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Islamic World News ( 25 Nov 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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India Fumes After US Draws Parallel Between PM Modi, Saudi Crown Prince To Grant Sovereign Immunity In The Civil Case Over The Murder Of Jamal Khashoggi to MbS

New Age Islam News Bureau

25 November 2022


File Photo: PM Narendra Modi


• Imam Bukhari Is A Sexist; OK For Boys To Loiter, Not OK For Girls?

• Controversy As Kuwaiti Islamists 'Move To Curb Social Freedoms' By Constitution Amendments

• UK Aid Funded Police Corruption, Abuse In Afghanistan: Commission for Aid Impact Report

• Taliban’s ‘Injustice’; Women Lawyers and Judges Forced to Beg for Food: Rina Amiri, the US Special Envoy

• Long-Time Reformist Leader Anwar Ibrahim Is Malaysia’s 5th PM In Less Than 5 Years


• Little-Known Islamic Resistance Council Owns Up Mangaluru Auto Blast, Says Temple Was Target

• Succumbing To Widespread Criticism Jama Masjid Imam Recalls Order Banning Entry Of ‘Girls’

• BJP Slows Down Unaided Madrasas Action, Focuses On Pasmanda Muslim For UP Bypolls

• SC to set up fresh 5-judge bench to hear pleas challenging polygamy and 'nikah halala' among Muslims

• Narcotics Jihad: New threat to Indian society, secularism and national security

• 'Our efforts to sanction perpetrators of 26/11 attacks blocked for political reasons': India


Arab World

• UN calls for ‘vital’ aid to Syria during winter

• Iraq summons Iran, Turkey amid border tensions

• Lebanon MPs fail for seventh time to elect president despite economic crisis

• Hopes of World Cup progress look brighter for Arab nations

• West pursuing war-mongering policies to maintain dominance, Assad tells Belarusian PM



• UN Urges China To Release Uyghur Muslim Detainees In Xinjiang, Provide Reparations

• Dutch Airstrike of Afghanistan in 2007 Ruled ‘Unlawful’ by Court in the Netherlands

• UN rights chief says full-fledged crisis underway in Iran

• Putin discusses West's oil price cap with Iraqi leader: Kremlin

• UN rights chief’s offer to visit Iran met with silence

• Türkiye has right to protect itself against terrorist attacks: Swedish premier


South Asia

• Taliban Urges Afghan Refugees To Stay Away From Protests In Iran, Pakistan

• UN ask Taliban to end gender-based violence in Afghanistan


Southeast Asia

• PBDS president wants PM Anwar to appoint non-Muslim MP from Sabah or Sarawak as DPM

• PM Anwar says Islam, Bumiputera rights will be upheld but no Malaysian will be marginalised under his watch

• Stats Dept: Higher number of marriages, fewer divorces recorded in 2021



• Saudi Arabia World Cup Feat Due To Support At Home Which Iran Lacked: Iranian Pundit

• Palestinian martyrs’ blood strengthens resistance fighters' determination to tread path toward victory: Islamic Jihad

• Iran Arrests 61 Involved in Khuzestan Terror Attack

• Iran Denounces Biden's Human Rights Gesture

• Mission to UN: Iran Left with No Option But to Use Military Force Against Terrorists in Iraq's Kurdistan

• Nuclear Chief: IAEA Officials to Visit Iran Based on Schedule

• Israeli Far Right Politician Ben-Gvir To Be Police Minister In Coalition Deal

• Bloody footage shows Iranian forces shooting at Kurdish protesters

• Iran arrests footballer for supporting protests: State media

• Tehran slams UN rights council for establishing fact-finding mission on Iran protests



• Pakistan Used Like 'Hired Gun' By US In War Against Terror: Imran Khan

• Ex-ISI head Lt Gen Asim Munir appointed new Pakistan army chief

• PM Shehbaz leaves for Turkiye on two-day official visit

• Pakistan taking up cross-border attacks with Afghanistan: FO

• Fazl accuses Imran of disrupting Saudi crown prince’s visit

• Restraint towards unwarranted criticism against army has its limits: COAS Bajwa

• Pakistan Taliban racketeering hits borderlands



• Algeria Sentences Scores To Death Over Forest Fire Lynching: Media

• UAE President, Jordan’s King discuss expanding cooperation in Abu Dhabi

• Tunisia returns migrant toddler who reached Italy alone

• Sudan demonstrator shot dead in renewed protests for civil rule, justice


North America

• Pakistan’s New Army Chief Needs To Restore Public Trust In Army: US Press

• Turkish defence chief receives US envoy for talks

• New lawsuit launched tied to case of Egyptian minister’s son Ramy Fahim in US

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



India Fumes After US Draws Parallel Between PM Modi, Saudi Crown Prince To Grant Sovereign Immunity In The Civil Case Over The Murder Of Jamal Khashoggi to MbS


File Photo: PM Narendra Modi


Anita Joshua   |   New Delhi 


India on Thursday questioned the need for the US state department to cite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s example while justifying Washington’s decision to grant sovereign immunity to Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salam Al Saud (MBS) in the civil case over the October 2018 murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“I fail to understand how the comment on Prime Minister Modi was either relevant, necessary or contextual,” external affairs ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said at his weekly briefing. Bagchi underscored that the two countries enjoy a very special relationship.

Khashoggi, a critic of MBS, is said to have been killed by Saudi agents in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Up against a barrage of questions on the US department of justice’s decision to grant sovereign immunity to the Saudi leader, state department principal deputy spokesman Vedant Patel had on Friday said: “This is not the first time that the United States has done this. It is a longstanding and consistent line of effort. It has been applied to a number of heads of state previously. Some examples: President Aristide in Haiti in 1993, President Mugabe in Zimbabwe in 2001, Prime Minister Modi in India in 2014, and President Kabila in the DRC in 2018. This is a consistent practice that we have afforded to heads of state, heads of government, and foreign ministers.”

As Gujarat chief minister, Modi had been denied a visa by the George W. Bush administration in 2005.  The ban continued under the Barack Obama dispensation that followed, making it a bipartisan policy in view of the Gujarat riots of 2002. The US had also revoked an earlier visa issued to Modi in his personal capacity. But when the BJP won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections with Modi as its prime ministerial face, President Obama lifted the ban and during the congratulatory call invited him to visit Washington.

Religious freedom

India slammed the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for bringing out yet another report flagging violations in the country. “We consider these as biased and inaccurate observations about India by USCIRF. They have a tendency to consistently misrepresent facts. This shows a lack of their understanding of India, our constitutional framework, plurality and our robust democratic system. Given its past record, we are not surprised to see that USCIRF continues to be guided by its prejudices and pursues a motivated agenda that calls into question its own credibility,” Bagchi said.

Earlier this week, the USCIRF had come out with a country update for India. “This country update provides a broad overview of religious freedom conditions in India in 2021 and 2022. It examines how various policies adopted and implemented by the Indian government have cultivated an environment that is increasingly hostile toward religious minority communities. This trajectory, alongside an escalating government crackdown on civil society and dissent, is deeply alarming in a diverse, secular, and democratic country whose constitution is intended to protect religious freedom,” it said, listing a number of cases to back its assessment.

The USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan, US federal government commission created by the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act that monitors the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.  Successive governments, including those of the Congress-led UPA, have dismissed USCIRF reports that pointed out violations. For the past three years, the commission has recommended to the US state department that it place India on the list of “Countries of Particular Concern”.

Source: Telegraph India

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Imam Bukhari Is A Sexist; OK For Boys To Loiter, Not OK For Girls?


Imam Bukhari of Delhi’s Shahi Jama Masjid


November 25, 2022

Press release

·        Women have equal right to sacred spaces

·        Open all mosques to Muslim women

Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD) condemns the blatant sexism of Imam Bukhari of Delhi’s Shahi Jama Masjid, even as it welcomes his decision since to remove the boards prohibiting Muslim girls from entering the precincts of the mosque.

The earlier decision to put up the notice board was sought to be explained on the ground that Muslim girls ‘loiter’ around the mosque’s sprawling compound. Presumably it’s OK for boys to loiter, not OK for girls. Such an attitude reeks of a patriarchal mindset.

The imam has sought to clarify that the do-not-enter directive did not apply to women who were welcome as before to pray at the mosque. We appreciate the clarification since IMSD has consistently supported the right of women from all religions to equal access to all sacred spaces on par with men.

Muslim women have prayed inside the mosques in Mecca and Medina from the time of Prophet Mohammed. They continue to do so even today in Saudi Arabia and much of the Arab world, the land of Islam’s birth.

Given this, it is the height of irony that in much of the Indian sub-continent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) Muslim men have kept the doors of mosques shut for Muslim women. IMSD welcomes the fact that in recent years some Muslim religious bodies have started creating space for women inside mosques. It demands that ALL mosques open their doors similarly.

Statement issued by:

Javed Anand, Convener, IMSD              

Feroze Mithiborwala Coconvener, IMSD

9870402556 (Javed)       9029277751 (Feroze)



Controversy As Kuwaiti Islamists 'Move To Curb Social Freedoms' By Constitution Amendments


At least 27 of 50 elected MPs have signed a request to amend Article 79 of the Kuwaiti constitution [Getty]


24 November, 2022

Kuwaiti Islamists have proposed constitution amendments which critics say curb social freedoms, sparking controversy in the Gulf state.

At least 27 of 50 elected members of parliament have signed a proposal to amend Article 79 of the Kuwaiti constitution, to ensure laws may only be put into effect if they are "in accordance with Islamic law", MP Muhammad Hayef Al-Mutairi announced last Thursday.

Al-Mutairi said the proposal would be submitted "soon, God willing".

The article currently stipulates that "a law shall not be put into effect unless the National Assembly approves it and the Emir ratifies it."

Al-Mutairi said that the amendment is a "legitimate" to protect Kuwaitis from "the danger of the spread of Western culture among Muslims" and to ensure Kuwaitis don’t "fall victim" to laws contradicting Islam.

"It is to protect society and protect Islamic identity and future generations from outside cultures and negative phenomena… we do not know what will happen after another 20 years from the change of cultures" he told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

In order for the revision to be approved, two-thirds of the National Assembly must endorse it, and the Emir must ratify and issue it, according to Article 174 of the constitution – which Al-Mutairi believes is possible.

However, the proposal has received fierce pushback.

The Kuwaiti Progressive Movement called on Kuwaitis and "the vital forces in Kuwaiti society" , to "take clear positions in refusing to tamper with Article 79 of the constitution, and adhere to the foundations of the democratic system".

The group cited "serious" fears that the revision would encourage "prejudice" and compromise principles of "freedom and equality", accusing Islamist MPs of trying to establish "a legislative religious authority".

The Kuwaiti Democratic Forum also issued a statement against the amendment of the article.

"We refuse to undermine our democracy and violate our constitution and its articles, whether by amending Article 79 of the constitution, or any other amendment that does not guarantee freedom and equality," they said.

In addition, five Kuwaiti members of parliament have proposed that the Gulf state amend Article 198 of the penal code targeting transgender individuals, Kuwaiti National Assembly news network Al-Dustor reported.

The proposal by the Islamist MPs says that "whoever adopts an external appearance other than his innate gender" should be imprisoned for up to one year and/or receive a fine not exceeding 1,000 dinars, based on Islamic religious rulings.

Source: New Arab

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UK Aid Funded Police Corruption, Abuse In Afghanistan: Commission for Aid Impact Report


Afghan security personnel pictured in Kabul on May 11, 2020. (AFP/File Photo)


November 24, 2022

LONDON: British aid worth hundreds of millions of pounds went toward funding police corruption in Afghanistan, according to a report.

The UK’s Independent Commission for Aid Impact found that money sent to the country before it fell to the Taliban in August last year was spent on plans for nation-building and security that were not “realistic.”

Around £252 million ($305 million) was sent to Afghanistan in aid for police operations, as part of more than £3.5 billion in aid sent in total, which, the ICAI said, had funded “police corruption and brutality, including extortion, arbitrary detention, torture, and extrajudicial killings.”

Theft of equipment purchased with British aid money was common, and police forces would routinely register “ghost officers” on their payrolls. There were also frequent reports of police officials using their positions of authority to sexually abuse young boys.

The ICAI’s report noted that efforts to block spending on police when the issues came to light were opposed at the “highest levels of the UK government.”

The ICAI added that a UK decision to transfer funds via the Afghan government had compounded corruption, denying regional authorities access to much-needed aid, but British schemes for women and girls focused on matters such as education and early motherhood had been relatively successful.

Hugh Bayley, the commissioner of the ICAI, said: “The international evacuation from Afghanistan marked the end of one of the most ambitious undertakings ever pursued by UK aid.

“It’s clear that the remarkable efforts by those working on the UK aid program made a significant difference to many people in Afghanistan, including women and girls.

“However, the way the UK pursued its primary objective of building a viable Afghan state contained key flaws that contributed to its ultimate failure, and there are questions around the appropriateness of using UK aid to fund Afghan counter-insurgency operations.

“It’s not clear if the gains made by the UK’s aid program, in improving literacy and reducing child mortality for example, will last under Taliban rule, and there are lessons that must be learned and used to guide future stabilization and state-building initiatives,” he added.

British Conservative MP Richard Bacon told The Telegraph: “Aid workers in Afghanistan are to be commended on the effective work they have delivered through individual programs.

“However, the long-term success of the UK aid program in Afghanistan is in doubt as a result of the failure to secure a viable Afghan state.

“The independent aid watchdog, ICAI, rates the UK’s development assistance to Afghanistan as unsatisfactory in most areas.

“It has found that decisions to fund police or other security agencies were ill-conceived. The ICAI states that in highly fragile contexts such as this, ministers must consider the prospects of viable political settlements in the sustained belief of a successful transition out of conflict.

“This review demonstrates that individual UK aid programming can succeed, but ministers must work out their priorities and direct UK aid to where it counts,” he added.

A British Foreign Office spokesman told The Telegraph: “UK aid improved health; increased school enrolment; provided humanitarian support to the most vulnerable; and led the way in clearing landmines and other unexploded munitions across the country.

“We welcome the commission’s report and will provide a formal response in due course.”

Source: Arab News

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Taliban’s ‘Injustice’; Women Lawyers and Judges Forced to Beg for Food: Rina Amiri, the US Special Envoy


Rina Amiri, the US Special Envoy for Afghan Women, Girls, and Human Rights in Afghanistan/ Photo: The Khaama Press


By Saqalain Eqbal

November 24, 2022

Rina Amiri, the US Special Envoy for Afghan Women, Girls, and Human Rights in Afghanistan, voiced concern about the “injustice” of the Taliban, claiming that since the Taliban marginalized women who practiced law, they are now forced to beg food for their families.

The US official wrote in a string of tweets on Wednesday, November 23, that “One year ago today, the Taliban dissolved the Afghan Independent Bar [Association] which was a model of gender inclusion.”

“Now women are sidelined from practicing law & many women judges & lawyers are forced to beg for food for their children rather than use their skills,” Rina Amiri slammed the Taliban saying “Such injustice.”

After the Taliban took control of the country last year, the group’s leadership dissolved the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association on the 23rd of November.

The Afghan Independent Bar Association sought to advance and defend social justice, the rule of law, and the application of Islamic law in Afghanistan and was founded to foster new generations of legal professionals, improve access to fair trials, and fight against administrative corruption.

