New Age Islam
Mon Nov 23 2020, 12:02 PM

Islamic World News ( 27 March 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Indonesian Muslims protest against Gaddafi

Libyan rebels take back oil town in westward push

Truck bomb explodes in Afghanistan, killing 20

7 Yemen troops killed in suspected Al Qaeda attack

12 killed in Latakia: Syrian official

Taliban militants abduct 50 policemen in Afghanistan

Christian urge Pakistan government to ensure security of Joseph Francis

Pakistani Christian-Muslim condemn Koran burning in Florida

Muslims Attackers cut off Ear of a Christian in Egypt

India, Pakistan talk extremism, peace

Egypt clerics protest at graft in religious bodies

Terror threat to Pak-India match likely

PM cricket diplomacy helps free Indian in Pak prison

Gilani pads up to cheer for his team

'Religious belief is no reason to annul marriage'

US envoy regrets civilian casualties in Pakistan

Clinton hints at strained Pak-US ties

Al-Azhar Grand Imam meets with Coptic mutiliation victim

Obama to lay out his case to nation on Libya

Plea in Pak court questions release of American national Davis

Sharjah court waives death penalty for 8 Indians

US to cut Libya role soon, focus on Gaddafi exit

Libyan rebels seizes Gaddafi's hometown

Libya placing bodies at bombing sites: US

Gaddafi in Tripoli compound: Libyan state TV

Nato takes command of Libya campaign

Over 35 countries confirmed for London meeting on Libya

Biggies face a glitch in their Mohali plans

Victorious rebels in hot pursuit of Gaddafi men

Tsunami scare again, Japan hit by 6.5-magnitude quake

Sweeping gains for Libya rebels

India, Pakistan home secretaries to meet in Delhi today

Pak President remits jail term of Indian convict Gopal Das

`Cheap' bread to cost billions in new Egypt

Pakistan to seek Interpol help to arrest Musharraf

Pope calls for suspension of use of arms in Libya crisis

India keen to open talks with Gen Kayani, ISI chief

Drone attack on jirga in N Waziristan US envoy regrets civilian casualties

Pakistan has no interior minister: Munawar

PPP plans to reopen case of Bhutto’s ‘judicial murder’

Maldives releases World Cup terror suspect

Kuwait to mediate in Bahrain crisis

Syria's emergency law to be revoked

US reducing naval firepower aimed at Gaddafi

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/indonesian-muslims-protest-against-gaddafi/d/4356


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Indonesian Muslims protest against Gaddafi

March 28, 2011

More than 10,000 Muslims marched on Sunday in Indonesia to support pro-democracy and reform movements in Libya, Yemen and Bahrain, calling for the immediate resignation of Libya’s leader and protection of civilians.

Men, women and children attending the rally in the capital of the world’s most populous Muslim nation waved Indonesian flags and shouted Allah akbar.

Banners and placards carried by marchers read: “Revolution for freedom,” “No to Dictator Gaddafi” or criticised the international air strikes that have checked Libya’s military and helped rebels gain control of key towns.

Participants in the rally through downtown Jakarta organised by the Islamic-based Justice and Prosperity Party called for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to resign and for civilians to be protected.

Justice and Prosperity Party leader Hidayat Nur Wahid told the crowd the Gaddafi dictatorship must be ousted to stop a humanitarian tragedy.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/327331/Indonesian-Muslims-protest-against-Gaddafi.html

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Libyan rebels take back oil town in westward push

March 28, 2011

Libyan rebels took back a key oil town and pushed westward Sunday toward the capital, seizing momentum from the international airstrikes that tipped the balance away from Moammar Gadhafi's military.

Brega, a main oil export terminal in eastern Libya, fell after a skirmish late Saturday and rebel forces moved swiftly west, seizing the tiny desert town of Al-Egila — a collection of houses and a gas station — on their way to the massive oil refining complex of Ras Lanouf.

"There was no resistance. Gadhafi's forces just melted away," said Suleiman Ibrahim, a 31-year-old volunteer, sitting in the back of a pickup truck. "This couldn't have happened without NATO. They gave us big support." He said that rebels had already reached Ras Lanouf.

Ras Lanouf and Brega combined would be responsible for a large chunk of Libya's 1.5 million barrels of daily exports, which have all but stopped since the uprising that began Feb. 15 and was inspired by the toppling of governments in Tunisia and Egypt.

"As they move round the coast, of course, the rebels will increasingly control the exit points of Libya's oil," British Defense Secretary Liam Fox told the BBC. "That will produce a very dynamic and a very different equilibrium inside Libya. How that will play out in terms of public opinion and the Gadhafi regime remains to be seen."

The Gadhafi regime on Saturday acknowledged the airstrikes had forced its troops to retreat and accused international forces of choosing sides.

"This is the objective of the coalition now, it is not to protect civilians because now they are directly fighting against the armed forces," Khaled Kaim, the deputy foreign minister, said in the capital, Tripoli. "They are trying to push the country to the brink of a civil war."

Fox denied that the international force hoped to oust Gadhafi: "Losing Gadhafi is an aspiration, it is not part of the U.N. resolution."

The U.N. Security Council authorized the operation to protect Libyan civilians after Gadhafi launched attacks against anti-government protesters who demanded that he step down after 42 years in power. The airstrikes have crippled Gadhafi's forces, but rebel advances have also foundered, and the two sides have been at stalemate in key cities.

The rebel turnaround is a boost for President Barack Obama, who has faced complaints from lawmakers from both parties that he has not sought their input about the U.S. role in the conflict or explained with enough clarity about the American goals and exit strategy. Obama was expected to give a speech to the nation Monday.

"We're succeeding in our mission," Obama said in a radio and Internet address on Saturday. "So make no mistake, because we acted quickly, a humanitarian catastrophe has been avoided and the lives of countless civilians — innocent men, women and children — have been saved."

Pentagon officials say that forces loyal to Gadhafi are a potent threat to civilians. And they are looking at plans to expand the firepower and airborne surveillance systems in the military campaign, including using the Air Force's AC-130 gunship armed with cannons that shoot from the side doors, as well as helicopters and drones.

Fox, the British foreign minister, ruled out supplying arms to the rebels. "We are not arming the rebels, we are not planning to arm the rebels," he said.

