New Age Islam News Bureau
2 Jun 2012
• Hosni Mubarak sentenced to life in prison over protest deaths
• Annan Warns of 'All-Out' Sectarian War in Syria
• Syrian Rebels Kill 14 Soldiers in Deraa, Damascus
• Pro- and anti-Syrian groups clash in north Lebanon
• Iraq deaths increase for second straight month
• Canadian bishops Calls Saudis not to destroy all churches on the Arabian Peninsula
• Conservative Jews approve gay wedding guidelines
• Mosque Construction Continues To Attract Opposition Across U.S.
• Withhold all aid to Pakistan until Afridi is freed: US lawmakers
• Education Promotes Islam Image in America
• U.S. welcomes UNHRC resolution on Syria
• Court Presses U.S. on a Terror Listing
• U.S. unleashed Stuxnet worm on Iran: leak
• Madrasas in West Bengal, India, throwing open doors to non-Muslim students
• ISI created Indian Mujahideen to spread terror in India: Anti-terrorism squad
• India joins 41 nations in condemning Syria killings
• India to discuss Dhaka equity in Tipaimukh project
• The Delhi High Court told Govt. to rehabilitates Kashmiris
• Fasih’s disappearance important matter, report by Jun 6: Indian SC to govt
• Rampant corruption in J-K: Indian Opp. Party Leader
• Petty dispute leads to death of one Muslim Boy in Mathura, India
• First democratically elected Govt. to present five consecutive budgets: A feat in Pakistan
• Malik for zero tolerance for human trafficking
• Fighter jets pound militant hideouts in Khyber; five killed
• Pak Parliament turns into boxing ring
• Militants vow to kill ‘CIA doctor’
• Pakistan Annual Budget: An attempt to temper populism with realism
• US drone strike kills three militants in Pakistan: Officials
• Pak Opposition Leader declares brawl during budget session as “people’s voice”
• Nawaz hits back at Zardari with Mohajir province blame
• Gilani ‘not stepping down after budget’
• NATO supply through Balochistan not acceptable’: a Baloch separatist
• Fabricating news in Syria and lessons for Sri Lanka
• Attack on US base kills 14 in Afghanistan: NATO
• Bangladesh P M resolves to work together with India on pending issues
• British soldier killed in Afghanistan
• Special Forces free aid workers in Afghanistan
• China backs Pak's calls to respect its sovereignty
• Pair of bombings kills four policemen in Afghanistan
• Indonesia Military Chief Plays Down Assault on Journalists
• Diplomats hope Malaysia will continue to succeed
• Turkish Pianist Is Accused of Insulting Islam
• Islamic Jihad: Not involved in Gaza clashes
• Iran Builds New Space Centre to Launch Satellites
• Four Qaeda fighters, soldier killed in Yemen
• Turkey Tells U.N. and Aid Donors to Move to Somalia
• Kazakhstan President opened a memorial to famine victims in Astana
• Islamic theologist confuted the statements on jihad against Kazakhstan police
• The Dictator banned 2 weeks after premiere in Kazakhstan
• Kazakhstan President held talks with Muslim World League head
• Putin Fears Civil War but Rejects Intervention in Syria
• Only Assad’s exit will end violence in Syria: Hollande
• UN warns of full civil war in Syria
• British Muslim celebrate queen’s Diamond Jubilee
• French warming to armed intervention in Syria: poll
• Memorials to victims of famine and political repressions opened in Pavlodar and Petropavlovsk
• Tuareg rebels reject deal with Islamists over sharia
Sudan: 4 Aid Groups Face Restrictions
Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau
Photo: Hosni Mubarak sentenced to life in prison over protest deaths
Hosni Mubarak sentenced to life in prison over protest deaths
Jun 2, 2012
CAIRO: An Egyptian court sentenced former president Hosni Mubarak to life in prison on Saturday after convicting him of involvement in the murder of protesters during the uprising that ousted him last year.
Also given a life term for the killings was Mubarak's former interior minister Habib al-Adly, while six former police commanders were acquitted.
Corruption charges against Mubarak's sons, Alaa and Gamal, were dropped due to the expiry of a statute of limitations.
Mubarak was acquitted in one of the corruption cases.
Scuffles broke out soon after the verdicts were delivered, and chants of "Void, void" and "The people want the judiciary purged" could be heard.
Lawyers inside the courtroom were furious over the acquittals, and told AFP they feared that Mubarak and Adly would be found innocent on appeal.
The former strongman, wearing dark classes and a beige tracksuit, showed no emotion as Judge Ahmed Refaat read out the sentence.
His two sons, Alaa and Gamal, looking tired with dark circles under their eyes, appeared close to tears on hearing the verdict.
Clashes erupted out outside the court following the sentencing, as police used stun grenades to control the crowds.
Mubarak, the only autocrat toppled in the Arab Spring to be put in the dock, former interior minister Habib al-Adly and six others were on trial over their involvement in the deaths of some of the estimated 850 people killed during the uprising that toppled the strongman.
Mubarak, his sons Alaa and Gamal and business associate Hussein Salem, who fled to Spain, were also on trial over an alleged bribe.
Annan Warns of 'All-Out' Sectarian War in Syria
DOHA (Reuters) - International peace envoy Kofi Annan warned on Saturday that Syria was slipping into "all-out" war and a Syrian opposition figure said Russia had become part of the problem and should urge President Bashar al-Assad to quit power.
"The specter of an all-out war, with an alarming sectarian dimension, grows by the day," Annan told a meeting of members of the Arab League, co-sponsor with the United Nations of a peace plan aimed at ending the bloodshed in Syria.
Burhan Ghalioun of the Syrian National Council, the divided body claiming to speak for political opposition to Assad, said: "With its support of the regime and for Assad remaining, Russia has become part of the problem rather than part of the solution. If it cooperates to find a formula that makes Assad leave, it will become part of the solution."
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad killed six soldiers in the southern province of Deraa on Saturday and at least eight others in clashes on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, a monitoring group reported.
"There were heavy clashes between Syrian forces and fighters from the opposition in (Deraa)... resulting in the death of at least 6 Syrian troops," the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement.
"At dawn, there were violent clashes in al-Ghouta (near Damascus), killing at least eight Syrian troops," it added.
The Observatory said that two civilians were also killed on Saturday, one during army raids in Damascus and one by gunfire in the central city of Homs, where activists say the army has been waging a shelling offensive on opposition districts.
The 15-month uprising shows signs of nascent civil war, with rebels saying they need to fight to protect civilians from being massacred at the hand of Assad's forces and loyalist gunmen.
On May 25 United Nations ceasefire observers documented the killing of more than 100 men, women and children in the western Houla region, and the world body said that the army and pro-Assad gunmen were probably responsible for the massacre.
Pro- and anti-Syrian groups clash in north Lebanon
By BASSEM MROUE
BEIRUT (AP) — Gunbattles between pro- and anti-Syrian groups in northern Lebanon killed at least one person and wounded nine Saturday, security officials said, as activists reported fresh shelling of a region in central Syria that witnessed a massacre last week that killed more than 100 people.
The clashes in the Lebanese port city of Tripoli started shortly before midnight Friday and continued Saturday, the officials said on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
Lebanon and Syria share a complex web of political and sectarian ties and rivalries, which are easily enflamed. Clashes in Tripoli last month killed at least eight people in a spillover of the conflict in Syria. The split is between Sunni Muslims who support Syrian rebels trying to oust President Bashar Assad and members of the leader's tiny Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
In Syria, activists said government troops fired shells at Houla, a cluster of farming villages in the central province of Homs where the U.N. says at least 108 people — including 49 children under the age of ten — were killed on May 25.
The opposition and the government have exchanged accusations over the massacre with each side blaming the other.
Syria has come under deep international isolation since its forces launched a ferocious crackdown on dissent nearly 15 months ago, but the Houla massacre has brought a new urgency in calls to end the crisis.
In Qatar, the head of Syria's largest exile opposition group said Saturday he would welcome Arab military action aimed at ending attacks by Assad's regime against Syrian rebel forces and civilians.
Full report at: Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press.
Iraq deaths increase for second straight month
Jun 02 2012
Baghdad : The number of Iraqis killed in May increased for a second consecutive month, but remained near the lowest level since the 2003 US led invasion, according to
official figures released today.
In total, 132 Iraqis 90 civilians, 20 policemen and 22 soldiers died in attacks nationwide, figures compiled by the ministries of health, interior and defence showed.
That compared with 126 deaths in April and 112 in March, the latter of which was the lowest monthly figure since the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.
A total of 248 people were wounded in violence in May, including 115 civilians, 80 policemen and 53 soldiers. The figures also showed that 20 insurgents were killed and 105 arrested.
The worst violence took place on May 31, when a spate of bombings across Baghdad killed 17 people, while shootings in the north of the country left three others dead.
