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Grand Ulema Convention in Pakistan demands end to vulgarity

New Age Islam News Bureau

24 Apr 2012 

 Hafiz Saeed turns down Pak request to limit his public appearances
•  The new Islamists In Egypt Race, Battle Is Joined on Islam’s Role
•  In Syria, Lebanon’s Most Wanted Sunni Terrorist Blows Himself Up
•  Hindus in Pakistan accuse Muslims of kidnapping teens as wives
•  Britain refuses to extradite Musharraf
•  Muslims need to make painful compromises for sake of peace
•  Mosque Responses Ignorant in Waukesha, USA
•  Kashmir issue will be resolved without help of Pakistan: Separatist leader Yasin Malik
•  Bodies of two abducted Baloch found, six more abducted
•  Anti-Islam MP Brings Dutch Govt Down
•  'India, Pak need to take giant leap for peaceful co-existence'
•  Saudi man spends 15 years in jail on father's order
•  Saudi 4-yr-old kills father who 'refused to buy PlayStation'
•  Shoe-bomber tells court Osama bin Laden wanted follow-up to 9/11
•  Islamists snatch back Swiss woman held hostage in Timbuktu
•  Why the radical Muslim cleric is preaching against the country that hosted and protected him?
•  India, Pakistan talks 'very positive' and 'encouraging': UN chief Ban Ki-moon
•  Clashes in Bangladesh over missing opposition leader
•  Norway killer Breivik offers apology to his non-political victims
•  Breivik's Islamophobic testimony leaves Oslo Muslims in shock
•  Like Delhi, Islamabad should have a mayor too: Gilani
•  UN chief condemns S Sudan air raid
•  Panetta dismisses Iran claims on copying US drone
•  Bangladesh eyes Yunus's social businesses
•  'US appreciates India closing missile gap with China'
•  Pak alert forces India to rejig flights to Gulf
•  Regime fire kills 28 civilians in Syria
•  Sharjah court adjourns hearing against 17 Indians to May 7
•  Bomb blast at south Lebanon restaurant injures five
•  Israel grants legal status to three West Bank outposts
•  Pakistan PM contempt verdict on Thursday
•  ISI case: Key reports misplaced
•  Zardari for targeted action against criminals in Karachi
•  Allegations against Musa do not hold, asserts Gilani
•  Pakistan navy gets its first fast-attack ship from China
•  Pak grounds all private jets for inspections
•  Pakistan: MQM calls for early local body polls
•  Obama announces crackdown on Iran and Syria's cyber oppressors
•  Iran oil ministry under cyber attack
•  US to defend Afghanistan for decade after drawdown
•  UN monitors tour Syria
•  UN to deploy full ceasefire force in Syria
•  East Java Islamic School Closed After Attack
•  Israel to seek deferral of settler evictions
•  Saudi-French consultative body mooted to promote cultural dialogue
•  Al Jazira retain the prestigious President’s Cup James Jose
Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau
Photo: The new Islamists In Egypt Race, Battle Is Joined on Islam’s Role
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Grand Ulema Convention in Pakistan demands end to vulgarity
April 23, 2012
By Ahtesham Azhar
KARACHI: Jamiat Ittehad-e-Ulema Pakistan (JIUP) Chief Maulana Abdul Malik has said that evil forces had come together against Islam and it was imperative that the entire Muslim Ummah stood united to combat the evil forces bent upon tarnishing the Islamic norms and values by promoting nudity and obscenity.
He expressed these views while addressing the Grand Ulema Convention at the Idara Noor-e Haq on Sunday.
He further said that evil forces wanted to disparage the Islamic mores, however, the Ulema of the Ummah would never allow this to happen and continue struggle for the prevalence and protection of Islamic values. The entire nation carries responsibility to boycott the promoters of nudity and vulgarism through commercials, billboards and electronic media. It was the sole responsibility of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to ensure complete blockage of such immodest commercials and initiate stern action against those involved in promoting the menace.
Malik in his address said that the anti-Islam forces wanted to impose culture of vulgarity and tarnish the modest culture of Islam. The increasing vulgarity in society is a result of the lack of Islamic rule, he added.
Jamat-e Islami (JI) Sindh Deputy Chief Dr Meraj-ul-Huda Siddiqui, JI Karachi Chief Muhammad Hussain Mahenti, JUI-S leader Maulana Qari Abdul Mannan, Markazi Jamiat Ehl-e Hadith leader Allama Yousuf Kasuri, Jamiat Ghurba Ehl-e Hadith leader Dr Amir Abdullah, JUP leader Dr Siddique Rathor, JIUP Deputy Chief Qari Zameer Akhtar Mansoori, JIUP leader Maulana Ibrahim Hanif, JI Deputy Chief Nasarullah Shaji, Syed Iqbal and others also addressed the participants. A large number of religious scholars and mosques’ Imams were also present on the occasion.
JI Karachi General Secretary Naseem Siddiqui tabled a resolution, demanding of the government immediate action against the promoters of nudity and vulgarism. The resolution also demanded the PEMRA to take immediate action for curbing spread of anti-Islamic culture in the country. The resolution demanded of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to take immediate action with regard to blocking the websites spreading nudity and vulgarity in the country. The audience passed the resolution unanimously by raising their hands.
Dr Meraj-ul-Huda Siddiqui in his address said that the promoters of nudity and vulgarism were using women just for a handful of dollars. Despite the fact that the Constitution of Pakistan did not allow any such activities in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Pakistani media was deliberating the spread of nudity and vulgarism. Siddiqui stressed upon boycotting products of those companies that use women for their benefit, eventually spreading vulgarity.
Maulana Qari Abdul Mannan in his address said that the promoters of nudity had ruined their life. “They would be subjected to stern punishment in the court of Allah. The time has come for us the Ulema to initiate physical efforts for curtailing nudity because its promoters do not listen to appeals”, he added.
Mahenti in his address said that some evil forces were conspiring to disparage Islamic values and it was also our responsibility to use extreme measures for the curtailment of vulgarity. “This is the time to stand united against the promoters of vulgarity, he added.
Hafiz Saeed turns down Pak request to limit his public appearances: Reports
Apr 24, 2012,
ISLAMABAD: Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed has turned down a "request" from the Pakistan government to limit his public appearances and activities after the US announced a $10-million bounty for him, according to a media report.
Government agencies had "advised" Saeed not to participate in public rallies for the time being, unnamed associates of Saeed were quoted as saying by The Express Tribune newspaper.
PML-N leader Pervez Rasheed, the spokesman for the government of Punjab province, said he was not aware of any such request made by authorities.
Saeed's aides claimed the suggestion was made because the government fears the Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief's continued appearances might draw a "hostile reaction" from the US.
They said Saeed was "adamant" and would not accept any such demand.
The aides said Saeed planned to address a rally organised by the Defa-e-Pakistan Council in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, later this week to mobilise people against any move by the government to reopen supply routes to Afghanistan that were closed after a cross-border NATO air strike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last year.
