three sites in central Afghanistan.

A fourth site was awarded to Canada's Kilo Goldmines. All the contracts are due to be signed early next year.

Last month, Afghanistan signed a strategic partnership deal with India.

In a development that correspondents say caused some concern to India's strategic rival Pakistan, the two sides said the aim was to boost trade, security and cultural links.

Exploitation of the estimated two billion tonnes of iron ore deposits in Hajigak mine - located in Bamiyan - is expected to begin by 2015.

Officials say that the project has the potential to be Afghanistan's single biggest foreign investment project.

The Hajigak deposit contains an estimated 1.8 billion tonnes of iron ore, with an iron concentration of 64%, the mines ministry said in a statement. The figures are based on a survey carried out in the 1960s.

The ministry said last year that Afghanistan could be self-sufficient within a decade if its mineral resources - which some estimates have valued as high as $3tn - are properly exploited.

But correspondents say that questions are certain to be asked as to whether investors will want to advance the large sums of cash required to start building mine and rail infrastructure in the country, which at the moment is almost non-existent.

Their unease is almost certain to be enhanced given the renewed uncertainty in Afghanistan ahead of the planned withdrawal of most Nato troops from the country by late 2014.

The mines ministry says that Afghanistan has vast reserves of oil, gas, copper, gold and lithium.


Psychiatric evaluation finds Norway killer insane

By Associated Press

OSLO, Norway (AP), November 29, 2011 , A psychiatric evaluation of confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik found he was insane during the July 22 bomb and shooting attacks that killed 77 people in Norway, prosecutors said Tuesday.

If a court agrees with that assessment, the self-declared anti-Muslim militant cannot be sentenced to prison but will be subjected to compulsory psychiatric care, prosecutors told reporters in Oslo.

“The conclusions of the forensic experts is that Anders Behring Breivik was insane,” prosecutor Svein Holden said, adding Breivik was in a state of psychosis during Norway’s worst peacetime massacre.

In Norway, an insanity defense requires that a defendant be in a state of psychosis while committing the crime with which he or she is charged. That means the defendant has lost contact with reality to the point that he’s no longer in control of his own actions.

The 243-page report will be reviewed by a panel from the Norwegian Board of Forensic Medicine, which could ask for additional information and add its own opinions.

The head of that panel told AP in July that it was unlikely that Breivik would be declared legally insane because the attacks were so carefully planned and executed.


Senators look to repatriate 1804 commandos of Tripoli

By Stephen Dinan-

The Washington Times Sunday, November 27, 2011

For years, the Navy has been reluctant to reclaim the remains of its first 13 commandos, who perished in a failed raid on Tripoli Harbor in Libya in 1804 — but pressure has been growing in Congress to force it to do just that.

A final showdown could happen this week in the Senate, where Sen. Dean Heller, Nevada Republican, has offered an amendment to compel the Navy to bring home the mangled bodies of the 13, who died while trying to destroy a pirate fleet during the Barbary Wars.

But the Navy is quietly resisting, telling senators that it would prefer to leave the bodies in the two different burial locations.

“These servicemen are currently buried in poorly kept mass graves far away from the country they served and died defending,” Mr. Heller said. “Bringing them home and giving these men a proper military burial will allow their families and other Americans an opportunity to better remember the sacrifices they made for our great nation.”

That repatriation is even a real option is a major turn of events, made possible by politics.

For much of the past few decades, the chances were stymied by the turbulent U.S. relationship with Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi, who alternately ran cold, then hot, then cold toward the idea, which was being pushed by descendants of the commandos.

But the Gadhafi regime now has been overthrown, and the repatriation effort has the support of the two national heavyweight veterans groups, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Now it’s the Navy that stands opposed, arguing that the sailors already have been honored in Tripoli. A spokeswoman said Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, considers that the appropriate final resting place.

For Full Report:


Iran hangs 3 for drug trafficking

POSTMEDIA NEWS NOVEMBER 21, 2011, Iran on Sunday hanged three men convicted of drug trafficking in the northern town of Sari, the official IRNA news agency reported.

