New Age Islam News Bureau
30 Apr 2010
Belgium is the first Western European country to approve a national ban, although some localities have passed such laws. (Fred Ernst/associated Press) Enlarge Photo
• Suicide bomber kills 2 in Russia's Dagestan: Police
• Should women blackmailers be punished?
• Underworld, betting lobby behind Bangalore blasts: Karnataka government
• Pak closer to a nation under siege: US
• Nigeria probes senator in ‘underage marriage’
• India and Pakistan put dialogue back on track
• British Muslim daubs war memorial with Islamic slogans.
• Prez wants Iranians to have more kids
• Women essential to effort to build bridges with Muslim world
• Three girls’ schools blown up in Orakzai
• Sudan:'Hundred killed' in Chad clashes
• Ajmer blast: Man with radical Hindu link held
• Pakistani troops kill 16 militants in north-west region
• Muslim women victims of West invasions, Turkish PM's wife says
• Islam in Bosnia is the new stepping stone.
• Honours no solace for slain cop's family; want Kasab hanged
• IPS officer was Sohrabuddin’s extortion partner: CBI
• Haia’s Makkah chief denies arrest rumors
• US criticized for visit to Syria-Lebanon border
• Turkey invites senior Kurdish leader
• Syed Maqbool Shah should be compensated: Brinda Karat
• ‘US, Pak to set up joint military unit’
• Pakistan Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud is alive: ISI
• Qaeda ‘postman’ led to chiefs death
• Pervez ordered hosing: MI chief
• Lalu, Mulayam accuse Govt of being anti-Muslim
• Doctor couple grilled for alleged links with Madhuri
• No ISI hand in Babri demolition, says ex-ACP
• Jamiat reiterates satyagraha threat
• Guarding India's sea more challenging post-26/11: Antony
• Afghan MP says US troops raid home, kill relative
• FIA finds clue to ‘facilitator’ of Benazir assassination
• Baba blames ANP for Pakhtuns ‘genocide’
• Iraq’s banned Baath holds public meeting in Syria
• Former Pakistani spy found dead in militant bastion
• Man killed during stone-throwing demos in Indian Kashmir
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Belgian lawmakers vote to ban full-face veils in public
By Edward Cody
April 30, 2010
PARIS -- Belgian lawmakers on Thursday passed a nationwide ban prohibiting women from wearing full-face Islamic veils in public places, the first move of its kind in Western Europe.
The unanimous vote in the lower house of Parliament came in response to growing irritation in Belgium and other West European countries over the increasing numbers and visibility of Muslims whose customs and attitudes often present a challenge to the continent's largely Christian heritage.
The French government, after months of rancorous debate, has pledged to pass a similar nationwide ban by September, a promise denounced by Muslims as "stigmatization" of their religion. President Nicolas Sarkozy decided last week to introduce the bill despite a warning from the country's constitutional court that a blanket prohibition would probably be unconstitutional.
"The burqa has no place in France," he said.
Similar bills have been introduced in the parliaments of Italy and the Netherlands, where local jurisdictions have already imposed more-limited anti-veil measures. Two dozen communities in Belgium also have decreed local bans, including Brussels, the capital.
According to Human Rights Watch, the U.S.-based advocacy group, political figures in Switzerland and Austria have suggested that legislation such as Belgium's would be a good idea in their countries as well. Farther north, Denmark's government issued a statement in January saying the full-face veil was out of sync with Danish values, but decided against legislation because few women wear such garments.
Swiss voters, in a referendum in December, barred Muslims from building minarets, or towers, to call the faithful to prayer. Their vote, widely decried as anti-Islamic by Muslim and human rights groups, generated favorable comment from conservative French politicians along with suggestions that France should impose a similar minaret ban.
But nothing has aroused more resentment than the sight of women on the streets of European cities covered from head to toe in dark robes with only a slit or a screen at eye level. Despite the consternation, women wearing the veils are seen infrequently, even in suburbs with large Muslim populations.
The French Interior Ministry reported that fewer than 2,000 women wear full-face veils in France, out of a Muslim population estimated by the ministry at more than 5 million. In neighboring Belgium, which has a Muslim population of 400,000, no estimates have been published on the number of women who wear veils. But police in Brussels last year stopped 29 women who were seen on the street with their faces covered, in violation of the municipal ban.
The full veil has been condemned by European politicians of the right and left as an affront to the dignity of women and, because it hides a woman's face, as a security risk in schools, banks and government offices. André Gerin, a member of Parliament who led a nine-month inquiry into the full-face veil in France, also qualified it as the tip of an iceberg behind which lurk radical Islamic preachers seeking to impose a fundamentalist and politicized vision of their religion on French Muslims.
The vote in the Belgian Chamber of Representatives marked a rare moment of accord among the country's political parties. They have been so bitterly split in a feud between Flemish speakers and French speakers that Prime Minister Yves Leterme's government collapsed last week.
