New Age Islam
Wed Aug 12 2020, 07:32 AM

Islamic World News ( 27 March 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Iran Ahl al-Bait Assembly Slams Wahhabi Fatwa to Destroy Churches


400 women and girls held in Afghan jails for 'moral crimes'

Lal Masjid chief cleric solicits Pakistan SC to enforce Shariah law

133 women held for outraging modesty of women in J&K

Rights body seeks international probe into Baloch murders

US Congressman calls Pakistan 'enemy' of US, freedom

Can visit Pakistan if something to cheer: PM Manmohan Singh

French Jewish school targeted by Toulouse killer Mohamed Merah receives anti-Semitic calls and hate mail

Vigilance call after French Jews hit by new attacks

After Killings in France, Muslims Fear a Culture of Diversity Is at Risk

The Hajj Comes to London, Advancing Cultural Diplomacy

U S Muslims call new religious freedom appointee a ‘puppet’ for Islam foes

Saudi religious police ease up to improve image

Pakistan: University rocked by sex scandal again

N-terrorism, clandestine proliferation poses serious threats: Indian P M

Israel Group Adds a Softer Voice to Debate on Iran

Pak arsenal may fall into wrong hands: Obama

India: Congress general secretary seeks NIA probe Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith chief's links with BJP leader

Pakistan Right Activist appeals to CJ of India for Chishti release

Iraqi Immigrants in California Town Fear a Hate Crime in a Woman’s Killing

3 Syrian soldiers die in clashes with rebels

Russian forces kill Islamist rebel leader

5 Lashkar militants killed in a gun battle in Kupwara, J&K

At least 50 people killed in south Libyan tribal clashes

UN says more than 9,000 dead in Syria unrest

Pak SC orders girl to ponder fate for three weeks in conversion row

Forced conversions hike Pakistani minorities’ fears

Assad Accepts Cease-Fire; Opponents Are Skeptical

Anti-Assad Syrians Seek Unity as 70-Nation Istanbul Summit Nears

Syria authorities target children, says UN rights chief

Saudi diplomat Abdullah al-Khalidi kidnapped in Yemen

Indian politician-diplomat honoured for ‘special role’ in 1971 Bangladesh war

Nuclear family of First Wives provides the much needed picture of unity, assurance and integration

Al Qaeda suspect met Sept 11 figure in Pak

Indian poets escape gunmen attack in Karachi 'mushaira'

Annan says Syria accepts peace plan, fighting enters Lebanon

Walkouts spoil Syrian opposition’s bid for unity

'Actions must show Syria’s seriousness about peace'

Medvedev says Syrian people should decide own fate

Hillary Clinton asks Assad to pull back troops from populated areas

Thousands rally in Pakistan against cooperation with NATO

Outlawed Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief dodges police in Pak capital to attend rally

Yemen urges Pakistan to release injured widow of Bin Laden

Pakistan: Lashkar-e-Islam promised justice, delivered violence

Pakistan SC orders action against jirga system

Official: Killer didn’t send French attacks video to Al-Jazeera

Israel says Iran attack not imminent

Afghan war strategy can't be guided by polls: Leon Panetta

Terror threat sparks 2-hour lockdown at Afghan defence ministry

Nuclear talks with world powers on April 13: Iran

Taliban to answer your questions online

Israel says sabotage may stretch Iran atom timeline

Turkey ex-army chief refuses to defend self on coup charges

Asylum Claims Rose 20 Percent Last Year, U.N. Refugee Agency Says

Pilot creates al-Qaeda emergency in flight

Palestinian medic gets Libyan jail compensation

India’s technological progress impresses Saudi delegation

India: SIMI, IM network under Babu Khan

Indian President refuses assent to Gujarat anti-terror legislation again

India will not apply for U.S. sanctions exemption on Iran

Israeli embassy attack: India to seek Iran help in probe

2006 Malegaon blasts accused in civic poll fray

India IM Chief’s aide caught with explosives

India: Terror arrests, ATS says Hindu leaders were target

JEDDAH: 6,000 new jobs offered at women’s work expo

Turkey Hitler shampoo advert withdrawn

Shaul Mofaz wins leadership of Israel's Kadima party

Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Women and girls held in Afghan jails for 'moral crimes'

 (The image has been used for representational purpose only. Reuters)

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/iran-ahl-al-bait-assembly-slams-wahhabi-fatwa-to-destroy-churches/d/6939

 ----------

 

Iran Ahl al-Bait Assembly slams Wahhabi fatwa to destroy churches

28, Mar 2012

Iran’s Ahl al-Bait World Assembly condemns a recent fatwa (religious decree) issued by Saudi Arabia's top religious official who has called for destruction of all churches on the Arabian Peninsula.

The latest fatwa by Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Shaikh came in the context of a response to a Kuwaiti civil society organization that proposed for the new Kuwaiti constitution, approved by parliament last week, a new article that would forbid the building of new churches in the country.

“First of all, Wahhabi muftis are not representing Islam. The world should know that the religion which is now being publicized in Saudi Arabia is not true Islam,” Ahl al-Bait World Assembly said in a statement published by Ahl al-Bait News Agency (ABNA) on Tuesday.

