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Islamic World News ( 30 Jun 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Bangladesh: Religious minorities slam retaining Islam as state religion

Legal experts question destruction of papers relating to 2002 communal riots by Modi Govt.in Gujrat, India

American weightlifter, a Muslim woman, wins right to wear hijab during competition

False blasphemy allegations: Gujranwala still recovering from mob attack

Haqqani leader tied to Kabul hotel siege, killed in Nato air raid

Indonesia: Jailed terrorists enrolling new recruits in prisons

Twenty civilians killed in Afghan mine bus blast: police

US revives ties with Egypt’s Brotherhood

Russia says arming Libyan rebels violates UN resolution

Gaddafi’s daughter acknowledges talks with Libya rebels

UK sends body armor, police uniforms to Libya

U.K. to press Pakistan on terror, Krishna told

Pak, US strategic dialogue postponed ‘indefinitely’

US out to destroy Al Qaeda core in Pak

‘More raids, drone strikes to destroy Qaeda’in Afghanistan

US rejects demands to vacate Pakistan drone base

Members want Organization of Islamic Cooperation to be more active

ISI aids and abets terrorist sanctuaries in Pak: Ex-US general

Post-Osama, US gears up to take on Qaida

Afghan district governor accuses Pakistan of stoking war on border

Tragedy averted in Srinagar, bomb defused near Dal lake

Faked papers for Aftab Ansari: Man behind surety racket

Pak Army trying to weaken civilian govt post Osama operation: Tellis

Pak court seeks fresh response from govt on Saeed’s petition

UN Lebanon tribunal submits indictment in Hariri case

Morocco votes on reforms today

Bangladesh scraps system of caretaker govt for polls

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/bangladesh--religious-minorities-slam-retaining-islam-as-state-religion/d/4947

 

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Bangladesh: Religious minorities slam retaining Islam as state religion

Jul 01 2011

Dhaka: Religious minorities, including Hindus, in Bangladesh today slammed the approval of the 15th constitutional amendment bill that retain Islam as the state religion as it was against the secular character of the 1972 constitution.

Bangladesh’s Parliament approved the 15th Amendment Bill 2011 that scraps the controversial nonpartisan caretaker system to conduct general elections and also retains Islam as the state religion.

Rana Dasgupta, General Secretary of Hindu Boudhha Christian Oikya Parishad, a key organisation of religious minorities in Bangladesh, said the entire nation wanted the restoration of the spirit of secularism.

“We are deeply disappointed...this has violated our fundamental rights and that is why we are rejecting the amendment,” Dasgupta told PTI.

The Parishad claimed it deprived the country’s nearly 2.5 crore religious and ethnic minorities of their rights.

Hinduism is the second largest religious affiliation in Bangladesh. There are over 10 lakhs Hindus in the country, according to the 2001 census.

Dasgupta said the Parishad, headed by former army general CR Datta, has called a nationwide day-long hunger strike on Friday.

The organisation would also stage a black flag protest in front of the National Press Club in the heart of the capital tomorrow, Dasgupta said.

“We fear the development has pushed us to a situation where the followers of different religious faiths will abstain from casting their votes in next elections or wage a campaign demanding separate election in reserve seats,¿ he said.

Bangladesh’s 1972 constitution contained four state principles, including secularism that was scrapped under the government of military ruler Ziaur Rahman.

Former military ruler Hussain Muhammad Ershad, currently the chief of Jatiya Party which is aligned with the Awami League-led ruling coalition, declared Islam the state religion in 1988 by amending the constitution.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/811059/

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Legal experts question destruction of papers relating to 2002 communal riots by Modi Govt.in Gujrat, India

Jul 1, 2011

The Narendra Modi government in Gujarat has come under severe criticism from the Opposition and the riot victims for destroying the evidence pertaining to the post-Godhra riots. File Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

The legal experts in Gujarat are shocked and surprised over the State government's claim of having destroyed certain documents related to the 2002 communal riots in the State.

“It cannot be a standard procedure. You cannot destroy the relevant documents when the G. T. Nanavati – Akshay Mehta Judicial Enquiry Commission probing into the Godhra train carnage and the post-Godhra communal riots in the State is yet to submit its final report,” noted advocate, Mukul Sinha, who represent the riot victims before the Commission said.

According to him, the responsibility of deciding the “relevance of a document” was left to the prosecution, which was the State government in the case of the Nanavati – Mehta commission, and it could not have overlooked the relevance of the telephone call register, police vehicle log books and the police movement diary for the Enquiry Commission to be destroyed before the probe panel completed its task.