Unlike other terrorists sought by the US, Saeed lives openly in Lahore and has mocked the bounty offered for him, saying he is ready to face "any American court" to answer charges. The US also offered a two million dollar bounty for Saeed's deputy Abdul Rahman Makki.
The Defa-e-Pakistan Council, a conglomerate of over 40 extremist and hardline groups cobbled together by Saeed, has organised protests against the US bounty across the country in recent days.
The Pakistan government has sought "concrete evidence" against Saeed and Makki from the US, saying this was necessary to "proceed legally" in the matter.
Following the Mumbai attacks, India provided Pakistan several dossiers with evidence against Saeed and other members of the LeT and JuD who were linked to the terrorist assault.
Pakistan has maintained that this evidence is inadequate to prosecute Saeed. Saeed was detained for less than six months after the Mumbai incident before being freed on the orders of the Lahore high court.
THE NEW ISLAMISTS In Egypt Race, Battle Is Joined on Islam’s Role
April 23, 2012
He has argued for barring women and non-Muslims from Egypt’s presidency on the basis of Islamic law, or Shariah. He has called for a council of Muslim scholars to advise Parliament. He has a track record of inflammatory statements about Israel, including repeatedly calling its citizens “killers and vampires.”
Mohamed Morsi is also a leading candidate to become the country’s next president.
Mr. Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s dominant Islamist group, declared last week that his party platform amounted to a distillation of Islam itself.
“This is the old ‘Islam is the solution’ platform,” he said, recalling the group’s traditional slogan in his first television interview as a candidate. “It has been developed and crystallized so that God could bless society with it.” At his first rally, he led supporters in a chant: “The Koran is our constitution, and Shariah is our guide!”
One month before Egyptians begin voting for their first president after Hosni Mubarak, Mr. Morsi’s record is escalating a campaign battle here over the place of Islam in the new democracies promised by the Arab Spring revolts.
Mr. Morsi, who claims to be the only true Islamist in the race, faces his fiercest competition from a more liberal Islamist, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a pioneering leader of the Muslim Brotherhood who was expelled from the group in June for arguing for a more pluralistic approach to both Islam and Egypt. He is campaigning now as the leading champion of liberal values in the race.
Both face a third front-runner, the former foreign minister Amr Moussa, who argued this week that Egypt cannot afford an “experiment” in Islamic democracy.
The winner could set the course for Egypt’s future, overseeing the drafting of a new constitution, settling the status of its current military rulers, and shaping its relations with the West, Israel and its own Christian minority. But as the Islamists step toward power across the region, the most important debate may be the one occurring within their own ranks over the proper agenda and goals.
Mr. Morsi’s conservative record and early campaign statements have sharpened the contrast between competing Islamist visions. The Brotherhood, the 84-year-old religious revival group known here for its preaching and charity as well as for its moderate Islamist politics, took a much softer approach in the official platform it released last year. It dropped the “Islam is the solution” slogan, omitted controversial proposals about a religious council or a Muslim president and promised to respect the Camp David accords with Israel. Its parliamentary leaders distanced themselves from the Salafis, ultraconservative Islamists who won a quarter of the seats in Parliament.
The Brotherhood’s original nominee was its leading strategist, Khairat el-Shater, a businessman known for his pragmatism. He had close personal ties to Salafi leaders, but he did not leave much of a paper trail besides an opinion column in a Western newspaper stressing the Brotherhood’s commitment to tolerance and democracy. Mr. Shater was disqualified last week because of a past conviction at a Mubarak-era political trial. In his short-lived campaign he stressed the Brotherhood’s plans for economic development and rarely, if ever, brought up Islamic law.
By contrast, Mr. Morsi, 60, is campaigning explicitly both as a more conservative Islamist and as a loyal executor of Mr. Shater’s plans. He campaigns with Mr. Shater under a banner with both their faces, fueling critics’ charges that he would be a mere servant of Mr. Shater and the Brotherhood’s executive board.
But Mr. Morsi is also courting the ultraconservative Salafis, whose popular candidate, Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, was also disqualified. Mr. Morsi may be tacking to the right to court the Salafis as a swing vote in the contest with Mr. Aboul Fotouh, or he may merely be expressing more conservative, older impulses within the Brotherhood.
“Some want to stop our march to an Islamic future, where the grace of God’s laws will be implemented and provide an honest life to all,” he proclaimed Saturday night at his first rally, in a Nile delta town. “Our Salafi brothers, the Islamic group, we are united in our aims and Islamic vision. The Islamic front must unite so we can fulfill this vision.”
Although he received a Ph.D. in engineering at the University of Southern California in 1982, Mr. Morsi spent the past decade as a public spokesman for the Brotherhood’s political wing, where he left a far more extensive and controversial record than Mr. Shater did. Last year, for example, Mr. Morsi led a boycott of a major Egyptian cellphone company because its founder, Naguib Sawiris, a Coptic Christian, had circulated on Twitter a cartoon of Mickey Mouse in a long beard with Minnie in a full-face veil — a joke Mr. Morsi said insulted Islam.
When the Brotherhood first considered trying to start a political party under Mr. Mubarak, in 2007, Mr. Morsi was in charge of drafting a hypothetical platform. One provision called for restricting the presidency to Muslim men. “The state which we seek can never be presided over by a non-Muslim,” he said at the time on the group’s Web site, arguing that the Brotherhood wanted both a tolerant constitutional democracy and an expressly “Islamic state.”
In “a state whose top priorities include spreading and protecting the religion of Allah,” he said, Islam assigned the president some duties and powers that “can’t be carried out by a non-Muslim president.”
Another provision called for a council of scholars to advise Parliament on fidelity to Islamic law. But unlike Iran’s Guardian Council, he said, it would be independent of the state, and its findings would be nonbinding.
Mr. Morsi also brings to the race a reputation as an enforcer of Brotherhood rules of obedience, even in politics. When a group of young online activists known as the Brotherhood bloggers argued that the platform Mr. Morsi oversaw contradicted the group’s stated commitment to pluralism, Mr. Morsi met with a group of them at his office.
“He said, ‘This is the Muslim Brothers’ interpretation of Islam, and this is Islam, and it’s nobody else’s business,’ ” recalled Mohamed Ayyash, a former Brotherhood blogger who helped organize the meeting. “He said: ‘You can’t talk like that. You can’t talk to the media.’ ”
“He said, ‘This is Islam the way the Muslim Brotherhood sees it,’ ” Mr. Ayyash recalled. (The Morsi campaign declined to comment on the meeting.)
Mohamed Habib, a former deputy chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood who years ago appointed Mr. Morsi to oversee its political arm, said, “There is no doubt that Morsi is more conservative than the conservatives” in the Brotherhood, including Mr. Shater.
The presidential race is now shaping up in some ways as a rematch of the internal debate over that hypothetical platform. Mr. Aboul Fotouh, Mr. Morsi’s current opponent in the presidential race, was one of the few Brotherhood leaders who openly opposed the scholars council and presidency restrictions. Two years later, he was removed from the executive board in a conservative purge.
