New Age Islam
Tue Nov 24 2020, 09:52 AM

Islamic World News ( 22 Jun 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Dutch court acquits Geert Wilders, anti-Islam lawmaker

Gunman kills three Shia pilgrims in bus attack in Pakistan: police

Two Saudi women drive in Riyadh

Pak Brigadier victimised, says lawyer

PAK pledges Three dozen visas for CIA officers

More Pak army officers under lens over terror links

Four serving majors being interrogated: Pak

7 killed in clash, bomb blast in Khyber

Qatar diplomat named next UN assembly president

Indian PM intervenes: Dr Khaleel Chishty to be released soon

Obama promises: All, 33,000 US troops will be home by summer 2012

US insists Pakistan keep anti-terror pledges: Obama

India talks 26/ 11 attack as Pak harps on Kashmir

Murdered: Woman stoned to death by Husband in Pak

'Lakhvi leader of LeT military wing'

On Hindu extremists’ target: Godhra judge, AMU chief guest

Afghanistan says its army ready for US drawdown

France says to begin gradual Afghan withdrawal

Afghan endgame unclear after Obama decision

Afghan Taliban dismiss ‘symbolic’ US troop announcement

Italy urges halt to Libya conflict

Iraq to ask US to return its missing billions

Iranian delegation attacked in Iraq

Shahzad murder: Interim report whitewashes ISI role

Jeddah to host major Islamic economic and finance conference: IDB official

Lax Enforcement: Hizb ut-Tahrir free to preach its message

Pak minister hints Osama behind Benazir murder

JuD warns India against attacking Pak, declares US enemy of country

Egypt army rejects resignation of deputy PM

Israel expresses worries to UN about flotilla

US slaps further sanctions on Libyan firms

Eight Afghan police killed in checkpoint attack

Plan to fence, mine Afghan border

40 al-Qaida militants escape Yemen jail: Officials

President: Indonesia to ban labor export to Saudi by Aug. 1

Syrian men promise to marry women raped during unrest

Domestic support for Pak Army drops: US poll

Five million Pakistanis at risk from floods: UN

Syria foreign minister promises democracy

Syria regime lashes out at EU over sanctions

Ankara hosts talks on Palestinian unity

Hamas chief Meshaal in Turkey

Jakarta: Police chief proposes partnership to tackle hatred, radicalism

Syria warns against outside interference

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/dutch-court-acquits-geert-wilders,-anti-islam-lawmaker/d/4897

 

 

------

Dutch court acquits Geert Wilders anti-Islam lawmaker

June 23, 2011

A Dutch court has acquitted right-wing politician Geert Wilders of hate speech charges, saying his anti-Islam statements, while offensive to many Muslims, always fell within the bounds of legitimate political debate.

Presiding judge Marcel van Oosten said in his ruling Thursday that Wilders' claims that Islam is violent by nature, and his calls for a ban on Muslim immigration and the Quran must be seen in a wider context of debate over immigration policy and could not be directly linked to increased discrimination against Dutch Muslims.

Wilders supporters applauded and he smiled as he left the courtroom.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=urgent-2011-06-23

------

Gunman kills three Shia pilgrims in bus attack: police

June 23, 2011

QUETTA: A gunman opened fire on a bus carrying Shia Muslim pilgrims in southwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing three people and wounding nine others, police said.

The shooting happened in Akhtarabad, on the outskirts of Quetta, the capital of oil and gas-rich Baluchistan province, which borders Afghanistan and Iran.

“At least three people were killed and nine others were wounded when one of the four gunmen riding two motorbikes opened fire on a bus carrying Shia pilgrims to Iran,” senior local police official Farid Breach told AFP.

He said it appeared to have been a sectarian attack but that the shooting was under investigation.

Local intelligence officials also confirmed the incident and casualties.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Baluchistan is rife with militancy, sectarian violence between majority Sunni and minority Shia Muslims and a regional insurgency waged by separatists.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/22/gunman-kills-shia-pilgrims-in-bus-attack-police.html

------

Two Saudi women drive in Riyadh

Jun 23, 2011

DUBAI: A group supporting a campaign to end Kingdom’s male-only driving rules says two more women drove through the Saudi capital — and one even encountered an apparently sympathetic policeman.

The group, Saudi Women for Driving, says the women drove in Riyadh on Wednesday. Last Friday, more than 40 Saudi women got behind the wheel to launch the campaign.

One of the women joining the latest protest said she and her mother were spotted driving and were stopped after turning the wheel over to their male companion. Sara Al-Khalidi said the policeman didn't seek to make an arrest and privately urged them to drive at night to avoid drawing attention.

She said that “people encourage me when they've seen me driving these last few days.”

Azza Shamassi, in her thirties, said she had driven her car Wednesday, just as she has done “every day since last Friday,” despite a harassing message stuck to the windscreen of her car.

The handwritten note read, “Plz do not drive” on one side and carried an insult on the other, witnesses said.

“This threat will not stop me,” Shamassi said.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article459754.ece

------

Pak Brigadier victimised, says lawyer

Anita Joshua

ISLAMABAD: In a new twist to the unfolding story of a Pakistan Army brigadier being detained for alleged links to the once outlawed Hizb ut-Tahrir, his lawyer has claimed the officer is being victimised for openly demanding accountability from the military and intelligence leadership for al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden's presence in Abbottabad and the U.S. raid to kill him.

Speaking to the BBC Urdu Service, Brigadier Ali Khan's lawyer, Colonel (retired) Inam-ul Rahim suggested the release of information about his arrest by the Army soon after the Chief Justice of Pakistan gave his nod for the setting up of two commissions of enquiry — one to probe the Abbottabad incident and another to look into the murder of journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad — was no coincidence.

