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Islamic World News ( 18 Sept 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Hindu-Muslim Scuffles Lead to Heightened Communal Tension in UK's Leicester after A Group Led A March Chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’

New Age Islam News Bureau

19 September 2022

 

Leicestershire Police. Photo: Video screengrab

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• Darul Uloom Deoband Decides Not To Oppose the Survey of Unaided Madrasas In UP To Debunk Allegations of Promoting Extremism and Receiving Illegal Foreign Funds

• Twitter Is a Major Hub of Anti-Muslim Propaganda in India: Study by Islamic Council of Victoria

• Taliban Makes USD 200 mn Annually by Indulging in Criminal Activities inside Pakistan

• Canadian Human Rights Chief Forced To Resign Over Islamophobic Comments

 

Europe

• Community leaders call for calm after Hindu-Muslim violence in UK city

• Armenian 'radicals' storm Azerbaijan's Embassy in France

• YPG/PKK supporters distribute terror propaganda at cultural festival in Netherlands

• UK invitation to Saudi MBS for Queen's funeral draws harsh criticism

• European court urges France to repatriate Daesh-linked family in Syria

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India

• Govt to Set Up Panel to Study Status of Scheduled Castes Converts to Christianity and Islam

• Yati Narsinghanand booked for call to blow up madrasas, Aligarh Muslim University

• Tradition of keeping Muslim in puja panel continues

• Gyanvapi case: Mosque committee seeks 8 weeks to prepare for hearing

• 'We Will Definitely Show Our Papers': Why Muslims In Jharkhand Are Celebrating New Domicile Policy

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Pakistan

• New COAS to be installed through ‘set traditional way’: Asif

• Rallies in Swat, Parachinar demand peace, action against terrorists

• Punjab MPA Khalil Tahir Sandhu to move SJC against Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial

• Pakistan PM Shehbaz, brother Nawaz agree on conducting next elections at stipulated time

• Saudi confirms rollover of $3 billion deposit for one year: State Bank of Pakistan

• Fighting to uphold, strengthen democracy since Gen Zia’s martial law: Fazl

• Selection of army chief must not be politicised: Asif

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North America

• Somali militia beheads insurgents after battle, witnesses say

• US Secretary of State to meet chairman of Yemeni presidential council

• US Muslim group presents award to Turkish first lady for her humanitarian efforts

• Türkiye expects US's cooperation in fight against PKK/YPG, FETO: Erdogan

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South Asia

• Foreign Exchange Auction; Taliban Sells $11 Million

• The Taliban, US Exchange Prisoners: Acting Foreign Minister

• Afghanistan sees sharp rise in deaths as Taliban struggle to take on ISIS, NRF

• Rohingya killing near Bangladesh-Myanmar border raises Dhaka security concerns

• Taliban to Ban TikTok and PubG Apps in Afghanistan

• Afghan Envoy at UN Signs Condolence Book for Late British Queen

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Southeast Asia

• What Rakyat Want: ILHAM Center Focuses On Malay Muslim Wishes

• A GTA-Led Government Will Reflect Malaysia's Multicultural Society, Says Dr M

• AGC appeals Maria Chin’s leave to challenge Shariah proceedings

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Arab World

• Kurdish Forces End 3-Month Operation against ISIS Supporters in Syria’s Al-Hol Camp

• Turkey strikes Syria regime outpost, kills three: War monitor

• Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed meets King Charles at Buckingham Palace in London

• Russian jets strike terrorist positions in Syria’s militant-held Idlib region: Defence ministry

• Biggest illegal US military base in Syria comes under intense rocket attack: Reports

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Mideast

• Yemen Separatists Seize Al-Qaeda Stronghold in Abyan

• Hamas: Palestinians must keep firm on Israel’s settlement expansion

• Turkey’s Erdogan targets joining of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: Media

• Human Rights Chief: Iran Seriously Following Up UN Rapporteur Report on Impacts of US Sanctions

• Iranian Police Say Death of Mahsa Amini Was ‘Unfortunate’

• Iran’s President Raisi repeats call for nuclear deal guarantees ahead of UN visit

• Iran’s Khamenei appears in public after reports of ‘critical’ health

• Abbas to use UN speech to rally support for Mideast peace-making

• 26 PKK/YPG terrorists neutralized within, beyond Türkiye’s borders

• 108 Yemenis killed by mines, cluster bombs, other war remnants since truce: Report

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Africa

• Tunisia to Question Ennahda Leader on Terrorism Accusations

• Tunisia expects to reach loan agreement with IMF in coming weeks: Cenbank governor

• Protesters in Niger call for departure of French troops

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:   https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/hindu-muslim-leicester-uk-communal/d/127982

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Hindu-Muslim Scuffles Lead to Heightened Communal Tension in UK's Leicester After A Group Led A March Chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’

 

Leicestershire Police. Photo: Video screengrab

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September 19, 2022

New Delhi: Leicester city in the United Kingdom has seen an escalation of scuffles and communal tension leading to the arrest of two in an area which has a mixed population of Hindus and Muslims, British media outlets have reported. BBC has called it a “large-scale disaster.”

The disturbances first began after the India-Pakistan Asia Cup cricket match of August 28. The latest episode has led to community leaders and police calling for calm.

On Saturday, September 17, a group led a march chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ through east Leicester, a community leader named Rukhsana Hussain, told The Guardian. A woman who had witnessed Saturday’s disturbances was quoted by BBC as having said that there were “people wearing balaclavas or with masks over their faces, and with hoods pulled up.”

“They were throwing bottles and all sorts,” a local of Belgrave Road in the eastern part of Leicester, Majid Freeman, told The Guardian. “They were coming past our mosques, taunting the community and physically beating people up randomly,” he is additionally quoted as having said.

Freeman said that in response, young Muslims led a march. “‘We can’t trust the police, we’re going to defend our community ourselves’,” is what they thought, he said.

One Drishti Mae, who is described as a former chairperson of a national Hindu organisation, is quoted by the newspaper as having said that the recent unrest was unprecedented but that it was Hindus who were being targeted and harassed. She described Hindus as a “first-generation migrant community.”

The Guardian report notes that leaders of the Muslim community, Hindu and Jain temples, and community organisations in Leicester have all promised to work to get to the bottom of what caused the march on Saturday.

“We need calm – the disorder has to stop and it has to stop now. There are some very dissatisfied young men who have been causing havoc,” Suleman Nagdi, of the Leicester-based Federation of Muslim Organisations told BBC.

Leicestershire police has been releasing frequent tweets, the latest of which says the situation is now calm. Earlier, its temporary chief constable Rob Nixon had released a video message urging peace, noting that this was an “unusual occurrence” for such a culturally diverse place.

“We are aware of a video circulating showing a man pulling down a flag outside a religious building on Melton Road, Leicester,” police also noted, adding that the matter will be investigated.

One of the Guardian reporters Aina J. Khan later tweeted a long thread in which she essayed her experience reporting the story and the comments she received from men purportedly aligned with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

“The interview got heated when another man, an RSS member, accused me of bias when I shared concerns about yesterday’s impromptu marchers chanting “Jai Shri Ram,” a Hindu chant appropriated by extremists in India, that has now become synonymous with anti-Muslim hatred,” Khan wrote.

Eventually, she tweeted in the thread, she was accused of being “a member of the Taliban, an extremist, playing the victim card” and of not “scrutinising Pakistan’s treatment of its minorities and fixating on India’s treatment of its minorities, of ignoring how Muslims are raping everyone.”

Khan also tweeted a video showing her audio recording the three men seen loudly speaking to her on the above topics. Khan wrote in the thread that she was also filmed and that had she not been visibly Muslim she would not have been treated like this.

“There is no doubt these men were not representative of the Hindu community,” she added.

Source: The Wire

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://thewire.in/communalism/hindu-muslim-scuffles-lead-to-heightened-communal-tension-in-uks-leicester

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Darul Uloom Deoband Decides Not To Oppose the Survey of Unaided Madrasas In UP To Debunk Allegations of Promoting Extremism and Receiving Illegal Foreign Funds

 

Darul Uloom / File photo

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Piyush Srivastava   |   Lucknow  

19.09.22

The Darul Uloom Deoband has decided not to oppose the survey of unaided madrasas ordered by the Uttar Pradesh government but use it to debunk allegations that these Islamic schools promote extremism and receive illegal foreign funds.

A convention of the 250-odd madrasas that the Darul Uloom has countrywide, held at Deoband in Saharanpur district on Sunday, asked the about 50 madrasas affiliated to the 156-year-old Sunni seminary in Uttar Pradesh to cooperate with the survey teams.

It also asked these madrasas to get their records in order before the government charges them with any offence, reflecting fears that the survey might be used to shut down some of these schools on the pretext of funding irregularities.

“A narrative has been created in recent years that madrasas are producing anti-national elements and engaging in all sorts of wrongdoing,” Arshad Madani, a leader of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, a leading organisation of Islamic scholars, told reporters after the meeting.

“We now have an opportunity to frustrate the design of the anti-Islamic and anti-madrasa forces by proving that we are clean.”

Madani, a Darul Uloom alumnus who had been invited to the convention, added: “We have asked the madrasa managements in the state to check their land records. If they are on government land, gram sabha land or forestland, they must demolish the building themselves before the government does.

“If someone has donated them the land, they should recheck whether the donor gave them a clean piece of land. We will not help any madrasa or mosque if it has been built on government or disputed land. It’s anyway haram (prohibited in Islam) to use land that’s not in the name of a masjid or madrasa or the madrasa’s owner.”

Madani denied the allegation from some BJP leaders that madrasas have been promoting terrorism.

“Someone may come to my house or yours, or to a masjid or a temple, and stay there if nobody knows their reality and if the security agencies allow them to move freely,” he said.

“It’s not me or you or the religious places that are responsible — the law agencies must do their job honestly and without malice against any religion.”

Madani said the Darul Uloom had urged “all madrasas in the state to ensure they teach schoolchildren free, which should include their education, stationery, clothes and food”.

The Yogi Adityanath government recently asked district magistrates to form teams and survey all the state’s 15,000 unaided madrasas. The survey began last week. The Darul’s about 50 madrasas in the state are all unaided.

Sunday’s convention was held on the grounds of the Masjid Rashidiya near the Darul Uloom. Reporters were denied entry but the seminary put up chairs and tables at a designated area outside the premises where Madani addressed the media.

Darul Uloom vice-chancellor Abul Qasim Nomani had on September 6 said the convention would be held on September 24, but it was later advanced.

Nomani had said the proposed survey was “alarming in the given situation when Islamic institutions are under attack”.

Source: Telegraph India

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/darul-uloom-deoband-ready-for-madrasa-survey/cid/1887462

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Twitter Is a Major Hub of Anti-Muslim Propaganda in India: Study by Islamic Council Of Victoria

 

 

Syed Ali Mujtaba

19th September 2022

Twitter has grown to be a major hub for the spread of anti-Muslim propaganda which has a disastrous impact on the Muslim minority communities around the world.

This is revealed by the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) Headquartered in Istanbul, Turkey. TRT World quoted a study done by the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) – the apex Muslim body in the Australian state of Victoria. ICV study has found that the US, the UK, and India contributed a staggering 86% of anti-Muslim content on Twitter.

The ICV investigation revealed that there were at least 3,759,180 Islamophobic posts during a three-year period made on Twitter between 28 August 2019 and 27 August 2021.

Researchers from the ICV identified FOUR key themes that normally ran on Twitter playing upon its Islamophobic content. First, the connection between Islam and terrorism, second, the portrayal of Muslims as sexual assaulters, third, Muslim immigrants are displacing white people in the West and Hindus in India, and fourth, the labeling of Halal as an inhumane practice.

Twitter spreading Islamophobic content in India

The ICV researchers hold India’s ruling party; the BJP responsible for inciting anti-Muslim prejudice in the country. “The BJP has actively normalized hatred towards Muslims in India to such an extent that 55.12% of anti-Muslim hatred tweets originate on Twitter in India,” says ICV researchers, as quoted by TRT world.

ICV further ascribed the spike in anti-Muslim sentiment on Indian Twitter accounts to laws that discriminate against Muslims and deny them citizenship.

The ICV researchers conclude that there is a direct link between online hatred and offline hate crimes in India. “Social media companies like Twitter must take responsible action to halt anti-Muslim hate Tweets,” the ICV researcher suggested.

Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at syedalimujtaba2007@gmail.com

Source: Siasat Daily

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.siasat.com/twitter-is-a-major-hub-of-anti-muslim-propaganda-in-india-study-2415859/

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Taliban makes USD 200 mn annually by indulging in criminal activities inside Pakistan

 

Representative Image

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18 September, 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], September 18 (ANI): Taliban has been making around USD 200 million every year by indulging in criminal activities in Pakistan, including extortion, media reports said.

Pakistan People’s Party Senator Mustafa Nawaz Kokhar claimed that a high-ranking Pakistani government official revealed in a meeting of the National Security Committee of the National Assembly that the Afghan Taliban have been generating around USD 200 million annually through various illegal means, reported The News International.