Canadian bishops Calls Saudis not to destroy all churches on the Arabian Peninsula
June 01, 2012
Bishop François Lapierre of Saint-Hyacinthe, the Quebec bishop who chairs the Human Rights Committee of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, has asked the Saudi Arabian government to disassociate itself from a sheikh’s call to destroy all churches on the Arabian Peninsula.
“In a statement on March 12, 2012, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, reputedly one of the most influential voices in the Islamic world, said that ‘only one religion,’ Islam, ‘should exist in the Arabian Peninsula,’ and thus ‘it is necessary to destroy all churches in the region,’” Bishop Lapierre said in a letter to Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Canada. “Although this was widely circulated by news agencies more than two months ago, there have been no reports yet indicating that Saudi Arabian authorities have since corrected or denounced this call to religious violence.”
“We strongly urge you to express to His Royal Highness [King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud] our concerns about the statement by Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, particularly in view of the urgent need for religious harmony and tolerance in the Middle East,” the prelate added.
Conservative Jews approve gay wedding guidelines
Jun 2, 2012
NEW YORK: The Conservative branch of American Judaism has formally approved same-sex marriage ceremonies, nearly six years after lifting a ban on ordaining gays and lesbians.
The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards issued the ruling Thursday on a 13-0 vote with one abstention, said Rabbi Elliot Dorff, the committee chairman.
The panel of scholars approved two model wedding ceremonies and guidelines for a same-sex divorce. Rabbis can adapt the marriage ceremonies for the couples.
"We acknowledge that these partnerships are distinct from those discussed in the Talmud as 'according to the law of Moses and Israel,' but we celebrate them with the same sense of holiness and joy as that expressed in heterosexual marriages," the legal opinion states.
Conservative Judaism is the second-largest Jewish movement in North America and holds a middle ground between liberal and traditional groups.
The Reform and Reconstructionist branches accept gay relationships, while the stricter Orthodox Jewish movement does not. The Conservative law committee lifted the ban on gay ordination in December 2006.
Called the "Covenant of Loving Partners," the Conservative same-sex marriage document bases the ceremonies on Jewish partnership law. In the covenant, the couple pledges to be faithful. A ring ceremony binds the pair.
And as with heterosexual couples, Conservative rabbis should not preside at the marriage of a Jew to a non-Jew.
However, the ceremonies do not include kiddushin, or sanctification, in which a groom "acquires" a bride by giving her a ring, which is considered the core of a traditional Jewish wedding.
In recent decades, many rabbis have already been altering that part of the ceremony for heterosexual couples by having the bride and groom exchange rings, to signal equality in the marriage.
"The result is still a Jewish marriage," the legal opinion on gay marriage states. Dorff, an author of the ruling, said the committee's discussions with gays and lesbians as the ceremonies were developed found a split in opinion that led the two templates for same-sex marriage.
One adheres more closely to the traditional Jewish ceremony, while the other doesn't.
The divorce includes a "writ of dissolution" similar to what is known in traditional Jewish marriage as a "get" that either partner in the same-sex marriage can request.
Dorff said he did not know how many members of the movement's Rabbinical Assembly perform same-sex marriages
Mosque Construction Continues To Attract Opposition Across U.S.
By Judy Keen
CHICAGO (RNS) Mohammed Labadi had a lot at stake when the DeKalb City Council voted Tuesday (May 29) on a request from the Islamic Society of Northern Illinois University to build a two-story mosque.
Labadi, a businessman and Islamic Society board member, said a bigger mosque is needed to replace the small house where local Muslims now worship. He also was hoping for affirmation that his neighbors and city officials have no fear of the Muslim community.
"Don't look at me just as a Muslim, look at me as an American," Labadi said. It's time, he says, "to take the unfortunate stereotypes about Muslims out of the picture." The City Council unanimously approved the plan.
In the decade since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, animosity toward Muslims sometimes has taken the form of opposition to construction of mosques and other Islamic facilities. National debate erupted over plans for an Islamic community center that became known as the "Ground Zero mosque" in Lower Manhattan.
In the last five years, there has been "anti-mosque activity" in more than half of U.S. states, according to the ACLU. Some mosques were vandalized -- a $5,000 reward is being offered in a 2011 Wichita mosque arson case -- and others were targets of efforts to deny zoning permits .
Mosque opponents often raise concerns about traffic and parking, but Daniel Mach, director of the ACLU's freedom of religion program, says they can be "sham arguments" that mask anti-Muslim sentiment.
"I hope that eventually there will be greater acceptance for all faiths, including Islam," Mach said.
Full report at:
Withhold all aid to Pakistan until Afridi is freed: US lawmakers
Jun 2, 2012
WASHINGTON: Two top American lawmakers have asked US President Barack Obama to withhold all aid to Pakistan until the country releases a doctor who helped the CIA track Osama bin Laden.
"Until Dr (Shakil) Afridi is released from prison, we urge you to withhold all unallocated foreign assistance money for Pakistan remaining for this fiscal year. We must send a message not only to Pakistan but to any other countries seeking to use American taxpayer dollars to subsidize their subversion of America's global priorities," Senator Rand Paul and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, said in a letter to Obama.
A copy of the letter was released to the press yesterday. Through the use of a door-to-door vaccination drive, Afridi bravely assisted US intelligence services in identifying the residents of the Abbottabad complex which was later confirmed to be the home of bin Laden, the two Congressmen said.
"For his work in supporting the successful search for Osama bin Laden, Dr Afridi deserves our appreciation. Unfortunately, the government of Pakistan has made it a point to punish Dr Afridi for helping to expose Osama bin Laden's Pakistan hideout in the most severe manner possible," they said.
They said in response to this situation, they would be proposing legislation to withhold all foreign assistance money to the government of Pakistan until Dr Afridi is released.
Education Promotes Islam Image in America
31 May 2012
CAIRO – Amid growing sentiments against US Muslims and their religion, an outreach group is championing education as a tool to promote the true image of Islam and fight radicalization among young Americans.
“Our ultimate goal is to educate our fellow Americans,” Dr Sabeel Ahmed, 36, director of the Gain Peace Project, an Islamic outreach program in Chicago, told Medill Reports in an interview.
“The objective is to educate people and to show them the peaceful principles of Islam. These are the essential parts of building a peaceful society.”
Ahmed says that Americans know very little about Islamic teachings, leading many to discriminate against Muslims.
“I believe it is fear of the unknown that gives rise to violence, hatred and discrimination,” he said.
“Lots of groups have been discriminated against throughout history, and we want to try and end that.”
Full report at:
U.S. welcomes UNHRC resolution on Syria
Jun 2, 2012
The U.S. has welcomed the United Nations Human Rights Council’s resolution that called for an independent probe into the massacre in the Syrian town of Houla where more than 100 people were killed last week.
“Our message is clear: to the people of Syria, the world stands by you, and we will not ignore your plight in the face of ongoing violence; to the Assad regime, the time has come to end the flagrant abuses of the human rights of your people and to step aside so that Syria can transition peacefully and democratically,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.
The U.N. resolution calls for an in-depth investigation by the independent international Commission of Inquiry on Syria into the massacre in Houla, in which over 100 Syrian civilians were killed, including over 40 children.
In the resolution, the Geneva-based U.N. body deplored the “outrageous killings” and emphasised the continued failure of the Syrian authorities to protect and promote the rights of all Syrians.
The Council called for International Commission of Inquiry on Syria to conduct a “transparent, independent and prompt investigation into violations of international law with a view to hold to account those responsible for widespread, systematic and gross human rights violations, including violations that may amount to crimes against humanity.”
In Oslo, meanwhile, Ms. Clinton urged Russia to stop supplying arms to Syria. Ms. Clinton said that this continuing supply of arms from Russia has in fact, U.S. believes, strengthened the Assad regime. That needs to cease, she said.
Court Presses U.S. on a Terror Listing
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Friday gave Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton four months to decide whether a group opposed to Iran should be removed from a list of foreign terrorist organizations.
The People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran first received the terrorist designation 15 years ago. But the organization maintains that it ended a military campaign against Iran, surrendered its arms to American forces in Iraq and shared intelligence with the United States government on Iran’s nuclear program.
A three-member panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said Mrs. Clinton has been slow in providing the group with material it needs to respond to the terrorist designation and gave her a deadline to take final action.
The group has had some prominent supporters, including former F.B.I. Director Louis Freeh and retired Army Gen. Hugh Shelton, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Treasury Department is conducting an investigation into the source of the group’s funds.
In 2010, the appeals court directed Mrs. Clinton to provide the organization with material relied on by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in January 2009 denying the group’s request that the terrorist designation be removed.
