New Age Islam
Wed Oct 21 2020, 08:31 AM

Islamic World News ( 3 March 2018, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Humanity above All! How Sikh Charity Khalsa Aid Is Helping Syrian Refugees









Photo: Humanity above all! How Sikh charity Khalsa Aid is helping Syrian refugees

 

Top Secular Writer Stabbed In Bangladesh

Invading Iraq 'The Single Worst Decision Ever Made' - Trump Hits Bush

Syria: Terrorists Seizing People's Food Stuff in Eastern Ghouta

Groups of Extremists Storm Al-Aqsa Mosque

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India

Humanity above All! How Sikh Charity Khalsa Aid Is Helping Syrian Refugees

Muslim Leader In Telangana Town Attempts Suicide Over Syria Massacre, Broadcasts It Live On Facebook

Muhammad Ali Jinnah Didn't Want a Separate Country: Farooq Abdullah

Glaciers melting in Gilgit-Baltistan due to CPEC project

Pakistan shells villages and posts in Poonch

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind's chief: Iran very successful in fighting terrorism

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South Asia

Top Secular Writer Stabbed In Bangladesh

Foreigners among 13 ISIS Militants Killed In Jawzjan Airstrikes

Sri Lanka Peace NGO Urges Government To Take Immediate Deterrent And Punitive Measures Against Anti-Muslim Violence

Militants suffer casualties in premature bomb explosion in East of Afghanistan

Gunmen kill 3 of a family and abduct 2 others in Ghazni province

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North America

Invading Iraq 'The Single Worst Decision Ever Made' - Trump Hits Bush

US Offer Turkey to Expel Kurds, Split Manbij in Northeastern Syria

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Arab World

Syria: Terrorists Seizing People's Food Stuff in Eastern Ghouta

Forced Recruitment by Kurds Reported Again In Northeastern Syria

Turkish air strikes kill 36 pro-Syrian govt fighters in Afrin

Over 26,000 Kurdish Fighters Killed, Captured in Turkish Army Operation in Northern Syria

Eastern Damascus: Terrorists Fleeing Battlefields amid Rapid Advances of Syrian Army

Syrian Army Seizes Control over More Terrorist-Held Regions in Eastern Damascus

Turkish Army Occupies More Kurdish-Held Regions in Northern Syria

More Senior Terrorist Commanders Killed in Clashes among Rival Militants in Northwestern Syria

Army Repels Terrorists' Attack on Gov't Positions in Eastern Damascus

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Mideast

Groups of Extremists Storm Al-Aqsa Mosque

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Receives a Message from Kuwait's Emir

Benjamin Netanyahu to talk with Trump about attending embassy opening

No missile talks unless West gives up its nukes: Iran

IRGC Official: Iraqi Popular Forces Not to Retreat against US Plots

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Pakistan

Pakistan Loses 50pc Market Share In Kabul

At Least 17 PTI Lawmakers in KP Allegedly Sold Votes in Senate Election: Sources

'Nawaz Sharif's PML-N Wins Big In Parliament's Upper House Polls'

Rights activists gather for recovery of Raza Khan

PML-N gains Senate control amid surprise PPP showing

30 Pakistani doctors aspiring to attend conference in India await visas

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Africa

Eight Dead, 12 Seriously Wounded In Attacks on Burkina Military HQ, French Embassy

Egypt court dismisses rulings on Red Sea islands transfer

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Europe

Anti-Muslim Hate Crime Surges in Germany

Freedom Instead of Islam': Brutal Anti-Migrant Fight Riles German Town

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Southeast Asia

Sarawak Chief Minister Pledges to Amend State Laws to Allow Converts To Renounce Islam

Nepalese Muslims Society holds interactive programme

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/humanity-above-all!-how-sikh-charity-khalsa-aid-is-helping-syrian-refugees/d/114472

 

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Humanity Above All! How Sikh Charity Khalsa Aid Is Helping Syrian Refugees

Updated: Mar 01, 2018 | 20:58 IST | Times Now Digital

Damascus: There are no signs of the civil war in Syria ending anytime soon. The crisis in the country has seen millions of its citizens become refugee in neighbouring countries.

Even as the crisis continues, many aid groups have been helping people in the war-torn nation. Among them is the Khalsa Aid International, whose volunteers have been responding to similar crisis across the world. There humanitarian relief efforts for Syrian refugees are also being lauded.

Khalsa Aid

@Khalsa_Aid

Syrian Refugees Assistance

Our team is currently in Turkey providing 14 tonnes of food & shoes for hundreds of refugee children. We have been supporting #Syrian refugees since 2014 across Mid East Inc in Greece & Lebanon. Our work goes on.

8:45 PM - Mar 1, 2018 · Turkey

200

88 people are talking about this

Khalsa Aid

@Khalsa_Aid

Syrian Refugees:

Our team is delivering 12 TONNES of food to the #SYRIAN refugees in Turkey.  This is an ongoing operation since 2016. #Syria

6:10 PM - Mar 1, 2018

447

182 people are talking about this

Khalsa Aid

@Khalsa_Aid

When #Syrian refugees were crossing borders in Europe during the freezing winter in 2015 our team led by @beardedhippy were distributing food packs at several locations. Our work with refugees continues in Turkey & Lebanon.

5:14 AM - Mar 1, 2018

266

114 people are talking about this

Khalsa Aid

@Khalsa_Aid

Supporting children of #Syria

Khalsa Aid has been supporting the #Syrian refugees since 2014. These beautiful Syrian twins were in great discomfort due to skin disorder. We funded the medical treatment. Our work continues ..pls support.

4:38 PM - Feb 28, 2018

913

461 people are talking about this

Khalsa Aid

@Khalsa_Aid

It's only @Khalsa_Aid doing this work with #Syrian refugees. twitter.com/husainiaeducat/status/968775014349553664 …

4:16 PM - Feb 28, 2018

104

44 people are talking about this

Zeeshan

@ZeeshanS07

In a world of bigotry and hate, @Khalsa_Aid is touching many lives with their awesome work. May you stay blessed! twitter.com/Khalsa_Aid/status/968799455037272065 …

4:21 PM - Feb 28, 2018

44

15 people are talking about this

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Baljinder Singh Ubhi

@Ubhicanada

Where there is a need, guru's Sikh @Khalsa_Aid is there. War reasons could be any, but where there is a need of 'Langer' , @RaviSinghKA and team act for wellness of survivors.

Thanks to @Khalsa_Aid @JustinTrudeau @HarjitSajjan @randeepssarai @JarnailSinghAAP @ArvindKejriwal

4:57 PM - Feb 28, 2018 · Abbotsford, British Columbia

233

111 people are talking about this

As per reports, Khalsa Aid has been carrying out similar relief operations in several countries for the past few years, including Lebanon and Turkey.

timesnownews.com/the-buzz/article/khalsa-aid-international-syria-syrian-refugees-civil-war-sikh-charity-lebanon-turkey/203924?utm_source=Colombia&utm_medium=CPC&utm_campaign=TimesNowNews_Buzz

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Top secular writer stabbed in Bangladesh

PTI | Mar 3, 2018

DHAKA: A Bangladeshi professor and secular writer was on today stabbed in his head and neck by an unidentified assailant during an event at a university here, police said.

Muhammed Zafar Iqbal, an outspoken opponent of militancy and communalism, has suffered head injuries in the attack which took place at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in Sylhet, bdnews24 reported.

The attacker was nabbed and handed over to the police, Shahjalal University Public Administration Department Assistant Professor Md Mahmud Hasan said.

The motive behind the attack was not immediately known, police said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina 'strongly' condemned the attack on Iqbal and ordered officials to take quick action to bring the assailants to justice.

Iqbal, a professor of the university, was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was able to speak despite bleeding profusely, the report said.

The attack took place during a festival organised by the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department where he was the chief guest.

The attacker struck from behind and stabbed him in the head, the report said.

"Things are heated. The students are causing vandalism. Police are working to bring the situation under control," Jalalabad Police Station officer-in-charge Shafiqul Islam Swapan said.

Iqbal, a renowned science fiction writer, had recently criticised ragging on campus and said that five students punished for ragging had gotten off easy and should have been handed over to police, the report said.

Some students believe that militants may have been responsible for the attack.

Iqbal has been given police protection for security reasons since 2015, when militants threatened to kill him.

There were six to seven policemen guarding him when the attack took place, the report said.

Bangladesh, in the last couple of years, has seen a spate of gruesome attacks on secular activists, religious minorities, bloggers and foreigners, many of whom have been hacked to death with machetes.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/top-secular-writer-stabbed-in-bangladesh/articleshow/63151463.cms

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Invading Iraq 'the single worst decision ever made' - Trump hits Bush

March 4, 2018

US President Donald Trump is attacking former President George W. Bush over his decision to launch a bloody war against Iraq.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - US President Donald Trump is attacking former President George W. Bush over his decision to launch a bloody war against Iraq.

Trump reportedly made the comment at a closed-door event with Republican donors in Florida, undermining the former president’s intelligence by comparing the decision to "throwing a big fat brick into a hornet's nest."

"Here we are, like the dummies of the world, because we had bad politicians running our country for a long time," said the president, according to a recording his remarks, obtained by CNN.

"That was Bush. Another real genius. That was Bush," Trump joked. "That turned out to be wonderful intelligence. Great intelligence agency there."

He further called the 2003 invasion of the Muslim country the “worst decision ever made” by Washington.

In early 2003, the US, backed by the UK, invaded Iraq under the pretext that the regime of Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). No such weapons, however, were ever found in Iraq.

More than one million Iraqis were killed as a result of the invasion, and the subsequent occupation of the country, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.

The UK's Iraq War inquiry, known as the Chilcot Inquiry, concluded in its 6,000-page report that the policy on the Iraq invasion was based on "flawed" intelligence about the country's supposed WMD.

Many have called for Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony to be put on trial for war crimes in Iraq.

The US invasion of Iraq removed former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's regime, but led to chaos in the country.

That resulted in the rise of terrorism in Iraq as states like Saudi Arabia started promoting Salafism and Takfirism in the country.

en.abna24.com/news/america/invading-iraq-the-single-worst-decision-ever-made-trump-hits-bush_884317.html

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Syria: Terrorists Seizing People's Food Stuff in Eastern Ghouta

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The terrorist groups in Eastern Damascus have started looting food stuff from houses and shops on the fifth day of daily ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta, field sources reported on Saturday, adding that the terrorists have blocked civilians' exit from Eastern Ghouta.

The sources said that the terrorist groups' mortar launchers and snipers have opened fire at civilians that tried to leave Eastern Ghouta for government-held regions via a humanitarian corridor two hours after the start of the fifth day of a daily-based ceasefire.

In the meantime, Spokesman for the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria Vladimir Zolotokhin reported that terrorists in Eastern Ghouta have started searching civilians' houses and have seized a large volume of people's food stuff and identity cards.