“The State government is telling a lie that the documents have been destroyed as per the standard procedure,” Hiralal Gupta, the advocate for the Congress before the commission, alleged. He agreed that a rule existed to destroy “irrelevant police documents” after five years as claimed by the State government pleader before the Commission, S. B. Vakil, but the documents in question were not such “irrelevant documents” to be destroyed taking recourse to the “standard procedure.”

“The government is deliberately trying to hide the truth about Chief Minister Narendra Modi's “instructions” to the police to go soft on the Hindus during the 2002 communal riots for which it is now claiming that the records have been destroyed,” Mr. Gupta said.

Mr. Vakil told journalists on the sideline of the Commission session that several documents of 2002, particularly the telephone call register, the police vehicle long book and the officers' movement diaries, had been destroyed in 2007 as per the “standard procedure” to clear files more that five years old. He also alleged that the controversial State cadre IPS officer, Sanjiv Bhatt, filed the affidavit in the Supreme Court attributing “anti-minority” statements to Mr. Modi and claiming it to be his “personal knowledge” so late this year only because he knew that the documents relating to 2002 no longer existed and his claims and allegations could not be verified.

Mr. Vakil had also put the question to Mr. Bhatt during his cross-examinations as being a former Deputy Commissioner in the State Intelligence Bureau whether he was aware that the IB documents had been destroyed in 2007. Mr. Bhatt, however, said he was not aware of it and said it was the duty of the State government to preserve the relevant documents when the Commission was still seized of the task and different aspects of the communal riots were also being investigated under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court.

He also pointed out that on his own he never disclosed the “classified secrets” he was aware of as an IB officer, but presented the facts before the Supreme Court–appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) only after summoned by it and filed the affidavit before the apex court much later.

State Director General of Police Chittaranjan Singh when asked said, “everything has been done as per the laid out law and nothing has been done in violation of the legal provision.” Asked about the justification of the destruction of the documents of such controversial period, he chose not to comment.

But the same State government which was now claiming that some of the documents related to the 2002 communal riots had been destroyed, had told Mr. Bhatt last month that the documents he had asked for could not be provided to him under the secrecy law because these were “classified documents.” The government never claimed in its latter that the documents did not exist as per the “standard procedure” to destroy the documents after five years.

Among the documents sought by Mr. Bhatt and denied by the State government pertaining to the 2002 riots included incoming and outgoing telephone records registers of the State control room, duty register of state control room, staff attendance register of the State control room, movement diary of the state DGP and IGP, logbook of the official vehicle used by the DG and IGP, Vehicle logbook of the State Control Room (SCR), all dispatch books of the SCR, record of Secret Service Fund Disbursement to the State Intelligence Bureau, alert messages sent out by SCR, intelligence report received by the DG and IGP from all agencies including state intelligence bureau.

The Congress advocate also filed an application before the Commission seeking its “direction” to the government to submit a similar set of documents but for a limited period of February 27 to March 9, 2002. While the Commission was yet to take a decision on issuing such a directive, Mr. Gupta said the State government so far had not informed him that the documents he had sought for did not exist.

“The State government does not want to submit the documents before the XCommission because it knows that the telephone register, vehicle log book and movement diary will prove that Mr Bhatt was actually called to attend the controversial meeting at the Chief Minister's residence on the night of February 27 and that he actually travelled in the DGP's car with his own car following him to the CM's residence. This alone will establish his claim of being personally present at the meeting and take cognisance of his assertion that Mr. Modi did “direct” the police to “allow the Hindus to vent out their anger” as claimed by him in the affidavit before the Supreme Court,” Mr. Gupta said.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2147413.ece?homepage=true

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American weightlifter, a Muslim woman, wins right to wear hijab during competition

30 June 2011

By RICHARD BURCHFIELD, AL ARABIYA WASHINGTON

Kulsoom Abdullah, a 35-year old female weightlifter from Atlanta, Georgia, received long-awaited word from the International Weightlifting Federation on Wednesday that she would be allowed to compete in a modified weightlifting uniform that complied with the hijab and her faith.

For the past year, Ms. Abdullah has been working to be allowed to compete in the sport she loves without conceding her religious values. And with persistence, tenacity, and faith, she was able to see her ambitious efforts pay off.