NATO's top decision-making body meets Sunday to expand its enforcement of the no-fly zone to include airstrikes against Libyan ground targets. Washington has been eager to hand off responsibility to NATO, which is expected to take command Sunday of the no-fly zone mission.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/327234/Libyan-rebels-take-back-oil-town-in-westward-push.html

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Truck bomb explodes in Afghanistan, killing 20

MAR 28 2011

The Afghan Interior Ministry says the death toll from a suicide attack against a construction company in eastern Afghanistan has increased to 20 killed and about 50 wounded.

A statement issued by the ministry said three insurgents carried out the attack late Sunday using a truck carrying a large amount of explosives.

The ministry said Monday that the attackers shot their way into the compound before detonating the bomb.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=29100

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7 Yemen troops killed in suspected Al Qaeda attack

March 28, 2011

Suspected Al Qaeda militants killed seven Yemeni soldiers in attacks on an army convoy and a Government building on Sunday, security and tribal sources said.

A military official said six troops were killed and four others wounded near Marib, East of the capital, when their road convoy came under attack. An army vehicle was incinerated and two others were seized. “The attack was led by Aaed al-Shabwani, the most prominent wanted Al Qaeda leader in Marib,” a tribal source said.

The soldier was on guard duty outside the building in Jaar, a town in Abyan province, a stronghold of Al Qaeda’s franchise in Yemen, the official said.

The Washington Post reported on Saturday that the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, could be close to launching an attack, according to US spy agencies.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/327328/7-Yemen-troops-killed-in-suspected-Al-Qaeda-attack.html

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12 killed in Latakia: Syrian official

March 28, 2011

Twelve people were killed in clashes in the northern city of Latakia, presidential adviser Buthaina Shaaban told AFP on Sunday.

“The official death toll in Latakia on Saturday is 10 people — citizens and members of the security forces — and two gunmen,” Shaaban told AFP.

Syrian troops have entered the port city of Latakia, a day after an official said two passers-by were killed by snipers.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/327323/12-killed-in-Latakia-Syrian-official.html

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Taliban militants abduct 50 policemen in Afghanistan

MAR 28 2011

ASADABAD: Taliban insurgents abducted around 50 off-duty Afghan policemen in an ambush in a volatile province in northeastern Afghanistan, the militant group and provincial officials said on Sunday.

Taliban-led militants have stepped up their fight this year against the Afghan government and its Western backers at a time when Kabul has announced security responsibilities for seven areas will be handed to Afghan forces in July.

The policemen were abducted by militants in the Chapa Dara district of remote northeastern Kunar province after returning from neighbouring Nuristan province where they had travelled to collect their salaries, Nuristan governor Jamaluddin Badr said.

“The policemen were in civilian clothes and had no weapons with them,” Badr told Reuters from Nuristan.

Mohammad Farooq, a senior police officer in Nuristan, confirmed around 50 policemen had been kidnapped by insurgents.

In an email statement sent to media, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the Islamist group was holding 50 policemen and the group’s military council for the area would decide their fate.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/27/taliban-militants-abduct-50-policemen-in-afghanistan.html

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Christian urge Pakistan government to ensure security of Joseph Francis

MAR 28 2011

Karachi: March 26, 2011. (PCP) Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC have expressed grave concerns on life threats to Pakistani Christian leader Joseph Francis on his campaign against blasphemy laws.

Joseph Francis is President of National Christian Party, a liberal political party of Christians in Pakistan, demanding equal rights for Christians. He is also Director of CLAAS, a non-governmental organization based in Lahore city of Punjab province of Pakistan, having outstanding record of providing legal aid services to victims of blasphemy law and to shelter displaced Christian women after atrocities of Muslims.

Joseph Francis came in political lime light of Pakistan when he announced to run for job of President of Pakistan to challenge constitution of Pakistan which reserved this Executive Job for Muslim adults only. He is only Christian Human Right activist in Pakistan who received award from French government for his services.

The CLAAS office in UK issued a press release to appeal for prayers after life threats by Islamic militants to Joseph Francis on his appearance in different TV Channels to comment on blasphemy law.

Full report at: http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/headlinenewsd.php?hnewsid=2708

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Pakistani Christian-Muslim condemn Koran burning in Florida

March 26, 2011.

By Professor Anjum Paul

We the Christians and Muslims condemn the act of Wayne Sape who has burned the Holy Quran in Florida, USA. The press conference organized by our Christian brethren is a proof that the burning of the Holy Quran is the act of an individual. We the Pakistani Muslims and Christians will live peacefully together respecting the religions of each other. We equally respect the Holy Bible and the Holy Quran. Extremism and fanaticism has already caused a grave loss to the world but now it is time to discourage such elements Teachings of all religions are based on the values of peace, human dignity, tolerance and respecting all human beings without any discrimination. We have to be united to face the challenges. We expect that such type of incidents much not occur at any level from the followers of any religion. Father Javed Younas, Maulana Abu Bakr, Malik Ahmad, Dr. Amjad Aftab, Mr. Muhammad Ismael Bhatti, Engineer Tahir Mehmood, Mr. Nadeem Bhatti Advocate, Mr. Victor Sylvester, Mr. Iqbal Danish, Mr. Muhammad Aslam Mazer, Mr. Anwar Ali, Dr. Shabir Rana, Dr. Albert Sahotra, Mr. Daniel, Mr. Sait Munawar and Professor Anjum James Paul , Director SHADOW Organization expressed views.

Full report at: http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/headlinenewsd.php?hnewsid=2709

 

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Muslims Attackers cut off Ear of a Christian in Egypt

MAR 28 2011

Cairo: March 26, 2011. (By Mary Abdelmassih AINA) -- A group of Muslims attacked Ayman Anwar Mitri, a 45 year old Christian Coptic man in the Upper Egyptian town of Qena, cutting off his ear. The Muslims claimed they were applying Sharia law because Mr. Mitri allegedly had an illicit affair with a Muslim woman. The Muslims called the police and told them "We have applied the law of Allah, now come and apply your law," according to Mr. Mitri in an interview for the Egyptian Human Rights Organization.

Mr. Mitri, a low grade administrator at a secondary school, from elHasweya, in Qena, 492 KM from Cairo, had rented his flat to two Muslim sisters, Abeer and Sabrin Saif Al-Nasr, through an agent. After nine months he learned the sisters had been indicted for prostitution, so he asked them to leave and they did.

On Sunday, March 20 Mr. Mitri was informed by a friend via a phone call at 4 AM that the flat where the Muslim sisters lived was on fire; he went to the flat. While waiting in the torched flat a Muslim named Alaa el Sunni came and berated him for renting his flat to prostitutes. "I tried to calm him down," said Mr. Mitri, "and told him I knew nothing about the two women since they came through an agent." Alaa suggested they would go somewhere quiet to clear the misunderstanding. They went to the flat of Mr. Mitri's friend Khaled, a policeman, where 12 Muslims were waiting for him. They started beating him and saying "We will teach you a lesson, Christian" and "This serves your right for renting your property to prostitutes."