While Mr. Morsi has the Brotherhood’s organization behind him, Mr. Aboul Fotouh is considered more charismatic and carries strong Islamist credentials. While Mr. Morsi was working toward his engineering degree in Los Angeles in the late 1970s, Mr. Aboul Fotouh was founding an Islamist student movement that went on to merge with and revitalize the more established Muslim Brotherhood. He stood up to former President Anwar el-Sadat in a face-to-face confrontation at Cairo University.
Mr. Aboul Fotouh, a physician, also led the Brotherhood-dominated doctors’ syndicate, which ran the field hospitals during the protests that toppled Mr. Mubarak last year.
Addressing a crowd of thousands last week in Imbaba, a poor neighborhood of Cairo, Mr. Aboul Fotouh all but brushed off questions about Islamic law.
“Egypt has been proud of its Islamic and Arabic identity for 15 centuries,” he said. “Are we waiting for the Parliament to convert us?” Besides, he said, the correct understanding of Islamic law should not be reduced to penalties or restrictions but should mean “all mercy and justice.”
As at many stops, Mr. Aboul Fotouh was also asked to confront rumors circulated in an online video — by Brotherhood operatives, his supporters charge — that if elected president, he would order the arrest of all the group’s members.
After the overthrow of Mr. Mubarak, Mr. Aboul Fotouh said, the Egyptian public would never allow another president to detain Islamists, leftists or anyone else for political reasons. “If he did this, the Egyptian people would be the ones to detain him!”
As for his former colleagues in the Muslim Brotherhood, Mr. Aboul Fotouh said he believed that they should be treated just like any other nonprofit group. “They have to be legal associations and to work with transparency and clarity,” he said repeatedly. “All associations and all parties are equal before the law.”
To the Brotherhood, though, it was also a threat. The enforcement of Western-style financial and disclosure requirements could force the Brotherhood to separate its political party from its charitable and preaching organizations, depriving the party of much of its financing and clout while simultaneously diminishing the Brotherhood board’s control of the party.
As for Mr. Aboul Fotouh, Mr. Morsi suggested that he had brought on his own expulsion by defying the Brotherhood, in part by running for president. When a member breaks away, Mr. Morsi said in the interview, “we don’t blame him; we pity him.”
Mayy El Sheikh and Dina Salah Amer contributed reporting.
In Syria, Lebanon’s Most Wanted Sunni Terrorist Blows Himself Up
24 Apr 2012
Lebanese terror leader Abdel Ghani Jawhar detonated himself accidentally in Syria, raising questions about the kind of company the rebels are keeping
When one of Lebanon’s most wanted terrorists kills himself while planting a bomb it is cause for at least some sort of grim celebration. But when the chief bomb-maker of the country’s most notorious terror group self detonates while helping rebels fight in Syria, it is cause for concern.
TIME has learned that Abdel Ghani Jawhar, one of the leaders of the Sunni fundamentalist terror group Fatah al-Islam, died in the Syrian city of Qsair on Friday night. The founding cleric of Fatah al Islam, Sheikh Osama al Shihabi, confirmed Jawhar’s death to TIME with a quote from the Koran: “‘We are for God and to him we return.’ We as Mujahideen are used to being killed and if God wants to give those killed dignity he gives them martyrdom. This is the path of righteousness.”
This is not the first time that Jawhar is thought to have been killed; several previous death announcements have been retracted over the years. News of his death has been relayed by multiple—and unrelated—sources in both Syria and Lebanon. According to a fellow fighter, who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Ali, Jawhar had been preparing an explosive device to be used against the Syrian army, which had been attempting to enter the rebel-dominated town not far from Homs. As Abu Ali narrated the tale over Skype, the sound of bombs and explosions could be heard in the background. Jawhar’s bomb went off prematurely, says Abu Ali. “He was killed directly. We wanted to send his body back to Lebanon but we couldn’t because it was torn into pieces.” Instead Jawhar’s fellow fighters were forced to bury what was left of him in a neighboring garden because it was impossible to reach the graveyard during heavy fighting.
According to Abu Ali and another fellow fighter, Jawhar arrived in Qsair two weeks ago with a group of 30 Lebanese fighters. While many were members of Fatah al-Islam, they were not traveling under the terror group’s banner. Instead they called themselves mujahideen, holy warriors seeking to help fellow Muslims under attack by the Syrian regime. Jawhar, an explosives expert and a charismatic commander, sought to train fellow fighters how make bombs. In the short time he had been in Qsair, says Abu Ali, he was able to set up dozens of improvised explosive devices destined for members of the Syrian security forces. “His aim was to make a tour in all the districts of Syria to teach the fighters on how to fight a guerrilla war.”
For his efforts, Abu Ali calls Jawhar a hero and a martyr. For Syrian rebels seeking international assistance in their battle to force Syrian President Bashar Assad out of office, it’s a public relations headache. The Free Syrian Army, as well as other Syrian resistance groups, has long sought to downplay regime accusations that the rebels are aligned with Islamic fundamentalists and pro-al-Qaeda groups. While Fatah al-Islam has denied any association with al-Qaeda, there are links between the group and individual members. The implication that an al-Qaeda affiliated group is helping Syrian rebels build bombs and foment a guerrilla war could radically alter perceptions in the West, bringing to a halt discussions of arming the rebels and establishing a no-fly zone. “The death of Jawhar on Syrian soil emphasizes the fears of the international community that if they gave weapons to the Syrian rebels they will end up in the hands of radical groups,” says Lebanese University professor and Fatah al-Islam expert Talal Atrissi. “The Syrian opposition will be embarrassed from the fact that such a man is fighting alongside the rebels.”
The account of Jawhar’s border crossing has been confirmed by Lebanese intelligence authorities who say that they had been alerted to his movements but were unable to stop him. “He escaped as always,” sighs a senior intelligence official who says that Jawhar had been nicknamed “mercury” for his uncanny ability to evade arrest—at least 34 times, by the official’s estimate.  Lebanese security sources say they too have received information about Jawhar’s death, though they were unable to establish any details. “If his death is confirmed then we lost a big catch, he was a real treasure trove of information,” says the official.
Jawhar is accused of masterminding multiple bomb attacks against U.N. security forces in Lebanon as well as Lebanese security installations that have killed scores and injured hundreds. According to the official, he is a person of interest in some 200 unsolved cases of murder, assassinations, attempted assassinations and explosive attacks. He is also thought to have killed a Christian shopkeeper in the northern city of Tripoli because he sold alcohol. “This is a major loss for Lebanese security, for the information he is believed to have about the terror groups operating in the region,” says Atrissi. And while Jawhar’s death would be a major blow for the group, which had already been decimated by a slew of high profile arrests and the deaths of several leaders in succession, “it doesn’t mean that the region will become a safer place,” says Atrissi. “Each member of such groups is a potential Abdel Ghani Jawhar.”
