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Islamic World News ( 2 Apr 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Don’t Fall Prey to Communal Agenda, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Appeals Muslims

New Age Islam News Bureau

02 April 2022


Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind. (Photo | Photo\Twitter,@JamiatUlama_in)


• Israel and UAE Conclude Free Trade Agreement

• Taliban Hoist Giant Flag in Kabul, Eight Months after Return to Power in Afghanistan

• Islamophobic Dutch Group Plans Provocative Barbecues Featuring the Roasting Of Pork Near Mosques

• US Launches Satellite TV Channel for Afghanistan after Taliban Bans VOA Broadcast


• Telangana Govt Permits Muslim Employees to Leave Early During Ramzan

• ‘What Happened Is Past’, There Is No Better Feeling than To See Peaceful Ambience in the Surroundings”: Imam Imdadullah Rashidi Who Lost Son To Violence

• Karnataka: Belur temple board asks Muslim vendor to go

• Lashkar terrorist killed, Army duo wounded in Shopian encounter

• Ambedkar chose Buddhism over Islam, Christianity since its closest to Constitution: Goa BJP leader


Arab World

• UN Says 100 Children Missing From Syria Jail Attacked By ISIS

• Amid tough Ramadan conditions, Lebanese will pray in mosques by candlelight

• Syrian refugees set to spend yet another Ramadan away from home

• Saudi-led coalition, Ansarullah welcome UN-brokered truce: Report

• Northern Syrians to greet 3rd terrorist-free Ramadan, thanks to Turkiye

• Qur’an recital, call to prayer competitions to air on first day of Ramadan


South Asia

• Pakistan, Taliban exchange protest notes amid tension along Durand Line

• Blasts kill five, wounded 22 in western Herat province

• Khalilzad, Bajwa discuss Afghanistan, regional stability

• New Zealand, Australia announces $6M and $40M respectively for Afghanistan



• IMF working with Egypt, Tunisia to offset effects of Russia-Ukraine war

• In call with Putin, Erdogan calls for common sense, dialogue: Turkish presidency

• Albania charges Iranian man for alleged terror links


North America

• US ‘Clearly Distanced’ Itself from Pakistan, Says Former Military Chief Mike Mullen

• US president wishes Muslims 'Ramadan Kareem'

• New York Muslims Voice Concern over Times Square's First Tarawih Prayers

• US citizen, lawful resident released by Taliban in Afghanistan: State Department

• Biden sends ‘warmest greetings’ to Arabs in US at start of Arab American Heritage Month

• Pakistan summons US envoy over Washington’s meddling in internal affairs

• Zalmay Khalilzad offers to help better Pak-US ties



• Emir Tanzeem-e-Islami Pakistan: ‘Muslim States Should Recognise Taliban Govt’

• Pakistan journalist asks 'why invite US to OIC moot if received threat'

• Imran hails India’s independent foreign policy centred on people

• Pakistan PM’s party takes lead in local govt polls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

• PM Imran says 'establishment' gave him three options: resignation, no-confidence vote or elections

• Tehreek-i-Insaf stages rallies against US, dissident lawmakers



• IRGC Warns Rigid, Devastating Response to Enemy's Slightest Mistake

• President Rayeesi: People’s Livelihood Never Tied to Vienna Talks

• FM Stresses Broadening of Iran-China Economic Ties

• Iran Commemorates Islamic Republic Day

• President Rayeesi: Iran Hosting 4mln Afghans

• Iran Sends over 30 Humanitarian Aid Shipments to Afghanistan

• Two-month ceasefire agreed in Yemen: UN envoy

• Israeli troops kill 3 Palestinians in West Bank gun battle


Southeast Asia

• Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Iftar Program Launched In Philippines

• Indonesian agents shouldn’t charge over RM8, 000 to send maids, says envoy

• Muhyiddin wants my help to become PM again, says Dr M



• Ramadan: Buhari Sends Message To Muslims, Nigerians

• Ramadan: Lawan felicitates with Muslim Ummah in Nigeria

• Tunisia president: ‘There will be no single way to resolve political crisis’

• Tunisia's anti-terror unit summons ex-speaker for questioning

• Sudan to use military force to maintain security in South Darfur

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Don’t Fall Prey to Communal Agenda, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Appeals Muslims


Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind. (Photo | Photo\Twitter,@JamiatUlama_in)


02nd April 2022

BENGALURU: The Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind has appealed to members of their community not to fall prey to communal agenda following messages on social media calling Muslims to purchase items during Ramadan only from Muslim traders amid boycotts of Muslim vendors near temples.

The Karnataka Chapter of the organisation has warned their community against fake news on WhatsApp and other social media platforms urging Muslims to purchase only from Muslim traders during Ramadan which begins on Sunday.

Mufti Iftekhar Ahmed Qasmi, president of Jamiat Ulama, has said that Muslims should not discriminate based on religion.  “As responsible citizens, you should investigate the authenticity of all messages before forwarding,’’ Qasmi said, adding, “We need to avoid sharing provocative messages circulating on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.’’

He said, “We must be alert and understand that these messages are part of a conspiracy by individuals with a malicious agenda. These messages are not issued by any Muslim organization or religious leadership and do not reflect the popular sentiment of the Muslims.”

Source: New Indian Express

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Israel and UAE Conclude Free Trade Agreement


Economy Minister Orna Barbivai (r) signs the Israel-UAE free trade agreement in Jerusalem with Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade (Gideon Sharon/GPO)


01 April, 2022

Israel and the United Arab Emirates have concluded negotiations for a free trade agreement, Israel’s Economy Ministry and the UAE foreign trade minister said on Friday, after formally establishing ties in 2020.

The trade agreement includes 95 percent of traded products, which will be customs free, immediately or gradually, including food, agriculture and cosmetic products, as well as medical equipment and medicine, the Israeli Economy Ministry said in a statement.

The agreement included regulation, customs, services, government procurement and electronic trade and will come into effect when signed by the countries’ economy ministers and ratified, the statement said, though no timetable was given.

The UAE and Israel formally established relations in 2020 as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords that also included Bahrain and Morocco.

“This milestone deal will build on the historic Abraham Accords and cement one of the world’s most important and promising emerging trading relationships,” United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani al-Zeyoudi said on Twitter.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Taliban Hoist Giant Flag In Kabul, Eight Months After Return To Power In Afghanistan


Taliban Hoist Giant Flag in Kabul, Eight Months after Return to Power in Afghanistan


April 1, 2022

The Taliban raised a giant white flag of their movement on a hill overlooking the Afghan capital Thursday in a ceremony held nearly eight months after they returned to power.

Several hundred Taliban, many armed, attended the ceremony presided over by Abdul Salam Hanafi, a deputy prime minister, on the hill in Wazir Akbar Khan, near the mostly deserted diplomatic enclave in Kabul.

Measuring 40 metres (130 feet) wide and 26 metres high, the white flag is decorated with the Islamic profession of faith in black letters.

Some of those in attendance showed their joy by touching or grabbing the flag before it was raised.

"Today, a flag has been hoisted which is the flag of independence, peace and brotherhood, and the symbol of the rules of the Islamic system," said Hanafi.

"It is not the flag of the Taliban or the mullahs, it is the flag of the whole nation that has made sacrifices. This flag belongs to the whole of Afghanistan."

The Afghan national flag had been a black, red and green vertical tricolour with the national emblem overlaid in white, but the Taliban have ordered all government departments to display the white standard instead.

After returning to power in August, the Taliban promised a softer version of the harsh rule that characterised their first stint in power from 1996 to 2001, but restrictions have crept back -- often implemented regionally at the whim of local officials.

The flag-raising comes a week after the Taliban shut down all girls' secondary schools just hours after they allowed them to reopen for the first time since August.

In recent days, they have also barred women from flying unless accompanied by a male relative, and decreed men and women cannot visit parks in the capital on the same days.

Women are increasingly being shut out of public life -- barred from most government jobs, and ordered to dress according to the Taliban's strict interpretation of the Koran.

Source: India Today

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Islamophobic Dutch Group Plans Provocative Barbecues Featuring The Roasting Of Pork Near Mosques


PEGIDA barbecues near mosques have included the roasting of pork


Abdullah Aşıran 



An Islamophobic Dutch group is planning to hold deliberately provocative barbecues near mosques over the next several weeks, coinciding with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in which most believers fast from sunrise to sunset.

According to PEGIDA, standing for “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of West,” the barbecues will be held in front of mosques at the sunset fast-breaking time in 12 cities across the country, and they have applied for permits.

In years past, similar PEGIDA barbecues have featured the roasting of pork, a food prohibited under Islam.

The group argued that these events have not been allowed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that now there is no obstacle to what they call the "Ramadan Barbecue Tour." 

PEGIDA intolerance

Starting in 2014, the far-right Islamist PEGIDA held its first protest in Dresden, Germany with some 350 people, including 12 organizers.

Through early 2015 the number of protesters is said to have reached some 25,000 but later fell.

PEGIDA has inspired xenophobic groups both inside and outside Germany.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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US Launches Satellite TV Channel For Afghanistan After Taliban Bans VOA Broadcast


US Launches Satellite TV Channel for Afghanistan after Taliban Bans VOA Broadcast


Apr 01, 2022

After the Taliban banned Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts from terrestrial television, the US government-funded news agency has launched a 24/7 direct-to-home satellite-delivered television channel for Afghanistan, local media reported.

The channel carries uncensored news and information in both the Pashto and Dari languages of the country, according to Voice of America (VOA).

VOA's programs were ordered off affiliated television stations in Afghanistan effective on March 27, as part of a broad ban on content regarded as undermining Taliban policies, including prohibiting women from anchoring newscasts with men.

VOA's new TV stream, identified as "VOA Afghanistan," is on the Yahsat Y-1A satellite (52.2 degrees East), Transponder 12 (downlink frequency 11.938 GHz), Channel 469. The Yahsat satellite is Afghanistan's most popular platform, ensuring the Afghan audience will have access to VOA's programming despite the Taliban censorship, reported VOA.

"Afghanistan is now one of the most repressive media markets in the world," said Acting VOA Director Yolanda Lopez.

"Despite the Taliban's attempt to end press freedom, VOA News stands by its Afghan audience with credible and authoritative news and information," Lopez added.

The new VOA Afghanistan satellite stream includes its popular "TV Ashna" newscasts, its women's show "Etesal," viewer call-in programming, and programming from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Azadi radio. Additional programming is planned, including entertainment shows to fill a void in Afghanistan, where local channels cannot air music programs, reported VOA.

It further reported that the VOA satellite channel has been in development since August, before the fall of Afghanistan's elected government. The channel is also accessible on YouTube and on VOA's Pashto and Dari language websites.

