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Islamic World News ( 15 Oct 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Dozens Killed As Suicide Bombers Hit Nigeria Mosque: Witnesses









Security forces have been attempting to drive Boko Haram from areas the group claims in Borno [AP]

Africa

Dozens Killed As Suicide Bombers Hit Nigeria Mosque: Witnesses

Mali armed groups sign peace deal

Niger imposes state of emergency on region hit by Boko Haram

Two new Libyan suspects identified in Lockerbie bombing

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Arab World

Security Official: Massive Operations Underway to Surround ISIL in Iraq, Syria

Senior Ahrar Al-Sham Leader killed in Russian Airstrike in Homs

Syrian Army Seizes Control of Al-Amal Farms in Golan Heights

Syrian Troops Regain Control of Strategic Area in Quneitra

Syrian Army Wins Back New Strategic Area in Hama

ISIL Retreating in Syria, Russian Fighter Jets Strike 32 Facilities Overnight

Syrian Army Kills Terrorists' Operations Room Commander in Homs

U.S. ‘ready to drop’ weapons to Syria rebels

Hollande: Russian intervention won’t save Assad

Egypt acquits Al Qaeda chief's brother, orders new probe

Statement of Ahlul Bayt World Assembly on the eve of Muharram

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Southeast Asia

Indonesia Deploys Troops to Calm Religious Unrest

IS Militant Server Hacker Will Be Extradited To US, Says IGP

All eyes on RI, focus on diversity, Islam

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North America

Religious Extremism on a Rise Worldwide, Says US State Department

Muslims in America: Part of the Solution, Not The Problem

US analysts believe ‘Pakistani operative’ was using MSF hospital for Taliban activity: AP

France says Iran missile test ‘worrying’ violation of U.N. resolution

US report underlines restrictions on religious freedom in India and Pakistan

US rebel training program 'nuts,' ex-Pentagon chief says

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Europe

Islam Was 'Never Part of Europe': Hungary's Orban

Is The West Arming the Syrian People’s Front or the People’s Front of Syria?

Russia Re-Establishing Control of Afghan Border

EU & Turkey agree joint refugee 'action plan'

Moscow ready to cooperate with Turkey against terrorism

Refugees Shake up German Muslim Community

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India

This Is Real India: Muslim Artisans Love Making Tableux of Goddes Durga in Odissa

Israel Visit: Diversity Is India’s Integrating Factor, Says Pranab Mukherjee

Hindus, Muslims Come Together Across India against a Backdrop of Religious Intolerance

US had warned Zia of Indian strike on Pakistan n-sites

Muslims can live in this country, but will have to give up eating beef: Haryana CM

Nawaz Sharif Invites Separatist Hurriyat Leader Geelani to Pak

Youth in Kashmir Taught Values of Sufism

Let’s roll out the red carpet for Pak terrorists as well: Saamana

Putting aside religious differences, Hindu man in Dharavi reaches out to Muslim friends

Submarines sale won't break India-Pakistan military balance: Media

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South Asia

Afghan Taliban Signal Willingness to Resume Dialogue

No Militant Links Found With the Murder of Italian Aid Worker: PC

US troops use vehicle to force gate at bombed Afghan hospital

President Ghani hails Afghan forces during a visit to Kunduz

Afghan migrant shot dead while entering Bulgaria from Turkey

Gen. Campbell welcomes Obama’s decision to keep more troops in Afghanistan

NATO SG: US decision paves way for sustained NATO presence in Afghanistan

Pak politician: ‘Time has gone when Taliban was imposed on Afghan people’

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Mideast

Russia ‘Ready for Close Cooperation’ With Turkey

Media Distorts True Islam, Says Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

Turkey, KSA warn over Russia's 'Syria mistake'

Division of Al-Aqsa A 'Red Line': Turkey’s Top Cleric

Turkey's Erdogan calls Obama over ISIL

U.N. to hold urgent meeting on Jerusalem unrest

U.N. hopes Yemen peace talks can start by month-end

Senior MP: Iran Ready to Send Troops to Syria if Requested

Yemeni Forces Down Saudi Warplane in Sa'ada

Teenager becomes a focus in Israel-Palestine conflict

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Pakistan

US Stopped Pakistan from Attacking 'Vulnerable' India In 62: Ex-CIA Official

Obama, Nawaz to Have Nuclear Talks but No Deal Next Week: White House

Pakistan, Russia sign agreement for construction of North-South gas pipeline

Richard Olson will be new US special envoy for Pak-Afghan region

Mina tragedy: Authorities fail to access bodies of dead Pakistanis

Paris to hear Pakistan’s voices after climate moot

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/dozens-killed-as-suicide-bombers-hit-nigeria-mosque--witnesses/d/104943

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Africa

 

Dozens killed as suicide bombers hit Nigeria mosque: witnesses

October 16, 2015

MAIDUGURI: Dozens of worshippers were killed Thursday when two suicide bombers blew themselves up in a mosque in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri which has been hit repeatedly by Boko Haram militants, witnesses said.

"All the people in the mosque died. Not a single one escaped," said Muhtari Ahmadu, a trader near the scene.

"We counted 42 dead bodies outside the mosque," added Amadu Marte, a vigilante supporting the security forces in the fight against the militant Boko Haram group.

Borno state police confirmed that the mosque was hit by twin bombings but gave a lower toll of about 14 dead.

Following the explosions, the mosque collapsed and injured "many people praying", the police said in a statement.

"Casualties have been evacuated to UMTH (University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital) and specialist hospitals in Maiduguri," it added.

The bombers slipped into the mosque disguised as worshippers, witnesses said.

One of the attackers set off the first blast when he entered the mosque, they said. The second bomber detonated his explosives soon after, when many had rushed to the scene to help the first victims.

"When rescuers and sympathisers gathered in front of the place, the second one went off, killing many of them,"Marte said.

The blasts occurred around 6:30pm in Molai, in the western suburbs of Maiduguri, where worshippers had gathered for evening prayers, the witnesses said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but suspicion fell on Boko Haram, which was founded in Borno's state capital Maiduguri in 2002.

The city has been hit repeatedly since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power on May 29 with a vow to crush the insurgency.

Suicide bombers killed four people in a suburb of Maiduguri on Tuesday.

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for three suicide attacks in the satellite towns of Kuje and Nyanya outside Nigeria's capital Abuja on October 2, which killed a total of 18 people and wounded 41.

United States troops join Boko Haram fight

Nigeria's military claims the militants are a spent force and that troops have driven them from their camps and occupied territory in the remote region. But guerrilla-style attacks have continued, including across the border.

Over the weekend, 41 people were killed in triple explosions in Baga Sola, on the Chadian side of Lake Chad, where Nigeria meets Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

The four countries have launched a joint offensive against the militants.

Their mission received a boost on Wednesday when United States (US) President Barack Obama said he was deploying up to 300 military personnel to Cameroon for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations against Boko Haram insurgents.

Nigeria and Cameroon welcomed the US deployment to help in the regional fight against the militants.

"The United States has given the pledge to support the fight against Boko Haram in Nigeria and in the region," Nigerian President Buhari's spokesman Garba Shehu told AFP by telephone.

"This is the fulfilment of that pledge and we are very happy about it. The United States' move is quite commendable."

Cameroon's President Paul Biya hailed the move as a "precious contribution" to the fight against the militants, who have increased their attacks against civilians using suicide bombers in border areas of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

At least 17,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million made homeless since Boko Haram began a militant campaign northeast Nigeria.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1213466/dozens-killed-as-suicide-bombers-hit-nigeria-mosque-witnesses

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Mali armed groups sign peace deal

16 October 2015

Former Tuareg rebels in northern Mali and rival pro-government armed groups said they sealed a peace deal Thursday to end hostilities after days of talks.

Mali was hit by violence between the two sides in August and September despite a peace deal signed earlier this year.

But armed groups still represent the main threat in the region, carrying out regular attacks and laying mines.

Officials from the Tuareg-led Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA) and the Platform, a coalition of pro-government groups, told AFP they reached agreement on a "pact of honour" after nearly three weeks of talks in Anefis, 100 kilometres (60 miles) southwest of the regional capital Kidal.

"We have held direct negotiations between us. We finished the meeting this evening (Thursday), everyone has made peace, starting with us, the Platform and the CMA," said Kidal member of parliament Ahmoudene Ag Iknass, a Platform supporter.

"The war is behind us. The Platform and the CMA have made peace, but other tribes or groups that had problems between themselves also made peace," Boubacar Ould Hamadi of the CMA said.

The two sides had fought for control of Anefis in violation of the peace agreement they had signed -- in May for the Platform and June for the CMA.

In a statement released Thursday, the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA) welcomed "the series of meetings held in Anefis, from October 4 to 14, 2015, as part of a direct and constructive dialogue" between the two sides.

MINUSMA said it was encouraged by "the development which constitutes a qualitative step in the process of inter-Malian peace."

"This advance adds to the progress that has been made since the completion of the signing of the agreement for peace and national reconciliation in Mali, reaffirming the resolute march towards a lasting and inclusive peace," it said.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/165336/mali-armed-groups-sign-peace-deal

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Niger imposes state of emergency on region hit by Boko Haram

15 October 2015

Niger has imposed a state of emergency on the southeastern region of Diffa on Wednesday where at least 40 people have been killed in recent weeks in attacks blamed on the militant group Boko Haram.

The 15-day state of emergency will allow authorities to beef up security, impose a curfew and restrict the movement of goods and people, according to a statement on state television. The government instituted similar measures in February.

Niger, Cameroon and Chad have all suffered a spillover of violence from Boko Haram’s northern Nigerian strongholds and Niger has arrested at least 1,100 suspected Boko Haram militants this year.

Diffa has endured at least 57 attacks since February, statistics published by the United Nations on Friday showed.

At least 150,000 refugees seeking protection from Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria live in Niger’s Diffa region.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2015/10/15/Niger-imposes-state-of-emergency-on-region-hit-by-Boko-Haram.html

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Two new Libyan suspects identified in Lockerbie bombing

15 October 2015

Scottish prosecutors on Thursday said they had identified two new Libyan suspects in the bombing of a Pan Am jet over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988, which killed 270 people.

Scottish and United States officials agree “there is a proper basis in law... to treat two Libyans as suspects in the continuing investigation into the bombing of flight Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie,” according to a statement released by prosecutors.

“The two individuals are suspected of involvement, along with Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi,” it added.

Megrahi was found guilty of the bombing in 2001. He is the only person ever convicted of the crime.

Scotland’s lead prosecutor on Thursday issued an International Letter of Request to the Libyan attorney general in Tripoli, which identifies the suspects and calls for cooperation.

“The Lord Advocate and the U.S. Attorney General are seeking the assistance of the Libyan judicial authorities for Scottish police officers and the FBI to interview the two named suspects in Tripoli,” the statement said.

The Scottish government released Megrahi on compassionate grounds in 2009 after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He died in Libya in 2012 still protesting his innocence.

Libya admitted responsibility for the bombing in 2003 and the regime of slain dictator Muammar Qaddafi eventually paid $2.7 billion in compensation to victims’ families as part of a raft of measures aimed at a rapprochement with the West.

Since the fall of the Qaddafi regime in 2011, British and U.S. detectives have travelled to Libya to investigate whether other perpetrators can be identified.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2015/10/15/Two-new-Libyan-suspects-identified-in-Lockerbie-bombing.html

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Arab World

 

Security Official: Massive Operations Underway to Surround ISIL in Iraq, Syria

Oct 15, 2015

"The biggest operation to besiege the Takfiri ISIL terrorist group have started in Syria, which is first of a kind in Syria," a senior Iraqi security official told FNA on Thursday.