A 30-year-old biochemist from northern Lebanon, Jawhar came of age during the country’s brutal civil war.  First he joined the Muslim Brotherhood, but left over doctrinal disputes—he felt that the group was not strict enough in its interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law. He then joined, and left, the extremely conservative Salafis for the same reasons, and finally became a member of Fatah al-Islam in 2008. He was promoted to leader after his predecessor was killed in a 2010 shootout with Lebanese security forces. According to the Lebanese intelligence official, he was a master recruiter, and even managed to induct Lebanese soldiers to his cause. His terror efforts spanned Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, where he is thought to be responsible for several of the devastating explosions that killed international troops.  “He was a network by himself,” says the official. “He had relations all over the region; he was a ruthless killer.”
Jawhar is also implicated in the murders of a Lebanese general, a major in Intelligence and a Member of Parliament. He nearly succeeded in killing the head of the Lebanese army as well as the head of Internal Security. His death in Syria, says the official, may be seen as a welcome comeuppance in some quarters, “but for us, it’s devastating. It’s an issue of personal revenge between Jawhar and the Intelligence service.” It also raises concerns over the insurgency struggling across the border in Syria.
Aryn Baker is TIME’s Middle East Bureau Chief, based in Beirut. Find her on Twitter at @arynebaker. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIMEWorld.
Hindus in Pakistan accuse Muslims of kidnapping teens as wives
24 Apr 2012
The girls are forced to convert to Islam, rights groups say. In court, a few wives have chosen to stay with their husbands, but families say they were coerced.
JACOBABAD, Pakistan — Rachna Kumari, 16, was shopping for dresses in this city's dust-choked bazaar when it happened.
The man who her family says abducted her was not a street thug. He was a police officer.
Nor was he a stranger. Rachna's family knew and trusted him. He guarded the Hindu temple run by her father, an important duty in a society where Hindus are often terrorized by Muslim extremists, and he had helped Rachna cram for her ninth-grade final exams.
After she disappeared from the market, he did not demand a ransom. According to her family, he had an entirely different purpose: to force her to convert to Islam and marry him.
In a country where Hindu-dominated India is widely reviled as Enemy No. 1, Pakistan's Hindu community endures extortion, disenfranchisement and other forms of discrimination.
Full Report At:,0,6728442.story
Britain refuses to extradite Musharraf
Apr 24, 2012,
ISLAMABAD: The British government has made it clear to the Pakistani authorities that it would not hand over former President Pervez Musharraf to them.
As per British government, it does not extradite individuals to countries where the death penalty is enforced; rather, it processes such requests as per its judicial system before giving out any decision.
The refusal comes after a formal letter was sent through the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to the Interpol with respect to a Red Notice stating that Musharraf was required within Pakistan in connection with the Benazir Bhutto murder probe.
According to The News International, Britain has hugely dampened such extradition calls in the past. An Interpol Red Notice is considered an international arrest warrant, as by itself Interpol does not have the authority to issue arrest warrants, as this authority usually lies in the hands of sovereign member states.
Britain has stated that a number of individuals, including Musharraf, belonging to different countries, have been living within the United Kingdom (all wanted by their respective governments), and would be handed over to their respective countries until they defy the law of the UK.
Muslims need to make painful compromises for sake of peace
By Jaffer Senganda
24 Apr 2012
On many occasions, His Eminence the Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Shaban Mubajje has been attacked by Muslims opposing his leadership.
They have vowed to destabilise his movements to officiate at any of the Islamic functions in Uganda. Relatedly, Sheikh Sulaiman Kakeeto of the Tabliq community has been forced out of office by another parallel leadership on charges of irregularly disposing of Muslim property under his custodianship. He has vowed to forcefully repossess Nakasero mosque.
Full Report At:
Mosque Responses Ignorant in Waukesha, USA
By Ryan Plesh
Last Saturday, hundreds of people attended a rally in Waukesha in opposition to a proposal by the Islamic Society of Milwaukee to build a mosque in the city, as reported by the Brookfield Patch. Anti-Islam sentiment has been seen across the United States over the last decade, but that this type of reaction would manifest in Waukesha is disappointing. There are only two reasons to possibly oppose the construction of the mosque in Waukesha. The first is the idea that Islam is a terrorist religion and therefore Muslims should not have the same religious freedom as everyone else. The second is simply the classic fear of that which is not well understood. Neither is a sound reason to oppose the mosque.
Full Report At:
Kashmir issue will be resolved without help of Pakistan: Yasin Malik
Apr 24 2012,
Separatist leader Yasin Malik has said his Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front will make efforts to get the Kashmir issue resolved "without the help of Pakistan".
"We will step up our efforts to resolve the Kashmir issue if Pakistan, India and other international stakeholders continue with their irresponsible behaviour towards it," he told reporters after meeting Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawar Hasan at the party's headquarters in Mansoora yesterday.
"We feel that the issue is being sidelined despite the fact that the guns have been dropped and people are resorting to peaceful protests to raise the issue... We will make efforts to get it resolved without the help of Pakistan," he contended.
He claimed that India and some Western countries had set a condition that if the Kashmiri people disarmed themselves and started peaceful protests, they would seriously take up their demand.
Full Report At:
Bodies of two abducted Baloch found, six more abducted
Apr 23, 2012
Balochistan: The Two bullet-riddled bodies that were found on Saturday in Bostan area of Pishin District have been identified as of Khan Mohammad Marri and Jahangir Baloch.
According to a Balochistan Levies official, some passers-by spotted the bodies in Killi Umerabad area and informed them. Initially, the officials shifted the bodies to the Pishin Civil Hospital where they could not be identified. The bodies bore multiple marks of torture and were partially mutilated, hospital sources said, adding that the bodies were later shifted to Quetta for identification.
On Sunday, 22/04/2012 the relatives of abducted Baloch rushed to the Hospital and identified the bodies as that of Khan Mohammad Marri, a resident of New Kahan Quetta and Jahangir Baloch. Sources reported that Jahangir Baloch was abducted on 25/03/2012 whereas Mr Marri was abducted during a pre-dawn raid on his house in New Kahan, Marri Baloch populated area near Quetta, on 26/03/2012.
According to eye-witnesses Khan Mohammad aka Khany Marri’s body had multiple markes of severe torture and electric shocks. Both of his ears for cut off, there were marks of cigarette burns everywhere on his body. His hands, legs, back, chest and other parts of body had signs of cuts from a short object and the cuts were filled with salt and paper. According the witnesses due a full burst of multiple bullets his head had been severed from his body.
Full Report At:
Anti-Islam MP Brings Dutch Govt Down
OnIslam & News Agencies
THE HAGUE, 23 April 2012 – The Dutch government collapsed Monday, April 23, following the withdrawal of far-right, anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders over a dispute on budget cuts.
"The Prime Minister (Mark Rutte) will meet her Majesty the Queen during their weekly discussions to inform her over the current political situation," the government's information service (RVD) said in a statement cited by Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Rutte tendered his government’s resignation to Queen Beatrix after a split with Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV), which supports the minority government.
He said the Queen was considering the resignation offer and had asked the cabinet to keep working for the country's good.
The collapse came after the anti-EU PVV refused to agree with Rutte's center-right coalition on how to cut 14 to 16 billion euros from the budget and get the Dutch deficit down to the EU target next year.
