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Islamic World News ( 28 March 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Female suicide bombers kill over 30 in Moscow

Black widows carried out the suicide bombings

Sufi group vows to rid Somalia of radical Islamists

Bangladesh: War crimes trial

Decision on Mideast peace talks deferred

Constitutional reforms: ‘PM not keen to meet CJ for consultation’

17 Indians sentenced to death in UAE

Shoura denounces Netanyahu's bellicosity

Israel to impose 9-day blockade of West Bank

No talks with Israel unless it backs down on settlements

G8 foreign ministers to focus on Iran sanctions

Jeddah's KAU opens doors to expat students

Bombs kill 5 at house tied to Iraq Sunni candidate

Kingfisher airline ‘bomber’ held in Kerala capital

White House adviser: World has united against Iran

Yemen arrests Europeans training on weapons

Concern over water conveyed to India

Gilani in bid to break deadlock with PML-N

Kabul’s move for talks with top Taliban upsets US

Secret visit to Afghanistan: Obama wants end to direct involvement

Hamas govt to be liquidated: Israel

Troops repulse attack on post in Orakzai

Christian pilgrims mark Palm Sunday in Jerusalem

Libya lifts visa ban on 25 European nations

Crisis with Switzerland stills runs deep: Libya

German firm to build rail projects in UAE

17 Taliban killed in Orakzai

Pakistan to get US drone technology soon: Qureshi

Pak Rangers, Indian BSF hold flag meeting

‘Terrorists deserve exemplary punishment’

Qureshi boasts success of Pak, US strategic talks

Arabs thrash out strategy against Israel settlements

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/female-suicide-bombers-kill-over-30-in-moscow/d/2630

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Female suicide bombers kill over 30 in Moscow

Mar 29, 2010

Moscow: Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up on Moscow's subway system as it was jam-packed with rush-hour passengers Monday, killing at least 35 people and wounding 38, the city's mayor and other officials said.

Emergency Ministry spokeswoman Svetlana Chumikova said 23 people were killed in an explosion shortly before 8 a.m. at the Lubyanka station in central Moscow. The station is underneath the building that houses the main offices of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, the KGB's main successor agency.

A second explosion hit the Park Kultury station about 45 minutes later. Chumikova said at least 12 were dead there. The ministry later said 38 people were injured.

"I heard a bang, turned my head and smoke was everywhere. People ran for the exits screaming," said 24-year-old Alexander Vakulov, who said he was waiting on the platform opposite the targeted train at Park Kultury.

"I saw a dead person for the first time in my life," said 19-year-old Valtin Popov, who also was standing on the opposite platform.

"The first data that the FSB has given us is that there were two female suicide bombers," Luzhkov told reporters at the Park Kultury site.

The blasts practically paralyzed movement in the city centre as emergency vehicles sped to the stations.

In the Park Kultury blast, the bomber was wearing a belt packed with plastic explosive and set it off as the train's doors opened, said Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia's top investigative body. The woman has not been identified, he told reporters.

A woman who sells newspapers outside the Lubyanka station, Ludmila Famokatova, said there appeared to be no panic, but that many of the people who streamed out were distraught.

"One man was weeping, crossing himself, saying 'thank God I survived'," she said.

The last confirmed terrorist attack in Moscow was in August 2004, when a suicide bomber blew herself up outside a city subway station, killing 10 people.

Responsibility for that blast was claimed by Chechen rebels and suspicion in Monday's explosions is likely to focus on them and other separatist groups in the restive North Caucasus region.

Russian police have killed several Islamic militant leaders in the North Caucasus recently, including one last week in the Kabardino-Balkariya region. The killing of Anzor Astemirov was mourned by contributors to two al-Qaida-affiliated Web sites.

The killings have raised fears of retaliatory strikes by the militants.

In February, Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov warned in an interview on a rebel-affiliated website that "the zone of military operations will be extended to the territory of Russia ... the war is coming to their cities."

Umarov also claimed his fighters were responsible for the November bombing of the Nevsky Express passenger train that killed 26 people en route from Moscow to St. Petersburg.

The Moscow subway system is one of the world's busiest, carrying around 7 million passengers on an average workday, and is a key element in running the sprawling and traffic-choked city.

Helicopters hovered over the Park Kultury station area, which is near the renowned Gorky Park.

www.ibnlive.in.com/news/female-suicide-bombers-kill-over-30-in-moscow/112283-2.html?from=tn

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Black widows carried out the suicide bombings

Mar 29, 2010

New Delhi: The confirmation of involvement of female suicide bombers who carried out the twin blasts in central Moscow's busy metro stations has once again brought the infamous Chechen group – Black Widows.

