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“If Anyone Does Not Like Us to Follow Our Religion, He Does Not Deserve To Live In This Great Country, He May Go To Pakistan," Says Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind; Passes Resolutions on UCC, Gyanvapi and Mathura

New Age Islam News Bureau

30 May 2022


Prominent Muslim cleric and president of Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, Maulana Mahmood Madani | Photo Credit: Anuj Kumar


• ‘Interference in Islam Won’t Be Tolerated’: Muslim Bodies Pass Resolution against UCC

• Using an Oscillating Fan as Part of Prayer Congregation a Mockery to Islam: Mufti

• Shouting ‘Death to Arabs’, Israelis March through Muslim Quarter

• Supreme Court of Canada Ruling Devalues Lives of Most of Mosque Shooter’s Victims



• Muslim Clerics Stress on Need for 'Communal Harmony with Hindus' At Deoband Meet

• Uniform Civil Code Not Against Muslims: Uttar Pradesh Minister

• Minority Certificates to Six Religious Communities, Including Muslims, In Assam

• BJP’s National Spokesperson Nupur Sharma Booked over Remark on Prophet Mohammed

• How long will Muslims carry burden of temples razed, says Ram Madhav

• Yasin Malik, hijab row, Pakistan: A look at times when OIC hit out at India


Southeast Asia

• Jakim to send halal team to conduct audit in Australia

• Small conflicts ‘grow into world wars’, warns Dr M



• Yemen’s Parliament to Criminalize All Forms of Normalization with Israel: Prime Minister

• ‘Flag March’ Grave Provocation against Palestinians, Muslim Nations: Hamas

• Iran, Pakistan Entered Negotiations to Enhance Religious Tourism

• Extremist Jewish Settlers' Raid on Al-Aqsa Mosque Will Not Go Unpunished - Liberation of Palestine

• Flag-Waving Israelis Take to Streets, Skirmishes Erupt In Al Aqsa Mosque

• Yemeni minister warns against Houthis recruiting child fighters


North America

• UNSC Report Says Presence of Jaish, Lashkar Camps, Narcotics Outflow from Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan



• Imran Says Rulers ‘Tasked With Recognising Israel’

• Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Militant Group Persistent Threat to Pakistan's Security: UNSC

• Ashrafi seeks action against those who visited Israel on Pakistani passports

• Haqqani-brokered talks between TTP, GHQ stuck

• Notices be issued to Musharraf, successive rulers: IHC

• Islamabad reaffirms pledge to keep working for global peace


South Asia

• Shia Scholars, Tribal Elders Call On 1st Deputy PM, Mullah Akhund of Islamic Emirate on Peace, Security, and Self-Determination

• Al-Qaida and Islamic Emirate Relationship 'Remains Close’: UN

• Protester Women: The Taliban Intervenes Private Affairs of the People Instead of Addressing Economic Issues

• The Taliban in Kandahar Stops Arms and Ammunition from Being Smuggled into Pakistan


Arab World

• Turkiye ‘Neutralizes’ 18 PKK Terrorists In Northern Iraq

• Egypt court sentences Muslim Brotherhood’s Aboul-Fotouh to 15 years in prison

• Turkey’s Syria operation could happen ‘suddenly’: President Erdogan

• UAE President receives Egypt, Jordan PMs in Abu Dhabi to sign agreement

• Rocket attack targets military base housing US forces in eastern Syria



• Sudan Lifts State of Emergency after Deadly Anti-Coup Protests

• UN envoy decries Sudan violence after 2 killed in protests

• Trial begins for Sudanese protesters accused of killing police officer

• Tunisian court bans travel for Ennahda party chief, 33 others

• At least 31 killed in church stampede in southern Nigeria

• Tunisia calls for solving Libyan crisis via dialogue



• Erdogan Says Turkey Will Not Allow ‘Terrorism-Supporting’ States Join NATO

• France denounces Iran’s seizure of two Greek tankers

• Pope Francis hails President Erdogan's efforts to end war in Ukraine, says Turkish envoy

• Turkish president receives foreign ministers of UAE, Poland, Romania

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



“If Anyone Does Not Like Us to Follow Our Religion, He Does Not Deserve To Live In This Great Country, He May Go To Pakistan," Says Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind; Passes Resolutions on UCC, Gyanvapi and Mathura


Prominent Muslim cleric and president of Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, Maulana Mahmood Madani | Photo Credit: Anuj Kumar


Anuj Kumar


MAY 30, 2022

Prominent Muslim cleric and president of Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, Maulana Mahmood Madani, said on Sunday, May 29, 2022, that “if anyone does not like us (Muslims) to follow our religion, then he does not deserve to live in this great country.”

Addressing a two-day meeting of the governing body of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind in Deoband, Madani said every citizen had the right to freely abide by his religion and “any attempt to abolish Muslim Personal Law will not succeed.”

The governing body meeting of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind passed several resolutions, including on Uniform Civil Code, the Gyanvapi mosque and the Mathura Idgah. The Jamiat said that the present government intended to abolish Muslim Personal Law by enacting the UCC, sidestepping the true spirit of the country's Constitution.

A declaration was also issued in which all Muslims were advised to refrain from fear, despair and sentimentality and work for the betterment of their future.

The resolution on Gyanvapi and Shahi Idgah expressed deep concern and disgust over the ugly attitude of forces hostile to the peace and tranquility of the country as well as political parties patronising them for repeatedly raking up controversy regarding historic places of worship. “Gyanvapi mosque, Mathura Idgah, and other mosques are currently under a hate campaign. This will result in disturbing peace, order and integrity. of the country,” the resolution said.

The Ayodhya issue, the resolution said, had already severely damaged social harmony. “Now, these conflicts will provide fresh impetus for further confrontation and negative politics of majority domination.”

On the Uniform Civil Code, the Jamiat said that Muslim Personal Law on marriage, divorce, khula, inheritance, etc. are not framed by any society, individual, or group and that “they are essential parts of Islam like prayers, fasting and Haj, etc. derived from the Holy Qur'an and Hadiths.” Therefore, the resolution said, any change in the rules or regulations sanctioned by Islam or preventing anyone from following them was against the basic principles of Islam and sheer interference in the provision guaranteed in Article 25 of the Constitution of India.

In his last presidential address, the Madani highlighted the importance of sacrifice for the motherland and said “even if our lives are lost for the protection of this country, it will be a matter of pride for us.”

He said Muslims will continue to fulfill their responsibility to the country. “If they do not like us to follow our religion, they do not deserve to stay in this country, they should migrate from this great land whose nature is unity in diversity.”

Source: The Hindu

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‘Interference in Islam Won’t Be Tolerated’: Muslim Bodies Pass Resolution against UCC


Maulana Arshad Madni, president of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JUH) Arshad faction, addresses the meeting of Islamic bodies in Deoband on 29 May. (ANI Photo/ANI Pic Service)


Shikha Salaria

30 May, 2022

The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JUH) on 29 May passed a resolution against the attempts being made by the BJP government in several states to implement a Uniform Civil Code (UCC), saying it “clearly interferes with Islam’s laws”, and called out the “negative and divisive politics” being employed by the “communal forces” which are raising old disputes over campaigns against the Gyanvapi Masjid and Shahi Eidgah.

Passed on the second day of a gathering of Muslim bodies in Deoband, Uttar Pradesh, the JUH resolution, that ThePrint has seen, said that Islam’s laws on issues “like marriage, divorce, khula (through which a woman can divorce her husband), inheritance, etc, have not been created by some society, community, group or person, but come from their religious texts…. They are part of our religious directive, just like the namaaz, roza, haj, etc, mentioned in the Quran and Hadees. Hence, any changes to them or attempts to stop someone from following them is a clear interference with Islam and the guarantee [of freedom to practice and propagate religion] given in section 25 of the Constitution,” reads the resolution.

It further states: “Despite this, the government in power is determined to implement the UCC with the intent of bringing an end to the personal law followed in several states and is trying to neglect the real spirit of the Constitution by neglecting its assurances and the promises of old governments. This congregation of the JUH wants to make it clear that no Muslim accepts any kind of interference in Islamic laws.”

Speaking at the congregation, Maulana Arshad Madni, president of the JUH’s Arshad faction, said: “Our fight is not with any Hindu, but with those in the government who are trying to damage the country by dividing it.”

On the issues of Gyanvapi Masjid and Shahi Eidgah, the JUH expressed “deep resentment and dislike” towards the “forces trying to spoil the peace of the country by raking up disputes on ancient religious places and the attitude of those political parties supporting them.”

Going against India’s Constitution

The resolution mentions these campaigns against the Gyanvapi Masjid and the Shahi Eidgah, and says that these can seriously harm the peace and integrity of the country.

“By raising such disputes, they [the government in power] are looking for chances of communal clashes and negative politics. However, it is clear that the campaigns being run in the name of rejuvenating old disputes and correcting the so-called historical wrongs and excesses, do not benefit the country in any way. It is sad that the orders of lower courts have helped this divisive politics and shown a clear disregard for the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991,” states the resolution.

“Rising above religion, we need to take forward the Islamic message of humanity and if we do it, Inshaallah, the situation would definitely change. Those trying to fuel the fire would themselves perish in it,” said Madni.

He recommends that Muslims should appeal to the majority communities to understand the functions of a madrasa. “We should fight the situation with love and should explain to them about madrasas and the tenets of education,” he said. “If Muslims don’t understand the situation and take to the streets, then they too would strengthen the communal forces. Our fight is not with any Hindu but with the government which is damaging the country by dividing the people in the name of religion.”

At the meeting, Maulana Mahmood Madni, president of the JUH’s Mahmood faction, also came down strongly on those subjecting the Muslims community to “go to Pakistan” taunts. “If you can’t bear our religion, then you should go elsewhere. You don’t have to send anyone (to Pakistan). They say ‘go to Pakistan’ over the smallest things. Brother, you weren’t given the choice to go to Pakistan. We were and we rejected it. So, we will not go, those who like the idea of sending us can go themselves,” he said.

Source: The Print

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Using an Oscillating Fan as Part of Prayer Congregation a Mockery to Islam: Mufti


Credit: Twitter/@bernamadotcom


05- 29- 2022

The actions of individuals who use fans as though they were part of the congregation when performing prayers show that they are ignorant of Islam.

Penang Mufti Datuk Seri Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor said their actions clearly showed that they were deliberately ridiculing and disrespecting Islam.

“The authorities need to investigate whether the perpetrator is a sane person, suffering from mental problems or otherwise, I hope the authorities immediately investigate and act in accordance with the results of the investigation.

“If the perpetrator is found to be deliberately mocking religion then he or she should be tried in a Shariah court and punished accordingly,“ he said in a statement today.

He said the act was an insult to Islam and mocking Islam was clearly a great sin and could damage one’s faith.

Wan Salim said if the perpetrator intended to ridicule the act of worship, then he was considered an apostate and should repent.

“Society needs to be aware that the act of ridiculing or mocking the act of worship is sinful and can damage the faith of a Muslim,“ he said.

Yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs), Datuk Idris Ahmad was reported to have asked the public to report to the religious authorities if they come across Muslims praying along with a fan and making it as though it is another worshipper.

It follows a recent viral video in which young individuals were seen performing their prayers with an oscillating fan, making it as though they were praying with a make-believe spouse. – Bernama

Source: The Sun Daily

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Shouting ‘Death To Arabs’, Israelis March Through Muslim Quarter


Palestinians and Israelis wave their national flags outside Jerusalem's Old City as Israelis mark Jerusalem Day on May 29, 2022. | Mahmoud Illean/AP Photo


May 30, 2022

JERUSALEM: Thousands of flag-waving Israeli nationalists marched through the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday in a deeply divisive parade that Palestinian factions warned could reignite their conflict with Israel.

Police earlier fired stun grenades at Palestinians who pelted them with stones at the Al Aqsa mosque compound as record numbers of Jews visited the holy site, some of them appearing to pray in defiance of a long-standing ban.

The annual Jerusalem procession marks Israel’s capture of the Old City in the 1967 Middle East war and draws thousands of cheering, chanting participants to its narrow, stone streets.

“Death to Arabs,” some youths shouted as they entered Damascus Gate, the main entrance to the Old City’s Muslim neighbourhood.

