New Age Islam
Thu Aug 13 2020, 10:35 PM

Islamic World News ( 7 May 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Indian Muslim MPs welcome Supreme Court striking Haj subsidies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

India

 

Indian Muslim MPs welcome Supreme Court striking Haj subsidies

Indian prisoner to be released from Pak jail after 30 years

Anti-Polygamy Fatwa Sparks India Debate

SC strikes down Haj subsidy, to be eliminated within 10 years

Ayodhya case: BJP accuses CBI of playing 'partisan' role

Mushraff Hussain alias Sanjit Kumar an Indian or Bangladeshi?

‘Can we treat him differently because he is Pakistani?'

Former Hurriyat leader ruffles feathers with ‘out- of- box’ idea on Kashmir issue

India, Pak expected to sign revised visa agreement

 

Pakistan

 

Taliban behead 13 Pakistan soldiers

Pak textbooks tone down jihad, not anti-India stand

Four killed in separate incidents in Balochistan

65% Pakistanis want Gilani to resign after his conviction: Poll

We want to start a new era in trade with India: Pakistan

Pakistan defies Hillary Clinton, asks her to share evidence against LeT chief Saeed

Pak has violated ceasefire 8 times along LoC this year: Govt

Zawahiri in Pakistan? Show evidence, says Khar

Zardari plays saviour to ancient Hindu temple in Pakistan’s Punjab

Pakistan army commander says US scapegoating

Time has come to renew ties with India: Imran Khan

 

Arab world

 

At least 32 Yemen troops killed in militant attack

United Church pastor breaks ranks on Israel, denounces ‘radical agenda’

Al Jazeera closes bureau after China bars reporter

Syrians vote in election dismissed as a sham

UN chief: killings in Syria ‘intolerable’

Interpol seeks arrest of Iraq vice-president

EU tells defiant Iran it 'must' suspend atom activity

Israeli Court Rejects the Release of Hunger Strikers

Israeli PM Netanyahu Unveils New Unity Government

Troops kill seven civilians in Syria

 

Africa

Timbuktu’s schools open – but under sharia code

Nigeria’s Sharia Council Denies Shielding Muslim Terrorists

Somali Rebels Shell Peacekeepers, at Least 9 Dead

 

North America

 

Canadian Police investigating Islamic school over curriculum comparing Jews to Nazis

Saeed mastermind of 26/11, Pak must do more to fight terror: Hillary

Al-Qaida's underwear bomb plot to attack plane foiled: US

US secretly releasing detainees from Afghan prisons: Report

We want to see Hafiz Saeed brought to justice: US

US citizen abducted by Al Qaeda in Pakistan appeals to Obama

 

South Asia

 

10 minors, four women killed in fresh bombardments in Afghanistan

Sri Lankan Buddhists demand demolition of mosque

Nato admits Afghan family killed in airstrike

Afghan civilian deaths could hinder US pact, Hamid Karzai says

 

South East Asia

 

Malaysian Paper Says Anti-Islamic Charges On Senator Xenophon Was A Misunderstanding

Jakarta: 6 FPI members ‘enough’ to disperse Lady Gaga’s ‘60,000 fans’

Jakarta: Bekasi church victim claims Islamists disrupted services

Indonesia: Bali Bombing Suspect Apologizes for 2002 Attacks

Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Muslim MPs welcome SC order on Haj subsidies

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/indian-muslim-mps-welcome-supreme-court-striking-haj-subsidies/d/7265

 

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India

 

Indian Muslim MPs welcome Supreme Court striking Haj subsidies

 May 8, 2012

NEW DELHI: Welcoming the Supreme Court order to strike down the Centre's policy of giving Haj subsidies, Muslim Members of Parliament today sought an arrangement which will directly benefit the pilgrims and improve standards of the minority community.

"The Haj subsidy of Rs 600 crore is given to Air India and not pilgrims... Under this garb of subsidy, it (money) is going to Air India which is a sick airline," Majlis-e- Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi told reporters outside Parliament.

Reacting to the apex court order, Owaisi said, "This Rs 600 crore should be invested in education of minority girls because their education standards are very very low."

Congress MP Saifuddin Soz also welcomed the decision and said, "Right Wing extremists also opposed this (Haj subsidy) and the Ulemas also called it Un-Islamic."

For better facilities to the pilgrims, he sought a corporation for the purpose.

Owaisi asked the government to renegotiate the agreement with Saudi Arabia under which only Air India and Saudi Airline are allowed to carry passengers for Haj. "You renegotiate it, call a global tender, the prices will come down," he said.

He further stated that only the rich Muslims are able to go to Haj. "Muslims who go to Haj... Only those Muslims can go (there) who are financially and economically well off. Those who are not financially well off cannot go there."

Owaisi has been opposing the Haj subsidy in various forums including the Presidential Debate and had recommended this during his General Budget speech in March.

"This Rs 600 crore is of no use, it has no political significance. We welcome it, why 10 years it should be removed immediately," he said.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/muslim-mps-welcome-supreme-court-order-on-haj-subsidies/articleshow/13048913.cms

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Indian prisoner to be released from Pak jail after 30 years

May 8, 2012

LAHORE: Indian national Surjeet Singh, who has been languishing in Kot Lakhpat Jail in this eastern Pakistani city for over 30 years, is expected to be freed within three months, his lawyer has said.

The Punjab government on Monday told the Lahore high court that Surjeet had completed his term and would be released.

Through a written report submitted in the court of Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik, the government said Surjeet was given the status of an internee last month.

The judge was hearing a petition seeking the release of Surjeet filed by his Pakistani lawyer Awais Sheikh, who is also counsel for Sarabjit Singh, an Indian on death row after his conviction for alleged involvement in bomb blasts in 1990.

Sheikh pleaded that Surjeet had been held in the Pakistani jail even after completing his term of life imprisonment.

Relying on the Punjab government's reply, the judge adjourned the hearing till July 9.

The lawyer told PTI that he had filed the petition for Surjeet's release at the request of his family. "I met the son and daughter of Surjeet in Amritsar and they told me that their father was languishing in Kot Lakhpat Jail," he said.

Sheikh said Surjeet was captured near the border on charges of spying during the era of military ruler Zia-ul-Haq.

He was given the death sentence but then President Ishaq Khan commuted it to life imprisonment.

"Surjeet completed his term in 2004. The high court has said there is no law that allows a prisoner to be detained after he completes his sentence," Sheikh said.

In a separate development, Justice Umar Ata Bandial of the Lahore high court has disposed of another petition filed by Sheikh seeking the release of another Indian prisoner named Madan Lal.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Indian-prisoner-to-be-released-from-Pak-jail-after-30-years/articleshow/13048906.cms

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Anti-Polygamy Fatwa Sparks India Debate

 May 8, 2012

NEW DELHI – A new controversy is heating in India over a fatwa by the country’s most influential Muslim religious seminary against polygamy, a practice allowed in Islam, Bikya Masr website reported on Monday, May 7.

Islam is a complete way of life and anything in it can neither be expunged nor subjected to any change. This is why it makes Islam different from other worldly religions,” Asiya Andrabi, the leader of Dukhtaran-e-Millat (Daughters of the Nation) Islamic group, said.

“Such type of fatwas will open the gate for change and abrogation in Islam.

Andrabi stressed that Islamic Shari`ah cannot be subjected to any kind of “national interest” or “legislation”.

Darul Uloom Deoband in Uttar Pradesh issued a fatwa earlier this month stating that marrying more than once made it “hard to provide equal justice to two wives in the Indian custom”.

