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Islamic World News ( 23 Apr 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Deoband Mullahs Furious over Permission for Ph D on Salman Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses”

New Age Islam News Bureau

23 Apr 2012


 Muslim Mob Torches Sudanese Church in Khartoum
•  5,000 girl students graduate at Princess Noura University Riyadh
•  Pakistan: Convert girls choose to go with husbands
•  Disappearances, killings trigger concern in Bangladesh
•  Sri Lanka government orders removal of Dambulla mosque
•  Egypt MPs demand Mufti quit over Jerusalem trip
•  Iran says copying US drone, reveals 'codes'
•  S. Sudan corpses scattered under trees in Heglig
•  136 suicide bombers in Pakistan’s Punjab prisons aggravate security concerns
•  War against terror can't be won sans intellectual’s role: Minister I&B, Pakistan
•  Al-Qaeda wants diplomat swapped for 15 terrorists
•  Strike turns violent in Bangladeshi town of Sylhet
•  Hindu legislator of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party jailed in Pakistan
•  Pak plans to build two N-power plants in Sindh
•  India, Lanka and Maldives take part in joint naval exercises
•  Sudan war planes bomb South Sudan town
•  With Pact, U.S. Agrees to Help Afghans for Years to Come
•  Agni-V launched under NATO pressure: China continues rant
•  Yemen’s ousted leader blasts Arab Spring revolts
•  Iraq aims to revive Baghdad’s ‘lost’ Le Corbusier building
•  As killer gloats in court, Norway shows no anger
•  Lankan expats in Riyadh condemn barring of Muslims from Jumma prayers
•  US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher denied Afghan entry
•  Explosions kill 5 suspected Boko Haram members
•  Clashes kill 12 in Libya
•  11 killed in fresh Karachi violence
•  Bomb kills NATO members in Afghanistan
•  17 Qaeda militants killed in Yemen air raid: Ministry
•  Bahrain protester killed amid F1 security lockdown
•  Musa Gilani to appear for ephedrine case hearing today
•  PPP mounts pre poll offensive with president’s visits
•  Musharraf’s expulsion hits capital roadblock
•  Poverty reduction: UN to support women’s initiatives in Pakistan
•  Energy-starved Pakistan looks to India for electricity
•  Imran Khan calls for both Indo-Pak troops withdrawal from Siachen Glacier
•  Ready to hit Iran if ordered
•  Israel shrugs off impact of Egypt nixing gas deal
•  Israel intercepts ship for weapons search
•  Violence persists in Syria
•  Militants and Politics Bedevil Yemen’s New Leaders
•  Turkish PM Lashes Out at Iraqi Counterpart, Denies Meddling
•  Australian ex-FM calls Karzai 'enormous disappointment'
•  Syrian troops attack Damascus suburb
Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau
Photo: Muslim Mob Torches Sudanese Church in Khartoum

Deoband Mullahs furious over Permission for Ph D on Salman Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses”
New Age Islam News Bureau
23 Apr 2012
Deoband: Mullahs of Deoband are furious over Prabha Rani, a student of Meerut University, being granted permission to do her Ph D on Salman Rushdie’s novel ‘Satanic Verses’. They have demanded central and state governments to take necessary action against the responsible officers on granting permission for Ph D. An Urdu daily published from Delhi, Hamara Samaj, quoted author Kamal Deobandi as saying: “Giving permission of writing a Ph D thesis on a book on which the ‘entire’ Muslim community has been expressing its anguish and central government has banned is like putting fuel on fire.” He demanded from the central Minister Kapil Sibbal and U P CM Akhilesh Yadav to see that the permission is withdrawn at the earliest.
Criticising the research being done on the banned book ‘Satanic Verses’ Maulana Naseem Akhtar Shah Quaisar, National state Vice President of ‘Tanzeem-e-Ulema-e-Hind said, this act of the University has disturbed Meerut’s and its surrounding areas social fabric and there is a fear of communal tension. He said this act of insult of Muslims emotion will not be tolerated at any cost.
President of ‘Bazm-e-Sukhan Dr. Shamim Deobandi was quoted as having said: Playing with the emotions of Muslims has become a fashion now. Muslims are an important part of this country. Majority community should respect its religious emotions. They should also bring to book to the people wanting to hurt Muslim sentiments. “
State Joint Secretary of Majlis-e-Ihraar Maulana Ibrahim Quasmi while expressing his anguish said that in fact ‘Satanic Verses’ is nothing but a much thought after conspiracy to hurt the Muslim feelings. It should immediately be banned. He appealed to Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind and Muslim Personal Law Board along with Milli Council to come forward and demand a ban on the sympathizers of Salman Rushdie, a Muslim hater.