Full report at: http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/headlinenewsd.php?hnewsid=2707

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India, Pakistan talk extremism, peace

March 28, 2011

NEW DELHI: Top officials from India and Pakistan were due to meet Monday in New Delhi to discuss counter-terrorism and the 2008 Mumbai attacks in a new effort to advance their slow-moving peace process.

The home secretaries of both countries are also expected to discuss the drugs trade during two days of talks that will look to build on recent momentum and a thaw in relations brought on by their shared love of cricket.         

India and Pakistan will meet in the semi-final of the cricket World Cup on Wednesday in an explosive encounter that has been seized on by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as an opportunity to improve ties.

Singh has invited his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani to watch the game with him in what will be a rare meeting between the two leaders, who last sat down for talks in Bhutan in April last year.      

Full report at: http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13263

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Egypt clerics protest at graft in religious bodies

MAR 28 2011

CAIRO: Egyptian clerics and employees of state Islamic religious bodies are demanding an end to what they say is rampant corruption by senior officials who manage religious endowments.

No official figures exist for the sums donated to Egypt’s top Islamic institutions to help manage and build mosques and pay imams, but independent estimates suggest they run to the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars.

The bodies have been under state control for more than three decades and their reputation among many Egyptians has declined as part of broader discontent at the failings of government.

Last month’s popular revolt that ended President Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade rule was the cue for an anti-corruption drive targeting senior officials in the former regime.

On Wednesday a top official in the religious endowments ministry set part of the building alight by accident while he was burning “important documents inside his office,” according to Egyptian state news website www.egynews.net.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article331631.ece

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Terror threat to Pak-India match likely

March 28, 2011

MOHALI: The India-Pakistan match to be held in Mohali in Punjab is keeping even the Delhi Police on its toes.

According to recent intelligence reports, terrorists have formed several groups to launch an attack on the match. About 30 small groups have been formed by terror organisations like the Lashkar-e-Ta iba, Indian Mujahideen and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami.

Sources said that several meetings to arrive at the final terror module have taken place in both sides of Kashmir.

The Delhi Police on its part has intensified checking at all the borders, railway stations and inter-state bus terminals.

"This is one of the safety precautions we are taking. More people have been deployed at the city borders and we have also sought cooperation from the Uttar Pradesh police," said a senior police officer on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Full report at: http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13264

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PM cricket diplomacy helps free Indian in Pak prison

By Aman Sharma

MAR 28 2011

THE WINNER of the ICC World Cup is yet to be crowned, but 52-year-old Gopal Dass will always have special memories of this edition.

Whatever be the outcome of the April 2 final at Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium, Dass stands to gain the priceless gift of freedom — after 27 long years of incarceration — and he has to thank Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cricket diplomacy for his release. Along with the announcement on Sunday that Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yusaf Raza Gilani will visit India to watch India take on Pakistan in the Mohali semi-final — in response to PM Singh’s invitation — Pakistan also said its President Asif Ali Zardari had announced the remission of the sentence of Dass, undergoing life imprisonment on charges of spying since 1986.

On March 14, India’s Supreme Court had requested Pakistan to consider the appeal of Dass whose brother, Anand Vir, had filed a petition in the apex court.

Dass had been imprisoned when he was only 25.

“I cannot believe Dass is being released. I hope he walks back from the Wagah border and comes home before the India- Pakistan match on Wednesday.

It will be a befitting gesture by Pakistan to send my brother home as quickly as possible. It was a long battle and I approached the Supreme Court in 2008,” Vir said from his village near Gurdaspur in Punjab. Vir said he had attached proof of his brother’s Indian identity to make the Union government accept that Dass was an Indian.

“My brother wrote letters to me from Mianwali jail in Pakistan, pleading for help. I made many representations to the government to take up the matter with Pakistan but no one listened.

Full report at: http://epaper.mailtoday.in/epaperhome.aspx?issue=2832011

 

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Gilani pads up to cheer for his team

By Badar Alam

MAR 28 2011

PAKISTANI Prime Minister Syed Yusaf Raza Gilani will visit India to watch the World Cup semi- final in Mohali on Wednesday, President Asif Ali Zardari’s aide said.

Farhatullah Babar, Zardari’s spokesman, said Gilani’s visit was finalised late on Saturday after the PM met the president following his return from Uzbekistan.

Sources in the presidency said Gilani and Zardari discussed the invitation by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to both. “ Protocol suggests that Gilani should visit as the invitation has come from the Indian PM,” a source said, describing how the decision was made.

They also discussed whether the visit should be kept informal or made a substantial event to take forward the process of bilateral dialogue.

“ The visit will be utilised to expedite the process of normalisation of Indo- Pak ties and as a precursor to the resumption of the composite dialogue,” the source said.

The other issue discussed was whether Gilani should take a sizeable delegation with him.

“ This has been left undecided for now and will be finalised after talks between members of the federal cabinet, the ruling coalition and the Opposition parties,” the source added. “ The PM may ask some senior Opposition politicians to accompany him.” Indian government sources said they expected at least a dozenmember strong delegation with Gilani. The team may include Pakistan’s minister of state for foreign affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, foreign secretary Salman Bashir and information minister Ashiq Awan.

Full report at: http://epaper.mailtoday.in/epaperhome.aspx?issue=2832011

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'Religious belief is no reason to annul marriage'

Mar 28, 2011

NEW DELHI: Terming marriage a "fundamental right " of a person , a trial court has said the marriage of an Indian Christian priest cannot be invalidated just because his religion makes him take the vow of celibacy.

"To marry is a fundamental right of a person , being an integral part of right to life and personal liberty . Tenets of a religion may interdict its followers from becoming a priest (father ) but cannot invalidate a marriage , which is legal otherwise ," said additional district judge Rajender Kumar Shastri.

The court's observations came while hearing the plea of a woman who had moved the court saying that her late husband , who was a father of a church in Delhi, had bequeathed all his property by wayof a willtotheir son .Other members of the priest's family , however , objected to his will saying the child was "illegitimate".