“This is a great victory. I am hopeful for more participation in sports for women and I have a positive outlook on getting costume details finalized for Olympic lifting competitions,” said Ms. Abdullah. “Change is not going to happen if you do nothing. It’s better to at least try your best … I think we always learn through journey and struggles.”

Last year, Ms. Abdullah was initially barred from competing in the American Open because she would not wear a singlet – the short, tight, regulation uniform. Officials told her that loose clothing and covered limbs presented a safety hazard and prevented judges from making sure she was executing a proper lift.

Ms. Abdullah then put together a 44-page presentation offering an alternative costume that showcased her elbows and knees without compromising her Muslim faith. Her proposal was submitted to the IWF to consider a policy change for Islamic attire with the support of the United States Olympic Committee, the USA Weightlifting Federation, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"We welcome this important decision in support of greater inclusion in athletic competition and urge the representatives of other international bodies to take similar steps," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper in a statement. "We thank the United States Olympic Committee for helping to empower Muslim women athletes and for taking a stand in support of the American tradition of religious diversity."

The modifications to the costume rule allows athletes to wear a one piece, full body, tight fitted "unitard," under the necessary weightlifting costume. This will permit Ms. Abdullah, and future Muslim female weightlifters who wear the hijab, to compete while only exposing their hands, feet and face.

The ruling in favor of a modified uniform represents a small step forward to the increasing number of female athletes around the world who have been prohibited from competing because uniform regulations clashed with tenets of faith. Just recently, the Iranian women's soccer team was banned from the 2012 Olympics in London, and was forced to forfeit there qualifier against Jordan, on the grounds that their headscarves posed the threat of strangulation.

"This rule modification has been considered in the spirit of fairness, equality and inclusion," said IWF President Tamas Ajan.

As for Ms. Adbullah, she is still in the gym, working harder than ever to prepare for next month's American Open competition. “I will continue training now for competitions, and be able to work harder with structure since now I have goals and dates I can look forward to,” said Ms. Abdullah.

(Richard Burchfield is an intern at Al Arabiya’s Washington, DC bureau and is a participant in The Fund for American Studies & The Institute on Political Journalism at Georgetown University. He can be reached at Richard.burchfield@mbc.net)

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/06/30/155415.html

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False blasphemy allegations: Gujranwala still recovering from mob attack

By Saba Imtiaz

July 1, 2011

GUJRANWALA: Two months on, Aziz Colony is still trying to recover from the scars left behind by a raging mob attack.

In April, a Christian seminary, houses of Christians and a church was attacked by a mob protesting the release of two Christians who had been accused of blasphemy from protective custody. Even though the allegations were false, the mob left its mark on Christian properties, destroying everything from furniture to bird cages.

Today, the windows of a Christian-run school, where over 80 per cent of the students are Muslim, are still broken. Posters offering a Rs500,000 reward for information on the “enemies of religion and the state” involved in the riot dot the area’s walls.

Residents are highly reluctant to talk about the incident. While several said they were not in the city at the time, others redirected questions to Chaudhry Farooq, the area pastor Eric Isaac Chaudhry’s brother.

“Look at the neighbourhood,” said Farooq, who has served as deputy Nazim in the past. “Everyone is living together peacefully.”

But Eric Isaac, who has been a pastor at the Presbyterian Church for the past decade, offered a grim assessment. “There is a threat against my life. Despite this, I went to the area last Sunday to conduct worship at the church. The government did say it would provide me with security but that has yet to happen.”

According to Pastor Isaac, the attackers were a mix of locals and outsiders. “The same family [that was accused of blasphemy] has been targeted before but that incident was not publicised. A letter was written and they were alleged to be behind it. The investigative agencies cleared them of the allegations at that time.”

The rioters’ motive is unclear to Pastor Isaac. “I think people were jealous of my work and the church activities and did not want the expansion of the church [which is currently under construction].”

Farooq struck a defensive tone, choosing not to blame the Muslim community at large for the incident and praised the relationship between majority and minority faiths.

In the past, the communities lived together peacefully he said, pointing to his own election as Naib Nazim as proof of the tolerance and acceptance in society.

“There was not a single event organised by the church that was not attended by Muslims,” Pastor Isaac recalled. “All school and college activities involved the Muslim clergy, leaders and people.”

He said he spent Rs20,000 on flyers and banners condemning Pastor Terry Jones’ act of burning the Quran. “I think my programmes helped create a peaceful atmosphere. But suddenly this incident happened and it left Gujranwala’s residents disturbed.”