The Bar Association of Afghanistan had over 6,000 members, with women making up almost a quarter of the members, according to one of the members.

Many defense attorneys said that the current administration had revoked their licenses and stressed that they are not permitted to work on legal or criminal cases until they receive a new license from the Taliban Ministry of Justice.

Source: Khaama Press

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Long-Time Reformist Leader Anwar Ibrahim Is Malaysia’s 5th PM In Less Than 5 Years


Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of Malaysia's Pakatan Harapan coalition


Nov 25, 2022

The man who lend democracy it’s most stunning image in South East Asia in the late 90s as he led thousands on the streets of Malaysia against his sacking amid widely claimed “political conspiracy”, rose to the highest power seat of the country on Thursday, surging both the markets and people’s hopes.

Anwar Ibrahim, 75, was appointed the 10th PM of Malaysia — fifth in less than five years — in a national palace ceremony, ending the impasse caused by a hung parliament in the general elections. Markets surged on the end of political deadlock. The ringgit currency posted its best day in two weeks and equities rose 3%.

It was the culmination of a stunning comeback for Anwar, whose career has included a stint as deputy prime minister, two jail terms that were considered politically motivated, and, finally, the role of longtime opposition leader.

The multi-racial, and multi-ethnic nation of over 33 million, reeling under more than two years of political turmoil, economic hardships and corrupt leaders, waited with baited breath for King Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah to select Anwar and his coalition Pakatan Harappan to lead the country. In accordance with the constitutional monarchy provisions, the king met all the royal heads of the nine states on Thursday and in consensus declared Anwar as the new PM. “The fact is, people cannot be burdened by endless political turmoil when what the country needs is a stable government that is able to stimulate the economic landscape and development of the country,” the palace said in a statement.

In his first news conference, Anwar said he would form a unity government comprising his Pakatan Harapan that won 82 seats, the National Frontwith 30 seats and a bloc from eastern Sarawak state with 23 seats. He said that would give him a majority of 135 seats, with other smaller blocs expected to join in. He also said his government will propose a vote of confidence when parliament reconvenes Dec 19. Anwar said he wishes his victory will bring new hope for Malaysians longing for a more equitable nation, and assured majority Malay Muslims that they have nothing to fear. He said his priority will be to strengthen the economy as it faces an expected slowdown next year and fight rising inflation.

Anwar rose to political prominence when he was part of the Malay nationalist UMNO, which has prioritised the indigenous Malay population over the country’s minorities. But after a falling out with the party, Anwar has called for equal treatment of its minorities, mainly ethnic Chinese and Indian. “Being a minority here, I feel like this is the one sliver of hope that we have left,” said Mahaysyhaa Shriedhaa A/P Gopal, a Malaysian of Indian descent, after she voted for Pakatan Harapan. Urbane and charismatic, Anwar speaks often about the importance of democracy and quotes from Gandhi as well as the Quran.

For years, Anwar was the heir apparent for Mahathir Mohamad, the long time leader of UMNO. But in the late 1990s, the relationship betweenthem deteriorated after Anwar criticised what he saw as a culture of cronyism within UMNO. Later, both men differed over the handling of the Asian financial crisis. “Here was a firebrand and dynamic young leader, hailing from a Muslim fundamentalist party but completely untainted, and helping the country tide over the Asian financial crisis as finance minister when he was unceremoniously dumped and even maligned. The nation was shocked,” said A Ravendiran Arjunan, a Malaysian Indian businessman, and vice president, GOPIO Malaysia, who, like many other Indians, rallied around Anwar when he was imprisoned. Interestingly, when Anwar formed his People’s Justice Party, popularly called the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), in 2003, nearly 60% of its members were Indians.

In 1998, Anwar was fired from the cabinet. He started a protest movement called Reformasi (Reform) that called for the end of corruption and greater social justice. Anwar served two lengthy stints in prison for sodomy and corruption. His first incarceration on September 20, 1998, under the Internal Security Act, gave rise to a spate of protests in the country. In 2008, another sodomy charge was slapped on him, leading to a round of jail terms. After his release from prison, Anwar taught abroad before returning home to run for office again. He won a by-election, trouncing UMNO, and was again arrested that year over sodomy charges, which he denies. In 2014, Anwar was sentenced to five years in jail. But Anwar was back in the orbit of the prime minister’s job in a few years. He had made up with Mahathir. They successfully ousted the UMNO government, which was led by Najib Razak, but had another falling out over succession plans. Now, Anwar is finally in the seat he has long sough

Source: Times Of India

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 Little-Known Islamic Resistance Council Owns Up Mangaluru Auto Blast, Says Temple Was Target

Nov 25, 2022

MANGALURU: A little-known radical Islamic outfit has claimed responsibility for the Mangaluru auto rickshaw blast and said the target of the botched operation was a temple in the coastal city, even as the Karnataka government formally handed over the investigation of the blast case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday.

Mangaluru police said they would investigate the veracity of the note sent by Islamic Resistance Council (IRC). ADGP (law and order) Alok Kumar said the probe would also cover the activities and antecedents of the alleged organisation.

State home minister Araga Jnanendra, meanwhile, issued a statement saying the government had written to the Union home ministry recommending an NIA investigation. State DGP&IG Praveen Sood had said the NIA and other central agencies were working with state police on the case from day one.

In Mangaluru, police refused to confirm or comment on whether the accused had wanted to target places of worship in the city.

On November 19, an explosion occurred in an autorickshaw, leaving the passenger, identified as Mohammed Shariq (24), a key suspect in the case, and its driver with burns. They are being treated at a hospital in Mangaluru.

Source: Times Of India

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Succumbing To Widespread Criticism Jama Masjid Imam Recalls Order Banning Entry Of ‘Girls’

Nov 25, 202

NEW DELHI: Succumbing to widespread criticism, both in social media and from women’s organisations, the Jama Masjid management withdrew its controversial order banning entry of “unaccompanied girls” inside the mosque, except for prayers. Notices put up earlier regarding the ban were also taken off the entry gates.

The decision to withdraw the order came after Delhi lieutenant governor V K Saxena spoke to Jama Masjid’s Shahi Imam Ahmed Bukhari and requested him to rescind the order. Imam Bukhari agreed, with the request that visitors respect and maintain the sanctity of the mosque.

“Though we have removed the notices from the gates, our chowkidar will monitor all activities. Girls found indulging in undesirable activities will be stopped. Their parents will also be informed,” Bukhari told TOI.

He added that mosques are for offering prayers, not a meeting or a socialising point for anyone. “Only Muslims girls were caught loitering around,” he claimed, adding that there are no restrictions on them for offering prayers at the mosque.

The notice which was earlier put at the entry gates said, “Jama Masjid mein ladki ya ladkiyon ka akele daakhla mana hai (The entry of a girl, or girls, on their own is not permitted in Jama Masjid).

Earlier in the day, public relation officer of Jama Masjid Sabiullah said that the decision was taken after some undesirable incidents were reported in the premises of the mosque. “This is a religious place and people come here for worship, not for entertainment. This place is meant for offering prayers not for enjoyment, and restrictions are placed for them only,” he said. However, he had no answer as to why only girls had been banned and not boys.

The decision had evoked sharp responses from people on social media and they described it as regressive. Reacting on a decision taken by Jama Masjid authorities, Zakia Soman from Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) said that it showed the mindset of people occupying such a responsible position. “They do not accept women as human beings,” she said, adding that this is not only a religious place but also a heritage site and they can’t bar tourists visiting there. She further said that they think they can resolve all issues by imprisoning women.

Echoing similar views, Hasina Khan from Bebaak Collective said, “This is nothing new. Actually, the problem is in the thought process as they think women will make these pure places impure and that’s why they restrict their mobility.”

Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal termed it a violation of women’s rights. In her tweet, she said, “I am issuing notice to the Imam of the mosque. No one has the right to ban entry of women.”

The notice stated that the commission had taken suo-motu cognisance of media reports of restriction on entry of women in the mosque. She strongly recommended the withdrawal of the ban. The commission also sought the reasons for prohibiting the entry of women and girls “without male companions” in Jama Masjid.

The commission has also sought details of persons responsible for restricting the entry of women and girls in the mosque and the steps being taken by authorities for removing the restrictions. The commission also sought an action taken report from Shahi Imam by November 28.

Maliwal said, “Jama Masjid in Delhi is a historical mosque and women have been going there to perform religious practices without any restriction for ages. Preventing women to freely enter and practice their religion in the mosque is highly discriminatory and an extremely regressive practice as a place of worship should be open to everyone, regardless of their gender. Such an order is clearly misogynistic and against the ethos of the Constitution of India. These guidelines must be withdrawn immediately. We have issued notice and shall take action.”

Source: Times Of India

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BJP slows down unaided madrasas action, focuses on Pasmanda Muslim for UP bypolls

Abhishek Mishra

Nov 25, 2022

For the first time in Uttar Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party is aggressively wooing Muslim voters in the Rampur and Khatauli assembly bypolls to be held on December 5. The BJP leaders are engaged in wooing the Pasmanda Muslims in both these seats, for which the campaign and dialogue is in full swing.

While the Jaat and Muslim equation in Khatauli may give the party an advantage, in Rampur Sadar, a Muslim-majority constituency, 55 per cent of the nearly 3.80 lakh voters are from the Muslim community.

In this by-election, the party has deployed several Muslim leaders in its campaign, who are facing questions on Yogi's decision to conduct a survey of madrasas in the state at the grassroots level. The Muslim community is asking questions about the survey of madrassas, when campaigners ask them to vote for the BJP and try to tell them that the BJP government is working for their welfare, they still seem to be confused about the government's intention regarding the madrasa survey.

According to party sources, the workers have been asked to answer such questions calmly and explain to the voters that the survey is being done because the government wants madrasa students to get modern education and build their career. The state government on August 30 directed district magistrates to conduct a survey of unrecognized madrasas which began on September 10 and found around 8,500 madrasas functioning without obtaining recognition from the State Madrasa Education Board.

On the other hand, in the by-elections of Rampur and Khatauli, this time it is trying to bring its Pasmanda outreach program to the grassroots level for the socially and economically backward Muslim castes. BJP leaders are claiming that more than 3 crore Pasmanda Muslims have got free ration in UP, more than 1.25 lakh have got the benefit of Ayushman card, 75 lakh have got PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, more than 40 lakh free Electricity connection has been given, 20 lakh houses have been given.

The party even recently organized a convention of Pasmanda Muslims in Rampur, which was attended by UP Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak, former Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Minister of State in the UP government Danish Azad Ansari and the party's minority wing president Kunwar Basit Ali. Speaking to India Today, Kunwar Basit Ali said that the BJP government has done maximum work for the Pasmanda Muslims and stating the same, there is an exercise to connect this community.

"More than 200 leaders of the wing from different districts are camping in the area and are campaigning door to door for the BJP candidate. We are sure that a good chunk of Muslim voters who are beneficiaries of government schemes will vote for the BJP in the bypolls. We are talking to them and answering their questions," he added.

UP's Deputy Chief Minister Brijesh Pathak, who is engaged in uniting Pasmanda Muslims, told India Today that this society has benefited the most from the schemes of the Modi and Yogi government and the government has worked for every section without discrimination.

“Where the previous governments used them only for political interest, the BJP wants to bring them into the mainstream and give them their rights, which is the concern of the opposition, who were using the Pasmanda Muslims as a vote bank. On the other hand, legal process will continue in the case of madrasas Survey,” said Pathak.

Whereas, Samajwadi Party has raised questions on this strategy and termed it as biased politics of BJP. SP spokesperson Fakhrul Hasan Chand said that on the one hand BJP is suppressing Muslims by adopting tactics like Hindu-Muslim, Azhaan-Kirtan, Love Jihad and madrasa survey, while talking about the interest of Pasmanda Muslims, they are doing politics to get votes. “The aim of BJP is not to serve the interest of Pasmanda Muslims, but to move ahead by taking advantage of them in the elections, in which the action of madrassas will also gain momentum after the by elections,” said the SP spokesperson.

At the same time, the Congress party has termed it as dual face of BJP. Congress leader Surendra Rajput said that on the one hand the party campaigns for the welfare of the Pasmanda Muslims, while on the other hand it shows the double mindedness of the BJP by setting its agenda by showing fear of action on survey and unrecognized madrassas and spoiling the atmosphere of the state. The voter will not be confused, and BJP will not get any advantage of this strategy in the by-polls.

On this issue, political analyst Ratanmani Lal also believes that the by-elections of Khatauli and Rampur in UP are a big election for the Samajwadi Party as well as the BJP. In the recent days, after the way the survey of unrecognized madrassas was discussed, now in the by-election environment, the government and the administration seem to be taken a back on it, which can be understood that it will affect the equation on these two seats. Due to which the party is currently not ready to act against the madrassas. The decision seems to be on the backfoot.

While senior leaders and other activists of the minority wing have been assigned the responsibility of campaigning in Rampur and Khatauli, which is divided into four mandal units, the victory for both the Rampur and Azamgarh Lok Sabha seats has given confidence of winning the bypolls. Now playing the card of party Pasmanda Muslim, BJP is trying to strengthen itself in these two seats.

Source: India Today

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SC to set up fresh 5-judge bench to hear pleas challenging polygamy and 'nikah halala' among Muslims

24th November 2022

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court said on Thursday it will set up a fresh five-judge Constitution bench to hear the pleas challenging the constitutional validity of polygamy and 'nikah halala' among Muslims.

A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices Hima Kohli and J B Pardiwala was urged by lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, who has filed a PIL on the issue, that a fresh five-judge bench was needed to be constituted as two judges of the previous bench-Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Hemant Gupta- have demitted office.

"We will form a bench," the CJI responded.

On August 30, a five-judge bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee, Hemant Gupta, Surya Kant, M M Sundresh and Sudhanshu Dhulia had made the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Women (NCW) and the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) parties to the PILs and sought their responses.

Later, Justice Banerjee and Justice Gupta retired on September 23 and October 16 this year respectively giving rise to the need for re-constitution of the bench to hear as many as eight petitions against the practices of polygamy and 'nikah halala'.

Upadhyay, in his PIL, has sought a direction to declare polygamy and 'nikah halala' unconstitutional and illegal.

The apex court had in July 2018 considered the plea and referred the matter to a Constitution bench already tasked with hearing a batch of similar petitions.

The apex court had issued notice to the Centre on the petition filed by a woman named Farjana and tagged Upadhyay's plea to a batch of petitions to be heard by the Constitution bench.

The lawyer's petition sought declaring extrajudicial talaq a cruelty under Section 498A (husband or his relatives subjecting a woman to cruelty) of of the IPC.

It claimed nikah halala is an offence under Section 375 (rape) of the IPC, and polygamy a crime under Section 494 (Marrying again during life-time of husband or wife) of the IPC, 1860.

The apex court, which on August 22, 2017 banned the age-old practice of instant 'triple talaq' among Sunni Muslims, had on March 26, 2018 decided to refer to a larger bench a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of polygamy and 'nikah halala'.

While polygamy allows a Muslim man to have four wives, 'nikah halala' is a process under which a divorced Muslim woman has to first marry another person, consummate it and get a divorce from the second husband, if the couple were to remarry after a compromise.