“The information was released to send a message to others in the military not to speak out.”

Reacting to the lawyer's claims, Director-General of the Inter Services Public Relations Athar Abbas said: “Nothing could be farther from the truth.”

Four Majors have been questioned for possible links with Hizb ut-Tahrir, but they have not been detained.

Narrating the sequence of events ahead of the arrest, Colonel Rahim said the Brigadier attended a conference at the General Headquarters on May 5 in which he said if the Army and intelligence did not know that bin Laden was living in Abbottabad, then the leadership ought to take responsibility. Stating that the Pakistani nation had lost confidence in its military, he suggested all senior officers should declare and surrender their assets to restore faith in the institution.

“He was taken into custody soon after that conference,” said the lawyer.

http://www.hindu.com/2011/06/23/stories/2011062367441900.htm

------

Pak pledges Three dozen visas for CIA officers

June 23, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has pledged to grant more than three dozen visas to CIA officers as part of confidence-building measures following the US raid in which al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and humiliated Pakistan, officials from both countries said on Wednesday, but the visas have not yet been issued.

An Associated Press report says that the visas are part of an agreement to rebuild counterterrorism efforts by forming what Pakistani officials call a joint intelligence team, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

The agreement was reached after talks in Islamabad between ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha and CIA officials, including Leon Panetta, the officials said.

The visas will help replenish CIA staff on the ground, as some staffers were forced to leave when their visas were not renewed in the aftermath of the controversy over CIA contractor Raymond Davis, the US official said.

There will also be some additional officers allowed in to join the joint intelligence effort to hunt high value al Qaeda targets, the official added.

Despite promises from Pakistani officials, the visas have yet to be issued, officials from both sides said. The Pakistanis say it’s simply a matter of time but would not say when they would be given.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd,  2011.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/194450/three-dozen-visas-for-cia-officers/

------

More Pak army officers under lens over terror links

Jun 23, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's army said on Wednesday that four more officers were being investigated on suspicion of links to banned Muslim political group Hizb ut-Tahrir .

Military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said that the majors were not under arrest . On Wednesday, the army confirmed that a serving brigadier from its headquarters had been arrested for alleged links to Hizb ut-Tahrir .

"Four majors are under investigation for their alleged links with the same organization," said Abbas, declining to go into further details.

Brigadier Ali Khan was detained days after US Navy Seals found and killed Osama bin Laden in the military town of Abbottabad, reviving disturbing questions about ignorance or complicity within Pakistan's powerful military. Hizb ut-Tahrir , which is headquartered in Britain, where it is not banned, has been formally outlawed in Pakistan but lies on the fringes of Western concerns about links between the military and extremist terror groups.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/More-Pak-army-officers-under-lens-over-terror-links/articleshow/8958718.cms

------

7 killed in clash, bomb blast in Khyber

June 23, 2011

PESHAWAR: At least five terrorists and two tribal policemen were killed in an ambush and a bomb attack at checkpoints in the Tribal Areas on Wednesday, officials said. The ambush took place before dawn at the Sarband checkpoint just outside the town of Bara in Khyber Agency, part of the tribal region on the Afghan border where Taliban and al Qaeda-linked networks have bases. “More than 30 terrorists launched a two-pronged attack on a police checkpoint and after a gunfight five terrorists were killed while two policemen were wounded,” senior police official Mohammad Ijaz told AFP. Police had recovered the bodies of the five terrorists, he added. The bomb blast occurred at a tribal police checkpoint in the town of Jamrud in Khyber and killed two Khasadar men. Naib Subedar Hiran Shah Afridi and his companion Yar Wazir were killed in the blast, which was caused by a bomb that had been placed near their temporary tent checkpost near Jamrud Bazaar. Two other Khasadar personnel sustained serious injuries in the blast and were rushed to a Peshawar hospital, sources informed. Khasadar and other forces rushed to the blast site and cordoned off the area to collect evidences and take the dead bodies and injured to hospital. The Jamrud blast followed another in the area when a NATO container was on its way to Afghanistan. But the blast did not damage the container nor injure anyone. staff report/agencies

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\06\23\story_23-6-2011_pg1_5

------

Qatar diplomat named next UN assembly president

Jun 23, 2011

UNITED NATIONS: The UN General Assembly on Wednesday elected as its next president veteran Qatari diplomat Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, who UN diplomats say is unlikely to cause trouble for Western powers.

Nasser, who has been Qatar’s ambassador to the United Nations since 1998, will replace Joseph Deiss of Switzerland. Previously Qatar’s envoy to Canada, Brazil, Cuba and other countries, he will take over the UN job in mid-September.

Nasser told the the 192-nation General Assembly after his unanimous election that he would act as a bridge between developed, developing and least-developed nations.

He added that he would focus on “building consensus on major global challenges facing the world today.” He said those included armed conflicts, climate change, tackling the financial crisis, poverty and responding to natural disasters.

The post of president of the General Assembly has little real power but a high profile in chairing the annual September gathering of world leaders in New York. He or she also represents the assembly on foreign tours.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article459843.ece

------

Indian PM intervenes: Dr Khaleel Chishty to be released soon

June 23, 2011

A day before foreign secretary level talks begin between India and Pakistan, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has personally intervened in the case of the Dr Khaleel Chishty, a Pakistani virologist imprisoned in India for over 18 years, and he is now likely to be released soon, according to CNN-IBN, an Indian news channel.

The doctor’s mercy petition had been approved by Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who had first reviewed the appeal at the request of the Indian prime minister and the home minister. After the prime minister’s invention, Rajasthan Governor Shivraj Patil, who has final say on the matter, is likely to approve the release, said CNN-IBN.