In her petition , the woman claimed that the priest married her in 1990 after they both secretly converted to Islam . A son was born out of wedlockin thesame year .The priest made a will in the year 2000 in the presence of two witnesses bequeathing his property to his son . Opposing the plea , the priest's relatives said he never married in his lifetime as a priest takes an oath before entering into priesthood that he will not marry, and would rather lead a life of celibacy till death . Thecounsel alsoclaimed that marriage by converting to Islam was illegal.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Religious-belief-is-no-reason-to-annul-marriage/articleshow/7802262.cms

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US envoy regrets civilian casualties in Pakistan

MAR 28 2011

WASHINGTON: US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Ambassador to Pakistan, Marc Grossman, has expressed regret over the civilian casualties in Pakistan, paving the way for resolving disagreements between the two allies after a drone strike in North Waziristan on March 17 killed several tribal elders.

Grossman insisted that the object of the US mission in Afghanistan and its cooperation with Pakistan was “protecting people and improving their lives,” and “when civilians are killed, we regret it. We deeply regret it,” he added.

Grossman was speaking during a panel at the Brussels Forum, titled ‘Bridging the Trust Deficit with Pakistan,’ along with UK Defence Secretary Liam Fox and journalist Ahmed Rashid.

When asked about civilian casualties from the done strike, he stressed that he could not go into specific operations, reflecting the US policy of avoiding public discussion of drone strikes.

Full report at: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\28\story_28-3-2011_pg1_5

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Clinton hints at strained Pak-US ties

MAR 28 2011

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described relations between the United States and Pakistan on Sunday as ‘very challenging,’ a tacit admission of strained ties between the key allies. Speaking after Pakistan boycotted a trilateral meeting on Afghanistan in Brussels in protest at a drone attack that killed 39 people, Clinton said Islamabad was caught between wanting to help and dealing with its own extremist threat. “It’s a very challenging relationship,” she said in an interview with the ABC programme ‘This Week.’ “But I think, on the other hand, we’ve also developed good lines of communication, good opportunities for cooperation, but it’s something we have to work on every day,” she said. Clinton noted the cooperation of the Pakistani government in securing the release of Raymond Davis as well as in the fight against al Qaeda. “We were very appreciative of getting our diplomat out of Pakistan, and that took cooperation by the government of Pakistan,” she said, adding, “We have cooperated very closely together in going after terrorists who pose a threat to both of us and to the Pakistanis themselves.” Washington always insisted that Davis had diplomatic immunity from prosecution. Intelligence sources in the northwestern city of Peshawar said 12 Pakistani Taliban militants were among those killed in the March 17 drone strike on a militant hideout in the North Waziristan tribal region. But the US ambassador was called in to meet with Foreign Secretary, Salman Bashir, who conveyed ‘a strong protest’ over the attack and demanded an apology and explanation from the United States. “Pakistan should not be taken for granted nor treated as a client state,” a Foreign Ministry statement said, adding, “It was for the White House and the State Department to hold back those who have been trying to veer Pakistan-US relationship away from the track.” afp

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\28\story_28-3-2011_pg1_7

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Al-Azhar Grand Imam meets with Coptic mutiliation victim

MAR 28 2011

Al-Azhar Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb met today with Ayman Mitri, a Coptic landlord who was mutilated in Qena.

Mitri, a school teacher, was allegedly attacked on 20 March, by a group of Salafists who accused him of supporting a prostitution ring. They cut his ear off. El-Tayeb warned that such incidents could turn into a sectarian crisis in Egypt. The Grand Imam also said that Mitri will receive treatment in Al Azhar’s Sayed Gamal Hospital, where he will undergo plastic surgery on his ear.

El-Tayeb also said that this initiative is part of the “Family House” project launched following the attack on the Two Saints Church on New Year’s Eve in an attempt to find solutions to sectarian and communal tension.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/8715/Egypt/Politics-/AlAzhar-Grand-Imam-meets-with-Coptic-mutiliation-v.aspx

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Obama to lay out his case to nation on Libya

MAR 28 2011

President Barack Obama is offering Congress and an anxious public his first detailed accounting of his rationale for U.S. military involvement in Libya and perhaps an answer to the burning question: What's next?

His speech, set for 7:30 p.m. EDT (2330 GMT) Monday, comes after the administration scored an important diplomatic victory with the approval by NATO ambassadors on Sunday of a plan for the alliance to assume from the U.S. command of all aerial operations, including ground attacks.

That will help Obama assure Americans he can deliver on his vow that the United States will be a partner in the military action against Libya, but not from the driver's seat. Bickering among NATO members delayed the process.

Ahead of Monday's speech, Obama and his top national security officials worked to set the stage for the address - Obama in his weekly radio and Internet address and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates with appearances on Sunday television news shows.

But as they made the rounds, neither Clinton nor Gates could say for sure how long the U.S. mission would last or lay out an exit strategy.

"I don't think anybody knows the answer to that," Gates told ABC News' "This Week" when asked pointedly about reports that some officials within the Pentagon believed the mission could last many months.

Full report at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/03/28/obama-lay-out-his-case-nation-libya.html

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Plea in Pak court questions release of American national Davis

Mar 27 2011

Lahore : A lawyer has approached a Pakistani court to seek an explanation from Law Minister Babar Awan and senior officials on the release of CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who was arrested after he shot and killed two men in January.

Javed Iqbal Jeffery filed an application in the Lahore High Court yesterday, asking it to seek an explanation from Awan, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Judge Yousaf Aujla and others as to why they facilitated the acquittal and release of Davis.

Jeffery filed the application in connection with another case on the release of Davis, who was pardoned and freed by Judge Aujla earlier this month after over USD 2.3 million was paid as "blood money" to the families of the dead men.

He asked the Lahore High Court to obtain affidavits from the respondents on whether they had prior information about Davis' acquittal and his subsequent departure from Pakistan on a special flight.

He said the High Court had directed the Interior Ministry to place Davis' name on a list of persons barred from leaving Pakistan and the court had also been assured by a law officer and the ministry that the order had been complied with.

Jaffrey said the court order was still in place when Davis was released and the High Court had not suspended or withdrawn its order.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/768002/

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Sharjah court waives death penalty for 8 Indians

Mar 28 2011

Dubai : A Sharjah court has waived the death sentence awarded to eight Indian youths for the murder of a Pakistani national after a Dubai-based Indian hotelier paid blood money to the family of the victim on their behalf.

The murder took place on July 11, 2009 following which 10 men, eight Indians – all from Pubjab – and two Pakistanis, were arrested.

The death penalty of two Pakistanis have also been waived off after Dubai-based hotelier SP Singh Oberoi paid blood money.

