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Islamic World News ( 26 Sept 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Cartoons Explain Suicide Bombers Will Repeatedly Die In Hellfire – Terrorist Rival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: YouTube Screen Shot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Africa

Cartoons Explain Suicide Bombers Will Repeatedly Die In Hellfire – Terrorist Rival

'You Will Be Blown Up Eternally': Somali-American Creates Cartoons Condemning Terrorists

Pray for Nairobi terrorists, says Archbishop of Canterbury

Somalis still leaving US town to join terror group

Kenya mall attack hostages were tortured, says police source

 

Pakistan

Steeped In Ancient Mysticism, Passion of Pakistani Sufis Infuriates Taliban

Pakistan bus bomb attack kills at least 17: Officials

Quake terror: Helicopter carrying relief goods attacked by militants

Tribal Jirga be used for TTP talks: Maulana Fazl ur Rehman

Sharif admits challenge of terrorism along Pak-Afghan border

Sharif says Pakistan wants strong relations with India

Taliban will have to lay down arms, says Nawaz Sharif

PTI distances itself from Imran's Taliban office statement

‘Vigorous action if Taliban talks fail’

SC orders Sindh govt to clear Karachi of weapons, no go areas

Pakistan‚ Saudi Arabia sign $100 million loan agreement

 

North America

U.S. and Iran’s top diplomats hold ‘historic’ one-on-one talks

Americans say Putin more effective leader on Syria than Obama

NSA spied on Martin Luther King and Muhammad Ali

Kenya mall attack mastermind studied in Pakistan: Report

US and Turkey to Unveil $200 Million Fund to Kill Terrorism At Source

 

Arab World

Car bomb kills at least 30 north of Syrian capital

Bombs target Sunni mosques in Iraq, killing 7

Extremists 'stealing revolution': Syria rebel chief

Iraq ratifies nuclear test ban treaty

Lebanon faces social explosion over Syria refugees, claims UN

Rights group claims US is holding Saudi in secret prison in Lithuania

Jihadists torch statues, crosses in Syria churches: NGO

 

Europe

European countries add $431m in Syria aid

Russian troops kill 5 militants in Dagestan

U.N. Deal on Syrian Arms Is Milestone after Years of Inertia

Rouhani, Blunt and Charming, Pitches a Moderate Iran

'Win at all cost' Syrian rebels shun diplomatic solution

International Bank of Azerbaijan issues Europe’s first Islamic card

 

India

Attacks linked to peace talks? Violence in J&K year long affair

India calls for democracy to be preserved in Maldives

Bangladesh to plug into India on October 5

Manmohan to raise terror concerns with Obama

 

Mideast

Hamas, Islamic Jihad call for a third intifada

All will be surprised by democracy package: Turkish PM Erdoğan

Middle East peace talks last chance: Abbas

New Iranian president wants 'empty prisons'

 

South Asia

Nasheed appeals to Chief Justice and generals to ensure run-off proceeds as scheduled

AL to celebrate Hasina’s South-South Award

Hasina signs UN arms trade treaty

Nepal recalls envoy after she called Qatar an 'open jail'

 

Southeast Asia

Religion and politics take centre stage in Indonesian pageants

Indonesian Manpower Ministry Gets Behind Push to Free Maid in Malaysia

Philippine troops rescue last hostages, kill 15 rebels - army

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/cartoons-explain-suicide-bombers-will-repeatedly-die-in-hellfire-–-terrorist-rival/d/13722

 

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Africa

 

Cartoons Explain To Children That Suicide Bombers Will Repeatedly Die In Hellfire – Terrorist Rival

27 Aug, 2013

Al-Shabaab terrorist group, that took hostages and killed at least 72 people at Nairobi shopping mall, recruits its future members through Facebook accounts and videos they put on the Internet. Mohamed Ahmed, who started a website that develops cartoons at countering the recruitment terrorist videos, explains in an exclusive interview with the Voice of Russia why it is necessary to tell children about suicide bombers.

Mohamed Ahmed started a website called AverageMohamed.com that develops cartoons aimed at countering the recruitment videos put out by al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups like al-Qaeda. He believes that the ideology of one religion over another is the main factor, why people decide to become a member of a terrorist group.

"The biggest factor here is ideology. It's an ideology that basically says that we are superior and that other people who don't believe in our religion are inferior. That's an ideology that needs to be confronted," Mohamed Ahmed said.

According to Ahmad, to prevent a child from self-radicalization and joining a terrorist cell you have to explain them that suicide bombings and killing of people for no reason is are unacceptable. It is necessary to talk to them and give them options. The problem is, according to Ahmed, that the adults don’t understand that, that is why he decided to create cartoons to explain youngsters what is good and what is bad.

"Unfortunately, the minority doesn't know, the young kids don't know. And when it's put together the way I did on AverageMohamed.com, the kids are always amazed that these teachings exist, because the narrative they've been hearing for a long time is completely different," he told the Voice of Russia.

Young Somali-Americans try to repair their community's image and the Muslim religion in general, after the massacre at the Nairobi shopping mall, when at least 72 people were killed; by making cartoons explaining that terrorism and suicide bombing contradicts the Koran.

The Somali terror group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the assault on the Westgate shopping mall, and Kenyan officials have said "two or three" Americans were involved. But FBI officials say the agency has yet to confirm the names and nationalities of the attackers.

One entrepreneur Mohamed Ahmed, the creator of the website AverageMohamed.com, tries to restore credibility in the Muslims community and explains the true religious postulates written in the Koran. He challenges the narrative of terrorist recruiters, counters extremist ideology and self radicalization.

Mohamed Ahmed started a website that develops cartoons aimed at countering the slick recruitment videos put out by al-Shabab. Ahmed said his website aims to destroy an idea with a new idea.

"This is a story of an average Mohamed questioning extremist ideology," Mohamed said. "My mission simply is to destroy that ideology, piece by piece, beginning with the faith first, because these individuals claim my religion. What I'm saying, what my community has been saying, and what my mosque has been saying, is that this is wrong."

At the moment, the website has several videos in English, and in Arabic languages, including Swahili. One of the video explains what happens to a suicide bomber according to the Koran, and questions the audience whether they want to die eternally.

