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Islamic World News ( 11 Aug 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Burqa to khaki: Gujarat mother is first Muslim woman Dy SP

Indian Forces Face Broader Revolt in Kashmir

Iran Shows What It Says Is Murder Confession

Pakistan’s President Stays Away From Devastated Region

Ambassador Leaves Iraq With Much Still Unsettled

"I Am A Terrorist,” Omar Khadr Allegedly Told U.S.

New intelligence on Iran antiaircraft missiles in Afghanistan

Ambassador Leaves Iraq With Much Still Unsettled

New intelligence on Iran antiaircraft missiles in Afghanistan

New Flood Warnings Raise Fears in Pakistan

US warns Pak on press intimidation

Medics Killed In Afghan "Ambush" Aid Group Says

Kashmiris reject Delhi’s autonomy offer

PM's 'autonomy' pitch draws flak from BJP

Prof Attack: PFI leader summoned again

Kashmiris unmoved by yet another panel

To scuttle march, Geelani, Mirwaiz put under house arrest

‘Few human rights violations by CRPF’

'Extremist Groups Threaten Pakistan More Than India'

KASHMIR ON THE BOIL - Two militant attacks kill 4

No Ramadan respite as unrest rocks Indian Kashmir

Barak accepts responsibility for raid on Gaza aid flotilla

Children used as bait to kill eight Iraqi soldiers

Kenyan accused of harbouring Uganda terror suspects

Valley youths chuck careers to pelt stones

My mom asked me to go out and protest

Wasnt asked, says man tasked with job hunt in Valley

Israel set to hit Irans N-sites within a year

UK bans ad urging people to report terrorist neighbours

Trip made world wake up to plight: Pak prez

Iraq needs US military support until 2020: Army chief

$459-million appeal for Pakistan

Israel Army chief testifies before flotilla panel

Thousands flee as swollen Indus floods Sindh province

Scientists Warn Of New Superbug From India, Pak

Madani’s Arrest To Be Delayed

Mecca Wants ‘Mean Time’ Tag

Syria, Iran support Lebanon against Israel

Clinton urges Iran to release political prisoners

Pentagon plans advanced Patriot missile sale to Kuwait

10 terrorists arrested from southern Punjab

Islamic charities versus US in battle for flood aid

Lightning, flood kill 46 in Gilgit-Baltistan

Brazilian girl jailed in UAE

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/burqa-to-khaki--gujarat-mother-is-first-muslim-woman-dy-sp/d/3280

 

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Burqa to khaki: Gujarat mother is first Muslim woman Dy SP

Kamaal Saiyed

Aug 12 2010

Surat : From a burqa to a khaki uniform is a long distance, especially in Gujarat. Yasmin Sajid Sheikh has taken that leap — the 32-year-old schoolteacher and mother of two is set to become the first Muslim woman DySP of Gujarat.

Sheikh, who recently cleared the Gujarat State Public Commission Services exam, has never met a woman police officer. She says it was the depiction of officers in khaki on television and the big screen that motivated her.

Her in-laws back her completely, as does husband Sajid, a designer with a local embroidery firm. And the burqa, they say, is not an issue. Sheikh would wear the veil on her way to work as a schoolteacher, a job she took on to augment family income.

The daughter of a retired government primary schoolteacher, she has done double post-graduation, in Hindi and Gujarati, earning two gold medals. It was but natural, says Sajid, that she appear for the GPSC.

“I am proud to have such a beautiful life partner,” he says. “We have never quarrelled in our married life of eight years. I take care of the kids getting them ready for school when she goes for work. Now I want to see her in a khakhi dress. I don’t mind even if she gets transferred to other districts... we will manage.”

Explaining why she always wanted to be in the police, Sheikh says: “A Revenue Department job is a simple desk job... it is limiting. I want to wear the police uniform, a job that touches all sections of society.” No one from either her or her husband’s family has ever been in the police.

“In the final interview they asked me how should Kashmir issue be resolved,” she recalls. “My answer was peace talks.”

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/burqa-to-khaki-gujarat-mother-is-first-muslim-woman-dysp/659289/

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Indian Forces Face Broader Revolt in Kashmir

By LYDIA POLGREEN

August 13, 2010

SRINAGAR, Kashmir — Late Sunday night, after six days on life support with a bullet in his brain, Fida Nabi, a 19-year-old high school student, was unhooked from his ventilator at a hospital here.

Mr. Nabi was the 50th person to die in Kashmir’s bloody summer of rage. He had been shot in the head, his family and witnesses said, during a protest against India’s military presence in this disputed province.

For decades, India maintained hundreds of thousands of security forces in Kashmir to fight an insurgency sponsored by Pakistan, which claims this border region, too. The insurgency has been largely vanquished. But those Indian forces are still here, and today they face a threat potentially more dangerous to the world’s largest democracy: an intifada-like popular revolt against the Indian military presence that includes not just stone-throwing young men but their sisters, mothers, uncles and grandparents.

The protests, which have erupted for a third straight summer, have led India to one of its most serious internal crises in recent memory. Not just because of their ferocity and persistence, but because they signal the failure of decades of efforts to win the assent of Kashmiris using just about any tool available: money, elections and overwhelming force.

“We need a complete revisit of what our policies in Kashmir have been,” said Amitabh Mattoo, a professor of strategic affairs at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi and a Kashmiri Hindu. “It is not about money — you have spent huge amounts of money. It is not about fair elections. It is about reaching out to a generation of Kashmiris who think India is a huge monster represented by bunkers and security forces.”

Indeed, Kashmir’s demand for self-determination is sharper today than it has been at perhaps any other time in the region’s troubled history. It comes as — and in part because — diplomatic efforts remain frozen to resolve the dispute created more than 60 years ago with the partition of mostly Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. Today each nation controls part of Kashmir, whose population is mostly Muslim.

Secret negotiations in 2007, which came close to creating an autonomous region shared by the two countries, foundered as Pervez Musharraf, then Pakistan’s president, lost his grip on power. The terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India’s financial capital, by Pakistani militants in 2008 derailed any hope for further talks.

Not least, India has consistently rebuffed any attempt at outside mediation or diplomatic entreaties, including efforts by the United States. The intransigence has left Kashmiris empty-handed and American officials with little to offer Pakistan on its central preoccupation — India and Kashmir — as they struggle to encourage Pakistan’s help in cracking down on the Taliban and other militants in the country.

With no apparent avenue to progress, many Kashmiris are despairing that their struggle is taking place in a vacuum, and they are taking matters into their own hands.

“What we are seeing today is the complete rebound effect of 20 years of oppression,” said Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, the chief cleric at Srinagar’s main mosque and a moderate separatist leader. Kashmiris, he said, are “angry, humiliated and willing to face death.”

This summer there have been nearly 900 clashes between protesters and security forces, which have left more than 50 civilians dead, most of them from gunshot wounds. While more than 1,200 soldiers have been wounded by rock-throwing crowds, not one has been killed in the unrest, leading to questions about why Indian security forces are using deadly force against unarmed civilians — and why there is so little international outcry.

“The world is silent when Kashmiris die in the streets,” said Altaf Ahmed, a 31-year-old schoolteacher.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made an emotional appeal for peace.