Maj. Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko, a spokesman for the Russian Reconciliation for Syria, said earlier today that the situation around the humanitarian corridor in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta remains tense, with militant snipers regularly firing at access routes.

"(The) situation near the check point is still strained. Since yesterday evening, snipers have been shelling at approaches to the check point. Today, the Jeish al-Islam terrorists have carried out two mortar attacks from Eastern outskirts of Douma targeting the security corridor leading to the checkpoint near al-Waffedeen," Yevtushenko said.

According to Yevtushenko, residents of Eastern Ghouta are provided with information about exit routes and rules for safe leaving the area through the humanitarian corridor.

The spokesman noted that the center received a lot of hotline messages, in which civilians were complaining about unbearable living conditions and repressive measures taken by the militants.

In particular, terrorists do not let civilian leave the zone, with people trying to use other possible exits to leave the terrorist-held areas without crossing the prepared humanitarian corridor, Yevtushenko clarified.

en.farsnews.com/newsext.aspx?nn=13961212001388

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Groups of extremists storm Al-Aqsa Mosque

Sunday 1439/6/16 - 2018/03/04

Ramallah, Jumada II 16, 1439, March 04, 2018, SPA -- More than 50 Israeli extremist settlers early Sunday stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem (Al-Quds), a Palestinian source confirmed.

The General Director of Islamic Endowments and Al-Aqsa Affairs, Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib pointed out that today's raid by the Jewish settlers was carried from Al- Magharebah Gate and under heavy protection of Israeli police and forces.

spa.gov.sa/viewfullstory.php?lang=en&newsid=1732829

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India

Humanity Above All! How Sikh Charity Khalsa Aid Is Helping Syrian Refugees

Updated: Mar 01, 2018 | 20:58 IST | Times Now Digital

Damascus: There are no signs of the civil war in Syria ending anytime soon. The crisis in the country has seen millions of its citizens become refugee in neighbouring countries.

Even as the crisis continues, many aid groups have been helping people in the war-torn nation. Among them is the Khalsa Aid International, whose volunteers have been responding to similar crisis across the world. There humanitarian relief efforts for Syrian refugees are also being lauded.

Khalsa Aid

@Khalsa_Aid

Syrian Refugees Assistance

Our team is currently in Turkey providing 14 tonnes of food & shoes for hundreds of refugee children. We have been supporting #Syrian refugees since 2014 across Mid East Inc in Greece & Lebanon. Our work goes on.

8:45 PM - Mar 1, 2018 · Turkey

200

88 people are talking about this

Khalsa Aid

@Khalsa_Aid

Syrian Refugees:

Our team is delivering 12 TONNES of food to the #SYRIAN refugees in Turkey.  This is an ongoing operation since 2016. #Syria

6:10 PM - Mar 1, 2018

447

182 people are talking about this

Khalsa Aid

@Khalsa_Aid

When #Syrian refugees were crossing borders in Europe during the freezing winter in 2015 our team led by @beardedhippy were distributing food packs at several locations. Our work with refugees continues in Turkey & Lebanon.

5:14 AM - Mar 1, 2018

266

114 people are talking about this

Khalsa Aid

@Khalsa_Aid

Supporting children of #Syria

Khalsa Aid has been supporting the #Syrian refugees since 2014. These beautiful Syrian twins were in great discomfort due to skin disorder. We funded the medical treatment. Our work continues ..pls support.

4:38 PM - Feb 28, 2018

913

461 people are talking about this

Khalsa Aid

@Khalsa_Aid

It's only @Khalsa_Aid doing this work with #Syrian refugees. twitter.com/husainiaeducat/status/968775014349553664 …

4:16 PM - Feb 28, 2018

104

44 people are talking about this

Zeeshan

@ZeeshanS07

In a world of bigotry and hate, @Khalsa_Aid is touching many lives with their awesome work. May you stay blessed! twitter.com/Khalsa_Aid/status/968799455037272065 …

4:21 PM - Feb 28, 2018

44

15 people are talking about this

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Baljinder Singh Ubhi

@Ubhicanada

Where there is a need, guru's Sikh @Khalsa_Aid is there. War reasons could be any, but where there is a need of 'Langer' , @RaviSinghKA and team act for wellness of survivors.

Thanks to @Khalsa_Aid @JustinTrudeau @HarjitSajjan @randeepssarai @JarnailSinghAAP @ArvindKejriwal

4:57 PM - Feb 28, 2018 · Abbotsford, British Columbia

233

111 people are talking about this

As per reports, Khalsa Aid has been carrying out similar relief operations in several countries for the past few years, including Lebanon and Turkey.

timesnownews.com/the-buzz/article/khalsa-aid-international-syria-syrian-refugees-civil-war-sikh-charity-lebanon-turkey/203924?utm_source=Colombia&utm_medium=CPC&utm_campaign=TimesNowNews_Buzz

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Muslim Leader In Telangana Town Attempts Suicide Over Syria Massacre, Broadcasts It Live On Facebook

By P Pavan, Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Updated: Mar 3, 2018

Hyderabad: A Muslim rights activist in Telangana’s Warangal town attempted suicide by consuming an unknown liquid from a bottle late Friday night and broadcast it live on his Facebook page. He said he was upset over the local police denying permission to his ‘Muslim HakkulaPorataSamithi’ (Society to Fight for Rights of Muslims) organisation to take out a rally to protest the massacre in Syria.

Mohammed Nayeem, 35, recovered and escaped from the MGM Hospital in Warangal on Saturday morning, even before being discharged officially. The police had a tough time trying to trace him. But, by afternoon, they found him at his residence in Girmajipet on Warangal outskirts. His wife also confirmed to the police that he reached home.

In his video webcast, Nayeem vent his anger over the police denying permission for the rally to condemn the massacre of innocent people including children in Syria. He said the developments in Syria had pained him.

Police rubbished Nayeem’s charge. They said rallies and processions were prohibited in the city as restrictions under Section 144 (disallowing assembly of more than three persons) were in force in view of the ongoing intermediate (Class XI and Class XII) public exams.

“We gave them an alternative arrangement by allowing them to have a meeting at the Masjid. They had a huge meeting after Friday Namaz at Mandi Bazar Masjid for 30 minutes. Nayeem addressed the gathering and media for 20 minutes. I personally supervised the bandobust at the mosque," Warangal town police inspector T Ravi Kumar told Mirror. During the meeting after Namaz, Nayeem allegedly threatened to immolate himself.

The police chose not to register any case as the recent guidelines suggest that attempted suicide is not an offence.

bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/news/india/muslim-leader-in-telangana-town-attempts-suicide-over-syria-massacre-broadcasts-it-live-on-facebook/articleshow/63152236.cms

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Muhammad Ali Jinnah Didn't Want A Separate Country: Farooq Abdullah

ANI | Updated: Mar 4, 2018, 15:35 IST

JAMMU: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah claimed that Muhammad Ali Jinnah didn't want a separate country for Muslims, but happened due to Indian leaders' refusal to accept minority status for Muslims and Sikh in the country.

"Jinnah was not going to divide the country. The commission was delivered and the decision was taken that India would be divided. It said we will keep a special representation for Muslims. We will keep special dispensation for minorities and Sikh, but will not let the nation divide," he said during a function at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here.

Abdullah further said it was political leaders Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad and Sardar Patel's refusal to the commission that led to Jinaah's demand for Pakistan.

"Jinnah agreed but Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad and Sardar Patel did not agree. When this did not happen it was then that Jinnah demanded for Pakistan. Or else there would have been no separation. There would have been no Bangladesh, no Pakistan; there would have been one India," Abdullah said.

The National Conference (NC) patron also decried the misuse of religion for political and electoral gains. Elaborating on the attempts by divisive forces in the state with an eye on ensuing elections, Abdullah said Jammu and Kashmir has to flourish and progress as a single entity.

Responding to NC patron's comment on Pakistan creation, Union minister of state for personnel and public grievances Jitendra Singh on Sunday urged Abdullah to "reread history."

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/muhammad-ali-jinnah-didnt-want-a-separate-country-farooq-abdullah/articleshow/63156981.cms

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Glaciers melting in Gilgit-Baltistan due to CPEC project

ANI | Mar 4, 2018

GILGIT: Thirty-six glacial lakes in various valleys of Gilgit-Baltistan have been declared dangerous with seven of them posing a major threat to the people, said a survey by Focus Pakistan, an NGO.

After conducting the survey, experts attending a seminar in Islamabad said Gilgit-Baltistan is highly vulnerable to climate change.

The surge of the Khurdopin Glacier in Shimshal Valley, Hunza, and the formation of a lake, has emerged as a major cause of concern for geologists and local residents.

"The Khurdopin Glacier has touched the mountain which has formed a small lake. The lake is frozen at the moment, but from March onward, when the ice starts melting, the flow of water would be intense. We are not predicting immense damage, but footbridges and Shimshal Valley, which is very narrow in nature; the road there might get affected, said Dr.Nazeer Ahmed.

Officials from Gilgit Baltistan Disaster Management Authority, who were present during the seminar, are seeking help to install an alarming device to protect villagers during any disaster.

We are inviting a group of geologists and experts from NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority) for an inspection and seek their recommendations.

As far as the early warning system is concerned, we are installing an international system that if the lake gets outburst, we can get early warning and the villagers can be altered, said official of Gilgit Baltistan Disaster Management Authority, Mujahi Khan.

Gilgit-Baltistan has been facing several environmental threats since the launch of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a multi-billion dollar infrastructure and development-related project.

Cutting of jungles, mountains and increase in heavy vehicular movement in the region poses a serious threat to glaciers.

"In Shimshal Valley, there are three glaciers, out of which one is taking the shape of a lake. The lake is expanding rapidly which poses a threat to Hunza and the entire Gilgit Baltistan. No attention was paid to protect the environment since the CPEC project was launched. No survey has been done about the aftermath of this project as thousands of tankers are passing through the territory which directly affects the glaciers. The department is paying no attention," said a resident of Gilgit, Wajid Ali.

Gilgit-Baltistan is a part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir and is under the occupation of Pakistan since 1947, and ever since then, Pakistan has been misruling the region.

The influx of China in Gilgit Baltistan has added to the woes of the local people.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/glaciers-melting-in-gilgit-baltistan-due-to-cpec-project/articleshow/63156272.cms

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Pakistan shells villages and posts in Poonch

PTI | Mar 4, 2018, 10:20 IST

Pakistani troops heavy shelled forward posts and villages along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir overnight, police said on Sunday,

The shelling from across the border in Balakote sector started late last night and continued for over two hours, a police official told PTI.

Indian troops effectively retaliated.

There was no immediate report of any casualty or damage in the shelling, the official said adding forward villages and posts were targeted by Pakistan during the ceasefire violation.