Muslim Mob Torches Sudanese Church in Khartoum
April 23, 2012
A Muslim mob burned a Catholic church in Sudan's capital city, Khartoum, on Sunday.
The church is built on a disputed piece of land, but it's believed the attack is related to ongoing hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan.
South Sudanese living in Khartoum worshipped at the church and witnesses say hundreds of Muslims shouted insults at the southerners before setting the building on fire.
On the same day, warplanes of Khartoum's Islamic regime dropped bombs near a major town in South Sudan, killing a young boy and wounding several others.
The bombing came hours after Sudanese armed forces launched an attack more than six miles inside South Sudan's border. The attacks come just days after the south announced it was pulling its troops from a disputed border town to avoid an all-out war between the two neighbors.
Maj. Gen. Mac Paul, deputy director of military intelligence for South Sudan, said that two MiG 29 jets belonging to Sudan dropped three bombs, one of which exploded in Rubkona market, a major population area.
"The bombing amounts to a declaration of war," Gen. Paul said.
Sudan and South Sudan have been drawing closer to war in recent months over the sharing of oil revenues and a disputed border.
Paul said late Sunday that South Sudan was building up its forces because they think Sudan is also doing the same.
U.S. and international observers fear the two sides are inching towards open warfare.
South Sudan broke away from Sudan in July last year after an independence vote, the culmination of a 2005 peace treaty that ended decades of war that killed more than 2 million people.
Despite the treaty, violence between the two countries has been on the rise.
The Arabic Islamic regime of Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum has targeted the people of the south for religious and ethnic reasons. Most southerners are black Africans and follow Christianity or traditional African religions.

5,000 girl students graduate at Princess Noura University Riyadh
Apr 23, 2012
Princess Hessa Al-Shaalan, wife of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, attended the graduation ceremony of 5,000 girl students of Princess Noura University (PNU) at the university’s conference hall in Riyadh on Saturday evening.
The princess also conferred certificates on the graduates who obtained their doctorate, masters and bachelor’s degrees.
Several prominent figures, including university President Huda Al-Ameel and Ghada Al-Motairy, member of the academic faculty of University of San Diego in California and PNU’s nanotechnology department, addressed the event.
On behalf of the graduates, Hana Al-Sinan thanked the university officials and the teaching staff for giving them an opportunity to join and secure graduation from the world’s largest university for women. A procession of students from different faculties was held on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, Al-Ameel said this year’s graduation ceremony is the first of its kind on the university’s newly opened campus.
“The university represents a benchmark of responsibility in women’s education in the Kingdom, and hence it is our obligation to complete the march toward development initiated by King Abdullah. This is evident in the university’s keenness in concluding partnership agreements with a number of prestigious international universities for developing both academic programs and restructuring some faculties,” she said, adding that the university pursues curricula in line with the requirements of the employment market and introduced specialties that are not available at other Saudi universities.

Pakistan: Convert girls choose to go with husbands
April 23, 2012
ISLAMABAD - Three Hindu girls, who after embracing Islam got married to Muslim boys, announced to live with their husbands and not their families.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday earlier allowed them to decide their future themselves. The girls decided their future at the Registrar Office of the Supreme Court.
The Chief Justice ordered the police officials to provide security to the girls. The court stated that the girls were old enough to make the right decisions themselves. The parents were not happy with the court’s decision and said the statements were not taken in an open court. They also staged protest outside the Supreme Court building. The girls, Faryal (Rinkle Kumari), Hafsa Bibi (Dr Lata) and Haleema Bibi (Asha Kumari) had earlier been allowed to decide whether they want to live with their husbands or their parents.
The three-member bench, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez had ordered the police to provide adequate security to the girls and said that in case of any harm faced by the girls, the police officials will be held responsible for negligence.
The police officials have taken away the girls in high security towards homes of their spouses.
The court had earlier sent Faryal and Hafsa to a shelter home called ‘Panah’ in order to give them time to decide their future without any pressure.
The Bench was hearing a Constitutional petition moved by the Pakistan-Hindu Council.
They are sui-juris and are fully in a position to decide about their future because we feel that they had pressure free atmosphere, inasmuch as, neither of the parties was allowed to meet them, the court said.
Comdr Shaukat, Sain Rakhio Mirani and Dr. Ameer Sheikh, DIGs, Karachi (South), Larkana and Sukkur, respectively, alongwith other police officials, were present in court.
DIG Karachi (South) and DIG Sukkur were directed to take both these ladies in safe custody to the places of their own choice and wherever they want to stay, being sui-juris.
Aasha, who after conversion to Islam is known as Haleema Bibi.
She belongs to District Jacobabad. She is also a sui juris and cannot be compelled to accompany someone against her wishes.
In view of the matter, Sain Rakhio Mirani, DIG Larkana, present in court, is directed to take the said lady in safe custody to the place of her own choice, the court added.
The court has disposed of the case, however, thereafter the police was asked to continue submitting the report about the case fortnightly.
Dr Ramesh Kumar, patron-in-chief Pakistan-Hindu Council, had moved the petition asking for legislation to stop the practice of forced conversion of Hindu girls and the recovery of three females belonging to the Hindu community, including Rinkle daughter of Nandlal (Mirpur Mathello), Dr Lata daughter of Dr Ramesh (Jacobabad) and Asha (Larkana).
The court has sought Federal government’s response about steps being taken regarding legislation to discourage the forced conversion and other related issues being faced by the Hindu community.
– Agencies