“I can feel the pain and understand the frustration that is bringing young people out into the streets of Kashmir,” the Indian prime minister said in a televised speech. “Many of them have seen nothing but violence and conflict in their lives and have been scarred by suffering.”

Indeed, there is a palpable sense of opportunities squandered. Despite the protests of recent years, the Kashmir Valley had in the past few years been enjoying a season of peace.

The insurgency of the 1990s has mostly dried up, and elections in 2008 drew the highest percentage of voters in a generation. High expectations met the new chief minister, Omar Abdullah, a scion of Kashmir’s leading political family, whose fresh face seemed well suited to bringing better government and prosperity to Kashmir.

But election promises, like repealing laws that largely shield security forces from scrutiny and demilitarizing the state, went unfulfilled. After two summers of protests on specific grievances, this summer’s unrest has taken on a new character, one more difficult to define and mollify.

That anger has led to a cycle of violence that the Indian government seems powerless to stop. Events that unfolded last week in Pulwama, a small town 20 miles from Srinagar, illustrate how the violence feeds itself.

It began on Monday, Aug. 2, when a young man, Mohammad Yacoub Bhatt, from a village near Pulwama was shot dead during a march to protest the earlier killings of other young protesters.

Four days later, a procession set off to protest his death. Soon it swelled into the thousands. The police blocked the road and refused to let the marchers pass, worried that the crowd would burn down government buildings, as previous crowds had.

What happened next is disputed. Protesters claimed that when they tried to surge through a barricade, the police opened fire.

“We did not think they would open fire,” said Malik Shahid, 17, who had joined the march. “There was no violence. It was a peaceful protest.”

First the police fired in the air, witnesses said, then into the scattering crowd. A bullet felled Mr. Shahid’s uncle, Shabir Ahmed Malik, a 24-year-old driver, and killed him on the spot.

Mr. Shahid, a 12th grader who hopes to become an engineer, said the latest violence was evidence to him that remaining part of India was impossible.

“If India took steps against those who kill us, maybe the people of Kashmir would be willing,” he said. “But when there is no justice how can we remain with India? They are not doing anything but killing. So we will just go for freedom.”

Commandant Prabhakar Tripathy, spokesman for the Central Reserve Police Force, the main paramilitary force trying to keep order in Kashmir, declined to comment on the episode but said that the protests were not as spontaneous as they appeared.

“Militants are just mingling with the crowd, firing bullets from the crowd,” Mr. Tripathy said. “Now they are trying to raise this confrontation between the public and the security forces.”

“We are charging them with tear gas, rubber pellets, firing in the air, nothing works here,” he said. “When a crowd of thousands attacks the camp, what can you do?”

Indian officials have tried to portray Kashmir’s stone-throwing youths as illiterate pawns of jihadist forces across the Pakistan border and have suggested that economic development and jobs are the key to getting young people off the streets.

But many of the stone throwers are hardly illiterate. They organize on Facebook, creating groups with names like “Im a Kashmiri Stone Pelter.” One young man who regularly joins protests and goes by the nom de guerre Khalid Khan has an M.B.A. and a well-paying job.

“Stone pelting is a form of resistance to their acts of repression in the face of peaceful protest,” he said in an interview. “I would call it self-defense. Stones do not kill. Their bullets kill.”

Each death seems to feed the anger on the streets, creating new recruits for the revolt. Fida Nabi’s brother, Aabid, 21, watched over him as he drifted toward death this week, his head swathed in white bandages, his chest rising and falling to the ghostly rhythm of the ventilator.

Aabid thought he had his life all mapped out — making more than $200 a month as a news photographer. But since his brother was shot his priorities have changed. “I used to cover the protests,” he said. “But now I will join them.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/13/world/asia/13kashmir.html?_r=1&hp

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Iran Shows What It Says Is Murder Confession

By WILLIAM YONG and ROBERT F. WORTH

August 13, 2010

TEHRAN — Iranian state television has broadcast what it portrayed as a murder confession by a woman who had been sentenced to death by stoning on adultery charges, in an unusual effort to deflect criticism of a case that has drawn international protests and an offer of asylum from the president of Brazil.

The woman’s videotaped statement, broadcast Wednesday night, was part of an extraordinary prime-time program — including interviews with a prosecutor and the woman’s friends and family — that suggested that the international uproar had put Iranian officials on the defensive, and left them struggling to defend their case for both domestic and international audiences.

The British government on Thursday condemned the video, saying Iran appeared to be inventing new murder charges against the woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, to justify her execution. Amnesty International and other human rights groups compared the videotaped statement to forced confessions made by Iranian political dissidents, who in some cases recanted afterward and said they had confessed under torture.

Lawyers for Ms. Ashtiani said that she had agreed to the interview only after being tortured in prison, and that her family members had been put under great pressure.

She was convicted of adultery in 2006, but the murder accusation was disclosed only last week — after her case drew international condemnation — in an apparent effort to suggest that she was guilty of a more serious crime. The Iranian authorities also lifted the stoning sentence, and there were signs she would be executed by hanging instead.

Ms. Ashtiani, 43, did not confess to murder in the video. Instead, sitting in a chair and clutching a piece of paper in her left hand, she told an interviewer with a microphone how a man had “tricked me with his words” and then killed her husband by electrocuting him. She spoke in Azeri, with a Persian-language voice-over, and her face was deliberately blurred in an oddly incongruous effort to protect her identity. A subtitle introduced her as “S. A.,” with the words “The case of murder tainted with immorality.”

After Ms. Ashtiani’s statement, a white-turbaned cleric identified as the lead prosecutor in East Azerbaijan, the area in northwest Iran where the trial took place, appeared and said Ms. Ashtiani had injected her husband “with an anesthetic shot, which made him unconscious.”

“Then the killer himself attached two electrical wires to his neck and killed him,” the cleric continued. “They had prepared the scene of the murder by sending their children to another location.”

Javid Kian, a lawyer for Ms. Ashtiani, confirmed the authenticity of the video in a telephone conversation and said she had suffered “insults and degradation and physical torture in order to force her to read the notes they gave her for the television interview.” Mr. Kian said he had been summoned to appear on Saturday for interrogation by the Iranian authorities.

Another lawyer for Ms. Ashtiani, Mohammad Mostafaei, fled Iran this month after his office was ransacked and members of his family were arrested, and he is now seeking asylum in Norway. Mr. Mostafaei has taken on dozens of controversial cases, and has urged Iran’s judiciary to ban stoning, juvenile executions and the imprisonment of political dissidents.

In her videotaped statement, Ms. Ashtiani criticized Mr. Mostafaei for publicizing her case. “Why did he put my case on television?” she said. “Why did he shame me and ruin my reputation?”

Since the disputed presidential election last year, the Iranian authorities have cracked down on lawyers who take on human rights cases. Earlier this month a hard-line cleric, Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani, said lawyers must not take on cases that are not deemed proper by the Islamic republic.

Ms. Ashtiani’s case has drawn criticism from human rights groups worldwide, and an online petition for her release has drawn hundreds of thousands of signatures and the support of celebrities including Peter Gabriel and Gwyneth Paltrow. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton mentioned Ms. Ashtiani this week in a call for Iran to release political prisoners.

