New Age Islam
Sat Aug 08 2020, 07:55 AM

Islamic World News ( 28 Sept 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

In Kanchi mutt, muezzin's call coincides with morning puja

Australia’s first Muslim MP sworn in on the holy Quran

Shah Rukh Khan a symbol of religious unity: Vienna University to debate

A Nawab's lesson in conflict resolution

I am a Christian by choice, says Obama

‘Pak army chief Kayani is a liar’

Karzai weeps on TV and pleads for peace

Kashmir: ‘Cops’ threw stones at cops

Ayodhya verdict: Anxious moments for all parties

Kerala civic polls: CPM, Cong expect support from Islamists

Cong banks on upper castes, Muslims in first list for Bihar

Kasab challenges death penalty in Bombay High Court

Altaf demands Dr Aafia’s immediate release

No Krishna-Qureshi meeting in New York

Disney, Muslim worker agree on hijab substitute

Plot to attack European cities by Pakistan-based militants foiled

'At ground zero, nothing will change'

BJP welcomes SC decision, appeals for peace

Pakistan in IAEA chair doesn't bother India

Tipu Sultan's 24 paintings highlight of Sotheby's sale

Expert calls for new fatwa on brain dead

Charges against IIROSA a bunch of lies, says Al-Turki

Passive Cong settles for a calculated risk on Babri

Taliban using Afghan province ‘Kuner’ as safe haven: Malik

Afghan deputy governor, son killed in suicide attack in Ghazni

Clinton warns Pakistan to make the rich pay up

Bangladesh: Awami League says Hasina not safe

Israel stops Jewish activist yacht on way to Gaza

Netanyahu says Mideast peace talks must go on

S. Arabia achieves? UN millennium goals Habib Shaikh

Israel kills three Palestinian militants: medics

US soldier held in killing of two comrades in Iraq

Obama's pitch: Fix Kashmir for UN Security Council seat

Hoax by spurned lover grounds Pakistani flight

Pioneer Iran blogger sentenced to 19 years prison

Court to view today CCTV footage showing Kasab assaulting jail staff

Pakistan rakes up Kashmir issue in UN, offers to engage India

Petraeus: Taliban reached out to Kabul for peace talks

Afghanistan-Pakistan al-Qaida chief 'killed by US drone'

Air strikes mount pressure on Pakistan

US warns Pak of ground ops to dismantle terror networks

Gunmen kidnap Nigerian schoolchildren, seek $130,000 ransom

‘Pak diverting US military aid to target India’

Afghan government sets up 70-member peace council

Outstanding issues need to be resolved, says Qureshi

Afghan pullout to hurt Pakistan, India: Obama

Action will be taken against fake degree rackets: Pak Senate told

US lowers threshold for drone strikes

Bahrain minister turns teacher? for a day

Iraq: One of history's greatest crimes

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/in-kanchi-mutt,-muezzin-s-call-coincides-with-morning-puja/d/3478

 

--------

In Kanchi mutt, muezzin's call coincides with morning puja

Kamini Mathai

29 September 2010

KANCHEEPURAM: Every day at 6am, the seers at the world-famous Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham in Kancheepuram are up and about, getting ready for their gaja puja — prayers for the elephants housed on the premises. Around the same time, the muezzin at the Sunnath Jamaath Jumma Masjid next door can be heard calling to the faithful for the morning namaz.

While the priests at the Peetham go about chanting their slokas, the prayers go on at the mosque next door simultaneously. One does not stop for the other nor disturb the other. The prayers continue in unison. The prayers begin with clockwork precision every day and are a celebration of the harmonious coexistence of two religions.

"It's been this way since I took over as the Shankaracharya in 1984," says Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal, the 69th pontiff of the Peetham.

"I think it is most beautiful and unique to hear both the namaz calls and the suprabhatham at the same time," says the 76-year-old seer. In nine years, Rukmini Raman, 70, has almost never missed a day of bhajans at the Peetham. She is at the mandapam at the crack of dawn, ready to sing as the main pontiff goes about his morning pujas. "While singing I can hear the muezzin's call and for me it's beautiful," she says.

It is not just in the mornings that the pujas and prayers coincide. It happens in the afternoon, then again at 4.30pm, and finally at 6.30pm. "We share four of the five prayer timings," says the pontiff with a smile.

Every day, around 500 people pass through the gates of the Peetham. The mosque has around the same number of visitors too, except on Fridays when the crowds at both places treble as Friday is a holy day for Muslims, while the Peetham has two special pujas.

Crowds or no, it has never been a problem coexisting next to each other, says Mullah Rizwan Sahib of the mosque. "We never get in each other's way. We do not disturb the other's proceedings and it is wonderful to carry on side by side like this." Each religion, says Jayendra Saraswathi, has its own beauty and charm and it is good to understand them. "You will find this harmony only here in Kancheepuram," he adds, perhaps alluding to the verdict on the Ayodhya issue which is due soon.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/In-Kanchi-mutt-muezzins-call-coincides-with-morning-puja/articleshow/6647876.cms#ixzz10tTg31ck

--------

Australia’s first Muslim MP sworn in on the holy Quran

29 September 2010

SYDNEY: The first Muslim elected to Australia’s parliament was sworn in on Tuesday with his hand on the holy Quran.

Ed Husic, whose mother and father are Bosnian migrants, said it was an enormous privilege to serve in Canberra as he conceded that his unique place in Australian political history was something of a milestone.

“Given my background, there are some people taking a small slice of pride or happiness,” he told The Australian.

Husic, a former union boss who grew up in Sydney, won his place in the 150-seat House of Representatives in Canberra for the ruling Labour Party in the August 21 polls.

He was among the MPs sworn into Australia’s 43rd parliament by the high court chief justice in Canberra on Tuesday.

Husic was upfront about his religion when interviewed last month.

“If someone asks me if I’m a Muslim, I say yes. And then if someone says ‘Well do you pray and go to a mosque and do all the other things that are associated with the faith?’ I say no,” he told ABC TV last month. afp

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\29\story_29-9-2010_pg7_30

--------

Shah Rukh Khan a symbol of religious unity: Vienna University to debate

Sep 29, 2010

VIENNA: Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is seen as an icon of religious unity by many the world over and experts will deliberate upon the topic at a three-day conference from Thursday at Vienna University.

Titled "Shah Rukh Khan and Global Bollywood", the meet will not be attended by the superstar himself, but he has said he feels humbled by the endeavour. Some 40 speakers from universities around the world will discuss a wide range of topics revolving around Shah Rukh who is seen as a global cultural phenomenon.

