New Age Islam
Fri Aug 14 2020, 07:51 AM

Islamic World News ( 23 Jun 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Dar al-Fatwa rejects draft law protecting women against domestic violence

OIC warns against heavily political campaigns against Islam

Blasts rip through western Baghdad, killing 40

Indo-Pak talks: Foreign secretaries discuss terror, CBMs and Samjhauta

Pakistan: Petition filed against journalists, media organisations

Bangladesh: Khaleda Zia's son Arafat jailed for 6 years

Balochistan Natioanl Party leader Rustom Marri shot dead in Quetta

India, Forbesganj firing:  Victims kin say inquiry not enough

ICC judges to announce Qaddafi warrant decision

NATO to continue Libya operation

NATO chief tries to repair cracks over Libya

Libyan rebels in contact with Gaddafi opponents in Tripoli

Turkish company allegedly sells food rations to Libyan forces

Islamophobe Geert Wilders acquittal in hate speech case flayed

Seized phone of Osama Bin Laden's Pakistani courier offers clues

Army splits political parties in Islamabad

India: VHP opposes release Khalil Chishty opposed

Pak Rangers attend fair along J&K border

Lashkars face threats as they aid army against Taliban

Pakistan: Rangers Savvy lawyer tries to buy more time but judge says ‘no’

US military warns Obama, troop drawdown plan 'risky'

Pakistan must be part of Afghan peace process: US

French troops to leave Afghanistan on US timeline

Britain in peace talks with Taliban, says foreign secy

U.S. troop withdrawal, A good step for Afghanistan: Karzai

Afghan exit plan with eye on prez polls

Iran’s TV report: judiciary detains Ahmadinejad’s ally

US Home Land Security asked to investigate use of Islamophobic trainers

Troops enter village near border, say Syrian activists

Ahmadinejad insists Iran not seeking nuclear bomb

More FII money to Pak than to India this yr

 ‘Saleh not coming home soon’???

For Baghdad’s poor, city garbage brings in the bread

Iran in ‘alarming’ breaches of UN sanctions, envoys

Syrian troops storm Turkish border village, refugees flee

Afghan endgame: Pakistan prefers to watch and wait on US drawdown

US not to keep up aid to Pakistan without change: Clinton

International Security Assistance Force, Pakistan discuss border incident

Arab Spring costing $500m a week in capital flight

Illegals clash with police in Makkah suburb

JEDDAH Police deny arrest of another child rapist

Israel targets Palestinian prisoners after Hamas rejects ICRC's demand

Syria leader’s cousin warns of civil, regional war

EU sanctions Iran Revolutionary Guard chiefs over Syria

Malaysian police detain 75 Indonesian migrants

 ‘Convince Hamas and we’ll kiss your hand’????

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/dar-al-fatwa-rejects-draft-law-protecting-women-against-domestic-violence/d/4902

 

-------

Dar al-Fatwa rejects draft law protecting women against domestic violence

June 24, 2011

By Dana Khraiche

BEIRUT: A draft law to protect women from domestic violence is a Western idea designed to dismantle the Muslim family, rather than improve women’s status in the country, a statement released by Lebanon’s highest Sunni body said Thursday.

“[The draft law] was presented not to improve women's status, but rather to break up the family similar to Western ways which are foreign to our society and values,” the statement from Dar al-Fatwa said following a meeting between the Grand Mufti of the Republic Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Kabbani and other high level Sunni Sheikhs.

The draft law, which was written by activists and is still being discussed in a special parliamentary committee, has sparked heavy debate, with officials such as Sports and Youth Minister Faisal Karami describing it as a blow to family values.

The 16-point statement from the influential Sunni body said the proposed law prevents women gaining religious and financial rights. 

“The draft law hurts the Muslim woman ... [it] prevents her from gaining many rights given to her at religious courts,” the statement said, although it did not specify which rights the law would undermine. It did add that should a woman seek recourse via this law, she would automatically be stripped of her financial rights by the religious court, and said that the law eliminates the legitimacy of religious courts.

The draft law was approved in April by the caretaker Cabinet under former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and was sent to Parliament for a vote. The Parliament is expected to convene once Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s Cabinet receives the Parliament’s vote of confidence following the release of the policy statement.

The statement also said the law would prevent any chance of reconciliation between a husband and his wife, and would promote individualistic values that are not part of the Muslim community. It also said that the law would not act as a deterrent but would, instead, draw negative reactions by men.

“Based on article 9 of the constitution which respects the private lives of various sects, the Muslim community has the right to reject any law that might harm such independence in religious practice,” it added.

Gender equality activists said Thursday that while a rejection of the draft law from such an influential body may hinder its process through the Parliament, they would continue to work to see the law passed.

“Dar al-Fatwa’s statement threatens the law but it does not threaten us … we won’t stop pushing for the law to be passed because it would change the lives of many women,” Farah Qobaisi, a member of feminist collective Nasawiya, told The Daily Star soon after the statement was released.

Qobaisi also said that such comments could be expected as many religious institutions attempt to protect certain privileges they experience under the current system.

“This is a struggle between those who demand gender equality and justice and other who want to preserve the old way of thinking about things,” Qobaisi added.

Meanwhile, the group Women’s Movement Thursday called on Lebanese citizens to stop working for five minutes next Tuesday at 12 p.m. in protest at the lack of women ministers in Mikati's Cabinet. It also asked drivers to honk their horns and step out of their vehicles.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Local-News/2011/Jun-23/Dar-al-Fatwa-rejects-draft-law-protecting-women-against-domestic-violence.ashx#ixzz1QAYZuvUe

-------

OIC warns against heavily political campaigns against Islam

6/24/2011

JEDDAH, June 24 (KUNA) -- Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) warned against the continuation of heavily publicized political campaigns against Muslim immigrants.

"These political campaigns are moving gradually to the United States," the OIC's report of 2010-2011, on the phenomenon of "Islamophobia", said on Friday.

The report will be submitted to freign ministers of the OIC's member states in their upcoming conference in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.

"Animosity against Islam and Muslims are not considered individual and spontaneous acts any more. It has become a calculated phenomenon of hostility. If developed from mere direct insults to a full-fledged distortion of Islam, then it would lead to a real threat of cultural clash," the report cautioned.

This Islamophobia methodology, which was stirred from the ideologies of some European right-winged parties, has started moving to the United States, the report noted.

Therefore, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned against blowing this phenomenon out of proportion, especially after the increasing European demands on prohibiting wearing hijab (head cover for Muslim women) and applying more restrictions on Muslim immigrants.

The most influential incident that triggered Islamophonia was the Holy Quran burning campaign launched by Pastor Terry Jones against building an Islamic center near Ground Zero, in New York, the report said.

It also mentioned that Studies and surveys done by European institutions said that European society elites take advantage of the Muslims immigrants' economical and social Muslim burdens to serve their political agendas; hence negatively effecting the Muslims' chances of getting job and better health care services. (end) yms.nfm KUNA 241000 Jun 11NNNN

http://www.kuna.net.kw/NewsAgenciesPublicSite/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2176020&Language=en

-------

Blasts rip through western Baghdad, killing 40

24 June 2011

BAGHDAD — Four bombs ripped through Baghdad on Thursday evening, killing at least 40 people in the worst violence the capital has seen in months, Iraqi officials said. An American civilian aid specialist working to improve education in Iraq was killed in a separate attack.