The pleas were referred to a larger bench by the Supreme Court after an earlier five-judge constitution bench in its 2017 verdict kept open the issue of polygamy and 'nikah halala' while quashing the practice of 'triple talaq'.

It had also issued notices to the Law and Justice Ministry, the Minority Affairs Ministry and the National Commission of Women (NCW) at that time.

Some petitions have also challenged the practices of 'Nikah Mutah' and 'Nikah Misyar' -- two types of temporary marriages where duration of the relationship is specified and agreed upon in advance.

In one of the petitions, a woman named Sameena Begum has said by virtue of the Muslim Personal Law, Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code (punishment for marrying again during lifetime of husband or wife) was rendered inapplicable to Muslims and no married woman from the community has the avenue of filing a complaint against her husband for the offence of bigamy.

Another plea was filed by Rani alias Shabnam who alleged that she and her three minor children were thrown out of the matrimonial home after her husband remarried.

She has sought the practices of polygamy and 'nikah halala' to be declared unconstitutional.

A similar plea was filed by Delhi-based Nafisa Khan seeking almost the same reliefs.

Source: New Indian Express

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Narcotics Jihad: New threat to Indian society, secularism and national security

November 24, 2022

Jihad is a buzz word which has increasingly gained ‘popularity’ in the political and national strategic-affairs lexicon. Literal meaning of Jihad is utmost-struggle. As per Islamic-theology, Jihad has two meanings: an inner struggle (the “greater Jihad“), and an outer physical struggle against the enemies of Islam (the “lesser Jihad“) which may take a violent or non-violent form. It stems from the philosophy enshrined in the holy Quran – “I have been commanded to fight until all religion is for Allah.” Simply speaking, Jihad is a call for religious war to fight till all non-Islamists are converted into Islam-religion.

Islam, as a religious-philosophy, is a world-view which dictates a Muslim religious follower from cradle to grave as enshrined in the holy Quran. Any devout Muslim is bound by the by religious laws known as Sharia which is derived primarily from the holy Quran.

‘Sharia-law’ prescribes and proscribes certain code of conduct to be followed religiously by a Muslim. The Islamist Law is hailed above the laws of nation like constitution or other civil and criminal laws. It also gives ‘do and do nots’ as to what the relationship between a Muslim and other non-Muslim fellow human being and how and what kind of personal, religious, political and social relationship a Muslim can have per se as well as his inter se relationship with fellows of other religions.

Ironically, the dictates of Islam also ordain a Muslim to not only spread Islam but fight and convert any non-Muslim (Kafir) to Islam by use of force or any other means also.

Islamist rightist is an extreme fundamentalism where the followers are bigot and communal-jingoist. They simmer communal-identity premised on the cultural identity that they subscribe to.

Over the nation, they give priority to religion. Rather, they want to grab the power of nation-state with an aim to propagate Islamic-extremism in the form of Jihad. Islamization is a fervent religious surge which aims to impose the tenants of Quran in India i.e Islamization of India. Their main proponents are the clergy-class (Mulalh and Mollavis) and some so called religious-influencers who claim to interpret the holy Quran from a ‘scientific-point’ of view. For them, loyalty to Islam is above the loyalty or feeling of nationalism or India-nation. These religious-bigots are not only zealously protecting their own Islamic-identity but also converting other religious communities and people in to their religion aggressively through use of all means at their disposal.

Since they are enjoined upon by their scripture to stop not till they have converted whole non-believers as Muslims, they are prescribed to wage a relentless, perpetual and all-means war against the opponents. This war may be Jihad through the use of violent terrorist activities or by non-war measures. The measures of Jihad can be following:

– Through the use of violent means like terrorism. It is aimed at wresting political-power so as to make that country an Islamic-country. This form of Jihad is followed by the likes of dreaded organisations like ISIS, Taliban, LeT.

– Love Jihad-by use of allurement and emotional black-mailing. In this form, girls from ‘non-believer’ faith are converted in to Islam through marriages.

– Narcotic Jihad– It is a new form of war in which the people of non-believer faith particularly its youth is targeted through inducement of drugs and narcotics to make them vulnerable to accept Islam.

Narcotic Jihad

This is one of the methods in which the non-believers are induced in to the fold of Islam through making them drug-addicts. This is using drug as a weapon for conversion. This type of hidden, clandestine method of conversion was already going-on at a large scale. It specifically targets the vulnerable people of non-Muslim faiths who are from the weaker economic-sections and are more susceptible.

Drug-money has been used for funding terrorist activities and fueling Islamic-extremism. However, in Narcotic Jihad instead of using drug-money as mere a source of terror-funding, the vulnerable and targeted people are directly exposed to drug and are made drug-addicts. This makes them vulnerable and easy victims of terror Jihad.

In comparison to Jihad terrorism, Narcotic Jihad is slow and perpetual war through which non-believers are intoxicated and thus indoctrinated.

Narco Jihad is quite an under-current in Kashmir. In Kashmir, as per the reports, the local terrorists are initially led into the path of extremism through drug addiction. Sometimes people who smuggle drugs are also engaged in terrorist activities. Recently, the NIA arrested four drug traffickers in Kashmir for their alleged involvement in smuggling heroin in huge quantities from Pakistan and supplying it in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country.

ISI controls the narcotics-trade and is well established in its hold on narcotic trade in Pakistan. The same drugs-terrorism nexus also exists within Pakistan, where jihadists are interlinked to the local population through drug supply networks. In essence, Pakistan is exporting an already well-functioning domestic industry into India.

Recently, Mar Joseph Kallarangatt, Bishop of the Palai diocese of the Syro-Malabar Church in Kerala raised the twin issues of ‘love Jihad‘ and ‘narcotic Jihad‘ as the newest ways of Jihad and a newly emerging threat to young men and women of Christian and other non-Muslim faiths. For him, narcotics jihad is Muslims supplying drugs and making Christian youth “addicted” to them, targeting young people belonging to non-Muslim faiths. He further highlighted that Love-Jihad is forcing young women belonging to Christianity and other non-Muslim faiths are subjected to exploitation, forced religious conversion and terrorist activities.

The highly learned Bishop also said that “various types of drugs are being used in ice-cream parlours, hotels and juice corners run by hardcore Jihadis. They are using various types of drugs as a weapon to spoil non-Muslims”. Bishop further cautioned that “Jihadi extremists” have cast their “nets” at almost all places where people gather, including “schools, colleges, hotels, retail shops and training centres”, with the objective of “trapping girls”. As per him, it is “a method of destroying the lives of non-Muslims, especially youth, by making them addicted to drugs”.

As per report in ET, NIA will probe involvement of International Drug Cartel following the seizure of 301 Kgs of narcotics worth Rs 3000 kgs and arms and ammunition off Kerala Coast. There has been an increase in consumption and supply of drugs in Kerala.

Source: Firstpost

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'Our efforts to sanction perpetrators of 26/11 attacks blocked for political reasons': India

Nov 24, 2022

UNITED NATIONS: India has said its efforts to sanction perpetrators and facilitators of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks have been blocked in the past for “political reasons”, enabling those responsible to walk free and organise further cross-border assaults against the country.

India's Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, said terrorism continues to pose a "grave threat" to international peace and security, as ISIS and al-Qaeda affiliated and inspired groups, particularly in Asia and Africa, continue to operate and target civilians and security forces.

"Lest we forget, in November 2008, 10 terrorists entered the city of Mumbai through sea route from Pakistan, ravaging the city for 4 days, killing 166 people, including 26 foreign nationals,” she said in her remarks to the UN Security Council Joint Briefing by the Chairs of the 1267/1373/1540 Committees to the Security Council.

"Our efforts to sanction the perpetrators and facilitators of these terror attacks were blocked in the past for political reasons. These actors continue to walk free and have been organising further cross-border attacks against my country,” she said, amid repeated holds by China on bids by India and the US to designate Pakistan-based terrorists and entities.

Since June this year, China, an all-weather ally of Pakistan, has put holds on proposals to blacklist Pakistan-based terrorists Hafiz Talah Saeed, Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Shahid Mahmood, Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Sajid Mir, senior Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) leader Abdul Rauf Azhar and Abdul Rehman Makki under the Al Qaeda Sanctions regime.

India and the US had submitted proposals to designate the Pakistan-based terrorists and subject them to asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo, but they hit stumbling blocks when Beijing placed holds on the proposals.

The 15-nation UN Security Council heard briefings from Chairs of Subsidiary bodies of the Council - the Counter-Terrorism Committee chaired by India, 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee chaired by Norway and the 1540 Committee concerning non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction chaired by Mexico.

Kamboj had briefed the Council in her capacity as Chair of the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee.

Delivering India's national statement at the briefing, Kamboj said the work of the 1267 Committee relies on that of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, which in its recent report to 1988 Committee highlighted the continued threat posed by Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.

“We thank the team for its reports and hope that the team will continue to report the activities of these groups, including in its periodic reports to the 1267 Committee.

"While these entities were listed under the 1267 sanctions regime more than a decade back, there is a need to keep monitoring their activities as they have been allowed to operate under various aliases with state-sponsored hospitality,” Kamboj said, in a veiled reference to Pakistan.

As the Chair of the Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC) for 2022, Kamboj said India made “all efforts” to ensure that the Committee is able to deliver its mandate effectively.

She said the Government of India “had the honour to host” special meetings of the CTC in Mumbai and New Delhi last month.

In Mumbai, the CTC members paid tribute to the victims of terrorist attacks, including the Mumbai terror attacks, and had the opportunity to listen to the victims' experience of attacks, stories of their resilience and their expectation from the international community, including from the UN Security Council.

The meeting in New Delhi highlighted the threat posed by the use of new and emerging technologies such as social media, encryption messaging services, virtual currencies, blockchain technologies, mobile money wallets, and drones by terrorist groups and an urgent need for the Security Council to address this threat in a comprehensive and holistic manner, she added.

The Delhi Declaration, adopted at the culmination of the meeting, “embodies the Council's collective determination to pay attention to this threat and further develop guidance for member states to address this threat,” Kamboj said.

She said India is confident that the UAE, as the incoming Chair of the CTC, would continue to build on these initiatives.

The CTC, in the past year, was able to underscore the risk posed by the existing as well as expanding terrorist threats in Asia and Africa, and the need for providing capacity-building assistance to risk-prone member states, as well as ensuring effective actions by member states to curb the activities of terrorist groups operating from the territories under their control.

“It is important that terror-risk prone jurisdictions bring their CFT (Combating Financing of Terrorism) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) frameworks at par with the international standards, including those standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF),” Kamboj said.

She said India commends CTC and CTED (Counter Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate) for their efforts to involve FATF and other such international financial ‘watchdogs' in the activities of the CTC and CTED.

Kamboj recalled the clarion call of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to the Security Council last year through his 8-point action plan, which also highlighted the need for reform of the working methods of the Security Council Sanctions Committees in order to ensure greater transparency, accountability and effectiveness in the working of these Committees.

He had called for ending the practice of placing blocks and holds on listing requests without any rhyme or reason and ensuring that the listing and delisting of individuals and entities under the UN sanctions regimes is done objectively, based on evidence and not on political considerations.

The Council needs to pay attention to these action points, or else the credibility of these committees and our collective faith in them will only get gradually eroded, Kamboj said.

On the 1540 Committee, Kamboj said this is an important component of the global non-proliferation architecture aimed at curbing the threat posed by the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, and related materials, equipment, and technology, by non-State actors, including terrorist groups.

The Committee should also take into account the rapid evolution of proliferation risks, due to new and emerging technologies increasing the risks of WMD access, by terrorist groups and other non-state actors, she said.

Source: Times Of India

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Arab World


UN calls for ‘vital’ aid to Syria during winter

24 November ,2022

The United Nations on Thursday called for “life-saving” funding to help six million people in Syria survive winter, after more than 11 years of devastating conflict.

The relief money is “urgently needed to provide vital winter aid,” according to a statement issued by two senior officials from the UN’s humanitarian agency OCHA.

The agency said it had received only 42 percent of its requested relief budget for Syria this year.

“This is the twelfth year of crisis and the twelfth winter of hardship for the Syrian population,” OCHA’s acting coordinator ElMostafa Benlamlih said.

In the statement, Benlamlih along with OCHA’s Syria coordinator, Muhannad Hadi, warned millions of Syrians – including displaced people living in camps – are living under “perilous” conditions and “will not be protected against the severe winter” without assistance.

Amid nationwide electricity rationing and chronic fuel shortages, many families are struggling to keep their homes warm this winter.

The UN officials said they were “particularly concerned about families who cannot afford electricity, to buy warm clothes or heating supplies.”

Syria’s civil war, which has killed nearly half a million people, has fragmented the country and caused economic collapse.

Ninety percent of the population now lives below the poverty line and 12.4 million people are food insecure, according to the UN.

Of the six million people in need of winter assistance, 2.5 million live in Syria’s northwest, in the last major rebel and extremist stronghold of the country.

The majority of the three million people living in these territories are displaced, according to OCHA.

Every winter in this region, heavy rains transform camps for displaced people into muddy swamps.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iraq summons Iran, Turkey amid border tensions

24 November ,2022

Iraq summoned Iran and Turkey’s ambassadors in Baghdad on Thursday following cross-border attacks on the country’s territory.

“These attacks by both Iran and Turkey distract the efforts of countering terrorism on regional level,” the spokesperson of the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Ahmed al-Sahhaf, told The AP.

The Iraqi foreign ministry also confirmed it notified the UN Security Council about the latest border violations.

“It will raise the alert level and tension, and it will affect the nature of relations between Iran and Iraq, and Turkey and Iraq,” al-Sahhaf added.

On Tuesday, Iran launched a new round of strikes at Iranian Kurdish dissident groups based in Iraq’s northern, semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

Some Iranian Kurdish groups have been engaged in a low-intensity conflict with Tehran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and have sought refuge in neighboring Iraq where they established bases.

Iran alleges that these groups are inciting anti-government protests in Iran and smuggling weapons into the country, which the Iranian Kurdish groups deny. Iran has not provided evidence to back up the claims.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Lebanon MPs fail for seventh time to elect president despite economic crisis

24 November ,2022

Lebanese lawmakers failed for a seventh time Thursday to elect a successor to former president Michel Aoun, even though the vacancy is hampering efforts to rescue the stricken economy.

Parliament is split between supporters of the Iran-backed Hezbollah group and its opponents, neither of whom have a clear majority.

Lawmaker Michel Moawad, who is seen as close to the United States, won the support of 42 of parliament’s 128 MPs, but his tally fell well short of the required majority and was exceeded by the number of spoilt ballots cast by pro-Hezbollah lawmakers.

Moawad’s candidacy is opposed by Hezbollah, whose leader Hassan Nasrallah called this month for a president ready to stand up to the United States.

“This is not an electoral process, it’s a process of waiting for compromise that is to the detriment of the country, the people, the economy and the constitution,” said Christian MP and Moawad supporter Samy Gemayel.

There have been delays in electing previous Lebanese presidents.

Aoun’s own election in 2016 followed a more than two-year vacancy at the presidential palace as lawmakers made 45 failed attempts before reaching a consensus on his candidacy.