In principle, Leterme's cabinet is only handling current affairs pending probable new elections. But the anti-veil measure was put on the agenda Thursday because it was voted out of the Home Affairs Committee unanimously last month and was considered high-priority.
The bill forbids anyone to appear in public with his or her face hidden in a way that makes identification impossible. Violators would face fines of $18 to $28 and prison terms of one to seven days.
The measure must now be voted on by the Senate. With elections on the horizon and only a caretaker government in place, it could be some time before it is promulgated and goes into effect.
The center-right Reform Movement party, which introduced the legislation, invoked security needs and women's dignity, echoing arguments made in France. But it also called the measure a message to Islamic activists that Belgium will not tolerate challenges to its national values.
Judith Sunderland, senior Western Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch, criticized the legislation as a "lose-lose situation."
"Treating pious Muslim women like criminals won't help integrate them," she said in a statement.
The veil debate in France has more recently been caught up in a political dispute over a veil-wearing woman who was given a traffic ticket in the western city of Nantes for driving with impaired vision. She has denounced her ticket as discrimination, saying she could see just as well with her veil as motorcyclists wearing helmets.
In reaction, Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux, a Sarkozy ally, accused the woman's Algerian-born husband of polygamy and suggested he should be stripped of his French nationality. Hortefeux's gesture was criticized as crude politicking; the newspaper Le Monde published an editorial asking whether it would be more appropriate to strip Hortefeux of his ministerial post.
Suicide bomber kills 2 in Russia's Dagestan: Police
Apr 30, 2010
Car Bomb Kills 2 Police, Wounds 19 in Russia's Dagestan | Voice of America
MAKHACHKALA, RUSSIA: A suicide bomber set off a car-bomb blast that killed at least two police officers and injured seven others on Thursday in Russia's North Caucasus, a Dagestan province police spokesman said.
The bomber detonated the explosives after police stopped his car at a checkpoint about 100 km (60 miles) north of Dagestan's capital, Makhachkala, the spokesman said.
Dagestan borders Chechnya in the North Caucasus, where Russia is facing a persistent Islamist insurgency, and the predominantly Muslim province is plagued by frequent attacks targeting law enforcement and government officials.
The blast came a month after twin bombings blamed on female suicide attackers from Dagestan killed 40 people on Moscow's metro on March 29, raising fears of a new wave of attacks in Russia's heartland by militants based in the Caucasus.
The Moscow bombings were followed by several deadly attacks in the North Caucasus, including two suicide blasts that killed 12 people, mostly police, in Dagestan on March 31.
The attacks have brought new Kremlin pledges to neutralise insurgents in the North Caucasus, hit by persistent violence since two devastating post-Soviet wars pitting government forces against separatist rebels in Chechnya.
Should women blackmailers be punished?
By LAURA BASHRAHEEL
Apr 30, 2010
JEDDAH: Blackmailing women in Saudi Arabia is simple because of cultural and religious sensitivities. With technology playing a major role in the blackmailing procedure, women fall victims to unscrupulous men. However, are men the only ones to blame and punish or should women also be held accountable as well?
Despite many stories of blackmailers and their methods being reported in the media, the phenomenon continues. Arab News has reported on several cases of blackmail that are being investigated at the moment by officials of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Ha’ia) in Jouf where young women were victims.
One young woman was also accused of blackmailing her women friends. The woman reportedly passed a photograph of her colleague to a young man who misused the photograph to blackmail the woman. The Ha’ia received a complaint from the young woman accusing the young man and his friends of harassment.
According to an article published on Saturday, Nasir Al-Marri, a legal consultant addressed the need to reconsider the regulations governing blackmailing women. The idea is not to punish the woman which leads to the recurrence of the crime. He pointed out that current instructions from the Ha’ia are to conceal the woman’s identity and not punish her. He said that women should be confronted and held accountable just as men are; in that case, there would be balance and justice.
Al-Marri said that he had come across a number of cases in which the victim was the man. He said some women leave their indecent photos intentionally in the man’s apartment or on his phone so they blackmail the man to either pay or they report to the Ha’ia that he is blackmailing them. Later on the girl is protected and the man is punished for something he didn’t even commit.
He also said that this was the reason why the regulations should be changed because women are familiar with the system and can use it for their own advantage which is asking for money. “Even if the judge knows that the young man is innocent, he is punished because the evidence of images are found in his car or apartment,” said Al-Marri.
The police as well as the Ha’ia often arrest men who blackmail women into giving them money or having sex by threatening to publish their pictures on the Internet. The occurrence of women blackmailing men is, however, very rare. Although Saudi culture forbids relationships outside marriage between the sexes, men and women still form secret relations. It is the clandestine nature of such relations that some men take advantage of. Fearing a scandal, women allow themselves to be manipulated and blackmailed and very few have the courage to report the situation.