Chishty was sentenced to life in prison for murder, during a 1992 visit.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/194657/manmohan-intervenes-dr-khaleel-chishty-to-be-released-soon/

------

Obama promises: All, 33,000 US troops will be home by summer 2012

Jun 23 2011

Washington: The United States will withdraw all 33,000 Americans troops from Afghanistan by the summer of 2012, beginning with an initial drawdown of 10,000 surge forces by this year-end, President Barack Obama said.

"Starting next month, we will be able to remove 10,000 of our troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, and we will bring home a total of 33,000 troops by next summer, fully recovering the surge I announced at West Point (in December 2009)," Obama said in a nationally televised speech from the White House late last night.

"After this initial reduction, our troops will continue coming home at a steady pace as Afghan Security forces move into the lead. Our mission will change from combat to support. By 2014, this process of transition will be complete, and the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/807576/

------

US insists Pakistan keep anti-terror pledges: Obama

June 23, 2011

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday a plan to start bringing US troops home from Afghanistan in a significant first step toward ending the long, costly Afghan war.

In a televised address, Obama said he would pull 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by year’s end, followed by about 23,000 more by the end of next summer.

Troops will be withdrawn at a steady pace after that, Obama said, as the United States, struggling to repair its global image and fix its weak domestic economy, looks to end a decade of military ventures prompted by the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.

“Huge challenges remain. This is the beginning – but not the end of our effort to wind down this war,” Obama said.

“America, it is time to focus on nation building at home.”

Obama also vowed the United States will “insist” Pakistan fulfill its promises to counter militant sanctuaries on its soil.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/23/obama-says-pulling-33000-troops-out-of-afghanistan-by-2012.html

------

India talks 26/ 11 attack as Pak harps on Kashmir

By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury in Islamabad

INDIA has agreed to increasing confidence building measures (CBMs) in the form of trade and travel across the Line of Control ( LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir ahead of the two- day foreign secretary level talks in Islamabad.

Indian foreign secretary Nirupama Rao will leave for Islamabad on Thursday for the talks with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir.

While official sources stress that they have realistic expectations from the Rao- Bashir talks, they indicated enhancement in cross LoC trade and travel.

Currently, trade and buses from J& K to PoK takes place twice a week. While India refuses to confirm, there are indications that steps may be agreed to strengthen and streamline these arrangements.

“These enhance trust between the two countries and build confidence,” a senior source said.

Full report at: Mail Today

------

Murdered: Woman stoned to death by Husband in Pak

By Umer Farooq

June 23, 2011

RUSTAM: In the first incident of its kind in Mardan, the home district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti, a man stoned his wife to death over a domestic dispute.

According to the neighbours, Muhammad Saeed of Girhoch village married Shazia from Barikot tehsil in Swat six months back. The couple soon developed domestic disputes, with Shazia eventually leaving her husband and going back to Barikot.

They said Saeed was suspicious of the nature of his wife’s relationship with his brother, and shot him dead in an earlier attack.

“Shazia left the house and escaped when Saeed opened fire on both, his own brother and Shazia. The brother succumbed to injuries and died but Shazia managed to escape, in spite of her wounds,” a neighbour told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity.

Earlier, Saeed had called his mother-in-law, Noor Jehan, a resident of Barikot, asking her to bring Shazia back to resolve the dispute.

“Both Noor Jehan and Shazia came to the village. Saeed and his accomplices took Shazia to the nearby mountains and stoned her to death,” another neighbour added.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/194047/woman-stoned-to-death-in-mardan/

------

'Lakhvi leader of LeT military wing'

Jun 23, 2011

WASHINGTON: David Headley's "valuable information" on the Lashkar-e-Taiba's (LeT) hierarchy is of interest not only to America but also to other countries, said US prosecutors on Wednesday.

"During the first two weeks in custody, Headley provided valuable information about terrorists who are of interest not only to the United States but to other governments as well," said assistant US attorney Victoria Peters said in her closing arguments during the trial of the Mumbai attack co-accused Tahawwur Rana in a Chicago court.

She added that Headley "mapped out the hierarchy of LeT, told the FBI who is in charge, who does what. Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi (suspected mastermind of the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai) is the leader of the military wing."

The US attorney said that Headley also gave the FBI a list of 34 targets that he believes are still on the radar for Pakistani terrorist organizations . "And don't forget that Headley's information has value beyond intelligence value," Peters said, arguing that this is the reason why the US entered into a guilty plea agreement with one of the main accused of the Mumbai terrorist attacks .

In exchange for his cooperation, Headley may avoid the death penalty. "The plea agreement recognizes the value of information that David Headley provided beginning on October 3, 2009, when he was arrested," she said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Lakhvi-leader-of-LeT-military-wing/articleshow/8958814.cms

------

On Hindu extremists’ target: Godhra judge, AMU chief guest

Rahul Tripathi

Jun 23 2011

New Delhi : Hindu extremists named by National Investigation Agency in the Samjhauta Express blast case also had plans to kill the chief guest of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in 2006 after the university changed its decision to invite BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi with that of a Muslim guest.

In a statement given to the probe agency, one of the accused and a close associate of Sunil Joshi (dead) Shivam Dhakad is said to have given details on the plan to target AMU and other locations.

Dhakad, a resident of Dewas in Madhya Pradesh, is in Dewas prison after being arrested by Ujjain police on charges of murder. In judicial custody, he recently gave a statement to NIA, now part of the Samjhauta Express case. In his statement, Dhakad revealed that he travelled to Kolkata for surveying house of Justice UC Banerjee in 2005 who was heading a commission on the Godhra riots and had plans to kill him.

