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Islamic World News ( 29 March 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Brunei Brings In Islamic Law That Include the Dismemberment of Limbs and Stoning To Death


Southeast Asia

Brunei Brings In Islamic Law That Include the Dismemberment of Limbs and Stoning To Death

Indonesian Islamic Parties Head for Poll Drubbing

Malaysia needs a dose of peace and forgiveness to fix racism, says Penang bishop

Christians will defend right to use ‘Allah’, says Sarawak Archbishop

Tun Abdullah tops list of world leaders ‘spied’ by NSA in 2009, says German daily

 

Europe

British Council Study: Madrasas Realise English an Essential Medium for Progress

Child marriage-free zones to be set up in Pakistan: Brown

Are British Prisons A 'Terrorist Breeding Ground'?

UN's human rights monitor is a Mossad spy, Iran alleges

 

Arab World

Grand Mufti of KSA Issued a Fatwa ‘Suicide Attacks Are Illegal and Haram’

Two Islamists Sentenced To Death for Throwing Children off Roof Last July

KSA, US ‘strategically aligned’

Only a small percentage of Saudi youth has extremist tendencies, says official

Gunmen kill seven soldiers in Iraq

Suicide bombing in Lebanon kills three soldiers: Army

ISIL Commander Killed in Syria Militants’ Infighting

Hezbollah Condemns Attack: Takfiri Approach Enemy of Whole Nation

Syrian Army Foils Militants’ Attack on Shiite Town in Idlib

ISIL, Al-Nusra Front Continue Fierce Clashes in Hasaka

Syrian rebels slam Russian statement on coast concerns

 

South Asia

21 Taliban militants killed, 4 others injured in Afghan operations

7 militants blown up while making roadside bombs in a mosque in Ghazni

PM Sheikh Hasina: All conspirators against independence to be tried

‘Khaleda does not believe in Bangladesh’: Law Minister

Bangladesh and Maldives – A fractured link

Myanmar to Rohingyas: Register as Bangalees

 

Pakistan

Government-TTP to exchange non-combatant prisoners: Professor Ibrahim

Balochistan Assembly session: Poppy cultivation, 120 heroin factories, says minister

Militant attack at Pasni radar-post kills one in Balochistan

Sirajul Haq replaces Munawar Hassan as chief of Jamaat-e-Islami

Govt, TTP agree to extend truce

TTP does not demand release of its prisoners

Bilawal asked to help displaced Christians, Hindus

UN envoy promises Pakistan $1b over next four years

PPP strongly condemns threat to Bilawal and death sentence to Sawan Masih

 

Africa

External forces arming Boko Haram, says Jonathan

Armed militias hold Libya hostage

Attempted jail break at Nigeria secret police HQ

 

Mideast

Jewish extremists storm Al-Aqusa compound

Netanyahu slams UN rights council's censure of Israel

Artists to Netanyahu: Let African migrants stay in Israel

Palestinians welcome almost unanimous UNHRC support

Yemen pro-govt militiamen killed in ‘al-Qaeda’ ambush

 

North America

US won’t give leftover military hardware to Pakistan

Top US general to visit Israel amid strategy spats

Missing Malaysian jetliner: MI6, CIA investigating as fears of terror attack resurface

 

India

Gujarat high court urges Pakistan govt to release Indian prisoner

Militant hideout busted in Baramulla

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: https://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/brunei-brings-in-islamic-law-that-include-the-dismemberment-of-limbs-and-stoning-to-death/d/66338

 

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Southeast Asia

 

Brunei Brings In Islamic Law That Include the Dismemberment of Limbs and Stoning To Death

Mar 30, 2014


Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah mosque, Brunei


The Sultan of Brunei, one of the world’s wealthiest rulers and a close ally of Britain, will this week oversee his country’s transition to a system of Islamic law with punishments that include flogging, the dismemberment of limbs and stoning to death.

The 67-year-old absolute monarch declared last year that he wanted to introduce a full Sharia system in his oil-rich nation and warned critics who took to social media sites to complain that they could be prosecuted using the new laws.

The decision to introduce Sharia and reintroduce the death penalty has been condemned by NGOs and legal rights campaigners, who say the new rules will breach international laws. It has also triggered alarm among some of Brunei’s non-Muslim communities, who will also be subject to some of the rulings.

The development could put pressure on Britain to rethink its close relationship with Brunei, a former colony. A British regiment based in the country – the last surviving UK regiment stationed in East Asia – is paid for entirely by the Sultan.

In a letter to Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said it deplored the new rules, adding that, if implemented, they would lead to serious human rights violations. “Brunei has not implemented the death penalty for years, so it came as quite a surprise that the new law has reintroduced it,” said the ICJ’s Emerlynne Gil.

Brunei is two-thirds Muslim and has long implemented some Sharia, mainly for civil matters such as marriage. But last year the Sultan, who is said to be worth £24bn and lives in a 1,788-room palace, announced a plan to introduce full Islamic law.

Offences include insulting the Prophet Mohamed, drinking alcohol, getting pregnant outside of marriage and “sodomy”. The latter will be punishable by stoning.

“It is because of our need that Allah the Almighty, in all his generosity, has created laws for us, so that we can utilise them to obtain justice,” the Sultan said at the time.

It is unclear precisely what is motivating the Sultan, who also serves as the country’s prime minister and assumed the throne in 1967. But in a speech in February to mark the country’s National Day holiday, he claimed the system of an absolute Islamic monarch acted as a “strong and effective firewall” against the challenges of globalisation. He referred specifically to the internet.

He claimed that there were those, both in and outside Brunei, which last year chaired the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), who had been challenging his plans and who wanted to see “internal turmoil”. He added: “These parties, it seems, have attempted to mock the king, the Islamic scholars and Sharia. They are using the new media, such as blogs, WhatsApp and so on, which are not just accessed by locals but also by those overseas.”

The speech by the Sultan – who for many years was involved in a high-profile legal battle with his brother, a playboy accused of misappropriating £9bn of government assets and who reportedly owned a yacht called Tits – has had the impact of silencing many who might publicly speak out against the move.

Yet there are concerns, especially among the minority communities. There are around 30,000 Filipino citizens in Brunei, many of them Catholic, and the Philippine ambassador to Brunei, Nestor Ochoa, recently held a meeting at which he warned his countrymen about the implications of the new laws.

Father Robert Leong, a Catholic priest in Brunei, said there were concerns that baptisms of newborn babies could breach the new rules, which prohibit the “propagation of religion other than Islam to a Muslim or a person having no religion”. He said that the law was being introduced in three phases, with the harshest punishments, including the death penalty, being phased in over two years from Tuesday. “There will be no baptisms. There is not a lot we can do about it. We will have to wait and see what happens,” he said.

Britain granted independence to Brunei in 1984, but has maintained a close relationship with the country. A 1,000-strong regiment of the British Army, the Royal Gurkha Rifles, has been located there since the late 1950s and in 1962 stepped in to quell a rebellion against the Sultan’s father. The regiment is paid for by the Sultan. The British Army also runs a jungle warfare training school in the small nation. A government spokesperson said: “Ministry of Defence discussions are ongoing with the Bruneian authorities to clarify any impact on UK forces.”