But the failure to elect a successor to Aoun before his mandate expired at the end of last month came with Lebanon mired in an economic crisis the World Bank has dubbed one of the worst in modern history.

The country has also had only a caretaker government since May, despite warnings from creditors that sweeping reforms need to be enacted to clear the way for the release of billions of dollars in emergency loans.

“An unprecedented institutional vacuum will likely further delay any agreement on crisis resolution and critical reform ratification, deepening the woes of the Lebanese people,” the World Bank warned in a statement on Wednesday.

“Lebanon’s total contraction of 37.3 percent in real GDP since 2018 – among the worst the world has seen – has already wiped out 15 years of economic growth and is scarring the country’s potential for recovery.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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Hopes of World Cup progress look brighter for Arab nations


November 24, 2022

DUBAI: It may be painful but let’s look back to the first round of games for Arab countries at the 2018 World Cup.

Saudi Arabia were thrashed 5-0 by hosts Russia in the tournament’s opening game in Moscow. Then came Tunisia and Morocco, and it is hard to say whether their first defeats were more heartbreaking or less.

The former were holding England to a 1-1 draw but then lost to an injury time Harry Kane goal and the latter were undone in the 95th minute by an own goal against Iran. None recovered and all were out of the tournament after just two group games.

Four years on, however, and things are very different.

Whatever happens in the second round of games in the coming days, three of the four Arab nations are going to be in with a chance of progressing to the last 16.

After the disappointment of Qatar’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Ecuador in the tournament opener on Sunday, teams representing the region have shone.

Qatar’s Ismaeel Mohammed spoke of the inspiration that the Asian champions have taken from the exploits of their regional rivals.

“The performance until now, especially of Arab teams, is making us maybe a bit jealous and is motivating us to do as well as they have,” he said on Thursday.

Qatar are not the only team jealous of Saudi Arabia, and desperately wishing to experience something similar. The Green Falcons have been hogging the international spotlight since that stunning 2-1 comeback win over Argentina.

Plenty has already been said about the game itself but it is really something when the football world is talking about Salem Al-Dawsari rather than Lionel Messi.

It was a tactical masterclass from coach Herve Renard but one that could not have worked without the effort, intelligence and dedication from his players. The brave way they played was hailed even in Argentina.

Debates have raged on where this ranks on the scale of World Cup upsets. It is certainly right up there, and easily the biggest since Senegal, playing their first ever game at the World Cup, defeated holders France in the opening game of the 2002 tournament. It may even rival Cameroon beating Argentina, then the holders, in the first game of the 1990 cup in Italy.

In terms of Arab results, it is fair to say that the only competition Saudi Arabia have is Algeria’s 2-1 win over the mighty West Germany in 1982.

The headlines in the German media that year have been mirrored somewhat in the Argentina press now — derision for their team and praise for the victors.

It is certainly the biggest Saudi result in a World Cup tournament. The 1994 team got to the knockout stages and defeated Morocco and Belgium, but Argentina is on a different level.

Later on, Tuesday, Tunisia took on Denmark, regarded by some as dark horses in Qatar, a team that reached the semifinals of the 2020 European Championships where they were narrowly defeated by England.

The game ended 0-0 but it was an entertaining affair and the point that the Carthage Eagles took was fully deserved and they could have had all three had it not been for the reactions of Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

For the first hour of the game, they were on top with their energy and aggression causing plenty of problems.

And then came Morocco and another goalless draw, once again against a talented European opponent. The stalemate with 2018 finalist Croatia was a solid start for the Atlas Lions and another deserved point. Both teams looked well matched and fought each other to a standstill.

Those results did not grab the same headlines as Saudi Arabia’s, but they are significant. At the very least, these three Arab teams will avoid the fate of 2018 when they went into the final games of the group knowing that they were already eliminated. They will be competitive until the end, but ambitions are obviously greater now.

The conquerors of Argentina now turn their attention to Poland, who drew 0-0 with Mexico in a tepid game on Saturday and could conceivably book a place in the second round with a match to spare. That really would be a massive achievement but after Tuesday, it would not be a massive shock.

Tunisia take on Australia. Both teams regard the other as their best chance for three points in Group D. The Socceroos were beaten 4-1 by France with the defending champions unsurprisingly a cut above.

On early impressions, Tunisia are favorites. Victory would put Jalel Kadri’s men in with a great chance of the next stage, especially if the French defeat Denmark.

Morocco take on Belgium on Sunday. The Red Devils beat Canada 1-0 but were far from impressive. Belgium struggled with the hard-running of the Canadians and Walid Regragui’s men will fancy their chances. Saudi Arabia’s victory against Argentina stands as an example of what can be done.

Source: Arab News

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West pursuing war-mongering policies to maintain dominance, Assad tells Belarusian PM

24 November 2022

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says the West is pursuing the policy of waging wars across the globe in order to maintain its dominance, emphasizing that the hegemonic system will cease to exist in case wars and military confrontations sponsored by certain Western states come to an end.

Assad made the remarks in a meeting with visiting Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko in the capital Damascus on Thursday.

He praised the visit as important not only in terms of bilateral agreements signed between the two countries, but also as a significant and practical step towards specific areas of cooperation and implementation of joint investment projects that would benefit both Syrian and Belarusian nations.

The Syrian president highlighted that Belarus has been targeted by Western sanctions due to its strategic location in the heart of Europe, and the independence of its decisions and policies.

“The West is pursuing the policy of waging wars around the world in order to maintain its dominance, as the hegemonic system will not survive once the military conflicts finish,” Assad pointed out.

He went on to appreciate Belarus’ support for Syria as the Arab country is fighting off foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorist groups, stating that the Eastern European country has firmly backed Syria’s unity and territorial integrity.

Golovchenko, for his part, stated that there exist great potentials for the promotion of mutual cooperation between Minsk and Damascus, noting that Belarusian businesses are prepared to set up various projects in Syria and develop trade relations.

He stressed that his country is looking forward to regular meetings and exchanges between Belarusian and Syrian companies in order to boost the production sector and undertake joint projects.

“The world has been undergoing profound transformations since World War II. New alliances have been formed among the countries that pursue policies independent of Western approaches. Over the past two years, Western countries have been waging a campaign of pressure against Belarus in order to deteriorate living conditions and paralyze economic sector there. They have also been carrying out a psychological warfare against Belarus in order to influence the world public opinion,” Golovchenko pointed out.

On Wednesday, Syria and Belarus signed multiple cooperation agreements and agreed to enhance cooperation in the face of mutual challenges, such as unilateral economic sanctions.

Earlier in the day, Syrian Prime Minister Hussein Arnous met with his Belarusian counterpart in Damascus, during which they discussed economic ties, including strengthening trade and cooperation in the fields of energy, transport, education and culture, as well as the contribution of Belarusian businesses to Syria's reconstruction.

Source: Press TV

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UN urges China to release Uyghur Muslim detainees in Xinjiang, provide reparations

Nov 25, 2022

A United Nations committee urged China on Thursday to release people held in detention facilities in its Xinjiang region and recommended that it provide victims with "remedies and reparation".

The committee's statement adds to pressure on China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, to enact reforms following a report from the global body's human rights chief in August which said its treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslims may constitute crimes against humanity.

Rights groups accuse Beijing of abuses against Uyghurs, a mainly Muslim ethnic minority that numbers around 10 million in Xinjiang, including the mass use of forced labour in internment camps. China denies any rights abuses.

Its spokesperson at the diplomatic mission in Geneva, Liu Yuyin, said Beijing firmly opposes the UN committee's move, saying it "smears and slanders China's human rights situation based on disinformation fabricated by Western countries and anti-China separatist forces".

The 18-member committee regularly monitors countries' compliance with a 1965 international convention on racial discrimination which China and some 180 other countries are party to.

The committee said the "lack of improvement in the human rights situation in Xinjiang" spurred it to adopt the recommendations, known as a decision.

Source: India Today

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Dutch Airstrike of Afghanistan in 2007 Ruled ‘Unlawful’ by Court in the Netherlands

By Saqalain Eqbal

November 24, 2022

A Dutch court found on Wednesday that the bombing of a civilian complex in the central Afghan province of Uruzgan by Dutch forces in June 2007 was “unlawful” and that the Netherlands should compensate for the victims’ losses.

In response to a report from a war veteran raising concerns about the legality of this action in the Chora valley of Uruzgan province, the Dutch Defense Ministry requested prosecutors look into this bombardment, which resulted in the deaths of numerous civilians.

In response to the incident that occurred during battle between multinational forces and the Taliban in the province of Uruzgan in central Afghanistan, four Afghans who were not identified in court documents reportedly sued the Dutch government.

Early on June 17, 2007, Dutch F-16 military aircraft launched 28 guided bombs in the region, 18 of which landed on “qalas,” or fortified compounds, close to the major town of Chora, the evaluated.

According to Dutch court records, the wife, two daughters, three sons, and a daughter-in-law of one of the people who complained to the court were among the victims of this horrific bombing.

According to the court, Dutch soldiers had not made a proper distinction between military and civilian objectives.

Source: Khaama Press

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UN rights chief says full-fledged crisis underway in Iran

Nov 24, 2022

GENEVA: The UN human rights chief on Thursday made a strong appeal to Iranian authorities to stop their "unnecessary and disproportionate" use of force against protesters in Iran in a speech to the Human Rights Council on the ongoing crisis.

"We are now in a full-fledged human rights crisis," high commissioner of human rights Volker Turk said in his first address to the 47-member council since starting last month.

Source: Times Of India

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Putin discusses West's oil price cap with Iraqi leader: Kremlin

24 November ,2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday discussed Western attempts to cap the price of Russian oil during a phone call with Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, the new Iraqi prime minister, the Kremlin said in a readout of the call.

It said Putin had told Sudani that a price cap would have serious consequences for the global energy market.

“Attempts by a number of Western countries to impose restrictions on the cost of crude oil from Russia were touched upon,” the Kremlin's statement said.

“Vladimir Putin stressed that such actions contradict the principles of market relations and are highly likely to lead to serious consequences for the global energy market.”

The European Union and United States have stepped up attempts in recent days to strike an agreement on where to set a price cap on their imports of Russian oil.

Source: Al Arabiya

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UN rights chief’s offer to visit Iran met with silence

24 November ,2022

New UN human rights chief Volker Turk revealed Thursday he had offered to visit Iran during Tehran’s deadly crackdown on mass protests gripping the country -- but has received no reply.

Iran has witnessed two months of demonstrations sparked by the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, after she was arrested for an alleged breach of the country’s strict dress code for women. The protests have swelled into a broad movement against the ruling theocracy.

Turk started his new job as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights last month.

“Since I took up my current position as high commissioner, I had two meetings with the Iranian authorities,” he told reporters outside a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council called to discuss whether to set up a high-level investigation into Tehran’s crackdown.

“I offered to go to Iran, I also offered a stronger presence in Iran -- we don’t have an office there -- but so far I haven’t received a response.”

Turk said he had also engaged with Tehran on its use of the death penalty, especially regarding juvenile offenders.

“Again, we haven’t received responses to our calls to put an end to it,” he said.

As for the prospect of Iranian engagement with the UN’s various human rights mechanisms, he added: “Hope springs eternal.”

“So far, it’s been not the most forward-looking approach,” he said, citing Tehran’s refusal to allow entry to the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran.

“We can only hope that this attitude will change.”

Turk made his first speech to the Human Rights Council to open the special session on the Iran protests, calling for an immediate end to the violence against protesters, saying change was inevitable.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Türkiye has right to protect itself against terrorist attacks: Swedish premier

Atila Altuntas  



Türkiye has the right to protect itself against terrorist attacks, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said Thursday.

In response to a question in the Riksdag, or parliament, by Green Party spokeswoman Marta Stenevi, Kristersson said it must be admitted that Türkiye is a country that has been subjected to terrorist attacks and it has the right to protect itself against terrorism.

Kristersson said the rest of the world has reason to recognize that the terrorist attacks that hit Türkiye are just as bad for Türkiye as other terrorist attacks that hit other countries are for them.

He stressed that Sweden should not be a place where people, who in various ways participate in and finance terrorism or terrorist-related activities, find a safe haven precisely because their activities are not aimed at Sweden but at Türkiye.

On Sunday, Türkiye launched Operation Claw-Sword, a cross-border aerial campaign against the YPG/PKK terrorist group, which has illegal hideouts across the Iraqi and Syrian borders where they plan attacks on Turkish soil.

The air operation followed a terrorist attack on Istanbul's crowded Istiklal Avenue that killed six people and left 81 injured.

Turkish officials stressed that the operation is in line with international law and the nation's right to self-defense under UN resolutions.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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South Asia


Taliban Urges Afghan Refugees To Stay Away From Protests In Iran, Pakistan

November 25, 2022

Kabul:  Abdul Rahman Rashid, the Taliban's Deputy Minister of Refugees, urged Afghan refugees to avoid taking part in demonstrations held in Iran and Pakistan.

The Taliban representative said in a video message that was released on November 23 that "the demonstrations are their (Iran and Pakistan's) domestic affairs, their people are demonstrating, do not ruin your life," reported The Khaama Press.

Rashid added that these protests are internal issues of the respective countries and Afghan nationals should not participate in them.

The Taliban's call to Afghan refugees comes while Iranian citizens have been holding nationwide protests for several weeks across Iran.

Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, 22, died while being held by the Iranian Morality Police for not observing the mandatory hijab, prompting an unprecedented flurry of public protests against the Iranian government.

These widespread protests sparked by Amini's death, are one of the biggest challenges faced by the Iranian government and leadership after the 1979 revolution.

However, so far, the Iranian government has not spoken about the participation of Afghan immigrants in the demonstrations.

On Tuesday, Iran's judiciary announced that the government of Iran had arrested 40 foreign citizens in connection with the country's recent protests. However, it has not revealed more information about the identity of the arrested individuals.

Prior to the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan, 3.4 million Afghan immigrants--nearly two million of them were undocumented--lived in Iran, according to statistics from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), reported Khaama Press.

However, UNHCR said that after August last year when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of Afghans fled to Iran.

Meanwhile, Pakistan is also in turmoil due to political instability, after Imran Khan, the former prime minister of Pakistan was ousted. Violent protests by his supporters occurred parallel with protests in Iran, reported Khaama Press.

While the ousted PM of Pakistan sustained a shot in his leg in a protest on November 6, he stated that the protest marches towards Islamabad would resume.

Source: ND TV

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UN ask Taliban to end gender-based violence in Afghanistan

25 November, 2022

Kabul [Afghanistan], November 25 (ANI): The UN mission in Afghanistan has called on the Taliban to take immediate steps to end violence against women and the broader deterioration of women’s rights as a vital part of efforts to establish a meaningful and sustainable peace.

The call came as the world marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the start of the global “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.”

Since the summer of 2021, women in Afghanistan have had many of their most fundamental rights restricted or rescinded in a country that has one of the highest rates of violence against women globally.

“The fundamental rights of Afghan women need to be protected and concrete steps need to be taken for an enabling environment which is free from all forms of violence,” said Roza Otunbayeva, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. “Protecting the rights of women is a crucial factor for stability, prosperity and any lasting peace in Afghanistan” said Otunbayeva, who is also head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

According to the UNAMA statement, the situation is exacerbated by a dire humanitarian and economic crisis, and the restrictions on women’s fundamental rights, including the freedom to move, work, seek education and participate in public life.