He underlined that the operations are expected to exert heavy pressure on the ISIL terrorists.

Noting that the main operations will be staged in Iraq's al-Anbar province and Syria's Raqa and countryside of Idlib provinces, he said, "The operations will be conducted through information coordination and intelligence sharing in the joint operations room which includes representatives of Iraq, Syria, Iran and Russia."

In relevant remarks on Wednesday, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan stressed that the country's military experts and advisors are taking preparatory actions that will end up in the complete annihilation of the Takfiri groups, including the ISIL terrorists, in Syria.

Dehqan made the remarks in a ceremony in Tehran to commemorate martyrdom of IRGC Commander Brigadier General Hossein Hamadani, who was killed in Northern Syria last Thursday.

He referred to the new joint operations plan of Iran, Syria, Iraq and Russia to destroy the ISIL, and said, "At present, we are witnessing start of new developments in Syria, thanks to the efforts and measures adopted by martyr Hamadani."

"God willing, these developments will pave the ground for the full annihilation of the Takfiri groups," Dehqan said.

General Hamadani was killed in Northern Syria last Thursday, while providing military counseling services to the Syrian forces in their fight against the Takfiri terrorists.

"Brigadier General Hamadani was martyred during an attack by the ISIL Takfiri terrorists in the outskirts of the city of Aleppo while fulfilling his duty as military advisor and defending the holy Shiite shrines in the country," the IRGC said in a statement on Friday.

General Hamadani was in Syria to render military advice to the Syrian army and popular forces in their fight against the ISIL terrorists in the Arab country.

In relevant remarks on Monday, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari underlined that the terrorist groups in Syria will sustain great losses in coming days.

"We will witness great victories in Syria in the next few days," Jafari said.

Noting that the security of Western Asia, including Iran, is dependent on Syria and the resistance front, he said, "We should support this front with all our power."

Jafari also warned that the "arrogant powers in the region are after overthrowing the ruling system in Syria to extend their influence in the Muslim states".

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940723000642

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Senior Ahrar Al-Sham Leader killed in Russian Airstrike in Homs

Oct 15, 2015

The Russian fighter jets killed dozens of Takfiri terrorists, including the Emir (top commander) of Ahrar al Sham terrorist group in Homs, Abu Bakr al-Shishani, on Wednesday.

Syrian military sources told Sputnik on Thursday that al-Shishani was reportedly killed by a Russian airstrike in Homs province in Syria.

"On October 14, a Russian airstrike, carried out in the Homs province, destroyed a group of militants along with Chechen-born Abu Bakr al-Shishani, leader of the Ahrar Al-Sham terrorist group," the source said.

The Syrian army also killed two other top commanders of the Takfiri terrorist group, including head of the militants' operations room, in Homs on Thursday.

The terrorist commander, Rawad al-Aksah, was killed in Teir Ma'la in Homs countryside. Al-Aksah was in charge of Homs operations room, and also led the terrorists in Teir Ma'la.

Reports from Homs said that another top terrorist leader, Amer Moussa Shiblout, has also been identified among the dead.

The Syrian armed forces conducted massive military operations in the Northern and Northeastern countryside of Homs province on Thursday.

Early battlefield reports indicated large casualties among the militants. Reports on Thursday evening said the Syrian army, backed up by the Russian warplanes, still continues marching on militant-held regions.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940723001015

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Syrian Army Seizes Control of Al-Amal Farms in Golan Heights

Oct 16, 2015

Earlier this morning, the Syrian Army’s Brigade 90, in cooperation with Fouj Al-Joulan (Golan Regiment) and Liwaa Suqour Al-Quneitra (Al-Quneitra Hawks Brigade) of the National Defense Forces (NDF), launched an attack on Israeli-backed militants in the Al-Amal Farms located north of the Tal Al-Ahmar hilltops in the Golan Heights in Quneitra province.

The Syrian Armed Forces surprised the terrorists of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham (Ahrar Al-Sham Movement) and the Free Syrian Army’s “Southern Front Brigades” with an attack on their positions Al-Amal Farms just two days after they seized full-control of Tal Al-Ahmar.

Reports said the Syrian army won control over the farms after heavy clashes with the terrorists.

With Al-Amal Farms, Tal Qaba’a (UN Hill), and Tal Al-Ahmar (Red Hill) under their control, the Syrian government troops have now taken back almost all the regions that they lost to the militants in the Golan Heights two weeks ago.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940724000006

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Syrian Troops Regain Control of Strategic Area in Quneitra

 Oct 15, 2015

The Syrian army retook full control of Amal Farms and its checkpoint in Quneitra countryside, informed sources said.

The Syrian forces continued to advance against the Takfiri militants in Quneitra province.

On Tuesday, a senior terrorist commander was among a group of the Takfiri militants killed in the liberating operation of Tal-Ahmar in Quneitra.

The army, backed by the popular defense groups, regained full control over the Tal Ahmar hill to the North of Khan Arnaba in the Northeastern countryside of the Quneitra on Tuesday, and inflicted heavy losses on terrorists of al-Nusra Front and its affiliated groups.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940723000559

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Syrian Army Wins Back New Strategic Area in Hama

Oct 15, 2015

On Wednesday, Scores of terrorists were killed and injured during the liberating operation.

The Russian Air Force reportedly bombed the terrorist' positions around the area and a village located to the Northwest of Hama.

Earlier on Wednesday, military sources announced that over 29 terrorists were killed and several more were wounded in the Syrian army's offensives in different parts of the provinces of Hama and Idlib.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940723000219

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ISIL Retreating in Syria, Russian Fighter Jets Strike 32 Facilities Overnight

Oct 15, 2015

The bombing campaign in Syria is forcing the Takfiri terrorists to flee, RT reported quoting top Russian army generals.

The 9K33 Osa short-range air defense launcher was destroyed by a Sukhoi Su-34 bomber in Eastern Douma near Damascus, ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told the media in his Thursday daily briefing.

The Su-34 dropped a precision anti-fortification bomb KAB-500 at a concrete shelter, where the launcher was hidden, destroying both the weapon and the building, he added.

Osa, which is called Gecko by NATO, is a highly-mobile launcher equipped with six short-range surface-to-air missiles meant to provide tactical cover from enemy aircraft to ground troops.

The launcher was destroyed during one of 33 combat missions that Russia conducted in Syria over the day. A total of 32 targets in the provinces Idlib, Hama, Damascus, Aleppo and Deir Ezzur were hit, Konashenkov said.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940723000796

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Syrian Army Kills Terrorists' Operations Room Commander in Homs

Oct 15, 2015

The terrorist commander, Rawad al-Aksah, was killed in Teir Ma'la in Homs countryside. Al-Aksah was in charge of Homs operations room and also led the terrorists in Teir Ma'la.

Reports from Homs said that another top terrorist leader, Amer Moussa Shiblout, has also been identified among the dead.

The Syrian armed forces conducted massive military operations in the Northern and Northeastern countryside of Homs province on Thursday.

Early battlefield reports indicated large casualties among the militants. Reports on Thursday evening said the Syrian army, backed up by the Russian warplanes, still continues marching on militant-held regions.

Meanwhile, the Syrian forces retook full control over Khalidiya village in Homs, killing a number of terrorists and destroying their weapons.

On Wednesday, leader and deputy leader of a main anti-government militant group in Syria's Homs province were killed along with several other notorious terrorists in a Syrian Army ambush operation.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940723000366

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U.S. ‘ready to drop’ weapons to Syria rebels

16 October 2015

The U.S. military is poised to boost its supply runs to rebels fighting ISIS militants in northern Syria, a U.S. official said Thursday, days after an initial air drop of ammunition.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official told AFP the Pentagon is ready to augment ammunition deliveries with weapons, provided rebels on the ground can prove they are fighting ISIS.

"There will be more deliveries but only if they can demonstrate that they have used it in an effective way against ISIL," the official said, using an alternate acronym for ISIS.

"As they demonstrate results, the packages will get heavier and U.S. strikes will occur in places that are advantageous to their operations."

The official described the rebel-arming program as "performance-based."

"We've left the door open to more things to include some weaponry," he added. "If they fail ... if the things fall into the wrong hands, then those particular groups will be cut off."

U.S.-led coalition forces on Sunday parachuted 50 tons of small-arms ammunition and rockets to rebels fighting ISIS militants.

The move followed the Pentagon's announcement last week it would halt its much-criticized program to train moderate rebels, and instead focus efforts on equipping pre-screened rebel leaders from groups actively fighting ISIS.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/16/U-S-ready-to-drop-weapons-to-Syria-rebels.html

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Hollande: Russian intervention won’t save Assad

16 October 2015

Russia’s military intervention in Syria will not save President Bashar al-Assad, French President Francois Hollande said on Friday after an EU summit called for a political transition to a new leader.

“It is very clearly stated that Bashar cannot be the future. We must go as fast as possible to a political transition,” Hollande told a press conference after the summit in Brussels.

“Russia’s intervention from this point of view can bolster the regime but will not save Bashar,” he added.

Russia said on Thursday its warplanes had eased back on air strikes in Syria as regime forces pressed a widening ground offensive against rebels.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/16/Russian-intervention-won-t-save-Syria-s-Assad.html

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Egypt acquits Al Qaeda chief's brother, orders new probe

October 16, 2015

CAIRO: An Egyptian court on Thursday acquitted Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri's brother of charges of forming a "terrorist group" but ordered an investigation into a speech he made in court.

Mohamed al-Zawahiri was arrested in August 2013 at the height of a campaign of repression of Islamists in the wake of the army's ouster of the country's Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

He and dozens of other defendants were accused of having formed "a terrorist group linked to Al Qaeda" and plotting attacks on government installations, security forces and Egypt's Christian minority — all charges which defence lawyers denied.

On Thursday, the court acquitted Zawahiri of the charges but it upheld earlier death sentences handed down to 10 co-defendants.

Those convicted were found guilty of "joining a terrorist group, inciting the killing of police and army officers and attacking police and government buildings".

Thirty-nine other defendants were handed prison terms ranging from one year to life in jail, which in Egypt runs to 25 years, while 15 defendants were acquitted.

"The judge convicted some defendants for joining a terrorist group, but he acquitted Zawahiri of establishing or joining it," defence lawyer Kamel Mandour told AFP.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1213463/egypt-acquits-al-qaeda-chiefs-brother-orders-new-probe

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Statement of Ahlul Bayt World Assembly on the eve of Muharram

October 15, 2015

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH

Statement of the Ahlulbayt World Assembly on the Threshold of Muharram 1437 A.H.

“The Holy Prophet of Islam – peace be upon him and his Infallible Household – said: Verily, there is a flame within the hearts of believers in the wake of Hussein’s martyrdom, which will never be extinguished.” (Mustadrak al-Wasa’il, vol 10, p 318)

Salam to the month of Muharram; the month of roaring by the oppressed upon the tyrants; the month of zeal and loneliness; the month of heroism; the month of courage and martyrdom; and the month of the victory of blood over the sword ... a month on whose pages has been carved the slogan of ‘Humiliation is too far from us!’ ….. and Salam to Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of the Seal of Prophets (s.a.) who gave his heart's blood to save God's people from ignorance and error ...

