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Condition of Trans (Khwaja Sira) Children ‘Scar on Society’: Pakistan Shariat Court

New Age Islam News Bureau

14 December 2022


Transgender Pakistanis are commonly shunned by their families and expelled from their homes, which introduces a lifetime of both discrimination and violence/ Photo: The Islamic Monthly


• UK Far-Right Terror Threat ‘Steadily Increasing Since 2017:’ UK MPs

• Jewish Community Opens Gulf’s First Kosher Supermarket in Dubai, UAE Rabbi Inaugurates

• Bangladesh Arrested Jamaat-e-Islami Party Emir as Protests to Oust PM Sheikh Hasina Spreads

• Pakistan’s Diplomatic Property for Sale in Washington



• Pakistan Army Chief General Munir Has His Hands Full with TTP-Afghan Taliban, A Challenge to the Pakistan Army’s Authority

• Pakistan blames India for bombing near Hafiz Sayeed house

• Britain rejects Bilawal’s plea to consider Pakistan as emerging market

• Pakistan's brain drain situation aggravates; 7, 65,000 youths moved overseas in 2022: Official data

• Proceedings begin to remove Imran as PTI chief, ECP tells IHC

• Imran’s counsel terms SC question on army’s immunity ‘political’



• Far-Right Terrorist Takes Guards Hostage in German Prison

• The World Cup and Spain’s uncomfortable relationship with its Muslim past

• UK announces new sanctions against Russia, Iran

• In letter to UN, Türkiye, Libya urges Greece to respect their sovereign decision

• Over 11,000 children killed or maimed in Yemen's eight-year old war: UNICEF

• European Parliament vice president removed over Qatar graft scandal


Arab World

• Foreign-Sponsored Terrorism against Syria Due To Its Unwavering Support for Palestine: Parliament Speaker

• Collection of artefacts never displayed outside of Oman before showcased in Sharjah

• Saudi Arabia’s Prince Khalid in Britain to strengthen defence ties

• Damascus blasts Dutch govt. over support for terror groups operating inside Syria

• US resumes patrols with SDF in northern Syria: Pentagon


South Asia

• Islamic Emirate Allows No One to Cruelty, Discrimination in Afghanistan, Deputy PM Hanafi

• Further Security Measures to be provided at the Foreign Entities in Kabul

• Beijing 'shocked' by attack on Afghan hotel hosting Chinese visitors

• Pakistan Plans to Launch Military Operations at Afghan Border


North America

• Man admits Ramadan attack on US Islamic centre

• Assault in Toronto mosque highlights alarming rise of Islamophobia in Canada

• US says Iran executions show leadership ‘fears own people’

• US says joints patrols with YPG/PKK in Syria resume



• Religious Harmony with Humanity: Tamil Nadu Muslim Farmer Donates 15 Cents Of Land To • Help Hindu Devotees Access the Path to Ayyanar Temple

• Upcoming Karnataka Assembly Elections: BJP MLA Warns Muslims: Vote For Me Or Else...

• Justice Bela M. Trivedi, a Judge from Gujarat, Recuses From Review of Premature Release of the Convicts in Bilkis Bano Case

• Cong's Muslim Leaders in Karnataka Push for More Tickets

• Muslim groups confused as CPM, IUML get closer

• Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan Supports Bringing Uniform Civil Code

• K'taka: As parties attempt to woo Muslim voters, Cong leaders from community seek more tickets


Southeast Asia

• Elected Reps Not Allowed To Hold Talks at Mosques, Suraus: Perak MB

• Controversial amendments to Terengganu state Islamic laws stoke concerns in Malaysia



• Mahsa Amini’s Death Protests: Iran Jails 400 Protesters for Terms of up To 10 Years: Judiciary

• Houthis accused of torturing prisoner, concealing death from family for years

• Israeli forces raze four Palestinian-owned homes, several structures in West Bank

• Iran Says US, Allies Liable for Israel Crimes as UN Urges Probe into Teenager’s Killing

• Israel’s Netanyahu promises ‘liberal-right’ government



• 2023: Muslim-Muslim Ticket Better Than North Retaining Power – Southern Christians

• Uganda Army Says 11 Islamist Militants Killed in Cross-Border Raid

• Ghana: Northern Regional Muslims Council Inaugurated in Tamale

• Sudan inks $6 bln UAE deal for new Red Sea port

• 3 gunmen killed in attack on office of Nigeria’s electoral body

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Condition of Trans (Khwaja Sira) Children ‘Scar on Society’: Pakistan Shariat Court


Transgender Pakistanis are commonly shunned by their families and expelled from their homes, which introduces a lifetime of both discrimination and violence/ Photo: The Islamic Monthly


Kalbe Ali

December 14, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Federal Shariat Court (FSC) has said the situation faced by transgender children in Pakistan was a scar on the face of society.

A two-member bench of the FSC, comprising Chief Justice Dr Syed Muhammad Anwer and Justice Khadim Hussain Shaikh on Tuesday heard a set of petitions challenging the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018.

The FSC chief justice also emphasised the state’s responsibility to protect transgender children since they were exposed to exploitation by criminals.

“It was unfortunate that these children were abandoned by their own families and as a result, they are abused by criminals and fall prey to paedophiles and other predators in our society,” CJ Anwer remarked.

He added the lives of trans people become more miserable as they turn old.

During the hearing, a representative from the ‘Khwaja Sira’ community expressed concerns over the worsening situation of the community in the country.

The chief justice asked the representatives of the Ministry of Human Rights about the overall conduct of the society towards the trans community. However, the ministry failed to provide a ‘satisfactory’ response to the query.

While expressing dissatisfaction over the explanation, the court directed the ministry to provide a ‘rational response’ in the next hearing.

The ministry has also been directed to submit a report by Dec 15 on facilities for the protection of children born with some defects in their sexual organs.

The chief justice further remarked that Section 6(a) of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018, bounds the government and the human rights ministry to ensure the rescue, protection and rehabilitation of transgender persons and provide medical, psychological and counselling facilities.

There should be protection homes for intersex children abandoned by their families and older persons falling under the category of intersex (Khusra) as defined in section 2(n)(i) of the act.

Transgender rights activists Bubli Malik and Nayab Ali; Nadra, human rights ministry, Benazir Income Support Programmes and Karachi-based “Gender Interactive Alliance” (GIA) appeared as respondents in the court.

Religious parties’ representatives also attended the proceedings while another transgender rights activist Reem Sharif filed an application to become a respondent in the case.

She also sought two weeks to present scientific and medical arguments for the identification of trans people, who were undeveloped males or undeveloped females due to birth defects.

The court granted her application to present the arguments in two weeks.

The National Assembly enacted the law to provide legal recognition to transgender persons and ensure that discrimination against transgender persons in various walks of life shall be punishable in May 2018.

The law also enabled trans people to be recognised as they perceive themselves and register with government institutions as transgenders.

Hailed as a ‘landmark’ law that offered protection to a marginalised community, the legislation however was embroiled in litigation scrutiny since it was passed by the two houses of the parliament.

A set of petitioners challenged the law in 2021 on grounds that it was “repugnant to Islamic injunctions”.In September 2022, a fresh set of petitions were filed against the law in the FSC.

Source: Dawn

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UK Far-Right Terror Threat ‘Steadily Increasing Since 2017:’ UK MPs


British MPs



13 December, 2022

UK lawmakers on Tuesday warned of a growing threat from right-wing extremists, and urged the military and police to tighten background checks.

The parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee said in its annual report that the phenomenon had been steadily increasing since 2017, with tech-savvy young men driving the rise.

A growing number of young people under the age of 24 were now on the radar of the UK domestic security service MI5 investigating extreme right-wing terrorism (ERWT), it added.

Of the 25 attacks which the security services and counter-terrorism police prevented between March 2017 and January 2020, eight were motivated by an ERWT ideology.

“The new ERWT threat is fragmented and complex, increasingly driven by the internet and characterized by a technologically aware demographic of predominantly young men, many of them still in their teens, who are typically ‘Self-Initiated Terrorists’,” the report said.

Few of the individuals suspected belong to organized groups and are as a result difficult to identify and monitor.

“Their motivation can be highly individualistic, according to their particular personal circumstances, the nature of their grievances and perceptions of their own capabilities,” the MPs said.

“Determining how, why and when they may choose to attack is therefore particularly challenging,” the report said.

But the MPs, who scrutinize the work of the intelligence agencies, said the military and police needed to do more to weed out actual and potential far-right followers.

Far-right extremists often display an interest in military culture, weaponry and the armed forces or law enforcement organizations, and either join or try to recruit in their ranks.

The UK armed forces, however, do not provide clear direction to service personnel regarding the membership of any organization, “let alone an extremist one”, the committee said.

This “appears a somewhat risky approach,” given the sensitive roles of many service personnel, it added.

It also said there was “particular concern” about a similar risk in the police because of a “lack of thorough background checks”.

The committee has previously criticized the government for failing to probe possible Russian meddling in UK politics, including the 2016 Brexit referendum.

On Tuesday, its chairman Julian Lewis said it was “deeply disappointed” that the government failed to provide information on time for it to scrutinize.

The delays had hampered its ability to provide statutory oversight, he added.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Jewish Community Opens Gulf’s First Kosher Supermarket in Dubai, UAE Rabbi Inaugurates


Representational Photo


13 December, 2022

The Arabian Gulf’s first kosher supermarket opened in Dubai on Monday evening, catering to the emirate’s fledging Jewish community.

Rimon, meaning pomegranate in Hebrew, was officially opened by the United Arab Emirates’ Rabbi Levi Duchman in the Al Wasl area of Dubai.

“It is a symbol of the incredible progress that our Jewish community in the UAE is making and the freedom we've been thankfully granted, to enable all of this - and an answer to a true need for kosher food throughout the year,” Duchman said in a statement.

The new store intends to answer the growing demand for food that abides by the dietary standards of Jewish law, as the number of Jews living in and traveling to the UAE continues to grow.

Rimon offers meat and chicken products classified as ‘mehudar,’ the highest standard of kosher food, among other items.

Its shelves are stocked mainly from produce imported from Israel, Europe, and the US.

The store will also host a Jewish food market every weekend.

“We hope that with this project we will enable many more Jewish families to move and live in the UAE, making their daily lives even more comfortable,” Duchman added.

“So far the feedback from the local and global Jewish community -- as well as many non-Jewish friends -- is amazing.”

The Jewish community has flourished in the UAE since the Gulf country normalized relations with Israel in the 2020 Abraham Accords.

Traditional restrictions on Jews practicing their religion openly were eased, part of wider reforms to encourage expatriates to settle in the country whose population is made up of mostly foreign residents.

Rabbi Duchman has resided in the emirates since 2014 and has been instrumental in setting up Jewish institutions in the country.

“Our wonderful community, which keeps growing and prospering here in the UAE, most gratefully continues to benefit from the extraordinary embrace we have received from the Emirates government and local authorities, for over a decade now,” he said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Bangladesh Arrested Jamaat-e-Islami Party Emir as Protests to Oust PM Sheikh Hasina Spreads


Supporters of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party a huge rally in Dhaka on Dec 10 to press for a snap poll. PHOTO: EPA-EFE


DEC 14, 2022

DHAKA - Bangladeshi police have arrested the chief of the country’s largest Islamist party, days after it announced that it would join the main opposition in protests to oust Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Counter-terrorism officers arrested Jamaat-e-Islami party emir Shafiqur Rahman in Dhaka, police spokesman Faruq Ahmed said, without elaborating on the charges.

A spokesman for Jamaat – the country’s third-largest political party, which has been banned from contesting elections since 2012 – condemned the arrest of the 64-year-old, saying it was intended to “scuttle the opposition’s anti-government movement”.

“This is just another episode of the unjust oppression continuing against the party for the last 15 years,” said Jamaat publicity secretary Matiur Rahman Akand.

For years, Jamaat was a major ally of the right-of-centre main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Their coalition ruled the country between 2001 and 2006.

But after Ms Hasina came to power in 2009, Jamaat’s entire leadership was arrested and tried for war crimes dating back to the country’s 1971 independence war against Pakistan.

Five of its top leaders were hanged between 2013 and 2016 after they were found guilty by a war crimes court.

The party called the trials politically motivated and part of a wider vendetta against its leaders.