Royal Dutch Shell, an Anglo-Dutch multinational, also runs a major operation there as a joint venture with the Brunei government.

A briefing document published last year about defence and security opportunities in Brunei by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said Brunei invested “a significant proportion of the country’s wealth through the City of London”. It said the British Armed Forces garrison was a linchpin of UK-Brunei relations.

“The Government’s goal is to retain a dominant position in these key areas, and to maximise our share of influence as Brunei diversifies its economy and puts increasing emphasis on regional partners like ASEAN and China,” it said. “As it does so, Brunei will also provide a UK-friendly window into the key growth area of South-east Asia.”

The Sultan has been married three times. He remains married to his first wife, but he divorced his second, a one-time airline stewardess, in 2003 after 21 years. He divorced his third wife, a former TV reporter, in 2010 after five years. Both ex-wives were stripped of their royal titles.

Stories of his wealth abound. It was reported that, while playing polo with Prince Charles on one occasion, he had his boots delivered by helicopter to the polo field.

The Brunei government did not respond to queries and the Brunei High Commission in London failed to answer questions from The IoS. However, earlier this year, Brunei’s most senior Muslim cleric claimed that those criticising the new rules did not understand them, according to a report in The Brunei Times.

Dr Ustaz Hj Awg Abdul Aziz Juned said in a lecture in London: “Not even a day after the law was announced, human rights groups on social media commented that the steps taken by the Brunei government to implement the law was out of date and not modern.”

Sharia explained

What is Sharia?

Sharia is the Islamic legal system that derives from the Koran, the example of the life of the Prophet Mohamed and “Fatwas”, which are the rulings of Islamic scholars.  Different schools of thought exist, resulting in different interpretations.

What does it cover?

While Western law confines itself predominantly to crime and civil matters, Sharia is a guide to help Muslims understand how they should lead every aspect of their lives. This ranges from deciding whether to enter a bar with someone wanting to drink alcohol to the punishments for theft or for criticising the Koran. Its treatment of women is particularly controversial. Judgements have banned the holding of property once married, enabled beatings for insubordination, and required a husband’s consent to divorce.

Where is it used?

Mauritania, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Maldives, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Nigeria all apply Sharia. Some states, including UAE, Jordan and Egypt, use some form of Sharia in their judicial system.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/concern-as-brunei-brings-in-system-of-islamic-law-with-punishments-that-include-the-dismemberment-of-limbs-and-stoning-to-death-9223633.html

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Indonesian Islamic Parties Head for Poll Drubbing

Mar 30, 2014

Jakarta. Nisa Ariyani staunchly supported Indonesia’s Muslim parties her whole life, throughout decades of authoritarian rule and at the three legislative elections after the country became democratic.

But when tens of millions vote in parliamentary polls in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country on April 9, the 42-year-old teacher is set to join a growing number who will not cast their ballot for an Islamic party.

Indonesia’s five main Muslim parties are heading for their worst ever showing at the elections, hit by explosive scandals and a growing trend among voters not to pick parties purely on religious grounds.

“I have lost my faith in Islamic parties, and I will vote for nobody,” said Ariyani, who lives in Jakarta and has worn a headscarf all her life, even during the long rule of dictator Suharto when it was uncommon in Indonesia.

Her change of heart is due to a specific case — a sordid scandal involving clandestine hotel room sex and huge kickbacks that rocked the party she had supported at previous elections, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

Before supporting the PKS, Indonesia’s biggest Islamic party, she backed the United Development Party, one of the few opposition groups allowed by Suharto and still around now.

Paradoxical shift?

The decline in support for Muslim parties — which range from moderate groups to more extreme ones that want to introduce Islamic sharia law — since the end of authoritarian rule in 1998 seems at first glance a paradox, analysts say.

Since the downfall of Suharto, who backed a secular state and was against the strong influence of Islam in public life, Indonesia has appeared to have become more Islamic, not less.

An increasing number of women wear the headscarf, Islam-influenced goods — from fashion brands to apps that remind you when to pray — are all the rage, while some people have even chosen to live in strict Islamic communities, rejecting the trappings of modern life.

The tumultuous years following the end of Suharto’s regime were also accompanied by an upsurge in Islamic extremism, notably the 2002 Bali bombings, in which 202 people — mostly foreign tourists — were killed.

A crackdown over the past decade has weakened the most dangerous groups but Islamic extremists still regularly target domestic security forces.

Despite this, the country’s five main Islamic parties — among 12 running in the parliamentary elections — have seen their popularity slide in the sprawling archipelago nation where more than 90 percent of the population is Muslim.

Their combined share of the vote fell to around 26 percent at the 2009 legislative polls from around 34 percent a decade earlier.

Dodi Ambardi, a director at the Indonesian Survey Institute, predicts their support will fall to only 15 percent in the coming elections, particularly due to a drop for the PKS, which won almost eight percent in 2009.

No Islamic party is expected to do well enough to put a candidate forward for the presidential polls in July. A party or coalition of parties must win 20 percent of the seats in parliament or 25 percent of the national vote at the April elections to do so.

Savvy voters

But growing sophistication among voters who no longer simply focus on religion is a greater factor in the parties’ declining support, analysts say.

“In choosing which party they will vote for, Muslim voters no longer think of their religion but rather the party’s track record and policies,” Ambardi told AFP.

In this regard, Islamic parties have notably failed.

They have not developed into well-run organizations and have relied on the mistaken belief that pious Muslims would vote for them regardless, said Noorhaidi Hasan, an expert in Islam and politics.

“Islamic parties are too ideological, offering an Islamic ideology but no other action,” said Hasan, from Sunan Kalijaga Islamic university in Yogyakarta, on the main island of Java.

He also said increasing signs of Islam in everyday life did not necessarily mean people were becoming more Islamic and would automatically vote for Muslim parties — simply that they were now free to express their faith publicly and they had the financial means to do so.

“Middle-class Muslims are not expressing their religion for the sake of religion — but for social status and lifestyle,” he said.

Despite their travails, Muslim parties are still likely to attract some support and the PKS is convinced many have already forgotten last year’s controversy, which saw its former president jailed for 16 years.

“Support for the PKS is like a pillow — once a burden is lifted, it will return to its normal shape quickly and easily,” said party spokesman Dedi Supriadi.

And Islamic parties could still remain influential by providing support to the bigger parties, observers believe.

Coalition governments are the norm under Indonesia’s complex electoral system, and there are currently four Islamic parties in the six-party coalition of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/indonesian-islamic-parties-hhead-poll-drubbing/

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Malaysia needs a dose of peace and forgiveness to fix racism, says Penang bishop

Mar 30, 2014

Peace, justice and forgiveness are the “prescription” to treat Malaysia's problem caused by racists and extremists.

The prescription was made by Penang Bishop Right Reverend Sebastian Francis last night and was quickly taken up by PAS leader Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusuf Rawa.

Both men came together at a peace dinner organised by the Penang Island PAS Supporters' Club last night in Bayan Lepas, when Francis urged the people to be united in fostering and strengthening peace, justice and forgiveness.

