New Age Islam
Sun Nov 29 2020, 03:00 PM

Islamic World News ( 1 Apr 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Curb anti-India terror groups: US to Pak

Top court bans entry over cap

Congress in no hurry to push Muslim quota

Clerics hail move to recast jihad fatwa

Repent, extremists told in Saudi Arabia

No Lord Krishna temple demolished in Karachi, says Pak Hindu Council

'Three children hurt in Israeli air raids on Gaza'

No decision yet on giving India access to Headley: US

Afghan Parliament Rejects Karzai Decree

Iraq Shiite party open to alliance with Allawi

Belgium votes to ban veils

India to assuage Iran's concerns: Krishna

Overhaul of governance in Pakistan

Row over support for “defensive jihad''

New blast in Russia as Moscow victims buried

Metro bombers trained at Vedensky camp

Hamid Karzai lashes out at West over Afghan elections

Iran sees sanctions talk as mere threat

It's for India, Pakistan to work out Kashmir, water issues: US

A new level of recognition, legitimacy: Rahman

UAE death row: Kin seek PM's help

Riots panel too may now question Modi

US pumping in millions to retain allies in war on terror

Stage set for Zardari losing powers to PM

Safe passage for Iran gas: Pak

Pak wants Sania to play for them

350,000 displaced by north Yemen war

US wiretapping of Islamic charity deemed illegal

Local press: A time of extreme fatwas

Afghanistan: This War Won't Work

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/curb-anti-india-terror-groups--us-to-pak/d/2649

 

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Curb anti-India terror groups: US to Pak

April 03, 2010

Washington: Reminding Islamabad that Punjab-based militants "are targeting Pakistan as well," the United States has asked Pakistan to curb anti-India terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) blamed for the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Robert Blake, the assistant secretary of state for South Asia who visited India and Pakistan last month, said on Thursday he had told his interlocutors in Islamabad that it could do more to improve relations with New Delhi.

Welcoming the recent resumption of dialogue between the two South Asian neighbours, Blake said he told the Pakistanis that India's really seeking two things: the continued prosecution of Mumbai terror attacks suspect and "progress to curtail cross-border infiltration that is taking place from Pakistan into India."

The official said he had "reminded them that from 2004 to 2007 both of those countries made quite important progress in their bilateral relations, and that that progress was made possible in part by the significant efforts that the government of Pakistan made at that time to stop cross-border infiltration."

Praising Pakistan for the "very important progress" that Pakistan has made in Swat and South Waziristan and in the arrest of Taliban leaders, "I urged them to also take action against the Punjab-based groups, such as LeT, not only because that's important to India, but it's important to the United States."

"LeT has growing ambition and scope in its activities, as shown by the David Headley case. And so we think it's very much in the interests of Pakistan, as well, to take action against the LeT," Blake said.

"I think one can argue there is a lot of important progress that has been made but we think there also needs to be progress against these Punjab-based groups," Blake said referring to LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammed involved in a 2001 attack on the Indian parliament.

Blake said Punjab-based militants "are targeting Pakistan as well," pointing to attacks in Lahore including a deadly 2009 ambush on Sri Lanka's visiting cricket team.

The US he said hopes that India and Pakistan can improve relations between what are two friends of the United States. Blake said he reiterated "our long-standing position that the pace, scope and character of relations and the resumption of relations is up to the governments of India and Pakistan, but again, as a friend of both of those countries, we hope that they can make progress."

He had also urged business communities in both countries "to take advantage of the significant thus far under-exploited opportunities for trade between India and Pakistan."

Noting that the volume of bilateral trade was about .75 billion a year, he said "That is quite small for countries whose economies are really quite well developed, and that such trade would provide significant employment opportunities not only for Pakistan but also for India.

"And that in itself would have a stabilising impact. So that was another very important message throughout my visits."

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/curb-antiindia-terror-groups-us-to-pak/112556-2.html

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Top court bans entry over cap

Satya Prakash

April 02, 2010

Mansoor Ahmad, a law student from Aligarh Muslim University, has been barred from entering the courtrooms of the country’s top court because he wears a cap.

The 24-year-old came to the Supreme Court with 82 other BA LL.B. final-year students for an internship programme that started on March 10.