The statement added that the content of the new fatwa was against the commands of God as well as the tradition of Prophet of Islam Muhammad (PBUH) and his descendants and is, therefore, rejected not only by Shias, but also by Sunni Muslims.

Ahl al-Bait World Assembly noted that throughout its history, Islam has coexisted with Christians and Jews and such a fatwa has never been issued by the Prophet of Islam (PBUH), his progeny, and subsequent Muslim caliphs.

“Therefore, the grand mufti of Wahhabis has issued a fatwa which has no precedence in [Islamic] jurisprudential circles…and has never been issued by great scientific centers of Muslims…,” it said.

The Assembly stated that the fatwa is also a clear intervention in the internal affairs of other Muslim countries because the Saudi mufti has not confined his fatwa to Saudi borders but has included the whole Arabian Peninsula.

The Assembly also slammed the “deadly silence” of Muslim scholars in the face of such fatwas which distort the image of Islam.

“Aren’t scholars of various Islamic sects in Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, the Arabian Peninsula and other parts of the world supposed to react to such unprecedented fatwas which depict a distorted picture of Islam in the world?” it asked.

The Assembly criticized international human rights organizations as well as Western and Christian governments for their support of Wahhabi terrorists saying, “If you had not offered various forms of support to Wahhabi and Takfiri terrorists when they martyred Muslims in Iraq, Pakistan and Iran, today you would not be attacked in this manner.”

http://presstv.com/detail/233420.html

----------

 

400 women and girls held in Afghan jails for 'moral crimes'

Mar 28 2012

London: More than 400 women and teenage girls are currently languishing in jails across Afghanistan for "moral crimes", a new research has claimed.

The research by Human Rights Watch found female inmates are being held for "immorality", including running away from home to escape beatings or forced marriage or violent husbands and parents’ in-law, a daily reported.

Virtually all teenage girls held in prison are accused of immorality, either extramarital sex or running away; In fact, in some cases, women had been charged with having extramarital sex after being raped or forced into prostitution, according to the research.

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said: "It is shocking that 10 years after the overthrow of the Taliban, women and girls are still imprisoned for running away from domestic violence or forced marriage.

"No one should be locked up for fleeing a dangerous situation even if it's at home. President (Hamid) Karzai and Afghanistan's allies should act decisively to end this abusive and discriminatory practice."

Running away is not an offence under the Afghan penal code, but the Supreme Court said in 2010 that women and girls who flee their homes and don't immediately go to the police or a close relative should be locked up as precaution against prostitution and promiscuity.

The court has declined to comment on the report.

The United Nations has estimated around three quarters of marriages in Afghanistan are forced and unmarried girls are also sometimes given, or exchanged, to resolve disputes or stand in place of a dowry.

Few women are able to gain divorces. If they run away instead, the husband's family often press for a conviction of extramarital sex as well, as an extra punishment, the research by the rights group, headquartered in New York, has claimed.

"Even the most horrific abuses suffered by women seem to elicit nothing more than a shrug from prosecutors, despite laws criminalising violence against women," Roth said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/929457/

----------

 

Lal Masjid chief cleric solicits Pakistan SC to enforce Shariah law

Sohail Khan

March 28, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Lal Masjid chief cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz Tuesday requested the apex court to take suo moto action by ordering the enforcement of Sharia law across the country, saying that if this was not done, Allah would take a suo moto of His own.

“Pakistan was created in the name of Islam, however we are still the slaves of foreign invaders, we are following the law of infidels,” Aziz argued, while appearing before the Supreme Court in the Lal Masjid military operation case.

A three-member bench, comprising of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez, convened to hear the Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa operation case, alongside a contempt petition filed by Maulana Abdul Aziz.

During the hearing, Iftikhar Gilani, counsel for the Wafaq-ul-Madaris, told the court that despite its order the Islamabad police had still not initiated action against those responsible for the Lal Masjid operation. Iftikhar Gilani asserted that Umm-e-Hassan, the Lal Masjid chief clericís wife, herself had visited the police station, but the police had refused to lodge the FIR against the accused.

When the counsel pleaded that the court issue directives to the police to register an FIR, the chief justice responded by saying this was not the duty of the court. “You should approach the High Court, we are not the police,” he suggested. The counsel then pleaded that the apex court direct the Islamabad police and the federal government to submit their respective reports on the implementation of the apex court’s orders in the Lal Masjid case. The chief justice acquiesced and accordingly directed both the police and the federal government to submit their reports within the space of a week.

Maulana Abdul Aziz requested the court to allow him to speak, as he had something he urgently wanted to say. Upon this, the chief justice allowed him to speak, but when Aziz began speaking, the chief justice asked him to present his arguments in the court rather than making a long-winded speech. Aziz nonetheless said that Pakistan was created on the basis of Islam, and that its constitution had declared it to be a Muslim welfare state. He passionately appealed that the Supreme Court take suo motu notice and direct Parliament to pass a bill for imposing Sharia law in the country. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, in response, crisply observed that policy-making was not the job of the court; rather it was the job of civil society and the government.

