New Age Islam
Fri Nov 27 2020, 03:15 PM

Islamic World News ( 17 Apr 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Hindus, Sikhs may face worse times in future: Pak Report

Suicide attackers are enemies of Islam and Pakistan: Sunni Ittihad Council

Gunmen, bombs kill six in Iraq

J&K Muslim jawan helped nab Pak spy

8 NATO troops killed as Afghan fighting heats up

Awami National Party supports US-sponsored Taliban talks

Fresh political violence kills 10 in Karachi

Two cops among three killed in Karachi target killings

Pakistan, Afghanistan to boost joint peace efforts with Taliban

If Pakistan fails, US will also fail: Pak PM

US, Pakistan struggle with ‘unhappy’ alliance

European Parliament condemns Pakistan

Musharraf ready to sort out differences with Sharif, former Pak PM

Gulf States call on UN to halt Iran ‘interference’

Libyan rebels want NATO ground forces

Gaddafi presses Libyan rebels, West says no troops

US seeking safe haven for Gaddafi

Gaddafi forces shell Ajdabiya

Palestinian president rules out Israeli troops in future state

Over 50 countries to attend counter-piracy meet in Dubai

IMF, World Bank, tries to tackle ‘Arab Spring’

Syrian protesters tell president Bashar to quit 'stalling', and go

UK defence secy 'moves to secure location over terror fears'

Muslim Brotherhood warns of sectarian strife in Qena

Four dead in new Syria protests

Mubarak's sons grilled on foreign finances

Assad’s pledge met with defiance

Egypt presidential hopeful Sabbahi would revise relations with Israel

Turkey, Iran open third border crossing in regional cooperation effort

Turkish initiative may help resolve Palestinian divide

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood back on the defensive

Majority of Palestinians want armed attacks on Israel ended: poll

GCC leaders, Yemeni opposition hold talks

Protest demos continue across Yemen

Top Israel rabbi urges Obama to free spy Pollard

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/hindus,-sikhs-may-face-worse-times-in-future--pak-report/d/4476

  

 

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Hindus, Sikhs may face worse times in future: Pak Report

April 18, 2011

The previous year was a bad one for Pakistan's minority communities including Muslims of various sects, Sikhs and Hindus due to threat to their lives by militants, according to a new report which suggested even worse times ahead.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan's report said 418 Muslims of various sects were killed in terror attacks and about 25 per cent of Sikh families in the Orakzai tribal area were forced to leave their homes due to threats from Taliban.

It said 500 Hindu families from Balochistan province migrated to India due to threats to their lives and security.

The "State of Human Rights in 2010" report, which detailed attacks on the minorities, said: "All indications suggest that there are even worse times ahead."

The report said 418 people were killed in violence against different minority Muslim sects while suicide attacks on Muslims injured 628 people, including Shias.

Sikhs living in Pakistan's north-western areas for centuries had to face trying times after the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan asked them to pay 'jiziya' (a religious tax) or leave the area.

Around 25 of the 102 Sikh families living in Orakzai Agency were forced to flee their homes.

They were able to return after the military carried out an operation against the militants.

A total of 500 Hindu families from Balochistan in southwest Pakistan migrated to India because of threats to their lives and security, the report said.

According to Balochistan's director of the Federal Human Rights Ministry, at least 27 Hindu families from the province had sought asylum in India because of threats, It added.

The minority Ahmedi sect, which was declared non-Muslim through a constitutional amendment in 1974, lost 99 members to faith-based violence, the report said.

The report further said 64 people were charged under the controversial blasphemy law in 2010 and many of them were imprisoned.

A Muslim and two Christian men accused of blasphemy were killed in police custody, it said.

Highlighting the abuses of the rights of minority communities, the report said there had been few positive developments with regard to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

"Extremist views grew more vociferous as voices for basic human rights and tolerance became more isolated in face of violence and intimidation," the report noted.

It said police were not doing enough to protect minorities from attacks and had even been accused of harassing or being complicit in framing false charges against them.

Presenting the report, HRCP chairman Mehdi Hassan claimed most human rights abuses were being conducted by government functionaries, including police.

"Under such conditions, who will ensure that the laws are being implemented?" he asked.

The report said prejudices of law enforcement personnel were believed to be a hurdle in effective protection of religious minorities in serious danger from the Taliban and sectarian militant groups.

HRCP secretary general I. A Rehman said in most religion-based killings, the federal and provincial governments failed to even express sympathy with victims.