“This was done by the enemies of the country who want to destablise it,” says Farooq. “Some people tried to use this for their own gains. These people have no understanding of religion or faith.”

Gujranwala is home to thousands of Christians, many of whom left after the attack. Pastor Isaac said that while some have returned, he hopes the rest will follow soon.

“Christians have been living here for decades,” said Farooq. “Our events – births, marriages, funerals – are incomplete without each other. With these incidents … it is like fighting with God.”

http://tribune.com.pk/story/200053/false-blasphemy-allegations-gujranwala-still-recovering-from-mob-attack/

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Haqqani leader tied to Kabul hotel siege, killed in Nato air raid

Jul 1, 2011

KABUL: Nato on Thursday said that a senior commander in the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network, wanted over this week's deadly attack on a leading hotel in the Afghan capital, had been killed in an air strike.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) identified Ismail Jan as deputy to the senior Haqqani commander inside Afghanistan and said he was killed in the eastern province of Paktya on Wednesday.

It was not possible to confirm Jan's death or position independently and ISAF provided no immediate details on how they knew he had been killed. It said security forces tracked his location based on intelligence reports from Afghan government officials, citizens and "disenfranchised insurgents" before calling in the air strike.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Haqqani-leader-tied-to-Kabul-hotel-siege-killed-in-Nato-air-raid/articleshow/9048991.cms

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Indonesia: Jailed terrorists enrolling new recruits in prisons

Jul 1, 2011

Porong Prison (Indonesia): A sweeping crackdown on terrorism in the past decade has spawned a new problem in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation: Militants in jail are recruiting new followers to their cause.

Prisons threaten to undermine the progress made against terrorism here since 2002, when nightclub bombings killed 202 people on the tourist island of Bali, many of them Australians and Americans.

The campaign has assumed global importance because of feared links between Southeast Asian terrorist groups and al-Qaida. That possibility was underlined by the January arrest of Bali bombing suspect Umar Patek in Abbottabad, the same Pakistani town where Osama bin Laden was killed in May.

The Associated Press was granted two days of unfettered access to Porong prison in early June by the chief warden, who wanted to show that changes were being made to limit the influence of jihadist inmates. While there were improvements, interviews with terrorists and other convicts show how openly the former still court some of the latter.

Porong is a huddle of low concrete buildings set on 40 acres (15 hectares) near Surabaya, the country’s second-biggest city. It is home to 27 terrorists _ some of the 150 currently held in prisons across the sprawling Indonesian archipelago.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/810944/

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Twenty civilians killed in Afghan mine bus blast: police

July 1, 2011

KABUL: Twenty Afghan civilians including women and children were killed in a volatile southwestern province Thursday when a landmine exploded under a bus they were travelling in, police said.

“An IED (improvised explosive device) struck a bus, 20 civilians were killed,” said senior police figure Haji Mosa Rasooli, accusing the Taliban of being responsible for the blast.

The Islamist militants, who have been waging a near decade long insurgency against the Afghan government and foreign forces, were not immediately available for comment.

The blast occurred in the remote Nimroz province at around 4:00pm (1130 GMT) in the region’s Khash Rod district on the main highway to Kandahar, the de facto capital of southern Afghanistan.

The incident came on the same day as a father, a mother and their four children were killed in southern Afghanistan when a roadside bomb ripped through their car.

The family were travelling to Lashkar Gah, the main town in Helmand province, when they were killed, provincial spokesman Daud Ahmadi said.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/01/20-civilians-killed-in-afghan-mine-bus-blast-police.html

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US revives ties with Egypt’s Brotherhood

Jul 1, 2011

BUDAPEST: The US will resume limited contacts with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, secretary of state Hillary Clinton said, adding it was in Washington's interests to deal with parties committed to non-violent political activity.

While Clinton portrayed the Obama administration's decision as a continuation of an earlier policy, it reflects a subtle shift in that US officials will now be able to deal directly with Brotherhood officials who are not members of parliament.

The decision is certain to upset Israel who has deep misgivings about the Islamic group.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/-US-revives-ties-with-Egypts-Brotherhood/articleshow/9057600.cms

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Russia says arming Libyan rebels violates UN resolution

Jul 1, 2011

MOSCOW: Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that arming Libyan rebels was a "crude violation" of a UN Security Council resolution that imposed a comprehensive arms embargo on Libya from February.