“After two-three days, I was told by a security guard in front of the CJI’s court to remove my cap before entering. When I asked why, he said it was against court decorum,” Ahmad said.

“I offered to get my cap checked but they were not ready to let me in with my cap on,” Ahmad, who is from Kashmir, told HT.

Thereafter, he started attending proceedings in courtrooms at the back of the premises. “But after a few days, the security men there too stopped me from entering with my cap,” he said.

Ahmad does not want to remove his cap as he says lawyers are allowed to wear caps as part of their sherwani-pajama dress code. Also, he wears it for religious reasons.

He took up the matter with an additional registrar and a registrar, but both asked him not to make an issue of it. “Bete (son), you are here for training, concentrate on that. What if you put off your cap?" Ahmad quoted the registrar, Ashok Kumar, as having advised him. When he asked for a written reply, Kumar reportedly told him it would take time.

After failing to make any headway with the court authorities, Ahmad filed a right to information application and is waiting for a response. Supreme Court secretary general M.P. Bhadran said: “It’s a question of decorum in court. It has nothing to do with religion.”

http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/india/Top-court-bans-entry-over-cap/Article1-526015.aspx

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Congress in no hurry to push Muslim quota

Rajeev Deshpande

Apr 3, 2010

NEW DELHI: Even after Supreme Court's green signal last week to 4% quota for Muslims in jobs and education in Andhra Pradesh, Congress remains cautious about minority quotas as it closely considers the political cost-benefits of such gambits at the Centre.

Barring BJP, most political parties have been quick to welcome the SC order staying the Andhra Pradesh High Court's decision to strike down the quota and Muslims groups were quick to see this as a big step forward. But with UPA-1 having wrestled with OBC quotas, Congress may prefer to wait and watch.

Congress seems to feel that the SC decision needs some time to sink in and will have the effect of making such a quota appear less radical over time. With Kerala, Karnataka and West Bengal also implementing or having announced such quotas, the taboo of religion-based reservations -- though the AP government has listed backward groups -- can wear off. But in the meanwhile, it might be better to wait for more states to follow the Andhra model.

The constitutional validity of the Andhra reservation is still to be settled and Congress would not like to rush matters at a time when it does not seem under undue pressure to travel an extra mile to woo minority votes. There are some leaders in the party who would not mind an aggressive move to tap minority support, but they remain limited.

As Congress's positioning ahead of the 2012 UP elections shows, it is prepared to take up issues like special courts for those accused in the Indian Mujahideen terror attacks even though the leadership has resolutely ruled out any judicial inquiry. Political pressures in the heat generated by a crucial electoral battle can see parties engage in competitive bids for vote banks, but this is still some time away.

Likelihood of minority quotas resulting in a backlash is also a possibility Congress would not like to discount altogether even though BJP's attempts to make political capital on such issues have not been too successful of late. The main Opposition party is capable of attacking minority quotas head-on but is yet to shake off effects of a prolonged power struggle and has not quite got it policy focus in place as yet.

Still, Congress cannot keep hoping for a comatose Opposition and quota moves are complicated by demands that recommendations of the Ranganath Mishra commission like SC status to "dalit" Muslims and Christians be accepted. The Congress leadership is instinctively wary of the Mishra Commission's recommendations that some see can give BJP an opening while sharpening caste and communal faultlines.

The quota politics are also seen to be limited by the 50% cap on reservations which means that adding more to the list or carving sub-quotas would reduce someone's share. This is a powerful reason why despite quotas looking like an easy option, the political class is treading a careful path on the apex court's go ahead to Muslim reservation in jobs and education.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Congress-in-no-hurry-to-push-Muslim-quota/articleshow/5755279.cms

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Clerics hail move to recast jihad fatwa

Apr 2, 2010

LUCKNOW: Top Indian Muslim clerics have welcomed the move to recast a medieval fatwa on jihad, arguing the religious edict fundamentalists often cite to justify violence cannot be used in a globalised world that respects faith and civil rights.

The 14th century scholar Ibn Taymiyya's fatwa was recast at a conference in Mardin in southeastern Turkey on Wednesday.

The scholars declared that the medieval division of the world into a "house of Islam" and "house of unbelief" no longer applies and that Taymiyya's edict should be viewed in its historic context of medieval Mongol raids on Muslim lands.