In a tweet, PPP Senator wrote, “Aren’t (Taliban) they hand in glove with the TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan).” In a similar commentary earlier, PPP Senator Kokhar said that dozens have been killed by the TTP in Swat, Kurram and other places.

Sunni Muslim groups, the Deobandi Tehereek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and the rival Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) that represents the Barelvis are fomenting sectarian violence across Pakistan.

A just-published study by the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) on September 5 said that this could grow with the current political acrimony and economic stress which threatens the vast region around Pakistan, reported Islam Khabar.

Titled “A New Era of Sectarian Violence in Pakistan Asia Report” it predicts that the TLP, recognized by the Election Commission of Pakistan as a political party despite its record of violence, could consolidate its political clout and threaten the mainstream political discourse during the elections, as of now due in the summer of 2023.

The report reinforces the conclusion reached by security experts earlier that the TTP, TLP, and other militant groups have become affiliates of the Islamic State Province of Khorasan (ISPK) that have grown out of the tribal belt that straddles Afghanistan and Pakistan to other provinces.

“These two groups are very different and responsible for some of the country’s worst inter-communal bloodshed. Sectarian militancy thus extends across the spectrum of Sunni Islamist groups. Muslim minorities, particularly Shias, are deeply vulnerable. Vigilantism is a danger as hardliners mobilise around allegations of blasphemy to gain political clout,” said the report.

Sectarian violence is rising and spreading across Pakistan, feeding domestic terrorism and hatred in the region around and the report holds all state institutions responsible for the competitive activities of the Sunni Muslim groups, reported Islam Khabar.

Of the two, the TTP, responsible for 83,000 deaths since 2008, has been defying the Pakistani state and operating with impunity from the Afghan territory with tacit help from the Taliban, the new rulers and ideological comrades.

“The rise of a local Islamic State franchise and the growing influence of a hardline and violent protest movement known as “Labaik” that draws support mostly from Pakistan’s Barelvi majority, open a new chapter in the country’s sectarian violence, which until recently was driven largely by Deobandi groups,” the report says.

While the Pakistan government is struggling to tame the TTP, it has been mollycoddling the TLP, also using it to fight the ‘nationalist’ groups who demand justice and jobs.

The study seriously faults the Pakistani counter-terrorism approach as mostly reactive, when it should be proactive, because all institutions, from the politicians and the army to the police and the judiciary, are compromised, reported Islam Khabar.

“Pakistan’s counter-terrorism approach has achieved short-term successes but neglected long-term strategies to deny civic space to violent sectarian outfits. Government policy has often amplified rather than tamped down sectarian rhetoric. Several senior serving and retired counter-terrorism, intelligence and regular law enforcement officials rightly contend that, in the past, the state has prematurely declared victory over such groups,” added the report.

Moreover, the ICG study names mainstream political parties that have covert links with and support from the sectarian bodies whose storm-troopers are used to settle rival political scores and spread fear and mayhem, especially during elections.

From time to time, public forums and even the floors of National and provincial assemblies, are used to spew venom against religious and ethnic minorities, reported Islam Khabar. (ANI)

Source: The Print

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://theprint.in/world/taliban-makes-usd-200-mn-annually-by-indulging-in-criminal-activities-inside-pakistan/1132940/

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Canadian Human Rights Chief Forced To Resign Over Islamophobic Comments

 

The human rights commission chief for Canada’s western province of Alberta has been removed over Islamophobic comments he made in 2009.

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17 September 2022

The human rights commission chief for Canada’s western province of Alberta has been removed over Islamophobic comments he made in 2009.

Collin May, a lawyer from Calgary, was forced to resign after a number of Canadian community organizations called for his removal.

May was appointed to a five-year term as chief of the Alberta Human Rights Commission in July after having served as a member since 2019.

On Monday, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) and nearly 30 other community groups sent a letter to Justice Minister Tyler Shandro calling for May's resignation after his Islamophobic comments resurfaced in July.

That year, in a book review, May said Islam was "not a peaceful religion misused by radicals" and instead was "one of the most militaristic religions known to man."

In their letter, the NCCM and other groups said May had agreed to a dialogue with the Muslim community, but later declined dates to meet and then also sent letters threatening to sue those criticizing him.

"In a time where brazen attacks on Muslims in Alberta have been growing, specifically targeting Black Muslim women wearing hijab, Mr. May's decision to threaten to sue his critics, while simultaneously suggesting outreach with Alberta's Muslim communities, has been extraordinary and shocking," the groups said.

"This behavior cannot be countenanced from the Chair of the Alberta Human Rights Commission."

On Monday, Shandro asked May to resign, according to Canadian news outlets.

Said Omar, the NCCM's advocacy officer, also said in a statement, “We can't have the normalization of Islamophobia and racism in human rights works.” Omar thanked Shandro’s decision.

May was removed following an order issued by Shandro late on Thursday. The commission's website shows May's term as chief ended this month, but has not commented, announced, or given a reason for the former chief's resignation.

The Alberta Human Rights Commission has now placed Evaristus Oshionebo as the new acting chief of the commission.

May had resisted the resignation, with his Toronto-based lawyer Kathryn Marshalll telling Canadian media on Thursday morning that he would "not be resigning his position."

On Friday, his lawyer said May will be taking legal action for what she described as his “unjust, unexplained and outrageous termination.”

Hate crimes against Muslims across Canada jumped by 71 percent in 2021, according to a report released by the government agency Statistics Canada last month.

The study found the number of recorded attacks against Muslims increased from 84 incidents in 2020 to 144 in 2021. In 2019, a total of 182 incidents targeting Muslims had been reported.

Experts in Canada previously told the Middle East Eye that while the country is seen by the outside world as a haven for multiculturalism, Canada has witnessed decades of anti-Muslim rhetoric both from politicians and the media.

Last year, in reports published by the NCCM, it was suggested that the federal government take measures to combat Islamophobic actions, including a budget to support families affected by violence against Muslims.

The group also called for Canadian provinces to ensure their anti-racism directorates were well resourced and for municipalities to fund community-based efforts to tackle Islamophobia.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/09/17/689381/Canada-Alberta-Collin-May-resignation-Islamophobia-comments-NCCM--hate-crimes

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Europe

 Community leaders call for calm after Hindu-Muslim violence in UK city

19 September 2022

Muslim and Hindu community leaders have called for calm after young men clashed with each other on Saturday in Leicester, a city in central UK.

Tensions remained high on Sunday with the police saying it have increased its presence on the streets and started snap checks to stop youngsters from getting into more further confrontation.

People took to social media on Saturday evening sharing footage and pictures of a mob chanting "Jai Shree Ram" (Victory to Lord Rama) slogans as it marched through Belgrave Road, the centre of the Asian community in the city. TRT World wasn't able to independently authenticate the footage.

In the videos shared on social media, dozens of masked men can be seen marching as police officers try to keep the them in line.

Some people in the midst of a mob gathered on Belgrave Road hurled glass bottles at Muslim counter-protesters, Anadolu Agency reported.

Muslim leaders have asked community members to stop sharing unverified videos and news on social media, which can create more confusion.

A large number of police were dispatched to increase security, authorities said.

"Violence and disorder will not be tolerated in our city. Dispersal and stop and search powers are in place and are being used. We are calling for calm and telling everyone to return home. Only share information that has been checked and is true," the police department said in a tweet.

The police also dispelled a rumour circulating on social media that a mosque had been attacked.

In a later statement, the police announced that the situation in the east of Leicester was under control, that people were dispersed, and investigations were underway.

A cricket passion goes wild

Tensions have been high since August 28 when India defeated Pakistan in a cricket match during the Asia Cup. The match was played in the UAE, but the bitterness of the two arch rivals played out on the streets of Leicester when Indian supporters took to streets chanting anti-Pakistan slogans.

Source: Trt World

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.trtworld.com/europe/community-leaders-call-for-calm-after-hindu-muslim-violence-in-uk-city-60893

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Armenian 'radicals' storm Azerbaijan's Embassy in France

Beyza Binnur Donmez 

18.09.2022

French Armenian supporters stormed the building of Azerbaijan's Embassy in France, according to video footage shared in a tweet by the Azerbaijani ambassador on Sunday.

“Armenian radicals living in France attacked the building of the Azerbaijani Embassy in Paris," Rahman Mustafayev said on Twitter.

"But let's leave the Armenian barbarians aside. Mr. Emmanuel Macron does not protect embassies and ignores our fundamental requirements for our security, which is a shame for France," Mustafayev added.

Footage shows tens of Armenian supporters trying to kick and punch the entrance of the building and using a barricade to break the door while carrying Armenian flags on their backs.

Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry also condemned the "criminal acts" by the Armenian community.

"We strongly condemn the criminal actions of the radical Armenian groups and expect the institutions responsible for preventing such provocations in the respective countries to approach their duties responsibly," the ministry said in a statement.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/armenian-radicals-storm-azerbaijans-embassy-in-france/2688221

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YPG/PKK supporters distribute terror propaganda at cultural festival in Netherlands

Abdullah Asiran  

18.09.2022

Supporters of the YPG/PKK terror organization in the Netherlands distributed terror propaganda at a so-called cultural festival.

Supporters of the terror group gathered in Landgraaf in the Limburg region and spoke against Türkiye and chanted slogans.

Carrying rags symbolizing the YPG/PKK and its leader, Abdullah Ocalan, they demanded Ocalan's release.

Although the PKK is on the EU's terror list, it is noteworthy that its supporters can freely demonstrate in the Netherlands and clothing symbolizing the terror group and Ocalan are not prohibited.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/ypg-pkk-supporters-distribute-terror-propaganda-at-cultural-festival-in-netherlands/2687898

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UK invitation to Saudi MBS for Queen's funeral draws harsh criticism

18 September 2022

The UK’s invitation to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed Bin Salman, to attend Queen Elizabeth II's funeral has ignited a wave of protests and criticism from Saudi dissidents and human rights groups.

A CIA report concluded that the crown prince had ordered the murder and dismemberment of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Both the Saudi government and the prince denied the allegations.

The late journalist’s fiancée, Hatice Gengiz, said the UK's invitation is a stain on the memory of the Queen and that the Saudi prince should be denied the opportunity to seek legitimacy and normalization by attending her funeral.

She also called for him to be arrested when he lands in London, though she doubted this would happen.

A London-based pressure group, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), also said the occasion would give Bin Salman another chance to “whitewash” his human rights records.

The group estimates that since the start of the disastrous war in Yemen eight years ago, Britain has sold the Saudi-led coalition fighting there more than 23 billion dollars worth of arms.

Meanwhile, other activists criticized the UK's decision to invite leaders such as MBS and King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa of Bahrain but to exclude Syrian and Venezuelan leaders.

Ever since MBS became crown prince in 2017, scant political freedoms have disappeared with stiff prison sentences handed down to critics of government, even just for social media posts.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/09/18/689423/UKs-invitation-to-MBS-for-Queens-funeral-draws-criticism-

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European court urges France to repatriate Daesh-linked family in Syria

17 September 2022

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has called on France to repatriate two French citizens who joined the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in Syria, saying Paris has violated human rights.

Reports said on Saturday that one of the women died in Syria and her two children are currently being held in a detention camp north of the Arab country.

The two women traveled to Syria to join the ranks of the terror group and had children there.

The second woman currently lives along with her child in the Al-Roj camp in northeastern Syria, run by the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of mainly US-sponsored Kurdish forces fighting against Damascus in northern and eastern Syria.

France has so far refused to take action to repatriate the family members.

According to the ECHR’s ruling, France’s refusal to send home the woman and children constituted a violation of their rights to “enter the territory of the state of which (one) is a national.”

The grandparents of the children have argued that their grandchildren, who have been prevented from reentering France, are facing inhumane living conditions in the SDF-run camps they live in.

The French Foreign Ministry and Presidency have rejected the grandparents’ initial appeal given that the “individuals concerned had deliberately left to join a terrorist organization.”

The ECHR says France’s refusal to repatriate its citizens violates Protocol No. 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which states that nationals must not be prevented from entering their home state.

“The verdict is long overdue. France, as well as the other 60 countries with citizens unlawfully detained and left behind in camps and prisons in Northeast Syria, must now take urgent action,” said Beatrice Erikson, the founder of Repatriate the Children Sweden.

Innumerable foreign individuals who used to be members of Daesh and their families remain inside SDF-run detention centers north of Syria, namely the infamous Al-Hawl camp and the Al-Roj camp.

The Al-Hawl camp is located on the southern outskirts of the town of al-Hawl in Syria’s energy-rich Hasakah province, where US occupation forces and its allied militants are actively present. Thousands of foreigners from more than 60 countries currently live in Al-Hawl’s “migrant sector.”