Full Report At:
'India, Pak need to take giant leap for peaceful co-existence'
April 24, 2012
India and Pakistan need to bury the hatchet and take a "giant leap towards peaceful co-existence," says a Pakistani defence scientist who played a key role in the country's nuclear tests in 1998.
"We can neither choose nor change our neighbours. Won't it be better if we lived
peacefully?, " Samar Mubarakmand, a key member of the team that developed Pakistan's nuclear weapons, said.
He made the remarks while addressing an annual reunion organised by the Old Ravians Union (ORU), the association of former students of the Government College University in Lahore. The reunion on Saturday was also attended by a 15-member delegation from India.
Mubarakmand said India and Pakistan need to bury the hatchet and take a "giant leap towards peaceful co-existence".
He said education institutions like Government College University were the nurseries that raised top-notch scientists who made Pakistan's nuclear and missile programmes successful, according to a statement issued by ORU.
Full Report At:
Saudi 4-yr-old kills father who 'refused to buy PlayStation'
23 April, 2012,
A four-year-old Saudi boy shot his father in the head while playing with his gun at their house, reportedly after his parent refused to buy him a PlayStation video game console.
After the boy and his father returned home from the shop, the man, in his forties, put down his pistol while taking off his shirt.
He did not notice that his son had grabbed his gun and was playing with it before putting his little finger on the trigger.
The father died instantly.
Some media reports however suggest the death was an accident, although Arabic media has already labeled the boy the youngest killer in Saudi Arabia.
Consoles of discord
Last month, a 15-year-old boy in the Philippines has been killed in an attempted robbery. He was attacked by two motorcycle-riding thieves after his PlayStation Portable (PSP) as he was playing it in front of his house.
Full Report At:
Shoe-bomber tells court Osama bin Laden wanted follow-up to 9/11
24 April 2012
A British man who trained to be a shoe-bomber a decade ago says Osama bin Laden told him shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks that he believed a follow-up terrorism attack could cripple the American economy.
Saajid Badat recounted his meeting with the al-Qaida founder in videotaped testimony that was played for a federal jury in Brooklyn on Monday.
"So he said the American economy is like a chain," Badat said. "If you break one one link of the chain, the whole economy will be brought down. So after September 11 attacks, this operation will ruin the aviation industry and in turn the whole economy will come down."
Badat, 33, was convicted in London in a 2001 plot to bring down an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami with explosives hidden in his shoes. His testimony came in the federal trial of a man accused in a 2009 plot to attack New York's subways with suicide bombs.
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Islamists snatch back Swiss woman held hostage in Timbuktu
24 Apr 2012
A SWISS woman abducted last week in rebel-held Timbuktu in northern Mali has been snatched from her captors by armed Islamists who want to free her, several security sources say.
"On Saturday two armed groups clashed in the Timbuktu region over the Swiss hostage. One group was detaining her and the other wanted to free her," said a security source based outside Mali.
A separate security source inside Timbuktu said the woman, Beatrice Stockly, had orginally been in the hands of "a private militia that had planned to sell her to Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)."
He said members of the Islamist group Ansar Dine, who took control of Timbuktu on April 1 and began imposing strict Muslim Sharia law in the fabled city, had followed the "sub-contractors" and a clash had ensued.
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Why the radical Muslim cleric is preaching against the country that hosted and protected him?
24 Apr 2012
Just last week, the radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada was arrested in London by British authorities and could be deported to Jordan. But, why a Muslim cleric is fighting deportation from a non-Muslim country to a Muslim country?
And why is he preaching against the country that hosted and protected him? If he is considering himself a Muslim cleric, then didn’t he know the meaning of Alhijrah?
In Islam, there is a phrase called Hijrah (migration). Islam introduced this phrase to encourage Muslims to flee any land where they are mistreated to places of more tolerance. This means, Hijrah is leaving a non-Muslim country to reside in a Muslim country. But, the irony of the first and second Hijrah for Muslims, were from Makkah, the birth place of Islam and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to Alhabashah (old Ethiopia) in the year 615 A.D. Alhabashah was ruled by a leader named Alnajashi. He was Christian. This shows how Islam is tolerant with other faiths. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) left the fate of new Muslims in the hand of a Christian. The tens of Muslims who migrated to Alhabashah gave the highest respect to the land that hosted and protected them. They never criticized the religion or way of life of the people in Alhabashah. So, did Abu Qatada really understand the real meaning of Islam?
Many years after the first Islamic Hijrah, Islamic Caliphate capitals such as Baghdad became the center of migration for people from all faiths. The Muslim empire stretched from China to Iberia (Spain and Portugal). The Islamic empire, during the Abbasid Caliphate (750-1250 A.D.) covered an area of more than 10 million sq. Full Report At:
India, Pakistan talks 'very positive' and 'encouraging': UN chief Ban Ki-moon
24 Apr 2012
UNITED NATIONS: Terming as "very positive" and "encouraging" recent efforts by India and Pakistan to normalise their relations, UN chief Ban Ki-moon today hoped the two neighbours will continue the dialogue process and play a greater role for peace, security and harmony in the region.
"India and Pakistan are very important countries not only in the region but in world politics. They both have a great role to play for peace, security and harmony in the region," Ban told PTI here in an interview.
The UN chief, who will leave for a three-day visit to India tomorrow, welcomed the "very positive movement" between the two countries to improve trade ties.
Ban was also appreciative of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's private visit to India earlier this month and his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
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Clashes in Bangladesh over missing opposition leader
23 Apr 2012
Police said mobs armed with sticks and stones set fire to a local council building and attacked a police station in Sylhet, home to Ali, a prominent Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) figure who has been missing for six days.
“There were more than 10,000 protesters. They attacked policemen and tried to besiege a police station. We’ve fired rubber bullets and tear-gas shells to disperse them,” Sylhet police chief Shakhawat Hossain told AFP.
He added that one man was killed and more than 20 police officers were injured in the clashes, four of them seriously.
Shomoy, a private television channel, said at least 100 people had been hurt in the violence.
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Norway killer Breivik offers apology to his non-political victims
Apr 23, 2012,
OSLO: Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people last July, said on Monday he wanted to apologise for killing "innocent" people in his Oslo bombing, but offered no similar apology for the Utoeya massacre.
He also insisted that not only his victims and their families had their lives ruined on July 22: "I also lost everything," he lamented to the court.
For the first time since his trial started on April 16, the 33-year-old right-wing extremist voiced a small ounce of regret for his actions.
Breivik said: "I would like to offer a large apology" to those who were injured or killed in the bombing of an Oslo government building, as they were just passing by and had no political connections.
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Breivik's Islamophobic testimony leaves Oslo Muslims in shock
By Nina Larson
24 Apr 2012
"He is evil. Pure evil. A robot," Sihen Naidja says, her voice trembling, when asked how she experienced the first week of Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik's trial.
"Just hearing his name makes me stressed," says the 42-year-old Algerian, straightening her grey headscarf and gripping the hand of her six-year-old daughter Fatima.