Consisting of widows of Chechen rebels who died fighting Russian forces in Chechnya, the group has gained notoriety for carrying out deadly suicide attacks in recent times in Russia.

The first of their attacks by Black Widows suicide bombers came in July 2003 when a Chechen woman exploded a suicide belt at a rock concert, killing more than a dozen people.

Five months later in December 2003 a woman bomber blew herself up in central Moscow, killing six people and injuring dozens.

It was soon followed by another more deadly bombing in February 2004. Here, a woman carrying a bomb destroyed a subway car between Paveletskaya and Avtozavodskaya. More than 40 people were killed in that attack.

In Sept 2004 a suicide bomber killed at least 9 other people at a Rizhskaya bus stop.

The group is also believed to be a part of Osama Bin Laden international Islamic front.

www.ibnlive.in.com/news/black-widows-strike-moscow-metro-trains/112306-2.html

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Sufi group vows to rid Somalia of radical Islamists

By SAHRA ABDI

Mar 28, 2010

NAIROBI: A leader of a moderate Sufi militia group that signed a power-sharing deal with the Western-backed Somali government this month has vowed to rid the country of radicals.

The government brought Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca on board ahead of an expected military push against hard-line Islamist rebels threatening to topple the administration.

"Together, we are going to eliminate radical Islamists from the country. We will confront Shabaab directly not through the media," chairman Maalim Muhamud told Reuters late on Saturday.

Muhamud said his group, which controls large swathes of central Somalia, had the capacity with the government, to ruin Al-Shabaab, which professes loyalty to Al-Qaeda and holds vast areas in the south and the capital.

In January this year, Al-Shabaab attacked Ahlu Sunna's positions in a bid to take control of strategic towns, but the Sufis defended them successfully.

Under the deal signed between the group and the government of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, Ahlu Sunna will get five ministerial posts and appoint the army's deputy chief of staff.

The Sufis' quarrel with the rebels is mainly ideological.

Somalia has a rich Sufi tradition going back more than five centuries. Sufis have been angered by the desecration of graves, the beheading of clerics, and bans on celebrating the birth of the Prophet imposed by the militants.

The latest round of grave attacks occurred this week in Mogadishu after similar incidents in Kismayu and Baidoa in the south and in other areas, over the last two years.

"This is an unacceptable matter. The ones who are doing this are not true Muslims, they are far from the religion. We must launch a jihad against them," Muhamud said.

Shabaab dismisses deal

An Al-Shabaab official said the alliance between the Sufis and government would not impact the balance of power.

"We have heard from the media about the deal they signed in Addis Ababa, but it will not have any impact on us. Our Mujahedeen are ready and are well trained," Sheikh Ali Hussein, chairman of Al-Shabaab in the capital told reporters.

The deal between Ahlu Sunna and the government was opposed by several members of the militia group, including Muhamud's deputy, Hassan Qorey, who says they were not well represented in talks that led to the agreement.

"Yes there are some Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca scholars who are opposed to the deal we have signed but we are going to solve our problems through talking to the rest of our group," Muhamud said. "On the government side there is also some opposition, so we hope the other side will also do so."

The chairman would travel to Mogadishu this week for a meeting of a joint technical committee of the alliance on implementing the power sharing deal, he said.

Somalia has had no effective central government for 19 years and Western nations and neighbors say the country is used as a shelter by militants intent on launching attacks in the region and further afield.

The Islamists launched their insurgency at the start of 2007 to drive out Ethiopian troops propping up the government.

Ethiopians left at the start of 2009 but the conflict continued.

A smaller rebel group, Hizbul Islam, has an alliance with the Al-Shabaab in Mogadishu, where the government has been hemmed into a few blocks since a rebel offensive last May.

www.arabnews.com/world/article36015.ece

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Bangladesh: War crimes trial

Mar 29, 2010

The law minister, war crimes tribunal judges, investigation agency chief, and some of the members of the agency and the prosecution team on Sunday visited their offices and the courtroom, set up at the old High Court building on the Supreme Court premises.

The tribunal, agency and prosecution team are scheduled to start functioning today.

State minister for law Quamrul Islam and home secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder accompanied by the tribunal’s investigation team and prosecutors, met law minister Shafique Ahmed at his residence in the evening to discuss the strategies for the work of the tribunal.