Iraq has recently begun to repatriate citizens from Al-Hawl, albeit at a slow rate.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/09/17/689399/France-ECHR-Syria-Daesh-SDF-US-repatriation-

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India

 

Govt to Set Up Panel to Study Status of Scheduled Castes Converts to Christianity and Islam

By Shyamlal Yadav

September 19, 2022

In a move with far-reaching implications, the Centre is all set to constitute a national commission to study the social, economic and educational status of members of Scheduled Castes, or Dalits, who converted to religions other than Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism, The Indian Express has learnt.

The proposal to set up such a commission is being actively discussed at the Centre, and a decision is likely to be taken soon, it is learnt.

Sources in the Ministry of Minority Affairs and the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said they have given the green signal for such a move. It is learnt that consultations on the proposal are currently ongoing among the ministries of Home, Law, Social Justice and Empowerment, and Finance.

The move to set up such a commission assumes significance in the wake of several petitions pending before the Supreme Court seeking SC reservation benefits for Dalits who converted to Christianity or Islam.

The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950, under Article 341 stipulates that no person professing a religion different from Hinduism, Sikhism or Buddhism can be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste. The original order under which only Hindus were classified as SCs was amended in 1956 to include Sikhs, and in 1990 to cover Buddhists.

On August 30, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed a Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, and also comprising Justices Abhay S Oka and Vikram Nath, that he would place on record the Government’s stand on the issue raised by the petitioners. The Bench granted the Solicitor General three weeks’ time and listed the matter on October 11.

“Solicitor General submits that he would like to place on record the current position/ stand on the issue in question which deals with the prayer for extension of claim of reservation from Dalit communities to other religions other than the ones specified. On his request, three weeks’ time is granted. Learned counsels for the petitioners/ appellants state that they will file a response if any, within a week thereafter,” the bench stated.

The Indian Express has learnt that the proposed commission may have three or four members with its chairman holding the rank of a Union Cabinet Minister — and a possible timeframe of well over a year to submit its report.

Apart from mapping the changes in status and situation of Dalits who have converted to Christianity or Islam, the proposed commission will also study the impact of adding more members to the current SC list.

The issue is limited to Dalits since there is no religion-specific mandate for STs and the OBCs. “The rights of a person belonging to a Scheduled Tribe are independent of his/her religious faith,” states the DoPT website. Besides, following the implementation of the Mandal Commission report, several Christian and Muslim communities have found place in the Central or states’ lists of OBCs.

Among the key benefits available to the SC community is 15 per cent reservation for direct recruitment in Central government jobs with 7.5 per cent for STs and 27 per cent quota for OBCs.

The question of SC reservation benefits for Dalits who converted to mainly to Christianity or Islam have come up before earlier governments, too.

In October 2004, the then UPA Government headed by Dr Manmohan Singh constituted the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities, headed by former Chief Justice of India Justice Ranganath Misra, to recommend measures for the welfare of socially and economically backward sections among religious and linguistic minorities.

In May 2007, the Ranganath Misra Commission submitted its report, recommending that SC status be completely delinked from religion and be made religion-neutral like STs. The then UPA Government did not accept the recommendation on the grounds that it was not substantiated by field studies.

Separately, a study commissioned by the National Commission for Minorities in 2007 concluded that Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims need to be accorded SC status. That finding, too, was not accepted on the grounds that it was based on minuscule sample sizes that could have led to unreliable estimates.

Source: Indian Express

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https://indianexpress.com/article/india/quotas-govt-to-set-up-panel-to-study-status-of-scheduled-castes-converts-to-christianity-and-islam-8159037/

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Yati Narsinghanand booked for call to blow up madrasas, Aligarh Muslim University

September 19, 2022

Controversial preacher Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati has been booked for a statement where he allegedly called for the demolition of madrasas and the Aligarh Muslim University using "gunpowder".

On Sunday, Yati Narsinghanand was in Aligarh to attend a program of the Hindu Mahasabha. Speaking about the ongoing survey of unrecognised madrasas by the Uttar Pradesh government, Yati Narsinghanand said there should not be an institution like a madrasa.

"All the madrasas should be blown up with gunpowder, just like China does. All students of madrasas should be sent to camps so that the virus called Quran should be removed from their brains," Yati Narsinghanand could be heard saying in a video.

Yati Narsinghanand further said that just like the madrasas, the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) should also be blown up and its students should be sent to detention centers and their brains should be treated.

This is not the first time that Yati Narsinghanand has been booked for hate speech. He was arrested earlier in the Haridwar hate speech case last year. The seer was later released.

Yati Narsinghanand was recently booked for making controversial remarks against Mahatma Gandhi. In a video that went viral, Yati Narsinghanand could be heard saying that “Mahatma Gandhi was responsible for the murder of one crore Hindus” and other things.

YATI NARSINGHANAND ATTACKS RAHUL GANDHI

Speaking at the program in Aligarh, Yati Narsinghanand also hit out at the Congress's Bharat Jodo Yatra, calling it a "joke".

"Rahul Gandhi is with the jihadis. He could not win in Uttar Pradesh and went to Kerala and contested from Wayanad," Yati Narsinghanand said.

Source: India Today

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https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/yati-narsinghanand-booked-blow-up-madrasas-aligarh-muslim-university-2001864-2022-09-19

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Tradition of keeping Muslim in puja panel continues

19th September 2022

KOLKATA: Setting up an example of brotherhood in Jalpaiguri in north Bengal, organisers of a Durga Puja give their Muslim neighbour berth in the puja committee as joint secretary. The tradition of including a Muslim person in the committee has been maintained for decades.

The committee also organises fishing competitions in a local waterbody before the puja and the money is distributed among the 200 Muslim families as puja bonus. The organisers wait for their minority neighbours to join them for bringing the idol of the goddess. The Muslim families participate in the festivity by donating fruits and distributing prasad among devotees.

Balapara, a non-descript pocket in Jalpaiguri is an example of communal harmony. The area is inhabited by 800 Hindu families and 200 families of minority family.   This year, Fayzul Islam is the joint secretary of the puja committee. “We also join the festival. Like any other Hindu. We also feel the mood of the festival. We also buy new clothes on the occasion of Durga Puja and our children and family members share the joyous moments with others in same spirit,” said Islam.

Asim Roy, the other joint secretary of the committee, said, “I have been witnessing how all Muslim families get involved in the festival from my childhood. Here, we not only respect each other’s religious beliefs but also participate in all festivals organised by the Hindus and the Muslims.”

In Balapara, there is a mosque also. Babul Mohammad, Imam of the mosque, said, “We started enjoying the environment of the festival. When we see the empty pandal after immersion, we feel sad like our Hindu neighbours.”

Mohammad pointed out that Islam never said that the Muslims cannot get involved in puja festivals as it says all religions are equal.  Moinul Mohammad, a resident of the village, said his family donates fruit and sweet for the puja every year. “My son Ayush performs dance with dhunuchi (clay bowl filled up with coconut husks) during the prayer sessions every year,”  he added.   

Source: New Indian Express

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https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2022/sep/19/tradition-of-keeping-muslim-in-puja-panel-continues-2499764.html

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Gyanvapi case: Mosque committee seeks 8 weeks to prepare for hearing

Sep 19, 2022

The management committee of Gyanvapi mosque has filed an application in Varanasi district court, seeking eight weeks’ time to prepare for the next hearing in the Shringar Gauri-Gyanvapi complex case, lawyers familiar with the development said.

Last week, the Varanasi district court had fixed September 22 as the next date for hearing in the case. The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee (AIMC) — which controls the 17th century Gyanvapi mosque — on Saturday filed an application, saying it needed time to prepare before the next hearing.

The district court on September 12 ruled that it will continue to hear a petition by five Hindu women seeking daily worship of Hindu deities, whose idols are located on an outer wall of the Gyanvapi complex, saying the petition was not barred under any existing laws. Besides, district judge AK Vishvesha on September 12 also dismissed the petition by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee (AIMC) — which controls the 17th century Gyanvapi mosque — that argued the Hindu women’s plea violated the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, and two other laws.

“We need time for preparation. Hence, we have moved an application seeking eight weeks’ time for the next hearing,” said Mohammed Tauhid Khan, counsel for the Anjuman committee.

The court would take up the application on September 22 itself, Khan said.

After the district court’s order, the mosque committee had said it will challenge the order in Allahabad high court. On September 14, the lawyers representing the Hindu plaintiffs in the case had filed a caveat in the high court.

Source: Hindustan Times

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https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/gyanvapi-case-mosque-committee-seeks-8-weeks-to-prepare-for-hearing-101663524440232.html

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'We Will Definitely Show Our Papers': Why Muslims In Jharkhand Are Celebrating New Domicile Policy

Abhik Bhattacharya

19 SEP 2022

Since the time of the Partition, Indian Muslims have inadvertently faced the burden of discrimination and reparations every time issues pertaining to domicile, belonging and aboriginality are evoked in part of the country. The latest example is the preparation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam which was perceived by many as a communally charged and antagonistic step toward the Muslims and even led to nation-wide protests.

So, when the Jharkhand Government gave its nod to the domicile policy on the basis of 1932 land survey, a few questions naturally cropped up - what would happen to the Muslims of the state? Do they have land records here or are they infiltrators? These presumptive discussions nevertheless gained strength in the backdrop of communal turmoil that the state has been bearing for the last few months.

The violent protests of Muslims in Ranchi on June 10 against the former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s comment on Prophet Muhammad strengthened certain communal elements in the state. The rumors about Bangladeshi ‘ghuspetthiyas’ (infiltrators) soon started floating in the regional media. BJP MP Nishikant Dubey’s proclaiming in Parliament that Jharkhand had become an abode for millions of Bangladeshi infiltrators and that the Soren government was promoting ‘Islamization’ on August 9 made matters worse.

However, in contrast to all the presumptions and allegations, the Muslims in the state are in forefront of all the pro-domicile processions. Not only that, while speaking to the Outlook, one of them said, “We have been staying here for centuries. After so long, we will get the recognition of being Jharkhandi. It is, for us, much more than getting jobs in government sectors”.

These celebrations and attributions to centuries of belongingness made us look into the archives. How far can we trace the Muslims back? Are there references in British accounts regarding the presence of Muslims in this region? Did they participate in the independence movement? The following is a journey through the body of archives to trace the Muslims of Jharkhand to its early days.

Muslim Traces in Gazetteers and Archives:

Bihar Governor R R Diwakar in his 1952 book ‘Bihar Through Ages’, point out that Muslims have been staying in this region for at least 800 years. They gradually got mixed with the Adivasis and the exchange of lifestyle and culture continued. While working on Munda languages German Jesuit Linguist Father Hoffman even found the presence of Arabian and Persian words. Though such early presence of Muslims could not find further mention, Ranchi District Gazetteer written by Macpherson and Hallet in 1917 noted their presence during Sher Shah’s period. “During this period there must have been a considerable immigration of Muhammadans into the country, as villages composed entirely of Muhammadans are found scattered over the district”, he noted.

In another district Gazetteer compiled by N Kumar, we found that Muslims mostly of weaver caste started coming to this locality from Biharsharif and Gaya during the early nineteenth century. Their migration was a result of the promotion of British cotton goods and the decline of indigenous weaving tools in the region.

Another reason for Muslim settlement was an invitation from local feudal lords. The continuous Adivasi uprisings made the landlords insecure and they wanted military support from the Muslims of Bihar and up the country to tame the insurgents. However, the military adventurers were very few in numbers and couldn’t contribute much to the development of Muslim population.

The first mosque in Ranchi known as Handewala Mosque was however founded by a practitioner of law Nadir Mian in Upper Bazar. Bari Masjid also called the Jumma Masjid was founded in 1867. The traces of Muslims in Upper Bazar locality of Ranchi could be attributed to this period of time.

Another significant account of early presence of Muslims could be found in a survey of Ranchi city conducted during 1960-1962 by L P Vidyarthi and historian J N Basu. They found that Muslim ‘Gowala’ (Gaddis) castes have been staying in Doranda, Ranchi for more than two hundred years. In reference to the early traces of Muslims they note, “tribals were the original inhabitants and among the non-tribals, the Muslims were the first early settlers in the Ranchi area”.

Muslims of Ranchi during the Independence Movement

While the question of belonging is more about emotion than the papers, to miss out one’s presence in the struggle for independence amounts to negating her the rights to history/ histories. The presence of Maulana Abul kalam Azad in Ranchi though definitely played a big role in the consolidation of Muslims, there are other instances as well where Muslims took the leadership of the movement in the state.

When the Britishers celebrated the fall of Ottoman Empire, there were Muslims in Ranchi who denied celebrating victory of the colonizers. Kamta Chaube in her book Muslims and freedom Movements in India notes, “On December 14, 1919, a band of Muslims paraded through Baazar and explained the grievances the Muslims had against the Government and requested all people to boycott the peace celebrations. The Madrasa at Ranchi didn’t observe 13th December as a holiday. Practically all students attended their classes wearing black badges on their arms”.