Breivik's testimony this past week about how and why he slaughtered 77 people in Oslo and on the nearby island of Utoeya last July has left few unaffected.
For Norway's Muslims, though, his horrifying account has an added dimension: he says he carried out his barbaric killing spree to help clear them out of the Scandinavian country, which he wants reserved for "pure" ethnic Norwegians.
"I think and hope he is alone. Most Norwegians are nothing like him," says Naidja, shopping with her daughter at a large outdoor flea market in one of Oslo's most immigrant-dense neighbourhoods -- one of several described by Breivik this week as "ghettos" and "no-go zones" for anyone but Muslims.
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Like Delhi, Islamabad should have a mayor too: Gilani
Apr 24, 2012
Islamabad: The government plans to hold local bodies elections in Islamabad and the capital will then have a mayor like the one in New Delhi, said Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
Gilani on Monday said that the government was seriously considering elections to local bodies in the federal capital, and Islamabad will have a mayor after the polls.
“There should be mayor of Islamabad like in New Delhi, Dhaka and various other capitals of the world,” Associated Press of Pakistan quoted Gilani as saying.
The prime minister he has already taken President Asif Ali Zardari into confidence and would also consult other political parties.
UN chief condemns S Sudan air raid
April 24, 2012
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned Sudan's bombardment of a border area in South Sudan.
Ban called on "the government of Sudan to cease all hostilities immediately", saying there could be no military solution" to the two countries' simmering border dispute.
On Monday Sudanese warplanes dropped bombs near the South Sudanese town of Bentiu, witnesses said.
Earlier, Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir ruled out talks with South Sudan.
Bashir was speaking while visiting the oil field and border town of Heglig, which South Sudanese troops had occupied for nearly two weeks.
South Sudan says its forces withdrew from Heglig, but Sudan says it expelled them, killing 1,000 soldiers.
"We will not negotiate with the South's government, because they don't understand anything but the language of the gun and ammunition," Reuters news agency quoted Bashir as telling troops on his arrival in Heglig.
First came the throbbing noise of a jet engine. Then the dull thump of one, then several, explosions.
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Panetta dismisses Iran claims on copying US drone
24 April 2012
“I can tell you from my experience that I would seriously question their ability to do what they said they’ve done,” Panetta, a former CIA director, told reporters before landing in Bogota.
The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ aerospatial division, General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said on Sunday that Iran had discovered “codes” from the bat-winged RQ-170 Sentinel that fell into Tehran’s hands in December.
Panetta scoffed at Iran’s account but said he could not discuss details of such a sensitive subject.
“It’s, obviously, a classified program. I don’t want to get into the particulars,” he said during a briefing on his flight to Bogota, at the start of a Latin American tour.
Iran’s gleeful military proudly displayed the unmanned Sentinel drone on state television apparently intact, though with what appeared to be damage to one of its wings.
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Bangladesh eyes Yunus's social businesses
By Shafiq Alam
23 Apr 2012
DHAKA — Bangladesh's government has announced the creation of a new commission to monitor the social businesses of Nobel peace laureate Muhammad Yunus who fears his empire is the target of the state.
The government fired Yunus from the micro-finance pioneer Grameen Bank in March last year, but the 2006 Nobel winner still leads scores of other social businesses aimed at creating jobs and reducing poverty in the country.
Yunus has voiced his worry that the government is planning to take over his highly profitable network of ventures, including its multi-billion-dollar stake in Grameenphone, the country's largest telecom company.
Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith told reporters Sunday that although most of these social businesses had Grameen's name, they were not linked with the original micro-finance institution which provides credit to the poor.
"All of them are tied with Professor Yunus. These 54 enterprises don't have any relation with micro-credit. They don't function in rural areas, they function all over the world," the minister said.
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'US appreciates India closing missile gap with China'
Apr 24, 2012,
The lack of US condemnation of India's latest missile test demonstrates that the Washington appreciates India's need to meet the emerging strategic challenge posed by rising China.
WASHINGTON: The lack of US condemnation of India's latest missile test demonstrates that the Washington appreciates India's need to meet the emerging strategic challenge posed by rising China, according to two US scholars.
It also shows "US is comfortable with Indian progress in the nuclear and missile fields", Lisa Curtis, senior research fellow for South Asia, and Baker Spring, research fellow in National Security Policy, at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative thinktank said in a commentary.
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Pak alert forces India to rejig flights to Gulf
Apr 24, 2012
Sridhar Kumaraswami |
Days after India conducted its Agni-V test, Pakistan has informed India it too is conducting a “long-range missile test in the Indian Ocean” anytime from April 24 to 29 (from 8.30 to 11 am IST), and asked the Indian civil aviation authorities Monday evening to issue a NOTAM (notice to airmen) to warn commercial airlines and pilots to steer clear of the area.
Flights heading to the Gulf from India in that specific time-period will have to be rescheduled or rerouted, sources said.
Pakistan informed the Indian authorities Monday evening it was waiting for India to issue the NOTAM and asked it to communicate the NOTAM number to the Pakistan civil aviation authority swiftly. Pakistan also said that Oman and Yemen had already issued NOTAMs ahead of the Pakistani long-range missile test.
Sources told this newspaper Pakistan conducts its missile tests over the Indian Ocean in the southern direction due to which flights from India to the Gulf and Africa have to be rescheduled or rerouted.
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Regime fire kills 28 civilians in Syria
24 April 2012
Syrian troops killed 28 civilians in the city of Hama, monitors said, as UN military observers toured protest centres near the capital, and both Brussels and Washington imposed new sanctions.
The persistent bloodshed 11 days into a ceasefire sparked growing criticism from opposition activists of the fledgling UN mission, which still numbers just eight observers out of a planned initial deployment of 30.
Despite concerns over the mounting violence that the UN says has left over 9,000 people dead in 13 months of fighting, UN leader Ban Ki-moon gave the go-ahead for the deployment of 300 ceasefire monitors to Syria from next week.
Ban insisted Monday that the government President Bashar al-Assad ensure the protection of the unarmed observers and allow them to travel freely throughout the country.
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Sharjah court adjourns hearing against 17 Indians to May 7
ANI | Apr 24, 2012, 12.40PM IST
NEW DELHI: A Sharjah court that was hearing a case against 17 Indian nationals for their role in the alleged murder of a Pakistani national has adjourned the civil case till May 7.
The case has been filed by two Pakistani brothers before the Sharjah Civil Court of First Instance alleging that that they were assaulted by the 17 men during a group fight of bootleggers in which another Pakistani expatriate, Misri Nazir Khan, was killed in January 2009.
A member of the court's medical panel submitted a medical report to the court, which had, in its last hearing, ordered the medical assessment of the injuries and disabilities sustained by the petitioners, Mushtaq Ahmed and Shahid Iqbal.
The report regarding the injuries and disability stated that one person sustained 30 percent injury while the other of the complainant sustained 10 percent injury.
"A copy of the medical report presented to the court today was given to the advocates of the defendants and the petitioners as well...and the court adjourned the case to May 7", said Indian businessmen and philanthropist S P Singh Oberoi, who has been waging a legal battle to secure the release of the jailed Indians.