The fatwa was issued in response to a query by a man who wanted advice on marrying twice.

“Although Islam permits two wives at the same time, Indian traditions do not allow it,” the seminary said, adding that while Islam “allowed” second marriage, the practice itself was not encouraged.

Serving as a leading institution of Islamic learning in India for over 150 years, the Deoband seminary also has a global presence from which thousands of Sunni Islamic scholars are graduated.

In Islam, marriage is a sacred bond that brings together a man and a woman by virtue of the teachings of the Qur'an and the Sunnah.

Each partner in this sacred relationship must treat the other properly and with respect.

Islam sees polygamy as a realistic answer to some social woes like adulterous affairs and lamentable living conditions of a widow or a divorced woman.

A Muslim man who seeks a second or a third wife should, however, make sure that he would treat them all on an equal footing.

The Noble Qur'an says that though polygamy is lawful it is very hard for a man to guarantee such fairness.

Controversy

The fatwa, however, won support from the Islamic Council of India as “landmark”.

“There are a lot of myths about Muslims and polygamy that need to be clarified. First, it is not binding on Muslims to marry more than once,” ICI secretary Naeem Ur Rahman Siddiqui said.

“Second, the idea of permitting second, third or fourth marriages has certain conditions that need to be fulfilled. Islam prohibits extra-marital relations and views marriage as a social contract.”

But Andrabi disagreed, saying that the practice of “four wives per man” was in fact the need of the hour.

Islam permits a man to have four wives. There is no compromise on the tenets of Islam. The fatwa issued by Deoband Mufti is against the spirit of Islam,” she told the media in India.

“Therefore I will say a man should have four wives at a time.”

Andrabi believes that polygamy was the only solution to the disputed state of Kashmir, where a large number of widows need support from Muslim men.

“We have 30,000 widows in Kashmir. We have a large army of orphans. If a man keeps more than one wife and marries a widow, it is most desirable and in the spirit of Islam.”

Muslims account for 160 million of India's 1.1 billion people, the world's third-largest Islamic population after those of Indonesia and Pakistan.

In India, divorce and marriage issues are dominated by All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), the single largest religious body consisting of scholars of different schools of thought.

The AIMPLB was formed in 1973 to protect and apply Muslim Personal Law in marriage, divorce, succession and inheritance.

In 2005, Shiites and women seceded to form their own separate Boards, the All India Shiite Personal Law Board & the All India Muslim Women's Personal Law Board.

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/asia-pacific/456970-india-polygamy-fatwa-stirs-uproar.html

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SC strikes down Haj subsidy, to be eliminated within 10 years

 May 8, 2012

The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down the government’s policy of giving subsidies to Haj pilgrims and directed that it be progressively “eliminated” within a period of 10 years.

“We hold that this policy is best done away with,” a bench of justices Altamas Kabir and Ranjana Prakash Desai held.

The bench also directed the government to reduce to two the number of its representatives in the Prime Minister’s goodwill delegation.

It said it will look into the functioning of Haj Committee of India and it process for selecting people for Haj pilgrimage.

The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by the Centre challenging a Bombay High Court judgement which had directed the Ministry of External Affairs to allow certain private operators to handle 800 of the 11,000 pilgrims earmarked under the VIP quota subsidised by the government.

The bench while hearing the plea of the Centre had expanded the purview of the plea and decided to look into the legality of the government’s policy on granting subsidies to Haj pilgrims.

During the hearing in the case, the Centre had defended the policy of giving subsidies to the Haj pilgrims and had said it had framed guidelines so that people get subsidies only once in their lifetime.

In an affidavit, the Centre had told the court that it has decided to restrict Haj pilgrimage at government subsidy to Muslims only as a “once in a lifetime” affair as against the existing policy of “once in five years“.

It had said the new guidelines have been framed to ensure that priority is given to those applicants who have never performed Haj.

The government, however, had refrained from disclosing the amount of subsidy being incurred by it for 2012, saying, .

“The exact figure in respect of the travel subsidy to the pilgrims going through Haj Committee of India for 2012 will be known after the Hajis completed their Haj journey and return to India.”

The apex court had earlier expressed its dismay at the practice of sending official delegations to accompany the pilgrims and had asked the Centre to furnish entire details regarding Haj subsidy, as also about the criteria adopted.

“These goodwill delegations need to be scrapped altogether. They are no longer relevant. Even a team of 9 to 10 persons is not required,” the bench had observed.

The bench had also pulled up the Centre’s practice of “politicising” Haj by permitting official delegations to accompany the pilgrims, for which the government offers huge subsidy, saying, “It’s a bad religious practice.”

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3396806.ece?homepage=true

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Ayodhya case: BJP accuses CBI of playing 'partisan' role

May 08 2012

New Delhi : The BJP on Tuesday accused the CBI of playing a “partisan” role in pursuing the Ayodhya case against party leader L K Advani and decided to raise the issue in Parliament.

At its weekly meeting here, the BJP parliamentary party discussed the role of the CBI in a number of cases and decided that these issues be raised in both Houses with the utmost seriousness.

“We discussed how despite the Supreme Court rejecting Advani's role in Ayodhya case time and again, the CBI is pursuing this case with an ulterior motive and engaging in selective leaks to the media though the matter is pending in the Supreme Court. This is deplorable,” BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, adding that at the same time, the CBI is also shielding the government in corruption cases.

“The deliberate witch-hunting by the CBI in the Ayodhya case was discussed in our meeting. The Supreme Court has thrice rejected the plea that the two cases (regarding Babri Masjid demolition) need to be clubbed. But the CBI has raked up the issue again after 11 years,” Prasad said.

“The CBI is working through an agenda as a front of the Congress party. When Parliament is in session, it is deliberately playing the political game of the Congress party...The sinister, malafide, motivated partisan role of the CBI in the last two months shall be highlighted inside and outside Parliament,” Prasad said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ayodhya-case-bjp-accuses-cbi-of-playing-partisan-role/946870/

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Mushraff Hussain alias Sanjit Kumar an Indian or Bangladeshi?

 May 8, 2012

AMRITSAR: Who is Sanjit Kumar alias Musharaff Hussain- An Indian or Bangladeshi national. The mystery remains unsolved even 4 months after his release from Pakistan jail.

Hussain who is now camping in Red Cross Bhawan claims to be a resident of Bangladesh who was arrested in Pakistan and pretended to be an Indian national since he wanted to live in India but none of his relative have arrived to take him back home since his release .

Strangely, Hussain was received by India only after confirming his antecedents by Home Ministry.

"Some time back relatives of an Indian Prisoner of War Captain Sanjit Bhattacharya had arrived here to identify Hussain presuming the person who was released by Pakistan was Captain Sanjit Bhattacharya,"said Assistant Secretary, Red Cross Randhir Thakur while talking to TOI on Monday.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Mushraff-Hussain-alias-Sanjit-Kumar-an-Indian-or-Bangladeshi/articleshow/13038345.cms

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‘Can we treat him differently because he is Pakistani?'

VIJETHA S. N

 May 8, 2012

The 82-year-old Pakistani microbiologist, now on bail in Ajmer in a murder case, will have to wait till Thursday to know whether he can visit his country as the Supreme Court on Monday deferred its decision on the matter until then.

The Centre objected to Dr. Mohammed Khalil Chishti going to Pakistan, even temporarily, stating there was a likelihood of his not returning as the two countries did not have any agreement that ensured the return of a prisoner out on bail. “Merely because he is a Pakistani, can we treat him differently? We can understand if you say he has links with some terrorist organisation … Let him go and come back. Some times we have to be optimistic,” said the court.