The actor is lauded for playing both Hindu and Muslim characters on screen.

Shah Rukh, who is shooting round the clock for "Ra.One", said in an e-mail forwarded by Karuna Badwal, executive assistant at his company Red Chillies Entertainment that he has prior commitments but sends his very best wishes.

Adelheid Hermann-Pfandt, professor of Religious Studies at Germany's University of Marburg, told IANS: "One of the most remarkable features of Indian cinema is its inter-religious character."

Like many other Europeans, Hermann-Pfandt first experienced the inter-religious oneness of god through a Shah Rukh film.

Titled "And I Love Hinduism Also, Shah Rukh Khan: A Muslim Voice for Inter-religious Peace in India", Hermann-Pfandt's talk will look at the importance of a public role model like Shah Rukh in the promotion of ideas of unity among human beings within India and abroad.

Jaspreet Gill from Canada's York University finds "My Name Is Khan" remarkable for its positive portrayal of practising Muslims.

Bollywood is in the habit of portraying Muslims mostly as stock characters and famous for the cinematic othering of muslims either by demonising them, showing them as exotic or marginalised. In "My Name Is Khan", Shah Rukh's character speaks refreshingly of the global relevance of tolerance and understanding of the other, points out Gill.

"This positive imaging has led to the film playing to packed theatres in Pakistan which bodes well for an emerging solidarity between India and Pakistan," adds Gill who will elaborate on Shah Rukh's reinvention of the Muslim hero in "My Name Is Khan".

Huma Dar from Berkeley's University of California sees the film, which was directed by Karan Johar, as a sincere effort to show the plight of those deemed dispensable, less grievable, more precarious, inherently threatening in an era of both permanent wars and undeclared wars on other people, practices, faiths, traditions and languages.

Just because Muslim artists in Mumbai no longer take on Hindu names, it might be tempting to conclude that the playing field is level. But the kerfuffle around the film "My Name Is Khan" is ample evidence that the Muslim name carries a bonus as well as an onus and the two are intimately intertwined, Dar declares.

In "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham" (K3G), Arno Krimmer sees many traits of Lord Rama or the ideal man. This similarity between K3G and the epic Ramayana deserves notice by critics, scholars and audiences alike, argues Krimmer, an Austrian filmmaker who is the first foreign Resident Faculty at Pune's Film and Television Institute of India where he taught screenplay writing.

London-based filmmaker Nasreen Munni Kabir will kick-start the conference with a paper on "The Worlds of Shah Rukh Khan" at the 19th century building of Vienna's Museum of Ethnology, near the imperial palace. Kabir produced the documentary "The Inner and the Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan" in 2004.

Participants include Rajinder Dudrah, head of the Department of Drama, University of Manchester and author of The Bollywood Reader, and Ashish Rajadhyaksha from Bangalore's Centre for Studies in Culture and Society.

To the question why Shah Rukh, Professor Elke Mader, Dean Cultural and Social Anthropology Institute of Vienna University, said: "In German-speaking countries his films have developed a cult media and a very active fan culture. Khan's capacity to negotiate and to integrate opposites and extremes and to connect with diverse audiences worldwide as well as his art of expressing emotions make him not only a superstar but a very significant figure in times of global mediascapes and cultural flows."

Anna Mandel, a German sculpture and painter, will exhibit from her work titled Sentiment-SRK, an on-going project that includes the painting of 108 faces of the superstar.

Yet another exhibition will display the rich memorabilia collected over time particularly by ardent Shah Rukh fans like Maria-Stella Hinterndorfer.

The conference will include two screenings - "Kesariy Balam", Austria's first Bollywood style film directed by Sandeep Kumar and "Mr Khan Vienna Loves You", a documentary on hardcore Shah Rukh fans in Vienna by Ali Hasnain, a 24-year-old graduate of Vienna's School for Audio Engineering.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Shah-Rukh-Khan-a-symbol-of-religious-unity-Vienna-University-to-debate/articleshow/6648416.cms#ixzz10tU7m6f4

--------

A Nawab's lesson in conflict resolution

Ashish Tripathi

29 September 2010

LUCKNOW: If history is meant to take lessons, here is one. A dispute in Ayodhya similar to the Babri masjid-Ram temple was resolved by the last Nawab of Oudh, Wajid Ali Shah, in 1855 with urgency, not allowing communal forces to spread their tentacles.

It was the time when British were taking over Oudh. Hanuman Garhi and temples around it in Ayodhya were constructed with the help of Nawab Safdarjung, the great grandfather of Wajid Ali Shah. In 1855, an accusation by a Muslim that a masjid located among the cluster of temples have been demolished by Hindus led to clashes in which over 100 people were killed. Nawab sent a three-member panel comprising a Muslim, a Hindu and a British to probe the matter. The panel found the allegations of Muslims were false.

But a hardliner, Maulvi Ameer Ali, wanted to 'reconstruct' the mosque. Nawab sought a fatwa. Chief cleric Mujtahid Sayyad Muhammad Nasirbad consulted Ulema from Firangi Mahal and issued a fatwa that since there was no mosque, constructing one would be against Islam. Nawab's forces defeated and killed Ameer Ali near Rudauli. The dispute was solved.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/A-Nawabs-lesson-in-conflict-resolution/articleshow/6647861.cms#ixzz10tUcsiLE

--------

I am a Christian by choice, says Obama

Sep 29, 2010

ALBUQUERQUE: US President Barack Obama said on Tuesday he was a Christian "by choice" in remarks lent added significance by recent surveys showing many Americans think mistakenly that he is a Muslim.

"I am a Christian by choice," Obama said at a backyard conversation with voters in New Mexico, in response to a question from a woman who asked him why he followed the faith.

Obama said he was not raised by a family that frequently went to church, but said that he came to his Christianity late in life, saying it was the teachings of Jesus Christ that inspired "the kind of life I would want to lead."

"I think, also understanding that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the kind of humility we all have to have as human beings."

But Obama also said that the United States must stick by its constitutional requirements to allow freedom of all religions, as well as offering a home to atheists and agnostics.

A Time magazine poll in August found that 24 percent of respondents wrongly said Obama is a Muslim.

Some 18 percent said the same in a study from the non-partisan Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

The surveys were taken at the height of a controversy over plans to build a Muslim cultural center near the Ground Zero site of the felled World Trade Center in New York.

Obama spoke out for the right of Muslims to build the center, despite its unpopularity so close to the epicenter of the September 11 attacks in 2001.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/I-am-a-Christian-by-choice-says-Obama/articleshow/6648184.cms#ixzz10tV7bDWL

--------

‘Pak army chief Kayani is a liar’

29 September 2010

FRUSTRATED over Pakistan’s lacklustre response to the war against terrorism, US President Barack Obama sent his top aides to warn Islamabad that he would have no option but to respond, if they did not take decisive action against terrorists’ safe havens.