The violence underscored the fragile nature of the security gains in Iraq at a time when American forces are preparing to withdraw by the end of this year and the challenges facing the State Department personnel and American contractors who would continue on after the US military is gone.

The first three bombs went off in quick succession in a southwestern Baghdad neighborhood shortly after 7 p.m. One targeted a Shiite mosque, another exploded just outside a popular market, while the third went off inside the market where people were doing their evening shopping ahead of the Muslim weekend, Iraqi police officials said.

The officials said 34 people died and 82 others were injured in the three blasts. An official from Baghdad’s Yarmouk hospital confirmed the casualty figures.

An Iraqi resident, Jabir Ali, said he was about 200 yards (meters) away when one of the bombs went off near a barber shop where his cousin works.

“I saw many people killed and injured. I went to see my cousin. The glass at his shop was broken and he was injured in his head, chest and hand by the glass,” said Ali, who drove his cousin to the hospital.

About an hour later, a parked car bomb targeting a police patrol killed six people, including one policeman and five bystanders in a different neighborhood in southwestern Baghdad, said hospital officials.

The officials all spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Sunni extremists such as al-Qaida in Iraq generally tend to target Shiite mosques and neighborhoods and Iraqi security forces.

It was the worst attack in the capital since a parked car bomb exploded near a mourning tent in a northern Baghdad neighborhood in January, killing 48 people.

The American civilian killed earlier Thursday was Dr. Stephen Everhart, said a US State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland.

“Dr. Everhart was an American citizen who was working in Iraq for an implementing partner of the United States Agency for International Development’s Mission in Iraq. He was killed while working on a project to introduce a new business curriculum to a Baghdad university in a program supported by the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education,” she said in a statement.

“We are saddened by this tragedy and extend our thoughts and prayers to Dr. Everhart’s family and loved ones, and to the three other injured victims and their families,” she said.

The statement gave no information about how he was killed, but an Iraqi police official said the American contractors were visiting a satellite office of Mustansiriyah University in eastern Baghdad when they were hit by a roadside bomb.

It was not known whether the assailants knew Americans were in the convoy or not.

Shiite militias who operate in the nearby neighborhood of Sadr City have stepped up attacks against the US military in recent months and threatened violence against other American targets.

The US military has also accused them of lobbing mortars and rockets at the US Embassy in the Green Zone.

Shiite militias are trying to claim they are driving the US military from Iraq and make the US think twice before agreeing to have US troops stay in the country past the Dec. 31 date by which they’re slated to go home.

The attack against Everhart and the other contractors could have serious repercussions for the US Embassy in Baghdad and the ability to conduct operations in the country. Already, US Embassy staff and contractors working with agencies such as USAID generally travel in armored vehicles with guards and sometimes with US military assistance.

Earlier this week, a convoy carrying French Embassy staff was targeted by a roadside bomb in the Karradah neighbourhood. No one was killed in that incident.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/June/middleeast_June656.xml&section=middleeast

-------

Indo-Pak talks: Foreign secretaries discuss terror, CBMs and Samjhauta

Indrani Bagchi

Jun 24, 2011

Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir will discuss Kashmir on Friday in a special session.

ISLAMABAD: Foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan got underway here on Thursday with foreign secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir focusing on terrorism and conventional and nuclear-confidence building measures (CBMs).

Even though the first set of talks between Indian and Pakistani home secretaries had focused almost exclusively on terrorism and Mumbai trials, the issue formed part of the discussions on Thursday. But in a nod to Pakistani concerns, there were also discussions on the Samjhauta Express case, where India has just filed the first chargesheet.

On Friday, the two sides will sit down for talks on Jammu & Kashmir, something that the Pakistanis are placing a great deal of importance on. Pakistani foreign office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua said the first session would focus on Kashmir.

While neither side was forthcoming on the subject of Thursday's discussions, the MEA spokesperson said, "All aspects related to peace and security have been discussed... Terrorism is an issue that is confronting both countries and has affected peace and security in both countries."

Describing the talks as "cordial, substantive and forward-looking", officials said Friday's talks would include CBMs related to J&K.

Rao landed at Chaklala airbase in Rawalpindi in the morning for the "penultimate" round of bilateral talks. While the resumed dialogue process between India and Pakistan does not appear to be the composite dialogue which India dumped after 26/11, the elements of the dialogue are exactly the same as it used to be. For all intents and purposes, this is the composite dialogue, even though it is not quite labelled as such.

Pakistan is centering attention on the J&K round, hoping to push for a solution. India is looking at a broader approach, of "reducing trust deficits" and, as Rao said, "working towards an eventual normalisation of relations".

In the afternoon, visa counselor from the Indian high commission in Islamabad Sohail Khan met the six Indian crew members of MV Suez which reached Karachi on Thursday. They will return to India on Friday. Rao said, "We want our boys back home soon." The general narrative on Pakistani TV channels through the day was about how Pakistan had come to the Indian sailors' rescue after the Indian government had abandoned them.

After PM Manmohan Singh intervened on the issue of release of Pakistani virologist Dr Khaleel Chishty from a Rajasthan jail, sources here expect that this could happen soon. Chishty has been stuck since 1992 and even now it took a prime ministerial intervention to release the ailing 78-year-old doctor.

Calling the dialogue "part of a process", Rao described the relationship as "complex" with a long history. "We need to learn lessons from that history," she said. But "the best opportunities present themselves in difficult situations," she continued, adding that she had come to Islamabad with an "open mind and constructive approach".

Earlier this week, foreign minister S M Krishna set in motion the message of caution. "Patience is something that is called for. We will have to be realistic, we will have to be positive in our approach," he told journalists in New Delhi this week.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Indo-Pak-talks-Foreign-secretaries-discuss-terror-CBMs-and-Samjhauta/articleshow/8969106.cms

-------

Pakistan: Petition filed against journalists, media organisations

By Qaiser Zulfiqar

June 24, 2011

ISLAMABAD: A petition was filed by an advocate in the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday against journalists and media organisations for ‘defaming’ Pakistan’s armed forces and its top spy agency. He submitted to the court that the armed forces and the intelligence agencies are responsible for defending the geographical and ideological boundaries of Pakistan and that elements from the print and electronic media are “out to destabilize and de-nuclearise Pakistan.”

The petitioner called upon the apex court to declare that the “freedom of press and expression is not absolute and is subject to restriction and limitations … as mandated by article 19 of the constitution.”

The petitioner, a former deputy attorney-general of Pakistan and ex-additional secretary of Supreme Court Bar Association Advocate Sardar Muhammad Ghazi, included the publisher and editor of The Express Tribune among its respondents, for publishing an opinion piece by journalist Ejaz Haider titled “An open letter to General Pasha” on June 8, 2011.

The piece, written “in the wake of the gruesome and gratuitous murder of Syed Saleem Shahzad,” called upon the chief of army staff to “understand the deep fault lines developing in [the] state [of Pakistan.]”