Later in the program broadcast on Wednesday, a narrator asked: “So what is the real reason for all this outcry over Ms. S. A.? Is it that British, Israeli and American officials and media organizations, including Ms. Clinton, are so concerned about her well-being that they cry out about human rights in Iran? Of course, the debate about human rights has always been used as an instrument of pressure against Iran by Western officials and media.”

The narrator also suggested that the campaign might be an indirect effort to obtain the release of three American hikers who were arrested on the Iranian border last summer and have since been in prison facing espionage charges.

Perhaps more significant, for Iranian officials, was the offer last month by the Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, to grant asylum to Ms. Ashtiani. Brazil is an important ally for Iran, and took part, with Turkey, in a recent effort to solve the impasse over Iran’s controversial nuclear program. Iranian officials rejected the Brazilian offer of asylum and suggested that Mr. da Silva was unaware of the facts of Ms. Ashtiani’s case.

Some analysts suggested that Ms. Ashtiani’s videotape underscored the tensions within Iran’s government between the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and his rival, Sadeq Larijani, the judiciary chief who ultimately controls Ms. Ashtiani’s case. Mr. da Silva had suggested that his offer to grant asylum to Ms. Ashtiani would be a test of his friendship with the Iranian president.

In that context, the videotaped statement could be an effort by Mr. Larijani to embarrass Mr. Ahmadinejad by suggesting to the Brazilians that “Ahmadinejad is either unwilling or incapable of delivering,” said Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The videotape could also be an effort to blacken the reputation of Mr. Mostafaei, a well-known lawyer who has spoken out extensively against the Iranian government since his flight from Iran.

“The government wants to pre-empt anything Mostafaei will say about other cases he has been involved in,” said Mojtaba Vahedi Bodala, a reformist political figure and former newspaper editor who is now living in the United States.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/13/world/middleeast/13iran.html?ref=world

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Pakistan’s President Stays Away From Devastated Region

By ROBERT MACKEY

August 13, 2010

Press Information Department of Pakistan A handout photograph released by Pakistan’s government shows Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari giving a check to a flood victim during a visit to Sukkur, in the southern Sindh Province.

As Pakistanis continue to post video on the Internet documenting the terrible devastation caused by floods in the country’s northwest, their president, Asif Ali Zardari, was filmed on an inspection tour of flood defenses in the country’s southern Sindh province on Thursday.

These two dramatic videos, uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday or Thursday, show houses collapsing and being swept away by raging waters in the Kalam Valley, along the Swat river in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, which has been among the worst-affected areas of Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/12/pakistans-president-stays-away-from-flood-zones-epicenter/?pagemode=print

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Ambassador Leaves Iraq With Much Still Unsettled

By ANTHONY SHADID

August 13, 2010

BAGHDAD — Christopher R. Hill, the ambassador to Iraq charged with reshaping the American role here, on Thursday ended his 16-month tenure in an anxious, unsettled country, with a military withdrawal afoot but a key task not done: the formation of a government that will inherit the country.

Mr. Hill postponed his retirement as a diplomat in a last-ditch attempt to reach a deal to end five months of a dangerous stalemate that has prompted a debate over the pace of the American pullout. Hours before his departure from Baghdad, he said a power-sharing arrangement between the main winners in the March election was just weeks away.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/13/world/middleeast/13iraq.html?ref=world

 

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"I Am A Terrorist,” Omar Khadr Allegedly Told U.S.

August 13, 2010

 

GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - Canadian prisoner Omar Khadr told interrogators he was an al Qaeda terrorist and described pulling the pin of a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan, a prosecutor told Khadr's war crimes tribunal on Thursday.

But Khadr's defence attorney said those were the words of a scared and wounded child whose interrogators frightened him into giving a false confession by making up a tale of a young boy gang-raped and killed in prison.

"It is only after that story is told to Omar Khadr that he admits to throwing anything. He told them what they wanted to hear," Army Lieutenant Colonel Jon Jackson said in defence opening statements.

The first day of testimony ended early and dramatically when Jackson fainted in the courtroom. He was questioning a witness, asked for a recess and fell to the floor with a thud.

Jackson suffered complications related to recent gall bladder surgery and was in the base hospital, Deputy Chief Defence Counsel Bryan Broyles said on Thursday night. Jackson is Khadr's only lawyer and the trial cannot resume until he is medically cleared, Broyles said.

Toronto-born Khadr was 15 when captured during a firefight at an al Qaeda compound in Afghanistan in 2002. He is the first person since World War Two to face trial in a military tribunal for acts allegedly committed as a minor.

The United Nations said earlier this week that the trial at the Guantanamo Bay naval base was of dubious legality and could set a dangerous precedent for child soldiers worldwide.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2010/08/12/world/international-uk-guantanamo-canadian.html

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New intelligence on Iran antiaircraft missiles in Afghanistan

August 13, 2010

An intelligence report recently delivered to the NDS, Afghanistan’s domestic intelligence agency, says that Iran has supplied fresh batteries for some three dozen shoulder-fired SA-7 missiles stockpiled by Taliban forces in Kandahar, in anticipation of a U.S. attack.

Although uncorroborated, the June 25 report from a human intelligence asset fits with information from other sources that the Taliban has obtained Iranian-made SA-7’s and other, older shoulder-fired missiles, including U.S.-made Stingers left over from the mujaheddin’s CIA-backed war against the Soviet Red Army.

But the rebels' use of the missiles has been hampered by a lack of batteries, multiple sources say, as well as fears of a rapid counterstrike by U.S. drones.

“The real issue" with SA-7s "is battery life,” said a retired former top U.S. military intelligence official in Afghanistan.

“There are three parts to the system: the shoulder grip/sighting mechanism, the rocket in tube and the battery. Batteries are the weak link.”

A former senior CIA operations officer echoed a similar theme, independently.

"They have a bunch of U.S. Stingers left over from the mujaheddin time. But the batteries are dead,” said the former officer, who is under contract to supply intelligence about al-Qaeda and the Taliban to the Pentagon. “The Iranians are trying to get or manufacture new batteries.”

“Iran has provided about three dozen new, Iranian-made, shoulder-fired AA rockets” to the Taliban, the former CIA officer added, “and they are in Helmand and Kandahar now, but being held in reserve for the ‘big battle’ that never seems to come.”

Full report at:

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/spy-talk/2010/08/intelligence_report_iranian_an.html?hpid=news-col-blog

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New Flood Warnings Raise Fears in Pakistan

By SALMAN MASOOD and KEVIN DREW

August 13, 2010

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan issued new flood warnings on Thursday that could last into the weekend as government and relief agencies strained to confront the toll from a growing humanitarian disaster.

The new warnings to several cities in Punjab and Sindh Provinces added to the desperation of many across the country facing a daily struggle for survival as Muslims around the world began to observe the holy month of Ramadan.

On Thursday, President Asif Ali Zardari, who came under stinging criticism for making a trip to Europe as the disaster unfolded, made his first tour of flood-damaged areas since his return to the country this week, beginning with Sukkur in Sindh Province, news reports said.

The United States Embassy in Islamabad announced that two Marine helicopters had arrived in the country, the first of a contingent of 19 American military helicopters that has been ordered to assist the Pakistani government in relief efforts. The United States has pledged $71 million for flood relief, and American officials have called for more.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/13/world/asia/13pstan.html?ref=world

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US warns Pak on press intimidation

Aug 12 2010

 

WASHINGTON: The United States has said it would be a "mistake" by the civilian government of Pakistan to follow the footsteps of the previous Musharraf regime to "intimidate" the press in the country.