There has been a spurt in ceasefire violations along the LoC and International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir this year.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pakistan-shells-villages-and-posts-in-poonch/articleshow/63155036.cms

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Jamaat-e-Islami Hind's chief: Iran very successful in fighting terrorism

March 4, 2018

Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) Mohammad Salim Engineer said on Saturday that Iran’s active diplomacy prompted the country to act successfully in fighting terrorism, too.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) Mohammad Salim Engineer said on Saturday that Iran’s active diplomacy prompted the country to act successfully in fighting terrorism, too.

Speaking in an interview with Islamic Republic News Agency on Iran’s role in reinforcing resistance movement, he added that thanks to its active diplomacy, Iran as a big and major country in the region, not only acted successfully in fighting terrorism but also it managed to forge interaction with other regional states.

But of course, there are differences between Islamic states, he said, noting that powerful Islamic states should do their best to preserve Muslims’ rights.

Unity among Muslim nations is very important and Islamic Ummah should keep vigilance against the US and Zionist regime’s plots, he said.

Condemning the US support for terrorism, he said that the US backs terrorism in various forms and they are trying to portray Islam and Muslims as terrorists.

Islam is against terrorism and all Muslims are duty-bound to fight the scourge, he said.

en.abna24.com/news/central-asia-subcontinent/jamaat-e-islami-hinds-chief-iran-very-successful-in-fighting-terrorism_884334.html

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South Asia

Top secular writer stabbed in Bangladesh

PTI | Mar 3, 2018

DHAKA: A Bangladeshi professor and secular writer was on today stabbed in his head and neck by an unidentified assailant during an event at a university here, police said.

Muhammed Zafar Iqbal, an outspoken opponent of militancy and communalism, has suffered head injuries in the attack which took place at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in Sylhet, bdnews24 reported.

The attacker was nabbed and handed over to the police, Shahjalal University Public Administration Department Assistant Professor Md Mahmud Hasan said.

The motive behind the attack was not immediately known, police said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina 'strongly' condemned the attack on Iqbal and ordered officials to take quick action to bring the assailants to justice.

Iqbal, a professor of the university, was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was able to speak despite bleeding profusely, the report said.

The attack took place during a festival organised by the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department where he was the chief guest.

The attacker struck from behind and stabbed him in the head, the report said.

"Things are heated. The students are causing vandalism. Police are working to bring the situation under control," Jalalabad Police Station officer-in-charge Shafiqul Islam Swapan said.

Iqbal, a renowned science fiction writer, had recently criticised ragging on campus and said that five students punished for ragging had gotten off easy and should have been handed over to police, the report said.

Some students believe that militants may have been responsible for the attack.

Iqbal has been given police protection for security reasons since 2015, when militants threatened to kill him.

There were six to seven policemen guarding him when the attack took place, the report said.

Bangladesh, in the last couple of years, has seen a spate of gruesome attacks on secular activists, religious minorities, bloggers and foreigners, many of whom have been hacked to death with machetes.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/top-secular-writer-stabbed-in-bangladesh/articleshow/63151463.cms

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Foreigners among 13 ISIS militants killed in Jawzjan airstrikes

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Mar 04 2018

At least thirteen militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed in the airstrikes conducted in northern Jawzjan province of Afghanistan.

The 209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North said at least two foreign insurgents hailing from Tajikistan were also among those killed.

The source further added that the Afghan Air Force carried out a series of airstrikes on ISIS hideouts in Darzbab district, leaving at least thirteen militants dead.

According to the Shaheen Corps, the airstrikes were carried out in Chakan village and the militants killed in the airstrikes all belong to QariHekmatullah group.

The anti-government armed militant and terrorist groups including ISIS insurgents have not commented regarding the report so far.

Jawzjan is among the relatively volatile provinces in North of Afghanistan where the anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban, ISIS, and other insurgents are actively operating in some of its districts.

This comes as at least fourteen ISIS militants including two foreign nationals hailing from Uzbekistan were killed in similar airstrikes in Darzab district nearly three weeks ago.

khaama.com/foreigners-among-13-isis-militants-killed-in-jawzjan-airstrikes-04568/

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Sri Lanka peace NGO urges government to take immediate deterrent and punitive measures against anti-Muslim violence

Sun, Mar 4, 2018

Mar 04, Colombo: An independent and nonpartisan organization working towards peace in Sri Lanka urged the good governance government to take immediate deterrent and punitive measures against the people instigating anti-Muslim violence.

In a press release, the National Peace Council (NPC) said Sri Lanka, having to answer to the international community at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva after a three-decade long war, must not go through another cycle of violence which targets Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims

"We call on the government and state institutions, especially the police, to take immediate deterrent and punitive measures against the miscreants and those giving them political and ideological backing. The false propaganda which is spread through word of mouth and on the social media needs to be countered by the government and civil society in a systematic manner," the NPC said.

Sri Lanka is still in a post-war phase in which the wounds and traumas of the past three decades of violence and war have still not been healed. The violence directed against Muslim-owned shops, mosques and vehicles in Ampara is a continuation of a process of fueling tension, suspicion and hatred between communities. The anti-Muslim propaganda focuses on the growth of the Muslim population and its expansion into areas inhabited primarily by members of other communities. Those who foment violence against the Muslim community are citing unfounded allegations of introducing birth control and other drugs into food packets.

Incidents of violence against the Muslim and other minority communities are both political and systemic. These are often engineered citing fear, distrust and insecurities and the building of enemy images of the victim communities. Until the national political leadership takes firm and determined action at this time there is an increasing likelihood of Sri Lanka a new cycle of communal violence that will become uncontrollable. A similar phenomenon was seen, with dreadful consequences, in the early 1980s when communal sentiment was directed against the Tamil which culminated in the anti-Tamil pogrom of 1983.

After enduring three decades of civil strife and internal war, and now having to answer to the international community at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Sri Lanka must not go through another cycle of violence which targets Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims. In particular we need to remember the Muslim community has international support in many parts of the world including the Middle East, North Africa, South and South East Asia. This has been a source of strength to our country in many forms, including the provision of employment. It is the responsibility of the government and opposition to be aware of these realities and take immediate action prevent false propaganda and violence against the Muslim community spiraling out of control.

The National Peace Council calls on the national political leadership, both in government and opposition, to come out in unanimity against the present polarizing process and not to seek to politicize it for their own advantage. We note that the leaders of the Muslim and Tamil political parties have already condemned these incidents and made calls to the government to take deterrent action. However, the paucity of government and opposition leaders making similar calls is most disturbing. We fear that unchecked this type of activity will gather momentum, and due to lack of adequate response, will become entrenched.

We call on the government and state institutions, especially the police, to take immediate deterrent and punitive measures against the miscreants and those giving them political and ideological backing. The false propaganda which is spread through word of mouth and on the social media needs to be countered by the government and civil society in a systematic manner. We affirm the role of civil society in addressing these systemic failures with the support of government and in promoting reconciliation initiatives with religious leaders from all communities.

colombopage.com/archive_18A/Mar04_1520137287CH.php

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Militants suffer casualties in premature bomb explosion in East of Afghanistan

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Mar 03 2018

At least two militants were killed and two others were wounded in a premature bomb explosion in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

The provincial police commandment said Saturday that the incident took place late on Friday night in the vicinity of Hesarak district.

The source further added that four militants were attempting to plant Improvised Explosive Devices on a roadside in Chahartut area when one of the mines went off prematurely.

According to the provincial police commandment, at least two of the militants were killed and two others were wounded in the blast.

The militants were busy conducting destructive and terrorist related activities in Hesarak and other parts of Nangarhar province, the police commandment added.

The anti-government armed militant and terrorist groups including the Taliban insurgents have not commented regarding the report so far.

The Taliban insurgents and militants belonging to the insurgent groups often use improvised explosive devices as the weapon of their choice to target the security forces but in majority of such incidents the ordinary civilians are killed besides such tactic claims the lives of the insurgents as well.

A total of 10,453 civilian casualties – 3,438 people killed and 7,015 injured – were documented in the 2017 Annual Report released last week by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN Human Rights Office.

The report further added that the high number of casualties to the civilians were inflicted by suicide bombings and other attacks using improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

khaama.com/militants-suffer-casualties-in-premature-bomb-explosion-in-east-of-afghanistan-04566/

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Gunmen kill 3 of a family and abduct 2 others in Ghazni province

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Mar 03 2018

Unknown gunmen stormed into a house in southeasternGhazni province of Afghanistan and killed three of the family, the local officials said Saturday.

The incident took place late on Friday night in the vicinity of Qarabagh district and as a result one member of the family was also wounded.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Mohammad ArifNoori confirmed the incident and said a woman was also among those killed in the attack.

He said the gunmen have also abducted two other members of the same family and have taken the family members to an unknown location.

In the meantime, reports indicate that last night’s attack has links with a dispute between the two tribes over water distribution.

A member of the provincial council AmanullahKamrani confirmed the report and said two tribes in Qarabagh district had disputes over water a while ago and last night’s attack may have links with the same dispute.

He said tensions still remain high between the sides and the victims of the latest attack all belong to the ethnic Pashtuns.

According to Kamrani, the Pashtun tribe insists on revenge and there are fears of more clashes between the two sides.

khaama.com/gunmen-kill-3-of-a-family-and-abduct-2-others-in-ghazni-province-04564/

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North America

Invading Iraq 'the single worst decision ever made' - Trump hits Bush

March 4, 2018

US President Donald Trump is attacking former President George W. Bush over his decision to launch a bloody war against Iraq.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - US President Donald Trump is attacking former President George W. Bush over his decision to launch a bloody war against Iraq.

Trump reportedly made the comment at a closed-door event with Republican donors in Florida, undermining the former president’s intelligence by comparing the decision to "throwing a big fat brick into a hornet's nest."

"Here we are, like the dummies of the world, because we had bad politicians running our country for a long time," said the president, according to a recording his remarks, obtained by CNN.

"That was Bush. Another real genius. That was Bush," Trump joked. "That turned out to be wonderful intelligence. Great intelligence agency there."

He further called the 2003 invasion of the Muslim country the “worst decision ever made” by Washington.

In early 2003, the US, backed by the UK, invaded Iraq under the pretext that the regime of Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). No such weapons, however, were ever found in Iraq.

More than one million Iraqis were killed as a result of the invasion, and the subsequent occupation of the country, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.

The UK's Iraq War inquiry, known as the Chilcot Inquiry, concluded in its 6,000-page report that the policy on the Iraq invasion was based on "flawed" intelligence about the country's supposed WMD.

Many have called for Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony to be put on trial for war crimes in Iraq.

The US invasion of Iraq removed former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's regime, but led to chaos in the country.

That resulted in the rise of terrorism in Iraq as states like Saudi Arabia started promoting Salafism and Takfirism in the country.

en.abna24.com/news/america/invading-iraq-the-single-worst-decision-ever-made-trump-hits-bush_884317.html

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US Offer Turkey to Expel Kurds, Split Manbij in Northeastern Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Washington has offered Ankara to expel the Kurdish fighters from the town of Manbij in Northeastern Aleppo and partition the town between the US and Turkish forces, a Turkish daily claimed on Sunday.