The statement, accessed by The Indian Express, reveals that Dhakad and 12 others got arms and explosive training in 2006 in a forest near the Bagli-Dewas border. “Ramji (Kalsangra) had given us training of bomb-making and he had also given a demonstration to blast a bomb on a nearby hill. All of them practised pistol firing with air pistol and .32 bore pistol. Devender Upadhayay of village Bagli arranged for food for all,” reads the statement.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/807346/

------

Afghanistan says its army ready for US drawdown

By SOLOMON MOORE AND MIRWAIS KHAN

Jun 23, 2011

KABUL, Afghanistan: Afghanistan’s NATO-trained military is ready to take responsibility for fighting Taleban insurgents and securing key parts of the country that will be the first to transition as the US begins a troop drawdown in July, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

Many Afghans are eager to see an American departure nearly 10 years after US forces invaded to oust Al-Qaeda’s Taleban hosts from power, and President Barack Obama is expected to announce plans later Wednesday to bring roughly 10,000 American troops home in less than a year.

But the drawdown, before a full pullout by 2014, carries enormous risks for a US-allied government still beset by attacks from Taleban and other insurgents.

“There will be some battles, there will be suicide attacks, and bomb attacks,” said Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi said of the coming transition period. “But we in the Afghan forces are prepared to replace the foreign forces and I’m confident the army has enough capacity and ability.” About 100,000 US troops are in the country, three times as many as when Obama took office. In a prime-time address from the White House, Obama is likely to outline a phased withdrawal that will bring 5,000 troops home this summer and an additional 5,000 by winter or spring 2012, according to a senior US defense official As the US drawdown nears, there’s more pressure on the Afghan government to find a mediated peace with the Taleban to the nearly decade-long war.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article459874.ece

------

France says to begin gradual Afghan withdrawal

23 June 2011

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday he would follow the United States in starting a gradual troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, a move likely to boost him before a 2012 election campaign.

Sarkozy said troops sent for reinforcement would start returning in a time frame similar to the U.S. force withdrawal. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday the US planned to pull out 33,000 troops by next summer.

“Given the progress we have seen (in Afghanistan), France will begin a gradual withdrawal of reinforcement troops sent to Afghanistan, in a proportional manner and in a calendar comparable to the withdrawal of American reinforcements,” a statement issued by Sarkozy’s office said following a telephone call with Obama.

France, which has about 4,000 troops in Afghanistan and seen 62 soldiers killed, has said it would begin redeploying and handing over areas it controls to the Afghan military in 2011.

Obama said he would withdraw 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by year’s end, followed by about 23,000 by the end of next summer and a steady pullout of remaining troops after that.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/June/international_June929.xml&section=international

------

Afghan endgame unclear after Obama decision

23 June 2011

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s decision for a partial troop withdrawal from Afghanistan may ease political pressure at home, but fails to resolve the overriding dilemma of how to extricate the United States from the long war, experts said.

In announcing on Wednesday the departure of 33,000 surge troops by the summer of 2012, Obama split the difference between war hawks and skeptics but left uncertain the terms of an endgame involving a possible deal with the Taliban.

Obama’s plan addressed the military’s wish to keep the bulk of the US surge force in place through this year, while offering the start of a drawdown demanded by members of his own party.

But both sides in the debate over the war came away disappointed, accusing Obama of either abandoning the war effort or deepening an open-ended quagmire.

While the drawdown of 10,000 troops this year will likely have no dramatic effect on the ground in coming months, analysts said, the departure of the remaining 23,000 surge forces in 2012 could curtail plans to roll back the insurgency in eastern Afghanistan.

The withdrawal numbers “mean that gains made in the south of Afghanistan will be harder to maintain, and that needed operations in the east will go forward more slowly,” Danielle Pletka of the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute wrote in a commentary published a day before Obama’s speech.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/June/international_June915.xml&section=international

------

Afghan Taliban dismiss ‘symbolic’ US troop announcement

June 23, 2011

KABUL: The Taliban dismissed President Barack Obama’s announcement of US troop withdrawals from Afghanistan as “only as a symbolic step,” in a statement released Thursday.

The Taliban “consider this announcement, which currently withdraws 10,000 soldiers this year, only as a symbolic step which will never satisfy the war-weary international community or the American people,” it said.

The statement, emailed to media by Taliban spokesman Tariq Ghazniwal, also accused the United States of “repeatedly giving false hopes to its nation about ending this war and claiming baselessly about victory”.

The Taliban said the solution to the Afghan crisis “lies in the full withdrawal of all foreign troops immediately” and said that until that happened “our armed struggle will increase from day to day”.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/23/afghan-taliban-say-us-troop-plan-symbolic-warn-of-more-bloodshed.html

------

Italy urges halt to Libya conflict

June 23, 2011

Italy called Wednesday for a halt to Libyan hostilities to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid, as the civilian death toll mounted and state media said NATO was bombing highway traffic checkpoints.

On the diplomatic front, China said it recognises Libya’s opposition National Transitional Council (NTC) as an ‘important dialogue partner.’

‘We have seen the effects of the crisis and therefore also of NATO action not only in eastern and southwestern regions but also in Tripoli,’ the Italian foreign minister, Franco Frattini, told a parliamentary committee meeting in Rome.

‘I believe an immediate humanitarian suspension of hostilities is required in order to create effective humanitarian corridors,’ while negotiations should also continue on a more formal ceasefire and peace talks, he said.

‘I think this is the most urgent and dramatic point,’ Frattini continued.

‘I think it is legitimate to request ever more detailed information on the results’ of the NATO mission, he added, condemning ‘the dramatic errors that hit civilians, which is clearly not an objective of the NATO mission.’