 "We certainly think it would be a mistake for the Pakistani civilian government to follow the press intimidation that was present during its predecessor," state department spokesmanP J Crowley said when asked about the recent developments in Pakistan in this regard.

 According to a CNN news report, two TV stations -- Geo TV and ARY stations - were shut down in parts of Sindh province, including Karachi after the news channels' reports angered supporters of the Pakistani President.

Azher Abbas, Geo's managing director, said its signals were blocked at midnight on Saturday after the station broadcast news reports that a pair of shoes had allegedly been hurled at PresidentAsif Ali Zardari during his visit to Birmingham, England, CNN said.

Crowley, however, was quick to take pot shots at the Pakistani press, a section of which has been consistently raising anti-US passion inside Pakistan as was reflected during the Kerry-Lugar Bill, which gives it $7.5 billion in five years.

"We ourselves, who have been to Pakistan, have witnessed and interacted with - among the most vibrant media that exist anywhere in the world. The Pakistani press is very aggressive.

"We always have - take issues with particular stories that may or may not have a basis in fact, but we recognise that the dynamism that we do see in Pakistani society that a vibrant and free press contributes significantly to that," he said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-warns-Pak-on-press-intimidation/articleshow/6297488.cms#ixzz0wPF6ArmV

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Medics Killed In Afghan "Ambush" Aid Group Says

Aug 12 2010

KABUL (Reuters) - Eight foreign medical workers and two Afghans shot by unidentified gunmen were likely killed in an "opportunistic ambush", the international Christian aid organisation for which they worked said on Thursday.

The International Assistance Mission (IAM) has disputed the Taliban's claim of responsibility for the killings in Badakhshan province in Afghanistan's remote northeast last week.

The Taliban quickly said it had killed the foreigners -- six Americans, a Briton and a German -- accusing them of promoting Christianity. Another militant Islamist group, Hezb-i-Islami, also said it had killed them.

There has been no independent verification of the claims. A Federal Bureau of Investigation team from the United States and Afghan officials are investigating.

IAM, which has worked in Afghanistan since 1966 and resolutely rejects the accusation its team was proselytising, said it had also conducted its own investigation but was not in a position to determine who had committed the killings.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has squarely blamed the Taliban and described the killings as "a despicable act of wanton violence".

IAM said its investigation showed the killings were not the result of a robbery, as had been suggested in some media reports.

"We are now working on the assumption that the attack was an opportunistic ambush by a group of non-local fighters," IAM executive director Dirk Frans said in a statement.

All but one member of the team, an Afghan man named Safiullah, was killed. Safiullah, a driver, was held by Afghan authorities but had been released, Frans said.

The remote, impoverished area where mobile eye-care team was attacked is near the border with Nuristan province and is a melting pot of different people, many who only converted to Islam two centuries ago and who speak a myriad of languages and dialects.

"Someone from Kabul going there would be like Columbus discovering America," one veteran Afghan commentator said.

U.S. forces withdrew from Nuristan last year after taking heavy losses in years of battle near its Pakistan border.

Frans said the team was ambushed just after it had crossed a river swollen by recent rains.

"It was then that a group of armed men attacked the team, killing all but one of its members on the spot.

The bodies of four of the Americans were flown back to the United States on Wednesday. The other two will be buried in Afghanistan.

The body of British surgeon Dr Karen Woo will also be buried in a Kabul cemetery later on Thursday.

Violence across Afghanistan has reached its worst level since the Taliban were ousted in late 2001, spreading out of traditional insurgent areas in the south and east into the north and west despite the presence of some 150,000 foreign troops.

Military deaths have hit records this year but it is Afghan civilians who continue to bear the brunt of the conflict. A U.N. report released this week said civilian casualties had risen 31 percent in the first six months of this year.

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2010/08/12/world/international-uk-afghanistan-medics.html?_r=1

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Kashmiris reject Delhi’s autonomy offer

Aug 12, 2010

SRINAGAR: Separatist leaders in Indian Kashmir dismissed Wednesday overtures from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about political autonomy in the region following months of unrest.

Three policemen and a woman were killed in Kashmir, police said Wednesday, as the restive Muslim-majority region prepared to begin the fasting month of Ramadan.

Appealing to Kashmiris to “give peace a chance,” Singh had said Tuesday that his government would consider any consensus proposal for autonomy as long as it remained “within the ambit” of the constitution.

He also announced the creation of a panel of experts that would draw up a “jobs plan” for Kashmir where rampant unemployment - especially among young people - has fuelled resentment against Indian rule.

But senior Kashmir separatists rejected Singh’s initiative.

“Our fight is for independence, not autonomy,” Javed Mir, a former militant commander turned separatist politician, said.

“We will continue our fight for our goal through peaceful protests,” said Mir, who had been among the first Kashmiris to take up arms in 1989 when frustration against Indian rule boiled over into a full-blown insurgency.

Under the terms of its accession to India in 1947 - after independence from Britain and the sub-continent’s division -- Kashmir was granted a relatively high degree of autonomy, excluding areas like defense and foreign affairs.

But those powers have been eroded over the years, and renewed promises of greater autonomy gain little traction in separatist circles.

“Our struggle is not for restoration of autonomy. It is to seek our right to self-determination,” Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, an influential moderate separatist and cleric, said.

“We should be allowed to decide whether we want to remain with India, accede to Pakistan or carve out an independent state,” he said.

The Kashmir Legislative Assembly in 2000 passed a resolution favoring full restoration of the state’s autonomy, but it was rejected by the then Hindu-nationalist government in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has asked Indian forces cracking down on protests in Kashmir to stop wearing the distinctive powder-blue helmets of the UN peacekeeping force, a UN official said Wednesday.

About 300 members of the paramilitary Rapid Action Force have been deployed in Kashmir since last week to help quell nearly two months of civil unrest that has reportedly killed more than 50 protesters and bystanders.

Dozens of members of the force, armed with automatic rifles and dressed in full riot gear, have used UN-marked blue helmets and shields as they faced off against the protesters in the streets of Srinagar. While the bulk of their duties consist of marching down streets in a show of strength, they have also taken part in baton charges and fired tear gas into the crowds.

Their use of UN equipment has perplexed many Kashmiris, who wondered why UN troops had taken a side in the conflict and were assisting Indian forces.

“We’ve already informed the authorities about this problem,” said an officer at the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan. “The authorities have promised to solve this situation.” Prabhakar Tripathi, a spokesman for Indian paramilitary forces in Kashmir, said some soldiers had brought the helmets and shields back with them after finishing tours of duties with various UN peacekeeping missions.

“We have been using them elsewhere in the country as well. I don’t think there is anything wrong in using these helmets and shields,” Tripathi said.

He said the troops were using the equipment because it was still in good condition.

http://arabnews.com/world/article100182.ece

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PM's 'autonomy' pitch draws flak from BJP

Aug 12 2010

BJP on wednesday said the Prime Minister's offer to consider autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir within the ambit of Constitution was "unacceptable" to it if it reverses the state's

integration with the country.

Party leaders also said there cannot be "autonomy" within the country but there can be "more powers" to the state.