The three, considered to be among the town's main drug dealers, were hanged in prison, the report added. It did not identify the men.

The hangings bring to 246 the number of executions in Iran so far this year, according to an Agence France-Presse tally based on media and official reports..


UN resolution on Iran rights gets record votes

21 NOVEMBER 2011

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon speaks before the UN General Assembly in New York in 2010. The UN General Assembly on Monday passed an annual resolution condemning human rights abuses in Iran with a record number of votes in support.

AFP - The UN General Assembly on Monday passed an annual resolution condemning human rights abuses in Iran with a record number of votes in support.

The assembly also passed resolutions condemning human rights in North Korea and Myanmar. All received record high backing.

The Iran vote came only three days after the General Assembly condemned an alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington -- a plot which the United States accuses Iran of masterminding.

Full Report at:


Suspect in Yanbu rape murders claims alibi; judge orders fresh probe


JEDDAH: Nov 29, 2011 , A Sharia court judge has ordered a new investigation into the murder of three Asian maids in Yanbu.

The court made the order after it was revealed during a trial of the sole suspect in the case that he had been doing time in a Jazan prison at the time of one of the maids' murder. Jazan is more than 1,000 km away from Yanbu.

The suspect also denied the confessions he reportedly made before interrogators. The confessions were endorsed by a court shortly after his arrest.

The bodies of three maids surfaced in Yanbu more than three years ago at different places and times. Police investigations were at a dead end without any clues.

Police found the murders followed a pattern. The killer had raped and tortured Asian maids and then disfigured their bodies to make it difficult to identify them before abandoning them at distant locations.

After failing to solve the mystery, Yanbu police got a lead from an unexpected source. While interrogating a boy arrested for begging, police learned that he was sent to the streets by his father who abused and tortured him.

The boy also told the police that he was afraid of his father because he had seen him torturing and killing a maid at his house. Police arrested the father who confessed to killing the three women at different times.

After finding that the man was potentially not responsible for the murders, the judge ordered investigators to verify his alibi.

The court also demanded the investigator to ensure the register recording the names of inmates in the jail had not been tampered with.


Israel could soon release frozen Palestinian funds


JERUSALEM: Nov 28, 2011, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted Monday that Israel might soon release tens of millions of dollars owed to the Palestinians, according to officials who heard him testify before an influential parliamentary panel.

Israel has refused to transfer the money to punish the Palestinians for their attempts to join the United Nations. The Palestinians recently were accepted to the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, as part of a broader effort for recognition as a full UN member state.

Western donor nations, and even Israel’s own Defense Ministry, have urged Netanyahu to release the money.

In a closed hearing, Netanyahu told the parliament’s foreign affairs and defense committee on Monday that Israel was “considering the possibility of renewing the transfer of money to the Palestinians” because they appear to have suspended their efforts at the UN, the officials said. That would change if the Palestinians revive those efforts, one official said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was closed.

The Palestinians applied for UN membership in September, but the statehood bid has stalled after they failed to marshal the required support of nine of the Security Council’s 15 members.

The Palestinians have said that as a backup plan, they will seek a lesser upgrade to nonmember observer status, but so far have not taken any action. Netanyahu said it appears the Palestinians have put these efforts on hold, since they have not approached the General Assembly or any additional UN agencies about membership.

Israel believes creation of a Palestinian state must be achieved through negotiations and charges that the UN bid is one of a series of steps to bring unwarranted pressure on the Jewish state.

The Palestinians say Israel’s sanctions are having severe effects.

The Palestinians say they desperately need the money to keep their government afloat. Without it, they have to borrow from banks to pay monthly salaries of tens of thousands of civil servants.


Gilani to call joint session to discuss NATO raid


LAHORE, November 29, 2011  Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday said he will call a joint session of both Houses of parliament to discuss the cross-border NATO air strike and the issue of a secret memorandum sent to the U.S. military seeking help to prevent a possible military takeover in Pakistan.