These factors have combined to reinforce some traditional social norms that condone the use of violence as a form of discipline and control, creating an environment where violence against women and girls is normalized, UN mission added.

In the absence of laws and policies that protect and promote gender equality and women’s rights, and the introduction of decrees and edicts that contribute to systematically erasing women from public and political life, the underlying social norms that perpetuate inequality have been emboldened.

“Each day we continue to see the normalization of violence against women and girls, in their homes, places where they are allowed to work, online, and in public spaces,” said Alison Davidian, UN Women’s Representative in Afghanistan. “Globally we know it is impossible to create an environment where women and girls are free from violence without also having specific interventions to empower them, including initiatives to support their voice, agency and participation in the decisions affecting their lives. We need to renew our efforts to invest in both the protection and empowerment of women and girls in Afghanistan.”

Source: The Print

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Southeast Asia


PBDS president wants PM Anwar to appoint non-Muslim MP from Sabah or Sarawak as DPM

By Sulok Tawie

25 Nov 2022

KUCHING, Nov 25 — Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) president Bobby William today expressed hope that the newly-minted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim would consider appointing a non-Muslim Member of Parliament from Sarawak or Sabah as a deputy prime minister.

He said the appointment could assist the prime minister on all matters affecting the special interests of the two Borneo states as enshrined in the Federal Constitution, including the outstanding matters in the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

“In the meantime, PBDS is open for discussion with Pakatan Harapan on all issues affecting the Dayak community in Sarawak,” Bobby said when responding to Anwar’s statement that he would appoint a deputy prime minister to come from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

He said PBDS, as a communal-based political party, is hopeful that Anwar will build a nation that unify all races with the purpose towards a common goal to make Malaysia a country that is determined, progressive and harmonious.

“PBDS prays that he will be fair to all Malaysians,” Bobby said.

Separately, Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh also congratulated Anwar on his appointment, saying that his is a deserving case which is an exemplary of a human endeavour.

“Down once, down twice, down so many times. He never gave up and eventually he emerged triumphant. When there is a will, there is a way,” Wong said during the debate on the State Budget 2023 at the Sarawak State Assembly.

He said with the cooperation of all other parties in Malaysia can lead to a stable and united government that will move forward.

“I am happy to note that there was strengthening of the ringgit and Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange upon the appointment of Anwar as the 10th prime minister yesterday.

“I hope that this will signify the economic outlook for our country going forward, notwithstanding the global economic headwinds,” Wong, who is a former Sarawak’s Second Minister of Finance, said.

Source: Malay Mail

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PM Anwar says Islam, Bumiputera rights will be upheld but no Malaysian will be marginalised under his watch

By Thasha Jayamanogaran

24 Nov 2022

KAJANG, Nov 24 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today stressed that his coalition government will uphold the tenets of the Federal Constitution, namely the status of the Bumiputera, the Malay language, the religion of Islam, and the Malay rulers.

He said that his proclamation was not merely a “campaign slogan” and promised that concrete action would be taken regarding the matter.

“But we will not compromise on ensuring and recognising the rights, citizenship, and opportunities of every race, religion and region in this country,” he said during a press conference at the Sungai Long Golf and Country Club.

“No Malaysian should be left to feel that they are ignored in any way, none should be marginalised under my administration,” he added, as the audience here burst into applause.

A handful of bystanders were also seen tearing up.

Anwar said that he did not deny there were “voices of anxiety” being pushed by “certain parties”, but said he would uphold the Federal Constitution.

Source: Malay Mail

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Stats Dept: Higher number of marriages, fewer divorces recorded in 2021

By John Bunyan

25 Nov 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, November 25 ― Malaysia recorded an increase in marriages last year as compared with 2020, according to the new data released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM) today.

The data, which was published via DoSM Twitter, also showed that divorce rate decreased.

Higher number of marriages in 2021

The statistic department said that number of marriages here increased by 15.4 per cent, from 186,297 marriages in 2020 to 214,943 in 2021.

The stats also revealed that Malaysia recorded a highest "crude marriage rate (CMR)” of 6.7 since 2016, where in every one thousand people, 6.7 individuals are getting married.

For Muslim marriage, the data shows an increase of 21.0 per cent where 176,002 marriages were registered in 2021 as compared to 145,443 marriages in 2020.

The CMR for Muslim marriages also recorded a highest score with 8.5 per cent in 2021 as compared with the last six years.

However, non-Muslim marriages declined by 4.7 per cent, from 40,854 (3.5 CMR) in 2020, to 38,941 (3.3 CMR) in 2021.

Median age for bride and groom remains the same

Meanwhile, as a whole, the median age for brides remained the same for both 2020 and 2021 at 26 years of age, while the median age for grooms also remained the same for both periods, at 28 years of age.

In 2021, Muslim men were getting married at a median age of 27, while Muslim women were doing so at a median age of 26.

The median age in the same year for non-Muslim grooms and non-Muslim brides was 30 and 28 respectively.

As a whole, women had a higher incidence of marriage than men in 2021, with 47.4 of them getting married per 1,000 unmarried women aged 16 and over.

Men were getting married at a rate of 45.8 per 1,000 unmarried men aged 18 and over.

Divorces dropped in 2021

The number of divorces dropped by 7.1 per cent from 47,272 in 2020 to 43,934 in 2021.

The crude divorce rate (CDR) decreased from 1.5 per 1,000 people in 2020, to 1.4?per 1,000 people in 2021.

The number of Muslim divorces also dropped by 16.4 per cent in 2021 with only 31,650 cases recorded as compared with 37,853 in 2020.

The CDR decreased from 1.8 (2020) to 1.5 (2021) per thousand Muslim population.

Source: Malay Mail

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Saudi Arabia World Cup feat due to support at home which Iran lacked: Iranian pundit

24 November ,2022

Saudi Arabia’s national football team’s success in its opening match in the 2022 World Cup was due to the support it had at home, as opposed to Iran’s team which lacked such support, a veteran Iranian commentator and pundit said, following the Green Falcon’s historic win against Argentina.

“A team that doesn’t have the support of its people is worth nothing,” Javad Khiabani said on Iranian state TV following Saudi Arabia’s 2-1 win against Argentina in its opening World Cup match in Qatar on Tuesday.

“The [Iranian] people should support their team so that it can succeed. The reason for the success of the Saudi Arabian team today was the national support for them at home. The reason for the failure of the Iranian national team yesterday was the lack of national support for Iran,” Khiabani added.

Many Iranians have turned against their football team amid ongoing anti-regime protests in the country. They see the team as representing the regime rather than the people. Many in Iran went as far as celebrating Iran’s 6-2 defeat in its opening match against England on Monday.

The Iranian players chose not to sing their country’s national anthem ahead of the match against England, in an apparent show of support for protesters back home.

The players were silent as the anthem was played at the Khalifa International Stadium, where Iranian fans gathered in the stands shouted as the music was played. Some were seen making thumbs-down gestures.

But for many Iranians, the Iranian players’ gesture was too little too late. And the players could potentially find themselves in hot water with the authorities after they return home at the end of the tournament, particularly if they refuse to sing the anthem again in their two remaining games – against Wales on Friday, and against the US on Tuesday.

Iranian state television, during its live broadcast, censored the footage of the players lining up before the match as the anthem was played.

On Tuesday, Khiabani appeared in a video shared by state media – possibly under pressure from authorities – saying: “Sentences from me have been broadcast that are a summary of one long paragraph. I want my country and the Iranian national football team to be proud, so please do not continue this media mischief and if you want to judge my statements, watch the entire program.”

Protests have swept across Iran since September 16 when 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini died three days after collapsing in police custody. She had been detained by Tehran’s morality police for allegedly not complying with the regime’s strict hijab rules.

Demonstrators have been calling for regime change in the protests which have become one of the boldest challenges to the regime since its establishment in 1979.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Palestinian martyrs’ blood strengthens resistance fighters' determination to tread path toward victory: Islamic Jihad

24 November 2022

The Islamic Jihad resistance movement has reacted to the death of two Palestinian youths who succumbed to their wounds after they were shot by the Israeli forces in separate incidents in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, stating that the blood of Palestinian martyrs further cements resistance fighter’s resolve to liberate the occupied lands.

“The pure blood of our martyrs, which is shed in defense of our land and sanctities, will ensure the final victory that is worthy of our people's sacrifices, and fortifies the determination of resistance fighters to continue their revolution until liberation [of the occupied territories],” the Gaza-based movement said in a statement.

The statement added, “Resistance fighters will not allow the crimes of the Zionist regime and desecration of our holy sites to go unanswered. They will continue to make sacrifices. Resistance fighters will continue to deal blows to the enemy and undermine its security apparatus. We want to bolster the steadfastness of our people until the occupation of our land comes to an end.”

The Islamic Jihad movement finally extended its sincere condolences over the death of the two young Palestinians to their families and the entire Palestinian nation.

Mohammad Abu Kishek was pronounced dead by the Palestinian Ministry of Health on Wednesday night, less than 24 hours after the 22-year-old was shot in the stomach by Israeli forces during a raid on Tuesday night.

Mohammad Hirzallah, a 30-year-old fighter with the resistance group Lions’ Den, succumbed to wounds he sustained after being shot by the Israeli army in the head in July, while engaging in a confrontation with Israeli forces in Nablus.

Hirzallah was fighting alongside two high-profile leaders of the Lions’ Den, when he sustained gunshot wounds.

On Thursday morning, thousands of Palestinians turned out for the funeral procession of Abu Kishek and Hirzallah in Nablus. Dozens of resistance  fighters were present, shooting live ammunition into the air in a demonstration of anger and mourning.

“There is rage and sadness … There was an evident presence of armed men, from the Lions’ Den and other armed groups,” local journalist Mohammad Muna, who attended the funerals, said.

Israeli forces have recently been conducting overnight raids and killings in the northern occupied West Bank, mainly in the cities of Jenin and Nablus, where new groups of Palestinian resistance fighters have been formed.

Since the start of 2022, Israeli troops have killed more than 200 Palestinians, including more than 50 children, in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds as well as the besieged Gaza Strip.

According to the United Nations, the number of Palestinians killed by Israel in the occupied West Bank this year is the highest in 16 years.

Source: Press TV

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Iran Arrests 61 Involved in Khuzestan Terror Attack


Head of the Khuzestan Justice Department Ali Dehqhani said of that number, 54 people have been remanded in custody as investigations continue to identify the assailants and all the elements that operated on the scene and behind the scenes of the crime.

“The judicial apparatus will decisively and meticulously deal with those who conduct acts of aggression against the people’s lives and security and the society’s calm,” he added.

In recent days, several people, including civilian and security agents, were martyred and wounded in separate terror attacks in three provinces of Iran.

At least seven people were martyred and 10 others injured after terrorists opened fire at civilians and security forces at a crowded market in Izeh last week.

It comes just three weeks after 15 pilgrims, including a woman and two children, were martyred and 19 others wounded in a terrorist attack on Shah Cheragh holy shrine in the city of Shiraz in Fars province.

Daesh (also known as ISIL or ISIS) terror group has claimed responsibility for the assault in a statement on their telegram channel.

Iranian officials have stressed Tehran's resolve to punish the perpetrators and masterminds of the bloody attacks.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has denounced the silence of the so-called Western advocates of human rights over terror attacks on several Iranian cities which led to the martyrdom and injury of several civilians, and further blasted them for inciting and encouraging terrorism in Iran.

In a mid-November statement, the foreign ministry was referring to the terrorist attacks in the Iranian cities of Izeh, Esfahan and Mashhad that left dozens of people dead or injured including women and children.

“Undoubtedly, the intentional silence of the claimants of human rights and foreign promoters of chaos and violence in Iran in the face of the most blatant terrorist operations in a number of Iranian cities conveys no other message than encouragement of terrorism and promotion of terrorism across the world,” it said, condemning the deadly acts of terrorism.

The statement added, the indiscriminate terrorist killings in the cities of Izeh, Esfahan and Mashhad over the past few days, which followed a recent similar attack against pilgrims and worshipers at the holy shrine of Shah Cheragh in Shiraz, reaffirms “how enemies of Iran hide their criminal nature behind the fake mask of sympathy with the people and children of this country".

Tehran announced from the perspective of international regulations and norms, terrorism is condemned in any form and in any time and place.

“Therefore, the world community and international bodies have a duty to prevent the creation of a safe haven for violence-seekers and radical currents, whose survival depends on promoting unrest and spreading hatred, tension, chaos and riots, by condemning the recent terror attacks in Iran,” the statement read.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran Denounces Biden's Human Rights Gesture


"President of a regime that for more than 40 years has left no stone unturned in showing enmity and cruelty toward Iranian nation and had no mercy in imposing economic terrorism even against Butterfly kids, claims to 'stand with women of Iran',” Kana'ani wrote on Twitter on Thursday, referring to the president of the United States.

"If so, did your maximum sanctions excluded Iranian women and mothers?" the spokesperson asked.

President Biden on Wednesday announced in a statement that the US stands with the women of Iran, "who are facing down violence and oppression to demand their human rights and fundamental freedoms".

Iranian officials have lashed out at the Western states for interfering in their country's domestic affairs, and stressed that the foreigners are falsely claiming to be advocate of Iranian women. They blasted the Western countries' support for the recent unrest in Iran, and stated that the sanctions and threats will in no way be able to block the Iranian nation's progress.

Back in September, Kana'ani slammed Washington's interference in Iran's internal affairs, and censured the US police over its dark record of violating human rights.

Kan’ani made the remarks while reacting to the US Secretary of State's allegations over human rights in Iran.

"With a despicable human rights record both at home and abroad, how does the US have the audacity to give itself higher moral ground to lecture the world?" the spokesperson tweeted.

"Secretary of State Antony Blinken needs to remember that he's foreign minister of a state whose police, just in 9 months, has fatally shot 730, many of them black," the official continued.

Protests erupted in several cities across Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who fainted at a police station in mid-September and days later was pronounced dead at a hospital. The demonstrations soon turned violent.

An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization announced that Amini’s controversial death was caused by an illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.

Iranian officials blame Western countries for orchestrating the riots to destabilize the country.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei severely censured the deadly riots, saying they were orchestrated in advance by the United States and the Israeli regime.

“I state it clearly that these developments were planned by America, the Zionist regime and their acolytes. Their main problem is with a strong and independent Iran and the country’s progress. The Iranian nation proved to be fairly strong during recent events and will bravely come onto the scene wherever necessary in the future,” he added.

Iranian officials have blamed the United States, the European Unions, and several Western states for meddling in Iran's internal affairs over the death of Mahsa. They advised the US and its allies against "opportunism and instrumentalization of the issue of human rights" by misusing the incident.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Mission to UN: Iran Left with No Option But to Use Military Force Against Terrorists in Iraq's Kurdistan


“Iran has no choice but to exercise its inherent right to self-defense under international law in order to safeguard its national security and defend its people,” Iran’s mission to the UN wrote in letters to members of the world body’s Security Council.

The country, it added, “has recently launched necessary and proportionate military operations against terrorist groups’ bases in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, which was meticulously planned and precisely targeted on terrorist locations".