The presence of the local Muslims in the non-cooperation movement could also be found in Letters from Mr. Whitty, Deputy Commissioner of Ranchi to I.F. Lyall, Commissioner of Chotonagpur, dated February 24, 1921. Noting the overwhelming impact of Muslim leadership, they pointed out Md. Yusuf, Md. Ishak, Md. Alim and Ali Jan Suudagar were the major leaders of the non-cooperation movement between November 1920- February 1921.

The address of Usman, then the head Maulavi of Anjuam Islamia Madrassa (founded by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad) on February 1, 1921, in a general meeting was noted especially in Police reports for his influence not only on Muslims, but rather on different Adivasi communities. The role of the Momin conference of Jharkhand region is also well noted. They were the first Muslim organization to oppose the Muslim league’s claims of partition.

These scattered references throughout the archives and literature may help us to understand why the Muslims are celebrating the domicile policy. At a time when the very existence of Muslims is confined to a few pieces of paper, documents, and identity cards, tracing them back in a state known for its Adivasi identity is an effort to look back at our histories in a different way.

Source: Outlook India

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https://www.outlookindia.com/national/-we-will-definitely-show-our-papers-why-muslims-in-jharkhand-are-celebrating-new-domicile-policy-news-224171

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Pakistan

 

New COAS to be installed through ‘set traditional way’: Asif

September 19, 2022

LONDON/ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Sunday said that the appointment of the army chief would take place on the same pattern that was being practiced for years and that the consultation process would begin in November.

“The appointment of the army chief will be in accordance with the Constitution and the law,” the defence minister said while talking to media persons outside PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif’s London residence where he arrived accompanying Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Premier Shehbaz is in London to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.

Asif said that the army chief’s loyalty was with the country and he was not under any politician, adding that he also had his loyalty to his institution.

“He (army chief) is the one who commands 700,000 officers who are ready to sacrifice their lives on his call,” Asif said, adding that his position should not be made a part of any controversy, especially a political one.

Asif said that the defence ministry and the GHQ would consult on the appointment of the next chief of army staff by October-end and after that the decision will be made.

The defence minister said that the appointment of the next COAS was a routine matter and it was for the first time in history that PTI Chairman Imran Khan was raising a ‘hue and cry’ over the issue. “The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Imran Khan want institutions to intervene.

“Imran proposed postponing the appointment until after the general election and grant an extension [to Gen Bajwa],” the defence minister said.

Asif also told the media persons that he would prefer Nawaz to come home immediately. However, he added that it should be ensured that the PML-N supremo should be granted justice for the injustices he faced back home.

The minister said his government was not “running away” from elections. “We want polls to be held under the Constitution and the law.”

Asif said Imran had been giving similar statements when he had just one seat in parliament.

Source: Pakistan Today

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https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/09/19/new-coas-to-be-installed-through-set-traditional-way-asif/

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Rallies in Swat, Parachinar demand peace, action against terrorists

September 19, 2022

SWAT/PARACHINAR/MOHMAND: Streets of busy Mingora Bazaar echoed with slogans ‘we want peace in Swat’ as hundreds of protesters gathered to condemn the recent terror incidents and demand action to stop resurgence of terrorists in the valley on Sunday.

The protesters comprised a large number of youths, elders, lawyers, transporters, traders, doctors and students, who held banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the terrorists and seeking peace.

The protest was organised by Swat Qaumi Jirga and Swat Olasi Pasoon. Apart from civil society and peace activists, leaders of all the political parties except Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf addressed the gathering.

Activists, including Zahid Khan, Brigadier retired Saleem Khan, Abdul Jabbar Khan, Sher Shah Khan, Akhtar Ali, Ayub Asharey, Dr Khalid Mahmood, Idrees Bacha, Sardar Yousafzai, Wakeel Khan, Mukhtiar Khan Yousafzai, Umar Ali Yousafzai, and others spoke on the occasion.

They said they had a one-point agenda to demand peace in Swat. They said they won’t allow another wave of militancy sweeping their valley. They said they demanded peace from the state, and if it failed to do so, they would rise and take action for peace in their land. They vowed to not allow terrorists and extremists regroup in Swat.

Protest sit-in planned in Mohmand against targeted killing, extortion

The protesters said they had witnessed worst terrorism from 2007 to 2009 when the militants challenged the state’s writ and caused a lot of bloodshed and fear, taking many people’s lives and destroying businesses and properties, and displacing hundreds of others.

They asked the people if they spotted any suspected element in their areas they must come out of their houses and take action against them. They also asked law enforcement agencies to refrain from registering FIRs against peaceful protesters.

The protesters also questioned the silence of Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and the elected representatives over the matter, and demanded that the government take action against terrorists immediately.

Meanwhile, the residents of Kurram tribal district organised another peace walk in Sadda town on Sunday against militancy.

People from all sects and tribes participated in the march. The marchers, carrying white flags, passed through different roads and bazaars of the town.

Earlier, residents of central Kurram had organised a peace walk from Parachamkani to Parachinar.

Mir Afzal Khan Turi, Rafeeullah Chamkani and Tufail Shaheen led the walk. Addressing the participants, they said Kurram valley needed peace and stability.

They said people of Kurram would no more tolerate presence of miscreants in their area. They said six personnel of law enforcement agencies had been martyred or wounded in acts of terrorism during last two weeks.

They said a large number of families had vacated their homes due to lawlessness.

Separately, members of a jirga in Safi tehsil of Mohmand district announced a sit-in outside of Mohmand Rifles gate, against worsening law and order, targeted killing, extortion and enforced disappearances.

The peace march will start from Safi and reach district headquarters, Ghalanai, where the participants would stage a sit-in.

The jirga has requested all the elders, political and religious leaders and students to participate in the protest.

Source: Dawn

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1710778/rallies-in-swat-parachinar-demand-peace-action-against-terrorists

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Punjab MPA Khalil Tahir Sandhu to move SJC against Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial

September 19, 2022

LAHORE: Former provincial health minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MPA Khalil Tahir Sandhu has announced moving the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against what he says violation by the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) of the code for the secrecy of the Judicial Commission proceedings.

“The chief justice violated the code by making public the audio containing conversation of various participants of a meeting of the SJC held for the elevation of high courts’ judges to the Supreme Court. I, as a lawyer, shall move the Supreme Judicial Council against this act within a couple of days,” Mr Sandhu said in a statement here on Sunday.

He said that the CJP is supposed to be the top watchdog of human rights and custodians of official secrets. But the incumbent chief justice made public the audio clips containing comments of the attorney-general and the law minister about some judges.

Source: Dawn

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1710797/punjab-mpa-khalil-tahir-sandhu-to-move-sjc-against-chief-justice-of-pakistan-umar-ata-bandial

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Pakistan PM Shehbaz, brother Nawaz agree on conducting next elections at stipulated time

Sep 19, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his brother Nawaz Sharif, the Pakistan Muslim League-N supremo, agreed on holding the next general elections at the stipulated time, local media reported.

The Sharif brothers held a meeting in London where the two talked about the next general elections, Geo News reported citing sources.

The brothers also agreed that the present coalition government will complete its constitutional term.

The Pakistan PM, who is in London to attend the state funeral of late Queen Elizabeth II, held a three-and-a-half hours-long meeting with Nawaz Sharif and discussed a range of issues concerning the country.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, who has repeatedly demanded the next general election, said that he cannot wait any further and will "call on the public" if his demands were not met.

Both the leaders deliberated over making changes to the Punjab government during the meeting and to that end, the name of Hamza Shehbaz, among other possible candidates, was considered for the post of the province's chief minister, reported Geo News citing sources.

A discussion related to important appointments in November was also held during the meeting, the sources said.

Despite being present in London, Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif and Minister for Communication and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb did not participate in this important meeting, according to Geo News.

Earlier this month, while speaking during a public rally in Faisalabad, the former Prime Minister had called out the government, saying that it was delaying the elections to appoint an army chief of its own and that if a "patriotic chief of army staff comes in, he will not spare the incumbent rulers."

Lamenting the impact of floods in Pakistan, the former prime minister said that the 2010 floods and the current ones had caused immense devastation, particularly in Sindh.

He said that the economic fallout of the floods will be witnessed during the winter season. "Tell me (...) do they have a solution? Exports are falling, loans are rising, remittances are falling (...) your capacity to give loans is shrinking."

Source: Times Of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-pm-shehbaz-brother-nawaz-agree-on-conducting-next-elections-at-stipulated-time/articleshow/94290616.cms

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Saudi confirms rollover of $3 billion deposit for one year: State Bank of Pakistan

Sep 18, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The State Bank of Pakistan on Sunday said Saudi Arabia has confirmed the rollover of a USD 3 billion deposit for one more year.

The deposit was set to mature on December 5, the SBP tweeted, adding that the amount was placed with the central bank as part of its foreign exchange reserves.

"Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) has confirmed a rollover of $3bn deposit maturing on 5 Dec22 for one year. Deposit is placed with SBP and is part of its forex reserves. This reflects the continuing strong and special relationship between KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and Pakistan," the bank tweeted.

The agreement for the deposit was originally signed in November 2021 with an aim to improve the SBP's foreign exchange reserves.

Saudi Arabia had agreed to revive its financial support to Pakistan in October 2021, including about USD 3 billion in safe deposits and USD 1.2 billion worth of oil supplies on deferred payments.

Source: Times Of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/saudi-confirms-rollover-of-3-billion-deposit-for-one-year-state-bank-of-pakistan/articleshow/94286454.cms

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Fighting to uphold, strengthen democracy since Gen Zia’s martial law: Fazl

September 18, 2022

KARACHI: Chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) and Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) President Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Sunday said they had been struggling to uphold and strengthen democracy in the country since the martial law imposed by Gen Ziaul Haq.

He stated this while addressing a reference held to remember Sardar Attaullah Mengal (late) and his struggle for democracy, law and justice, and Balochistan here on Sunday.

Minister for Science and Technology Agha Hassan Baloch, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal and others were also spoke on the occasion.

While paying rich tributes to Attaullah Mengal, the PDM chief said they would have to contemplate on how to make the country prosperous for the future of the young generation. “We have to make and implement comprehensive polices irrespective of political damages to steer the country on the path to the development and prosperity.”

He said some politicians played a considerable role in sapping democracy in the country for their own gains. However, he added, the remaining politicians were committed and serious in pulling the country out of authoritarianism and oppression.

Maulana said all the politicians had to work jointly for the supremacy of law and strengthening of democracy in the country.

He said the previous government of PTI froze the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The PDM chief said the country was experiencing an unprecedented situation of monsoon rains and floods. The country had all resources which should be utilized for facilitating people and protecting their rights.

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said Attaullah Mengal was a man of political wisdom, who did politics of principals and vision.

He said, “We have to play our part for the supremacy of the constitution, and make the economy of the country strong and stable.”

He said the federal government desired to solve the issue of missing persons permanently.

The minister also pledged to establish new universities in every district of Balochistan.

Balochistan National Party (BNP) President Sardar Akhtar Mengal said his father Attaullah Mengal had struggled and rendered sacrifices all his life for democracy, justice and Balochistan. “I am totally ineffectual if compared to the contributions of my father to Balochistan and Pakistan.”

The BNP chief said politics was considered a crime in the time of his father and now it had become a fashion.

He said that the country only could develop and prosper if institutions play their part within their limits and jurisdictions.

Source: Pakistan Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/09/18/fighting-to-uphold-strengthen-democracy-since-gen-zias-martial-law-fazl/

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Selection of army chief must not be politicised: Asif

Atika Rehman

September 19, 2022

LONDON: As speculation around the appointment of the next army chief grows, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told reporters in London on Sunday that the appointment “should not be politicised as it hurts the institution”.

Mr Asif is in London acco­mpanying Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who is in the United Kingdom to attend the state funeral of the Queen on Monday (today), upon the invitation of the UK government.

PM Sharif, according to media reports, paid a visit to elder brother and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and the two discussed several issues, including the time of general elections as well as a possible change of PTI-PML-Q coalition government in Punjab.

The Sharifs agreed that despite being under pressure, the PDM government would complete its constitutional term and the next general election “should be held at the stipulated time”.

The meeting deliberated on removing the Punjab government, led by the opposition PTI and PML-Q, and considered the name of Hamza Shehbaz, among other candidates, for the post of chief minister. The matter of important appoi­nt­ments due in November also came under discussion.

Shehbaz, Nawaz discuss change in Punjab govt; agree to hold polls on ‘stipulated’ time

The Sharifs had a three-hour meeting at Hussain Nawaz’s office in Stanhope House. The meeting, the brothers’ second in London since Mr Shehbaz became PM, was also attended by former finance minister Ishaq Dar and Mr Shehbaz’s son Suleman.

According to reports, Khawaja Asif and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb did not participate in the meeting.

In response to a question, Khawaja Asif said: “It will be unfortunate if the army chief’s appointment is politicised by the opposition.

“But it doesn’t matter. As an institution, the army has its own sanctity (taqaddus), as does the process to appoint a new chief. It should not become the subject of debate because it hurts the institution.”