Adding to the frustration, the allpowerful Pakistani army chief Gen.

Ashfaq Parvez Kayani refused to adhere to any of the four demands the US made through US national security adviser Gen. James Jones and CIA chief Leon Panetta in May this year just after a failed bomb plot at Times Square in New York by Pakistani- American Faisal Shahzad.

This was revealed in investigative journalist Bob Woodward’s latest book, Obama’s War . “ The President wants everyone in Pakistan to understand that if such an attack connected to a Pakistani group is successful there are some things even he would not be able to stop. Just as there are political realities in Pakistan, there are such realities in the US as well. No one will be able to stop the response and consequences.

Full report at: Mail Today

--------

Karzai weeps on TV and pleads for peace

29 September 2010

AFGHAN President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday broke down in tears as he called on his countrymen to “come to their senses” or risk seeing the next generation flee the country.

Speaking on national television, he identified members of a peace council that will attempt to seek a political rather than a military solution to the Taliban insurgency. And he spoke of his fears that the problems in the country could drive his son Mirwais away from his homeland.

He said: “I do not want Mirwais, my son, to be a foreigner, I do not want this.” “I want Mirwais to be Afghan. Therefore, come to your senses... you are witnessing what is happening on our soil and only through our efforts can our homeland be ours.” Karzai spent many years in exile in Pakistan while fighting against the Soviet occupation in the 1980s and later during Taliban rule.

He was speaking in front of an audience at an international literacy day in a Kabul school.

This year has been the bloodiest since the conflict began in 2001 when US forces overthrew the Taliban weeks after the September 11 attacks.

But with the insurgency gaining strength despite the presence of nearly 150,000 foreign troops, there is a growing sense that talks may be the only route to peace.

In June, Karzai summoned a peace jirga , or traditional gathering, of tribal and community leaders.

But the Taliban have rejected the idea of talks, saying all foreign forces must leave Afghanistan.

The new council will have more than 68 members, including two former presidents, at least two former Taliban officials, as well as clerics and women. It will try to help mediate peace talks with Taliban- led insurgents.

Its members were agreed after deliberations with tribal chiefs and power brokers, some of whom sided with the US in toppling the Taliban in 2001.

He said: “ The government of Afghanistan with further seriousness... should take vigorous steps for bringing peace to this soil as soon as possible.”

Mail Today

--------

Kashmir: ‘Cops’ threw stones at cops

By Naseer Ganai in Srinagar

29 September 2010

THE state government has booked a special police officer (SPO) under the Public Safety Act (PSA) for indulging in stone pelting and blocking a highway.

This is reportedly the first such instance. SPO Naseer Ahmad Sheikh was arrested along with two others from Chadoora in Budgam district, central Kashmir, on September 15.

Sources said the police had rushed to Chadoora based on information that a group was indulging in stone pelting there.

They found the road leading to the area blocked and caught three perpetrators who were fleeing the spot. The police checked their identity cards and discovered that one of them was Sheikh, who hails from Pulwama in south Kashmir.

Full report at: Mail Today

--------

Ayodhya verdict: Anxious moments for all parties

Manjari Mishra

29 September 2010

For politicians in UP, this could easily be the most hectic time in last 18 years. As judgment day inches closer, there is much to do — secret rendezvous with ulema, dharmacharyas and assorted pressure groups to daily marathon meetings in party offices to chart out the next course of action. Meanwhile, time is running out.

The anxiety is proving to be highly contagious. The Ayodhya issue, which drastically altered the political landscape, may have lost the bulk of the potency it once had, but it can still generate passions enough to topple the issue of skyrocketing prices as the foremost concern.

As the mandir/masjid dispute is debated across the country's largest state, political parties are having to redo their maths. As it is, the political scenario in UP has turned hazy. Election-2012 defies easy prediction. BJP is gasping for breath. Congress shows signs of revival but is still far away from the goal post. SP, discredited three years ago, is groping to gain a foothold and BSP, though firmly in the saddle, is under pressure to retain the slot that everyone else is eying. The brewing crisis could well be CM Mayawati's litmus test, the very opportunity to prove her commitment of promised "bhaymukta samaj" (society free from fear).

The clampdown on Varun Gandhi's outbursts against minorities during the last Lok Sabha polls won her many an admirer in western UP's thickly-populated Muslim belt. By announcing a new compensation policy for land acquisition recently, she took the sting out of farmers' agitation against the Yamuna Expressway and zapped all opponents.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Ayodhya-verdict-Anxious-moments-for-all-parties/articleshow/6647900.cms#ixzz10tTTNAu4

--------

Kerala civic polls: CPM, Cong expect support from Islamists

September 29, 2010

Despite open declarations that there would be no truck with Islamist forces in the civic polls due on October 23 and 25, Kerala’s CPI(M)-led ruling LDF and the Congress-headed Opposition UDF are determined to accept their support. Secret understandings between the two fronts and the Islamists in several areas have already been exposed.

The CPI(M), which had forged an open alliance with Bangalore bombings accused Abdul Naaser Madani’s PDP in the last Lok Sabha elections, has decided not to have any adjustments with that party as a policy matter this time. But understandings have been arrived at between the two sides in many areas, especially in the Muslim-majority Malappuram district.

The Congress had time and again declared its decision not to ask for or accept the support of Islamist forces like the Popular Front of India (PFI, formerly NDF), the outfit behind the Taliban-model attack on a college professor. Ironically, deals between the Congress and the PFI are being exposed not by UDF’s enemies but its won constituent, the Muslim League.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/286353/Kerala-civic-polls-CPM-Cong-expect-support-from-Islamists.html

--------

Cong banks on upper castes, Muslims in first list for Bihar

Sep 29, 2010

NEW DELHI: Congress seems to be playing on upper caste-Muslim formula in Bihar, with the first list for the assembly elections containing the names of 22 Muslims and an obvious concentration of upper castes. With only 77 candidates out of 243 announced, the number of minority contestants may go up to 40. The same is likely to be true for upper castes.

The high minority share may have implications for Lalu Prasad, an ally turned foe. Any success of a Congress Muslim candidate in wooing his community will come at the cost of RJD. While Nitish Kumar fancies himself for a slice of the minority votes on his "performance and secular governance", RJD remains the main claimant for the massive constituency in view of JD(U)'s alliance with BJP.