Mr. Gilani made the remarks while chairing a special meeting of the federal cabinet held in Lahore this afternoon.

He said the joint session of Parliament will be summoned after he receives the recommendations of the parliamentary committee on national security on the NATO attack and the “Memogate” affair.

Pakistan responded angrily to the NATO air strike that killed 24 soldiers on Saturday by shutting all NATO supply routes and asking the U.S. to vacate the Shamsi airbase, believed to be used by CIA—operated drones, within 15 days.

Mr. Gilani on Monday said that it would no longer be “business as usual” in Pakistan-U.S. ties after the attack.

Full Report at:


Pakistan strike probe report due next month: US


KABUL: November 29, 2011,  A US-led investigation into a NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani troops near the Afghan border will report its initial findings by December 23, officials said Tuesday.

The chief of US Central Command, which oversees US forces in Afghanistan and the Middle East, appointed Brigadier General Stephen Clark, a one-star air force general, to lead the investigation, the US military announced.

The probe is expected to provide an initial report by December 23, it added.

Pakistan has reacted to Saturday’s air strike with fury, cutting off crucial supply routes to NATO forces in Afghanistan, and ordering US personnel to vacate an air base reportedly used by CIA drones and a review of US relations.

Clark will lead the investigation with input from NATO and its International Security Assistance Force, which has 130,000 troops in Afghanistan in addition to an extra 10,000 American forces operating under separate command.

The Afghan and Pakistani governments are also being invited to take part, despite Pakistan’s furious response to the attack.

“It is USCENTCOM’s intent to include these government representatives to the maximum extent possible to determine what happened and preclude it from happening again,” the US military said.

“The investigation team will focus their efforts on the facts of the incident and any matters that facilitate a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding the deaths and injuries of the Pakistani forces.”


Murky border war won’t rupture Pakistan-US alliance: analysts

ISLAMABAD: November 29, 201, The deaths of 24 Pakistani troops spotlights the explosive 10-year war on the Afghan border, but is unlikely to rupture the unhappy marriage of convenience between Islamabad and Washington, analysts say.

Forced into partnership by 9/11 and the war on al Qaeda, the two governments are totally reliant on one another, yet lurch from crisis to crisis given a prevailing climate of distrust.

It is typical that just as relations began to recover from the covert American raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the NATO attack has put the alliance back on the brink.

Islamabad sealed the Afghan border to NATO supplies again, gave Americans notice to leave a shadowy air base believed to be used in the CIA drone war, and ordered a review of the alliance.

“I think we’re one step short of a strategic crisis,” retired US general turned NBC News military analyst Barry McCaffrey told the TV network.

Estimating that up to 50 percent of supplies for Afghanistan are routed through Pakistan he said, “We’ve got to talk to them, we’ve got to pay them, we’ve got to apologise for this strike. We have no option, literally.”

Afghan and US officers routinely complain that Pakistani soldiers do nothing to prevent Taliban opening fire from Pakistani soil or infiltrating the border - including in Mohmand, the district where the soldiers were killed.

“Insurgents repeatedly use the border area in their favour to hide, to operate across it and to fire on both sides,” said Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. US and Afghan commandos have reportedly strayed across the border in hot pursuit of Taliban.\11\29\story_29-11-2011_pg7_6


NATO attack: Pakistan to boycott Bonn Conference on Afghanistan

By Abdul Manan

November 29, 2011

Pakistan will boycott the Bonn Conference, scheduled for December 5 on Afghanistan’s future, to protest the cross-border NATO attack. PHOTO: PPI/FILE

LAHORE: Pakistan will boycott the Bonn Conference, scheduled for December 5 on Afghanistan’s future, to protest the cross-border NATO attack, an official said on Tuesday. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, in Lahore.

During the meeting held at the Governor House, Gilani suspended the agenda to discuss the November 26 incident which killed at least 24 Pakistani soldiers.