In some cases, victims were in relationships with their blackmailers and willingly parted with pictures. In other cases, women were not in relationships and were targeted. The question arises as to whether women who willingly part with their pictures should also be punished. Some feel they should while others disagree.
Asharq Al-Awsat reported in 2009, that the Ha’ia announced it had monitored 65 cases of men blackmailing women with photographs. Although some women are part of the problem because they are involved in an illicit relationship, they are normally not punished while the men are.
Tariq Jamal, a 31-year-old computer engineer, said that he had never read about women being confronted in blackmailing cases although the mistake was theirs from the beginning. “The girls allow men to manipulate them when they share photos with them.
In the end, the man is a stranger because everything here is done secretly,” he said. Jamal believes the woman should be punished because she allowed the man to blackmail her so the blame must be shared between the two.
Leena said that she was blackmailed once by her ex-fiancé. “He fooled me into thinking that he loved me and I shared my personal photos with him. When I decided to break the engagement he threatened to show the pictures to my brothers and I was terrified because they are very strict,” she said.
Leena told her mother and she called the man’s family and gave them evidence about his drug addiction and how he had threatened her daughter. “His parents were very understanding and everything was over,” she said.
Underworld, betting lobby behind Bangalore blasts: Karnataka government
Apr 30, 2010
BANGALORE: Karnataka government on Friday said underworld elements and betting lobby were behind the April 17 twin low-intensity bomb explosions outside the Chinnaswamy cricket stadium before an IPL match.
"Underworld normally has links with betting lobby. Some elements wanted to scare away people and shift the two IPL semi-finals from the city to Mumbai," Home Minister V S Acharya said.
The probe into the explosions and recovery of crude bombs outside the stadium was progressing, he said but declined to divulge details.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Underworld-betting-lobby-behind-Bangalore-blasts-Karnataka-government/articleshow/5877359.cms
Pak closer to a nation under siege: US
Apr 30, 2010
Washington: Having pumped billions of dollars in military assistance and rushing guerrilla warfare experts to train soldiers to shore up Pakistan's capabilities
to tackle militancy, influential US Congressmen and Pentagon officials feel that the nation is still closer to siege "I don't think the dynamic is as distinct as a nation at
war or a nation at peace. It's probably closer to a nation under threat or a nation under siege," Lt Gen John Paxton, Director for Operations, Joint Chief of Staff, told the US Congress.
"It (Pakistan) is probably more a nation under threat, and they realise that they have to respond now, that they have both the opportunity and the obligation, and that failure to do so now - things could conceivably get worse and get worse quickly," Paxton said in a hearing on Thursday.
The top Pentagon's officials assessment came as Congress members cutting across party lines also expressed concern over the progress in Pakistan and raised questions over its capabilities in both governance and fight against terrorism. "Pakistan's continuing security challenges have serious implications for regional, international and US national security," said Ike Skeleton, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said in the course of depositions by Pentagon on the situation in Pakistan.
Full report at: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/pak-closer-to-a-nation-under-siege-us/114286-2.html?from=hp
Nigeria probes senator in ‘underage marriage’
Apr 30, 2010
ABUJA: Nigeria’s Parliament on Thursday launched an investigation into whether a 49-year-old senator illegally married an underage girl, a crime punishable by up to five years in jail.
Women’s rights groups have demanded the resignation of Senator Ahmed Yerima, accusing him of marrying an Egyptian teenager in violation of the OPEC member’s child rights law.
“If we have a man like Senator Yerima in the senate, what happens to our Act (law) on child abuse?,” said Chinelo Iriele, head of the Global Association of Female Attorneys.
Ethics committees from both chambers of parliament have begun investigations on Yerima, who could not immediately be reached for comment.
Full report at: http://arabnews.com/world/article48532.ece
India and Pakistan put dialogue back on track
30 Apr, 2010
READY FOR THE TOSS:Prime Minister Manmohan Singh prepares to shake hands with Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani of Pakistan ahead of a meeting on the sidelines of the 16th SAARC Summit at Thimphu, Bhutan, on Thursday.
THIMPHU: India and Pakistan agreed on Thursday to the resumption of high-level dialogue, which has been disrupted since the Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008.
Meeting on the sidelines of the SAARC summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart, Yusuf Raza Gilani, decided to ask their Foreign Ministers and Foreign Secretaries to first discuss the modalities of restoring trust and confidence in bilateral ties. That would pave the way for talks on “all issues of mutual concern,'' Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told newspersons here.
In an hour-long interaction without aides, the two Prime Ministers “focussed on the renewal of dialogue and to understand the factors that have resulted in the current state of affairs in the relationship. The meeting was an exercise in honesty in taking the process forward,'' added Ms. Rao.
Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/04/30/stories/2010043057230100.htm
British Muslim daubs war memorial with Islamic slogans.