2,600 Jews visited Al Aqsa esplanade before the Jerusalem march

Ahead of the march, police said 2,600 Jews toured Al Aqsa esplanade, a record number for a single day. Some of the visitors wore religious garb and prostrated themselves. A few held up Israeli flags and sang the national anthem.

The preacher of the mosque, Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, denounced their behaviour. “What happened today in Al Aqsa mosque hadn’t taken place since 1967,” he said, accusing the government of deliberately looking to escalate tensions.

The Islamist group Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, also condemned the scenes, which went viral on social media.

“The Israel government is fully responsible for all these reckless policies and the following consequences,” senior Hamas official Bassem Naim said.

In recent years, Hamas has cast itself as a defender of Muslim Jerusalem. After weeks of confrontations last year over Palestinian evictions in the city, Hamas fired rockets into Israel during the march, triggering an 11-day war that killed at least 250 Palestinians in Gaza and 13 people in Israel.

As nationalists draped in Israel’s blue and white flag gathered at Damascus Gate, a drone flew overhead trailing a Palestinian flag. A man rushed up to the crowds and waved another Palestinian flag at them before being dragged away.

Inside the city, small fights sporadically broke out. One Israeli youth was videoed using pepper spray on a Palestinian woman, leading to an exchange of punches and kicks. However, some marchers said they had come in peace.

“I know my neighbours aren’t so happy that we’re here, but we didn’t come to annoy them, we came to be happy for Jerusalem,” said Yair Sussman, 17, a Jewish seminary student who studies at a school in the occupied West Bank.

Clashes were reported across the West Bank on Sunday, injuring at least 30 Palestinians, medics said.

Israel sees all of Jerusalem as its eternal and indivisible capital, while Palestinians want the eastern section as capital of their future state. Hamas sees all of modern-day Israel as occupied.

Palestinians view Sunday’s march as an Israeli show of force and part of a broader campaign to bolster Jewish presence across the city.

However, Israeli Minister Naftali Bennett defended his decision to let the march go ahead, arguing that it had become an annual event. “Waving the Israeli flag in the capital of Israel is perfectly acceptable,” he said on Sunday.

Israeli police repeatedly clashed with Palestinians at the Al Aqsa compound in April, during the holy month of Ramazan, with Muslims angered by the rising numbers of Jewish visitors to the mosque esplanade.

Source: Dawn

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Supreme Court of Canada Ruling Devalues Lives of Most of Mosque Shooter’s Victims


Photo: Toronto Star


By Rosie DiManno

May 29, 2022

If cruel and unusual punishment were defined as beyond what is normal or natural, then that is the life sentence exacted from those who’ve lost their most beloved to an act of wanton violence.

At the murderous hands of a stranger. In a tableau of mass butchery.

Like the 19 schoolchildren and two teachers massacred in Texas last week. Or the six Muslim worshippers slaughtered at a Quebec City mosque in 2017.

There will be no judicial reckoning for the teenage gunman who murdered those mostly nine- and ten-year-old kids in their classroom. He was shot dead by a Border Patrol officer. But Alexandre Bissonnette, who burst into a house of God during evening prayers wielding a semi-automatic rifle and a pistol, firing away, he can glimpse daylight — deliverance from prison — at the end of a 25-year life sentence.

The Supreme Court of Canada has blessed him with that daylight: Eligibility for parole at age 54.

On Friday, the highest court in the land released a seismic decision — striking down as unconstitutional a Criminal Code provision passed by the Stephen Harper government in 2011 that let judges impose consecutive life sentences and consecutive periods of parole ineligibility, rather than concurrent sentences, in cases of mass murder. Essentially a death sentence by incarceration.

All mass murderers sentenced to life without parole under the 2011 law — deemed “invalid immediately” — are now entitled to seek parole, retroactively, after serving the mandatory 25 years behind bars.

Terrorists. Bissonnette. Alek Minassian, who deliberately targeted pedestrians with the rental van that he pinballed down Yonge Street, killing 10 and injury 16 — his sentencing upon conviction of first-degree murder and attempted murder having been on hold, while the trial judge awaited the top court’s ruling.

Dellen Millard, who murdered his father, a 23-year-old former lover as well as a man who’d merely crossed paths with him while trying to sell his truck (the bodies of the latter two were burned to ashes in an animal incinerator). Justin Bourque, who killed three RCMP constables during a 2014 rampage in Moncton, hoping to spark an anti-government rebellion by singling out only police officers. Douglas Garland, who killed a five-year-old Calgary boy and his grandparents that year in what the trial judge described as playing out a violent fantasy.

Upwards of a dozen convicted multiple murderers, the most heinous of criminals, whose stacked sentences — delivered or pending — have been nullified, pared down to a maximum quarter-century, unless they’re designated dangerous offenders, who draw the indeterminate sentences reserved for the most violent criminals and sexual predators such as Paul Bernardo, who’s been imprisoned since 1995, his second parole bid denied last June.

Eligibility for parole is not a right to parole, to be clear. That hasn’t changed. The parole board can still withhold release, even for those not designated dangerous offenders.

Of significant note: The Justice Department in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government had asked the Supreme Court to uphold the law. This wasn’t partisan.

Chief Justice Richard Wagner, who wrote the decision, asserted that Section 745.51 of the Criminal Code infringes on Section 12 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. Consecutive life sentences are, in effect, now cruel and unusual punishment because it authorized imprisonment for life with no realistic possibility of parole.

“This punishment is, by its very nature, intrinsically incompatible with human dignity,” wrote Wagner. “It is degrading in nature in that it presupposes at the time of its imposition that the offender is beyond redemption and lacks the moral autonomy needed for rehabilitation.”

Life without hope of parole “shakes the very foundations of Canadian criminal law,” said Wagner.

The Supreme Court’s decision was unanimous, a 9-0 concordant meeting of the wisest judicial minds in Canada.

I am not so wise. I am not a constitutional expert. But I say, with respect, the esteemed justices are wrong.

The long-awaited decision arose specifically from the sentence received by Bissonnette, after he pleaded guilty to 12 charges, including six of first-degree murder. Forty years with no parole imposed by the trial judge, Superior Court Justice François Huot. Technically, under the 2011 legislation, Huot could have locked him down for 150 years, but he deemed that would indeed constitute cruel and unusual punishment. So he opted for five of the six murder convictions to be served concurrently, then added on 15 for the sixth count.

Duelling appeals, a finding of judge’s error for the 40-year sentence by the Quebec Court of Appeal, and further appeal by the province’s attorney-general, who was actually seeking a 50-year sentence brought the matter to the Supremes.

And here we are.

The 92-page decision throws a purely rhetorical sop to the relatives of Bissonnette’s victims, claiming 25-year parole ineligibility “must not be seen as devaluing the life of each victim.”

Except it does precisely that. A quarter-century for one victim and everybody else is a throw-in.

“Everyone would agree that multiple murders are inherently despicable acts and are the most serious of crimes, with consequences that last forever,” Wagner writes. “This appeal is not about the value of each human life, but rather about the limits in the state’s power to punish offenders, which in a society founded on the rule of law must be exercised in a manner consistent with the Constitution.”

After the decision was issued, the mosque’s leadership released a statement expressing disappointment in the court’s failure to “give due consideration to the atrocity and scourge of multiple murders as well as the hateful Islamophobic and racist aspect of the crime.”

Simultaneous to these events, the federal government intends to pass Bill C-5, which will reverse some aspects of the Harper’s “tough on crime” legislation, primarily repealing 20 different mandatory minimum sentences, mostly for gun and drug crimes, while re-establishing conditional sentences such as house arrest for some offences. The bill is strongly driven by the previous legislation’s deleterious impact of mandatory sentencing on Indigenous people and Black people, so horribly overincarcerated relative to their percentage of the population.

With no minimum terms, sentencing will revert to the discretion of trial judges. Which is proper. But why then should judges be prevented from imposing a maximum sentence of more than 25 years — proportional to the offence — in the small number of ultra-“despicable” crimes involving multiple and mass murders?

If consecutive life terms are cruel and unusual, why is 25 years the prison cap? It’s an arbitrary figure, after all. Frankly, it’s not denunciation enough for a Bissonnette or a Minassian. Because incarceration isn’t exclusively about rehabilitation and a felon’s right to dignity. It’s also about deterrence, condemnation and protecting the public.

The Supreme Court has left that door open, which would mean rewriting the law and allowing judges to extend parole ineligibility beyond 25 years, outside the prohibition against consecutive life terms.

That’s the purview of Parliament. It, too, could demonstrate wisdom.

Source: The Star

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Muslim Clerics Stress on Need for 'Communal Harmony with Hindus' At Deoband Meet

May 29, 2022

DEOBAND: Hundreds of Muslim scholars and clerics assembled for a two-day convention in UP's Deoband to participate in a session over "contentious issues facing the country and Muslims in prevailing times" and "how to react to these developments".

During the meeting, most clerics stressed on the need for "more communal harmony with Hindus" and claimed that the "government was turning a blind eye to Muslims' hardships".

The event is being held by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind and attended by representatives from the Darul Uloom, apart from several other Muslim organisations.

Those attending are deliberating on recent controversies, including Gyanvapi mosque, Uniform Civil Code and matters related to the Waqf Board.

Making an emotional appeal before the large gathering on Saturday, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind chief Mahmood Madani said, "We are going through a very difficult period. However, there is no need to despair. It is true we need strength to face the difficulties. We are messengers of peace and will tolerate the oppression, and won't allow any harm to our country. This strength was given to us by the Quran and the Prophet. We can compromise with everything but not our faith."

Without naming anyone, Madani said, "They talk about unity and integrity, about 'Akhand Bharat', but make it difficult for Muslims to walk the streets. What kind of integrity is this? A majority of citizens are silent but they understand well that those who are spreading hate are traitors. We cannot reply hate with hate. Love is the only answer."

Source: Times Of India

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Uniform Civil Code Not Against Muslims: Uttar Pradesh Minister

May 29, 2022

Lucknow: Hours after Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JUH) passed a resolution to oppose the Uniform Civil Code, Uttar Pradesh Minority Welfare Minister Danish Azad Ansari on Sunday clarified that the UCC is not against Muslims and no one's constitutional rights are being violated.

The Jamiat had passed three resolutions-- the measures for taming the growing tide of hatred and animosity against Muslims in the country; a resolution regarding the eradication of Islamophobia; a resolution over strengthening the Sadbhawana Manch.

This comes after the Uttarakhand government announced the formation of a 5-member drafting committee to implement the civil code.

Speaking to ANI, Mr Ansari said, "No one's constitutional rights are being violated. UCC is not against Muslims. We have to listen to the voice of common Muslims. Today, they want to progress that was not done by previous governments, like SP BSP, and Congress. They only used Muslims as a vote bank."

"Muslims are getting every right and Muslim women have also been given the rights which they demanded, so we are working for the progress of Muslims in every way. We will bring positive changes in the society by implementing UCC," he stated.

The minister further said that the BJP-led Central and Uttar Pradesh government have been continuously talking about minorities.

"We have provided all the direct benefit to the minorities. Today, the government thinks about their progress," he added.

Earlier in the day, Jamiat held a meeting at Eid Gah Maidan in Deoband on Saturday with the aim to prevent the spread of Islamophobia in the country.

The meeting was attended by nearly 2,000 members and representatives of organizations from across the country and was presided by JUH president Maulana Mahmod Asad Madani.

On being asked about the Gyanvapi mosque case and Mathura Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi case, he said that the matters are still in the court and everyone will respect the decision taken by it.

Source: ND TV

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Minority certificates to six religious communities, including Muslims, in Assam

29th May 2022

GUWAHATI: Minority certificates would be provided to six religious communities, including Muslims, in Assam, Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said on Sunday.

The state cabinet decided that the minority certificates would be issued to Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis and the modalities will be worked out accordingly, Mahanta said at the media briefing after the cabinet meeting here.

The cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also decided to pay a total of Rs 12.63 crore to 1,263 families of workers of the Doloo Tea Estate as a goodwill gesture for their cooperation in the development of the Greenfield airport at Silchar.

Each family will be provided Rs one lakh as compensation for their cooperation, he said.

The state government had earlier announced a compensation of Rs 50 crore for the acquisition of the land at Doloo Lalbagh and Mainagarh tea gardens for setting up the greenfield airport and had already released Rs 2.37 crore as the first instalment.