After the meeting, Quamrul told reporters that they had discussed about how the investigation agency or prosecutors

would function the prosecution would be a new experience for them.

‘The agency with suo moto power will collect documents, gathered by individuals, international and local agencies like Sector Commanders’ Forum, in last 39 years after the war of liberation, and will use them as evidence,’ said Quamrul.

Full report at: www.newagebd.com/2010/mar/29/front.html

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Decision on Mideast peace talks deferred

Mar 28, 2010

SIRTE: Arab leaders failed at their summit on Sunday to reach a consensus on whether the Palestinians should resume stalled talks with Israel.

The Arab League scheduled an extraordinary summit for later this year to tackle issues it had been unable to resolve during its two days of meetings in the Libyan city of Sirte.

The Palestinians have said indirect talks with the Israelis will not take place unless Israel cancels a decision to build 1,600 new homes in a settlement near east Jerusalem, dealing a fresh blow to an already troubled Middle East peace process.

The Arab League had given its blessing to the Palestinians, before the Israeli decision was announced, to conduct the so-called proximity talks with Israel, so the organization’s stance now on whether those negotiations should still go ahead is potentially decisive.

After two days of talks in the Libyan town of Sirte, a committee of foreign ministers from some member states produced a resolution saying that a halt to all settlement activity was necessary for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to go ahead.

But that decision was not adopted by the full summit and, in a sign of the lack of consensus, Syria’s foreign minister said his country would not recognize the document as representing the view of the Arab League.

Full report at: www.arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article36198.ece

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Constitutional reforms: ‘PM not keen to meet CJ for consultation’

By Zulqernain Tahir

29 Mar, 2010

LAHORE, : Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani does not appear to have any immediate plan to hold consultations with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on the procedure for appointment of judges as proposed by PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif.

“The prime minister has categorically said that he cannot fulfil the desire of Mr Sharif on this issue. It is the exclusive domain of the parliamentary committee on constitutional reforms which has been working independently,” sources quoted Mr Gilani as saying.

The PPP’s core group is meeting at the presidency on Monday to discuss the situation arising out of the PML-N chief’s fresh stance on constitutional reforms.

Mr Sharif said at a press conference on Saturday: “Heavens would not fall if the prime minister sees the CJP over the issue of appointment of judges.”

The PML-N has made it clear that it may go ‘soft’ over the renaming of the NWFP but will not budge from its stance of consultations with the judiciary on the appointment of judges.

Although several PML-N leaders, including Ishaq Dar, Ahsan Iqbal and Pervez Rashid, are optimistic that the matter will be resolved in ‘a few days’, Mr Sharif did not share the optimism with his associates at his press conference on Saturday.

Full report at: www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/constitutional-reforms-pm-not-keen-to-meet-cj-for-consultation-930

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17 Indians sentenced to death in UAE

Mar 29, 2010

Dubai: Seventeen Indians have been sentenced to death by Sharjah's Shariah Court for killing a Pakistani man and injuring three others in a vicious attack last year.

Judge Yousuf Al Hamadi sentenced the 17 men to death after all evidence, including DNA tests, showed they had knifed the Pakistani to death, Khaleej Times reported.

The victim had died of his wounds after he was stabbed repeatedly on various parts of his body and had also suffered brain damage, police said.

The attack in January last year followed a fight over the control of the illegal liquor business in Al Sajaa area of Sharjah, one of the emirates of UAE, the paper said.

The police had said the suspects had attempted to kill three other compatriots of the victim, but they managed to escape and were rushed to Kuwaiti Hospital for treatment.

The convicted men are aged between 17 and 30 years. According to the three Pakistanis who survived, 50 people set upon them with knives on that fateful day last year.

Police had rushed to the area and arrested the 17, who had allegedly led the attack. The others were let off due to lack of evidence.

During court hearings, all the suspects confessed they had fought with and murdered the victim. Forensics reports and DNA tests also proved their role in the crime.

www.ibnlive.in.com/news/17-indians-sentenced-to-death-in-uae/112297-2.html

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Shoura denounces Netanyahu's bellicosity

Mar 28, 2010

RIYADH: The Shoura Council on Sunday denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial statement on Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and his government’s move to construct more Jewish settlements in occupied Arab territories.

In a statement, read out by Vice President Bandar bin Muhammad Hajjar, the 150-member consultative body expressed its doubt over the seriousness of international overtures to restart peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.