"Death penalty has been waived off for all the 10 accused, eight Indians and two Pakistanis. They have to serve three years of imprisonment of which they have already completed 21 months. So they will be free in another six months and will be deported directly to their home countries," Oberoi said following the verdict yesterday.

Several such cases involving Punjabi youths embroiled in bootlegging turf battle have come to light in recent times.

The latest case involved murder of Pakistani national Mumtaz Yousuf, who hailed from Faislabad.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/768262/

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US to cut Libya role soon, focus on Gaddafi exit

MAR 28 2011

WASHINGTON - The United States will cut its military role in Libya in the next week or so and start to focus with other nations on how to ease Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi from power, top US officials said on Sunday.

In television interviews, the US secretaries of state and defense raised the possibility that Gaddafi’s government could splinter and said a London conference on Tuesday would discuss political strategies to end his 41-year rule of the oil-exporting North African nation.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” the United Nations would be sending a special envoy to Tripoli in the next few days with “a very clear message” to Gaddafi.

The United States and others began bombing Libya on March 19 to impose a no-fly zone and to keep Gaddafi’s forces from attacking rebels and civilians in the east of the country, the latest Arab nation to see uprisings against authoritarian regimes.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Libya was not vital to US interests but the broader Middle East was, arguing that instability in Libya could undermine democratic transitions under way in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia.

“I don’t think it’s a vital interest for the United States. But we clearly have interests there,” he told NBC in an interview taped on Saturday and broadcast Sunday.

“It’s part of the region, which is a vital interest for the United States,” he added.

Libyan rebels have pushed west to recapture more territory abandoned by Gaddafi’s retreating forces, which have been weakened by Western air strikes and, according to Gates, are largely unable to move tanks and other armored vehicles.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/March/international_March1528.xml&section=international

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Libyan rebels seizes Gaddafi's hometown

Mar 28 2011

Benghazi : A Libyan rebel spokesman said Muammar Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte had been captured by the rebels on Monday, but no independent verification of the statement was immediately available.

A foreign journalist in Sirte, contacted by telephone by Reuters, said the city was quiet.

It's confirmed Sirte has fallen into pro-democracy hands, said the rebel spokesman, Shamsiddin Abdulmolah.

He said the rebels had not faced much resistance from pro-Gaddafi forces.

Celebratory gunfire erupted and car horns sounded in the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi as news of the rebel statement about Sirte spread.

The ramshackle rebel army has pushed west to retake a series of towns from pro-Gaddafi forces who are being pounded by Western air strikes.

Emboldened by the help of the air strikes, the rebels have rapidly reversed military losses in their five-week insurgency and regained control of all the main oil terminals in eastern Libya, as far as the town of Bin Jawad.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/768266/

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Libya placing bodies at bombing sites: US

Mar 28, 2011

Tags:Us Intelligence|Robert Gates|Muammar Gaddafi|Libya

WASHINGTON: US intelligence reports suggest that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces have placed the bodies of people they have killed at the sites of coalition air strikes so they can blame the West for the deaths, US secretary of defence Robert Gates said on Saturday.

"We do have a lot of intelligence reporting about Gaddafi taking the bodies of the people he's killed and putting them at the sites where we've attacked," Gates said in a TV interview.

Last week, Libyan officials said nearly 100 civilians had been killed in the coalition strikes, but Western military officials at the time denied any civilians had been killed. "The truth of the matter is we have trouble coming up with proof of any civilian casualties that we have been responsible for," Gates said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Libya-placing-bodies-at-bombing-sites-US/articleshow/7804070.cms

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Gaddafi in Tripoli compound: Libyan state TV

Mar 28, 2011

TUNIS: Libyan state television broadcast on Sunday what it said was live footage of Muammar Gaddafi in a car in his Tripoli compound where hundreds of supporters waved green flags and chanted slogans.

Gaddafi could not be seen in the white car but the television said the Libyan leader was in it.

The short footage showed bodyguards pushing away supporters to prevent them from getting too close to the car.

Gaddafi has not been shown on television since he made a speech on Tuesday.

Libya's ramshackle rebel army pushed west on Sunday to retake a series of towns from pro-Gaddafi forces as they pulled back under pressure from Western air strikes.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Gaddafi-in-Tripoli-compound-Libyanstate-TV/articleshow/7803960.cms

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Nato takes command of Libya campaign

MAR 28 2011

“Our goal is to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under threat of attack from the Qadhafi regime,” Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said. –Photo by Reuters

BRUSSELS: Nato took full command Sunday of military operations in Libya from a US-led coalition, empowering alliance forces to stage ground strikes to protect civilians threatened by Muammar Qadhafi’s army.

As rebels pushed towards Tripoli after nine days of Western bombings on Qadhafi forces, Nato ambassadors overcame objections from Turkey and France after days of tense talks and agreed to take control of the campaign.

“Our goal is to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under threat of attack from the Qadhafi regime,” said Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

“Nato will implement all aspects of the UN Resolution. Nothing more, nothing less.”

Rasmussen said the operational commander for Operation Unified Protector, Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard of Canada, was being instructed to “begin executing this operation with immediate effect.”

Bouchard himself told reporters: “Along with its non-Nato partners, Nato will do everything it can to deny any use of air power and it will do so with care and precision to avoid harming the people of Libya.” Alliance officials cautioned however that the transfer would take 48 to 72 hours.

The United States has been eager to hand off control of the operation.

While Britain and Italy wanted Nato to take over, France shied away from alliance control while Turkey voiced concerns about the intervention.

Addressing Ankara’s objections, envoys from Nato’s 28 member states endorsed a three-month military plan including rules of engagement strictly limiting the use of ground strikes to protect civilians and populated areas, diplomats said.

The plan does not call for Nato to intervene in support of the armed rebellion fighting Qadhafi, the diplomats said.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/28/nato-takes-command-of-libya-campaign.html

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Over 35 countries confirmed for London meeting on Libya

March 28, 2011

Foreign Ministers from more than 35 countries have so far confirmed they will attend a London conference on Tuesday to discuss coalition military action against Libya, Britain said.

“US Secretary of State (Hillary) Clinton and the foreign Ministers of over 35 other countries have already confirmed attendance,” said the Foreign Office in a statement on Sunday.

The meeting would “forge a wide group looking at long-term support” and “begin to support a new political future for Libya” where rebels were winning back ground against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces after coalition air strikes.

“It is vital that we learn the lessons of the past and ensure early and coordinated international planning for the long term,” the statement added.