"We asked our French colleagues today whether reports that weapons from France were delivered to Libyan rebels correspond with reality," Lavrov told journalists.

"If this is confirmed, it is a very crude violation of UN Security Council resolution 1970, which was adopted by consensus."

France became the first NATO country on Wednesday to openly acknowledge arming rebels seeking to topple Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who has so far resisted a three-month NATO bombing campaign.

It defended the move on Thursday as a necessary measure to protect civilians, arguing that a subsequent March UN resolution authorised the weapons airlifts, despite warnings from Security Council members Russia and China.

Lavrov's comments came a day before he was expected to host French foreign minister Alain Juppe in Moscow.

Russia, which abstained from the March vote, has voiced concern over civilian casualties and said the alliance had no legal basis for military actions targeted at ousting Gaddafi.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Russia-says-arming-Libyan-rebels-violates-UN-resolution/articleshow/9057634.cms

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Gaddafi’s daughter acknowledges talks with Libya rebels

1 July 2011

Libya is involved in direct and indirect talks with rebels trying to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader’s daughter said, although the Benghazi-based opposition has ruled out further contact with Tripoli.

Aisha Gaddafi also told French television in an interview aired on Thursday that her father — who is subject of an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court — was a guide for the Libyan people and had no reason to leave the country.

“There are direct and indirect negotiations and we should stop letting Libyan blood,” she said, speaking through an interpreter in a Tripoli hotel.

“And for that we are ready to ally with the devil and that is the armed rebels,” the 35-year-old lawyer told France 2 television. It was unclear when the interview was filmed.

The rebels said last week there had been contact with Gaddafi’s government. However, the ICC’s issue of arrest warrants on Monday for the leader and his son Saif al-Islam had closed the door for talks, rebel spokesman Mahmoud Shammam said on Wednesday.

More than 90 days into a NATO bombing campaign, the Libyan leader is refusing to relinquish power after 41 years, leaving Western and Arab states counting on a combination of rebel advances on Tripoli and any uprising in the capital to dislodge him.

Aisha Gaddafi played down suggestions that her father might go. “This word departure, departure, departure ... what I find strange is where do you want him to go? This is his country, his land, his people,” she said.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/July/international_July12.xml&section=international&col=

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UK sends body armor, police uniforms to Libya

1 July 2011

LONDON — Libya’s opposition leader said Thursday that rebels needed more weapons and funding, as China and Russia raised concern over revelations that France had supplied arms to civilians fighting Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.

Mahmoud Jibril, of Libya’s Transitional National Council, said foreign deliveries of military hardware would give the rebels a chance to “decide this battle quickly (and) to spill as little blood as possible.”

Jibril spoke after meeting Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger and a day after France acknowledged air-dropping weapons to the rebels.

French military spokesman Col. Thierry Burkhard said Wednesday that France had airlifted weapons to Libyan civilians in a mountain region south of Tripoli. The deliveries of guns, rocket-propelled grenades and munitions took place in early June in the western Nafusa mountains, when Gaddafi’s troops had encircled civilians.

Britain’s government insisted that the French decision to supply weapons fell within the terms of the United Nations Security Council resolution that authorizes international action in Libya.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/July/international_July7.xml&section=international&col=

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U.K. to press Pakistan on terror, Krishna told

HASAN SUROOR

India and Britain believe that the setback suffered by al-Qaeda in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death offers an "opportunity" to Pakistan to step up its campaign against terrorism.

The issue came up during discussions between External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and the British Foreign Secretary William Hague here on Thursday.

The two leaders agreed that the killing of bin Laden was a good moment for Pakistan to "roll up’’ the terror cells on its soil. They also pledged to expand mutual cooperation between their own countries in leading the fight against terrorism.

India was assured that Britain would continue to put pressure on Pakistan on the issue of terrorism.

Full report at: http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2148106.ece

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Pak, US strategic dialogue postponed ‘indefinitely’

By Kamran Yousaf

July 1, 2011

ISLAMABAD: The strategic dialogue between Pakistan and the United States is said to be postponed indefinitely, in the latest sign of worsening ties between the key war-on-terror allies.

Talks are reported to be delayed after the US refused to go ahead with the process until ongoing differences between the two countries are resolved, official sources told The Express Tribune.

Tensions between Islamabad and Washington have been rising since May 2 when a US midnight raid in Abbottabad killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

During her trip to Pakistan after the Osama raid, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton indicated that the two countries would soon resume the strategic dialogue, but so far the two sides have failed to fix dates for the talks due to differences on certain issues.