“Netanyahu’s statement reflects Israel’s policy of escalation and its intent to confiscate the Palestinian, Arab and Islamic rights in Al-Quds,” the Shoura said. It also pointed out Israel’s continuous efforts to obstruct the Middle East peace process.

The Shoura urged all international parties, especially the Quartet, to shoulder their responsibility by adopting a decisive stand on Zionist policies toward Jerusalem, adding that such policies would hamper the peace process. It also called upon Palestinian groups to stand united.

Last Monday, the Council of Ministers, chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, condemned Israel’s continuous escalation in Al-Quds and its oppressive policies against the Palestinians.

The Cabinet had warned that if the international community fails to take a firm stand against Israeli excesses and violations then this would destroy the chance to establish peace in the region.

www.arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article36211.ece

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Israel to impose 9-day blockade of West Bank

By MOHAMMAD MAR’I

Mar 28, 2010

RAMALLAH: Israeli forces will impose a full blockage of the West Bank starting Sunday night. The blockade will be in effect for nine days. The closure will be lifted following another security assessment after the Israeli Passover holiday is over.

The Israeli army said in a press statement that following orders of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, thousands of Palestinian workers will be barred from reaching their places of work during the nine-day closure.

The Israeli army announced that entry into Israel from the West Bank during Passover will only be permitted in humanitarian cases.

The statement said that some 1,000 church workers, 550 teachers and students, 150 Waqf employees and 100 religious workers will be allowed to enter East Jerusalem. Christian citizens will also be permitted to leave the West Bank in order to celebrate Easter in Israel, the statement said.

The Jewish holiday of Passover will take place this year from sunset of March 29 to April 6.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces operating in the West Bank on early Friday arrested 6 Palestinians, sources from both sides said.

The Palestinian sources said that the 6 Palestinian youth were arrested in the West Bank cities of Nablus, Tulkarm and Hebron.

Israeli security sources told the Army Radio that the six detainees were “wanted by Israeli security agencies” and were taken to unknown locations for questioning by the Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet.

www.arabnews.com/world/article36185.ece

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No talks with Israel unless it backs down on settlements

Mar 29, 2010

The announcement by Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas at the Arab League summit that he will not enter into indirect talks with Israel unless it backs down on settlements, coming immediately after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected anew international calls to stop settlement building in East Jerusalem, means that the peace process has hit a dead-end.

This might, as Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa told the summit in Sirte, necessitate new alternatives from the Arabs. However, if allies cannot find the alternative, who can? The current crisis between the US and Israel masks a deeper one: The absence of any alternative or coherent policy by the Obama administration toward the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Netanyahu’s disastrous visit to Washington exposed just how bad this crisis is. In fact, the visit seems to have made things worse. The encounter did not lead to the backslapping which was expected after a fortnight of angry exchanges, but it did result in yet another embarrassment for Obama. Hours before Netanyahu’s meeting with the president, there emerged yet another settlement announcement in occupied East Jerusalem.

The timing of the Ramat Shlomo announcement, made during Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to the region, was described by Israel as a mistake; the one in Washington was not termed as such. Obviously, Netanyahu is challenging without fear while Obama is not. The president’s only recourse is to insist that Jerusalem, along with the other core issues of the conflict, be tackled in the proximity talks between Palestinians and Israelis.

Full report at: www.arabnews.com/opinion/editorial/article36080.ece

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G8 foreign ministers to focus on Iran sanctions

By DAVID LJUNGGREN

Mar 28, 2010

OTTAWA: Canada will press the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations to tighten United Nations sanctions on Iran when it hosts a meeting of foreign ministers from the grouping on Monday and Tuesday.

International pressure is building on Tehran to halt its nuclear enrichment program, which Western nations say is aimed at developing the ability to build atomic weapons. Iran denies this, saying it needs nuclear energy to generate electricity.

Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said Iran would be "of critical concern" when G8 foreign ministers met in the Quebec town of Gatineau, across the river from the federal capital, Ottawa.

"I will discuss with my G8 colleagues what we can do to put additional pressure on Iran to persuade it to stop its nuclear enrichment activities," he told reporters on Friday.

"Unfortunately I believe we are left with little choice but to pursue additional sanctions against Iran, ideally through the United Nations Security Council." The United States wants the council to impose a fourth round of sanctions against Iran but needs the agreement of China, which for months refused to discuss the idea.

Full report at: www.arabnews.com/economy/article36094.ece

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Jeddah's KAU opens doors to expat students

Mar 28, 2010

JEDDAH: Academics and education experts have lauded the Jeddah Community College’s (JCC) initiative to offer expatriate students an opportunity to study in the Kingdom.

