New Age Islam
Thu Nov 26 2020, 09:40 PM

Islamic World News ( 13 Feb 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Haya Counters Valentine in Pakistan

Hindus, Muslims to celebrate Prophet's birth anniversary

Prophet toon sparks protests

Bangladesh PM opens first of two new power plants

Americans are more successful at promoting Jihad than Bin Laden! Lyndall Beddy

The tired "Valentine's in Saudi Arabia" story

50 ulemas back Solahudin Wahid as Nahdlatul Ulama chairman

Swat ulema support anti-polio campaign

Africans seek Israeli help battling Muslims

Muslim students to protest against

Row over Jewish museum on Muslim cemetery

150,000 thalassemia cases in Pakistan

Pak seeks civil nuclear deal with EU

Pak SC suspends appointment of judge ordered by President Zardari

Pak court issues notice to Sharif on election disqualification

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) not Allow Gov't to Move Scot-free: Sharif

Avoid seeing Pakistan through Afghan prism, PM tells EU

US, Afghan forces storm Taliban stronghold in biggest offensive since 2001

Nawaz sees Zardari’s democracy at par with dictatorship

Afghan operation is new war model

Taliban men may have fled now to launch future attacks

Three US soldiers killed in Afghanistan blast

10 rockets strike American-Iraqi base; 2 injured

Iraq election officials confirm ban on Sunni candidates

Bomb explosions at political offices in Baghdad wound eight

US, NATO forces storm Marjah as Taliban flee

Nato troops fight gunmen and IEDs

White House lawyer named Muslim envoy

Muslims stage dharna for quota

Govt should check human rights violations: Fazl

Somali minister dies of wounds after suicide bomb

Egyptians plead not guilty to Copts’ killing

Cyber Crime to Shoot Up as Cupid Aims his Arrows

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL of this Page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/haya-counters-valentine-in-pakistan/d/2461

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Haya Counters Valentine in Pakistan

By Aamir Latif,

Feb. 14, 2010

KARACHI -- With the elite and most of the media busy with Valentine Day activities, several student and women organizations are preparing Youm-e-Haya (Modesty Day) in educational institutions and streets across the country on the same day.

"So-called festivals like Valentine Day are sequel of a calculated campaign aimed at culturally invading our society in the name of moderation," Syed Abdul Rasheed, President of Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT), the country’s largest student group, told IslamOnline.net.

"Neither Islam nor our society have any connection whatsoever with such kind of economically-motivated festivals."

Valentine Day, which falls on February 14, is named after a Christian martyr and over the years has become the day on which lovers traditionally express their feelings for each other.

Though it is not celebrated openly in Pakistan, special programs are arranged by five-star hotels and multinational companies.

Some newspapers and TV channels offer message sending facilities to woo youths to send their greetings to loved ones.

Valentine Day activities, including sale of flowers and gifts, are witnessed mostly in posh localities of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

"These kinds of festivals, which are meant for capital society, has nothing to do with Islam. We want to prevent our youths from falling prey into the hands of this capitalist thinking," said Abdul Rasheed.

Peaceful Alternative

IJT, which has strong roots in educational institutions nationwide, is offering an alternative to the people, especially youths, this year.

"We will celebrate this day as Youm-e-Haya as modesty is one of the fundamental tenets of Islam," said Abdul Rasheed.

"We have offered a much better alternative to our youths i.e. to adopt modesty."

Seminars and rallies will be held in all universities and collages across the country, besides a mass contact campaign jointly launched by respective organizations.

"We have convinced several male and female teachers to spare a few minutes to highlight the importance of Haya in religion in their lectures on that day."

Rasheed says Youm-e-Haya is a peaceful response to the exponents of Valentine Day and other festivals promoted by multinationals to achieve business gains.

"Any kind of violent activity to contain these kinds of festivals does not yield positive results," he asserted.

"Violence may frighten the people for a while, but ultimately it turns out to be counterproductive. In fact, it would attract more and more youths towards such kind of festivals in a fit of pique and resentment."

The IJT decided, therefore, to counter these activities by providing people, particularly the youth, healthy alternatives.

"Participation of youths in our rallies and seminars show that a huge majority of Pakistani youths have no interest in such festivals. It’s the so-called elite class and secular media which present Valentine’s Day and other festivals in a manner whereby they look like nationwide celebrations."

The initiative has gathered support from various students and women organizations, including Anjuman-e-Talaba Islam, Jamiat Talaba Islam, Working Women Trust, Shabab-e-Milli, Pasban, Jammat-e-Islami women wing and Jamiat Ulema Islam women wing.

"Haya is the ornament of Muslim. Therefore, we fully support this day, and our all members will participate," Humaira Khalid, a central leader of the Jammat-e-Islami women wing, told IOL.

"This is not the matter of heart. It is matter of Deen (religion)."

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1265890347242&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout

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Hindus, Muslims to celebrate Prophet's birth anniversary

Sunday, February 14, 2010

  Mumbai: People from all communities gathered here Sunday afternoon to resolve to jointly celebrate Prophet Mohammed's birth anniversary and pray for the victims of Saturday night's Pune terror attack.

After mourning for the Pune victims, a unique campaign was announced to bring together Muslims and Hindus to jointly celebrate the birth anniversary of the Prophet, said one of the organisers, Ejaz Ahmed Aslam, the secretary of Jamaat-E-Islami.

"The state-wide campaign - 'Mohammed For All' - will introduce the last Prophet of Allah and reject the belief that that he is only for the Muslims. The 12-day campaign, likely to touch over 20 million people in Maharashtra, will start Feb 17," Aslam told IANS.

The birth anniversary of the Prophet will be celebrated this year on Feb 26.

Several speakers, including Aslam, National Communal Harmony Award recipient Ram Puniyani, architect and social activist Pratima Joshi, religious scholars and others highlighted the preaching of the Prophet and condemned terror.