The presence of 14 women is seen as a break given that Bihar has always been seen as predominantly male turf. It was decided during the shortlisting that one woman would be fielded from every Lok Sabha constituency, seen linked to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

AICC seems to have focused on local demographics in the selection and that is where minority candidates could hurt RJD in minority-dominated areas.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Cong-banks-on-upper-castes-Muslims-in-first-list-for-Bihar/articleshow/6645499.cms#ixzz10tToi6bM

--------

Kasab challenges death penalty in Bombay High Court

Sep 28, 2010

MUMBAI: In a fresh development in the 26/11 terror attack case, Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab on Tuesday filed an appeal in Bombay High Court challenging death penalty awarded to him for killing 166 persons on November 26, 2008.

"We have filed an appeal today," his lawyer Amin Solkar said.

Kasab has challenged death penalty saying it was a harsh punishment imposed on him and pleaded that there were lapses in evidence produced by police in the trial court.

The appeal has challenged identification of Kasab in the court saying the eye witnesses had easily identified him because his photograph had appeared prominently in newspapers and television on the day of attack.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Kasab-challenges-death-penalty-in-Bombay-High-Court/articleshow/6645419.cms#ixzz10tUoNCXc

--------

Altaf demands Dr Aafia’s immediate release

29 September 2010

KARACHI — Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Tuesday demanded an explanation from the United States over the 86-year conviction of Dr Aafia Siddiqui by a US court and called for her immediate release without any conditions.

The London-based MQM chief made the demand while addressing a rally via telephone in Karachi. About 50,000 people attended the Karachi rally which was held on city’s main-thoroughfare, M.A.Jinnah Road.

Speaking on the occasion, Altaf said the nation was united in protest against the sentence.  He claimed that Dr Aafia was innocent and termed the sentence against all norms of justice.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2010/September/international_September1275.xml&section=international&col=

--------

No Krishna-Qureshi meeting in New York

Sep 29, 2010

NEW YORK: Ending the suspense, external affairs minister S M Krishna on Tuesday night ruled out a meeting with Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly here, but said the dialogue between the two countries will continue when his Pakistani counterpart visits India.

"Well it is not on the cards," Krishna told reporters when asked whether he would meet his Pakistani counterpart here.

However, he underlined that the talks with Pakistan would be pursued.

"How can you nullify India-Pak talks," Krishna told the Indian media at the Asia Society, where he delivered a speech on India.

"I have said in my speech that I have invited foreign minister Qureshi to come to India and he has very graciously accepted my invitation," he said.

"I am looking forward to his visit to India so that we can take up from where he left in Islamabad," he said.

His comments came as Qureshi said "some suggestions" had been sent to India to take the talks forward and he was now awaiting its response.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/No-Krishna-Qureshi-meeting-in-New-York/articleshow/6648647.cms#ixzz10tU3lOjX

--------

Disney, Muslim worker agree on hijab substitute

29 September 2010

ANAHEIM, California: Disney is allowing a Muslim employee at its Orange County theme park to wear a specially designed headscarf after initially objecting to her religious head covering, the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Monday.

Noor Abdallah, 22, was told she couldn't wear the hijab while working as a vacation planner at a Disneyland Resort Esplanade ticket booth. She declined to take another job away from the public, the council said.

The park worked with Abdallah to design a covering to match her costume and meet her religious needs, Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown said. She's been wearing a blue scarf topped with a beret since early this month.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article148808.ece

--------

Plot to attack European cities by Pakistan-based militants foiled

Sep 29, 2010

LONDON: Intelligence agencies have disrupted an al-Qaida-linked plot to launch terror attacks in Britain, France and Germany, a report said, citing intelligence sources.

Militants based in Pakistan planned simultaneous strikes in London and major cities in France and Germany, Britain's Sky News television reported on Tuesday, adding the plan was advanced but the attacks were not imminent.

Spy agencies had for some time been tracking the militants who were planning the attack, according to Sky.

The attacks would have been similar to commando-style raids carried out in Mumbai in 2008, intelligence sources were cited as telling the broadcaster.

The plot in Europe was uncovered after intelligence-sharing between London, France, Germany and the United States, said Sky.

The report of the foiled plot came on the same day the Eiffel Tower in Paris was evacuated following a bomb threat for the second time in a month and amid official warnings in France of an imminent terrorist attack.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Plot-to-attack-European-cities-by-Pakistan-based-militants-foiled/articleshow/6648595.cms#ixzz10tTXO5tA

--------

'At ground zero, nothing will change'

Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui

29 September 2010

LUCKNOW: Right from a six-year-old to a 60-plus citizen, ask anyone about his perception of the high court verdict on Ayodhya title suit and the answer would be: One, it will clear the way for the construction of temple; or, two the restoration of mosque at the disputed site. Some may even express concern over widespread communal violence after the verdict.

However, those familiar with the details of the case take a modest view of the scope of the verdict as well as its fallout.

Parties associated with the title suit believe that the verdict will bring no change at all in the present status of the disputed site even remotely and, hence, all fears of widespread violence are hugely exaggerated.

"The verdict will have no impact at all on the disputed site. Nothing will change at all. Not even in the near future. Whatever is going on at the site will continue unabated," says Zafaryab Jilani, counsel for Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board — one of the parties in the title suit.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/At-ground-zero-nothing-will-change/articleshow/6647937.cms#ixzz10tUEfBcQ

--------

--------

BJP welcomes SC decision, appeals for peace

Sep 29, 2010

NEW DELHI: BJP on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court decision not to defer the Ayodhya case verdict saying it has ended the uncertainty on the issue. The party also appealed to the people to maintain peace and calm.

"We welcome the decision of the Supreme Court. It has cleared the uncertainty that was there in the country," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

Refusing to speak on what the party expects would be the verdict of the high court in the Ayodhya title suits, Javdekar said, "We will wait for the judgment to come and then react. We are not expecting or anticipating anything... I cannot pre-judge the judgement."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/BJP-welcomes-SC-decision-appeals-for-peace/articleshow/6645369.cms#ixzz10tUrTCzQ

--------

Pakistan in IAEA chair doesn't bother India

Sep 29, 2010

NEW DELHI: Western countries are collectively choking at the thought of nuclear renegade Pakistan heading the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s governing board for the next year. But not India.

At the IAEA, India and Pakistan are often on the same side, mainly because both countries are opposed to western attempts to make the IAEA the "secretariat" of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Both India and Pakistan remain outside the NPT, but both enjoy equal privileges and rights in the IAEA.