Starting in September, expatriates will be able to study at the college for associate degrees from King Abdulaziz University (KAU).

Located in the Rehab district, JCC will offer eight evening associate programs for expatriates and working professionals, including marketing, sales, accounting, insurance, computer network, computer graphics, e-commerce and pharmacy.

These programs will be taught entirely in English with the exception of the sales program, which will be in Arabic.

“Many families are faced with a dilemma when they have to send their children away for higher studies. Now, not only will they be able to support and encourage their children, they will also be able to significantly reduce their financial burden,” said Dr. Mairaj Salim, assistant professor at King Abdulaziz University.

Full report at: www.arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article36158.ece

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Bombs kill 5 at house tied to Iraq Sunni candidate

By SINAN SALAHEDDIN

Mar 28, 2010

BAGHDAD: Several bombs exploded Sunday near a house linked to a prominent Sunni figure who ran in this month’s parliamentary elections in Iraq, killing five people and wounding 26 others, a police official said.

The attack adds to fears of post election violence as the bitter election rivals enter what are expected to be drawn out talks on forming the next government that will rule Iraq as US troops leave by the end of 2011.

Sunday’s blasts took place in the town of Qaim, about 320 kilometers west of Baghdad and on the border with Syria, the police official said. The first bomb, planted at a house under construction, went off at 7 a.m. in a busy area of Qaim. As onlookers gathered, four more bombs hidden in trash littered around the site detonated, causing the casualties.

The official said the house belongs to a brother of Sheikh Murdhi Muhammad Al-Mahalawi, a Sunni candidate who ran on the Iraqiya list led by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, the top vote-getter in the March 7 balloting.

Full report at: www.arabnews.com/world/article36182.ece

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Kingfisher airline ‘bomber’ held in Kerala capital

By ASHRAF PADANNA

Mar 29, 2010

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Police in the southern state of Kerala have taken an employee of a private cargo firm here into custody saying he was responsible for planting a crude bomb on a Kingfisher flight last Sunday.

According to police, there was no evidence to link the incident to any terror group and that the incident was an act of personal vendetta involving a single person, Rajashekharan, employed with a firm which airport authorities had hired. Police sources said Rajashekharan, a cleaning supervisor with Universal Aviation Private Ltd., planted the crude bomb before the flight’s takeoff to Bangalore and reported it to security staff claiming he found the bomb while cleaning the aircraft.

Full report at: www.arabnews.com/world/article36189.ece

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White House adviser: World has united against Iran

Mar 28, 2010

WASHINGTON: A top White House adviser says the US is making progress in its efforts to find allies to hold the line on Iran's nuclear ambitions.

David Axelrod tells CNN's “State of the Union” that at the start of the Obama administration, Iran was united while the world was divided on how best to deal with Iran.

Axelrod says the situation is now reversed - the world is coming together while Iran itself is divided.

He says he's pleased with the cooperation that the Russians have offered and believes Moscow will support fresh penalties against Tehran.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday that punishing Iran even more because of its nuclear program is not the best option, but that step can't be excluded.

www.arabnews.com/world/article36022.ece

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Yemen arrests Europeans training on weapons

By SAEED AL-BATATI

Mar 29, 2010

SANAA: Security forces in Yemen arrested two Europeans who were allegedly undergoing weapons training in the hilly province of Dhamar, according to a report on the Interior Ministry website. "Both of the suspects are 24 years old. One of them bears an Arab name, his initials are M.N.A and the other person bears a non-Arab name. The police found two automatic weapons and two rifles in their possession," the report said.

Authorities are investigating. Elsewhere, security forces in the eastern governorate of Mahra, bordering Oman, arrested 9 armed men carrying sniper rifles, automatic guns, satellite phones and night-vision goggles.

www.arabnews.com/world/article36179.ece

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Concern over water conveyed to India

29 Mar, 2010

LAHORE, March 28: At the three-day annual talks on the Indus Waters Treaty which started here on Sunday, Pakistan raised its objections to construction of two new power projects on the Indus river by India.

An Indian delegation led by G. Aranga Nathan handed over construction plans and maps of the Nimoo Bazgo power plant being built on the Indus to the Pakistani delegation led by Syed Jamaat Ali Shah.

It also gave a briefing on technical aspects of the project.