“There can be no peace without justice”, the bishop said as he reviewed the theme of the dinner.

Francis said justice was the prerequisite for peace and unity and also could not exist without forgiveness among the people.

"If we keep on having negative feelings towards others, we will not be able to become agents of peace, justice and forgiveness.

"As people of faith, we must pray that we can maintain these values in our everyday lives. Malaysia needs us all to stand together in this for the interest of the people," he said.

Francis congratulated the organisers of the peace dinner, which was attended by about 100 people of all races and background, for their initiative.

Mujahid, who is Penang PAS deputy commissioner and Parit Buntar MP, said he agreed with Francis and would turn the prescription into a political manifesto.

The PAS leader who is well known for visiting and having dialogues in churches nationwide to engage Christians, said it was in line with what PAS had been struggling for, as reflected in the party's slogan “PAS for all”.

Mujahid said when he visited PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat to present the latter a copy of his book “Berdialog dengan Gereja – Sebuah Travelog Kedamaian” (Dialogue with the Church – A Peace Travelogue), the Kelantan leader asked about Sebastian.

"The first thing Tok Guru (Nik Aziz) said to me was 'How is our friend the bishop?'

"No joke. That was what happened. People may say he only talks about Islam but he is actually a Tok Guru for all Malaysians," he said.

Mujahid said when he debated the royal address in Parliament last week, he hit out at certain quarters wanting to take the country 50 years backwards with racism and extremism.

"A country built under the name of Malaysia is a nation that loves its people regardless of their race. Why are we talking about Chinese Muslim, Chinese Malaysian, Indian Malaysian? Why are we talking in the tone of racism?

"This is not the future we want for Malaysia. The peace we want to achieve for the nation demands that every Malaysian, regardless of race, gives his or her commitment to save the country from racist and extreme groups trying to destroy the unity and harmony.”

Mujahid said racists and extremists did not represent Malaysians, but only "narrow-minded" parties for such "narrow-minded purposes".

"Anyone who wishes to be with them, do so but let me tell you that Malaysia does not need racism and extremism.

"The country needs people to move forward together hand in hand, step by step and we cannot do it unless peace prevails," he said.

Mujahid said even in the Quran, there were verses telling Muslims to stand firm for justice in the name of God.

Therefore, PAS would speak out to defend those oppressed because of race and supremacy, even if they had to hit out against their fellow Malays, he said.

He also paid tribute to the members of the PAS Supporters' Club in Penang for their support towards the party's struggles, and assured them the party considered them as members and would look after their welfare as well, regardless of their race and religion.

"What matters to PAS is that we are all Malaysians who have dignity and are proud to be citizens of this country," he said.

Other local PAS leaders who spoke at the event were Penang PAS Unity Bureau chief Yusof Noor and deputy chief Abdul Rahman Kassim, who presented a poem about the missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/malaysia-needs-a-dose-of-peace-and-forgiveness-to-fix-racism-says-penang-bi

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Christians will defend right to use ‘Allah’, says Sarawak Archbishop

Mar 30, 2014

With the row over the use of the word "Allah" still simmering, Anglican Christians in Sarawak said they will go all out to defend their right to use the word in worship.

 Datuk Bolly Lapok, Anglican Archbishop for Southeast Asia, said they were willing to abandon their calling to be peacemakers and reconcilers, if “turning the other cheek to the provocateurs and extremists in political Islam that are relentlessly stoking the fire of hatred and bigotry is tantamount to sending a wrong message to them”.

He said this in a statement after a mass gathering of its Iban speaking congregation in Sri Aman today.

“The Bible reminds us that there is a time for war, and a time for peace. It seems like a paradox that we are called to be peacemakers.

“Yet at the same time we are also to brace ourselves for war,” said Lapok, who is also the Bishop of Kuching.

“We have been and are doing our part in reconciliation.

“The fact that the Church in Sarawak has not demanded that the post of the chief minister, or that of the governor be picked from among Christians, bears testimony to the extent the church is willing to go for the sake of reconciliation and peacemaking.”

Yet, Lapok asked, how would Christians live when extremist elements kept stoking hatred and bigotry?

“These extremists are, in fact, the minority while the rest of us, including peace-loving Muslims and non-Muslims, have become the suffering majority.

“Ultimately, it is for all Malaysians of goodwill to ensure that Malaysia is not hijacked by the minority.

“To turn the other cheek in these circumstances is indeed to bear false witness to the gospel of reconciliation,” Lapok said.

He said even the judiciary had seen fit to abandon sound principles of jurisprudence and took an unprecedented extrajudicial position that the use of the word “Allah” to refer to God is not an integral part of the faith and practice of Christianity.

Referring to last year’s Court of Appeal ruling, he said: “This is a travesty of our constitutional right for the church to manage its own affairs, including translation of our Holy Scriptures into Bahasa Malaysia and our native languages.

“This is the exclusive ecclesiastical authority of the church that neither the state nor the judiciary should trespass in accordance to settled international convention and law.”

Lapok said the continued prohibition on the use of the word Allah has far reaching consequences for the 1.6 million Christians in the country, of whom 64% are in Sabah and Sarawak.

“We feel that it is incumbent on the federal government to recognise our cultural heritage and constitutional rights to practise our faith without undue interference and intervention.

“We, therefore, urge the federal government to revert to the status quo by entering into consent judgments for the cases before the courts related to the use of the word.”

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/christians-will-defend-right-to-use-allah-says-sarawak-archbishop

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Tun Abdullah tops list of world leaders ‘spied’ by NSA in 2009, says German daily

Mar 30, 2014

A secret document revealed by a German daily, Der Spiegel, shows that former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (pic) was at the top of a list of world leaders targeted for surveillance by the United States' National Security Agency.

The list was compiled in 2009 and contained the names of 122 world leaders, starting with Abdullah and ending with former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Other leaders include German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Syria's Bashar al-Assad.

According to the paper, the documents did not provide sufficient information to determine the types of surveillance, with the NSA saying it would not comment on the matter.

Abdullah took over the premiership from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2003. He resigned six years later following Barisan Nasional's poor performance in the 2008 general election, after calls led by Dr Mahathir for his removal.

During his tenure, Abdullah came under the spotlight after it was revealed that Scomi, a company owned by his son Kamaluddin, was allegedly involved in supplying dual-use technology to Libya's clandestine nuclear-weapons programme. This followed an admission by Pakistani nuclear scientiest Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan that he had shared nuclear information and designs with other countries.

In 2004, a US report named Abdullah for being involved in an Iraq oil-for-food programme scandal, but he denied the allegation, saying he had merely endorsed a valid legitimate business organised by the United Nations in collaboration with the Iraqi government.

The Spiegel report, published yesterday, cited former CIA agent Edward Snowden as the source for the top-secret document.

Only 12 names were, however, shared with Spiegel, including Merkel’s, confirming Snowden's claim last year that the German leader's mobile phone had been tapped by the NSA.

The paper also reported that British security agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) had infiltrated German Internet firms and that a court order was obtained by the NSA to spy on Germany.