"India is a pluralistic society and we request all our brothers and sisters to make attempts to understand Islam and the significance of the Prophet's teachings which are universally valid," Jamaat-e-Islami (Hind) state unit chief Nazar Mohammed Madu said.

"Prophet Mohammed has come with the message of universal brotherhood, peace and equality which are infinite in nature and should be implemented by all humanity. It will be wrong to confine him to Muslims alone as he stood and fought for a better, equal and just society," Maratha Sewa Sangh chief Purushottam Khedekar said.

B.N. Hirdekar, who teaches at Shivaji University of Kolhapur, said Prophet Mohammed's teaching are relevant to modern society even after 1400 years.

"For instance, he shunned casteism, and exploitation in the name of region, religion and gender, supported rights of minors and opposed slavery when it was an accepted way of life," Hirdekar said.

Madu said the Jamaat has set up several groups consisting of leading Muslim and non-Muslim personalities, intellectuals and activists of social organisations, which will go around the state targeting social evils like injustice, female foeticide, dowry, child labour, alcoholism, corruption, human rights violations and terrorism.

The other co-organisers of "Prophet For All" include clerics from different Muslim sects, the Maratha Samaj, and the Satya Shodhak Samaj.

http://www.ummid.com/news/2010/February/14.02.2010/hindus_muslims_to_celebrate_prophet_mohammad_birthday.htm

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Prophet toon sparks protests

REUTERS, 14 February 2010,

OSLO: Around 2,000 people protested in Oslo over the printing of a caricature of Prophet Mohammad as a pig by a Norwegian newspaper.

Tabloid ‘Dagbladet’ printed a photo of the cartoon on February 3 to illustrate a frontpage story describing how the Facebook page of the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) linked to pages featuring caricatures of the Prophet. The links were posted by participants to the Facebook group and removed by PST.

Holding placards with slogans such as “Show respect to all religions” and “Stop insults against Muslims”, demonstrators passed peacefully through central Oslo on Friday. “I am here because what Dagbladet has done is very offensive to us,” said Kashif Aurangzev, a taxi driver. “This is a big attack on Muslims, it goes against our religion,” said Kamran Naveeb, a student.

Police said around 2,000 people attended the heavily guarded demonstration, which was boycotted by Norway’s main Muslim organization for fears it could turn violent. Dagbladet printed a picture of one of the cartoons, representing the Prophet as a pig writing the Koran.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Prophet-toon-sparks-protests/articleshow/5571063.cms

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Bangladesh PM opens first of two new power plants

By Serajul Islam Quadir

Sun Feb 14, 2010

 SIDDHIRGANG, BANGLADESH (Reuters) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina switched on the first of two new power plants near the capital Dhaka adding 120 megawatts to the national grid as Bangladesh struggles to ease chronic shortages of power.

Each costing $163 million, including $113 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the plants have been built by India's Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, officials said.

"We have raised power generation by 1,029 MW to 4,296 MW within a year of our tenure," Hasina said, against the current daily demand of 5,500 MW.

Hasina took office in January 2009 following a massive election win and promised to address the issue of power generation with top priority.

"To meet up this huge gap we will produce another 1,000 MW of electricity by the end of this year," she said on Sunday.

"Bangladesh needs more than $7 billion in foreign investment to boost its electricity generation," said Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, energy and power adviser to the prime minister.

The prime minister also said her government wanted to raise power production at 7,000 MW by 2013 by setting up more peak-hour power plants, coal fired power units and renewable energy plants.

Outside investment has also come from Japan which on Sunday promised the country a $433 million loan to set up a power plant and upgrade a rural electrification project.

"The conditions of the loan are most generous. The interest rate is only 0.01 percent per annum and the repayment period is 40 years inclusive of a 10-year grace period," a Japan embassy statement said.

(Editing by Anis Ahmed, Mike Nesbit)

http://in.reuters.com/article/topNews/idINIndia-46156220100214

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Americans are more successful at promoting Jihad than Bin Laden! Lyndall

Beddy Sunday

February 14, 2010

When The Americans invaded Iraq I was staying with a friend, and in bed with flu. I wrapped myself in blankets and dragged myself to the living-room sofa to watch the BBC News.

And I said to my friend “They are going to win the war, and lose the peace”. I know many have said it since – but I said it that first day. The war was actually over in 3 weeks, and the people were thrilled to get rid of Hussein, but true enough they ruined the peace. They took out the army, police, courts, and whole civil service – because they were from Hussein’s sect, not from the majority.

When a murder happened, or a theft, and the people went to the American and British soldier, they shrugged their shoulders – not their problem. So criminals moved into the power vacuum, followed by terrorists, who initially used the criminals to kidnap victims for them. And the rest is history.

The American advisors to the ANC did the same in South Africa – took out the whole civil service, because it was white and from the minority, with the same result. But in SA they went even better – they decided that the coloureds of the Western Cape regarded themselves as more white than black, and recommended policies which eventually alienated the coloureds completely and lost the ANC the Western Cape. I suspect the Americans thought that SA’s coloureds, like their “blacks”, were the product of black slave and white master. In fact there is almost no black blood in the coloureds – there were no black tribes in the Cape when the Dutch arrived, and no black or Khoisan was ever enslaved anyhow. Which just shows that Black Americans are still American, and as ignorant as White Americans.

When America, with helicopters and troops, went into Somalia, it did unite the warlords – against the Americans! The Americans flew them to New York for a “peace conference” where they all spent their time contacting arms dealers! An American soldier was captured and dragged behind a vehicle through the streets of Somalia to great cheers. This was all seen on American TV, and the humiliated Americans withdrew. The next conflict to break out was Rwanda, and the humiliated Americans advised the West to stay out of African Wars.