Domestic and international critics say media and freedom of speech have worsened under Taliban rule in Afghanistan.

Afghan journalists have been repeatedly detained and subjected to violence by security forces. In December, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) released a survey, showing that at least 40 per cent of Afghan media outlets have disappeared and more than 80 per cent of women journalists lost their jobs since the Taliban takeover of the country.

Hundreds of journalists have also left Afghanistan since August for fear of Taliban reprisals or because of problems associated with practising their profession under the new rulers.

More than 6,400 journalists and media employees have lost their jobs since August 15 when the Taliban seized control of the Afghan capital, Kabul, according to the RSF survey.

Source: Hindustan Times

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 Telangana govt permits Muslim employees to leave early during Ramzan

Apr 1, 2022

HYDERABAD: The Telangana government on Friday permitted the Muslim government employees to leave early during Ramzaan.

Chief secretary Somesh Kumar issued a notification to permit Muslim employees to leave offices early by an hour during the month of Ramzan.

"Government hereby permits all the Muslim government service/contract/out-sourcing/Boards/Public Sector employees/schools working in the state to leave offices/school at 4pm during the holy month of Ramzan - from April 2, 2022, to May 2, 2022, to perform necessary rituals, except when their presence is required due to exigencies of services for the above period," reads the notification.

Source: Times Of India

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‘What Happened Is Past’, There Is No Better Feeling than To See Peaceful Ambience in the Surroundings”: Imam Imdadullah Rashidi Who Lost Son To Violence

Written by Santanu Chowdhury | Asansol |

April 2, 2022

Sitting on a bed inside his room at Noorani Mosque in Asansol, Imam Imdadullah Rashidi was busy teaching verses from the Quran to two little children. Once done with his class, Imam Rashidi, who lost his son to violence during Ram Navami processions in Asansol in 2018, said he is now seeking an end to the inner turmoil that he has been enduring for the last four years.

“What happened is in the past now. There is no trouble at present. People are living peacefully. And I would say the same things that I had said at the time. There should not be any animosity between communities. There is no better feeling than to see peaceful ambience in a state,” the Imam said.

In 2018, hours after his 16-year-old son was found dead, Maulana Imdadul Rashidi had presided over a congregation where he appealed for peace. He told the crowd that he would leave the mosque and the town if there was any retaliation for his son’s death.

Last month, he refused to testify against two persons arrested in connection to his son’s death, even taking his lawyers by surprise. Due to his refusal to testify, the two persons were acquitted in the case which according to him now stands closed.

“I did not go to the court as a witness to testify against them as I had not seen who killed my son. Since I had not seen them with my own eyes, there was no point going to the court and giving a false statement. I do not believe in such actions,” Imam Rashidi said.

Source: Indian Express

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Karnataka: Belur temple board asks Muslim vendor to go

Apr 2, 2022

HASSAN: The committee governing 12th-century Chennakeshava temple in Belur, Hassan district, has courted controversy, issuing an eviction notice to a lone non-Hindu vendor who has been running a shop on the shrine premises for decades.

The temple complex has 17 commercial shops housing a hotel, milk booth and godowns. The notice has been served on a Muslim vendor selling children's toys for more than 50 years. The temple comes under the Karnataka muzrai department and is set to be recognised by as a world-heritage site by Unesco.

This is the first temple in Old Mysuru region to ask non-Hindus to shift out of the shrine complex, taking cue from the Shivamogga Marikamba temple which banned Muslim vendors at the annual fair two weeks ago.

The temple's executive officer served the notice on March 28 asking the Muslim vendor to "immediately stop" business activities. The vendor replied to the notice the same day, seeking permission to continue his business till next year when the agreement with temple authorities ends.

Temple executive officer Vidyalatha said she issued the notice under the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 2002, that disallows leasing or renting premises in a temple complex to non-Hindus. "I have sent the vendor's reply to our commissioner," she said.

Source: Times Of India

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Lashkar terrorist killed, Army duo wounded in Shopian encounter

Apr 2, 2022

SRINAGAR: A local Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist was killed while two soldiers were wounded in an overnight anti-terror operation in Turkwagam area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Friday, police said. Hours later, a joint team of security forces busted a Jaish-e-Mohammad module in Pulwama district, also in south Kashmir, and arrested three affiliates with arms and ammunition.

Police identified the slain terrorist as Muneeb Ahmad Sheikh, a resident of Shopian’s Tak Mohalla. He had been missing since January this year, said a senior police officer.

A joint team of Army’s 44RR, CRPF and J&K Police had launched a cordon-and-search operation in Turkwagam area late Thursday. While the cordon was being tightened around 10.30pm to close in on the suspected hideout, the holed-up terrorist lobbed a grenade at the security forces, resulting in injuries to two soldiers — Sepoys Anil Kumar and Bikas Singh — who were evacuated to Srinagar’s 92 Base Hospital, the Army said in a statement.

“Fire continued to be exchanged throughout the night into the intervening morning of April 1,” said a defence spokesperson, adding: “The terrorist was subsequently neutralised. A thorough search of the house was conducted in the morning and on finding no other terrorists, the operation was called off. War-like stores have been recovered from the encounter area.”

Hours later, a joint team of the Army, CRPF and Pulwama Police arrested three Jaish affiliates and seized an AK rifle, three magazines, 69 AK rounds and a grenade based on their disclosure. The trio — Owais Altaf of Jandwal, Aqib Manzoor of Gudoora and Waseem Ahmad Pandit of Karimabad — had been assisting active terrorists with transport and logistics, said a police spokesperson.

Source: Times Of India

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Ambedkar chose Buddhism over Islam, Christianity since its closest to Constitution: Goa BJP leader

April 2, 2022

A senior Goa BJP leader Friday said Dr B R Ambedkar had chosen to convert to Buddhism rather than Islam or Christianity, and that if five lakh of his Dalit followers had become Muslim, “there would be another Pakistan in this country”.

State BJP General Secretary (Organisation) Satish Dhond was speaking at a programme in Panaji to mark the BJP’s poll win; Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was also present.

“He (Ambedkar) suffered a lot as a Dalit but despite that he did not become a Christian, he did not become a Muslim. When he said that he wanted to change his religion, the Nizam of Hyderabad wrote to him and offered him a huge sum of money and asked him to become a Muslim. But he did not become a Muslim. Christians tried very hard to convert him but he said no,” said Dhond.

He went on: “Ambedkar said he will be a Buddhist. Why? Buddhism was founded in this country…. All the things he wrote in the Constitution (equality, brotherhood) were all there in Buddhism and that is why he accepted Buddhism. Now you think about it. If he had become a Muslim, if five lakh Dalits (his followers) in this country would have become Muslims. What would have happened? There would be another Pakistan in this country.”

Dhond asked BJP workers to hold programmes to mark Ambedkar’s birth anniversary in their respective constituencies on the April 14,

Dhond also said that despite several years of Congress rule in the country, Ambedkar was conferred with the Bharat Ratna by the V P Singh government and the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee had a major hand in that.

Besides Chief Minister Sawant, the meeting was attended by BJP state chief Sadanand Tanavade, and newly elected ministers and MLAs.

Sawant said, “If anyone says you won because of the split in votes, tell them no. We won because of our hard work and because of the work of our government.” Leaders of the party told BJP workers that they had now brace themselves for upcoming village Panchayat elections in May-June and the Lok Sabha election of 2024 right after that.

Earlier on Friday, Sawant said that ministers will be allocated portfolios before Monday and the cabinet expansion would also take place by then.

Source: Indian Express

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Arab World


UN says 100 children missing from Syria jail attacked by ISIS

01 April ,2022

The fate of 100 children who had been detained in a Syrian prison is unknown more than two months after extremists attacked the facility, United Nations experts said on Friday.

International rights groups, including Save the Children and Human Rights Watch, have previously said 700 boys had been in the Kurdish-run jail in northeastern Hasaka province before it was attacked by ISIS.

“We are extremely concerned that since the January 2022 attack, the fate and whereabouts of at least 100 of those boys remain unaccounted for, which raises serious concerns,” the UN human rights experts said in a statement.

“Some of these cases might amount to enforced disappearance,” they added.

Aged 12-18, the detainees included many who had adult relatives inside Ghwayran prison and were transferred from nearby displacement camps housing thousands of children of extremist fighters.

The independent experts called on the de facto authorities to allow all humanitarian actors to have full and unimpeded access to children still held at Ghwayran.

“Harm to these children must be identified, and those responsible must be held accountable to prevent impunity,” the UN experts said.

The ISIS prison break attempt from Ghwayran triggered a week of clashes inside and around the Kurdish-run facility, leaving hundreds dead, before Kurdish-led forces recaptured the jail.

“Many of the boys detained in the prisons were seriously injured during the jailbreak and their wounds are not receiving critical medical treatment,” the UN experts said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Amid tough Ramadan conditions, Lebanese will pray in mosques by candlelight

April 01, 2022

BEIRUT: As Ramadan approaches, Beirut and other cities are missing the decorations that used to fill the streets for this occasion. Instead, pictures of candidates running for parliamentary elections are plastered everywhere.

Only a few modest banners are raised, reminding people to donate to charities during the holy month.

Lebanon is struggling for the third year in a row with a crippling financial crisis, which has pushed many below the poverty line, resulting in an increasing number of beggars on the streets. The crisis has also greatly affected the middle class, whose incomes have declined with the depreciation of the local currency against the dollar, while others have been laid off as hundreds of institutions, factories and shops shut down.

With the rise in unemployment on one hand, and the dollarization of the most basic needs — including the monthly subscription to the electricity generator and fuel — on the other, most Lebanese are barely surviving.

BEIRUT: As Ramadan approaches, Beirut and other cities are missing the decorations that used to fill the streets for this occasion. Instead, pictures of candidates running for parliamentary elections are plastered everywhere.

Only a few modest banners are raised, reminding people to donate to charities during the holy month.

Lebanon is struggling for the third year in a row with a crippling financial crisis, which has pushed many below the poverty line, resulting in an increasing number of beggars on the streets. The crisis has also greatly affected the middle class, whose incomes have declined with the depreciation of the local currency against the dollar, while others have been laid off as hundreds of institutions, factories and shops shut down.

Source: Arab News

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Syrian refugees set to spend yet another Ramadan away from home

Ahmet Karaahmet and Mehmet Burak Karacaoglu  


IDLIB, Syria

Syrian refugees displaced by the Assad regime's attacks and forced to take shelter in camps in the northwestern Idlib province are set to observe the Muslim holy month of Ramadan away from their homes yet for another time.