Turkish President RecepTayyip Erdogan said that the United States had offered to split the Syrian region of Manbij with Turkey, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported.

 “When it came to it, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said ‘let’s get them out. Let the security of Manbij be ours in half and yours in half,” Erdogan added.

“I responded ‘May it neither be ours nor yours! Manbij must be for the true residents.’ If what the Americans are talking about is with the aim of allowing the original residents to resettle in the Arab areas and to together ensure the security of Manbij, of course this can be done,” the President stated.

A report said in late January that tensions were on the rise between Turkey and the US after Erdogan warned that his country's army plan to expand their invasion of the Kurdish-held territories in Syria from Afrin to Manbij where some 3,000 US military forces are deployed.

Since the start of Operation “Olive Branch” by Ankara and its allied militants, Turkey stressed that its forces would spread to the East and now Erdogan says his army would soon invade Manbij and continue the assault to the border with Iraq some 900km away.

"We will be clearing our borders of terrorists up to the territory of Iraq. Manbij will be also cleared of terrorists, as we promised. I am addressing those who urge us to stop the operation as soon as possible — if you were hit by missiles, what would you do?" Erdogan said in remarks that are deemed as implied threat to the US that has stationed some 3,000 military men in the Kurdish-held city in Syria's Northwestern province of Aleppo.

As Erdogan warned that Turkey will rid Syria's Manbij of terrorists after Afrin and nobody should be bothered by this, US claimed that its military forces are deployed in and around Manbij to deter Turkish and Washington-backed fighters from attacking each other, a claim that has already been refuted by the Kurds.

Turkey's Foreign Minister MevlutCavusoglu also warned that it was "necessary for them (US) to immediately withdraw from Manbij" as well as take "more concrete steps rather than words" to end support for the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

A Turkish assault on Manbij could bring its forces into direct conflict with the Americans, with unpredictable results, while the US has kept calm about its decision over a pull out from the town, and sometimes sends mixed messages.

As the United States has promised once again to stop arming Syria-based Kurdish militants whom Turkey considers a threat to its security, a leading US military figure declared that Washington troops will not withdraw from Manbij, as it means that Hundreds of US troops risk being caught up in Ankara's military push into Northern Syria as Turkish top officials pledge to move into Manbij.

Ankara said late November 2017 that US President Donald Trump told Turkey's President that he had issued instructions that weapons should not be provided to Kurdish fighters in Syria. But Washington continued providing Kurdish fighters with more military hardware in Syria despite Trump's promise to Erdogan to halt arms shipment to them.

Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of the United States Central Command, said that withdrawing US forces from Manbij is "not something we are looking into".

The Pentagon also would not answer questions about the future of US troops deployed to the key town in Syria amid demands by Ankara that American forces withdraw to allow for a Turkish military incursion against Washington-backed Kurdish forces there.

"They'll stay or they'll go. Don't know what the answer will be," the director of the US military's joint staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Frank McKenzie, stressed, calling it "a policy decision."

Also in a phone call with Erdogan, Trump raised concerns that Ankara’s ongoing military operation in neighboring Syria, if not wound down, may result in a direct clash between the two NATO allies, as Kurdish fighters look to the US to help in the fight against Turkish troops in Manbij, some are accusing Washington of double standards after it did nothing to protect Afrin from “Turkish occupation”.

Referring to the "dark records of Washington in betraying its partners", Analyst Seyed Mostafa Khoshcheshm believes that "although an Ankara assault on Manbij might have seemed unpalatable to the US, given the formerly expressed views of Washington officials, the US administration's performance on the ground in the Afrin battle and the US militaries' inaction and lack of a strong and expressive policy displays that Trump prefers to keep away from battle situations, specially against a NATO ally, making the United States’ future role in Syria foggy".

The US administration officials have stated plans to keep troops in Syria even after the defeat of ISIL. Washington was once justifying its deployment of ground troops in Syria, which violates the embattled nation’s sovereignty, by citing the need to fight ISIL, but now it has started mentioning Iran's growing influence as its next excuse to remain in the war-ravaged country without a UN mandate or permission from the Damascus government.

The analyst underlined that as "the US has recognized that the relationship with Turkey has arrived at a breaking point", and “it, hence, vowed to cut arms shipments to the Kurdish militias, but it yet continued to arm the Kurds in a world where actions speak louder than words".

"Yet, endangering the lives of you soldiers is completely different from arms trade and Afrin was a good test to measure the US support for the Kurds," Khoshcheshm went on to say. "The remarks made by the Kurds in despair prove that they have come one step closer to realizing the US policies.

On the other hand, he said, it’s not clear whether Turkey "would dare to raid Manbij while Americans are present in there. Any such move would mean declaring war on the US, and neither party seems to be really serious about a direct confrontation.

He said although Turkey has failed to score a major win in Afrin, where the Turkish army troops and allied militants outnumber the Kurdish fighters by 5 to 1, “Manbij would certainly be a key flashpoint city in the Turkish invasion of Northern Syria and would certainly be the best test to the Ankara-Washington ties and also to verify the claims made by the two sides, if the Olive Branch forces could ever expand the scope of their operation to the region."

Turkey’s Operation ‘Olive Branch’ kicked off last Saturday from air and ground around the area of Afrin in Syria's Aleppo to oust the YPG, which Ankara views as a terror organization and the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK).

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has stressed that Turkish offensive in Afrin is part of Ankara's strategy based on supporting terrorists.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961213000911

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Arab World

Syria: Terrorists Seizing People's Food Stuff in Eastern Ghouta

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The terrorist groups in Eastern Damascus have started looting food stuff from houses and shops on the fifth day of daily ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta, field sources reported on Saturday, adding that the terrorists have blocked civilians' exit from Eastern Ghouta.

The sources said that the terrorist groups' mortar launchers and snipers have opened fire at civilians that tried to leave Eastern Ghouta for government-held regions via a humanitarian corridor two hours after the start of the fifth day of a daily-based ceasefire.

In the meantime, Spokesman for the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria Vladimir Zolotokhin reported that terrorists in Eastern Ghouta have started searching civilians' houses and have seized a large volume of people's food stuff and identity cards.

Maj. Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko, a spokesman for the Russian Reconciliation for Syria, said earlier today that the situation around the humanitarian corridor in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta remains tense, with militant snipers regularly firing at access routes.

"(The) situation near the check point is still strained. Since yesterday evening, snipers have been shelling at approaches to the check point. Today, the Jeish al-Islam terrorists have carried out two mortar attacks from Eastern outskirts of Douma targeting the security corridor leading to the checkpoint near al-Waffedeen," Yevtushenko said.

According to Yevtushenko, residents of Eastern Ghouta are provided with information about exit routes and rules for safe leaving the area through the humanitarian corridor.

The spokesman noted that the center received a lot of hotline messages, in which civilians were complaining about unbearable living conditions and repressive measures taken by the militants.

In particular, terrorists do not let civilian leave the zone, with people trying to use other possible exits to leave the terrorist-held areas without crossing the prepared humanitarian corridor, Yevtushenko clarified.

en.farsnews.com/newsext.aspx?nn=13961212001388

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Forced Recruitment by Kurds Reported again in Northeastern Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Kurdish militia still continue forced recruitment in different regions in Hasaka and Raqqa provinces, local sources said on Saturday.

The sources in Northern Raqqa reported that the Kurdish fighters detained a number of civilians at the entrance of the town of Tal Abyadh with a forced-recruitment plan.

In the meantime, the Kurds arrested a number of civilians in al-Naserehneighborhoods in Hasaka city to force them later to join the group.

In a relevant development last month the Kurdish fighters detained a number of young people in the town of al-Shadadi in Southern Hasaka to force them to join the militia.

They further said that at least seven civilians were arrested by the Kurds in Hasaka city to join forcefully to the group.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961212001197

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Turkish air strikes kill 36 pro-Syrian govt fighters in Afrin

AFPUpdated March 04, 2018

BEIRUT: Turkish air strikes killed at least 36 pro-regime fighters backing Kurdish militia in Syria’s north-western Kurdish enclave of Afrin on Saturday, a monitoring group said.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces alliance said the Turkish raids targeted pro-regime positions, but gave no death toll.

The two-storey building where the fighters were located was completely eviscerated, with several burnt out vehicles visible among the rubble.

The Britain-based Syrian Obser­va­tory for Human Rights said the strikes on the area of Kafr Janna were the third such raid on loyalist fighters in the enclave bordering Turkey in less than 48 hours.

They came after Turkish raids on other parts of the enclave killed 14 pro-regime fighters on Thursday and four more on Friday, the monitor said.

Turkish-led Syrian opposition fighters have advanced steadily since Jan 20, when they launched an assault on Afrin, controlled by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

The Syrian government deployed fighters to the enclave a month later after the Kurds appealed for help.

The Observatory says Turkish-led forces control more than 20 percent of the enclave after seizing the area of Rajo in the northwest of Afrin on Saturday. They also seized a strategic mountain in the northeast of the enclave, a military official from the Turkish-led operation said.

Ankara says the YPG is a “terrorist” extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state.

The YPG has been a key component of a US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance that has been fighting the militant Islamic State group in Syria.

The Observatory says more than 140 civilians have been killed in Turkish bombardment since the start of the assault, but Turkey denies the claim and says it takes the “utmost care” to avoid civilian casualties.

dawn.com/news/1393078/turkish-air-strikes-kill-36-pro-syrian-govt-fighters-in-afrin

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Over 26,000 Kurdish Fighters Killed, Captured in Turkish Army Operation in Northern Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Over 26,000 Kurdish gunmen have been killed or held captive since the start of the Turkish Army operation in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo on January 20, the Turkish Army General Staff announced in a statement on Sunday.

The army staff announced that 2,612 Kurdish combatants have been killed or captured in Turkey's Operation Olive Branch in Afrin region.

Earlier reports said that the Turkish Army troops and Ankara-backed militants continued Operation Olive Branch against the Kurds and captured more villages in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo.

The army men and their allied militants stormed the Kurdish fighters' positions and captured the village of Ba'adanli in Western Afrin.

The forces of the Operation Olive Branch further captured the villages of Jaman, Shamanli, Samanli, Kerkinli and a part of Mount Bafiloun in Shera region.

Also, the army units and allied militants managed to drive the Kurdish fighters out of the villages of al-Ramadiyah and Jamlik in Jandaris region, cutting off a road that connects the villages to the town of Afrin. 

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961213000933

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Eastern Damascus: Terrorists Fleeing Battlefields Amid Rapid Advances of Syrian Army

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The terrorist front is on the verge of full collapse as the Syrian Army troops' rapid advances in Eastern Ghouta have inflicted tens of casualties on them, field sources reported on Sunday.

The sources said that the terrorists in Eastern Ghouta are escaping the battlefields in groups after the army men freed the small town of Otaya and its nearby regions.