Full report at: http://www.therichmarksentinel.com/rs_articles_contributors.asp?conid=11&recid=1379

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The tired "Valentine's in Saudi Arabia" story

February 14, 2010

Today is Valentine's Day, which means it's time for the media to resurrect a favorite theme: Saudi Arabia doesn't like hearts, or flowers, or the color red!

    It isn't often that cynical singles and religious police find themselves on the same side, but in Saudi Arabia they are standing united against a common threat: Valentine's Day.

It's the same story every year: A dire lede about how the strange foreign peoples of Saudi Arabia disapprove of Valentine's Day. A sentence about the all-encompassing ban on gifts and chocolates and roses -- about the holiday's incompatibility with Islam and traditional culture.

And then a paragraph like this one, which totally undermines the whole point of the story.

    The broader region, however, is not so sure. And Saudis themselves are far from unanimous.

Valentine's Day in Cairo

This LAT story also disapprovingly notes that one Saudi newspaper, Al-Riyadh, ran an item headlined "A fifth of adults prefer to spend Valentine's Day with their pets instead of their partners." I guess the implication is that the Saudi media are trying to discourage people from celebrating the holiday? If that's true, then so are the New York Daily News, WTOP radio in Washington, and the dozens of other news outlets that ran the same Reuters story.

What are readers supposed to learn from these stories? Yes, Saudi Arabia is run by an oppressive Wahhabi regime. But the mutaween are in no way representative of Saudi Arabia or the Arab world. Most Muslims do not find Valentine's Day objectionable; walk down any commercial street in Cairo or Beirut or Damascus in February and you'll see what I mean.

http://www.themajlis.org/2010/02/14/the-tired-valentines-in-saudi-arabia-story

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50 ulemas back Solahudin Wahid as Nahdlatul Ulama chairman

Sun, 02/14/2010

At least 50 ulemas in a forum of caretakers of pondok pesatren (Muslim boarding schools) in East and Central Java have agreed to propose Solahudin Wahid as the next general chairman Nahdlatul Ulama an executive of the forum says.

The 50 ulemas expressed their readiness to back Solahudin — popularly known as “Gus Solah,” who is also the younger brother of former president Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid — to win the NU chairmanship at the 32nd NU conference in Makassar, South Sulawesi, next month, Anwar Iskandar said Sunday.

“[Gus Solah] is regarded as the best among candidates hoping to chair NU,” Anwar told tempointeraktif.com in Kediri, East Java, adding that aside from meeting all criteria set by the ulemas, Gus Solah also knew much about NU, had mastered the management of organizations, and owned his own pesantren.

The proposal to elect Gus Solah was one of two items discussed at the forum, the others recommending to the NU’s highest board to maintain the organization’s principle of “Ahlusunah Waljamaah” preventing penetration from outsiders and  strengthening the role of ulemas in decision making.

The meeting also heard a moral urge for the Constitutional Court to turn down rising calls to review the 1965 Law on Blasphemy.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/02/14/50-ulemas-agree-propose-solahudin-wahid-nu-chairman.html

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Swat ulema support anti-polio campaign

Sunday, February 14, 2010

MINGORA: Ulema in Swat Saturday announced full support to the anti-polio campaign and urged the people to vaccinate their children against the fatal disease.

Addressing a press conference, Maulana Qazi Ghufranuddin and National Institute for Research and Development (NIRD) coordinator Afreen Khan said that clerics have no objection over administering polio drops to the children up to five years of age.

They said the ulema in their Friday sermons would ask the people to give anti-polio drops to their children to save them from disease.

Qazi Ghufran told reporters that the ulema in Swat had never issued fatwa (edict) against administering drops for polio. He added such propaganda was started by anti-people elements during the volatile situation in Swat district, which caused irreparable loss to the residents particularly the children. Qazi Ghufran added they would visit villages to create awareness about the fatal disease and the benefits of anti-polio drops.

On the occasion, Afreen Khan and Dr Mahboob of World Health Organisation (WHO) briefed the reporters about the arrangements for the three-day anti-polio drive.

They said that the disease has affected 20 children in Swat, as there was no anti-polio vaccination could take place due to the volatile situation in the district.

Our correspondent reports from Mohmand Agency: Assistant Political Agent (APA) Roshan Masood formally inaugurated the three-day anti-polio campaign by administering polio drops to the children.

Full report at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=224179

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Africans seek Israeli help battling Muslims

February 14, 2010

In several parts of Africa today, Arab and African Muslims are threatening to overrun areas they did not previously control, or have already done so and are persecuting the "infidels" who live there.

Kenya has thus far resisted the Muslim advance, but is constantly threatened by the jihad occurring in neighboring Somalia.

Last week, Kenya's public security minister, Prof. George Saitoti, visited Jerusalem to request Israeli assistance in dealing with the Muslim threat.

"The jihad is taking over Somalia and threatening to take over Kenya and all of Africa," Saitoti told his Israeli counterpart, Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich. "No one is more experienced than [Israel] in fighting internal terror. I request that you help us in this matter. In knowledge, in training."

Israel and Kenya have a long history of friendly relations.

http://www.israeltoday.co.il/default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=20569

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Muslim students to protest against

Feb 14, 2010

Mumbai : Even as the Shiv Sena seemed disinterested in disturbing the Valentine’s Day celebration this time, the Students’ Islamic Organisation of India (SIOI) has decided to stage protest against it on Sunday. The organisation plans to hold an hour-long demonstrations at Bandra railway station at 4.00 pm against the Valentine’s Day celebrations, SIOI secretary Mirza Kamran said.