Muharram comes so that the followers of the path of Imam Hussein (a.s.) will hoist the flag of pure Mohammedan Islam once again to spread the culture of Ashura across the Muslim World through their public meetings and mourning ceremonies as emphasized by the late leader of Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (r.a.): “The Lord of Martyrs (i.e. Imam Hussein) has kept Islam alive throughout the history ... He was the one who saved Islam. Mourning for Imam Hussein (a.s.) is to safeguard his school of thought. For over 1400 years, such mourning ceremonies, speeches, weeping for his sake, and beating chests in his remembrance have protected our religion.”

Words of the leader of Muslim world, Ayatollah Khamenei, too, highlight the issue as being fundamentally significant: “If the people of Islam keep the name and remembrance of Hussein (a.s.) alive and choose it as a role model, they will pass all obstacles and difficulties.”

Now that the Muslim World is still grieving for the unjustly spilled bloods of innocent pilgrims in Mena by Al Saud regime, the followers and lovers of Ahlulbayt worldwide are preparing themselves for the advent of Muharram’s mourning ceremonies at this particular time when similar tragedies are being repeated in Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Pakistan and Iraq by terrorists who are hired by the evil states of Britain and the United States.

On the other hand, the attacks of the Zionist regime in Jerusalem has also started and is being continued while a number of countries including the U.S. and Britain who are sided with the aggressor and usurper regime have condemned the defensive responses by Palestinian groups. Also many other states who take the gesture of democracy and freedom have adopted weak stances and issued passive statements on this matter.

Full Report at:

http://en.abna24.com/service/ahb/archive/2015/10/15/715224/story.html

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Southeast Asia

 

Indonesia deploys troops to calm religious unrest

16 October 2015

JAKARTA: Indonesia deployed security personnel on Thursday to calm unrest in its northern Aceh province after a mob burned down churches and killed one person in religious violence this week.

Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population, the majority of which practices a moderate form of Islam. Aceh is the most conservative province in the country and the only one to abide by Islamic Sharia law.

“The situation in Aceh Singkil is calm now and under control,” national police spokesman Agus Rianto told Reuters by telephone, referring to the district where the attack took place.

“We are carrying out patrols in the area with the help of military troops,” Rianto added, declining to comment on the total number of personnel that had been deployed.

Rianto denied reports that thousands of people had evacuated Aceh Singkil in the wake of the attack on Tuesday.

Full Report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/world/news/820926

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IS militant server hacker will be extradited to US, says IGP

October 16, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: The Islamic State (IS) computer server hacker will be extradited to the United States of America after being detained by the police here for 15 days.

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said the suspect, 20, had entered the country in August to pursue studies in a private institution of higher learning here in the field of computer science and computer forensics.

“From our investigations, it was found that the suspect had communicated with one of the senior leaders of the IS militant group in Syria with the aim of hacking several computers which contain information on the American security forces before passing it on to the operations unit of the group for further action,” he said in a statement today.

Khalid said initially the suspect was arrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

Full Report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/10/16/is-militant-server-hacker-will-be-extradited-to-us-says-igp/

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All eyes on RI, focus on diversity, Islam

October 15 2015

Indonesian literature is taking the main stage at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF), the world’s largest book fair and one of the oldest.

As the guest of honor, Indonesia is given the chance to show off its multifaceted literary and cultural landscape.

Under the theme “17,000 Islands of Imagination”, Indonesia is presenting 75 authors and more than 500 events at the book fair, which runs from Oct. 14 to 18.

“Through the presence of Indonesia here, we expect to make a contribution in showing that culture thrives in open-mindedness,” Education and Culture Minister Anies Baswedan said at the opening ceremony on Tuesday evening at Frankfurt Messe.

Given its various languages and cultures, Anies said, Indonesia had over the course of centuries learned about the management of differences.

“Our presence is not solely aimed at ensuring recognition for Indonesia. The more crucial purpose is to invite Europe and the world to a broader dialogue. Particularly at this time, when thousands of people from outside Europe are migrating here,” the minister said.

Figures from Germany expressed hope that Indonesian literary works could enlighten discourse on cultural policy in Europe, which is dealing with the influx of hundreds of thousands refugees hailing from Muslim countries.

“The young democracy Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country in the world, is often held up as a model for how to reconcile Islam and democracy,” said Prof. Monika Grütters, the German commissioner for culture and the media.

“And the host country Germany is asking itself how to protect and preserve the democratic values that have made it the destination of choice for hundreds of thousands of people fleeing predominantly Muslim countries,” he continued.

Noted and rising Indonesian authors will grace discussions at the fair, from acclaimed writers such as Laksmi Pamuntjak, Leila Chudori and Dewi Lestari to younger figures such as creative entrepreneur Yoris Sebastian and Muslim fashion trendsetter and designer Dian Pelangi. Living legends Sapardi Djoko Damono, Nh. Dini and Taufiq Ismail will greet visitors at the fair.

More than 40 percent of books published in Indonesia are translations, making the country one of the biggest rights buyers in Southeast Asia. Goenawan Mohamad, head of the National Committee for the FBF, hopes to turn the tide this year, with dozens of Indonesian publishing houses getting a chance to offer their book rights to publishers and film producers in Europe and beyond.

Full Report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/10/15/all-eyes-ri-focus-diversity-islam.html

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North America

 

Religious extremism on a rise worldwide, says US State Department

October 16, 2015

WASHINGTON: The United States released a bleak report on the state of religious freedom around the world on Wednesday, decrying militants attacks on Middle East minorities and a rise in European anti-Semitism.

In its annual survey of religious discrimination, the State Department said that, while many governments had worked harder to end abuses, extremist non-state actors like the sell-styled Islamic State group (IS) are on the rise.

And discrimination is not limited to Washington’s foes and rivals like Iran and China but is “egregious” in close allies like Saudi Arabia and worrisome even in Western democracies like France and Germany.

“No nation can fulfil its potential if its people are denied the right to practice, to hold, to modify, to openly profess their innermost beliefs,” Secretary of State John Kerry said as the report was unveiled.

“We hope to give governments an added incentive to honor the religious dignity of their citizens.” The “International Religious Freedom Report” has no direct impact on US policy towards the countries it studies, but Kerry said it would serve as reference for diplomats and activists lobbying for change.

In the 12 months since the last report, the most serious religious persecution has been carried out by militant groups like the IS in Iraq and Syria and Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin.

“Under their control, captives have been given a choice between conversion or slavery or death,” Kerry said.

“Entire populations of religious minority groups have been targeted for killing. Terrified young girls have been separated out by religion and sold into slavery.” The author of the report, Washington’s special envoy for religious freedom, Ambassador David Saperstein, cited the fate of the Yazidi, Christian and other religious minorities in northern Iraq as particularly severe.

“There’s been a Christian community there for 1,600 years, across the Nineveh Plain church bells have pealed for 1,600 years. Today they are silent,” he said.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/16-Oct-2015/religious-extremism-on-a-rise-worldwide-says-us-state-department

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Muslims In America: Part Of The Solution, Not The Problem

Oct 16, 2015

Last weekend, anti-Muslim rallies sprung up in several cities across the United States. Protesters, many of them openly armed, showed up outside more than 20 mosques in various states across the country, carrying signs saying “Stop Islamization of America!”

Organizers of the rallies are encouraging fellow Americans to unite in protest against the presence of Muslims in America.

Protests like these will only serve to ignite hate, fear, and violence, and to divide communities. These rallies are spreading hate towards Muslim Americans who are devout, peaceful, productive, and law-abiding citizens.

Some people came to the rallies to show support to the Muslims living in America.

On an ABC 7 news report, Martha Alkayyali said, “My neighbors are Muslim. My neighbors are Christian, some are Jewish. We have no problems.”

The Muslim teachers, doctors, school kids, restaurant owners, engineers, and businessmen living in America are not a threat to American society.

The real threat and the real terror, which became evident in the wake of the October 1st shooting rampage at a community college in the state of Oregon, are school shootings.

Faithful Muslim communities may actually be part of the solution and not the problem in America. Spreading hate about Muslims (or any religious group) is diverting public attention away from the problem that is jeopardizing the safety of school children in America.

According to data collected from the Centers for Disease Control, on an average day, 88 Americans are killed with guns. Nearly 12,000 Americans are murdered with guns every year — a rate more than 20 times higher than that of other developed countries.

With lax gun control laws and the ease with which people can obtain a gun illegally, American children are being exposed to gunfire. A report by the Urban Institute showed that in the single school district of Washington, DC, there were at least 336 gunshots in the vicinity of schools over a single school year.

On October 1st, Christopher Harper Mercer shot and killed nine people in a creative writing class at Umpqua Community College, and shot and injured nine others. After a brief exchange of gunfire with police, he shot and killed himself.

This is the 45th school shooting in the US in 2015, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization that conducts research about gun safety and communicates this knowledge to the American public.

This is the 142nd school shooting, since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, not once were the perpetrators of these terrors Muslim.

The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and 6 adult staff members. After police arrived at the scene, Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself.

This was the second bloodiest school shooting, after the Virginia Tech massacre, on April 16th, 2007 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. Seung-Hui Cho, a student in his senior year shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others, before committing suicide. This attack was the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in US history and one of the deadliest by a single gunman worldwide.

In a Harvard Politics Review published in April 19th, 2015, Samarath Gupta explores some of the causes of school shootings in America.

Full Report at:

http://saudigazette.com.sa/life/muslims-in-america-part-of-the-solution-not-the-problem/

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US analysts believe ‘Pakistani operative’ was using MSF hospital for Taliban activity: AP

October 16, 2015

WASHINGTON: Days before the October 3 United States (US) air attack on a hospital in Afghanistan, American special operations analysts were gathering intelligence on the facility which they knew was a protected medical site because they believed it was being used by a Pakistani operative to coordinate Taliban activity, The Associated Press has learned.

It's unclear whether commanders who unleashed the AC-130 gunship on the hospital killing at least 22 patients and hospital staff were aware that the site was a hospital or knew about the allegations of possible enemy activity.

The Pentagon initially said the attack was to protect US troops engaged in a firefight and has since said it was a mistake.

The special operations analysts had assembled a dossier that included maps with the hospital circled, along with indications that intelligence agencies were tracking the location of the alleged Pakistani operative and activity reports based on overhead surveillance, according to a former intelligence official familiar with the material.

The intelligence suggested the hospital was being used as a Taliban command and control centre and may have housed heavy weapons.

After the attack which came amidst a battle to retake the northern Afghan city of Kunduz from the Taliban some US analysts assessed that the strike had been justified, the former officer says.

They concluded that the Pakistani, believed to have been working for the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), had been killed.

No evidence has surfaced publicly to support those conclusions about the alleged operative's connections or his demise.

The former intelligence official was not authorised to comment publicly and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

The top US officer in Afghanistan, Gen. John Campbell, has said the strike was a mistake, but he has not explained exactly how it happened or who granted final approval.

He also told Congress he was ordering all personnel in Afghanistan to be retrained on the rules governing the circumstances under which strikes are acceptable.

The new details about the military's suspicions that the hospital was being misused complicate an already murky picture and add to the unanswered questions about one of the worst civilian casualty incidents of the Afghan war.

They also raise the possibility of a breakdown in intelligence sharing and communication across the military chain of command.

Pentagon officials declined to comment.

The international humanitarian agency that ran the facility, Doctors without Borders, has condemned the bombing as a war crime.

The organisation says the strike killed 12 hospital staff and 10 patients, and that death toll may rise.