Fierce clashed are underway between the terrorists and the army soldiers in al-Shifouniyeh, adding that over 63 terrorists have thus far been killed and several vehicles and a large volume of military equipment have been destroyed in the army advances.

The sources further said that tens of terrorists' tunnels and trenches have been captured by the army and a number of militants have been captured.

In a relevant development on Saturday the Syrian military helicopters threw thousands of leaflets over the villages and towns in Eastern Ghouta to inform civilians willing to leave the area about the safe corridor designated for evacuating civilians through al-Wafideen Camp.

A military source said that the leaflets included the steps that the people should adopt to reach the corridor safely so that they could be transported to a temporary housing center in al-Dweer in Damascus Countryside.

The source added that the helicopters are throwing leaflets on daily basis over Ghouta villages and towns to make sure they reach all civilians.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961213000406

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Syrian Army Seizes Control over More Terrorist-Held Regions in Eastern Damascus

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops carried out another night operation and pushed the terrorists back from a small but key town in Eastern Ghouta a few hours after a daily-based ceasefire ended in the region, military sources said on Sunday morning.

The sources said that the army men stormed terrorists' strongholds last night and won back the strategic town of Otaya after a daily truce in Eastern Ghouta ended.

They went on to say that the army men swept the terrorists away from al-Nashabiyeh settlement and its nearby regions.

The sources further said that the army soldiers fortified their positions in Tal Farzat region that overlook several terrorist-held settlements, including Beit Nayem, HawshQabitat and al-Mohammadiyeh.  

Field sources reported on Saturday that the terrorist groups in Eastern Damascus started looting food stuff from houses and shops on the fifth day of daily ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta, adding that the terrorists blocked civilians' exit from Eastern Ghouta.

The sources said that the terrorist groups' mortar launchers and snipers opened fire at civilians that tried to leave Eastern Ghouta for government-held regions via a humanitarian corridor two hours after the start of the fifth day of a daily-based ceasefire.

In the meantime, Spokesman for the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria Vladimir Zolotokhin reported that terrorists in Eastern Ghouta have started searching civilians' houses and have seized a large volume of people's food stuff and identity cards.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961213000329

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Turkish Army Occupies More Kurdish-Held Regions in Northern Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Turkish Army troops and Ankara-backed militants continued Operation Olive Branch against the Kurds and captured more villages in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo on Sunday.

The army men and their allied militants stormed the Kurdish fighters' positions and captured the village of Ba'adanli in Western Afrin.

The forces of the Operation Olive Branch further captured the villages of Jaman, Shamanli, Samanli, Kerkinli and a part of Mount Bafiloun in Shera region.

Also, the army units and allied militants managed to drive the Kurdish fighters out of the villages of al-Ramadiyah and Jamlik in Jandaris region, cutting off a road that connects the villages to the town of Afrin.  

The Kurdish-language Hawar news reported on Saturday that the Kurdish combatants fired several rockets at the Turkish units and allied militants in the village of Baflor near the town of Jandaris, destroying four vehicles and killing all of the forces of Operation Olive Branch on board, adding that the Ankara forces were plundering the villagers' houses.

Hawar news further said that the Kurds also engaged in fierce clashes with the Ankara forces in the villages of Baflon and Jama in Shera region and destroyed a military vehicle, killing a number of Turkey-backed forces.

In the meantime, 37 Turkish soldiers and allied militants were killed and tens of others were wounded in clashes with the Kurds in the village of Ba'adina and Mabata region and Kowanda in Rajou region.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961213000465

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More Senior Terrorist Commanders Killed in Clashes among Rival Militants in Northwestern Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A notorious field commander and a Mufti (religious leader) of two separate rival terrorist groups have been killed in a fresh round of infighting in Northern and Eastern Idlib, well-informed sources reported on Saturday.

The sources said that Abu Kazifeh, a security commander of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front), was killed in clashes with Syria's Tahrir Front near the town of Mar'ayan in Southern Idlib.

They went on to say that Mufti of Syria's Tahrir Front Ahmad al-Seyed Ibrahim was killed by Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at in DeirHassaan settlement in Northern Idlib.

Militant-affiliated sources disclosed on Friday that Abdul Hamid, a notorious Mufti (religious leader) of Jeish al-Ahrar terrorist group, was gunned down by an unknown attacker in Idlib city.

Abdul Hamid nom de guerre Abu Torab, a notorious Egyptian Mufti of Jeish al-Ahrar, was killed by unknown assailants at a Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) checkpoint at the entrance of Idlib city amid intensifying infighting among terrorist groups in Aleppo, Idlib and Hama provinces.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961212001140

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Army Repels Terrorists' Attack on Gov't Positions in Eastern Damascus

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army soldiers warded off terrorists' attack on their positions in Eastern Damascus after hours of clashes, inflicting major losses on them.

The terrorists' fierce attack to capture the government forces' positions in Harasta region of Damascus was fended off by the strong defense of the Syrian military men.

Meantime, the Syrian army continued its military advances in other parts of Syria over past 24 hours.

Tens of terrorists were killed and dozens more were injured during the Syrian army's operations in provinces across Syria.

Damascus

The Syrian Army troops fended off the terrorist groups' heavy offensive in Harasta region, inflicting major losses on the militants on Saturday.

The army men engaged in fierce clashes with terrorists in a region near the town of Harasta in Eastern Ghouta and warded off their attack after killing or wounding a number of them.

Also, the army's artillery and missile units pounded terrorists' movements in Harasta.

A field source said that a heavy fighting is underway between the army and militants in Harasta farms, adding that the army men have taken control over several tunnels of the terrorists along the road connecting Harasta to another Eastern Ghouta town of Douma.

In the meantime, other army units managed to advance against terrorists in al-Shifouniyeh region and won back more key points, cutting off a main supply line of the militants.   

Meantime, the Syrian Army troops in another night operation stormed terrorists' positions after the several-hour-long daily truce in Eastern Ghouta and managed to close off one of the main supply roads of the militants in the region, military sources reported on Saturday.

The sources said that the army men waited for termination of daily ceasefire and carried out another nightly attack on terrorists' positions and drove the militants out of a number of points in Western and also Northern directions of Bachora air defense base, including several farms and workshops.

The army men further seized control over the 274th Regiment base (an Ordnance Base) West of Hawsh al-Zawaherah settlement and South of al-Shifouniyeh region, the sources said.

The sources further said that the army men have deployed near the town of Otaya and are advancing towards al-Shifouniyeh.

The sources added that the army men have cut off a main supply line of the terrorists connecting Otaya and Beit Sawa towards al-Shifouniyeh after their recent advances.

A military source said earlier that the terrorists received a final OK from their foreign backers to carry out a false-flag chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta to later accuse the Syrian Army of using poisonous materials against militant-held areas.

The source said that the terrorist groups, including Ahrar al-Sham, Faylaq al-Rahman and Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) are preparing to launch a chemical attack on militant-held regions in Eastern Ghouta to later accuse the Syrian army.

The source further said that the terrorists have been ordered to use poisonous materials close to the contact line with the Syrian soldiers to pave the ground for the US, the UK and other western states to accuse the Syrian army of a chemical attack on people.

Aleppo

The Turkish Army troops and Ankara-backed militants managed to advance against the Kurdish fighters and laid siege on the strategic Rajou region from three directions within the framework of Operation Olive Branch, field sources reported on Saturday.

The sources said that the army men and allied militants stormed the Kurds again and captured the villages of Maskanli, Mamli, Atmanli and Mosaco, laying siege on the Kurdish militants in Rajou region from the three Northern, Western and Southern directions.

Idlib

A notorious field commander and a Mufti (religious leader) of two separate rival terrorist groups have been killed in a fresh round of infighting in Northern and Eastern Idlib, well-informed sources reported on Saturday.

The sources said that Abu Kazifeh, a security commander of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front), was killed in clashes with Syria's Tahrir Front near the town of Mar'ayan in Southern Idlib.

They went on to say that Mufti of Syria's Tahrir Front Ahmad al-Seyed Ibrahim was killed by Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at in DeirHassaan settlement in Northern Idlib.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961213000452

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Mideast

Groups of extremists storm Al-Aqsa Mosque

Sunday 1439/6/16 - 2018/03/04

Ramallah, Jumada II 16, 1439, March 04, 2018, SPA -- More than 50 Israeli extremist settlers early Sunday stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem (Al-Quds), a Palestinian source confirmed.

The General Director of Islamic Endowments and Al-Aqsa Affairs, Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib pointed out that today's raid by the Jewish settlers was carried from Al- Magharebah Gate and under heavy protection of Israeli police and forces.

spa.gov.sa/viewfullstory.php?lang=en&newsid=1732829

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Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques receives a message from Kuwait's Emir

Sunday 1439/6/16 - 2018/03/04

Riyadh, Jumada II 16, 1439, March 04, 2018, SPA -- The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has received a written message from Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait, pertaining to his and the Kuwaiti brotherly people's greetings, appreciation and thanks to the King for the Kingdom's active participation in Kuwait's celebrations of its national days at official and popular levels.

The message was delivered to the King during receiving Sheikh Mohammed Al-Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, Kuwaiti Deputy Minister of Emir's Court Affairs at Al-Yamamah Palace here today.

The King expressed his greetings to the Kuwaiti Emir, commending firm fraternal ties and historical deep-rooted relations between the two countries and their brotherly peoples.

The audience was attended by Prince Turki bin Mohammed bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz, Advisor at the Royal Court, Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Interior, Minister of State and Cabinet's Member Dr.Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban and Kuwaiti Ambassador to the Kingdom Sheikh ThamerJaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

spa.gov.sa/viewfullstory.php?lang=en&newsid=1732818

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Benjamin Netanyahu to talk with Trump about attending embassy opening

PTI | Mar 4, 2018

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will discuss the possibility of US President Donald Trump attending the May opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem when he meets Trump on Monday.

Netanyahu made the comment late Saturday before boarding a flight to the United States.

"I'll definitely discuss with him that possibility," Netanyahu said in response to a journalist's question on whether he planned to invite Trump for the occasion.

"I'm very grateful to him for this historic decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and to move the American embassy to Jerusalem on our independence day," he said.

The May 14 date of the embassy opening coincides with the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel.

For Palestinians, the date represents the anniversary of the Nakba, or "catastrophe", in which hundreds of thousands either fled or were expelled from their homes in the war surrounding Israel's creation.

Trump's December 6 Jerusalem declaration outraged Palestinians and broke with decades of international consensus that the disputed city's status must be negotiated between the two sides.

Other countries have their embassies in Tel Aviv.

The new embassy will initially be located in a US consular building in Jerusalem while Washington searches for a permanent location.

Israel occupied mainly Palestinian east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community. It sees the entire city as its capital.

The Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/benjamin-netanyahu-to-talk-with-trump-about-attending-embassy-opening/articleshow/63156935.cms

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No missile talks unless West gives up its nukes: Iran

AFPUpdated March 04, 2018

TEHRAN: Iran’s armed forces spokesman said on Saturday that there can be no talks on the country’s missile programme without the West’s destruction of its nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

“What Americans say out of desperation with regards to limiting the Islamic republic of Iran’s missile capability is an unattainable dream,” Brigadier General MasoudJazayeri told the official IRNA news agency. “The condition for negotiations on Iran’s missiles is the destruction of America’s and Europe’s nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.”

Jazayeri said US criticism of Iran’s missile programme was driven by “their failures and defeats in the region.”

US President Donald Trump has threatened to tear up a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers unless more is done to curb Iran’s missile programme. European governments have been scrambling to appease Trump and keep the deal intact, and have voiced increasing concern over Iran’s missile programme.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who is due to visit Iran on Monday, said last month that its missile programme and involvement in regional conflicts needed to be addressed if Iran “wants to return to the family of nations”.

Ali Akbar Velayati, foreign policy advisor to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, criticised Le Drian’s position on Saturday, just two days before they are expected to meet.

“Iran’s defence programme is not the concern of other countries such as France, that they should come and tell us what missiles we can have. Do we tell France how it should defend itself?” he told the semi-official ISNA news agency.

dawn.com/news/1393076/no-missile-talks-unless-west-gives-up-its-nukes-iran

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IRGC Official: Iraqi Popular Forces Not to Retreat against US Plots

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraq’s Harakat al-Nujaba, a popular movement known for its brave fight against the ISIL Takfiri terrorists in Iraq and Syria, will not withdraw from its stance against the US plots, a senior official at the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said.

"The Americans are attempting to blacklist movements, including Nujaba, for sanctions through terrorism allegations against them in a bid to make them retreat but they cannot attain their goals," Advisor to the Supreme Leader's Representative at the IRGC YadollahJavani said on Saturday.

Javani said the US imagines that hegemony over West Asia would end up in controlling the world, and added, "Now, given the nations' awakening and the emergence of the resistance stream – which opposes presence and interference of foreigners - they (the Americans) have understood that they don’t have any future in the region."

In relevant remarks last Monday, Deputy Chief of Staff and Spokesman of Iran's Armed Forces Brigadier General MassoudJazzayeri deplored the US Congress bill to sanction a number of Iraqi popular forces.

"Iraq's Hashd al-Shaabi (popular forces) is a new phenomenon and fully influential which entered the scene during the war against Iraq imposed by the terrorists who fought as a proxy of the US and the reactionary Arab regimes," General Jazzayeri said.

His remarks came after media reports said that the US congress is studying a bill which sanctions Iraq's Hezbollah al-Nujaba, designating it as a terrorist group.

General Jazzayeri described al-Nujaba and other resistance forces as a thorn in the US eye, and said imposition of sanctions is no indication of Washington's power but is only a reaction to the emergence of a new power.

"If the resistance groups didn’t exist, the Zionist regime would plough the region to implement its plots," he added.

General Jazzayeri expressed confidence that the future belongs to Nujaba and other resistance groups as the US and the Zionists are losing their power.

The US sanctions issue was raised after Iraq's Al-Nujaba popular movement warned the American military men deployed in the country against their continued presence.

"If the Americans don’t leave Iraq, al-Nujaba will respond to them with weapons," Spokesman of the movement Abu Wareth al-Moussavi was quoted by the Arabic-language al-Nashrah news website as saying last month.

"As we have fought for the establishment of Iraq's sovereignty, we will use our weapons to confront the occupiers too," he added.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961212001508

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Pakistan

Pakistan loses 50pc market share in Kabul

ShahidIqbalUpdated March 04, 2018

KARACHI: India has succeeded to penetrate in Kabul slashing the market share of Pakistan by more than 50 per cent in the last two years, Chairman Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry ZubairMotiwala told Dawn on Friday.

Motiwala who recently visited Kabul said the penetration of India and China has limited Pakistan’s option to retain its market share while India subsidises heavily on its exports. He said Pakistan’s trade with Afghanistan fell to $1.2 billion from $2.7bn within in the last two years and the country has been losing even the traditional markets of flour, men and women’s clothes and red meat.

India has been providing goods at subsidised rates to capture the market and are providing air tickets with a 75pc rebate, said Motiwala, adding that Afghans find it easy to travel to India with cheap tickets and free multiple visas without police checks.

Kabul has been the natural market for Pakistani exports but that is changing as cheaper products from China and India flood the country. According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, exports to Afghanistan dropped to $1.271bn in FY17 from $1.437bn in FY16. Exports in the first quarter of 2017-18 stood at $319 million.

Each year thousands of Afghans used to visit Peshawar for medical treatment but now they prefer India due to cheaper treatments and other attractions like concessional treatments. “Medical tourism of Peshawar, which was mainly due to Afghans, is now at zero level; hospitals in Hayatabad are empty,” he continued.

He said Peshawar is the main victim of the declining trade with Afghanistan where people have lost their businesses on a large scale. Out of 200 flour mills, about 100 have been closed down due to a drastic fall in the export of flour to Afghanistan, he added.

He also referred to the decreasing containers’ traffic from Pakistan to Afghanistan. He said 70,000 goods containers were used to pass through between the two countries which has now dropped to just 7,000, reflecting the change of routes for imported goods to Afghans.

Pakistan was the biggest supplier of shalwarqameez suits to Kabul but that too has changed since both India and China are now supplying the readymade suits which are traditionally Pakistani products.

State Bank’s data showed that the imports from Afghanistan increased to $68m in FY17, compared to $40m in FY16.

dawn.com/news/1393106/pakistan-loses-50pc-market-share-in-kabul

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At least 17 PTI lawmakers in KP allegedly sold votes in Senate election: sources

Dawn.com | ArifHayatUpdated March 04, 2018

At least 17 Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) allegedly sold their votes during the Senate election, enabling two Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidates to be elected to the Senate from the province where the PPP only has seven MPAs.

An initial investigation ordered by KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak into alleged horse-trading revealed that at least 17 and as many as 20 PTI MPAs in KP had voted for candidates outside the party, sources in CM House Peshawar and Bani Gala told DawnNewsTV on Sunday.

The investigation report also claimed that those allegedly involved in the practice included several prominent party leaders and disgruntled party members, the sources said.

CM Khattak shared the findings with PTI Chairman Imran Khan today, according to the sources. During the discussion, the party chief expressed his anger over alleged horse-trading in the province and directed Khattak to submit a detailed report in this regard.

The PTI and PPP both accused each other of resorting to horse-trading in the Senate elections in Punjab and KP on Saturday.

As Imran Khan questioned the victory of two PPP candidates in KP, the PPP put the same question to the PTI with respect to the victory of its lone candidate in Punjab, Chaudhry Sarwar.

Meanwhile, a reliable source in the PPP claimed that it was KP CM Khattak who had approached the PPP’s provincial chapter for an understanding on a seat reserved for women. However, this claim was rejected by the PTI.

"This is unbelievable and seems to be a part of a conspiracy theory," PTI Information Secretary Fawad Chaudhry told Dawn earlier when his views were sought on the PPP leader’s claim.

On the other hand, responding to Imran Khan’s allegations against his party, PPP’s Farhatullah Babar yesterday accused PTI’s Chaudhry Sarwar of using unethical means to win the seat in Punjab.

"We negotiated with the parties (in KP) and secured their support. If we got two Senate seats with only seven MPAs, how did PTI win one seat in Punjab, when it could not?" Babar said.

'Greed responsible for poor MQM performance'

Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) Chairman Mustafa Kamal on Sunday lashed out at the MuttahidaQaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) alleging that the party's MPAs sold their votes and blamed their greed for the party's poor performance in the Senate election.

Only one MQM-P member, Barrister FarroghNaseem, was elected into the Senate, bringing the party's total count to five seats.

Kamal, who has been embroiled in a feud with the MQM since his return to Pakistan, claimed that eight PSP leaders in the Sindh Assembly had rejected all the offers to sell their votes.

Had PSP members not voted for PML-F, the seat would also have fallen to the PPP, he claimed.

The PSP chief alleged that MQM-P lawmakers' differences with Dr Farooq Sattar's favoured candidate Kamran Tessori were being used as an excuse for horse-trading and selling of votes to the PPP.

dawn.com/news/1393131/at-least-17-pti-lawmakers-in-kp-allegedly-sold-votes-in-senate-election-sources

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'Nawaz Sharif's PML-N wins big in Parliament's upper house polls'

PTI | Mar 3, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's ruling PML-N of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif today won 15 seats in Senate and became the largest party in the upper house of Parliament, according to provisional results.

Provincial and federal lawmakers voted to elect 52 Senators in the Senate elections that started at 9 AM and continued till 4 PM, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Twelve seats each from Punjab and Sindh, 11 each from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, four from tribal region and two from federal capital territory were up for grab due to retirement of 52 senators this month.

More than 130 candidates including those nominated by political parties and independent candidates were in the contest.

PML-N won 15 seats including 11 from Punjab and two each from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and federal capital territory.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) got 12 seats, including 10 from Sindh and two from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to become the second largest party.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan won six seats, which included five seats from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and one from Punjab.

Independent candidates won 10 seats, including six from Balochistan and four from tribal regions.

Among the smaller parties, JamiatUlema-e-Islam Fazal, National Party and Pakhtunkhwa MilliAwami party each won two seats, Jamati-e-Islami, MuthahidaQaumi Movement and Pakistan Muslim League Functional each got one seat.

Among prominent losers included MaulanaSamiulHaq, known as the godfather of Taliban, who got just four votes in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assembly.

Polling was peaceful and no untoward incident was reported.

PML-N, which already had 18 seats in Senate, has now become the largest party with total 33 seats. Its number is expected to swell as independent candidates might join the ruling party.

Sharif's daughter Maryam took to social media to announce that PML-N had become the largest party in Senate.

"PML-N now the single largest party in Senate as well," she said.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chief of PPP, in his twitter message, said it was victory of democracy.

"Congratulations to all democrats. Another step forward for Pakistan's young democracy, Senate elections taking place despite conspiracy theories," he said.

PTI chief Imran Khan in his twitter message lambasted the election which he said were rigged due to massive use of money.

"Senate elections yet again witnessed shameful horse trading where MPAs bought and sold their votes as country witnessed this sale of their 'elected' people to highest bidder. This shows moral decline of our political class. In which Western democracy does such a sale happen?" he said.

Strict security measures had been taken outside buildings of Parliament house and the four provincial assemblies which were declared as the polling stations.

Senate has 104 members elected for six years but half of them retire every three years at the completion of their term.

New Senators are elected indirectly by provincial and national assemblies through proportional representation.

The 52 Senators retiring this month were elected in 2012. The other 52 were elected in 2015 and will serve until 2021.

The ECP had given all controlling officers powers of magistrate who can suspend the electoral process in case of irregularity.