Full report at:
U.S. unleashed Stuxnet worm on Iran: leak
Jun 2, 2012
Exposing a dark underbelly of the U.S.' two-track strategy to contain Iran's alleged nuclear ambitions, a major leak to media outlets here revealed that President Barack Obama had, in parallel, authorised waves of crippling cyber-attacks aimed at destabilising the operation of Iran's key nuclear centrifuges.
While the Obama administration has repeatedly assured the international community that it would press Iran with only a combination of economic sanctions and an open window for diplomatic negotiations, news that the White House had teamed up with Israeli experts to unleash the so-called “Stuxnet” programme on Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment facility, for example, hinted at a more aggressive U.S. tack.
The leak hinted at the magnitude and impact of the U.S.-driven cyber-attacks suggesting that one specific series of attacks that occurred weeks after Stuxnet was detected around the world “temporarily took out nearly 1,000 of the 5,000 centrifuges Iran had spinning at the time.”
Full report at:
Madrasas in West Bengal, India, throwing open doors to non-Muslim students
SHIV SAHAY SINGH
June 2, 2012
Those who appeared for the board exam doubled
Madrasas in West Bengal are increasingly opening their doors to non-Muslim students, with one of them making it to the merit list of the West Bengal Board of Madrasa Education (WBBME) recently.
“Not only has the number of non-Muslim candidates appearing in the examination increased this year, but Brajeshawar Maji, a non-Muslim student from Khalatpur High Madrasa in the State's Howrah district also made it to the merit list,” Ghiyasuddin Siddique, president of the board, told The Hindu on Friday.
He said the candidate scored approximately 80 percent marks, and ranked 97th in the merit list.
Officials of the WBBME said the number of non-Muslim students who appeared for the board examination this year doubled, compared to last year. Approximately 1590 such examinees — which is more than four per cent of the total number of candidates — appeared in the board examinations held in February this year, they said.
Interestingly, the number of non-Muslim girls who took the examination is higher than boys. While 723 non-Muslim boys appeared in the examination, the number of girl candidates was 867.
Full report at:
ISI created Indian Mujahideen to spread terror in India: Anti-terrorism squad
Jun 2, 201
MUMBAI: The Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) has, for the first time, said that Indian Mujahideen (IM) is a creation of Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence (ISI). This was mentioned in the 13/7 triple blasts chargesheet. This is the first time that any police agency in the country has openly said that IM has been created by the ISI.
Several police agencies had earlier said that IM was a splinter faction of the Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which was banned in 2001. The IM was banned on June 2, 2010.
In its 4,478-page chargesheet against the four arrested accused filed before a special MCOCA court on May 25, the ATS said, "The IM has been expressly created by (the) ISI of Pakistan ostensibly to spread terror in this country through Indian front outfits."
In 2008, the then Gujarat DGP, P C Pande, said that IM was a splinter faction of SIMI. He had made this declaration during a media briefing after the arrest of around half-a-dozen suspected IM members in connection with the serial bomb blasts in Ahmedabad.
Full report at:
India joins 41 nations in condemning Syria killings
Jun 2, 2012
We expect the Commission of Inquiry will identify those responsible for the attacks'
India on Friday joined 41 other countries at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva to vote for a resolution “strongly condemning'' the recent El-Houleh incident, which resulted in the death of over a hundred civilians including women and children.
The vote came a day after the Head of the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria Gen. Robert Mood praised Damascus for the release of detainees who were discharged on Thursday in the presence of U.N. observers. “This is a positive act in these challenging times. It is an encouraging step towards the implementation of Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan's Six-Point Plan,” said Gen. Mood.
Elaborating on India's stance at the 19th Special Session of the UNHRC, Indian Permanent Representative Hardeep Puri said the El-Houleh incident underscores what the situation can lead to if there is any further delay in the complete cessation of violence. Condemning the incident, he said: “We expect that the Commission of Inquiry will be able to identify those responsible for these heinous attacks and provide clarity on the events that led to it.”
Sticking to its even handed formulation which was reflected in explanation of vote (EoV) at the U.N. Security Council on previous occasions, India once again stressed the need for all parties involved to abjure violence to ensure a genuine chance for a realistic and lasting solution to the Syrian crisis.
Full report at:
India to discuss Dhaka equity in Tipaimukh project
Jun 2, 2012
Despite objections from Central Ministries fearing delay and undue veto power to Bangladesh
The Prime Minister's Office (PMO), backed by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), has overruled the demurring among other Central Ministries over giving Bangladesh a stake in the mega Tipaimukh multipurpose hydel project in Manipur. But India is playing it safe and would first like general discussions to be held with a team from Bangladesh that is expected to arrive soon to discuss the possibility of Dhaka acquiring equity in the project, said government sources.
The project had given rise to misgivings in Bangladesh, which fears greater exposure to floods during monsoons and low flows during the lean season. As a result, in 2009, a team of Bangladeshi Parliamentarians was airlifted to the site to convince people that the project was for hydropower and flood control, and not irrigation.
Talks on Tipaimukh could lead to discussions on joint partnership in hydel projects in Sikkim on the Teesta, whose water-sharing agreement with Bangladesh was blocked at the last minute by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. This caused diplomatic embarrassment to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his first visit to Dhaka last year, during which pacts on Teesta and Feni were to figure prominently.
Full report at:
The Delhi High Court told Govt. to rehabilitates Kashmiris
THE Delhi High Court on Friday quashed eviction notices to more than two dozen former Kashmiri Pandit government officials, and ordered the Centre to help them find alternative residences instead.
The officials, who have been overstaying in government flats because their houses in J& K were destroyed, are now set to be rehabilitated by the Centre.
A bench of acting chief justice A. K. Sikri and justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw upheld a 2010 single- judge ruling, which had ordered the Centre to make all endeavours to rehabilitate the former bureaucrats.
“We don't find any fault with the direction given in the judgment,” the division bench said, in its order.
“We, however, make it clear that these directions are given keeping in view the salient and peculiar facts of these cases pertaining to right to shelter.” The Kashmiris, ranging from a former BSF director general to a widow of a government employee, had challenged the government’s eviction notice after they had overstayed their official housing.
Fasih’s disappearance important matter, report by Jun 6: Indian SC to govt
Jun 01 2012
New Delhi: Dissatisfied with the failure of the senior counsel representing the Union ministries of Centre and the Delhi Government to give proper replies to its questions on the whereabouts of missing engineer Fasih Mohammad, who went missing from Saudi Arabia after being allegedly picked up by Indian intelligence sleuths on May 13, the Supreme Court today asked the Centre to file its reply by June 6.
The Bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar, which was hearing the habeas corpus petition filed by Fasih’s wife Nikhat Parveen’s, listed the matter for June 6 but not before telling the senior counsel, “It is an important matter. We want to know the whereabouts of the petitioner’s husband.”
When the senior counsel tried to read from newspaper reports, which quoted Union Home Minister P Chidambaram as saying that a Red Corner Notice for Fasih Mohammad had been issued, the Bench intervened and said, “It is an important matter, don’t read from (a) newspaper.”
Yesterday, Chidambaram had said that reports that Fasih had been detained by Indian intelligence agencies were “completely wrong”.'
Rampant corruption in J-K: Indian Opp. Party Leader
Jun 02 2012
Srinagar: BJP leader Rajnath Singh, who is heading a party delegation on a study tour of Jammu and Kashmir, today said there were complaints of rampant corruption in the state and his team would submit its findings within three months.
“The delegations we met so far have talked about rampant corruption in Jammu and Kashmir,” he told reporters here.
The former BJP president said the delegation will submit a report suggesting solutions to Kashmir issue to the party within three months.
“There are allegations of discrimination from the people of three regions of the state - Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir...we will need at least three months to finalise our report on the study tour,” he said.
Full report at:
Petty dispute leads to death of one Muslim Boy in Mathura, India
1 June 2012 - 9:23pm
By TCN News,
A minor incident sparked off violent rioting in Mathura district on Friday. Curfew has been clamped in the region due to violence which officially claimed life of a Muslim youth besides injuring three dozen others.
As per reports, the incident occurred in Kosikalan, a town nearly 40 kms away from Mathura district headquarters. The violence started over a petty dispute of a water stall. A Muslim boy had gone to drink water from a water stall put up by Hindus. During the process some water spilled over to another youth standing nearby from other religion. Soon the war of words turned violence and the Muslim boy was beaten black and blue.
Later the news reached the Muslims who were returning from Friday prayers. During the protest some anti social elements took advantage and started vandalism and damaging properties. As per estimates two four-wheelers and nearly three dozen two-wheelers were torched. Attempts were also made to torch a petrol pump. A local Punjab National Bank was also set afire.
Full report at:
First democratically elected Govt. to present five consecutive budgets: A feat in Pakistan
Jun 2, 2012
The beleaguered Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led coalition government on Friday tabled its fifth budget; making history by becoming the first democratically elected dispensation in the country to present five consecutive budgets.