It said that Iran has for years been a target of terrorist groups based in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, which have recently intensified their activities by illicitly transferring a huge quantity of weapons into Iran to arm their affiliates.

According to the letter, the terrorists’ operations resulted in a number of civilian casualties, vandalism, and destruction of public and private property.

It noted Iran has shared “irrefutable evidence and credible information” with the Central government in Iraq and authorities from the Kurdistan Region about the use of the Arab country's territory by terrorist and separatist groups to “plan, support, organize and carry out terrorist and subversive acts” against the Islamic Republic.

It added that Iran has held several rounds of bilateral consultations and negotiations with officials from the Iraqi government and the authorities of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, including a recent visit to Tehran last month by the advisor for Iraqi National Security.

During these talks, the letter said, Iran has requested the extradition of those who committed terrorist crimes and were convicted by Iranian courts, as well as the closure of the headquarters and training camps of such terrorist groups, and the disarming of their elements.

“Iran has also underlined the need of stationing Iraqi military forces along its borders. The Iraqi delegation agreed to the requests and also committed to developing a timeframe for completing the disarmament of such terrorist groups,” it emphasized.

The mission expressed regret that no effective measures have been taken so far to fulfill such agreements and said Iran has persistently stated its willingness to implement the aforesaid agreements, but to no avail.

The mission voiced Iran's unwavering commitment to address this issue with Iraq through bilateral mechanisms as a part of its ongoing fight against terrorism.

The foreign ministers of the two countries have emphasized “respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq, the need to combat terrorism in accordance with international obligations, and the importance of bilateral cooperation in addressing the challenges posed by terrorist activities”, it said.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran values highly the security and stability of Iraq and reiterates, once again, its commitment to the territorial integrity, unity, and sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq,” the letter pointed out.

Since late September, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has launched a series of aerial operations on the headquarters of Iraqi Kurdistan-based terrorist groups. The military operation came after the illegal entry of armed teams linked with the Kurdish terrorist groups into the Iranian border cities in recent months.

The IRGC Ground Force has announced that the operations against terror bases will continue until all anti-Iran separatist and terrorist outfits holed up in the rugged mountainous area lay down their arms and surrender.

The Iranian Armed Forces, specially the IRGC, have repeatedly warned that they will never tolerate the presence and activity of terrorist groups along the Northwestern border and will give strong and decisive responses in case of anti-security activities.

The IRGC has on countless occasions attacked and destroyed terrorist hideouts in the Kurdistan region with artillery fire, missiles and drones.
Source: Fars News Agency

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Nuclear Chief: IAEA Officials to Visit Iran Based on Schedule


Eslami made the comment in response to a question about a possible visit to Iran by Director General of the IAEA Rafael Grossi.

Talks between Iran and UN nuclear watchdog are still ongoing until reaching "a specific and implementable program", the AEOI head emphasized.

IAEA officials’ visit to Iran will be done within a framework of a program that is discussed and agreed upon, he added.

The IAEA chief has recently wrote on Twitter that he hopes a “planned technical meeting with Iran” due later this month takes place.

Direct and indirect communication between Iran and the IAEA continues, according to officials.

The two sides are engaged in talks to resolve an impasse over uranium traces found at what the IAEA calls "undeclared sites".

Back in September, AEOI Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi stated that Tehran has fully cooperated with the IAEA about three sites in question inside the country, adding that detection of nuclear traces at Iranian sites does not mean Tehran has undeclared nuclear material.

"Iran has been fully cooperative regarding the three alleged sites brought up by the nuclear watchdog and has sent information and answers to the nuclear agency's questions and has also held meetings to resolve the ambiguity," the AEOI spokeperson asserted.

“Since the nuclear agency has accounted for all of Iran’s declared nuclear material and there is no discrepancy, the mere detection of contamination in some sites cannot be taken to mean undeclared nuclear material,” he stressed.

Iran has time and again stressed that its nuclear program is meant for peaceful purposes, with all of its activities being under strict inspections by the nuclear watchdog.

Iranian officials blame the IAEA for making excessive demands beyond the scope of the Safeguards agreement from Tehran, and blast the nuclear wathchdog for adopting political approach over technical issues.

Iran has always had full cooperation with the IAEA and allowed it to visit the country’s nuclear sites, but calls the nuclear agency's approach unconstructive and destructive.

Back in September, Eslami said the IAEA's reports confirm that there is no deviation in Iran's nuclear program.

The IAEA, under the pressure of the Western parties and the Zionist regime, has always made claims about undeclared nuclear activities in Iran, which, of course, are not consistent with the records of cooperation between Iran and the nuclear agency, the nuclear chief noted.

"According to the repeated reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency, there are no deviations in Iran's nuclear program, so they cannot advance their goals by adhering to Mob Rule Ochlocracy," he added.

In June, Eslami said that heightened propaganda against Tehran's peaceful nuclear program, including the recent resolution at the UN nuclear watchdog, is part of the Western states' maximum pressure policy against the Iranian nation.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Israeli far right politician Ben-Gvir to be police minister in coalition deal

25 November ,2022

Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative Likud party signed its first coalition deal with Itamar Ben-Gvir’s far-right Jewish Power party, Likud said in a statement on Friday.

The agreement, which does not account for a full and final new government in Israel, gives Ben-Gvir the police ministry and a seat in the security cabinet.

“We took a big step tonight toward a full coalition agreement, toward forming a fully, fully right-wing government,” Ben-Gvir said in the statement.

Netanyahu’s Likud and its religious and far-right allies marked a clear victory in Israel’s November 1 election, ending nearly four years of political instability. His efforts to quickly form a government have hit roadblocks, however, as negotiations with coalition partners drag on.

The incoming government looks to be the most right-wing in Israel’s history, forcing Netanyahu into a diplomatic balancing act between his coalition and Western allies.

Ben-Gvir’s record includes a 2007 conviction for racist incitement against Arabs and support for terrorism, as well as anti-LGBT activism. He says he no longer advocates expulsion of all Palestinians - only those he deems traitors or terrorists.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Bloody footage shows Iranian forces shooting at Kurdish protesters

25 November ,2022

Iranian security forces used heavy gunfire against protesters in a Kurdish town in the country’s west on Monday, killing at least five during an anti-government protest that erupted at the funeral of two people killed the day before, activists said.

Videos circulating online show dozens of protesters taking shelter in alleyways as heavy gunfire echoes through the streets.

Some show individuals lying motionless and bloodied in the streets, while others show residents gathering at a local hospital to donate blood.

Another video showed mourners at a funeral on Monday chanting that a 16-year-old boy, Bahaedin, had been shot dead the day before. The mourners called him a “martyr of Kurdistan.”

Iran has been convulsed by anti-government protests since the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman who died in the custody of the country’s morality police in the capital, Tehran.

The protests, which were initially concentrated in the western, Kurdish region of Iran where Amini was from, have spread across the country and escalated into calls for the overthrow of Iran’s ruling clerics.

Hengaw, a Kurdish human rights group, said Iranian security forces unleashed heavy gunfire on protesters in the town of Javanrud, where a funeral was held for two protesters killed the day before.

It cited witnesses as saying that Iranian forces used heavy machine guns.

Hengaw said seven people were killed on Monday, while another group, the Kurdistan Human Rights Network, put the toll at five.

The latter group said many of the wounded were being treated in homes because of fears they could be arrested from hospitals, making it difficult to confirm the toll.

It said several were shot in the head or chest.

Iranian authorities heavily restrict media coverage of the protests and have periodically shut off internet access, making it difficult to confirm details of the unrest.

The semiofficial Fars news agency reported protests in Javanrud on Sunday night, saying security forces were fired upon with live ammunition.

It said two people were killed and four wounded.

There were no immediate reports in state-linked media about the violence on Monday.

Funerals have often been the scene of renewed protests in recent weeks, as they were during the 1979 Iranian Revolution that brought the clerics to power.

The latest demonstrations mark the biggest challenge to the theocracy in over a decade.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iran arrests footballer for supporting protests: State media

24 November ,2022

Iran on Thursday arrested Iranian Kurdish footballer Voria Ghafouri for supporting the ongoing anti-regime protests in the country, state news agency IRNA reported.

Citing an unnamed source, IRNA said Ghafouri was arrested for engaging in “propaganda against the regime” and supporting “rioters,” a term Tehran uses to refer to anti-regime protesters.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency said Ghafouri was arrested on charges of “insulting” the Iranian national football team and “propagandizing against the regime.”

Ghafouri, a right-back who currently plays for Foolad Khuzestan in Iran, has been a vocal critic of the regime and its violent crackdown on protests that have swept across Iran since September 16 when 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini died three days after collapsing in police custody.

Iran has arrested several footballing figures for voicing criticism since the protests began, including Parviz Boroumand, Hossein Mahini, Hamidreza Aliasgari, and Yahya Golmohammadi.

Prominent former Iranian footballers Ali Karimi and Ali Daei have also come under fire from authorities for expressing support for protesters.

Many Iranians have turned against their national football team amid the ongoing unrest in the country. They see the team as representing the regime rather than the people of Iran. Some in Iran went as far as celebrating Iran’s 6-2 defeat in its opening World Cup match against England in Qatar on Monday, posts on social media showed.

The Iranian players chose not to sing their country’s national anthem at the match against England, in an apparent show of support for the protests.

But the gesture was largely dismissed as too little, too late by many Iranians on social media and failed to win back their support.

The protests sparked by Amini’s death have become one of the boldest challenges to the Islamic Republic since its establishment in 1979, with demonstrators calling for regime change.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Tehran slams UN rights council for establishing fact-finding mission on Iran protests

Haydar Sahin  



Iran on Thursday slammed the adoption of a resolution by the UN Human Rights Council for the establishment of a fact-finding mission to investigate alleged human rights violations in the country related to protests that began on Sept. 16.

"The regime in Berlin, as the main provider of CWs (chemical weapons) to Saddam, and other opportunists have conducted massive HR (human rights) violations through unjust & inhumane sanctions," Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Twitter, referring to former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Amir-Abdollahian claimed that human rights mechanisms are being abused to "perpetrate more HR violations, all in the name of a farce 'solidarity' with Iranians."

"Even worse and more shameful, they're doing this for cheap domestic games. Iran, as a strong and stable country, is fully committed to human rights but won't allow foreign meddling in its internal affairs," he added.

Earlier Thursday, the UN Human Rights Council voted to establish an independent international fact-finding mission to investigate alleged human rights violations in Iran related to protests.

The council adopted the resolution with 25 votes in favor, six against and 16 abstentions.

The resolution, put forward by Germany and Iceland, calls on Iran to end "discrimination and violence against women and girls in public and private life and in law, and in practice and to uphold all human rights."

Those include the right to freedom of opinion, expression, peaceful assembly, association, and freedom of religion or belief.

Iran has been roiled by deadly protests since September after the death of a 22-year-old Iranian woman named Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the morality police for allegedly violating the Islamic dress code.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Pakistan used like 'hired gun' by US in war against terror: Imran Khan

Nov 24, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Former premier Imran Khan has lamented that the US has been using Pakistan like a "hired gun" in the war against terror and America's ties with his country are "very undignified" as compared to a very "civilised relationship" with India.

His comments came days after Khan signalled his readiness to mend ties with the United States after repeatedly accusing Washington of conspiring to remove him from power in April.

When asked by Public Broadcasting Service, an American public broadcaster, about his recent U-turn and his past remarks that America treats Pakistan "like a slave," Khan said: "Firstly, I mean, it is just a fact that the Pakistan-US relationship has been lopsided."

"It is not, for instance, the US-India relationship, which I call a very civilised relationship, a dignified relationship. In Pakistan, we have been — well, the war on terror, we were like a hired gun. And I think it is a very undignified relationship," he said.

Khan, 70, who was ousted in April in a no-confidence vote, in an interview with the Financial Times this month said he wants to mend relations with the US if re-elected and no longer blames it for his removal as Pakistan prime minister.

When asked if he believes he could have a good working relationship with the United States, Khan said: "The United States is a democracy. Democracies accept criticism. Democracies accept other people's point of view. Master slaves don't." "Pakistan's relationship with the US is very important for us. So, just because of the regime change, it shouldn't mean that I should not have a future relationship with the US. And, yes, I have my right to criticise," he added.

Khan earlier had been claiming that he was the result of a conspiracy between prime minister Shehbaz Sharif and the US, a top security partner to Pakistan that has provided the country with billions of dollars in military aid.

Khan has repeatedly claimed that Donald Lu, the top American official dealing with South Asia in the US State Department, was involved in a 'foreign conspiracy' to topple his government.

Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, suffered bullet injuries in the right leg earlier this month when two gunmen fired a volley of bullets at him and others standing on a container-mounted truck in the Wazirabad area, where he was leading the march against the government to press for snap elections.

He has blamed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Major General Faisal Naseer for hatching a plot to assassinate him.

"Well, I was very lucky. I had three bullets in my right leg and some shrapnel in my left," he said.

"So, the two — the flesh wounds are healing well. But the bone where my bone got cracked by the third bullet, that's causing me a bit of discomfort. But I expect, in the next two, three weeks, I should be walking, putting weight on my leg," Khan said.

General elections must be held in Pakistan less than 60 days after the dissolution of the National Assembly, which is set to dissolve in August next year.

When asked about his protest march against the government and why is his party pressing for an early election, Khan said: "We talk about the injustice that is taking place in this country, where these — this cabal of crooks have been foisted on us. And, secondly, the economy has gone to the ground. Financial markets outside Pakistan and within the country have lost confidence in this government."

Source: Times Of India

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Ex-ISI head Lt Gen Asim Munir appointed new Pakistan army chief

Nov 25, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Former ISI head Lt General Asim Munir will be Pakistan’s next army chief, PM Shehbaz Sharif announced Thursday and ended weeks of speculation about who succeeds Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa in a position considered the most powerful in the country.

The appointment was ratified by President Dr Arif Alvi, whose approval came amid conjectures that he may not sign it or may delay the process as he belongs to the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), headed by former PM Imran Khan.

Defence minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif said: “The president has signed the summary (sent by the government).” Calling the presidential nod a good omen, he said: “The process of the army chief’s appointment had caused unrest in the country, but the matter is now settled.”

Munir takes over after Bajwa’s retirement on November 29. Bajwa headed the army for six years—double the tenure typically reserved for the post.

Munir’s stint as chief of army staff begins at a time when Pakistan is facing a crippling economy and other challenges. His appointment coincides with a dispute between the military and former PM Khan, who blames the army and the US for having a role in his ouster this April.

Khan had removed Munir as ISI chief when he was PM. Munir is currently posted at the army HQ in Rawalpindi as quartermaster general in charge of supplies for the entire military.

Khan had accused the government of trying to choose a favourite. His supporters had alleged that three-time PM Nawaz Sharif, brother of the current premier, was calling the shots in picking a new army chief. The government countered that Khan was trying to milk political mileage out of the appointment.

PM Sharif picked Munir from a list of six senior generals sent Wednesday by the defence ministry. He also named Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, the second senior-most general, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC), an inter-services forum that coordinates between the three armed forces.

However, both appointments rested on President Alvi’s approval. He landed in Lahore for a meeting with his party chief Khan after receiving the government’s summary on both nominations for two foremost military posts.