Earlier, officials said that 46 senators will be elected by the four provincial assemblies, two by the National Assembly, and four by the lawmakers from tribal areas.

Total 135 candidates contested, including 20 from PPP, 14 from MutahidaQaumi Movement (MQM), 13 from PTI and four from Pak Sarzameen Party.

There were 65 independent candidates including 23 from the PML-N. They cannot use PML-N name and platform due to a recent Supreme Court verdict. However, they are supported by the PML-N and will formally join it after the elections.

There were reports and allegations of massive use of money and influence ahead of elections because Senators are elected by provincial and federal lawmakers and due to proportional representation, even a single vote can make a huge difference.

In Balochistan, a candidate needed just nine votes to become senator while in the biggest province of Punjab, 47 votes are needed to elect a senator.

But the trickiest situation was in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) where 10 members of the National Assembly would elect four senators. A candidate having support of just three lawmakers can surely land in Parliament's upper house.

Almost all political parties had expressed dismay at the election laws of Senate and promised to improve them.

"There is broad consensus that system of election for Senate is flawed and we need to improve it," Prime Minister ShahidKhaqanAbbasi had said ahead of polls.

Imran Khan had said his party would work to introduce direct elections for senators to root out corruption and use of money.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/nawaz-sharifs-pml-n-wins-big-in-parliaments-upper-house-polls/articleshow/63151823.cms

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Rights activists gather for recovery of Raza Khan

The Newspaper's Staff ReporterUpdated March 04, 2018

LAHORE: A number of rights activists and members of civil society on Saturday staged a demonstration in front of the Lahore Press Club to press for the recovery of Raza Khan, a peace educationist who went missing in the city on Dec 2, last year.

They included the father of Mr Khan who pleaded the authorities concerned to have his son located at the earliest.

The activists carried placards demanding the recovery of Mr Khan. Prominent among them were Diep Saeeda of the Institute of Peace and Secular Studies, and Mr RaheemulHaque.

Raza Khan belonged to the Aaghaz-i-Dosti initiative and used to work for peacebuilding between Pakistani and Indian schoolchildren. He also used to annually publish a calendar containing art pieces by six each Indian and Pakistani schoolchildren, and messages by elders.

He went missing on Dec 2 after attending a discussion on Faizabad sit-in at LowkeyLokai, an office near Garden Town.

The demonstrators said it had been three months since the disappearance of Raza Khan. His family and friends had tried all avenues, including the government, Lahore High Court and Commission of Inquiry of Enforced Disappearances, to bring him back but had thus far been disappointed. There had already been eight hearings of the high court, and one hearing of the commission without any information of his whereabouts, health, why and by whom he was picked up.

They said they see families of the disappeared and civil society protesting in all parts of the country and not a single week goes by without a protest. But the state seems to be unaccountable and above its own law, which will only lead to further insecurity, and restriction of citizen rights of expression and association.

Meanwhile, the Christian community also protested outside the press club calling for a full investigation into the alleged attacks on cousins Sajid and PatrasMasih. They stated that even if the suspect was found guilty no person should be treated in this brutal manner.

Under the banner of British Pakistani Christians Association, the protesters called for the “trumped up” charges to be dropped by the judiciary and the Federal Investigation Agency officers involved in violence against the suspects to be sacked and tried.

The protesters were holding placards and shouted slogans against police highhandedness, demanding justice for SajidMasih. Speakers appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan, army chief and political leadership to consider Christians as Pakistanis and treat them with equal respect as everyone else was. They said due process of law should be followed when someone is alleged to have committed a crime and not slapped with Section 295-C straightaway.

dawn.com/news/1393011/rights-activists-gather-for-recovery-of-raza-khan

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PML-N gains Senate control amid surprise PPP showing

Iftikhar A. KhanUpdated March 04, 2018

ISLAMABAD: As the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz won the expected 15 seats in Senate elections on Saturday after having suffered a major setback in Balochistan, the Pakistan Peoples Party pulled off a surprise win on 12 seats which with the likely support of independent candidates may further allow it to consolidate its position in the upper house.

The PML-N backed candidates won 11 out of total 12 seats from Punjab where the ruling party despite enjoying majority lost one seat to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf organiser Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar amid allegations of horse-trading.

The MuttahidaQuami Movement was the biggest loser as it could bag only one seat despite having 37 seats in the Sindh Assembly and a last-minute agreement between its two factions led by Dr Farooq Sattar and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.

According to unofficial results, 15 candidates backed by the PML-N, 12 Pakistan Peoples Party, 10 independent, six PTI, two candidates of the JamiatUlema-i-Islam-F, Pakhtunkhwa MilliAwami Party and National Party each, one candidate from each of the MQM, Jamaat-i-Islami and PML-F returned successful on the 52 of the 104 Senate seats.

The overall strength of each party following the election shows 33 PML-N-backed candidates, 20 PPP candidates, 15 independent candidates, 12 PTI candidates, five candidates of MQM, PkMAP and NP each, four candidates of JUI-F, two candidates of JI, and one candidate from each of the PML-F, ANP and Balochistan National Party-Mengal in the house of 104 members. The parties which have lost representation in the upper house are PML-Q and BNP-Awami.

Punjab

In Punjab, the ruling party candidates shouted foul when Zubair Gul lost on a seat that was bagged by PTI candidate Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar despite having poor representation of his party in the provincial assembly. The six PML-N-backed independent candidates who won the general seats from Punjab include Dr Asif Kirmani, Musadik Malik, Haroon Akhtar Khan, Rana Mahmood ul Hassan, Shaheen Khalid Butt and Rana Maqbool Ahmad. Zubair Gul was president of the PML-N’s UK chapter and had surrendered his UK nationality to contest the polls. Former finance minister Ishaq Dar and sitting federal minister for communications Haji Abdul Karim won the two technocrat seats from the province, Prime Minister ShahidKhaqanAbbasi’s sister SaadiaAbbasi, and sitting senator NuzhatSadiq due to retire on March 11 clinched the two seats reserved for women while Kamran Michael, another outgoing senator, won the seat reserved for non-Muslims.

Sindh

Chaudhry Sarwar

The election results for 12 Senate seats from Sindh surprised many. FaroghNaseem who supports the Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui-led faction of MQM was the only candidate of the party to emerge victorious in a vote recount. The PPP clinched 10 seats including five general seats, two reserved seats for technocrats and women each and one for non-Muslims to take its total strength to 20 against the expectation of 17. Successful PPP candidates on general seats from Sindh include sitting chairman of Senate Raza Rabbani, MaulaBuxChandio, Mohammad Ali Shah Jamote, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar and Dr SikanderMenghro. RukhsanaZuberi and Dr SikandarMandhro won the technocrat seats while Anwar Lal Dean won the seat for minorities. Quratulain Marri and Krishna Kohli won the election for the reserved seat for women. PML- F candidate Muzzafar Hussain Shah’s contacts with two MQM factions and the Pak Sarzameen Party also worked to save his party’s elimination from the upper house as he bagged one seat.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Krishna Kohli

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, PTI secured five seats, PPP and PML-N-backed candidates two seats each, and JI and JUI-F one seat each.

PTI candidates Faisal Hayat, Muhammad Ayub Afridi, Fida Muhammad, Azam Swati (technocrat) and Mehar Taj Roghni (woman); PPP candidates Bahramand Khan and Rubina Khalid (woman); PML-N backed candidates Pir Sabir Shah and Dilawar Khan; JUI-F’s TalhaMehmood; and JI’s Mushtaq Khan won the Senate seats.

Balochistan

In Balochistan, six independent candidates with unclear political affiliation were amongst the winners, while the PkMAP and NP clinched two seats each and JUI-F got one seat. Those who won against the general seats include SardarShafiq Tareen and Abida Umar (PkMAP), Tahir Bijenjo and AkramDashti (NP), MaulanaFaiz Muhammad (JUI-F) and independent candidates including AnwarulHaqKakar, Ahmad Khan, Kauda Babar, SadiqSanjrani, NaseebUllahBazei and Sana Jamali.

Fata

The results of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) seats were the first to come out. As many as 25 candidates contested for the four Senate seats from Fata. The four candidates who won the Senate election from Fata according to unofficial results, are Shamim Afridi, Hidayatullah, Hilal-ur-Rehman and Mirza Mohammad Afridi.

dawn.com/news/1393083/pml-n-gains-senate-control-amid-surprise-ppp-showing

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30 Pakistani doctors aspiring to attend conference in India await visas

IkramJunaidiUpdated March 03, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Anxiety among 30 Pakistani doctors who want to attend a conference related to liver diseases in India is increasing as New Delhi has so far not issued visas to them. After getting visas the doctors will apply for NOCs from their respective organisations and that process will also take some time.

The doctors willing to participate in the conference which is being organised by the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL) say that it will provide them an opportunity to understand the Indian medical system and make them able to guide Pakistani patients who want to travel India for liver transplantation.

According to APASL’s website, the conference will be held from March 14 to 18 in New Delhi. There is only one weekly flight from Lahore to New Delhi and the last one before the conference is scheduled for March 14.

According to these doctors, the conference will have high quality content with up-to-date information by eminent researchers and clinicians, covering all aspects of hepatology (a branch of medicine that incorporates the study of liver).

An official of the Indian High Commission told Dawn that because of the tension in relations between the two countries the process of security clearance for the issuance of visas for Pakistanis was taking more than usual time these days. However, he added, a reminder would be sent to New Delhi for expediting the cases of Pakistani doctors.

Avinash Singh, spokesperson for Indian High Commission, said in a written reply that the visa applications were under process.

dawn.com/news/1392919/30-pakistani-doctors-aspiring-to-attend-conference-in-india-await-visas

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Africa

Eight dead, 12 seriously wounded in attacks on Burkina military HQ, French embassy

AFP | Mar 3, 2018

PARIS: Eight soldiers died and 12 were seriously wounded in twin attacks on the French embassy in Burkina Faso and the country's military headquarters, an assault that coincided with a meeting of regional anti-jihadist forces.

Eight attackers were also killed in Friday's bloody assault. A previous toll from French security sources had reported at least 28 deaths.

The apparently coordinated attacks on Friday underlined the struggle the fragile West African nation faces in containing a bloody and growing jihadist insurgency.

The government said the attack on the military was a suicide car bombing and that a planned meeting of the G5 Sahel regional anti-terrorism force may have been the target.

Officials from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger were at the meeting, representing the G5 Sahel nations who have launched a joint military force to combat jihadists on the southern rim of the Sahara.

Eight members of the armed forces were killed by the blast and the parallel attack on the French embassy, while 80 were wounded, said Security Minister Clement Sawadogo. The minister said eight attackers had been shot dead.

"The vehicle was packed with explosives" and caused "huge damage", Sawadogo said, adding that it was a suicide attack.

Three security sources, two in France and one in West Africa, told AFP that at least 28 people were killed in the attack on the military HQ alone.