"There is an urgent need for more such declarations to save the country from terror that has now spread globally," said Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali, the Imam of Lucknow's biggest Eidgah and All

India Muslim Personal Law Board member.

The maulana pointed out that Mardin declaration was significant, as several Arab clerics were part of it.

"There's a sizeable chunk among us who believe fatwas issued in Asian countries weren't as effective as the ones issued in the Arab world."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Clerics-hail-move-to-recast-jihad-fatwa/articleshow/5753249.cms

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Repent, extremists told in Saudi Arabia

Apr 2, 2010

Riyadh: Muslim scholars from around the world who met this week in Medina have denounced "terrorism" and appealed to "extremists" to repent, said a statement on Thursday.

The four-day Islamic conference, sponsored by Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz and organised by the Islamic University of Medina, drew some 500 participants, according to press reports.

The scholars condemned "all acts of terrorism wherever they take place and whoever is behind them," said the concluding statement from the conference, which wrapped up on Wednesday.

The scholars also criticised "the harm inflicted on unarmed civilians and civilian facilities under the pretext of combating international terrorism."

The statement published on the organisers' website called on extremists to "return to their senses and follow the path of groups that have announced repentance and rejected acts of terrorism".

"Hold on to moderate Islam and tolerance towards others," and "reject false interpretations of ... jihad [holy war]," it said, addressing Muslim youths.

The conference urged Muslim communities in non-Muslim countries to encourage their children "to adopt a moderate understanding of Islam, respect for others and to comply with [local] laws". It also urged the governments of those countries to respect the rights of Muslims and "treat them equally with other members of the community". Saudi Arabia, which practises an ultra-conservative Wahhabi version of Islam, has in recent years cracked down on what it regards as extremist groups.

Al-Qaeda, which has been blamed for killing between 150 and 200 people in the kingdom between 2003 and 2006, has in particular been in the firing line.

King Abdullah last month said the kingdom was determined to halt extremism and a campaign was under way to try dissuade youths from joining Al-Qaeda . -AFP

http://www.hindu.com/2010/04/02/stories/2010040256071300.htm

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No Lord Krishna temple demolished in Karachi, says Pak Hindu Council

Apr 1, 2010

KARACHI: A Hindu organisation in Pakistan on Thursday said there were land disputes in some of the temples here, but denied that any shrine of Lord Krishna had been demolished in the county's financial hub.

"There is a problem of land occupation with some temples particularly with the Swami Narayan temple located around M.A. Jinnah road but otherwise there has been no case of temple demolition," said Dr Ramesh Kumar, the Patron of Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC).

Kumar and General-Secretary of PHC Hari Motwani denied any knowledge of a temple being demolished in the city.

"If something like this happened we would know about it and we would not keep quiet about it," Kumar told PTI.

He said a portion of the land on which Swami Narayan temple was built, dating back to 150 years, was occupied by transporters who used the land to park their vehicles and as a garage.

"We are constantly in touch with the relevant authorities and also with the Evacuee Board on this issue," he said.

An Indian news channel reported today that a Lord Krishna temple had been demolished in Karachi and its 20 acres land occupied by a nationalist party of Sindh.

However, the Chairman of the Evacuee board, Ahmed Hashmi, denied it.

"There is a Krishna Mandir in frère town and it is used by Hindus for their religious rites. There is a small problem over a boundary wall and nothing more," he said.

Motwani said the problems of land occupation often took place as all temples were looked after by the Hindu council while the evacuee board also claimed control over them.

He said the Hindu Council had asked the authorities in Defence Ministry to allot a plot to the council so that they could build a Gurdwara and Mandir there.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/No-Lord-Krishna-temple-demolished-in-Karachi-says-Pak-Hindu-Council/articleshow/5752467.cms

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'Three children hurt in Israeli air raids on Gaza'

Apr 2, 2010

GAZA CITY: Three children were injured by flying glass as Israeli F16 fighter planes flew six raids against the Gaza Strip overnight, hospital staff, witnesses and Hamas officials said Friday.

The three children, aged two, four and 11, were hit by flying glass in a raid on the Sabra district, in the western part of Gaza City, said Moawiya Hassanein, head of the Palestinian emergency services in Gaza.

The air strikes came after the latest in a series of rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israel, when one landed in town of Ashkelon late Thursday, causing damage but no casualties, said the Israeli army.