It insists that no gunmen, weapons or ammunition were in the building.

The US and Afghan governments have launched three separate investigations. President Barack Obama has apologised, but Doctors without Borders is calling for an international probe.

Doctors without Borders officials say the US airplane made five separate strafing runs over an hour, directing heavy fire on the main hospital building, which contained the emergency room and intensive care unit. Surrounding buildings were not struck, they said.

Typically, pilots flying air support missions would have maps showing protected sites such as hospitals and mosques.

If commanders concluded that enemies were operating from a protected site, they would follow procedures designed to minimise civilian casualties.

That would generally mean surrounding a building with troops, not blowing it to bits from the air.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1213452/us-analysts-believe-pakistani-operative-was-using-msf-hospital-for-taliban-activity-ap

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France says Iran missile test ‘worrying’ violation of U.N. resolution

15 October 2015

Iran’s test of a ballistic missile earlier this week was a clear violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution and sends “a worrying message,” French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said on Thursday.

Iran tested a new precision-guided ballistic missile on Sunday in defiance of a United Nations ban, signaling an apparent advance in Iranian attempts to improve the accuracy of its missile arsenal.

“The Oct. 11 launch constitutes a clear violation of this resolution (1929). It is a worrying message from Iran to the international community,” Nadal told reporters in a daily briefing.

Ballistic missile tests by Iran are banned under Security Council resolution 1929, which dates from 2010 and remains valid until a nuclear deal dating from July 14 this year goes into effect.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/15/France-says-Iran-missile-test-worrying-violation-of-U-N-resolution.html

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US report underlines restrictions on religious freedom in India and Pakistan

October 16, 2015

WASHINGTON: Both India and Pakistan have laws that restrict religious freedom, and discrimination against minorities is also widespread in both countries, says an official US report.

The US State Department’s fresh report on religious freedom during 2014 notes that in Pakistan, “Government policies do not afford equal protection to members of majority and minority religious groups”.

In India, “religiously motivated killings, coerced religious conversions, riots, and actions restricting the right of individuals to change religious beliefs” make the minorities vulnerable, it adds.

In Pakistan, “minorities often are afraid to profess freely their religious beliefs” due to discriminatory legislation.

INDIA

There are operative “anti-conversion” laws in six of the 29 Indian states: Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Madhya Pradesh.

Indian authorities describe these laws as “measures to protect vulnerable individuals” from being induced to change their faith. For example, the Gujarat law proscribes religious conversions through “allurement, force, or fraud.

Under Himachal Pradesh law, no “person shall convert or attempt to convert, either directly or otherwise, any person from one religion to another by the use of force or by inducement or by any other fraudulent means nor shall any person abet any such conversion.” Violations are punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of 25,000 rupees, with increased penalties if “Scheduled Caste” or “Scheduled Tribe” members or minors are involved.

Chhattisgarh maintains similar prohibitions against conversion by force or enticement.

Odisha state law prohibits religious conversion “by the use of force or by inducement or by any fraudulent means, nor shall any person abet any such conversion.” Penalties include imprisonment, a fine, or both, and are harsher if the offense involves minors, women, or a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe member.

The law requires that individuals, who wish to convert to another religion, and clergy intending to officiate in a conversion ceremony, make a formal notification to the government. The law also requires district magistrates to maintain a list of religious organisations and individuals engaged in proselytism.

Under Andhra Pradesh law, authorities may prohibit proselytising near a place of worship of another religion.

Punishment for violations can include imprisonment for up to three years and fines up to 5,000 rupees.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1213394/us-report-underlines-restrictions-on-religious-freedom-in-india-and-pakistan

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US rebel training program 'nuts,' ex-Pentagon chief says

By AFP Published: October 16, 2015

WASHINGTON: A doomed US plan now on hold to train Syrian rebel fighters outside the country to fight the Islamic State was “nuts,” former defense secretary Robert Gates said.

President Barack Obama’s administration has suspended its $500 million train and equip effort in the latest embarrassment concerning a Syria strategy that has stumbled from one setback to the next.

Pentagon officials say that instead of training rebel units, the US military would dole out weapons to favored commanders already on the ground.

“I think the idea of training somebody from the outside and sending them in is nuts, it’s just not going to work,” Gates said in an interview with the Fox News Channel’s “Special Report” aired Thursday.

“The only way you can staunch the humanitarian flow, the humanitarian disaster, is through some kind of a safe haven and I think that that’s achievable.”

Gates, a former CIA director who served as Pentagon chief under both Obama and his Republican predecessor George W Bush, argued that the US role in the drawn-out Syrian war “should be limited.”

“I would not put ground troops in Syria,” where a brutal civil war has raged since 2011.

Two small groups of US-trained fighters have crossed into Syria from training centers in Turkey or Jordan this year, but they did not last long.

The first broke up after coming under attack from the al Nusra Front, an al Qaeda franchise.

The other surrendered much of its equipment, perhaps a quarter of its trucks and guns, to al Nusra.

Full Report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/973982/us-rebel-training-program-nuts-ex-pentagon-chief-says/

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Europe

 

Islam was 'never part of Europe': Hungary's Orban

By AFP: October 16, 2015

BERLIN: Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban defended his hardline stance against refugees, the vast majority of whom are Muslim, saying in an interview published Friday that Islam “has never been part of Europe”.

Speaking to Germany’s Focus news weekly about the record migrant influx, he said “the language of the European elite is ideological and dogmatic”.

“Islam has never been part of Europe, it came to us,” Orban told Focus in an interview to be published in full Saturday.

Read: Hungary’s Orban: EU should pay Turkey, other countries to help handle migrants

He conceded that Germany’s Turkish migrants, who arrived in their tens of thousands from the 1960s for work, now “belong to German history and therefore Europe’s too”.

“But spiritually, Islam was never part of Europe. It’s the rulebook of another world,” said Orban.

He also hit out at France and Germany for refusing to countenance “any doubts” over a multicultural society.

Full Report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/973969/islam-was-never-part-of-europe-hungarys-orban/

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Is The West Arming the Syrian People’s Front or the People’s Front of Syria?

John R. Bradley

14 October 2015

The United States has abandoned training rebel forces on the ground in Syria but not equipping them, or at least some of them, and over the weekend its military cargo planes dropped 50 tons of ammunition to rebel groups in the north of the country. All apparently reached their intended target: yet another hastily formed alliance intent on fighting both the Islamic State and the Assad regime.

Alas, despite being created just days ago, in keeping with Syrian rebels‘ almost constantly shifting alliances, it confusingly already has two names: the Democratic Forces of Syria and the Syrian Arab Coalition.

The former includes both Arab groups and the Kurdish YPG militia. However, because the Arab rebels are partly funded by Turkey, which in turn is waging war on the Kurds (and Isis), they have decided to call themselves the Syrian Arab Coalition – presumably partly so as not to offend their paymasters and also because the Arabs and Kurds cannot stand one another.

In-article-subs-banner-blue

One is reminded of the Monty Python sketch from the Life of Brian about the many fractious and bickering independence movements claiming to be the People’s Front of Judea:

Brian: Excuse me. Are you the Judean People’s Front?

Reg: Fuck off! ‘Judean People’s Front’. We’re the People’s Front of Judea! ‘Judean People’s Front’.

Full Report at:

http://blogs.new.spectator.co.uk/2015/10/is-the-west-arming-the-syrian-peoples-front-or-the-peoples-front-of-syria/

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Russia re-establishing control of Afghan border

October 16, 2015

ASTANA - Russia, alarmed by increased activity by extremist insurgents near its borders with Central Asia, may act to re-establish its control over Tajikistan’s border with Afghanistan, a senior Russian defence official said on Thursday.

Taliban insurgents have made advances in the Afghan province of Kunduz, bordering Tajikistan, while the prospect of Islamic State-trained militants arriving in the region from the conflict in Syria have increased security fears among Russia and its Central Asian allies.Speaking after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said they were “very concerned with the situation in Tajikistan”.Russian military used to patrol Tajikistan’s sensitive border with Afghanistan, pulling out in 2005 by agreement with the local government.

Asked by Reuters if Moscow might re-establish its control of Tajikistan’s border with Afghanistan, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov said: “I don’t rule it out.”

Referring to a Russian military base in Tajikistan which maintains a 6,000-strong force, Borisov said: “We have a base there as you know. Our political leaders will discuss and decide. Everything is possible.”

Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s largest economy and the second-largest post-Soviet oil producer after Russia, has itself been rocked by clashes between its security forces and Islamist insurgents.

Possible terrorist threats are expected to loom large on the agenda of meetings of foreign ministers of the Russia-led CIS in Kazakhstan later on Thursday and of CIS heads of state on Friday.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/16-Oct-2015/russia-re-establishing-control-of-afghan-border

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EU & Turkey agree joint refugee 'action plan'

16 October 201

EU leaders approved Thursday an action plan withTurkey to help stem the flood of migrants in return for concessions from Brussels, including easier visa access.

"Our intensified meetings with Turkish leaders ... were devoted to one goal: stemming the migratory flows that go via Turkey to the EU. The action plan is a major step in this direction," European Council President Donald Tusk said after a summit of all 28 EU leaders in Brussels.

Tusk said Turkey would have to meet its commitments to help control the flow of migrants, mostly fleeing the war in Syria, and ensure that their asylum requests were properly dealt with.

"We need a response and an adequate response from the Turkish side; they are our partners in the crisis and the 'more for more' principle applies," he told reporters.

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said the European Union had agreed to speed up work on easing visa access for Turkey, a candidate for EU membership, but he stressed Ankara would not get a free ride.

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/165321/finland-to-advise-turkey-on-nuclear-safety

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Moscow ready to cooperate with Turkey against terrorism

16 October 2015

Russia is ready to cooperate with Turkey in the fight against terrorism, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday.

"Terrorism is a global threat and we should join our forces against it," Lavrov said in a message sent to a joint international conference organized in the Russian capital Moscow by two Turkish and Russian think-tanks.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov said that Russia had never denied providing military aid to Syria, and was ready to fight against all "constructive" groups fighting ISIL.

"We are in Syria in accordance with the request of the Damascus administration," Meshkov said.

Russia began flying combat missions over Syria on September 30 following an escalation in its military support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Despite claiming to be targeting ISIL, the U.S. and its allies have complained of Russian airstrikes on “moderate” forces fighting Assad.

In remarks made following the recent incursions by Russian aircraft into Turkish airspace, Turkish Deputy Undersecretary of Foreign Ministry Ali Kemal Aydin said that Turkey "sincerely" believed that necessary steps would be taken to ensure that such incidents did not happen again, and cooperation would resume between the two countries.

"We prefer to focus on projects that appeal to joint interests with Russia, not on points where we disagree," Aydin said at the conference.

There have been two incursions by Russian aircraft into Turkish airspace, one on Oct. 3, and one on the following day. Each time Turkish F-16 jets intercepted the Russian fighters forcing them to turn back.

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/turkey/165334/turkey-sudan-trade-hits-new-high

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Refugees Shake Up German Muslim Community

15 October 2015

BERLIN – In a country where the Turkish culture is dominant, the huge influx of refugees to Germany is expected to shake up the Muslim community, opening new gates of diversity and integration.

“Most sermons are held in Turkish,” Yasemin El-Menouar, Islam expert at think-tank the Bertelsmann Foundation, told Agence France Presse (AFP) on Wednesday, October 14.