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/195243/killing-the-messenger-petition-filed-against-journalists-media/

-------

Bangladesh: Khaleda Zia's son Arafat jailed for 6 years

June 24, 2011

The youngest son of Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s chairperson Khaleda Zia, Arafat Rahman, was sentenced on Thursday to rigorous imprisonment for six years on charge of money laundering.

Mohammad Mozammel Hossain, the judge of the Special Judge’s Court-3, also handed down the same punishment for Ismail Hossain Simon, son of late shipping minister Akbar Hossain, in the money laundering case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission on 17 March, 2009 after the Awami League-led alliance assumed power on 6 January, 2009.

The duo were also fined Tk 38.83 crore together in the verdict delivered after the trial held in their absence.

The court also ordered confiscation of Tk 19.70 crore, which was allegedly siphoned off to Singapore by the duo, and ordered the authorities concerned to take measures to bring back the money.

The sentence will be executed after their arrest or surrender, said the court.

This is the first-ever conviction of any member of the family of BNP’s founder, the late president Ziaur Rahman.

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/frontpage/23678.html

 

Balochistan National Party leader Rustom Marri shot dead in Quetta

June 24, 2011

QUETTA: Gunmen shot dead prominent social activist Mir Rustom Marri in Dera Allah Yar in Jaffarabad Thursday evening.

Marri, who was also the district president of the Balochistan National Party (BNP), was sprayed with a volley of bullets as he stepped out of his house in Sobatpur Chowk.

He received multiple bullet wounds, which resulted in his instant death. Talking to the media, Rafiq Khoso, a leader of the Balochistan Republican Party (BRP), said that it was a political murder and accused the government of what he called the “extrajudicial killing” of the Baloch nationalist leader.

Marri remained a coordinator with international aid agencies and international humanitarian agencies providing help to the internally displaced persons of the Marri and Bugti tribal territories for years.

He was actively associated with the relief operation for the Baloch IDPs as well as the flood affected people of Jaffarabad.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/195322/targeted-killing-bnp-leader-rustom-marri-shot-dead/

-------

India, Forbesganj firing: Victims kin say inquiry not enough

24 June 2011

Meenakshi Sinha

New Delhi: More than a fortnight after the Forbesganj police firing left five dead, relativesof the victims are running from pillar to post for justice. On Monday, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar ordered a judicial probe into the incident. But those who have lost their dear ones want much more.

They want the police officers involved in the firing to be dismissed, an immediate compensation of Rs10lakh, government jobs for one person from each victims family, quashing of cases filed against the villagers and an unqualified apology from Kumar.They also want an investigation into the role of Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi who went to the site a few days before the firing.

My son is dead. They killed him by jumping on him and kicking him. Now what kinds of inquiry will they conduct As for compensation, will they give us a house under Indira Vikas Yojna. Will that house compensate for my sons death, asks Mohammad Phatkan Ansari, who lost his son in the firing. Adds Haji Usmaan, an injured villagers relative, Tell me, whos wiping our tears or looking into the treatment of the injured. What should we expect from the judicial inquiry

Full report at: The Times of India

-------

ICC judges to announce Qaddafi warrant decision

Jun 24, 2011

THE HAGUE/TRIPOLI: The International Criminal Court says a panel of judges will announce on Monday whether it will issue arrest warrants for Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and two other high-ranking members of his regime for allegedly orchestrating illegal attacks on civilians.

Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has sought warrants for Qaddafi, his son Seif Al-Islam Qaddafi and intelligence chief Abdullah Al-Sanoussi.

The prosecutor accuses them of commanding forces who attacked civilians in their homes, shot at demonstrators with live ammunition, shelled funeral processions and deployed snipers to kill people leaving mosques as part of the violent crackdown on rebels seeking to depose him after four decades in power.

The court said Thursday the decision will be announced June 27.

Qaddafi, meanwhile, lashed out at NATO over civilian casualties and said Libya is prepared to fight on, calling the alliance “murderers” after an airstrike on a close associate’s family home.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article460291.ece

-------

NATO to continue Libya operation

June 24, 2011

NATO will continue its bombings of Libya, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said.

“NATO will continue its mission, because if we stop, an unspecified number of civilians would lose their lives,” Rasmussen said.

Libyan Government officials have said at least five people died in a NATO air strike on Sunday that hit a three-storey house in the city. NATO is investigating the incident.

Rasmussen said NATO personnel would ensure everything was done to prevent civilian deaths in the future. The organisation admitted to hitting mistaken targets in the past.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini had spoken for a possible halt in hostilities to allow humanitarian aid through to people. France, however, opposed such possibility.

On June 1, NATO extended the Libya operation until late September.

Libya has been rocked with protests against long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi since mid-February. The international military operation began March 19 following a UN resolution.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/347884/NATO-to-continue-Libya-operation.html

-------

NATO chief tries to repair cracks over Libya mission

By NICK CAREY

Jun 24, 2011

TRIPOLI: NATO’s chief on Thursday slapped down a call from Italy for a suspension of hostilities in Libya and tried to reassure wavering members of the Western coalition that Muammar Qaddafi can be beaten.

Italy’s cease-fire call exposed the strain on the NATO alliance, nearly 14 weeks into a bombing campaign that has so far failed to dislodge Qaddafi but is causing mounting concerns about its cost and about civilian casualties.

Qaddafi himself sounded a fresh note of defiance with an audio recording, broadcast on Libyan television, in which he called NATO states murderers of innocent civilians and vowed to avenge their deaths.

Asked about Italy’s cease-fire call, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a newspaper interview: “No, on the contrary. We shall continue and see it through to the end.” “The allies are committed to making the necessary effort for a sustained operation,” he told France’s Le Figaro newspaper.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article460466.ece

-------

Libyan rebels in contact with Gaddafi opponents in Tripoli

6/24/2011

 LONDON, June 24 (KUNA) -- The Libyan rebels in the east are in close contact with an underground network of opponents of Col Muammar Gaddafi in Tripoli, the BBC has learnt. A member of the rebels' National Transitional Council (NTC) in Benghazi revealed Friday they were holding secret talks to prepare for the regime's fall. The member said the talks were being held via Skype and satellite phones. The rebels want to gauge the impact of pressure from Nato air strikes and shortages on morale in Tripoli. Secondly, they want to involve the Tripoli underground opposition in their general strategy for ousting Colonel Gaddafi, so that if anyone is emboldened to take to the streets again in the capital it is woven into a bigger plan.

Full report at:

http://www.kuna.net.kw/NewsAgenciesPublicSite/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2176030&Language=en

-------

Turkish company allegedly sells food rations to Libyan forces

June 24, 2011

Food rations belonging to Libyan soldiers with “made in Turkey” labels have been found, al-Jazeera reported Thursday.

Hürriyet Daily News on Friday contacted Unifo, the food manufacturing company that allegedly sold rations to the Libyan government.

Unifo officials refrained from making any comments on the subject and said they would issue a press statement later on Friday.

Company officials said their main business was the manufacturing of durable food supplies and said they exported their goods to foreign countries.