"He, who commits suicide by throttling himself, shall keep on throttling himself in the hell fire. He who commits a suicide by stabbing himself shall keep on stabbing himself in the hellfire. What will happen to a suicide-bomber? You will be made again, blown up again, be made again, blown up again, eternally, in the hell fire," the cartoon states.

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_09_27/Cartoons-explain-to-children-that-suicide-bombers-will-repeatedly-die-in-hellfire-terrorist-rival-5325/

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'You will be blown up eternally': Somali-American creates cartoons condemning terrorists

27 Aug, 2013

Young Somali-Americans try to repair their community's image and the Muslim religion in general, after the massacre at the Nairobi shopping mall, when at least 72 people were killed; by making cartoons explaining that terrorism and suicide bombing contradicts the Koran.

The Somali terror group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the assault on the Westgate shopping mall, and Kenyan officials have said "two or three" Americans were involved. But FBI officials say the agency has yet to confirm the names and nationalities of the attackers.

One entrepreneur Mohamed Ahmed, the creator of the website AverageMohamed.com, tries to restore credibility in the Muslims community and explains the true religious postulates written in the Koran. He challenges the narrative of terrorist recruiters, counters extremist ideology and self radicalization.

Mohamed Ahmed started a website that develops cartoons aimed at countering the slick recruitment videos put out by al-Shabab. Ahmed said his website aims to destroy an idea with a new idea.

"This is a story of an average Mohamed questioning extremist ideology," Mohamed said. "My mission simply is to destroy that ideology, piece by piece, beginning with the faith first, because these individuals claim my religion. What I'm saying, what my community has been saying, and what my mosque has been saying, is that this is wrong."

At the moment, the website has several videos in English, and in Arabic languages, including Swahili. One of the video explains what happens to a suicide bomber according to the Koran, and questions the audience whether they want to die eternally.

"He, who commits suicide by throttling himself, shall keep on throttling himself in the hell fire. He who commits a suicide by stabbing himself shall keep on stabbing himself in the hellfire. What will happen to a suicide-bomber? You will be made again, blown up again, be made again, blown up again, eternally, in the hell fire," the cartoon states.

 http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_09_27/You-will-be-blown-up-eternally-Somali-American-creates-cartoons-condemning-terrorists-3610/

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Pray for Nairobi terrorists, says Archbishop of Canterbury

Kounteya Sinha, TNN | Sep 27, 2013

LONDON: Britain's top cleric is in the eye of a storm for urging Christians around the world to pray for the terrorists who carried out the Nairobi shopping mall massacre.

The Archbishop of Canterbury recently called for a week of prayer for hostages in Nairobi, Syria and elsewhere around the world. But Justin Welby caused an uproar by saying he would also be praying for their captors, "that they would see and understand that hostility and violence will never be allowed to have the last word".

Hostage-taking is a form of terror which seeks "to undermine the morale of those close to the people who disappear," he said. "Hostages go into the darkness so that fear spreads among their friends and families."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Pray-for-Nairobi-terrorists-says-Archbishop-of-Canterbury/articleshow/23133307.cms

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Somalis still leaving US town to join terror group

September 27, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — Leaders of the nation’s largest Somali community say some of their young men are still being enticed to join the terror group that has claimed responsibility for the deadly mall attack in Kenya, despite a concentrated effort to shut off what authorities call a “deadly pipeline” of men and money.

Six years have passed since Somali-American fighters began leaving Minnesota to become part of Al-Shabab. Now the Somali community is dismayed over reports that a few of its own might have been involved in the violence at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.

“One thing I know is the fear is growing,” said Abdirizak Bihi, whose nephew was among at least six men from Minnesota who have died in Somalia. More are presumed dead.

Since 2007, at least 22 young men have left Minnesota to join Al-Shabab, including two who did so last summer. Unconfirmed reports that two more left earlier this month have deepened concerns.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130927181796

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Kenya mall attack hostages were tortured, says police source

 27 September 2013

Talk of rape, disfigurement and beheadings are rife in Kenya’s capital following a four-day siege at one of Nairobi’s malls, according to a Kenyan newspaper report published on Thursday.

A police doctor who scoured Nairobi’s Westgate mall for bodies after the attack, carried out by al-Shabaab gunmen, has said victims were tortured before they died.

“They [the al-Shabaab attackers] removed eyes, ears, noses. Fingers are cut by pliers, noses ripped by pliers,” he said in an interview with Kenyan newspaper The Star.

“Those are not allegations. Those are truths,” he added. However, the doctor’s statements have not yet been verified.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2013/09/27/Kenya-mall-attack-hostages-were-tortured-says-police-source.html

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Pakistan

 

Steeped In Ancient Mysticism, Passion of Pakistani Sufis Infuriates Taliban

2013-09-27

SEHWAN SHARIF: Yielding to the hypnotic beat of drums and the intoxicating scent of incense, the woman danced herself into a state of trance, laughing and shaking uncontrollably alongside hundreds of others at Pakistan's most revered Sufi shrine.

Swathed in red, the Sufi colour of passion, she shouted invocations to the shrine's patron saint in an ecstatic ritual repeated daily in the dusty town of Sehwan Sharif on the banks of the river Indus.

With its hypnotic rituals, ancient mysticism and a touch of intoxicated madness, Sufism is a form of Islam which has been practised in Pakistan for centuries — a powerful antidote to extremism in places such as the province of Sindh.

It is scenes like this, where men and women dance together in a fervent celebration of their faith that makes Sufis an increasingly obvious target in the conservative country where sectarian violence is on the rise.

At a crossroads of historic trade routes, religions and cultures, Sindh has always been a poor but religiously tolerant place, shielded by its embrace of Sufism from religion-centric militancy sweeping other parts of Pakistan.

But this year peace came to an end with a string of attacks across the province, including against Sufi places of worship, as militants seek new safe havens and new ways of destabilising the country.

"They are trying to kill us," said Syed Sarwar Ali Shah Bukhari, whose father, a Sufi cleric, was killed in a bomb attack on the family's ancestral shrine in February.

Bukhari, 36, is now the oldest living descendant of a prominent Sufi "saint" whose tomb his family has tended for generations in a tradition handed down from father to son.

"It was never like this before," Bukhari, wearing a black turban and silver embroidered slippers, said nervously outside the Dargah Ghulam Shah Gazi shrine, its vast dome shining bright above the bleak mud-brick homes of his native Maari village.