For long decades, the Turkish culture and language have been dominant in Germany.

Starting from post-WWII industrial revival, the more than four-million Muslim community is “two-thirds of Turkish origin or culturally Turkish,” the researcher told AFP.

In the 1960s and 70s, Turkish construction and factory workers came to participate in the “economic miracle” years.

Today, “even in the second and third generation, Turkish influence is strong,” said El-Menouar.

Currently, most of the countries mosques, about 900 mosques, are managed by the DITIB, the European arm of the Turkish state secretariat for religious affairs, a key interlocutor for German authorities on matters related to the third largest religion in the country.

In these religious communities imams have usually been sent directly by Ankara for over 30 years.

Most of the time, they do not speak German, and very often, it is a portrait of Ataturk, the father of modern, secular Turkey, which adorns the walls of the organization.

The huge influx of refugees is expected to make a huge change to the status quo.

“Now they will have to open up to Muslims from other parts of the world,” said El-Menouar.

It could be a “stroke of luck,” said Mouhanad Khorchide, who holds the Chair on Islam at the University of Munster.

“Islam in Germany will gain in diversity,” said Khorchide, who lives under police protection after receiving death threats from radical Islamists.

The number of newcomers is enormous. Of the more than 800,000 new asylum seekers expected in Germany this year, some 80 percent are Muslims, according to the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (ZMD).

More than 161,000 Syrians now live in Germany and the number is expected to grow further, making it the largest Syrian community in Europe.

Integration

Opening Germany's gates to refugees, Chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly reminded refugees to respect the principles of a free society and the rule of law.

Germany will continue to be defined by “the constitution, the social market economy, the freedoms of religion and expression,” she said in a newspaper interview Monday.

“To the people who come here, we make clear from day one that we have laws and rules that govern communal life which they must follow. Only in this way can Germany be a safe haven to them”.

In Berlin, in the 12 asylum homes run by the Workers Welfare (AWO) aid organization, no religious practice is allowed, a rule meant to preempt potential problems.

“We tell those who ask where there are mosques nearby but we do not authorise any prayers over our loudspeakers,” said its chairman Manfred Nowak.

Full Report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/europe/495135-refugees-shake-up-german-muslim-community.html

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India

 

This Is Real India: Muslim Artisans Love Making Tableux of Goddes Durga in Odissa

15 October 2015

In a day and age where we keep hearing about the rise of communal disharmony, the story of Muslim artisans making statues of Goddess Durga epitomises what real India is about. Other than the tableaux of Goddess Durga, Muslim artisans for years have been making gears for the goddess like head gear, earrings etc made of golden threads called 'zari'.  Muslim artisans in Banka Bazar of Cuttack city have been designing tableaux for generations and whose works are in demand in neighbouring states as well.

A Muslim artisan, Zahir Khan, said the tradition has been going on for several decades. "Relations between us remain good and we are happy to make the gears for the idols. They happily take it. There is no question that they think that we are Muslims and they won't take things from us. Everything goes well here," said Khan.

Full Report at:

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-this-is-real-india-muslim-artisans-love-making-tableux-of-goddes-durga-in-cuttack-2135270

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Israel Visit: Diversity is India’s integrating factor, says Pranab Mukherjee

by Shalini Langer

Jerusalem     

Oct 16, 2015

Wrapping up his tour of Israel with an address at Hebrew University, where he was awarded a doctorate, President Pranab Mukherjee underlined that India derived its strength from its diversity. “Since my arrival I have been asked how India is managing the largest democracy of the world,” he said. “For us, diversity is an integrating factor. There are three substantial major ethnicities here… India’s strength is its unique capacity to bring its apparent contradictions on one platform.” The president also quoted Jawaharlal Nehru to say, “India is a country held together by strong but invisible threads…. She is a myth, an idea… but very real and pervasive.”

Full Report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/israel-visit-diversity-is-indias-integrating-factor-says-pranab-mukherjee/

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Hindus, Muslims Come Together Across India against a Backdrop of Religious Intolerance

Oct 15, 2015

There certainly is unity in diversity when it comes to India. At a time when the literary world is abuzz with authors protesting the communal killing in the country by returning their awards and honours, there are people who have taken a more harmonious stand against the same religious intolerance. In a spate of small but heart-warming incidents across the country, Muslims and Hindus are coming together to set examples of communal harmony, extending their hands to help their friends, neighbours and even strangers from the other communities. According to a Times of India report, two youngsters from Lucknow University are setting an example of communal harmony in the backdrop of the ongoing religious intolerance. “Sahaduddin Ahmed alias Sameer, a close relative of Pram Vir Chakra winner Abdul Hamid and his friend Abdul Kalim observed fast on the first day of Navratri. The two will also observe fast on the last day,” says the report.

Sameer is said to have distributed fruits and ‘falahaar’ (food consumed during fast) to his Full Report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/good-news/hindus-muslims-come-together-across-india-against-a-backdrop-of-religious-intolerance/

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US had warned Zia of Indian strike on Pakistan n-sites

Oct 16, 2015

The recently declassified US State Department documents show that in September 1984, US President Ronald Reagan had warned Pakistan’s military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq that “it is likely that at some point India will take military action to pre-empt your nuclear program”. The warning was part of the talking points conveyed by Ambassador Hinton, US Ambassador to Islamabad, to the Pakistani President while delivering Reagan’s letter expressing concern about Pakistan’s nuclear programme. The “Talking Points for Use in Delivering Letter to General Zia”, a four-page undated secret document, and President Reagan’s letter to General Zia of 12 September 1984 — a three-page secret and sensitive document — were produced by a mandatory declassification review request by the US National Security Archive to the US State Department. The letter and the talking points had not been revealed or published before this week. Reagan administration’s fears were based on a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analysis about an Indian reaction to Pakistan’s nuclear programme.

The CIA’s “Monthly Warning and Forecast Meetings for July 1984” explicitly noted that “some parts of the Indian government apparently view a Pakistani nuclear threat as imminent and it is our view that a pre-emptive military strike by India is a near-term possibility.”

The top secret CIA analysis also noted that “an Indian attack on Pakistani nuclear facilities would almost certainly prompt retaliatory strikes against Indian nuclear facilities and probably lead to a full-scale war.”

The Americans were also worried that it “could have very little additional political or military warning of an attack on Pakistani facilities”.

In his letter to Zia-ul-Haq, Reagan asked for a commitment to limiting the nuclear enrichment to five per cent. A section of Reagan administration considered five per cent as the “red line”, a breach of which should trigger sanctions on Pakistan. But Reagan’s letter did not directly threaten to cut aid in the event of non-compliance to the five per cent limit.

In December 1982, President Reagan had warned General Zia that the US would cut all aid to Pakistan if it took certain definitive steps toward a nuclear capability, for example by assembling or testing a nuclear device. More warnings were given by the US in 1984.

Full Report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/us-had-warned-zia-of-indian-strike-on-pakistan-n-sites/

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Muslims can live in this country, but will have to give up eating beef: Manohar Lal Khattar

by Nirupama Subramanian , VARINDER BHATIA

Chandigarh   

Oct 16, 2015

Describing the Dadri lynching incident as “wrong” and the “result of a misunderstanding”, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said Thursday “Muslims can continue to live in this country, but they will have to give up eating beef” because “the cow is an article of faith here”. Khattar, who completes one year in office later this month as the head of a BJP government, told The Indian Express in an interview that the cow, the Gita and Saraswati were articles of faith for the majority in the country, and that Muslims would not be violating their religious beliefs by giving up beef.

“Muslim rahein, magar is desh mein beef khaana chhodna hi hoga unko. Yahan ki manyata hai gau (Muslims can continue to live in this country, but they will have to give up eating beef. The cow is an article of faith here),” Khattar said, responding to questions on how he viewed the Dadri incident and whether or not such incidents would communally polarise the country. An outsider in Haryana politics and a virtual unknown until his emergence in the elections last year, 61-year-old Khattar has had a nearly four-decade association with the RSS. He counts the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan legislation, adopted by the Haryana Assembly banning cow slaughter, as one of the achievements of his government. Violation is punishable with a 10-year jail term, and beef-eating can land an offender in prison for five years. He described the Dadri incident as the “result of a misunderstanding” and said “both sides” had committed wrongs. “It should not have happened – from both sides.” He claimed that the victim made a “halki tippani (loose comment) about the cow which hurt the sentiments of people who subsequently attacked him. “But I say that attacking and killing the person was also wrong,” Khattar said, adding that those who were responsible for it could be  prosecuted under several sections of the law. But he went on to compare the incident with a man who sees his mother being killed or his sister getting molested, and his anger against the perpetrator getting the better of him.

Full Report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/muslims-can-live-in-this-country-but-they-will-have-to-give-up-eating-beef-says-haryana-cm-manohar-lal-khattar/

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Nawaz Sharif Invites Separatist Hurriyat Leader Geelani to Pak

OCT 15, 2015

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has invited hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani to visit Pakistan, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said today.

"Because of the political stature of Syed Ali Geelani, Prime Minister Sharif invited him to visit Pakistan and exchange views on the current situation in Kashmir," Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah told reporters here.

"We expect that his visit to Pakistan would be helpful in projecting the voice of Kashmiris in Pakistan and internationally," he said.

Full Report at:

http://www.outlookindia.com/news/article/nawaz-sharif-invites-separatist-hurriyat-leader-geelani-to-pak/916964

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Youth in Kashmir Taught Values of Sufism

Oct 13, 2015

Kashmir, October 13, 2015: Kashmir is the land of saints and sufis, where, numerous shrines belong to both Hindus and Muslims. The famous sufis of Kashmir are Sayyid Bulbul Shah, Sayyid Ali Hamdani and Mir Mohammad Hamdani. Kashmir is the land of saints and sufis, where, numerous shrines belong to both Hindus and Muslims. The famous Sufis of Kashmir are Sayyid Bulbul Shah, Sayyid Ali Hamdani and Mir Mohammad Hamdani. It is also claimed that Hindu thoughts and religion greatly influenced Kashmiri Sufis. In an effort to spread awareness on the history and values of Sufism among the people of Jammu and Kashmir, an event was recently organised in the valley. Islamic scholars and educationists, who attended the event, believe that it is important to make the youth aware of Sufism and cultural values. Full Report at:

http://www.aninews.in/videogallery9/44162-youth-in-kashmir-taught-values-of-sufism.html

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Let’s roll out the red carpet for Pak terrorists as well: Saamana

Oct 16, 2015

The Shiv Sena Thursday continued to take potshots at Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and the BJP over their stand on Pakistanis being allowed to conduct events in Mumbai. Relying on an intelligence report that has hinted at the possibility of three Pakistani terrorists sneaking into the country, Sena said they too should be treated as state guests. “Since every person who arrives here from Pakistan is ‘a messenger of peace’, these three terrorists must also be treated similarly. We lay out the red carpet for them and accord them highest security,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana said. It stated that in case any one them happened to be a “human bomb” and explodes taking hundreds of innocent lives, nobody should term it as an attempt to spoil cultural and political ties between the two countries.

“In the past, such hullaballoo has brought a bad name not only to Maharashtra but entire India… We should adopt ‘a spirit of sacrifice and tolerance’ towards these three terrorists and welcome their attacks with a smile,” the editorial, full of utmost sarcasm, said. The relations between the two allies, the BJP and the Shiv Sena, has taken a turn for the worse after Sena activists smeared with ink the face of Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former BJP strategist and organiser of Pakistan’s former foreign minister Mahmud Kasuri’s book launch event on Monday. The Sena has, however, decided to keep the issue on the boil without offending its larger ally in a big way. The party confirmed that it was not going to call off the alliance.