The report also highlighted the growing spread of hate literature and said even mainstream Urdu newspapers featured 1,468 news articles and editorials that promoted hate, intolerance and discrimination against Ahmedis.

Rehman contended that political parties had failed to contribute towards improving human rights conditions.

"They cannot even speak clearly on the issue because they are not true political parties, these are just brokers and rubber-stamps," he alleged.

The report further highlighted the government's weak response to misuse of the controversial blasphemy law and its flip¿flop on calls to reform the law to prevent its misuse.

Observers have said that the PPP-led government had apparently shelved plans to review the law following the assassination this year of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer and Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, who were gunned down for challenging the law.

 The report also detailed the law and order situation, saying about 12,580 people were murdered and 581 kidnapped for ransom in 2010.

 A total of 16,977 cases of kidnapping were reported.

 The HRCP held US drones strikes responsible for 957 extra-legal killings and said another 338 people were killed in police "encounters" or fake shootouts.

 A total of 1,159 people, included 1,041 civilians, were killed in 67 suicide attacks, the report said. Overall, a total of 2,542 people were killed and 5,062 injured in terrorist attacks.

 Target killings in Karachi claimed the lives of 237 political activists and 301 civilians, the report said.

 Another 118 people were killed and 40 injured in 117 incidents of target killing in Balochistan. The figures included 29 non-Baloch settlers and 17 members of the Shia Hazara community.

 The bodies of 59 "missing persons"- people detained without charge by security and intelligence agencies - were found in Balochistan.

 The report said there were 163 attacks on educational institutions while militants killed 22 teachers in Balochistan between January 2008 and October 2010.

 A total of 791 women were killed in the name of honour while 2,903 were sexually assaulted, with the maximum number of cases reported from Punjab province.

 http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/776632/

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Suicide attackers are enemies of Islam and Pakistan: Sunni Ittihad Council

April 18, 2011

LAHORE: The suicide attacks are forbidden and totally against the teachings of Islam, and suicide bombers are the great enemies of Islam and Pakistan.

This was the crux of the speakers at ‘Istehkaam-e- Pakistan Sunni Conference’ organised by Sunni Ittihad Council (SIC) at Minar-e-Pakistan (Iqbal Park) on Sunday.

The SIC Chairman Sahibzada Haji Muhammad Fazal Karim, in his address, condemned the terrorist attacks in various parts of the country, especially on mosques and shrines of saints. He called for an open trial of those arrested for their alleged involvement in terror activities.

Fazal Karim said that at Minar-e-Pakistan, they took oath for making every effort to save Pakistan, adding, now the country’s politics would be done on merit and the SIC would raise up a leadership from middle class of the society.

He said that SIC would not tolerate any negative change in the textbooks of various educational institutions of the country, and would ensure an equal educational system for the rich and the poor.

Since the masses are well aware and awakened to achieve their rights, he said, the SIC would not be at peace until it establish ‘Nizam-e-Mustafa’ in the country.

Fazal Karim urged the judiciary to take strict action against those involved in the heinous crimes of suicide attacks on mosques and shrines.

He also demanded the government to expose the elements resorting to target killings especially in Karachi, the largest city of Pakistan. He also impressed upon the government to improve further the law and order situation in the country.

The SIC advocates the proposal of the formation of new provinces for better administration and management, he added.

Ulema, Mushaikh, Shrines’ Sajadanasheen, and religious scholars including Syed Mushahid Hussain Gardezi, Mufti Muhammad Haseeb Qadri, Allama Naeem Javed Noori, Pir Safdar Shah, Ejaz Sarwat also addressed the conference.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/18/suicide-attackers-are-enemies-of-islam-pakistan-

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Gunmen, bombs kill six in Iraq

April 18, 2011

Bombs and gunmen killed six people in Iraq yesterday, four of them from the same family, security sources said.

The four family members -- parents and two daughters in their 20s -- were all shot in the head overnight by gunmen who spared a third, seven-year-old daughter, interior ministry and security officials said.

"This was probably a terrorist crime, which we are investigating," said Baghdad security spokesman Major General Qassim Atta.

Also yesterday, magnetic "sticky bombs" attached to cars killed two civilians and wounded another in Kirkuk, a violence-prone, religiously and ethnically diverse northern province, senior police officials said.

In the western part of Kirkuk, police said they found the corpse of the leader of an anti-Al-Qaeda militia who was kidnapped a week ago. It was unclear when he was slain.