"Suddenly everyone is hostile towards us. People are afraid," added Bukhari, who took over as the shrine's resident saint and custodian after the death of his father.

Irredeemable heretics

The influx of Taliban-inspired gangs into Sindh is a disturbing development in a country where Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government is already struggling to contain a Taliban insurgency and escalating religious violence.

"In Sindh, militancy was not common until now. It was known for its tolerance," said Abdul Khalique Shaikh, a senior police officer who investigated this year's Sufi attacks.

"You can hardly find any Sindh-based religious extremists here."

Insurgents see Sufis as irredeemable heretics who deserve to die. Long entrenched in their tribal safe havens on Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, militants are seeping quietly into vulnerable, less protected areas, establishing cells in unlikely new places such as rural Sindh.

Sindh is home to Pakistan's violent city of Karachi, long infiltrated by the Taliban. But until now, its rural interior has been of little interest to insurgents.

Police say there is evidence suggesting a group of well trained militants had been deployed in Sindh to prepare for more attacks.

"All of them are jihadists (Islamist militants). All of them were in Afghanistan," said Shaikh, the senior police officer.

Taliban-friendly seminaries — some funded by Middle East money — have sprung up around Sindh to inspire men to holy war. Men collecting donations often loiter outside radical mosques.

The striped black and white flag of pro-Taliban groups flap on street corners across rural Sindh — a novelty in these parts.

Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, a radical Sunni sectarian outfit, has also made inroads into Sindh from the neighbouring Punjab province, setting up seminaries to spread its ideology.

Security sources said militants in rural Sindh are based around the cities of Shikarpur and Sukkur. Zulfikar Memon, 33, who was wounded in the February attack in Maari, said a religious school had been opened in Shikarpur just before the blast.

"Before there were no Taliban madrasas here," he said. "They are brainwashing young people. ... It's not in our power to do anything. We just follow our spiritual leader."

Days before Bukhari's father was killed, another cleric from the nearby town of Qambar survived a bomb attack on his car.

In May, Ibrahim Jatoi, a Shia politician, narrowly escaped death when his convoy was hit by a suicide bomber near Shikarpur — the first sectarian assault of this kind in rural Sindh.

And, just a month after Sharif came to power, insurgents struck at the heart of Sindh's military apparatus, attacking an intelligence compound in Sukkur. Seven were killed.

"Historically we Sindhis are not conservative or religious. We are secular," said Shahzaib Chandio, 30, as he scanned shelves at a local library for books about Europe. "Those terrorists are from tribal areas. Security is now very fragile."

“We’re a soft target”

Steeped in centuries of sub continental folklore, poetry and spiritualism, Sufism reflects the mystical side of Islam and involves scenes unthinkable in most other parts of Pakistan.

At Sehwan Sharif, drums conjuring up the spirit of 13th-century saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar beat hypnotically. Wisps of incense swirl like ancient spirits. Fervent in their joy, men and women dance and sing with an intensity that sends many into a trance.

The Taliban, who believe music should be banned and women kept at home, are furious at such passionate free expression.

"Women and men dance together, and that is totally against Islam," said Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban. "We have a large number of fighters in Sindh. We will target everything which is against Sharia (Islamic law)."

Every year a million pilgrims descend on Sehwan, a maze of lanes teeming with people, donkeys and dervishes clad in red robes, for a major festival at its intricately decorated shrine.

For residents, the extravaganza is the source of excitement and much-needed income. For militants, it's a target.

"People believe the Qalandar (saint) will save them. He will protect us," said Syed Muhammad Raza Shah, a Sufi student and son of the shrine's custodian. "We are a very soft target."

In Qambar, a ramshackle town in the shadow of rocky hills separating Sindh from the lawless province of Balochistan, Sufis said only a miracle could save them after their spiritual leader Syed Ghulam Hussain Shah narrowly survived an attack this year.

The seminary is packed with turbaned students of all ages, with older, bearded peers poring over religious texts and singing Arabic verses in dimly lit, rose water scented rooms.

The memory of death hangs heavily amid its stone walls. This is where Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto came for spiritual guidance just days before she was killed in 2007.

"The enemies of Islam are killing people. Satanic forces are behind all this," said Shah as he recalled the day Bhutto sat in front of him, asking questions and crying.

"The way this government and this country are run, I can see no hope in anything. People are not safe even inside their own houses ... May God keep us all safe."

http://www.dawn.com/news/1045796/steeped-in-ancient-mysticism-passion-of-pakistani-sufis-infuriates-taliban

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Pakistan bus bomb attack kills at least 17: Officials

Omar Farooq Khan, TNN | Sep 27, 2013

ISLAMABAD: At least 17 people, including two women, were killed and nearly 50 injured when a bomb fitted in a bus went off on the outskirts of Pakistan's restive northwestern city of Peshawar on Friday.

The bus was carrying lower rank government officials back home into the nearby town of Charsadda. Police said that about 70 persons were on board when the explosion occurred.

"It was a planted bomb. As the vehicle reached Gulbela area, it went off killing 17 people and injuring 47 others," said Zahirul Islam, Peshawar's deputy commissioner.

"Since the rear of the vehicle was affected the most, it seems, the bomb was planted there," he added.

Footage aired on TV stations showed bloodied pieces of human flesh which littered the seats, along with blood-stained clothes and pieces of twisted metal. The dead and injured were shifted to hospitals in Peshawar and Charsadda.

Peshawar borders the country's volatile tribal belt, a stronghold of Taliban, al Qaida and affiliated militant groups. The city has suffered the most in terror attacks, more than any other part of the country over the past six years.

At least 84 people were killed last Sunday in twin-suicide bombing on a church in Peshawar. It was one of the worst attacks on Christians in the country. Terrorists linked to the Pakistani Taliban said they carried out the bombing.

About 20 people were killed when another bus carrying government workers was bombed in the same area in June 2012.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-bus-bomb-attack-kills-at-least-17-Officials/articleshow/23159830.cms

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Quake terror: Helicopter carrying relief goods attacked by militants

 September 27, 2013

MASHKAI: Militants fired on a helicopter carrying relief goods to Mashkai, an area of Balochistan that was devastated by the earthquake, Express News reported on Friday.