“There is no chance of strategic dialogue taking place any time soon,” said a security official familiar with the on-ground situation.

“The reason is obvious, there are more pressing issues that the two countries are trying to overcome at this stage,” said   the official, who requested not to be identified.

A Pakistani diplomat, posted in Washington, also confirmed that the US was showing little interest in resuming the strategic dialogue at this stage. “It is not possible in the present situation,” the diplomat added.

Full report at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/200233/pak-us-strategic-dialogue-postponed-indefinitely/

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US out to destroy Al Qaeda core in Pak

Jul 1, 2011

S Rajagoplan

Disregarding Pakistani demands to slow down drone attacks, the United States has made it clear that it will not rest until the core of Al Qaeda is destroyed in Pakistan’s tribal belt along the Afghan border.

“We seek nothing less than the utter destruction of this evil that calls itself Al Qaeda,” said President Obama’s chief counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan, even as the White House released an unclassified segment of a strategy document “to ensure Al Qaeda’s demise.”

As Brennan put it, the Al Qaeda’s own strategy is to “bleed us financially by drawing us into long, costly wars that also inflame anti-American sentiment”. The Obama administration’s response would be to deliver “targeted, surgical pressure to the groups that threaten us”, instead of deploying large armies abroad.

American expectation is that Ayman al-Zawahiri, having succeeded Osama bin Laden, may attempt to demonstrate his leadership by ordering new attacks and try to show that Al Qaeda has not lost its relevance. And lone individuals may seek to avenge bin Laden’s death.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/349675/US-out-to-destroy-Al-Qaeda-core-in-Pak.html

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‘More raids, drone strikes to destroy Qaeda’in Afghanistan

01 2011

Washington: A week after US President Barack Obama announced the initial drawdown of American troops from Afghanistan, his top counter-terrorism adviser described plans to rely more heavily on a largely clandestine campaign to destroy al-Qaeda’s network, which he described as already “in its decline.”

The adviser, John O Brennan, said on Wednesday that military and intelligence operatives would deliver “targeted, surgical pressure” on militant groups intent on attacking the United States.

Laying out the plan to battle al-Qaeda in the era after Osama bin Laden and at a time of declining public support for costly wars, Brennan outlined a White House counterterrorism strategy that formalised a government-wide approach that had been evolving in practice since Obama took office.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/811308/

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US rejects demands to vacate Pakistan drone base

Jul 1, 2011

WASHINGTON/ISLAMABAD: The United States is rejecting demands from Pakistani officials that American personnel abandon a military base used by the CIA to stage drone strikes against suspected militants, US officials told Reuters.

US personnel have not left the remote Pakistani military installation known as Shamsi Air Base and there is no plan for them to do so, said a US official familiar with the matter, who asked for anonymity to discuss sensitive material.

"That base is neither vacated nor being vacated," the official said. The information was confirmed by a second US official.

The US declaration that drone operations in Pakistan will continue unabated is the latest twist in a fraught relationship between security authorities in Washington and Islamabad, which has been under increasing strain for months.

Regarding the Shamsi base in particular, Pakistani officials have frequently suggested it is being shuttered, comments that may be aimed at quieting domestic opposition to US military operations using Pakistani soil.

Earlier this week, Pakistani defense minister Ahmed Mukhtar told the Financial Times that Pakistan had already stopped US drone operations there.

On Thursday, Mukhtar told Reuters: "When they (US forces) will not operate from there, no drone attacks will be carried out."

He said Islamabad had been pressuring the US to vacate the base even before the May 2 commando raid in which US Navy SEAL commandos killed Osama bin Laden. After the raid, Mukhtar said, "We told them again."

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/US-rejects-demands-to-vacate-Pakistan-drone-base/articleshow/9058865.cms

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Members want Organization of Islamic Cooperation to be more active

Jul 1, 2011

ASTANA, Kazakhstan: The three-day annual Council of Foreign Ministers meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation ended with a sense of optimism and new direction among the delegations.

The deliberations in the Kazakh capital were frank and honest and sometimes critical. Minister after minister called for a more action-oriented OIC as opposed to it being an issuer of nonbinding resolutions, and there were subtle hints that the common folk of Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Libya had been far more effective than the combined might of the OIC member states.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said the OIC needed to go beyond rhetoric and redefine, reinvent and transform itself in the context of the realities and challenges facing the Ummah.