The Pakistani team expressed reservations on the Nimoo Bazgo and Chutak power plants and said it feared the Indian projects might obstruct smooth supply of water to Pakistan.

Both sides, however, agreed to keep the height of free board in Nimoo Bazgo project up to one metre.

Full report at: www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/concern-over-water-conveyed-to-india-930

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Gilani in bid to break deadlock with PML-N

By Ahmad Hassan

29 Mar, 2010

The committee’s chairman Mian Raza Rabbani said: “I am optimistic about the outcome of the efforts initiated by the prime minister to break the deadlock. A positive development is likely in a couple of days.” - Photo by APP.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is trying to break a deadlock created by a sudden change in PML-N chief’s stance on the 18th amendment.

The prime minister went to Lahore on Saturday evening to try to use his contacts in the PML-N to get in touch with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, his son Hamza Shahbaz or Senator Ishaq Dar, a member of the parliamentary committee on constitutional reforms.

Talking to Dawn on Sunday, the committee’s chairman Mian Raza Rabbani said: “I am optimistic about the outcome of the efforts initiated by the prime minister to break the deadlock. A positive development is likely in a couple of days.”

Senator Rabbani said he had met Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party’s leader Mehmood Khan Achakzai to seek their support for the success of the committee.

Full report at: www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-gilani-in-bid-to-break-deadlock-with-pmln-930-hh-01

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Kabul’s move for talks with top Taliban upsets US

29 Mar, 2010

WASHINGTON, March 28: Two senior US officials – state and defence secretaries – have expressed concern over the Afghan government’s effort to seek reconciliation with the Taliban leaders, calling it premature.

Defence Secretary Robert Gates told a Senate panel this weekend that he believed it was still “probably early” for Kabul to seek reconciliation with senior militant leaders.

“The shift of momentum is not yet strong enough to convince the Taliban leaders that they are, in fact, going to lose,” he said.

“It is when they begin to have doubts about whether they can be successful that they may be willing to make a deal. And I do not think we are there yet,” he explained.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went a step ahead, saying clearly that Kabul’s move was a cause of concern for Washington.

“We’re particularly concerned about the reintegration, reconciliation plans that the Karzai government has undertaken,” she said.

Full report at: www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/kabuls-move-for-talks-with-top-taliban-upsets-us-930

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Secret visit to Afghanistan: Obama wants end to direct involvement

29 Mar, 2010

KABUL, March 28: On an Afghanistan trip shrouded in secrecy, President Barack Obama demanded accountability from the country’s leaders, greater vigilance against corruption and better governance as he widens America’s commitment to the eight-year-old war he inherited and then dramatically escalated.

Obama said the US would not quit Afghanistan, but he made clear that he’s looking for an end to direct involvement in the fight against Taliban and Al Qaeda extremists. He drove that point home in meetings with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his cabinet in the capital, and in a speech before a cheering crowd of about 2,500 troops and civilians at Bagram Air Field north of Kabul.

At least 945 members of the US military have died in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan as a result of the US invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. The number of US troops killed in Afghanistan has roughly doubled in the first three months of 2010 compared with the same period last year as Washington has added tens of thousands of additional soldiers to reverse the Taliban’s momentum.

Full report at: www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/secret-visit-to-afghanistan-obama-wants-end-to-direct-involvement-930

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Hamas govt to be liquidated: Israel

29 Mar, 2010

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: A senior Israeli minister warned on Sunday that Israel would “liquidate” the Hamas-run government in Gaza, in the wake of deadly weekend clashes that killed two invading Israeli soldiers.

“Sooner or later we will liquidate the military regime of the pro-Iranian Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip,” Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, from the governing rightwing Likud party, told Israel’s public radio.

“I am not setting a timetable, but we will not tolerate this regime continuing to strengthen itself militarily and providing itself with an arsenal of rockets that threaten our territory,” he added.

An Israeli officer and soldier were killed over the weekend in clashes.

That Israeli invasion killed some 1,400 defenceless Palestinians, including women and children, and flattened entire neighbourhoods in Gaza, leaving thousands of Palestinians homeless. Thirteen Israeli soldiers were killed during the invasion.

Full report at: www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/hamas-govt-to-be-liquidated-israel-930

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Troops repulse attack on post in Orakzai

29 Mar, 2010

KALAYA: A large number of militants were killed in clashes with security forces in different areas of Orakzai Agency on Sunday.

Official sources said militants attacked a security post with rockets and machineguns in Ferozkhel area near Kalaya. Troops retaliated and managed to repulse the attack.