Yesterday, the helicopter of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Major General Muhammad Saeed Aleem was targeted with rockets while it was on its way to Mashkai, Balochistan for earthquake relief work.

The NDMA chairman was in the area to monitor the rescue work underway in the devastated region. Major General Aleem remained unhurt in the attack.

The September 24 earthquake has so far claimed around 357 lives in Balochistan and more than 600 people are injured.

A senior FC officer had said that most of the stricken places in Awaran are highly risky areas for relief workers and provincial functionaries as it is a hub of Baloch nationalist militants.

Mashkai – a sub-district of Awaran – has been under the militant command of nationalist guerrilla commander, Dr Allah Nazar who has been confronting the FC and Pakistan Army for a long time.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/610208/quake-terror-helicopter-carrying-relief-goods-attacked-by-militants/

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Tribal Jirga be used for TTP talks: Maulana Fazl ur Rehman

AMIR WASIM

2013-09-27

ISLAMABAD, Sept 26: JUI-F chief Maulana Fazl ur Rehman has called for using a tribal jirga for mediation in talks between the government and Taliban.

Talking to reporters after attending a UNDP-sponsored international conference on the issue of federalism on Thursday, the Maulana criticised PTI chairman Imran Khan for his statement that the Taliban should be allowed to open an office in Pakistan.

“Fata jirga should be given the main role (in the peace talks) as they are well aware of tribal traditions,” he said, adding that “someone will have to play the role of a mediator”. He said it was an international practice that “when two stakeholders sit on a negotiation table and present their demands before each other a third party plays the role of a guarantor”.

The JUI-F chief said the peace process should be given time, alleging that efforts were being made to spoil the atmosphere for talks. He said his party would talk to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his return from the US on steps to improve the worsening conditions and to make the atmosphere conducive for talks.

He criticised the PTI’s demand for repealing the blasphemy law. “It seems the PTI is now coming towards its original agenda,” said Maulana Fazl, who has been facing a defamation notice from Imran Khan for dubbing him an agent of the Jews.

He said that no one should even think that the blasphemy laws could be repealed. He, however, agreed that steps could be taken to prevent misuse of the laws.

The JUI-F chief said that all provinces should have a uniform local government system.

Commenting on Imran Khan’s statement that the Taliban should be allowed to open an office in Pakistan as Afghan Taliban had been permitted to open their office in Doha, Qatar, Maulana Fazl said Imran Khan did not have any knowledge of the issue. He said the PTI chief should know the difference between Afghan Taliban and Pakistani Taliban.

Talking to Dawn, JUI-F spokesman Jan Achakzai said that opening the Taliban office was an “immature concept and a poorly conceived idea” of the PTI. He said Afghan Taliban had a government and they were removed from power, so their comparison with Pakistani Taliban was not plausible.

He said Pakistani Taliban had grievances over foreign policy and improvement in the system, but they were not asking for political power. “The moment you open the office you turn them from a militant group into a political movement,” he observed.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1045761/jirga-be-used-for-ttp-talks-fazl

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Sharif admits challenge of terrorism along Pak-Afghan border

 Sep 27, 2013

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, acknowledged that the issue of cross-border terrorism poses a challenge to his country as well as Afghanistan.

Mr. Sharif’s acknowledgement on this issue came during his meeting with Mr. Kerry in New York on Thursday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, wherein the two leaders discussed bilateral relationship, the peace process in Afghanistan and Mr. Sharif’s upcoming Washington trip to meet President Barack Obama.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/sharif-admits-challenge-of-terrorism-along-pakafghan-border/article5174584.ece

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Sharif says Pakistan wants strong relations with India

PTI | Sep 27, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Ahead of his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said his government wants strong relations with India and that all issues including "flash point" Kashmir have to be settled through dialogue.

He said both countries have been spending heavily on defence which should have ordinarily been spent on social sectors.

"I feel very proud that I'm the one who brought the two countries closer together. The Indian Prime Minister (A B Vajpayee) embarked on a visit to Pakistan (in 1999), on his first-ever state visit. We are now picking up the threads from where we left off in 1999," Sharif said in an interview to the Wall Street Journal.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Sharif-says-Pakistan-wants-strong-relations-with-India/articleshow/23152927.cms

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Taliban will have to lay down arms, says Nawaz Sharif

September 27, 2013

NEW YORK: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday  that the Taliban will have to renounce terrorism if peace talks are to move forward.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal during his first visit to New York after being elected in May, the Prime Minister said, “we evolved a consensus… on a joint strategy to put an end to terrorism in Pakistan [through peace talks].”

Asserting that the Taliban had disowned the bomb attacks on All Saints Church, he said that the Taliban hadn’t done that before but the intelligence agencies were still investigating the matter. He revealed that contrary to media reports the Taliban had also disowned the attack that killed a two-star General in Dir.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/609992/peace-talks-taliban-will-have-to-lay-down-arms-says-nawaz-sharif/

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PTI distances itself from Imran's Taliban office statement

2013-09-27

ISLAMABAD: A lawmaker for the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Thursday said that party chief Imran Khan's recent statement on Pakistani Taliban was not an official PTI policy statement.

Asad Umar, a lawmaker for Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI), stated in a conference that the idea for establishing an office for peacetalks with the Taliban was not an official party policy. He added that the statement only reflected the personal views of the PTI leader.

Umar added that it was wrong to criticise those who wished to use peacetalks as a way to fight the rampant terrorism in the country and come to terms with the terrorists. However, he added that peacetalks go hand in hand with cooperation from the other side.

Umar declared that it was a weakness to insist on peacetalks if terror attacks continued, saying that it was unfair to the country.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1045600/pti-distances-itself-from-imrans-taliban-office-statement

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 ‘Vigorous action if Taliban talks fail’

ANWAR IQBAL and MASOOD HAIDER

2013-09-27

NEW YORK: In his meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has indicated that while seeking a dialogue with the Taliban, the government is also considering a more vigorous police and military action against them should the talks fail.

Senior State Department and Obama administration officials, who briefed the media after the meeting, said the talks also focused on the prospects for initiating peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

“We expressed our concern about the existence of effective safe havens on both sides of the border,” said the State Department official.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1045753/vigorous-action-if-taliban-talks-fail

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SC orders Sindh govt to clear Karachi of weapons, no go areas

2013-09-27

KARACHI: The Supreme Court of Pakistan Thursday ordered the provincial government in Sindh to clear the capital, Karachi of illicit arms, ammunition and “no go areas.”