The latest revelation comes several months after Putrajaya summoned American and Australian diplomats in Kuala Lumpur over an alleged United States-led spying network in Asia, including China and Indonesia.

Based on Snowden's revelation, it was widely reported that Australian embassies in Asia were being used to tap phone calls and data.

Der Spiegel had earlier published a map dated August 2010, showing the existence of some 90 electronic surveillance facilities worldwide, including US embassies in Jakarta, Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Yangon.

Snowden had also said Singapore had aided the spying activity, describing the city state a key “third party” to providing access to Malaysian communications.

Snowden is at the centre of some 200,000 leaked documents showing American espionage worldwide.

Washington also runs a monitoring station in its Kuala Lumpur embassy to tap and monitor phone and network communications.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/abdullah-tops-list-of-world-leaders-spied-by-nsa-in-2009-says-german-daily

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Europe

 

British Council Study: Madrasas Realise English an Essential Medium for Progress

March 28, 2014

According to a study conducted by British Council, the most Madrasas teachers realise that English is essential medium for progress and in professional life, said Director English British Council Musarrat Shahid on Thursday. She said while sharing the report on English Language in Pakistan with Business Recorder after the policy Dialogue, "English language in Pakistan today: class, the workplace and the shift in language use" organised by British Council recently.

She said that about 81 percent madrasas agreed that English is important for professional growth. She also said "we should focus on teachers training adding that curriculum is not so important because it is only a document." She said 27 percent Punjabi and 24 percent Pathan teachers prefer to use English in the classroom as the teaching medium, whereas in Sindh the number is 41 percent. It is interesting to note that 44 percent of Pathan teachers use languages other than English and Urdu in the classroom, as the teaching medium.

Full report at:

http://www.brecorder.com/general-news/172/1166766/

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Child marriage-free zones to be set up in Pakistan: Brown

March 30, 2014

LONDON - Former British prime minister Gordon Brown has announced that "child marriage-free zones" are to be set up in Pakistan.

Brown, the UN's special envoy on global education, said the practice of forcing girls into marriage is ‘not acceptable in the modern world’. "It deprives a girl of her education and her childhood," he told the BBC on Saturday.

Speaking on a visit to Islamabad, he revealed the UN is giving $10m and the EU 100m euros (£83m), to get more Pakistani children into education. "What we want to do is to encourage girls themselves to be aware of their rights, to encourage teachers and girls to work together to say that when people try to force them into early marriage, it's not acceptable," he said.

"And so in Pakistan, we are going to do a pilot project where we declare an area to a marriage-free zone, a child marriage-free zone." He added that there was support for such a scheme in Pakistan and that funding for it would be made available.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/national/30-Mar-2014/child-marriage-free-zones-to-be-set-up-in-pakistan-brown

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Are British Prisons A 'Terrorist Breeding Ground'?

Mar 30, 2014

Concerns were raised Sunday over startling statistics which reveal that the number of Muslim prisoners in British prisons has doubled over the past decade. Figures from UK's Ministry of Justice show that the number has ballooned to 11,729 (14%) - up from just 5,502 (7.7%) in 2002 - according to the Independent, and accounts for over one-seventh of all British inmates. The rate is expected to continue rising rapidly because of the large numbers of Muslim teenagers in youth jails - as well as aggressive attempts by Islamist prisoners to recruit and convert other convicts.

Whitemoor, a high-security prison, has caused particular concern, after it was revealed that 210 of Britain's most dangerous offenders there are Muslim - and that attempts to radicalize other prisoners to become Islamists are on the rise. Belmarsh prison, where the terrorists who butchered soldier Lee Rigby last year are being held, has also been the focus of an internal investigation.

Full report at:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/179042#.UzjIa6hdUqM

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UN's human rights monitor is a Mossad spy, Iran alleges

Mar 30, 2014

The United Nations’ top official responsible for monitoring human rights in Iran is secretly working either for the Mossad or the CIA, the Iranian government is alleging.

Ahmed Shaheed, the Maldivian diplomat who was elected as the UN’s special rapporteur on the state of human rights in the Islamic Republic three years ago, came under verbal attack from an Iranian government official on Saturday for making “baseless allegations” against the regime.

"All fair and independent human rights bodies are well aware that Shaheed works as an agent for the Zionist regime and also the CIA," Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, a member of an Iranian parliamentary committee on foreign affairs, told the state-run Fars news agency.

"The extension of Shaheedˈs mission by the UN Human Rights Council serves to gain time to level yet more accusations again Iran," he added.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Iranian-Threat/News/UNs-human-rights-monitor-is-a-Mossad-spy-Iran-alleges-346916

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Arab World

 

Grand Mufti of KSA issued a fatwa ‘suicide attacks are illegal and Haram’

Mar 30, 2014

Sheikh Abdul Aziz, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia issued a fatwa asserting that suicide attacks are illegal and Haram. He condemned suicide bombings as grave crimes, reiterating his stance in very strong words. \"Killing oneself is a grave crime and a grave sin. Those who kill themselves with explosives are criminals who are hastening their way to hell\". Such acts fall under the category of crime and suicide bombers and attackers are destined to go to hell\", he declared. In Islamic faith, fatwa is interpretation from a qualified jurist or mufti with regard to issues pertaining to the Islamic law. It is based on Islamic jurisprudence and religious scriptures in response to a particular case, and is considered binding for all Muslims. Thus fatwa contains respected interpretation of sharia given by a mufti and becomes a religious ruling for the followers. Those violating the fatwa certainly fall in the category of extravagance or act of infidelity.

Full report at:

http://thefrontierpost.com/article/85704/Fatwa-by-Grand-Mufti-of-KSA/

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Two Islamists sentenced to death for throwing children off roof last July

Mar 30, 2014

Alexandria Criminal Court sentenced two men to death Saturday for throwing children off a roof last July, two days after Islamist president Mohamed Morsi's ouster.

They faced charges of manslaughter, thuggery, violence, illegal possession of weapons, and disturbing public order.

The verdicts were delivered amid a heavy security presence outside the court.

The defendants papers have been transferred to the Office of the Grand Mufti, the country's official authority for issuing religious edicts, as Egyptian law stipulates that all death sentences must be reviewed by the grand mufti for ratification.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/97815/Egypt/Politics-/Two-Islamists-sentenced-to-death-for-throwing-chil.aspx

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KSA, US ‘strategically aligned’

Mar 30, 2014

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and US President Barack Obama agreed to work closely and remain strategically “aligned” on a range of bilateral and regional issues, said a senior US official in Riyadh on Saturday.

“In his two-hour candid talks with King Abdullah, President Obama underscored how much he values their strategic relationship,” said Johann Schmonsees, a spokesman at the US Embassy.

Obama, who wrapped up his visit on Saturday, also addressed the differences between Riyadh and Washington in his talks with the king over security interests across the Middle East.

The US highlighted the progressively growing relations with the Kingdom in diverse fields — counterterrorism, defense, economy, education, science, health and the environment.