Violence has sharply fallen in Iraq since its peak during sectarian killings of 2006 and 2007, but bombings, shootings and kidnappings remain common.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=182065

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J&K Muslim jawan helped nab Pak spy

April 18, 2011

NEW DELHI: The latest spy saga between India and Pakistan that unveiled a few kilometres away from Mohali stadium where prime ministers of India and Pakistan met while the two sides played the World Cup semi-final has an unlikely hero: An Indian Army soldier from Kashmir Valley.

According to sources, it was the quick reflexes of the soldier that led to the dramatic detention of a Pakistan high commission driver in Chandigarh, a few kilometres away from where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani were meeting. What has added a special sense of pride to those who oversaw the operation is the fact that the one who helped nab the Pakistani spy was a Kashmiri Muslim.

Sources said the Pakistan high commission driver had targeted the Army man "because of his distinct Kashmiri features" and had used discussions about Kashmir to endear himself to the soldier. He walked up to the Indian soldier at a Chandigarh crossing and struck up a conversation. In the subsequent meeting, the driver offered money to him for divulging military details.

According to sources, the soldier used quick reflexes to trap the driver. He told the Pakistani spy that though he may not have any valuable information, he could put him in touch with other Army personnel who could provide sensitive info.

On the pretext of introducing him to other personnel, the soldier walked the Pakistani driver to his Army unit. When they were just metres away from the gate, the soldier caught hold of the driver and shouted for help. His colleagues came in and assisted him in overpowering the driver and take him inside. In this scuffle, the driver was mildly injured.

The Pakistan high commission official was interrogated for almost 24 hours but "he turned out be a hard nut, revealing very little", a source said.

Within hours of the driver's arrest, Pakistani authorities detained an Indian high commission staffer in Islamabad. The matter ended with both sides releasing their respective detainees.

Sources indicated that the Indian soldier could be recommended for appropriate military commendation.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/JK-Muslim-jawan-helped-nab-Pak-spy/articleshow/8009402.cms

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8 NATO troops killed as Afghan fighting heats up

April 18, 2011

KABUL, (Afghanistan) - Insurgent attacks in Afghanistan killed eight NATO service members in one of the deadliest days for the military coalition this year, signaling the start of what many fear will be a particularly violent fighting season as President Barack Obama looks to start drawing down troops, authorities said Sunday.

The spate of attacks happened Saturday, when two separate bomb blasts in the south killed three soldiers and a suicide bombing by a Taliban sleeper agent killed five NATO service members at a U.S. base in the east.

Fighting usually increases in Afghanistan as the weather warms and insurgents climb back over the mountainous border with Pakistan. This year, NATO has pushed further into Taliban strongholds in the south and has said the goal is to hold these areas so that militants cannot re-establish their dominance.

Full report at:

http://dailymailnews.com/0411/18/FrontPage/index.php?id=5

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Awami National Party supports US-sponsored Taliban talks

April 18, 2011

By Ahmad Hassan

ISLAMABAD: The Awami National Party (ANP) has supported the US-sponsored plan for peace with Taliban and the Pakistan-Afghanistan accord to take the dialogue process forward.

Talking to reporters after launching his party’s membership campaign at the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa House here on Sunday, ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan said the use of military means was no more an effective way of resolving the political issues.

When asked to comment on Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s Saturday visit to Kabul, accompanied by Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvaiz Kayani, the ANP chief said his party had always supported dialogue with ‘saner elements’ among the Taliban for the sake of regional stability.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/18/anp-supports-us-sponsored-taliban-talks.html

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Fresh political violence kills 10 in Karachi

April 18, 2011

KARACHI: Fresh political violence in Pakistan's commercial capital has claimed 10 lives, as target killings continue unabated here despite shoot at sight orders by the government and law enforcement authorities, police said today.

Police and rescue officials confirmed that since last morning 10 people were killed and the victims included a former union vice nazim belonging to the Jamaat-e-Islaami party.

Interior minister, Rehman Malik this week said after holding meetings in Karachi to review the situation in the city that law enforcement agencies had been given orders to shoot on sight extortionists and target killers.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Fresh-political-violence-kill-10-in-Karachi/articleshow/8008397.cms

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Two cops among three killed in Karachi target killings

April 18, 2011

KARACHI: Three people, including two police cops, were shot dead in incidents of target killing in separate parts of the provincial capital on Sunday.

A sub-inspector (SI) was gunned down in New Karachi Police Lane within the limits of New Karachi police station. The incident took place when 40-year-old Zulfiqar Qaimkhani was standing outside his police quarter.

As he was about to enter his house, an armed man reached there and opened fire at him, killing him after few minutes.