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/frontpage/23547.html

------

Iraq to ask US to return its missing billions

June 23, 2011

Iraq's parliament speaker, who is on a visit to Washington, will query American officials about $17 billion in missing oil money, a lawmaker in Baghdad said yesterday.

Osama al-Nujaifi, who left for Washington on Tuesday, will bring up the question of the missing billions, which have been under investigation for years, said Baha al-Araji, head of parliament's anti-graft committee.

Last week, US officials acknowledged that $6.6 billion in Iraqi reconstruction funds had disappeared. Iraq says $17 billion is missing, and was stolen by corrupt US institutions.

The cash was from the proceeds of Iraqi oil sales after the 2003 US-led invasion. It was placed in the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), but went missing in 2004, when US envoy Paul Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) was governing Iraq and managing the fund.

The integrity committee said it had sent a letter to the UN office in Baghdad, but a spokesperson for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) said no such document had been received.

It was a 2003 UN Security Council resolution that authorised the transfer of the vanished Iraqi oil money from the US to Iraq.

In the May 11 letter addressed to the UN in Iraq and seen by AFP, the integrity committee accused US institutions working under the CPA of stealing the money.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=191194

------

Italy urges halt to Libya conflict

June 23, 2011

Italy called Wednesday for a halt to Libyan hostilities to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid, as the civilian death toll mounted and state media said NATO was bombing highway traffic checkpoints.

On the diplomatic front, China said it recognises Libya’s opposition National Transitional Council (NTC) as an ‘important dialogue partner.’

‘We have seen the effects of the crisis and therefore also of NATO action not only in eastern and southwestern regions but also in Tripoli,’ the Italian foreign minister, Franco Frattini, told a parliamentary committee meeting in Rome.

‘I believe an immediate humanitarian suspension of hostilities is required in order to create effective humanitarian corridors,’ while negotiations should also continue on a more formal ceasefire and peace talks, he said.

‘I think this is the most urgent and dramatic point,’ Frattini continued.

‘I think it is legitimate to request ever more detailed information on the results’ of the NATO mission, he added, condemning ‘the dramatic errors that hit civilians, which is clearly not an objective of the NATO mission.’

France, which has taken the lead in military operations against Muammar Gaddafi, immediately ruled out any pause in the Libya campaign.

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/frontpage/23547.html

------

Iraq to ask US to return its missing billions

June 23, 2011

Iraq's parliament speaker, who is on a visit to Washington, will query American officials about $17 billion in missing oil money, a lawmaker in Baghdad said yesterday.

Osama al-Nujaifi, who left for Washington on Tuesday, will bring up the question of the missing billions, which have been under investigation for years, said Baha al-Araji, head of parliament's anti-graft committee.

Last week, US officials acknowledged that $6.6 billion in Iraqi reconstruction funds had disappeared. Iraq says $17 billion is missing, and was stolen by corrupt US institutions.

The cash was from the proceeds of Iraqi oil sales after the 2003 US-led invasion. It was placed in the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), but went missing in 2004, when US envoy Paul Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) was governing Iraq and managing the fund.

The integrity committee said it had sent a letter to the UN office in Baghdad, but a spokesperson for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) said no such document had been received.

It was a 2003 UN Security Council resolution that authorised the transfer of the vanished Iraqi oil money from the US to Iraq.

In the May 11 letter addressed to the UN in Iraq and seen by AFP, the integrity committee accused US institutions working under the CPA of stealing the money.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=191194

------

Iranian delegation attacked in Iraq

Jun 23, 2011

TEHRAN: Gunmen attacked an Iranian oil delegation visiting Baghdad on Wednesday, the Iranian Oil Ministry said.

“The delegation was attacked by terrorists but they are not harmed and have no problems,” the ministry’s Shana website said.

“The delegation visited Iraq to hold talks about exporting fuel to Iraq. They came under gunfire when heading to the Electricity Ministry building.” An Iraqi Interior Ministry source said the convoy came under fire in central Baghdad and two Iraqi guards were wounded.

Another Iraqi government source said it was an Iranian technical team visiting Baghdad as part of meetings to discuss border demarcation and investment in joint oilfields.

Iran did not say who was behind the attack and no group has taken responsibility for the attack yet.

Iraq is home to a base of the People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran (PMOI), which the United States, Iraq and Iran consider a terrorist group.

The PMOI has for decades advocated the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in place since 1979.

The fate of the base at Camp Ashraf, 65 km north of Baghdad, has been in question since the US military turned it over to Baghdad in 2009 under a bilateral security agreement.

In April, Iraqi forces moved against the camp in what they said was an attempt to reclaim land and return it to farmers.

The United States has proposed a temporary relocation of Ashraf’s residents within Iraq, pending eventual resettlements in third countries, but the PMOI’s umbrella group — the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) — rejects this.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article459584.ece

------

Shahzad murder: Interim report whitewashes ISI role

Jun 22 2011

Lahore: An initial probe into the murder of Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad has concluded that allegations against the ISI on his abduction and killing are of a "general nature" and based on a "perceived sequence of events" that allegedly culminated in his death.

These observations were made in an interim report submitted by Punjab's provincial police chief Javed Iqbal to the Supreme Court, which is hearing a case related to Shahzad's murder.

None of Shahzad's friends, colleagues or family members have provided any specific information that might pinpoint suspicion regarding an individual, said the report.

"So far the investigation has not yielded any lead that could help narrow down the scope of the investigation and bring into sharp relief any possible suspect(s)," the report said.

The report said the investigation has been greatly hindered by the non-availability of any of the electronic gadgets used by the Shahzad, including his cell phone.

Efforts to access Shahzad's email account have not met with any success, it said.