The Cabinet also decided to pay Rs 142.50 crore against the outstanding Provident Funds dues of workers of the state-owned Assam Tea Corporation Limited (ATCL), Mahanta said.

In the interest of the tea garden workers, the cabinet also approved the rationalisation of valuation and fair compensation for acquisition of land.

The zonal value for tea land will be determined on the basis of registered sale deeds of preceding three years in the district with the floor value being 10 per cent of the nearest agricultural land, he said.

The cabinet decided to bring an amendment to the Assam Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Rules, 2015 which will equate tea garden lands with those in urban areas to calculate the compensation payable when tea lands are acquired for public purposes.

Tea garden workers, both permanent and temporary, will be eligible for receiving 10 per cent of the compensation amount payable to the tea gardens towards acquisition cost of the land, Mahanta said.

The Cabinet also decided to bring in an ordinance to enable the extension of tax exemption on green tea leaves for a further period of three years from January one, 2022.

The meeting also decided to give an ex-gratia relief of Rs two lakh each to 288 seriously injured persons and 57 women victimised during the Assam agitation against foreigners between 1979-85 with a total of Rs 6.9 crore to those injured and victimised, Mahanta said.

The cabinet also approved the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for implementation of the Assam model of Mission Amrit Sarovar which seeks to introduce a source of water for small and marginal farmers and income generating assets by integrating pisciculture and commercial plantation.

Source: New Indian Express

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BJP’s National Spokesperson Nupur Sharma Booked over Remark on Prophet Mohammed

29th May 2022

Mumbai: A case has been filed against BJP national spokesperson Nupur Sharma in Mumbai over her alleged remarks on Prophet Mohammed during a television show.

A case has been filed at the Pydhonie Police Station area in Mumbai under sections 295A, 153A and 505B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) after a complaint by Raza Academy, a Sunni Barelvi organization of Indian Sunni Muslims, for her “remarks on the Holy Prophet on a National channel”.

Earlier on Friday, Sharma had alleged that she has been receiving death and rape threats on social media after a “so-called fact-checker” circulated a heavily edited video from one of her recent debates on a TV channel on the Gyanvapi mosque case.

“There is a so-called fact-checker who has started to vitiate the atmosphere by putting out a heavily edited and selected video from one of my debates last night. Ever since I’ve been receiving death and rape threats, including beheading threats against me and family members,” Nupur Sharma told ANI on Friday.

Sharma alleged that an Alt News proprietor, Mohammed Zubair posted an edited video to encourage trolls against her and said that he should be held “responsible” if any harm befalls her family.

“I’ve tagged the Police Commissioner and Delhi Police. I suspect there’ll be harm done to me and my immediate family members. In case there’s any harm done to me or my family members Mohammed Zubair, who I think is a proprietor of Alt News, is completely responsible,” she stated.

“If I was wrong, then the fact-checkers should rectify the facts, rather than sending death threats to me. Please come forward and correct the facts. It’s not right, it’s completely illegal. He (Zubair) is not a fact-checker, he is a fake-spreader,” she added.

Further, Sharma said that she is collating all the threats against her and will file a complaint in the matter.

Complaint lodged in Hyderabad

In Hyderabad too, a complaint has been lodged against Nupur Sharma. It was lodged by a delegation of Mushtarika Majlis-E-Amal.

The delegation met the Hyderabad commissioner CV Anand at Commissioner Office and submitted a complaint against both the BJP spokesperson and Times Now TV channel.

In the complaint, it has been mentioned, “She used abusive, false and hurtful words against the Prophet and religion of Islam and hurt the feelings of Muslims. By derisively insulting religious beliefs mentioned in the Holy Quran and stating that Prophet Mohammed married a 6-year-old and was having sex with her at age 9, she not only hurt the feelings of Muslims but also created enmity between different sections of society.”

Source: Siasat Daily

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How long will Muslims carry burden of temples razed, says Ram Madhav

May 29, 2022

The Muslim community in India needs to think “how long it wants to carry an albatross around its neck” in the context of “breaking temples”, RSS leader Ram Madhav said here on Saturday.

Addressing a gathering organised by the Veer Savarkar Smruti Kendra in Vadodara to mark the 140th birth anniversary of Savarkar, Madhav, speaking on the topic ‘Hindutva and Nationalism in the New Century’, maintained that discord in a mixed society would remain, as the Hindu community in the country is “anguished” that fellow Muslims “do not value the country as much”.

Source: Indian Express

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Yasin Malik, hijab row, Pakistan: A look at times when OIC hit out at India

May 29, 2022

Asking it not to “justify terrorism in any manner”, India on Friday condemned the statement made by OIC-IPHRC (Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission) criticizing the country for its court ruling against Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the world has “zero tolerance” towards terrorism and called the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s statement unacceptable. “Through these comments, OIC-IPHRC has implicitly expressed support for the terrorist activities of Yasin Malik, which were documented and presented in the court,” he said.

The OIC, in its statement, had expressed “solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their struggle for their rights including their right for self-determination.” It also urged the international community to ensure that the struggle of Kashmiris for their rights should “not be equated with terrorism”.

However, this is not the first time that a statement by the OIC has invited sharp reactions from India. A look at some of the matters on which the organisation has expressed its concerns and how India has reacted to them. Read our explainer on what OIC is and its relations with India.

On Jammu and Kashmir

In the past, the OIC has been supportive of Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir, and has issued statements criticising the alleged Indian “atrocities” in the Valley. During the 48th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation in March this year, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan offered a despondent assessment of the its failures in Kashmir, and regretted that the West did not take the grouping seriously.

India reacted to this by calling it all “falsehoods and misrepresentation”. “The statements and resolutions adopted at the meeting demonstrate both the irrelevance of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation as a body and the role of Pakistan as its manipulator,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.

In May this year, India slammed the organisation for its “unwarranted” comments on the delimitation exercise in Jammu and Kashmir. It further asked the group to refrain from carrying out its “communal agenda” at the behest of one country, in an oblique reference to Pakistan.

On ‘continued attacks on Muslims in India’

The Organization in February also expressed deep concern over recent public calls for “genocide of Muslims by the ‘Hindutva’ proponents in Haridwar”.

The continued attacks targeting Muslims and their places of worship, the recent trend of anti-Muslim legislations in different states and rising incidents of violence against Muslims on flimsy pretexts by ‘Hindutva’ groups with impunity, are indicative of the growing trend of Islamophobia, OIC had stated

On the hijab row

After the Karnataka High Court had pronounced its verdict on the hijab controversy, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation had highlighted and expressed concern on the banning of Muslim students from wearing hijab in Karnataka. It also talked about the reported incidents of harassment of Muslim women on social media sites.

Reacting to this, the Ministry of External Affairs, in a sharply worded statement, had said: “The communal mindset of the OIC Secretariat does not allow for a proper appreciation of these realities. OIC continues to be hijacked by vested interests to further their nefarious propaganda against India.”

On ‘anti-Muslim prejudice over Covid-19’

In 2020, the OIC had talked about the media accounts of what it called was “rising anti-Muslim sentiments and Islamophobia within political and media circles” where Muslims were blamed for spreading the coronavirus in the country.

On LoC violation

In February 2019, when India and Pakistan were at loggerheads after a terrorist attack in J&K’s Pulwama district, the organisation reacted to India’s “violation” of the line of control with Pakistan.

Its statement condemned the “Indian incursion and aerial violation and dropping of four bombs” on 26 February 2019 and urged New Delhi and Islamabad to exercise restraint and avoid any steps that would endanger peace and security in the region. It further called upon both parties to act responsibly and encouraged them to seek peaceful solution to current crisis without resort to use of force.

Source: Indian Express

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Southeast Asia


Jakim to send halal team to conduct audit in Australia

May 28, 2022

TAIPING: The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) will send a halal team to conduct audits at all abattoirs and at the Supreme Islamic Council of Halal Meat in Australia Inc (SICHMA) in Australia, which supplies meat to Malaysia.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Idris Ahmad said the team would be dispatched immediately after Sichma, as the halal certification body, confirmed the Thomas Foods International Lobethal abattoir in Australia had violated halal protocols in the slaughtering process.

"Before Sichma's admission, we had taken action to cancel and stop the abattoir pending an investigation and today it is proven that Sichma, as the halal certification body, admitted that the plant had violated the terms of the halal certification," he said at a press conference at the Hari Raya Asnaf Assistance Programme QSR-SPE at KFC Simpang near here today.

On May 13, Malaysia's approval granted to halal-certified company in Australia, Thomas Foods International Lobethal, was suspended immediately pending a thorough investigation.

Idris said since May 13, products from the plant were not allowed to be imported into Malaysia and products from the plant that were still on the market were handed over to the Veterinary Services Department.

He said his department would not compromise on matters involving halal status and any plant with dubious slaughter processes could be reported to Jakim for investigation.

"Before this, we have never received information through letters and attachés about abattoirs in Australia.

"Thankfully, Malaysians are very sensitive about it and if there is a report, we will act. As the Minister of Religion, I am firm in this matter," he said.

Source: NST

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Small conflicts ‘grow into world wars’, warns Dr M


May 27, 2022

TOKYO: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine risks escalating into another world war, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad warned at Nikkei’s Future of Asia conference today.

“I am afraid that wars have a habit of beginning small and then grow into world wars,” he said on the second day of the event in Tokyo.

The veteran politician emphasised the need to resolve the conflict through dialogue, while criticising Nato’s supply of weapons to Ukraine, suggesting Western allies run the risk of pushing Russia into a decision to expand the war and other countries may be involved.

The Russia-Ukraine war should not have happened “in our age”, Mahathir said.

In a call to learn from history, he said the international community witnessed the destruction of World War II but said the lessons are “almost forgotten”. Now 96, Mahathir was 20 years old when WWII ended.

The Future of Asia is Nikkei’s flagship annual conference. This year’s theme is “redefining Asia’s role in a divided world”, with other speakers on the second day including Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The annual event opened on Thursday with addresses from Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and others.

Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd said in a video link that in the face of China’s increasing clout in the Asia-Pacific region, other countries should seek better engagement rather than lecturing small island states.

His appearance came as Beijing makes its presence felt in the Pacific, after sealing a controversial security deal with the Solomon Islands in April.

Rudd said Pacific islands are sovereign states and have a right to “do as they wish”. The way forward for Western allies like Australia, New Zealand and the US, he stressed, is not to deliver them a “moral lecture” but to offer different, better, development-friendly proposals.

He warned that China is showing “a much more assertive leadership style and intends, therefore, to change the status quo by adopting a more assertive foreign security policy in the region and the world”.

The growing tensions pose dangerous risks, suggested Rudd, who led Australia from 2007 to 2010 and again in 2013.

“The US-China relationship reflected in multiple theaters across Asia is one of push and shove, without any guarantee that this pushing and shoving will not result in crisis escalation, conflict and war,” he said.

On Thursday, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi visited the Solomon Islands as part of a 10-day trip that also included six more Pacific Island nations and East Timor.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Yemen’s parliament to criminalize all forms of normalization with Israel: Prime minister

30 May 2022

The legislature of Yemen’s National Salvation Government is going to introduce a bill that will criminalize all forms of normalization of ties with Israel, in a great show of solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

Yemeni Prime Minister Abdulaziz bin Habtoor told Arabic-language al-Masirah television network that the parliament will soon pass a law that makes it a crime to normalize relations with the Tel Aviv regime.

He said that the measure falls within the framework of the Yemeni nation’s aspirations as Palestine is the foremost and principal issue of the Muslim world.

“We stand by the side of the Palestinian nation and their struggle in the face of Israeli threats to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the occupied al-Quds city,” Habtoor noted.

He noted that blatant Israeli provocations and violations at al-Aqsa Mosque are part of the Israeli regime’s attempts to put itself in a victorious position in the aftermath of normalization deals with a number of Arab states.

This comes after Iraqi lawmakers last Thursday passed a similar bill criminalizing any normalization of relations, including business ties, with Israel. The legislation says that any violation of the law is punishable with the death penalty or life imprisonment.

The law was approved with 275 lawmakers voting in favor of it in the 329-seat assembly. A parliament statement said the legislation is “a true reflection of the will of the people.”

Influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose party won the largest number of seats in Iraq’s parliamentary elections last year, called for Iraqis to take to the streets to celebrate the “great achievement.” Hundreds later gathered in central Baghdad, chanting anti-Israel slogans.