Full Report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/lets-roll-out-the-red-carpet-for-pak-terrorists-as-well-saamana/

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Putting aside religious differences, Hindu man in Dharavi reaches out to Muslim friends

15 October 2015

In the wake of the recent Dadri incident, in which a mob of people killed a Muslim man after rumours of him storing cow meat surfaced, a Hindu man in Dharavi has succeeded in setting a good example.

As a mosque in Bandra's Dharavi area is getting renovated, a Hindu shopkeeper has temporarily given the space inside his store to Muslim devotees to conduct daily prayers. "Five months ago, they asked me if they could pay me rent and use the space inside my shop to offer prayers. I refused the proposal and asked them to use the space free of cost, instead," recalled Deepak Namdeo Kale, the Hindu shop owner.

Fifty-two-year-old Deepak's warm gesture has become the talk of the town lately. Deepak, who runs a leather business in Dharavi area, grew up with kids belonging to the Muslim community. “I have never really seen a difference between the two communities. All my life, I have lived among Muslim friends,” Deepak stated.

Full Report at:

http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-putting-aside-religious-differences-hindu-man-in-dharavi-reaches-out-to-muslim-friends-2135305

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Submarines sale won't break India-Pakistan military balance: Media

Oct 16, 2015

BEIJING: Defending China's move to sell eight submarines to Pakistan, the Chinese official media today said the deal will not break the Indo-Pak military balance.

"...It will take eight to 10 years for Pakistan to incorporate the eight submarines from China into its combat capacity," an article in state-run Global Times said, the first comment in the Chinese media on the deal.

"It will be extremely hard to break the military balance of India and Pakistan with the latest acquisition. Pakistan is actually trying to prevent the gap between its naval strength and India's from widening," it said.

"The USD 4-5 billion deal (with Pakistan) is reportedly China's largest ever arms deal and can be a milestone in China's arms export. Some consider the deal as a new benchmark for China's arms trade that grows with its increasing military strength," it said.

Dismissing the concerns that the sale will alter the military balance in South Asia, the article said the Indian Navy has two aircraft carriers in service and is building a new indigenous one. It has 15 submarines, almost twice that of Pakistan.

"More importantly, India's domestically developed nuclear-powered submarine, INS Arihant, has undergone several sea trials and will soon enter service. New Delhi is also planning at least six more nuclear-powered submarines," it said.

Full Report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Submarines-sale-wont-break-India-Pakistan-military-balance-Media/articleshow/49407876.cms

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South Asia

 

Afghan Taliban signal willingness to resume dialogue

October 16, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Afghan Taliban signalled on Thursday their willingness to resume dialogue for a political settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan, but insisted that their conditions for the withdrawal of foreign forces and establishment of an Islamic government should be met for the process to start.

“To end fighting, we are ready to initiate meaningful negotiations with all sides concerned,” a statement issued by the militant group said.

The statement came in response to President Barack Obama’s announcement on changes in troops’ withdrawal plan.

Also read: Pakistan ready to facilitate Afghan-Taliban peace talks: Sartaj

Mr Obama, who initially planned to withdraw remaining US soldiers from Afghanistan by the end of this year, said the current level of US troops in the war-torn country would be maintained through the end of 2017.

“Occupation should be ended in all its shapes, an Islamic government should be established on the consensus of Afghans and interference of foreigners should be ended in the internal affairs of Afghanistan,” the Taliban statement said.

“We believe that when Afghans are convinced regarding the end of occupation and withdrawal of foreign troops than all problems could be easily solved through intra-Afghan understanding and dialogue,” it added.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had said a few days ago that his government had renewed efforts for restarting the Afghan dialogue.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1213425/afghan-taliban-signal-willingness-to-resume-dialogue

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No militant links found with the murder of Italian aid worker: PC

October 16, 2015

Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia yesterday said investigators found "not even the slightest" militant link with the murder of Italian aid worker Cesare Tavella.

"Local and international conspirators are involved in the murder," he told reporters at a programme at the DMP headquarters.

The evidence and information collected by police didn't suggest that the murder was a work of militants, he claimed.

Tavella, a project manager of the Netherlands-based NGO ICCO Cooperation Bangladesh, was gunned down by three unidentified criminals in the high security diplomatic area in Gulshan on September 28.

Following the murder, SITE Intelligence Group -- a US-based company that tracks online activities of Jihadi organisations -- claimed that the Islamic State terrorists claimed responsibility for the murder through a social media post. It also presented a photograph containing some Arabic texts, saying it was text of the IS' post.

The government and top law enforcers had been refuting the claim since then, saying there is no presence of the IS in the country.  The ruling Awami League leaders started blaming their political foes -- BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami and their allies.

"We have of course made some progress and achieved some success in the case ... Being the police commissioner I am satisfied with the progress of the investigation," the DMP commissioner said, adding they were trying their best to unravel the murder mystery.

"Give us time until we get sufficient concrete evidence and                  analytical information to prove the case before the court," he said, urging the journalists to keep faith in police.

The killers will soon be arrested and the masterminds will be identified, Asaduzzaman Mia said.

Full Report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/no-militant-links-found-157801

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US troops use vehicle to force gate at bombed Afghan hospital

October 16, 2015

KUNDUZ: United States (US) troops drove a military vehicle through the gates of an Afghan hospital hit this month in a deadly air strike, in an incident that Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said Friday may have damaged evidence relating to the attack.

The armoured personnel carrier forced its way through the metal gate of the compound in Kunduz on Thursday afternoon and damaged the barrier, apparently unaware that MSF staff including country director Guilhem Molinie were at the hospital, an AFP reporter saw.

The US delegation began negotiating with several foreign MSF doctors, insisting upon being allowed into the hospital as part of their investigation into the catastrophic October 3 strike that killed at least 24 people.

The discussions lasted for around an hour and a half, with the troops allowed to enter only after laying down their arms.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1213467/us-troops-use-vehicle-to-force-gate-at-bombed-afghan-hospital

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President Ghani hails Afghan forces during a visit to Kunduz

Oct 16 2015

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani visited northern Kunduz province of Afghanistan after days of violence as a result of a Taliban attack which resulted to fall of Kunduz city.

His visit to Kunduz province comes as the security officials announced Tuesday that the control of Kunduz city was fully retaken from the Taliban.

Hailing the Afghan forces for their sacrifices and bravery, President Ghani said “We have the will, belief, determination, and will never surrender to anyone.”

President Ghani said the Afghan security forces are main factor of peace and stability who are moving forward as a professional force.

Full Report at:

http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-hails-afghan-forces-during-a-visit-to-kunduz-1633

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Afghan migrant shot dead while entering Bulgaria from Turkey

Oct 16 2015

A migrant from Afghanistan lost his life while trying to cross into Bulgaria from Turkey and was shot by the security forces.

The incident took place late on Thursday near the southeastern Bulgarian town of Sredets where a big group of illegal immigrants were looking to enter Bulgaria.

According to the Bulgarian officials, the Afghan migrant was wounded by a ricochet and died on the way to hospital.

“A big group of illegal migrants attempted to enter Bulgaria from Turkey. One man suffered a gunshot wound in the incident and died on the way to hospital,” an interior ministry spokeswoman told AFP.

Full Report at:

http://www.khaama.com/afghan-migrant-shot-dead-while-entering-bulgaria-from-turkey-1632

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Gen. Campbell welcomes Obama’s decision to keep more troops in Afghanistan

Oct 15 2015

The commander of the US forces in Afghanistan Gen. John F. Campbell welcomed President Barack Obama’s decision to keep more troops in Afghanistan through and beyond 2016.

“We welcome President Obama’s decision today, which provides us the ability to further develop a lasting strategic relationship with our Afghan partners and allows us to counter the rise of violent extremism in a volatile part of the world,” Gen. Campbell said.

Calling on insurgents to renounce and joint political process, Gen. Campbell said “This decision also serves notice to our common enemies: their war against the legitimate Afghan Government, the Afghan people, the international community, and our shared values, remains futile. It is time for them to lay down their arms and enter the political process.”

Gen. Campbell further added “Our continued efforts to stabilize Afghanistan will benefit the entire region, and in turn, offer greater security for the U.S. homeland and Americans abroad and at home.”

He said “We remain committed to assisting our Afghan partners in achieving sustainable security and stability as we work to solidify the gains made by our coalition over the last 14 years.”

Full Report at:

http://www.khaama.com/gen-campbell-welcomes-obamas-decision-to-keep-more-troops-in-afghanistan-1631

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NATO SG: US decision paves way for sustained NATO presence in Afghanistan

Oct 15 2015

The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the decision by US President Barack Obama to keep a substantial presence in Afghanistan beyond 2016 paves the way for sustained NATO presence.

He said “I welcome President Obama’s announcement that the United States will maintain its current troop levels in Afghanistan through 2016 and will retain a substantial presence beyond 2016.”

Stoltenberg further added “This important decision paves the way for a sustained presence by NATO Allies and partners in Afghanistan.”

Reaffirming the alliance’s continued commitment to Afghanistan, Stoltenberg said “In the coming weeks, the Alliance will take key decisions about the future scope of the Resolute Support Mission. The significant US contribution will be an important factor as we consider the way ahead.”

He also added that the Afghan security forces continue to carry out their security responsibilities across the country, in a very challenging environment.

“So it’s crucial that we continue to support them, practically and financially, to preserve the gains we have achieved in Afghanistan through our joint efforts over many years,” Stoltenberg said.

Full Report at:

http://www.khaama.com/nato-sg-us-decision-paves-way-for-sustained-nato-presence-in-afghanistan-1630

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Pak politician: ‘Time has gone when Taliban was imposed on Afghan people’

Oct 15 2015

A prominent Pakistani politician Asfandyar Wali Khan has said time has gone has gone when Taliban was imposed on Afghan people, insisting that peace in Afghanistan was inevitable for peace and prosperity in Pakistan.

The President of Pakistan’s Awami National Party criticized the failure to maintain a spirit created by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani following his visit to Pakistan, saying Kabul and Islamabad were on the path of reconciliation.

Addressing the Awami National Party provincial executive council on Wednesday, Asfandyar said “It seems that some quarters have re-adopted their previous policies regarding Afghanistan,” according to the local media reports.

Insisting on elimination of terrorism and extremism from Pakistan, Afghanistan and the entire region through the implementation of National Action Plan, Asfandyar said the Taliban or any other force could not be imposed on the Afghan people as Afghanistan has changed.

The remarks by Asfandyar comes as President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said earlier in May this year that Pakistan is engaged in an undeclared war with Afghanistan and insisted that Afghanistan is in need of reconciliation process in two different phases.

President Ghani said the two phases includes peace with neighboring Pakistan as the country is engaged in an undeclared war with Afghanistan.

The remarks by President Ghani followed the government of national unity’s efforts to bring the anti-government armed militant groups to negotiation table in a bid to end the ongoing insurgency in the country.

Afghan officials were expecting to sit-in for the second round of peace talks with the Taliban group representatives in Pakistan late in the month of July shortly after the first round of talks.

Full Report at:

http://www.khaama.com/pak-politician-time-has-gone-when-taliban-was-imposed-on-afghan-people-1629

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Mideast

 

Russia ‘ready for close cooperation’ with Turkey

15 October 2015

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday Moscow was ready for close cooperation with Turkey on “fighting terrorism”, in comments after a deadly blast that killed at least 99 people in Ankara last weekend.