India and Pakistan are part of the MESA (Middle East- South Asia) group in the global body. This means every eight years, the top job comes to this group and is divided between India, Pakistan and one Middle East country. In 2002, it was Kuwait which occupied the chair, India's turn was in 1994, and this year, it's Pakistan's turn.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pakistan-in-IAEA-chair-doesnt-bother-India/articleshow/6645265.cms#ixzz10tUumJZI

--------

Tipu Sultan's 24 paintings highlight of Sotheby's sale

Sep 28, 2010

NEW DELHI: Twenty-four rare paintings depicting the famous Battle of Pollilur, in which the East India Company army surrendered to Tipu Sultan and his father Hyder Ali, is the piece de resistance of British auction house Sotheby's Oct 6 Islamic World Sale of Art.

The paintings are estimated at 650,000-800,000 pounds.

The Battle of Pollilur, which took place Sep 10, 1780, marks its 230th anniversary this month. The battle is one of the worst defeats the British suffered on the subcontinent, with a high casualty.

The bi-annual sale will present more than 400 lots and is expected to realise in excess of 10 million pounds, a statement released by the auction house here said Monday evening.

Commenting on the Tipu Sultan paintings, Edward Gibbs, senior director and head of Sotheby's Middle East department, said: "Tipu Sultan was a remarkable figure and is regarded as a great national hero in South Asia."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Tipu-Sultans-24-paintings-highlight-of-Sothebys-sale/articleshow/6641835.cms#ixzz10tV1jL1G

--------

Expert calls for new fatwa on brain dead

29 September 2010

AL-HASA: A leading Saudi medical expert, known in the global scientific community for his pioneering research in cardiology, has called on the Kingdom’s Islamic scholars to revise their ruling on terminating the life of a person who is “clinically dead” or “brain dead.”

“As long as a patient's heart is beating there is no reason for us to take him or her off the ventilator,” said Dr. Abdullah A. Abdulgader, director of the Prince Sultan Cardiac Center in Al-Hasa.

Abdulgader said his view is based on research carried out by top cardiologists who are attending a three-day international conference on advanced cardiac sciences in this historic Saudi city.

“Everyone who is attending this conference, including professor Franz Halberg of the University of Minnesota and Dr. Rollin McCraty of California's Institute of Heartmath, believes that the heart is where life is. As long as the heart is functioning a person should be considered as being alive. All these experts are of the unanimous view that the heart, not the brain, is the king of organs,” he said. “And all of them are basing their judgment on impeccable research.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article149267.ece

--------

Charges against IIROSA a bunch of lies, says Al-Turki

29 September 2010

RIYADH: The International Islamic Relief Organization Saudi Arabia (IIROSA) has stepped up efforts with the help of US attorneys to clear its name in the highly-publicized terror-funding case filed by the families of people who died in the 9/11 attacks.

This was disclosed by Abdullah Al-Turki, chairman of the IIROSA’s board of directors  who is also secretary-general of the Makkah-based Muslim World League (MWL), and Adnan Khalil Basha, IIROSA’s secretary-general, in separate interviews.

Al-Turki and Basha both made their comments on the sidelines of a reception hosted by the MWL for foreign diplomats at the Cultural Palace in Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter. The event was attended by a large number of Saudi officials and foreign diplomats. It also included a visual presentation explaining the role and activities of the MWL and the IIROSA.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article149272.ece

--------

--------

Passive Cong settles for a calculated risk on Babri

29 September 2010

OVERCOMING its initial fears, the Congress appears to be taking a calculated risk on the Ayodhya issue. Inhouse strategists have come around the view that the party need not take a proactive stand on the contentious issue so as not to antagonise the Muslim minority and the Hindu majority, especially with Uttar Pradesh going to polls early 2012. The party, understandably, has high stakes in these elections.

The party’s assessment, bolstered by intelligence reports, is that the issue has outlived its vote- catching utility for the BJP and only some fringe groups like the VHP can create trouble which law- enforcing agencies can take care of.

The Congress brass also feels that the verdict will not polarise voters in Bihar, which goes to polls soon. “ People of Bihar are highly political and therefore will not get polarised on this issue,” a senior party leader said. As regards Uttar Pradesh, the party has more than a year’s time to absorb the after- effects.

Full report at: Mail Today

--------

Taliban using Afghan province ‘Kuner’ as safe haven: Malik

By Vidya Rana

29 September 2010

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the National Assembly on Tuesday that Taliban were using Kuner province of Afghanistan as an operation-base against Pakistan.

“We are at war on the Western borders and Kuner is being used as safe haven to create unrest in Pakistan,” Malik said, adding that the matter was brought to the notice of the Afghan President Hamid Karzai during his recent visit to Pakistan.

He rejected an opposition’s demand to raise the issues of incursion by NATO.

“A tripartite commission comprising the high officials from Pakistan Army, NATO forces and Afghanistan army is already in place to discuss and deal with such issues,” he said.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\29\story_29-9-2010_pg7_16

--------

Afghan deputy governor, son killed in suicide attack in Ghazni

29 September 2010

GHAZNI: A suicide bomber on a motorcycle killed the deputy Afghan governor and up to five other people in a direct attack on his vehicle on Tuesday, officials said. Mohammad Kazim Allahyar, deputy governor for the troubled southern province of Ghazni, was on his way to his office when the bomber struck. “The deputy governor has been martyred. His son and his nephew have also been martyred. In total, six people have been martyred,” provincial police chief Delawar Zahid said. Eight other people, including passers-by, were injured in the blast from the three-wheeled motorbike on a dirt road outside the provincial capital Ghazni, the police chief said. The bomber targeted Allahyar’s vehicle, he added. The interior ministry confirmed the incident but said a total of five people had died including the deputy governor, his son, two of his nephews and a guard. President Hamid Karzai condemned the terrorist attack. “The enemies of Afghanistan can’t achieve their un-Afghan and un-Islamic goals by killing government officials,” the president said in a statement. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Tuesday’s bombing. Similar attacks are often blamed on the Taliban, the terrorist group leading an insurgency against the Western-backed government that has gained pace each year since the 2001 US-led invasion toppled the group from power.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\29\story_29-9-2010_pg7_7

--------

Clinton warns Pakistan to make the rich pay up

29 September 2010

WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is warning that the United States will set tougher conditions on nations receiving US aid.

Singling out major aid recipient Pakistan, Clinton says the tighter scrutiny includes an expectation that rich foreigners will not skip out on their taxes while Americans bankroll programs their nations need.

Clinton's warning came Tuesday as she and other Cabinet officials described aid and development policies President Barack Obama announced last week.

She says Pakistan is drafting new tax policies under US pressure. Until now, the wealthy landowners who comprise the country's political elite have typically paid little or no taxes.