The analysis of the call data record of Shahzad's mobile number is an ongoing process and callers of telephone numbers provided so far have largely been identified, the report said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/807193/

------

Jeddah to host major Islamic economic and finance conference: IDB official

By P. K. ABDUL GHAFOUR AND SARAH ABDULLAH

Jun 23, 2011

JEDDAH: Finance, economy and planning ministers from 56 Muslim countries will attend a major Islamic economic and finance conference here next week, which is likely to be opened by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah at Jeddah Hilton on Monday.

Ahmed Mohamed Ali, president of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB), emphasized on Wednesday the significance of the four-day conference, saying it would approve finances for new projects and discuss unemployment problem and other major development challenges facing member countries.

Addressing a press conference at IDB headquarters, Ali said the bank had provided more than $70 billion worth of funding for social and economic projects in member countries and Muslim communities in non-member countries since its establishment in 1975.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/economy/article459830.ece

------

Lax Enforcement: Hizb ut-Tahrir free to preach its message

By Asad Kharal

June 23, 2011

LAHORE: Despite five military officers being detained and questioned for their links to the organisation, the banned Hizb ut-Tahrir appears to be free to distribute its propaganda material and promote its events, including at mosques just yards away from the police headquarters in Lahore and prominent locations in the federal capital.

Hizb ut-Tahrir’s objective is to overthrow the current Pakistani government and establish a worldwide caliphate that encompasses all Muslim-majority countries. While the organisation claims to be non-violent, it has often been accused of aiding and abetting acts of terrorism.

On Tuesday, the Pakistan Army confirmed that they had detained Brigadier Ali Khan, who served at the military headquarters in Rawalpindi, for his alleged links to the organisation. On Wednesday, reports emerged of four more military officers being detained for their ties to Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Yet the organisation seems to face no difficulty in disseminating its message to the public through posters, seminars, literature and even rallies. Hizb ut-Tahrir displayed hundreds of banners across the country in order to promote its nationwide “caliphate” rally on November 5, 2010. They have organised protests in front of the Lahore Press Club and even in parts of Islamabad.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/194509/lax-enforcement-hizb-ut-tahrir-free-to-preach-its-message/

------

Pak minister hints Osama behind Benazir murder

Jun 23 2011

Islamabad: Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has revealed that al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was involved in the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

“The assassins and perpetrators of Benazir Bhutto’s murder have been identified. Some have been arrested while others have been declared proclaimed offenders,” 'The Daily Times' quoted Malik, as saying.

“If party leadership will allow, I will disclose who they were, where the plan was prepared and how they came to Rawalpindi,” he added.

Malik said that since the matter was subjudice he would not comment any further on the case.

Benazir was assassinated in a gun and bomb attack as she was leaving Liaqat Bagh in Rawalpindi after addressing a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) rally on December 27, 2007.

It came two weeks before the scheduled Pakistani general election of 2008 in which she was a leading opposition candidate.

The following year, she was named one of seven winners of the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/807100/

------

JuD warns India against attacking Pak, declares US enemy of country

Jun 21 2011

Islamabad: Outlawed radical outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawah has warned India against “striking” Pakistan and asked it to hand over those involved in the Samjhauta Express train bombing.

The 10-point declaration was adopted at the “Defence of Islam and Pakistan's Stability” conference organised by JuD at the Jamia-al-Dirasat Islamia seminary in Karachi yesterday.

It called for the US to be declared an enemy of Pakistan and warned the government against releasing Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh.

The declaration also warned India against “striking” Pakistan and asked it to hand over those involved in the 2007 Samjhauta Express train bombing, in which 68 people were killed, mostly Pakistanis.

It also warned the people about alleged attempts by India, Israel and the US to destabilise Pakistan and called for unity among citizens to defend the country.

Among those who addressed the gathering was senior JuD leader Abdur Rehman Makki, who contended the situation in Pakistan was “not as bad as the local and Western media says”.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/806678/

------

Egypt army rejects resignation of deputy PM

23 June 2011

CAIRO - Egypt’s army rulers rejected the resignation of Deputy Prime Minister Yehia el-Gamal, who had cited health problems, the government said on Wednesday.

Gamal was appointed in February shortly after a popular uprising ousted President Hosni Mubarak, who was replaced by a military council until elections can be held.

A law professor, Gamal was a leader of an opposition coalition called the National Association for Change, founded by Egyptian activist and presidential candidate Mohamed ElBaradei.

The prime minister’s media adviser Ahmed el-Seman told reporters that the military council had rejected Gamal’s resignation. He gave no explanation for the decision

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/June/middleeast_June627.xml&section=middleeast

------

Israel expresses worries to UN about flotilla

23 June 2011

UNITED NATIONS - Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor is expressing his concerns to the U.N. about an international flotilla planned by activists to challenge Israel’s sea blockade of the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

Prosor told Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council in letters released Wednesday that the flotilla is a provocation that could have dangerous consequences.

A ship filled with Americans is among at least nine craft expected to attempt the Mediterranean voyage later this month. The timing of the trip will depend on weather and other conditions.

Last year, nine activists died in a botched Israeli commando raid on a Turkish ship during a similar flotilla. Each side accused the other of sparking the violence.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/June/middleeast_June624.xml&section=middleeast

------

US slaps further sanctions on Libyan firms

June 23, 2011

Lalit K Jha

As part of efforts to tighten the noose against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, the US has slapped sanctions against nine Libyan entities, including a Karachi-based company which is jointly owned by the Governments of Libya and Pakistan.

The US Treasury Department on Tuesday said it had targeted three foreign Libyan-owned banks and identified six additional companies, including four foreign firms, subject to sanctions.