In a country where democratically elected governments have always been toppled by the security establishment, this was flagged as a major achievement by the government though the budget itself was presented amid vociferous protests by Opposition members who came to blows with members of the ruling coalition.
Finance Minister Hafiz Sheikh presented what was billed as an election budget with enhanced allocations for the main poverty alleviation programme — the Benazir Income Support Programme — 20% hike in pay and pension of federal employees, and setting up of 2,000 Utility Stores where daily use items including food can be bought at cheaper rates.
The Defence Budget has gone up by about 10 per cent from Rs. 495 billion allocated for this fiscal ending June 30 to Rs. 545 billion. And, in another announcement made with an eye on the elections scheduled next year and to stem the criticism about the extravagant lifestyle of the premier, the Government announced that his official residence would be turned into an institute of advanced studies while the incumbent Yusuf Raza Gilani would move to smaller quarters.
The Opposition was quick to pick holes in the Budget; wondering how the Government planned to generate the resources to fund the largesse at a time when the U.S. is also threatening to cut aid to Pakistan because of the ongoing stand-off over re-opening the NATO supply lines. As for the Prime Minister’s decision to move into a smaller house, drew jibes galore as the government has only nine months left of this tenure. Also, it was interpreted by his opponents as an acknowledgement of the impending defeat at the hustings.
Malik for zero tolerance for human trafficking
ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Friday directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to pursue zero tolerance policy in combating human smuggling and take to task as per law those involved in this crime.
Talking to FIA Director General Fiaz Ahmad Leghari, he said the agency should be cleared of all corrupt elements. Malik directed the agency to bring to the capital all the Pakistani citizens deported from different countries so that their proper record and data could be maintained. This would help in taking appropriate action against the human traffickers as well, he said.
Fighter jets pound militant hideouts in Khyber; five killed
PESHAWAR: Five militants were reportedly killed on Saturday in an assault by fighter jets in the northwestern Khyber tribal region, DawnNews reported.
Two insurgent hideouts were also destroyed in the assault in the tribal region’s Sarawela area, DawnNews quoted government sources as saying.
The casualty figures from the reported action could not be independently verified.
Sources further said that the operation in the region had picked up pace since Friday’s clash with militants from the Kokikhel tribe.
In another incident in the tribal region’s Zakhakhel region in Tirah, volunteers from the local Tauhidul Islam organisation detained a would-be suicide bomber.
The detained would-be bomber was planning to target a camp of the FC in Khyber.
Pakistan’s seven tribal districts near the Afghan border are rife with homegrown insurgents and are alleged to be strongholds of Taliban and al Qaeda operatives.
Militants have killed more than 4,800 people across Pakistan since July 2007.
Pak Parliament turns into boxing ring
Jun 2, 2012
Pakistani opposition lawmakers and members of the treasury benches on Friday engaged in fisticuffs as finance minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh presented the government's new budget in parliament amidst uproar. Members of the main opposition PML-N, who were protesting against power cuts and corruption during Shaikh's speech, scuffled with lawmakers of the ruling Pakistan People's Party in the National Assembly or lower house of parliament.
2 US officers back in Pak: Pentagon
After a tense seven month stand-off, Pakistan has allowed two US military liaison officers back on its turf, a move largely seen as a small but "significant" sign of cooperation. Denying reports that US trainers are back in Pakistan, the Pentagon clarified that it was two liaison officers, who had returned for coordination purposes.
US drone strike kills three militants in Pakistan: Officials
Jun 2, 2012
PESHAWAR: A US drone strike targeting a vehicle in Pakistan's northwestern tribal belt killed at least three militants on Saturday, security officials said, the latest in a recent spate of attacks.
The strike took place in Khawashi Khel village, five kilometres (three miles) west of Wana, the main town in the South Waziristan tribal district which borders Afghanistan, a Pakistani security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"The US drone fired two missiles which completely destroyed the vehicle. At least three militants have been killed," the security official said.
Another official said the attack took place as militants were trying to move from one area to another near the border.
There have been a series of US drone strikes in Pakistan since a Nato conference on Afghanistan in Chicago last month.
Pak Opposition Leader declares brawl during budget session as “people’s voice”
ISLAMABAD: Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Friday declared his party’s protest, during the budget speech by Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the lower house of the parliament, as “people’s voice,” Dawn News reported.
Opposition lawmakers belonging to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) hijacked the government’s unveiling of the new budget, trading punches during angry scuffles in parliament against power cuts and corruption.
Speaking to media representatives outside the parliament building, Nisar said that “whatever happened in there wasn’t good” however, he added that it was bound to happen at some stage as the current government has been acting “blind and deaf,” which could not hear public outcry.
The PML-N leader asserted that government’s attitude triggered the opposition to protest in such manner. “National Assembly will not be run in a democratic way anymore for the government as it has been for the last four year. We will not only protest in the house but on roads as well,” said Nisar as he threatened the government.
The opposition leader said that the poor masses of the country do not expect anything good form the budget as they are deprived of basic necessities of life. “Rulers have destroyed the country completely during their tenure in last four years,” he added.
Militants vow to kill ‘CIA doctor’
Jun 2, 2012
The militants accused in a Pakistan court of conspiring with a doctor recruited by the CIA to find Osama bin Laden said on Friday they had nothing to do with him and threatened to kill him. Shakeel Afridi was on May 24 sentenced to 33 years in jail after he was found guilty of treason.
Pakistan Annual Budget: An attempt to temper populism with realism
ISLAMABAD: The PPP government unveiled its fifth budget, which tried to balance the economic mess the government faces with the demands of the upcoming election.
As a result in one stroke it reduced subsidies and increased taxes — measures that are worth about Rs330 billion in totals. But at the same time, it added Rs45 billion to its salary and pensions bill.
Announced on Friday by Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, the PPP-led coalition’s fifth budget estimated an expenditure of Rs2.960 trillion and a deficit of Rs1.105 trillion which is around 4.7 per cent of GDP.
However, the confusion over the government’s figures started soon after the speech ended. The budget document put the federal expenditure at Rs3.23 trillion, instead of Rs2.960 trillion announced by Mr Sheikh.
One possible explanation for this discrepancy could be that in his speech the finance minister left out the Rs591 billion the government plans to spend on development.
This includes Rs360 billion under public sector development programme (PSDP), Rs77 billion in development loans and grants to provinces and Rs154 billion on other development expenditure such as the Benazir Income Support Programme, Export Development Fund, Crop Insurance etc.
Full report at:
Nawaz hits back at Zardari with Mohajir province blame
LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif on Friday counter-blamed President Asif Ali Zardari for bringing up the issue of Mohajir province, DawnNews reported.
Speaking to media representatives after visiting a famous book shop, which was burnt after a fire broke out at Mall Road, Sharif cautioned the president for levelling allegations against the PML-N and its leadership.
He said the president had brought the issue of Mohajir province up and now he is the one who is facing its consequences.
He flayed President Zardari for not paying attention on problems being faced by the poor masses of the country and for not considering Pakistan as his own country.
Answering a question regarding creation of new provinces, the PML-N chief said although his party is in favour of creating new provinces however it would never allow division of Sindh.
Sharif reiterated that unemployment is at all time high and economy of the country is at the brink of disaster due to power and gas loadshedding but the government does not want to listen to public outcry. “Many problems of the country will be solved if the government pays full attention on resolving the loadshedding issue in the budget,” he added.
Gilani ‘not stepping down after budget’
02 JUNE 2012
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Friday said he had no plans to resign after the presentation of the next budget this week in the wake of his conviction of contempt by Pakistan’s Supreme Court.
“After all the achievements, why should I resign after the budget?” Gilani said during an appearance on the monthly television programme “Prime Minister Online”, during which he answers questions from people around the country.
Following his conviction of contempt by the apex court last month for refusing to act on orders to revive graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, there has been speculation that he might resign after the presentation of the budget on Saturday. The Speaker of the National Assembly recently ruled out the possibility of Gilani being disqualified due to his conviction. However, the Speaker’s ruling has been challenged in the apex court by the opposition PML-N and the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf.
Full report at:
NATO supply through Balochistan not acceptable’: a Baloch separatist
By Asif Mehmood
LONDON: Brahamdagh Bugti, a Baloch separatist and the grandson of slain Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, has said the NATO supply through Balochistan is not acceptable but if they (the Pakistani government) want to do so, the Baloch should be taken into confidence.
In an Interview with the BBC Urdu Service, the head of Baloch Republican Party (BRP), who is currently on exile in Switzerland, said he was against all sorts of external intervention in the Balochistan issue be it from Pakistan, the US or from any other country. He said the ‘independence of Balochistan cause’ lacks international support but lobbying was being done in the US, UK and Russia. Regarding the recent conference on Balochistan, Brahamdagh said that time had passed to hold such conferences and dialogues, adding that there was no consensus among Baloch leaders over resolution of Balochistan problems. He said the Baloch people would decide on TAPI gas pipeline project.