“Are we so helpless that others are able to influence and dictate our decision-making? We need to build on our strengths and abundant resources to raise OIC to be the voice it should be for the Muslim world,” Anifah said.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/world/article464614.ece

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ISI aids and abets terrorist sanctuaries in Pak: Ex-US general

Jul 1, 2011

WASHINGTON: Pakistan spy agency ISI not only aids and abets terrorist sanctuaries in the country, but also provides training and intelligence inputs to extremist outfits, a former top Pentagon general said.

Gen (rtd) Jack Keane also charged that Pakistan Army headed by General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, who once headed ISI, has been repeatedly lying to the United States on the matter.

But still, the retired American General argued that the US has no other option but to have strategic partnership with Pakistan, given its significance in the war against terrorism.

"The truth is, the ISI aids and abets the sanctuaries in Pakistan that the Afghan operate out of. They provide training for them, they provide resources for them and they provide intelligence for them. From those sanctuaries, every single day Afghan fighters come into Afghanistan and kill and maim us," Keane, said at a discussion on Afghanistan organized by the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think-tank.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/ISI-aids-and-abets-terrorist-sanctuaries-in-Pak-Ex-US-general/articleshow/9060965.cms

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Post-Osama, US gears up to take on Qaida

Jul 1, 2011

WASHINGTON: Seeking "utter destruction" of al-Qaida, the US has chalked out a strategy to disrupt, dismantle and ultimately defeat the terror network and its core leadership in the Af-Pak region, where they have found a safe haven.

"We seek nothing less than the utter destruction of this evil that calls itself al-Qaida," John Brennan, President Barack Obama's chief counter-terrorism adviser, said, laying out the Obama administration's plan to battle al-Qaida in the post-Osama era.

A fact sheet on national counter-terrorism strategy issued by the White House said that its ultimate objective is clear and precise. "This strategy builds upon the progress we have made in the decade since 9/11, in partnership with Congress, to build our counter-terrorism and homeland security capacity as a nation. It neither represents a wholesale overhaul, nor a wholesale retention, of previous policies and strategies," it said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Post-Osama-US-gears-up-to-take-on-Qaida/articleshow/9057570.cms

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Afghan district governor accuses Pakistan of stoking war on border

July 1, 2011

Afghan Border police aims his AK-47 rifle towards the Gorbuz highway from a guarding tower as he monitors trucks loaded with goods coming from Pakistan's border to Khost province. PHOTO: AFP

KABUL: At the last military post before the Pakistan border, Afghan district governor Wali Shah explains why the insurgents seem untouchable. “The Pakistan government protects them,” he said.

Shah has daily experience of a key problem threatening any future peace deal in Afghanistan, namely that Taliban rebels fighting US troops and the Kabul government live and operate in safety from Pakistan.

“When Pakistan says it will crack down on them, it is just pretending,” he told AFP at Bowri Tana, a US and Afghan army post in the eastern province of Khost, 11 kilometres (seven miles) from the border.

Full report at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/200343/afghan-district-governor-accuses-pakistan-of-stoking-war-on-border/

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Tragedy averted in Srinagar, bomb defused near Dal lake

M Saleem Pandit

Jul 1, 2011

The explosive recovered near Dal Lake could have triggered a major tragedy as the area is flooded with tourists at this time of the year.

SRINAGAR: A major tragedy was averted when Jammu and Kashmir police recovered five kgs of improvised explosive device ( IED) filled in a tin container planted outside the state-owned Heemal hotel on Boulevard road on the banks of Dal Lake.

According to the police, pedestrians noticed the unattended container and informed the police at about 10am on Thursday morning.

The bomb disposal squad from Srinagar police control room immediately swung into action and defused the explosive, the police spokesman said.

The state-owned hotel Heemal houses a government-run wine shop and the police believe that the shop could have been the target. Police have started investigations, a senior police officer said.

The area near Dal Lake is packed with tourists these days leading to frequent traffic snarls on the Boulevard road.

The recovered explosive had the potential to cause extensive damage

No arrests have been made so far in this connection.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/indiaarticlelist/articleshow/9053101.cms

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Faked papers for Aftab Ansari: Man behind surety racket

Sumegha Gulati

Jul 01 2011

New Delhi: One of three persons arrested on Thursday for allegedly forging surety papers in Delhi courts has told police that he had faked documents for Aftab Ansari who was sentenced to death for his role in the 2002 attack on the American Center in Kolkata.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court suspended the death sentence of Ansari till final disposal of his appeal.