Three Israeli air strikes targetted an area west of Khan Yunis, in the southern part of the Palestinian territory controlled by Hamas. Two of the missiles hit a guard post of Hamas's armed wing, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades.

A fourth raid destroyed a worskhop in the refugee camp of Nusseirat, in central Gaza.

Full report at:

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Three-children-hurt-in-Israeli-air-raids-on-Gaza/articleshow/5753444.cms

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Afghan Parliament Rejects Karzai Decree

By  MATTHEW ROSENBERG  and  HABIB ZAHORI

Apr 1, 2010

KABUL—Afghanistan's parliament took the first step toward overturning a decree that would have given Afghan President Hamid Karzai almost complete control over the commission charged with uncovering electoral fraud.

The measure rejected a decree issued in February by Mr. Karzai that gave him the power to appoint all five members of the Electoral Complaints Commission. The commission previously had been made up of three foreign, United Nations-appointed members, one Afghan named by the Supreme Court and another appointed by the Afghan human rights commission.

Wednesday's near-unanimous vote in parliament's lower house raised a number of untested constitutional issues, leaving its immediate impact uncertain. But it was the latest sign that Mr. Karzai faces a far more activist parliament in his second term than he did in his first, when lawmakers rarely provided a check to the power of the presidential palace. That situation, critics say, allowed corruption to fester and left the administration unresponsive to the concerns of ordinary Afghans.

Full report at:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303338304575156092705604682.html?mod=googlenews_ws

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Iraq Shiite party open to alliance with Allawi

Apr 2, 2010

BAGHDAD: A leading Shiite Muslim party said on Thursday it will not join any Iraqi government without Iyad Allawi, a move that could boost the chances of the election winner of becoming a prime minister.

Ammar Hakim, head of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (ISCI), said his party, with strong ties to Iran, was open to an alliance with Allawi's cross-sectarian Iraqiya list.

The close election results have promised weeks or months of difficult and potentially divisive talks to form a government.

Iraqis had hoped the vote would stabilise the country after years of war.

ISCI is part of the Iraqi National Alliance (INA), which finished third in the March 7 parliamentary election. Anti-US cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr heads INA's other major faction.

"Putting pressure on Iraqiya is putting pressure on a major part of our (Iraqi) people. We will not take part in any upcoming government without the Iraqiya slate being there," Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article38108.ece

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Belgium votes to ban veils

Ian Traynor

Brussels: Belgium has moved to the forefront of a campaign to restrict the wearing of the Muslim veil by women when a key vote left it on track to become the first European country to ban the burqa and niqab in public.

The home affairs committee of the Brussels federal Parliament voted unanimously to ban the partial or total covering of faces in public places.

“I am proud that Belgium would be the first country in Europe which dares to legislate on this sensitive matter,” said the centre-right MP Denis Ducarme.

Daniel Bacquelaine, liberal MP who proposed the bill, said: “We cannot allow someone to claim the right to look at others without being seen. It is necessary that the law forbids the wearing of clothes that totally mask and enclose an individual. Wearing the burqa in public is not compatible with an open, liberal, tolerant society.” The Belgian move came as neighbouring France and the Netherlands continued to grapple with the idea of imposing similar restrictions.

Full report at: www.hindu.com/2010/04/02/stories/2010040253621500.htm

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India to assuage Iran's concerns: Krishna

Sachin Parashar

Apr 2, 2010

NEW DELHI: Admitting that Iran's nuclear programme is an issue between the two countries, foreign minister S M Krishna on Thursday said that India is trying to "assuage" whatever concerns Tehran has over the matter.

Talking exclusively to TOI, Krishna said that barring this one issue India continues to enjoy outstanding ties with Iran. India has voted twice in favour of IAEA resolutions censuring Iran for its nuclear programme but in terms of trade and other areas, ties between the two countries have seen steady growth. "India and Iran continue to enjoy excellent relations in all areas except for India's vote in favour of IAEA resolutions against Iran. Even on this issue, we are trying to assuage Iran's concerns," Krishna said.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-to-assuage-Irans-concerns-Krishna/articleshow/5753262.cms

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Overhaul of governance in Pakistan

Anita Joshua

ISLAMABAD: With the Committee on Constitutional Reforms (CCR) presenting its draft to the presiding officers of the National Assembly and the Senate on Thursday, the country is now poised for a major overhaul of its governance structure.