US nonmilitary aid to Pakistan is roughly $1.5 billion a year.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/12-clinton+warns+pakistan+to+make+the+rich+pay+up--bi-03

--------

Bangladesh: Awami League says Hasina not safe

29 September 2010

DHAKA: The ruling Awami League party in Bangladesh on Tuesday pointed out that life of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed was not safe as enemies are attacking her at different times.

Addressing 64th birth anniversary of the prime minister, Awami League General Secretary and Local Government Minister Syed Ashraful Islam said that Prime Minister Hasian who is the eldest of five children of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father (and first president) of Bangladesh, was not out of danger and never it was.

He said that she (Hasina) was living surrounded by the enemies. The minister asked the Jubo League activists to work together to secure the life of Shekh Hasina, who heads the ruling party. The achievements of the Hasina government could not be undermined due to some irresponsible workers of the party, he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\29\story_29-9-2010_pg20_8

--------

Israel stops Jewish activist yacht on way to Gaza

29 September 2010

 ASHDOD, Israel - The Israeli navy boarded a yacht in the Mediterranean on Tuesday to prevent 10 Jewish activists sailing to Gaza to protest against Israel’s blockade of the Palestinian territory.

Israel’s policies for containing the militant Islamists of Hamas, who control Gaza, came under scrutiny in May after its marines killed nine Turkish activists in boarding one ship in a flotilla of vessels trying to reach the Gaza coast.

The catamaran Irene, dubbed the Jewish Boat for Peace and flying a British flag, was taken over around midday off the Gaza Strip on Tuesday without incident, a military statement said.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/September/middleeast_September556.xml&section=middleeast

--------

Netanyahu says Mideast peace talks must go on

29 September 2010

JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday agreed to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at a summit in Paris next month, a joint effort to overcome the threat of their peace talks collapsing.

A statement from Netanyahu’s office said the prime minister had held phone conversations with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and told them he hoped “positive negotiations” with Abbas would continue.

“I believe with all my heart that we can reach a framework deal within a year and to change the history of the Middle East,” Netanyahu said.

He told Sarkozy he accepted his invitation to meet Abbas in Paris in October. No date for that summit has been made public.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/September/middleeast_September555.xml&section=middleeast

--------

S. Arabia achieves? UN millennium goals Habib Shaikh

29 September 2010

 JEDDAH — Saudi Arabia has achieved most Millennium Development Goals adopted by the United Nations much before the 2015 deadline set by the international body, the Council of Ministers said in a statement after its weekly meeting chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

The Cabinet said the ongoing UN General Assembly meetings were a good opportunity to review national and international efforts to achieve Millennium Goals. “The Kingdom’s strategy to achieve these goals emphasises sustained and comprehensive development,” it said.

Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja said the Cabinet reviewed the 46th report of Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) featuring major economic achievements in 2009. The report highlighted the Kingdom’s successful economic performance last year with a balance of payment surplus of SR85.4 billion.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/September/middleeast_September550.xml&section=middleeast

--------

Israel kills three Palestinian militants: medics

29 September 2010

GAZA: An Israeli strike in the central Gaza Strip on Monday killed three gunmen belonging to the Islamic Jihad group, Palestinian medics said.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment. Israel often carries out strikes against militant targets in Gaza, which is controlled by the Islamist group Hamas.

Medics said they had recovered three bodies from the site of an explosion that occurred after darkness fell outside Bureij refugee camp, near the Israel-Gaza frontier.

Hamas television reports said the blast had been caused either by an Israeli air strike or cross-border tank fire.'

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article148825.ece

--------

US soldier held in killing of two comrades in Iraq

29 September 2010

BAGHDAD: An American serviceman is being held in Iraq in connection with the fatal shootings of two soldiers and the wounding of another following an apparent argument, the US military said Tuesday.

A statement by US forces said Spc. Neftaly Platero was in custody during the investigation into last week's slayings in Fallujah, a former insurgent stronghold 65 km west of Baghdad.

Col. Barry Johnson, a US military spokesman, said a “verbal altercation” broke out among four soldiers last Thursday and the suspect “allegedly took his weapon and began shooting the other soldiers.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article149238.ece

--------

Obama's pitch: Fix Kashmir for UN Security Council seat

Chidanand Rajghatta

29 September 2010

WASHINGTON: Go for a Kashmir solution and help bring stability to the region for a ticket to UN Security Council membership and fulfilling your big power aspirations. That's the broad message President Barack Obama will be bringing to New Delhi during his upcoming November visit to India, preparation for which are in full swing in Washington DC.

The Kashmir settlement-for-seat at high table idea (euphemism for UNSC membership) is being discussed animatedly in the highest levels of the US administration, according to a various sources. President Obama himself has decided to revive the process of a US push in this direction, albeit discreetly, because of New Delhi's sensitivities.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Obamas-pitch-Fix-Kashmir-for-UN-Security-Council-seat/articleshow/6647486.cms#ixzz10tTaK7Jm

--------

Hoax by spurned lover grounds Pakistani flight

Sep 29, 2010

LONDON: A terror alarm that diverted and grounded a homeward PIA flight to Stockholm might have been sounded by a spurned lover, seeking revenge on her ex-boyfriend who was onboard, on his way to wed in Karachi.

A 28-year old Canadian of Pakistani-origin was briefly detained after the plane carrying 273 passengers, including three hapless Indians, made an emergency landing at Arlanda following a call alerting security agencies that the man was carrying explosives.

The passengers faced a long haul at the Stockholm airport as the Swedish police pulled out the youth and searched the aircraft for the explosives. The Canadian man was briefly arrested in connection with the allegations but then released without charge after no explosives were found aboard the plane, flying from Toronto to Karachi.

While, the plane was let off the unfortunate man faced another long ordeal. Though he was cleared to go home to get married he failed to find an airliner to take him back. By the time he was cleared to fly , word about the alleged terror plot had spread and the airliners refused to take him as passenger.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Hoax-by-spurned-lover-grounds-Pakistani-flight/articleshow/6647683.cms#ixzz10tTs0488

--------

Pioneer Iran blogger sentenced to 19 years prison

Sep 28, 2010

TEHRAN: An Iranian court sentenced the founder of one of the first Farsi-language blogs, credited with sparking the boom in Iranian reform bloggers, to more than 19 years in prison for his writings, a news web site reported Tuesday.

Iranian-Canadian Hossein Derakhshan, 35, was a controversial figure among Iran's blogging community. Writing his blog from Canada, he was initially a critic of Iran's clerical leadership, and in 2006 he visited Israel - Iran's archenemy - saying he wanted to act as a bridge between the two countries' peoples.