The body was shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH), where scores of police officers and personnel had also gathered.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\04\18\story_18-4-2011_pg1_3

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Pakistan, Afghanistan to boost joint peace efforts with Taliban

April 18, 2011

KABUL: Pakistan and Afghanistan in a major policy shift to bring improvement in their strategic ties on Saturday decided to resolve the terror issue and find a negotiated settlement of the insurgency through mutual consultations.

The two countries announced to set up a two-tier high-powered joint commission to carry forward the reconciliation process after the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.

(According to AFP, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani agreed to boost joint peace efforts with the Taliban insurgents, Karzai said. ?The joint peace commission which used to be at the level of foreign ministers has been upgraded by Pakistan to the highest governmental level,? Karzai said.

Full report at:

http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?238336

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If Pakistan fails, US will also fail: Pak PM

April 18, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has said since the fight against terrorism is a Pakistan-United States combined effort, if Pakistan fails, the US will also fail.

“By now the US is convinced that we are part of the solution to terrorism but not a part of the problem,” the web-based rt.com quoted the prime minister as saying. He added that terrorism was a global challenge and Pakistan a frontline state in a global war.

“Terrorism has neither boundaries nor ideology; it is meant only to destabilise. It has no support in Pakistan because it works for a foreign agenda and is sponsored from abroad,” the website quoted the prime minister as saying. He added that there was also drug money behind terrorism in Pakistan.

About the use of US/CIA drone strikes on Pakistani territory, the prime minister said while Islamabad had been successful in separating the militants from the local tribes that now supported the government, drone attacks which kill innocent civilians only helped create sympathy for terrorists among the locals. “It [using drones] is not in favour of either military or political strategy. Drones make Pakistan’s work difficult,” he said, adding that Pakistan can do the job itself.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=14312

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US, Pakistan struggle with ‘unhappy’ alliance

April 18, 2011

When the US president, Barack Obama, inherited Washington’s partnership with Pakistan, he kept the money flowing in hopes that stronger ties would help end the Afghan war and give Pakistan more tools to keep its nuclear arsenal from falling into extremists’ hands.

What Washington has gotten for its billions, however, is limited progress on clearing militant strongholds on the Afghan-Pakistan border and a souring relationship that included threats this month to limit CIA drone strikes and require Pakistani clearance for Washington spy operations.

Adding to the complications is the narrow nature of the relationship. America’s interests in Pakistan — transformed by the 9-11 attacks — are built almost entirely around high-stakes security issues and the bonds between the CIA and Pakistan’s spy agency.

Washington expects its massive aid to Pakistan should buy it broad cooperation and wide latitude to strike at Islamic militants, including those backing the Taliban in Afghanistan. But in Pakistan, there are growing calls to rein in US operations, particularly in the wake of a bitter diplomatic dispute after a CIA contractor fatally shot two Pakistanis in January.

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/15681.html

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European Parliament condemns Pakistan

April 18, 2011

NEW DELHI: The European Parliament (EP) passed two declarations against the Pakistan government condemning it for its support to the Taliban and instructed the European Commission to re-evaluate the size of financial packages provided to Islamabad to eradicate terrorists from its soil.

A statement on Friday said these declarations came after recognising the need for urgent measures to be taken for the safety and security of EU, “as Pakistan didn't stop supporting the Taliban and has been involved in supporting export of terrorism to EU countries.”

Expressing the EU's worry, one declaration warned about infiltration of the Taliban in Pakistan governmental structures especially military, intelligence and security establishment and cited U.S. President Barack Obama's 2009 warning of Taliban “snatching a nuclear weapon in transport or inserting sympathisers in laboratories.”

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/04/18/stories/2011041854741300.htm

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Musharraf ready to sort out differences with Sharif, former Pak PM

April 18, 2011

Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has said he is ready to sort out his differences with PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, whose government he had deposed in a military coup in 1999, if such a move leads to a "good future" for the country.

Musharraf, who has been living outside Pakistan since early 2009, made the remarks during an interview with Dawn News channel in Dubai.

"I would not mind if it happens for the good future of the country," he said. The former president said he had not phoned Sharif to enquire about his health after the former premier underwent emergency heart surgery in London recently because "his heart and mind did not allow him to do so in view of some statements by PML-N leaders".

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/musharraf-ready-to-sort-out-differences-with-sharif/777313/

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Gulf states call on UN to halt Iran ‘interference’

April 18, 2011

Gulf states called on the international community and UN Security Council to “make flagrant Iranian interference and provocations” in regional affairs cease.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, after a meeting in the Saudi capital Riyadh, called in a statement for “necessary measures” against Iran to prevent it from sowing regional discord.