He further said: “The chief’s loyalty is with his country and then his institution. Army chiefs are not affiliated with any politician. His position and personality should not be made controversial”.

Mr Asif’s remarks were a veiled reference to the controversy stirred by the remarks recently made by PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who in an interview had hit out at the ruling coalition by claiming they want to appoint ‘their favourite’ as chief to ‘save themselves from corruption cases’.

His remarks were construed by the military as ‘defamatory’ and as an attempt to undermine the army’s leadership.

“I appeal to all politicians and the media to stop making this into a discussion. Like in the past, two or three weeks prior to the appointment the process starts, and the chief is appointed,” he said.

Relief for flood survivors

Talking to reporters, the prime minister said friendly countries were extending assistance for the flood victims, adds APP.

He said relief goods were being brought by aeroplanes, trains and ships, adding that people of Pakistan were also giving donations and the federal and provincial governments were performing their roles in relief and rehabilitation of the flood-hit people.

The coalition government had allocated Rs70 billion and was giving Rs25,000 each to the affected families through the Benazir Income Support Progra­mme, he said.

Source: Dawn

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1710868/selection-of-army-chief-must-not-be-politicised-asif

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North America

 

Somali militia beheads insurgents after battle, witnesses say

September 18, 2022

MOGADISHU: A government-allied Somali militia killed at least 45 Al-Shabab fighters and beheaded some of them, three witnesses said on Sunday, as citizens in central regions of the country increasingly take up arms against the insurgents.

The beheadings followed a battle in the Hiran region of Hirshabelle State, where there has been significant fighting this month between Al-Shabab and newly expanded militias allied with the federal government.

Al-Shabab, an Al-Qaeda-linked militant group, has been fighting Somalia’s weak central government since 2006. It wants to implement a strict interpretation of Sharia law.

Al-Shabab has increasingly burned houses, destroyed wells, and beheaded civilians in the Hiran region, residents say; that, combined with its demands for taxes amid the worst drought in 40 years, has pushed more residents to take up arms.

“Al-Shabab is not strong, it just burns people, beheads people and put their heads in the streets just to terrorize,” said Ahmed Abdulle, a Hiran elder.

“Now, we are doing the same: We have ordered the beheading of Al-Shabab fighters,” he told Reuters.

Videos widely shared on Telegram showed at least two beheaded alleged Al-Shabab fighters and dozens more dead bodies in fatigues and red-and-white checked scarves. Some of the dead appeared to have died in battle.

Three witnesses to the beheadings said they were real. Seven other residents, including Abdulle, said family members had been present and confirmed the deaths to them.

“Al Shabab put us in hell ... So our people decided to liberate themselves ... My daughter is also fighting in the frontline, she has an AK-47 on her shoulder,” resident Halima Ismail said.

Fighters have retaken 10 villages from Al-Shabab in recent weeks, elder Hassaan Farah said.

Residents in nearby Galmudug state are also taking up arms.

“This week, we have recaptured nine villages,” said Ahmed Shire, the Galmudug information minister.

“It is a big revolution by Galmudug state.”

On Saturday, the federal government sent troops to reinforce Galmudug fighters, the Somali National News Agency said.

Earlier this month, Al-Shabab militants killed 18 civilians and destroyed food aid trucks. In August, they killed more than 20 people in a hotel siege.

Source: Arab News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2165036/world

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US Secretary of State to meet chairman of Yemeni presidential council

19 September, 2022

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet the Yemeni Chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council Rashad al-Alimi on Monday in New York, the State Department said on Sunday as world dignitaries arrive for the UN General Assembly.

Yemen has been split by a seven-year-old war pitting an Arab coalition against the Iran-backed Houthi militia. The Houthis largely hold the north and the internationally-recognized government is based in the south.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/09/19/US-Secretary-of-State-to-meet-chairman-of-Yemeni-presidential-council-

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US Muslim group presents award to Turkish first lady for her humanitarian efforts

Servet Gunerigok 

19.09.2022

NEW YORK

Turkish first lady Emine Erdogan received an award Sunday in New York City from a leading Muslim coalition for her humanitarian efforts.

Erdogan was honored with the "Outstanding Humanitarian Award" during a ceremony organized by the US Council for Muslim Organizations, a coalition of national, regional and local Muslim groups.

Five more Muslim women were each given the "Outstanding Achievement Award" for their work in science, the empowerment of women's role in society, journalism and the COVID-19 response.

"I am happy to be with you on the occasion of this very meaningful award ceremony. I accept this award on behalf of my country, which is the conscience of the world," said Erdogan in her remarks at the ceremony.

"Our religion tells us that the best competition among people is to compete in good deeds. In this sense, our record is full of examples of a charity race that astonishes people," she said.

Erdogan recalled that Türkiye continued to be the most generous nation according to the Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2022, saying "we have worked to be the first ones" to reach locations to aid those in need regardless of their religion, language or race.

She said Türkiye is continuing its humanitarian aid not only via the bilateral level with nations but also through the UN and disbursed $7.7 billion in aid to 122 countries including Syria, Somalia and Palestine in 2021.

Türkiye is also working to meet the medical needs of those in need in “fragile” areas, said Erdogan, citing hospitals built in Sudan, Somalia and Bangladesh.

"Türkiye's humanitarian aid experience is much more than a foreign policy," she said.

Erdogan helped national projects encourage girls' and women's education, launched health care projects for children, women and refugees, and initiated the "Zero Waste" project in 2017 to highlight climate change and pollution.

The first lady said the number of refugees in the world exceeds 100 million with the Ukraine war, which the report marks as a "dramatic milestone."

"As you know, our lands throughout history have been a safe haven for people fleeing war and persecution. We have opened the doors of this shelter to our Ukrainian brothers and sisters as well," she added.

The first lady also traveled to Myanmar in 2012 and visited Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh in 2017 despite the challenging situation back then.

Erdogan has also been in support of women's empowerment in Africa. She visited more than 20 African nations between 2014-2020 including Algeria, Ethiopia, Somalia and Tanzania.

The first lady believes that if women become stronger, then families and children will too.

Other Muslim awardees

Aisha al-Adawiya, the founder of Women in Islam, Inc., an organization of Muslim women that focuses on human rights and social justice, was awarded for her activism in human rights and social justice. She received her award from Erdogan.

Ayesha Mustafaa, who has served as editor of the Muslim Journal weekly newspaper since January 1989, was awarded for enhancing the role of women in society.

Dr. Uzma Syed, who is chair of the COVID-19 Task Force at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in New York, received the award for her COVID-19 pandemic response.

Tahani Amer, the program executive for the Earth Science Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA, was awarded for her contribution in science.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/us-muslim-group-presents-award-to-turkish-first-lady-for-her-humanitarian-efforts/2688480

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Türkiye expects US's cooperation in fight against PKK/YPG, FETO: Erdogan

Servet Gunerigok  

19.09.2022

NEW YORK

Türkiye expects the US to act in cooperation with it in the fight against terrorist groups such as the PKK/YPG and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday.

"We expect our American friends to act in cooperation in our fight against the PKK, YPG and FETO in a manner befitting the spirit of alliance," Erdogan said at a dinner event organized by the Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC) at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

Erdogan said Turkish authorities have been "meticulously" working with their US counterparts to bring FETO leader Fethullah Gulen and the group’s members to Turkish justice.

The president stressed that Türkiye will continue to fight against the FETO, PKK/YPG and Daesh terrorist groups, adding: "We will remove the dark shadow of terror from our region.”

FETO orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 in Türkiye, in which 252 people were killed and 2,734 injured.

Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

- Resolving issues between Türkiye, US

The president said he hoped to resolve the issues between Türkiye and the US "on the basis of common interests" while developing cooperation with Washington.

Erdogan said there is no issue between the US and Türkiye that can't be resolved as two strong partners and allies for 70 years, adding that both nations are together in NATO.

"Be it funding, be it land forces, Türkiye is one of the top five most important partners that provide this support" in NATO, said the Turkish president. "Therefore, Türkiye's position should be well understood, well-known, and decisions and steps should be taken accordingly."

Erdogan also said that Türkiye and the US have similar stands on many regional and global issues despite differences on issues about Ankara's national security, adding that he and US President Joe Biden have agreed to strengthen the friendship and cooperation between their nations.

Ukraine war

Turning to Russia's war in Ukraine, Erdogan said Türkiye will continue efforts to end the war through diplomacy and eliminate its regional and global impacts.

"The Istanbul Agreement, which was achieved as a result of our efforts with the UN to export Ukrainian grain in the Black Sea, is the most concrete example of these efforts," said the Turkish president.

"We want to translate the positive climate we have achieved here into a cease-fire and then lasting peace," he added.

Türkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul on July 22 to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began.

- Hatred against Muslims

The president noted that there has been an increase in hate speech, Islamophobia and prejudices against Muslims around the world, saying the Turkish-American community and Muslim Americans are sometimes subjected to such attacks.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/turkiye-expects-uss-cooperation-in-fight-against-pkk-ypg-feto-erdogan/2688361

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South Asia

 

Foreign Exchange Auction; Taliban Sells $11 Million

By Saqalain Eqbal

18 Sep 2022

The Taliban-run Central Bank of Afghanistan stated that an auction to sell $11 million will take place on Sunday.

The Central Bank of the caretaker government of the Taliban has scheduled an auction for Sunday, September 18, to sell roughly 11 million dollars in order to retain the Afghani currency’s purchasing power relative to the US dollar.

Banks, money exchange dealers, and other competent parties, including licensed money services organizations, are invited to take part in the auction, according to a statement from the Central Bank of Afghanistan, also known as Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB).

The auction winners’ obligation to settle their accounts is also highlighted in the statement of DAB.

Dollar packages were previously auctioned for sale as a result of the Afghani currency’s prior depreciation against the dollar, and for the past year since the dollar was introduced injected into the market, the dollar rate has remained largely balanced.

Source: Khaama Press

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.khaama.com/foreign-exchange-auction-taliban-sells-11-million-57478/

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The Taliban, US exchange prisoners: Acting foreign minister

19 September, 2022

The Taliban’s acting foreign minister on Monday said the group had released American engineer Mark Frerichs in exchange for the US freeing a senior Taliban figure on Monday.

Acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi told journalists at a media conference in Kabul that they had exchanged Frerichs at Kabul Airport on Monday morning and in return received Haji Bashir Noorzai, who had been held for decades in US custody after facing drug charges.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/09/19/The-Taliban-US-exchange-prisoners

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Afghanistan sees sharp rise in deaths as Taliban struggle to take on ISIS, NRF

Sep 17, 2022

With both the principal challengers to the Taliban regime – the National Resistance Front (NRF) and Islamic State-Khorasan Province (Da’esh) – intensifying operations, the security situation deteriorated through August in Afghanistan. Despite the Taliban's claims that Da’esh does not physically exist in Afghanistan and does not pose a threat, the group had claimed responsibility for deadly attacks on mosques, schools, and cars.

Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan last August, the country has been mired in violence. The adverse situation is likely to persist as there have been no signs of the Taliban consolidating its dominance in the near future.

According to the data, Afghanistan recorded 366 terrorism-linked fatalities in August, registering a sharp increase of 50 per cent from 244 in July. There were 367 deaths in June and 391 in May. Thus, after registering a drop for two consecutive months, overall fatalities increased again in August. This cyclical trend has continued since March 2020, although there has been a significant diminution since the Taliban takeover in August 2021.

There were 77 civilian fatalities in August as against 68 in July, up 13.23 per cent. On August 17, at least 21 persons, including a prominent cleric Mullah Amir Mohammad Kabuli, were killed and another 33 were injured in a suicide attack at Abu Bakar Mosque located in the Kher Khanna neighbourhood of police district-17, Kabul city. The attack was not claimed by any group, but bore strong Da’esh signatures. The spike in fatalities is largely accounted for the losses suffered by the Taliban on the ground.

The internal rift within the Taliban continues to hurt the regime in its struggle for consolidation and its fight against domestic adversaries. On August 27, three Taliban members were killed due to internal conflict in the Tala Wa Barfak District, Baghlan Province. On August 21, one person was killed and one injured as a result of internal strife within the Taliban in Panjshir Province. On August 17, the Afghan ministry of defence claimed to have killed Hazara fugitive rebel commander Maulvi Mehdi Mujahid, who had split from the Taliban and launched a Hazara resistance in Balkhab district, Sar-e Pul Province.

National Resistance Front expanded operations

On August 26, urging Afghans to unite against the Taliban, National Resistance Front commander Khalid Amiri said protesting only in virtual space would not end the Taliban’s rule. He added that the Taliban were a terrorist organisation and criticism and condemnation were not enough to stop its oppression. He supported sanctions against the Taliban, for regional and international security.

The head of foreign relations for the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, Ali Maisam Nazary, asserted that the front’s operations had expanded over the past year and the group was currently fighting against the Taliban in six provinces of the country, with 4,000 well-equipped and trained forces. These provinces were Panjshir, Kapisa, Baghlan, Badakhshan, Takhar and Parwan.