People, who are in a state of partial trust with the cease-fire agreement signed between Turkiye and Russia in March 2020, are entering Ramadan, the fasting month based on the Islamic lunar calendar, with financial difficulties as a result of the Syrian civil war.

Victims of the civil war, now in its 11th year, are preparing for the fasting month under difficult conditions due to rising food prices and unemployment, yearning for the homes they left behind due to the Assad regime's relentless attacks.

Civilians who have taken refuge in Idlib camps are awaiting assistance so that they can fast in relative comfort throughout the month of Ramadan.

Cemile al Ala, who was displaced by the regime's intense airstrikes three years ago and took refuge in the Azraq camp north of Idlib, told Anadolu Agency that there are no job opportunities and that families in the region are suffering from a lack of resources.

Um Ala, a 64-year-old mother of six, lamented: "I owned a lot of property in the village. I had money and was free to eat whatever I wanted. Now we have nothing."

Mentioning that they had to leave their village due to constant attacks by the regime forces, she said: "Ramadan here is not like Ramadan in the village. It's hard to make a living here."

"Families don't have enough money to buy bread. We don't have any money to spend," she stated emphatically.

Fatima Omar, another of the displaced civilians, stated: "In our village, Ramadan was pleasant. My siblings were quite close to me. We were all living in the same house."

She emphasized how "tough" it is to get along in the camp, saying: "The men and women in the camp are unable to find work.

"It has started to get hot before summer comes... (and) we can't sit in a tent," she expressed her displeasure, asking international donors to provide them with briquette housing support.

Referring to the difficult living conditions, she said: "Ramadan has arrived. Everything is very expensive. People can hardly buy one loaf of bread.”

Lack of basic needs

Khalid Hamud, another refugee camp resident, also said that they lack basic services and living supplies in the camp.

He described the life in the tent as challenging, adding, "In the village, we had a house, water, and electricity."

Everyone in the family was able to make ends meet thanks to the money they earned from their fields, he explained, adding that "we're looking at someone else's hand at the camp.

"Different people bring the water, and different people bring the bread, and so on," he said.

Ahmed al-Ahmed, who stressed that Ramadan was more beautiful in the village, also said that his tents were flooded in the winter and that the weather is extremely hot in the summer.

He stated: "We had property, but we had to emigrate. Life is very difficult here.

"The bazaar is far away, (and) we don't have the means to travel there. We can't be sheltered from the rain or the heat in the tent," he complained.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 6.7 million people have been internally displaced, while at least 14 million civilians in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance.

A UN statement in September 2021 said the number of confirmed deaths in the Syrian civil war is around 350,000, while the actual figure is estimated to be much higher.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Saudi-led coalition, Ansarullah welcome UN-brokered truce: Report

01 April 2022

The United Nations says the Saudi-led coalition, which has been waging a seven-year war on Yemen, and Yemen’s popular resistance Ansarullah movement have welcomed a truce that has been brokered by the world body.

UN special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg announced the information on Friday, saying the two-month truce would come into effect on Saturday at 07:00 p.m. local time (1600 GMT) and could be renewed with consent of the parties, Reuters reported.

"The aim of this truce is to give Yemenis a necessary break from violence, relief from the humanitarian suffering, and most importantly hope that an end to this conflict is possible," Grundberg said in a statement.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the truce "must be a first step to ending Yemen’s devastating war," urging the concerned parties to build on the opportunity to "resume an inclusive and comprehensive Yemeni political process."

The deal stipulates halting offensive military operations, including cross-border attacks, and allowing fuel-laden ships to enter Yemen’s lifeline al-Hudaydah port and commercial flights in and out of the airport in the capital Sana’a "to predetermined destinations in the region."

The military campaign, which has enjoyed unstinting arms, logistical, and political support on the part of the United States, has been seeking to reinstate Yemen’s former Riyadh- and Washington-friendly officials.

The offensive has stopped short of its goals while killing hundreds of thousands of Yemenis in the process and turning the entire Yemen into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Source: Press TV

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Northern Syrians to greet 3rd terrorist-free Ramadan, thanks to Turkiye

Esref Musa 



Civilians in Syria's northern districts of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn will again be able to observe Ramadan in peace and security thanks to Turkiye's anti-terror efforts.

Turkiye, with the support of the Syrian National Army (SNA), established regional security by keeping the terrorist organization YPG/PKK out of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn.

Raed Dehish, who took refuge in Turkiye when the YPG/PKK occupied Tel Abyad, told Anadolu Agency that the country's 2019 anti-terror Operation Peace Spring allowed him to return to his district.

Tal Abyad is preparing for another Ramadan without fear of YPG/PKK terrorists, he said. "The atmosphere of security has been fully ensured. People live comfortably day and night in the district."

Another resident, Latif Bathavi, hopes the Tel Abyad Local Council acts on rising food prices before the holy Muslim month of fasting begins.

Heysem Shelesh, from Ras al-Ayn, echoed these concerns, stating that the high prices were hurting both merchants and consumers in the district.

"The people's purchasing power is poor. Their financial resources are insufficient for spending," he said, adding that the month's beauty would be overshadowed by high food prices.

During Ramadan, charities usually offer hot meals on mobile kitchens, a practice that Shelesh says he hopes will continue even after Ramadan.

Locals' purchasing power has suffered due to drought over the past two years, even as energy prices rose and inflation made it harder to get hold of essential commodities.

Since 2016, Ankara has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Qur’an recital, call to prayer competitions to air on first day of Ramadan


April 01, 2022

RIYADH: The countdown to the final stage of competition has begun in the Etr El-Kalam (Perfume of Kalam) program, focusing on Qur’an recitation and the call to prayer, which will be broadcast on the Saudia TV channel.

Organized by the General Entertainment Authority, the competition is scheduled to start on the first day of Ramadan.

“More than 40,000 people applied from different countries of the world, and 36 participants qualified. It will be launched in the blessed month of Ramadan and broadcast on the Saudia TV channel,” tweeted Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the board of directors of the GEA.

The competition, which began its early stages in 2019, aims to showcase beauty in recitations of the Qur’an and the call to prayer.

About SR12 million ($3.2 million) in prize money is on offer — one of the largest financial awards in talent competitions around the world.

The prizes for the most beautiful Qur’an recitation are divided as follows: First place will receive SR5 million, second SR2 million, third SR1 million and fourth SR500,000.

In the call to prayer contest, the winner will receive SR2 million, followed by SR1 million for second place, SR500,000 for third and SR250,000 for fourth.

Famous Qur’an reciter Fawaz Al-Kaabi said that competitors will face several important challenges, including observing the provisions of intonation, letter exits, endowment and beginnings, which must be reviewed by experts before competitors take part in the event.

Al-Kaabi, who is also a teacher at the Holy Qur’an Memorization Society in Al-Ahsa, told Arab News: “One of the benefits of the competition is to break the barrier of fear and dread in a person from the audience, which contributes to enabling him to speak, read and express with better and better fluency day after day.”

The competition is distinguished by its precise criteria and a jury that enhances competitiveness, with qualification stages through which top talents reach the final stages.

Source: Arab News

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South Asia


Pakistan, Taliban exchange protest notes amid tension along Durand Line

1 April, 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], April 1 (ANI): Amid the continuing tension along the Durand Line between the Pakistani troops and the Talibani forces, the Foreign Ministries of both sides have exchanged protest notes accusing each other of displaying aggressive attitudes on the border, local media reported.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a note verbale to Afghan Embassy in Islamabad on February 25, condemned the rising incidents of “aggressive attitude, cross border violations and disregard to mutually agreed and established procedures by Afghan border security personnel” and lamented that such incidents were occurring despite the presence of ‘Pakistan’s Military Liaison Officers’ in Kabul and Border Coordination Centers’ at Torkham and Chaman, vernacular media said.

Pakistan further urged the Taliban to take strong action against their border security personnel involved in such incidents and resolve the disputes through border flag meetings. It has also underscored the need to set up a Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) for resolving border alignment issues and construction in contentious areas.

Islamabad has already nominated representatives for the proposed JCC, reports further said.

Meanwhile, the Taliban regime on March 6, lodged its own strong protest with the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul over-firing of artillery shells, heavy and light weapons firing and violation of Afghan airspace by a Pakistani reconnaissance aircraft/drone at various locations along the Durand Line.

Notably, the Taliban regime in Afghanistan does not recognise the British-era Durand Line as the boundary between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Violations along the Durand Line continue to remain a bone of contention between the two countries.

Taliban again lodged a protest with the Pakistan embassy in Kabul on March 27 alleging that Pakistani Army officials were issuing a warning to residents of Jaji Maidan District in Khost Province to leave the area or face serious consequences, local media reported.

Source: The Print

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Blasts kill five, wounded 22 in western Herat province

02 Apr 2022

Provincial officials of western Herat province said that the explosions that took place in Police District 12th of the Herat city killed at least five civilians and wounded 22 more.

Health officials believe that the number of casualties might rise as those wounded are in a critical situation.

Bakhtar News Agency-Afghan state-run Agency- reported that the incident was caused by explosions of two bombs that were planted on playground in the city.

The report further says that four bombs were planted at all among them two defused.

The twin bombs detonated in an all-Shi’te Muslim residence where people were busy playing in a playground called Sang Girak on Friday afternoon.

Source: Khaama Press

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Khalilzad, Bajwa discuss Afghanistan, regional stability

02 Apr 2022

Pakistan’s local media have reported that Former US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi on Friday, April 1, 2022.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a press release said that the two discussed issues related to mutual interest and regional security situations including Afghanistan and Pakistan-US bilateral cooperation in various fields.

Pakistan’s Army Chief of Staff said Afghanistan’s looming humanitarian catastrophe needs global convergence and sincere efforts while thanking Zalmay Khalilzad for attending Islamabad Security Dialogue.

Source: Khaama Press

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New Zealand, Australia announces $6M and $40M respectively for Afghanistan

02 Apr 2022

New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta expressed grave concern over the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and announced an additional $6 million to support global efforts to prevent famine and support food security in the country.

The country’s Foreign Minister said $3 million will be given to World Food Program while $3 million more will be given to Food and Agriculture Organization to be used in Afghanistan.

“We will continue to stand with international partners in expressing our concern about Afghanistan’s humanitarian and human rights situation, particularly for women and girls,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

Prior to that, Australia announced an additional $40 million in the Pledging conference of the UN over Afghanistan.

Australia’s Foreign Ministry in a statement said the funding will provide life-saving food supplies to vulnerable Afghans including women and children and address other urgent needs such as health, gender-based violence, and shelter.

The press release expressed concern over women’s situation in Afghanistan in particular restricting them from going to secondary schools. The country has condemned the Taliban’s decision to ban teenage girls’ schooling and asked for the immediate reversal of that.