The markings on rations showed they were manufactured as early as March 2011.

The Turkish foreign ministry said Thursday they had no information regarding a Turkish company selling food rations to the Libyan government since the United Nations Security Council sanctions were imposed on March 17.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkish-company-allegedly-sells-food-rations-to-libyan-forces-2011-06-24

-------

Islamophobe Geert Wilders acquittal in hate speech case flayed

Jun 23, 2011

AMSTERDAM: The boundaries of free speech in Europe widened Thursday after a Dutch court acquitted politician Geert Wilders of inciting hatred against Muslims when he compared Islam with Nazism and called for a ban on the Holy Qur’an.

Groups that filed the complaints that led to Wilders’ prosecution were disappointed with Thursday’s ruling. “What surprises me is that the judge says that what’s permissible is determined by the context of the societal debate,” said Aydin Akkaya, chairman of Council of Turks in the Netherlands. “In other words, if you just find a ‘context’ you can go nuts.”

Mohamed Rabbae, chairman of the moderate National Moroccan Council, said the case has gone as far as it can in the Dutch courts and the battle will switch to another venue.

“We will go to the UN Committee for Human Rights in Geneva. The suit will be directed against the government of the Netherlands for not protecting ethnic minorities against racism and discrimination,” he said in an e-mail.

The court found that Wilders was “at the edge of what’s legally permissible” when he described the threat Islam allegedly poses to Dutch culture as “a fight going on and we must arm ourselves.” “This has an inciting character,” Van Oosten said. But because the lawmaker later added that he has no objections to Muslims who integrate and accept Dutch values, judges ruled he had not crossed the line.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article460512.ece

-------

Seized phone of Osama Bin Laden's Pakistani courier offers clues  

CARLOTTA GALL, PIR ZUBAIR SHAH and ERIC SCHMITT

Jun 24, 2011

ISLAMABAD: The cellphone of Osama bin Laden's trusted courier, which was recovered in the raid that killed both men in Pakistan last month, contained contacts to a militant group that is a longtime asset of Pakistan's intelligence agency, senior American officials who have been briefed on the findings say.

The discovery indicates that Bin Laden used the group, Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen, as part of his support network inside the country, the officials and others said. But it also raised tantalizing questions about whether the group and others like it helped shelter and support Bin Laden on behalf of Pakistan's spy agency, given that it had mentored Harakat and allowed it to operate in Pakistan for at least 20 years, the officials and analysts said.

In tracing the calls on the cellphone, American analysts have determined that Harakat commanders had called Pakistani intelligence officials, the senior American officials said. One said they had met. The officials added that the contacts were not necessarily about Bin Laden and his protection and that there was no "smoking gun" showing that Pakistan's spy agency had protected Bin Laden.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Seized-phone-offers-clues-to-Osama-Bin-Ladens-Pakistani-links/articleshow/8972964.cms

-------

Army splits political parties in Islamabad

By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury in Islamabad

PAKISTAN politics is entering a new phase, what with veterans from two top parties launching verbal attacks on each other over the country’s army.

Pitted against each other are President Asif Ali Zardari from Pakistan People’s Party ( PPP) and the country’s two- time PM Nawaz Sharif from the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz ( PML- N).

Pakistan’s Geo News reported that the mudslinging has reached such a level that members of PML- N have decided not to attend the reception being hosted for MPs by PPP’s chief whip.

The decision, it seems, is a mark of protest against Zardari’s Tuesday onslaught against Sharif — he called the former PM a “ maulvi” ( cleric) who was helping to strengthen extremists and following the politics of the late military ruler Zia- ul- Haq — at a public gathering in Naudero. Zardari had slammed Sharif for his recent statements against the army and intelligence agencies and called them attempts to pit the government against the armed forces.

The PML- N retaliated in a press release on Wednesday, saying Zardari’s attack on the former PM had actually damaged the President’s own image. The party also blamed the PPP for the country’s economic woes, but in fact, it’s the army that the two parties are divided over.

Full report at: Mail Today

-------

India: VHP opposes release Khalil Chishty opposed

June 23, 2011

LOKPAL SETHI

Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists on Thursday opposed the release of Pakistani national, virologist Khalil Chishty, undergoing life term at Ajmer for his involvement in a murder case. They held protests at Ajmer and said that Chishty should not be released and allowed to go to Pakistan unless Pakistan agrees to release Indian prisoner Sarabjit, who was wrongly awarded death sentence.

Last week, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had written to Governor Shivraj Patil to pardon him on humanitarian grounds.

According to official sources, Patil, after getting legal opinion, sought some clarifications from the Home Department before forwarding the case of Chishty to the Centre for release.

Khalil Chishty and his family originally belong to Khadim community of Ajmer but migrated to Pakistan after partition of the country.

He studied at Edinburgh University and was a professor of virology at Karachi University.

He came to Ajmer in March 1992 to meet his relatives. Khalil Chishty and three of his cousins had an altercation with their other relatives over some property. In the violent group clashes which followed, one Idris was killed. Chishty and three of his cousins were arrested.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/347901/Proposal-to-release-Khalil-Chishty-opposed.html

-------

Pak Rangers attend fair along J&K border

Jun 24, 2011

Away from diplomatic subtleties, which would have marked foreign secretary level talks at Islamabad, Indo-Pak bonhomie in its traditional mode was at display on Thursday at no man’s land and also both the sides of International Border during annual Chamliyal fair in Ramgarh sector of Samba district.

Around 1.5 lakh people from Indian side, as per official statistics provided by IG BSF Jammu Frontier S. Chattopadhayay, participated in the fair organised annually in the memory of a Hindu saint Baba Dalip Singh Manhas, revered as Baba Chamliyal, by the people of both India and Pakistan. While around 2 lakh people gathered in Saidawali village of Pakistan on the other side of Zero Line curiously watching the proceedings on this side. They were however not allowed to cross Zero Line.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/india/pak-rangers-attend-fair-along-jk-border-236

-------

Lashkars face threats as they aid army against Taliban

June 24, 2011

PESHAWAR: Dilawar Khan often gets phone calls that would fill others with dread — threats from the Pakistani Taliban to behead him. He gives his usual response: Not if he kills them first.

Khan, leader of a Pashtun tribal militia, joined forces with Pakistani security forces in 2008 to help them battle a rising tide of militancy. He has lost 82 fighters and barely survived numerous assassination attempts but still stands up to militants bent on toppling the government.

But like other militia leaders, Khan feels abandoned by the state, which promised him funding and moral support, and he even speaks of switching sides.

“It feels like the government just threw us in the ocean to fend for ourselves,” said Khan, a round-faced, stern-looking man wearing traditional baggy trousers and tunic.

Pakistan can’t afford to lose friends like Khan. It has come under enormous US pressure step up its fight against groups like the Taliban and al Qaeda since Osama bin Laden was found and killed in Pakistan last month.