Besides the repeal of the 17th Amendment by which the former President, Pervez Musharraf, had transferred decisive powers to the presidency, the draft has done away with the Concurrent List to give more provincial autonomy and makes out a case for putting in place institutional mechanisms for making key appointments.

The draft was finalised late on Wednesday night by the 26-member all-party committee after a consensus was worked out on the two contentious issues that had stalled the process: renaming the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and setting up a judicial commission for appointment of judges. The draft was signed with considerable fanfare around midnight in full view of the media and this was followed up in the morning with the submission of the report to the two presiding officers.

Full report at: hindu.com/2010/04/02/stories/2010040256051300.htm

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Row over support for “defensive jihad''

Hasan Suroor

LONDON: Leading South Asian rights campaigners have accused Amnesty International of “undermining'' the rights movement, especially the campaign against sex and gender discrimination, by working with extremist — often misogynist — groups engaged in what they claim is “defensive jihad''.

The row follows remarks by Claudio Cordone, its secretary-general, that “defensive jihad'' was not “antithetical'' to human rights. He made the comments in response to a Global Petition from rights activists questioning Amnesty's alliance with Cageprisoners, founded by Moazzam Begg, an ex- Guantanamo Bay prisoner and dubbed “Britain's most famous supporter of the Taliban'' by a former Amnesty official.

“Moazzam Begg and others in his group Cageprisoners hold…views which they have clearly stated, for example on whether one should talk to the Taleban or on the role of jihad in self-defence. Are such views antithetical to human rights? Our answer is no, even if we may disagree with them …,'' Mr Cordone wrote.

The initiators of the petition — Amrita Chhachhi, Sara Hossain and Sunila Abeysekera, all prominent women's rights activists — have called Mr. Cordone's remarks “shocking and incredible''.

Full report at: www.hindu.com/2010/04/02/stories/2010040253481500.htm

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New blast in Russia as Moscow victims buried

Apr 1, 2010

MOSCOW: A car packed with explosives blew up in Russia's restive North Caucasus on Thursday with the country on high alert after an Islamist group claimed the Moscow metro bombings and warned of more strikes.

Many of the 39 killed in Monday's suicide bombings on the city metro were to be buried on Thursday and the country has also been shaken by the double suicide strike in the North Caucasus on Wednesday that killed 12.

In the latest unrest, two people were killed in the Khasavurtsky district of the North Caucasus region of Dagestan during the night when their car suspected to have been packed with explosives blew up.

"According to preliminary information, the explosive materials that were in the car went off accidentally," the Interfax news agency quoted a security source as saying.

The Islamist group the "Emirate of the Caucasus", which is waging an insurgency to impose an Islamic state based on sharia law in the North Caucasus, claimed the metro attacks in a video message from its shadowy leader.

Full report at:

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/New-blast-in-Russia-as-Moscow-victims-buried/articleshow/5751782.cms

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Metro bombers trained at Vedensky camp

Apr 2, 2010

Two women, who staged the Moscow Metro attack, were part of a suicide bombing school which has sprouted on the European soil in the jungles of Vedensky area of Chechen, where recruits are lured through Internet.

Russian intelligence investigating on Monday’s bombing in which 39 people were killed said the woman were part of a squad of 30 men and women recruited by militant leaders to carry out the suicide bombings, the Kommersant daily reported.

These bombers are inducted through the Internet and then trained in armed camps in Vedensky region of the troubled North Caucasus.

The daily said the investigators were looking for a 20-year-old third woman accomplice of the bombers. The woman, who was seen accompanying the bombers in CCTV footage before the blasts, is now missing.

Full report at: dailypioneer.com/246210/Metro-bombers-trained-at-Vedensky-camp.html

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Hamid Karzai lashes out at West over Afghan elections

Apr 2, 2010

KABUL: President Hamid Karzai accused the West on Thursday of trying to ruin Afghanistan's elections, intensifying a showdown with parliament over whether foreigners will oversee a parliamentary vote this year.

Karzai's international reputation took a beating after a UN-backed fraud watchdog threw out a third of the votes cast for him in last year's presidential election.