UN’s pledging conference that was co-hosted by UK, Germany, and Qatar raised $2.44 billion for addressing Afghanistan’s ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.

Source: Khaama Press

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IMF working with Egypt, Tunisia to offset effects of Russia-Ukraine war

01 April ,2022

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is working with Egypt and Tunisia to establish a new program in both countries to offset the negative growth brought about by the Russia-Ukraine war, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told Al Arabiya.

Egypt has historically depended on food imports from Ukraine and Russia, two countries which are in jeopardy amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“It is really very unfortunate to see Egypt that has done quite well in terms of reforming the economy to be hit both by the food prices and their dependence on imports from Ukraine and from Russia,” said the director.

Previously, the IMF is said to have supported “better safety nets” and “more targeted social assistance,” while the newer form of assistance will be “data driven” from reports formulated by the country’s Ministry of Finance and Central Bank, Georgieva said during the interview which was held on the sidelines of the World Government Summit in the UAE.

Georgieva also credited the Egyptian authorities for quickly identifying the problem of outflow pressures on the system and letting “the exchange rate guide the market,” but declined to elaborate on the specifics of the program.

Concerns about an imminent hike in US interest rates, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, caused investors to pull billions of dollars out of Egyptian treasuries, bankers and economists recently told Reuters.

The central bank began reducing the size of the open market operations in recent weeks, a move that has poured around 250 billion pounds into the economy since March 1, according to central bank data.

But this has come at a steep price, Reuters reported. The 18 percent yield on the CDs compares to an average yield of 13.395 percent on one-year T-bills sold to banks at an auction on Thursday, according to central bank data.

Saudi Arabia, on March 30, deposited $5 billion in Egypt’s central bank as the Egyptian economy faces new economic pressures as a result of the war in Ukraine.

On March 21, Egypt devalued its currency by around 14 percent after investors had pulled billions of dollars out of Egyptian treasury markets.

IMF Tunisia outlook

An IMF program similar to the one pursued for Egypt is in the works in Tunisia, Georgieva said.

“We got the A-Team in Tunisia. Tunisia came up with a homegrown program. They have defined where they want to take the country too,” she said.

The team is reportedly working on “understanding” the initiative and aligning it with IMF’s guidelines for offering support.

“Very constructive engagement, no final outcome yet” is how the official described the latest progress.

Source: Al Arabiya

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In call with Putin, Erdogan calls for common sense, dialogue: Turkish presidency

01 April ,2022

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for Russia and Ukraine to act with common sense and maintain dialogue in a call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, his office said on Friday.

Erdogan and Putin also discussed peace talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials in Istanbul this week. Erdogan said the “positive and constructive” talks had raised hopes for peace, the Turkish presidency said in a statement.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Albania charges Iranian man for alleged terror links

April 01, 2022

TIRANA, Albania: Albanian prosecutor’s office said Friday it has charged an Iranian man of supporting terror organizations and abusing computer data.

The Special Structure Against Corruption and Organized Crime, a prosecutor’s office in charge of special crimes and those committed by senior officials, said the case against Bijan Pooladrag has been sent to the court. The statement did not give more details on the defendant or when he was arrested.

More than two years ago, Albania expelled two Iranian diplomats for allegedly engaging in illegal activities while violating their diplomatic status and threatening the country’s security.

The Iranians were suspected of illegal activities related to a World Cup qualifying match between Albania and Israel in 2018. About 20 people were arrested in Albania and Kosovo following that match, which officials say was threatened by an alleged terrorist plot.

Source: Arab News

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North America


US ‘clearly distanced’ itself from Pakistan, says former military chief Mike Mullen

Anwar Iqbal

April 2, 2022

WASHINGTON: The United States has ‘clearly distanced’ itself from Pakistan, former US military chief Mike Mullen said as the White House and the State Department publicly reject claims of their involvement in Pakistan’s domestic politics.

“It is difficult, difficult to say,” said Admiral Mullen when asked to describe Washington’s relations with Pakistan, which was once a close US ally in the war against terror and during the cold war.

“I think we have clearly distanced ourselves from Pakistan over the last decade and Pakistan has more and more fallen under the umbrella of China,” he told VOA Urdu Service in Washington this week.

Admiral Mullen, who was chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 2007 to September 2011, was also named in the so-called Memogate controversy, which revolved around a memorandum, ostensibly seeking US support for preventing a feared military takeover in Pakistan that never happened.

He noted that China was not only Pakistan’s neighbour but it “has been supportive of Pakistan” as well.

This closeness, he said, “suits China’s global ambition” because Beijing would prefer to have a neighbor “closer to them and not close to the US”.

For these reasons, the US-Pakistan relationship “is going to… be tense for quite some time,” he added.

Asked if he believed Pakistan helped the Taliban take over Kabul in August last year, Admiral Mullen said: “They did not do much to stop it for sure.”

He recalled that as the US army chief he had told a congressional hearing that Pakistani intelligence agencies were active in Afghanistan “and I still believe … that connectivity is there. It sort of cuts both ways.”

The former US military chief reiterated a complaint that’s often heard in Washington that Pakistan “played on both sides (the US and the Taliban)” in Afghanistan.

On Thursday afternoon, the White House and the US State Department publicly addressed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s claim that foreign powers were supporting the attempt to unseat him.

During a regular press briefing, White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield, however, rejected this claim as incorrect.

“Absolutely no truth to that allegation,” she said, responding to a question.

At the State Department, spokesperson Ned Price also responded to a question about the alleged US involvement in Pakistan’s domestic politics.

Source: Dawn

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US president wishes Muslims 'Ramadan Kareem'

Servet Günerigök



US President Joe Biden marked the beginning of Ramadan on Friday in a statement in which he said "this sacred month is a time for reflection and spiritual growth."

"(First lady) Jill and I extend our best wishes to Muslim communities here in the United States and around the world on the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadan," he said. "Communities come together to practice forgiveness and resilience, to show compassion and generosity of spirit to those in need, of giving, and to celebrate the many blessings of life with loved ones," he said.

The US president said "we must also continue" efforts to stand with those who are suffering and vulnerable around the world, and those facing persecution or hardship.

"As the Holy Qur’an teaches, ‘whoever does even an atom’s weight of good will see its results,'" said Biden.

The US will also speak out for human rights, including for Uyghurs in China, Rohingya in Burma and other Muslim communities all over the world, he said.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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New York Muslims Voice Concern over Times Square's First Tarawih Prayers

By Zainab Iqbal

1 April 2022

New York City's Times Square is set to host its first ever Tarawih prayers on Saturday, but several members of the Muslim community have voiced concern over the event being held at the bustling location.

According to social media advertisements circulating on Instagram and Facebook, Tarawih, a night prayer performed during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and iftar, the breaking of the fast at sunset, will take place at the busy throughfare on 2 April.

The organiser of the event - who requested to be addressed as SQ - told Middle East Eye that he hoped the spectacle of congregational prayers would help non-Muslims learn about Islam.

New Yorkers' attitudes towards Islam and Muslims have been shaped heavily by the 9/11 attacks, with proposed constructions deemed "Islamic" - most notable being the Park51 project - facing resistance from community groups.

Still, several Muslim New Yorkers voiced concern over the desire to hold religious events at the location, claiming that prayers performed in the presence of giant billboards that often display images of scantily clad models would not bridge the divide between Muslims and the wider community.

"Tarawih is supposed to be an intimate form of worship. I don't understand why this has to be done in Times Square. Have you seen the billboards?" Sabrina Jamil, a resident of Queens, told MEE.

"I was down there yesterday with my in-laws. People are practically naked on the screens. Exactly what message are we sending to non-Muslims by praying under that?"

SQ, who boasts more than 152,000 followers on Instagram and nearly 400,000 subscribers on Youtube, said around 1,200 people had signed up to attend the prayers - and he expected more to take part.

"Times Square brings people from all across NYC and the world and it's just a vibe," he told MEE.

"Allah inspired me to hold a dawah event, which will not only unite the Muslims together but teach the non-Muslims what Ramadan is all about, why we fast and to essentially educate them about Islam while creating the most entertaining and historic dawah event ever."

London's Trafalgar Square held iftar gatherings before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, but has yet to host Tarawih prayers.

Farah Zaidi, a resident of Brooklyn, said despite the organisers claims, it was unclear what the public event would accomplish other than serving as a spectacle:

"Are they going to completely silence Times Square, which is literally the loudest place to be with loud music everywhere, while they recite the most beautiful words of Allah? Good luck with that."

Source: Middle East Eye

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US citizen, lawful resident released by Taliban in Afghanistan: State Department

02 April ,2022

An American and a US resident have been freed from Taliban detention in Afghanistan, the State Department said on Friday, and one of the pair identified themselves as brothers who were engaged in humanitarian work when they were detained.

Saifullah Rauf, the US citizen and US Navy reservist, and Anees Khalil, a US green card-holder, were “unjustly detained” and are in Qatar awaiting travel to the United States, State Department Spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

Their release came against a backdrop of icy US-Taliban relations, fueled by a ban on Afghan girls returning to public secondary schools, nearly eight months after the Islamists seized Kabul as the last US troops departed following 20 years of war.

“We are grateful for the efforts of all those who worked to secure” the release of Rauf and Khalil “but more work remains.

Unjustly holding Americans captive is always unacceptable,” Price said. “We will not stop until every American who is being unjustly held against their will is able to hug their families once again.”

The pair’s detention was kept extremely quiet. The most prominent American known to be in Taliban custody is Mark Frerichs who was abducted in January 2020.

A statement posted on Twitter by Human First Coalition, a US private group involved in evacuating at-risk Afghans, identified Rauf as its president.

In the statement, Rauf said he and his brother “were engaged in humanitarian work in Afghanistan when we were taken into Taliban custody” on Dec. 18.

They were held for 105 days, he said.

“Our understanding is that this exceptionally unfortunate situation arose due to a misunderstanding; we did nothing wrong,” he continued without elaborating.

Rauf thanked those involved in helping to free the pair, including US officials, their family, Qatar, the British government and his organization.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Biden sends ‘warmest greetings’ to Arabs in US at start of Arab American Heritage Month


April 01, 2022

CHICAGO: President Joe Biden sent his “warmest greetings” to the Arab community in the US on Friday to mark the start of Arab American Heritage Month. The annual celebration shines a spotlight on Arab culture, heritage and experiences, and the contributions the community has made to the development of the nation.

It offers an opportunity to present a positive image of Arab culture and society among the wider American public, who are more used to negative portrayals of Arabs in the entertainment industry and the mainstream news media.

“I send my warmest greetings to all those around the United States celebrating National Arab American Heritage Month,” Biden wrote in a letter from the White House dated April 1.