30th April 2010
A BRITISH Muslim has shown 'no remorse' after desecrating a town's War Memorial with extremist Islamic slogans, a court has heard.
But the Crown Prosecution Service has decided that graffiti proclaiming future world domination for Islam, glorifying Osama Bin Laden and calling for the assassination of the British Prime Minister, 'was not religiously or racially motivated'.
Tohseef Shah, 21, Horninglow, Staffs, admitted a charge of criminal damage to the memorial, outside Burton College in Burton on Trent, when he appeared at Burton Magistrates Court.
Islamic message: Tohseef Shah's graffiti 'Islam will dominate the world' was not religiously motivated, according to the Crown Prosecution Service
Shah admitted spraying the words 'Islam will dominate the world - Osama is on his way' and 'Kill Gordon Brown' on the plinth of the East Staffordshire Borough Council-owned memorial, on December 10 last year.
Full report at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1270021/British-Muslim-daubs-war-memorial-Islamic-slogans--CPS-says-NOT-racially-motivated.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
Prez wants Iranians to have more kids
30 APRIL 2010
Tehran, April 29: Hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad mocked Iran’s award-winning family planning policy on Thursday, insisting Iranians need to have more children, local media reported.
In a meeting with town council members, Mr Ahmadinejad warned that 30 years from now Iran will be stuck with an ageing population like in the West and the situation will be “dangerous”.
“Westerners said 40 years ago ‘let us control the population’... now look at them. Their population is old and ageing,” Mr Ahmadinejad said, according to a report by ISNA news agency.
Full report at: http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10755:prez-wants-iranians-to-have-more-kids&catid=36:international&Itemid=61
Women essential to effort to build bridges with Muslim world
30 Apr, 2010
Washington : Women are essential to the effort of the Obama Administration to improve its relationship with the Muslim world, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.
"President (Barack) Obama is committed to promoting entrepreneurship to help seed conditions for broader and deeper economic progress.
And this week's summit has focused on our efforts in Muslim majority countries. I know and you know that women are essential to this effort," Clinton said in her remarks on Breakfast with Women Entrepreneurs Attending Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship.
"What we're doing is trying to pry open those doors of opportunity for more people to walk through -- more people in Muslim majority countries and more women, specifically.
Because the fact is that women still have a harder time accessing loans and equity capital investments," Clinton said yesterday.
Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/women-essential-to-effort-to-build-bridges-with-muslim-world/612913/
Three girls’ schools blown up in Orakzai
April 30, 2010
KALAYA: Unidentified militants blew up three girls primary schools in Upper Tehsil while the political administration arrested 26 persons red-handed while looting and plundering the houses abandoned by the displaced families because of the ongoing military operation in Ferozkhel area of Orakzai Agency on Thursday, tribal sources said.
Tribal sources said the three schools were destroyed in the Mamozai area early in the day. The militants have destroyed 12 government schools and two healthcare centres in Orakzai Agency since the military operation was launched in the region on March 23.
Full report at: http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=236702
Sudan:'Hundred killed' in Chad clashes
Apr 30, 2010
Chad's government says the army has killed 105 insurgents and beaten back a new attack near the Sudan border, but the rebels have denied the claims.
FPNR leader Adoum Yacoub said both sides had lost lives but did not give any details.
This is the first battle since Chad and Sudan agreed to stop supporting rebels in each other's country in February.
Chad's President Idriss Deby this week sent a message congratulating Sudan's Omar al-Bashir on his re-election.
"Our security forces... completely control the entire zone," said Chad's Information Minister Kedallah Younous, admitting that one soldier had been killed and eight wounded.
There are no independent reports from the area, which borders Sudan's volatile Darfur region.
Full report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8653357.stm
Ajmer blast: Man with radical Hindu link held
30 Apr, 2010
Jaipur : The Rajasthan Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Wednesday night detained a man in connection with the Ajmer dargah blast on October 11, 2007, which left three persons dead. ATS officials suspect the man, Devendra Gupta, is affiliated to a Hindu extremist group.
Sources in the ATS said Thursday that Gupta was detained from Ajmer’s Bihariganj area. He was allegedly involved in purchasing the SIM cards used in the attack at the dargah.
Investigators had earlier traced the SIM cards to Jharkhand. Senior ATS officials said Gupta had been under their surveillance for several months now.
Pakistani troops kill 16 militants in north-west region
Apr 30, 2010
Islamabad - Pakistani troops on Friday killed at least 16 Islamist insurgents in clashes in the country's tribal region near the Afghan border, security officials said.
Five more militants were injured in the fighting in Orakzai district, where government forces are carrying out a major offensive against Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters.
An official with the paramilitary Frontier Corps force said the troops also destroyed two hideouts of the 'terrorists.'
'We have received reports from the area that 16 miscreants died in the action and five were wounded,' said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity. Two soldiers were injured in the fighting.