He is now wrangling with parliament and the United Nations over fraud protection measures for a parliamentary vote due in September.

"Foreigners will make excuses, they do not want us to have a parliamentary election," a defiant Karzai told a gathering of election officials.

"They want parliament to be weakened and battered, and for me to be an ineffective president and for parliament to be ineffective." "You have gone through the kind of elections during which you were not only threatened with terror, you also faced massive interference from foreigners," Karzai told the officials.

Full report at:

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Hamid-Karzai-lashes-out-at-West-over-Afghan-elections/articleshow/5753466.cms

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Iran sees sanctions talk as mere threat

Apr 2, 2010

Iran said on Thursday the talk of sanctions by world powers against the Islamic republic over its nuclear programme is just an empty threat that has been ineffective against Tehran for the past 30 years.

“The nuclear programme of the Islamic republic is fully peaceful and the talk of sanctions is a threat that has been ineffective over the past 30 years,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said.

World powers have stepped up pressure to impose a new round of UN sanctions on Iran for doggedly pursuing its controversial nuclear programme which they suspect masks a weapons drive.

Tehran has steadfastly denied these accusations and continued with its atomic work despite three sets of existing sanctions, saying Iran as a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty it has the right to nuclear technology.

“We recommend that all countries accept the legal rights (of Iran) under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), instead of using wrong methods such as sanctions and pressure,” Mehmanparast said, according to Mehr news agency.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/246181/Iran-sees-sanctions-talk-as-mere-threat.html

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It's for India, Pakistan to work out Kashmir, water issues: US

Apr 2, 2010

WASHINGTON: Ruling out once again a US role in resolving either Kashmir or water issues between India and Pakistan, a senior official has said it was for the two countries to work things out.

"It's like water. Kashmir always comes up in everything," assistant secretary of state For South And Central Asian affairs Robert Blake told reporters on Thursday in a briefing about his recent trip to India, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"So it's very prominent. But again, that's something that the two countries are going to have to work out," he said when asked if Kashmir issue had come up during his talks in the context of his objective to improve relations between the two South Asian neighbours.

Noting "both countries have made quite a lot of progress in the period between 2004 and 2007," he said the suggestion it's impossible for India and Pakistan to make progress is "simply not true".

Full report at:

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Its-for-India-Pakistan-to-work-out-Kashmir-water-issues-US-/articleshow/5753556.cms

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A new level of recognition, legitimacy: Rahman

Sarfraz Manzoor

He will attend a festival where the London Philharmonic will perform his best-known works

London: ‘I often meet couples who got married with my music,” says A.R. Rahman. “Or young actresses, who tell me that when they were girls, their mothers would put them to bed by playing my music.”

Rahman is a huge star in India. Huge. His work on scoring more than 100 movies has produced sales of more than 100 million records and over 200 million cassettes, making him the only Asian in the list of the world's top 25 bestselling recording artists.

Time magazine, who dubbed him “the Mozart of Madras,” placed him in its list of the world's 100 most influential people last year. He's won numerous awards, both in India and further afield, but it was last year's Oscar win, for his work on Slumdog Millionaire, that really changed things.

Full report at: hindu.com/2010/04/02/stories/2010040262521400.htm

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UAE death row: Kin seek PM's help

Apr 2, 2010

JALANDHAR: Families of the 17 Indians, who are on death row in UAE for murdering a Pakistani, have sought PM Manmohan Singh and Muslim religious leaders' intervention in saving them from the gallows.

Lok Bhalia Party chief Balwant Singh Ramoonwalia, who wrote to the PM on behalf of families of the 17, urged him to get the issue examined by law ministry or the attorney general and make an appeal to the UAE's head of state through diplomatic channels.

Ramoonwalia said the party would also send its leaders — Avtar Singh Mullanpuri, Amrik Singh Verpal and Sukhwinder Singh Brar — to take up the matter with UAE authorities.

Ramoonwalia and the party's general secretary Ramandeep Singh Bharowal would camp in Delhi and meet Islamic bodies and senior Supreme Court lawyers, as only 11 days are left to file an appeal in a higher UAE court.

Ramoonwalia said the party would also seek intervention of influential Muslim seminary, Darul-uloom Deoband. UK, USA, Canada, Australia and Germany have recently intervened to extricate their nationals from similar situations.