“The history of the Arab American community goes back to the early days of our country’s inception, and their story is deeply woven into the diverse tapestry of America. For centuries. Arab Americans have embraced working hard, giving back, and cultivating friendship and community — helping shape our nation’s history and build our future.

“Today, we see the contributions of Arab Americans reflected in every aspect of American life. By advancing innovation, leading businesses, serving in our military, teaching in our schools, and representing communities in elected office, Arab Americans make us stronger and help us form a more diverse and vibrant America.”

Biden also acknowledged the challenges and discrimination that Arabs continue to face in the US.

“We also recognize that too many Arab Americans continue to be harmed by discrimination, bias and violence,” he wrote. “As president, I have made it a top priority to strengthen the federal government’s response to hate crimes and to advance a whole-of-government approach to racial justice and equity so that all Americans, including Arab Americans, can meet their full potential.

“I am grateful for the tireless work of organizations that promote Arab American heritage and empower Arab Americans across our country. Today and every day, we must continue to celebrate our nation’s diversity and ensure that the foundational promises of freedom, equality and opportunity are within reach for all of us — no matter who we are or where we are from.

“This National Arab American Heritage Month, I thank the Arab American community for all that you have done to help move us forward and for representing the best of who we are.”

Samer Khalaf, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, applauded Biden for publicly acknowledging the annual celebration of Arabs and their culture. Similar celebration take place each year in honor of the nation’s other ethnic and national groups, including African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans.

“We welcome the message from President Biden and the administration’s continued work with the ADC and the community to advance the interests of the community,” said Khalaf. “We look forward to celebrating our rich culture and heritage, and highlighting the rich history and achievements of Arab Americans.

“We invite you to attend our events and to be on the lookout for all the different productions happening in celebration of Arab American heritage around our community. This is a time to learn more about our history, celebrate our heritage, highlight our contributions and brainstorm ways to keep our community always moving forward. Happy Arab American Heritage Month.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also issued a statement to “honor the contributions of this diverse community” to America.

“Immigrants with origins from the Arab world have been arriving to the United States since before our country’s independence and have contributed to our nation’s advancements in science, business, technology, foreign policy and national security,” he said. “The litany is long and includes Private Nathan Badeen, a Syrian immigrant who fought and gave his life during the American Revolution.

“At the State Department, we recognize tremendous diplomats such as Ambassador Philip Habib, former under secretary for political affairs, who played a prominent role in the Vietnam peace talks, resulting in the 1973 Paris Peace Accords, and later successfully pursued a ceasefire in Lebanon.

“We also recognize Ambassador Selwa ‘Lucky’ Roosevelt, who served the president and secretary of state as the chief of protocol of the United States from 1982-1989; nearly seven years and longer than anyone else prior.

“The department is fortunate to have had these and so many other talented Arab American colleagues, who strive every day to protect and promote the interests and values of the American people, while representing the United States to the world,” Blinken added.

Until 2018, Arab American Heritage Month was celebrated in the US in a number of states at different times of the year; Arizona celebrated in April, for example, and Illinois in November. Four years ago the recognition of the ethnic heritage of Arab Americans, who began to arrive in America in the early 18th century, was consolidated nationally and April was set as the month for the celebration.

Cities around the country are organizing special events this month to showcase the contributions made by Arab Americans to small and large businesses, medicine and healthcare, the law, engineering, journalism, education and civil rights.

Chicago already hosted a celebration, on March 30, that was attended by more than 250 leaders of the state’s Arab American community and more than 40 elected officials, who feasted on Middle Eastern cuisine, enjoyed Arab entertainment and engaged in cultural discussions on a number of topics, including the significance of dates in the observance of many Islamic holidays and religious festivals.

“Each year we see more and more of our elected government officials and community leaders join us to celebrate Arab American Heritage Month,” said Hassan Nijem, president of the American Arab Chamber of Commerce.

“Arab American Heritage Month reinforces in the minds of everyone in the country the strong and positive role our community of Christians and Muslims have, and it is effective in countering the many false, negative stereotypes often conveyed by the media and movie industries.”

Authorities in Chicago organized the celebratory dinner for heritage month at the end of March rather than in April as a sign of respect for Arab American Muslims who will be fasting during Ramadan, which this year coincides with heritage month.

Source: Arab News

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Pakistan summons US envoy over Washington’s meddling in internal affairs

01 April 2022

Pakistan’s foreign office has summoned the acting US charge d'affaires to lodge a strong protest over Washington’s meddling in the internal affairs of the country.

Pakistani media, citing diplomatic sources, said on Thursday that the senior US diplomat was handed over the protest note for the language used by an American official during a formal communication regarding a no-confidence motion in Pakistan’s parliament aimed at ousting Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The English-language Dawn newspaper said the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Donald Lu, had in a meeting with Pakistan’s envoy Asad Majeed warned that there could be implications if Khan survived the opposition’s no-confidence motion on April 3.

A Pakistani foreign office official confirmed that a "demarche" was handed over to the acting US envoy in Islamabad, adding that Washington was told that the use of such undiplomatic language was unacceptable.

A senior Pakistani journalist, Nasim Zehra, in a Twitter post on Thursday also confirmed that the US Department of State official, referring to Donald Lu, had told the Pakistani ambassador that as long as PM Khan was in power, “relations with Pakistan cannot improve”.

In a threatening tone, he further said that if Khan was removed from the office, Pakistan “will be forgiven for its mistakes”, which Zahra described as “outrageous official communication”.

US under Secretary of State did call outgoing Amb DrAsad to deliver a demarche for Pak govt: he told amb as long as PM @ImranKhanPTI is PM relations with Pakistan can’t improve & if he goes Pak canbe forgiven for its mistakes. Outrageous official communication! All must condemn.

— Nasim Zehra (@NasimZehra) March 31, 2022

Prime Minister Khan, who has turned down opposition calls to resign, in a televised address on Thursday claimed that a foreign country was cheering a no-confidence vote because of his recent visit to Russia.

Khan even named the United States as the origin of a "message" that he said proved a foreign country was meddling in his country’s internal affairs.

He called the opposition’s move to oust him a "foreign conspiracy", linking it to his last month’s visit to Moscow, which came hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a military operation in Ukraine.

The timing of Khan’s visit to Moscow and his refusal to join the United Nations vote to condemn Russia’s operation in Ukraine drew widespread condemnation from Western countries.

Last week, addressing a rally attended by thousands of his supporters, Khan claimed that a "foreign-backed conspiracy" was behind the no-trust motion against him in the country’s parliament.

He said the funding "being channeled into Pakistan from abroad" was the reason behind efforts to dislodge his government.

"Attempts are being made through foreign money to change the government in Pakistan. Our people are being used. Mostly inadvertently, but some people are using money against us,” he claimed.

Before his televised speech on Thursday, Khan chaired a national security committee (NSC) meeting to discuss what was described as "the formal communication of a senior official of a foreign country to Pakistan’s ambassador in the said country in a formal meeting.”

An official statement after the NSC meeting said the gathering expressed grave concern at the communication.

The committee concluded the communication amounted to "blatant interference" in Pakistan's internal affairs, the statement said, adding that Islamabad had decided to issue a strong demarche to the country.

The no-confidence motion against Khan was tabled in the National Assembly on Monday. The opposition needs a simple majority of 50 percent plus one to topple the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government.

Khan needs 172 votes in the 342-seat house to foil the bid. Some defections in the PTI and cracks in his coalition partners have dented his chances to accumulate the 172 votes, needed to hold on to power.

The cricketer-turned-politician has been accused by the opposition of mishandling the economy and foreign policy since coming to office in 2018.

Source: Press TV

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Zalmay Khalilzad offers to help better Pak-US ties

Baqir Sajjad Syed

April 2, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Former US special envoy for Afgha­nis­tan Zalmay Khalilzad on Fri­day offered help to Army Chi­ef Gen Qamar Bajwa in improving bilateral relations.

A statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Rela­tions after a meeting bet­ween Gen Bajwa and Amb Khalilzad said the former US official promised to “play his role” for bettering the ties between the two countries.

The ISPR said that besides Afghanistan various facets of bilateral cooperation were discussed during the meeting.

Mr Khalilzad is visiting Pakistan for participating in the National Security Dialogue. He had closely worked with Gen Bajwa on Afghan peace and reconciliation as the special envoy.

Relations between the two countries touched a new low after Prime Minister Imran Khan’s claim that Pakistan’s Ambassador to US Asad Majeed was warned by Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu that Mr Khan’s continuation in office would have repercussions for bilateral ties. PM Khan is facing a no-confidence motion tabled in the National Assembly by the joint opposition.

The National Security Committee that met a day earlier expressed ‘grave concern’ over the United States meddling in Pakistan’s internal affairs and decided to lodge a strong protest with it. Demarches were later in the night delivered by the Foreign Office to US Charge d’ Affaires in Islamabad and State Department.

White House and State Department have denied the allegation.

Source: Dawn

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Emir Tanzeem-e-Islami Pakistan: ‘Muslim states should recognise Taliban govt’

April 02, 2022

LAHORE: Muslim states are primarily responsible for recognising the Afghan Taliban government without any delay and assist Kabul in rehabilitation of the war torn country. It was stated by the Emir Tanzeem-e-Islami (TI) Shujauddin Shaikh in a statement released on Friday.

He lamented that two meetings of Organisation of Islamic cooperation held in Pakistan on Afghanistan and the recent Troika Plus meeting in Beijing - participated by six neighbouring countries of Afghanistan- failed to recognise Afghan Taliban government which liberated the country by repulsing the foreign invaders after two decades of war.

Source: The News Pakistan

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Pakistan journalist asks 'why invite US to OIC moot if received threat'

Apr 1, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Taking a dig at the statement of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding Washington's role in an alleged "foreign conspiracy" to oust him from power, a local journalist questioned why the United States was invited at the OIC meeting if the PM received a threat from the country.

Senior anchor Hamid Mir, in Geo News programme "Capital Talk", asked if the US had threatened Pakistan then why Khan invited US under secretary of state Uzra Zeya to the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers conference held in Islamabad on March 21.

After the conference, Shah Mahmood Qureshi had tweeted, "Constructive meeting with @UnderSecStateJ, visiting to attend #OIC48CFM, promoting more engagement between US & OIC States..."

"Bilaterally, Pakistan has a longstanding relationship with the US & we believe a regular & structured dialogue process imp to promoting our bilat & shared regional objectives. We look forward to commemorating the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties this year," he said in his second tweet.

Earlier, in another similar incident, Pakistani journalist, Syed Talat Hussain questioned Khan why he was crying "global conspiracy" and yet inviting the US delegation.