The larger bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, has directed the authorities concerned to initiate the process for surrendering of illicit weapons within 15 days for ensuring peace in the port city.

The court, in its interim order passed in Karachi law and order implementation case, ordered the application of rule of law as well as the enforcement of the fundamental rights of the citizens under Article 9 of the Constitution.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1045634/sc-orders-sindh-govt-to-clear-karachi-of-weapons-no-go-areas

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Pakistan‚ Saudi Arabia sign $100 million loan agreement

September 27, 2013

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia signed an Additional Loan Agreement of $100 Million for Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project (NJHP).

The Kingdom has already been co-financing the Project with an amount of 81 Million dollars.

The Agreement was signed at a ceremony in Islamabad Thursday by Managing Director of the Saudi Fund for Development Yousef Ibrahim al-Bassam‚ and Secretary Economic Affairs Nargis Sethi. Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Abdul Aziz Ibrahim Al Ghadeer attended the signing ceremony.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/islamabad/26-Sep-2013/pakistan-saudi-arabia-sign-100-million-loan-agreement

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North America

 

U.S. and Iran’s top diplomats hold ‘historic’ one-on-one talks

27 September 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his new Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif met one-on-one on Thursday in one of the highest level contacts between the two rivals since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Following the meeting, Kerry said he was pleased with the new positive tone from Iran on talks over its nuclear program.

“Needless to say, one meeting and a change in tone, which was welcome, doesn't answer those questions yet and there is a lot of work to be done,” Kerry told reporters.

Zarif said he stressed during the meeting the need to continue such discussions and that sanctions are counter-productive and have to be removed “as we move forward.”

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani also made a statement after the talks, saying Iran was committed to negotiate on its nuclear program in “good faith.”

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2013/09/27/U-S-and-Iran-s-top-diplomats-hold-historic-one-on-one-talks.html

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Americans say Putin more effective leader on Syria than Obama

Most Americans think that Russian President Vladimir Putin was much more effective in dealing with the Syrian chemical weapons crisis than his US counterpart Barack Obama. That’s according to a new poll released Wednesday by the Economist magazine and the YouGov polling agency.

Nearly half of 1,000 American adults polled – 49 percent – said Putin was the most effective at dealing with the still ongoing crisis in Syria, with 25 percent saying Obama was the most effective, according to the poll.

Nine percent chose Syrian leader Bashar Assad, ranking him third, ahead of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande, all of whom polled in the single digits.

Full report at:

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_09_27/Americans-say-Putin-most-effective-leader-on-Syria-than-Obama-1992/

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NSA spied on Martin Luther King and Muhammad Ali

September 27, 2013

WASHINGTON: The National Security Agency eavesdropped on civil rights icon Martin Luther King and heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali as well as other leading critics of the Vietnam War in a secret program later deemed “disreputable,” declassified documents revealed Wednesday.

The six-year spying program, dubbed “Minaret,” had been exposed in the 1970s but the targets of the surveillance had been kept secret until now.

The documents showed the NSA tracked King and his colleague Whitney Young, boxing star Ali, journalists from the New York Times and the Washington Post, and two members of Congress, Senator Frank Church of Idaho and Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee.

The declassified NSA historical account of the episode called the spying “disreputable if not outright illegal.”The documents were published after the government panel overseeing classification ruled in favor of researchers at George Washington University who had long sought the release of the secret papers.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1045805/nsa-spied-on-martin-luther-king-and-muhammad-ali

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Kenya mall attack mastermind studied in Pakistan: Report

PTI | Sep 26, 2013

ABUJA: The alleged Somali mastermind of the attack on a Kenyan mall connected with jihadists while studying in Pakistan and later fought in Afghanistan and Kashmir, a media report said on Thursday.

Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr, known as Godane, earned a scholarship in the 1990s to study in Pakistan, where he "connected with jihadist circles", analysts were quoted as saying by Washington Post.

Godane then travelled to "Afghanistan to train and fight, as well as to Kashmir", the report said.

The militant commander, thought to be in his mid-30s, returned to Somalia in 2002 and joined the Islamic Courts Union, an Islamist group that controlled large swaths in the southern part of the country.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Kenya-mall-attack-mastermind-studied-in-Pakistan-Report/articleshow/23113455.cms

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U S and Turkey to Unveil $200 Million Fund to Kill Terrorism At Source

Sep 27, 2013

The United States and Turkey are to create a $200 million fund to cut off Islamic extremism at source by countering jihadist propaganda and offering better opportunities to those vulnerable to radicalisation.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu are expected to announce the launch of the fund in New York today during a meeting of foreign ministers at the Global Counterterrorism Forum.

The Global Fund for Community Engagement and Resilience will be created with money from governments and NGOs, and will be funnelled into community groups and organisations in countries including Somalia, Pakistan, and Yemen.

Full report at:

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/509615/20130927/counter-terrorism-fund-turkey-jihad-islamism.htm

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Arab World

 

Car bomb kills at least 30 north of Syrian capital

Sep 27, 2013

BEIRUT (AP) — A car bomb exploded near a mosque north of the Syrian capital as worshippers emerged from Friday prayers, killing at least 30 people, activists said.

The blast, which struck outside the al-Sahel mosque in the town of Rankous, also wounded dozens of people, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

No further details were immediately available, and it was not clear whether the mosque itself was the target of the attack.

Mohammed Saeed, an activist in the eastern Damascus suburb of Douma, and the Observatory's director Rami Abdul-Rahman both said the town is neither rebel-held nor regime-held. Abdul-Rahman said the local residents have an agreement with the rebels not to bring their weapons into Rankous in order to avoid government shelling.

Saeed, who is in contact with activists in Rankous, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Damascus, said residents quickly held funerals for some of those killed in the bombing, in line with Islamic tradition that calls for a prompt burial. As people marched in one funeral procession, several rockets fired by government troops fell nearby and wounded some of the mourners.

http://news.yahoo.com/car-bomb-kills-least-30-north-syrian-capital-130430305.html

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Bombs target Sunni mosques in Iraq, killing 7

September 27, 2013

BAGHDAD: Iraqi officials say bombs planted near two Sunni mosques in Baghdad have killed seven worshipers in the latest attacks targeting the sect's holy sites.