Hundreds of party activists were shot dead and tens of thousands detained after they staged violent protests against the executions.

The fresh arrest of Jamaat’s chief came days after two of the BNP’s leaders were arrested on charges of inciting violence on the eve of a giant anti-government rally last Saturday.

The BNP has demanded Ms Hasina step down and let a caretaker government hold a free and fair election.

The opposition says a credible vote under her is impossible after she was accused of rigging the past two general elections in 2014 and 2018.

Jamaat and several left-leaning and centrist parties have supported the BNP’s demands. They also announced that they would hold protests jointly with the BNP.

Police in November also arrested Mr Rahman’s son, Mr Rafat Sadik Saifullah, on extremism charges and remanded him in custody under Bangladesh’s harsh anti-terrorism laws. AFP

Source: Straits Times

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Pakistan’s Diplomatic Property for Sale in Washington


Picture source - AP


Anwar Iqbal

December 14, 2022

WASHINGTON: Pakistan has put one of its diplomatic properties in the US capital — a building on the prestigious R Street NW — for sale, with officials insisting that neither the new nor the old embassies are up for sale.

The building housed the embassy’s defence section from the mid-1950s to early 2000s. “This building is in the market,” an official for the Pakistan Embassy confirmed to Dawn.

“We are following the proper procedure for sale.” The embassy advertised the proposed sale in newspapers and has received several bids. “It is still in the market, no final decision yet,” the official added.

The embassy said they were consulting an appraiser to assess what’s better for them: to sell the building as it is, or to do so after renovation.

“We are in no rush, and we will not conclude a deal that does not benefit Pakistan,” the embassy official said.

Official denies embassy is unable to pay its staff

Posts on social media displayed two buildings: both the present and the old embassies. But the embassy said none of these two buildings were for sale.

The present embassy is in a new building constructed in the early 2000s while the old embassy was in the heart of the town, on Massachusetts Avenue, close to the Indian embassy.

While no one ever suggested selling the new embassy, reports about the possible sale of the old embassy and the R Street building have been circulating for some time.

The embassy, however, insists that neither the new nor the old embassies were up for sale. According to some estimates, the embassy spent close to seven million dollars in renovating the old building and the nearby official residence of the ambassador.

The amount spent on the renovation, however, surprised many, with some demanding a probe to determine why it cost so much.

The R Street building, however, has never been renovated and a visit to the site showed that it was in dilapidated conditions. Other residents of the area confirmed that they had complained to the local authorities about the state of the building which, they said, was now “a security hazard.”

The residents want the building to be renovated or razed to ground.

The R Street building was purchased by Ambassador Syed Amjad Ali between 1953 and 1956. The old embassy was purchased by Pakistan’s first ambassador to the US, M.A.H. Ispahani. Both buildings have remained unoccupied for almost 20 years now.

Another embassy official, when asked for comments, said the government has no plans to sell the old embassy as they still wanted to set up a cultural centre here.

A former Pakistani ambassador told Dawn that two ambassadors Jalil Abbas Jilani and Sherry Rehman had previously come close to selling the old embassy building but the government withdrew after a media uproar.

“Personally, I am in favour of selling all unoccupied buildings,” the former ambassador said. “We have already wasted a lot of money in retaining these buildings for so long.”

However, he made it clear that since they are diplomatic properties, Pakistan does not have to pay property tax for these buildings. “But a commercial buyer will have to pay taxes if he buys the property,” he said. “That’s why we do not have too many offers. Further delay will make it even more difficult to sell the buildings.”

Yet another embassy official rejec­ted the suggestion that the embassy was unable to pay its diplomatic and other staff. “Every embassy employee — diplomatic or non-diplomatic — is paid on time,” the official said.

Source: Dawn

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Pakistan Army Chief General Munir Has His Hands Full With TTP-Afghan Taliban, A Challenge to the Pakistan Army’s Authority

14 December, 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], December 14 (ANI): General Asim Munir, the new Pakistan Army chief, will have to relook at the age-old patronage of the Taliban and find a new way to deal with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a terrorist organisation protected by another terrorist entity, the Afghan Taliban, both an immediate challenge to the Pakistan Army’s authority, reported Geo-politik.

TTP’s rise is mainly due to the support it draws from the Afghan Taliban, Pakistan Army’s traditional ally and key strategic instrument against India’s expansion in the region.

General Munir, therefore, has his hands full with the TTP-Afghan Taliban, politics and internal dynamics of the army leadership. The TTP cannot be pushed back without dealing with the Afghan Taliban as it is the Taliban which is protecting the TTP.

According to Geo-politik, Munir can no longer ignore the legacy of his predecessor, Javed Bajwa, who dismissed reports of the regathering of TTP militants in Swat and other areas in Pakistan in a bid to cover up his singular failure in defending the territorial integrity of Pakistan.

The report said that Bajwa during his tenure had started a peace dialogue with TTP and even struck a secret pact with the militant leadership to hoodwink the people, with the active connivance of his other protege, Imran Khan as the Prime Minister.

It is therefore not surprising that as soon as Bajwa exited, TTP called off the ceasefire agreement and ordered its militants to attack Pakistan, whenever and wherever they get the opportunity.

This can be seen in the recent beheading of a police officer in Bannu. The incident shows that the TTP is serious about implementing its threat.

Pakistani newspaper Business Recorder termed “these are consequences of the appeasement policy adopted by the state until recently”, reported Geo-politik.

After General Asim Munir assumed the position of Pakistan Army chief last month, he is now facing an unprecedented crisis, emanating from the economic and political upheaval in the country.

“Army is facing public ridicule in Pakistan to the dismay of old-timers who still consider that Army is an essential part of three ‘A’s guiding the destiny of the country, the other two being America and Saudi Arabia,” wrote the London-based commentator James Crickton, in an opinion piece for South Asia centred think tank Policy Research Group (Poreg).

Crickton said that Pakistan’s military has been the only stable and formidable institution in the country even as the country “faced political, economic, judicial, and religious upheavals.”

“However, its influence seems to be fading for the first time because of the polity challenging its once indisputable authority,” he added.

Source: The Print

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Pakistan blames India for bombing near Hafiz Sayeed house

Dec 14, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan accused India on Tuesday of the 2021 bombing near the Lahore residence of LeT founder Hafiz Sayeed, in which three people were killed and 22 injured and claimed New Delhi’s footprints had been found in most of the terrorist activities in the country.

Addressing a press conference, Pakistan interior (home) minister Rana Sanaullah said Islamabad has decided to bring its stance before the world and “unveil” India’s alleged “face of terrorism”.

The minister, flanked by Punjab’s top counter-terrorism department (CTD) official, Imran Mehmood, said the presser was called to share evidence of last year’s attack near the residence of Lashkar-e-Tayyaba founder Hafiz Saeed. The CTD official said police had traced the suspect within 16 hours of the incident on June 23, 2021. “And within 24 hours we arrested three terrorists. The first character was Peter Paul David, who was caught through the details of his vehicle. Sajjad Hussain, who was arrested alongside, was David’s assistant,” he said.

“He (Peter) was affiliated directly with two RAW agents — Ali Budaish and Bablu Srivastava,” the CTD official alleged, adding his assistant had destroyed the phones used for communications to plan the explosion.

On Peter’s identification, Mehmood said, Ziaullah, another terrorist, was arrested. “This guy (Ziaullah) was the brother of the main culprit – Sami-ul-Haq. Four to five days later CTD officials tracked down two more culprits – Eid Gul and his wife, Ayesha Gul,” Mehmood said,

After Gul’s interrogation, the CTD was finally able to arrest Sami-ul-Haq, the main handler of the attack, along with his brother-in-law, Uzair Akbar. Akbar, Mehmood claimed, assisted Haq in terror activities. “We also found out about Naveed Akhtar, who did the surveillance and selected the target,” the official said.

“Naveed was a labourer in the Middle East and was in jail because he could not pay his fine,” Mehmood said. He alleged that a RAW agent approached Naveed and told him that he would pay his fine but Naveed would then have to carry out terrorist activities against Pakistan. He added that as soon as Naveed was arrested, several terror activities were thwarted

Source: Times Of India

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Britain rejects Bilawal’s plea to consider Pakistan as emerging market

13 December, 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], December 13 (ANI): Britain outrightly rejected Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s plea to re-look at his country from the perspective of a “promising emerging market full of opportunities”, Asian Lite International reported.

He appealed to the world on the same day when Britain announced sanctions against a Muslim cleric Maulana Abdul Haq alias Mian Mithu for forced conversion of non-Muslims in Pakistan’s Sindh province.

Bilawal raised the pitch for his country in Singapore, seeking improved economic ties. Analysts noted that Bhutto-Zardari’s plea came during his meetings with Singapore President Halimah Yacob, a woman and a Muslim, and his counterpart Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, an ethnic Tamil.

Bilawal, who went to Singapore on December 9, met Singapore President Halimah Yacob on Saturday and raised the pitch for his country, seeking improved economic ties.

At the same time, when Bilawal was asking the world to relook at his country, the United Kingdom sanctioned a Muslim cleric, Maulana Abdul Haq alias Mian Mithu for forced conversion of non-Muslims in Pakistan’s Sindh province.

A Pakistan People’s Party lawmaker between 2008 and 2013, Mithu was expelled by the party after he became controversial over the forced conversion and marriage of Rinkle Kumari, a girl from the minority Hindu community, reported Asian Lite International.

Earlier, on Friday, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly announced a new list of sanctions including Mian Abdul Haq of the Bharchundi Sharif shrine in Ghotki, Sindh, to mark International Anti-Corruption Day and Human Rights Day.

The package includes individuals and entities involved in a wide range of grievous activities – including the torture of prisoners, the mobilisation of troops to rape civilians, and systematic atrocities.

“It is our duty to promote free and open societies around the world,” said Cleverly.

“Today our sanctions go further to expose those behind the heinous violations of our most fundamental rights to the account. We are committed to using every lever at our disposal to secure a future of freedom over fear,” he said.

Haq, who is a cleric and politician, is a locally influential figure in the Sindh region of Pakistan and has been criticised over the years for the forced conversion of minorities, mostly Hindus, in the province.

“Mian Abdul Haq, a Muslim cleric of the Bharchundi Sharif shrine in Ghotki, Sindh, who is responsible for forced marriages and forced religious conversions of non-Muslims and minors,” UK sanctions list reads.

Sanctions impose an asset freeze and travel ban on individuals and entities and prevent any UK citizen, or any business in the UK, from dealing with any funds or economic resources which are owned, held or controlled by the designated person.

Other countries covered in the latest wave of sanctions include Russia, Uganda, Myanmar and Iran.

The sanctions effectively mean that designated individuals will be unable to do any business or undertake the economic activity with UK citizens or companies and that they will be denied entry to the UK, according to Asian Lite International.

Source: The Print

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Pakistan's brain drain situation aggravates; 7, 65,000 youths moved overseas in 2022: Official data

Dec 13, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's brain drain situation has aggravated with more than 7,60,000 educated youth seeking employment overseas this year mainly because of the uncertain economic and political situation in the country, according to a media report on Tuesday.

According to documents available with The Express Tribune, 7,65,000 people left Pakistan in 2022, nearly triple the 2,25,000 departures in 2021 and 2,88,000 in 2020.

This year's data also includes 92,000 highly-educated people such as doctors, engineers, information technology experts and accountants leaving the nation.

According to the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment, an overwhelming majority of the emigrants went to Middle Eastern countries, mainly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Among the European destinations, the preferred choice of Pakistanis appears to be Romania.

“The effects of the deteriorating economic situation, as well as the political uncertainty, have begun to affect the workforce of Pakistan,” a bureau official told the newspaper on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

“Hundreds of thousands of young men, including the highly-educated, who are worried about inflation, unemployment and uncertain economic and political situation, are going abroad every year in search of employment,” he added.

Cash-strapped Pakistan is also facing a political crisis with ousted prime minister Imran Khan demanding that the government announce early general elections and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif rejecting his plea for snap polls.

According to the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment, 7,65,000 young people from Pakistan went abroad this year. It also said that the number of emigrants had risen after registering a fall in two consecutive years following 6,25,000 emigrations in 2019.