The six-nation GCC called on “the international community and the Security Council to take the necessary measures to make flagrant Iranian interference and provocations aimed at sowing discord and destruction” among GCC states.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/April/middleeast_April374.xml&section=middleeast

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Libyan rebels want NATO ground forces

April 18, 2011

DUBAI: Allegations about the use of cluster bombs in Misurata by forces loyal to Libyan strongman Muammar Qadhafi have fuelled a debate among the Libyan opposition and its Western supporters about deploying NATO troops in Libya.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has alleged that pro-Qadhafi forces used cluster bombs in the residential areas of Misurata, Libya's third largest city east of capital Tripoli. Tripoli has rejected the accusation. “Absolutely no. We can't do this. Morally, legally, we can't do this,” Mussa Ibrahim, Mr. Qadhafi's spokesman, told reporters. Cluster bombs explode in the air and scatter over a large area, deadly “bomblets” which have enough explosive power to damage tanks.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/04/18/stories/2011041852771600.htm

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Gaddafi presses Libyan rebels, West says no troops

April 18, 2011

AJDABIYAH, April 18 — Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi kept up an offensive on the rebels’ eastern frontline outpost of Ajdabiyah, while the West again ruled out sending ground troops to help the rebel cause.

One witness said he saw about a dozen rockets land near the western entrance to Ajdabiyah, which rebels wanted to use as a staging post to retake the oil port of Brega. Many fled yesterday as loud explosions boomed across the town.

“There are still some guys out there at the western gate but the situation isn’t very good,” said Wassim el-Agouri, a 25-year-old rebel volunteer waiting at Ajdabiyah’s eastern gate.

“We want weapons, modern weapons,” said rebel Ayman Aswey, 21. “If we had those, we could advance against them.”

Yesterday marked a month since the UN Security Council passed a resolution authorising force to protect civilians in Libya, leading to an international air campaign.

But despite Nato air strikes against Gaddafi’s armour, rebels have been unable to hold gains in weeks of back-and-forth fighting over the coastal towns in eastern Libya.

With Nato troops bogged down in Afghanistan, Western countries have ruled out sending ground troops, a position reinforced by the British prime minister yesterday.

“What we’ve said is there is no question of invasion or an occupation — this is not about Britain putting boots on the ground,” David Cameron told Sky News in an interview.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/world/article/gaddafi-presses-libyan-rebels-west-says-no-troops/

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US seeking safe haven for Gaddafi

April 18, 2011

The Barack Obama administration has launched an intense search for a country that could provide refuge to Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, The New York Times reported Saturday.

But amid looming indictments against Gaddafi by the International Criminal Court in the Hague for the atrocities committed against his own people, US officials only have a narrow list of potential host countries.

That approach raises the prospect that Gaddafi could find haven in another country in Africa where about half of the countries have not signed the treaty.

The United States is also not a signatory due to worries that is military officers and intelligence officers could be prosecuted.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=182072

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Gaddafi forces shell Ajdabiya

April 18, 2011

AJDABIYA, (Libya) Troops loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Sunday shelled the rebel-held city of Ajdabiya, a strategic eastern town that has been the scene of fierce fighting in recent weeks.

The government bombardment of Ajdabiya marked a setback for the rebels, who were forced to retreat a day after having advanced as far as the outskirts of the oil town of Brega, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) to the west.

On Sunday, dozens of vehicles, some of them rebel trucks with heavy machine guns mounted in the back, could be seen fleeing Ajdabiya toward the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) to the north.

Last month, Gadhafi’s troops encircled Ajdabiya with tanks, armored personnel carriers and heavy artillery before NATO airstrikes decimated the forces besieging the city and allowed the rebels to reclaim the town and push west.

The NATO-led air campaign has kept rebels from being defeated on the battlefield by the better trained and equipped government forces, but it still has not been enough to completely turn the tide. The rebels have been unable to reach Gadhafi’s heavily defended hometown of Sirte, the gateway to the regime-controlled western half of the country.

Rebel advances west of Ajdabiya — through Brega and its companion oil center of Ras Lanouf, another 60 miles (100 kilometers) farther on — have ultimately foundered as rebels overextended their supply lines and were routed by the heavier firepower and more sophisticated tactics of the government forces.

Full report at:

http://dailymailnews.com/0411/18/FrontPage/index.php?id=9

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Palestinian president rules out Israeli troops in future state

April 18, 2011

The Palestinian Authority will "collapse" if Israel insists on stationing troops inside any future Palestinian state, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has told AFP.