Da’esh killed 45 Taliban fighters in 12 attacks

In August, Da’esh claimed 12 attacks killing 45 and injuring 120 Taliban fighters/Shia minorities in Kabul, Kunar and Nangarhar provinces. Between January 1 and August 30, Da’esh has claimed 130 attacks in Afghanistan.

In the propaganda domain, Da’esh released a number of publications, continuing with its rhetoric against the Taliban, Pakistan, China, and India, as well as other neighbouring and regional countries cooperating with the Taliban.

On August 7, Da’esh published the 2nd Persian edition of a book titled “Characteristics of Khwariji Taliban” highlighting the differences between the Islamic State and the Taliban. The book underlined that the Taliban, by introducing ‘un-Islamic and Shia practices’ in Afghanistan, were the real Khawarij (renegades) and, since the Taliban were protecting countries like Pakistan, Iran and India, it was necessary to counter the regime in Afghanistan. Da’esh also claimed to be on the “right side”, as it had launched attacks against Shias and “infidel” countries like Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

US refused to release foreign reserves

Citing the lack of confidence in safeguards and monitoring to manage assets responsibly, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West disclosed on August 15 that the Joe Biden administration had decided not to release any of the USD 7 billion of Afghan foreign reserves. It has also decided to suspend talks with the Taliban over the funds after the killing of al Qaeda leader Zawahiri in Kabul.

On August 28, Afghan Taliban's minister of defence Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob said American drones were entering Afghanistan's airspace from Pakistan.

Meanwhile, UNSC members failed to reach a consensus over extending the exemption to the travel ban on proscribed Taliban leaders. The failure of the Taliban to form an inclusive government, restore women’s rights and allow girls’ education, were cited by some members as reasons for not extending the exemption. The Taliban reacted strongly and warned the west against violating the ‘Doha Agreement’.

Crackdown on women continues

Source: Hindustan Times

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/afghanistan-sees-sharp-rise-in-deaths-as-taliban-struggle-to-take-on-isis-nrf-101663400999705.html

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Rohingya killing near Bangladesh-Myanmar border raises Dhaka security concerns

September 18, 2022

DHAKA: A series of violent incidents near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border has turned deadly with at least one Rohingya teenager killed, as Dhaka summoned Myanmar’s ambassador on Sunday amid rising security concerns.

Although Bangladesh is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, the country has been hosting and providing humanitarian support to 1.2 million Rohingya people, most of whom fled neighboring Myanmar during a military crackdown in 2017.

A majority of the refugees live in Cox’s Bazar district in southeastern Bangladesh, but around 5,000 people have been staying in a makeshift camp on a strip dubbed no-man’s land on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, also known as Zero Point.

The teenager was killed on Friday night, Bangladeshi officials said, making it the first recorded fatality in Bangladesh following a series of violent incidents over the last month that have involved mortar shells being fired from Myanmar.

“We have already beefed up the patrolling and intelligence activities across the border with Myanmar,” Lt. Col. Faizur Rahman, Border Guard Bangladesh operations director, told Arab News.

“We have sent a strong protest over the latest situation in the border areas. Measures have been taken on the diplomatic front also to send strong protest in this regard.”

Rahman said border guards in Myanmar were carrying out an investigation to find out the source of the shells.

“We know that fights are going on there against the separatist groups,” Rahman added. “Now it’s their responsibility to get information about that and to take care of it.”

Naypyidaw’s envoy to Dhaka has so far been summoned four times in recent weeks over the border incidents, which have stoked fear among the Rohingya in the area.

“We are all in a frightening situation,” Dil Mohammed, a Rohingya leader in no-man’s land, told Arab News.

He said the sound of mortar shells exploding had occurred regularly, adding that the incident on Friday had also injured at least five people from his community. “Now we are afraid that the situation may get worse at any moment.”

Salma Ferdous, the administrative head of Naikhongchari region near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, described the situation as tense.

“People are panicking over there and afraid of leaving their homes due to the mortar shelling from the other side of the border,” she said.

For years, the Rohingyas have been caught in the crossfire between Myanmar’s military and the Arakan Army, an armed group fighting for self-determination for ethnic minorities in Rakhine state.

Though an informal ceasefire was introduced in late 2020 after intense fighting that began in 2018, the International Crisis Group warned in June that “rising tensions” between the two parties “may lead to renewed combat.”

Retired air commodore and security analyst Ishfaq Ilahi Choudhury, who is based in Dhaka, told Arab News: “We are naturally worried.”

He said there was potential for more conflict that could pose “a threat to Bangladesh” unless the international community “urges the Myanmar government to ensure a peaceful situation inside their border and also ensure the rights of the smaller minorities.”

Choudhury pointed out that Dhaka must not only strengthen its border security but make a show of forces, such as conducting exercises close to the border.

“We can show that beside diplomatic efforts we are also worried about our security,” he added.

The conflict near the border and the Rohingya people caught at its midst is an “old problem” that has been ongoing for a long time, retired major general and security analyst, Helal Morshed Khan, told Arab News.

“The Rohingya people are depressed, they are suppressed, they are deprived by the overall policy created by the Myanmar government,” Khan said. “As a result, just like anywhere else, suppressed people fight it out, and they do have their own armed group.”

Khan noted that any solution for the situation must consider their depression and suppression, adding that the possibility of the fighting escalating near the border would depend on the “Rohingya freedom fighters.”

Source: Arab News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2164906/world

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Taliban to ban TikTok and Pubg apps in Afghanistan

18 Sep 2022

Taliban is going to ban TikTok and Pubg applications in Afghanistan within next 3 months times, the Ministry of Telecommunication announced on Saturday.

The Ministry of Telecommunication in a meeting with the representatives of the security sector and a representative from the Sharia law enforcement administration has decided to ban both TikTok and Pubg applications in Afghanistan within a 90 days period of time.

According to the decision made in the meeting, TikTok must be banned within a month time from now and Pubg should be banned within next 90 days.

The decision has been shared with the telecommunication and internet service providers across the country to implement it within the announced schedule.

Afghanistan is the 3rd country after Pakistan and India that is going to ban Pubg, a popular gaming application.

Pubg is a battleground online gaming application with the most players around the world among the children and teenagers.

Studies and surveys indicated that most users of TikToks are girls and most users of Pubg are boys.

Source: Khaama Press

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.khaama.com/taliban-to-ban-tiktok-and-pubg-apps-in-afghanistan-87943/

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Afghan Envoy at UN Signs Condolence Book for Late British Queen

By Saqalain Eqbal

18 Sep 2022

At the UN headquarters, Naseer Ahmad Faiq, the Chargé d’Affaires of Afghanistan’s Permanent Mission, signed the book of condolence for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth on behalf of the Afghan people.

He tweeted on Sunday, September 18, that he had extended his sympathies and condolences to the British royal family on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Thursday, September 8th, and f ollowing the news of her passing, world leaders released statements in which they offered their sympathies to the British royal family and the country’s people.

The late British Queen’s body will be visited by world leaders today in London, the capital of England, as they pay their respects.

Queen Elizabeth II’s burial is scheduled for Monday and is expected to draw hundreds of world dignitaries, including presidents, prime ministers, kings, queens, emirs, and others.

Only six countries are not the Queen’s funeral guest list in any capacity: Venezuela, which does not have diplomatic ties with the UK, Afghanistan, which is currently ruled by the Taliban, Myanmar, where the military seized power in a coup last year.

Source: Khaama Press

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.khaama.com/afghan-envoy-at-un-signs-condolence-book-for-late-british-queen-67548/

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Southeast Asia

 

What rakyat want: ILHAM Center focuses on Malay Muslim wishes

19 Sep 2022

THE inaugural collaboration of three research firms with five of the country's leading media organisations to conduct the “Suara Rakyat Malaysia Menuju PRU15” (Malaysian Voices: On the Road to GE15) survey is a good starting point in sharing people’s feedback and other findings on the 15th General Election (GE15).

ILHAM Centre's executive director Hisommudin Bakar says the centre is very pleased to have the opportunity to be directly involved in the collaboration, which will reveal the true wishes and hopes of voters for GE15.

"This is the first time we have been involved in a project of this kind. It is also the first time in history that three research firms are working directly with the media, unlike before when many studies were done individually among research firms," Hisommudin tells Sinar Premium.

The survey is a collaboration between Media in Arms – an alliance of five media organisations – and three research firms: Ilham Centre, Centre for Malaysian Chinese Studies and O2 Research.

Media in Arms comprises Star Media Group’s English daily The Star, Chinese newspaper Sin Chew Daily, Malay daily Sinar Harian, local news broadcaster Astro Awani and Tamil daily Malaysia Nanban, which teamed up to offer readers diversified and in-depth content.

This multilingual, multi-platform and reader-focused initiative aims at examining the opinions of Malaysians regarding the coming GE15.

Each research firm will conduct the survey with its own methodology – via online or face-to-face interviews – from Sept 19 to

Oct 9.

According to Hisommuddin, the three research firms involved are also focusing on specific segments of the population for the survey.

"We at the ILHAM Center were given the task of researching the sentiments and hopes of the Muslim Malay voters in particular: What they want in politics and a better future for Malaysia.

"Similarly, O2 Research and the Centre for Malaysian Chinese Studies have their own target segments.

"These segments are specific and more in-depth, and if all of them are connected and publicised through the five media organisations involved, it will definitely have the best impact, especially in raising the awareness of voters on playing their role and fulfilling their rights in the country's democratic process," he adds.

He explains that the ILHAM Center has maintained the conventional methodology in conducting “Suara Rakyat Malaysia Menuju PRU15” survey, which is to use survey forms and face-to-face interviews with respondents.

"There are research firms that use a hybrid methodology and are completely online, but we at ILHAM Center continue to use face-to-face research methods in the field and the sample of this survey will be taken in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.

"We are targeting around 1,500 to 1,800 samples throughout Malaysia to represent the findings and make accurate readings of the ground," he says, adding that the presentation of the results of the survey is expected to be completed on Oct 15.

Regarding the set of questions that will be asked in the survey, Hisommudin said, in general, the three research firms share the same set of questions apart from some specific segments or their respective niche focus.

"The objective of this survey is for us to see and unearth what are actually the sentiments and true wishes of the voters towards politicians, political parties, the national system, the economic system... What issues need to be resolved, need to be made into policies and policies to fulfill their wishes.

Source: The Star

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/focus/2022/09/19/what-rakyat-want-ilham-center-focuses-on-malay-muslim-wishes

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A GTA-led government will reflect Malaysia's multicultural society, says Dr M

19 Sep 2022

PETALING JAYA: Should the newly-launched Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) coalition win the upcoming general election, the government it establishes will reflect Malaysia's multiracial society, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic).

The Parti Pejuang Tanah Air chairman and GTA head said although its membership is limited to Malays, it will be fair to all races.

"GTA has been established for voters, especially Malays.

"People who are tired of politics and the instability of the country since the Sheraton Move will be able to choose a Malay party other than Umno," he said in a statement on Monday (Sept 19).

Dr Mahathir added that politicians in GTA have never been charged in court or been in jail before.

"GTA also has many experienced leaders and intends to establish an independent government that respects the rule of law and the Federal Constitution," he said.

Dr Mahathir also said many Malaysians are tired of politics and not interested in voting.

However, he claimed that if they do not come out to vote, those who will make trips to voting booths will be mostly those who have been paid off by the corrupt.

"The effect is that the corrupt party will win. If that party becomes the government, the damage to the country will continue," he added

He also said that there was poor voter turnout for the Melaka and Johor state polls, with 50% not voting.

"The problem is that voters who reject bribes have no choice... voters need to have an option other than what is available," he said.

In August, Dr Mahathir announced the new political movement, which will have an exclusively Malay membership.

GTA plans to field candidates in 120 seats, with its main focus on Malay-majority seats in the peninsula.

Source: The Star

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2022/09/19/a-gta-led-government-will-reflect-malaysia039s-multicultural-society-says-dr-m

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AGC appeals Maria Chin’s leave to challenge shariah proceedings

September 15, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) has filed an appeal against the High Court’s decision to allow Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah to challenge the Shariah High Court’s decision over the committal proceedings against her.

The contempt proceedings was brought against Maria for her criticism of the Shariah High Court’s decision in imposing a jail term on Emilia Hanafi, who is the former wife of businessman SM Faisal SM Nasimuddin.

The AGC filed the notice in the Court of Appeal on Sept 9 because it was not satisfied with the High Court’s overall decision on Aug 22.

Senior federal counsel Ahmad Hanir Hambaly, who represented the AGC, confirmed the matter.

On Aug 22, judge Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh allowed Maria’s leave application for a judicial review after ruling that she had not challenged any part of the Islamic law that falls within the jurisdiction of the shariah court but she was challenging the jurisdiction of the court over the committal proceedings against her.

The application to initiate the committal proceedings was filed by SM Faisal following Maria’s comment which questioned the court’s decision in imposing a seven-day jail sentence on his ex-wife for rescheduling the visitation rights given to him.