According to the documents, those who left the country in 2022 included more than 92,000 graduates, 350,000 trained workers and the same number of untrained labourers. They also said that 7,36,000 people went to the Gulf states.

The emigrants included 5,534 engineers, 18,000 associate electrical engineers, 2,500 doctors, 2,000 computer experts, 6,500 accountants, 2,600 agricultural experts, over 900 teachers, 12,000 computer operators, 1,600 nurses and 21,517 technicians. The group of unskilled workers comprised 2,13,000 drivers.

According to the data, over 7,30,000 youth went to the Gulf states, and nearly 40,000 went to European and other Asian countries.

The country-wise breakdown of the data showed 4,70,000 Pakistanis headed to Saudi Arabia for employment, 1,19,000 to the UAE, 77,000 to Oman, 51,634 to Qatar and 2,000 to Kuwait.

The data also mentioned that 2,000 Pakistanis went to Iraq, 5,000 to Malaysia, 602 to China, 815 to Japan, and 136 to Turkey. Besides, 478 Pakistanis went to Sudan in Africa in search of employment.

The highest number of people emigrating to a European country was 3,160 youth going to Romania. It was followed by 2,500 to Great Britain, 677 to Spain, 566 to Germany, 497 to Greece, and 292 to Italy. The Bureau of Emigrants also registered 700 people going to the United States.

More than half of those leaving Pakistan were from Punjab.

Source: Times Of India

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Proceedings begin to remove Imran as PTI chief, ECP tells IHC

Nasir Iqbal

December 14, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) informed the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday that it had initiated proceedings to remove Imran Khan from the post of PTI chairman after his disqualification in the Toshakhana reference.

ECP Director General Law Mohammad Arshad also told the court that the next hearing of the reference has been scheduled for Dec 20, adding that a district and sessions court in Islamabad reserved its verdict on an ECP plea in the Toshakhana case against Imran Khan.

The trial court had taken up the commission’s plea on Nov 22 and is expected to announce its judgement on Dec 15.

The ECP had on Dec 5 initiated the process to remove Imran Khan as PTI chairman in the light of its verdict in the Toshakhana case. He disqualified under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution for making “false statements and incorrect declaration”.

IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq took up PTI’s appeal against ECP’s decision to disqualify Imran Khan, but postponed further proceedings to Dec 20 due to paucity of time.

Ex-PM’s counsel terms commission’s disqualification order unconstitutional

Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, representing Imran Khan, highlighted the urgency of the case in view of the ECP proceedings. He informed the IHC that the National Assembly speaker had accepted applications of a few MNAs without any reasoning, document or evidence in a mechanical manner, and filed in the commission a reference seeking to disqualify Imran Khan under Article 62(1)(f) in the Toshakhana case.

He contended that the NA speaker’s decision and the ECP order were unconstitutional. The counsel argued that for a disqualification under Article 62(1)(f) to take place there must be a pre-existing declaration from a court of law against the member.

He pointed out that in this case there was no declaration from a court of law as required under Article 62(1)(f) against Imran Khan at the time of NA speaker’s decision nor before the ECP when the commission was called upon to answer the questions raised in the reference.

“Hence, the speaker’s reference is unfounded and unconstitutional and ECP should have dismissed the reference by deciding that Imran Khan does not stand disqualified under Article 62(1)(f),” the counsel argued.

The counsel argued that the ECP was not a court of law and there were many judgements of the Supreme Court in which it had been decided that under Article 62(1)(f), no declaration could be made by the ECP. He also referred to the latest case of Faisal Vawda in which the apex court had ruled that the commission had no jurisdiction to give any declaration under Article 62(1)(f).

The counsel said the present case was a strange one in which assets were legally purchased and sold and yet the ECP had disqualified Imran Khan. He referred to many judgements of the superior courts in which it was held that all mis-declarations were not a cause for disqualification but it has to be seen whether the declaration was for any ulterior or dishonest motive.

Source: Dawn

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Imran’s counsel terms SC question on army’s immunity ‘political’

Nasir Iqbal

December 14, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The counsel for PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that its question about his client’s opinion on exclusion of the armed forces from the purview of NAB law was a political one.

Advocate Khawaja Haris explained that the 2001 judgement in Asfandyar Wali case had already justified why the armed forces did not fall within the ambit of the accountability law, saying the Pakistan Army Act 1952 as well as the Pakistan Army Act Rules 1954 were self-contained codes, which provide for prosecution and punishment in cases involving corruption, corrupt practices and illegal gratification, besides enjoying constitutional protection.

However, members of the armed forces in federal and provincial corporations are not immune from the accountability process, the counsel explained, adding that the serving army officers can be tried under the corruption law but only after their retirement.

Khawaja Haris was arguing before a three-judge SC bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, which was hearing Imran Khan’s challenge to the amendments to the National Accountability Ordinance.

Justice Mansoor questions officers’ exclusion from NAB law’s purview

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, a member of the bench, wondered why the officers employed by the military-owned organisations like the Army Welfare Trust are out of the ambit of NAB law, but not those who are serving in the federal and provincial corporations.

“I simply wanted to understand why the members of the armed forces have been taken out especially when Article 25 of the Constitution talks of equality of citizens?” the judge asked. Though the army officers could be expelled from service on corruption charges, still the ill-gotten assets could not be recovered, he wondered.

Justice Shah conceded that the serving army officers have been made immune from the ambit of the NAB law to maintain discipline and administrative control, but “we are talking about the corruption done by the officers in their individual capacity”.

The court can revisit the Asfandyar Wali case for further clarity, said the counsel.

“You wanted the court to revisit the case,” Justice Shah said, asking who was in the government when the judgement came.

The counsel said it was the government of Gen Pervez Musharraf, but hastened to add that the court should not shift the burden on “our shoulders”.

Regarding amendments to the NAB law, CJP Bandial asked if a truncated assembly could amend the accountability law, wondering how the court could deal with an assembly which has not been properly constituted and so many of its members have boycotted it and chosen to go out of parliament.

Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan regretted the unduly haste in which the amendments were rushed through, adding that literally nothing was on record to explain what was the motive and purpose behind adopting the amendments by the assembly.

He regretted that political parties follow lines given by individuals, which usually lead to self-interest, adding that there were 250 cases against those individuals who benefited from the NAB law yet they guided amendments.

When the CJP asked if it could be called parliamentary capture, the counsel explained that it was akin to regulatory capture done in a blatant manner and the court should not close its eyes, rather intervene.

Source: Dawn

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Far-right terrorist takes guards hostage in German prison



A right-wing extremist, who was behind the 2019 Halle terror attack, took two prison guards hostage in Germany, but he was later overwhelmed by other guards, authorities said on Tuesday.

The incident occurred on Monday evening at a prison in Burg in the eastern Saxony-Anhalt state.

According to the Justice Ministry, the right-wing extremist Stephan Balliet took two staff members of the prison, but he was overpowered after a short time by other staff inside the prison.

Balliet was injured during the release of the hostages. The two freed staff members were reportedly not injured, but are in shock.

It is still unclear how the hostage situation came about.

Police had armed officers in position in front of the prison after the hostage-taking became known.

The State Criminal Investigation Office of Saxony-Anhalt has started investigations.

Balliet had initially tried at gunpoint to enter the city's synagogue in Halle on Oct. 9, 2019 to kill people having gathered there.

After he had failed in this, he shot a passer-by in front of the building and shortly afterwards a guest in the snack bar Kiez-Doner.

During the trial, it came out that he originally wanted to storm a mosque or a center of the anti-fascist Antifa group, because he believed they were less guarded. But, he said, he wanted to murder Jews as a priority because, in his view, they were behind Muslim immigration to Europe.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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The World Cup and Spain’s uncomfortable relationship with its Muslim past

Steffani Garcia

13 Dec, 2022

'Do not cry like women, for what you could not defend as men', is probably something I would like to think Luis Enrique is telling the selección española on their way back to Spain after losing in a penalty shoot-out to the Atlas Lions last Tuesday. This particular phrase is an adapted adage that pierced the lips of the mother of Abu Abdallah Muhammad XII (known as Boabdil in Spain, the last Emir of Granada) as he wept upon his expulsion from the Iberian Peninsula in 1498 by King Ferdinand VII of Castille.

This epigram is something I, a British-Andalusian, have heard ad nauseam by Arabs and Muslims alike when the subject of Al Andalus is broached. My most recent conversation on this topic was actually with some Moroccan friends, as we jokingly tussled between kicks and passes during the Spain vs. Morocco match. "If Spain loses, give us back Al Andalus". Similar jokes have reverberated throughout the Twittersphere’s of the Western Mediterranean since.

Less so the nature of the jest, it's the acceptance of Al Andalus as being something external to Spanish identity, bothers me. I specifically say Spanish here as Andalusian culture has been monopolised by the grand stage that is modern day Spanish nation-building and the cesspool that are tourism boards in general.

Firstly, Al Andalus never belonged to what we know as the modern-day Moroccan state, it was part of the Ummayad Caliphate, the Almorovid Empire after becoming an independent caliphate and then met its doom after fragmenting into various taifas or “mini kingdoms”. Secondly, when the Muslims and Jews were expelled from the Peninsula, these weren’t necessarily Arabs or Moors. They were native Iberians who refused to convert to Catholicism.

Our problematic relationship with Al Andalus is ingrained in the contemporary Spanish psyche, if you ask any Spaniard, who built the Alhambra or the Great Mosque of Córdoba, they will, without pause, answer "the Arabs", "the Muslims". As if Federico García Lorca didn’t lament the Alhambra in his poems, as if we don’t enjoy some aceitunas (zaytoun, olives) on a plastic chair on the sotea (sota’a, roof terrace) outside our grandmother’s house in the barrio (neighbourhood).

Why are we so quick to “other” our own history, when it evidently permeates our modern language and cultural surroundings? Yes, the Italians say the Romans built the Colosseum, but even then, they simultaneously protect and defend it as something wholly Italian, despite Italy only truly existing as a modern nation-state from 1871 - 1,800 years after the founding of the stadium. A significantly longer lapse between the creation of the modern state of Spain and the Alhambra.

In the last Roman census of Hispania (Roman Spain), the population stood at around 6 million. With the later influx of the Visigoth tribes, this elevated the number of the native population by a meagre 80,000. Unless all 6,080,000 inhabitants were hiding in the mountains of Basque Country, when Tariq ibn Ziyad and his Amazigh warriors conquered the Iberian Peninsula in 711 AD, there must have been a populous these armies actually conquered.

Moreover, there’s a consensus amongst European historians that a small number of Amazigh and Arab Muslims settled the land, and majority of the population (around 80%) ended up converting to Islam and becoming arabised. So, it begs the question, who actually built the Alhambra? Not the Moors, but the great grandparents of modern day Spaniards.

If my grandfather in Cádiz, was speaking Arabic 800 years ago, would that have made him any less gaditano or Iberian?

However, whilst Spain is a secular country, the culture and people are overwhelmingly theocratic, especially when it comes to the subject of Al Andalus. Cathedrals, Baroque architecture and the (what feels like) a thousand devotions of the Virgin Mary are inextricably ours and anything Muslim in character is considered theirs. We may as well have the Alhambra hoisted by a crane and thrown at the feet of King Mohammad VI in Rabat with that line of thinking.

To answer this question, we must look at the issues of Spanish society and politics since 1498 – primarily the genocidal and racialised legacy of the colonisation of the Americas. The 40 year-long fascist dictatorship of Francisco Franco also sought to erase the history books and replaced over 800 years of Muslim rule in Spain with a lame and reductive; “the Arabs came, and then they left”, focusing more on Spain’s respectively brief Roman and Visigoth history to instil a sense of a “white Catholic Spain”. It was under this particular version of Spain, you couldn’t even apply for a Spanish national identity card unless you were baptised.

By extension, the around 1 million Moroccans currently living in Spain, report increasing levels of hostility, in line with increasing far-right populism and general anti-Muslim sentiment across Europe. Arguably, their presence in Spain, is viewed by far-right parties such as Vox as an attempt to restore the Iberian Peninsula to Muslim rule, and could explain why Spanish police were on high-alert during Tuesday’s football match, fearing riots after “Ultras” rallied Spaniards on Twitter and Instagram to “protect the streets” from Moroccan supporters.