The meeting comes against the backdrop of continuing uncertainty about the mission’s aims. The Foreign Office also said that African Union Commission chairman Jean Ping would be at the conference. London has already announced that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Qatari Prime Minister Hamed bin Jassem will attend.

All countries that have contributed militarily to the UN resolution which approved “all necessary measures” to protect civilians in Libya would attend the meeting, said the Foreign Office. Those that are considering doing so will also be there.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/327326/Over-35-countries-confirmed-for-London-meeting-on-Libya.html

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Biggies face a glitch in their Mohali plans

By Ajmer Singh

MAR 28 2011

INDIA’S top corporate bosses have lined up to watch the high voltage India- Pakistan World Cup semi- final match at Mohali to be held on Wednesday.

But there is a hitch — the high and mighty, owing to the space crunch and security concerns, will not be permitted to park their private luxury jets at the Chandigarh airport.

The Indian Air Force ( IAF) officers, in charge of the airport, are also reportedly “ not too happy” about extending night operations to accommodate the private flights for the day- andnight cricketing spectacle.

The defence airport shuts down at around 8 pm but top tycoons are said to be keen to fly back the same night.

The aviation regulator, Director General of Civil Aviation ( DGCA), has directed all the CEOs of the scheduled airlines to take special approval before operating any additional/ chartered flights to Chandigarh in view of the semi- final match.

Airport authorities have already received about 15 requests from business tycoons, including the Reliance group, to operate chartered/ private flights from Mumbai/ Delhi to Chandigarh.

Requests have also poured in from Vedanta group, the Singhanias and the Wadias to land in their private aircraft at the airport.

Heavy industries minister Praful Patel would also be arriving in a private aircraft and is likely to be allowed to park his aircraft at the airport, sources said. Many Bollywood stars are also expected to arrive in business jets.

Group Captain D. C. Mehta, advisor to the chairman of Airport Authority of India ( AAI), said the chartered flights are most welcome to land, subject to the clearance from the Air Force authorities.

Full report at: http://epaper.mailtoday.in/epaperhome.aspx?issue=2832011

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Victorious rebels in hot pursuit of Gaddafi men

MAR 28 2011

THE LIBYAN rebels’ push westwards towards Muammar Gaddafi’s hometown Sirte and capital Tripoli gathered momentum on Sunday as their pursuit of the despot’s forces saw them wrest back control of the key oil town Ras Lanouf.

Their next target is Sirte and on the way they captured Bin Jawad, a hamlet 50 km west of Ras Lanouf, reporters said.

The rebels, on the verge of losing their eastern stronghold city of Benghazi before the Western airstrikes began on March 19, on Saturday seized back Ajdabiya and Brega.

Jubilant rebels stuck up a poster of Gaddafi in Bin Jawad and took potshots at it with automatic rifles as a Libyan regime flag burned and a group chanted: “ Muammar, you’re a dog.” “ Gaddafi’s forces are now scared rats,” Mohammed Ali el- Atwish, a 42- year- old fighter, said. “ They are dropping their weapons and uniforms and dressing as civilians. We are no longer concerned about Gaddafi’s forces at all.” The rebel fighters marked the takeover of Ras Lanouf with celebratory gunfire and fired a rocket- propelled grenade in a sign of victory.

One of them, Attia Hamad, 34, said insurgents were in full control of the town. “ All of it is in our hands,” Hamad said of the town which the loyalists forces had overrun on March 12.

“ The loyalists were retreating so quickly, they are leaving some fighters behind,” he added.

Foreign ministers from more than 35 countries have so far confirmed they will attend a London conference on Tuesday to discuss the coalition military action.

US state secretary Hillary Clinton told CBS TV on the eighth day of the coalition operation: “ We have a lot of diplomats and military leaders in Libya who are flipping, changing sides, defecting.” Defence secretary Robert Gates said intervention in Libya was not vital to US interests, but explained: “ You had a potentially significantly destabilising event taking place in Libya that put at risk potentially the revolutions in both Tunisia and Egypt.” Elsewhere, Gates reiterated that regime change was not part of the military mission in Libya. “ As we’ve seen in the past, regime change is a very complicated business... But it was never part of the Opposition plans to start exporting oil in a week CELEBRATIONS: Jubilant rebels in Ajdabiya on Saturday; Gaddafi’s forces are now scared rats.

Full report at: http://epaper.mailtoday.in/epaperhome.aspx?issue=2832011

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Tsunami scare again, Japan hit by 6.5-magnitude quake

March 28, 2011

A shallow 6.5-magnitude earthquake hit off the northeast coast of Japan on Monday, the US Geological Survey said. The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a 50-centimetre (18 inch) tsunami warning for the Pacific coast of Miyagi prefecture, which was devastated by the huge earthquake and tsunami that

hit on March 11.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/restofasia/Tsunami-scare-again-Japan-hit-by-6-5-magnitude-quake/Article1-678405.aspx

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Sweeping gains for Libya rebels

Atul Aneja

MAR 28 2011

DUBAI: Opposition forces backed by western air strikes are rapidly advancing westwards having recovered from the pro-Qadhafi forces, major strategic oil towns along the coastline.

The opposition-militia has re-taken two major oil towns — Brega, which has an oil export terminal, and, Ras Lanuf, well-known for its refinery.

The opposition has occupied both Brega and Ras Lanuf, apparently without a serious fight. Al Jazeera is reporting that in Ras Lanuf, government forces have pulled back with their heavy armour and artillery. The anti-Qadhafi forces have recovered ammunition and lighter weapons in the town.

From Ajdabiyah, the fluid frontline has now shifted to Bin Jawad, where Reuters reported that two dozen opposition vehicles were seen heading towards to the town centre. Analysts say the government forces may now be digging in deeper at Mr. Qadhafi's home base of Sirte, further to the west. The city is of vital importance, for the fall of Sirte opens the door towards capital Tripoli.

However, western forces would find it hard to justify under the U.N. mandate, air strikes in Sirte. Unlike Ajdabiyah, where pro-Qadhafi forces were threatening the safety of civilians, regime forces in Sirte were likely to be surrounded by supporters, and in all likelihood, may not be threatening civilian lives.

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2011/03/28/stories/2011032856071600.htm

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India, Pakistan home secretaries to meet in Delhi today

March 28, 2011

Home secretaries of India and Pakistan will meet in New Delhi for two days from Monday in the shadow of a possible summit meeting between the two sides on the margins of the cricket encounter in Mohali.

No breakthrough is expected in the official-level talks being held after a gap of nine months, officials in New Delhi say but they expect "ice may be broken" for the resumption of substantial dialogue later.