The party said briefly that Khan and Alvi had discussed the army chief’s appointment and everything will be done in accordance with the law and the Constitution.

The Constitution allows the President to delay the appointment of a new army chief for 25 days.

In such a scenario, the government had planned to appoint Munir as the vice chief of army staff. Alvi’s approval won’t have been required to do this. The government also thought of promoting the Lt Gen to a full-fledged General for extending the tenure of the officer whose retirement is round the corner. Munir’s retirement is due on November 27, two days before Bajwa’s.

Source: Times Of India

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PM Shehbaz leaves for Turkiye on two-day official visit

November 25, 2022

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday left for a two-day official visit to Turkiye at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He will be leading a high-level delegation in the country.

According to a Foreign Office (FO) statement, the premier will “jointly inaugurate the third of the four Milgem Corvette ships for the Pakistan Navy, PNS Khaibar, at the Istanbul Shipyard”.

Prior to his departure, the premier said in a tweet that the inauguration of the third Milgem Corvette ship represented the deepening defence cooperation between the Turkiye and Pakistan.

“High-level exchanges are a defining feature of our partnership,” he stated. “Our bilateral ties have entered a new era of strategic partnership under the leadership of President Erdogan.”

The PM went on to say that the two countries were on a course to “unpack the full untapped potential of relationship”, adding that high-level exchanges were a “defining feature” of the partnership between the two countries.

Trip’s agenda

The FO said during the two-day visit, PM Shehbaz will also “interact with leaders of the Turkish business community” and also meet the President of the ECO Trade and Development Bank during his stay in the country’s urban centre, Istanbul.

Afterwards, Shehbaz and Erdogan will hold wide-ranging discussions on “bilateral relations, the regional situation and other issues of common interest”, the FO said.

The FO added that the two countries “enjoy fraternal ties deeply embedded in commonalities of faith, culture, and history and underpinned by exceptional cordiality and mutual trust”.

The Milgem project

The Milgem project — based on a joint collaboration between Turkiye and Pakistan — was signed with ASFAT inc, a Turkish state-owned Defence contractor firm in 2018, according to which the Pakistan navy would acquire four Milgem-class ships from Turkey.

Milgem vessels are 99 metres long, have a displacement capacity of 2,400 tons and have a speed of 29 nautical miles. These anti-submarine combat frigates, which can be hidden from the radar, would further enhance the defence capability of the Pakistan Navy.

According to the FO, the launching ceremony for the first Corvette for the Pakistan Navy, PNS Babur, was performed in Istanbul in August 2021 while the groundbreaking for the second ship, PNS Badr, was held in Karachi in May 2022.

Source: Dawn

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Pakistan taking up cross-border attacks with Afghanistan: FO

Iftikhar A. Khan Published

November 25, 2022

ISLAMABAD: As the number of cross-border attacks targeting security forces from Afghanistan increases, Foreign Office on Thursday said Pakistan was holding discussions to sort out the issues.

Addressing the weekly press briefing, FO Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch agreed that there were issues at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

“The two sides are holding regular border flag meetings and are engaged in discussion at various levels, including Kharlachi Border Crossing Point,” Ms Baloch told reporters.

She said the Chaman border was reopened on Monday following Border Flag Meetings between the two sides.

Spokesperson says engagement ongoing at various levels to prevent attacks; says PM’s Turkiye visit ‘on track’; slams India’s remarks in UNSC

The focus of these meetings was to clear pedestrian, traffic and trade consignments, she added.

The ‘Friendship Gate’ at the border was closed on Nov 13 after an armed man from the Afghan side opened fire on Pakistani security personnel, resulting in the martyrdom of one soldier.

Ms Baloch said Afghanistan has communicated its “serious regret” over the incident and constituted a high-level committee comprising officials from foreign and border and tribal affairs ministries, local chambers of commerce and tribal elders to investigate the incident.

“We continue to engage with the Afghan side through our embassy in Afghanistan and the Afghan embassy in Islamabad”.

PM’s Turkiye visit

Briefing about Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s upcoming visit to Turkiye, the spokesperson said it was “taking place as planned”.

The prime minister will visit the country for a two-day trip on Friday at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Pakistan and Turkiye enjoy fraternal ties deeply embedded in commonalities of faith, culture and history and underpinned by exceptional cordiality and mutual trust,” she said.

The two leaders will inaugurate PNS Khaibar, a MILGEM Corvette Ships of the Pakistan Navy at the Istanbul Shipyard, she told the reporters.

The contract for four Milgem class corvettes for the Pakistan Navy, with concurrent Transfer of Technology, was signed with ASFAT Inc, a Turkish state-owned Defence contractor firm in 2018.

The MILGEM project, a joint collaboration between the two countries, represents a “significant milestone” in the Pakistan-Turkiye strategic partnership, she remarked.

The two leaders will also hold wide-ranging discussions on the regional situation and other issues, she added.

The prime minister will also interact with the Turkish business community.

Pakistan rejects India’s remarks

Ms Baloch also said Pakistan rejects India’s unwarranted remarks at a Security Council briefing.

“Unfortunately, India continues to abuse its non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council and the Chair of the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee to target Pakistan through false narratives and malicious propaganda”, she noted.

She said India’s irresponsible behaviour confirmed that it “neither has the competence nor the wisdom” to qualify as a permanent member of the Security Council.

She also censured India for its “blatant human rights violations” in held Kashmir.

“We have not seen any improvement in the situation in [held Kashmir] as it remains under military siege and Indian oppression there continues unabated.”

About the recent decision to establish the ‘Loss and Damage Fund’ at the COP-27, Ms Baloch said the parties also agreed to establish a transitional committee for recommendations to operationalise the Fund and determine its terms of reference for new funding arrangements and disbursement mechanism.

“Once these details are ironed out, we will be able to predict the future funding situation”, she said.

When reporters asked about the reasons behind the delay in the appointment of a new foreign secretary, Ms Baloch said: “This is a decision taken at a very senior level. What I can share with you is that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is continuing to perform its functions to the best of its abilities as we have always done in the past.”

Source: Dawn

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Fazl accuses Imran of disrupting Saudi crown prince’s visit

Haleem Asad

November 25, 2022

LOWER DIR: Pakistan Democratic Movement chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Thursday claimed that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Azadi March on Islamabad was meant to disrupt the Saudi crown prince’s visit to the country.

“[PTI chief] Imran Khan kept changing the long march’s date because the schedule of the Saudi crown prince’s visit to Pakistan wasn’t finalised. He wanted to disrupt that visit just like 2014 when he marched on Islamabad to block the Chinese president’s visit,” Mr Fazl told the Late Qazi Abdul Salam Baba Condolence Reference in Talash area here.

The PDM chief said political instability always caused economic destruction and the collapse of the state.

He said the PDM leadership was working hard to put the country on the track of development and prosperity.

Says PDM govt striving for national uplift

Mr Fazl said the PTI’s current Azadi March was a march for ‘indecency’ and not the nation’s freedom.

He alleged that the utterances of PTI chief Imran Khan against the military leadership had threatened a ‘division’ in the Pakistan Army.

He urged political parties to play due role to counter that threat.

The PDM chief, who also heads the JUI-F, said democracy was not allowed to work in Pakistan under a planned conspiracy.

He said first the political system was made controversial through the 2018 general elections, then the national economy was destroyed and currently, the country’s defence line was under attack.

“We [PDM] will foil all conspiracies against the country and its institutions,” he said.

Mr Fazl said the PDM government was a national government and that only one political party (PTI), which wanted to destroy the country, was not part of it.

He claimed that the current federal government had saved the country from the verge of economic collapse and was slowing putting it on the path of development and prosperity.

The PDM chief claimed that the PTI’s members had admitted to receiving funds from Jews and other non-Muslims.

In a veiled reference to Mr Imran, he said one, who changed statements all through the day, had no right to represent the nation.

Mr Fazl said the Election Commission of Pakistan and the Supreme Court had declared the PTI chief a ‘certified robber’ for being the country’s first ruler to sell toshakhana gifts to make money.

He said Imran was misleading innocent youth by attractive slogans besides targeting Islamic civilisation one way or the other to meet the enemy’s agenda.

The PDM chief said Pakistan was an Islamic democracy and only Islam offered solution to its all social, political and economic problems.

He acknowledged that the people were badly hit by high inflation, but said the PDM government was striving for the country’s economic revival to the relief of the common man.

Mr Fazl said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s administration deserved praise for ensuring Pakistan’s removal from the FATF grey list.

JUI-F provincial chief Senator Maulana Attaur Rehman, JUI-F Sindh secretary general Rashid Mehmood Somro, provincial deputy chief Mufti Fazal Ghafoor, district chief Sirajuddin and other leaders also spoke on the occasion.

Source: Dawn

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Restraint towards unwarranted criticism against army has its limits: COAS Bajwa

November 24, 2022

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday said that a fake narrative was coined to malign the senior leadership of Pakistan army and indecent words were used to malign the army but the army leadership despite having resources and options observed restraint but that has limits too.

Addressing at the Defence and Martyrs Day ceremony as Chief Guest, the army chief in his last speech reaffirmed that in future, the Army would have no role in the country’s politics.

Without naming anyone, COAS said that a fake narrative was coined to create instability in the country and now efforts are afoot to get away with this fake narrative.

“Senior military leadership was maligned. Let me make it clear that army leadership would never compromise on national interest. Do you believe that armed forces would sit idle against a foreign conspiracy. This is impossible; rather a great sin. Those who plan to create a rift between the army and the people will never succeed,” he added.

He said that the Army leadership had many options and resources to counter this narrative but the Army showed restraint in the larger interest of the country and abstained from making any negative statements.

“One must understand that there is a limit to this restraint. I want to forgive this inappropriate and aggressive stance against me and the Army and move forward as Pakistan is supreme for all of us. Political parties and individuals may come and go but the country will remain intact forever,” the Army Chief said.

The Army, he said, had initiated its catharsis and hoped that the political parties would also review their conduct.

“It is also a fact that mistakes have been committed by every institution, political party and civil society. We should learn from these mistakes and move forward,” he added.

Gen Bajwa said that the country was faced with a huge economic crisis and no political party can singlehandedly get the country out of economic crisis.

“It is about time for all stakeholders to put aside their personal egos and learn from the past mistakes and move forward to transform Pakistan. After 2018 general elections, some parties named the winning party as selected, using RTS failure as an excuse, and after losing the vote of confidence motion in 2022, the other party named the other rest as imported [government]. We need to shun this attitude,” he asserted.

General Bajwa said the families of the martyrs were the pride of nation and the Army would never leave their families alone. In his six-year tenure, he added, the families of the martyrs were always found in high spirit, whereas the force could not reward but would not allow the sacrifices of their loved ones, to go in vain.

The Army Chief said he was proud to have been the commander of the Pakistan Army for the last six years. He remarked that the main task of Army was to protect the geographical boundaries of the country, but it always went an extra mile for the service of nation.

Whether it was the case of Reko Diq or Karkey, FATF’s negative impacts on the country to it’s journey to the white-list, integration of erstwhile FATA, fencing the western border or providing less expensive gas from Qatar, loans from friendly countries, combating Covid-19 or eradicating locusts, relief operations during floods, the army had always fulfilled its mandate to serve the nation and would continue to do so, Inshallah, in the future.

He said: “I assure you that despite these actions, the Army will never neglect its primary task and fight against terrorism. There are sacrifices that can never be forgotten because the nations that forget their martyrs, are the nations that vanish.”

Commenting on the Dhakka debacle in 1971, the Army Chief said the East Pakistan crisis, was not a military but a political failure. The number of fighting soldiers was not 92,000, rather only 34,000, the rest were from various government departments.”

The COAS said that these 34,000 people had been confronting 250,000 Indian Army soldiers, and 200,000 trained Mukti Bahini but still they fought valiantly despite all odds.

They offered unprecedented sacrifices, which was acknowledged by former Indian Army Chief Field Marshal Manekshaw himself, he added.

He said the sacrifices of these brave Ghazis (war veterans) and martyrs, were not duly acknowledged by the nation till date, which was a huge injustice.

The Army Chief said now he would comment on the political situation : “I have been thinking for many years that the Indian army commits the grave human rights violations in the world, but their people are more or less critical of them. On the contrary, our army, which is busy day and night in the service of the nation, is criticized from time to time. The main reason for this is the involvement of the Army in politics for the last 70 years, which is unconstitutional. So in February last year, the Army decided after lot of deliberation that it will not interfere in any political issue.”

He said: “I can assure you that we are strictly committed to the pledge and will continue to be so. However, instead of welcoming this constitutional process, some circles criticized it by using inappropriate and indecent words.”

The Army Chief said they should be fully careful on this count though it was the right of the people to have positive analysis. Some people opted for a fake and false narrative firstly for creating a chaos, and now they were retracting from that dubious position, he added.

He noted that the civil-military leadership was given inappropriate titles. He assured the nation that the Army leadership could do anything but never go against the interests of the country.

“I hope political parties will also review their conduct. We should learn from mistakes and move forward. Today Pakistan is faced with a serious economic crisis. No single party can steer itself from it. Time has come for stakeholders to learn from past mistakes and move forward. A true democratic culture will have to be adopted in Pakistan. Victory and defeat is a part of politics: every party has to accept this gracefully.”

General Bajwa said that Pakistan was God’s blessing for the nation, adding, “I am grateful to the families of the martyrs for coming to the ceremony; today is the day of renewal of the pledge. Let us all vow to unite for Pakistan, work for the betterment of the country, and should not hesitate from any sacrifice for the motherland.”

He added that how it was possible that the army would stay inactive, in case of any external conspiracy. He said that Pakistan army came under undue criticism from various sections despite its meritorious services to the national cause.

“I believe a major cause for this criticism could be the military interference in politics which is unconstitutional. Hence, the military after long discussions decided last year not to interfere in political affairs. However, certain quarters unleashed undue criticism against the armed forces. Criticism on army is a right of the people and political parties but words must be selected carefully,” he said.

During the ceremony, a documentary titled ‘Azam-e-Falah-o-Behood’ (the determination of welfare) was screened.

In the documentary, the statements of the families of the officers and soldiers of the Pakistan Army who sacrificed their lives, were showcased. The documentary also included the views of Ramzan Chippa, Dr. Amjad Saqib, and psychologist Prof. Dr. Farid Minhas.

A special report on services in natural disasters, especially the recent floods, was also released on the occasion of the Defence and Martyrs Day titled ‘Abbeti’.

Source: Pakistan Today

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Pakistan Taliban racketeering hits borderlands

Nov 25, 2022

MONGORA: A lawmaker in Pakistan's rugged northwest was sipping tea with voters when his phone chirped to life -- the Taliban were calling with a demand for "donations".

"We hope you won't disappoint," read the chilling text from a shady go-between of the Pakistan chapter of the Islamists, known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

A second message pinged on-screen: "Refusal to provide financial support will make you a problem," it warned.

"We believe a wise man will understand what we mean by that."

After the Taliban takeover in neighbouring Afghanistan, TTP racketeering has infested Pakistan's borderlands, locals say, with the group emboldened by its sister movement's success.

Since July, the provincial lawmaker -- who asked to remain anonymous -- has been cowed into sending the TTP sums totalling 1.2 million rupees (over $5,000).