This anti-Arabness in Spain is rooted in an ardent hypocrisy that burns so bright it blinds far-right nationalists across the country. If you look at any of the iconography used in “Visit Spain” or “Andalucía Loves You” posters, there is consistent use of azulejos (Moorish azelij tile work). If we continue this line of thinking of us versus them, why are we using something that belongs to the Arabs we want to “protect our streets from” to market our country to tourists? It’s illogical, inaccurate and rooted in desperate self-hatred.

With respect, this is not to dismiss the nostalgia that Arabs and Muslims cherish towards Al Andalus, as mentioned earlier, many North Africans have Iberian heritage and there are families in Morocco that still have the keys to their medieval homes in Córdoba and Granada.

Moreover, the sensational melodies in Raï music of Oran, Algeria has heavy Andalusian influence, as does the traditional music of Tetouan and Tangiers in Morocco (known as Andalusi music in North Africa). Many cities in Morocco, such as Chefchouen, were founded by a contingent of Andalusí refugees in 1471, and there they built their abodes to reflect their memories of Granada.

Let’s also not forget our shared history of being conquered by the Romans and Byzantines, and its impact on trade, knowledge sharing and migration. We were one people many times over, yet Al Andalus is still not a shared, but divided.

Many Spaniards are uncomfortable with their Arab-Muslim past and it’s of no shock that the attitudes towards the Muslim community in Spain which have allowed far-right islamophobic politicians such as Santiago Abascal (leader of the Vox party) to succeed, are connected to the psychological acceptance of Al Andalus as something that is ours. Yet it continues to be something that is erased, suppressed and ultimately exported through daily conversations or memes on twitter.

You cannot escape the impact of Al Andalus, it is a concomitant echoless scream and deafening whisper. The origins of flamenco, gastronomy, architecture toponyms such as Gibraltar (Jabal al Tareq) or Benalmádena (Beni al Madena), and even agricultural methods are all inheritance from our forefathers, and not exclusively that of Morocco or Achraf Hakimi.

Source: The New Arab

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UK announces new sanctions against Russia, Iran

13 December ,2022

The UK on Tuesday announced new sanctions against senior Russian military commanders, as well as Iranians involved in the producing and supplying drones to target Ukraine.

The government said 12 Russian top brass would be subject to assets freezes and travel bans, including Major General Robert Baranov, who is said to be in charge of a unit programming and targeting cruise missiles.

The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said more than 6,000 Ukrainian civilians are thought to have been killed since the Russian invasion in February, mainly as a result of missile and artillery strikes.

“Intentionally directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects is a serious violation of international humanitarian law. Those responsible must be held to account,” it said.

Iranian-manufactured drones supplied to Russia have played a “central role” in such attacks, the FCDO said.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the Tehran regime, which has been hit by a wave of civilian protests in recent months, was “striking sordid deals” with Moscow “in a desperate attempt to survive.”

Last week, the United States voiced concern at what it said was a “full-scale defense partnership” between Russia and Iran, calling it “harmful” to Ukraine, Iran’s neighbors and the world.

The latest UK sanctions target four Iranians, include the managing director of the company that manufactures engines for drones used by Russia to attack Ukraine, he added.

On Monday, Cleverly accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of “waging a 19th-century war of imperial conquest” against its neighbor.

Source: Al Arabiya

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In letter to UN, Türkiye, Libya urges Greece to respect their sovereign decision

Dilara Hamit 


In a letter to the UN on Tuesday, Türkiye and Libya blasted Greek criticisms of their agreements on the delimitation of hydrocarbon and maritime jurisdiction areas, and urged Greece to end its baseless accusations, hostile rhetoric, and escalatory actions and instead respect the sovereign decisions of the two countries.

"The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on 3 Oct. 2022 between the Governments of National Unity of Libya and the Republic of Türkiye on Cooperation in the Field of Hydrocarbons is a legal instrument based on the principle of sovereign equality. The MOU envisages the development of bilateral cooperation in the field of hydrocarbons, both on land and at sea in the Eastern Mediterranean and therefore is in full observance of the principles of international law concerning friendly relations and cooperation among states," Feridun Sinirlioglu, Türkiye's permanent representative to the UN, and Libya's Permanent Representative to the UN Taher El-Sonni said in a joint letter in English.

The letter noted that, contrary to Greece's allegations, the Libyan Government of National Unity has the capacity to enter and terminate international accords, and that its laws authorize the government to negotiate agreements with other states.

Contrary to Greece’s claims, the letter highlighted that there is no legal basis for claims that the hydrocarbons agreement signed by Libya and Türkiye contradicts the political process under UN supervision, as the roadmap that will lead to a political solution in Libya gives the government full authority in the election preparation process.

"Greece fails to mention, or deliberately ignores, that many states, including EU member states, have concluded tens of other similar memoranda of understanding with the Government of National Unity of Libya in areas that require long-term commitments by the signatories, ranging from energy to infrastructure and economic activities," the letter said.

The letter stated that the agreement between Türkiye and Libya on the delimitation of maritime jurisdiction areas, signed on Nov. 27, 2019, was recorded in line with Article 102 of the UN Convention and that a fair solution based on international law was reached, and rejected Greece's claims that the agreement violates its sovereign rights.

"Greece's objections to the said MOU on the ground that it allegedly violates Greek sovereign rights are unacceptable to Libya and Türkiye. So is the purported maritime boundary delimitation agreement signed between Egypt and Greece. We regard them (as) null and void; they are in no way opposable to us. In accordance with international law, Greece is not entitled to sovereign rights in the maritime areas delimited between Libya and Türkiye," it said.

It asserted that with its claims, Greece disregards Türkiye's and Libya's sovereignty rights. "Greece continues to interpret the law of the sea and general international law selectively. It ignores the principle of equity in maritime boundary delimitation," the letter said.

The letter also said Greece poses illegally as an archipelagic state, claiming that all islands, islets, and rocks should be given full weight in maritime boundary delimitation regardless of their location, size, or ability to sustain human habitation or economic life on their own.

The agreements signed between Turkey and Libya on the delimitation of hydrocarbon and maritime jurisdictions violate neither international law nor Greece's sovereign rights, said the letter, adding that Greece is attempting to discredit Libya and Turkey's efforts to promote dialogue in the Mediterranean at the UN.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Over 11,000 children killed or maimed in Yemen's eight-year old war: UNICEF

Betul Yuruk  



The eight-year-old conflict in Yemen has killed or maimed more than 11,000 children, according to the UN Children's Fund.

An average of four children were killed or wounded since the beginning of the war in Yemen in 2015, UNICEF said in a statement on Monday.

While the UN-brokered truce led to a significant reduction in the intensity of the conflict, a further 62 children have been killed or injured after a nationwide cease-fire expired on Oct. 2, it said.

Yemen's warring sides failed to reach an agreement to extend the UN-brokered truce.

UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell called for the renewal of the truce following a visit to the war-torn country last week.

"Thousands of children have lost their lives, hundreds of thousands more remain at risk of death from preventable disease or starvation," said Russell.

An estimated 2.2 million children in Yemen are acutely malnourished, including nearly 540,000 children under the age of five suffering from severe acute malnutrition and struggling to survive, according to UNICEF.

Two million children are out of school, and this number could rise to 6 million children having their education disrupted as at least one out of four schools in Yemen are destroyed or partially damaged.

"If the children of Yemen are to have any chance of a decent future, then the parties to the conflict, the international community and all those with influence must ensure they are protected and supported," Russell said.

UNICEF also called for 484.4 million dollars to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen in 2023.

The eight-year conflict has created one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with millions risking starvation.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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European Parliament vice president removed over Qatar graft scandal

13 December 2022

The European Parliament (EP) has removed Eva Kaili as vice president of the assembly after she was accused by authorities of accepting bribes from Qatar.

"The European Parliament decided on Tuesday to terminate the term of office of Vice-President Eva Kaili," the parliament said in a statement.

The decision to remove Kaili comes after Belgian authorities arrested her on Sunday.

Originally from Greece, and a member of the European Parliament since 2014, Kaili was one of 14 vice presidents in the assembly.

The Belgian prosecutors' office, which said in a statement on Monday that it had been working on the case for more than four months, charged her and three Italians at the weekend with taking part in a criminal organization, money laundering, and corruption. A source close to the investigation has said the group involved with Kaili had allegedly received bribes for influence peddling from Qatar.

Meanwhile, police have raided numerous buildings in Brussels, including parliament offices and 19 homes, in relation to the case, discovering around 1.5 million euros (1.58 million dollars), some of it stashed in a suitcase in a hotel room, a source close to the investigation said.

"The allegations against the vice president of the European Parliament are of utmost concern, very serious," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday. "It is a question of confidence of people into our institutions, and this confidence and trust into our institutions needs higher standards."

The energy-rich Persian Gulf state of Qatar, which is currently hosting the FIFA World Cup, has denied any wrongdoing.

Kaili's lawyer in Greece, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, also said on Tuesday that his client was innocent and she had done nothing illegal.

Source: Press TV

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Arab World


Foreign-Sponsored Terrorism against Syria Due To Its Unwavering Support For Palestine: Parliament Speaker

13 December 2022

The speaker of the People’s Council of Syria says the ongoing foreign-sponsored acts of terrorism and hostile plots against his war-ravaged Arab country are due to the Damascus government’s firm and unswerving support for the Palestinian nation and their decades-long struggle against the occupying Israeli regime.

“The conspiracies and vicious campaigns that Syria has been subjected to over the past years are due to its principled and solid standpoint concerning the Palestinian nation’s aspirations and rights, as they are fighting to recover their occupied territories and create an independent sovereign state with al-Quds as its capital,” Hammouda Sabbagh told the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Rawhi Fattouh, and his accompanying delegation in Damascus.

He stressed the need to pursue common goals at regional and international levels, and called for stronger cooperation between Syrian and Palestinian legislatures in order to serve the best interests of both nations.

The top Syrian official further noted that Damascus will continue to support and assist Palestinians to attain their ideals.

Fattouh, for his part, appreciated the perseverance and steadfastness of Syrians in the face of the terrorism that has been targeting the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of their country since 2011.

The Palestinian legislator described Syria’s victory over terrorism as a remarkable triumph for his nation and the entire Muslim world and a prelude to the creation of a new multi-polar world order.

Fattouh pointed to the active role of Syria in supporting the unity of the Palestinian nation, saying that Damascus has long been the main supporter of Palestine, treated Palestinian refugees equitably and made great sacrifices for them.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the United States, the Israeli regime, and their Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are spreading insecurity in the country.

Israel frequently violates Syrian sovereignty by targeting military positions inside the country, especially those of the resistance movement Hezbollah, which has played a key role in helping the Syrian army in its fight against foreign-backed terrorists.

The Tel Aviv regime mostly keeps quiet about its attacks on Syrian territories, which many view as a knee-jerk reaction to the Syrian government’s increasing success in confronting terrorism.

Israel has been a key supporter of terrorist groups that have battled the government of President Bashar al-Assad since foreign-backed militancy erupted in Syria in early 2011.

Source: Press TV

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Collection of artefacts never displayed outside of Oman before showcased in Sharjah

13 December ,2022

Sharjah Museums Authority is organizing the “Omani Civilisation: Origin & Development” exhibition in a first collaboration with the National Museum in the Sultanate of Oman with an aim to highlight the deep-rooted and strong cultural relations between the two countries.

The exhibition which will be held at Sharjah Archaeology Museum from December 2022 to June 2023 will feature a collection of over 100 artefacts that tell the story of the Omani civilization from the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages until the rise of Islam.

“The collection reveals the historical ties between the two countries, while shedding light on the life of the original inhabitants and settlers in the Arabian Peninsula,” said Manal Ataya, Director General of Sharjah Museums Authority.

Displayed objects include fishing gear, weapons, clay and stone pots, ornaments, stamps, farming equipment, and jewelry such as a rare golden necklace that date back to the period between 300 B.C. and 400 A.D.

The exceptional exhibition, the first of its kind for the National Museum of Oman, will shed light on the historical bonds that unite the two nations while also strengthening the partnership between Sharjah Museums Authority and the National Museum of Oman and bringing attention to the similarities between archaeological finds in Oman and those at the Sharjah Archaeology Museum.

An array of events that will be accompanying the exhibition including workshops, interactive and educational activities will allow members of the public to enjoy a cultural awareness-raising experience.