But he later became a vocal supporter of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, praising him for standing up to the West and criticizing regime opponents. Derakhshan then visited Iran in 2008 and was arrested. Over the next two years, he was often held without communication with family or lawyers, according to rights groups.

Paris-based advocacy group Reporters Without Borders said in a statement that "never has such a tough sentence been handed to a blogger in Iran."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Pioneer-Iran-blogger-sentenced-to-19-years-prison/articleshow/6646429.cms#ixzz10tTvB3Ai

--------

Court to view today CCTV footage showing Kasab assaulting jail staff

Sep 28, 2010

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Government today submitted to the Bombay High Court a CCTV footage of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab assaulting jail staff and opposed his plea for a closed-door interview with his lawyers.

The high court is hearing confirmation of death sentence awarded to Kasab for his role in the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai in which 166 people were killed.

The Government counsel Ujjwal Nikam presented the CCTV footage to a bench headed by Justice Ranjana Desai which will view the CD in chambers this evening and pronounce an order tomorrow on Kasab's plea for a legal interview within the sight of security staff but not within hearing distance.

Nikam told the judges, "The incident occurred on September 1 when Kasab was performing some illegal act and jail staff had to intervene. He (Kasab) assaulted prison officials which is clearly shown in the CD."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/6642054.cms#ixzz10tTyNtve

--------

Pakistan rakes up Kashmir issue in UN, offers to engage India

Sep 28, 2010

UNITED NATIONS: Raking up the Kashmir issue yet again, Pakistan on Tuesday offered to engage India in a comprehensive dialogue to find amicable solutions to all issues, including the Kashmir dispute.

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi expressed "complete solidarity" with Kashmiris and condemned the "brutality" in Kashmir.

"Pakistan views the prevailing situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir with grave concern...The human rights of the Kashmiri people must be respected, and their voices heard to create an enabling environment for a peaceful solution of the longstanding Jammu and Kashmir dispute," he told the General Assembly.

Full report at:

 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pakistan-rakes-up-Kashmir-issue-in-UN-offers-to-engage-India-/articleshow/6645527.cms#ixzz10tUkfv1h

--------

Petraeus: Taliban reached out to Kabul for peace talks

Alissa J Rubin

29 September 2010

AFGHANISTAN: The top American commander in Afghanistan said that high-level Taliban leaders had reached out to senior Afghan government officials in the context of starting reconciliation discussions that could pave the way to end the fighting in Afghanistan.

For months, efforts at reconciliation have been stalled at every level, and this is the first explicit public suggestion that there is extensive behind-the-scenes contact between insurgents and the Afghan government.

However, a Taliban spokesman later dismissed General David H Petraeus's comments as "completely baseless", saying the insurgents would not "negotiate with foreign invaders or their puppet government".

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Petraeus-Taliban-reached-out-to-Kabul-for-peace-talks-/articleshow/6647747.cms#ixzz10tV4bbPt

--------

Afghanistan-Pakistan al-Qaida chief 'killed by US drone'

Sep 28, 2010

PESHAWAR: Al-Qaida's operational chief for Afghanistan and Pakistan has been killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan's lawless tribal border areas, Pakistani security officials said on Wednesday.

Sheikh Fateh had reportedly been given the job in May after al-Qaida's purported number three and Osama bin Laden's one-time treasurer Mustafa Abu al-Yazid was killed.

Pakistani security officials said the Egyptian was killed on Saturday in a US drone strike on North Waziristan, a hub of al-Qaida and Taliban commanders where the covert American missile war has been concentrated.

"Yes, he has been killed," one Pakistani security official said on condition of anonymity.

Two other Pakistani intelligence officials confirmed his death.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Afghanistan-Pakistan-al-Qaida-chief-killed-by-US-drone-/articleshow/6645679.cms#ixzz10tVAbMS4

--------

Air strikes mount pressure on Pakistan

Anita Joshua

29 September 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pressure is being mounted on Pakistan to “do more” against the Haqqani terrorist network in North Waziristan, and the aerial strikes by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in the tribal agency over the weekend and adjoining Khurram on Monday morning are perceived as part of the pressure tactics.

This month has seen the maximum number of drone attacks in the tribal belt of Pakistan along the Afghanistan border — rough estimates based on media reports places the number at 20.

And, the number of U.S. air strikes in the region this year has already crossed the total for all of last year. As against 53 drone attacks in 2009, there have already been 74 such strikes this year, according to data collected by the Long War Journal.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/09/29/stories/2010092963580700.htm

--------

US warns Pak of ground ops to dismantle terror networks

September 29, 2010

Signalling a growing frustration with Islamabad’s failure to dismantle terror networks in North Waziristan, US’s top commander Gen David H Petraeus has warned of unilateral ground operations inside Pakistan if it did not act without any further delay.

“Petraeus wants to turn up the heat on the safe havens. He has pointed out to the Pakistanis that they could do more,” the New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing US officials.

As a precursor to a possible ground offensive, the United States has already stepped up its bombing campaign in the mountains of Pakistan in recent weeks, with the CIA launching as many as 20 drone attacks so far this month.

The first warning to Islamabad that the US would be constrained to act came last May in the wake of the Pakistani American Faisal Shahzad’s abortive bid to blow up Times Square, after a crash course in terrorism in Pakistan under the auspices of the Pakistani Taliban.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/286326/US-warns-Pak-of-ground-ops-to-dismantle-terror-networks.html

--------

Gunmen kidnap Nigerian schoolchildren, seek $130,000 ransom

September 29, 2010

Gunmen have hijacked a school-bus with 15-children on-board in a south-eastern state in Nigeria today demanded a ransom of USD 130,000 for their release, a police official has said.

"The children numbering 15 were abducted in Abia state on Monday and the kidnappers are demanding for a ransom of 20 million naira (USD 130,000)," the Abia State police spokesman, Geoffrey Ogbonna, told PTI adding that the kidnappers contacted the owners of the school to make their demand.

The bus conveying the school children was intercepted by the assailants on its way to school and the driver was ordered to come down and lie on the ground after switching off his phones, PTI learnt from some eyewitnesses.

The kidnappers then drove the bus towards neighbouring rivers state also in the oil rich Niger Delta region of the country.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/286322/Gunmen-kidnap-Nigerian-schoolchildren-seek-$130000-ransom.html

--------

--------

‘Pak diverting US military aid to target India’

By Mail Today Bureau in New Delhi

29 September 2010

DEFENCE minister A. K. Antony has expressed India’s concern over Pakistan diverting US military aid — meant for the war on terror — to be used against India.