Islamabad may have to succumb to US demands to open a risky new front against militants in North Waziristan to confront dangerous groups who cross the border to attack American troops in Afghanistan. The US has accused Pakistan of backing some of the most dangerous groups, rather than confronting them, but Pakistan has repeatedly denied these allegations.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/194771/lashkars-face-threats-as-they-aid-army-against-taliban/

-------

Pakistan: Rangers Savvy lawyer tries to buy more time but judge says ‘no’

By Zeeshan Mujahid

June 24, 2011

KARACHI: Lawyers usually complain that courts delay cases over technicalities — but on Thursday it was this very tactic that a seasoned lawyer used himself before the judge who is hearing the Sarfraz Shah murder case against the Rangers.

That lawyer was M R Sayed, known as one of the coolest and sharpest criminal lawyers in Karachi at least. He is now defending Inspector Bahaur Rahman, one of the Rangers men charged with the daylight murder of 22-year-old Sarfraz Shah in the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto park on June 8. “I need more time to go through the case,” he asked Judge Bashir Khoso of the anti-terrorism court I on Thursday. He said that he was only approached by Rahman’s brother the previous night and needed time to go through the documents.

M R Sayed brought up another point, which may play out in subsequent hearings. He told the judge that charges could be framed or brought up until seven days had passed from the time the copies of the case are provided to the accused to prepare their defence. This condition is laid down in Section 265C of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). M R Sayed insisted on having at least five more days.

But, Judge Khoso reminded him that he was bound by the directions of the Supreme Court that wanted a swift trial with no delays.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/195167/sarfraz-shah-murder-case-savvy-lawyer-tries-to-buy-more-time-but-judge-says-no/

-------

US military warns Obama troop drawdown plan 'risky'

June 24, 2011

WASHINGTON: The US military warned on Thursday that President Barack Obama’s unexpectedly faster drawdown in Afghanistan created new risks, even as commanders said they backed the strategy to start winding down the unpopular, nearly decade-old war.

General David Petraeus, the top US commander in Afghanistan, said Obama’s plan to withdraw nearly a third of the roughly 99,000 US troops in Afghanistan by the end of next summer was a “more aggressive formulation” than he had recommended.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, went further.

“The president’s decisions are more aggressive and incur more risk than I was originally prepared to accept,” Mullen told a House of Representatives committee hearing in his first comments on Obama’s plan.

Mullen later said the risks were still manageable and would not jeopardise the overall military mission. But analysts said the risks of failure might be rising as the US withdrew despite a stubborn Taliban enemy, rampant corruption and persistent militant safe havens in Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/195351/us-military-warns-obama-troop-drawdown-plan-risky/

-------

Pakistan must be part of Afghan peace process: US

Jun 24, 2011

WASHINGTON: Pakistan must be a part of the Afghan peace process, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Congress on Thursday while announcing that senior Afghan, Pakistani and American officials would meet next week for further talks on this issue.

But the outgoing Defence Secretary Robert Gates said that success was possible in the war in Afghanistan even if Pakistan failed to fully cooperate in countering militants along its border.

In an interview to the AFP news agency, Mr Gates said that “some positive steps” by Pakistan were needed but “as long as the picture stays mixed like that, that we can be successful”.

In her opening remarks before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary Clinton disclosed that the United States had also included Iran in the peace process.

US Special Representative Marc Grossman was leading an active diplomatic effort to build support for a political solution to the Afghan war, she said.

“What we call the Core Group — Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States — has met twice and will convene again next week,” Mrs Clinton said, without saying where this group would meet.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/24/pakistan-must-be-part-of-afghan-peace-process-us.html

-------

French troops to leave Afghanistan on US timeline

Jun 24, 2011

France will pull its 4,000 troops out of Afghanistan on the same staggered timetable as the US withdrawal.

PARIS: France will pull its 4,000 troops out of Afghanistan on the same staggered timetable as the US withdrawal, President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday, helping pave the way for drawdowns by other allies.

Sarkozy's announcement comes just hours after President Barack Obama said the United States planned to begin bringing troops home this summer. France's withdrawal will take place in coordination with allies and Afghan officials and "in a proportional manner comparable to the withdrawal of American troops," Sarkozy's office said.

Obama announced an initial drawdown of 10,000 troops in two phases with 5,000 troops coming home this summer and 5,000 more by the end of the year. An additional 20,000-plus are to follow by September 2012.

German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle welcomed Obama's announcement, saying his country shares the goal of reducing the German contingent of 4,900 at the end of this year. However, Germany has not yet settled on details.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/French-troops-to-leave-Afghanistan-on-US-timeline/articleshow/8965653.cms

-------

Britain in peace talks with Taliban, says foreign secy

Jun 24, 2011

Britain is involved in talks with the Taliban, foreign secretary William Hague said, days after the US revealed it was in negotiations to end the Afghan war. "Contacts do take place, but this is an Afghan-led process and Britain will assist and facilitate," Hague told a news conference in Islamabad.

"Britain is connected to those events but I don't want to say any more than that. Any such contacts in any case are at a very preliminary stage," he said. Afghan president Hamid Karzai said on Saturday that the US was holding talks with the Taliban.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Britain-in-peace-talks-with-Taliban-says-foreign-secy/articleshow/8971386.cms

-------

U.S. troop withdrawal, A good step for Afghanistan: Karzai

Jun 24, 2011

KABUL/Paris: Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday hailed the U.S. troop withdrawal and said it hastened his nation's ability to fend for itself. Also on Thursday, France announced it would pull its 4,000 troops out of Afghanistan.

Afghans meanwhile seemed split over President Barack Obama's announcement.

Some hoped it would reduce violence in a country battered by years of unrest and poverty, while others thought the move could plunge their nation into more chaos as foreign combat forces target a full withdrawal in 2014.

Mr. Karzai described Mr. Obama's decision as “a good step in their favour and in favour of Afghanistan”.

“We thank the international community for the services that they gave to Afghanistan,” he told reporters, adding: “This land only can be and should be built by the hands of its sons.”

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/06/24/stories/2011062465711900.htm

-------

Afghan exit plan with eye on prez polls

Jun 24, 2011

BARACK Obama has opened himself up to claims that he is playing politics with American lives as he vowed to bring more than 30,000 US troops home from Afghanistan just in time for the November 2012 election — despite the reservations of his top generals.

Playing on a national mood made sombre by financial woes at home, the US President declared on Wednesday that it was time to stop spending trillions on wars overseas and focus on rebuilding US infrastructure.

“ America, it is time to focus on nation building here at home,” he stated, adding later: “ Let’s end these wars.” The President laid out a timeline for bringing the 30,000 surge troops home by the summer of 2012, and said he would pull the remaining 70,000 troops out of Afghanistan by 2012.

Americans are siding with him over bringing the troops home — but the decision flies in the face of warnings from the top US and Nato commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, as well as other military officials.

General Petraeus fears that a drawdown that is too quick and too intense could allow militants such as the Taliban to fill the vacuum left by departing US troops, pushing Afghanistan over the brink into the extremism that allowed Osama bin Laden and al- Qaeda to flourish once more.

Full report at: Mail Today

-------

Iran’s TV report: judiciary detains Ahmadinejad’s ally

Jun 24, 2011

TEHRAN: Iran’s judiciary Thursday detained a close ally of the president, another step in a power struggle that is sweeping the Iranian leadership, according to a report on the Iranian state television station.