“This celebration is nothing but giving a licence to the youths to indulge in immoral acts. We believe such activities will erode moral and family values,” said Abdul Qadeer, Mumbai president of the outfit. He, however, said the protests would be peaceful. The Day promoted promiscuity among youths and had to be opposed, he added.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Police Commissioner D Sivanandhan said that the large number of cops already deployed across the city in the wake of Shiv Sena’s protests against Shah Rukh Khan’s film My Name Is Khan would be able to tackle any untoward incident, though they anticipated none. “We do not have any specific intelligence to suggest that there will be any disturbance on the Valentine’s Day. However, there is already massive deployment across the city to tackle the Sena’s protests.”

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Muslim-students-to-protest-against/579525

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Row over Jewish museum on Muslim cemetery

2/14/2010

Jerusalem: A group of Palestinians descended from 15 of Jerusalem’s oldest Arab families lodged a protest with the UN in a fresh effort to prevent the construction of a “Museum of Tolerance” on the site of an ancient Muslim cemetery.

The project, run by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Los Angeles, has been dogged by controversy since its launch in 2004. Islamic groups and individual Palestinians complained the site, in west Jerusalem, was the ancient cemetery of Ma’man Allah, also known as Mamilla, which housed thousands of graves dating back hundreds of years and where even today there are still many gravestones and tombs.

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre argued the site was adjacent to the cemetery and construction would be on what is today a municipal car park.

After legal battles, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in October 2008 that building could go ahead. But the Israel Antiquities Authority’s chief excavator for the site, Gideon Suleimani, found the site was a cemetery in use for the past 1,000 years that “abounded with graves” and should not be open to construction without a full excavation, which never happened. He said his assessment was ignored by the court. Then late last year Frank Gehry, the celebrity architect working on the project, withdrew.

Some 60 Palestinians have signed a petition in Geneva with several UN bodies, including the high commissioner for human rights, the special rapporteur on freedom of religion and belief and Unesco, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=World_News&subsection=Gulf%2C+Middle+East+%26+Africa&month=February2010&file=World_News2010021421438.xml

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150,000 thalassemia cases in Pakistan

Sunday, February 14, 2010

THERE are over 150,000 thalassemia major cases in Pakistan and the number is growing.

“If two thalassemia minor carriers got married then their children could be born with thalassemia major. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to conduct compulsory blood screening before marriage as one of the basic preventive care,” said Ammara Farooq Malik, President of an NGO, Seeds of Education, Policy & Legal Awareness Association (SEPLAA), while addressing the participants at the launching of a Youth Council and website (www.seplaa.com) to create awareness about SEPLAA’s drive “Save a life, save a generation” at its head office in DHA, Lahore, on Saturday.

Ammara Malik proposed to the government that every person should be tested at least once for thalassemia traits and this information could be put on their identity cards along with their blood type.

She said that camps for diagnosis of thalassemia would be set up in institutions to identify thalassemia minor carriers. She said that Italy and Greece had some of the highest number of cases of thalassemia and those countries had learnt to take care of the problem at the roots by educating their people that thalassemia could be prevented by taking the responsible action of blood testing before getting married. “We need to create awareness about the importance of premarital blood screening to remove the stigma of ‘shame’ or a ‘social taboo’ attached with this practice.

Earlier, a video clip of an 11-year-old thalessemic girl Kiran Ashfaq, who died after the failure of her bone marrow transplant, was also shown to highlight the gravity of the issue.

Besides, Hassan Awais Wyne, Zahra Wyne, Saman Jaffer, Jaffer Mateen, Khurram Zafar and other members and volunteers were also present.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=224160

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Pak seeks civil nuclear deal with EU

PTI, 13 February 2010,

ISLAMABAD: The European Union should treat Pakistan at par with India and accord it the same access in civil nuclear technology as given to India, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said today.

Gilani made the remarks during a meeting with a group of European Union ambassadors at the Prime Minister's House.

The envoys met Gilani to brief him on the European Union's Action Plan on Pakistan that was approved in October last year.

The premier emphasised that the EU "must realise that its relations with Pakistan are to be developed on a stand-alone basis and not for reasons of contiguity with... Afghanistan," said an official statement.

Gilani welcomed the EU's Action Plan for Pakistan and its commitment to remain engaged with Islamabad by helping it through financial aid for socio-economic development.

He appreciated EU's support in education, infrastructure and energy sectors and for building the capacity of Pakistan's law enforcement agencies.

The Prime Minister also said he was looking forward to participating in the second Pakistan-EU Summit to be held in Brussels in April to forge a long-term strategic partnership with the grouping based on mutual trust and mutual interests.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-seeks-civil-nuclear-deal-with-EU/articleshow/5569801.cms

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Pak SC suspends appointment of judge ordered by President Zardari

AFP, 14 February 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's top court moved against President Asif Ali Zardari late Saturday, suspending his order appointing a judge at odds with advice from the country's top judicial authority, a lawyer said.

The move came after Zardari ignored a nomination from Pakistan's popular Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry to a vacancy on the Supreme Court, lawyers and legal experts said.

Chaudhry submitted Justice Saqib Nisar as his recommendation for the spare seat, but Zardari instead chose to appoint Khawaja Sharif, currently the chief judge in the country's second biggest city of Lahore.

"The appointment made by the president was a clear violation of the constitution and the Supreme Court today suspended that order," Hamid Khan, a senior Supreme Court lawyer told AFP.

"The court suspended the presidential order according to the constitution, because the president made the appointment without the consultation of the chief justice of Pakistan," Khan added.

Lawyers said Chaudhry immediately convened a meeting of the three-member Supreme Court bench after the presidential order to discuss the case.

The bench summoned Pakistan's attorney general in relation to the case and adjourned the next hearing until February 18, Khan told AFP.

Zardari last March reinstated Chaudhry and other judges who were sacked under emergency rule by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, in a bid to stave of violent protests in the capital and under massive Western pressure.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-SC-suspends-appointment-of-judge-ordered-by-President-Zardari/articleshow/5570930.cms

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Pak court issues notice to Sharif on election disqualification

M Zulqernain | Lahore

February 14, 2010

A Pakistani court has issued notice to former premier and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif seeking his response to a petition asking for him to be disqualified from contesting elections.