He added that now that the medical evidence of the petitioners' disabilities has been submitted, their lawyers will defend the case at the next hearing.
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Bomb blast at south Lebanon restaurant injures five
23 April 2012
At least five people have been injured by a bomb blast at a restaurant in the southern Lebanese coastal town of Tyre, security sources say.
The explosion occurred shortly after midnight in a lift at Nocean, located on the third floor of a commercial building in the town's east.
Nocean serves alcohol and is reportedly renowned locally for its dance parties.
Several clubs, shops and restaurants selling alcohol have been bombed in the majority-Muslim town in recent months.
Most Islamic schools of law declare that the consumption of alcohol or anything that contains alcohol is haram, or forbidden.
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Israel grants legal status to three West Bank outposts
Apr 24, 2012
Israeli officials played down the decision taken by a ministerial committee late on Monday and rejected accusations that the government had effectively created the first new Jewish settlements for more than 20 years.
The three outposts -- Bruchin, Sansana and Rechelim -- were built on land Israel declared "state-owned" in the West Bank, an area it captured in the 1967 war and which Palestinians want as part of a future state.
"The panel decided to formalize the status of the three communities ... which were established in the 1990s following the decisions of past governments," said a statement issued by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office.
Most of the international community views all Jewish settlements in the West Bank as illegal. However, Israel distinguishes between settlements it has approved and the outposts which were never granted official authorization.
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Pakistan PM contempt verdict on Thursday
24 Apr 2012,
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's Supreme Court will announce its verdict in a contempt of court case against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday, his lawyer said on Tuesday.
Gilani was charged with contempt by the country's highest court in February for refusing to write to the Swiss authorities to ask them to re-open corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
"The court will announce judgment in the case on Thursday (April 26)", Gilani's counsel Aitzaz Ahsan told reporters in Islamabad.
Asked if the prime minister will appear in person, he said: "I will inform him about it today and he will inshallah (God willing) come to the court."
He said the maximum punishment Gilani could face if convicted was six months in prison, but he was hopeful the judges would acquit his client.
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ISI case: Key reports misplaced
24 April 2012
ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the hearing of a petition filed by senior politician Asghar Khan till April 25.
The petition alleges that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) distributed money among several politicians before the 1990 elections to defeat Benazir Bhutto.
During the hearing, the attorney-general informed the court that inquiry reports on the money received from Mehran Bank and Habib Bank for politicians have been misplaced.
The three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, expressed concern over the misplaced reports and directed the attorney-general to convene meetings with the responsible figures named in these reports to ascertain the truth.
The attorney-general was directed to trace the documents and submit a written reply to the court.
Zardari for targeted action against criminals in Karachi
By Shamim-ur-Rahman
April 23, 2012
“If the three political parties — the PPP, MQM and ANP — join hands in Karachi, there is no reason why we cannot confront and defeat the menace of lawlessness and targeted killings in the metropolis,” he said during a meeting with representatives of the coalition parties at Bilawal House.
Leader of the MQM and ANP expressed serious concern over the killings and said criminals were not being patronised by them. The PPP also expressed concern over killing of its activists and the law and order situation.
Restoring peace in Karachi has turned out to be the most challenging task for the government and law-enforcement personnel, with coalition partners accusing each other of attacking their activists and supporters. Observers feel that there may be a pause in violence as a result of the meeting but the situation may not change for the better unless all sides agree to end the so-called turf war and separate politics from violence.
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Allegations against Musa do not hold, asserts Gilani
23 Apr 2012,
When asked whether he felt the Supreme Court was treating him and his family unfairly, the prime minister dismissed the question. “They are my friends,” he answered.
The prime minister kept on parrying questions on the perceived tension between the PPP government and the apex court.
When a reporter asked whether the prime minister was ready to author another book in Adiala Jail in the event that he is sentenced to prison in the contempt of court case, Mr Gilani replied in the affirmative.
“I am not afraid of jails, but yes, a jail is a good place to write a book,” said the prime minister.
Mr Gilani wrote his first book, ‘Chahe Yousuf’, when he was imprisoned by General Pervez Musharraf in 2000.
The seriousness of the sessions hosted by the prime minister on Monday was brought home by his decision to invite electronic and print media, and hold separate back-to-back sessions with them focusing on the fast-developing ephedrine scam.
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Pakistan navy gets its first fast-attack ship from China
Apr 24, 2012, 05.15AM I
BEIJING: Pakistan's navy commissioned its first fast attack craft armed with missiles at a Chinese shipyard on Monday, with its chief admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila saying that the force was fully prepared to counter any elements challenging the country's sovereignty.
Sandila was the chief guest at the commissioning of PNS Azmat, Pakistan's first "fast attack craft (missile )" at Xingang shipyard in Tianjin. He said the vessel's induction will supplement the Pakistani navy's combat potential.
Describing the commissioning as a milestone in defence and strategic cooperation between Pakistan and China, Sandila said, "This ship's immense firepower coupled with stealthy features makes it a real versatile platform which would not only prove vital for ensuring effective presence in our area of operations, but would bring a new dimension of operation of stealthy platform of this tonnage."
Sandila said a second fast attack craft will be completed in Pakistan by the end of 2012.
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Pak grounds all private jets for inspections
Apr 24, 2012
Islamabad: In the wake of last week’s deadly plane crash, Pakistan’s aviation authorities on Monday grounded all passenger aircraft run by private companies in the country, pending checks on their airworthiness.
Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar said that no private plane will be allowed to fly unless the inspection process is completed. He also directed the airlines to obtain fitness certificates for their aircraft within three to four days.
Close on the heels of last Friday’s crash that killed 127 people on board, another passenger plane on Sunday saw two of its tyres burst before landing. However, the pilot managed to land the aircraft safely.
In another incident, a plane in Lahore also reported oil leak. These incidents have prompted the authorities to inspect all passenger aircraft owned by private companies, Xinhua reported.
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Pakistan: MQM calls for early local body polls
24 April 2012
KARACHI - A key partner in the ruling coalition in Sindh on Monday demanded of President Asif Ali Zardari to conduct local body elections without further delay.
The demand was made by an MQM delegation led by Dr Farooq Sattar during a meeting with Zardari at Bilawal House after the coalition partners agreed on the formation of a committee to tackle the law and order in the province especially in Karachi.
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Obama announces crackdown on Iran and Syria's cyber oppressors
23 April 2012
President Barack Obama has signed an executive order targeting people and entities who use technology to help authoritarian regimes in Iran and Syria suppress their people.
"Technologies should be in place to empower citizens, not to oppress them," Obama said on Monday at a speech at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.
Obama was introduced at the museum by Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel. Obama told Wiesel: "You show us the way. If you cannot give up, if you can believe, then we can believe."
The president said the White House's new "atrocities prevention board" will meet for the first time Monday. He said the board's aim was to better prevent and respond to mass atrocities and war crimes.