‘We must boycott products made in pro-Israel countries’

Meanwhile, a senior member of Yemen’s popular Ansarullah resistance movement called on Sunday for a ban on products made in countries supporting Israel as a step to potentially end the regime’s illegal occupation.

“As Arabs and Muslims, we must enforce the boycott of products made by countries supporting the Zionist regime,” Mohammed al-Bukhaiti told Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network on Sunday night.

“Zionists have made a gross miscalculation in their assessments due to erroneous information compiled by traitors. The Zionist regime did not expect a firm response from Palestinians and ensuing stiff resistance. Palestinians’ resilience has had a great impact on the feelings of Arab and Muslim nations,” Bukhaiti said.

He argued that the United States, Britain, and the countries that are the main supporters of Israel will suffer a great deal through an embargo campaign.

Source: Press TV

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‘Flag march’ grave provocation against Palestinians, Muslim nations: Hamas

29 May 2022

Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has warned that the so-called flag march in occupied East al-Quds is a grave provocation against the Palestinian people and the Arab and Islamic nations, stating that the resistance “will not hesitate to perform its duty” of defending Palestinian sanctities and people.

The warning came on Sunday before Israeli settlers held their annual "flag march." The march was held later the same day despite prior warnings by Palestinians resistance groups and officials of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority who saw the parade as provocative and a cause for further escalation across the occupied territories.

Speaking in a statement ahead of the march, Hazem Qassem, a spokesman for Hamas, said the flag march could set off “unexpected explosions,” warning Israel not to cross the red lines or resistance will not remain silent.

The flag march marks Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967. The annual march is organized by far-right Israeli settlers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied East al-Quds.

The march, staged through al-Quds flashpoints, is an attempt by extremists to slam what they call the Tel Aviv regime’s failure to deal with the Palestinians and affirm their presence in the occupied Palestinian city and its holy sites.

It was originally planned to be held on May 10, but was later rescheduled to be held on Sunday.

Qassem also said that Hamas is pursuing all the developments surrounding the situation and is firmly determined to defend Palestinian “sanctities and people” unwaveringly.

“We are following up on all the details and developments of the situation in [al-Quds] and the resistance will certainly have its decisive position to defend our sanctities and our people, and it will not hesitate to perform this duty,” the spokesman said.

Qassem added that Palestinians are ready to defend al-Quds and al-Aqsa Mosque and make sacrifices to preserve the Palestinian and Arab-Islamic identity of the mosque and al-Quds, warning that the response will come from every corner.

The movement’s leadership notified all parties that what is happening in al-Quds is a real provocation against the feelings of the Palestinian people and is intolerable, he said, adding that Palestinians “will do everything they can to protect al-Aqsa Mosque and the Islamic and Christian holy sites in [al-Quds].”

He urged Palestinians in the West Bank to mobilize and raise their flags in al-Quds and al-Aqsa Mosque to stand up to the settlers’ incursion into the holy site.

Rallies were also held in other parts of the world, including in some European capitals, in solidarity with Palestinian people in their confrontation with the Israeli occupation.

In the German capital, Berlin, dozens of cars took part in a pro-Palestine rally. The vehicles were draped in the Palestinian flags as the drivers honked their horns.

Similar solidarity rallies were also held in Jordan, the UK, Austria, South Africa and Lebanon.

Israeli settlers attack, injure several Palestinians in al-Quds

According to the Palestinian Information Center and Wafa news agency, during Sunday rally at the Bab al-Amud entrance to the occupied East al-Quds, Israel settlers taking part in the so-called flag march, attacked Palestinians protesting at the extremist rally, injuring a number of them.

Palestinian sources reported that several Palestinians were injured after being attacked by the Israeli security forces and settlers. Two Palestinian girls were also brutalized by Israeli security forces in the Old City of al-Quds.

Other Palestinian citizens were also attacked by Israeli security forces in different areas of the Old City, especially in Bab al-Amud, and a number of them were also arrested.

Israeli forces also attacked Palestinian protesters in the town of Bazzariya to the northwest of Nablus as well as in the village of Taqou to the east of Bethlehem. Israel's forces fired tear gas canisters to disperse protesters, causing many protesters to suffocate.

Two Palestinians were also shot and injured by rubber-coated steel bullets and one by shrapnel during attacks by Israeli forces in the towns of Burin and Huwwara to the south of Nablus.

Several other Palestinians sustained burn injuries, while at least seven others suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.

Israeli forces also attacked Palestinians who rallied to the east of Tulkarm city, firing rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters against them. Dozens reportedly suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.

According to the latest figures by Palestinian Red Crescent, at least 40 people have been injured in attacks by Israeli forces and settlers on Palestinian protesters in the occupied al-Quds.

‘Battle with occupation will only end with liberation’

Fawzi Barhoum, another Hamas spokesman, also said that Palestinians’ sacred battle against Israel will not be over unless they liberate their lands.

“Our battle for [al-Quds] and al-Aqsa is sacred, and open against the (Israeli) occupation and will not stop unless the goals of our people are achieved in liberation, return, and the establishment of a Palestinian state with [al-Quds] as its capital.”

Barhoum hailed Palestinian youths who have displayed solid steadfastness and heroism inside the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque and in occupied al-Quds.

He added that the resistance and the people are prepared to “pay the price” to “purify the blessed Mosque” from the “impurity of the occupation.”

“Unswerving positions of the Palestinian resistance, its messages to the occupation, and the great sacrifices of our people in [al-Quds], which are embodied in the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque and at its gates, reflect the readiness of our people and the resistance to defend the blessed mosque and to pay the price of purifying it from the impurity of the occupation,” the spokesman said.

Recently, there has been a sheer escalation of atrocities by the Israeli regime against Palestinian worshipers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Palestinian resistance groups, who are outraged by the Israeli barbarity, have intensified their operations throughout the occupied territories.

In a statement on Thursday, Hamas called on all Palestinians “to thwart the occupation’s plans” by heading to al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied holy city at dawn on Sunday.

The escalations in al-Quds had sparked fears of another armed conflict similar to an 11-day war in May last year between Israel and Gaza-based Palestinian resistance groups, including Hamas.

Hamas has also warned Israel it risks another war if it allows the right-wing groups and extremist settlers to march through the occupied Old City of East al-Quds.

Jordan condemns Israeli ‘flag march’, storming of al-Aqsa

In a related development on Sunday, Jordan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned the storming of al-Aqsa mosque by Israeli settlers and a Knesset member.

The ministry added that allowing the so-called flag march to go ahead on schedule today will lead to further escalation in the occupied al-Quds, Jordan’s Petra news agency reported.

“The Israeli raids, protected by the Israeli security forces, are a violation of the historical and legal status quo and the international law,” Jordan Foreign Ministry's spokesperson, Haitham Abu Alfoul.

He stressed that al-Aqsa Mosque is purely a place of worship for Muslims and that the Jordanian-run Waqf (Endowments) and al-Aqsa Affairs Administration in al-Quds has the exclusive jurisdiction to run all the affairs of the holy site.

Source: Press TV

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Iran, Pakistan entered negotiations to enhance religious tourism

May 30, 2022

On Sunday, Pakistan media reported that its Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Mufti Abdul Shakoor urged the Iranian government to finalize a draft agreement named ‘Ziarat Policy’ to promote religious tourism.

“There were many people who pay homage to the mausoleums of sacred religious figures located in Iran every year. In this regard, the government of Pakistan had forwarded a draft named ‘Ziarat Policy’ in a bid to enhance religious tourism between the two brotherly countries but it was still pending,” the Express Tribune reported on Saturday.

Talking to a delegation led by Iran's deputy director of Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO) Hossein Rouzbeh, Abdul Shakoor said proposed establishing offices in Iran including Pakistan House and facilitating religious pilgrims during their stay in Quetta and Taftan under the policy.

Rouzbeh said the cornerstone of the Iranian foreign policy was to maintain cordial relations with neighboring countries.

He invited the minister to attend the forthcoming conference being held in Iran to discuss the promotion of religious harmony and other common issues prevailing between the two countries.

Moreover, Abdul Shakoor noted that the two nations’ relations are based on common values and brotherhood. Both the countries have been desirous to resolve bilateral issues by devising a joint strategy, he said.

The dignitaries of both sides agreed on promoting bilateral relations, interfaith harmony, and cooperation in Hajj arrangements, the report said.

Based on available data, some 700,000 Pakistani pilgrims annually traveled to Mashhad to visit the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS) before the coronavirus outbreak. Mashhad is the prime destination for Pakistani travelers who come to go on pilgrimage to the shrine of the eighth Shia Imam.

According to official data, the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS) hosts an average number of 500,000 pilgrims each day.

Source: ABNA24

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Extremist Jewish Settlers' Raid On Al-Aqsa Mosque Will Not Go Unpunished - Liberation Of Palestine

May 30, 2022

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said on Sunday that the Jewish settlers’ raid on the Al-Aqsa Mosque which was protected by the Israeli police is a grave violation that will not go unpunished.

The PFLP said in a press statement following the settlers’ raid on the Al-Aqsa Mosque that the Palestinian people must unite and respond to the provocative Israeli settlers’ desecration of the holy site.

“The repeated raids on the Palestinian holy sites and the attempts to divide them constitute brutal crimes aiming at oppressing the Palestinian people,” the PELP charged.

Source: ABNA24

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Flag-waving Israelis take to streets, skirmishes erupt in Al Aqsa mosque

29 May 2022

Tens of thousands of flag-waving Israeli nationalists, some chanting “Death to Arabs”, marched through the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday, defying threats of retaliation from Palestinian militants.

The annual parade celebrates Israel’s capture of Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war, but has increasingly become a show of strength for Jewish nationalists eager to extend their influence in a city which has a large Palestinian population.

Many marchers sang and danced as they found their way through the narrow, stone streets. Others sought confrontation.

Adding to the tensions, police said a record 2,600 Jews had toured Al Aqsa esplanade ahead of the march. Looking to halt the visits, Palestinians hurled stones and set off fireworks, before being pushed back by police firing stun grenades.

Some of the Jews wore religious garb and appeared to pray, ignoring a long-standing ban on Jewish worship in the compound. A few held up Israeli flags and sang the national anthem.

The preacher of the mosque, Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, denounced their behaviour. “What happened today in Al Aqsa mosque hadn’t taken place since 1967,” he told Reuters.

Al Aqsa is the third holiest site in Islam. It is also revered by Jews as the Temple Mount — a vestige of their faith’s two ancient temples.

Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip and has cast itself as a defender of Muslim Jerusalem, condemned Sunday’s mass visit, which went viral on social media.

“The Israeli government is fully responsible for all these reckless policies and the following consequences,” senior Hamas official Bassem Naim told Reuters.

Hamas fired rockets into Israel during last year’s march, triggering an 11-day war that killed at least 250 Palestinians in Gaza and 13 people in Israel. Despite threatening violence this year, the Gaza border remained quiet as night descended.

By contrast, clashes were reported across the occupied West Bank on Sunday, injuring more than 160 Palestinians, including 20 people hit by live bullets, medics said.

Palestinian shopkeepers in Jerusalem shuttered their stalls hours before the parade was due to start and fights broke out sporadically as the marchers penetrated the Muslim district. One Israeli youth was videoed using pepper spray on a Palestinian woman, leading to an exchange of punches and kicks.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the vast majority of marchers had come to celebrate.

“Unfortunately, there is a minority that has come to set the area ablaze ... trying to use force in order to ignite a conflict,” he said in a statement.

Palestinians view Sunday’s march as part of a broader campaign to bolster Jewish presence across the city, which has seen tensions tick up in recent weeks.

Source: Khaleej Times

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Yemeni minister warns against Houthis recruiting child fighters

May 30, 2022

DUBAI: Yemen’s minister of information warned against the Houthi militia’s continued operations recruiting child fighters through so-called education centers.

Muammar Al-Eryani told the Yemeni news Agency, SABA, that the militia recruited children as they join so-called “summer (education) camps,” deploying them on the battlefronts.

He said the Iranian-backed terrorist group mobilized tens of thousands of children in areas under its control, and spread propaganda among them that promoted hatred, violence, and terror.  

Eryani said this sectarian rhetoric was being imported from Tehran.