Gilani also said that he will summon a Joint Session of the Parliament on the NATO attack and the Memogate scandal on the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security.

According to an official, the cabinet extended deepest condolences to the families of those who were killed in the cross-border attack.

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar briefed the cabinet about the incident and the diplomatic efforts being made to highlight the violation of Pakistan’s territorial sovereignty.

The cabinet agreed that unaliteral action like the Abbottabad incident and the cross-border attack were unacceptable.


Traders convey concern over NATO strike to CJCSC

LAHORE: November 29, 2011, The business community of Lahore and the Punjab province on Monday conveyed their reaction and concern on the NATO strike to the joint chiefs of staff committee chairman (JCSC, terming the incident as an attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty.

Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh, Senior Vice President Kashif Younis Meher and Vice President Saeed Nazar had an hour-long meeting with Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Khalid Shamim Wyne and strongly condemned the NATO aggression.

They also discussed the economic challenges being faced by the country with the JCSC chairman. According to details, during their meeting with the JCSC chairman, the LCCI office-bearers said that the entire business community unanimously condemned the NATO attack on security posts in Mohmand Agency. They said that the whole nation stood with the Pakistan Army and fully supported the stance of the government and the Pakistan armed forces on the issue of NATO aggression. They stated that NATO forces called Pakistan an ally in the war against terrorism, but treated the country like an enemy and that the Pakistani nation would not tolerate any such aggression in future.

Full Report at:\11\29\story_29-11-2011_pg7_12


Kuwait’s opposition hails govt resignation


KUWAIT CITY: Nov 28, 2011 Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah on Monday accepted the resignation of the government, the seventh Cabinet to step down in five years, over a bitter dispute with Parliament, official media said.

The emir asked Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and his Cabinet to remain in a caretaker role.

Opposition MPs, who have been at loggerheads with Sheikh Nasser over charges he failed to manage the wealthy state, welcomed the resignation. They called for the formation of a transitional government with a new premier before Parliament is dissolved.

The resignation came one day ahead of a scheduled questioning in Parliament of the prime minister over an alleged corruption scandal involving a number of MPs and on charges of misusing public funds.

It also came hours before a planned mass rally later on Monday by the opposition.


No scaling down of military operations against Taliban, says US

PTI | Nov 29, 2011,

The US has made it clear that its operations against Taliban in Afghanistan will not be scaled down despite the trouble in ties with Pakistan after the Nato raids killing Pak soldiers.

WASHINGTON: The US has said that there will be no scaling down in its military operations against Taliban linked militants in Afghanistan, despite Pakistan cutting of supplies to NATO-led forces after the deadly border air strikes that killed 24 soldiers.

"The war effort continues," Pentagon press secretary George Little told reporters as US officials said that Shamsi air base in Pakistan was not critical to carrying out drone strikes.

Asked how long US and NATO forces could operate in Afghanistan without supplies coming in through Pakistan, Little said: "It's important to focus on the war effort. Every one realises we have an enemy to enage in Afghanistan and the US military is prepared to carry on."

His remarks are significant as nearly half the NATO forces supplies run through routes in Pakistan which have been closed by the Pakistan government after last weekend's lethal air raid.

After the strike, Islamabad also ordered the US to vacate within 15 days the Shamsi air base in Balochistan, which is believed to be used for drone-operations against militants inside Pakistan.

The remote Shamsi air base is reportedly used as a drone hub by the CIA, but US officials said these operations will not be jeopardized if Islamabad goes ahead with expelling Americans from the key base.

The American official said that if Pakistan makes good its threat to close down the base, the move would be largely be symbolic as US forces were now using bases in Afghanistan to hit Taliban linked groups inside Pakistan.


US suspects NATO forces lured into deadly raid


WASHINGTON: AP, 29, 2011  NATO forces may have been lured into attacking friendly Pakistani border posts in a calculated maneuver by the Taleban, according to preliminary US military reports on the deadliest friendly fire incident with Pakistan since the war began.