French government sources said there were no French casualties and described the situation in Ouagadougou as "under control".

"Our country was once again the target of dark forces," President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said in a statement.

The violence began mid-morning when heavy gunfire broke out in the centre of the Burkinabe capital.

Witnesses said five armed men got out of a car and opened fire on passersby before heading towards the French embassy.

At the same time, the bomb went off near the headquarters of the Burkinabe armed forces and the French cultural centre, about a km from the site of the first attack, other witnesses said.

Sawadogo said the G5 meeting was supposed to have been held at the headquarters but had been moved to another room.

"Perhaps it was the target. We do not know at the moment. In any case the room was literally destroyed by the explosion," the minister said.

The G5 Sahel's completed force will be composed of 5,000 troops and aims to be fully operational by the end of the month.

It has already carried out operations against jihadist fighters with help from the French army.

Mahamadou Issoufou, Niger's president and the current chair of the group, said Friday's attacks "will only strengthen the resolve of the G5-Sahel and its allies in the fight against terrorism".

French President Emmanuel Macron telephoned his Burkinabe counterpart Kabore to express solidarity and send his condolences to the families of the slain security force members, his office said.

Macron, who made a high-profile visit to Burkina Faso in November, said the attacks "illustrate once more the threat weighing on the entire Sahel region".

French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said damage to the embassy was minor, and the mission would be able to resume normal operations "in two or three days".

Turkey's presidentRecepTayyip Erdogan, who is on a visit to neighbouring Mali, "strongly condemned" the attack while UN chief Antonio Guterres called for an "urgent and concerted effort" to improve stability in the Sahel.

An interim UN report seen by AFP warned of a "growing threat" to the Sahel from two groups: the Islamic State in the Great Sahara (ISGS) and Ansar al-Islam.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Burkina Information Minister RemisFulganceDandjinou said the attack "has strong overtones of terrorism".

Burkina Faso has a history of military-backed coups as well as jihadist attacks.

The insurgency in the region has caused thousands of deaths, prompted tens of thousands to flee their homes and dealt crippling blows to economies that are already among the poorest in the world.

On August 13 last year, two assailants opened fire on a restaurant on Ouagadougou's main avenue, killing 19 people and wounding 21. No one has so far claimed responsibility for that attack.

On January 15 2016, 30 people — including six Canadians and five Europeans — were killed in a jihadist attack on a hotel and restaurant in the city centre.

That attack was claimed by the al-Qaida-linked Al-Murabitoun group, which was led by the one-eyed Algerian jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

A group called al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) also said some of its militants were involved.

France, the former colonial power in the Sahel region, has deployed 4,000 troops to support the G5 joint force.

On February 21, two members of the French counter-terrorism force were killed by a landmine near Mali's border with Niger and Burkina Faso. Twelve French soldiers have died since the campaign — called Operation Barkhane — was launched in August 2014.

The United Nations also has a 12,000-strong peacekeeping force in Mali called MINUSMA, which has taken heavy casualties. Four UN peacekeepers were killed by a mine blast on Wednesday in the centre of the country.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/eight-dead-12-seriously-wounded-in-attacks-on-burkina-military-hq-french-embassy/articleshow/63149028.cms

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Egypt court dismisses rulings on Red Sea islands transfer

AP | Mar 3, 2018

CAIRO: A top Egyptian court has dismissed all previous court rulings regarding the transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia under a 2016 agreement between Cairo and Riyadh.

Saturday's verdict by the Supreme Constitutional Court dismisses previous opposing court rulings, whether in favor of the agreement or against it.

The court, according to state-run MENA news agency's report, said only the legislative authority can approve the agreement.

Egypt's parliament, packed with government supporters, passed the agreement in 2017 and President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi ratified it shortly afterward.

The deal, signed in 2016, sparked rare protests in Egypt, which has all but banned demonstrations since late 2013.

Saturday's verdict comes ahead of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's three-day visit to Cairo; he arrives on Sunday.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/egypt-court-dismisses-rulings-on-red-sea-islands-transfer/articleshow/63151810.cms

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Europe

Anti-Muslim Hate Crime Surges in Germany

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- There were 950 attacks reportedly on Muslims and mosques in Germany in 2017, according to new government figures.

At least 33 Muslims were injured in the attacks, which included assaults against Muslim women wearing headscarves and attacks against mosques and other Muslim institutions, the Interior Ministry said in its reply to a parliamentary question, YeniSafak reported.

The Ministry recorded at least 60 attacks last year that targeted mosques and other institutions of the Muslim community.

In most of the incidents, the perpetrators were far-right extremists, according to the Ministry.

Last January, police began registering Islamophobic crimes under a special category, after calls by the country’s Muslim community to take more serious measures against the growing number of anti-Muslim hate crimes.

Germany, a country of 81.8 million people, has the second largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France.

Among the country’s nearly 4.7 million Muslims, 3 million are of Turkish origin. Many of them are second or third-generations of Turkish families who migrated to Germany in the 1960s and are well-integrated.

The EU’s largest economy has witnessed growing Islamophobia and hatred of migrants in recent years triggered by propaganda from far-right and populist parties, which have exploited fears over the refugee crisis and terrorism.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961213000433

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Freedom Instead of Islam': Brutal Anti-Migrant Fight Riles German Town

04.03.2018

In late December 2017, a 15-year-old asylum seeker from Afghanistan killed a local girl of the same age in the German town of Kandel, sending shockwaves through the community.

A rally which brought together anti-immigration demonstrators in the German town of Kandel became violent when attendees encountered left-wing activists.

Protesters carried placards reading "Freedom instead of Islam" and "Merkel must go," incited by the young girl's brutal stabbing death, which occurred in Kandel in late December.

A heavy police presence failed to prevent clashes between the anti-immigration activists and participants of a massive leftist counter-protest in Kandel, who shouted slogans such as "Nazis out!" and "Together against racism!"

During a press conference late last year, local police officials said that the young man was most likely the victim's ex-boyfriend, who suddenly pulled out a knife and stabbed the girl during an argument in a Kandel grocery store.

sputniknews.com/europe/201803041062205584-germany-kandel-anti-immigration-protests/

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Southeast Asia

Sarawak chief minister pledges to amend state laws to allow converts to renounce Islam

 

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's Sarawak state announced it would amend state laws on conversion, following a court case involving three people seeking to have their conversion to Islam reversed.

Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said on Saturday (March 3) that amendments would be made to the state's religious law providing an administrative solution for apostates.

"We will amend any weaknesses in our syariah laws in dealing with apostasy cases. There must be a SOP because we cannot leave people hanging," said Datuk Abang Johari, referring to the need for a standard operating procedure (SOP).

"If that person wishes to leave (the faith), why not let him leave?" he added.

On Feb 27, the country's apex court dismissed the appeal by three Sarawakian Muslim converts and a Muslim by birth to have their case be heard by the civil court.

The applicants were seeking to have their identity cards and official records reflect that they are now Christians.

The country's Islamic law is governed at the state level, and Sarawak's syariah court had earlier ruled that it did not have the jurisdiction to issue the Letter of Release from Islam, a document required by the National Registration Department to amend the religious status in official records. The deadlock had led to the applicants to file for their cases to be allowed hearing in the civil court instead.

The Federal Court's ruling last month stated that although there wasn't a provision within the state's syariah court ordinance related to renunciation of Islam, there are provisions under the state's Islamic religious council which can be used by the Islamic court.

Malaysia requires non-Muslims marrying Muslims to convert to Islam if their marriage is to be recognised by local laws. The three Muslim converts in Sarawak fighting the case to renounce Islam had married Muslims but decided to return to Christianity upon divorcing orafter the death of their spouse.

While Malaysia is a Muslim-majority nation, Sarawak has a higher Christian population than Muslims, the only state in the country with such statistics. In the country's last census in 2010, Sarawak recorded 1.04 million Christians, or 44.2 per cent of its population of 2.35 million. There were 710,815 Muslims in the state, accounting for 30.2 per cent of its people.

Pledging to resolve the problem, Mr Abang Johari said: "Give me six months to do this".

"Sarawak must have a liberal and practical policy," the Chief Minister said, promising to plug loopholes in state religious law.

Opposition pact PakatanHarapan's Sarawak leaders commended the Chief Minister's move, saying in a statement that it's "not a Muslim versus Christian issue, but merely honouring the rights of the people to freedom of religion".

The coalition had on Friday called on the state government to act on amending laws and providing clear guidelines for would-be apostates to obtain the necessary Letter of Release from Islam.

President of Parti Islam Se-Malaysia Abdul HadiAwang said in a Facebook video that "when a person enters Islam, they should understand that this religion isn't like clothes, where you can interchange easily".

Citing embracing Islam as an agreement with God, he added: "Islam strongly affirms to those who enter Islam they cannot easily be apostates".

Malaysians seeking to renounce Islam has encountered difficulties doing so, with the most well-known case involving Lina Joy, a Muslim-born woman who converted to Christianity. She lost the legal battle to remove the word "Islam" from her identity card in 2007.

A Sarawakian, Mr RoneeyRebit, had managed to win his case in 2016 when the civil court ruled that his conversion to Islam was done by his parents while he was still a minor, thus the applicant could not be considered as having professed to be practising Islam on his own volition.

straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/sarawak-chief-minister-pledges-to-amend-state-laws-to-allow-converts-to-renounce-islam

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Nepalese Muslims Society holds interactive programme March 04 2018 01:29 AM

 

Nepalese Muslims Society Qatar (NMS) recently hosted an interaction programme at Shalimar Palace. This event was the first largest event of the year conducted by NMS. The programme was attended by more than 200 intellectuals, entrepreneurs and scholars.

Mohammad Rizwan Ansari, former minister of state for Home Affairs, Government of Nepal, was the chief guest on the occasion. Mohammad Rizwan Ansari received a certificate of appreciation and token of love from NMS for his valuable contributions to the society and the country.

NMS awarded all the dignitaries who extended their valuable support to serve the flood victim in Nepal. Mohammad Rizwan Ansari said, “It is great privilege to be part of the interaction programme and thanked the NMS team for their valuable support and cooperation to the society and country.”

Meanwhile he congratulated all the awardees who received letters of appreciation during the event. He also highlighted, “We have outstanding bilateral relations Qatar for many decades. Qatar is interested in participating and investing in the development of Nepal.”

NMS Acting General Secretary Afsar Khan presented progress report, which included 14 major works accomplished during the period of one year. The report spoke about the organisation’s works related to support for the needy people, flood victims, and educational support for the deprived students.

In his closing remarks, NMS President Mohammed AyubHaque thanked and congratulated all his team members and advisors for their extraordinary support and for all the hard work.

— Text and photos by Usha WagleGautam

gulf-times.com/story/583771/Nepalese-Muslims-Society-holds-interactive-program

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/humanity-above-all!-how-sikh-charity-khalsa-aid-is-helping-syrian-refugees/d/114472


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