Freelance journalist Shahid Orakzai had filed the petition in the election tribunal of the Lahore High Court on Friday.

Orakzai said that after the 1993 general election, Sharif and his brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, had negotiated a deal with him to buy votes of seven members of the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament.

In its notice to Nawaz Sharif, the court directed him to file a response by February 15. The seven parliamentarians belonged to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and their votes were allegedly sought for the election of the speaker of the National Assembly.

Orakzai alleged that Sartaj Aziz, the finance minister in Nawaz Sharif’s cabinet, too was present at the time of the purported deal. -- PTI

http://www.dailypioneer.com/235906/Pak-court-issues-notice-to-Sharif-on-election-disqualification.html

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Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) not Allow Gov't to Move Scot-free: Sharif

2010-02

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz ( PML-N) will not allow the government to move scot-free, the opposition chief Mian Nawaz Sharif expressed Sunday his concern over the government attitude towards state institutions adding that the Saturday's incident has confronted the country with another spell of uncertainty.

The opposition chief made the remarks while addressing a press conference after a party meeting to discuss the standoff between the government and judiciary over appointment of the judges.

The democracy faced such a great threat never before as now in the form of President Zardari, who has become the gravest threat for democracy, Nawaz Sharif said.

Nawaz Sharif said the PML-N seems that the government has not accepted free judiciary wholeheartedly and the rulers are targeting judiciary to protect their corruption and childishly playing with the state institutions.

Supreme Court of Pakistan late Saturday evening suspended the Presidential order regarding appointment of Justice Khwaja Sharif, Chief Justice of Lahore High Court (LHC) as Judge of Supreme Court and appointment of Justice Saqib Nisar as Acting Chief Justice of LHC, declaring it violation of the constitution.

It was reported that earlier Saturday the Pakistani government set aside recommendation of Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to the president for appointment of Justice Saqib Nisar as Judge of Supreme Court.

Full report at: http://english.cri.cn/6966/2010/02/14/2321s550384.htm

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Avoid seeing Pakistan through Afghan prism, PM tells EU

By Baqir Sajjad Syed

Sunday, 14 Feb, 2010

ISLAMABAD, Feb 13: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has told the European Union that its strategic ties with Pakistan should not be ‘Afghanistan-centric’.

“The European Union must realise that its relations with Pakistan are to be developed on stand-alone basis and not for the reasons of contiguity with Afghanistan,” a statement issued by the prime minister’s office on Saturday quoted him as telling troika of European Union ambassadors in Islamabad.

Mr Gilani was discussing with the ambassadors the “EU action plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan” that was approved by the 27-member bloc’s external relations body and which said “the conflict in Afghanistan cannot be solved without addressing the complex problems in Pakistan”.

The EU statement was seen by foreign policy observers here as implying that the bloc’s interests in Pakistan were purely because of Afghanistan. The EU action plan has assumed considerable importance because Washington’s “Stabilisation plan for Pakistan and Afghanistan” seems to have flown from that document.

The second EU-Pakistan ‘ad hoc’ summit is slated for April in Brussels.

At the summit Prime Minister Gilani is expected to call for a long-term strategic partnership based on mutual interests between Pakistan and the EU.

He told the ambassadors on Saturday that the summit should be given permanency for regular interaction between Pakistan and the EU.

Pakistan wanted the bloc to treat it at a par with India, said Mr Gilani. He said the EU saw India as an ‘economic equal’ but its ties with Pakistan were driven in the main by security concerns.

The prime minister, nevertheless, lauded the assistance EU provided to Pakistan.

He expressed the hope that the bloc’s member countries would support Pakistan’s demand for greater access to the EU market.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/avoid-seeing-pakistan-through-afghan-prism%2C-pm-tells-eu-420

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US, Afghan forces storm Taliban stronghold in biggest offensive since 2001

AP, 14 February 2010

MARJAH: Thousands of US Marines and Afghan soldiers stormed the Taliban stronghold of Marjah by air and ground Saturday, meeting only scattered resistance but facing a daunting thicket of bombs and booby traps that slowed their advance through the town.

It is the largest offensive since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan. The operation aims to establish Afghan government authority over the biggest southern town under militant control and break the Taliban grip over a wide area of their southern heartland.

Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, NATO commander of forces in southern Afghanistan, said Afghan and coalition troops, aided by 60 helicopters, made a ``successful insertion'' into Marjah in southern Helmand province. He said the operation was going ``without a hitch.''

But there were military casualties. The British Ministry of Defense said one of its soldiers was killed by an explosion while on vehicle patrol in Nad Ali district, north of Marjah. Another NATO service member, whose nationality was not immediately disclosed, was killed by gunfire, a spokesman for the coalition said.

Elsewhere in the south, three US soldiers were killed by a bomb in an attack unrelated to the operation, NATO said.

Though the bulk of the troops attacking Marjah are American, British and Canadian troops also swept into Taliban areas to the north of the town, seeking to clear a wide swath of villages that had been under Taliban control for several years.

A British general said the more than 1,000 U.K. troops involved ``have successfully secured the area militarily.''

Maj. Gen. Gordon Messenger told reporters in London that British troops have only had to deal with ``sporadic attacks from a distance'' and roadside bombs.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-5570528,flstry-1.cms

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Nawaz sees Zardari’s democracy at par with dictatorship

February 14, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) Chief Mian Nawaz Sharif said the democracy is at risk in the hands of President Asif Ali Zardari and that he is hugely disappointed by his measures, Geo News reported Sunday.

The government’s conflict with the judiciary is quite perilous and the Constitution should be put in action for the judges’ appointments, he said talking to journalists at Punjab House here on the occasion of party’s meeting to discuss evolving situation.