Abbas, in an interview, said he would not allow any Israeli troops to be deployed in a future Palestinian state, despite Israel's insistence that it be able to maintain a military presence along the West Bank's border with Jordan.

Israel says it would need such a security presence for around 40 years to ensure the border between any Palestinian state and Jordan was secure.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=182076

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Over 50 countries to attend counter-piracy meet in Dubai

April 18, 2011

Government and industry leaders representing over 50 countries will meet on Monday to seek solutions to the serious humanitarian and economic issue of piracy.

The widespread threat of piracy and collaborative means to eradicate it will be discussed during this first high-level public-private counter piracy conference.

Co-convened by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and global marine terminal operator DP World, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE’s Foreign Minister and Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman, DP World, will inaugurate the two-day conference.

It brings together officials and industry leaders from more than 50 countries for high level deliberations, a DP World statement said.

Under the theme ‘Global Challenge, Regional Responses: Forging A Common Approach to Maritime Piracy’, the summit will be attended by more than 30 Foreign Ministers, senior representatives from a further 25 countries, the United Nations, the International Maritime Organisation, industry leaders and experts on maritime security and community development issues.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/332377/Over-50-countries-to-attend-counter-piracy-meet-in-Dubai.html

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IMF, World Bank, tries to tackle ‘Arab Spring’

April 18, 2011

WASHINGTON: Global finance chiefs sought ways to help Arab economies flourish amid pro-democracy revolts erupting across the region as the IMF and World Bank met in Washington Saturday.

While the Arab Spring – that has seen dictators in Egypt and Tunisia fall since January – has captivated the two key global institutions in their spring meetings, looming in the background were destabilizing “imbalances” in the world’s most powerful economies.

International Monetary Fund and World Bank policy makers made support for Arab countries a key priority, highlighting the social-political impact of skyrocketing food prices and joblessness around the world and especially in the Middle East and North Africa region.

“We can together build a better future for these countries. And that’s not only important for Egypt and Tunisia, it’s important for the whole world because this example is an example that is going to have a lot of consequences,” IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said Friday.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Business/International/Apr/18/IMF-World-Bank-try-to-tackle-Arab-Spring.ashx#axzz1JrSRvEnj

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Syrian protesters tell president Bashar to quit 'stalling', and go

April 18, 2011

Bowing to pressure from a popular uprising, Syria's president promised Saturday to end nearly 50 years of emergency rule this coming week but coupled his concession with a stern warning; that further unrest will be considered sabotage.

The protest movement has been steadily growing over the past four weeks, posing a serious challenge to the 40-year ruling dynasty of President Bashar Assad and his father before him. A British-trained eye doctor who inherited power 11 years ago, Assad acknowledged Saturday that Syrians have legitimate grievances.

But he warned there will no longer be "an excuse" for organizing protests once Syria lifts emergency rule and implements a spate of reforms, which he said will include a new law allowing the formation of political parties.

"After that, we will not tolerate any attempt at sabotage," Assad said in a televised meeting with his Cabinet.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/10192/World/Region/Syrian-protesters-tell-president-Bashar-to-quit-st.aspx

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UK defence secy 'moves to secure location over terror fears'

April 18, 2011

LONDON: UK's defence secretary Dr Liam Fox, in-charge of air strikes on Libya, has moved out of his London flat to a secure government apartment over fears of a possible terrorist attack, a media report said.

The minister, who has now moved into a two-bedroom apartment at the historic 225-year-old Admiralty House in Whitehall, was also provided with a chauffeur-driven, bomb- proof limousine, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

Scotland Yard first raised concerns over Dr Fox's security arrangements when his Central London flat was burgled nearly a year ago. When a second flat in the same gated block suffered the same fate later in the year, the police advised him to move to a more secure London location.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/UK-defence-secy-moves-to-secure-location-over-terror-fears/articleshow/8010339.cms

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Muslim Brotherhood warns of sectarian strife in Qena

April 18, 2011

The Muslim Brotherhood has warned of the dangers of ongoing unrest in Qena – stirred by persistent protests against newly-appointed governor Emad Shehata Michael – saying the Upper Egypt city could see sectarian bloodshed if the dispute is not peacefully resolved.

Protests broke out in Qena on Friday, several hours after General Michael, a former police official and the second Coptic Christian to hold the post, was appointed as the city's new governor.