The four foreign companies include Ghana Libya Arab Holding Co and its tourist subsidiary Glahco Hotels and Tourism Development Co; a Pakistan fund, Pak-Libya Holding Co; and a Norwegian chemical company, Libyan Norwegian Fertiliser Co.

Pak-Libya Holding Company is a Pakistan-based entity that is 50 per cent owned by Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (LAFICO), a subsidiary of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA).

The Government of Pakistan owns the remaining 50 per cent of the company’s shares, the US Department of Treasury said in a statement, declaring sanctions against nine companies.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/347668/US-slaps-further-sanctions-on-Libyan-firms.html

------

Eight Afghan police killed in checkpoint attack

June 23, 2011

Eight Afghan police were killed Wednesday when Taliban attacked their checkpoint in a brazen assault likely to raise fresh security questions as the United States prepares a troop drawdown.

The attack in Ghazni province’s Qarabagh district, about 120 kilometres southwest of Kabul, is thought to have been an inside job in which insurgents worked with a policeman at the checkpoint to strike.

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/23439.html

------

Plan to fence, mine Afghan border

By Imran Ali Teepu

The plan to ‘fence and mine’ some important parts of the Pak-Afghan border has been there for some time and specific details were also worked out by the security establishment, but it was put on hold because of opposition from Kabul. – File Photo by Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is seriously considering to ‘fence and mine’ some important parts of the Pak-Afghan border, in the wake of increasing incursions by militants from the Afghan side into Bajaur, Upper Dir and Mohmand tribal regions, knowledgeable sources told Dawn.

The plan has been there for some time and specific details were also worked out by the security establishment, but it was put on hold because of opposition from Kabul. However, recent incursions from across the Durand Line have made the authorities to consider reviving the project.

Heavily armed militants have crossed into Pakistan’s border more than four times in less than 25 days and clashed with Pakistan’s border forces.

In a recent attack by militants in Mohmand this month, the Pakistan Air Force had to be called in to recapture a post.

The clash led to the death of 25 militants while several Frontier Corps soldiers were injured.The military is concerned over the increasing infiltration.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/23/plan-to-fence-mine-afghan-border.html

------

40 al-Qaida militants escape Yemen jail: Officials

Jun 22, 2011

At least 40 al-Qaida militants escaped from a jail in southern Yemen, said security officials.

SANAA: At least 40 al-Qaida militants escaped from a jail in southern Yemen, said security officials.

The militants attacked their guards and seized their arms early today, just as bands of heavily armed militants attacked the prison in the city of Mukalla on the Arabian Sea.

According to officials, those who escaped included militants convicted on terror charges or held in protective custody pending their trial.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Today's escape was the latest sign that Yemen's upheaval has emboldened al Qaeda militants to challenge authorities in the country's nearly lawless south.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/40-al-Qaida-militants-escape-Yemen-jail-Officials/articleshow/8950832.cms

------

President: Indonesia to ban labor export to Saudi by Aug. 1

Adianto P. Simamora

06/23/2011

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Thursday announced that the government would soon stop sending new migrant workers to Saudi Arabia, as a sign of protest over the recent execution of Indonesian domestic worker Ruyati binti Satubi by the Saudi government.

The moratorium would come into effect by August 1, Yudhoyono told a press conference at the Presidential Palace on Thursday.

The decision was made at a limited Cabinet meeting late on Wednesday, several hours before Yudhoyono’s meeting with members of the House of Representatives at the State Palace on Thursday, which was also held to discuss migrant worker protection issues.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/06/23/president-indonesia-ban-labor-export-saudi-aug-1.html

------

Syrian men promise to marry women raped during unrest

Jun 23 2011

Damascus: After ghastly crimes carried out by security forces and others, a group of men in Syria have pledged to marry women who were raped during the violence that swept the country in the recent months.

They have committed themselves to an unlikely way of challenging the violence by government and its allies, who used women as instruments of war, The Washington Post reports.

Ibrahim Kayyis, a 32-year-old baker from Jisr al-Shugour, a town that was stormed by troops has promised to marry four sisters, from the nearby town of Sumeriya, who were allegedly raped by pro-government Shabiha militiamen.

“It made us so mad. Such an injustice. We have decided, we will marry them,” the paper quoted him, as saying.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/807178/

------

Domestic support for Pak Army drops: US poll

June 23, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Domestic support for the Pakistani Army’s campaign against militant groups has waned in recent years, a poll by a US group has found, showing deep-rooted opposition among the Pakistani public to the US.

The findings of two Pew Research Center surveys of 3,221 people found that just 37 per cent of them supported using the army to fight militants, which was 16 per cent lower than two years ago, according to Pew.

The surveys also showed that most Pakistanis – 63 per cent – disapproved of the secret US raid in May that killed Osama bin Laden, with 55 per cent describing it as a “bad thing”.

It was not clear if the respondents disapproved of the killing of the al Qaeda leader, who has not been popular in the country in recent years, or the secret US raid which many people saw as a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.

Only 12 per cent of respondents had a positive view of the US and only 8 per cent had confidence in President Barack Obama “to do the right thing in world affairs”, Pew said.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/194581/domestic-support-for-pak-army-drops-us-poll/

------

Five million Pakistanis at risk from floods: UN

June 23, 2011

Up to five million people in Pakistan are at risk from floods this year, partly due to poor reconstruction and the inadequate rehabilitation of survivors who are still reeling from last year’s epic deluge, the UN said on Wednesday.

Monsoon floods began roaring through Pakistan in late July last year, leaving one-fifth of the country — an area the size of Italy — underwater, disrupting the lives of more than 18 million people.

The government and aid organisations were criticised for being too slow to respond while the military, seen as a far more efficient institution, took the lead in relief operations.