The Baloch leader said that Pashtuns would not be part of “independent Balochistan” as the territory would be consisted of the Baloch majority area. He accused the Pakistan Army and ISI for using power and money to divide Baloch leaders struggling for their “independence”. Although Brahamdagh did not support killings of people in an armed struggle of the Baloch Republican Army, he avoided condemning such a struggle.
Attack on US base kills 14 in Afghanistan: NATO
Jun. 1, 2012
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban insurgents detonated a truck bomb, then tried to storm a NATO base Friday in eastern Afghanistan, but coalition forces repelled the attack, killing 14 militants, officials said.
No foreign or Afghan troops were killed, according to NATO, but the attack showed the fundamentalist Islamic movement remains a resilient force even as Afghan President Hamid Karzai insists they do not have the means to retake the nation after foreign forces leave.
In the past two years, the U.S.-led coalition has sent tens of thousands of troops into Taliban strongholds in the south and has largely succeeded in boosting security there. The Taliban have responded by opening up new fronts in the north and west and stepping up attacks in the east, where much of the heaviest fighting is presently concentrated.
NATO plans to pull combat troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and turn security over to local forces. If security allows, Karzai said foreign forces could pull out earlier.
"We will not ask them to leave early," Karzai told Time magazine on May 13. "If everything is done in time and they want to leave early, we will welcome it."
His office released a transcript of the wide-ranging interview on Friday.
Karzai said that while the U.S. had helped Afghanistan build roads, schools, clinics and welcomed the country into the world community, U.S. and NATO troops had not been able to provide security to the Afghan people.
Full report at:
Fabricating news in Syria and lessons for Sri Lanka
By Shenali Waduge
First things first, since when and by whom has the US been appointed the world’s policeman to accuse fellow nations, oust political leaders, invade nations, fire unmanned drones that kill civilians and use western media to brainwash the public into thinking that the US is saving humanity and safeguarding human rights? After a series of manipulated staged “rebellions” in the Middle East/Africa the US and West are now in Syria and the media has been exposed for fabricating stories to advance the agenda of the US and the West.
The media in tow with Western human rights organizations declare themselves the mouthpieces of the truth being relayed to all corners of the world whenever and wherever conflicts take place. Well that is what they would like us to believe. Where are they getting their numbers from and how reliable are the figures they are quoting as if they were watching these incidents take place?
Since we are not too far off from Sri Lanka’s own experience we can empathize with the situation in Syria. We know how numbers from “anonymous” groups were used to demonize a Government! Ironically the actions of the West made local leaders into bigger heroes particularly because people began to read through the Western designs. The source favored by the West end up becoming publicizedglobally by mainstream media and becomes accepted as “factual evidence” quoted and used to question politicians by the West, foreign think tanks, international humanitarian organizations and even the UN. Funnily enough non-elected bodies become “democratic movements” and pagans of virtue. They can shoot, they can kill but it is only when the Government defends which is within its right that the West shouts foul playing.
Such was the case with the report of deaths in Homs and the public are often misguided on what to believe. Such was also the case with the civilian deaths quoted by these sources that are being used against the Sri Lankan Government without any proof. There is a difference in “reportedly been killed” or ”reported deaths” – yet the fanfare associated with the media coverage of the killing aims at laying the blame at the Syrian forces – and objective is thus achieved. Mainstream media completely ignores the truth or rather is not interested in the truth because the truth is an obstacle to their agenda.
Then the UN takes over by giving their estimate of deaths which actually is from the same source! Incidentally in the case of Syria, the source happens to be the Local Coordination Committee which has been organizing most of the protests across Syria. Sounds like our own set of local NGOs who became the source in Sri Lanka. Most often dissidents are encouraged and even financed by the West. We can but recall just one incident wherein the Sri Lankan military targeted a LTTE training center in the middle of the Vanni jungles and the entire world including the UN came down on Sri Lanka accepting LTTE’s position that it was an orphanage! LTTE – child soldiers – orphanage in the jungle…. just does not make sense!
It’s not just the West that is conniving to topple Syria. Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar are all chipping in. They have even openly supplied arms and ammunition to these rebels. There are foreign forces inside Syria, just like how they landed in Libya to topple the Gaddafi government. Along with NATO they destroyed civilian infrastructure and used media to project to us that Libyans rebels had to be given the credit!
Yet in all the countries that have seen an Arab Spring the people are beginning torealize they have been given an Arab winter….reign of Muslim Brotherhood means absolutely no freedom for Muslim women and the establishment of Islamic fundamentalism and Shariah laws. Is this better than ousting a “dictator”?
The impression CNN, BBC and other mainstream media enjoy projecting is a country burning apart – buildings in ruins, dead bodies everywhere, state security on the rampage….but unbiased visitors to Syria have found out that the scenario was nothing like what was being relayed. How can a few visitors counter what mainstream media powerfully relays? The trend is to cook up story after story to justify unlawful military attacks. What country would not take action to defend itself against extremist actions especially when they are being armed from overseas?
Now the next logical question is that after over a year why has President Assad not been defeated if he was so abhorred by his people and prefer the rebels instead especially when the West and media in particular are giving its fullest support to the rebels even going so far as to arm and train them? What is clear is that while all the people of Syria may not love Assad they certainly do not hate him or prefer the rebels any better. Where does that leave the West in their game plan to get rid of Assad.
The plan to take over Syria was contrived years ago – the rebellion was just a whitewash to facilitate the entry of the West. The Kofi-Annan 6point peace plan was written by US meant as a ploy to buy time to set the situation for attacks. We know the UN statements thereafter…with UN Secretary General “disturbed” by the violations by Assad’s forces and harassment to opposition. We can only recall how Sri Lanka was treated in the final months of the conflict.
Western media has confirmed that UK/CIA/M16 training anti-Assad western backed insurgents even supplying them with arms and ammunition and equipment. How can we accept that the Syrian uprising was a natural one against the Syrian Government? Moreover what credibility do these insurgents have when Special Forces from the West are on the ground assisting them to topple Syria’s Government? Not a word is said by any of the mainstream media to question why western governments should be helping insurgents who they had trained to actually start the rebellion in the first place.
To exposé how unfair mainstream media has been in their reporting of Syria a few examples need to be looked at. The fabrications and lies are too long to list out. Just YouTube to see the stories that would take you step by step showcasing the lies told by CNN, BBC, French news and practically all western mainstream media while the West expels Syrian diplomats from crimes committed by the West!
Reuters had to apologize for relaying false images on Syria – the images were from Lebanon.
Similarly Jazeera ran a story on an incident that took place in Al Baida Village, Syria whereas in reality the video was taken in Iraq in the 1990s.
All international media ran, “Massacre of the children as Syrian forces hit rebels”. The BBC used a 2003 photo taken in Iraq to illustrate the massacre in Houla, Syria. http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=20039
Girl supposedly attacked by Syrian troops turns out to be a girl beaten up in UK - http://www.sott.net/articles/show/242492-More-media-lies-Girl-beaten-by-...
The CNN lies exposed - http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=7f9_1334141593&comments=1 – The lies of Danny
Returning to Sri Lanka, it is because of these hypocrisies in Western attitude, western actions and western strategies that we do not trust a single proposal, suggestion or welcome any teams on the basis of humanitarian assistance or technical expertise.
We have seen how the West has used their military might, made a puppet of the UN, carry out illegal invasions and how Western owned media have facilitated in fabricating, manipulating and totally deceiving the global public. Can they deny any of these accusations?
Now can the West blame us for doubting their actions or doubt what the mainstream media relays when they have proved beyond doubt that they cannot be trusted?
Bangladesh P M resolves to work together with India on pending issues
June 1, 2012
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has voiced her strong resolve to work together with India for mutual development but insisted that the neighbour needs to quickly move forward on some issues.
“India needs to move forward quickly on some pending issues so that the two countries can work to implement the agreed decisions,” said the Premier. She made the remarks when a 16-member delegation comprising Chief Minister of Meghalaya Mukul Sangma and Chief Minister of Arunachal Nabam Tuki met her on Thursday. She also told the delegation that there is a high expectation about the Teesta water sharing deal to be signed soon. Cooperation is the only way to tap the potentials of both the countries for mutual benefit in this globalised world, said the Bangladesh leader.
“This relationship has scaled new heights following the reciprocal visits of the Premiers of India and Bangladesh to each other's country,” she said. “There are many unexplored avenues in which the two countries can co-operate each other”. The scope for cooperation is immense and both sides should not only limit themselves to physical connectivity.
She underlined the need for bolstering trade relations with the Indian northeastern states and said both the countries could take more business-friendly steps to boost trade. On the import of hydroelectricity from Arunachal, she said Bangladesh could import power from them or could go for joint-venture power production in Arunachal.