There are more Saudi students in the US now than ever before, with over 80,000 students representing the Kingdom’s future political, business, and social leadership.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/548146

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Only a small percentage of Saudi youth has extremist tendencies, says official

Mar 30, 2014

JEDDAH — The head of the Social Initiatives and Programs Department at the Ministry of Interior said only a small percentage of Saudi youth have extremist tendencies, Makkah daily reported.

Abdulaziz Al-Helayel said his department has conducted a number of awareness lectures on the dangers of extremism and extremist ideologies and only a small number of attendees have expressed their disapproval of the content of the lectures.

"This (their disapproval) was clear from the type of questions they were asking. This may be the result of wrong information they have about security bodies and/or certain situations they have experienced," he said.

Al-Helayel said many youth who had extremist tendencies changed their views after taking part in discussions the ministry held and even expressed remorse for their wrong thinking. As a result of this success, the ministry has instructed his department to intensify such lectures and protect society from devious ideologies.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20140330200252

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Gunmen kill seven soldiers in Iraq

2014-03-30

BAGHDAD: Iraqi authorities say gunmen killed seven soldiers during an attack at a security checkpoint near a northern city.

Police officials say attackers sprayed with bullets a group of troops manning a checkpoint early Sunday near the city of Mosul, 360 kilometers northwest of Baghdad.

Medics confirmed the casualties.

All officials spoke anonymously because they were not authorised to talk to the media.

Members of Iraq security forces have been a favourite target for Sunni insurgents who want to undermine the Shia-led government in Baghdad. Violence has escalated in Iraq over the past year, with 2013 seeing the country's highest death toll since the worst of the country's sectarian bloodletting began to subside in 2007.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1096625/gunmen-kill-seven-soldiers-in-iraq

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Suicide bombing in Lebanon kills three soldiers: Army

Mar 30, 2014

A suicide car bomber exploded his vehicle at an army checkpoint in eastern Lebanon near the border with Syria on Saturday, killing at least three soldiers and wounding four, the army said.

A statement said the attack took place in the Arsal region "killing three soldiers and wounding four others".

The military said more troops fanned out across the region after the blast.

The security official told AFP the attack was at Aqabet al-Jurd and that at least nine soldiers were at the checkpoint.

The attack was claimed on Twitter by a shadowy group calling itself Liwa Ahrar al-Sunna in Baalbek -- Arabic for the Brigades of the free Sunni Muslims -- which also vowed more attacks.

"The next few days will see several jihadist and blessed attacks like this one. This is only the beginning," the group said, adding that the army would be among its targets.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/97831/World/Region/Suicide-bombing-in-Lebanon-kills-three-soldiers-Ar.aspx

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ISIL Commander Killed in Syria Militants’ Infighting

Mar 30, 2014

The military commander of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was reportedly killed in the Northeastern Syrian province of Hasakah.

Omar Farouq al-Turki was killed in clashes that erupted between ISIL members and rival militants from the al-Nusra Front in the region, reports said on Saturday, Al-Alam reported.

Earlier in the day, heavy clashes were reported between the two foreign-backed Takfiri groups in the oil-rich province of Deir al-Zour in Eastern Syria.

The Al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front has accused the ISIL of attacking its bases in Deir al-Zour, occupying several towns and villages.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13930110000371

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Hezbollah Condemns Arsal Attack: Takfiri Approach Enemy of Whole Nation

Mar 30, 2014

Hezbollah issued a statement on Saturday condemning the attack against Lebanese army in Arsal in which three army soldiers were martyred, saying this crime had targeted the whole nation and every Lebanese, not only the army.

Hezbollah“It goes without saying that the Takfiri approach of terrorism has proven undoubtedly that it’s the enemy of all, without exception, because it is a bloody destructive approach that is based on blind fanaticism and the mentality of exclusion, slaughter and lynching,” the statement said.

Full report at:

http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?fromval=1&cid=23&frid=23&eid=143230

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Syrian Army Foils Militants’ Attack on Shiite Town in Idlib

Mar 30, 2014

The Syrian army repelled an attack by the Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists on a Shiite town in Idlib countryside in Northwestern Syria.

The army units supported by local people foiled the raid by the Al-Nusra Front on the Shiite-populated town of Foeh in Idlib countryside.

Tens of militants have been killed and dozens more injured in heavy clashes with the Syrian army.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs and terrorists against both the army and civilians.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed since terrorist and armed groups turned protest rallies into armed clashes.

The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13930110000262

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ISIL, Al-Nusra Front Continue Fierce Clashes in Hasaka

Mar 30, 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Al-Nusra Front continued their heavy infighting in Hasaka province in Eastern Syria.

The ISIL pushed back its rival Al-Nusra Front from its last military base in Hasaka province near Merkadeh town after heavy battles.

Tens of militants from both sides have been killed and dozens more injured in the fierce battles which have continued for months now.

After more than two years of fighting side-by-side and leading one of the bloodiest conflicts in the recent history of Middle-East, al-Qaeda affiliated groups have been making increasing moves against each other in the last few months.

Militants in Syria have been committing numerous war crimes against people and Syrian army soldiers throughout the country during their bloody war.

Sources said the number of antigovernment combat factions has reached 1,750, including the FSA, "ISIL, and other groups working for different agendas.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13930110000274

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Syrian rebels slam Russian statement on coast concerns

Mar 30, 2014

The Syrian National Council has responded to a statement from Russia’s foreign ministry criticizing Syrian opposition for taking control of some areas along the Syrian coast.

“Russia's Foreign Ministry statements about the acts of extremist groups just aim to hinder the handover of chemical weapons within the allotted deadline and kill all chances of reaching a political solution to the Syrian crisis” said Hisham Marwah, legal committee chairman of Syrian National Council in a written statement.

“The statements are illogical and show a lack of sincerity in the quest to get a zone free of chemical weapons. These remarks are not a prediction or assessment of reality, but a reflection of the political plan which the Assad regime will follow with his regional allies with regard to chemical weapons” he continued.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/headlines/132354/syrian-rebels-slam-russian-statement-on-coast-concerns

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South Asia

 

21 Taliban militants killed, 4 others injured in Afghan operations

Mar 30 2014

At least 21 Taliban militants were killed and 4 others were injured during military operations by Afghan national security forces.

The operations were conducted by Afghan national police in cooperation with the Afghan national army and Afghan intelligence – national directorate of security (NDS) during the past 24 hours.

Interior ministry confirmed 21 Taliban militants were killed and 4 others were injured during the operations conducted in Nangarhar, Balkh, Zabul, Maidan Wardak, Logar and Helmand provinces.

According to a statement released by interior ministry, at least 9 Taliban militants were also arrested during the operations.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/21-taliban-militants-killed-4-others-injured-in-afghan-operations-3503

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7 militants blown up while making roadside bombs in a mosque in Ghazni

Mar 30, 2014

At least seven militants were killed while making improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan.

The interior ministry following a statement said the incident took place inside a mosque in Deh Yak district on Saturday.

The statement by interior ministry further added that the explosion left seven militants dead and there were no other casualties.