Police officials say one of the attacks took place after Friday prayers as the worshippers were leaving the al-Tawheed mosque in the Iraqi capital's Dora neighborhood.

They say that explosion killed five people and wounded 21.

And in western Baghdad, two Sunni worshippers were killed and 11 were wounded when a bomb struck worshippers leaving a Sunni mosque.

A hospital official confirmed the death toll. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to media.

There has been a spike in attacks on Sunni mosques in recent months amid rising political and sectarian tension in the country.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Sep-27/232791-bombs-target-sunni-worshippers-in-baghdad.ashx#ixzz2g66yR9p8

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Extremists 'stealing revolution': Syria rebel chief

September 27, 2013

BEIRUT: The head of the key Syrian opposition National Coalition, Ahmad Jarba, has denounced extremists he said were trying to "steal our revolution", and blamed the regime for supporting them.

He made the comments in an address in New York to representatives from the Friends of Syria -- international backers of the rebels seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

"The Syrian people support peace and moderation, tolerance and coexistence," Jarba said.

"The phenomenon of extremism appeared with the support and planning of the regime, which has gambled on the transformation of a revolution for freedom into a civil and sectarian war," he added.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Sep-27/232766-extremists-stealing-revolution-syria-rebel-chief.ashx#ixzz2g67e2S1C

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Iraq ratifies nuclear test ban treaty

September 27, 2013

VIENNA: Iraq ratified Friday the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), an accord that however cannot enter into force until the United States, China and six other states follow suit.

"Iraq's commitment to relinquish the most devastating kind of weapons by banning nuclear explosions ... inches us closer towards the realisation of a zone free of nuclear weapons in the Middle East," said Lassina Zerbo, executive secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Sep-27/232790-iraq-ratifies-nuclear-test-ban-treaty.ashx#ixzz2g67Z9NSA

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Lebanon faces social explosion over Syria refugees, claims UN

September 27, 2013

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations gave a grim warning Wednesday that Lebanon faces an explosion of social tensions unless the international community helps to handle hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees.

Lebanon’s President Michel Sleiman told foreign ministers from the world’s leading nations that his country faces an “existential crisis” because of the influx fleeing the war between President Bashar Al-Assad and opposition rebels.

He said major financing was needed to pay for the refugees, reinforce public services because of the burden and bolster the army.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130927181754

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Rights group claims US is holding Saudi in secret prison in Lithuania

 September 27, 2013

VILNIUS – A Rights group has claimed that the CIA is holding a Saudi citizen in a secret prison in Lithuania, Al-Hayat daily reported quoting Miami Herald newspaper. The group urged Lithuania authorities to reopen an investigation into the case and see if CIA had secret detention centers in Lithuania.

Sarah Fulton, lawyer for the rights group Redress, said Mustafa Al-Hawsawi, who is being held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was transported secretly to Lithuania in March 2004 and held there until September 2006. Al-Hawsawi is facing alleged involvement in September 11 attacks.

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130927181804

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Jihadists torch statues, crosses in Syria churches: NGO

September 27, 2013

BEIRUT: Jihadist fighters linked to Al-Qaeda set fire to statues and crosses inside churches in northern Syria on Thursday and destroyed a cross on a church clock tower, a watchdog said.

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters entered the Greek Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation in the northern city of Raqa and torched the religious furnishings inside, the Syria Observatory for Human Rights said.

They did the same at the Armenian Catholic Church of the Martyrs, and also destroyed a cross atop its clock tower, replacing it with the ISIL flag, the Observatory said.

Most of Raqa, located on the banks of the Euphrates River and capital of the province of the same name, fell to anti-regime fighters in March.

Where the ISIL dominates in the city, it imposes a strict version of sharia (Islamic law) on the populace.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Sep-26/232686-jihadists-set-fire-to-statues-crosses-in-syria-church-ngo.ashx#ixzz2g66in1gn

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Europe

 

European countries add $431m in Syria aid

September 27, 2013

NEW YORK — Several European countries have announced another $431 million in humanitarian aid for Syria.

A statement released Wednesday by the European Union commissioner for international cooperation also expressed “the gravest concern” at the worsening situation in the country’s torn by civil war and said almost half of Syria’s population will need humanitarian assistance by the end of the current year.

Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Luxembourg, Spain, the Netherlands and the European Commission contributed to the new batch of aid.

The statement called the crisis “unprecedented in its severity this century” and warned that the financial demands of the countries will last a long time.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130927181756

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Russian troops kill 5 militants in Dagestan

September 27, 2013

MAKHACHKALA, Russia: Russia's main anti-terror agency says its forces have killed five suspected militants during a raid in the restive province of Dagestan in southern Russia.

The National Anti-Terrorist Committee said in a statement that the militants were killed Friday in Derbent on the Caspian Sea. It said that security forces acting on a tip surrounded a house where the militants were holed up. They refused to surrender and were killed in a gunfight.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/International/2013/Sep-27/232794-russian-troops-kill-5-militants-in-dagestan.ashx#ixzz2g69O8B9d

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U.N. Deal on Syrian Arms Is Milestone After Years of Inertia

By MICHAEL R. GORDON

2013/09/27

UNITED NATIONS — The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council have agreed on a resolution that will require Syria to give up its chemical weapons, but there will be no automatic penalties if the Syrians fail to comply, officials said Thursday.

The agreement, hammered out after days of back-room negotiations, is a compromise among the United States, its allies and Russia about how to enforce the resolution, which would eliminate Syria’s chemical arms program.

But the deal, when approved by the 15 members of the Security Council, would amount to the most significant international diplomatic initiative of the Syrian civil war. It would also be a remarkable turn for President Obama, who had been pushing for a military strike on Syria just a few weeks ago before accepting a Russian proposal to have Syria give up its chemical arsenal.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/27/world/middleeast/security-council-agrees-on-resolution-to-rid-syria-of-chemical-arms.html?pagewanted=all&pagewanted=print

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Rouhani, Blunt and Charming, Pitches a Moderate Iran

By SOMINI SENGUPTA

2013/09/27

UNITED NATIONS — Descending on New York this week in a Shiite cleric’s traditional fine wool robes, Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, turned himself into a high-speed salesman offering a flurry of speeches, tweets, televised interviews and carefully curated private meetings.