Ms. Hasina's government has concluded a host of forward-looking accords with India but is facing strong criticism from the opposition for not being able to sign the vital Teesta water sharing deal and also for non-implementation of the border protocols. However, she told the Indian delegation that Bangladesh attaches highest importance to its relations with India. She also noted that the exchange of visits enabled the two sides to work out a matrix for the evolution of the bilateral relations harnessing the available synergies for mutual benefit. The scope for cooperation is immense and both sides should not only limit themselves to physical connectivity, she added.
The Premier was also keen to explore investment opportunities in the power sector in the northeast and expressed her satisfaction that the officials have agreed to explore grid connectivity for transmission of power from the northeast to Bangladesh. She also recalled the support and contributions of the people and the government of India and particularly the neighbouring states of the northeast during the War of Liberation in 1971. In this regard, she said her government would take more trade-friendly steps to expand the trade ties with the northeastern states.
The Indian delegation told the Prime Minister that the bilateral relations had expanded and there had been socioeconomic development of the people of the northeast states. They noted that there were more scope of cooperation between the northeast states and Bangladesh in the fields of energy, tourism, horticulture, food processing and education.
They requested Dhaka to increase the number of border haats (common marketplace) for strengthening the bond, and emphasised on sub-regional cooperation. The delegation also stressed the need for expanding the road connectivity of Dhaka-Agartala-Dhaka. They said there was immense scope of cooperation in the fields of energy, tourism, food processing and education.
Tripura Industries and Commerce Minister Jiten Choudhury, Arunachal Industries Minister Tapang Taloh and Assam Public Health Gautam Roy and High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pankaj Saran were present at the meeting.
British soldier killed in Afghanistan
LONDON: A British soldier was shot dead while on patrol in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said on Saturday, becoming the 416th to be killed since military operations started in 2001.
The soldier from 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh, was on a foot patrol in Nahr-e Saraj District in Helmand province when it came under small arms fire on Friday.
“He was fatally wounded and despite immediate medical attention could not be saved,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that his family had been informed.
Britain has around 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, mainly based in Helmand where they are battling a Taliban insurgency. Britain intends to pull out all its combat troops by 2015.
Special forces free aid workers in Afghanistan
Jun 2, 2012
KABUL:. NATO special forces rescued two foreign women hostages and killed five kidnappers in a daring night raid on a cave in Afghanistan's remote Badakhshan province, the military said Saturday.
The women, who worked for Swiss-based charity Medair, were named as Briton Helen Johnston, 28, and Kenyan Moragwe Oirere, 26. Two Afghan colleagues kidnapped with them on May 22 were also freed unharmed.
All are well, Afghan officials told AFP.
"The mission to rescue the hostages was launched in the early hours of today under cover of darkness with the assistance of helicopters," a spokesman for NATO'S International Security Assistance Force said.
"The hostages were being held in a cave in the mountains."
British forces took part in the operation, which was authorised by Prime Minister David Cameron, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said.
"Helen and her colleagues were rescued by ISAF forces, including UK forces, in a carefully planned and coordinated operation," the FCO said.
"We pay tribute to the bravery of the coalition forces which means that all four aid workers will soon be rejoining their families and loved ones.
Full report at:
China backs Pak's calls to respect its sovereignty
Jun 02 2012
Beijing : Against the backdrop of US drone attacks in Pakistan, China has sought to reinforce its strategic ties with Islamabad, promising “enhanced” economic aid and backing its close ally's calls to respect its sovereignty.
“We should support each other's efforts in resisting foreign interference, upholding independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and fostering a sound external environment,” Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said.
Significantly, Yang also referred to tensions being faced by China in the South China Sea over maritime disputes with a host of countries. Philippines directly challenged China over the disputes and both the countries deployed their ships there.
“The Asia-Pacific region where our two countries are located is one of the fastest growing regions in the world, yet it is also a place where tensions and conflicts of various types keep emerging.
Full report at:
Pair of bombings kills four policemen in Afghanistan
KANDAHAR: A pair of bombings in southern Afghanistan killed four policemen, police said.
Police official Gulab Khan said both incidents involved bombs hidden in motorcycles that exploded as police vehicles were passing by in Tarin Kot, capital of Uruzgan province.
Khan said the attacks occurred on Friday evening and Saturday morning and each killed two policemen. The attack on Saturday also wounded two policemen.
Khan is the provincial director of the criminal investigation department.
Indonesia Military Chief Plays Down Assault on Journalists
Arientha Primanita, Ezra Sihite & Rahmat
June 02, 2012
Military chief Adm. Agus Suhartono denied on Wednesday that members of the Navy had deliberately assaulted journalists in Padang, West Sumatra, a day earlier, but did admit that the soldiers involved had apologized to the reporters and would be duly punished.
“It was not abuse, and there was no intention to abuse,” he said at the Presidential Palace. “But in the process, undesired things happened, as they often do.”
Seven journalists, most of them from national TV stations, were reportedly injured after being assaulted by 12 members of the Navy as they were covering the closure by the public order agency (Satpol PP) of huts used for prostitution.
Agus said a member of the Navy was a relative of one of the hut owners, and came to their defense as Satpol PP moved in. According to Agus, several other members of the Navy, who happened to be on a trip from Bungus to Padang, stopped when they saw the commotion and rushed to the defense of their fellow soldier.
Four journalists were subsequently beaten in the brawl, while three others had their cameras seized by the servicemen.
However, Agus said the Navy members realized that they were in the wrong. “The soldiers realize that [what they did] was not right, and they have been reprimanded,” Agus said.
He added that the Navy would punish those involved in the incident.
That was not enough for the House of Representatives, though, which said it would question Agus and the Navy chief, Adm. Soeparno, about the assault.
“To maintain the image of the Indonesian military and to uphold the discipline of the soldiers, House Commission I will ask for an explanation from the military and Navy chiefs to prevent these kinds of incidents from happening again,” said Mahfudz Siddiq, chairman of House Commission I, which oversees defense affairs.
Diplomats hope Malaysia will continue to succeed
2 June 2012
KUALA LUMPUR (June 2, 2012): Dean of Diplomatic Corps Nasser Salman Alaboodi hopes Malaysia will continue to record high achievement in its march towards an advanced country.
He said Malaysia could achieve this under the guidance of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah and with concerted efforts from the government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
In his congratulatory speech in conjunction with the birthday of the King at Istana Negara here today, Alaboodi said Malaysia, which was known for social stability, racial harmony and sustainable economic growth, continued to play a unique and important role in international and regional affairs.
"We realise that this is possible due to the moral driving force of the monarchy, the wise political leadership, and the commitment and participation of the people. "Indeed, respect, tolerance, abiding by the law and willingness to help others, irrespective of race and religion, has united the country and made Malaysia unique," said Alaboodi, who is also the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Malaysia.
Full report at:
Turkish Pianist Is Accused of Insulting Islam
By SELCAN HACAOGLU
ANKARA, Turkey — A Turkish court on Friday formally charged an internationally known pianist and composer with insulting Islamic religious values in comments he made on Twitter.
The court in Istanbul voted to approve an indictment against Fazil Say, who has played piano with the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, National Orchestra of France and Tokyo Symphony.
The 42-year-old Turk faces charges of inciting hatred and public enmity, and insulting "religious values." Say, who has served as a culture ambassador for the European Union, allegedly mocked Islamic beliefs about paradise in April.
Meltem Akyol, a lawyer for Say, said the pianist has denied the charges. The trial will be held on Oct. 18, she said.
"We certainly do not accept the charges," Akyol said by telephone on Friday. "He has stated in his initial testimony during the probe that he had no intention to humiliate any religion. He was basically criticizing those who are exploiting religion for profit."
Akyol said Say's tweets and retweets on social media cannot be considered as public remarks because only people who follow him can see them. In one tweet cited in the indictment, Say said: "What if there is raki (traditional anisette drink) in paradise but not in hell, while there is Chivas Regal (scotch) in hell and not in paradise? What will happen then? This is the most important question!!"
Islam forbids alcohol and many Islamists might consider such remarks unacceptable. In one of the pianist's retweets, one excerpt questioned whether paradise was a "brothel?" according to the indictment.
Akyol claimed that line belonged to the wine-loving 11th century Persian poet Omar Khayyam, most known for his work the "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam." But Murat Bardakci, a historian, wrote in HaberTurk newspaper in April that the alleged line did not belong to Khayyam.
"He was merely expressing his ideas within free speech," said Akyol, adding that the renowned artist was not seeking any privileges or immunity from prosecution.
Akyol, meanwhile, confirmed that Say closed his Twitter account before the court decision Friday, because he was annoyed with messages.
"He has lately incurred the wrath of some people," Akyol said. "He has even been receiving death threats."