The NATO air strike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers over the weekend in an apparent case of mistaken identity, The Associated Press has learned.

A joint US-Afghan patrol was attacked by the Taleban early Saturday morning, and while pursuing the enemy in the poorly marked border area, seems to have mistaken one of the Pakistan troop outposts for a militant encampment and called in a NATO gunship and attack helicopters to open fire.

US officials say the account suggests the Taliban may have deliberately tried to provoke a cross-border firefight that would set back fragile partnerships between the US and NATO forces and Pakistani soldiers at the ill-defined border. Officials described the records on condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters.

The incident sent the perpetually difficult US-Pakistan relationship into a tailspin.

Gen. James Mattis, head of US Central Command, announced Monday that he has appointed Brig. Gen. Stephen Clark, an Air Force special operations officer, to lead the probe of the incident, and said he must include input from the NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, as well as representatives from the Afghan and Pakistani governments.

According to the US military records described to the AP, the joint US and Afghan patrol requested backup after being hit by mortar and small arms fire by Taleban militants.

Officials described the records on condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters.

Before responding, the joint US-Afghan patrol first checked with the Pakistani army, which reported it had no troops in the area, the military account said.

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ISAF to retrain troops on civilian casualties: Kabul


KABUL: Nov. 29, 2011, NATO’s US-led force in Afghanistan will retrain its troops by December 5 on how to avoid civilian casualties, following fresh accusations of civilian killings President Hamid Karzai’s office said on Tuesday.

The move comes with Nato already facing uncomfortable fallout after an air strike killed 24 Pakistani troops near the Afghan border on Saturday.

Karzai’s office quoted a letter from Commander General John Allen as saying he had issued orders “for all units to conduct retraining on our methods of employing force against insurgents while protecting Afghan civilians.”

It added: “No later than 5 December, units will confirm to me that they have complied with these orders.”

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) could not immediately confirm the letter.

Pakistan has cut off crucial supply routes to ISAF forces in Afghanistan in retaliation for Saturday’s air strike killing troops across the border.

The issue of civilian casualties has long been highly sensitive in Afghanistan and has fuelled tensions between Karzai and his Western backers.

Karzai last week accused ISAF of killing seven people including six children in an air strike in Zhari district of the southern province of Kandahar.

On Sunday, in the same district three women died while one child and another woman were wounded when an ISAF mortar hit a civilian house, Kandahar governor’s spokesman Zalmai Ayoubi said.

ISAF said it did not have any immediate information on that incident.

Nato commanders say the Taliban and other insurgents frequently hide among the local population in a bid to protect themselves.

However, ISAF forces are supposed to take all possible steps to avoid civilian casualties.

Allen wrote in July that he expected “every member of ISAF to be seized with the intent to eliminate civilian casualties caused by ISAF.”


Rockets from Lebanon strike Israel: military


JERUSALEM:  AP Nov 29, 2011  Rockets fired from Lebanon struck northern Israel early Tuesday for the first time in more than two years, drawing a burst of Israeli artillery fire across the tense border, the Israeli military said.

No casualties or major damage were reported on the Israeli side and no one claimed responsibility for the attack. The military said at least two of the rockets landed on Israeli soil, and that Israeli guns shelled the area where the fire had originated.

A Lebanese security official told The Associated Press that one rocket was fired from Lebanon and that Israel hit back with six rockets, which landed in an empty area. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The flare-up comes at a time when the entire region is engulfed in violence and upheaval, with thousands killed in the regime’s crackdown on protesters in Syria and after popular uprisings ousted longtime rulers in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen.

The Israeli military said it did not expect Tuesday’s incident to touch off a wider conflict with Lebanon. In a statement, however, it said it regarded the attack as “severe” and held the Lebanese government and army responsible for preventing rocket fire at Israel.