“ While the US is giving these arms to fight terrorists, Pakistan is diverting some portions to use against India,” Antony said in Washington on Tuesday.

Antony raised the issue with US defence secretary Robert Gates. He also expressed concerns about the “ denial of export licenses” to the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

Defence ministry sources in New Delhi said the minister pointed out the continued presence of Indian entities on the US Entity List to the Obama administration.

This debars Indian organisations from accessing any kind of technology from the US. “ The presence of our institutions and laboratories on the US Entity List is somewhat anomalous, given our strengthening relations in other areas of defence,” Antony said.

 Full report at:

Mail Today

--------

Afghan government sets up 70-member peace council

29 Sep, 2010

KABUL: In an effort to find a political solution to the war, the Afghan government on Tuesday set up a 70-member peace council, formalizing efforts already under way to reconcile with top Taliban leaders and lure insurgent foot soldiers off the battlefield.

A political resolution to the nine-year war is a key to any US exit strategy in Afghanistan. Still, leaders of ethnic minorities, including some named to the peace council, remain concerned that negotiating with the Taliban will open a path for the hardline fundamentalist group to regain power.

President Hamid Karzai has long said that he will talk to insurgents who renounce violence, sever ties to terrorists and embrace the Afghan Constitution. Publicly, the Taliban have responded, saying they won’t negotiate until foreign troops leave the country, yet there are many indications that backdoor discussions have occurred.

Waheed Omar, spokesman for Karzai, said the new High Council for Peace will guide future contacts with Taliban leaders who have reached out directly or through back channels to the highest levels of the government.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/14-afghan-government-sets-up-70-member-peace-council-zj-01

--------

Outstanding issues need to be resolved, says Qureshi

By Masood Haider

29 September 2010

UNITED NATIONS: Expressing “grave concern” over prevailing conditions in Indian-held Kashmir, Pakistan said on Tuesday that It is willing to engage India in a comprehensive dialogue to normalise relations between the two countries by finding amicable solutions to all outstanding issues, including the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir.

“A peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions taking into account the aspirations of the Kashmiri people would create conducive atmosphere for durable peace and stability in the South Asian region,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told the 192 member UN General Assembly during the general debate.

“The Jammu and Kashmir dispute is about the exercise of the right to self-determination by the Kashmiri people through a free, fair and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/outstanding-issues-need-to-be-resolved,-says-qureshi-990

--------

Afghan pullout to hurt Pakistan, India: Obama

29 September 2010

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama, in an interview published on Tuesday, warned that neither Pakistan nor India would be better off if the United States walked out of Afghanistan.

Talking to the Rolling Stone magazine, President Obama also conceded that for the US, Afghanistan had proven to be harder than Iraq.

“Keep in mind that the decision I have to make is always, ‘If we’re not doing this, then what does that mean? What are the consequences?’” he said.

“I don’t know anybody who has examined the region who thinks that if we completely pulled out of Afghanistan, the Karzai regime collapsed, Kabul was overrun once again by the Taliban, and Sharia law was imposed throughout the country, that we would be safer,” he added.

“Or the Afghan people would be better off, or Pakistan would be better off, or India would be better off or that we would see a reduction in potential terrorist attacks around the world. You can’t make that argument.”

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/afghan-pullout-to-hurt-pakistan,-india-obama-990

--------

Action will be taken against fake degree rackets: Senate told

29 September 2010

ISLAMABAD: The Senate was informed on Tuesday that action would be taken against the rackets involved in fake degree business.

In a written reply to the Upper House, Education Minister Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali told the House that universities and degree awarding institutions were not involved in issuing fake degrees. “However, if any employee of such an institution is found involved in business, he will be dealt under the rules of the respective institutions,” he said.

He said the degrees were printed in local market and sold through agents.

To another question, he said that Higher Education Commission (HEC) had sent 1,644 scholars to USA, UK and Europe under the MS leading to PhD Overseas Scholarship Scheme phase I and II.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\29\story_29-9-2010_pg7_19

--------

US lowers threshold for drone strikes

29 September 2010

ISLAMABAD—The United States appears to have widened drone aircraft attacks against al Qaeda-linked militants in Pakistan and may have killed a senior leader of the group, Pakistani and U.S. officials said on Tuesday. While mostly low-ranking militants from different nationalities have been killed, a senior al Qaeda leader, identified as Shaikh al-Fateh, was believed to have been killed in a similar strike on Sept. 26, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

And in the latest strike on Tuesday, a pilotless drone aircraft targeted a suspected militant hideout in Pakistan’s South Waziristan region near the Afghan border, killing four militants, intelligence officials said. Including Tuesday’s attack there have been 21 strikes carried out by the remotely piloted drones in September, the highest number in a single month on record.

Full report at:

http://dailymailnews.com/0910/29/FrontPage/index.php?id=1

--------

Bahrain minister turns teacher ?for a day

29 September 2010

 MANAMA — Teacher for a day! That’s what the Minister of Education, Dr Majid Al Nuami, became on Tuesday, when he assumed the role of a substitute teacher at a public school here on Tuesday.

The reason? The teacher slated to take the class was absent on the day.

The minister’s visit was part of inspections that he started last year so as to get a first-hand knowledge of the state of affairs at schools.

Al Nuami inspected two schools and ordered the administrations to take action against the teachers who come late.         The minister expressed his displeasure on finding that the schools had not assigned any guards at the school gates, especially when the students come in the morning.

The minister said those compromising safety of the students will be taken to task. Last year, the minister ordered an investigation after finding students playing close to an unsafe constructions site at a school.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/September/middleeast_September549.xml&section=middleeast

--------

Iraq: One of history's greatest crimes

By STEPHEN LENDMAN

29 September 2010

America's hidden history is ugly and disturbing. No nation ever matched it. To Iraq alone, over the past two decades, it includes ongoing genocide, destruction, terror, occupation, and contamination — a horrendous combination of crimes, unmentioned in Western discourse.

Environmental Engineering professor Souad N. Al-Azzawi documents them, including in her report titled, "Crime of the Century: Iraq's Occupation and DU Contamination," a detailed account of US culpability.

America's strategic aims, she explains, include:

• controlling most of the world's oil and other natural resources;

• remaining permanently in the Middle East, "the intersection zone of the three continents where 80 percent of the world('s) population" lives; and

• if the above two objectives are achieved, America will control the world's economy, or enough of it to matter.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article149387.ece

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/in-kanchi-mutt,-muezzin-s-call-coincides-with-morning-puja/d/3478


Loading..

Loading..