The Bench asked the Centre's counsel to get instructions from the Home and External Affairs Ministries on the conditions that could be imposed on Dr. Chishti, pending disposal of his appeal against his conviction.

In 1992, when Dr. Chishti visited Ajmer to see his ailing mother, he was involved in a scuffle, in his brother's house, in which a relative died. He was convicted and sentenced to life by the trial court and this order was confirmed by the Rajasthan High Court.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3394776.ece

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Former Hurriyat leader ruffles feathers with ‘ out- of- box’ idea on Kashmir issue

Naseer Ganai/ Srinagar

 May 8, 2012

THE former chairman of the Hurriyat Conference’s moderate faction, Abdul Gani Bhat, created a flutter on Monday by exhorting the secessionists to reflect on the need for untangling the Kashmir issue through dialogue instead of insisting on adherence to the United Nations resolutions.

“ The UN resolutions cannot be implemented practically with reference to the language used in them which, in my opinion, is complex. We must, therefore, explore the possibilities of finding a solution of the problem through dialogue,” Prof Bhat said in a mass contact programme of the Hurriyat Conference.

Bhat also talked about forging an alliance with the ruling NC and the Opposition PDP while describing former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s formula as a possible way to resolve the Kashmir issue.

But Bhat’s statement drew flak from his own flock and also from Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

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India, Pak expected to sign revised visa agreement

May 08, 2012

India and Pakistan are expected to sign a revised visa agreement making liberalised provisions for businessmen when the Home and Interior Secretaries of the two countries meet for talks in Islamabad later this month, Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal said on Tuesday.

"We have an agreed revised visa agreement – agreed to by the two interior ministries – which provides for very liberalised provisions for businessmen, amongst others. It's our hope that it will be signed by the end of this month when our Interior and Home Secretaries meet," Sabharwal told a conference of businessmen of the two countries in Lahore.

India had simplified its visa regulations and decisions on all applications were being made in about 30 days, he said while responding to remarks by businessmen.

"We were insisting on a number of documents and so on, we have simplified that. You will see these simplified provisions on the Indian High Commission’s website over the next few days," he said.

Though most visa applications are dealt with in about 30 days, visas have been issued to Pakistani businessmen "much faster" for about a year, Sabharwal said.

The Home and Interior Secretaries of India and Pakistan are scheduled to meet in Islamabad during May 24-25 for talks on key issues like counter-terrorism and the visa regime between the two countries.

According to reports, a decision is expected on issuing multiple-entry and police reporting-free visas for businessmen. The businessmen will also be allowed to visit five cities, instead of three at present, while the elderly will be exempted from police reporting.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Pakistan/India-Pak-expected-to-sign-revised-visa-agreement/Article1-852524.aspx

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Pakistan

 

Taliban behead 13 Pakistan soldiers

 May 8, 2012

The Taliban killed 14 security personnel and beheaded all but one of them before displaying the heads of two soldiers on wooden poles in the lawless North Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan, security officials said today.

Nine soldiers were beheaded yesterday when militants overran a security picket in Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan Agency. The Taliban had been firing at the picket for the past few days, the military said.

Authorities later found the beheaded bodies of the soldiers, security officials were quoted as saying by the local media.

Five soldiers were captured by militants when the military raided a house in Miranshah last night. They were later killed and four of them were beheaded. The heads of two soldiers were hung on poles in Miranshah and the bodies were dumped in the local market.

During the raid, the troops killed a Taliban commander and several other militants. The military said troops had inflicted heavy casualties among the rebels.

Security forces imposed a curfew and targeted militant positions with helicopter gunships, killing about 30 rebels.

Three houses and a mosque were also hit during the air strikes, killing three civilians and injuring 20 others.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3394977.ece

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Pak textbooks tone down jihad, not anti-India stand

 May 07 2012

New Delhi : School textbooks in Pakistan may have toned down the element of jihad, but they still remain permeated with an undisguised anti-India and anti-minority sentiment, a report by Pakistan’s Jinnah Institute has said.

The US-backed efforts to “purge” school textbooks have resulted in a lot of material on jihad and the supremacy of Muslims over non-Muslims being “discreetly removed” or “toned down”. From textbooks that had content like “jeem se jihad” and “kaaf se kaafir”, now “jihad gets a passing reference as one of the basic principles of Islam with no details given except the definition of the concept and its various forms”. Jihad has not been excluded, but an effort has been made to tone down the connotations of violence that it has come to be associated with. Also, a ‘shaheed’ (martyr) is glorified for his ‘sacrifice’ but use of violence is not idolised.

However, the all-pervasive emphasis on ideology and “Nazariya-i-Pakistan” continues to “dominate” the tone of the texts and “no words are minced in attributing all the ills that ever befell Pakistan to Hindus”, the report says.

The Jinnah Institute is chaired by Sherry Rahman, who is also a member of the National Security Committee of the National Assembly of Pakistan and has earlier served as a minister.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/946203/

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Four killed in separate incidents in Balochistan

 May 08, 2012

QUETTA: Four people, including two women, were killed in separate incidents in Kohlu and Naseerabad districts on Monday. According to reports, unidentified armed men killed a couple in Kohlu and fled. The names of the deceased could not be confirmed. The incident is stated to be honour killing. Separately, a man identified as Chakar Khan, a resident of Killi Sourab Khan Sherani of Kohlu district, was shot dead. The local administration moved the body to a nearby hospital for an autopsy and started investigation. In another incident, police recovered a woman’s body from the precincts of Mir Hassan Police Station and moved it to a nearby hospital. Police said the deceased had been identified as Sakina and was strangled to death. However, investigations were underway to ascertain reason behind her killing.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\05\08\story_8-5-2012_pg7_23

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65% Pakistanis want Gilani to resign after his conviction: Poll

May 8, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Sixty-five per cent of Pakistanis want Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to resign after his conviction of contempt by the Supreme Court, according to a poll conducted by a leading media group.

The poll conducted by Geo news channel said the apex court's verdict had resulted in mixed views among the people, with 36 per cent saying they were happy about it, 32 per cent expressing sadness and 31 per cent saying they were unsure.

Nearly 50 per cent of respondents said they were in favour of the court's decision, while 38 per cent said they were opposed to it.

Geo is part of the Jang group, which has been behind a campaign calling for the resignation of Gilani following his conviction of contempt last month for refusing to revive graft cases in Switzerland against President Asif Ali Zardari.

The court gave him a symbolic sentence of less than a minute. Gilani has refused to quit, saying only the speaker of the National Assembly can disqualify him.

The news channel said its "nationally representative poll" covered some 2,500 men and women. It did not say when or where the survey was conducted.

Geo contended that respondents who said they would have "rejoiced" if the apex court had ordered a stricter sentence of six months and put Gilani behind bars was 40 per cent.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/65-Pakistanis-want-Gilani-to-resign-after-his-conviction-Poll/articleshow/13048440.cms

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We want to start a new era in trade with India: Pakistan

 May 8, 2012

LAHORE: Pakistan on Monday called for a "new era" in economic collaboration with India, as business leaders from the two countries met for a trade conference.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said the population of Pakistan's giant neighbour offered his country's exporters a "billion-plus market", adding normal trade relations were vital to Pakistan achieving its economic potential.