The TV report said Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh was in custody, and the judiciary pledged to issue a statement.

The arrest was the latest incident in a struggle involving President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the parliament and the powerful Iranian Muslim clergy.

Ahmadinejad is in danger of losing the backing of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters in Iran. Also, Ahmadinejad has been battling his parliament for supremacy, using a series of issues and appointments to promote his position.

Experts say the conflicts are mostly about internal Iranian politics and not about overall policy.

Ismail Kowsari, a lawmaker, told the semiofficial Mehr news agency that Malekzadeh was arrested over financial corruption allegations.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article460174.ece

-------

US Home Land Security asked to investigate use of Islamophobic trainers

By Elham Asaad Buaras

The US Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, was asked to investigate the use of outside trainers who “offer hostile, stereotypical and grossly inaccurate information about Muslims and Islam to the nation’s security personnel.”

The request made in a letter sent on May 23 by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) came after revelations that stereotypes were used as part of a security drill at the Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport.

The Transportation Security Administration personnel used a person “who appeared to be Middle Eastern in descent or Indian/Pakistani” to test screening procedures.

In a statement to The Muslim News CAIR also criticised the Dept of Homeland Security (DHS) for sponsoring a conference which they say hosted “notorious Islamophobe” Walid Shoebat.

Full report at:

http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/paper/index.php?article=5337

-------

Troops enter village near border, say Syrian activists

June 24, 2011

Syrian activists said on Thursday that troops backed by tanks and snipers have entered a village along the Turkish border as the regime expands its crackdown on a pro-democracy movement that has posed the gravest challenge to President Bashar Assad’s rule.

Thousands of Syrian refugees have been flooding into Turkey as the Government tries to crush the 3-month-old uprising. The regime blames foreign conspirators and thugs for the unrest, but the protesters deny any foreign influence in their pro-democracy movement.

The Local Coordinating Committees, which track the Syrian protest movement, said on Thursday that tanks had entered Khirbet al-Jouz and snipers were spotted on rooftops. The group cited residents on the ground in the village.

Syria has banned foreign journalists and restricted local media, making it nearly impossible to independently confirm the accounts.

Full report at:

ttp://www.dailypioneer.com/347881/Troops-enter-village-near-border-say-Syrian-activists.html

-------

Ahmadinejad insists Iran not seeking nuclear bomb

June 24, 2011

Hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted on Thursday that Iran is not seeking to build an atom bomb but defiantly added that should it decide to do so “no one can do a damn thing.”

“When we say we do not want to make bomb it means we do not want to,” Ahmadinejad was quoted by the State television website as saying.

“If we want to make a bomb we are not afraid of anyone and we are not afraid to announce it, no one can do a damn thing,” he said during a ceremony inaugurating a sewage treatment plant in southern Tehran.

Iranian officials have staunchly denied Western suspicions that Tehran’s nuclear enrichment programme is masking a drive for atomic weapons. Parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani last year reiterated the denial by quoting a previous fatwa by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in the Islamic republic’s affairs, which said “using weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear (arms), is haram (forbidden).”

http://www.dailypioneer.com/347879/Ahmadinejad-insists-Iran-not-seeking-nuclear-bomb.html

-------

More FII money to Pak than to India this yr

George Mathew

Jun 24 2011

Mumbai: Whether Dalal Street likes it or not, India is now the worst-performing market in the world as dark clouds have started cluttering the economic, investment and political horizons. Worried foreign institutional investors (FIIs), who came to India in droves last year, have been pulling out funds with such alacrity this year that even a much smaller — and significantly more volatile and unstable — market like Pakistan has got more foreign inflows in the last six months.

Stock market returns in India were at an abysmal level (– 14.18 per cent) this year. Countries like China (– 3.96 per cent return), Indonesia (+10.27 per cent), South Korea (+8.07 per cent), Russia (+2.58 per cent), Brazil (– 5.93 per cent) and Malaysia (+ 4.42 per cent) have fared better than India. On the other hand, developed markets like the US showed a return of +1.93 per cent; Germany +11.5 per cent; France +11.46 per cent; and the UK – 0.97 per cent, according to Morgan Stanley Barra data.

As per figures of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, FIIs have already pulled out $497 million (including GDRs, primary market, stock markets etc) from India from January to June 22 this year. This has come as a big blow to the market which witnessed an inflow of $29.36 billion in the whole of calendar 2010. FIIs took out Rs 14,387 crore (around $3.2 billion) from the secondary market in 2011, bringing the Sensex down from 21,108 on November 5, 2010 to 17,727.49 on June 23, 2011.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/807995/

-------

‘Saleh not coming home soon’

Jun 24 2011

Sanaa: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Saudi Arabia recovering from serious injuries suffered in an attack on his palace earlier this month, is not likely to return home soon, a Western diplomat said on Thursday.

The United States and Saudi Arabia are pushing Saleh to hand over power to his deputy under a Gulf Arab proposal aimed at ending months of unrest that has pushed the impoverished Arab country to the verge of civil war.

Washington and regional ally Riyadh fear that a power vacuum and tribal warfare in Yemen will be exploited by the local wing of al-Qaeda to launch attacks in the Gulf region and beyond.

“We believe he was seriously injured... He is not coming (home) in the coming days, he is not coming (home) soon,” the diplomat told Reuters.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/807924/

-------

For Baghdad’s poor, city garbage brings in the bread

By ASEEL KAMI

Jun 24, 2011

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s leaders hope the country’s still largely untapped oil wealth can one day provide a decent living to its citizens after years of conflict and chaos.

But for 12-year-old Abbas Mohammed and his family, it is used plastic bottles and empty aluminum cans that keep them alive. Mohammed spends his school summer holidays picking through a Baghdad garbage dump so he can sell the discarded items and help support his family.

In the refuse dump near Abbas’s home in the Iraqi capital’s impoverished district of Sadr City, men, women and children swarm over the stinking piles of garbage.

Mohammed, a slim boy dressed in grubby clothes, runs with other children to greet the arrival of trucks carrying fresh rubbish, waiting anxiously for them to unload so they can start raking through the refuse despite the smell and the dirt.

“We earn our living through this garbage,” shrugged Mohammed, holding a big sack and a metal hook.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article460454.ece

-------

Iran in ‘alarming’ breaches of UN sanctions, envoys

Jun 24, 2011

UNITED NATIONS: Western nations on Thursday accused Iran of carrying out “alarming” breaches of UN nuclear sanctions, often with Syria’s aid.

The United States, France and Britain also stepped up demands for the publication of a UN Security Council expert report on Iran sanctions which are being blocked by Russia.

The experts’ report contains “troubling findings” about sanctions violations, said US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.

The experts set out a “complete and alarming” picture of Iran’s violations, said French deputy UN ambassador Martin Briens, who highlighted three new cases of trading in arms and related technology reported since March.

No details of the case were made public at Thursday’s Security Council meeting on the Iran sanctions regime.