An official claimed that six militants were killed in the action.

In another incident, militants fired rockets at an army base in Kalaya which landed in nearby fields.

In retaliation troops used artillery pieces to pound militants’ positions on hilltops. The sources said three hideouts were destroyed and five militants killed.

Forces took control of Gedra area in Ferozkhel.

Full report at: www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/19-troops-repulse-attack-on-post-in-orakzai-930-hh-02

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Christian pilgrims mark Palm Sunday in Jerusalem

29 Mar, 2010

JERUSALEM: Hundreds of Christians from around the world marched from the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem to mark Palm Sunday, retracing the steps of Jesus 2,000 years ago.

The pilgrims waved national and church flags and followed a white donkey, which according to Christian tradition was the way Jesus entered the holy city.

A few dozen Israeli police stood by, a small fraction of the forces on duty in recent weeks because of Palestinian unrest. There were no incidents in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

“I see the problems here as a part of the trip, just showing the extremes of this God-drenched city,” said Jane Voigts, a pastor from San Luis Obispo, California. “I’ve really seen more grace and hope amidst the suffering here.”

Full report at: www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/christian-pilgrims-mark-palm-sunday-in-jerusalem-930

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Libya lifts visa ban on 25 European nations

Mar 29, 2010

TRIPOLI (Libya)—Libya lifted a visa ban on travelers from 25 European nations after the resolution of a diplomatic row that began with Switzerland. The Foreign Ministry said Libya scrapped the measure Saturday after the European Union blocked a Swiss proposal for a visa blacklist against nearly 200 senior Libyan officials, including leader Moammar Gadhafi and his family.

The ministry applauded the EU decision, saying “Switzerland has been defeated.” The Libyan ban was issued in February and caused particular concern in European nations with heavy oil investments in the country. The ban was an escalation of a dispute that began in 2008 when Swiss authorities arrested Gadhafi’s son Hannibal and his wife for allegedly beating up their servants in a Geneva hotel. Geneva authorities dropped their criminal investigation after the two servants received compensation from an undisclosed source and withdrew their complaint.

Full report at: www.dailymailnews.com/0310/29/FrontPage/FrontPage8.php

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Crisis with Switzerland stills runs deep: Libya

29 Mar, 2010

SIRTE (Libya), March 28: Libya said on Sunday its crisis with Switzerland still runs deep and can only be resolved through international arbitration despite the end of a row with the EU over travel bans.

Foreign Minister Mussa Kussa said that the lifting on Saturday of tit-for-tat visa bans by Libya and the European Union on each others’ citizens made no difference to Tripoli’s spat with Bern.

“No, that is another thing altogether,” Kussa said on the sidelines of an Arab summit in the coastal city of Sirte.

Full report at: www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/crisis-with-switzerland-stills-runs-deep-libya-930

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German firm to build rail projects in UAE

29 Mar, 2010

BERLIN: Germany’s state-owned railway company Deutsche Bahn announced plans on Sunday to plan, build and operate “ultra-modern” rail systems in the United Arab Emirates.

The company said German Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer, Bahn CEO Ruediger Grube and the chairman of industrial conglomerate Al-Masaood Group, Abdullah al-Masaood, signed a memorandum of understanding on Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

“Germany will do everything in its power to support the United Arab Emirates in setting up an ultra-modern, high-capacity rail infrastructure,” Ramsauer was quoted as saying in a statement from Deutsche Bahn.

No financial details were released but a company spokesman said the deal could be worth more than 10 billion euros.

The company said multi-billion-euro rail systems were planned for the region in the coming years including regional transport lines, a metro, tram services and the long-distance Union Railway linking Abu Dhabi with the southern emirates.

The deal comes four months after Deutsche Bahn signed a 17-billion-euro ($23-billion) contract to build high-speed railway lines and underground transport networks in Qatar and Bahrain.

www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/german-firm-to-build-rail-projects-in-uae-930

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17 Taliban killed in Orakzai

Mar 29, 2010

HANGU: At least 17 Taliban were killed in air strikes and clashes with security forces in Orakzai Agency on Sunday, according to officials.

The political administration officials told Daily Times that 10 Taliban were killed in a clash with troops in Geedar area of Lower Orakzai, while seven more were killed in airstrikes in Ferozkhel. Separately, Taliban fired three rockets in Kalaya. There were no casualties. Also, 11 suspects were arrested in a search operation in Hangu.