A local intelligence official who also sought anonymity put the death toll at 20.
Thousands of military and paramilitary troops moved into Orakzai district on March 24 to hunt militants fleeing an earlier army assault in the neighboring South Waziristan tribal district.
Full report at: http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/southasia/news/article_1552248.php/Pakistani-troops-kill-16-militants-in-north-west-region
Muslim women victims of West invasions, Turkish PM's wife says
Apr 30, 2010
Turkish premier's wife said on Thursday that the western countries should take notice of tragedy of Afghan, Iraqi and Palestinian women.
These Muslim countries are currently under US-led invasions while Palestine is under decades of Israeli occupation.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's wife Mrs. Emine Erdogan delivered a speech at a panel discussion titled "Turkish women on the path to EU" at the European Parliament in Brussels, Anadolu news agency said.
Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis and EU Commissioner for enlargement and neighborhood policy Stefan Fule also participated in the panel organized by Emine Bozkurt, the European Parliament's rapporteur on Women's Rights in Turkey and the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON).
Full report at: http://www.worldbulletin.net/news_detail.php?id=57832
Islam in Bosnia is the new stepping stone.
By Lee Jay Walker
Apr 30, 2010
The Ottoman Empire was the last major Islamic assault on Europe in order to Islamize the continent because the earlier Islamic conquest of Spain had crumbled into dust. However, in the mindset of modern Islamists it is clear that Bosnia is “the Islamic bridge” whereby a new Islamic power can rise in the Balkans and then link with Islamists in Western Europe.
This may appear absurd to some people, however, in the mindset of the former Muslim leader and radical Islamists then this is the case. For many moderate Muslims in Bosnia or secular minded Bosnian Muslims this may also seem groundless but history tells us something different.
After all, in modern day southern Thailand the Muslim insurgency once was based on nationalism or identity but today many Islamists want to cleanse southern Thailand of all Buddhists and many Buddhist monks have been killed. Therefore, within a few generations in southern Thailand it is clear that radical Islam is growing and any accommodation with Buddhism is no longer warranted and instead it is pure Islamization.
Full report at: http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/headlinenewsd.php?hnewsid=1946
Honours no solace for slain cop's family; want Kasab hanged
Apr 30, 2010
MUMBAI: Assistant police sub-inspector Tukaram Ombale was hailed as a hero for holding death in tight embrace during 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, but the honour bestowed on him is little solace to his family members who want his killer Ajmal Kasab hanged.
Ombale, who was courage personified as he grappled unarmed with the AK-47-wielding Kasab at Girgaum Chowpatty, made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty but not before he had ensured the capture of at least one of the ten Pakistani terrorists who were on their diabolic mission.
Three days before the anti-terror court pronounces its verdict, 23-year-old Vaishali Ombale, daughter of the slain policeman, said that her family will never forgive Kasab, who altered their lives forever.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Honours-no-solace-for-slain-cops-family-want-Kasab-hanged/articleshow/5876114.cms
IPS officer was Sohrabuddin’s extortion partner: CBI
Apr 30, 2010
Ahmedabad : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said IPS officer Abhay Chudasama, who was arrested on Wednesday, ran an extortion racket with Sohrabuddin Sheikh and was the prime conspirator in the abduction and murder of Sheikh and his wife Kauserbi.
The CBI, while seeking his remand on Thursday, told an Ahmedabad court that the IPS officer had also offered Rs 50 lakh to Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin to withdraw the petition in the Supreme Court and threatened him with dire consequences when he refused to do so.
The CBI Court of magistrate V B Barot sent Chudasama, 45, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch, to six-day CBI custody.
The CBI stated that its investigations revealed that Chudasama knew Sohrabuddin very well since 2001 and used to operate through him to extort money from various traders.
Amitabh Thakur, the chief investigating officer in the case, said in the remand application that Chudasama had extorted Rs 40 lakh in 2001 from two persons for settlement of business disputes. Sohrabuddin, too, was involved in the deal. The two were fired upon by Sohrabuddin in 2004, an incident the CBI claimed was stage-managed by Chudasama.
Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ips-officer-was-sohrabuddins-extortion-partner-cbi/613347/
Haia’s Makkah chief denies arrest rumors
By MUHAMMAD HUMAIDAN
Apr 30, 2010
JEDDAH: The Makkah head of the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) has denied online reports that he was arrested after an angry mob assembled in front of his house and quarreled with him on Friday.
“I am currently outside of the Kingdom and learned about the attack on my house and a subsequent arrest in Al-Awali district in Makkah. But I don’t have more details about the incident,” Ahmad Al-Qasim Al-Ghamdi told Arab News via telephone on Thursday.
According to the reports, a group of youths gathered in front of Al-Ghamdi’s house in protest of his recent views on gender mixing and prayers.
Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article48559.ece
US criticized for visit to Syria-Lebanon border
By BASSEM MROUE
30 Apr, 2010
BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry and the Hezbollah group criticized on Thursday a visit by a US security team to the Lebanese-Syrian border, saying it violates international diplomatic agreements.
The US Embassy said Wednesday’s trip was planned months ago and took place in coordination with the Lebanese government.
The visit comes on the heels of Israeli accusations that Syria is providing Hezbollah with Scud missiles, which have a greater range and can carry a much bigger warhead than the rockets Hezbollah fired at Israel in the past.
Syria has denied the allegations, as has Lebanon’s Western-backed prime minister, but the scud controversy has added to the Lebanese-Israeli tensions.
Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement it was not informed in advance about the visit by the US team to Al-Masnaa border crossing point in the eastern Bekaa Valley. It added the visit violates an article of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which states that such missions should be conducted through the host country’s foreign ministry.
Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article48540.ece
Turkey invites senior Kurdish leader
By ADAM GONN
30 Apr, 2010
Turkey’s foreign minister has invited the leader of Iraq’s semi-independent Kurdish region in a bid to patch up relations between the two.
Foreign Minister Hamlet Davutoglu was quoted in Turkish media as saying he had invited Kurdish Prime Minister Massoud Barzani to visit Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“This hole started in 2007 when the Bush government decided to repair relations between the Kurds and the Turks and to encourage the Kurds to fight the PKK in northern Iraq and at the same time supplying intelligence to the Turks,” Hugh Pope, the Turkey and Cyprus Project Director with the International Crisis Group, told The Media Line.
The PKK is an acronym for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which has been fighting for an independent Kurdish state in eastern Turkey since 1984. An estimated 40,000 Turkish soldiers and civilians have been killed in the conflict. To date a truce signed in September 2009 has held.
Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article48541.ece
Syed Maqbool Shah should be compensated: Brinda Karat
30 Apr, 2010
NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Thursday urged the government to aptly compensate Syed Maqbool Shah, who was recently acquitted by a Delhi court in the Lajpat Nagar bomb blast case in Delhi after spending 14 years in jail.
“Syed Maqbool Shah should be adequately compensated... the Centre should intervene and give him a job and ensure a secure life. He has been a victim of a totally flawed investigation and we cannot shrug it off as collateral damage. We should rehabilitate him in order to give the right message to the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” CPI(M) member Brinda Karat said in the Rajya Sabha.
Recalling Mr. Shah's ordeal, Ms. Karat said the innocent Kashmiri, then 17, was picked up by the police for the bomb blast case and false evidence was planted on him.
‘US, Pak to set up joint military unit’
30 APRIL 2010
Washington, April 29: The US and Pakistan are planning to establish a joint military intelligence centre inside Pakistan, where America is set to increase its “boots on the ground” by 25 per cent by sending 50 military personnel along with four new F-16s in June, a media report said on Thursday.
Currently, there are about 200 US military personnel involved in security assistance in Pakistan. “The scheduled arrival of 50 additional US military personnel to Pakistan in June, accompanying four new F-16 fighter jets, will increase the official number of American boots on the ground there by 25 per cent,” the Washington Post reported. The current US troops in Pakistan include a special operations training and advisory contingent, initially set up with 80 troops, that has twice been enlarged since 2009 and now totals up to 140 troops in two Pakistani locations, the daily said, citing senior US military officials.
Full report at: http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10747:us-pak-to-set-up-joint-military-unit&catid=36:international&Itemid=6
Pakistan Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud is alive: ISI
Omer Farooq Khan
Apr 30, 2010
ISLAMABAD: The chief of Pakistani Taliban Hakimullah Mehsud survived an American drone attack in the northwestern tribal region of the country in January, and is alive and well, intelligence sources said.
Last January, Pakistan’s state-run TV station reported that Mehsud, 32, was killed in a US drone strike in South Waziristan where Pakistan’s military launched an offensive last October.
Mehsud's apparent survival will be a major setback for the CIA, which intensified efforts to kill the dreaded young Taliban leader early this year after he appeared in a video alongside an al-Qaeda operative who killed seven CIA officials in Afghanistan in December late.
"The US government is under pressure because it is unable to achieve much in Afghanistan. This is one way of hitting their al-Qaeda enemies, as they define them," the official said.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-Taliban-chief-Hakimullah-Mehsud-is-alive-ISI/articleshow/5874446.cms
Qaeda ‘postman’ led to chiefs death
30 Apr, 2010
An Al-Qaeda messenger unwittingly dispatched two top Islamist commanders to their deaths this month, when a US-backed force tracked him to their den and killed them, investigators told AFP on Thursday.
Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayub al-Masri, who had direct links with Osama bin Laden, were killed in a shootout when a joint Iraqi-US force raided their safehouse north of Baghdad on April 18.