He observed there is no difference between Zardari’s democracy and the dictatorship and that the President Zardari is the great danger to democracy itself.

Responding a query, he said Shahbaz Sharif met the Army Chief with his nod.

Earlier, addressing the party’s meeting, he said the PML-N would play its role for the democracy and side with the institutions to ensure their supremacy.

Sharif said if the Constitution has not been put in practice on the issue relating the judges’ issue, his party would stand by the higher judiciary, as it did during the movement for the restoration of the judiciary.

Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Chaudhry Nisar, Raja Zafarul Haq, Sardar Mehtab Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal, Javed Hashmi, Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and Ghaus Ali Shah attended the meeting.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/updates.asp?id=98639      

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Afghan operation is new war model

Dexter Filkins

14 February 2010,

KABUL: For all the fighting that lies ahead over the next several days, no one doubts that the American and Afghan troops swarming into the Taliban redoubt of Marjah will ultimately clear it of insurgents. And that is when the real test will begin.

For much of the past eight years, American and Nato forces have mounted other large military operations to clear towns and cities of Taliban insurgents. And then, almost invariably, they have cleared out, never leaving behind enough soldiers or police officers to hold the place on their own.

And so, almost always, the Taliban returned — and, after a time, so did the American and Nato troops, to clear the place all over again. “Mowing the grass,” the soldiers and Marines derisively call it. This time, in Marjah, the largest Taliban stronghold, American and Afghan commanders say they will do something they have never done before: bring in an Afghan government and police force behind them. American and British troops will stay on to support them. “We’ve got a government in a box, ready to roll in,” said Gen Stanley McChrystal, the top American commander here.

For the first time, Nato and Afghan officials have assembled a large team of Afghan administrators and an Afghan governor that will move into Marjah the moment shooting stops. More than 1,900 police are also on standing by. Indeed, Marjah is intended to serve as a prototype for a new type of military operation, based on the counterinsurgency thinking propounded by Gen McChrystal in the prelude to President Barack Obama’s decision of troops surge.

“We want to show people that we can deliver police, and services, and development,” said Lt Gen Mohammed Karimi, the deputy chief of staff of Afghan army.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Afghan-operation-is-new-war-model/articleshow/5571077.cms

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Taliban men may have fled now to launch future attacks

14 February 2010

 MARJAH: Teams of Taliban fighters were falling back deeper into the town, perhaps to try to regroup and mount harassment attacks to prevent the government from rushing in aid and public services, said a few civilians who ventured out to talk to the Marines.

The long-awaited assault on Marjah is the biggest offensive since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan and is a major test of a new Nato strategy focused on protecting civilians. President Hamid Karzai called on Afghan and international troops ‘‘to exercise absolute caution to avoid harming civilians”,’ including avoiding airstrikes in areas where civilians are at risk.

A Taliban spokesman insisted the insurgents were still resisting the allied assault and that the town remained under their control.

‘‘They left with their motorcycles and their guns. They went deeper into town,’’ said shopkeeper Abdul Kader, as troops searched a poppy field next to his house.

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http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Taliban-men-may-have-fled-now-to-launch-future-attacks/articleshow/5571075.cms

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Three US soldiers killed in Afghanistan blast

February 13, 2010

Three US soldiers were killed when a homemade bomb exploded Saturday in southern Afghanistan, the same day thousands of US, British and Afghan forces began the biggest-ever operation in the country.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), in a statement, confirmed the deaths of the soldiers, but said they were not part of the major operations carried out by some 15,000 US-led forces in southern Helmand province.

A suicide bomber also hit a NATO-led convoy in Kandahar city, the provincial capital for the province of the same name on Saturday, Sardar Mohammad Zazai, the provincial police chief said.

He could not say if there were any casualties. But Mohammad Nader, a resident of the city's Bagh-e-Pul area, said that NATO helicopters landed in the area, suggesting that there could have been casualties. NATO forces often evacuate their victims by choppers.

NATO military would not confirm if it was the same incident.

In the neighbouring province of Helmand, the combined forces of the operation named Mushtarak, which means "together", began their highly publicized offensive shortly after midnight Saturday. They have so far killed five insurgents, officials said.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/afghanistan/Three-US-soldiers-killed-in-Afghanistan-blast/Article1-508509.aspx

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10 rockets strike American-Iraqi base; 2 injured

AP, 13 February 2010,

BAGHDAD: The US military says a barrage of rockets has struck a joint American-Iraqi base south of Baghdad, injuring at least two people and damaging equipment.

The military says about 10 rockets struck Camp Sparrowhawk, near the town of Amarrah. It says the attack began early Saturday morning.

The rocket attack is the first major strike against a U.S. base in months, and it comes a day after an Iraqi-US raid searching for weapons smugglers at a nearby village left at least five people dead.

Maj. Myles Caggins, a military spokesman, says the rockets have injured two Iraqi soldiers. He also says there was minor damage to equipment.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/10-rockets-strike-American-Iraqi-base-2-injured/articleshow/5569773.cms

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Iraq election officials confirm ban on Sunni candidates

Sunday, February 14, 2010

* Two top Sunni politicians among those banned for March 7 parliamentaryc elections

* Iraqiya coalition suspends campaign to protest

BAGHDAD: Iraqi officials confirmed on Saturday that appeals by prominent Sunni politicians against a move to ban them from next month’s election had failed, opening the door to sectarian recriminations that could mar the vote.

Many Iraqi Sunnis are alarmed by a campaign by the Shia-led government against people accused of links to former Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein’s Baath party, and a decision by a panel to ban almost 500 candidates because of Baathist links. The controversy has threatened to reopen old wounds just when the sectarian slaughter triggered by the 2003 US invasion has begun to fade and Iraq has started to attract multibillion-dollar investments from global oil firms.