This will pose “dangers to the social fabric, civil peace and the values of coexistence between Yemenis.”

Source: Arab News

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North America


UNSC report says presence of Jaish, Lashkar camps, narcotics outflow from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan

May 29, 2022

A key United Nations Security Council(UNSC) report has said Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan in August last year increased narcotics outflow and there is presence of anti-India foreign terror groups like Jaish-i-Mohammed (JiM) and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) in the country.

It is the thirteenth report of the Sanctions Monitoring Team under the Taliban Sanctions Committee established pursuant to resolution 1988 (2011).

The report submitted last week said, "Afghan-origin drugs have increased significantly in the second half of 2021" which suggests "less effective counter-narcotics efforts within Afghanistan or heightened activity in anticipation of a ban."

It pointed to the seizing 3 tons of Afghan origin heroin in India in September of 2021 and smuggling via Iran to Turkey and Europe which has "increased by up to 50 per cent since the Taliban assumed power."

On the presence of foreign terrorist fighters, the 27-page report said, "Taliban victory in Afghanistan has inspired terrorists around the world" confirming the presence of Jaish and Lashkar terror groups.

Both the Pakistan based UN-designated terror groups have been responsible for a number of terror attacks in India including Pathankot, Uri and the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. The report said both groups along with Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement(ETIM) and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan have fighters "each numbering in the few hundreds."

The report specifically said Jaish-i-Mohammed (JiM) has appointed Qari Ramazan as the new head of the grouping in Afghanistan.

The terror group was founded by Masood Azhar who was listed as an international terrorist in 2019 after Pulwama terror attack in India.

The report said, "according to one member state, JiM maintains eight training camps in Nangarhar, three of which are directly under Taliban control". Previous UNSC report has pointed to the support given by JiM to Taliban. The report details that in October 2021, LeT leader Mawlawi Assadullah met Taliban deputy interior minister Noor Jalil. Later in January 2022, a Taliban delegation visited a training camp used by LeT in the Haska Mena district of Nangarhar.

Elaborating on the linkage between JiM and Taliban, the report highlighted that, "The group was said to maintain three camps in Kunar and Nangarhar. Previous LeT members have included Aslam Farooqi and Ejaz Ahmad Ahangar (a.k.a. Abu Usman al-Kashmiri), both of whom joined ISIL-K".

It is the first public confirmation of these two terror groups in Afghanistan by any multilateral body since the Taliban's takeover. Fears of Afghanistan becoming a terror safe haven have always been there since the Taliban's takeover.

With mentioning of the ETIM, Bejing will also be worried over terror safe haven in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. ETIM  is an Uyghur Islamic extremist which has called for the establishment of East Turkestan in China's western province of Xinjiang.

Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan(TTP) forms the largest component of foreign fighters with Sirajuddin Haqqani Taliban appointed acting interior minister being "relied upon more than anyone else" to act as an "intermediary between TTP and Pakistan".

The report explained that, "Haqqani mediations have not led to a sustainable ceasefire, but are a further indication of Sirajuddin’s central role within the Taliban as a mediator and figure of authority among rank-and-file TTP".

The report also said that the core leadership of Al Qaida remains in Afghanistan with its chief Aiman al-Zawahiri in the "eastern region from Zabul province north towards Kunar and along the border with Pakistan".

It mentioned the recent appearance of al-Zawahiri in a video released on April 5 this year by Al-Qaida’s As-Sahab media foundation in which he referred to the Hijab issue in India.

The video provided the first conclusive current proof of life for al-Zawahiri in recent years. The report explained, "the pace of recent communications suggests that he may be able to lead more effectively than was possible before the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan."

The Taliban sanctions committee or the 1988 Security Council Committee is chaired by the Indian envoy to UN TS Tirumurti. The committee comprises all 15 members of the Security Council and makes its decision by consensus.

Source: WIO News

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Imran says rulers ‘tasked with recognising Israel’

Faiz Muhammad

May 30, 2022

CHARSADDA: Vowing to continue his struggle till the ouster of ‘imported government imposed on the people through an international conspiracy’, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman and ex-premier Imran Khan said on Sunday the rulers were a security threat for the country, alleging that they had been ‘tasked with recognising Israel’ and compromising with India on Kashmir issue.

Claiming that he would never accept the ‘imported government of slaves and looters’, Mr Khan told a party workers’ convention in Charsadda that the rulers were ready to do everything ordered by America, but the masses were on his side as they were aware of ‘the real leaders’ who would save Pakistan from the slavery of foreign powers.

Mr Khan hurled these allegations, including a clear reference to Israel’s recognition, a few days after Israeli President Isaac Herzog during his special address at the World Economic Forum talked about the ‘great change’ vis-a-vis Israel’s ties with the Muslim world, mentioning that he recently received a delegation from Morocco and another of Pakistani expats living in the US.

“And I must say this was an amazing experience. We haven’t had a group of Pakistani leaders in Israel in such scope. And that all stems from the Abraham Accords, meaning Jews and Muslims can dwell together in the region [...],” Herzog was quoted by as saying in Davos on May 25.

FO says Pakistan’s position on the Palestinian issue is clear; minister says PTI has become a tool of enemy to create chaos in Pakistan

At the Charsadda jalsa, Mr Khan said the PTI government had reached an agreement with Russia for import of petrol at 30pc cheaper rates, but the “imported government abolished that agreement” in fear of US administration and increased petrol and diesel prices.

For the next Azadi march, he would have complete preparation to cope with police ‘brutalities’, he said while condemning police action against PTI activists on May 25.

He said peaceful protest was their right and for this purpose, he would move the Supreme Court on Monday after consultation with lawyers.

“PTI is waging jihad for real freedom from the clutches of super powers and will continue struggle for this cause,” he said, adding that containers had been placed on roads to stop their march on the federal capital, but ‘the PTI tigers’ removed all obstacles and reached the protest venue.

He said the people came out of their homes, not for their personal interest, rather for the “sacred cause of real freedom”. He said his party workers had been martyred and injured during this struggle. He alleged that expired tear gas shells were fired and protesters were baton-charged.

Imran Khan alleged that police inflicted atrocities on peaceful, innocent protesters, including women and children, and said his struggle would continue till the “ouster of imported government imposed on people through an international conspiracy”. He warned Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah that the nation would not forgive them for the police action against PTI activists.

KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, former federal minister Murad Saeed, party leader Fazal Mohammad Khan also addressed the gathering.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office ‘categorically rejected’ the notion of any delegation from Pakistan visiting Israel.

The reported visit was organised by a foreign NGO, which is not based in Pakistan, said spokesperson for the ministry of foreign affairs while responding to media queries.

“Pakistan’s position on the Palestinian issue is clear and unambiguous. There is no change whatsoever in our policy on which there is complete national consensus. Pakistan steadfastly supports the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination. The establishment of an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, in accordance with the relevant UN and OIC resolutions, is imperative for just and lasting peace in the region,” the FO spokesperson explained.

Meanwhile, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal in a series of tweets stated: “PTI has become a tool of enemy to create chaos in Pakistan. The nation did not leave their homes on May 25 and buried the negative politics of Imran Niazi forever.”

Source: Dawn

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Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Militant Group Persistent Threat To Pakistan's Security: UNSC report

May 29, 2022

ISLAMABAD: A United Nations Security Council report has reminded about the persistent threat Pakistan's security faces from the Afghanistan-based Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and warned that prospects of success of the ongoing peace process with the dreaded terror group were bleak, according to a media report.

The annual report of the 1988 Taliban sanctions committee monitoring team noted TTP's linkages with the Afghan Taliban and explained how the group benefitted from the fall of the Ghani regime last year and touched upon its relations with other terrorist groups operating from Afghanistan.

The banned TTP, the report noted, had up to 4,000 fighters based in east and south-east areas along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and made up the largest group of foreign fighters based there, according to Pakistan's Dawn newspaper.

This was the team's first report for the committee since the Taliban takeover of Kabul in August last year.

The report's original focus was on the Taliban's internal politics, its finances, relations with Al-Qaeda, Daesh, and other terrorist groups, and the implementation of the UNSC sanctions.

The report's launch coincided with the start of the third round of talks between the Pakistan government and TTP last Thursday.

The first round of talks, held in November last year, had yielded a month-long ceasefire that later broke down after TTP accused Islamabad of not fulfilling promises.

The TTP subsequently resumed attacks against Pakistani forces. Statistics tabulated by the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies reveal that this year, the militant group carried out nearly 46 attacks, mostly against law enforcement personnel, in which 79 people lost their lives.

On March 30, the TTP, emulating the Afghan Taliban's strategy during the US war in Afghanistan, announced a "Spring Offensive" against security forces here.

The peace process, which is being facilitated by Taliban interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, meanwhile, resumed earlier this month after both sides took confidence-building measures.

The TTP militants have been fighting with the Pakistani security forces since 2008, when the outfit was set up, to press for the implementation of the Sharia laws in the country.

However, the group is being pressed by the Afghan Taliban for talks with the Pakistan government to end the conflict.

The TTP first announced a ceasefire on the occasion of Eid and later extended it after Pakistan released a couple of its (TTP) commanders, who were then on death row.

The round, in which the Pakistani delegation was led by Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Faiz Hamid, ended with both sides presenting their set of demands, the report said.

TTP demanded the withdrawal of security forces from erstwhile tribal areas, annulment of the merger of FATA with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, withdrawal of cases against its fighters and their release, and introduction of Shariah-based ‘Nizam-e-Adl' in Malakand Division.

Although security forces here say that these demands are unacceptable and their acceptance would mean capitulation of the State, the government delegation still entered into the third round of talks.

The top priority for the Pakistani government in the latest round is to secure an extension in the ceasefire, which is expiring on May 30.

The Pakistani side has, however, maintained complete silence on the talks.

The UN report has warned that “The group (TTP) is focused on a long-term campaign against the Pakistani state”, which implies “that ceasefire deals have a limited chance of success”.

It is important to note that TTP, which has recently been reinvigorated through the return of 17 splinter groups into its fold, feels that maintaining a hardline position in talks with the Pakistan government would help maintain unity in its ranks.

Sirajuddin Haqqani, whose Haqqani Network is said to be independent of the grouping within the Afghan Taliban, has been “relied upon more than anyone else in the de facto administration” to act as an intermediary in this process, which highlights the influence that he holds over TTP and other Pashtun groups.

The report observed that as compared to other foreign militant groups, TTP was the biggest beneficiary of last year's Taliban takeover and used this opportunity for conducting attacks and operations in Pakistan.

Source: Times Of India

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Ashrafi seeks action against those who visited Israel on Pakistani passports

May 29, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) Chairman Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi on Sunday urged the government to take legal action against those who visited Israel on the Pakistani passports.

He, in a communique along with other PUC leadership, made it clear that Pakistan had a very clear and explicit stance on the Palestinian issue and the delegation, which held a meeting with the Israeli president were not representatives of Pakistani people and the state.

He asked the quarters concerned to hold a thorough investigation into the matter on priority.

He said the delegation visited Israel had tried to tarnish the image of Pakistan and Islam. The nation and the state of Pakistan stood by Palestinians for their just cause, he added. Ashrafi said Pakistan would not recognize Israel at any cost and in any circumstances.

He said Kashmir and Palestine were burning issues of the Islamic world, and without their resolutions, peace and stability in the world could not be possible.

He said Israeli government had disgraced all the international resolutions including the United Nations (UN) by allowing the Jewish settlers to forcefully enter in Masajid-Al-Aqsa.

He expressed the hope that a series of atrocities committed by Israeli forces on Palestinians and indignity of Masajid-e-Aqsa would come to an end soon.

Ashrafi urged the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the UN to take notice on disgrace of Masajid-e-Aqsa by Israeli forces.

Source: Pakistan Today

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Haqqani-brokered talks between TTP, GHQ stuck

Abhinandan Mishra

May 28, 2022

New Delhi: The much sought-after ceasefire by the Pakistan army with the Tehreek-E-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) that is being brokered by Sirajuddin Haqqani, acting Minister of Interior of Afghanistan, has got stuck with the army imposing conditions that the TTP is refusing to accept.

The TTP has refused to change its name as is being demanded by General Headquarters (GHQ), Rawalpindi. This condition is being pushed by the GHQ so that it can tell its citizens that the TTP is no longer an armed entity and it has now become a political party.