Relations between the countries have been fraught since independence in 1947 and trade has been hampered by restrictions and tariffs -- even now, direct cross-border traffic accounts for less than one percent of their global commerce.

The nuclear-armed neighbours have fought three wars and both spend heavily on their military while millions of their people languish in poverty.

But Gilani said: "We want to start a new era of economic collaboration with India... so that we leave behind a legacy of peace and prosperity for our future generations."

He told delegates there were many areas and sectors with huge trade potential, from information technology to engineering, education and health.

"Our textiles, I am told, have a huge market across the border," he said, adding that India could find a market in Pakistan for goods including chemicals, pharmaceuticals and engineering products.

Pakistan has decided to grant India "most favoured nation" trading status by the end of the year, ending strict curbs on what New Delhi can export across their border.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/We-want-to-start-a-new-era-in-trade-with-India-Pakistan/articleshow/13037239.cms

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Pakistan defies Hillary Clinton, asks her to share evidence against LeT chief Saeed

 May 8, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan today countered US secretary of state Hillary Clinton's remarks that it had not done enough against the 2008 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed saying any evidence against him should be shared with Islamabad so that it can be examined by the courts.

"Our position on Hafiz Saeed is clear. We have independent and active courts. If anyone has proof against him, they should share it with us so that the courts can examine it," Foreign office spokesman Moazzam Khan told PTI.

Speaking in Kolkata, Clinton had said she had authorised a 10-million dollar reward for information leading to the capture and prosecution of Saeed, who now heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawah.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-defies-Hillary-Clinton-asks-her-to-share-evidence-against-LeT-chief-Saeed/articleshow/13036077.cms

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Pak has violated ceasefire 8 times along LoC this year: Govt

 May 8, 2012

NEW DELHI: Pakistan has violated ceasefire along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir eight time this year, prompting India to lodge strong protests with the neighbouring country.

Minister of state for home Mullappally Ramachandran on Tuesday told the Lok Sabha that during the current year, eight ceasefire violations have been reported along the LoC.

"All incidents of violations are investigated and protests are lodged with Pakistan military authorities at appropriate level through the established mechanism of hotlines, flag meetings and meetings between the Directors General of Military Operations of the two countries," he said.

Ramachandran said the issue of ceasefire violations was taken up with the Pakistan side during the foreign secretary- level talks between India and Pakistan held in Islamabad on June 23-24, 2011 and further raised during the fifth round of the India-Pakistan expert level dialogue on conventional confidence-building measures held in Islamabad on December 26, 2011.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pak-has-violated-ceasefire-8-times-along-LoC-this-year-Govt/articleshow/13049204.cms

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Zawahiri in Pakistan? Show evidence, says Khar

ANITA JOSHUA

 May 8, 2012

Pakistan on Monday rejected U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's contention that al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri is in this country. Reacting to Ms. Clinton's remarks made in India, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said Pakistan had no information of his presence in the country and “if anyone has any information in this regard, they should share it with us'”.

In what the U.S. describes as a ‘townterview’ of Ms. Clinton with NDTV in Kolkata, she said: “There are several significant [al-Qaeda] leaders still on the run. Mr. Zawahiri, who inherited the leadership from bin Laden is somewhere, we believe, in Pakistan.”

Prior to the U.S. raid in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011, Washington used to similarly claim that Osama bin Laden was somewhere in Pakistan. And, Islamabad would, in turn, ask for information regarding his presence in the country.

Security personnel killed

In a related development, nearly a dozen security personnel were killed in the Miranshah area of North Waziristan over the past two days. While nine security personnel were killed in a gun battle with terrorists on Sunday, the beheaded bodies of two Army soldiers were found on Monday.

According to officials, terrorists had been firing upon a picket of the Frontier Constabulary for the past few days. On Sunday, the terrorists attacked the picket during convoy movement; resulting in an intense gun battle. The Army claimed that heavy casualties were inflicted on the terrorists in this crossfire during, which helicopter gunships were also apparently called in.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3394389.ece

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Zardari plays saviour to ancient Hindu temple in Pakistan’s Punjab

 May 8, 2012

PAKISTANI President Asif Ali Zardari has expressed concern at the damage to the centuries- old Katasraj Temple in Punjab province because of environmental degradation caused by industrial complexes.Zardari had called for a report from the relevant ministry after taking note of a media report that industrial complexes around Katasraj Temple had destroyed its pristine beauty and threatened the natural water pond with complete extinction, presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.

The President called for restoration in a scientific manner of ancient sites having historical and religious significance. He said that “ all ancient and historical sites of significance to followers of any religion were part of our civilisation too and needed to be preserved and protected,” Babar said.

Recent reports had said that Shri Amar Kund, the sacred pond at the Katasraj Temple complex near Choa Saidan Shah, was drying up because groundwater in the region is being used by a cement factory.

The presidential spokesman said the natural pond at the temple had been in existence for thousands of years and had attracted pilgrims from far and wide in the South Asian subcontinent.

He said: “ Since ages, water flowed from the pond to downstream villages of Wahoola, Tatral and Dulmial without any drop in the pond level that was constantly replenished by the spring waters underneath.

However, industrial units constructed near the site had sucked up groundwater and diverted the flow of the springs, resulting in the drying up the pond.”

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Pakistan army commander says US scapegoating

 May 08, 2012

American efforts to talk peace with insurgents in Afghanistan mean Washington can no longer expect Pakistan to attack all the militant factions on its side of the border, some of whom Islamabad is also reaching out to, the commander of Pakistan's forces along the frontier told The Associated Press.

In a sign of the bad blood between Washington and Islamabad, Lt. Gen. Khalid Rabbani also accused the U.S. of seeking to make Pakistan a scapegoat for its failure to beat the insurgency in Afghanistan.

U.S. and NATO officials say Pakistani tolerance of -- or support for -- Afghan factions operating on its soil is hobbling efforts to end the resistance to the foreign military presence in Afghanistan. The U.S. wants Pakistan to launch an offensive or otherwise disrupt militant groups in North Waziristan, the stronghold for multiple insurgent networks on the border.

"Why do they to raise their fingers toward Pakistan? It is shifting the blame to others," Rabbani said in his offices in a highly secure section of the main northwestern city of Peshawar. "Is Afghanistan free of Taliban? It has hundreds of thousands of them."

Rabbani was speaking a day after militants in North Waziristan beheaded 13 Pakistani soldiers, including four that it captured when Pakistani troops raided a militant hideout.

Full report at:

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/05/08/pakistan-army-commander-says-us-scapegoating/#ixzz1uHKpqsCz

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Time has come to renew ties with India: Imran Khan

 May 08, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan said on Tuesday that the time had come for Pakistan to renew its ties with India, DawnNews reported.

Khan said “we will try to solve the issue of Kashmir if we form a government”.

Speaking at the ongoing Pakistan-India trade forum, Khan said that Pakistan’s new generation was ready to develop and enhance relations with India.

Moreover, he said that political parties which were anti-India were not supported by the public.

The PTI chief said that Pakistan’s economy was deteriorating and that the system of governance in the country needed reform.

Furthermore, he said that the PTI would not join any coalition and would contest in the elections independently.

http://dawn.com/2012/05/08/time-has-come-to-renew-ties-with-india-imran-khan/

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Arab World

 

At least 32 Yemen troops killed in militant attack

 May 8, 2012

ADEN, Yemen (Reuters) - Islamist gunmen killed at least 32 government soldiers on Monday when they stormed a military position in southern Yemen where militants control broad swathes of territory, a military official said.