In 1996, New Delhi had stepped in to free 400 Indians facing death sentence in Libya, Ramoonwalia said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/UAE-death-row-Kin-seek-PMs-help/articleshow/5753333.cms

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Riots panel too may now question Modi

Apr 2, 2010

AHMEDABAD: The Nanavati-Mehta commission probing the Godhra carnage and the riots that followed in 2002 told the Gujarat High Court on Thursday that its decision in 2008 against summoning CM Narendra Modi for questioning was "not final."

Modi was interrogated last week for over nine hours by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) against a petition filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of slain ex-MP Ahsan Jafri.

Hinting at the possibility of calling Modi and other six politicians and bureaucrats for cross-examination in connection with 2002 riots, the secretary of Nanavati-Mehta commission dashed off a letter to the government pleader's office stating that its order rejecting an application by Jan Sangharsh Manch to summon Modi was not final and the probe panel still retains the option of calling Modi.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Riots-panel-too-may-now-question-Modi/articleshow/5753315.cms

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US pumping in millions to retain allies in war on terror

Apr 2, 2010

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon is pouring millions of dollars into equipment and training for its smaller partner nations in the Afghanistan war, a new effort that could encourage some countries not to abandon the increasingly unpopular conflict.

The money comes from a $350 million Pentagon program designed to improve the counterterrorism operations of US allies. While the funding cannot be openly used as an enticement for Nato nations to either send troops to Afghanistan or keep them in the country, the budding initiative sends the message that those who commit to the counterinsurgency fight could be rewarded.

Defense officials said the initial aid package aimed at six small countries — Georgia, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia — is about $50 million and will be distributed equally among them.

The broad outlines of the plan were forwarded to members of Congress last week. Over $200 million has been earmarked, with the bulk of it going to Yemen.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-pumping-in-millions-to-retain-allies-in-war-on-terror/articleshow/5753101.cms

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Stage set for Zardari losing powers to PM

Omer Farooq Khan

Apr 2, 2010

ISLAMABAD: After days of political wrangling, a parliamentary committee has agreed on a constitutional amendment that transfers the Pakistani president's powers to fire an elected government and appoint military chiefs to the country's prime minister.

President Asif Ali Zardari was under a lot of pressure for dragging his feet on relinquishing the powers, inherited from the country's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf. Zardari, who will now occupy a largely ceremonial post, had first promised to do so when he was elected in 2008.

"This was a difficult job that has been done amicably and with consensus," said senator Raza Rabbani, the head of the parliamentary committee.

Experts say the changes mean little since Zardari derives much of his power from his position as co-head of Pakistan's ruling party. The president would still wield significant influence over the government, as Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani is a loyal member of his party.

The all-party committee drafted constitutional amendment must be approved by two-thirds of the parliament to be ratified.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Stage-set-for-Zardari-losing-powers-to-PM/articleshow/5753100.cms

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Safe passage for Iran gas: Pak

Sanjay Dutta

Apr 2, 2010

CANCUN (MEXICO): Pakistan will guarantee safe delivery of Iranian gas to India and security of the proposed $7.4 billion Asian peace pipeline passing through its territory to get New Delhi back on the negotiating table. As a sweetener, Islamabad is willing to consider the option of giving India equity in the project and has sought Indian participation in their forthcoming auction of exploration acreages, a top Pakistani official told TOI on the sidelines of the 12th International Energy Forum here.

"Pakistan will stand guarantee for safe delivery of gas at the Pakistan-India border. We have already built in provisions for such guarantees in the gas transportation agreement we signed with Iran earlier this month. It has been notarised in Paris under international conventions. This should convince India of the sincerity of our offer," additional secretary in Pakistan's ministry of petroleum and natural resources Mohammed Chaudhry Ejaz said here on Tuesday evening.

Full report at:

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Safe-passage-for-Iran-gas-Pak/articleshow/5752246.cms

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Pak wants Sania to play for them

Apr 01 2010

April 1: With less than two weeks to go for her wedding with Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, it appears, will have more on her mind than her trousseau for the nuptials.

The Indian star may have sparked off a war of words between the Indian and Pakistan tennis federations. Reports that the Pakistan Tennis Federation chief, Mr Dilawar Abbas, was quoted as saying that Sania should represent Pakistan set the cat amongst the pigeons.