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Khartoum blocks oil exports of South Sudan


KHARTOUM: Nov 28, 2011,  Sudan has halted South Sudan's oil exports because the two have not yet agreed on a transit fee for the new nation to export its crude through its neighbor, Sudan's acting oil minister said Monday.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan on July 9, taking with it about 75 percent of the former united country's roughly 500,000 barrels per day of oil output. To export crude, South Sudan must send it north through a pipeline in Sudan to a Red Sea port.

Officials decided to stop the government of South Sudan's oil exports — roughly 200,000 barrels per day — on Nov. 17, Ali Ahmed Osman told reporters, adding the pipeline was still running and international companies would not be affected.

"We stopped exportation of the southern oil. We gave them four months free, without any sort of agreement," he said, adding Sudan would not resume the exports until the two sides agreed how much South Sudan would pay as a transit fee.

South Sudan has been selling about 200,000 barrels per day of oil since it declared independence, according to figures provided by the country's Petroleum Ministry last week.

Sudan had been allowing South Sudan to continue exporting without a final agreement on the expectation that the fees would be paid after a deal. Osman said South Sudan owed Sudan some $727 million in arrears between July 9 and the end of October.

International companies would be allowed to continue exporting their shares of oil normally, he added.

"We're not going to shut the pipeline, we're not going to shut any well, we're not going to stop any company, because we have an agreement with the companies. The share of the companies will be exported."

But a South Sudan oil official said a 600,000 barrel oil shipment sold by South Sudan to China's Unipec did not load as scheduled on Monday because of Sudan's decision to halt South Sudan's oil exports.


Police also detain Umar Patek's wife

The Jakarta Post,

Jakarta , November 29, 2011, The National Police say they have detained Rukayah, the wife of the 2002 Bali bombings top suspect, Umar Patek, who was arrested with her husband in Pakistan in March, an official says.

National Police deputy spokesman Sr. Comr. Boy Rafli Amar said Rukayah, a Filipino, was charged with an immigration violation for using a false Indonesian passport while accompanying Patek in other countries.

Boy said the passport was issued based on false birth and family certificates.

“She is in isolation in a detention cell,” Boy was quoted as saying by on Sunday.

Boy said Patek was charged with several violations, including acts of terrorism, immigration violations and other crimes.

“He is facing charges carrying more than 15 years in prison,” he said.

Patek has been in police custody at the Police Mobile Brigade detention center in Kelapa Dua, Depok, from Aug. 17 following his transfer from Pakistan authorities to the Indonesian government.

He is one of the main suspects in the Bali bombings that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, after attacks on the Sari Club and Paddy's Bar in Kuta, and the US consulate in Renon.

Patek is wanted in Indonesia, the Philippines, US and Australia, with a US$1 million bounty on his head. He is also known as a close associate of deceased terrorist Dulmatin, the alleged bomb maker of the Bali attacks.

Patek is also suspected of being a field commander at a Jamaah Islamiyah training camp in Mindanao in the Philippines, where the masterminds of the 2002 Bali bombings, including Noordin Top, were trained.


Malaysia passes street protest ban as lawyers march

29 November 2011

The Malaysian parliament has passed a ban on street protests, despite a rally against the bill by crowds of lawyers.

Opposition lawmakers boycotted the vote on the Peaceful Assembly Act, which the ruling party says eases regulations.

But critics say it replaces a rule requiring a police permit for a demonstration with one that bans street protests and participation in rallies by under 21s.

Some 500 lawyers marched in the capital ahead of the vote.

They chanted "freedom to assembly" and "freedom to the people", before police stopped most of them from entering the complex.

They says the new laws - which do allow gatherings in designated places like stadiums and public halls - are more repressive than the old ones.

Malaysian Bar Council President Lim Chee Wee told AFP news agency the ban was "outrageous".

"Assemblies in motion provide the demonstrators with a wider audience and greater visibility, in order for others to see and hear the cause or grievance giving rise to the gathering," he said.

But the government says the legislation strikes a balance between the right to protest and public security needs.

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