Sharjah Museums Authority which under directions from Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, was established as an autonomous government authority in 2006, runs 17 museums across the emirtate.

The museums cover widely varied fields including Islamic art and culture, archaeology, heritage, science, marine life, as all as the history of Sharjah and aim to become a cultural beacon that enhances Sharjah’s identity locally and internationally.

The Sharjah Museums Authority contributes in nurturing a community aware of the museums’ importance as a cultural, educational, and enjoyable destination by delivering the highest museum standards to preserve collections & enhance an appreciation of culture and learning through exhibitions, educational, and community programs.

The National Museum in Oman was inaugurated in 2013 to showcase the Sultanate’s cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, from the earliest evidence of human settlement in the Oman Peninsula through to the present day.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Saudi Arabia’s Prince Khalid in Britain to strengthen defense ties

14 December ,2022

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman met with his British counterpart Ben Wallace for official talks in London on Tuesday, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Wallace welcomed Prince Khalid at the Royal Cavalry Guard Square in London, where an official reception was held in the Saudi defense minister’s honor.

The pair reviewed their kingdoms’ strategic and historical ties, discussing ways to further enhance cooperation in the defense and military sectors, during a meeting at the headquarters of Britain’s defense ministry.

The defense ministers also spoke about issues of mutual interest and the latest regional and global security developments, SPA reported.

Prince Khalid and Wallace signed a defense cooperation plan, which aims to develop the capabilities of Saudi Arabia’s defense ministry, localize military industries, and strengthen both nations’ partnerships.

Accompanying Prince Khalid was a Saudi delegation of senior officials, all of whom arrived in the UK on Monday for the official visit.

Visit to BAE Systems in Wharton, Cumbria

During his trip, Prince Khalid also paid an official visit to the headquarters of BAE Systems – a British multinational arms, security and aerospace company – in Wharton, Cumbria.

He was received by the Chief of Air Staff of the UK’s Air Force Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston; Britain’s Military Attaché to Saudi Arabia Brigadier Jimmy Piggott; and BAE Systems CEO Dr. Charles Woodburn.

The Saudi defense minister was briefed on the capabilities of the firms Typhoon aircraft and its combat systems, the company’s future plans which included its program for future combat air capabilities and the development of air systems.

Prince Khalid visited the company’s aviation systems development and design site and was briefed on a number of modern aviation systems.

They also discussed ways to strengthen the long-standing partnership between BAE Systems and the Saudi Armed Forces, which extends for more than 50 years, according to SPA.

Over the years, this partnership has reportedly contributed immensely to the Saudi defense sector, and more specifically, to the goals set out by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2016 under Vision 2030.

Saudi Arabia has ramped up its defense spending in recent years. On Monday, the Kingdom’s governor of the defense sector’s general authority Ahmed al-Ohali revealed that the country had spent $1.4 billion in incentives to boost its local military sector over the last two years.

Al-Ohali said that the incentives included $877 million (3.3 billion riyals) which was directed to research and development throughout 2021 and 2022. He added that the remaining $478.6 million (1.8 billion riyals) was distributed to companies in the Kingdom’s military sector, including Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI).

The Kingdom now has the third-largest defense budget in the world.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Damascus blasts Dutch govt. over support for terror groups operating inside Syria

14 December 2022

Syria has denounced the Dutch government’s involvement in supporting and providing weapons supplies to Takfiri militant groups operating inside the conflict-hit Arab country, stating that the move is a straightforward example of numerous political, moral, and legal crimes committed by the Northwestern European country against the nation.

Syria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said in a statement that the December 12 report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic exposes the fact that the Netherlands has given assistance to the so-called opposition armed groups in Syria in contravention of the international law.

The statement added, “The Dutch public opinion was manipulated to conceal the truth that the supplies were funneled to terrorist organizations and used in combat.”

The Syrian foreign ministry went on to say “The report corroborates one again the credibility of the Damascus government’s assertions that Western states, including the Netherlands, are involved in sponsoring terrorism in Syria under various excuses.”

“Syria calls on the international community to hold such states accountable for all their violations of the international law, including humanitarian regulations and all related Security Council resolutions, and to put an end to the exploitation of the so-called combat against terrorism in order to interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries,” the statement pointed out.

Back in September 2018, the Dutch current affairs television program Nieuwsuur (News Hour) revealed that the Dutch government had provided assistance to 22 militant groups, one of which named as the Levant Front had been designed as a terrorist organization by the public prosecution department.

Source: Press TV

The Netherlands reportedly provided uniforms and pick-up trucks to the group.

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US resumes patrols with SDF in northern Syria: Pentagon

13 December ,2022

The US has fully restarted patrols in northern Syria with Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Pentagon said on Tuesday, after they had been paused because of Turkish strikes in the region.

Source: Al Arabiya

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South Asia


Islamic Emirate Allows No One to Cruelty, Discrimination in Afghanistan, Deputy PM Hanafi

December 14, 2022

KABUL: The Islamic Emirate allows no one for cruelty and discrimination, the IEA Deputy Prime Minister, Mawlavi Abdul Salam Hanafi said the other day.

Deputy Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) Mawlavi Abdul Salam Hanafi in a gathering in Qush Tepa district of Jawzjan province, said that Islamic Emirate will not allow oppression and discrimination against anyone. “Thousands of true offspring of this territory by scarifying their lives brought victory to the current system,” said Hanafi.

Pointing to the implementation of the development project of Qush Tepa district, he said that the Islamic Emirate will use any means for the welfare and development of the country and preservation of national sovereignty.

Source: The Kabul Times

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Further Security Measures to be Provided at the Foreign Entities in Kabul

By Nizamuddin Rezahi

December 13, 2022

Following the deteriorating security situation in the capital Kabul, the authorities of the caretaker government have decided to strengthen the security measures for foreign entities.

Over the past few weeks, several people died and many were wounded in three different terrorist attacks in Kabul. The latest bombing targeted a Chinese-run hotel in which five Chinese nationals were injured according to the Chinese Ambassador to Kabul, Wang Yu. Following the attack, the Chinese government urged its citizens to leave Afghanistan immediately to avoid similar incidents.

Similarly, over the past few days, a gunman attack targeted the head of the Pakistani Diplomatic Mission in the capital Kabul, injuring one of the Charge D’affaire’s security guards, while another terrorist attack targetted a jihadi leader’s office, killing one and injuring two people.

The recent terrorist attacks received strong condemnations from national and international organizations as well as governments, undermining the interim regime’s ability to provide security to foreign diplomatic missions and business organizations in Afghanistan.

“To prevent similar bombings and attacks, the security should be tightened by special units from professional security forces who are well-trained in this field,” a resident in Kabul said. “Providing security for hundreds of entities while the security forces are still launching search operations to disarm illegal armed men and collect weapons and ammunition is not easy,” he added. 

Source: Khaama Press

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Beijing 'shocked' by attack on Afghan hotel hosting Chinese visitors

Dec 13, 2022

KABUL: Beijing said Tuesday it was "shocked" by a deadly attack on a Kabul hotel popular with Chinese business visitors, adding that five of its nationals were wounded.

The Taliban claim to have improved security since storming back to power in August last year but there have been scores of bomb blasts and attacks, many like this one claimed by the local chapter of the Islamic State group.

"This terror attack is abominable and China is deeply shocked," foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in Beijing.

"As far as we know, five Chinese citizens were injured in the terrorist attack, and several Afghan military and police were also killed."

The Taliban's chief spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, however, said Monday only three attackers were killed in the raid on the Kabul Longan Hotel. Two foreigners were hurt escaping from the building, he said.

Mujahid told AFP Tuesday "a few other" injuries may have since been reported.

The Italian non-governmental organisation Emergency NGO, which operates a hospital just one kilometre from the blast site, said Monday they had received 21 casualties, including three people dead on arrival.

Taliban casualty figures following such incidents are usually lower than those reported by hospitals and other independent sources.

On Tuesday, the hotel facade was blackened by fire that erupted during the attack and windows of the 10-storey building had also been blown out.

"I heard the sound of a loud explosion and shots. Of course everyone was scared," said a vendor in an adjacent street, asking not to be identified.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Monday's attack, issuing photos of two men it said were the perpetrators.

It also claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing outside the Russian embassy in September that killed two staff, as well as an attack on Pakistan's mission this month that Islamabad decried as an assassination attempt against the ambassador.

No country has recognised Afghanistan's Taliban government but China, Russia, and Pakistan are among a handful that have maintained their embassies in Kabul.

"This looks like (at least in part) a campaign to dent the efforts of the Taliban, IS-K's rival, to gain legitimacy both at home and abroad," tweeted Michael Kugelman, director of the South Asia Institute at the Wilson Center think tank.

China, Pakistan, and Russia were expected to base decisions about international recognition on security rather than the Taliban's human rights record, he said.

In Beijing, Wang reminded Chinese nationals that foreign ministry advice was to evacuate from Afghanistan as soon as possible.

Chinese business visitors have flocked to the country since the Taliban's return in pursuit of high-risk but potentially lucrative business deals.

Source: Times Of India

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Pakistan Plans to Launch Military Operations at Afghan Border

December 13, 2022

Concerned about the developments on the Afghan border, the Pakistani Army has reportedly decided to conduct a heavy military operation against the country’s growing terrorism and border infiltration.

General Asim Munir, the newly appointed head of Pakistan’s armed forces, presided over a meeting of senior generals at General Headquarters (GHQs) in Rawalpindi over the weekend, CNN NEWS18 of India reported.

The Pakistani military official evaluated the overall security situation in light of the rise in terrorist activities, cross-border infiltration, and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and decided to conduct the military operation.

The decision to launch the military operation follows the attack on the Pakistani embassy in Kabul earlier this month and the Afghan Border Forces attack on the Chaman Border that resulted in the deaths of six Pakistani civilians.

“The military operation will aim at indiscriminately eliminating the residual and latent threat of terrorism, consolidating the gains made in other military operations, and further ensuring the security of Pakistan’s borders … We are committed to long-lasting peace in the region,” CNN NEWS18 quoted top Pakistani military officials.

Source: Khaama Press

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North America


Man admits Ramadan attack on US Islamic centre

Dec 14, 2022

A man has pleaded guilty to hate crime and arson charges for starting a fire that destroyed an Islamic centre in south-east Missouri two years ago, the US Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

Nicholas Proffitt entered the plea in the case of the torching of the Cape Girardeau Islamic Centre on April 24, 2020, which was the first day of Ramadan, the department said. It was the second time he had attacked the building.

Security video showed Proffitt breaking the building's glass window and throwing two containers inside. He then entered, poured the contents of two gallon-size containers throughout the foyer and the hallway and lit the blaze, according to court records.

About a dozen people were inside at the time but escaped unharmed. The fire made the building unsuitable for use as a centre.

Proffitt admitted he started the blaze because of the religious nature of the building, prosecutors said.

He will be sentenced on May 22. Proffitt faces up to 20 years in prison for damage to religious property and a mandatory minimum of 10 years, consecutive to any other sentence, for using fire to commit a federal offence. He also could be fined up to $250,000 on each charge.

Source: The National News

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Assault in Toronto mosque highlights alarming rise of Islamophobia in Canada

13 December 2022

Canadian Muslim groups are raising concerns about a recent attack in which an imam was allegedly assaulted during a morning prayer service in Toronto.

The Islamic Foundation of Toronto said on Monday that an intruder had entered the mosque and disrupted the dawn prayer by assaulting the imam before "two brave congregants quickly held him back and called 911".

In its statement, the mosque condemned the attack and called on the police to "keep all avenues of the investigation open".

"Our hearts are deeply troubled and we know that many in our community are deeply concerned after an incident took place this morning," the official statement read.

However, the centre said there was not enough information to know what the motivation of the attack was.

"We understand that this is a difficult and scary time for our community. We must stress, however, that we simply do not have enough information to assess what led to this incident," the Islamic Centre said.

Toronto police are investigating the matter and have yet to charge the individual.

The police said on Twitter that it "investigates all potential hate crimes fully" and that if charges are laid, it will provide an update to the case.

The imam, Yusuf Badat, released a statement on Monday saying that he and many of his congregants remain "traumatized, in fear and very worried" after the incident.