"Those who don't pay have to face the consequences. Sometimes they throw a grenade at their door. Sometimes they shoot," he told AFP.

"Most of the elites pay the extortion money. Some pay more, some pay less. But nobody talks about it.

"Everyone is scared for their life."

The TTP share lineage with the Afghan Taliban, but were most potent from 2007 to 2009, when they spilled out of the jagged belt splitting Pakistan and Afghanistan and overran the Swat Valley just 140 kilometres (85 miles) north of Islamabad.

The Pakistani military came down hard in 2014, after militants raided a school for children of army personnel and killed nearly 150 people, mostly pupils.

The TTP were largely routed, their fighters fleeing to Afghanistan where they were hunted by US-led forces.

With Afghanistan back under Taliban rule, it has become an "open shelter" for the TTP, according to Imtiaz Gul, an analyst with Islamabad's Center for Research and Security Studies.

"They now have freedom of action while living in Afghanistan," he said.

"That's a simple explanation for why the TTP attacks rose."

In the year since the Taliban's return, militant activity in Pakistan has spiked, according to the Pak Institute for Peace Studies, with around 433 people killed.

"They started the same old game: target killings, bomb blasts, kidnappings -- and making calls for extortion," Swat community activist Ahmad Shah said.

The blackmail network bankrolls the TTP, but also sows a crisis of confidence in local government the militants seek to usurp in favour of Islamist rule.

Provincial MP Nisar Mohmand estimates 80 to 95 percent of well-off residents in surrounding districts are now blackmail victims.

Fellow legislators have been targeted for refusing to pay out, and some are too fearful to visit their precincts.

"They have their own system of reward and punishment," said Mohmand. "They have established an alternate government, so how are people supposed to resist?"

The Afghan Taliban have long-standing differences with their Pakistani counterparts, and since capturing Kabul have pledged not to host international jihadist groups.

But the first telltale sign of a TTP blackmail attempt is the phone number -- starting with the +93 international code indicating an Afghan SIM card.

Then comes a suggestive text, or voice message in Pashto -- spoken with a Pakistani lilt.

AFP heard one message threatening an "action squad" would be despatched to a landlord if he declined to pay.

"The days of cruelty are near. Don't think we are a spent force," it warns.

The sum "owed" is then hashed out, generally through an intermediary, before it is sent to the ragged bands of TTP fighters whose silhouettes haunt the mountain steeps.

Victims expect to be "tapped up" up to five times a year, the anonymous MP said.

Since the 2014 school slaughter, which horrified Pakistanis even marginally sympathetic to their cause, the TTP has pledged to avoid civilian targets, and claims extortion is done by criminals borrowing their brand.

But a civilian intelligence official in the area insisted they were "the root cause of the menace".

Swat -- a snow-capped mountain valley split by turquoise running waters -- is one of Pakistan's most famed beauty spots, but its reputation has a dark side.

In 2012 then 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the TTP while campaigning for girls' education, a campaign that later earned her the Nobel Peace Prize.

This summer things seemed to have slipped irredeemably back towards those dark days.

After a decade-long hiatus, the anonymous MP started receiving blackmail texts once again.

"The situation was so bad that many people were thinking of migration," said Shah. "Life was at a standstill."

But there has been pushback, and several protests against the TTP have been held since the group's high-profile kidnapping of three officials in August.

Businesses shut and thousands spilled into the streets in rallies up and down the valley.

Pakistan's military claimed reports of strong TTP in the area were "grossly exaggerated and misleading".

Still, in Pakistan's borderlands, attacks and extortion continue unchecked -- despite a professed negotiation truce between the TTP and Islamabad.

The Taliban's return in Kabul, despite being pounded for 20 years by the world's strongest armies, shows military might will not end the ordeal.

Source: Times Of India

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Algeria sentences scores to death over forest fire lynching: Media

24 November ,2022

An Algerian court Thursday sentenced 49 people to death over the lynching of a man falsely accused of starting deadly forest fires during an extended heatwave last year, state media reported.

The North African country has, however, maintained a moratorium on carrying out death sentences since the last executions in 1993.

Onlookers had beaten 38-year-old Djamel Ben Ismail to death after he turned himself in at a police station in the Tizi Ouzou region.

He had gone there upon hearing that he was suspected of arson, at the height of blazes, which killed at least 90 people nationwide.

It later emerged that Ben Ismail, an artist from Miliana (230 kilometers or 140 miles further west), had headed to the region as a volunteer to help put out the fires.

Algeria, Africa’s biggest country, was one of several Mediterranean nations to face devastating wildfires last year.

The court in Dar El Beida on Thursday “sentenced 49 people to execution over (Ben Ismail’s) murder and mutilation of his body”, the APS news agency reported.

The court also handed 28 other defendants jail terms of two years to a decade without parole, APS said.

Videos posted online at the time showed a crowd surrounding a police van and beating a man inside it, then dragging him out and setting him on fire, with some taking selfies.

The shocking images were widely shared and sparked outrage in Algeria.

Algeria’s LADDH human rights group called for calm and for those responsible for the “despicable murder” to be brought to justice.

“These images constitute yet another trauma for the family and for the Algerian people, already shocked” by the fires, it said.

The victim’s father, Noureddine Ben Ismail, was widely praised for calling for calm and “brotherhood” among Algerians despite his son’s murder.

The fires were spurred by a blistering heatwave, but authorities also blamed arsonists and “criminals” for the outbreaks.

They also blamed the independence movement of the Berber-majority region of Kabylie that extends along the Mediterranean coast, east of Algiers.

The Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylie (MAK), which Algiers classifies as a “terrorist organization,” rejected the accusations.

The court on Thursday also passed a life sentence against MAK president Farhat Mehenni, in absentia as he lives in exile in France.

Although much of Algeria’s interior is desert, the north has more than four million hectares (10 million acres) of forest, which is hit every summer by fires.

Critics say the authorities failed to prepare for the blazes.

Algeria’s army mobilized five helicopters, while its emergency services used three water-bombing helicopters to fight the flames, with firefighting aircraft also coming to help from Europe.

Source: Al Arabiya

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UAE President, Jordan’s King discuss expanding cooperation in Abu Dhabi

25 November ,2022

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Jordan’s King Abdullah II discussed the strong relations between their two nations and ways to expand cooperation during a meeting in Abu Dhabi on Friday, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

The two leaders reviewed existing partnerships and discussed opportunities to develop their bilateral ties during their meeting at the al-Shati Palace in Abu Dhabi, according to the WAM report.

The Jordanian king arrived at the al-Bateen Airport on a state visit, where he was greeted by Sheikh Mohamed as well as Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed; and Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad, Advisor for Special Affairs at the Ministry of Presidential Court.

The Jordanian delegation accompanying King Abdullah II included Dr. Bishr Khasawneh, Jordan’s Prime Minister and Dr. Jaafar Hassan, the Director of the King’s office.

The UAE and Jordan have a history of strong ties, with Jordan’s King Abdullah regularly visiting the Emirates.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Tunisia returns migrant toddler who reached Italy alone

24 November ,2022

A four-year-old who reached Italy without her parents on a boat carrying migrants from Tunisia in October was repatriated on Thursday, authorities said.

Her return comes after a judge in Sicily ruled she should be sent home on a request by Tunisian authorities.

The North African country’s families ministry, in a statement, said a Tunisian child protection delegate accompanied the girl on the trip home, “and handed her to her family upon arrival at Tunis-Carthage airport.”

The girl’s parents had planned to leave as a family along with her brother, aged seven, on a makeshift boat from the coastal town of Sayada and head towards the Italian island of Lampedusa, as increasing numbers of other Tunisians have done.

But according to the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES), which closely tracks clandestine migration from Tunisia, the father had “handed his daughter over to the smuggler on the boat” before retracing his steps from the embarcation point “to help his wife and son who were far behind”.

“In the meantime, the boat left for Lampedusa,” it said.

Her parents, street vendors in coastal Tunisia, were detained over the incident but later released.

The FTDES says about 2,600 Tunisian minors, more than two-thirds of them unaccompanied, reached Italy between January and August, out of a total of around 13,000 Tunisian migrants.

A deep economic crisis is pushing growing numbers of Tunisians to attempt to reach Europe, particularly Lampedusa which is about 130 kilometers (80 miles) off the coast.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Sudan demonstrator shot dead in renewed protests for civil rule, justice

25 November 2022

Sudanese security forces on Thursday shot dead a protester during a fresh round of demonstrations against last year's military takeover by army general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, pro-democracy medics said.

The northeast African country has been gripped by political turmoil since Burhan seized power on October 25, 2021, which saw his forces arresting the civilian leaders with whom he had agreed to share power in 2019 following mass protests that led to the ouster of long-time ruler Omar al Bashir.

The protester was shot in the capital's twin city of Omdurman, the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said in a statement on Thursday, bringing the total number of fatalities from the weekly anti-coup demonstrations to 120.

The committee said that the protester, whose details have not been released, died from injuries sustained by the security forces in the abdomen.

Doctors earlier said it was the first death since the army vehicles ran over a protester during last month's coup anniversary demonstrations.

It came as thousands of people took to the streets in Khartoum on Thursday, calling for civil democratic rule, an end to the military coup, and justice, according to local media.

The protests took place 24 hours after an announcement by the Forces for Freedom and Change of a two-stage plan aiming to restore a civilian-led transition in Sudan, said a report in Sudan Tribune.

Demonstrators have been asking the army forces not to interfere in political affairs for more than a year. During the popular protests last week, the United Nations called for restraint from the conflicting parties.

The efforts of the UN mission in Sudan to mediate the resolution of the simmering crisis in the country between the civilian and military leaders have so far yielded no results.

But the two sides have welcomed a transitional constitution drafted by the Sudanese Bar Association as a basis for a lasting agreement.

The main civilian bloc, the Forces for Freedom and Change, announced last week that it had approved a two-stage political process based on the Bar Association's initiative, which would include the creation of a civilian government.

On November 13, Burhan, during a visit to a military base west of Khartoum, said the military was presented with a "document" on the political process.

"We noted down observations to preserve the army's dignity, unity and independence," he said, warning political factions against "interference" in the armed forces' activities. "We consider anyone who tries to interfere in the army an enemy."

The junta, led by Burhan, seized power in 2021, 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 ruler Omar al-Bashir.

Source: Press TV

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North America


Pakistan’s New Army Chief Needs To Restore Public Trust In Army: US Press

Anwar Iqbal

November 25, 2022

WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s new army chief will face two immediate tasks, rebuilding the country’s ailing economy and restoring public trust in the military establishment, says The New York Times.

The Times and The Washington Post have published two stories each on Pakistan since early Thursday: first when Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif sent a short list of six senior generals to President Arif Alvi, and the second when the president approved Gen Asim Munir’s appointment as Pakistan’s new army chief.

Other US media outlets — including TV channels and news sites — also showed a keen interest in the news and regularly updated their stories. Generally, the US media hardly ever reports the appointment of an army chief in another country and also shows little interest in such appointments within the United States either.

The Times noted that “many consider” this change of guard as “crucial to Pakistani affairs as civilian political cycles” and that it “comes at a moment of fierce debate over the military’s power in politics”. The report pointed out that the military has ruled for over half of Pakistan’s 75-year history and, even under civilian governments, military leaders are seen as the invisible hand guiding Pakistani politics.

“That political meddling, however, has come under fierce scrutiny this year, after Imran Khan was ousted by a parliamentary no-confidence vote in April that he said was aided by the Pakistani military, the United States, and his political rivals,” the report added.

The Times claimed that Mr Khan’s “relentless criticism of the military has resonated deeply among Pakistanis and seriously damaged the military’s reputation within the country”.

The US newspaper also claimed that the political turmoil “has caused schisms within the military, with many lower-ranking officers quietly supporting the ousted leader while its top brass has lost patience with his accusations”.

The Times noted that the army chief in Pakistan also “influences the foreign policy direction of the country” and the new chief inherits the position at “an exceedingly challenging moment” for Pakistan.

The Washington Post, while explaining why President Alvi endorsed the new appointment, noted that Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan said on Thursday that the prime minister had promoted Mr Munir to the rank of four-star general and that he would not have retired this week even if Mr Alvi had delayed the endorsement.

The BBC also ran a report on this change in Pakistan that said the new army chief will also direct future relations with nuclear-armed rival India on one side, and the new Taliban government in Afghanistan on the other.

Almost all media outlets pointed out that this week the departing chief acknowledged the military’s role in politics over the last 70 years.

Voice of America (VOA) noted that the new military chief takes charge “amid an intensified debate over the even deepening interference of the institution in political affairs”.

Source: Dawn

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Turkish defense chief receives US envoy for talks

Diyar Guldogan 


Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Thursday received US Ambassador to Türkiye Jeffry Flake for talks.

The ministry shared no further information about the meeting in the capital Ankara, which was closed to the press.

Flake has served as ambassador to Türkiye since this January after he was appointed by President Joe Biden.

Defense-related issues between the two countries include Türkiye’s wish to buy modern F-16 fighter jets and F-16 modernization kits, as well as US support for the terrorist group YPG/PKK in northern Syria.

Türkiye has long protested this support for a terror group that threatens Turkish borders, with the US saying it allies with the YPG/PKK to fight Daesh/ISIS. Turkish authorities say it makes no sense to use one terrorist group to fight another.

After a bomb attack in Istanbul earlier this month which killed six people and left over 80 wounded, Türkiye this week launched airstrikes on YPG/PKK and PKK terrorist positions in northern Syria and northern Iraq, just across the Turkish border.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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New lawsuit launched tied to case of Egyptian minister’s son Ramy Fahim in US

November 24, 2022

ANAHEIM: As the trial of Egyptian Minister’s son Ramy Hani Mounir Fahim for the alleged murder of Griffin Coumo and Jonathan Bahm continues, Griffin’s mother Wendy is suing Pence Wealth Management, where both her son and Ramy were employed.

Police allege that Fahim attacked and killed his co-worker, 23-year-old Griffin Cuomo, then killed Cuomo’s roommate, 23-year-old Jonathan Bahm, in their Anaheim apartment on April 19.

The lawsuit claims that Pence Wealth hired Fahim, 27, without conducting a background check and ignored complaints of threatening behavior filed by Griffin and other employees.

“Griffin’s death really is the result of Pence Wealth Management’s negligence and failure to take any steps whatsoever to protect Griffin,” Raymond Bouchet, attorney attached to the case, told Arab News.

“Ramy exhibited extreme mental health issues. He became intimidating, he became harassing.

“And yet when they took these issues and concerns to Pence, Pence ignored them,” he added.

Central to the suit is an alleged relationship of favors between company president, Laila Pence, and Fahim’s mother, Egyptian Minister of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs Nabila Makram.

“Laila and Nabila had a close relationship, and there’s nothing wrong with that on first blush,” Bouchet said.

“When it crosses the line to nepotism, when it results in an employee being hired who’s not qualified or has mental health issues, and the refusal to take any steps to protect people, that’s when it, you know, steps over the line,” he added.

Wendy’s suit also says Pence Wealth allowed Fahim access to Griffin’s address, where Stadium House Apartment Complex security negligently let him wait outside Griffin and roommate Jonathan’s home for six and a half hours.

Source: Arab News

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