As Pakistan braces itself again for its annual monsoon season — which runs from late June to early September – the UN says authorities and the aid community have learnt lessons and are better prepared — even for the worst case scenario.

“Since the beginning of March, we have been in close contact with the government to make sure response is up and running and that we are better prepared this year,” said Manuel Bessler, head of the UN emergencies office (OCHA) in Pakistan.

“The most anticipated scenario is two million affectees and the worst case scenario is five million. We are prepared for these two scenarios,” he told AlertNet by phone from Islamabad.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/22/five-million-pakistanis-at-risk-from-floods-un.html

------

Syria foreign minister promises democracy

By ZEINA KARAM

Jun 23, 2011

BEIRUT: Syria’s foreign minister said Wednesday the Damascus government would soon present “an unprecedented example of democracy” in the troubled Middle East, an extraordinary promise in a country facing an uprising against an authoritarian system in place for decades.

Speaking during a televised news conference, Foreign Minister Walid Muallem’s comments were the latest attempt by the regime to blunt three months of widespread street protests against President Bashar Assad’s autocratic rule, a movement that has persisted despite a bloody crackdown reportedly killing hundreds.

“We will offer an example of democracy,” Muallem said, when asked about his vision for Syria in three months.

“There will be social justice, equality before the law and accountability.” The statements by the longtime trusted Assad aide went beyond the vague promises of reform the president made in a Monday speech, and amounted to a rare official admission that Syria has ignored basic democratic principles.

Muallem called for regime opponents to enter into political talks, and urged Syrian exiles to return, pledging that “even the harshest opponent” of the regime will not be arrested.

The news conference appeared designed to present a picture of regime confidence at a time when Assad is coming under increased attack abroad and at home, where the protesters call for his ouster.

Full report at:

ttp://arabnews.com/middleeast/article459588.ece

------

Syria regime lashes out at EU over sanctions

23 June 2011

The Syrian regime has lashed out at European governments for threatening a new round of sanctions and accused the West of trying to sow chaos and conflict in the nation.

But Foreign Minister Walid Moallem on Wednesday also reiterated the president’s call for national dialogue and spoke of democracy over the horizon — a bold assertion after more than four decades of iron-fisted rule by the Assad family and months of bloody reprisals.

It was the regime’s latest attempt to blunt three months of widespread demonstrations, a movement that was inspired by pro-democracy upheavals elsewhere in the Mideast and that has persisted despite the reported killing of hundreds of protesters by security forces. A skeptical opposition rejected the overture while the Syrian military is occupying towns and shooting protesters. Seven were reported killed on Tuesday.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/June/middleeast_June634.xml&section=middleeast

------

Ankara hosts talks on Palestinian unity

June 23, 2011

Sevil Küçükkosum

Turkey has rolled up its sleeves to salvage a plan for Palestinian unity as it hosts Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas in Ankara among parallel efforts to normalize ties with Israel.

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal meets with Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu

Turkey has rolled up its sleeves to salvage a plan for Palestinian unity as it hosts Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas in Ankara among parallel efforts to normalize ties with Israel. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has been visiting Ankara since Tuesday, and the Fatah figurehead is scheduled to meet with Turkish leaders on Thursday. Ahead of the meeting, officials were also testing the ground for Palestinian reconciliation by hosting Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who met Tuesday in Istanbul with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

“They discussed the issue of Palestinian unity and regional affairs,” a Turkish diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News on Wednesday on condition of anonymity.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=ankara-hosts-talks-on-palestinian-unity-2011-06-22

------

Hamas chief Meshaal in Turkey

June 23, 2011

Hamas Chief Khaled Meshaal has arrived in Turkey, a day after Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas began a four-day visit.

Meshaal was currently in Istanbul, it was not immediately clear whether he would meet with Abbas.

Turkish Foreign Ministry officials contacted by the Hurriyet Daily News would not comment.

Abbas arrived in Ankara on Tuesday afternoon as Palestinian officials reported disagreements between his Fatah faction and Hamas over the formation of a unity government.

Turkish officials said Abbas would have a "private program" before talks on Thursday and Friday with President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=hamas-chief-meshaal-in-turkey-2011-06-22

------

Jakarta: Police chief proposes partnership to tackle hatred, radicalism

06/23/2011

The National Police has called for a partnership between related stakeholders to eliminate hatred speeches and address radicalism, both regarded as potential sources of terrorist ideologies.

National Counterterrorism Agency deputy chief Brig. Gen. Muhammad Tito Karnavian said police had realized that punishments such as imprisonment were sometimes counterproductive.

“We can jail someone, for example, in relation to incitement. But that person could be a hero once they leave prison one or two years later,” Tito said at a workshop in Jakarta on Thursday.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/06/23/police-chief-proposes-partnership-tackle-hatred-radicalism.html

------

Syria warns against outside interference

June 23, 2011

Syria strongly rejected on Tuesday any foreign intervention over its deadly crackdown on a pro-democracy revolt and singled out its former colonial ruler France, which is pressing the UN Security Council to act.

‘We can reach consensus despite opposing points of view,’ the foreign minister, Walid Muallem, told a Damascus press conference. ‘No one outside (Syria) can impose on us their point of view.’

And while not directly accusing neighbouring Turkey of meddling, Muallem hinted that Ankara, which has called for democratic reforms in Syria and is hosting thousands of fugitives from the government’s crackdown, should ‘reconsider its position.’

‘We say to those in Europe who are criticising us that they should stop interfering in Syrian affairs and sowing trouble in order to apply plans contrary to Syrian national interests.’

Full report at: http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/23444.html

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/dutch-court-acquits-geert-wilders,-anti-islam-lawmaker/d/4897


Loading..

Loading..