The two-day meeting between home secretary Gopal K Pillai and his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhary Qamar Zaman will deliberate on a wide range of issues, including Islamabad's reluctance in co-operating fully in bringing to justice the perpetrators of 26/11 attacks.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/327220/India-Pakistan-home-secretaries-to-meet-in-Delhi-today.html

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Pak President remits jail term of Indian convict Gopal Das

Mar 27 2011

Islamabad : President Asif Ali Zardari remitted the remaining jail term of Indian convict Gopal Das, who has been imprisoned in Pakistan for 27 years, days ahead of a visit to India by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to watch the cricket World Cup semi-final featuring the teams of the two countries.

Zardari remitted the remaining prison term of Das 'on humanitarian grounds', presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.

The remission was granted on the advice of the Prime Minister to "honour an appeal of the Supreme Court of India to the government of Pakistan", he said.

A two-judge bench of the Indian Supreme Court had appealed to the Pakistan government earlier this month to remit the remaining period of Das' sentence and release him on humanitarian grounds.

The court made the appeal in response to a petition filed by Das' brother Anand Vir.

Babar noted that Indian media reports had mentioned that the Indian judges had resorted to the 'unusual step' of appealing to Pakistan to consider granting remission to Das on humanitarian grounds.

He also pointed out that Justice Markandey Katju had, in his judgement, quoted a couplet by Faiz: "Qafas uddas hai yaaro sabaa se kuch to kaho, Kaheen to beher-e-khuda aaj zikr-e-yaar chale".

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/767979/

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`Cheap' bread to cost billions in new Egypt

Mar 28, 2011

CAIRO: In the gritty gusts of a sandstorm, men in turbans and women in veils stood uncomplaining for hours outside a ramshackle kiosk, lined up for their daily loaves of ``life.'' Political change may be remaking Egypt, but ``we trust in God that the bread's going to stay cheap,'' said Shadia Abdul-Halim, 45, a mother of six patiently queued up to buy.

Bread has stayed cheap even as Egypt's other food prices leaped upward by 17 percent last year — cheap because the government pays for most of it. Twenty of the flat, round pieces of local ``eish'' — ``life'' in Arabic, the word Egyptians use for the staple — cost just one Egyptian pound. That's the equivalent of 17 U.S. cents for more than 5 pounds (more than 2 kilograms) of bread. But halfway around the world on this day, on a Chicago trading floor, the price of wheat edged up again, raising the pressure another notch on poorer states like Egypt that have made subsidized bread a fixture of Arab life, an increasingly unaffordable one.

The Middle East's bread subsidies are just one dilemma in a world facing a potential food crisis this year, like the troubles in 2008, when skyrocketing prices touched off riots in developing countries. The U.N. global food price index hit a record high in February, surpassing even 2008's peak. The average price of wheat so far this year, $346 a ton, is more than double 2005's price.

The reasons for the increases are various — growing demand, impact of higher oil prices, diversion of corn to ethanol. Drought and floods have cut into wheat production, possibly previewing what some analysts say will be growing global grain shortages. The head of the U.N.'s World Food Program said hard-pressed governments are being pushed toward cutting food subsidies, at great risk.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indisssssatimes.com/world/middle-east/Cheap-bread-to-cost-billions-in-new-Egypt/articleshow/7804759.cms

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Pakistan to seek Interpol help to arrest Musharraf

MAR 28 2011

RAWALPINDI: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Saturday directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to contact Interpol to bring former president Pervez Musharraf back to Pakistan in the Benazir Bhutto (BB) assassination case.

ATC Judge Rana Nisar Ahmed has already issued non-bailable arrest warrants of Musharraf three times.

The court observed on Saturday that since there was delay in the implementation of summons, why not those arrested in connection with the former prime minister?s assassination were released on bail.

Counsel for the FIA asked the court to declare Musharraf a proclaimed offender (PO). Upon this, the judge asked how come the court could declare somebody a PO.

The counsel said the court could declare Musharraf a PO keeping in view that its summons were repeatedly falling on deaf ears and the accused was not willing to show up.

The judge remarked that first implementation of the court?s orders was ensured. ?Unless the court?s directives are implemented, the accused cannot be declared a PO,? he said.

Khalid Rasul, FIA?s investigation team member, informed the court that letters had been written to the British government in connection with the implementation of arrest warrants for Musharraf. ?Although, there does not exist an agreement between the two countries under which the accused can be extradited, still there is a possibility that Musharraf can be handed over to Pakistan,? he said.

The team further told the court that a request had been submitted to the Ministry of Interior to bring Musharraf back to the country.

Upon this, the court ordered the team to contact Interpol to bring Musharraf back and adjourned the hearing till April 2.

http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?237583

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Pope calls for suspension of use of arms in Libya crisis

MAR 28 2011

VATICAN CITY: March 27, 2011. Pope Benedict on Sunday called for the "suspension of the use of arms" in the Libya crisis, an appeal that appeared to include the use of outside force.

Speaking at his Sunday blessing, he said he was addressing his appeal to "international bodies", and "those who hold military and political responsibility".

http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/viewnews.php?newsid=1718

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India keen to open talks with Gen Kayani, ISI chief

MAR 28 2011

NEW DELHI: India has asked its envoy in Pakistan to open channels of communication with Army Chief General Pervez Kayani as well as ISI chief Shuja Pasha, which, if he agrees, could open up new possibilities of deepening Indo-Pak engagement.

"We have given the green signal," said government sources. As a new season of Indo-Pak engagement bursts upon the sub-continent, there is a realisation that India's efforts to talk is incomplete because there is no communication with the Pakistani army - effectively the real power centre. The diplomatic outreach to General Kayani is under the rubric of engaging all stakeholders so as not to attract extra attention, but it's a special effort by India. However, Kayani is yet to respond to Indian overtures.

PM Yousuf Raza Gillani has accepted Manmohan Singh's invitation to attend the World Cup cricket semi-final match in Mohali next week. While the event is not expected to significantly alter bilateral ties, it may clear the air. Certainly, on the Indian side, the initiative is entirely the prime minister's. Singh has completely invested in the idea that he should somehow resolve the Indo-Pak problem, despite the number of hiccups that have marred previous efforts.

Full report at:

http://www.statesman.com.pk/topnews/topnews21.htm

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Drone attack on jirga in N Waziristan US envoy regrets civilian casualties

MAR 28 2011

WASHINGTON: US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Marc Grossman has expressed regrets for civilian casualties in Pakistan, paving the way for resolving disagreement between the two allies after a drone strike in North Waziristan on March 17 killed several tribal elders. Grossman insisted that the object of the US mission in Afghanistan and its cooperation with Pakistan was "protecting people and improving their lives," and "when civilians are killed, we regret it. We deeply regret it".