Yemen has a seen a surge in violence in the south since President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi took office in February, prompting the government to respond with air strikes and the United States with drones that target militants.

Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law) said the latest raid was a response to recent statements by Hadi that he would defeat the militants, who have been emboldened by more than a year of political upheaval.

Monday's attack came hours after a suspected U.S. drone strike killed two men in a neighboring province, including one the government described as a senior member of al Qaeda.

The military official told Reuters gunmen attacked Yemeni troops outside the city of Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province, killing at least 32 servicemen. They had captured a number of soldiers and made off with weapons and ammunition, he added.

At least 40 soldiers were wounded in the attack, the official and medical sources said. A spokesman for Ansar al-Sharia, an al Qaeda-linked group that seized Zinjibar last year, said his side had captured 28 soldiers and a tank in the raid.

A different military source was cited by the defense ministry website as saying 22 soldiers had been killed.

Full report at:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-yemen-attackbre8460tt-20120507,0,5742978.story

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United Church pastor breaks ranks on Israel, denounces ‘radical agenda’

Charles Lewis

 May 08, 2012

A United Church of Canada minister has started a campaign to get rank-and-file members to reject a proposal from the church’s hierarchy to launch an economic boycott against Israel.

“I really want to believe this is the workings of a very active minority in the church,” said Andrew Love, a pastor at a parish in the town of Arnprior, 55 kilometres west of Ottawa.

“The vast majority of people in the pews are not ready to embrace this kind of extremist and radical agenda from a small minority. There is a real disconnect between the leadership and its people.”

He said the proposal contains “elements of anti-Semitism” by minimizing the importance of the Holocaust.

Last week, a working group of the United Church released a paper that called for a selective boycott of goods coming out of what the authors call illegal Israeli settlements, including East Jerusalem. The authors said that legitimate criticism of Israel is far different than anti-Semitism and that the United Church condemns anything that smacks of anti-Jewish bigotry. The report, two years in the making, will be voted on at the church’s general council in August.

This is the fourth proposal concerning sanctions against Israel in the past six years but none was ever voted on by the general council. However, this is the first proposal requested by the church leadership. Other proposals came from grassroots initiatives.

Full report at:

http://life.nationalpost.com/2012/05/07/united-church-pastor-breaks-ranks-on-israel-denounces-radical-agenda/

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Al Jazeera closes bureau after China bars reporter

May 8, 2012

BEIJING: Al Jazeera said on Tuesday it has shut its English-language bureau in Beijing after Chinese authorities expelled its correspondent Melissa Chan and failed to grant visas to other journalists.

The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (FCCC) said it was "appalled" by Beijing's actions, calling the refusal to grant Chan a new visa a "grave threat to foreign reporters' ability to work in China".

"This is the most extreme example of a recent pattern of using journalist visas in an attempt to censor and intimidate foreign correspondents in China," the organisation said in a statement.

"The FCCC believes that foreign news organisations, not the Chinese government, have the right to choose who works for them in China, in line with international standards."

Chan is thought to be the first journalist to be expelled from China since 1998, when Juergen Kremb of the German magazine Der Spiegel was accused of possessing state secrets and ordered to leave the country.

Al Jazeera said it had no choice but to close its English-language bureau, after China also failed to grant visas to other journalists working for it, but that it would continue to work with the government to reopen.

"We are committed to our coverage of China. Just as China news services cover the world freely we would expect that same freedom in China for any Al-Jazeera journalist," said Salah Negm, director of news at Al Jazeera English.

"We hope China appreciates the integrity of our news coverage and our journalism," he said in a statement.

No reason was given for Chan's expulsion, but the FCCC said Chinese officials had expressed anger at a documentary the channel aired last November, and had "accused Chan of violating rules and regulations that they have not specified".

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/Al-Jazeera-closes-bureau-after-China-bars-reporter/articleshow/13048208.cms

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Syrians vote in election dismissed as a sham

 May 8, 2012

Syrians have voted in parliamentary elections that the government praised as a milestone in promised political reforms, but the opposition boycotted the polls and said they were designed to strengthen President Bashar Assad’s grip on power.

The fact the regime and the opposition are pushing such wildly divergent views is a sign of the chasm separating the two sides, more than a year into a conflict that has killed more than 9,000 people and raised fears of a regional conflagration.

World powers have been unable to stop the bloodshed, and the Assad regime has largely ignored demands by special envoy Kofi Annan to withdraw its military. A truce that was scheduled to begin April 12 has never really taken hold.

There were scattered reports of violence Monday, including witness accounts that security forces launched deadly attacks on villages in central Syria where opposition supporters were refusing to vote. The reports could not be independently confirmed.

Monday’s election for the 250-member parliament is unlikely to change the trajectory of the revolt in Syria, which has become a grim cycle of crackdown and reprisal. Parliament is considered a rubber stamp in a country where the president holds the real power.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3396745.ece

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UN chief: killings in Syria ‘intolerable’

 May 8, 2012

WASHINGTON: The 14 months of bloodshed in Syria that has continued despite an April 12 cease-fire and claimed more than 9,000 lives is a “totally unacceptable and intolerable situation” that must stop so political dialogue can begin, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday.

The priority for the United Nations is to deploy a complete supervision mission of 300 unarmed UN monitors as soon as possible, Ban said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

His comments came on a day in which the Syrian government said voters turned out in large numbers for a parliamentary election, that opposition supporters denounced as a sham.

The situation in Syria is the “most serious and gravest” concern for the international community, Ban said.

The UN chief called for a cessation of violence by all parties, government military forces and opposition forces, “then political dialogue must begin in an inclusive way for a political resolution reflecting the genuine aspiration of the Syrian people, that’s our priority,” he said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article628479.ece

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Interpol seeks arrest of Iraq vice-president

 May 8, 2012

PARIS: Global police body Interpol called on Tuesday for help in arresting fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tareq Al-Hashemi on suspicion of planning and funding attacks in Iraq.

Hashemi, a leading Sunni Muslim politician, fled Baghdad in December when Iraq’s Shiite-led government accused him of running death squads.

The vice president, who is currently thought to be in Istanbul, has denied the charges saying they are politically motivated and has refused to stand trial in Baghdad.

France-based Interpol said it had issued the “Red Notice” arrest alert at the request of Iraqi authorities.

The Red Notice did not amount to an international arrest warrant, it added, but was a call on forces in its 190 member countries to help locate Al-Hashemi and bring him to justice.

There was no immediate reaction from Turkey which is a member of Interpol.

“At the request of Iraqi authorities, Interpol has published a Red Notice for Vice-President Tareq Al-Hashemi on suspicion of guiding and financing terrorist attacks in the country,” Interpol said in a statement.

“The Interpol Red Notice will significantly restrict Tareq Al-Hashemi’s ability to travel and cross international borders,” Interpol’s Secretary General Ronald K. Noble added.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article629255.ece

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EU tells defiant Iran it 'must' suspend atom activity

 May 8, 2012

VIENNA/BRUSSELS: The European Union told Iran on Monday it must suspend uranium enrichment, a few days after the Islamic state ruled out doing just that, as Tehran and the West engaged in diplomatic shadow-boxing ahead of nuclear talks this month.

The United States called on Iran to take “urgent practical steps” to build confidence during negotiations with world powers on Tehran’s nuclear program, which Washington and its allies suspect is a bid to develop an atomic bomb capability.

Iran, attending an international conference in Vienna alongside its Western foes, for its part accused the United States of supporting Israel’s atomic activities. The Jewish state is widely assumed to hold the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal.