"I pray that no individual or community ever face what horrific incident the IFT congregation and myself have experienced this morning," he said.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims and Canada's Council of Imams (CCI) also expressed their concerns over the incident.

"The bravery of the congregants to prevent this ugly incident from escalating is truly remarkable and CCI strongly encourages all congregants to continue their increased vigilance," the CCI's statement said.

Mapping Canada's Islamophobia

Experts in Canada previously told MEE that Canada has witnessed decades of anti-Muslim rhetoric both from politicians and the media.

Islamophobic and anti-Muslim attacks have also surged in recent years, the most high-profile being the mass shooting at Quebec City mosque in 2017, where a white Canadian man shot and killed six people.

An August report from Statistics Canada found that hate crimes against Muslim communities across the country increased by 71 percent in 2021.

The government study found that the number of recorded attacks against Muslims rose from 84 incidents in 2020 to 144 in 2021. The jump in attacks followed a decline from the previous year, as in 2019 there was a total of 182 reported incidents targeting Muslims.

A recent study from October tracked networks peddling Islamophobia throughout Canada over the past four years.

The 240-page report outlined an ecosystem composed of media outlets; Islamophobia influencers; white nationalist groups; fringe, right-wing pro-Israel groups; security experts; think tanks; and the donors who fund their campaigns.

Source: Middle East Eye

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US says Iran executions show leadership ‘fears own people’

13 December ,2022

The US on Monday denounced Iran's second execution over ongoing protests, saying the latest killing, carried out in public, showed the clerical leadership feared its own people.

“We denounce this draconian treatment in the strongest terms,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

“These harsh sentences, and now the first public execution at least, are meant to intimidate Iran's people, they're meant to suppress dissent and they simply just underscore how much the Iranian leadership actually fears its own people,” he said.

At the United Nations, spokesman Stephane Dujarric called for a halt to executions, saying “there's no place for capital punishment.”

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “believed that the circumstances of this were particularly cruel,” Dujarric said.

Majidreza Rahnavard, 23, had been sentenced to death by a court in the city of Mashhad for killing two members of the security forces with a knife, and wounding four other people, the judiciary's Mizan Online news agency reported.

Source: Al Arabiya

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US says joints patrols with YPG/PKK in Syria resume

Busra Nur Cakmak 


The Pentagon announced on Tuesday the US has resumed its joint patrols with the YPG/PKK, which it reduced earlier in the wake of Türkiye’s airstrikes against the terror group.

“The partner operations with the Syrian Democratic Forces have resumed, they resumed in full on Dec. 9. Again, our focus is on working with those local partners to prevent the reconstitution of ISIS,” Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, spokesman for the Defense Department, told reporters in a daily press briefing.

He was referring to the SDF, the US’ principal partner in Syria, led by the YPG.

The YPG is the Syrian branch of the PKK, a designated terror group in the US, EU, and Türkiye.

The US has partnered with the YPG-led SDF in its efforts to counter Daesh/ISIS in northeastern Syria, drawing Ankara’s anger in a major strain on bilateral relations.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Religious Harmony with Humanity: Tamil Nadu Muslim Farmer Donates 15 Cents Of Land To Help Hindu Devotees Access the Path to Ayyanar Temple

DECEMBER 13, 2022

The 75-year-old Mohammad Swaifu, a farmer from a neighborhood in Ramanathapuram district holds a Nanchai land. On the route to the Ayyanar shrine in Kanchirangudi Melavalasai hamlet, is where his Nanchai land is located.

In this instance, residents of the area and temple visitors are prohibited from visiting the temple during the agricultural season. Owing to this, the locals who travel to the temple have been pleading with the landowner to build a pathway to the temple for several days. Following this, the landowner, the 75-year-old farmer from the Muslim community demonstrated religious harmony with humanity by donating around 8 cents of his land, so that it could be used by all the people to reach the temple.

Similar to this, locals can also travel along the coastline from East Mutharaiyar Nagar to Kanchirangudi Pakkeerappa Dargah. The inhabitants endured terrible suffering in impassable conditions as a result of the sea water’s infiltration during the rainy season. Knowing this, he contributed 15 cents from his land for use by the public and for the tar road that can be laid by the government. The locals are grateful to Mohammad Swaifu for donating the land for the temple and the public road.

Source: News18

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Upcoming Karnataka Assembly Elections: BJP MLA Warns Muslims: Vote For Me Or Else...

K.M. Rakesh   |   Bangalore  


A BJP lawmaker has drawn flak for allegedly warning Muslim voters that he would not work for them if they don’t vote for him in the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections, with the Congress determined to lodge a complaint with the Election Commission.

In a video clip that went viral on social media, a voice resembling Hassan MLA Preetham Gowda’s cautions voters in a Muslim-dominated locality that he would do nothing apart from taking care of drinking water, roads and drainage if the community does not vote for him again. “If you come (to my) home I will send you back after giving you some coffee. I won’t do anything more (if you don’t vote for me),” the speaker in the video, whose face is not clearly visible, says.

Asked about the video, Gowda in a WhatsApp message alleged misrepresentation. “It is total misinterpretation by the Opposition and some media friends,” Gowda wrote and shared a video clip in which people could be seen shouting slogans in his favour and promising their support to him. In the video that is viral, the speaker reminds Muslim voters that they had not voted for him or his party in the last three elections.

“You have ditched me thrice. You did not vote for me in the Assembly elections, didn’t vote (for the BJP) in the municipal elections and Lok Sabha polls. Now the next Assembly election is due in six months. If you ditch me, I will ditch you as well,” he is purportedly heard saying.

The speaker urges the voters to “take a decision today” on voting for him. The 59-second clip starts with a reassurance that he treats Muslims as brothers.

“I treat my Muslim brothers with a lot of love.… But if you don’t help me, I will come to a decision not to even take a look at this side…. It is your responsibility to ensure such a decision is not taken,” the speaker says.

State Congress spokesperson M. Lakshman said his party would soon lodge a complaint with the Election Commission, seeking action against Gowda. “It is his (Gowda’s) duty to serve the interests of everyone in his constituency, and not just his voters or supporters. We are lodging a complaint with the Election Commission seeking action against him since he has violated laws in inciting communal hatred,” Lakshman told The Telegraph.

The Congress leader said that more BJP leaders would make such comments because they feared defeat. “When they have nothing to show in terms of concrete development work, they spew hatred to confuse and divide people on communal lines.”

Muslims form a sizable part of the population in Hassan district, which is dominated by the Vokkaliga community. But they have traditionally stood by the Janata Dal Secular of former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, who belongs to the district.

The Congress too has considerable influence in the area. Gowda succeeded in breaking into the JDS bastion of Hassan in the 2018 state elections. He defeated H.S. Prakash, a four-time JDS MLA, by nearly 14,000 votes, capitalising on the triangular fight with the Congress. The BJP tried to play down the MLA’s remarks. “It was a discussion since the MLA shares a special bond with the people,” the party’s Hassan district president, Venugopal, told local reporters.

Source: Telegraph India

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Justice Bela M. Trivedi, a Judge from Gujarat, Recuses From Review of Premature Release of the Convicts in Bilkis Bano Case

R. Balaji   |   New Delhi  


Justice Bela M. Trivedi, a judge from Gujarat, on Tuesday recused from hearing a writ petition filed by Bilkis Bano challenging the premature release of the 11 persons convicted of gang-raping her and murdering seven of her family members during the 2002 riots in the state.

As soon as the matter came up for hearing, Justice Trivedi informed the presiding judge, Justice Ajay Rastogi, and counsel Shobha Gupta that she was withdrawing from the case. Justice Trivedi did not give any reason for her decision.

The bench then referred the matter to Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud for listing before an appropriate bench. Legally, a judge is not required to cite reason for recusal.

Normally, judges recuse from matters in which they had some stake earlier as a counsel for either of the parties, or had personal acquaintance or other rapport with those involved. In such cases, judges withdraw from hearing a case to avoid allegations of conflict of interest.

Bilkis had, in addition to the writ petition, filed a plea seeking a review of the apex court’s May 13 order by which it had asked the Gujarat government to consider the plea for remission of the 11 life convicts.

The review petition was listed before the bench of Justices Rastogi and Vikram Nath at 1.30pm on Tuesday, in chambers. However, the outcome is not known as an official order has not yet been uploaded.

A review petition has to be heard by the same bench which had passed the original order.

In Bilkis’s case, the bench of Justices Rastogi and Nath had passed the impugned order of May 13, directing the Gujarat government to consider the plea for premature release of one of the convicts, Radheshyam Bhagwandas Shah alias Lala Vakil.

Radheshyam had moved the apex court after Gujarat High Court had ruled that only the Maharashtra government had the power to consider release of the convicts since the trial was conducted in that state.

Review petition

The review petition by Bilkis has complained that Radheyshyam had “not come with clean hands” to the court as he had concealed several incriminating facts which Bilkis would now place before the court.

The review petition has argued that the appropriate government to decide the premature release of the convicts was the Maharashtra dispensation.

Writ petition

Bilkis’s writ petition has sought the enforcement of her fundamental right, contending that the premature release ought to be quashed as she and her family apprehended grave threat to their personal safety and security.

Source: Telegraph India

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Cong's Muslim Leaders in Karnataka Push for More Tickets

Dec 14, 2022

Congress' Muslim leaders in Karnataka on Tuesday decided to ask the party for more tickets to candidates belonging to the community, in the Assembly polls scheduled by April-May next year. This was decided at a meeting of leaders from the minority community, which included- former Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan, KPCC working president Saleem Ahmed, former ministers UT Khader, Tanveer Sait, B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan, Rahim Khan, former MP IG Sanadi, MLC Naseer Ahmed, among others.

Noting that the Congress has received 100 applications from minority communities seeking tickets, mostly Muslims, Saleem Ahmed said, "We will scrutinise and give a list to the party. Winnability will be the criteria. Wherever there is a chance to win, we will push for tickets to be given to minorities."

In the 2018 Assembly election, the Congress had given tickets to 17 Muslim candidates, of whom seven had won. The meeting decided to hold five conventions of minorities and backward classes together in January, aimed at organising the party.

Further alleging that minority voters are being deleted from electoral rolls, and calling it a "conspiracy", Saleem Ahmed said, "Voters are being shifted to different houses and booths, such irregularities have been found in Bidar, Vijayapura and Hubballi, other than Bengaluru."

Source: Hindustan Times

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Muslim groups confused as CPM, IUML get closer

14th December 2022

By MP Prashanth

KOZHIKODE: The developing cosy relationship between the CPM and the IUML will be a major embarrassment for the Muslim organisations that have been lashing out at the LDF government for its ‘anti-Muslim’ stand. Many Muslim organisations had taken the position that the CPM is trying to smuggle in the ‘liberal’ and ‘atheist’ ideology through various channels, posing grave danger to the believers.

The major reason for the polarisation in the Samastha Kerala Jam-Iyyathul Ulama was the alleged pro-CPM stand taken by its president Syed Muhammad Jiffiri Muthukoya Thangal. Anti-Jiffiri Thangal group has been alleging that Thangal was taking a soft approach to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the CPM. This irritation was publicly aired by Samastha Mushawara member Bahaudeen Nadvi Kooriyad at a meeting last month. He indirectly criticised Jiffiri Thangal for welcoming the LDF government’s decision to shelve the move to entrust the PSC with the appointments to Waqf Board. Kooriyad, who is known to be close to the IUML, had earlier written an article saying that the madrassa system will collapse if communists come to power.

It is believed that the anti-Jiffiri Thangal group took a strident stand against the CPM at the behest of the IUML. Now they are confused over their future course of action if the IUML-CPM alliance becomes a reality.

The Jama’at-e-Islami, which offered all ideological help to the IUML to take on the CPM, too is perturbed. The sympathisers of the organisation had brought a book against communism during the run-up to the assembly elections. Jama’at and its feeder organisation were at the forefront of attacking the communists (read CPM) to prepare the ground for the IUML.

The anti-CPM faction led by M K Muneer and K M Shaji is keenly watching the developments after CPM state secretary M V Govindan gave a clean chit to the IUML. A bitter critic of the CPM, Muneer had written a series of articles against communism during the campaign for the assembly elections. His remarks against the personal life of communist leaders at the meeting organised by MSF in Kozhikode a few months ago had kicked-off a huge controversy. Reacting to Govindan’s remarks, Shaji said aligning with the CPM would amount to surrendering the ideals of the IUML.