Meanwhile, more than 15,000 families – displaced from Orakzai – have arrived in various areas of

Khyber Agency.

www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\03\29\story_29-3-2010_pg1_6

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Pakistan to get US drone technology soon: Qureshi

Mar 29, 2010

LAHORE: Pakistan will soon hear “good news” about acquiring the US drone technology as significant progress was made on the issue during the visit of the country’s political and military leadership to America, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Sunday.

Talking to journalists on his arrival after concluding his visit to the US at the Allama Iqbal International Airport, he said Pakistani political and military leaders had successfully pleaded the country’s case after doing extensive research regarding Islamabad’s national priorities, adding that the Americans did not present any new demands during

the talks.

Full report at: www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\03\29\story_29-3-2010_pg7_1

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Pak Rangers, Indian BSF hold flag meeting

Mar 29, 2010

ISLAMABAD: A flag meeting between the Pakistan Rangers and the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) was held on Sunday at the Sialkot working boundary, a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations said.

The meeting was held a day after the Indian BSF violated the ceasefire agreement. According to the statement, the Rangers rejected the BSF’s allegation that someone from the Pakistani side was attempting to cross over the working boundaries into India on Saturday night.

The Indian Border Security Force personnel were told that gunshots were heard inside India close to the working boundary, whereas there was no movement from the Pakistani side. India has violated the peace agreement a number of times in the past.

www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\03\29\story_29-3-2010_pg7_6

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‘Terrorists deserve exemplary punishment’

Mar 29, 2010

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid NWFP President Ameer Muqam on Sunday said those fighting army were criminals and deserved exemplary punishment.

Muqam said sacrifices rendered by the army and the nation in fight against terrorism and militancy had saved the country.

Addressing a public meeting in Madyan area of Swat district, he said terrorism, inflation, unemployment and load shedding were the province’s real issues instead the one related to its renaming.

He urged government to focus its attention on resolving public problems.

Muqam said no rehabilitation and reconstruction work had yet been started in Swat and other terrorism-affected areas. He said it was necessary to compensate the displaced people for their damages. This, he said, will ensure lasting peace in the area.

PML-Q NWFP General Secretary Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani said the sacrifices given by Swat people would not go to waste. He said the PML-Q was a strong political force in the province having representation in all 24 districts. He asked party workers to prepare for the upcoming local government elections. staff report

www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\03\29\story_29-3-2010_pg7_15

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Qureshi boasts success of Pak, US strategic talks

Mar 29, 2010

LAHORE—Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi described the recently held strategic talks between Pakistan and United States as ‘extremely successful’. Speaking to media persons at the Lahore airport today (Sunday), Qureshi said that significant progress was made regarding obtainment of US drone technology and that nation would soon receive good news in this connection.

“On every matter, the US response was higher than we had anticipated, he said, adding that our home work was complete on national priorities.” The foreign minister said that both civilian and military leadership had presented Pakistan’s point of view with one voice.

Qureshi said: “We held talks with the United States in a cordial atmosphere. All issues came under discussion. Two sides got the chance to hear each other’s point of view.” He further said that strategic talks were different this time as compared to the past. The US made no demand of ‘do more’, he said, adding that Pakistan also talked about trade, not aid. Qureshi stated that the US has given an indication of provide Pakistan a multi-layer system. To a question about civil nuclear technology, he said that insistence on some matters was not in the national interest.

Pakistani successful actions have al-Qaeda and Taliban militants on the run who are now fleeing its Afghan border regions for new destinations since Pakistan is no longer considered a safe haven for militants.

www.dailymailnews.com/0310/29/FrontPage/FrontPage2.php

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Arabs thrash out strategy against Israel settlements

Mar 29, 2010

SIRTE (Libya)—Arab leaders met behind closed doors on Sunday to thrash out a united strategy against Israel’s settlement policy as the Jewish state accused them of lacking moderation and blocking peace efforts.

Delegates said they discussed the stalled Middle East peace process and how to confront Israeli policies in annexed east Jerusalem amid warnings that failure to kick-start Israeli-Palestinian peace talks could lead to new wars.

“There are new channels which the leaders will take,” if Israel does not halt its settlement policy, Kuwaiti foreign ministry under-secretary Khaled Jarrallah told reporters on the sidelines of the summit in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte.

“If there is an Arab unified position, Israel will have to submit to it,” he added without elaborating.

Full report at: www.dailymailnews.com/0310/29/FrontPage/FrontPage4.php

 

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/female-suicide-bombers-kill-over-30-in-moscow/d/2630


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