On Tuesday, he capped his speech to the United Nations General Assembly with a nod to the Torah and the Psalms, which elicited applause and then, from him, the slightest hint of a smile. That day he also hosted a clutch of media executives as his chief of staff did what previously would have been unthinkable, meeting with a dozen influential American business leaders.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/27/world/middleeast/irans-president-calls-on-israel-to-join-nuclear-treaty.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

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'Win at all cost' Syrian rebels shun diplomatic solution

September 27, 2013

Many among the Syrian rebels will fight to the end to win the conflict and will do anything to sabotage the diplomatic effort that offers a non-violent solution, Eugene Puryear from the ANSWER coalition told RT.

RT: Is the final approval of a draft resolution going to be a breakthrough in the Syrian crisis?

Eugene Puryear: I think there is certainly a possibility there. It shows that we are trending towards a diplomatic solution, at least on the issue of chemical weapons. But the other issue that remains outstanding is what will happen outside the issue of chemical weapons? Will diplomacy be pursued by the US or will they continue to fund, as they have to fund the opposition and arm the opposition and facilitate that happening and try to deepen the conflict and overthrow Assad in another way.

Full report at:

http://rt.com/op-edge/syria-diplomacy-chemical-weapons-428/

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International Bank of Azerbaijan issues Europe’s first Islamic card

September 27, 2013

By Gulgiz Dadashova

The International Bank of Azerbaijan -- a major state-owned bank holding at least 40 percent of all bank assets in the country -- has become the first among European banks to introduce the Islamic card on September 25.

IBA Islamic Banking Department head Behnam Gurbanzade said that the Qibla card, which complies with the rules of Islamic banking, will be released into circulation in the near future. The cost of the card is 40 manats.

Qibla in Islam is the direction facing the Kaaba in Mecca to which Muslims turn during their prayers and carry out a number of rituals.

Qibla (orientation) is essential in the construction of mosques and other places of worship in many religions, as well as in the daily lives of Muslims, and serves as a symbol of the unity of all Muslims.

Full report at:

http://www.azernews.az/business/59963.html

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India

 

Attacks linked to peace talks? Violence in J&K year long affair

Bharti Jain, TNN | Sep 27, 2013

NEW DELHI: The argument that the escalation in terror from across Pakistan was timed only to vitiate the atmosphere ahead of Manmohan Singh-Nawaz Sharif talks may be on shaky ground as the spike in terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir has been a year-long phenomenon. The data of terrorist violence in the Valley state until September 22 this year, accessed exclusively by TOI, shows that killings of security forces shot up more than four times to 38 from 9 last year, even though encounters dropped to 28 from 33 in the corresponding period of 2012.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Attacks-linked-to-peace-talks-Violence-in-JK-yearlong-affair/articleshow/23122928.cms

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India calls for democracy to be preserved in Maldives

TNN | Sep 27, 2013,

NEW DELHI: With elections in Maldives postponed indefinitely, India on Thursday again urged the country to ensure that democracy is preserved. Foreign minister Salman Khurshid said India was "deeply disappointed and distressed" that this should have happened.

After an appeal filed by the Jumhooree Party alleging vote rigging by supporters of Mohammed Nasheed, who emerged as the leading candidate in the first round with over 45% of votes, the Maldives Supreme Court shelved the second round scheduled for September 28.

"Our understanding of the democratic system is that even if there are imperfections in the election system, those imperfections need to be addressed in a manner which is not destructive of the very process of elections," said Khurshid.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/India-calls-for-democracy-to-be-preserved-in-Maldives/articleshow/23124063.cms

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Bangladesh to plug into India on October 5

TNN | Sep 27, 2013

NEW DELHI: India will begin exporting power to Bangladesh on October 5, energizing bilateral ties and giving a shot in the arm to the Sheikh Hasina government ahead of January polls.

Power minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday said PM Manmohan Singh and Hasina will switch on their respective sides of the grid through a teleconference.

The two countries have a deal, inked during Hasina's January 2010 visit to Delhi, for trading of 250 mw of power. NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), state-run generation utility NTPC's power trading arm, will supply leftover power from the central pool — after meeting domestic demand — through a special link built by PowerGrid Corporation.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Bangladesh-to-plug-into-India-on-October-5/articleshow/23123528.cms

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Manmohan to raise terror concerns with Obama

 Sep 27, 2013

Against the backdrop of terror strikes in Jammu, India’s concerns over continued activities of LeT emanating from Pakistan and freedom to JuD chief Hafiz Saeed are expected to figure in the talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama in Washington on Friday.

Giving this indication, Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Nirupama Rao on Friday said India will articulate its concerns over continued cross-border terrorism, particularly since LeT is now a part of global terror network and endangers more than one country.

“We haven’t let this matter go off the radar... This issue concerning LeT and activities of Hafiz Saeed are very much on the agenda of discussions that we have with the US at every given opportunity,” she said in her pre-meeting briefing to reporters.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/manmohan-to-raise-terror-concerns-with-obama/article5174195.ece

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Mideast

 

Hamas, Islamic Jihad call for a third intifada

September 27, 2013

On the eve of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech at the UN General Assembly, a number of Palestinian groups called for launching a third intifada against Israel.

The calls were issued in protest against visits by Jewish groups to the Temple Mount.

The groups called on Palestinians to take to the streets following Friday prayers to express their “solidarity with the Aksa Mosque in the face of Israeli aggression.”

Hamas’s armed wing, Izaddin Kassam, also threatened to resume suicide bombings against Israel.

Abu Obaida, spokesman for the group, told reporters in the Gaza Strip that Hamas has not abandoned the option of suicide bombings.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Hamas-Islamic-Jihad-call-for-a-third-intifada-327202

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All will be surprised by democracy package: Turkish PM Erdoğan

September 27, 2013

The democratization package to be announced on Sept. 30 will be a surprise for many different segments of society, Turkey’s premier has said, reiterating that the government was not taking this

step because it was under pressure from Kurdish political groups.