Iran and the six major powers resumed discussions last month in Istanbul after a gap of more than a year - a chance to ease escalating tension and avert the threat of a new Middle East war - and both sides described the atmosphere as positive.

The next meeting between the powers - the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany - and Iran is to take place on May 23 in the Iraqi capital. Iranian officials say they are “optimistic” about making progress.

But with Iran seeking an end to sanctions and Western states reluctant to prematurely ease the pressure they credit with bringing Tehran to the negotiating table, diplomats are already playing down the chances of a settlement in Baghdad.

“A lot of people are talking the Baghdad talks up. We are also hopeful. But it is important to remain realistic,” one European diplomat said. “This will be a start, not an end.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article628481.ece

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Israeli Court Rejects the Release of Hunger Strikers

By ISABEL KERSHNER

 May 8, 2012

ERUSALEM — Israel’s Supreme Court on Monday rejected appeals for the release of two Palestinian prisoners who have been on a hunger strike for 69 days to protest their incarceration without formal charges, sharpening concern for their lives and raising the specter of widespread unrest in the event of a death.

Barring a last-minute deal, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, an advocacy group that has been monitoring the condition of the two men, said the court ruling was “the effective equivalent of handing down a death sentence.”

The judges said they had found no justification to intervene in the cases of Bilal Diab, 27, and Thaer Halahleh, 33, both residents of the West Bank accused of working with Islamic Jihad, an extremist organization. The court upheld the practice of imprisonment without charge — called administrative detention — if used sparingly. Yet the judges expressed unease over aspects of these particular cases and suggested that the authorities consider alternative approaches.

Citing classified evidence against Mr. Halahleh, the court said he had been engaged in transferring money for Islamic Jihad. But since Mr. Halahleh will have been in detention for almost two years when his current term ends in June, the court said, any further extension should be based on a more thorough investigation.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/08/world/middleeast/israeli-court-rejects-

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Israeli PM Netanyahu Unveils New Unity Government

 May 8, 2012

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled a revamped coalition government on Tuesday, forming a broad alliance with the chief opposition party that could free his hand to take bold action on peace with the Palestinians and decide whether to attack Iran.

In a stunning reversal, Netanyahu called off plans to hold early parliamentary elections and struck an agreement with the rival Kadima Party. Netanyahu now presides over a coalition with 94 seats in the 120-member parliament, one of the broadest governments in Israeli history.

Netanyahu and Kadima's leader, Shaul Mofaz, appeared together at a midday news conference, saying their alliance would bring much-needed stability to Israeli politics. They promised close cooperation on Iran and expressed hope that long-stalled peace talks with the Palestinians would resume, though signs of differences on the Palestinian issue quickly surfaced.

Netanyahu's current coalition, which had been remarkably stable since taking office in March 2009, has been riven by divisions in recent weeks over court orders to demolish two West Bank settlement outposts and to end draft exemptions for tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men.

Unable to bridge these differences, Netanyahu announced Monday he would push for early elections in September, more than a year ahead of schedule. But in an overnight deal that stunned the nation, he instead joined forces with Kadima, the largest party in parliament with 28 seats.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/05/08/world/middleeast/ap-ml-israel-politics.html?ref=middleeast&gwh=DFD218017F403D0D77760937902450C7

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Troops kill seven civilians in Syria

 May 08, 2012      

BEIRUT - Seven civilians were killed by regime forces across Syria on Monday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

Two died from regime gunfire in northwest Idlib province, and another two were killed by sniper fire in the central provinces of Hama and Homs, the Britain-based watchdog said.

In the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, three young men were killed in a dawn ambush by regime forces, the group added.

Clashes were also reported overnight between regime troops and rebels in several areas of Hama city, the Observatory said.

In the upscale Damascus neighbourhood of Mazzeh, an activist died from wounds caused by regime forces’ gunfire the day before, the Observatory’s Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

“Muaath Abbas had been detained four times before he was killed. He was a very important person to the people of the neighbourhood,” said Mazzeh-based activist Abu Muhannad, who was reached via Skype.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/international/08-May-2012/troops-kill-seven-civilians-in-syria

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Africa

 

Timbuktu’s schools open – but under sharia code

08 May, 2012

Schools have reopened in Timbuktu for the first time since an Islamic faction last month seized control of the fabled tourist outpost, where they are now working to impose sharia law.

Thousands of residents, including the majority of the city’s Christian population, fled the city in early April, when disparate rebel factions invaded the northern half of Mali and declared independence.

Although the rebels initially claimed they were fighting for a separate ethnic-Tuareg homeland, it soon became clear that an Islamic faction had the upper hand in Timbuktu. They have since attempted to impose the strict Islamic code, including the banning of alcohol.

Mahmoud Djitteye, a member of the school district in Timbuktu, yesterday said schools had reopened with the blessing of Ansar Dine, the Islamic faction whose fighters are garrisoned at Timbuktu’s main military camp.

Alpha Cisse, the father of a pupil, said the Islamists are separating the sexes, with boys and girls alternating between morning and afternoon classes. Certain subjects had also disappeared from the curriculum.

“We’re being told certain subjects will be forbidden, like the teaching of philosophy and certain modules in biology, like the teaching of evolution,” said Mr Cisse.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/international/timbuktu-s-schools-open-but-under-sharia-code-1-2280581

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Nigeria’s Sharia Council Denies Shielding Muslim Terrorists

 May 8, 2012

A prominent member of Nigeria’s Supreme Council for Sharia (SCS) has dismissed as wrongly misplaced accusations that some elders in the north have been protecting Muslim terrorists.

Sheikh Isa Ali Pantami, the SCS deputy Secretary General, said his group has suggested to President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration several ways to resolve the country’s security crisis.

He says the government, itself, is to blame for the country’s worsening security challenges. “It’s because of injustice by the federal government -- including some state governments perpetrated -- it is as a result of that [that] we are witnessing what is happening today,” said Pantami.

“Wherever you do injustice, that injustice could definitely invite atrocity to your community. So if we want to tackle that problem, let us not just criticize northern Muslims or northern elders. Let us look critically, [at] what the federal government has done and at the same time what some state governments have done.”

Over the weekend, the Northern States Christians Elders’ Forum, NOSCEF, accused some northern Muslim elders of shielding Muslim terrorists and those who sponsor them. The group also called for the country to be restructured into six regions as a way of maintaining Nigeria’s unity.

Full report at:

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Nigeria-Group-Denies-Shielding-Muslim-Terrorists--150531495.html

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Somali Rebels Shell Peacekeepers, at Least 9 Dead

 May 8, 2012

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Islamist rebels armed with mortars and machine guns attacked African Union forces in Somalia's capital Mogadishu overnight, sparking a battle that killed at least nine people, officials and residents said on Tuesday.

The al Shabaab militants, who are allied to al Qaeda, were forced out of most of the city last year but have kept up sporadic bomb and suicide attacks.

"It was heavy fighting last night ... Two al Shabaab dead bodies are lying here," said Captain Ndayiragije Come, a spokesman from the Burundi contingent of the AU's AMISOM peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

"From our side two were injured. They were also shelling our position - they missed their target," he added.

Witnesses said shelling from the fighting hit two houses, killing at least seven civilians, four of them from one family.

"A big shell landed on a house made of iron sheets. The father, mother and their two sons died, only two children survived with injuries," resident Abdi Gaas told Reuters.