Four rounds of UN sanctions have been ordered against Iran over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment. Western nations accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear bomb, while Tehran insists its nuclear drive is for civilian energy.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/24/iran-in-alarming-breaches-of-un-sanctions-envoys.html

-------

Syrian troops storm Turkish border village, refugees flee

Jun 24, 2011

AMMAN: Syrian troops massed near the Turkish border, witnesses said on Thursday, raising tensions with Ankara as President Bashar al-Assad uses increasing military force against a popular revolt.

Hundreds of terrified refugees crossed into Turkey to escape an army assault, witnesses said. Syrian troops stormed the village of Managh, in a rural region just north of the commercial hub of Aleppo, residents said. “I was contacted by relatives from Managh (15 km south of the border). Armoured personnel carriers are firing their machineguns randomly and people are fleeing the village in all directions,” an Aleppo resident said.

Sunni Turkey has become increasingly critical of Assad, from Syria’s Alawite minority, an offshoot of Islam, after previously backing him in his drive to seek peace with Israel and improve relations with the United States. Assad also opened the Syrian market to Turkish goods.

A Turkish Red Crescent official told reporters about 600 Syrians had crossed the border on Thursday morning. “They (refugees) are running in panic. They have seen what happened to their villages,” said one refugee, a farmer from the Jisr al-Shugour area who gave his name as Maan.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\06\24\story_24-6-2011_pg4_2

-------

Afghan endgame: Pakistan prefers to watch and wait on US drawdown

By Kamran Yousaf

June 24, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has ‘serious concerns’ on certain issues concerning US plans for the future of Afghanistan following President Barack Obama’s announcement of a phased withdrawal of 33,000 troops by September 2012.

While Kabul and major world capitals welcomed Obama’s decision, Islamabad offered a guarded response and stopped short of giving any explicit statement.

Instead, the foreign ministry said in a terse statement that Pakistan has “ongoing engagement on issues of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and counter-terrorism”.

“We will have the opportunity to discuss these issues in greater detail when the core group of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US will meet in Kabul early next week,” the statement added.

However, a foreign ministry official admitted that Islamabad has certain reservations about the US plans for the Afghan endgame.

“We are cautious because we want to know more about President Obama’s plans,” the official told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity.

The official said the US president’s deflection of blame for the insurgency in neighbouring Afghanistan on Pakistan did not reflect the facts on the ground. Pakistan is also sore about Washington’s attempts to sideline it in its peace overtures with the Afghan Taliban, he said.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/195295/afghan-endgame-pakistan-prefers-to-watch-and-wait-on-us-drawdown/

-------

Syrian troops storm Turkish border village, refugees flee

Jun 24, 2011

AMMAN: Syrian troops massed near the Turkish border, witnesses said on Thursday, raising tensions with Ankara as President Bashar al-Assad uses increasing military force against a popular revolt.

Hundreds of terrified refugees crossed into Turkey to escape an army assault, witnesses said. Syrian troops stormed the village of Managh, in a rural region just north of the commercial hub of Aleppo, residents said. “I was contacted by relatives from Managh (15 km south of the border). Armoured personnel carriers are firing their machineguns randomly and people are fleeing the village in all directions,” an Aleppo resident said.

Sunni Turkey has become increasingly critical of Assad, from Syria’s Alawite minority, an offshoot of Islam, after previously backing him in his drive to seek peace with Israel and improve relations with the United States. Assad also opened the Syrian market to Turkish goods.

A Turkish Red Crescent official told reporters about 600 Syrians had crossed the border on Thursday morning. “They (refugees) are running in panic. They have seen what happened to their villages,” said one refugee, a farmer from the Jisr al-Shugour area who gave his name as Maan.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\06\24\story_24-6-2011_pg4_2

-------

Afghan endgame: Pakistan prefers to watch and wait on US drawdown

By Kamran Yousaf

June 24, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has ‘serious concerns’ on certain issues concerning US plans for the future of Afghanistan following President Barack Obama’s announcement of a phased withdrawal of 33,000 troops by September 2012.

While Kabul and major world capitals welcomed Obama’s decision, Islamabad offered a guarded response and stopped short of giving any explicit statement.

Instead, the foreign ministry said in a terse statement that Pakistan has “ongoing engagement on issues of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and counter-terrorism”.

“We will have the opportunity to discuss these issues in greater detail when the core group of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US will meet in Kabul early next week,” the statement added.

However, a foreign ministry official admitted that Islamabad has certain reservations about the US plans for the Afghan endgame.

“We are cautious because we want to know more about President Obama’s plans,” the official told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity.

The official said the US president’s deflection of blame for the insurgency in neighbouring Afghanistan on Pakistan did not reflect the facts on the ground. Pakistan is also sore about Washington’s attempts to sideline it in its peace overtures with the Afghan Taliban, he said.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/195295/afghan-endgame-pakistan-prefers-to-watch-and-wait-on-us-drawdown/

-------

US not to keep up aid to Pakistan without change: Clinton

By Huma Imtiaz

June 24, 2011

WASHINGTON: In the filled-to-capacity room at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was subjected to a barrage of questions about Afghanistan and Pakistan at the hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Held barely 12 hours after US President Barack Obama announced his plans to withdraw 10,000 US troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, Secretary Clinton was pressed on the new most important issue: Pakistan.

Secretary Clinton, who described the US-Pakistan relationship as frustrating, said that they were not stepping back from the relationship. But she also said that the US is not prepared to continue the same levels of military aid to Pakistan, unless it sees some changes in the relationship.

“When it comes to our military aid, we are not prepared to continue providing that at the pace we were providing it unless and until we see some steps taken,” Clinton said. She didn’t specify the steps, but stressed it was time for the US and Pakistan to ensure their interests and actions are aligned.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/194915/clinton-us-wont-keep-up-aid-to-pakistan-without-change/

-------

International Security Assistance Force, Pakistan discuss border incident

By Sumera Khan

June 24, 2011

KABUL: A joint Pakistani and International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) assessment of a June 17 border incident at the Ziarat outpost concluded on June 21, despite firing by militants at the outpost during the discussions.

At the meeting, which took place at the outpost between Nangrahar province in Afghanistan and Mohmand Agency where the incident occurred, officials praised the restraint shown by Isaf and Pakistani forces.

While it was confirmed that there had been an inadvertent exchange of fire`, there were no casualties during the incident.

The joint investigation, requested by Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, noted the restraint demonstrated by both sides while acknowledging that policies and procedures need to be improved.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/195280/isaf-pakistan-discuss-border-incident/

-------

Arab Spring costing $500m a week in capital flight

Jun 24, 2011

ROME: Upheaval across the Arab world is causing capital flight of up to $500 million (349 million euros) a week, Jordanian Finance Minister Mohammed Abu Hammour said Thursday at an Arab banking conference in Rome.

"There is capital flight. Five hundred million dollars a week are leaving the Arab world. Tourism is falling, foreign direct investment is falling," Abu Hammour said, pointing to volatility in oil prices as another negative.

"Economic development is lagging. We need to guarantee job opportunities. This is a huge challenge ... We need five million new jobs every year but we have only been able to generate three million jobs a year," he said.