“It is great news for our tennis community that Sania Mirza is getting married to Shoaib Malik. We welcome her and hope that she would becomes a Pakistani national and plays for us in future,” Abbas reportedly said.

Enough to prompt a swift reaction from the All India Tennis Federation, who put their foot down saying she was committed to playing for India in global events!

“Sania Mirza and her parents have informed AITA that she will continue to play for India after her marriage. She has confirmed she will be part of the Indian team in the 2010 Commonwealth Games at Delhi, Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, the 2011 Fed Cup and the 2012 Olympics at London,” the AITA secretary general, Mr Anil Khanna, said.

The PTF chief backtracked, saying that he had been misquoted. “How can she play for Pakistan when she is an Indian and wants to remain an Indian national?” Mr Abbas said.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/sports/pak-wants-sania-play-them-608

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350,000 displaced by north Yemen war

02 Apr, 2010

SANAA: Some 350,000 people remain displaced by north Yemen’s war, 100,000 more than UN estimates before a February ceasefire between the government and rebels, a minister said on Thursday.

“The last number we have is 350,000 refugees, an equivalent of 50,000 families, who are registered,” Ahmed al-Kahlani, the state minister in charge of internally displaced people, told a Sanaa news conference.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, says some 250,000 were displaced during six episodes of the war between the army and northern rebels, the last of which ended on Feb 12 after six months of fighting.

Kahlani said the end of hostilities allowed tens of thousands of people stranded by the fighting to come and register with his ministry.—AFP

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/350,000-displaced-by-north-yemen-war-240

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US wiretapping of Islamic charity deemed illegal

By BARBARA FERGUSON

Apr 2, 2010

WASHINGTON: US federal judge ruled has ruled that government spying on a charity called Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation violated federal laws on domestic surveillance and that its agents eavesdropped illegally on the US-based Islamic charity.

The ruling said in 2004 the Bush Administration relied on the surveillance of phone conversations between two of the non-profit’s lawyers and an Al-Haramain director in Saudi Arabia, and that several months after the surveillance began it designated the group as a terrorist organization associated with Osama bin Laden, a description its leaders have called false.

The Foundation’s legal team sued the government in 2006.

The ruling Wednesday by Chief US District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco rejected the Justice Department's claim — first asserted by the Bush administration and continued under President Barack Obama — that the charity's lawsuit should be dismissed because allowing it to go forward could reveal state secrets.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/world/article38018.ece

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Local press: A time of extreme fatwas

By TURKI AL-DAKHEEL

Apr 2, 2010

Some people criticize us for getting irritated with fatwas (Islamic rulings) despite asking for more freedom of expression. They are correct. We are really fed up with some of the more extreme fatwas, which are tantamount to jokes.

We are bothered by such fatwas because they are not intellectual opinions. They are solely concerned with religion and as such they might have implications on people in this world and the life after.

They become Shariah rules to be observed and followed. They are not individual views on topics such as universities, education, health, which represent a wide area on which people can tread and express their own views.

We know that the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Ashaikh, leads prayers in Riyadh’s biggest mosque. He is available in his office and his telephones are always on. So anyone requesting a fatwa on a certain topic can always turn to him.

Many members of the Ifta Committee have programs on satellite television and radio stations, partly so fatwa seekers can talk to them.

Full report at: arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article38033.ece

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Afghanistan: This War Won't Work

by Phyllis Bennis

The recent Taliban attacks on Kabul provide another wake-up call about why this war in Afghanistan simply isn't going to work. It won't bring security to Afghans. It won't turn Afghanistan into a democracy. And it won't make us safer.

In fact, the war killed more people in Afghanistan last year than the year before-40 percent more civilians, according to the United Nations. And the body count this year is already shaping up to be higher than last year. That goes for U.S. troops too.

And President Obama's escalation, the 30,000 new troops he just announced he's sending to Afghanistan? That's not helping either. The Taliban have mostly stayed in the countryside, based in the small villages where almost 80 percent of Afghans live. But now, after Obama announced that the additional troops would be deployed in Afghanistan's "population centers," meaning the cities, guess where the Taliban headed for their most recent assault?

Full report at: www.commondreams.org/view/2010/01/25-7

 

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/curb-anti-india-terror-groups--us-to-pak/d/2649


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