Meanwhile, SM Faisal’s lawyer, Akberdin Abdul Kader, when contacted said during the online case management today, the court set Nov 2 to hear his client’s application to intervene in the judicial review.

Maria, 65, filed the application on March 3 last year, naming religious affairs minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) and federal territory shariah judiciary department as the first to third respondents.

Maria, among other things, applied for the High Court to quash the action and decision of the Shariah High Court on Oct 14, 2019, which she claimed had wrongly allowed the committal order and for a show cause notice to be issued on her, as it was against the provisions of the Federal Constitution and violated Rule 52 of the Rules of Court 2012 and the Syariah Court Civil Procedure (Federal Territories) Act 1998.

On Dec 4, 2020, Maria was ordered to show cause in the committal proceedings as to why she should not be charged with contempt of court for criticising the Shariah High Court’s decision.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/09/15/agc-appeals-maria-chins-leave-to-challenge-shariah-proceedings/

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Arab World

 

Kurdish forces end 3-month operation against ISIS supporters in Syria’s al-Hol camp

17 September, 2022

Kurdish forces in northeast Syria on Saturday announced the end of a three-week operation against ISIS supporters inside the overcrowded and increasingly lawless camp of al-Hol.

They arrested more than 200 people, including dozens of women, discovered tunnels used by extremists and seized an arsenal of weapons.

The internal security forces of the area’s semi-autonomous Kurdish administration carried out the massive sweep of the camp, which houses tens of thousands of relatives of suspected ISIS members.

The number of murders inside the camp had risen recently, as had fears that al-Hol was becoming the hub from which the terrorist organization was planning its resurgence.

“The operation was launched following the increasing crimes of killing and torture committed by ISIS,” a Kurdish statement said.

The UN says more than 100 people have been murdered since the start of 2021 in al-Hol, which lies in a remote area near the border with Iraq and is home to Syrian and Iraqi families, as well as around 10,000 of others, mostly women and children, originating from further afield.

The Kurdish security forces said ISIS had relied heavily on women and children in al-Hol, most of whom had been there for more than three years, to spread the group’s extremist ideology.

The last rump of the organization’s once-sprawling governate was retaken in March 2019.

The families of suspected ISIS fighters were herded into al-Hol, a detention camp which Kurdish forces are tasked with guarding and running.

Many countries, such as France which was among the biggest purveyors of foreign fighters to ISIS, have been reluctant to repatriate their citizens.

Kurdish forces said they made a total of 226 arrests, uncovered 25 “tunnels and trenches,” confiscated assault rifles, a rocket-propelled grenade and 25 hand grenades.

The internal security forces also said they freed two women from Iraq’s Yazidi minority who were being held by female ISIS followers inside the camp, as well as four other women who were found chained.

Among the other discoveries were many communication devices used to coordinate with ISIS cells outside al-Hol, organize money transfers and plan attacks, the statement said.

The Kurdish authorities reiterated their call on foreign countries to repatriate their nationals, arguing the world had “underestimated the seriousness of the threats in the camp.”

“We also call on the relevant international parties to note the organic relationship between the Turkish intelligence services and ISIS cells,” it said.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/09/17/Kurdish-forces-end-three-operation-against-ISIS-supporters-in-Syria-s-al-Hol-camp

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Turkey strikes Syria regime outpost, kills three: War monitor

18 September, 2022

Turkish raids in northern Syria on Sunday struck outposts operated by the Syrian army and Kurdish-led forces, killing three, a Britain-based war monitor said.

The raids near the Kurdish-held border town of Kobane targeted positions of the Syrian army and the Syrian Democratic Forces, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The three casualties were wearing Syrian army uniform, according to the monitor.

Several other fighters were wounded, some in critical condition, according to the Observatory, which relies on a wide network of sources inside Syria.

The strikes were preceded by cross-border shelling from near Kobane against Turkish forces, according to the monitor.

Last month, the Syrian government said it would respond to direct attacks by Turkey against its forces.

The warning came after a Turkish raid on a regime outpost near Kobane killed at least three troops in mid-August, according to the official SANA news agency.

Turkey has launched a series of cross-border offensives targeting Kurdish forces and the ISIS terrorist group since 2016, but such operations have rarely resulted in the killing of Syrian regime fighters.

Ankara has stepped up its attacks in Kurdish-controlled areas of Syria since a July 19 summit with Iran and Russia failed to green-light a fresh offensive against Kurdish fighters viewed by Ankara as terrorists.

Regime forces have deployed in areas controlled by Kurdish fighters near the border with Turkey as part of agreements intended to stem a fresh Turkish operation.

Last week, the UN’s Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria said that “another Turkish ground operation” remains a threat in Syria’s north, amid “continued mobilization and fighting” between Turkish and Turkish-backed forces and Kurdish-led opponents.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/09/18/Turkey-strikes-Syria-regime-outpost-kills-three-War-monitor-

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Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed meets King Charles at Buckingham Palace in London

19 September, 2022

Dubai ruler and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid met with Britain’s King Charles on Sunday to offer condolences on the passing of Queen Elizabeth.

The leaders met at Buckingham Palace in London and Sheikh Mohammed paid his respects on behalf of the UAE, highlighting the significant role the monarch played in supporting and consolidating the strong historic ties between the United Kingdom and the UAE.

“Today, I met King Charles III at Buckingham Palace. We conveyed the condolences of the people of the United Arab Emirates on the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and their wishes for success in his new royal duties, and the continued wishes of the British people for progress and prosperity,” the Dubai ruler tweeted late Sunday.

Sheikh Mohammed also expressed the hope that the relationship between the two countries will continue to grow deeper and stronger in the years ahead to serve the peoples of both countries as well as to strengthen regional and international peace, security and stability, the official Emirates News Agency WAM reported on Monday.

The UAE’s President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed also spoke with King Charles on the phone on Sunday during which he congratulated the monarch on his ascension to the throne, wishing him success in his duties as king.

Since Queen Elizabeth’s passing earlier this month, hundreds of thousands of people from across the world have traveled to London to pay their respects to the late Queen at her lying-in-state in Westminster Hall, London.

Several mourners waited in a queue for over 24 hours to pay their respects.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/09/19/Dubai-ruler-Sheikh-Mohammed-meets-King-Charles-at-Buckingham-Palace-in-London

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Russian jets strike terrorist positions in Syria’s militant-held Idlib region: Defence ministry

19 September 2022

The Russian Defense Ministry says the country’s fighter jets have carried out a series of airstrikes on the positions of the members of the Takfiri Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) terrorist outfit in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, killing dozens of terrorists in the process.

Deputy head of the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria, Major General Oleg Yegorov, said the air attacks destroyed three camps of the terrorists in Sheikh Yousef village, which lies in the Armanaz sub-district of the province.

He added that weapons depots and warehouses of the militants were destroyed as a result. More than 45 militants, including field commanders Bilal Saeed and Abu Dujan al-Diri, were also killed.

Yegorov noted that the slain terrorists were involved in attacks on Syrian troops and civilians in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

They also took part in organized terrorist attacks on government-controlled territories across Syria.

The development took place more than a week after Russian fighter jets killed the leader of the so-called Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad terrorist group, Sirajuddin Mukhtarov, in an airstrike against a militant camp in Idlib province on September 8.

Yegorov said at the time that Mukhtarov was responsible for organizing terror attacks on Syrian government forces and civil infrastructure facilities.

He added that more than 20 high-ranking HTS terrorists were also killed in the aerial attack.

Yegorov noted that the terrorists were in charge of “combat training of militants, and organizing the financial and administrative activities” of their comrades.

Russia has been providing Syrian forces with crucial military assistance in the ongoing battles against militants across the conflict-plagued Arab country.

Source: Press TV

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https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/09/19/689463/Russian-fighter-jets-bomb-terrorist-positions-northwest-Syria

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Biggest illegal US military base in Syria comes under intense rocket attack: Reports

18 September 2022

The US's biggest illegal military base in Syria has come under rocket attack, hours after another installation housing American forces was similarly targeted with projectiles.

Syria's al-Watan daily reported the attack on Sunday, identifying the target as the US's outpost in the al-Omar Oilfield in the eastern Syrian Province of Dayr al-Zawr. The paper said the incident saw multiple rockets being fired against the facility.

Columns of smoke and fire began to billow from the base following the attack, the daily said, adding that American copters were seen loitering over the outpost in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

Reporting from the area, a correspondent with the Russian Sputnik news agency's Arabic service described the rocket fire as "the most intense" attack to ever target the facility.

The rockets struck sensitive spots across the outpost, the reporter said, noting that several massive explosions had rung out throughout the installation during the incident.

The US forces have been actively involved in Syria under the guise of fighting the Takfiri terrorist group of Daesh.

Washington has extended the troops' presence in Syria since 2017, although, the Arab country and its allies defeated the terror outfit that year.

Numerous reports and regional officials have, meanwhile, pointed to the US’s role in transferring Daesh's elements throughout the region and even airlifting supplies to the group.

The US military has stationed forces and equipment in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh's remnants.

Damascus, however, maintains that the deployment is aimed at plundering the country's rich oil and mineral resources, and says it reserves the right to expel the American troops through appropriate means.

Earlier in the day, rockets were fired against a military facility housing US occupation forces in the Hasakah Province, which neighbors Dayr al-Zawr, Sabereen News, a Telegram news channel associated with Iraqi anti-terror forces, reported.

Source: Press TV

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https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/09/18/689453/Syria-United-States-base-attack

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Mideast

 

Yemen separatists seize al-Qaeda stronghold in Abyan

Shukri Hussein  

18.09.2022

SANAA, Yemen

Yemen’s separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) said Sunday its forces captured a major stronghold for al-Qaeda terrorists in the southern Abyan province.

STC spokesman Mohammad al-Naqeeb said southern forces brought under control al-Qaeda stronghold in Mudiyah district, east of the provincial capital Zinjibar.

He said the camp was used by al-Qaeda terrorists to launch attacks in Zinjibar city.

Al-Naqeeb said two STC soldiers, including a senior commander, were killed during the attack to seize the camp.

On September 6, at least 22 soldiers from the STC-affiliated Security Belt Forces were killed in an attack by al-Qaeda terrorists in Abyan. Following the attack, STC forces launched a military operation to cleanse Abyan from terrorist organizations.

Military headquarters in Abyan come under frequent attacks, usually attributed to al-Qaeda, which is active in the mountainous areas on the outskirts of Ahwar and Al-Mahfad districts, east of Zinjibar city.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/yemen-separatists-seize-al-qaeda-stronghold-in-abyan/2688206

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Hamas: Palestinians must keep firm on Israel’s settlement expansion

18 September 2022

Hamas has called on the Palestinians to ramp up resistance against the Israeli occupation and stand up to the regime’s forces and settlers by all means available to fight settlement expansion.

Fawzi Barhoum, the spokesman of the resistance movement, said in a statement on Sunday that the Tel Aviv regime had fenced a large swath of land in Khirbet Ihmir in the Jordan Valley community of al-Farisiya to “annex the area to be later used for colonial settlement expansion.”

“Such a move is a crime added to the repeated Israeli violations against the Palestinian lands, people, and holy sites,” the Hamas official said.

Barhoum said the regime’s “non-stop policy of displacement and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people will not succeed in wiping out the historical features of Palestine. Neither will it deter our people from continuing their freedom struggle until liberation and return.”

The Israeli regime continues to press ahead with its settlement expansion and land grab policies across the occupied Palestinian territories despite international outcry.

Most of the international community considers Israeli settlement construction illegal under international law.

Nearly 700,000 Israelis live in illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

The UN Security Council has in several resolutions condemned the regime’s settlement projects on the occupied Palestinian land.

Source: Press TV

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https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/09/18/689451/Palestine-Israel-Hamas-settlement-Khirbet-Ihmir-

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Turkey’s Erdogan targets joining of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: Media

17 September, 2022

President Tayyip Erdogan said he was targeting membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) for NATO-member Turkey, broadcaster NTV and other media said on Saturday.

He was speaking to reporters after attending the SCO summit in Uzbekistan before heading to the United States.

“Our relations with these countries will be moved to a much different position with this step,” Erdogan said.

When asked if he meant membership of the SCO, he said, “Of course, that’s the target.”

Turkey is currently a dialogue partner of the SCO, whose members are China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Amid bilateral discussions at the summit, Erdogan had talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Erdogan said Turkey and Russia had reached a deal resolving a dispute over a nuclear power plant being built at Akkuyu in southern Turkey.

NTV reported Erdogan as saying that the Turkish contractor IC Ictas had been reinstated in the project, confirming comments by two sources to Reuters on Friday.

Last month, the Russian state nuclear energy company Rosatom, which is running the project, terminated its contract with IC Ictas over what it called “numerous violations.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/09/17/Turkey-Russia-reach-deal-resolving-dispute-over-nuclear-plant-Report

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Human Rights Chief: Iran Seriously Following Up UN Rapporteur Report on Impacts of US Sanctions

2022-September-18

Qaribabadi explained the importance of Douhan’s report on the effects of unilateral US sanctions on the Iranian people.