Grossman was speaking during a panel at the Brussels Forum entitled, 'Bridging the trust deficit with Pakistan,' along with U.K. Defence Secretary Liam Fox and journalist Ahmed Rashid.

Full report at:

http://www.statesman.com.pk/topnews/topnews1.htm

 

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Pakistan has no interior minister: Munawar

March 27, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Amir Jamat-e-Islami Syed Munawar Hassan has said that Pakistan is without an interior minister at the moment, calling Rehman Malik ‘an agent of India and America’, Geo News reported Sunday.

He was addressing the participants of a rally taken out against the desecration of Qur’an in Florida and release of Raymond Davis. The rally was taken out from Khyber Plaza to Parliament House.

Munawar Hassan called for convening an All Parties Conference on the subject of protecting the sacredness of Qur’an and the Prophet (PBUH).

He demanded of the government to summon the US Ambassador to register Pakistan’s protest against the desecration of Qur’an.

The JI Amir was of the view that operation in North Waziristan would prove to be a prelude to the operation in Southern Punjab.

“The ongoing operation in Balochistan be halted and a meeting of all the stakeholders be convened,” he said.

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13248

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PPP plans to reopen case of Bhutto’s ‘judicial murder’

By Amjad Mahmood

MAR 28 2011

LAHORE: The Pakistan People’s Party has decided to get the case of “judicial murder” of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto reopened and President Asif Ali Zardari will send a reference to the Supreme Court on the matter in a couple of days.

“As the president enjoys powers under Article 186 of the Constitution to send a law question of public interest for consideration of the Supreme Court, the party has decided to utilise the powers for review of the Bhutto murder case,” Law Minister Babar Awan told reporters here on Sunday.

A special meeting of the federal cabinet was convened on Monday to approve the reference, he added.

Article 186 reads: “(1) If, at any time, the president considers that it is desirable to obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court on any question of law which he considers of public importance, he may refer the question to the Supreme Court for consideration. (2) The Supreme Court shall consider a question so referred and report its opinion on the question to the president.”

Although the Constitution does not set any timeframe for the apex court to decide the question, Mr Awan expressed the hope that the judiciary, which was independent and taking suo motu notices, would set a historic precedent by deciding the case in a record time like a Nawaz Sharif’s case.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/28/ppp-plans-to-reopen-case-of-bhuttos-judicial-murder.html

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Maldives releases World Cup terror suspect

MAR 28 2011

COLOMBO: Maldives police said on Sunday they had released a man suspected of plotting an attack on the Cricket World Cup taking place in South Asia. Maldivian national, Iqbal Mohamed, 42, was arrested on March 10 as he arrived at Male International Airport from Pakistan following a tip-off from the international police body, Interpol. Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Interpol chief Ronald Noble announced the arrest last week, with Malik saying a “serious attempt” at an attack had been foiled. “He (Mohamed) is no longer in our custody. He was released over the weekend on a court order,” police spokesman Ahmed Shiyam told a foreign news agency by telephone from Male. Shiyam declined to give the reason, but local media reported that a court had refused to extend Mohamed’s detention and ordered his release late on Friday. afp

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\28\story_28-3-2011_pg1_2

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Kuwait to mediate in Bahrain crisis

MAR 28 2011

Bahrain's largest Shiite opposition group Wefaq has accepted Kuwait as a mediator with Bahrain's government to end a political crisis gripping the tiny kingdom, a member of Wefaq said on Sunday.

Bahrain imposed martial law and called in troops from neighbouring Sunni-ruled states earlier this month to quell weeks of unrest by mostly Shiite protesters.

Jasim Husain, a member of Wefaq, said Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah had offered to mediate between Bahrain's Sunni al-Khalifa ruling family and Shiite opposition groups. "We welcome the idea of bringing in an outside element," Husain told Reuters.

Husain said talks had to address issues outlined by Bahrain's Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa before Gulf state troops entered Bahrain. These include an elected government and reform of electoral districts that the opposition says were drawn to ensure a Sunni majority in parliament.

"The fear is that the results (of mediation) may not be acceptable to the opposition or that they can't be sold to the public," said Husain.

aWefaq and its six allies said last week they would not enter talks unless the government pulled troops off the streets and freed prisoners.Observers said Wefaq had now dropped these demands.

"This is the most significant political development in the efforts aimed at reaching a peaceful solution," said Mansoor al-Jamri, editor of the opposition Al-Wasat newspaper.

Sunni-led Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which view Bahrain's ruling family as a bulwark against regional Shiite power Iran, have sent troops to Bahrain to help it quell weeks of pro-democracy protests.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/8718/World/Region/Kuwait-to-mediate-in-Bahrain-crisis.aspx

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Syria's emergency law to be revoked

MAR 28 2011

The decision to lift emergency rule in Syria, which has been in place since 1963, has "already been made", a presidential adviser said Sunday.

"The decision to lift the emergency law has already been made. But I do not know about the time frame," Buthaina Shaaban told AFP in an interview at her office.

Syria's emergency law, put in place when the ruling Baath party rose to power in March 1963, imposes restrictions on public gatherings and movement and authorises the arrest of "suspects or persons who threaten security."

The law also authorises interrogation of any individual and the surveillance of personal communication as well as official control of the content of newspapers and other media before publication.

More than 30 people have been confirmed killed in a spiral of violence that has gripped Syria since a wave of protest broke out on 15 March, with demonstrators demanding major reforms.

President Bashar Al-Assad, who is facing unprecedented domestic pressure as protests and clashes erupt across Syria, will address the nation "very soon," his adviser told AFP on Sunday.

Twelve people were killed in clashes Saturday in the northern city of Latakia, presidential adviser Buthaina Shaaban told AFP on Sunday.

"The official death toll in Latakia Saturday is 10 people - citizens and members of the security forces - and two gunmen," Shaaban told AFP.

Syrian troops have entered the port city of Latakia, 350 kilometres (220 miles) northwest of the capital Damascus, a day after an official said two passers-by were killed by snipers.

The government has announced a string of reforms in a bid to appease the protesters, including the possibility of lifting emergency rule which has been in place since 1963.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/8699/World/Region/Syrias-emergency-law-to-be-revoked.aspx

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/indonesian-muslims-protest-against-gaddafi/d/4356


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