"We are ready for very close cooperation and very close engagement with the Turkish authorities in the fight against the terrorist threat," Lavrov told a conference on Russian-Turkish partnership in Moscow.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/15/Russia-says-ready-for-cooperation-with-Turkey-on-tackling-terrorism-.html

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Media Distorts True Islam, Says Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

October 14, 2015

 By Martin Kidston

The din of 24-hour news and a narrow media focus have played a hand in shaping America’s views of the Muslim world, though a religious scholar set to speak in Missoula believes the two cultures aren’t that far apart.

Feisal Abdul Rauf, the former imam of the Masjid al Farah mosque in New York City and author of several books including “Moving the Mountain: Beyond Ground Zero to a New Vision of Islam in America,” has spent the past decade working to improve relations between the Muslim world and the West.

Rauf will be in Missoula this month to discuss the issue, hosted by the Montana World Affairs Council.

“Americans’ understanding of Islam has unfortunately been shaped by the news,” said Rauf. “While most of the relations between Muslims and non-Muslims are good throughout the world, the things that hit the news are the things that shape our perceptions.”

For the past 15 years, al-Qaida and the Islamic State have carried out violent acts in the name of Islam. While Islam is not a religion of violence, Rauf said, the atrocities of a few have shaped U.S. opinions of the Muslim world.

But the misconceptions over religion cut both ways, he said. Religious fanatics and extremists exist in both cultures, and all draw media attention.

“When the preacher in Florida – who didn’t have 35 members in his flock and nobody in the evangelical church even knew him – when he threatened to burn the Quran, it was flashed all over the world, and Muslims in the world felt this was what all Americans wanted to do,” he said.

“That’s the kind of thing that’s happening on both sides,” he added. “We have to battle that in every possible way.”

***

Born in Kuwait, Rauf moved with his father – an Egyptian imam and Sunni scholar – to New York City in the 1960s. His father was active in the civil rights movement with Malcolm X.

While Rauf went on to earn a master’s degree in plasma science, religion called him back. He became the leader of the New York City mosque and has worked to mend relations between the U.S. and the Muslim world.

“The most powerful way in which people can combat this is when people get to know each other,” said Rauf. “When you know a Muslim – when people who are Muslims get to know Americans – this is what develops personal relationships and friendships, and that’s really what combats misunderstandings most effectively.”

Rauf, who founded the Cordoba Initiative, has at times been at the source of controversy. After the terrorist attacks in 2001, statements he made on "60 Minutes" drew critics. He was also involved in plans to build a controversial Islamic center near Ground Zero – a project that won both criticism and praise.

Full Report at:

http://missoulian.com/news/local/media-distorts-true-islam-says-imam-and-scholar-coming-to/article_8338dec6-176f-568d-b08b-a0c171b9d3d6.html

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Turkey, KSA warn over Russia's 'Syria mistake'

October 16, 2015

ANKARA - Turkey and Saudi Arabia on Thursday warned Russia over the consequences of its intervention in Syria, with Ankara telling Moscow its bombing campaign in support of the regime was a "big mistake".

The two Muslim powers both support the moderate opposition in Syria and have been infuriated by Moscow's bombing campaign to prop the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey's anger grew earlier this month when Russian aircraft operating in Syria twice violated the air space of the key NATO member.

"Russia is making a big mistake," Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu told reporters after talks in Ankara with Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir. "What it does will bring no meaning or benefit, other than delaying the transition process to help Syria out of the chaos," he added. "We will continue with our warnings."

The Turkish army meanwhile said a Russian military delegation led by air force Lieutenant General Sergei Dronov arrived in Ankara on Thursday to share flight data "to prevent a repeat of incursions."

Ankara is also particularly concerned over claims - denied by Moscow - that its bombing campaign has targeted anti-Assad rebels rather than the stated aim of Islamic State (IS) militants.

"Saudi Arabia and Turkey are in agreement on supporting the opposition in Syria. What is important is a political solution," Jubeir said. "We are in agreement that there will certainly be no role for Bashar al-Assad," he added.

He said that in recent talks with top Russian officials, Riyadh had told Moscow that the Syria crisis should be solved according to the 2012 Geneva communique which envisages a political transition in Syria. "We (in Ankara) discussed the intervention of foreign powers, especially the Russian intervention which is a very critical issue," Jubeir said.

Their united opposition to the Russian bombing campaign has intensified a rapprochement between Turkey and Saudi Arabia that has gained pace over the last months. Riyadh and Ankara fell out badly over Saudi's support of the toppling by the Egyptian army of president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 who Turkey has strongly supported.

But in a sign of warming ties, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly defended Saudi Arabia against vehement criticism from within the Islamic world over the deaths of hundreds of pilgrims at a stampede during the hajj pilgrimage.

Turkey has grown increasingly concerned over US and even Russian backing for Syrian Kurds who Ankara accuses of being allies of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday blasted Washington for being "unconstructive" on Syria after the Kremlin said the United States had declined to host a high-level delegation from Moscow.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/16-Oct-2015/turkey-ksa-warn-over-russia-s-syria-mistake

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Division of Al-Aqsa a 'red line': Turkey’s top cleric

16 October 2015

Mehmet Gormez, head of the Turkish Presidency for Religious Affairs, warned Israel on Thursday against attempts to divide East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound -- "temporally and spatially" -- between Muslims and Jews.

"Israel aims to achieve the temporal and spatial division of Al-Aqsa," Gormez said. "This constitutes a red line for every Muslim living in the region."

He went on to assert that Turkey’s religious affairs directorate, also known as the Diyanet Foundation, would "never accept such a division".

On Sept. 13, clashes erupted between Israeli security forces and Palestinian Muslims after the Israeli authorities closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex off to Muslim men under 50.

For the next three days, they used rubber bullets, teargas and stun grenades to disperse Muslim worshippers therein, while extremist Jewish settlers were allowed into the site in large numbers.

Prominent Palestinian personalities and resistance groups subsequently warned that the move portended an attempt by Israel to divide the mosque compound, spatially and temporally, between Muslim and Jewish worshipers.

- ‘Surrounded by fire’

According to Gormez, the Islamic world is currently “surrounded by fire”, with many Muslim countries now suffering from violence and extremism.

He attributed most of these problems to "Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian land, including Al-Aqsa".

He went on to assert that Israel’s decades-long occupation of Palestine was the main reason behind the many wars the region had suffered in recent history, including the 1991 Gulf War, the U.S. occupation of Iraq (2003-2011) and Syria’s ongoing civil war. Gormez also accused the UN and world powers of "focusing on Israel’s security while forgetting about millions of Muslims".

"The collapse of the Ottoman Empire was a prelude to the establishment of Israel in 1948, by which [Israel]… divided Jerusalem [between east and west] and established its own Berlin Wall," Gormez said, referring to Israel’s separation wall, which now snakes across the occupied West Bank.

Jerusalem had been a part of the Ottoman Empire before the fall of the latter some 100 years ago.

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/palestine/165328/division-of-al-aqsa-a-red-line-turkeys-top-cleric

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Turkey's Erdogan calls Obama over ISIL

16 October 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke Thursday about deepening cooperation in the fight against ISIL.

The two leaders spoke by telephone and reaffirmed their shared goal of stepping up military pressure on ISIL and strengthening moderate opposition elements in Syria to create conditions for a negotiated solution to the conflict, including a political transition, according to the White House.

Turkey, which shares a border with Syria, is a member of the U.S. led-coalition fighting to destroy ISIL. The coalition wants to ultimately destroy the militants and pushes for a political transition in Syria without President Bashar al-Assad. 

Obama and Erdogan also agreed on an urgent need to end attacks in Turkey by PKK - a terrorist organization recognized by Turkey, the U.S. and EU.

Since July, more than 150 members of Turkish security forces have been martyred while, according to the government, more than 2,000 PKK terrorists have been killed when a two-and-a-half year cease-fire collapsed.

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/turkey/165323/turkey-sudan-trade-hits-new-high

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U.N. to hold urgent meeting on Jerusalem unrest

16 October 2015

The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss an upsurge of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, diplomats said.

The urgent talks were requested by council member Jordan following a meeting on Thursday of Arab ambassadors who expressed alarm at the escalating situation.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has repeatedly called for calm following weeks of violence that have left at least 30 Palestinians dead.

Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour told reporters that the situation was “very explosive” and called on the Security Council to “shoulder its responsibility” with action to quell the violence.

Full Report at:

hold-emergency-meeting-on-Jerusalem-unrest.html

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U.N. hopes Yemen peace talks can start by month-end

15 October 2015

U.N. Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson said on Thursday he hoped U.N.-backed peace talks to end the conflict in Yemen could start by the end of October.

Eliasson, speaking to a Geneva news conference after talks in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iran, called for both Houthi fighters and the exiled Yemen government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to attend the talks without pre-conditions.

“We have been disappointed before, Geneva talks started but not much came out of it,” he added.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/15/U-N-hopes-Yemen-peace-talks-can-start-by-month-end.html

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Senior MP: Iran Ready to Send Troops to Syria if Requested

Oct 15, 2015

Speaking in the Syrian capital Damascus, Chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi said any such a request will be discussed at the Iranian parliament.

He added that the Syrian government should be part of any plan to end the conflict ravaging the country, reaffirming Iran’s support for Syria in its fight against terrorist groups.

Boroujerdi said Iran has sent military aid to Syria and Iraq following requests from their governments, and added that the failure of the US-led attacks on ISIL led to the formation of the anti-terror coalition involving Syria, Iran, Russia, and Iraq.

"We have delivered arms supplies to Syria in order to fight terrorism," he said.

Boroujerdi said the foreign plots against Syria is doomed to failure and any political solution to the crisis in the Arab country should be in coordination with Syrian government

"Whoever wants to fight terrorism he should join our coalition and combating terrorism is an international affair and needs an international agreement," he underlined.

In relevant remarks on Wednesday, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan stressed that the country's military experts and advisors are taking preparatory actions that will end up in the complete annihilation of the Takfiri groups, including the ISIL terrorists, in Syria.

Dehqan made the remarks in a ceremony in Tehran to commemorate martyrdom of IRGC Commander Brigadier General Hossein Hamadani, who was killed in Northern Syria last Thursday.

He referred to the new joint operations plan of Iran, Syria, Iraq and Russia to destroy the ISIL, and said, "At present, we are witnessing start of new developments in Syria, thanks to the efforts and measures adopted by martyr Hamadani."

"God willing, these developments will pave the ground for the full annihilation of the Takfiri groups," Dehqan said.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940723000692

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Yemeni Forces Down Saudi Warplane in Sa'ada

Oct 15, 2015

The Yemeni forces fired rockets at the warplanes, and brought it down in Ghamr district in Sa'ada.

Reports identified the downed warplane as a Saudi F-16.

The Yemeni army and popular forces have so far shot down several drones and warplanes of the Saudi-led coalition.

On Oct 9, the Yemeni army and popular forces shot down a Saudi spy drone in Yemen's province of Sa'ada.

On Friday, the Yemeni forces targeted the remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle as it was flying over Kitaf district in Sa'ada, which lies 240 kilometers (150 miles) North of the capital, Sana'a.

The small drone was later identified as a long-endurance Boeing Insitu ScanEagle.