The second issue of contention is TTP’s demand to demerge Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which the Pakistan army is resisting. The third issue which the army has refused to accept is to allow TTP cadre to return to the FATA along-with their weapons. The Pakistan army has also refused to completely withdraw its troops from the FATA region.

At the third round of talks that took place on Saturday in Kabul, these three issues remained unsolved at the time of the story going to print at 6 pm IST. If these talks are successful then it will be a big achievement for a prominent section within GHQ, Rawalpindi and the civilian government under the new Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif as this will stop the attacks carried out by TTP on the Pakistan army in which scores of officers and soldiers have been killed in the last one year. The Chinese government too has applied significant pressure on the Pakistan government to end the TTP ‘problem’ by any way possible as it is affecting their strategic and financial interests.

Once the ceasefire comes into effect on its Western borders, Pakistan army will also be able to devote a majority of its depleted resources, that are right now engaged in the fight against the TTP, in securing the Chinese interests that are a part of the CPEC projects. Similarly, strategists in GHQ Rawalpindi, once a ceasefire comes into effect, will shift these resources towards its decade-old policy of “bleeding India with thousand cuts”. According to Kabul based sources, Saturday will be the last day of the three rounds of talks if the Pakistan army does not agree to the above mentioned demands of TTP. The talks are likely to go on till night depending on the stand taken by the Pakistan army.  Conversely, if the army agrees to these demands, the talks will continue and a joint statement will be issued. Ground based sources told The Sunday Guardian that most of the other demands that have been forwarded by the TTP have been agreed upon by the Pakistan army.

The importance of the meetings, being held in Kabul, where the ceasefire is being brokered, can be gauged from the fact that they are being conducted in the presence of former ISI chief Faiz Hameed who is representing Pakistan, TTP chief Noor Wali Mehsud and Sirajuddin Haqqani who is acting as the guarantor of safety to both the sides. Hameed was accompanied by a ‘bald’ army officer who was introduced as Major General Taimur to the other members in the meeting room.

Authoritative sources told The Sunday Guardian that the Afghanistan Taliban are “helping” the Pakistan army as they have been told that they will face “problems” from GHQ if they don’t do so. Hameed is presently serving as the Commander of the XI Corps since November 2021 which takes care of the North-Western province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He has been leading the talks with the TTP, against the wishes of his immediate boss but on the direction of other power centers in Pakistan, for quite some time now as was elucidated by this newspaper earlier. (Will the Pakistan army witness an internal coup?)

As per the details of the meetings, the conditions that have been agreed upon by both the sides in the series of talks, the first of which were held in Khost province of Afghanistan, include the release of TTP prisoners who are in various prisons of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Many other “missing” TTP cadres will also be released by the Pakistan army. Pakistan has forwarded a proposal to withdraw about 60% of the troops from the region in regions where TTP hold sway, especially in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) region and replace them with the Frontier Corps, which is a paramilitary force. However, TTP has rejected this condition while demanding complete withdrawal of troops.

Among those who will be released as per the ceasefire agreement includes senior TTP commanders Haji Muslim Khan and Mahmood Khan. Right now, both of them are in the Afghanistan consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan. According to authoritative sources, atleast 10000 TTP cadres are right now incarcerated in various prions of Pakistan, all of whom it has agreed to release

The initial ceasefire will be for one month. In addition, non-Sharia provisions of the Pakistani Constitution will not apply to the area controlled by the TTP.  More importantly, the provisions of “Nizam-e-Adl regulation” which calls for implementation of Shariah law will be implemented in Malakand division that contains 9 districts.

Among other conditions which have been agreed by GHQ includes complete elimination of drone strikes, ending of all cases registered against TTP cadre and monetary compensation for losses that have been incurred by the residents of FATA region to operations carried out by the army. According to sources, a Brigadier of the Pakistan army has been stationed for a long time in Kabul now with the objective to iron out the initial differences as a precursor to the talks involving the top leadership of all the sides.

TTP had also asked GHQ to do whatever it can, diplomatically and politically, to secure the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani national who is serving an 86-year sentence at the Federal Medical Center, Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas. The Pakistan army has, however, refused to accept this condition.

Independent sources told The Sunday Guardian that the Pakistan army has also refused to accept appointing former judge of Islamabad High court, Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, on the position to oversee the army keep its end of the bargain. In 2018, Siddiqui accused the ISI of working on a coup against the Nawaz Sharif government.  Soon enough, he was removed from his position.

TTP sources, however, stated that this demand was not put forward by them. The Nizam-e-Adl Regulation was an Act that was approved by former President Asif Ali Zardari after parliamentary approval on 13 April 2009. The Nizam-e-Adl Regulation envisages establishment of, besides lower courts, Darul Qaza (appellate or revision court) and Darul Darul Qaza (final appellate or revision court). The Qazis and magistrates are bound by the NAR to follow established principles of the Qur’an and Sunnah and recognised opinions of scholars of Islam. It was a part of the SWAT peace accord that was signed in February 2009 between Pakistan and Taliban that had 14 points in it, as follows: 1. The Sharia law will be imposed in Swat, including the whole Malakand division; 2. The Army will gradually withdraw security forces from the region; 3. The government and the Taliban will exchange prisoners; 4. The Taliban will recognise the writ of the government and they will cooperate with the local police; 5. The Taliban will halt attacks on barber and music shops; 6. The Taliban will not display weapons in public; 7. The Taliban will turn in heavy weapons like rocket launchers and mortars to the government; 8. The Taliban will not operate any training camps; 9. The Taliban will denounce suicide attacks; 10. A ban would be placed on raising private militias; 11. The Taliban will cooperate with the government to vaccinate children against diseases like polio; 12. The Madrassa of Maulana Fazlullah in Imam Dherai would be turned into an Islamic University; 13. Only licensed FM radio stations would be allowed to operate in region 14. The Taliban will allow women to work without any fear.

Aafia Siddiqui, a US-educated Pakistani scientist, was jailed in 2010 for attacking American soldiers in Afghanistan. She was the first woman to be suspected of Al-Qaeda links by the US, but was never convicted of it. After she was sentenced, Al-Qaeda›s then number two called on Muslims to «avenge» the decision. According to a source on the ground, the FATA demerger was something that the TTP was not ready to bargain on with the TTP team reportedly stating that ‘either through negotiations or war, Pakistan army will be removed from FATA’.

Source: Sunday Guardian Live

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Notices be issued to Musharraf, successive rulers: IHC

Syed Irfan Raza

May 30, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has directed the federal government to serve notices on former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf and all successive chief executives, including Imran Khan and incumbent premier Shehbaz Sharif, for following an “undeclared tacit approval of the policy regarding enforced disappearances”.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued a 15-page order on Sunday [partly reported on May 26] in a case related to the disappearance of journalist Mudassar Mahmood Naro and five other people after their petitions were fixed for final arguments, but the federal government requested an adjournment.

In the order in the case (Rana Mohammad Akram versus Federation of Pakistan), Justice Minallah said: “Retired Gen Pervez Musharraf and all other successor chief executives i.e. the former prime ministers, including the incumbent holder of the office shall submit their respective affidavits explaining why the court may not order proceedings against them for alleged subversion of the Constitution in the context of undeclared tacit approval of the policy regarding enforced disappearances and thus putting national security at risk by allowing the involvement of law enforcement agencies, particularly the armed forces.”

“Pervez Musharraf has candidly conceded in his autobiography In the Line of Fire that ‘enforced disappearances’ was an undeclared policy of the state,” he said.

“The onus is on each chief executive to rebut the presumption and to explain why they may not be tried for the offence of high treason,” the chief justice said in the order.

He further said the armed forces had and continued to render sacrifices for the security and integrity of the country and ought to be respected by every citizen otherwise security and integrity of the country and its people would be exposed to being jeopardised.

However, the order continued, “the involvement or even a perception of the involvement of the armed forces in acts amounting to violation of human rights and freedom of the citizens weakens and undermines the rule of law”.

Justice Minallah said in case the missing persons were not recovered nor effective and demonstrable actions/decisions were taken by the federal government, the current and former ministers of interior shall appear in person to explain why the petitions might not be decided and exemplary costs imposed upon them for the unimaginable agony and pain suffered by the petitioners on account of lack of response and empathy while dealing with their grievances.

“The learned attorney general shall satisfy the court that in case of alleged disappearances in future why criminal cases may not be ordered to be registered against the chief executives of the federation and the concerned provinces,” the order said.

The court also lamented the role of media for not effectively highlighting the issue of missing persons and observed that, “the print and electronic media has a pivotal role in highlighting the unimaginable ordeal and agony of the families of the missing persons but it appears that they either prefer to ignore the worst form of abuse of state power and violation of fundamental rights or they do not consider it a priority.

The IHC also expressed dissatisfaction over the role of the parliament on the matter, saying “the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and the legislatures of the respective provinces are the most important and crucial organs of the state but nothing has been placed on record to indicate that they may have adopted a proactive role to fulfill their Constitutional obligations.”

The court observed that the phenomenon of enforced disappearances exposed the victims to unimaginable pain and agony and the state, instead of fulfilling its constitutional obligation of protecting its citizens from harm, assumed the role of an executor sans due process.

“The loved ones of the petitioners are missing and the State has so far failed in its constitutional obligation to satisfy them that the disappearances are not ‘enforced disappearances’,” the order added.

If further said the court had exercised utmost restraint to enable the organs and institutions to fulfill their constitutional obligations but, for reasons best known to them, the worst form of abuse of state power and violation of fundamental rights had been dealt with in a manner amounting to mere eye wash.

“The grievances of the petitioners are only a tip of the iceberg because thousands of citizens are reported to be missing and their loved ones have been publically seen demonstrating throughout the country,” it added.

The court vide order, dated 25-11-2021 [partly reported on May 26], had directed the secretary, ministry of interior to arrange an opportunity of audience to the mother and child of a missing journalist, Mudassar Mahmood Naaru, with the then prime minister and members of his cabinet.

The meeting was arranged but nothing was placed on record to indicate the response of the federal cabinet.

The order said it was obvious that the armed forces were subservient to the control and oversight of the organs of the state explicitly described in the above reproduced provision of the Constitution.

It said the court, therefore, afforded a last and final opportunity to the attorney general to argue the petitions.

Source: Dawn

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Islamabad reaffirms pledge to keep working for global peace

May 30, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday reiterated its commitment to maintain peace and stability in the world, particularly in South Asian region, and recalled its capability to ward off any aggression and adventurism.

The civil and military leadership of the country vowed to largely contribute to the United Nation’s peacekeeping missions across the globe.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Pakistan was the largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping missions in the world as it had so far provided about 200,000 personnel.

“Such a gesture also manifested Pakistan’s desire and efforts for peace,” the prime minister said in a message on International Day of the United Nations Peacekeepers observed on Monday.

Civil, military leaderships vow to contribute in UN peacekeeping missions

He paid tribute to efforts, contributions, professionalism and sacrifices of the Pakistani peacekeeping missions under the UN umbrella.

The prime minister also paid tribute to the contributions of the armed forces of Pakistan — Rangers, FC and police — to the UN peacekeeping missions.

The UN secretary-general and other UN offices had lauded and acknowledged the contributions and sacrifices of Pakistan’s peacekeepers, he said, adding that from 1960 to 2022, officers and jawans of Pakistan peacekeepers had played an exemplary and praiseworthy role in the UN missions.

A total of 169 Pakistani peacekeepers had embraced martyrdom while performing duties in the UN missions abroad, the prime minister said, saluting their valour and sacrifices.

“The sons and daughters of the nation have displayed their professional capabilities worldwide by maintaining peace and serving the humankind,” he added.

The prime minister said the international recognition of the professionalism of the armed forces of Pakistan to carry out their responsibilities across the globe in the challenging situations was a matter of great pride.

Meritorious services

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the performance of Pakistani peacekeepers has been acknowledged worldwide by numerous world leaders and the UN leadership in recognition to their meritorious services for global peace.

“On the occasion of World UN Peacekeepers Day, it is worth reiterating that Pakistan stands tall in the comity of nations being one of the largest troops contributing country in the UN peacekeeping efforts,” it said in a press release.

Pakistan’s journey in UN peacekeeping operations began in 1960 when the first-ever Pakistan Army contingent was deployed for operations in Congo.