"The Prime Minister will have to explain what he meant by autonomy and with what intention he has said this.... If autonomy means reversing the process of integration of Kashmir into India, then this is unacceptable to us," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters outside Parliament.

Stating that BJP was also opposed to Article 370 providing special status to the state, he said the views of people of Jammu and Ladakh also have to be kept in mind while analysing the issue.

Commenting on the issue, senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said, "what is there in the Prime Minister's mind, we should know about that. There cannot be autonomy within the country but there can be more powers to the state once it is agreed upon between the centre and the state. That can be discussed."

Demanding a detailed discussion on the issue, he said, "whenever there is specific proposal from the Prime Minister, the party will think and discuss it at the appropriate forum."

Naidu added that BJP was open to any discussion on the issue within the constitutional framework of the country and without compromising its integrity.

"Nothing should be done directly or indirectly which should affect the integration of the state with the country," he said.

On the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the BJP leader said, "we are of the opinion that it (the Act) is very much required to maintain security in Jammu and Kashmir and there should be no compromise on that."

PM's remarks on autonomy evoke mixed reaction

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's willingness to consider autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir evoked mixed reaction from political parties on wednesday with ruling National Conference and CPI(M) welcoming the initiative but separatists saying it will not solve the crisis.

A day after Singh told an all-party meeting that the Centre was willing to consider autonomy within the ambit of the Constitution, National Conference President and Union Minister Farooq Abdullah said "we welcome the Prime Minister's initiative on autonomy within the Constitution and I am hopeful that this will bring some peace

to the valley.

As a step forward in this direction, the senior Abdullah said his party "will begin dialogue with other political parties in the state and work out to bring a consensus on this issue."

The state Pradesh Congress Chief Saif-ud-din Soz did not directly comment on autonomy but said the Prime Minister's comments on the situation in the state will definitely produce a much-required "healing touch" in the state.

He said the Prime Minister was very positive in the meeting and his expression of concern for the people of Jammu and Kashmir shows his compassion. "His speech will definitely produce a much-required healing touch for the people of the Valley."

Asked about his views on autonomy, he said "you see I am an ardent believer of dialogue between people of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Government. I am sure it will yield a resolution to the political problem."

Soz also stressed on the need to send an all-partydelegation to the state to have an on-the-spot assessment of the situation in the Valley. "I also want senior editors of the prominent newspapers also to visit the Valley," he said.

PDP, which welcomed the Prime Minister's opening remarks, however, reacted guardedly on the autonomy issue saying Kashmir is not a problem between Centre and the state.

"It has both internal as well as external dimensions which have to be addressed. Devolution of powers can be a part of resolution but cannot be a resolution by itself because we need to sort our relationship with the other Kashmir," PDP President Mehbooba Mufti said.

She said the problem needs a holistic solution and just devolution of powers from the Centre to the state.

BJP was critical of the proposal saying there cannot be autonomy within the country. If the proposal reverses the state's integration with the country, then the party will oppose, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shanker Prasad said.

Leader of another national party from the state, Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami of CPI-M said the Prime Minister's offer to discuss autonomy is a welcome statement.

"But the Prime Minister should himself hold consultations to build a consensus for a larger autonomy and devolution of power within the state," he said.

Tarigami, considered a peacemaker, said what the Prime Minister has said at the meeting has definitely a positive message to the people of the state.

"All the participants projected the views and the meeting will surely help reduce the grievances of people of the state," he said.

Hurriyat leaders Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Abdul Gani Bhat rejected the autonomy offer saying it was no solution to the problem that is begging for resolution for last six decades.

"Autonomy is an arrangement between Delhi and Srinagar. Kashmiris have tasted autonomy -- the autonomy that swallowed the Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir's body and soul together.

"I don't think autonomy is acceptable to political genius of Kashmir. We will have to have a solution where no party -- India, Pakistan and people of all the three regions of the state -- suffer any sense of defeat," Bhat told said.

The Mirwaiz said "we are not seeking autonomy. We are not asking for redefinition of the state and the Centre relations.

Chairman of hardline faction of hurriyat Syed Ali Shah Geelani said "The Prime Minister has spoken many words on Kashmir but neglected the real issue for which kashmiris have taken to streets.

"I want to make it clear that jobs and economic packages can't be substitute to the right of self determination of Kashmiris," he said.

Asked about the autonomy issue, Sajjad Lone, who broke away from Hurriyat and contested last assembly elections, said he favoured holistic approach and not short cuts. "I favour a holistic approach. Short cuts wont help you. Government should have a long term plan which can mean repealing of laws and withdrawal of security forces

and time line for doing it," he said.

A faction of Panun Kashmir, a Kashmiri Pandit group, flayed the Prime Minister's discussion on autonomy saying "any move by the Central Government that tends to dilute the extent of Indian sovereignty in Kashmir is fraught with dangerous consequences. We do not favour this at all."

http://www.dailypioneer.com/275445/PMs-autonomy-pitch-draws-flak-from-BJP.html

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Prof Attack: PFI leader summoned again

VR Jayaraj

Aug 12 2010

The Kerala Police on Wednesday summoned again Abdul Hameed, State general secretary of the Islamist outfit, Popular Front of India, to appear for evidence-gathering in the case related to the July 4 attack on a college professor. Hameed had failed to appear before the police on Monday for quizzing despite a notice. The Circle Inspector of Police, Muvattupuzha, where the attack on Prof TJ Joseph took place, has now asked Hameed to appear for quizzing on August 17. On Monday, the PFI leader had asked the police for a week’s time to appear before them as he was busy with some organisational jobs. They had quizzed Ashraf Moulvi, State president of the Imams’ Council, a feeder outfit of the PFI, the other day in the same case.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/275457/Prof-Attack-PFI-leader-summoned-again.html

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Kashmiris unmoved by yet another panel

By Naseer Ganai

Aug 12 2010

THE PEOPLE of Kashmir are tired of promises. And the reason for their disillusionment is not far to seek.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s decision to set up a new committee to “ formulate a jobs plan” has not gone down well with the people of the state.

After all, there has been no progress in the implementation of suggestions made by at least four working groups he had constituted during the roundtable conference in 2006.

State government officials feel if he really wanted to make a difference, he should have focused on this instead of constituting yet another committee.

The PM had said on Tuesday that the expert group, which will formulate a ‘ jobs plan’ in the public and private sectors, would be headed by C. Rangarajan. The other members of the committee are N. R. Narayana Murthy, Tarun Das, P. Nanda Kumar, Shaqueel Qalander and a representative of the state government.

Full report at: Mail Today

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To scuttle march, Geelani, Mirwaiz put under house arrest

RIYAZ WANI

Aug 12 2010

Srinagar : Police on Wednesday put Srinagar and other major towns of Kashmir under curfew and separatists under house arrest to thwart a proposed march to Pampore, the hometown of senior Hurriyat leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz, who was killed this day in 2008 when police and Army fired on protesters marching towards Muzaffarbad.

Police and CRPF men were deployed in strength outside the house of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chief of the Hurriyat’s moderate faction who had threatened to forcibly break free of the house arrest.

Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz’s hardline counterpart, was also confined to his house, though only a few days ago, the state government had promised him “political space” in exchange for using his influence to prevent protesters from pelting stones and burning properties. Geelani helped clam the streets a little, but was struggling to steer the unprecedented unrest.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/to-scuttle-march-geelani-mirwaiz-put-under-house-arrest/659163/

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‘Few human rights violations by CRPF’

Aug 12 2010

Despite receiving flak from the Kashmir valley-based separatist leaders and elements sympathetic to the cause of protecting human rights of violent protesters, a senior officer of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Wednesday defended the track record of the country's elite force.

Interacting with the media after attending the passing-out parade of 79th batch of 278 CRPF recruits in Jammu, Inspector General (Jammu range) CRPF AS Sidhu said, "There are very few allegations of human rights violation against the CRPF personnel."

“The overall track record of CRPF with regard to protecting human rights is very good, and the few allegations levelled against the jawans either could not be proved or turned out to be false,” he added.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/275504/%E2%80%98Few-human-rights-violations-by-CRPF%E2%80%99.html

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'Extremist Groups Threaten Pakistan More Than India'

Aug 12 2010

The US is persuading Islamabad that it faces a greater threat from terrorist groups, which it had earlier nurtured, than from India, a well-known US expert on South Asia has said.

“What the US has been trying to do is to persuade the Pakistani government that these are now Frankenstein’s monsters that threaten you a lot more than India does; you ought to clean them out, the Pakistanis prefer to hedge their bets,” Stephen Biddle, senior fellow for defence policy at the council on foreign relations, said.

“So what we’ve got is an intermediate outcome where Pakistan isn’t as supportive of them as they once were but neither do they completely wipe them out,” Biddle told reporters in a conference.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/international/extremist-groups-threaten-pakistan-more-india-291

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KASHMIR ON THE BOIL - Two militant attacks kill 4

Aug 12 2010

A day after the PM's peace message for Jammu and Kashmir, militants struck twice -targetting an army convoy and a politician's house -and killed four persons in all.

BLOW 3 cops and 1 civilian dead in army convoy ambush and attack on leader's house

With stonethrowing incidents in the Valley coming down, militants on Tuesday entered the arena with bullets.

Security forces were attacked in two places in Jammu and Kashmir, Rajouri and Sopore, leading to the death of three policemen and a civilian woman.

Thirteen people, including two soldiers, were injured.

The strikes come a day the Prime Minister reached out to Kashmiris in a televised speech.

The Commanding Officer of 48 Rashtriya Rifles had a narrow escape in Thanna Mandi area of Rajouri district, about 180 km north of Jammu, on Tuesday night when suspected Lashkar-e-Tayyeba men attacked an army convoy.

Full report at: Hindustan Times

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No Ramadan respite as unrest rocks Indian Kashmir

12 August 2010

 SRINAGAR, India - The fasting month of Ramadan looks set to be one of curfews, protests and hardship for Muslims in Indian Kashmir, which is experiencing a wave of popular unrest directed against Indian rule.

For two months, violent demonstrations have rocked the troubled Himalayan region. Around 50 protesters and onlookers have been killed.

Each fatality has fuelled fresh anger, in what Kashmir’s Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has acknowledged is a “cycle of violence”.

The constant round of protests, strikes and curfews has all but shut down daily commerce in the mainly Muslim Kashmir Valley, hurting small traders and making shopping for basic provisions a major challenge.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/international/2010/August/international_August583.xml&section=international

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Barak accepts responsibility for raid on Gaza aid flotilla

Harriet Sherwood

Aug 12 2010

Jerusalem: Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday said he took “overall” responsibility for the deadly raid on the Gaza aid flotilla which resulted in the deaths of nine Turkish activists. However, he pointed the finger of blame at the military for the execution of the internationally condemned operation.

Giving evidence on the second day of hearings held by the Turkel commission, the state-appointed panel investigating the operation, Mr. Barak said: “I carry overall responsibility for everything that took place in the systems under my command. I carry responsibility for the orders given on the political level.”

However, he drew a distinction between political responsibility and the execution of the operation. “The politicians determined the ‘what' and the IDF [Israel Defence Forces] worked out the ‘how' — and the IDF carried out the operation.” The military did not inform politicians about the details of the operational plan, said Mr. Barak. “They said, ‘It will be difficult to do it, but we will do it.' They did not say how it should be done, and rightfully so. Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/08/12/stories/2010081263651800.htm

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Children used as bait to kill eight Iraqi soldiers

Aug 12 2010

Gunmen burst into a house north of Baghdad early on Wednesday, killed three people and then sent the surviving children to lure over soldiers from a nearby Iraqi army checkpoint, killing eight.

The pre-dawn incident in the volatile Diyala province underlines the unrelenting dangers that members of Iraq’s security forces still face as American troops prepare to reduce their numbers by the end of the month and end all combat operations.

It also shows the constantly evolving and sophisticated tactics of insurgents that American and Iraqi officials say have been seriously debilitated since the deaths of their top leaders last spring.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/275554/Children-used-as-bait-to-kill-eight-Iraqi-soldiers.html

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Kenyan accused of harbouring Uganda terror suspects

Aug 12 2010

A Kenyan man who once told authorities he was part of an al-Qaeda plot to blow up the US Embassy in Nairobi is now facing charges in connection with last month’s terror attacks in Uganda but is on bail, authorities said on Wednesday. Salmin Mohammed Khamis, 34, also was acquitted in 2005 in the bombing of a beachfront hotel, two years after he divulged the embassy plot. Khamis was never charged in connection with the embassy case and his statement to authorities was viewed by The Associated Press.

He was one of seven people acquitted in the 2002 bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel near Mombasa, Kenya in which 15 people died. He also was acquitted of charges in connection with a failed attempt to shoot down an Israeli passenger plane leaving Mombasa that same day. Kenya’s anti-terrorism police chief, Nicholas Kamwende, confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday that the same man is now facing charges in connection with the Uganda bombings that killed 76 people. Khamis, though, is out on bail after a Mombasa court released him Monday.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/275521/Kenyan-accused-of-harbouring-Uganda-terror-suspects.html

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Valley youths chuck careers to pelt stones

Himanshi Dhawan

Aug 12 2010

New Delhi: For weeks after the Kashmir Valley erupted in anger,the stonepelting protesters were described as semi-literate,unemployed youth being manipulated by secessionist leaders.Thats not entirely true,as TOI found out after speaking to the men behind the masks.Many of the stonepelters are youths with college degrees,some with academic careers or once-thriving businesses.

Such is the anger in the Valley that these young men,most of them with no prior political affiliations,are willing to throw caution to the winds and give up their career dreams for azadi.A final-year commerce student,Atiq,a stone-pelter himself,calls it a haq ki ladaai (a fight for rights).At 21,Atiq should have been weighing career options.But he says there can be no career without a future.

I am not scared that I will die by a bullet.I would have died doing something good.I have lived my life in the shadow of bullets.I can die by one without any remorse, he says in Urdu.

Full report at: Times of India

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My mom asked me to go out and protest

Aug 12 2010

New Delhi: Stone-pelting in Kashmir is not just an employment generation venture pushed by separatists,it appears.Educated professionals are also taking to the streets in a big way.Riyaz,a management teacher at a city university who has participated in 80 to 90 protest marches by now,explains how stone pelting came as a spontaneous reaction.