The Kanthapuram faction of the Sunnis, which has been traditionally loyal to the CPM and antagonistic to the IUML, is worried for a different reason. The group is suspicious about the CPM’s new-found love for the IUML, though no leader from the faction has openly aired any resentment. Muslim politics in the state will see new permutations and combinations if the CPM decides to strike an alliance with the IUML.

Source: New Indian Express

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Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan Supports Bringing Uniform Civil Code

10th December 2022

NEW DELHI: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan has supported bringing a Uniform Civil Code and said anyone who has sworn to the constitution will never oppose it.

Asked about his opinion on the Uniform Civil Code on Friday, he said, "Anyone who has sworn to the Constitution will not say that it should not come."

"The Hindu code is already there, did it bring uniformity in Hindus, Sikhs and Jains? We are a country of diversity," Khan said at the Agenda Aaj Tak programme.

"Uniform civil code is not about marriages or customs. It is about equal justice. There are cases where people have converted to have two wives. I will not name anyone," he said.

On the recent controversy around hijab, he said, "Who is stopping from wearing a burqa? This is a free nation. But institutions also have the right to have their dress code. "There are institutions that allow hijab, one can go there," he said.

Commenting on the Shah Bano case, Khan, who quit the Congress in 1986 because of his differences with the leadership over its handling of the issue, said he stands by his views.

"I had said that making a law is not a big deal, law can be changed by Parliament in the future, but the people who speak against the country, people who support violence, bowing to them was a crime against the nation according to me," he said.

"Before 1947, they said there are two nations, in 1986 the successors of that line of thought said we have a separate identity. My stand was against that separate identity. I still stand by it. There is no change in my thoughts," he added.

Asked if it was appeasement politics, he said it was appeasement of a certain section as the community at large only suffered because of it.

Khan, who was recently removed from the post of the Chancellor of the Kerala Kalamandalam deemed university and replaced by Mallika Sarabhai, said he has congratulated his successor, and hoped the state government would not interfere in her work.

"She is a big name in the art world. I congratulate her and wish her success and hope government will not interfere in her work," he said.

Source: New Indian Express

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K'taka: As parties attempt to woo Muslim voters, Cong leaders from community seek more tickets

By Prathima Nandakumar

December 13, 2022

With the different political parties trying to woo Muslim voters, will Karnataka see an increased number of candidates from the community in the fray in the 2023 assembly elections? At least the Muslim leaders in Karnataka Congress are hopeful of getting better representation (tickets) even as the grand old party braces for the competition from not just the JD(S), but also the SDPI, AIMIM, and AAP in wooing the minority voters.

“This time, we have received more than 100 applications (for tickets) from Muslim candidates, which will be scrutinised before the final list is submitted to the KPCC. Winnability of the candidates will be the main criterion,” said KPCC working president Salem Ahmed during a pressmeet held at the KPCC office on Tuesday.

“Around 12-17 Muslim candidates had been elected from the Congress party in the past (currently, there are seven legislators). We are confident that the number will increase this time,” said Saleem Ahmed.

Earlier in the day, around 55 Muslim leaders from the Congress, including former ministers U.T. Khader, Zameer Ahmed Khan, Tanveer Sait, MLA Naseer Ahmed, former deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha K. Rahman Khan and Saleem Ahmed, held a meeting, where it was decided to seek more tickets for the community, besides taking up the issue of alleged deletion of minority voters from the electoral rolls and holding community conventions to woo the voters.

Answering a question on the possible division of minority votes due to many parties trying to woo Muslim voters, Saleem Ahmed claimed that the voters were aware that the “real contest” would be between the BJP and the Congress. “The minority voters are wise. We are confident they will continue to support our party,” said Ahmed, adding that the party had planned five major conventions for minorities and backward classes in January.

On the deletion of the names of minority voters from electoral rolls, Ahmed said, “Deletion of names from the voter's list is a major conspiracy of the state government. The BJP is resorting to such tactics out of fear. We will try to address it (disenfranchisement) in the coming days. Our charges against chilume (data theft) has been proven right. In fact, such data theft from voter's list has taken place not just in Bengaluru but other districts too.”

On the possibility of a Muslim chief minister from the Congress, Ahmed said the issue was not discussed in the meeting and the community leaders would consider placing such demands before the party only after the Congress comes to power in the state.

Source: The Week

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Southeast Asia


Elected Reps Not Allowed To Hold Talks at Mosques, Suraus: Perak MB

13-12- 2022

IPOH: Elected representatives in Perak have been reminded that they are not allowed to hold talks in mosques and suraus in the state.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad said it was also to respect the decree of the Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah regarding the guidelines to preserve the sanctity of the Muslim houses of worship.

“The circular issued clearly states that no politician is allowed to speak in a surau or mosque, including myself,” he said after appearing as a guest in the radio programme ‘Selamat Pagi Cikgu Saarani’, produced by Perak FM here today.

Source: The Sun Daily

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Controversial amendments to Terengganu state Islamic laws stoke concerns in Malaysia

Hazlin Hassan

December 13, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR - Human rights groups have expressed concern over amendments to Terengganu state Islamic laws by the Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) state government that punish Muslim women who become pregnant out of wedlock, or act like men, among other things.

Women who get pregnant out of wedlock can be fined up to RM5,000 (S$1,530) or jailed for up to three years or caned up to six times, or any combination of the three.

Women wearing men’s clothing and behaving like men can be fined up to RM2,000 or jailed up to a year, or both. For subsequent offences, they can be caned up to six times or jailed up to three years, or both, and fined up to RM5,000.

Ten rights groups, including Sisters In Islam and Centre for Independent Journalism, have urged the Malaysian Human Rights Commission to conduct an impact assessment of the latest version of the Terengganu Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment 2022, after the amendments were passed on Dec 1 by the state assembly.

“The amendments to the enactment further exacerbate existing harmful impact on women, young people and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) persons, among others,” they said in a statement.

In particular, the amendment criminalising premarital pregnancies is the subject of much debate, with conflicting opinions among Muslim medical professionals.

“The criminalisation of out-of-wedlock pregnancies not only places unnecessary trauma on, but also burdens and shames, survivors of sexual assault,” the statement added.

But the state’s Syariah Implementation, Education and Higher Education Committee chairman Satiful Bahari Mamat said he hoped that “the well-being of Muslims, especially in Terengganu, will be better protected” with the amendments.

He said the section on women acting like men was needed as existing legal provisions applied only to men acting like women.

“In the past, it may not have been much of an issue (women acting like men). Now, however, we see that ‘pengkid’ (Malay slang for tomboys or lesbians) and similar cases are becoming more widespread. So, the state government intends to curb this issue,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama news agency.

Dr Mohamed Hatta Mohamed Tarmizi, vice-president of Muslim medical professionals group I-Medik, and Dr Murizah Mohd Zain, both gynaecologists, said critics of the amendments were influenced by “morally bankrupt” Western culture.

“Law must be equipped with morality if society is to function smoothly,” they said in a joint statement.

“Rather than offering ‘consent and condoms’ as some sort of solution to social ills, we must address the root of the issue which is comprehensive management of sexual desires.”

Two other prominent doctors, Dr Musa Nordin and Dr Johari Bux, said that arguments which suggested that critics of the amendments were promoting premarital sex were “irresponsible, outrageous and offensive”.

They said the motives of those opposed to the amendments were to prevent negative consequences to and improve outcomes for mothers and babies.

Religion falls under the respective states’ purview in Malaysia, and the approval of the federal government is not needed to effect legislative changes. About 63 per cent of the country’s population of 33 million are Muslims.

Source: Straits Times

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Mahsa Amini’s Death Protests: Iran Jails 400 Protesters for Terms of up To 10 Years: Judiciary

13 December, 2022

Courts in Tehran have sentenced 400 people to jail terms of up to 10 years over their involvement in protests sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death, Iran’s judiciary said Tuesday.

Iran has been gripped by nearly three months of protests -- which officials describe as “riots” -- since the death of Amini after her arrest for an alleged breach of the country’s dress code for women.

“In hearings on cases of rioters in Tehran province, 160 people were sentenced to between five and 10 years in prison, 80 people to two to five years and 160 people of up to two years,” Tehran’s judiciary chief Ali Alghasi-Mehr said, quoted by the judiciary’s Mizan Online website.

The Islamic Republic has drawn widespread international condemnation after executing two men in the past week in connection with the unrest.

Majidreza Rahnavard and Mohsen Shekari, both 23, were hanged on Monday and Thursday respectively on the charges of “moharebeh” -- or “enmity against God” under Iran’s Islamic sharia law.

Prior to the two executions, Iran’s judiciary said it had issued death sentences to 11 people over the protests, but campaigners say around a dozen others face charges that could see them also receive the death penalty.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Houthis accused of torturing prisoner, concealing death from family for years


December 14, 2022

AL-MUKALLA: A Yemeni human rights group and relatives have accused the Iran-backed Houthis of torturing and killing a prisoner of war and then for years concealing his death from family.

The Yemeni Network for Rights and Freedoms said that Omar Ahmed Al-Samae, a Yemeni government fighter seized from a battlefield in the province of Saada in 2018, was mercilessly tortured before being murdered. The militia group later told his family that he was being held in jail.

But when his parents traveled from Taiz city to Sanaa to see their son, the Houthis escorted them to 48 Model Hospital’s mortuary and showed them his body. It was then that the relatives spotted clear signs of torture.

A medical report showed that Al-Samae had passed away on Nov. 16, 2020. However, the Houthis continued to demand money from his family to make them believe he was still alive, the rights network claimed.

In a statement, the network said: “During this time, the Houthi jail superintendent repeatedly asked the victim’s family for expenditures for their son Omar, despite the fact that Omar had died two years ago as a consequence of electric shock torture.”

The Yemeni organization’s officials have called for the creation of an international commission to investigate reports of abuse and fatalities among Houthi detainees.

The rights group recently claimed that since late 2014, the Houthis had executed 147 inmates in detention facilities, while 282 others had died while imprisoned as a result of negligence. A further 98 detainees were believed to have died within days of being released from Houthi custody.

Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) warned that three Yemeni journalists jailed by the Houthis could soon die after being placed in solitary confinement and tortured for weeks.

The freedom of information group said that the trio, among four journalists sentenced to death by a Houthi-run court two years ago, had been segregated from other prisoners and beaten, and it urged international mediators to assist in their release.

Jonathan Dagher, head of RSF’s Middle East desk, accused the Houthis of using the reporters as hostages to gain leverage in negotiations.

He said: “The Houthis are carrying out their death sentence slowly by torturing these journalists.

“We call on the UN special envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, to do everything possible to secure their immediate release, and we call on the Houthis to follow through on their own proposal to allow UN representatives to visit these hostages and to urgently allow a medical team to come and examine them.”

Separately, in the northern province of Hajjah, an explosive-rigged drone on Monday hit a school in Hairan district, killing a child and wounding three more.

Muammar Al-Eryani, Yemen’s information minister, accused the Houthis of intentionally attacking civilian institutions as the school was not located near a military position or a battlefield.

Source: Arab News

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Israeli forces raze four Palestinian-owned homes, several structures in West Bank

14 December 2022

In the latest escalation against Palestinians, Israel has demolished several Palestinian-owned homes and other structures in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli forces destroyed four homes located in the village of al-Jiftlik, north of the ancient city of Jericho on Tuesday, under the pretext that they were built without so-called permits in Area C of the occupied West Bank, which is under Israeli military rule.

Also in the West Bank, Israeli military forces knocked down 17 metal barns Palestinians use to raise livestock. Livestock is an important sector of the Palestinian economy, contributing up to 46 percent of total agricultural income.

The head of the village council, Ahmad Abu Ghanem, told Wafa news agency that soldiers stormed into the village and proceeded to demolish the four homes with a bulldozer.

“The destruction left several families homeless, and the demolition operations are still ongoing,” he said.

The Israeli army routinely demolishes Palestinian houses in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds, claiming that the structures lack so-called construction permits, a pretext widely used by the apartheid regime. The construction permits are almost impossible to obtain.