Say had floated the idea of leaving Turkey and moving to Japan earlier this year, his lawyer said. The pianist was abroad and not available for comment. He was expected to return to Istanbul this weekend following a concert in Slovenia on Friday.
Say was the latest prominent Turk to run into trouble in the country for expressing his views. He could face a maximum 1 1/2 years in prison if he is convicted.
The European Union has long encouraged Turkey to improve freedom of speech if it wants to become a member one day.
Turkey's Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk has been prosecuted for his comments about the mass killings of Armenians under a law that made it a crime to insult the Turkish identity before the government eased that law in an amendment in 2008.
In 2007, ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who received death threats because of his comments about the killings of Armenians by Turks in 1915, was shot dead outside his office in Istanbul.
Islamic Jihad: Not involved in Gaza clashes
Abu Ahmad, spokesman of the Al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad's military wing welcomed the terror attack in which one IDF soldier was killed on Friday near the Gaza security fence. Yet he also denied a previous statement in which they take responsibility for the incident.
"We firmly deny reports that the Al-Quds brigades carried out the heroic act," he stated adding: "That said, we welcome any action taken in the service of the resistance."
Iran Builds New Space Center to Launch Satellites
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's defense minister says construction is being completed on a new space center from where domestically made satellites will be launched into orbit.
Gen. Ahmad Vahidi's comments were the first confirmation that Iran is building a new space facility amid its standoff with the West over Tehran's controversial nuclear program.
The official IRNA news agency quoted Vahidi as saying the new center will be named after the Islamic Republic's founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Vahidi didn't say where the new facility is located.
Iran's ambitious space program has raised concerns in the West because of possible military applications. The same rocket technology used to send satellites into orbit can also be retooled to make intercontinental warheads.
Turkey Tells U.N. and Aid Donors to Move to Somalia
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The United Nations should beef up its operation in Somalia, and other countries who want to help the war-torn state should actually move in and set up bases there, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.
Erdogan's direct remarks at a international conference on Somalia in Istanbul, the second hosted in Turkey in two years, was the latest sign of his administration's growing interest and clout in Africa.
"Without living there you cannot devise the correct policies and you cannot help. I invite the international community to open representative offices," Erdogan told the conference attended by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Somali interim president and delegations from more than 50 countries.
"We have really struggled to make Somalia's voice heard, to make those who do not see or feel what's going on in Somalia, see and feel," he said.
Most aid agencies funding projects in Somalis are actually based in neighboring Kenya or further afield.
Full report at:
Four Qaeda fighters, soldier killed in Yemen
ADEN: Four al Qaeda fighters and a soldier were killed in overnight fighting outside Zinjibar, capital of the southern Yemeni province of Abyan, a military official said on Saturday.
The insurgents had fired three rockets at the headquarters of the 25th Mechanised Brigade, killing the soldier and wounding six others.
Separately, three al Qaeda militants were killed and five wounded on Friday when a bomb they were making accidentally exploded in Al-Mahfad, a town in northern Abyan, a local official said.
Yemeni forces launched an all-out offensive on May 12 aimed at reclaiming Zinjibar and other localities in Abyan lost to al Qaeda during the past year.
Since the offensive began, at least 376 people have been killed, according to an AFP tally compiled from official statements. They comprised 275 al Qaeda fighters, 65 military personnel, 18 local militiamen and 18 civilians.
Kazakhstan President opened a memorial to famine victims in Astana
By Nazymgul Kumyspayeva
Nursultan Nazarbayev opened a monument to the victims of forced famine in Astana. An
official opening of the memorial called To victims of famine of 1932-1933 at the crossing
of Republic and Abai streets was held on May 31 with participation of Kazakhstan President
Nursultan Nazarbayev, Tengrinews.kz reports.
The memorial complex is represented by the Wall of Grief made in the form of Kerege part of
the yurt and a sculptural combination made of the figures of a woman and a child.
“Today is a day of memory of victims of political repressions and famine. We remember these
two tragic dates. This year is the 80th anniversary of the mass famine in our country and the
75th anniversary of the political repressions. Not only Kazakhstan suffered from the famine.
7 million people died of famine in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Over 1.5 million of those who
died of the famine lived in Kazakhstan,” Nursultan Nazarbayev said at the ceremony.
“We have gathered here to eternalize the people’s memory and open the monument to the
victims of famine of 1932-1933 in memory of Kazakhstan citizens who fell victims of famine.
Collectivization turned out to be a cruel experiment; it destroyed the age-long way of life in
the auls (Kazakh ethnic villages) and millenarian principles of the nomad civilization on our
Earth. All that caused the sufferings to the millions of people. The famine and its horrible
consequences became a major humanitarian catastrophe of the Soviet period,” he noted.
According to the President, over 1.5 million Kazakhstan citizens died of famine and over 600
thousand Kazakhs left their Motherland trying to escape the famine and repressions.
“Dear Kazakhstan citizens! We have to be very wise in understanding the history and
preventing politicization of this subject. A cruel policy of the Soviet regime was the reason
behind the famine, deportation and mass deaths. Inhuman totalitarian system is to be blamed
for repressions,” the President said. He also noted that all the deported people gained new
life in Kazakhstan, thanks to the hospitality of the Kazakhstan people.
Nursultan Nazarbayev came up with the idea of the memorial. Oral Alibayev is the author of
the architectural concept of the Wall of Grief and the monument’s concept was developed by
sculptor Valery Pirozhkov.
“I came up with the concept straight away. I thought that such celestial powers are only given
to a woman and only a woman can stop the tragedy. I pictured my idea through the image of
a mother and a child. I wanted to show both the tragedy and the revival of the people. I think
that this is the most tragic event, as it was not caused by any aggression, but by the country’s
own policy. That’s why I consider it most tragic,” Valery Pirozhkov said.
Islamic theologist confuted the statements on jihad against Kazakhstan police
By Assel Satayeva
The Islamic theologist has confuted the statements on jihad against Kazakhstan police, Tengrinews.kz reports citing head of Department on Control over Application of Laws on Countering Extremism and Terrorism of Kazakhstan General Prosecutor’s office.
“Prominent Islamic theologist sheikh Abu Mundhir Ash Shanqitee has publicly confuted the fatwa On jihad against Kazakhstan police spread on the Internet on his behalf,” Nurdaulet Suindikov said at the conference called Consolidation of the community and the state in countering terrorism: new approaches and principles in Astana.
According to the General Prosecutor’s office, this information appeared on the Internet on May 2011 and called for active violence against officers of Kazakhstan law-enforcement authorities. The fatwa was allegedly written by sheikh Abu Mundhir Ash Shanqitee. The name of Ash Shanqitee is very famous in the Middle East.
“The sheikh said that neither him, nor the members of his family ever made any fatwas calling for murder. In conformation of his words, he passed a personally signed statement with the official and public confutation of the fatwa made by some unidentified persons,” Suindikov told Tengrinews.kz.
According to Kazakhstan General Prosecutor’s office, 46 people were convicted for crimes related to extremism and terrorism in Kazakhstan in 2011. 10 of them were convicted for creation and management of a terrorist group. The prosecutors have studied over 62 thousand websites to make sure that spread of extremist information on the Internet is suppressed. The court banned over 400 Internet-resources for spreading damaging information.
Growth of the terrorism threat in Kazakhstan was also discussed at the conference.
The Dictator banned 2 weeks after premiere in Kazakhstan
The Dictator, a new movie starring scandalous Sacha Noam Baron Cohen, known as Borat, has been banned from screens two weeks later its premiere in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews.kz reports, citing RIA Novosti.
The Dictator disappeared from Kazakhstan movie schedule on June 1. A number of Almaty cinema theaters confirmed that the movie was taken off the schedule. Interfilm company that is the official distributor of the movie refused to comment the situation.
Earlier Tajikistan authorities decided against letting The Dictator into the country's cinemas “because of the citizens' mentality”. The movie was released on May 17 in other Central Asian countries (except Turkmenistan).
It is not the first time when Cohen’s movies don’t reach Kazakhstan audience. The movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan appeared in 2006 triggering a surge of outrage in the Kazakhstan society. The movie was banned in Kazakhstan and Russia.
The Dictator is a comedy film directed by Larry Charles, who previously directed Baron Cohen's mockumentaries Borat and Brüno. Cohen, in the role of Admiral General Aladeen, a dictator from the fictional oil-rich country of the Republic of Wadiya, stars alongside Ben Kingsley and Anna Faris.
This film is Sacha Baron Cohen's fourth feature film in a leading role, it is "the heroic story of a North African dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed", according to its distributor Paramount Pictures.