"Another shell landed on a nearby house. A mother and her son died. The fragments of the shell killed a boy in another house, we are now burying 7 people," he added.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/05/08/world/africa/08reuters-somalia-conflict.html?ref=africa&gwh=8431280CCEC5D09BD66059FBAEE9A4B2

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North America

 

Canadian Police investigating Islamic school over curriculum comparing Jews to Nazis

May 8, 2012

Police are investigating a complaint about a Toronto Muslim school whose curriculum tells boys to exercise so they are “ready for jihad,” refers to “treacherous Jews” and contrasts Islam with “the Jews and the Nazis.”

“Yes, I can confirm for you that a complaint has been made and our Hate Crimes Unit is investigating,” Acting Sergeant Rebecca Boyd, a York Region Police spokeswoman, told the National Post on Monday.

“However, they are in the early stages of the investigation,” she added. The complaint was made by the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which found the material on the website of the East End Madrassah.

The Islamic school operates out of David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute, a public high school in Toronto. But the complaint was made to police in York because the Islamic school’s mailing address is in that region.

“We are looking into it,” said Masuma Jessa, principal of the East End Madrassah. She said the curriculum document in question had been removed from the school’s website. Later on Monday, the entire school website went offline.

Full report at:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/05/07/toronto-islamic-school-removes-parts-of-curriculum-casting-jews-as-treacherous-akin-to-nazis/

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Saeed mastermind of 26/11, Pak must do more to fight terror: Hillary

May 8, 2012

NEW DELHI: US secretary of state Hillary Clinton pressed Pakistan to do more to ensure its territory is not used as "launching pad" by terror groups for attacks and also said that Hafiz Saeed was "one of the "principal architects" of the 2008 Mumbai carnage.

Hillary's comments came at a joint news conference after her talks with external affairs minister S M Krishna who spoke of the need for elimination of "terrorist sanctuaries" in the neighbourhood.

Clinton and Krishna nudged Pakistan to bring to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack and pledged to continue to work together in combating the menace.

During their talks, Krishna and Clinton discussed issues relating to Mumbai attack, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Iranian nuclear crisis with the American side hoping to see continuing progress in India reducing oil imports from Tehran.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Saeed-mastermind-of-26/11-Pak-must-do-more-to-fight-terror-Hillary/articleshow/13048453.cms

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Al-Qaida's underwear bomb plot to attack plane foiled: US

May 8, 2012

WASHINGTON: The CIA thwarted an ambitious plot by al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen to destroy a US-bound airliner using a bomb with a sophisticated new design around the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, The Associated Press has learned.

The plot involved an upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit in on Dec. 25, 2009. This new bomb also was designed to be used in a passenger's underwear, but this time al-Qaida developed a more refined detonation system, US officials said.

The FBI is examining the latest bomb to see whether it could have passed through airport security and brought down an airplane, officials said. They said the device did not contain metal, meaning it probably could have passed through an airport metal detector. But it was not clear whether new body scanners used in many airports would have detected it.

There were no immediate plans to change security procedures at US airports.

The would-be suicide bomber, based in Yemen, had not yet picked a target or bought a plane ticket when the CIA stepped in and seized the bomb, officials said. It was not immediately clear what happened to the alleged bomber.

White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said President Barack Obama learned about the plot in April and was assured the device posed no threat to the public.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Al-Qaidas-underwear-bomb-plot-to-attack-plane-foiled-US/articleshow/13047093.cms

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US secretly releasing detainees from Afghan prisons: Report

May 8, 2012

WASHINGTON: The US has been secretly releasing highlevel detainees from a military prison in Afghanistan for several years in a bold effort to initiate negotiations with the insurgent groups, but one that American officials acknowledge could prove to be a costly gamble.

As the US has so far unsuccessfully pursued peace deal with Taliban, The Washington Post on Monday reported that the "strategic" release programme has quietly served as a live diplomatic channel allowing American officials to use prisoners as bargaining chips in restive provinces where military power has reached its limits.

But the paper said, releases are an inherent gamble as freed prisoners are often notorious fighters who may return to the gun culture and attack US forces.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-secretly-releasing-detainees-from-Afghan-prisons-Report/articleshow/13044483.cms

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We want to see Hafiz Saeed brought to justice: US

May 8, 2012

WASHINGTON: The US wants to see Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack, brought to justice whether he is tried in a Pakistani court or in a US court or wherever, a top official has said.

State department spokesman Mark Toner said the US' desire that Pakistan secure the conviction of the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in connection with the Mumbai attack was the reason why it recently announced a reward of $10 million to anyone for information leading to his trial in a court of law.

"We have been very clear why this program, particularly our Rewards for Justice program, was put in place. We want to see this individual brought to justice," Toner told reporters.

"As you remember at the time, there was a lot of speculation of why we did this because everyone knows he's in Pakistan. What we want to do is give the Pakistani authorities the judicial wherewithal to bring this guy to justice," he said.

"At the time we used the phrase, and continue to use, evidence that can withstand judicial scrutiny.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/We-want-to-see-Hafiz-Saeed-brought-to-justice-US/articleshow/13047532.cms

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US citizen abducted by Al Qaeda in Pakistan appeals to Obama

 May 8, 2012

A 70-year-old American citizen, kidnapped by Al Qaeda in Pakistan last August, has made an emotional appeal to President Obama to accept the terror outfit’s demands, failing which he would be killed.

In a video released on several Islamist websites on Sunday, Warren Weinstein says: “My life is in your hands, Mr. President. If you accept the demands, I live; if you don’t accept the demands, then I die.” “It is important that you accept these demands and act quickly and don’t delay,” Weinstein said in the video that made references to Obama’s daughters and to his own children. In the video, he also tells his wife that he was “fine and well” and that he is getting his medications.

Weinstein, who is from Rockville, Maryland in suburban Washington, is the country director in Pakistan for J.E. Austin Associates, a Virginia-based firm that advises a range of Pakistani business and government sectors. He was abducted in Lahore last August after gunmen tricked his guards and broke into his home.

http://dailypioneer.com/world/63518-us-citizen-abducted-by-al-qaeda-in-pakistan-appeals-to-obama.html

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South Asia

 

10 minors, four women killed in fresh bombardments in Afghanistan

08 May, 2012

KABUL: Ten children and four women were killed in recent bombardments of the foreign forces in western Badghis and southern Helmand provinces of Afghanistan, officials and area residents said Monday.

Abdul Rauf, a resident of Nawbar area, Balamurghab district, Badghis province told the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) the foreign forces conducted bombardment in Shahri village yesterday, leaving eight persons dead and nine more injured.

"ISAF aircrafts conducted bombed on few houses in Shahri village at around 11 AM yesterday. Five minors and three women were killed and nine more, all of them women and children, injured in the blitz. All the men of the houses had gone to bazaars. That's the reason all the dead and injured were women and children," he said.

"Right now I am attending their condolence reference," he maintained.

He said the local authorities and an ISAF commander visited the area where the people told them that the dead, all of them women and children, were civilians.

An elderly man of the area condemned the incident and told the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) the bombardment was conducted on houses of Ahmad Shah, Abdullah, Abdul Qudoos, Muhammad Ameer and Mirza Gul, adding all the dead and injured belonged to these families.

Full report at:

http://paktribune.com/news/10-minors-four-women-killed-in-fresh-ISAF-bombardments-249625.html

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Sri Lankan Buddhists demand demolition of mosque

 May 8, 2012

KALUTARA, Sri Lanka: Dozens of Buddhists led by monks joined a demonstration on Monday urging Sri Lanka's government to proceed with plans to dismantle a mosque located in a sacred Buddhist area.