Disappearances, killings trigger concern in Bangladesh
April 23, 2012
The mounting incidents of disappearance and mysterious killings in recent times have triggered a wave of anxiety and heightened political tension in Bangladesh.
The higher judiciary has already expressed grave concern over rising disappearances and extrajudicial killings. Rights groups claimed that since January 2010, over 100 persons had “disappeared” and of them 21 had been found dead.
The anxiety and political tension have become more pronounced following the mysterious disappearance of a former lawmaker and opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Organising Secretary M Eliyas Ali, along with his driver last week from Dhaka. Even senior Ministers have expressed their deep concern over such incidents.
Full report at:

Sri Lanka government orders removal of Dambulla mosque
April 23, 2012,
Sri Lanka's government has ordered the removal of a mosque from an area it says is sacred to the country's majority Buddhists.
The order comes two days after Buddhist monks led a crowd trying to storm the mosque in the central town of Dambulla.
Prime Minister DM Jayaratne says the mosque has simply been ordered to relocate to another part of the area.
But the incident has angered senior Muslim politicians.
The BBC's Charles Haviland in Colombo says this statement by the prime minister appears to have been issued in a hurry, a day before the various parties to this religious dispute were due to meet.
Buddhist monks in central Sri Lanka had threatened to demolish the mosque next week if the authorities did not act first. A special meeting to discuss the issue appears to have been convened on Sunday, and this statement was produced.
Full report at:

Egypt MPs demand Mufti quit over Jerusalem trip
Apr 22, 2012
CAIRO: Egypt’s Islamist-dominated parliament on Sunday called on the Mufti to quit after a visit to Jerusalem, stepping up pressure on the state-appointed official over a trip that critics say bestowed recognition of Israeli control of the city.
Mufti Ali Gomaa’s trip to East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, has caused a stir in Egypt and across the Arab region, where he has been criticized for a visit that has revived debate about normalization with Israel.
Gomaa has defended himself, saying his trip was in a personal rather than official capacity and a response to an invitation from Jordan, which lost the city to Israel in 1967 but remains the custodian of its Muslim holy sites. He prayed at the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.
Though Egypt made peace with Israel in 1979, most Egyptians are largely opposed to any normalization between the two countries until they see that Palestinian rights are restored.
Full report at:

Iran says copying US drone, reveals 'codes'
April 23, 2012
Afp, Tehran
An Iranian military commander yesterday said the Islamic republic is building a copy of a US spy drone captured in December 2011 and revealed what he said were "codes" gleaned from unmanned aircraft.
"I am giving you four codes so the Americans understand just how far we have gone in penetrating the drone's secrets," General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guards' aerospatial division, told state television.
The unmanned, bat-winged RQ-170 went down in Iran four months ago, and Iran's gleeful military proudly displayed it on state television apparently intact, though with what appeared to be damage to one of its wings.
Full report at:

S. Sudan corpses scattered under trees in Heglig
Apr 23, 2012,
By Abdelmoneim Abu Edris Ali (AFP) – 2 hours ago 
HEGLIG, Sudan — More than 1,000 South Sudanese troops died during the battle for Sudan's main oilfield of Heglig, the Sudanese armed forces commander said on Monday, as a stench of death filled the air.
"The numbers of killed from SPLM are 1,200," Kamal Marouf said during an address to thousands of troops in the area, from which Southern forces said they had withdrawn at the weekend.
The toll is impossible to verify but an AFP correspondent who accompanied Marouf said the putrid bodies of dead South Sudanese soldiers lay beneath trees which are scattered about the area.
Full report at:

136 suicide bombers in Pakistan’s Punjab prisons aggravate security concerns
April 23, 2012
LAHORE: In the aftermath of a brazen terrorist attack on the Bannu Central Jail last week, all the major prisons in the Punjab province are on a high alert where 136 suicide bombers are being kept. They were arrested before they could blow themselves at different occasions.
What appears to be a stark reminder to the law enforcement agencies, the security arrangements for the main prisons in Punjab province are below-average demanding an immediate review and revamping.
“It’s a psyche of the militants that after one successful operation they tend to replicate in different situations. We have strong indications and some authentic information they may try to target prisons in Punjab,” a senior home department official told The News requesting anonymity.
Full report at:

War against terror can't be won sans intellectual’s role: Minister I&B, Pakistan
Apr 23, 2012
ISLAMABAD (APP): Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Qamar Zaman Kaira Sunday said that struggle against terrorism and extremism can never meet success without enhanced consultation with intellectuals and promotion of book reading culture.
"We are fighting against terrorism administratively but its major aspect that is educational is going unattended. We cannot win this war without addressing this aspect,' said the minister addressing an award distribution ceremony for Best Book Reader of the Year.
The ceremony was attended by huge number of writers and artists including Intizar Hussain, Ghazi Salahuddin, Abdul Qavi Khan, Ataul Haq Qasmi, Asghar Nadeem Syed, Agha Nasir, Professor Fateh Muhammad Malik, Sadia Imam, Naghma Sarwar and Akhtar Waqar Azim, besides dozens others from across the country.
Full report at:

Al-Qaeda wants diplomat swapped for 15 terrorists
Apr 23, 2012
Al-Qaeda has demanded the release of 15 terrorists including six women in Saudi Arabian jails as part of a swap deal to free diplomat Abdullah Al-Khalidi, local daily Al-Watan reported yesterday.
The Saudi Embassy and Yemeni authorities have been tying to pinpoint the location and secure the release of Deputy Consul Al-Khalidi since he was abducted in Aden on March 28.
The six women terrorists Al-Qaeda wants to be released are Haila Al-Qusayyir, Najwa Al-Saedi, Arwa Baghdadi, Hanan Samkari, Najla Al-Rumi and Haifa Al-Ahmadi.
Others in the list include Faris Al-Zahrani, Nassir Al-Fahd, Abdul Kareem Al-Homaid, Abdul Aziz Al-Towailaei, Sulaiman Al-Olwan, Waleed Al-Sinani, Ali Al-Khodair, Muhammad Al-Soqabi and Khalid Al-Rahshid, an informed source told the local daily.
Full report at:

Strike turns violent in Bangladeshi town of Sylhet
23 April 2012
The BNP has held protests across the length and breadth of Bangladesh
One person has been killed and at least 20 injured as thousands of people protested over a politician's disappearance in the Bangladeshi city of Sylhet, police have said.
Protesters armed with sticks and stones stormed a police station and vandalised government offices, police say.
Demonstrators are angry at the disappearance of opposition leader Ilias Ali.
The violence comes during a general strike called by the opposition.
Mr Ali's car was found abandoned in the capital, Dhaka, on Tuesday night.
Correspondents say that Mr Ali, a regional head of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), is the highest profile opposition politician to have "disappeared" since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Awami League party assumed power in January 2009.  Full report at:

Hindu legislator of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party jailed in Pakistan
Apr 23, 2012,
ISLAMABAD: A Hindu legislator of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party was on Monday given a one-year prison term by a court in northwest Pakistan after being convicted for possessing a fake BA degree.
Kishore Kumar, a member of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, was arrested from the courtroom after Session Judge Shahjahan Khan declared his degree was fake.
Besides giving Kumar a one-year prison term, Judge Khan ordered him to pay a fine of Rs 15,000.
The legislator was produced in the court at Dera Ismail Khan amidst strict security.
Kumar was made a member of the provincial assembly in a seat reserved for minority communities after the 2008 polls.
Later, his BA degree from Gomal University was declared fake by the Election Commission.
Full report at:

Pak plans to build two N-power plants in Sindh
Apr 23, 2012,
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan plans to build two coastal nuclear power plants with a capacity of 1,000 MW each in the southern port city of Karachi to meet the future energy needs of the financial hub, according to a media report on Monday.
"The presidency and general headquarters are showing great interest in the projects which will have substantial allocations in the next budget," an unnamed Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission official was quoted as saying by The News.
The military leadership has been briefed about the project and the presidency too is showing interest in the coastal nuclear power projects, the official said.
"Due to this reason, we are seeking major allocations in the public sector development plan for 2012-13," the official said.
Full report at:

India, Lanka and Maldives take part in joint naval exercises
Apr 23, 2012,
COLOMBO: With international piracy extending its tentacles to Indian Ocean, Coast Guards of India, Sri Lanka and Maldives are taking part in a joint exercise off the coast of Male, aimed at achieving inter-operablity.
Six warships are taking part in the five-day exercises code named 'Dosti XI'. Indian Coast Guard ships 'Sankalp' and 'Subhadra' are participating in the war games, while 'Huravee', 'Ghazee' and 'Shaheed Ali' of the Maldivian National Defence Force represent the Maldivian Coast Guard.
Full report at:

Sudan war planes bomb South Sudan town
Apr 23, 2012,
BENTIU, SOUTH SUDAN: Sudanese war planes on Monday launched a fresh bombing raid on Bentiu, capital of the oil-rich South Sudan border state of Unity, killing at least one child, officials said.
"This is a serious escalation, and a violation of the territory of South Sudan... I think it is a clear provocation," Mac Paul, the South's deputy director of military intelligence said.
"The bridge and the market were bombed... We are sending teams to investigate how many people died in the attacks."
Bombs targeting a key bridge in the town landed some 50 metres away from an AFP reporter. In the market, stalls were on fire and large plumes of grey smoke rose high into the air, as screaming civilians ran in panic.
Full report at:

With Pact, U.S. Agrees to Help Afghans for Years to Come
April 22, 2012
KABUL, Afghanistan — After months of negotiations, the United States and Afghanistan completed drafts of a strategic partnership agreement on Sunday that pledges American support for Afghanistan for 10 years after the withdrawal of combat troops at the end of 2014.
The agreement, whose text was not released, represents an important moment when the United States begins the transition from being the predominant foreign force in Afghanistan to serving a more traditional role of supportive ally.
By broadly redefining the relationship between Afghanistan and the United States, the deal builds on hard-won new understandings the two countries reached in recent weeks on the thorny issues of detainees and Special Operations raids. It covers social and economic development, institution building, regional cooperation and security.
Full report at:

Agni-V launched under NATO pressure: China continues rant
April 23, 2012
Continuing its tirade against the successful launch of Agni-V, Chinese state media accused New Delhi of buckling under NATO pressure to cut down the missile's range from 9000 km to 5000 km.
The state-run Global Times which derided the missile even before it was launched saying that Chinese nuclear power is "stronger and more reliable and India had no chance" to catch up said on Sunday in yet another scathing write-up that "India has little to celebrate" as China has raced ahead and outclassed India in development.
"The Manmohan Singh government, because of pressure from NATO member countries, has kept a slow pace with their Integrated Guided Missile Programme (IGMP).
"The Agni-V is deemed to be in its final stage, whereas in fact the IGMP ought to have progressed to develop a range of 9,000 km," it said in the write-up posted on its web edition on Sunday night.
Full report at:

Yemen’s ousted leader blasts Arab Spring revolts
Apr 22, 2012
SANAA, Yemen: Yemen’s deposed leader says the Arab Spring revolts that swept the region last year brought “destruction” to the nations in which they took place.
Ali Abdullah Saleh say Yemen’s own yearlong revolt cost billions of dollars in lost revenues.
Saleh also criticized what he said was “biased” implementation of the power-transfer deal that saw him step down in February, and said it could ignite a new crisis. This was an apparent response to new President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s moves to purge the security forces of the ex-leader’s loyalists.
Saleh’s Saturday night comments came in an address to university graduates and were reported by aides who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Iraq aims to revive Baghdad’s ‘lost’ Le Corbusier building
23 April 2012
Designed by the famed architect Le Corbusier, built under Saddam Hussein then forgotten: such was the fate of a gym in Baghdad that Iraq now wants, with the help of France, to restore to its former stature.
Baghdad Gymnasium was commissioned in 1957 by an Iraq that was then open and rich in oil - AFP
Located in the east of the capital, the massive concrete structure has surprisingly withstood the decades of war, internecine fighting and sanctions that have hit the country.
Full report at:

As killer gloats in court, Norway shows no anger
23 April 2012
You would have forgiven Norwegians for showing more outrage against confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.
When he walks in to court flashing a right-wing salute. When he testifies effortlessly about killing their children, brothers and sisters as if they were flies. When he calls his teenage victims traitors who deserved to die for their political views.
The subdued atmosphere during the trial of a right-wing fanatic who confessed to slaughtering 77 people on July 22 reflects Norway’s almost self-punishing efforts to avoid feelings of vengeance against the unrepentant gunman.
“This is the Norwegian way,” said Trond Henry Blattmann, whose 17-year-old son was among the 69 people killed in Breivik’s shooting massacre on Utoya island. “We need to carry this out in a dignified manner. If people were shouting and screaming this would be a circus and not a trial. We don’t want it to be a circus.”
Like other Scandinavians, Norwegians are not prone to express their emotions out loud. But the good behavior of the crowd inside courtroom 250 has surprised even some local observers.
Full report at:

Lankan expats in Riyadh condemn barring of Muslims from Jumma prayers
Apr 22, 2012
Sri Lankan expatriates in the Kingdom yesterday condemned a protest at a mosque in the Sri Lankan city of Dambulla where worshippers were barred from performing their Jumma prayers.
A group of Buddhist monks with the support of a large group of hooligans had staged a mass demonstration there.
Syed Hamid, marketing executive in a food supplying company in Riyadh, told Arab News that although this is the work of a few misguided people from the majority community, he found the involvement of the Buddhist clergy really disturbing.
“This is definitely against the teachings of their widely respected spiritual leader Lord Buddha,” Hamid said, adding the inaction of law enforcement forces was also a disappointing factor.
Nihal Gamage, the former president of the Sri Lankan Expatriates Society who is a practicing Buddhist, told Arab News that this was an unfortunate incident engineered by a group of people with vested interests.
Full report at:

US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher denied Afghan entry
23 April 2012
Mr Rohrabacher is renowned for his outspoken views on Afghanistan
A senior US Congressman who is highly critical of the Afghan government has been prevented from entering the country, Afghan officials say.
Officials told the BBC that Dana Rohrabacher had been refused a visa and was prevented from boarding a flight to Afghanistan from Dubai.
He has criticised alleged government corruption and Afghan officials accuse him of undermining national unity.
Analysts say the incident highlights the volatility of US-Afghan relations.
The BBC's Bilal Sarwary in Kabul says this comes at a particularly sensitive time, ahead of a summit in Chicago next month on the future of the country.
The Congressman was stopped in Dubai on Friday as he was leading a delegation to Kabul. Officials say that while the other members of the delegation had visas for Afghanistan, Mr Rohrabacher did not.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was reported to have conveyed a message from President Karzai to the congressman that he would not be welcome in the country.
Full report at:

Explosions kill 5 suspected Boko Haram members
April 23, 2012,
Massive multiple bomb blasts rocked Biu, a town in Borno State, killing five persons and throwing the town into apprehension as many residents had to scamper for safety.
A source said the explosions occurred on Saturday night at a hidden bomb factory during the mixture of chemicals by members of Boko Haram sect.
The source said it was the sound of the explosions that drew officials of the state security to the site of the incident and subsequently led to an exchange of gunfire between the military and the remnants of the sect who were lucky to be spared by the explosions.
Another version of the tale by a different source in Biu town, has it that the multiple blasts went off, after men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) clashed with the suspected Boko Haram gunmen for about half an hour.
The source claimed that the sect's members had to detonate the bombs as they could not withstand the firing powers of the soldiers and that it was perhaps a strategy to prevent all of them from being captured.
Full report at:

Clashes kill 12 in Libya
April 23, 2012
Afp, Tripoli
Fresh fighting between Toubou tribesmen and the national army flared in the Libyan desert town of Kufra overnight leaving up to 12 people dead and scores wounded, local sources told AFP on Saturday.
"Twelve people have been killed and more than 35 have been wounded" since Friday, Toubou tribal leader Issa Abdelmajid Mansur said.
He said his toll drew on reports from two Toubou residential areas.
Mansur said two Toubou neighbourhoods were attacked throughout Saturday by forces linked to the national army, including the Libya Shield brigade, and the military council of Kufra.

11 killed in fresh Karachi violence
April 23, 2012
Bureau Report
KARACHI: Eleven people were killed in the city on Wednesday in a new wave of targeted violence that has claimed 14 lives in the last 24 hours. The violence began late on Tuesday night and sporadic killings continued to take place throughout the day. Many of the casualties occured following attacks on tea stalls.
SHO Kamal Naseem informed The News that two bodies bearing torture marks and stuffed in gunny bags were found on Wednesday morning near the Dental College, Block-M, North Nazimabad. The deceased were identified as Mian Gul, 25, and Sardar Wali, 26. They were ANP activists.
The body of a young man with torture marks was found in Gosht Market, Karimabad, on Wednesday morning. The deceased was identified as Amanullah Baloch, who was working at Pakwan House situated in the Jauharabad area.
Full report at:

Bomb kills NATO members in Afghanistan
23 April 2012
NATO forces say two international service members have been killed in a bomb attack in eastern Afghanistan.
The military coalition says in a statement issued Monday that the deaths happened on Sunday. The statement does not provide nationalities or other details. NATO typically waits for member nations to announce casualties before providing more information.
Most of the international troops in the east are American but their are forces from other NATO nations as well.
The deaths make at least 25 international service members killed so far this month.

17 Qaeda militants killed in Yemen air raid: Ministry
22 APRIL 2012
Seventeen suspected Al Qaeda militants were killed in an air raid that struck one of their hideouts in the southern town of Loder, the Defence Ministry said on Sunday.
The late attack on Sunday brought the number of Islamist insurgents reportedly killed in south Yemen over the past three days to 57, according to the Defence Ministry. AFP could not independently
verify the toll. “17 Al Qaeda terrorists were killed in an air raid that targeted one of their positions southeast of Loder,” The Defence Ministry’s news website 26sep.Net reported.
It was unclear if the strike was carried out by the Yemeni air force or by US drones. On Wednesday, the Washington Post said US drones have carried out eight airs strikes in Yemen in the past four months.
Full report at:

Bahrain protester killed amid F1 security lockdown
22 APRIL 2012
Bahrain’s Opposition reported the first death in protests timed for Sunday’s controversial Grand Prix as a security lockdown was imposed around the Sakhir Formula One circuit and the king said he is committed to reforms.
The body of Salah Abbas Habib, 36, was found in Shakhura village, where security forces had “attacked peaceful protesters, brutally beating some of them with various tools and weapons,” said Al-Wefaq, the Gulf State’s largest Shiite Opposition bloc.
It charged that “security forces killed him one day before the final round of the F1 races hosted by Bahrain,” without saying how he died.
King Hamad said on Sunday that he was committed to reform, after protests rocked villages in the Shiite-majority kingdom ruled by a Sunni dynasty.
In a statement issued a day after Habib’s body was found in the Shiite village in a case the authorities are treating as murder, the monarch said the door was open for talks.
Full report at:

Musa Gilani to appear for ephedrine case hearing today
April 23, 2012
Musa Gilani was in South Africa on a private trip when he was named as an accused in the import of the controlled chemical ephedrine. He returned to Pakistan in the early hours of Sunday after being directed by his father to return and co-operate in the case proceedings.
Furthermore, he is expected to face the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) authorities today and record his statement before them.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had ordered the ANF to conduct a transparent investigation of the case.