Almost 75 percent of applications for a permit by Palestinian residents of al-Quds are rejected by the Israeli municipality, according to rights groups.

The demolitions come within the context of forcing out Palestinian families from different neighborhoods across the Occupied Palestinian territories and replacing them with illegal Israeli settlers.

Israeli settlers have also been aiding the Israeli occupation army in the illegal destruction of structures owned by Palestinians.

Based on an internal official document it had obtained, Haaretz newspaper uncovered on Monday there is a close cooperation between Israeli illegal settlers and the Israeli local authorities to report any Palestinian construction work in the occupied West Bank in an effort to dispossess Palestinians.

The document revealed that through an online platform, Israeli settlers provide tip-offs on any activity carried out by Palestinians, not only on house constructions, but also activities such as “digging wells” and “planting trees.”

Critics are expecting more escalation against Palestinians as Israel’s most far-right and pro-settler administration in its history is being sworn in during one of the deadliest years for Palestinians.

Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli occupation forces have demolished more than 320 structures in the occupied West Bank and al-Quds, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Between 600,000 and 750,000 Israelis occupy over 250 illegal settlements that have been built across the West Bank since the 1967 occupation.

Source: Press TV

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Iran says US, allies liable for Israel crimes as UN urges probe into teenager’s killing

13 December 2022

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has condemned the Israeli killing of a female Palestinian teenager, saying the Tel Aviv regime's Western backers are responsible for the unchecked Israeli atrocities that target Palestinians every day.

"Not a day goes by without the world people hearing some news about martyrdom, injury, or detention of Palestinian children, teenagers, and youths at the hands of the apartheid Zionist regime," Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan'ani tweeted on Tuesday.

"Not only Israel, but also the regimes in America, England, France, and Germany are, as the [Israeli] regime's main supporters, responsible for these atrocities and should answer in the dock," he added.

The remarks came two days after 16-year-old Jana Majdi Zakarneh was killed in the city of Jenin in the north of the Tel Aviv-occupied West Bank, after an Israeli sniper targeted and fatally shot her in the head.

The Israeli military alleges that the victim was killed during Israeli forces' clashes with Palestinians in the city.

It also claimed that an initial review of the incident had found a "high probability" that Zakarneh had been killed by "the accidental fire of" Israeli forces that had been "directed at Palestinian gunmen during the battle."

UN calls for probe

The spokesman for Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres called for an investigation into the "shocking" death of the Palestinian teenager.

"That killing today is, indeed, shocking," Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York.

The shooting death "needs to be fully investigated," the spokesman said, adding that "it is yet another example of the price that civilians are paying in this atmosphere where we’re seeing increased violence."

Reacting to the tragedy, the Gaza Strip-based Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas said targeting minors was a heinous crime, calling for mass mobilization against Israeli military forces and settlers' attacks throughout the occupied territories.

Following the murder, the Palestine Liberation Organization umbrella group's Executive Committee Secretary-General Hussein al-Sheikh also broached the issue with United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland, urging the UN to "provide international protection for our people."

Last month, the United Nations said 2022 had been the deadliest year for the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, based on a fatality count that the UN started to keep a tally of in 2005.

Source: Press TV

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Israel’s Netanyahu promises ‘liberal-right’ government

13 December ,2022

Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu pledged on Tuesday to balance religious and secular interests as he tries to form a new government with nationalist and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties.

Netanyahu has come under fire from outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid and anti-corruption groups warning that demands from his future partners will erode Israel’s democracy and already tenuous separation of synagogue and state.

Agreements have been reached with far-right factions that call for ending a ban on Jewish prayer at a site in Jerusalem’s Old City that houses a major mosque.

Netanyahu is still in talks with ultra-Orthodox groups that want business and transport restricted on the Jewish Sabbath and prefer gender separation at beaches.

“There is and will be electricity (production) on the Sabbath. There is and will be beaches for everyone. We will preserve the status quo,” Netanyahu said in parliament.

The term “status quo” is used in Israel both for secular-religious cooperation and for a decades-old arrangement with Muslim authorities at the Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem under which Jews are allowed to visit, but not to pray.

The site is the holiest in Judaism, having housed its two ancient temples.

“Everyone will live in accordance with their own faith. This will not become a nation of religious law. It will be a country in which we tend to all citizens of Israel, without exception,” Netanyahu said.

“We were elected to lead in our way, the way of the nationalist-right and the way of the liberal-right, and so shall we do.”

Lapid and others in the outgoing center-left government have refused to join Netanyahu in part due to his ongoing corruption trial.

“Netanyahu is weak, terrified of his trial. People who are younger than him - more extremist and determined than him - have taken over,” Lapid said in his own speech.

The two leaders spoke as parliament elected a new chairman who is expected to push through a series of controversial laws to help Netanyahu form a government. One such bill would enable a senior partner serve in cabinet despite a criminal record.

Source: Al Arabiya

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2023: Muslim-Muslim ticket better than North retaining power – Southern Christians

December 13, 2022

By Emmanuel Uzodinma

The Southern Nigerian Christian Vanguard, SNCV, has again voiced its opinion on the controversial same-faith presidential ticket fielded by the All Progressives Congress, APC.

It could be re-called that the APC defied protests from a large section of Nigerians and went ahead to field Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima both Muslims as its presidential candidate and running mate, respectively.

However, speaking during its meeting in Owerri, the National President of the Southern Nigerian Christian Vanguard, Most Rev. Isaac Nwaobia noted that it would be a grave injustice for another Northerner to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari after 8 years.

This was contained in a statement made available to journalists by Bishop Joseph Ajujungwa, the Executive Secretary of the Organization.

Ajujungwa quoted Nwaobia as saying that it would be a grievous harm to the country for another Northern to succeed Buhari.

“Muslim-Muslim ticket is really not the issue now. What we are saying is that it is unthinkable for another Northerner coming to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.

“Where is the equity, where is the justice. A Southern should succeed Buhari in order to preserve the unity of the country.

“We need a southern candidate to win not minding the religious inclination. No Southern candidate should be condemned on the basis of religion,” he noted.

Nwaobia raised concerns over the level of insecurity in the country, noting that it was a major threat to the forthcoming elections.

“With the election just a few weeks away, the major threat now is insecurity. Nowhere is safe in the country- the air, land, sea, rail tracks and sacred places or worship are not spared. The government must rise to the occasion and take proactive measures towards guaranteeing the safety of the electoral process.

“We also insist that the candidates for the various political parties should focus on issue-based campaigns rather than depending on endorsements.

“Claims must not be vague but verifiable and measurable,” he further stated.

Source: Daily Post Nigeria

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Uganda Army Says 11 Islamist Militants Killed in Cross-Border Raid

Dec. 13, 2022

KAMPALA (Reuters) -Eleven Islamist militants based in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo were killed in clashes with Ugandan forces overnight during a cross-border raid, Uganda's army said on Tuesday.

The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which pledged allegiance to Islamic State in 2019, started as an uprising in Uganda but has been operating in the dense forests of eastern Congo since the late 1990s, where it has killed thousands of civilians.

Some 20-30 ADF fighters crossed the Semiliki River into Uganda's southwestern Ntoroko district on Monday night, sparking a firefight with Ugandan soldiers, the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) spokesman Felix Kulayigye wrote on Twitter.

"Our intelligence got wind of them and they were intercepted. A fight is on to decisively deal with the group. Eleven of them have been (killed)," he said, adding that a further eight had been captured, while one Ugandan soldier died.

More than 1,500 people fled when the ADF fighters attacked the villages of Kayanja II and Kyobe, Ntoroko district chairperson Kasolo Williams told local broadcaster NBS Television.

The ADF shot at civilians in the area, injuring at least three people, the Kampala-based Daily Monitor newspaper reported.

Following a series of bombings in and around its capital Kampala late last year, Uganda deployed hundreds of troops to eastern Congo as part of a joint operation with the Congolese army to root out the ADF.

Uganda says the operation has recorded significant successes, but the ADF has continued to attack civilians.

Source: US News

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Ghana: Northern Regional Muslims Council Inaugurated in Tamale

13 DECEMBER 2022

A 29-Member Northern Region Muslims Council to serve as an umbrella for unity and development for all Muslim sects in Ghana was over the weekend inaugurated in Tamale, the Northern Regional capital.

The Council is made up of mem-bers from various disciplines: aca-demia, medicine, religion, accoun-tancy, and administration to, among others, help promote unity among Muslims and the nation at large.

The Northern Regional Minister Alhaji Saani Alhassan Sayibu on behalf of the Vice-President and Guest of Honour for the inaugural ceremony, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, urged the Council Members to be honest and transparent in the dis-charge of their duties.

He also tasked them to work with all Islamic sects within the re-gion and other faith organisations to promote unity and development in diversity.

Chairman of the Council and Regional Manager of the Islamic Education Unit, Issah Alhas-san Abubakari, in remarks said the Council would serve as an umbrella body for all Muslims and Muslims Sects in the Northern Region.

He also said the council would help promote a better understand-ing of Islam through the teachings and learning of Islamic fundamen-tals and doctrines as enshrined in Quran and Sunnah, take practical steps to encourage and ensure that Muslims live by the teachings of Islam and promote unity, love, peace, goodwill and understand-ing among Muslim sects through continuous dialogue

"The mission is to be an established and vibrant Muslim council /organisation that will inculcate the values and teachings of Islam in Muslims as well as address challenges confronting Muslims in the practice of the religion," he said

He expressed gratitude to the traditional authorities and other faith organisations in the region for the peaceful co-existence en-joyed by Muslims and pledged the support of the council to deepen cooperation among all faith bodies

He also assured the Muslim populace that the Council would be honest and transparent in the performance of its duties, and called for the support of all Mus-lims to the work of the Council to help them achieve their aims.

A lecturer at the Faculty of Edu-cation, University for Development Studies (UDS) and Guest Speaker at the ceremony, Dr Mohammed Zainu-Deen Abdul Mumin, in a presentation, called for unity among Muslims in Ghana

Source: All Africa

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Sudan inks $6 bln UAE deal for new Red Sea port

13 December ,2022

Sudan signed Tuesday an initial $6 billion deal led by United Arab Emirates' AD Ports Group and Invictus Investment to build a vast new Red Sea port and economic zone.

“The massive project, which is estimated to cost around $6 billion, will give a strong boost to the national economy and will bring countless benefits for the whole country,” said Sudan's Finance Minister Gibril Ibrahim during the signing ceremony.

The Abu Amama port, to be built north of the existing key hub of Port Sudan, will include an industrial zone, an international airport, and an agricultural area covering over 400,000 acres, Ibrahim said.

AD Ports Group is majority owned by ADQ, among Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth funds. Invictus Investment is headed by Osama Daoud Abdellatif, head of the Dal Group, Sudan's biggest conglomerate.

The UAE's official WAM news agency said the deal gives the consortium the “right to develop, manage, and operate port and economic zone assets” in Sudan.

Tuesday's signing came a week after Sudan's military and civilian leaders inked an initial accord aimed at ending the crisis since last year's military coup.

Sudan has been reeling from the crippling aftermath of the 2021 military power grab led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The coup derailed a transition installed following the 2019 ouster of president Omar al-Bashir.

On December 5, military leaders and multiple civilian factions signed the deal as the first component of a planned two-phase political process.

Source: Al Arabiya

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3 gunmen killed in attack on office of Nigeria’s electoral body

Ibrahim Garba Shuaibu 


KANO, Nigeria

Gunmen launched an attack Monday on the office of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and three of the attackers were killed, according to police.

Speaking by phone to Anadolu Agency, Imo state police spokesman Michael Abbatam confirmed the incident in the capital Owerri.

“Gunmen launched an attack on the INEC office in Owerri, Imo state, but the joint security team was able to repel them and killed three of the attackers,” said Abbatam.

He declined to provide the identities of the gunmen, but sources in the state said under anonymity that the attackers were believed to be members of a separatist group.

Police said the electoral commission’s office was damaged during the attack by a firebomb and two firebombs were recovered from the scene.

No arrests were made, according to Abbatam.

A number of weapons were recovered including AK-47 rifles and pump-action guns as well as eight vehicles.

Abbatam confirmed that many of the gunmen escaped with bullet wounds, but they managed to torch one police vehicle.

Last week, an INEC office in the Orlu local government area of the state was attacked by gunmen.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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