The protesters marched peacefully through Kalutara town, south of Colombo.

Last month, thousands of Buddhist monks and lay supporters stormed the mosque in the central town of Dambulla, saying it was constructed illegally. But residents say it has been there for nearly half a century, long before the area was declared a sacred zone.

The government announced that the mosque and a Hindu temple would be demolished and relocated. Muslim clerics and politicians have strongly opposed the decision.

An organizer of Monday's protest, Asoka Menikkgoda, said the government should safeguard Buddhism, the state religion, and not yield to Muslim pressure.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Sri-Lankan-Buddhists-demand-demolition-of-mosque/articleshow/13037584.cms

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Nato admits Afghan family killed in airstrike

 May 08, 2012

KABUL: Nato forces in Afghanistan Tuesday admitted responsibility for the deaths of a civilian family of six in an airstrike in the southern province of Helmand last week.

The admission came a day after President Hamid Karzai summoned Nato’s military commander and the US ambassador to warn that civilian deaths threatened the strategic pact he signed with US President Barack Obama last week.

“At this point in the investigation we are able to confirm the incident and will be formally apologising in the next couple of days to the family,” a spokesman for Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) told AFP.

“We are deeply saddened by any civilian deaths, and particularly regret incidents where civilians are killed as a result of actions by Isaf,” said Lieutenant Colonel Stewart Upton of Isaf’s southwest regional command.

The Helmand provincial governor’s office said in a statement that the family was killed unintentionally in an airstrike last Friday after Isaf checkpoints came under attack by insurgents in Sangin district.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/05/08/nato-admits-afghan-family-killed-in-airstrike/

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Afghan civilian deaths could hinder US pact, Hamid Karzai says

 May 8, 2012

KABUL: The strategic pact sealed by U.S. President Barack Obama last week in Afghanistan is at risk of becoming "meaningless" if Afghans do not feel safe, President Hamid Karzai said on Monday, referring to recent civilian casualties inflicted by NATO.

Karzai summoned US General John Allen, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker to his palace to discuss the civilian deaths, a longstanding thorn in ties between Karzai and his Western backers.

The killing of civilians has soured the feelings of many ordinary Afghans towards foreign forces in a war that is becoming increasingly unpopular and is dragging into its 11th year.

"Karzai signed the strategic pact with the United States to avoid such incidents (civilian casualties) and if Afghans do not feel safe, the strategic partnership loses its meaning," a presidential palace statement said, referring to an agreement setting out a long-term U.S. role in Afghanistan.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Afghan-civilian-deaths-could-hinder-US-pact-Hamid-Karzai-says/articleshow/13040572.cms

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South East Asia

 

Malaysian Paper Says Anti-Islamic Charges On Senator Xenophon Was A Misunderstanding

05/08/2012

A Malaysian Newspaper apologized to Independent Senator Nick Xenophon for accusing him of delivering an anti-Islamic speech in Parliament.

Malaysian New Straits Time subsituted a quote of an old speech delivered by the Federal Independent Senator. In his 2009 speech, they wrote the word “Islam,” where the original text had the word “Scientology.”

The Greek-Australian Senator said that this accusation is a major lie and he is about to sue the Malaysian paper, despite their public apology.

The article, in a bid to convince the readers about their claim, stated that “Senator Xenophon supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, while in Malaysia, homosexuality is illegal.”

In his original speech, the Senator had made a reference to a former Scientology member, who “was instructed by the organization to disconnect with her sister because her sister was gay” and thus, “dangerous, perverted and evil,” according to Scientology.

http://au.greekreporter.com/2012/05/07/malaysian-paper-says-anti-islamic-charges-on-senator-xenophon-was-a-misunderstanding/

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Jakarta: 6 FPI members ‘enough’ to disperse Lady Gaga’s ‘60,000 fans’

05/08/2012

The hard-line Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) says it will send six members to shoo away fans flocking Lady Gaga’s concert if the US singer-songwriter goes ahead with plans for the concert.

“Muslims are ready to close down [the concert]. She has 60,000 people in the audience, while six will be enough for the FPI. They will disperse,” FPI Jakarta branch chief Salim Assegaf said Monday as quoted by kompas.com.

The FPI has taken a stand against what it defines as “skin-revealing” artists coming into the country, including Lady Gaga.

Salim advised his members not to come to the concert because doing so would be counterproductive.

"She's bringing the faith of Satan to our country, as opposed to progress. She will destroy the nation’s morals," he said.

He said he would also deploy FPI members to intercept the singer upon her arrival at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in the suburb of Cengkareng, west of Jakarta.

"You can be sure about that. We will be dispatching local FPI members especially from nearby units, such as the FPI Tangerang and the FPI Banten," Salim said.

The singer is scheduled to perform in Jakarta as part of her “Born This Way World Tour” on June 3 at Gelora Bung Karno’s main stadium in Senayan, Central Jakarta. (png/mtq)

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/05/08/6-fpi-members-enough-disperse-lady-gaga-s-60000-fans.html

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Jakarta: Bekasi church victims skip local level, file report with National Police

05/08/2012

A journalist says he is avoiding local police and has filed a complaint with the National Police claiming that the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) disrupted services at the Batak Protestant Christian Union (HKBP) Filadelfia church in Bekasi, West Java, on Sunday.

Tantowi Anwari, a member of the Association of Journalists for Diversity (Sejuk), said he filed his complaint on Sunday night, just after members of the hard-line group allegedly assaulted him.

The journalist told the police that several men under the FPI Tambun’s branch allegedly detained, questioned and abused him for wearing a t-shirt that said “Say no to tyranny of the majority.”

“My back was scuffed, my hair was pulled and my hands were scratched. I don’t know who did what to me because it was so chaotic,” Tantowi told The Jakarta Post.

“There was actually a police officer from the Tambun precinct next to me when they [the FPI] interrogated me, but he could do nothing because we were outnumbered.”

The FPI’s members also allegedly forced him to take off his t-shirt, as well as to produce his ID card to make sure he was a Muslim, Tantowi said.

Tantowi said he filed his report with the National Police following what he said were inaccurate statements made by Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto.

Rikwanto previously said that Tantowi was not assaulted, but was “almost hit”, because he wore a “provocative” t-shirt, and that a group of people who attacked Tantowi did not come from any particular mass organization.

Tantowi said he gave police a hospital report listing the injuries and trauma he sustained from the FPI on Sunday.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/05/07/bekasi-church-victims-skip-local-level-file-report-with-national-police.html

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Indonesia: Bali Bombing Suspect Apologizes for 2002 Attacks

 May 8, 2012

Umar Patek, the terrorism suspect accused of building bombs used in the 2002 Bali nightclub attacks, apologized to victims on Monday. Mr. Patek, a leading member of the Qaeda-linked network Jemaah Islamiyah, said in court testimony that he had opposed the bombings, which killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists. But he said he was afraid to challenge more senior members of the group. His voice trembling, he said he wanted to apologize to the victims and their families. He faces a maximum penalty of death if found guilty of terrorism-related charges and other counts. He has said he did not play a major role in assembling a large car bomb. Other militants have said his main job was to mix a tiny batch of chemicals.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/08/world/asia/indonesia-bali-bombing-suspect-apologizes-for-2002-attacks.html?ref=asia&gwh=3452C3782D9818218A182E4203207A06

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/indian-muslim-mps-welcome-supreme-court-striking-haj-subsidies/d/7265 

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