Baghdadi was the political leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) while Masri, an Egyptian militant, was the insurgent group’s self-styled “minister of war.”
The pair, according to investigators, did not use cell phones or the Internet but relied on their own postman who relayed messages between them and other insurgents.
Once a week the man, whose identity was not revealed, sat in a cafe where he contacted insurgents, delivering messages from Baghdadi and receiving others for the top Qaeda operative.
Pervez ordered hosing: MI chief
30 APRIL 2010
ISLAMABAD , April 29: Pakistan’s former Military Intelligence (MI) chief Major General Nadeem Ijaz has told a probe committee here that the hosing down of the site where two-time Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in 2007 had the approval of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.
“It was not my decision. It was a collective decision approved by the government,” General Ijaz was quoted as telling to a three-member committee. The fact-finding committee is formed by Premier Yousaf Raza Gilani to determine whether the ex-military intelligence chief ordered police officials to clean the crime scene.
A UN commission report in April indicated that the ex-MI chief had ordered hosing down of the assassination site which almost washed away all the evidences.
Full report at: http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10746:pervez-ordered-hosing-mi-chief&catid=36:international&Itemid=61
Lalu, Mulayam accuse Govt of being anti-Muslim
30 Apr, 2010
New Delhi : The reports of Sachar and Ranganath Misra committees on minority welfare on Thursday generated heat in the Lok Sabha, with RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his SP counterpart Mulayam Singh Yadav charging the government with being anti-Muslim and leading walkout by their party members.
BJP members too utilised the opportunity to express anguish over non-utilisation of funds for development of social infrastructure, including water and power, in Muslim-dominated areas, especially slums.
The issue cropped up during Question Hour when Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid was replying to questions on the implementation of the Sachar Committee recommendations.
Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/612952/
Doctor couple grilled for alleged links with Madhuri
30 Apr, 2010
SRINAGAR: Security agencies have questioned a doctor couple at Sunderbani in Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir in connection with their alleged links with Madhuri Gupta, an Indian diplomat posted in Islamabad recently arrested on the charge of spying for Pakistan.
Sources told The Hindu that sleuths of intelligence and security agencies questioned K.R. Sharma and his wife Champa Devi Sharma. Ms. Gupta is said to have made calls to the couple and stayed with them.
The sources claimed Dr. Sharma was in regular touch with her through email and telephone while she was in Islamabad.
Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/04/30/stories/2010043054241300.htm
No ISI hand in Babri demolition, says ex-ACP
Apr 30, 2010
LUCKNOW: Testifying before the CBI special court on Thursday, then PSO of Lal Krishna Advani and ex-ACP of Faizabad Anju Gupta ruled out ISI hand in Babri demolition.
Even as the defence tried to underplay the role of Sangh parivar by shifting the focus away to an alleged threat by ISI models reportedly operating in Ayodhya on the demolition day, Gupta, during the cross-examination, resolutely maintained that the structure faced a much bigger threat from karsevaks.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/No-ISI-hand-in-Babri-demolition-says-ex-ACP/articleshow/5874881.cms
Jamiat reiterates satyagraha threat
30 Apr, 2010
Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind on Thursday said it was all set to launch a nationwide satyagraha from May 3 to press for the twin demands of reservation for Muslims as recommended by Ranganath Mishra Commission and to enlarge the scope of the proposed Communal Violence (Prevention) Bill by fixing responsibility upon the district administration officials in case of a communal riot.
The organisation had, on April 12, submitted a memorandum on the demands and a notice for the satyagraha to the Prime Minister even as it set May 3 as deadline for a “satisfactory” response.
Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/252567/Jamiat-reiterates-satyagraha-threat.html
Guarding India's sea more challenging post-26/11: Antony
30 Apr, 2010
Mumbai : Defence Minister A K Antony on Thursday said that in the aftermath of the November 2008 Mumbai terror attack, the challenge to guard India’s sea lanes has increased considerably.
Speaking after the commissioning of the INS Shivalik, country’s first indigenous stealth frigate here, Antony said the Indian Navy’s challenge to protect the country’s sea lanes has increased as the situation across the region is becoming more and more tenuous and dangerous.
“Sea routes in the past also faced threats, now after 26/11 Mumbai attacks, security situation around us and the Indian Ocean and far-off, it is becoming more and more sensitive,” Antony said.
Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/guarding-indias-sea-more-challenging-post26-11-antony/612969/
Afghan MP says US troops raid home, kill relative
By RAFIQ SHERZAD
30 Apr, 2010
NAZARABAD, Afghanistan: US troops raided the home of a female member of the Afghan parliament and killed a neighbor who was one of her relatives, the MP said on Thursday, an incident that sparked angry protests in the east.
A spokesman for foreign forces in Afghanistan said Western and Afghan troops had raided a house in the area and shot dead an armed man but was not able to comment on whether the house belonged to a member of parliament.