Interior ministry condemned the anti-government militant groups for using religious places for conducting terrorist activities and said such activities show that the militant groups are acting against the principles of Islam.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/7-militants-blown-up-while-making-roadside-bombs-in-a-mosque-in-ghazni-3505

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PM Sheikh Hasina: All conspirators against independence to be tried

Mar 30, 2014

Asserting that the war crimes trials would continue, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday also vowed to try the people who politically rehabilitated the 1971 war criminals.

“After the killing of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, those who captured state power illegally through conspiracy and put our blood-adorned national flag on the hands of razakars and al-Badrs [led by Jamaat-e-Islami leaders who sided with the Pakistani occupation forces], must be brought to book, Inshallah,” she said while addressing a rally at Mohanpur of Chandpur.

The premier said none would be able to stop the trials.

Also the president of ruling Awami League, Hasina urged the party activists as well as the countrymen to stay aware about the quarters who were conspirators against the country’s independence, constitution and democracy.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/politics/2014/mar/30/pm-all-conspirators-against-independence-be-tried-1#sthash.HEfn6JKj.dpuf

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‘Khaleda does not believe in Bangladesh’: Law Minister

Mar 30, 2014

Law Minister Anisul Haque has said Khaleda’s speech proves she does not believe in the existence Bangladesh.

The minister made the statement in a launching program held at capital’s Gulshan on Sunday.

He said: “Her recent speech proves that she does not believe in the existence of Bangladesh.”

Anisul Haque said: “As a chairperson of a leading political party, her speech is a nonsense. This is not fair.”

“The term ‘history distortion’ would be scaled down, if we think about her speech” he added.

http://www.dhakatribune.com/politics/2014/mar/30/%E2%80%98khaleda-does-not-believe-bangladesh%E2%80%99#sthash.T0xxVfcO.dpuf

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Bangladesh and Maldives – A fractured link

By Professor Selina Mohsin | March 30th, 2014

Professor Selina Mohsin was Bangladesh’s High Commissioner to the Maldives between 2008 and 2010. This article was first published in the Dhaka Tribune. Republished with permission.

In a sudden move, Maldives is closing its mission in Bangladesh on April 1. This is not an April fool’s joke but a final closure. Closure was earlier threatened in 2009, during that time, as the high commissioner of Bangladesh to Maldives, I was able to persuade the then President Nasheed to keep the mission open.

He appreciated the importance of such a bilateral link. A bond was strengthened. It is surprising that because there is a financial crunch in Maldives now, the new government is to close its mission in Bangladesh, which supplies so many migrant workers, while the one in Pakistan remains open although they supply none.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/comment-bangladesh-and-maldives-a-fractured-link-81268

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Myanmar to Rohingyas: Register as Bangalees

Mar 30, 2014

Myanmar said yesterday that Muslims would not be allowed to register as “Rohingya,” but rather as Bangalees in today’s census, the first in three decades in the country that has fanned sectarian tensions.

The move came as Buddhists in an unrest-hit western state vowed to boycott the census over fears it could lead to official recognition for the Rohingya, viewed by the United Nations as among the world’s most persecuted minorities.

“If a household wants to identify themselves as ‘Rohingya.’ we will not register it,” government spokesman Ye Htut told reporters in Yangon.

He said people could call themselves “Bangalee,” a term used by the authorities, who view most Rohingya as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, reported AFP.

Bangladesh Ambassador to Myanmar Anup Kumar Chakma told the Dhaka Tribune that Myanmar’s Citizenship Law of 1982 recognised as many as 135 ethnic groups and the Rohingyas were not one of them.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/foreign-affairs/2014/mar/30/myanmar-rohingyas-register-bangalees#sthash.nLslzGxD.dpuf

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Pakistan

 

Government-TTP to exchange non-combatant prisoners: Professor Ibrahim

March 30, 2014

Peshawar- Member of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) negotiation committee, Professor Muhammad Ibrahim Khan said that an exchange of non-combatant prisoners would be made very soon between the government and the outlawed TTP.

In an interview, Professor Ibrahim said that the confidence building measures process between the government and the Taliban had started. He said that the crucial details would come in force after the joint meeting between the government and Taliban committees. He said that the government committee already had a meeting with the Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. Professor Ibrahim said that both the committees (God willing) would soon be going to the tribal areas for holding the second key meeting with Taliban Shura.

http://www.nation.com.pk/national/30-Mar-2014/government-ttp-to-exchange-non-combatant-prisoners-professor-ibrahim

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Balochistan Assembly session: Poppy cultivation, 120 heroin factories, says minister

March 30, 2014 

QUETTA: The Balochistan Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution demanding the government end poppy cultivation on thousands of acres of irrigated land in Qila Abdullah district, which shares a border with Afghanistan.

Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) leader and provincial minister Dr Hamid Achakzai tabled the resolution in the house, saying that poppy is being cultivated with impunity. “Qila Abdullah is notorious for the open sale of hashish. There are around 120 heroin factories in the district,” he stated in the resolution.

Dr Achakzai said the police, Frontier Corps (FC), the Anti-Narcotics Force and even Pakistan Army are present in Qila Abdullah but still this illegal business is thriving.

In the resolution, he demanded the Balochistan government take strict action against the anti-social elements involved in this crime. “The government should not compromise and take stern action.”

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/689047/balochistan-assembly-session-poppy-cultivation-120-heroin-factories-in-qila-abdullah-says-minister/

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Militant attack at Pasni radar-post kills one in Balochistan

Mar 30, 2014

QUETTA: An armed militant attack at Pasni Radar-Post in Balochistan's volatile Mekran belt near Pakistan's port city of Gwadar left one personnel dead, a senior official said on Saturday.

The militants fled away the site but only after destroying some technical equipment and planting a bomb at the air traffic control post.

The official in the province’s home and tribal affairs department, who requested anonymity owing to sensitivity of the matter, told Dawn.com that eight armed militants stormed inside the Pasni Radar-Post and killed a personnel deployed there.

“The militants made eight personnel hostage after the attack,” he said, adding that one of them was killed after resistance.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1096410/militant-attack-at-pasni-radar-post-kills-one-in-balochistan

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Govt, TTP agree to extend truce

2014-03-30

ISLAMABAD: The committees representing the government and the Taliban agreed on Saturday to extend the ceasefire and take measures to speed up the dialogue process.

At a joint meeting, presided over by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and attended by members of the committees of the government and the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, the two parties agreed to carry forward the peace process.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, the head of the TTP committee, Maulana Samiul Haq, confirmed that the ceasefire would continue beyond March 31, the date set by them. But he did not say whether the ceasefire was still “temporary” or “permanent”.

He said the interior minister had sought three days to specify the ‘practical steps’ to be taken by the government. According to sources, the allusion was to release of non-combatants belonging to the TTP.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1096588/govt-ttp-agree-to-extend-truce

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Sirajul Haq replaces Munawar Hassan as chief of Jamaat-e-Islami

 March 30, 2014

LAHORE: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) member Sirajul Haq has been elected as the new chief of the party for the next five years, Express News reported on Sunday.

31,301 members of the party were sent ballots, of which 25,533 members voted in secret balloting, with the majority voting in favour of Sirajul Haq.