We have been subjected to unprovoked violence.The forces do it on purpose to spread fear and oppression.We cant fight the might of the government militarily,so we are employing every means possible to get our voice heard including stone-pelting,speaking to the international media and writing articles that give our point of view, he says.

Kashmiris deserve truth and justice,he says,adding the movement was a retaliation to Indias unfulfilled promise.He has watched friends get picked up from their homes in the middle of the night,seen his family being searched at checkposts and decided he had had enough.

Full report at: Times of India

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Wasnt asked,says man tasked with job hunt in Valley

M Saleem Pandit

Aug 12 2010

Srinagar: The president of Federation Chambers of Industries Kashmir (FCIK),Shakeel Qalandar,whom PM Manmohan Singh named in a televised address on Tuesday as one of the experts on the C Rangarajan panel for creating jobs for Kashmiris,sprang a surprise saying he was never consulted before his name was announced by the PM.

I wasnt consulted by the authorities before the PM announced my name.I was surprised to learn that I was included in the group of experts, Qalandar said. The Prime Minister must have taken a cue from our deliberations with the Central government over Indus Water Treaty and revival of small scale industries in the past, he added.

Criticizing the PMs address,Qalandar further said, The Prime Minister should have addressed the political alienation of Kashmiris rather than talk about the economy. Asked whether he would join the Rangarajan panel,Qalandar said he would first discuss the issue in FCIK executive body.

Full report at: Times of India

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Israel set to hit Irans N-sites within a year

Aug 12 2010

Jerusalem: Israel may launch a unilateral attack on Iranian nuclear facilities within a year if the Obama administration fails to assure Tel Aviv that it is serious about foiling Tehrans atomic ambitions,a media report said.

Israel will carry out the military attack without asking for Washingtons famous green light or even give couple of false pre-attack alerts,according to Atlantic magazines yetto-be published story,obtained by Haaretz daily.... one day next spring,Israeli national security adviser,Uzi Arad,and Israeli defence minister,Ehud Barak,will simultaneously telephone their counterparts at the White House and the Pentagon,to inform them their PM,Benjamin Netanyahu,has just ordered roughly one hundred F-15 Es,F-16 Is,F-16 Cs,and other aircraft of the Israeli air force to fly east toward Iran, the article says.

Full report at: Times of India

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UK bans ad urging people to report terrorist neighbours

Aug 12 2010

London: Britains advertising watchdog said on Wednesday it had banned a police advert encouraging people to report neighbours they suspected of being terrorists,saying it could offend innocent citizens.

The radio advert for the polices anti-terrorist hotline listed as suspicious behaviour activities which could also describe law-abiding people,the Advertising Standards Authority said.

The man at the end of the street doesnt talk to his neighbours much,because he likes to keep himself to himself, said the advert which was broadcast on the Talksport radio station.He pays with cash because he doesnt have a bank card,and he keeps his curtains closed because his house is on a bus route.This may mean nothing but together could all add up to you having suspicions.

Full report at: Times of India

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Trip made world wake up to plight: Pak prez

Aug 12 2010

President Zardari defended his decision to travel abroad while the country battled the worst floods in decades,saying he had helped focus international attention on the plight of the victims.Some have criticized my decision,saying it represented aloofness,but I felt that I had to choose substance over symbolism, he said.

Times of India

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Iraq needs US military support until 2020: Army chief

Aug 12 2010

Baghdad : The Iraqi army will require American support for another decade before it is ready to handle the country's security on its own, Iraq's army chief of staff told AFP on Wednesday.

Lieutenant General Babaker Zebari said Iraq's politicians had to find a way to "fill the void" after American troops withdraw from the country at the end of next year under a bilateral security pact.

"At this point, the withdrawal (of US forces) is going well, because they are still here," Zebari said.

"But the problem will start after 2011; the politicians must find other ways to fill the void after 2011, because the army will be fully ready in 2020.

"If I were asked about the withdrawal, I would say to politicians: the US army must stay until the Iraqi army is fully ready in 2020."

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/iraq-needs-us-military-support-until-2020-army-chief/659067/

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$459-million appeal for Pakistan

Narayan Lakshman

Aug 12 2010

Washington: Aiming to steeply accelerate the flow of aid to Pakistan following devastating floods, the United Nations has announced a $459-million fundraising appeal.

According to reports, U.N. head of humanitarian operations John Holmes said the aid, which would be applied over the next 90 days, would be used for food, clean water, shelter and medical supplies and the “‘Emergency Response Plan' would be revised after 30 days as more information came in.”

By some estimates approximately 1,600 people have been killed by the monsoon floods thus far, principally in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh provinces. However, the Food and Agriculture Organisation was quoted as saying the devastation left by flood waters in the north and centre of the country “may worsen as they continue to head south”.

Even as the appeal was announced, reports emerged of the Pakistani Taliban condemning the international aid and calling on Pakistan to reject the assistance.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/08/12/stories/2010081257731800.htm

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Israel Army chief testifies before flotilla panel

Aron Heller

Aug 12 2010

Israeli military forces underestimated the threat on a Gaza-bound ship in May and did not know enough about the Turkish activists that confronted the commandos boarding the vessel Lt Gen Gabi Ashkenazi said the military should have used more force to subdue pro-Palestinian activists before soldiers boarded the vessel.

Ashkenazi told an official Israeli inquiry into the raid that commandos used stun grenades to clear the area before rappelling from helicopters onto the ship, which was trying to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

Activists beat the troops with clubs and metal rods, stabbed them with knives and even fired shots. With their lives in danger, the soldiers responded with gunfire and killed nine Turkish activists, Ashkenazi said. “We should have ensured sterile conditions in order to dispatch the forces in a minimum amount of time,” Ashkenazi testified. “It would have lowered the risk to our soldiers but it would not have prevented the tension... once the decision was made to stop the ship, the conflict was inevitable.”

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/275523/Israel-Army-chief-testifies-before-flotilla-panel.html

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Thousands flee as swollen Indus floods Sindh province

Aug 12 2010

Thousands of people fled their homes as the swollen Indus river caused fresh flooding in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province on Wednesday even as the UN warned there could be a second wave of deaths if aid does not speedily reach the millions of victims.

The Indus, which caused widespread devastation in central Punjab province, flooded vast tracts of lands in Larkana, Dadu and Naushero Feroze areas of Sindh province. Flows of over 800,000 cusecs were recorded at some places as waters flooded hundreds of villages.

Schools and colleges were closed as thousands of people fled their homes in the flooded areas in boats.

Others were rescued by military helicopters and hovercrafts. The level at the Sukkur Barrage continued to hover around 1.13 million cusecs and water seeped through cracks in protective walls around Sukkur city.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/275547/Thousands-flee-as-swollen-Indus-floods-Sindh-province.html

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Scientists Warn Of New Superbug From India, Pak

Aug 12th, 2010

SARJU KAUL

British scientists on Wednesday issued an urgent warning against the spread of drug-resistant bacteria, which is widespread in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. This superbug is so closely linked to the Indian subcontinent that it has been named New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1 (NDM-1).

The British researchers warned that the enzyme NDM-1 allows bacteria to become highly resistant to almost all antibiotics. NDM-1 is an enzyme that can live inside different bacteria and any bacteria that carries it is resistant to carbapenems, amongst the most powerful classes of antibiotics.