Protesters, most of them reportedly belonging to Islamist groups as well as Qena members of the January 25 Youth Coalition, spent the night in front of the local governing headquarters chanting against Michael.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/10188/Egypt/Politics-/Muslim-Brotherhood-warns-of-sectarian-strife-in-Qe.aspx

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Four dead in new Syria protests

April 18, 2011

DAMASCUS: At least four people were killed and around 50 wounded when Syrian security forces opened fire on a funeral procession in Talbisseh near the central town of Homs on Sunday, witnesses said.

Regime supporters also broke up two rallies in southern Syria, wounding five people after a presidential vow to end emergency rule within a week was dismissed as not enough and was followed by new protests.

Full report at:

http://uk.ibtimes.com/articles/132216/20110408/syria-protest-deraa.htm

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Mubarak's sons grilled on foreign finances

April 18, 2011

Ousted president Hosni Mubarak's sons on Sunday were questioned on their financial activities in Cyprus and the British Isles, the public prosecutor's office said. Alaa and Gamal Mubarak faced investigators at the Cairo prison where they are being held after the interior ministry refused to transfer them "for security reasons," a spokesman at the office said.

The interrogation focused on their ties "with a company in Cyprus and one of the British Isles managing investment funds of some businessmen," he added, without elaborating.

Both men are also accused of forcing businessmen to give them a cut in local partnerships with foreign companies.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Mubarak-s-sons-grilled-on-foreign-finances/H1-Article1-686480.aspx

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Assad’s pledge met with defiance

April 18, 2011

Syrian security forces opened fire on protesters at a funeral Sunday, killing at least three people, a day after President Bashar Assad announced he would lift 48-years of emergency rule.

Two witnesses said security forces killed three mourners when they opened fire on a funeral for a man killed the day before, which turned into a demonstration on a highway outside the town of Talbiseh, north of the central city of Homs.

One resident said he counted five tanks and saw soldiers wearing combat gear deployed around the town.

A policeman was also killed and 11 others wounded when “a group of armed criminals opened fire on them” in Talbiseh, the state news agency SANA reported.

Earlier, thousands of demonstrators called for Bashar’s overthrow at another funeral, held in Hirak town northeast of the southern city of Daraa, for soldier Mohammad Ali Radwan al-Qoman, whose relatives believe he was tortured by the security forces.

“Freedom, freedom Syria, Bashar get out,” people chanted, their slogans audible in a telephone call with one of the mourners at the funeral.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/Apr/18/Assads-pledge-met-with-defiance.ashx#axzz1JrSRvEnj

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Egypt presidential hopeful Sabbahi would revise relations with Israel

April 18, 2011

Egyptian presidential hopeful Hamdin Sabbahi said he will put an end to the country’s “ignominy” when dealing with Israel if he is elected president.

Sabbahi, founder of party-to-be Al-Karama (Dignity), announced he would run for Egypt’s presidency, vacant following the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in February.

Reflecting on the controversial relation with Israel, Sabbahi said he would not go to war but would rather keep "Egypt’s dignity intact".

“I will not be seeking war if I’m elected president, but I will not accept dealing with Israel the same way we deal with them now. Our heads should be held high,” he said in a news conference in El-Sawy Culture Wheel, an art and culture centre in the Zamalek district of Cairo.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/~/NewsContent/1/64/10228/Egypt/Politics-/Egypt-presidential-hopeful-Sabbahi-would-revise-re.aspx

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Turkey, Iran open third border crossing in regional cooperation effort

April 18, 2011

Iran and Turkey have opened a third border crossing at Kapiköy in eastern Turkey’s Van province, in what the foreign ministers of both countries called a symbol of friendship amid increased regional cooperation efforts.

“Our prime minister has set a target of $30 billion in annual trade with Iran. That is why we are opening this border crossing,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Saturday. “We are announcing to the world that Turkey and Iran will be friends for eternity.”

Media in Iran quoted Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi as saying: “This border is a symbol of peace and friendship and the resurrection of the Silk Road, which for centuries played an important role in making the economy of the region flourish. It also will help the development of the border area and welfare of its residents.”

Salehi said trade between Turkey and Iran currently stands at $11 billion annually, a figure he said the two countries are trying to raise to $30 billion.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkey-iran-azerbaijan-move-to-deepen-regional-cooperation-2011-04-17

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Turkish initiative may help resolve Palestinian divide

April 18, 2011

Hamas spokesman Taher Al-Nunu rejected allegations by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas that Hamas leaders are giving in to Iranian pressure to prevent Palestinian reconciliation from taking place.

Hamas responded by accusing Abbas of being subject to "Zionist-American" pressure, advising him to pay attention to the changes transpiring in the region.