Prominent politicians: Usama al-Ani, deputy head of the independent electoral commission, or IHEC, said the agency had received a formal notification from an appeals panel that only 26 appeals by banned candidates had been successful. One hundred and forty-five appeals were rejected, he said. Other candidates had been voluntarily replaced by their parties.

“Among those whose appeals were rejected were Saleh al-Mutlaq and Dhafer al-Ani,” said Ani, referring to two Sunni politicians who are among the most prominent Sunnis in Iraq. The furore over the banned candidates has come to dominate the campaign for the March 7 parliamentary election, which kicked off officially on Friday.

Full report at: dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\02\14\story_14-2-2010_pg4_1

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Bomb explosions at political offices in Baghdad wound eight

AFP, 14 February 2010,

 BAGHDAD: Bombs exploded at five political party offices in Baghdad, wounding eight people including three who work for a leading MP banned from Iraq's March 7 general election.

An interior ministry official said a bomb struck a campaign office of Saleh al-Mutlak, in the Sunni stronghold of Adhamiyah, barely 24 hours after he was disqualified from the vote on account of alleged links to the outlawed Baath party of Saddam Hussein.

"An IED (improvised explosive device) exploded inside the electoral office," said Haider al-Mullah, a candidate from Mutlak's party, the National Dialogue Front, part of a secular coalition contesting the election.

"It's a covert action against the Iraqi nationalist forces and particularly Mutlak. We warned before that there would be attacks against us," Mullah said yesterday.

The interior ministry official said four other bombs at secular political party offices had wounded five people. All five attacks occurred between 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm (2330-0030 IST).

Mutlak was the number two candidate and top Sunni figure on former prime minister Iyad Allawi's secular Iraqiya list, before being barred on Friday.

Iraqiya said earlier yesterday it was halting its campaign, after the decision to bar Mutlak and other members of its coalition.

The vote, the second parliamentary ballot since Saddam was toppled, is seen as a test of reconciliation between the population's Sunni minority and the Shiite majority now represented by Maliki's government.

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http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Bomb-explosions-at-political-offices-in-Baghdad-wound-eight/articleshow/5571378.cms

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US, NATO forces storm Marjah as Taliban flee

February 14, 2010

Thousands of US Marines and Afghan soldiers stormed the Taliban stronghold of Marjah before dawn on Saturday, sweeping by air and ground against scattered resistance into the biggest southern town under militant control.

The massive offensive was aimed at breaking the Taliban grip over a wide area of their southern heartland. Maj Gen Nick Carter, NATO commander of forces in southern Afghanistan, said Afghan and coalition troops, aided by 60 helicopters, made a “successful insertion’’ into Marjah in southern Helmand province without incurring any casualties.

“The operation is going without a hitch, the general said as thousands of British, US and Canadian troops swept into Taliban areas to the north of Marjah.

There have been no coalition casualties reported, but NATO said three US soldiers were killed on Saturday in a bombing elsewhere in southern Afghanistan.

At least 20 insurgents have been killed in the Helmand operation, said Gen Sher Mohammad Zazai, the commander of Afghan forces in the region. Troops have recovered Kalashnikov rifles, heavy machine guns and grenades from 11 insurgents captured so far.

In Kabul, Defence Minister Rahim Wardak told reporters at mid-afternoon that most of the resistance was centred around the main market district of Marjah.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/235910/US-NATO-forces-storm--Marjah-as-Taliban-flee.html

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Nato troops fight gunmen and IEDs

14 February 2010

US, UK and Afghan forces have faced gun battles and numerous booby-traps on day two of a major offensive against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.

Thousands of troops are advancing carefully, a day after swooping on Marjah and Nad Ali in Helmand province.

In the operation's first known civilian deaths, Nato said rockets aimed at insurgents missed their target and hit a house, killing 12 people.

A third Nato death related to Operation Moshtarak has also been confirmed.

American-led Operation Moshtarak - meaning "together" in the Dari language - is the biggest attack since the Taliban fell in 2001.

The operation is the first big test of US President Barack Obama's new "surge" strategy for Afghanistan.

Tribal meetings

The BBC's Frank Gardner, at Nato's Kandahar headquarters, says that building by building, compound by compound, US Marines and British troops are trying to clear Marjah and Nad Ali districts of hundreds, possibly thousands, of booby traps planted by the insurgents.

But, our correspondent says, the real challenge is still to come: building lasting security for the residents of central Helmand.

Many residents are believed to be cautious about welcoming government forces for fear they will soon depart again.

So the operation's success or failure depends on whether it can be swiftly followed by security and good governance, and win the support of the people, our correspondent adds.

Nato officers and Afghan troops are holding shuras (meetings) with tribal leaders, and plan to bring in hundreds of Afghan police in the coming days to help secure the captured areas.

One tribal council member in Nad Ali, Abdul Rehman Sabir, told Agence France-Presse news agency he thought Nato had the right approach this time.

Full report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8514825.stm

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White House lawyer named Muslim envoy

Feb. 14, 2010

White House attorney Rashad Hussain has been named by President Obama as special envoy to an international conference on Muslim unity.

Obama Saturday night appointed Hussain to represent the United States at the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a coalition of 57 nations, the White House announced.

Hussain is an "accomplished lawyer and a close and trusted member of my White House staff," Obama said, noting Hussain would strengthen the administration's policy of outreach to the world's Muslims.

As deputy associate counsel to Obama, Hussain has worked on national security, new media, and science and technology issues. Previously, he served as a trial lawyer for the Justice Department and as a legislative aide on the House Judiciary Committee.

Hussain attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and obtained his law degree from Yale. He holds master's degrees in public administration and Arabic and Islamic studies from Harvard University.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2010/02/14/White-House-lawyer-named-Muslim-envoy/UPI-83211266151391/

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Muslims stage dharna for quota

February 14, 2010

ELURU: Muslim minorities on Saturday staged a protest in defence of 4 per cent reservations for them in education and jobs in the wake of the government’s quota order being squashed by the High Court.