The scientists blamed medical tourism in the Indian subcontinent for the spread of the enzyme in the UK. NDM-1 is widespread in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The superbug was also found in about 50 patients in the UK, of whom about 37 had travelled to India or Pakistan for medical procedures, including cosmetic surgery, according to the study in the journal Lancet.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/india/scientists-warn-new-superbug-india-pak-364

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Madani’s Arrest To Be Delayed

Aug 12th, 2010

The arrest of the People’s Democratic Party leader, Mr Abdul Nasser Madani, in connection with the Bengaluru serial blasts is likely to be delayed further because of the two-day visit of the President, Ms Pratibha Patil, to Kerala from Thursday.

The Kerala police is worried that a hurried arrest of the PDP leader at this juncture could trigger violent protests and create law and order problems when the attention of the constabulary is focused on the VIP visit.

This has created a bit of tension between the Kerala police and the Karnataka police team that arrived in the state on Tuesday to arrest Mr Madani.

The team has apparently decided to stay back till the arrest is made.

Making good use of the situation, the PDP has shipped in truckloads of its activists to Anwarasserry of Kollam, almost laying siege to the camp of Mr Madani, and vowing not to let him be arrested.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/india/madani%E2%80%99s-arrest-be-delayed-412

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Mecca Wants ‘Mean Time’ Tag

Aug 12th, 2010

The world’s largest clock, which looms over the Grand Mosque in Mecca, starts ticking atop a skyscraper still under construction on Wednesday to mark the start of the fasting month of Ramzan. Saudi Arabia hopes the four faces of the new clock, from what is expected to be the world’s second tallest building, will establish Mecca as an alternate time standard to the Greenwich median.

http://www.asianage.com/india/mecca-wants-%E2%80%98mean-time%E2%80%99-tag-365

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Syria, Iran support Lebanon against Israel

12 August 2010

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki underlined their joint support for Lebanon in the face of Israeli ‘aggression,’ state news agency SANA said.

The two met at Lattakia on Syria’s northern coast and discussed the situation in Lebanon ‘following the Israeli aggression against Lebanese sovereignty,’ it said.

They affirmed ‘their support for Lebanon in the face of such aggression,’ SANA said of an August 3 clash on the Lebanon-Israel border between the two countries’ troops.

Two Lebanese soldiers, a Lebanese journalist and an Israeli officer were killed in the fighting. Lebanon’s Syria- and Iran-backed Shia Hezbollah movement was not involved in the clash.

Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon, Ghazanfar Roknabadi, has since said Teheran was ready to help the Lebanese army in a meeting with army chief General Jean Kahwaji, according to Iran’s official IRNA agency.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/August/middleeast_August222.xml&section=middleeast

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Clinton urges Iran to release political prisoners

12 August 2010

 WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is urging Iran to release all political prisoners.

Clinton also expressed misgivings hat several Iranians are in danger of imminent execution for speaking out against the disputed June 2009 presidential balloting.

In a written statement, Clinton also urged solidarity with the Iranian people, saying the United States is deeply concerned that Iran is denying its citizens their civil rights.

Clinton did not say why she was speaking out on this issue now.

Earlier in the day her spokesman, P.J. Crowley, told reporters that human rights is likely to be on the agenda if the U.S. and Iran — joined by Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany — meet, as expected, this year to discuss Iran’s nuclear program.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/August/middleeast_August206.xml&section=middleeast&col=

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Pentagon plans advanced Patriot missile sale to Kuwait

Aug 12, 2010

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration told the US Congress on Wednesday it planned to sell Kuwait the latest production version of Raytheon Co's Patriot interceptor missile to bolster an integrated network aimed at thwarting a perceived missile threat from Iran.

Kuwait is seeking as many as 209 Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missile-T (GEM-T) interceptors valued at up to $900 million, the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a notice to lawmakers.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article100176.ece

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10 terrorists arrested from southern Punjab

By Asad Kharal

12 Aug, 2010

LAHORE: Police and intelligence agencies have arrested 10 members of a terrorist network from southern Punjab, who have alleged links with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Haqqani network in Waziristan.

Intelligence sources said that the arrested terrorists disclosed during initial interrogation that they had received instructions from TTP to attack the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) office in Multan, Ghazi Ghat bridge in Dera Ghazi Khan, Taunsa Barrage, the Prime Minister’s House, the WAPDA grid station in Vehari and various other sensitive places. Police first arrested TTP southern Punjab commander Muhammad Saeed alias Talha and Al-Asr Trust activist Muhammad Afzal.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\08\12\story_12-8-2010_pg7_24

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Islamic charities versus US in battle for flood aid

12 Aug, 2010

* Hardliners working fast in worst-ever humanitarian crisis

* JD highly visible in rescue, relief activities

* Analyst says govt trapped between extremists and military

PESHAWAR: When torrential monsoon rains flooded Pakistan, sparking the country’s worst-ever humanitarian crisis, hardline charities moved fast. Faster than the government. Banned in Pakistan and on a UN terrorist list, Jamaatud Dawa (JD) is one of a number of organisations that have been highly visible in the battle to help provide relief to millions of survivors.

Filling a void created by the perceived failure of the civilian government to mobilise, fears are growing in the US that such charities are using soft power to propagate extremism in the nuclear-armed state. Taliban have now urged the government to reject American aid in favour of $20 million of Taliban aid. There was no indication that the militia can or will pay, but the battle for hearts and minds has been drawn.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\08\12\story_12-8-2010_pg7_6

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Lightning, flood kill 46 in Gilgit-Baltistan

By Farooq Ahmed

12 Aug, 2010

GILGIT: Forty-six people were killed and 30 injured by lightning and flash floods in Diamer district of Gilgit-Baltistan, officials told Dawn on Wednesday. Ten people are missing.

The officials said lightning struck Gais Bala, about 25km south of Chilas, on Wednesday, killing 35 people who had left their flood-ravaged village and taken refuge on a hill two days ago.

Police chief Ali Sher said the village was cut off after a suspension bridge linking it with Karakoram Highway was destroyed by the Indus surge.

Another 11 people were killed in Khinar valley. Their bodies were found on Tuesday.

The floods have so far killed over 100 people in Gilgit-Baltistan, 58 of them in Baltistan.

People of the region are facing immense hardship because Karakoram Highway and link roads are blocked for 12 days and all flights have been suspended.

There is an acute shortage of medicines in hospitals in the region.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-lightning,-flood-kill-46-in-gb-280-hh-09

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Brazilian girl jailed in UAE

12 Aug, 2010

DUBAI, Aug 11: A 14-year-old Brazilian girl was on Tuesday sentenced to jail in Abu Dhabi, to be followed by deportation, for having had “consensual sex” with a Pakistani school bus driver, according to local newspapers.

The girl was sentenced to six months after prosecutors charged that she had “consensual sex” and had arranged the meeting with the Pakistani man, citing what they described as “erotic” text messages.

“A 14-year-old girl who initially claimed she was raped ... was yesterday (Tuesday) sentenced to six months in prison followed by deportation,” Gulf News reported.

The girl reportedly retracted the rape accusation during a court hearing late last month, The National newspaper said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/brazilian-girl-jailed-in-uae-280

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/burqa-to-khaki--gujarat-mother-is-first-muslim-woman-dy-sp/d/3280


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