JI leadership met at the party’s central office today where the announcement was made. Haq will formally take the oath for his position as party chief on April 7.

Haq is currently the Finance Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Munawar Hassan and Liaquat Baloch were also running for the position.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/689135/sirajul-haq-replaces-munawar-hassan-as-chief-of-jamaat-e-islami/

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TTP does not demand release of its prisoners

March 30, 2014

London- Government negotiation committee member Rustam Shah Mohmand today claimed, the Taliban made no formal demand for the release of prisoners and said it was merely their wish, British journalists reported.

Talking to journalists there, Rustam Shah Mohmand said that the government was mulling over the issue of release of prisoners and added if someone had been arrested without any evidence, then his release would definitely be considered. He said Taliban have already been told that the government would continue ceasefire ever after the expiry of deadline. Rustam Shah Mohmand denied any deadlock in the negotiation and said it was a phase-wise process, which would be completed gradually. The government committee member said that Taliban should have free zone facility, where they could move about without fear.

http://www.nation.com.pk/national/30-Mar-2014/ttp-does-not-demand-release-of-its-prisoners-rustam-shah

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Bilawal asked to help displaced Christens, Hindus

March 29, 2014

KARACHI- Minority Welfare Movement today asked Patron in Chief of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, to make arrangements for resettling 600 Christen and Hindu families displaces due to gang war in Lyari last year. As they were still moving from pillar to post.

In a joint statement, Chairman Peter Barnard, General Secretary Nadeem Akhtar and Vice President Wilson of Minority Welfare Movement said, that neither victim families had been given any relief, nor steps taken for their resettlement by the government so far. They said that those families were afraid of going back to Lyari as their dear ones were killed in front of them, and that was why they should be resettled in other parts of Karachi. They appealed to Bilawal to play his due role in this regard.

http://www.nation.com.pk/national/29-Mar-2014/bilawal-asked-to-help-displaced-christens-hindus

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UN envoy promises Pakistan $1b over next four years

 March 30, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The international community will provide Pakistan around $1 billion over the next four years to help domestic efforts to deliver universal education in the country, UN Special Envoy on Global Education Gordon Brown announced on Saturday.

Brown, who is on a brief visit to Pakistan, said he met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other top federal and provincial government officials on Saturday to discuss improvements in the accessibility and quality of education in Pakistan, which has the world’s second-most highest number of out-of-school children at the primary school level.

“We want to set a 21-month goal that by December 2015 we have as many students in school in Pakistan as possible,” said Brown, who was flanked by Minister of State for Education, Trainings and Higher Education Baleeghur Rehman and Punjab’s Governor Muhammad Sarwar during a press conference at the Jinnah Convention Centre.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/689045/new-education-push-un-envoy-promises-pakistan-1b-over-next-four-years/

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PPP strongly condemns threat to Bilawal and death sentence to Sawan Masih

Mar 30, 2014

ISLAMABAD: PPP Human Rights Cell’s Central Coordinator Dr Nafisa Shah has strongly condemned the threats by a banned outfit to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and demanded comprehensive action by the government of Punjab on its safe havens.

The cell has also condemned the attack on commentator and TV anchor Raza Rumi.

In a statement, Nafisa Shah said that it was clear that ceasefire was a red herring while terrorists were working on their agenda. “The government is either unwilling or unable to fight terrorism or address the fundamental problems of internal security,” she said.

The HR cell has further called the award of death sentence to Sawan Masih of Joseph Colony an apparent miscarriage of justice, which will further marginalise the minorities.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/30-Mar-2014/ppp-statement-on-threat-to-bilawal-and-death-sentence-to-sawan-masih

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Africa

 

External forces arming Boko Haram, says Jonathan

Mar 30, 2014

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan is convinced that external forces are arming the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, in its insurgency in the north.

He said yesterday in Abuja that ordinarily the sect members whether as a group or as individuals lack the wherewithal to buy the sophisticated weapons they are using in terrorising people especially in Adamawa,Borno and Yobe States.

“When you look at the characters that carry the weapons in the turbulent areas including the northern part of my country, you see a young person carrying an AK-47 rifle that is approximately more than $1,000 but the total sum of everything  the person wears on his body, from the canvass to whatever he puts on, is not up to $50,” President Jonathan said  at the Seventh Joint Annual Meeting of the Economic Community of Africa (ECA), Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, and African Union (AU) Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance.

Full report at:

http://thenationonlineng.net/new/external-forces-arming-boko-haram-says-jonathan/

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Armed militias hold Libya hostage

Mar 30, 2014

When a militia holding Libya's eastern ports loaded a North Korean-flagged tanker with oil earlier this month, the Libyan parliament sacked its own prime minister and turned to U.S. commandos to bring its cargo back.

For days the government had threatened to blow up the tanker, called Morning Glory, if it left port. When it sailed off, pro-government militiamen even gave chase on boats carrying jeeps mounted with anti-aircraft and cannons.

But that failed, and when the tanker reached international waters Libya's parliament fired Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, who fled to Europe. A few days later, U.S. Navy SEALS boarded the tanker to end the debacle.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/headlines/132391/armed-militias-hold-libya-hostage

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Attempted jail break at Nigeria secret police HQ

Mar 30, 2014

Nigeria's secret police said on Sunday there had been an escape attempt by detainees at their headquarters, with unconfirmed reports that Boko Haram militants were involved.

Department of State Services (DSS) spokeswoman Marilyn Ogar said the incident happened at 7:15 am (0615 GMT) when one of its officers went to feed the detainees.

"One of the suspects attempted to disarm him by hitting him at the back of his head with his handcuff," she said in an emailed statement.

"His attempt to escape drew the attention of other guards at the facility who fired some shots to warn and deter others."

Ogar did not provide details on the number of inmates involved nor disclose why they were being held but said further details would be released later.

The DSS headquarters in the capital Abuja are near the presidential villa and nearby residents reported hearing gunfire on Sunday morning. Traffic was also diverted in the area.

"The gun shots attracted the attention of the military with whom we have an understanding of mutual assistance in the event of any threat," Ogar went on.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/97867/World/International/Attempted-jail-break-at-Nigeria-secret-police-HQ.aspx

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Mideast

 

Jewish extremists storm Al-Aqsa compound

Mar 30, 2014

As many as 19 extremist Jewish settlers on Sunday stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound under the protection of the Israeli police, a Palestinian guard of the holy complex said.

The extremists stormed the holy compound through Al-Magharbeh Gate, mosque guard Naser Qoues confirmed to Anadolu Agency.

"Palestinian religious students stood their ground in the holy site and shouted 'Allahu Akbar' in defiance against the extremists who were under the protection of the Israeli police," he added. Yet, no incident has been reported.

In recent months, groups of extremist Jewish settlers – often accompanied by Israeli security forces – have repeatedly entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem). The frequent violations anger Palestinian Muslims and occasionally lead to violent confrontations.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/132401/jewish-extremists-storm-al-aqsa-compound

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Netanyahu slams UN rights council's censure of Israel

Mar 30, 2014

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday slammed a UN rights body for a string of resolutions condemning the Jewish state despite a wave of rights abuses elsewhere in the region.