Taking to Twitter, Hussain wrote, "So you cry global conspiracy (by Washington) and also warmly invite and welcome their delegation to the OIC conference? Not to mention holding joint air exercises Falcon Talon?"

This comes at a time when PM, earlier in the day, said that he will share the "foreign-funded conspiracy" letter with senior journalists and ally party members with evidence that outside elements are trying to topple the government.

Ahead of the no-trust vote against PM Imran Khan, the journalist alerted that some desperate political, legal, procedural, and constitutional options are being contemplated.

"Madness Alert- Some desperate political, legal, procedural and constitutional options are being contemplated, which, if exercised, might create an even more desperate situation," wrote Hussain.

Source: Times Of India

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Imran hails India’s independent foreign policy centred on people

Apr 2, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Embattled Pakistan PM Imran Khan said on Friday that a powerful nation has been angered by his visit to Russia this February and he praised India again ahead of the no-confidence vote against him on April 3 for Delhi’s independent foreign policy, saying it was centred on its people.

His remarks came on a day Pakistan summoned a senior US diplomat in Islamabad and lodged a strong protest over America's alleged “interference” in its internal affairs, according to PTI news agency.

The US State Department rejected on Thursday Khan’s remarks in a live address to the nation in which he blamed Washington for allegedly conspiring to topple his government of nearly four years. The 69-year-old Khan discussed a “threat letter” and called it a “foreign conspiracy” to remove him because of following an independent foreign policy.

Khan did not name the “powerful country” during his speech at Friday’s event—the Islamabad Security Dialogue. But he noted that the unnamed country’s ally, India, was importing oil from Russia as the West was trying to impose sanctions on Moscow after it invaded Ukraine.

“Today, I read the British foreign secretary’s statement that they can’t say anything to India as it has an independent foreign policy. I don’t blame them (West) for this support, but what are we then?" he asked, adding that the blame lay with Pakistan. “This is our mistake. No country is respected unless it stands on its own two feet,” Khan said.

He then praised India, saying: “They protect their independent foreign policy which is centred on its people.” This was the second time in recent days that Khan has publicly lauded India for its foreign policy. On March 21, he praised India for buying oil from sanctions-hit Russia to safeguard its people’s interests.

Khan’s rivals were quick to respond. Shehbaz Sharif, leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, said he was shocked at the way Khan has endangered global interests of the country.

“His recurring praise for Narendra Modi’s foreign policy is an insult to the sacrifices of valiant Kashmiris braving Hindutva. Among other things, the damage done to our foreign policy is incalculable,” Sharif posted on Twitter.

A defiant Khan hit back quickly too: “Those (Shehbaz) who are preparing to get to the PM’s office are giving interviews that my statements will anger America, and Pakistan cannot survive without its support.”

The decisions of past politicians have led to a situation wherein no foreign country respects Pakistan, he said. “They order us. They (the US) say that if the no-confidence motion does not become successful, there will be consequences for Pakistan.”

Source: Times Of India

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Pakistan PM’s party takes lead in local govt polls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

April 2, 2022

Ahead of Sunday's no-trust motion against him, embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday got a shot in the arm following his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party's "overwhelming success" in the local government election in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The ruling PTI was leading in the second phase of the local government polls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as counting of votes was still underway, the Geo News reported.

The polling was held for the slots of chairmen and mayors of 65 tehsil councils.

The results show that the count for 48 out of 64 tehsil councils is complete. According to the unconfirmed results, PTI succeeded in 24 tehsil councils and is in a leading position in seven tehsil councils.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) won seven seats and is leading in four other tehsil councils. Independent candidates succeeded in seven tehsil councils and are in the lead in one council.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) managed to clinch two tehsil councils and is leading in three others, while Jamaat-e-Islami succeeded in three councils and is in the leading position in one council.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) won one seat and is leading in another, while Awami National Party (ANP) bagged two tehsil councils.

Congratulating the PTI team for its "overwhelming success" in the local elections, Prime Minister Khan said the people of the province have rejected the "traitors".

Taking to Twitter over success in the majority of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa tehsils, Khan said, "Congratulations to CM @IMMahmoodKhan & our PTI team for their overwhelming success in Phase 2 of KP LG polls. Ppl of KP have emphatically rejected the traitors who sold out to foreign masters. This is an early warning to all traitors of what awaits them in their constituencies."

Source: India Today

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PM Imran says 'establishment' gave him three options: resignation, no-confidence vote or elections

April 1, 2022

Prime Minister Imran Khan revealed on Friday that the "establishment" had given him three options: "resignation, no-confidence [vote] or elections", following the filing of a no-confidence motion against him in the National Assembly.

He shared this during an interview to ARY News, which was aired on Friday, while responding to questions about whether the opposition, government or "another party" had proposed early elections and his resignation as options.

The premier said when he was presented with the three options, "We said elections is the best option, I cannot even think about resigning and as far as the no-confidence vote is concerned, I believe in fighting till the end."

Pointing out that several members of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had defected to the opposition ahead of the no-trust vote, the premier explained that even if the opposition's no-trust move failed, "We cannot run the government with such people (defectors)."

So, he said, "it will be better for Pakistan if we hold elections again."

Asked whether he was prepared to go for early elections, he replied, "If we win [in] this [no-confidence] vote, it is a very good idea to go for early elections."

To a question about what would the government's strategy be in case the opposition's no-trust motion fails, he answered, "We will make a strategy [in the coming days]."

'There's threat to my life'

Earlier in the interview, the premier said there was a threat to his life, claiming that those conspiring to topple his government were "scared knowing that even if he is ousted, the public will continue to support him".

"I am saying this openly that there is a threat to my life," he said.

"They, all those who have colluded [against me], know that I will not sit silently," the prime minister went on, adding, "What do they think? They will spend Rs20 billion, Rs25 billion and topple my government and I will watch silently?"

"This is why I am saying openly, there is a threat to my life."

The prime minister's statement comes hours after Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Imran Khan had been reported by security agencies.

Earlier this week, PTI leader Faisal Vawda had made similar claims, stating that a conspiracy was being hatched to assassinate the prime minister over his refusal to "sell the country".

Vawda had made the remarks on ARY News show "Off the Record" in response to a question about a letter PM Imran brandished at the PTI's March 27 power show in Islamabad, claiming it contained "evidence of a "foreign conspiracy" to topple his government.

He said there was a threat to the prime minister's life but remained evasive when asked whether the purported conspiracy to assassinate the premier was mentioned in the letter.

When PM Imran Khan confirmed this in his interview, he said his life was under threat because he did not suit those involved in the conspiracy as well as "people like Shehbaz Sharif, who polishes boots" and "are slaves to money".

The premier added that people like PML-N President Shehbaz had no public support.

Without naming anyone, he continued, "They are afraid of people who have public support. They are talking about assassination because they know that if he (PM Imran) is ousted from the government, he will still be relevant because the public is with him."

"Then they go for the other option. Look at the history," PM Imran said, adding that "they will try their best through local collaborators, the three stooges" — a term he uses to refer to Shehbaz, PPP co-chair Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Democratic Movement chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

The prime minister further claimed that a campaign would also be initiated for his "character assassination", adding that his wife, Bushra Bibi, and one of her associates named Farah would also be targeted.

'Knew about the conspiracy since Aug'

Earlier in the interview, the prime minister revealed that he was aware of the "conspiracy" being hatched to oust his government since August last year.

"I had an idea since August and I also knew that planning was ongoing in London," he said, adding that he had also informed his cabinet back then that the coming "winter would be a very difficult time for us".

He said he also had reports from agencies in this regard, as he went to name PML-N supremo as one of the persons involved in the conspiracy.

"He (Nawaz Sharif) was meeting people, people like Hussain Haqqani [...] who was involved in memogate. They were in constant touch," he alleged, claiming that Nawaz had held the last meeting in this regard on March 3. "And we received this document (a letter he claims has evidence of a foreign conspiracy to topple his government) on March 7."

The prime minister went on to say that people who had colluded in this purported conspiracy were also against the Pakistan Army, adding that "Pakistan has been surviving because of its army."

"And Nawaz Sharif and his daughter have openly railed against the army," he remarked.

The prime minister further alleged that the joint opposition was making efforts to oust his government in order to get an NRO (amnesty).

"But I will never give them an NRO," he expressed his resolve.

Moreover, he said "external powers" needed "robbers and thugs ... and the corrupt who become their slaves to save their corruption".

He further claimed that the "threat letter" said if Imran Khan was ousted through the no-confidence vote, the foreign powers involved in the conspiracy would "forgive Pakistan".

"But if he survives the no-confidence vote, there will be dire consequences for Pakistan and we will isolate Imran Khan," he added. "How do they know that the new government will work [well] with them? ... This means that they had a connection with them (opposition). This means that this conspiracy is being hatched for the past six months."

He went on to say that some PTI members who had defected, people from the opposition and media persons had been meeting with officials at "embassies".

"I had all the reports," he said.

To a question about whether his recent visits to China and Russia had "fast-paced the process of regime change against him", he compared Pakistan's foreign policy to that of India.

"During the Cold War between America and the Soviet Union, they (India) remained non-aligned. They were close to the Soviet Union" but they still maintained ties with the US.

"And because of their (India's) foreign policy, see how is the Indian passport respected in comparison to Pakistan's," he added. "When you are a self-respecting nation, others respect you as well. But we continued to change blocs," he lamented.

He further lambasted the previous governments for allowing drone attacks in the country during America's war on terror.

'No differences on ISI chief's appointment'

In response to a question about civil-military relations with respect to "an appointment in October" — which was an apparent reference to the appointment of a new Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general — the prime minister said, "We were all on one page. We had no differences"

He said he had no issues with the military leadership unlike past leaders, who were "scared of the army because of their corruption".

When the anchorperson specifically named the former ISI chief, Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, asking whether the premier wanted him to continue as the spymaster because he was his favourite, PM Imran said he had worked with Lt Gen Faiz for three years and he knew that the winter of 2021 winter "will the most difficult time for us".

Citing economic difficulties and the situation in Afghanistan after the US exit, he said "I was insisting on him (Lt Gen Faiz) continuing till winter as he was experienced".

"They had their own view, which was that there was a system in the army. They had their own perspective and I had mine. But I wasn’t thinking about who will be the new army chief," he clarified.

Source: Dawn

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Tehreek-i-Insaf stages rallies against US, dissident lawmakers

April 2, 2022

PESHAWAR: Leaders and workers of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) took to the streets in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday against the US over ‘threat’ to Prime Minister Imran Khan as well as against dissident MNAs.

They burnt the US flag and effigy of US President Joe Biden.

The Peshawar protest was led by provincial ministers.