The development came less than a day after Yemeni forces had targeted another Saudi surveillance drone in the province of Dhamar.

On Sep 13, Yemen's Ansarullah forces shot down a Saudi spy drone in Ma'rib province hours after the start of the Saudi-led coalition's ground operations in the Yemeni province.

On Sep 1, the Yemeni army and popular forces downed a Saudi spy drone in the kingdom's Jizan province by using a remote-controlled device in a bid to safely capture the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

On Aug 25, Yemeni fighters brought down a spy drone belonging to the United Arab Emirates in Yemen's Southern region of Mukayris.

The drone was shot down in Mukayris, which is situated between the Abyan and Bayda provinces.

On July 5, Yemen's Air Force also shot down a Saudi spy drone in the Yemeni province of Sada'a.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940723000721

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Teenager becomes a focus in Israel-Palestine conflict

October 16, 2015

JERUSALEM: The fate of a Palestinian boy seized centre stage Thursday in the battle of narratives accompanying the recent burst of deadly Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Palestinians were enraged by a video showing 13-year-old Ahmed Manasra lying in the street, his head bloodied and his legs splayed, as bystanders curse him and shout "Die!" in Hebrew.

The images, widely circulated on social media, made no mention of the preceding attack by Ahmed and his cousin Hassan, 15, who was then shot and killed by police Monday.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ignited an uproar in Israel after falsely claiming in a televised speech that Israelis had "summarily executed" Ahmed, when the teenager actually was recovering at an Israeli hospital after he stabbed two Israelis, including a boy his own age.

The case has become a lightning rod for both sides.

Israel has repeatedly accused Abbas of fomenting violence with what it says are incendiary comments.

"Now we have a new big lie. That new big lie is that Israel is executing Palestinians," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday. Still, he said he would be "perfectly open" to meeting Abbas to address what the Israeli leader said was a wave of incitement.

Abbas, who has long argued that armed attacks on Israelis go against Palestinian interests, has denied the Israeli allegations that he is fomenting unrest. He did not immediately respond to Netanyahu's offer.

In his speech Wednesday, Abbas said Israel has engaged in excessive force and the "summary execution of our children in cold blood".

The high-level name-calling highlighted the abyss between the two leaders at a time when prospects for a return to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations appear nil.

In the past month, eight Israelis were killed in Palestinian attacks, most of them stabbings. During the same period, 31 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, including 14 labelled by Israel as attackers, and the others in clashes between stone-throwers and Israeli troops.

Israel has increased security across the country in response to the unrest. On Thursday, the military said it would deploy 300 soldiers in Jerusalem to help police maintain order, guard public transportation and the city's main streets.

Both sides use social media to promote their official narratives.

Israeli officials have released security camera videos of the attacks, sometimes within minutes. The police, army, Foreign Ministry and prime minister's office cooperate, collecting clips from Palestinian websites that are seen as promoting violence or searching for Facebook posts from assailants that they say indicated they were about to commit violent acts.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emanuel Nahshon said the strategy is to spread Israel's messages and complain to popular services about allegedly offensive comments. He said Israel persuaded Google's YouTube service and Facebook to remove several Palestinian videos.

Palestinian authorities, meanwhile, have focused on releasing amateur video appearing to show Israeli police using excessive force.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1213455/teenager-becomes-a-focus-in-israel-palestine-conflict

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Pakistan

 

US stopped Pakistan from attacking 'vulnerable' India in 62: Ex-CIA official

By Web Desk: October 16, 2015

Former US President John F Kennedy had played a “decisive role” in “forestalling a Pakistani attack” on India during the 1962 Sino-India war, even as Pakistan was capable of taking advantage of the situation to take control of Indian-occupied Kashmir,  Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official, has revealed in his book.

“Pakistan was clearly capable of initiating war with India, but decided in 1962 not to take advantage of India’s vulnerability,” Riedel wrote in his book titled JFK’s Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA and the Sino-Indian War.

The book also revealed that on October 28, 1962, the day before former Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru asked for American military help, then US ambassador to Pakistan Walter McConaughy met with the then Pakistani ruler Ayub Khan.

“The Ambassador urged him to send assurances to Nehru that Pakistan would not take advantage of India’s war with China,” Riedel wrote.

In response to that, Khan suggested that “the Americans and Pakistanis work together to seek the surrender of Indian territory just as the Chinese were grabbing land”. However, the US considered this as ‘blackmail’.

Riedel also wrote that the then US ambassador to India J K Galbraith sent an ‘alarming telegram’ to Washington and Karachi, asking, “for God’s sake that they keep Kashmir out” of any American message to Pakistan. US immediately sided with Galbraith on Kashmir and advised Nehru to write a letter to Ayub Khan.

“Kennedy’s message to Ayub Khan, reinforced by a similar message from [then British] prime minister [Harold] Macmillan, left little in doubt that the US and the UK would view a Pakistani move against India as a hostile and aggressive action inconsistent with the SEATO and CENTO Treaties,” he wrote.

“The Americans told Pakistan that the Chinese attack was the most dangerous move made by Mao since 1950 and that they intended to respond decisively,” he added.

The book also disclosed that as India began to lose territory to China, Nehru asked for US help in the war and wrote to Kennedy asking him to provide jet fighters to defeat the Chinese. “A lot more effort, both from us and from our friends will be required,” Nehru wrote in his letter.

Full Report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/973912/us-stopped-pakistan-from-attacking-vulnerable-india-in-62-ex-cia-official/

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Obama, Nawaz to have nuclear talks but no deal next week: White House

ANWAR IQBAL

October 16, 2015

WASHINGTON: The White House has said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and US President Barack Obama are not going to sign a nuclear deal next week but they will discuss the nuclear issue in their meeting.

The prime minister arrives in the US capital on Oct 20 for a White House meeting with President Obama on Oct 22.

Reports in the US media have claimed that during the visit the United States may offer a deal to Sharif that may pave the way for Pakistan’s acceptance in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), as a similar deal did for India.

“A deal like the one that's been discussed publicly is not something that's likely to come to fruition next week,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest when asked to comment on these speculations.

“But the United States and Pakistan are regularly engaged in a dialogue about the importance of nuclear security. And I would anticipate that dialogue would include conversations between the leaders of our two countries,” he added.

Also read: Pakistan seeks international cooperation for nuclear energy: FO

At a White House news briefing, Earnest also said that he was not aware of any US official report indicating the presence of Pakistani spies in a hospital in Kunduz. Last month, US warplanes bombed the hospital, killing several members of the staff and a number of patients. The bombing also forced MSF, a French charity, to close down the hospital.

A US media report claimed on Thursday that American analysts believed a ‘Pakistani operative’ was using the hospital for Taliban activity.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1213464/obama-nawaz-to-have-nuclear-talks-but-no-deal-next-week-white-house

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Pakistan, Russia sign agreement for construction of North-South gas pipeline

October 16, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Russia on Friday signed an inter-governmental agreement for the construction of a gas pipeline from Lahore to Karachi, Radio Pakistan reported.

Russia will invest $2 billion in the project, the first phase of which is expected to conclude by December 2017.

The 1,100 kilometre pipeline with a capacity of 12.4 billion cubic metre per annum will connect Karachi's liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals with those in Lahore.

The agreement was jointly signed by Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Related: Pakistan, Russia sign landmark defence deal

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Russian President Vladimir Putin while meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Ufa earlier this year discussed progress on the North-South gas pipeline agreement and had decided to expedite progress on the project.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1213460/pakistan-russia-sign-agreement-for-construction-of-north-south-gas-pipeline

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Richard Olson will be new US special envoy for Pak-Afghan region

ANWAR IQBAL

October 16, 2015

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration has appointed outgoing US ambassador to Pakistan as the new US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP).

He succeeds Dan Feldman who concluded his tenure on Sept 18 this year.

“Ambassador Olson will assume his responsibilities as SRAP on Nov 17, after concluding his service as the US Ambassador to Pakistan,” the US State Department announced in a press release.

Like his predecessors, Ambassador Olson will be responsible for developing and implementing policies and programmes that support US national security interests in promoting stability and increasing prosperity in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the US State Department said.

Olson is the first US ambassador to Pakistan who has been appointed to this post and brings extraordinary experience in the region, the department's press release said.

He has been serving as US Ambassador to Pakistan for the last three years. Before Islamabad, Olson served as the Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs at the US Embassy in Kabul from 2011 to 2012, overseeing all US non-military assistance programmes and support for the Afghan government.

He also served as US Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates from 2008 to 2011.

Olson is a member of the Senior Foreign Service, and has served at the US Department of State since 1982.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1213454/richard-olson-will-be-new-us-special-envoy-for-pak-afghan-region

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Mina tragedy: Authorities fail to access bodies of dead Pakistanis

October 15, 2015

Islamabad: Owing to poor performance of ministry of religious affairs, Pakistan authorities have failed to seek access to injured pilgrims and bodies of Pakistani pilgrims martyred in Mina stampede.

Sources said that no one among Pakistani authorities except Abu Akif appointed as DG Hajj in Saudi Arabia has access to injured Pakistani pilgrims and bodies of those martyred in Mina incident. The number of Pakistani injured pilgrims undergoing treatment in different hospitals at Saudi Arabia runs into over 300. The lists of these injured pilgrims are not available with ministry of religious affairs.

Sources said joint secretary Hajj, secretary religious affairs and federal minister were the members of monitoring committee. Federal minister Sardar Yusuf had issued statement from Saudi Arabia that he would stay in Saudi Arabia unless   the last injured Hajji is recovered. But federal minister has returned to Pakistan on not being provided access to injured pilgrims by Saudi government to him and the entire ministry of religious affairs.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/15-Oct-2015/mina-tragedy-authorities-fail-to-access-bodies-of-dead-pakistanis

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Paris to hear Pakistan’s voices after climate moot

October 15, 2015

The conference was organised jointly by the Embassy of France, federal and provincial governments, the United Nations, and a large array of civil society organisations.

In four round tables, experts discussed low-carbon development strategies in Pakistan, adaptation and impacts of climate change on food and water security, health and gender, disaster risk management and climate smart solutions.

Many local solutions to tackle climate change were presented and new ones recommended.

This agenda of solutions will be showcased in Paris, highlighting Pakistani voices, challenges and people's priorities.

Eminent speakers included the French Ambassador, Martine Dorance; the EU Ambassador, Jean-François Cautain; United Nations Resident Coordinator, Neil Buhne; Member of National Assembly and Chairman of the Standing Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, Marriyum Aurengzeb; Secretary of the Ministry of Climate Change, Arif Ahmad Khan; representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tasneem Aslam; and prominent voices from civil society such as Javed Jabbar, Dr Shoaib Sultan Khan, Dr Ishrat Hussain and Dr Parvez Hassan.

The lead author of the National Climate Change Policy, Dr Qamaruz Zaman Ch said, "Climate Change is the 21st century's most difficult challenge humans have ever created.

"

Javed Jabbar advocated strengthening the capacity of civil society and decreasing their dependency on donor organisations; reconceptualising the development approaches and adopting a collaborative rather than confrontational approach to address climate change.

Senator Nisar A Memon, Chairman Water and Environment Forum Pakistan, underlined that "small solutions had to be developed together with the private sector to face climate change challenges".

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/lahore/15-Oct-2015/paris-to-hear-pakistan-s-voices-after-climate-moot

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/dozens-killed-as-suicide-bombers-hit-nigeria-mosque--witnesses/d/104943


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