"At the end of last week, the UN Human Rights Council condemned Israel five times, at a time when the slaughter in Syria is continuing, innocent people are being hung in the Middle East and human rights are being eroded," he told ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting.

"In many countries the free media are closed down and the UN Human Rights Council decided to condemn Israel," he added. "It's absurd. This procession of hypocrisy goes on and we shall continue to denounce and expose it."

According to Human Rights Watch, the 47-member UN body on Friday passed four resolutions critical of Israel's conduct toward the Palestinians and one on its occupation of the Golan Heights.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/97861/World/Region/Netanyahu-slams-UN-rights-councils-censure-of-Isra.aspx

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Artists to Netanyahu: Let African migrants stay in Israel

Mar 30, 2014

Israeli musicians, actors, journalists and authors asked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to allow African migrants to stay in Israel.

"In recent weeks, we witnessed asylum-seekers' struggle. The message and the power of their cry surprised most of the Israeli public. We heard their cries and cannot remain apathetic," the letter, sent on Sunday, reads.

Among the 80 artists and media figures who signed the letter are authors Amos Oz and Etgar Keret, actors Gila Almagor, Moni Moshonov, Moshe Ivgi , Keren Mor and Orna Banai, singers Gidi Gov, Ehud Banai and Barry Sacharov, and journalists Yaron London and Motti Kirschenbaum, hosts of the eponymous Channel 10 show.

"We look at the asylum-seekers and see women, men and children who live in Israel in distress and fear," the message continues. "The time has come to give a just and fair response to their needs."

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/National-News/Artists-to-Netanyahu-Let-African-migrants-stay-in-Israel-346931

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Palestinians welcome almost unanimous UNHRC support

Mar 30, 2014

The Palestinians on Saturday welcomed the almost unanimous show of support they received at the United Nations Human Rights Council as it ended its 25th session in Geneva.

Four resolutions condemning Israeli treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza passed by a 46-to-1 vote. Italy, Germany and France on behalf of the European Union were among the nations that stood against Israel.

“This vote confirms the world’s clear condemnation of the systematic human rights violations committed by Israel, the occupying power, against the Palestinian people and their fundamental rights,” said Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki.

“The vote also reflects a clear affirmation by the international community on the indisputable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, establishment of their independent state and return based on UN Resolution 194," Malki said.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Palestinians-welcome-almost-unanimous-UNHRC-support-346882

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Yemen pro-govt militiamen killed in ‘al-Qaeda’ ambush

Mar 30, 2014

Two members of Yemen's auxiliary Popular Resistance Committees were killed in an overnight ambush by presumed al-Qaeda members in the south, a member of the pro-government militia said on Sunday.

He said the men were gunned down on the road between Loder and Moudia northeast of Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province.

The attackers, who escaped after the killings, “are presumed to be in al-Qaeda”, he added.

The global jihadist network's Yemen branch, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), is viewed by Washington as its most dangerous and has claimed repeated deadly attacks, including in the heart of the capital Sanaa.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/03/30/Yemen-pro-govt-militiamen-killed-in-al-Qaeda-ambush.html

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North America

 

US won’t give leftover military hardware to Pakistan

2014-03-30

ISLAMABAD: The United States has said it will not give Pakistan its leftover military hardware after the completion of withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan later this year.

“United States Forces-Afghanistan does not provide or intend to provide any such equipment, including MRAPs (mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles), from Afghanistan to Pakistan,” a statement issued by the US-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) in Afghanistan said.

Isaf Commander Gen Joseph Dunford said: “Our commitment to the Afghan people and the Afghan National Security Forces is unwavering.”

The statement followed uproar in Afghanistan over reports that the US had planned to transfer some of its excess equipment to its ally Pakistan.

The upper house of Afghan parliament – Mesharno Jirga – had warned the US against the handover of hardware to Pakistan.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1096595/us-wont-give-leftover-military-hardware-to-pakistan

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Top US general to visit Israel amid strategy spats

Mar 30, 2014

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – The United States’ top military officer will visit Israel next week where he will meet the defense minister who has angered Washington by criticizing its strategies in the Middle East and Ukraine.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, will meet Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon in Jerusalem on Sunday.

The US State Department has said it is disappointed  Yaalon has not apologized for remarks he made at a closed-door meeting this month ridiculing Secretary of State John Kerry’s push for an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord and saying that Washington’s handling of the Ukraine crisis projected weakness.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20140330200264

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Missing Malaysian jetliner: MI6, CIA investigating as fears of terror attack resurface

Loulla Mae Eleftheriou Smith,The Independent | Mar 30, 2014

LONDON: Malaysian authorities have revealed secret services from the UK, the US and China have been involved in the investigations into the disappearance of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, adding to speculation that the plane's disappearance could be down to terrorism.

The MI6, the CIA and Chinese agencies have been looking into the flight simulator found in the home of the flight's Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, though acting transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the FBI has found nothing sinister in the device.

He said the inspector general of police has highlighted the "four possible scenarios of what could have caused the plane to disappear, which are terrorism, hijacking, personal and psychological problems, or technical failure.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Missing-Malaysian-jetliner-MI6-CIA-investigating-as-fears-of-terror-attack-resurface/articleshow/32966507.cms

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India

 

Gujarat high court urges Pakistan govt to release Indian prisoner

TNN | Mar 30, 2014

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court (HC) has requested the Pakistan government to release Indian prisoner Kuldipkumar Yadav, 50, after remitting of his remaining term. Yadav is serving a 25-year-imprisonment in the neighbouring country on the charges of spying.

A bench of Justice Ravi Tripathi and Justice Mohinder Pal has also urged the Pakistan government and directed the Centre, especially the ministry of external affairs, to take up the issue with its Pakistani counterpart for the release of Indian prisoners who are in similar situation.

HC passed directions to Indian administration and requested the Pakistan government on the lines of the Supreme Court order passed in 2011 for the release of another Indian from Pakistan prison, Gopal Das, who too was convicted of spying. The HC has also urged the neighbouring country to pay heed to the appeal made by Yadav's mother Mayadevi on humanitarian ground.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Gujarat-high-court-urges-Pakistan-govt-to-release-Indian-prisoner/articleshow/32925261.cms

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Militant hideout busted in Baramulla

Mar 30, 2014

Security forces on Sunday busted a militant hideout in Baramulla district in north Kashmir and recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition.

“Based on a specific intelligence input regarding location of a terrorist hideout in Tangmula forest of Rafiabad in Baramulla district, a joint operation by a Rashtriya Rifles and police was launched,” an Army spokesman said.

He said that during the search, two AK assault rifles, four AK magazines, 90 AK ammunition rounds, one disposable rocket Launcher, two rockets, three grenades and seven detonators were recovered.

This is the third hideout busted by security forces in the past one week. Security forces recently busted two militant hideouts in Bandipora district of north Kashmir.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/militant-hideout-busted-in-baramulla/article5851296.ece

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URL: https://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/brunei-brings-in-islamic-law-that-include-the-dismemberment-of-limbs-and-stoning-to-death/d/66338

 

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