The charged protesters from different parts of the capital city gathered outside the press club building and shouted slogans against the US, dissident PTI MNAs and opposition for what they insisted working to oust the Imran Khan government.

Besides banners and placards, they also carried lotas (ewers) calling the disgruntled party lawmakers turncoats. They also tossed lotas in the air.

The protesters also shouted slogans against leader of the opposition Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl Maulana Fazlur Rehman as well as dissident PTI MNAs, including Noor Alam Khan of Peshawar, and declared them traitors.

Leaders say ruling party’s workers will ‘stop traitors’ from voting against PM

The rallies were taken out on the ‘orders’ of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.

In a leaked audio clip, the chief minister could be heard directing his ministers to take to the streets after Friday prayers to protest against 18 dissident PTI MNAs and the US, and celebrate the ruling party’s victory in the second phase of local body elections in the province.

He insisted that Prime Minister Imran Khan had ordered him to take out rallies.

“PM has talked to me over the phone,” he was heard in the audio clip as saying.

PTI MPA from Peshawar Haji Fazal Elahi showed up in the rally donning a shroud.

Ministers Taimur Saleem Jhagra, Shah Mohammad Wazir, Ishtiaq Urmur and Kamran Khan Bangash and MPAs also attended the rally.

The speakers said that they believed in the Almighty Allah and not US president Joe Biden. They called for the registration of cases against ‘traitors’ accusing them of acting on the directions of the US.

The speakers said the street protests were staged against the ‘corrupt mafia’.

They announced that the PTI workers would go to Islamabad to ‘stop traitors’ from voting against the prime minister in the National Assembly.

In Bannu, the PTI activists staged a rally outside the press club building against opposition parties.

Led by MPA Pakhtoonyar Khan, former MPA Malik Adnan Khan and tehsil council chairman Kakki Junaid Rashid Khan, the protesters also set fire to a banner carrying pictures of opposition leaders.

The speakers said the PTI’s victory in the second phase of local body elections in the province had proved its popularity.

They said the country was fortunate to have a brave leader like Imran Khan.

The speakers said the PTI government introduced reforms in all fields and launched the Sehat Insaf Card, Ehsaas Kifalat and other schemes to the relief of the common man.

They declared the PTI dissident MNAs traitors and said those lawmakers had won the 2018 elections as the PTI nominees but switched loyalty to the opposition for money.

The speakers alleged that the opposition leaders used the money they looted during their governments, for horse-trading.

They asked dissidents to review their decision to vote against Prime Minister Imran Khan during the opposition’s no-confidence motion in the National Assembly.

In Mardan, too, the PTI activists staged a protest rally against the party’s dissident MNAs.

Food, science and information technology minister Mohammad Atif Khan led protesters.

The ruling party’s lawmakers from the district, including Zahir Shah Toru, Tufail Anjum and others, also attended the rally.

Source: Dawn

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IRGC Warns Rigid, Devastating Response to Enemy's Slightest Mistake


The IRGC's statement came on the occasion of the Islamic Republic Day.

"The IRGC will join hands with other sections of the Armed Forces and security forces to safeguard independence, security, and national interests of Iran," the statement said.

It added that the IRGC will continue to fulfill its duties without any attention to "recent delusional remarks made by the terrorist regime of the United States against the elite force, as such remarks indicate how the rulers of this regime lag behind the global developments".

The statement said the US allegations against the IRGC reflect the fact that the rulers at the White House "lack a correct understanding of the shift in the power equations in the strategic region of West Asia and even beyond it".

It pointed out that undermining and impeding the growth of Iran’s defense power and deterrence capacity is the main goal of the enemy, which is seeking to destroy the Islamic Republic or make it and the Iranian nation submit to the policies of the hegemonic system and Zionism.

"The missile power and the popularity and regional influence of Iran ... [both of] which have been associated with the name of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, are red lines for the Iranian nation,” the IRGC’s statement said.

“We vociferously announce that the strong Iran has never defined the path to increasing its deterrence power, which guarantees its progress and security, according to aspirations, desires and wishes of the rules of the White House and their evil allies, and will not change it under their pressure, threat or evil media propaganda.”

The IRGC's statement came as Chief Commander of the IRGC Major General Hossein Salami hailed the current status of the combat power of the IRGC units and forces, specially those deployed to the country’s key islands in the south, and their readiness to firmly defend the Islamic Republic’s territories in the face of possible threats.

In recent years, the Iranian military experts and technicians have made substantial headway in manufacturing a broad range of indigenous equipment, making the Armed Forces self-sufficient in the arms sphere.

Iranian officials have repeatedly underscored that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, including its missile power, which are entirely meant for defense, and that Iran’s defense capabilities will never be subject to negotiations.

Source: Fars News Agency

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President Rayeesi: People’s Livelihood Never Tied to Vienna Talks


President Rayeesi made the remarks in a meeting with a group of Iranian scholars and clerics in the holy city of Mashhad in the Eastern province of Khorasan Razavi.

"We have not left the negotiating table and today the principled positions of the Islamic Republic are expressed with dignity, but in no way have we tied the lives of the people and the economy to JCPOA and [Vienna] talks," the Iranian president said during the meeting.

"JCPOA-related negotiations are pursued with strength and dignity," President Rayeesi added.

He reiterated that regardless of whether the negotiations in Vienna succeed or not, the Iranian government has its own plans for the management of national economy.

“We favor relations with all countries, but we never wait for others to come and solve our problems. Experience has shown and we have learned from our predecessors never to trust foreigners. They have not helped solve anyone's problems and will not do it for us either. Our trust is put in the resources and potentialities of the country,” the Iranian president further said.

Source: Fars News Agency

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FM Stresses Broadening of Iran-China Economic Ties


During the meeting on the sidelines of the conference of the foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighbors, the two sides discussed bilateral, regional and international issues.

The two foreign ministers underlined the need to speed up finalizing introduced projects and to continue consultations over the expansion of economic cooperation between Tehran and Beijing.

During the meeting, Amir Abdollahian underlined the need for realizing the huge potentials of the two nations, specially in economic spheres.

The Iranian foreign minister also called for facilitating the return of Iranian students to China.

He said although Covid-related restrictions prevented the Iranian students from returning to China, it is appropriate that things would return to the pre-pandemic era with the cooperation of the relevant Chinese sectors.

Wang YI, for his part, extended the Chinese president’s warm greetings to President Rayeesi and appreciated the Iranian side’s participation in the third conference of Afghanistan’s neighbors.

The Chinese Foreign Minister then underscored the need for cooperation and close consultations between Tehran and Beijing to make their strategic 25-year pact operational and also the need for cooperation in international bodies.

The two foreign ministers also exchanged views on the latest developments in the Vienna talks and underlined the need to fight against unilateral and illegitimate sanctions imposed by some Western countries.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran Commemorates Islamic Republic Day


In a landmark two-day referendum held on March 30-31, 1979, less than two months after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, over 98.2 percent of eligible Iranians voted for the establishment of an Islamic Republic in the country.

As a result of the referendum, Iran was declared an Islamic Republic, and was given a new official name - the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In a special statement at the time, the Supervisory Board of the country said the event was "crucial for Iran and the entire world as it opened a new chapter in the history of our country and in the history of Islam".

The Islamic Republic was established in line with the popular motto of the 1979 Islamic Revolution that called for “Independence, Freedom and the Islamic Republic” for the country.

Since then, the Iranian nation annually celebrates Farvardin 12 on the solar calendar year, which falls on April 1 in normal years and March 31 in leap years, as the anniversary of the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The day is referred to as the Islamic Republic Day.

The Islamic Revolution, led by late Imam Khomeini, established a new political system based on Islamic values and democracy.

Source: Fars News Agency

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President Rayeesi: Iran Hosting 4mln Afghans


"Europeans have provided no help in this issue," President Rayeesi said.

He reiterated that the Islamic Republic feels responsibility for the dear Afghan people unlike the Europeans which follow the issue of Afghanistan solely for their political demands.

Formation of an inclusive government with participation of all groups is important for Afghanistan today, President Rayeesi said.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran Sends over 30 Humanitarian Aid Shipments to Afghanistan


Takht Ravanchi made the remarks at a virtual UN donor conference co-hosted by Britain, Germany, and Qatar.

“The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate, and the country is currently facing great challenges, opportunities, fears and hopes. The international community is expected in the current difficult situation to contribute to helping Afghan people overcome challenges, seize opportunities, dispel fears and boost hopes for a brighter future,” the Iranian ambassador said.

Takht-Ravanchi added that the Islamic Republic of Iran, as a neighboring country, stands by the people of Afghanistan and has used its capacities and facilities to overcome the challenges it has faced over the last four decades.

“Iran has hosted millions of refugees, who have unfortunately received the least international aid in the last 40 years. Iran has dispatched more than 30 shipments of humanitarian aid to Afghan people in recent months. This is just one example of the assistance that Iran has provided to the people of Afghanistan,” the senior Iranian diplomat pointed out.

“The financial support of the international community is vital to help Afghanistan surmount the current difficult situation,” he added.

Takht Ravanchi also denounced as illegal the seizure of Afghanistan's frozen assets, demanding their immediate and unconditional release.

"Hopes for future must be guaranteed among the people of Afghanistan, especially among the younger generation who will lead the country in the future. This will not be possible unless an inclusive government is formed and sufficient attention is paid to the political and social fabrics of Afghanistan, which can involve people from all walks of life, including various ethnicities, men, women and youth,” he further said.

The administration of US President Joe Biden has frozen nearly $9.5 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank since the withdrawal of its occupation forces.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Two-month ceasefire agreed in Yemen: UN envoy

01 April ,2022

Warring parties in Yemen have agreed to a two-month ceasefire starting this weekend, the UN special envoy for Yemen announced on Friday.

“The parties accepted to halt all offensive military air, ground and maritime operations inside Yemen and across its borders; they also agreed for fuel ships to enter into Hodeidah ports and commercial flights to operate in and out of Sanaa airport to predetermined destinations in the region,” UN envoy Hans Grundberg said in a statement.

Grundberg added that the sides agreed to meet open roads in Taiz and other governorates in Yemen.

“The Truce can be renewed beyond the two-month period with the consent of the parties,” Grundberg added. “The aim of this Truce is to give Yemenis a necessary break from violence, relief from the humanitarian suffering and most importantly, hope that an end to this conflict is possible.”

Grundberg thanked regional and international stakeholders for their support in helping reach the ceasefire.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Israeli troops kill 3 Palestinians in West Bank gun battle

April 02, 2022

JERUSALEM: Israeli forces killed three Palestinian militants in a firefight in the occupied West Bank early Saturday, police said, raising fears of further escalation of violence during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Israeli media said four members of a police counter-terrorism unit of the Israeli police were wounded, one of them seriously. The troops came under fire as they attempted to arrest suspected militants in the northern West Bank.