Over the last 61 years, Pakistan has been the most significant and consistent contributor to UN peacekeeping around the world. Pakistan has hitherto participated in 46 UN peacekeeping missions, including some of the most challenging undertakings.

A day ago, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “Pakistan is committed to promotion of environment of peace and stability in South Asia while preserving its capability to ward off aggression or adventurism in any form.

Source: Dawn

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South Asia


Shia Scholars, Tribal Elders Call On 1st Deputy PM, Mullah Akhund of Islamic Emirate On Peace, Security, And Self-Determination

May 30, 2022

KABUL: First Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund, met with a number of Shia scholars, elders, and tribal elders, late on Sunday, a statement from the deputy prime minister said.

Attaullah Sadiq Shaghasi, head of the Society for Peace and Freedom, and Sayed Hassan Fazelzada, head of the Shia Ulama and Influential Association, spoke on behalf of others at the meeting, which was held at the Marmarin Palace.

Fazilzada spoke on peace, security, and self-determination, adding: “We have always supported the Islamic Emirate and we will continue to do so, and we condemn all actions and attempt which are weakening the current Islamic system,” according to the statement.

He stated the Islamic Emirate as the core of unity and solidarity among the tribes living in Afghanistan and said that the Ulama had always prevented any kind of insurgency and insecurity in the Shiite-populated areas.

Dr. Saddiq Shaghasi also said that the Bonn Conference was a document of the birth of occupation, ethnic and regional prejudices, and on the contrary, the Doha Agreement could be considered as a document of freedom, unity, and brotherhood among the nations.

He further added that former tribal dictators and other intelligence operatives who have maintained their interests in dividing nations are no longer working here.

They also shared their suggestions in writing with the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs.

Welcoming the Shia religious figures, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund said: “Afghanistan is the common home of all Afghans and working for its development is the common responsibility of all Afghans.”

The position of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is clear, he said. “Our door is open to every citizen of Afghanistan and the Islamic Emirate welcomes any Afghans wanted to serve their country and the people.

Source: the Kabul Times

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Al-Qaida and Islamic Emirate Relationship 'Remains Close’: UN

May 30, 2022

"The relationship between the Taliban and Al-Qaida remains close, with the latter celebrating the former’s success and renewing its pledge of allegiance to [Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada]," a UN report said.

The Islamic Emirate has yet to comment on this latest claim but has earlier denied reports of the presence of terrorist groups in Afghanistan.

The UN Security Council released a report by the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team which assessed the presence of Al-Qaeda and Daesh groups in Afghanistan.

“Member State assessments thus far suggest that Al-Qaida has a safe haven under the Taliban and increased freedom of action. Ayman al-Zawahiri has issued more frequent recorded messages since August, and there is now proof of life for him as recently as February 2022,” the report said.

The report estimated an approximate presence of "180 to 400 fighters affiliated with Al-Qaeda" from "Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Pakistan" who are settled in "Ghazni, Helmand, Kandahar, Nimruz, Paktika and Zabul provinces."

“The Islamic Emirate has yet to reach a final discussion regarding this issue. The officials of the Islamic Emirate should provide final assurances in this regard,” said Shir Hassan Hassan, an international relations analyst.

“After the killing of (Osama bin Laden), the al-Qaeda has become a diminished organization. In fact, al-(Qaeda) is not an important danger to the world,” said Torek Farhadi, a political analyst.

“These are the excuses for the Islamic Emirate. The Islamic Emirate should clarify its stance about whether it has a link with Al-Qaeda or not. If not, then clearly deny it,” said Sayed Ishaq Gailani, leader of the National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan.

Source: Tolo News

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Protester Women: The Taliban Intervenes Private Affairs of the People Instead of Addressing Economic Issues

By Saqalain Eqbal

29 May 2022

Some women walked to the streets once more to protest the Taliban’s crackdown on women and denial of girls’ access to education.

On Sunday, 29th May, protesting women marched against the Taliban’s actions in the face of rising poverty and unemployment, as well as the Taliban’s actions against women, accusing the group of intruding in people’s private matters.

The Taliban suppressed a women’s demonstration in front of Maryam High School last week, and again women are claimed to have been suppressed by the Taliban today at the Sadarat square in Kabul’s second district.

“Instead of concentrating about addressing people’s issues and coming up with solutions to poverty and unemployment,” the demonstrators shouted, “those in power are doing their best to implement restrictions against women and have interference with the most private affairs.”

Source: Khaama Press

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The Taliban in Kandahar Stops Arms and Ammunition from Being Smuggled into Pakistan

By Saqalain Eqbal

29 May 2022

A man has been caught in Kandahar province in connection with weaponry smuggling to Pakistan, according to local Taliban officials.

On Saturday, 28th of May, the Bakhtar state news agency stated that Taliban forces had discovered and apprehended a man who was attempting to smuggle a substantial quantity of weapons and ammunition through Spin Boldak.

Four Kalashnikovs, three M16s, three PK machine guns, 900 heavy machine gun bullets, 33 grenades, and other ammunition were discovered with the detainee, according to the report.

Taliban security officials in Ghazni province had previously announced the arrest of three people in connection with weapons smuggling into Pakistan.

Military equipment is alleged to have been smuggled out of Afghanistan and into neighboring countries, mainly Pakistan, following the fall of the Afghan government.

Source: Khaama Press

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Arab World


Turkiye ‘neutralizes’ 18 PKK terrorists in northern Iraq

Merve Aydogan


Turkish security forces "neutralized" at least 18 PKK terrorists as part of Turkiye’s Operation Claw-Lock in northern Iraq, the country’s National Defense Ministry said Saturday.

The ministry said the operation was carried out by combat drones in terror zones in the region, adding that Turkish forces are determined to continue fighting terrorists.

Turkish authorities use the term "neutralize" to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

The ministry also shared footage of the anti-terror operation.

Turkiye launched Operation Claw-Lock last month to target PKK hideouts in northern Iraq’s Metina, Zap, and Avasin-Basyan regions. It was preceded by Operations Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle, which were launched in 2020 to root out terrorists who hide in northern Iraq and plot cross-border attacks in Turkiye.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Egypt court sentences Muslim Brotherhood’s Aboul-Fotouh to 15 years in prison

May 29, 2022

The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced former presidential candidate and member of the former Guidance Bureau of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Fotouh and Mahmoud Ezzat, the acting Supreme Guide of the group, and six others to 15 years in prison.

The court also sentenced 15 others to lifetime imprisonment, and sentenced two defendants to 10 years in prison.

The court convicted all the defendants of leading and membership of a terrorist group that carries out hostile operations against public institutions, with the aim of bringing down the state.

The prosecution charged Ezzat and Aboul-Fotouh, his son and others that from 1992 to 2018, they led a terrorist group, aiming to use force, violence, threats and intimidation with the aim of disturbing public order and endangering the safety, security of society, harming individuals and terrorizing them.

They have also been charged with harming social peace and national security, preventing and obstructing public authorities and government from carrying out their work and obstructing the application of the provisions of the Constitution, laws and regulations.

The prosecution explained that they took over the leadership of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood, which aims to change the regime by force and undertakes the implementation of hostile operations against judges, members of the armed forces and the police, their institutions, and public facilities, with the aim of overthrowing the state, disturbing public order and endangering the safety and security of society.

Source: Egypt Independen

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Turkey’s Syria operation could happen ‘suddenly’: President Erdogan

29 May, 2022

Turkey’s president told journalists that Ankara remains committed to rooting out a Syrian Kurdish militia from northern Syria.

“Like I always say, we’ll come down on them suddenly one night. And we must,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on his plane following his Saturday visit to Azerbaijan, according to daily Hurriyet newspaper and other media.

Without giving a specific timeline, Erdogan said that Turkey would launch a cross-border operation against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, which it considers a terrorist group linked to an outlawed Kurdish group that has led an insurgency against Turkey since 1984. That conflict with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, PKK, has killed tens of thousands of people.

However, the YPG forms the backbone of US-led forces in the fight against the ISIS group. American support for the group has infuriated Ankara and remains a major issue in their relations.

Turkey considers the PKK and the YPG to be one and the same.

The YPG and its affiliated political party have controlled much of northeastern Syria after the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad withdrew in 2012.

“All coalition forces, leading with the US, have provided these terror groups a serious amount of weapons, vehicles, tools, ammunition and they continue to do so. The US has given them thousands of trucks,” Erdogan said.

He warned that Turkey wouldn’t need anyone’s permission to fight terror.

“If the US is not fulfilling its duty in combating terror, what will we do? We will take care of ourselves,” he declared.

While acknowledging Turkey’s security concerns, US State Department spokesman Ned Price has voiced concerns about Turkey’s plans, saying a new offensive could undermine regional stability and put American forces at risk.

Ankara has launched four cross-border operations into Syria since 2016 and controls some territories in the north with the goal of pushing away the YPG and establishing a 30-kilometer (19-mile) deep safe zone where Erdogan hopes to “voluntarily” return Syrian refugees.

In 2019, an incursion into northeast Syria against the YPG drew widespread international condemnation, prompting Finland, Sweden and others to restrict arms sales to Turkey. Now Turkey is blocking the two Nordic countries' historic bid to join NATO because of the weapons ban and their alleged support for the Kurdish groups.

Turkey has stepped up military operations against the PKK in northern Iraq, where they are based. The PKK is considered a terror group by Turkey, the US and the European Union.

Source: Al Arabiya

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UAE President receives Egypt, Jordan PMs in Abu Dhabi to sign agreement

29 May, 2022

President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed received Jordan and Egypt’s Prime Ministers Bisher al-Khasawneh and Mostafa Madbouly on Saturday, Emirates News Agency WAM reported.

The pair are in the UAE for a tripartite meeting to launch and sign the ‘industrial partnership for Sustainable Economic Growth,’ an agreement between the three countries which is set to be outlined in detail on Sunday.

The partnership aims to achieve economic sustainable development between Egypt, the UAE and Jordan, and contribute to supporting industrial integration among the three countries, WAM reported.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Rocket attack targets military base housing US forces in eastern Syria

29 May 2022

Several BM-21 Grad rockets have reportedly hit military facilities housing US occupation forces in Syria’s oil-producing northern province of Dayr al-Zawr.

At least a dozen projectiles struck the vicinity of the US-controlled al-Omar oil field on Sunday morning, according to Sabereen News, a Telegram news channel associated with Iraqi anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units, which is better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi.

There were no immediate reports of serious injuries and the extent of damage caused.

The development came a day after the Russian military dispatched attack helicopters and fighter jets to its base in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah.

Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network, citing informed sources, reported on Saturday that Russia sent the reinforcement to the Syrian airbase near the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli as part of an ongoing military buildup.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reaffirmed Moscow’s determination to support Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and said Russian forces are in the Arab country upon a request from the Damascus government.

“The presence of Russian forces in Syria is in full compliance with the UN Charter and principles. They perform duties outlined in the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254,” Lavrov told Russia’s RT television news network.

The Russia foreign minister added that the crisis in Syria can only be resolved through respect for the Arab nation’s sovereignty and regional safety.

“We will support the Syrian leadership in its efforts to restore the territorial integrity of the Arab republic,” Lavrov stressed.

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

Damascus, however, maintains the deployment is meant to plunder the country's rich mineral resources.

Former US President Donald Trump admitted on more than one occasion that American forces were in the Arab country for its oil.

After failing to oust the Syrian government through militant proxies and direct involvement in the conflict, the US government has stepped up its economic war on the Arab country.

In June 2020, the US enacted the so-called Caesar Act that imposed the toughest sanctions ever on Syria intending to choke off revenue sources for the government.

The sanctions have crippled the war-torn country’s economy by barring foreign companies from doing trade with Damascus.

Source: Press TV

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Sudan lifts state of emergency after deadly anti-coup protests

30 May 2022

Sudan’s army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has lifted a state of emergency imposed since the October 25 coup, a day after new deadly anti-coup protests.

The Transitional Sovereign Council said in a statement on Sunday that Burhan “issued a decree lifting the state of emergency nationwide.”

According to the statement, the decision was aimed to create the right atmosphere for “a fruitful and meaningful dialog that achieves stability during the transitional period.”

The move came after the latest calls by Volker Perthes, the special representative of the UN secretary-general for Sudan, for ending the state of emergency, following the murder of two protesters during massive protests on Saturday in the impoverished country’s capital, Khartoum, against last year’s military coup.