The Dictator, dedicated to the memory of Kim Jong Il, has generally received mixed to positive reviews, with a consensus, "wildly uneven but consistently provocative, The Dictator is a decent entry in the poli-slapstick comedy genre," according to Rotten Tomatoes' review
Kazakhstan President held talks with Muslim World League head
Kazakhstan President met with the Secretary General of the Muslim World League Dr. Abdullah bin Abdul Mohsin Al-Turki, Tengrinews.kz reports citing Nursultan Nazarbayev’s press-service.
The President noted that the objectives of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions coincide with the forums initiated by the King of Saudi Arabia.
“In you speech today you have covered the most important problems of the modern world. I am thankful to the Muslim World League for supporting all our initiatives. Your active participation in the forum can be an example for others. Kazakhstan is the most northern country with a Muslim majority. Cooperation with the Muslim World League is important for us,” President Nazarbayev said.
“We are participating in this event on behalf of the king of Saudi Arabia and the whole Islamic community. We actively cooperate with the organization commission of the Congress and the chairman of Kazakhstan Senate and note the high level of these large-scale event,” Dr. Abdullah bin Abdul Mohsin Al-Turki said.
Putin Fears Civil War but Rejects Intervention in Syria
Jun 1, 2012
BERLIN: Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Friday that Syria could be on the brink of a civil war but underlined his opposition to military intervention to stop the bloodshed.
"You cannot do anything by force," he told reporters in Berlin, after he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed after talks that they sought a "political solution" to the crisis.
As pressure on Moscow mounted to drop its resistance to tougher UN action on Syria, Putin said the deadly strife risked tearing the country in two.
"Today we are seeing emerging elements of civil war," he told reporters. "It is extremely dangerous."
But he hit back at suggestions Moscow was supplying arms for use in Syria, saying his country did not deliver weapons to be deployed in civil conflicts.
"As far as arms supplies are concerned, Russia does not supply the weapons that could be used in a civil conflict," he said.
The president, on his first trip to the West since returning to the Kremlin for a third term, insisted his country was not siding with President Bashar al-Assad's regime against the opposition.
Full report at:
Only Assad’s exit will end violence in Syria: Hollande
Jun 2, 2012
France’s president said Friday that only the departure of Bashar Assad would end the violence in Syria, saying his regime had acted in an “intolerable way”.
Francois Hollande, who was elected in May, again advocated for pressure and sanctions to force out the Syrian leader, continuing France’s tough line on the country, where an anti-government uprising has raged for more than a year.
“The regime of Bashar Assad has conducted itself in an unacceptable, intolerable way and has committed acts that disqualify it” from power, Mr. Hollande said after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Syria’s principal backer and protector.
“There is no possible exit from this situation except with the departure of Bashar Assad,” he added.
International pressure is mounting on Syria, including condemnation Friday from the United Nation’s top human rights body for the massacre last week of more than 100 civilians, apparently at the hands of government troops and pro-regime thugs.
“Sanctions are part of the indispensable and necessary pressure,” Mr. Hollande added, while recognising that the country is hurtling toward civil war.
In March, the U.N. put the death toll from the uprising and crackdown at 9,000, but many hundreds more have died since.
Full report at:
UN warns of full civil war in Syria
02 JUNE 2012
The UN’s top human rights official warned on Friday that all-out civil war could engulf Syria unless countries back international envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan and calls for an independent probe into the killing of more than 100 civilians last week in the Arab country.
As countries lined up at an emergency meeting of the UN Human Rights Council to express their horror about the Houla massacre, in which the global body said 49 children were among the dead, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights appealed for support for the six-point plan to halt the violence in Syria.
“Otherwise, the situation in Syria might descend into a full-fledged conflict and the future of the country, as well as the region as a whole could be in grave danger,” Navi Pillay told the 47-nation council in a speech read out on her behalf.
It was the fourth time that the Geneva-based council called an urgent meeting on Syria, something the country’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Fayssal al-Hamwi, said was a sign that some countries are trying to divide his country. Al-Hamwi, too, condemned the massacre in Houla but blamed it on “groups of armed terrorists” seeking to ignite sectarian strife.
US Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe said there was no doubt that the regime of President Bashar Assad was responsible for the killing. “There needs to be justice and accountability for those that committed these atrocities,” she told the council.
A draft resolution proposed by Qatar, Turkey and the United States condemns the killings in Houla and states that “those responsible for serious violations of human rights must be held accountable,” but doesn’t suggest how.
British Muslim celebrate queen’s Diamond Jubilee
LONDON: British Muslims are celebrating the queen’s Diamond Jubilee as they are deeply grateful for her long interest in Muslim subjects.
In a letter sent to the queen welcoming her 60-year reign, Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), said, “ Millions of Muslims are “contributing positively” to the United Kingdom. Her majesty has given us decades of inspirational service, for which we wish to thank her. During her reign, Muslims from all corners of the earth have prospered here in Britain, thanks to the values of decency, tolerance and equality which her majesty helps promote. Her continued interest and involvement in many areas of the Commonwealth, from which most of her British Muslim subjects have come, is also something for which we are very grateful.”
Murad called on British Muslims to thank the queen for her long reign during the celebrations this weekend.
Full report at:
French warming to armed intervention in Syria: poll
June 02, 2012
PARIS: A widening majority of French people favor military intervention in Syria and more believe France should participate, according to the first poll on the issue since a recent massacre in the country.
The Ifop poll on Saturday showed backing for military intervention at 58 percent, up from 51 percent in February, and support for French involvement surging to 50 percent from 38 percent.
Ifop said that the increase "is undoubtedly linked to the multiplication of war crimes blamed on Bashar Assad's regime and their recent media coverage".
Outrage at last week's mass killings in the Syrian town of Houla has prompted France to join several Western nations in stepping up pressure on Syria by expelling senior diplomats and calling on Russia to allow tougher action by the U.N. Security Council.
France's new President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday that military intervention could not be ruled out as long as it was carried out under the auspices of a U.N. Security Council resolution.
As the Syria crisis escalates, Hollande is under pressure to show the same decisiveness and leadership that his conservative predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy did in the Libyan crisis last year.
Hollande failed to win backing from Russia's Vladimir Putin in talks in Paris on Friday for more sanctions on Syria, which he said were an essential part of a political solution.
The Ifop online poll, carried out from May 30 to June 1 for regional newspaper Ouest France, surveyed 1,000 people over the age of 18.
Memorials to victims of famine and political repressions opened in Pavlodar and Petropavlovsk
A memorial to victims of famine was opened in Pavlodar, Tengrinews.kz reports.
The monument is presented as a boy weeping over his dead mother. Pavlodar sculptor Marat
Abylkassimov is the author of the memorial. The concrete monument was installed at the
entrance of the city next to the old Muslim cemetery, where a mass burial of victims of
famine was discovered. The monument’s area is 22 square meters and the sculpture is 3
meters high. It was made in almost 2 weeks.
According to the archive data, over 300 thousand people died of famine in Pavlodar oblast.
According to records 435 bodies were collected from the city's streets on May 1-2, 1931.
The Wall of memory of victims of political repressions was installed in Petropavlovsk the same
day. The names of 6,800 people repressed in North-Kazakhstan oblast are engraved on the
plates. “Today we are opening the Wall of Memory of the victims of political repressions and
totalitarianism. This is now part of the memorial complex together with the monument to
victims of mass repressions,” Akim (Governor) of North-Kazakhstan oblast Serik Belyalov said.
8 million tenge ($53.7 thousand) was raised for construction of the monument. It was erected
in less than a month. The monument is 56 meters long.
Full report at:
Tuareg rebels reject deal with Islamists over sharia
BAMAKO — Tuareg rebels said Friday they had rejected a deal with Islamist rebels to form a breakaway state in northern Mali because of their insistence on implementing sharia law.
The Islamist Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith) have refused to back off from their demand for the implementation of radical Islamic law, which the rebel National Liberation Movement of Azawad (MNLA) has already rejected.
"The MNLA's political leadership, faced with Ansar Dine's intransigence on applying sharia law in Azawad, and to remain faithful to its resolutely secular position, rejects the deal dated May 26, 2012 made with this group and declares everything pertaining to it null and void," said a statement.
The document, dated Thursday and signed by senior MNLA member Hamma Ag Mahmoud in Azawad's capital Gao, was the first official confirmation of the rebels' rejection of the accord.
The rival groups, who seized main cities in northern Mali after a March 22 coup in the southern capital Bamako, hold separate ideologies and objectives and the relationship has been an uneasy one.
Full report at: Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.
Sudan: 4 Aid Groups Face Restrictions
Sudan is expelling four foreign aid groups from its restive eastern region, government and aid officials said Friday, the latest restrictions on aid agencies in the country. A senior official said the four groups had been asked to stop all projects in the east but could stay in the country. “They didn’t implement the projects we asked them to do,” said the official, who named Goal of Ireland and the Swedish chapter of Save the Children. The official said the other two were another Irish group and a Japanese agency, but did not name them.