Tensions have soared in recent days after Palestinian assailants killed 11 Israelis in separate attacks across the country. Saturday marks the start of Ramadan, a month of dawn-to-dusk fasting, prayer and religious devotion for hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world. In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Ramadan has often been a period of increased friction and confrontation.

The Israeli police said the three militants were members of a cell that was involved in recent attacks against Israeli forces and were planning another attack that was thwarted during early Saturday’s joint operation with the military and intelligence.

Live videos by witnesses on social media showed a crowed of Palestinians inspecting the scene of the clashes near the city of Jenin after the Israeli troops withdrew. The street was covered with blood stains and the men chanted slogans calling for revenge.

Palestine TV reported that Israeli forces seized the bodies of the militants.

In response to the recent Palestinian attacks, more Israeli forces were sent to the West Bank in recent days for increased searches, patrols and arrest raids.

With Saturdays deaths, seven Palestinians were killed over three days, including two in a gunbattle Thursday and one after he stabbed and wounded an Israeli on a bus in the West Bank.

On Friday, a Palestinian man was killed by troops in the West Bank city of Hebron, during clashes that erupted after mosque prayers. The Israeli military said its forces shot a Palestinian who threw a firebomb at them.

Several hundred Jewish settlers live under heavy military protection in the heart of Hebron, a city of more than 200,000 Palestinians and home to a major holy site sacred to Jews and Muslims.

Also Friday, the Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service said 36 Palestinians were hurt in weekly confrontations with Israeli forces elsewhere in the West Bank. Protesters often throw rocks and firebombs at Israeli troops who use tear gas, rubber-bullets and live fire. Thirty-three of the injured were struck by rubber bullets and three by live rounds Friday, the Red Crescent said.

At the Al-Aqsa mosque in east Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam, authorities said more than 30,000 people attended Friday prayers on the eve of Ramadan. There were no reports of protests or violence.

The hilltop on which the mosque is located is the holiest site for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount, and it has been a frequent flashpoint in the century-old conflict.

Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian leaders have held a flurry of talks in recent weeks, and Israel has made a series of goodwill gestures, all aimed at calming tensions ahead of Ramadan.

Source: Arab News

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Southeast Asia


Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Iftar program launched in Philippines

April 02, 2022

MANILA — The Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance inaugurated on Friday the two programs of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz to break the fast of fasting people and distribute luxury dates for 2022 in Philippines.

The two programs aim to distribute 3,500 food baskets to Muslim families, and 5 tons of luxury dates, to be distributed by Islamic Affairs throughout the blessed month of Ramadan in coordination with official charities and in accordance with established health protocols. — SPA

Source: Saudi Gazette

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Indonesian agents shouldn’t charge over RM8,000 to send maids, says envoy

K. Parkaran

April 2, 2022

PETALING JAYA: Indonesian maid recruitment agencies should only charge about RM8,000 at the most to send domestic helpers to Malaysia, said its ambassador Hermono.

Referring to a report in FMT today which said the agents in Jakarta used to ask between RM10,000 to RM12,000 in the past, he said this was too high based on his calculation.

“This is a business deal. I have calculated and found that it should be much less than that. It should be between RM7,000 to RM8,000 only,” he told FMT when contacted today.

Hermono gave an assurance that he will speak with the National Board for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Overseas Workers in Jakarta (BP2MI) about the cost, as they are the official body that deals with the agents who send workers abroad.

“They are aware that Malaysian employers urgently need domestic workers. At the same time, the Indonesian agents have not had any business over the last two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I will speak to the BP2MI on this matter. Let’s work together to make it as reasonable and smooth as possible for the benefit of all,” he said.

Both countries signed a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the recruitment of domestic helpers yesterday with emphasis on better protection for the Indonesian maids who are sent to work in Malaysian homes.

According to local maid recruitment agencies, anyone wanting to hire an Indonesian maid had to pay between RM15,000 and RM16,000.

President of the Malaysian Association of Employment Agencies Foo Yong Hooi said about RM10,000 to RM12,000 of that figure went to Indonesian employment agencies.

“Malaysian agents used the balance for levy payments to the government, processing fees at the embassy, the transport of maids from airports, medical examinations, insurance, employment contracts and other costs,” he told FMT.

He said Malaysian agencies earn less than the Indonesian agencies, but they have to do a lot of work to bring in Indonesian maids.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Muhyiddin wants my help to become PM again, says Dr M

Nicholas Chung

April 1, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: Pejuang chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad says Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin met him recently to ask for his help to regain the prime minister’s post.

“Tan Sri Muhyiddin saw me, he wanted me to support him for his attempt to become the prime minister once again,” Mahathir said at a press conference here today.

Asked whether he would support Muhyiddin, he said Pejuang “is not going to support somebody who as the prime minister was as much a failure as Najib (Razak) was”.

This comes amid reports that Muhyiddin met with Mahathir to propose Bersatu and Pejuang work together ahead of the next general election (GE15).

“When (Muhyiddin) was prime minister, most people were not happy with his leadership,” Mahathir said.

“He was not a good prime minister. If he had achieved great things for Malaysia, he would be able to become prime minister again without our support.”

The Langkawi MP said he was equally bemused by Muhyiddin approaching him for Pejuang’s support since he knew Pejuang had performed badly in the recent Johor elections.

“We are not strong, and we know we don’t have much money, but he asked us to support him,” he said.

He reiterated that Pejuang will only work with parties who were committed to combating corruption.

“These parties must make a clear declaration that they do not approve of corruption and that they don’t contest in elections by giving money to people,” he said.

Asked to comment on DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang’s retirement from politics, Mahathir maintained that he (Mahathir) might not be contesting in GE15 but was not leaving Pejuang just yet.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Ramadan: Buhari sends message to Muslims, Nigerians

April 2, 2022

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday joined world leaders in welcoming the month of Ramadan, fasting and strong devotion for the Muslim faithful.

In a message to Nigerians and Muslims around the world, Buhari said the period offers a special opportunity to “feel the hunger experienced by the poor so as to feel what it is like to be deprived and marginalized.”

“Muslims,” Buhari emphasized, “should seek greater personal discipline, which is necessary for the realization of a great nation.”

The President disclosed this in a statement by Garba Shehu, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity.

Buhari advised the Muslim elite against food waste and extravagant spending while others face hunger and destitution, urging that they should care for their neighbours, the poor and the marginalized.

Buhari also called for prayers for peace in the country and beyond and for healing and harmony throughout the world.

Source: Daily Post Nigeria

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Ramadan: Lawan felicitates with Muslim Ummah in Nigeria

April 2, 2022

By Shehu Usman

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has felicitated all Nigerians, particularly the Muslim Ummah as they enter the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Via his personal Facebook page, the Nation’s Chief Lawmaker said, “Ramadan is the month when Muslims across the world observe one of the five pillars of their faith, share with their neighbours and show love to all people around them.

“It is a period of spiritual reflection, abstinence, sacrifice and supplications to the Almighty Allah.

“The holy month of Ramadan thus provides the faithful, the opportunity to commune with Allah and live as His Prophets enjoin us to do as we seek His blessings and mercies.

“The essence of the period is even more significant for us as we seek solutions and divine guidance out of the challenges that we currently face in our dear nation”.

He added that the Nigerian government is doing everything possible to ameliorate the situation and also realizes that much more has to be done.

“The National Assembly will not relent in its efforts at promoting good governance for the security, peace and progress of Nigeria.

Source: Daily Post Nigeria

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Tunisia president: ‘There will be no single way to resolve political crisis’

April 02, 2022

TUNIS: Tunisian President Kais Saied said on Friday after a meeting with the head of Tunisia’s powerful labor union that there would be no single way to resolve Tunisia’s political crisis.

Saied added that he refused to hold talks with those who tried to overthrow the state and “those who plundered the people’s resources.”

The leader of the Tunisian General Labor Union Noureddine Taboubi said that the union had agreed with Saied that there would be a partnership in outlining the future of Tunisia.

The talks took place as Tunisia summoned for questioning the speaker of the dissolved parliament for “conspiracy against state security” after MPs met online.

Rached Ghannouchi, who also heads the Ennahdha party, received a summons on Thursday “to question him about the holding of a plenary meeting,” party spokesman Imed Khemiri said.

Ghannouchi, 81, was accused of “having plotted against state security, which is a dangerous precedent,” said Khemiri, who was also summoned for the same reasons.

On Thursday, Ghannouchi said at least 30 parliamentarians had been summoned for questioning by anti-terrorism police.

President Kais Saied dissolved parliament on Wednesday.

It came eight months after he sacked the government, froze parliament and seized sweeping powers, later moving to rule by decree.

The president’s announcement on Wednesday evening came hours after parliamentarians held a plenary session online — their first since Saied’s power grab — and voted through a bill against his “exceptional measures.”

Ghannouchi subsequently rejected Saied’s dissolution of parliament.

Saied, a former law professor elected in 2019 amid public anger against the political class, has given himself powers to rule and legislate by decree, as well as seizing control over the judiciary.

Source: Arab News

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Tunisia's anti-terror unit summons ex-speaker for questioning

Alaa Hammoudi 


TUNIS, Tunisia

Rachid Ghannouchi, the former speaker of Tunisia's dissolved parliament, has been summoned for questioning by the country's anti-terrorism unit, an official confirmed on Friday.

The official from the defunct Speaker Office told Anadolu Agency on the condition of anonymity because he is not permitted to speak to the media that Ghannouchi has been summoned on Friday evening for questioning by the anti-terrorism unit.

The Tunisian authorities made no comment on the move.

In an interview on Tuesday, Ghannouchi revealed that Tunisia's anti-terrorism unit had summoned more than 30 lawmakers.

Tunisian President Kais Saied dissolved the suspended parliament on Wednesday, just hours after parliamentarians held a plenary session to reverse his actions since July 25, 2021.

Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis since July 25 when Saied dismissed the government, suspended parliament, and assumed executive authority, in a move decried by opponents as a “coup.”

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Sudan to use military force to maintain security in South Darfur

Bahram Abdel Moneim 



The Sovereignty Council of Sudan on Friday ordered the use of military force to maintain order in the South Darfur state.

In a statement, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy leader of the council, said the decision was made after an escalation in violence and fighting in the Sudanese state.

The council issued “strict directives to the government of South Darfur state and the state security committee to resolve tribal attacks militarily,” according to the statement.

It also banned tribal gatherings under emergency law immediately to end tribal conflicts in South Darfur.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, local media reported that at least 30 people were killed as a result of tribal clashes.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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