Obama said the "seeds of hate" had too often been allowed to flourish. "Too often the world has failed to stop the massacre of innocents on a massive scale," said the president.
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Iran oil ministry under cyber attack
April 24, 2012
Afp, Tehran
Iran's oil ministry has come under a cyber attack, with its website and affiliated sites appearing to be offline, Iranian media reported yesterday.
The Mehr news agency reported that the websites, including that of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), were targeted from Sunday.
An oil ministry spokesman, Alireza Nikzad, told the Fars news agency the attack was a "virus" which "attempted to delete data on oil ministry servers."
The ISNA news agency, identifying the virus as "Viper", said the attack had deleted data off the servers. The ministry spokesman, however, said "essential data" were unharmed.
US to defend Afghanistan for decade after drawdown
Apr 23, 2012
KABUL, Afghanistan: Washington has pledged in a newly agreed strategic pact to help defend Afghanistan militarily for at least a decade after the country formally takes control of its own security, an Afghan official said Monday.
The draft agreement signed on Sunday also says the US will only take such actions with Afghan agreement. The United States also pledged it will not launch attacks on other countries from Afghan soil, according to sections of the accord read out in parliament by Afghan National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta.
Afghan officials had previously said that they would not allow their country to be used to launch drone attacks into Pakistan or other neighboring countries after the deadline for most foreign forces to withdraw by the end of 2014.
“Considering that stability in Afghanistan would be stability for Central Asia and South Asia, the United States emphasizes that any kind of interference in Afghan affairs would be a matter of concern for the United States,” he said, quoting from the Dari language version of the agreement.
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UN monitors tour Syria
April 24, 2012
Afp, Beirut
UN observers monitoring the ceasefire in Syria yesterday visited several rebellious suburbs near the capital and were met by thousands of protesters demanding the collapse of the regime.
Meanwhile, Syrian forces shelled a district of the central city of Hama yesterday and opened fire on residents, killing at least 20 people, activists said.
The incident occurred in the Arbaeen neighbourhood a day after United Nations observers, monitoring an 11-day-old ceasefire agreement, visited Hama, a hotbed of a popular revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.
Amateur video posted by activists on YouTube showed four of the unarmed observers in blue helmets walking in Douma, a northern suburb of Damascus, surrounded by a huge crowd waving Syria independence flags.
"The people demand the fall of the regime," some chanted while others called for the arming of the rebel Free Syrian Army.
Monitors also visited the town of Zabadani, 47 kilometres northwest of the capital, where regime forces and rebels have clashed repeatedly in past months.
Fares Mohamed, an activist in Zabadani, said the observers' visit lasted barely half an hour.
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UN to deploy full ceasefire force in Syria
24 April, 2012
Ban insisted that President Bashar al-Assad's regime protect the unarmed observers and allow them to travel freely throughout the country.
"It is absolutely important that the Syrian government should provide full protection of our monitors and ensure their freedom of access, freedom of movement," Ban told reporters.
He said Assad must ensure "co-operation from the Syrian government, including air assets mobility," such as airplanes and helicopter, adding he had conveyed that message to Syria's UN envoy Bashar Jaafari last week.
Ban added that he hoped Damascus would "fully cooperate" with UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, who devised a six-point peace plan aimed at ending the violence in Syria, where thousands have been killed in the past year.
Assad's compliance with a cessation of hostilities "remains incomplete," Ban's political chief told the UN Security Council.
"But it is our hope that the deployment of observers will help to stop the killing and consolidate the calm," UN Under-Secretary General B. Lynn Pascoe said.
"We are at a pivotal moment in Syria.
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East Java Islamic School Closed After Attack
24 Apr 2012
An East Java Muslim boarding school that became involved in a violent dispute with residents over Islamic teaching will be closed for two weeks while officials consider its fate.
The Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI), the highest authority on Islamic affairs, has been brought in to mediate the dispute involving the Robbani boarding school in Karang Tengah in Jember’s Sumbersari subdistrict.
It was attacked on Friday by residents angered by schools officials who criticized tahlil, a prayer recital to mark a death that is practiced by most Muslims on Java. School officials said the tradition was not Islamic.
“The Robbani Muslim boarding school will be closed for two weeks to assure security and order in Karang Tengah,” said M. Radefi, the head of the Jember district religious affairs office.
Halim Subahar, the head of the Jember chapter of the MUI, deplored the attack on Friday. Residents armed with sticks and stones vandalized the school, breaking windows and damaging the roof.
“We deplore the vandalism because we were engaging in mediation to try and resolve the dispute,” Halim said.
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Israel to seek deferral of settler evictions
Apr 24,2012
JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday he would ask Israel's Supreme Court to defer next week's deadline for demolishing five apartment buildings erected illegally for settlers in the West Bank.
The court has ruled that the buildings, which house 30 families in the unauthorized Ulpana outpost on the fringes of the Beit El settlement, must be razed by May 1 because they were built on privately owned Palestinian land.
Netanyahu said his government is looking for "legal" ways to prevent the buildings from being demolished.
It is not clear if the court would agree to a delay. Decades ago, the court outlawed settlement construction on privately owned Palestinian land, even as it authorized building on other West Bank territory, where 300,000 settlers now live.
Netanyahu disclosed his plans in a set of rare interviews given to Israeli radio stations on the eve of Israel's Memorial Day, which begins Tuesday night.
Some members of Israel's ruling coalition have warned the government would fall if the buildings come down.
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Saudi-French consultative body mooted to promote cultural dialogue
Apr 23, 2012,
The 3rd edition of the Saudi-French Seminar for the Dialogue of Cultures, which concluded here yesterday, has recommended formation of a consultative authority with members from Saudi and French universities for promoting a dialogue of cultures.
The participants also underlined the need for establishing an academic chair to encourage translation of major scientific, intellectual and literary works from Arabic to French and vice versa.
Several prominent figures, including academics and educational experts from the Saudi and French universities, participated in the seminar with the theme of “Arab Islamic Thought in Europe: Reality and Role.”
The Ministry of Higher Education, represented by the Saudi cultural attaché in Paris, organized the two-day event, in collaboration with King Abdulaziz University (KAU) in Jeddah. Minister of Higher Education Khaled Al-Anqari opened the seminar on Saturday. The seminar was regarded as a major step in support of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s call to promote interfaith and intercultural dialogues as a means to establish world peace.
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Al Jazira retain the prestigious President’s Cup James Jose
24 April 2012
An experienced Al Jazira defeated Bani Yas to retain the prestigious President’s Cup at a packed Zayed Sports City on Monday night.
Watched by a crowd of 38,720, a brilliant Al Jazira won 3-1.
Jubliant Al Jazira players and fans celebrating the President’s Cup victory over Bani Yas in Abu Dhabi on Monday. — KT photos Nezar Balout
Al Jazira scored through Australian defender and captain Lucas Neill, Brazilian Ricardo Oliveira and substitute Ahmed Al Mubarak in the sixth, 71st and 90th minutes respectively, while substitute Nawaf Mubarak scored for Bani Yas.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Shaikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister and Interior and Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, watched the game.
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