They urged the government to file a review petition in the appellate court on the High Court ruling and stick to its commitment with regard to reservations for Muslim.

http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/14/stories/2010021453730500.htm

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Govt should check human rights violations: Fazl

Sunday, 14 Feb, 2010

LAHORE: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F amir Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said Pakistan’s economic salvation lies in its economic strength which can be achieved only through unity among political and economic forces.

Speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Saturday on being invited to express his views on the proposed National Economic Agenda 2010-30, he said the peace was a prerequisite for economic progress and prosperity.

He said the government would have to review its policies and reset priorities to achieve these goals.

The Maulana said the government would not only have to review its foreign policy but also check violations of human rights which had become one of the root-causes of instability and the adverse law and order situation.

Appreciating the LCCI initiative to evolve the NEA in consultation with political forces, he said the global situation had entirely changed and only economically-developed countries could sustain in the world.

He cited the example of Russia which was a superpower but had lost its importance only because of lack of economic strength.

Similarly, he said China was avoiding use of force against Taiwan despite having a strong defence and was utilising all its energies on attaining the status of an economic superpower instead.

He said the United States would have to pull out of Afghanistan or else it would become economically weak and lose its influence in the world.

The JUI leader said that growing influence of international financial institutions provided a serious cause for concern. It was very discouraging that no appointment could be made in financial institutions like the SBP without the consent of the IMF and the World Bank.

Full report at: www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/16-govt-should-check-human-rights-violations-fazl-hs-01

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Somali minister dies of wounds after suicide bomb

Sunday, February 14, 2010

MOGADISHU: Somalia’s sports minister has died in hospital in Saudi Arabia weeks after he was critically wounded in a suicide bombing at a medical graduation ceremony in Mogadishu, relatives and officials said on Saturday. Saleban Olad Roble passed away on Friday at a hospital in the Saudi capital Riyadh, where he and other victims of the December 3 blast at the Shamo Hotel had been flown for treatment. Twenty-two people were killed, including three other government ministers — education, higher education and health — and 10 members of Benadir University’s faculty and students. “We are arranging a state funeral,” Ali Nur, Somalia’s ambassador to neighbouring Kenya, told Reuters. “We are still not sure whether his body will be carried back from Saudi Arabia. Our condolences go to his family and colleagues.” reuters

http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\02\14\story_14-2-2010_pg4_4

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Egyptians plead not guilty to Copts’ killing

SEEKING JUSTICE: The relatives of the victims react in court during the first day of the trial of three men charged with the murder of six Coptic Christians and a Muslim policeman near Luxor. The trial began on Saturday. (Reuters)  

QENA, Egypt: Three Egyptian Muslims accused of gunning down six Coptic Christians last month in southern Egypt pleaded not guilty on Saturday at the start of their trial amid heavy security.

A Muslim policeman was also killed when three gunmen raked worshippers emerging from services with bullets on the eve of the Coptic Orthodox Christmas on Jan. 6 in the village of Nagaa Hammadi.

It was the deadliest attack since 2000, when 20 Copts were killed in sectarian clashes.

Saturday’s hearing in an emergency security court in the city of Qena, capital of the Qena governorate where Nagaa Hammadi is located, was packed with journalists, lawyers and police, an AFP correspondent said.

The defendants — Mohammed Al-Kammuni, Qorshi Abul Haggag and Hendawi Sayyed — pleaded “not guilty” as the judge read out the charges against them. The suspects were arrested after the attack and a Qena prosecutor charged them with “premeditated murder, putting the life of citizens in danger and damage to public and private property,” a judicial source has said.

The killings sparked outrage among the country’s Copts and led to clashes with police as Nagaa Hammadi residents accused the authorities of refusing to recognize the attack as sectarian.

International condemnation also poured in after the attack, with the United States saying the incident showed “an atmosphere of intolerance” in Egypt and Pope Benedict XVI saying it has “caused indignation among many people.” Egyptian officials have denied a sectarian element in the attack, insisting it is a purely criminal act and have linked it to the alleged rape of a Muslim girl by a Coptic man in November.

Copts, who account for nearly 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 80 million, are the Middle East’s largest Christian community.

http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4&section=0&article=132925&d=14&m=2&y=2010&pix=world.jpg&category=World

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Cyber Crime to Shoot Up as Cupid Aims his Arrows

14 February 2010

DUBAI — Security vendors are anticipating a rise in criminal activity today as cupid aims his arrow on the unsuspecting and the luckless lovers surfing the Internet for messages, gifts or dates..

Previous years have shown that along with flowers, chocolates and other gifts, malware related spam in the form of Valentine’s messages is to be expected.

Researchers at Trend Micro, a global internet security firm, have already identified targeted email scams aimed at luring unsuspecting consumers onto websites which advertise bogus offers on gifts and events for their special day.

As the popularity of social networks continues to grow and dominate consumers’ web time, cyber criminals are shifting their efforts from email to targeted threats on social networking sites.

“While we still expect people’s inboxes and Internet searches to be filled with malicious Valentines, we urge people not to let their guard down when it comes to Valentine’s messages on social networks”,  warned Rik Ferguson, senior security advisor at Trend Micro

Recent research from the Online Publishers Association showed that use of sites offering pure communications such as email and IM had decreased by 41 per cent since 2003.

“You can bet that online criminals are aware of this too and will be tailoring part of their St. Valentine’s Day Massacre to social networks and new media”, Rik added.

The festive season has already seen a surge in the number of holiday themed Apps and researchers are expecting to see the same on Valentine’s Day with over 231 Valentine’s related applications already available on Facebook to date.

Full report at: /www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2010/February/theuae_February406.xml&section=theuae&col=

URL of this Page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/haya-counters-valentine-in-pakistan/d/2461


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