Abu Hammour called for greater economic integration between Arab countries, greater assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises and development of the private sector as ways to improve the economic outlook for the region.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/economy/article460457.ece

-------

Illegals clash with police in Makkah suburb

Jun 24, 2011

MAKKAH: A number of illegal foreigners Wednesday fought officials from three government departments who tried to enter the Housh Bakr area in Al-Mansour Street in Makkah to clear it of thieves and stolen goods, Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper reported on Thursday.

The illegal residents reportedly threw stones at officers from the police, the passport department and the municipality when they entered Housh Bakr.

Makkah Passport Police Capt. Muhammad Al-Hussain told the newspaper that security forces had to intervene to allow the officials to carry out their work.

He said 13 of the foreigners were arrested and handed over to the passport department for deportation.

The spokesman said security forces confiscated more than 60 tons of scrap iron, wood, old furniture and other goods that were then transported to incinerators.

The spokesman said while government representatives were doing their work as part of a campaign to clean the holy city, they were ambushed by a number of illegal Africans.

Al-Hussain said such surprise raids would be organized in all parts of Makkah to purge the city of thieves and illegal foreigners.

The passport police usually launch raids against illegal foreigners this time of the year because many people come from outside to perform Umrah.

Al-Hussain said many Africans who come for Haj or Umrah opt to stay in the Kingdom illegally afterward.

Housh Bakr, a haven for overstayers, is replete with random shops selling stolen goods. Many local residents are from African countries, including Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Cameroon, Somalia and Chad.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article460445.ece

-------

JEDDAH Police deny arrest of another child rapist

By SULTAN AL-TAMIMI

Jun 24, 2011

JEDDAH: Police on Thursday moved quickly to refute reports that claimed another child kidnapper had been arrested in Jeddah.

“Following reports and pictures by some local newspapers and on websites claiming the emergence of a second man accused of kidnapping girls in Jeddah, with published photographs allegedly showing the suspect being arrested by the police in front of his vehicle, Jeddah police would like to clarify to the public that the individual shown is actually a suspected car thief in the Al-Nuzlah district,” police spokesman Lt. Nawaf Al-Bouq said on Thursday.

Al-Bouq’s statement follows reports that claimed a man had been arrested for attempting to kidnap a nine-year-old girl in Al-Nuzlah district of south Jeddah on Wednesday afternoon.

The media reported that when a pedestrian noticed the would-be kidnapper forcing the victim from the sidewalk to his car, he rushed to her aid. The man fled but local residents alerted police, giving them a description of him and his vehicle, the reports claim.

Police tracked him down to the Balad district and after a 15-minute chase caught him, claimed the reports.

According to a police source, the man had an extensive criminal history.

The incident follows the arrest of a schoolteacher in connection with at least 13 kidnappings and brutal rape attacks on little girls since 2008.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article460459.ece

-------

Israel targets Palestinian prisoners after Hamas rejects ICRC's demand

By MOHAMMED MAR’I

Jun 24, 2011

RAMALLAH / JERUSALEM: Israel’s prime minister said Thursday that the government will withhold privileges from Palestinian prisoners because Hamas has rejected a Red Cross appeal to visit a long-held Israeli soldier.

Benjamin Netanyahu did not offer many details. He told a conference, “I stopped that absurd procedure whereby terrorists in Israeli prisons who murdered innocent people register for academic studies. ... There won’t be M.A. students for murder or doctoral candidates for terror,” according to The Associated Press. Earlier Thursday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) asked to visit Sgt. Gilad Shalit, who has been held captive by Palestinian resistance fighters linked to Hamas for five years.

Meanwhile, the Hamas movement on Thursday rejected the demand to provide proof that kidnapped Israel soldier Gilad Shalit is still alive.

Ismail Radwan, a Gaza-based Hamas spokesman, said that his movement “refuses to respond to this call.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article460462.ece

-------

Syria leader’s cousin warns of civil, regional war

23 June 2011

LONDO - Syria could slip into civil war and spark regional conflict if there is no rapprochement between President Bashar al-Assad and an uprising against his autocratic rule, Assad’s dissident cousin said on Wednesday.

Ribal al-Assad, who lives in London, also said religious extremists were hijacking the three-month uprising, and that a corrupt inner circle was manipulating the president into resisting concessions to the protest movement.

“We have to choose. Either we have peaceful transitional change, or we might find ourselves in a regional war. A civil war and a regional war .... It could easily happen,” he told Reuters in an interview in London.

Ribal is the son of Rifaat al-Assad, Bashar’s uncle and a former military commander widely held responsible for crushing an Islamist uprising in 1982 against then president Hafez al-Assad, Bashar’s father. Many thousands of people were killed.

Ribal, 36, denies his father was involved and believes he was framed for what he says were his pro-democracy sentiments. Rifaat turned against the regime in the 1980s and lives in exile, while Ribal campaigns for democratic change from London.

Ribal said Bashar still had allies in the region, such as Iran and the Lebanese Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/June/middleeast_June632.xml&section=middleeast

-------

EU sanctions Iran Revolutionary Guard chiefs over Syria

24 June 2011

The European Union imposed sanctions on three commanders of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, including its chief Mohammad Ali Jafari, accusing them of aiding the crackdown in Syria, the EU’s Official Journal showed on Friday.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/June/middleeast_June661.xml&section=middleeast

-------

Malaysian police detain 75 Indonesian migrants

06/24/2011

Malaysian marine police say they have detained 75 Indonesian illegal immigrants who were trying to sneak out of the country on a boat.

Marine police official Rosman Ismail says 35 Indonesians were caught Thursday after their boat was intercepted off southern Johor state and another 40 were detained the same day onshore.

They were believed heading to Indonesia's Batam island, less than an hour from Johor on a fast boat. Rosman said Friday that 564 illegal Indonesians immigrants have been detained so far this year for trying to sneak out of the country, up sharply from 371 in all of 2010.

The government will launch a two-week amnesty from July 11 to legalize up to 2 million migrants working illegally as construction workers and other menial laborers.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/06/24/malaysian-police-detain-75-indonesian-migrants.html

-------

‘Convince Hamas and we’ll kiss your hand’

June 24, 2011

Members of Israel’s ruling coalition are hailing a “golden opportunity” for rapprochement with Turkey following last year’s Mavi Marmara incident and have even made a promise to all Turkish citizens if Ankara can end Hamas attacks on Israel.

“[We will] kiss the hands of each and every Turk” if Ankara can convince Hamas to sign a peace agreement, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Wednesday.

“Turkey has the right to form its own foreign policy. We respect that. We have no right to tell them not to make contact with different factions. But this must not be a game where everyone loses. Israel must not be sacrificed to develop their relations. If an announcement declaring unity was made today regarding the meeting over Hamas with Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas], then we would be happy. Palestinian unity is in our interests; that way we will know who to engage with [in talks.] We would kiss the hands of each and every Turk if Hamas said they accept the Oslo [Treaty], condemn terror and recognize Israel,” Ayalon said.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=8216convince-hamas-and-we8217ll-kiss-your-hand8217-2011-06-23

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/dar-al-fatwa-rejects-draft-law-protecting-women-against-domestic-violence/d/4902


Loading..

Loading..