PPP mounts pre poll offensive with president’s visits
By Abdul Manan
April 23, 2012
The visits by President Asif Ali Zardari are the official beginning of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)’s Punjab strategy for the next general elections which are under a year away, sources privy to the plan told The Express Tribune.
The PPP’s plan comprises a number of estimations. First, it will look to consolidate its strongholds in Punjab. According to officials, the PPP has 51 directly-elected members of the National Assembly from Punjab.
Here the PPP will up its game politically, with visits by high-level members, including the president himself, and rolling out large chunks of development funds. The projects in these areas will be announced by President Zardari himself, according to sources. In tandem, the prime minister is already actively touring southern Punjab districts.
Full report at:

Musharraf’s expulsion hits capital roadblock
By Zahid Gishkori
April 23, 2012
Officials from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the foreign ministry revealed on Sunday that an extradition treaty between Pakistan and the UK remains ambivalent because the joint judicial team assigned to finalise the accord differed over the likelihood of the ‘death sentence’.
“Capital punishment is the main hurdle now. It is difficult to bring back Musharraf without signing an extradition treaty with the UK,” FIA’s prosecutor Muhammad Azhar Chaudhry told The Express Tribune.
Azhar, who is representing the FIA in Benazir Bhutto’s murder case, revealed that the UK government has expressed reservations over the existence of the death penalty in Pakistani laws.
Full report at:

Poverty reduction: UN to support women’s initiatives in Pakistan
April 23, 2012
Speaking to women entrepreneurs, Inez Wijngaarde, Senior Industrial Development Officer from United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Headquarters in Vienna, lauded the initiatives of the Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) saying the moves are sending very positive signals around the world, a statement of IWCCI said.
Wijngaarde, who is currently visiting Pakistan to review women empowerment initiatives, said economic opportunities must be expanded for women in order to improve the quality of life of people in Pakistan. “We aim at strengthening entrepreneurial and technical skills of women so that they can become more competitive,”she said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2012.

Energy-starved Pakistan looks to India for electricity
By Qaiser Butt
April 22, 2012
Now it’s looking east, to India. Pakistan hopes to import 500 megawatts (MW) from its arch-rival and neighbour, according to Federal Secretary for the Ministry of Water and Power Qazi Imtiaz Ahmed.
Tenders will be issued soon, after the planned deal is formally approved by the federal cabinet, Ahmed told The Express Tribune. He hoped the plan would be approved in the cabinet’s next meeting.
The official said the government aimed to finalise the modalities, tariffs and terms and conditions for the import of power as soon as possible.
“We will invite power supply companies of India for the implementation of the project soon,” he said.
What has already been decided bilaterally is that a 45-kilometre-long, 220 kV line will be constructed within six months of a formal agreement on the project. The agreement will be valid for five years, and will be negotiable for another five years or more.
Full report at:

Imran Khan calls for both Indo-Pak troops withdrawal from Siachen Glacier
23 Apr 2012
Lahore, Apr 23(ANI): Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has called on for the demilitarization of the Siachen Glacier, adding that it is proving to be costly for both India and Pakistan in terms of resources.
Khan, however, stressed that the withdrawal of troops should be from both sides and not unilateral.
He also called for an impartial and free probe into the Bhoja aircrash that killed 127 passengers, the Dawn reports.
Khan also claimed that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was "willing to go down as a political martyr to conceal the president's (Zardari's) corruption."
He added that the only solution to the Balochistan problem was a political one.
Khan also termed his party's public gathering in Quetta as a "record rally", and claimed that they had managed to hoist the Pakistan flag where no other party had managed to do so till now. (ANI)

Ready to hit Iran if ordered
April 23, 2012
Afp, Jerusalem
Israeli forces are carrying out more special operations beyond the country's borders and will be ready to attack Iran's nuclear sites if ordered, the chief-of-staff said in an interview yesterday.
In an extract from an interview with the top-selling Yediot Aharanot daily, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said that 2012 would be a critical year in efforts to halt what Israel and much of the international community believe is an Iranian nuclear arms programme.
"We think that a nuclear Iran is a very bad thing, which the world needs to stop and which Israel needs to stop -- and we are planning accordingly," Gantz said.
"In principle, we are ready to act.
"That does not mean that I will now order (air force chief) Ido (Nehushtan) to strike Iran," he added in the interview which will be published in full on Wednesday, on the eve of Israel's 64th anniversary as a state.
Full report at:

Israel shrugs off impact of Egypt nixing gas deal
Apr 23, 2012,
JERUSALEM — Israel on Monday rushed to downplay the significance of Egypt cancelling its gas export deal with the Jewish state, casting it as a "commercial dispute" with no impact on their diplomatic ties.
"The deal to supply gas is not part of the peace deal, but it is an important commercial deal that was an expression of the stable ties between the states," Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Israeli public radio in an interview from Baku.
"The unilateral cancellation of the deal is not a good sign, and we hope that this dispute will be resolved like any other commercial dispute, without taking it to the political realm," he said.
Full report at:

Israel intercepts ship for weapons search
April 23, 2012
Israel routinely patrols the seas for ships suspected of carrying weapons destined for Palestinian militants. A year ago Israel seized a cargo ship it said held Iranian-supplied arms intended for the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
Israeli military officials, said the ship, the HMS Beethoven and flying a Liberian flag, was seized about 160 miles (260 km) off the Israeli coast, and one source said troops were conducting a “very thorough search of its cargo.”
The ship would be released if nothing “suspicious” is found on board, a military official said.
Full report at:

Violence persists in Syria
April 23, 2012
Syrian soldiers stormed a town east of Damascus on Sunday and rebels bombed a military convoy in the north of the country as international mediator Kofi Annan urged both sides to work with an expanded team of UN ceasefire monitors.
The group of unarmed military monitors has been operating in Syria for a week, overseeing a 10-day-old truce agreement that has curbed some of the violence but failed to bring a complete halt to 13 months of bloodshed.
The UN Security Council agreed on Saturday to expand the mission to a 300-strong observer team, part of Annan's plan to halt the killing and launch a political dialogue between President Bashar al-Assad and opponents seeking his downfall.
Annan said the council's decision was a "pivotal moment in the stabilisation of the country" after more than a year of turmoil in which more than 9,000 people have been killed.
Full report at:

Militants and Politics Bedevil Yemen’s New Leaders
April 22, 2012
CAIRO — Two months after a new president took office, Yemen’s fledgling interim government has found itself overwhelmed by a set of dangerous new challenges to the country’s stability, including a series of a bold attacks by a resurgent militant movement in the south and a festering political standoff in the capital.
In the last few weeks, the new president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, has faced open defiance after he tried to dismiss or reassign officials loyal to his predecessor, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who ruled Yemen for 33 years. In the south, hundreds of people have been killed in clashes that intensified after insurgents attacked an army base and seized heavy weapons, including tanks.
A military officer in Lawdar, one of the centers of the fighting, said that soldiers had not been able to recapture an army base that they were forced to abandon after an attack by the militants in early April. “The situation is now out of control,” said the officer, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media.
Full report at:

Turkish PM Lashes Out at Iraqi Counterpart, Denies Meddling
April 22, 2012
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday rejected charges he sought to inflame sectarian divisions in Iraq with recent criticism of its government and accused his Iraqi counterpart of trying to gain "prestige" in an escalating war of words between the neighbors.
The row heated up on Thursday when Erdogan accused Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of acting "self-centered" and inciting tensions between the country's Shi'ites, Sunnis and Kurds amid a constitutional crisis in Baghdad.
Maliki in turn branded Turkey a "hostile state" and said Erdogan's remarks "represent another return to flagrant interference in Iraqi internal affairs," according to a statement on his website on Friday.
"We don't differentiate between Sunnis or Shi'ites. Arab, Kurd or Turkmen, they are all our brothers," Erdogan told reporters in comments reported by the NTV news channel.
Full report at:

Australian ex-FM calls Karzai 'enormous disappointment'
Apr 18 2012,
Sydney : Australia's longest-serving foreign minister today declared that Hamid Karzai had been an "enormous disappointment" as Afghan president, describing him as weak and misleading.
Alexander Downer, who was foreign minister when Canberra committed troops to the decade-long conflict in Afghanistan, said Western powers had "solidly backed" Karzai's ascension but he had let them down.
"I am sorry to say that President Karzai has been an enormous disappointment," Downer, who was in the post from 1996 to 2007, told The Australian newspaper.
"As it turns out, he is a weak leader and he is also an exclusive leader -- he doesn't include enough people and enough tribes in what is essentially a very tribal sort of
"I honestly don't think he has helped the situation."
The scathing remarks come just one day after Australia announced that it was bringing most of its troops home from Afghanistan in 2013, a year ahead of schedule.
Full report at:

Syrian troops attack Damascus suburb
22 APRIL 2012
Syrian troops stormed and shelled districts in a suburb of the capital Damascus on Sunday, activists said, a day after the Security Council voted to expand the number of UN truce monitors from 30 to 300 in hopes of salvaging an international peace plan marred by continued fighting between the military and rebels.
An eight-member team is already on the ground in Syria, and since Thursday has visited flashpoints of the 13-month-long conflict. Fighting generally temporarily stops when the observers visit an area, but there has been a steady stream of reports of violence from towns and regions where they have not yet gone.
“This UN observers thing is a big joke,” said Mohammed Saeed, an activist in the sprawling Damascus suburb of Douma, which came under fire from regime troops on Sunday. “Shelling stops and tanks are hidden when they visit somewhere, and when they leave, shelling resumes.”
His comments reflect a widespread lack of faith among many Syrians in international envoy Kofi Annan’s cease-fire plan for ending the violence in Syria and launching talks between President Bashar Assad and those trying to oust him. Syria’s opposition and its Western supporters suspect Assad is largely paying lip service to the truce since full compliance — including withdrawing troops and heavy weapons from populated areas and allowing peaceful demonstrations — could quickly sweep him from power.
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