Night-time raids by Western troops and civilian casualties are among the most incendiary issues in Afghanistan, and the targeting of a female parliamentarian would raise the political temperature at a time when NATO is preparing a large offensive.
Safia Sediqi, an outspoken member of parliament from eastern Nangarhar province, said scores of US soldiers raided her village home shortly before midnight.
Inside the house, they broke furniture and tied up family members, including her brother, for hours, she said. Outside, they shot dead a neighbor, who was also a relative by marriage.
Full report at: http://arabnews.com/world/article48402.ece
FIA finds clue to ‘facilitator’ of Benazir assassination
By Mohammad Asghar
30 Apr, 2010
ISLAMABAD: The Special Investigation Group of the FIA, which has been asked to fix criminal responsibility in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case, has conducted the DNA test of the suicide bomber and the result matched the blood samples taken from his shoes found by investigators from the residence of the ‘facilitator’.
In addition to the DNA tests, the SIG team investigated the accused being tried in the Benazir Bhutto case in Adiala jail and questioned Saud Aziz, the then Rawalpindi City Police Officer, and DCO Irfan Elahi on Thursday.
Sources said the team conducted the DNA test to verify the presence of the suicide bomber at the residence of Hasnain Gul in Rawalpindi, who is being suspected as ‘facilitator’ in the case.
Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/fia-finds-clue-to-facilitator-of-benazir-assassination-040
Baba blames ANP for Pakhtuns ‘genocide’
30 Apr, 2010
MANSEHRA, April 29: The convener of Hazara Tehrik, Baba Haider Zaman, has alleged that the Awami National Party-led government is involved in genocide of Pakhtuns and corruption.
“How can I talk to Awami Nation Party-led government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which is not sincere with those Pakhtuns, who voted it into power? How they (ANP) will do justice with people of Hazara, who never voted them into power,” he asked while speaking at a public meeting in Oghi on Thursday.
Senator Fozia Fakharuzaman, MPAs Wajeeuzaman Khan, Habibur Rehman Tanoli, Qalandar Khan, former federal ministers Syed Qasim Shah, Sardar Mohammad Yousaf, Gohar Ayub Khan, Amanullah Khan Jadoon and other also spoke on the occasion.
“I will never come on negotiating table with ANP-led government as they are killers of innocent people in Abbottabad,” Mr Zaman said. He said that their peaceful movement for separate province of Hazara would continue.
Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/baba-blames-anp-for-pakhtuns-genocide-040
Iraq’s banned Baath holds public meeting in Syria
30 April 2010
DAMASCUS - Iraq’s banned Baath party, booted out of power in the 2003 US-led invasion, held its first public meeting in the Syrian capital on Thursday.
“We have launched negotiations to reunite the party,” Ghazwan Qubaissi, the number two in a wing led by Mohammed Yunes al-Ahmad, a former governor of Mosul under now executed dictator and Baath chief Saddam Hussein, told.
“There is no difference between Baath party members here and those there (inside Iraq) ... All are contributing to the liberation of the country,” he said at a meeting in a Damascus cultural centre attended by 300-500 people.
He was referring to a wing led by Ezzat Ibrahim al-Duri, Saddam’s number two and the highest-ranking party official still at large, seven years after the invasion which split the Baath into Duri- and Ahmad-led factions.
Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/April/middleeast_April505.xml§ion=middleeast&col=
Former Pakistani spy found dead in militant bastion
Apr 30, 2010
A former Pakistani intelligence officer turned campaigner for Islamist causes was found dead in northwest Pakistan on Friday, apparently killed by militants who kidnapped him, security officials said.
Khalid Khawaja was kidnapped in March with another former colleague from the country's main Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and a journalist.
Militants later said they had kidnapped the three, whom they accused of spying. They demanded the release of Afghan Taliban commanders detained in Pakistan in exchange for them.
Khawaja was found dead beside a road near the town of Mir Ali, in North Waziristan, a Taliban and al Qaeda stronghold near the Afghan border.
"He was shot in the head and in the chest," said a Pakistani intelligence official in the region, who declined to be identified.
Pakistan media had reported that the three were kidnapped by a previously unheard of militant group called the Asian Tigers.
Full report at: http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE63T2FS20100430
Man killed during stone-throwing demos in Indian Kashmir
Apr 30, 2010
Srinagar, Kashmir - A civilian was killed in India-administered Kashmir Friday after mobs threw stones at a bus during anti-India protests in the state capital Srinagar, police said.
The 40-year old Kashmiri, identified as Shafiq Ahmed Sheikh, was taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, local police officers said.
The protests occurred before a planned march to the local United Nations office called by hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the police said.
Geelani and other separatist leaders have been placed under house-arrest to prevent violence.
Full report at: http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/southasia/news/article_1552237.php/Man-killed-during-stone-throwing-demos-in-Indian-Kashmir