Police said Ram Avtar alias Hari Chand alias Golu Jamanati was arrested outside Saket Court Complex in South Delhi while he was striking a deal with a client. His aides, Pradeep and Manmeet, were arrested from Tis Hazari, police said.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/811245/

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Pak Army trying to weaken civilian govt post Osama operation: Tellis

Jul 01 2011

Washington: With its reputation badly affected in the aftermath of the Abbottabad raid, the Pakistan Army is systematically working to weaken the civilian government and is using its embarrassment to undermine counter-terrorism cooperation with the US, a noted American expert on South Asian affairs has said.

Ashley Tellis of Washington-based think tank Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said the demise of the civilian government on issues of national security will not only undermine President Asif Ali Zardari's assurance of full support to the war on terror, but will also subvert Pakistan's stability by further strengthening the military that has in the first place "taken the country to perdition repeatedly".

"Far from strengthening civilian authority, the army's embarrassment has provided new opportunities to decisively undermine counter-terrorism cooperation with the US and further the civilian regime -- even as Pakistani military sold fantastic stories about the army chief's struggle to keep his job because of 'excessive' cooperation with the US," he wrote.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/811381/

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Pak court seeks fresh response from govt on Saeed’s petition

Jul 1, 2011

Lahore: A Pakistani court today sought a “fresh and comprehensive” response from the Foreign Ministry to a petition by JuD chief and LeT founder Hafiz Mohd Saeed asking it to direct the government to defend him in a US lawsuit filed by relatives of victims of the Mumbai attacks.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial of the Lahore High Court asked the Foreign Ministry to furnish a “fresh and comprehensive” reply to the court to clear the government’s position on the matter.

He issued the order for a second response by the ministry after Saeed’s counsel A K Dogar contended there were “certain flaws” in the government’s first reply submitted on May 30.

The judge then adjourned the case till September 20.

The federal government had informed the High Court in a reply submitted by Deputy Attorney General Naseem Kashmiri on May 30 that it could not defend Saeed, a prime accused in the Mumbai attacks, in the US lawsuit.

The government’s reply said it is defending ISI officials in the US court as the spy agency is an institute of the government while the “JuD or its chief is not the part of the government”.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/810988/

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UN Lebanon tribunal submits indictment in Hariri case

Jul 1, 2011

THE HAGUE: A special UN tribunal confirmed on Thursday it has submitted a confidential indictment and arrest warrants to Lebanese authorities over the 2005 murder of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

"The indictment and accompanying arrest warrants were transmitted to the Lebanese authorities on 30 June 2011," the Special Tribunal for Lebanon said in a statement issued in The Hague.

STL prosecutor Daniel Bellemare had filed his first draft indictment to judge Daniel Fransen on January 17, and has modified it three times.

Fransen confirmed the indictment on Tuesday after satisfying himself there was enough evidence for the issuing of arrest warrants, the statement said.

It did not divulge the nature of the charges.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/UN-Lebanon-tribunal-submits-indictment-in-Hariri-case/articleshow/9056597.cms

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Morocco votes on reforms today

Subodh Ghildiyal

Jul 1, 2011

RABAT (MOROCCO): For the region, where street battles of the Arab Spring are deciding the fate of smug palaces and invincible kings, the change in Morocco comes right from the top — conceived, overseen and adopted by the King.

When Moroccans cast their ballots on Friday for the referendum on constitutional changes, the occasion would be marked by a sense of fatality over the results – a resounding yes. But for the vast, rugged North African region and Arab countries extending to Asia, and for a certain Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Gaddafi; Morocco's King Mohammed VI would certainly be the object of envy. The lifetime presidents are either history or battling their past when the Moroccan sovereign is busy scripting the future.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Morocco-votes-on-reforms-today/articleshow/9057106.cms

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Bangladesh scraps system of caretaker govt for polls

Jul 1, 2011

DHAKA: Bangladesh on Thursday scrapped a system of holding national elections under a non-partisan caretaker administration that was introduced in the mid-1990s to try to end the violence and fraud that have often marred voting in the South Asian country.

The planned constitutional amendment provoked unrest this month, when opposition supporters clashed with security forces during a general strike called to protest against the move.

The 345-member legislature passed the amendment by 291 to 1, in a vote boycotted by the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/world/article464761.ece

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/bangladesh--religious-minorities-slam-retaining-islam-as-state-religion/d/4947


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