In an interview with Ahram Online while in Cairo, Al-Nunu underlined that Hamas aspires to an ending of inter-Palestinian strife.

Al-Nunu summed up three conditions in the effort towards reconciliation with Fatah. First was holding direct talks with Hamas, the location being of no importance. Second is setting up a timeframe for the beginning and end of dialogue. Third, that discussions encompass all points of contention, including the Palestine Liberation Organisation, overall political programme and security arrangements, and that all political powers and factions be part of the discussions.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/~/NewsContent/2/8/10244/World/Region/Turkish-initiative-may-help-resolve-Palestinian-di.aspx

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Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood back on the defensive

April 18, 2011

Over the past few weeks secular political groups have been looking sceptically at the Muslim Brotherhood, not only because of their increasing coordination with more radical Islamist groups, but, most importantly, for their possible domination of the coming parliament. Such dominance, according to many, would play a major role in shaping the new Egypt. 

A civil state with an Islamic identity is the Muslim Brotherhood's vision for Egypt’s future, and while this sounds moderate enough, it still has raised concern and criticism, especially after a local newspaper quoted Mahmoud Ezzat, the Brotherhood's deputy supreme guide: Al Masry Al Youm referred to Ezzat's speech in Imbaba, one of the most crowded areas in Cairo and dominated by Salafis, saying that the group wants to apply sharia (Islamic law) and quoted Ezzat as saying "the enforcement of sharia punishments will need time, and will only come after Islam is planted in every heart and masters the life of people, and then Islamic punishments can be applied."

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/~/NewsContent/1/64/10233/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-Muslim-Brotherhood-back-on-the-defensive.aspx

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Majority of Palestinians want armed attacks on Israel ended: poll

April 18, 2011

A survey conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre found that support for Palestinian "military operations" of any kind against Israel fell from 53.3 percent in January 2009 to 37.1 percent in April.

Palestinians also showed less support for the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel, with 25.4 percent saying they believed the rockets "are useful in achieving the national goals," down from 50.8 percent in January 2009.

In Gaza, respondents felt more strongly than their West Bank counterparts that the rocket fire was harmful, with 41.5 percent saying the rockets harmed "Palestinian goals" as compared to 36.8 percent in the West Bank.

Support for suicide bombing also fell, according to the survey, which polled Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/10215/World/Region/Majority-of-Palestinians-want-armed-attacks-on-Isr.aspx

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GCC leaders, Yemeni opposition hold talks

April 18, 2011

RIYADH: Foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and a delegation of top opposition leaders from Yemen met here Sunday night to discuss ways and means to defuse the worsening political crisis in Yemen.

In the meeting, the GCC and Yemeni leaders discussed a proposal for an early departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh to secure peace and an end to political unrest in the country. They also reviewed a proposal that calls for a timetable for the president to leave office.

"The meeting discussed all related developments in Yemen within the framework of the agreement reached by GCC countries on April 10, when it was decided to involve all factions to find a solution to the political unrest," said a spokesman of the GCC General Secretariat in Riyadh after the talks.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article363866.ece

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Protest demos continue across Yemen

April 18, 2011

SANAA: Massive protests demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh took place across Yemen on Sunday, as the opposition joined a Gulf Arab meeting in Riyadh to plan for the leader's departure. 

Security forces were deployed heavily in Sanaa where hundreds of thousands of men and women took to the streets in protest at Saleh's call for an end to men and women demonstrating together against the regime and calling for his ouster.

But clashes soon broke out when security forces opened fire and shot tear gas grenades at protesters, leaving one injured and 25 others suffering from breathing difficulties, according to medics at a field hospital there.         

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=14297

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Top Israel rabbi urges Obama to free spy Pollard

April 18, 2011

Israel's chief Ashkenazi rabbi Yonah Metzger on Sunday called on US President Barack Obama to free Jewish-American spy Jonathan Pollard if he wants Jews to vote for his reelection.

Israeli public radio quoted Metzger as saying Obama should free Pollard, who was convicted of spying for Israel, before pushing the Jewish state into peace initiatives.

"Obama should prove his friendship with Israel and immediately free Jonathan Pollard before applying pressure to advance diplomatic initiatives," he said during a Friday sermon at a Jerusalem synagogue, Israeli radio reported.

Metzger warned Obama that he would do well to free Pollard if he wanted another term in the White House.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/10227/World/Region/Top-Israel-rabbi-urges-Obama-to-free-spy-Pollard.aspx

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/hindus,-sikhs-may-face-worse-times-in-future--pak-report/d/4476


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