“The contents may come as a surprise to many different segments of society. This package is the result of an 11-year process. But there will never be an end. Because this isn’t simple mathematics or geometrics. This is an ongoing social and political process,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said at a meeting of the Labor Ministry yesterday.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/all-will-be-surprised-by-democracy-package-turkish-pm-erdogan.aspx?pageID=238&nID=55230&NewsCatID=338

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Middle East peace talks last chance: Abbas

September 27, 2013

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded that any peace deal with Israel be permanent, calling new U.S.-brokered talks a “last chance.”

Speaking before the U.N. General Assembly, Abbas urged no letup in international pressure on Israel to stop building settlements on Palestinian land.

“Time is running out, and the window of peace is narrowing and the opportunities are diminishing,” Abbas said.

“The current round of negotiations appears to be a last chance to realize a just peace,” he said. The Palestinian leadership has frequently turned to the United Nations and the annual General Assembly summits to build momentum in hopes of influencing Israel.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/middle-east-peace-talks-last-chance-abbas.aspx?pageID=238&nID=55266&NewsCatID=352

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New Iranian president wants 'empty prisons'

Sep 27 2013

New York : Iran's newly elected moderate president has said he hoped for the freedom of more prisoners after the recent release of prominent reformists.

Speaking in New York on a United Nations trip aimed at mending ties with the West, Hassan Rouhani said Iran has taken 'early steps' on letting political prisoners go.

“We don't like to have anyone or see anyone in prison. We would like to have empty prisons,” he told a forum of the Asia Society and Council on Foreign Relations.

“In the past several weeks, good, positive measures were taken in this regard and we hope that will continue,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/new-iranian-president-wants--empty-prisons-/1175059/

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South Asia

 

Nasheed appeals to Chief Justice and generals to ensure run-off proceeds as scheduled

By Zaheena Rasheed | September 26th, 2013

Ousted president and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) presidential candidate Mohamed Nasheed has appealed to Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz and military generals to ensure run-off polls take place as scheduled on Saturday.

Four of seven Supreme Court judges signed an order on Monday ordering the Elections Commission (EC) to delay the second round of elections, in an ongoing case filed by the third-placed Jumhooree Party (JP) to annul the vote.

Nasheed emerged the front-runner with 45.45 percent of the vote (95,224 votes), followed by Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) candidate Abdulla Yameen who received 25.35 percent (53,099 votes).

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/nasheed-appeals-to-chief-justice-and-generals-to-ensure-run-off-proceeds-as-scheduled-66782

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AL to celebrate Hasina’s South-South Award

September 27, 2013

The ruling Awami League would organise a grand reception for party chief and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as she received the “South-South Award” for the government’s achievement in poverty alleviation.

The programme would be arranged at 5:30pm on September 30 at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport upon the premier’s return from the USA.

Francis Lorenzo, president of the International Organisation for South-South Cooperation, handed over the award to Hasina on Monday.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/politics/2013/sep/27/al-celebrate-hasina%E2%80%99s-south-south-award

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Hasina signs UN arms trade treaty

Unb, New York

Sep 27, 2013

Bangladesh yesterday signed the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) to the Convention on Prohibitions of Restrictions on the use of Certain Conventional Weapons.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina signed the treaty at a function at the UN Headquarters for Bangladesh, the first in South Asia and South East Asia. Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and UN Under Secretary General Miguel Serpa Soers were present.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/hasina-signs-un-arms-trade-treaty/

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Nepal recalls envoy after she called Qatar an 'open jail'

Sep 27, 2013

Nepal on Thursday recalled its ambassador to Qatar after she compared the Middle Eastern emirate to an " open jail" for thousands of Nepali migrants who face abuse from employers there.

Maya Kumari Sharma made the remarks six months ago to the BBC Nepali service, but they were reproduced on Thursday in a front-page investigation by Britain's Guardian newspaper into the deaths of Nepali migrants on projects connected to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Nepal's communication minister Madhav Paudel said that Qatar had complained about the comments of the ambassador, who was appointed by the former Maoist government a year and half ago.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Nepal-recalls-envoy-after-she-called-Qatar-an-open-jail/articleshow/23112204.cms

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Southeast Asia

 

Religion and politics take centre stage in Indonesian pageants

September 27, 2013

For weeks, Indonesians have been fixated on the issue of beauty pageants.

Hardline and conservative Muslims have been campaigning to stop Indonesia from hosting Miss World 2013, even after the government relented to their demand that the September 28 finals be moved from the outskirts of Jakarta in Muslim-dominant Java to the Hindu island of Bali.

Islamic conservatives have tried to cast the debate as one about morality. But it could just as easily be seen as having to do with politics, and in particular manoeuvring ahead of the presidential election next year.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/09/27/religion-and-politics-take-centre-stage-indonesian-pageants.html

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Indonesian Manpower Ministry Gets Behind Push to Free Maid in Malaysia

September 27, 2013

The Indonesian government continued its push to save a young maid facing the death sentence for allegedly murdering her employer on Thursday as the nation’s manpower and transmigration minister left to meet with Malaysian officials as the maid’s trial draws to a close.

“The government is doing everything it can to save Wilfrida [Soik],” Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar said. “Besides giving a maximum [amount of] legal support, we are also taking a bilateral diplomatic approach to freeing her.”

The Indonesian maid is on trial for the 2010 murder of 60-year-old Yeap Seok Pen in her Kampung Lubok, Pasir Mas, home. The Malaysian woman allegedly accused the young maid of sleeping with her husband in an argument that turned physical, according to reports in Malaysian media.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/indonesian-manpower-ministry-gets-behind-push-to-free-maid-in-malaysia/

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Philippine troops rescue last hostages, kill 15 rebels - army

MANUEL MOGATO

September 27, 2013

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine forces said on Friday they had rescued the last civilians held by Muslim rebels on a southern island after nearly three weeks of fighting that has raised doubts about government efforts to end decades-old insurgencies.

Hundreds of members of a Muslim rebel faction, angered by a pact struck with the main Muslim rebel group, marched into Zamboanga City on Sept 9. They took hundreds of hostages and began battling the security forces.

The violence has sat uncomfortably with the new-found reputation of the Christian-majority country as an emerging market success and one of Asia's fastest-growing economies.

About 200 people, including 166 rebels, have been killed and more than 100,000 residents of the port city on the main southern island of Mindanao were displaced.

Full report at:

http://www.thestar.com.my/News/World/2013/09/27/Philippine-troops-rescue-last-hostages-kill-15-rebels--army.aspx

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