He noted that the UN special rapporteur has clearly stated that unilateral sanctions have affected the Iranian people’s political, social, economic and human rights aspects and have created international responsibility for sanctions.

The judiciary official emphasized that Iran will seriously follow up the results of Douhan’s report so that the destructive and negative effects of sanctions on the people of Iran are truly expressed.

Douhan has recently confirmed in a report the negative impacts of harsh sanctions on the Iranian people, and invited the UN to come up with mechanisms of compensation, remedy and redress for victims of the unilateral coercive measures (UCMs).

Douhan paid an 11-day visit to Iran in May, meeting with the country's human rights officials and members of nongovernmental organizations. The visit was aimed at gathering information on the impact of sanctions in order to hold countries imposing such unilateral measures to account.

In 2018, the United States began to unilaterally reimpose sanctions against Iran after former President Donald Trump's administration abandoned the 2015 nuclear agreement and launched what it called a maximum pressure campaign against Tehran at the time, targeting the Iranian nation with the “toughest ever” sanctions.

Washington has insisted that sanctions on Tehran do not affect the trade of humanitarian items and food. However, strict bans on banking transactions involving Iran have made it impossible for the country to access critically needed medicine and medical equipment over the past years.

Iranian authorities say the Unite States has been bullying companies in Europe and other parts of the world to make them stop trading with Tehran.

Source: Fars News Agency

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https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010627000197/Hman-Righs-Chief-Iran-Serisly-Fllwing-Up-UN-Rapprer-Repr-n-Impacs-f

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Iranian police say death of Mahsa Amini was ‘unfortunate’

19 September, 2022

Iranian police called on Monday the death of Mahsa Amini an “unfortunate incident” that they do not want to see repeated, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

Amini was a 22 year-old woman who fell into a coma and died following her arrest in Tehran by the morality police last week, sparking protests across the country by Iranians angered by the treatment of women by the country’s security forces.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/09/19/Iranian-police-says-death-of-Mahsa-Amini-was-unfortunate-

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Iran’s President Raisi repeats call for nuclear deal guarantees ahead of UN visit

19 September, 2022

Tehran would be serious about reviving a deal on its nuclear program if there were guarantees the US would not again withdraw from it, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said in an interview broadcast on Sunday.

Last month, Iran’s foreign minister said Tehran needed stronger guarantees from Washington for the revival of the 2015 deal and urged the UN atomic watchdog to drop its “politically motivated probes” of Tehran’s nuclear work.

Speaking to the CBS show 60 Minutes in a interview conducted last Tuesday, Raisi said, “If it’s a good deal and fair deal, we would be serious about reaching an agreement.”

In his remarks ahead of a visit to the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, Raisi added, “It needs to be lasting. There need to be guarantees. If there were a guarantee, then the Americans could not withdraw from the deal.”

He said the Americans had broken their promises on the deal, under which Tehran had restrained its nuclear program in exchange for relief from US, European Union and UN economic sanctions.

“They did it unilaterally. They said that, ‘I am out of the deal.’ Now making promises is becoming meaningless,” he said.

“We cannot trust the Americans because of the behavior that we have already seen from them. That is why if there is no guarantee, there is no trust.”

The US network described the interview with journalist Lesley Stahl as Raisi’s first with a Western reporter.

“I was told how to dress, not to sit before he did, and not to interrupt him,” Stahl said.

During months of talks with Washington in Vienna, Tehran demanded US assurances that no future US president would abandon the deal as former President Donald Trump did in 2018.

The deal appeared near revival in March.

But indirect talks between Tehran and Washington then broke down over several issues, including Tehran’s insistence that the International Atomic Energy Agency close its investigation into uranium traces found at three undeclared sites before the pact is revived.

There has been no sign that Tehran and Washington will manage to overcome their impasse but Iran is expected to use the UN General Assembly to keep the diplomatic ball rolling by repeating its willingness to reach a sustainable deal.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/09/19/Iran-s-President-Raisi-repeats-call-for-nuclear-deal-guarantees-ahead-of-UN-visit

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Iran’s Khamenei appears in public after reports of ‘critical’ health

17 September, 2022

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei attended a religious ceremony in Tehran on Saturday, state media reported, making his first public appearance following reports about his health situation.

The supreme leader’s website released photos of him walking and waving to the crowd.

On Friday, citing unnamed sources, the New York Times reported that Khamenei underwent surgery last week after falling “gravely ill.”

Khamenei “had surgery some time last week for bowel obstruction after suffering extreme stomach pains and high fever,” the NYT reported.

Khamenei’s condition was considered “critical last week, but has improved, and he is currently resting,” the report said, adding: “His doctors are monitoring him around the clock and remain concerned that he is still too weak to even sit up in bed.”

Iranian authorities did not comment on the report.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/09/17/Iran-s-Khamenei-appears-in-public-after-reports-of-critical-health-

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Abbas to use UN speech to rally support for Mideast peacemaking

Awad al-Rujoub 

18.09.2022

RAMALLAH, Palestine

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is set to address the 77th session of the UN General Assembly on Friday to rally support for the Middle East peacemaking, the country’s foreign ministry said on Sunday.

"Abbas' speech will constitute an important historic landmark on the road to thwart and topple the expansionist colonial plans of the occupying state and its denial of the just and legitimate national rights of our people," the ministry said in a statement.

It said the Palestinian leader will urge the international community "not to miss the peace opportunity" for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The ministry called for compelling Israel "to engage in real peace process leading to an end of the occupation of the land" of Palestine.

In 1993, the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel signed the Oslo agreement, which gave Palestinians a form of civil rule, but negotiations failed to complete the agreement and lead to a Palestinian state.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/abbas-to-use-un-speech-to-rally-support-for-mideast-peacemaking/2688125

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26 PKK/YPG terrorists neutralized within, beyond Türkiye’s borders

Ahmet Gencturk and Merve Berker  

18.09.2022

Türkiye "neutralized" 26 PKK/YPG terrorists within and beyond the country’s borders, sources and officials said on Sunday.

In two separate drone strikes carried out by the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) in northern Syria, at least five terrorists, including senior operative Mehmet Gurbuz who was wanted with a red notice, were “neutralized,” said the sources, requesting anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

In another successful operation, two of the three terrorists cornered by police special forces were neutralized in the Yuksekova district of Türkiye's Hakkari province, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu tweeted.

Another terrorist, who was trying to escape from the scene, was held, he added.

Meanwhile, the National Defense Ministry said in a statement that seven more terrorists were "neutralized" in operations Claw-Lock and Claw-Tiger zones in northern Iraq.

Türkiye launched Operation Claw-Lock in April to target PKK terrorist hideouts in northern Iraq's Metina, Zap, and Avasin-Basyan regions, near the Turkish border.

It was initiated after Operations Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle to root out terrorists hiding in northern Iraq and plotting cross-border attacks in Türkiye.

Separately, Turkish forces targeted 12 PKK terrorists in Türkiye's southern regions of Sanliurfa and Suruc in an anti-terror operation, the ministry said.

Unfortunately, during the operation, Turkish soldier Ismet Aybek was killed, while another got injured.

The ministry expressed condolences to Aybek’s family, Turkish forces and the nation, and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded personnel.

Turkish authorities use the term “neutralize” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or wounded.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/26-pkk-ypg-terrorists-neutralized-within-beyond-turkiye-s-borders/2687951

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108 Yemenis killed by mines, cluster bombs, other war remnants since truce: Report

19 September 2022

A report says at least 108 Yemeni civilians have been killed by landmines, cluster bombs, and other fatal remnants of the Saudi-led war since April, when a UN-brokered truce came into effect in the impoverished Arab country.

The Yemen Executive Mine Action Centre (YEMAC), a human rights body based in the capital Sana'a, provided the information on Sunday.

As many as 216 others, it added, had also been wounded during the period by the same causes.

The coalition invaded Yemen in March 2015 to return a Riyadh-friendly government back to power. It has fallen short of the objective so far, while killing around 13,000 Yemenis and creating the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The United Nations-mediated ceasefire came into force on April 2, and has been extended twice ever since. Many reports, though, have blamed the invading coalition for numerous violations of the agreement.

The YEMAC said Yemen was in need of proper supplies that could help it carry out bomb disposal operations throughout the country.

The truce has ordered that the Yemeni authorities be provided with the required means that could help them dig up the unexploded devices. The Saudi-led coalition was, however, preventing their provision amid an all-out siege that it has been enforcing on Yemen since starting the war in 2015, the report added.

As part of its efforts to implement the siege, the Saudi-led coalition has been preventing the country from exporting its oil, despite Sana'a's heavy dependence on crude sales' revenues. Yemeni officials say the coalition has so far impounded at least 12 tankers laden with overseas-bound oil.

The Saudi-led coalition has also been found culpable for destroying thousands of water provision facilities, including dams, and contaminating Yemen's water supplies.

Source: Press TV

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https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/09/19/689457/Yemen-Saudi-Arabia-war-landmines-cluster-bombs-deaths

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Africa

 

Tunisia to question Ennahda leader on terrorism accusations

Adel Thabeti  

18.09.2022

TUNIS, Tunisia

Tunisian authorities on Sunday summoned Ennahda leader Rached Ghannouchi and his deputy for questioning on terrorism accusations.

“Ghannouchi and Ali Laarayedh will appear before the anti-terror unit on Monday to answer accusations of sending Tunisians to hotspots” overseas, Riadh Chaibi, a political adviser to Ghannouchi, told Anadolu Agency.

There was no comment yet from the Tunisian authorities on the report.

On Wednesday, Tunisian authorities arrested Habib Al-Louz, a former parliamentarian and senior Ennahda leader, for questioning on similar charges.

On Tuesday, the private Radio Mosaique, citing informed sources, said that judicial authorities have given permission to the relevant security body to take necessary measures to investigate the case with "involved politicians, former security officials, lawyers and heads of charity organizations."

According to local media, arrest warrants were issued against three former security officials, former parliamentarian Reda al-Jawadi, businessman Mohamed Frikha and cleric Sheikh Bechir ben Hasan.

The Ennahda party termed the warrants as “random arrests" aimed at defaming the image of the party and its figures.

Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis that aggravated the country's economic conditions since last year, when President Kais Saied ousted the government and dissolved parliament.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/tunisia-to-question-ennahda-leader-on-terrorism-accusations/2688248

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Tunisia expects to reach loan agreement with IMF in coming weeks: Cenbank governor

18 September, 2022

Tunisia expects to reach a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in coming weeks on a loan of between $2 billion and $4 billion over three years, the central bank governor said on Sunday.

Tunisia, which is suffering its worst financial crisis, is seeking to secure an IMF loan to save public finances from collapse.

“The size is still under negotiation, and I think it will be between $2 billion and $4 billion, we hope to reach a staff level deal in coming weeks,” Marouan Abassi told Reuters.

The government and the powerful UGTT labor union last week signed a deal to boost public sector wages by 5 percent a step that may ease social tensions. But they did not announce any further agreement on reforms needed for an IMF bailout.

Abassi said the wage deal was an important step for negotiations with the IMF and will give a clear view of wages’ weight in GDP in coming years.

“It will give us a clear vision about the wage mass that is expected to decline in the coming years,” he added.

Fitch Ratings said on Friday that Tunisia’s wage agreement raises the likelihood of an IMF deal.

Abassi said the possible deal will open doors for bilateral financing, including with Japan and Gulf countries.

“We have advanced talks with Saudi Arabia about bilateral financing,” he added.

The IMF has signaled it will not move forward with a bailout sought by Tunis unless the government brings on board the UGTT, which says it has more than a million members and has previously shut down the economy in strikes.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2022/09/18/Tunisia-expects-to-reach-loan-agreement-with-IMF-in-coming-weeks-Cenbank-governor

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Protesters in Niger call for departure of French troops

Fatma Esma Arslan 

19.09.2022

DAKAR, Senegal

Hundreds of Nigeriens took to the streets of the capital Niamey on Sunday to protest against the presence of French troops in the country.

During the protest, which was organized by civil society organizations operating under the umbrella of the M62 movement, they marched from Toumo Square to the National Assembly.

Protesting the cost of living at the same time, they chanted slogans against the French army stationed in Niger.

Carrying Russian flags, the protesters also held banners saying “French army get out.”

In August this year, France pulled the last of its troops out of Mali, bringing the country's Operation Barkhane to an end.

"This day at 1.00 p.m. (1300GMT), the last detachment of the Barkhane force present on Malian soil crossed the border between Mali and Niger," said a press release by the Ministry of the Armed Forces, announcing the end of the nine-year military presence with 2,400 soldiers stationed in the North African country.

France then made Niger its new hub for its troops, with close to a thousand soldiers based in Niamey.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/protesters-in-niger-call-for-departure-of-french-troops/2688363

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