Burhan’s decree also came after a meeting with senior military officials who recommended the state of emergency be lifted and people detained under an emergency law be released.

The Sudanese military, led by Burhan, seized power last October, after detaining Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other civilian leaders and dissolving the year-old transitional government as well as the joint ruling military-civilian sovereign council formed after the 2019 ouster of longtime President Omar al-Bashir.

Back then, Burhan declared a state of emergency and vowed to form what he called a competent government.

The move drew anger and outrage across the North African country and sparked international condemnations, including from the UN Security Council. The country has been rocked by protests since then that have left nearly 100 people dead and hundreds injured.

Hundreds of activists have also been arrested in the clampdown under emergency laws.

Hamdok was restored in his post as part of a political deal with military rulers of the restive African country, but he resigned earlier in January amid a political impasse and large-scale protests.

Source: Press TV

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UN envoy decries Sudan violence after 2 killed in protests

29 May, 2022

The UN envoy for Sudan on Sunday decried the killing of two people in a violent crackdown against pro-democracy protesters who once again took to the streets of the capital to denounce an October military coup.

Hundreds of people marched Saturday in Khartoum, where security forces violently dispersed the crowds and chased them in the streets, according to activists.

“I am appalled by the violent death of two young protesters in Khartoum yesterday, Once again: it is time for the violence to stop,” said Volker Perthes, the UN envoy, on Twitter.

The two were killed during protests in Khartoum’s Kalakla neighborhood. One was shot dead by security forces and the other suffocated after inhaling tear gas, according to the Sudan Doctors Committee, which is part of the pro-democracy movement.

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Perthes urged military authorities to lift the state of emergency imposed since the Oct. 25 coup and find a “peaceful way out of the current crisis.”

Sudan has been plunged into turmoil since the military takeover upended its short-lived transition to democracy after three decades of repressive rule by former strongman Omar al-Bashir. Al-Bashir and his Islamist-backed government were removed by the military in a popular uprising in April 2019.

Later Sunday, the Security and Defense Council, Sudan's highest body that decides on security matters, recommended the lifting of the state of emergency and the release of all detainees, said Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Yassin Ibrahim Yassin.

The recommendations came in a meeting chaired by Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the ruling sovereign council. They were meant to facilitate dialogue between the military and the pro-democracy movement, Yasmin said in a video statement.

Saturday’s protests were part of relentless demonstrations in the past seven months calling for the military to hand over power to civilians. At least 98 people have been killed and over 4,300 wounded in the government crackdown on anti-coup protests since October, according to the medical group. Hundreds of activists and officials in the disposed government were also detained following the coup, many were later released under pressure from the UN and other western governments.

The protesters demand the removal of the military from power. The generals, however, have said they will only hand over power to an elected administration. They say elections will take place in July 2023 as planned in a constitutional document governing the transition period.

The UN, the African Union and the eight-nation east African regional group called the Intergovernmental Authority in Development have been leading concerted efforts to bridge the gap between the two sides and find a way out of the impasse.

Meanwhile, the trial of four activists accused of killing a senior police officer during a protest earlier this year began Sunday amid tight security outside the Judicial and Legal Science Institute in Khartoum. Dozens of protesters gathered in the area in a show of support for the defendants.

The four were detained in raids after police Col. Ali Hamad was stabbed to death as security forces dispersed protesters on Jan. 13. Their defense lawyers deny the allegations.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Trial begins for Sudanese protesters accused of killing police officer

29 May, 2022

The trial for four Sudanese protesters accused of killing a police officer earlier this year began in Khartoum on Sunday, amid anti-military demonstrators and heavy police presence.

The four men, accused of the fatal stabbing of a police brigadier-general in January, were seen by a Reuters witness entering the courtroom in Khartoum, raising their fists and making victory signs.

The four men, who have become emblems of the anti-military protest movement, deny the charges.

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Families of the men and lawyers representing them have accused authorities of torturing at least one of the men, known by his nickname Tupac.

Lawyer Abdelazim Hassan, part of the legal team representing the men, said the judge hearing the case ordered that the men undergo a medical examination.

Sudanese military leaders have said that the men are subject to normal criminal procedures.

Outside the courtroom protesters chanted: “Tupac is not a killer,” and “Burhan is a killer,” referring to General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan who led an October coup.

The coup ended a two-year power-sharing arrangement between the military and civilian groups following the ouster of Omar al-Bashir. Since then there have been weekly mass protests against the coup.

Two protesters were killed on Saturday by security forces during protests in the al-Kalakla neighbourhood on the outskirts of Khartoum, medics said, bringing the number of people who have died in the protests to 98.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Tunisian court bans travel for Ennahda party chief, 33 others

28 May, 2022

A court in Tunisia has issued a travel ban on 34 people, including the head of Ennahdha party, all suspected of involvement in an alleged parallel security service reportedly put into place after the 2011 Tunisian revolution.

Ennahdha party chief Rachid Ghannouchi and 33 others have been targeted in an investigation into the alleged service, dubbed the “secret apparatus,” which has been blamed by some for the still-unsolved murders of two leftist militants in 2013.

The spokeswoman for the court in Ariana, Fatma Bougottaya, claimed on Friday night that the suspects had illegally gained access to information concerning state institutions and allegedly shared it with someone with no legitimate reason to have it, which amounts to an abuse of power. She did not elaborate.

The travel bans were issued on orders of Justice Minister Leila Jaffel, the court spokeswoman told Radio Mosaique.

Ghannouchi, who also headed Tunisia’s parliament — which was suspended then dissolved by Tunisian President Kais Saied — said in a statement that the “so-called secret apparatus is pre-fabricated” and represents a “falsification of facts.” He denounced “a deliberate operation” by authorities “with a goal of distracting the public from true problems” like the political and economic crisis and social problems in the North African country.

He denounced “continued pressure exercised by President Saied” on the judiciary, which he has ordered to hunt out corruption.

Ghannouchi, an adamant adversary of the president, has denounced the exceptional and controversial measures taken by Saied last July 25 as a “coup d’etat,” claiming the goal was to restore a dictatorship in Tunisia.

Saied conferred on himself sweeping powers. Besides dissolving parliament, Saied fired the prime minister and gave himself the power to rule by decree — measures the president claimed were needed to “save the country from imminent peril” and fight widespread corruption.

Source: Al Arabiya

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At least 31 killed in church stampede in southern Nigeria

Ahmet Emin Donmez  


YAOUNDE, Cameroon

At least 31 people were reportedly killed during a stampede at a church charity event in southern Nigeria on Saturday.

According to local media, the charity program was held by the church to help needy people in Port Harcourt, the capital city of Rivers state.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Tunisia calls for solving Libyan crisis via dialogue

Yousra Ounass  


TUNIS, Tunisia

Tunisian Foreign Minister Othman Jerandi on Saturday reiterated his country's support for a solution based on dialogue and consensus to the crisis in Libya.

Jerandi met on Saturday with the head of Libya’s Presidency Council, Mohamed al-Menfi, in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, on the sidelines of an extraordinary summit of the African Union.

Tunisia is ready “to stand with Libya and support it in all international events and forums so that it regains its position as an effective country that plays its full role with the rest of the countries in the region," the top diplomat said.

Al-Menfi, for his part, expressed his gratitude for the Tunisian position in support of the Libyan consensus, expressing hope that neighboring countries and the international community will continue to support Libya in every way that will facilitate an intra-Libyan solution.

For more than two months, there have been two governments in Libya: the national unity government led by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh and another one that was granted confidence in early March by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives. The latter is led by parliament-appointed Prime Minister Fathi Bashaga.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Erdogan says Turkey will not allow ‘terrorism-supporting’ states join NATO

29 May 2022

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he will not allow “terrorism-supporting” countries enter NATO, days after Sweden and Finland submitted official bids to join the US-led military alliance.

Late Saturday, Erdogan said last week's Turkey-hosted talks with Finland and Sweden about their NATO membership bids “did not happen at the desired level” and that Ankara could not say yes to “terrorism-supporting” countries.

“Unfortunately, the talks held by our delegation with Finland and Sweden were not at the desired level,” he told reporters on his plane following a trip to Azerbaijan.

“They are not honest or sincere. We cannot repeat the mistakes made in the past on (admitting) countries that embrace and feed such terrorists into NATO, which is a security organization,” Erdogan added.

Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine, which began on February 24, sparked security concerns in both Nordic countries, prompting Stockholm and Helsinki to seek membership in NATO.

Turkey, a member of NATO since 1952, has accused Sweden, and to some extent Finland, of providing sanctuary to elements linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as well as the Gulen movement, which Ankara accuses of involvement in a 2016 coup attempt.

Both groups are considered “terrorist” groups by Turkey. The PKK is also on the “terrorist” lists of the US and the EU.

Additionally, Sweden and Finland, among others, also placed restrictions on arms exports to Turkey after its military offensive against the US-supported People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria in 2019. Ankara views the YPG as an extension of the PKK.

The Turkish government has called on Stockholm and Helsinki to take concrete actions and stop what Ankara calls supporting terrorist groups in order for Turkey to agree to their NATO membership bid.

All 30 NATO members must unanimously agree on admitting new members, so that they can benefit from the pact’s collective-security guarantee.

Source: Press TV

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France denounces Iran’s seizure of two Greek tankers

30 May, 2022

Iran's seizure of two Greek-flagged oil tankers in Gulf waters is “a serious violation of international law”, France's foreign ministry said Sunday, calling for the immediate release of the ships and their crews.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards seized the Greek tankers in the Gulf Friday, days after Athens confirmed it would deliver to Washington Iranian oil it had seized from a Russian tanker.

“We call on Iran to immediately release the crews and vessels,” a French foreign ministry spokesperson said in a statement

“France reiterates its commitment to the rules of international law protecting the freedom of navigation and maritime safety. We call on Iran to immediately cease its actions that contravene these rules,” the statement concluded.

Iran said Saturday the crews of two Greek oil tankers were in “good health” and not under arrest.

But Greece has condemned Tehran's detention of the two ships as “tantamount to acts of piracy” and warned its citizens not to travel to Iran.

The Revolutionary Guards -- the ideological arm of Iran's military -- had said it seized the tankers “due to violations”, without elaborating further.

Greece said one of the tankers had been sailing in international waters, while the second was near the Iranian coast when it was seized.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Pope Francis hails President Erdogan's efforts to end war in Ukraine, says Turkish envoy

Merve Aydogan  


Pope Francis appreciates the Turkish president's efforts to reconcile Ukraine and Russia, said Turkiye's envoy to the Vatican on Sunday.

"The Pope expressed his gratitude to Turkey, which has been in contact with both sides since the beginning of the conflict and has been working for peace," Ambassador Lutfullah Goktas said on Twitter, recounting his meeting with Francis to discuss Russia's war on Ukraine.

Saying of their meeting that a "solution can only be found through diplomacy and negotiations, not thru war," Goktas added: "The only possible way to establish a ceasefire and begin negotiations is through diplomacy."

Gokas also told the pontiff about Turkiye's diplomatic initiatives and humanitarian assistance efforts, stressing that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "is still trying to reconcile" Russia and Ukraine.

Goktas also noted that Turkiye "attaches great importance to (the) Pope's calls for peace to the sides."

"I was extremely pleased to observe that the Pope, who has been closely following our President's reconciliation efforts, is also sharing the same sensitivities with our country," he added.

Goktas also told Francis about Turkiye's fight against terror groups "for years for its national security," and said the country expects its allies "to display the same determination."

Like the Holy See, Turkiye wants the wars and human tragedies to come to an end, he noted.

At least 4,301 civilians have been killed and 4,735 injured since the war in Ukraine began on Feb. 24, according to UN estimates. The true toll is believed to be significantly higher.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Turkish president receives foreign ministers of UAE, Poland, Romania

Berk Özkan  


Turkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Poland and Romania in Istanbul on Friday.

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s visit to Turkiye comes as another step in the two countries’ ongoing efforts to revitalize ties and to end a feud that has long defined geopolitics in the Middle East and North Africa.

Al Nahyan also held talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Erdogan held a joint meeting with Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu and Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau, who were in Istanbul for a trilateral meeting of the top diplomats of Turkiye, Poland and Romania.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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