Advocate Tariq Asad, counsel for Maulana Abdul Aziz and Umm-e-Hassan, argued that while the apex court in its 2007 orders had directed the federal government to pay salaries to the teachers of Jamia Fareedia, the government had failed to act on its orders. “The CDA is also creating hindrances in the construction of Jamia Hafsa against the orders of the Supreme Court,” he contended.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-13504-Lal-Masjid-chief-cleric-solicits-SC-to-enforce-Shariah-law

----------

 133 women held for outraging modesty of women in J&K

28 MARCH 2012

A total number of 133 women were arrested in Jammu & Kashmir for outraging the modesty of same sex while 405 were booked for rioting in the last two years.

The Minister incharge of the State Home Department on Monday informed the Lower House, “Out of 2,177 women arrested under different substantive offences during the last two years, 1,430 (65 per cent) fall in the age group of 26-45 years.

“In all 72 women were arrested in year 2011 while 61 were arrested in 2010 for outraging the modesty of same sex,” the Minister said.

In response to a question of PDP MLA Shafi Ahmad Wani the Minister also informed the House that out of a total number of 2,177 women arrested in the State, 769 fall in the age group of 36-45 while 661 fall in the age group between 26-35.

In comparison to Kashmir more women from the

Jammu region were put behind the bars.

“Of them, 633 women were arrested from Kashmir province while 1,544 from Jammu province were booked under different offences in the last two years.

During the same period, 48 women were arrested for abetment to kidnapping/abduction, 55 under charges of murder, 62 for attempt to murder, 122 for stabbings, 90 for cruelty to husbands and other relatives,15 under charges of obscene act in public, 84 for abetment to suicide and 15 under charges of abetment to rape, the Minister said.

A small number of three women, including two foreign nationals and one Indian, were detained under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA) 1978 during the same period.

The Minister incharge of the State Home Department  also informed the House that 273 foreign nationals are lodged across different jails in the State while 16 women were booked under Explosives Act.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/nation/52868-133-women-held-for-outraging-modesty-of-women-in-jak.html

----------

 

Rights body seeks international probe into Baloch murders

Mar 28 2012

Washington : A Baloch rights body has urged the US House of Representatives' Speaker for an international probe into alleged "cold blooded" murders of the regions' nationalist leaders and violation of human rights.

"We request that the House of Representatives (John Boehner) may push for a thorough and independent international investigation into the cold blooded murders of the Baloch nationalist leaders and other abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law by the Pakistani Army in Balochistan," Britain-based Baloch Human Rights Council said in a letter, released to the press yesterday.

Pointing out that the right of self-determination was the "inalienable right of the Baloch people," it called for "urgent help" from the US and the international community.

"We believe that US is in a position to pressurise the Pakistani State in order to save the life of thousands of the Baloch," said the letter, written by council's general secretary Samad Baloch.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/929427/

----------

 

US Congressman calls Pakistan 'enemy' of US, freedom

By Huma Imtiaz

March 28, 2012

WASHINGTON: US Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher on Tuesday said that the Government of Pakistan was radical, and supported the Taliban, there by an enemy of the United States and freedom.

Rohrabacher made these statements while addressing a press conference on the subject of Balochistan at the National Press Club. Reps. Steve King and Rep. Louie Gohmert, who were co-sponsors of his house concurrent resolution on the right of self-determination for Baloch, accompanied him at the press conference.

Rep. Rohrabacher, who mispronounced Baloch as Bal-ook for the entirety of the press conference, dispelled allegations that he was being paid by a lobby or an individual for raising the cause of the Baloch people. He said that Pakistan was murdering women and children in Balochistan. He said that his trips to the region came from committee funds that were in turn financed by US taxpayers.

In response to a question, he said that he has also raised the issue of human rights in Kashmir in the past, and said that certain people were purposely raising the issue of Kashmir to deflect attention from the issue of Balochistan.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/356251/us-congressman-calls-pakistan-enemy-of-us-freedom/

----------

 

Can visit Pakistan if something to cheer: PM Manmohan Singh

Mar 28, 2012

ON BOARD AIR INDIA ONE: Welcoming Pakistan's move to liberalise trade with India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said he could visit that country if there is "something solid" to celebrate.

On his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, Singh said he thanked him for the trade concessions his government had made to India recently.

"I had a good meeting with him. I thanked him for the trade concessions that they have announced," the Prime Minister said on board his special aircraft while returning from a four-day visit to South Korea.

Singh said Gilani asked him when was he coming to Pakistan on an official visit.

"He (Gilani) said when are you coming there (Pakistan). So, I said let us do something solid so that we can celebrate," Singh said.

Pakistan had recently announced its decision to liberalize trade with India by moving from positive list to a shorter negative list of goods.

The Prime Minister said Gilani also asked him if India could supply power to Pakistan from Punjab.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Can-visit-Pakistan-if-something-to-cheer-PM-Manmohan-Singh/articleshow/12434790.cms

----------

 

French Jewish school targeted by Toulouse killer Mohamed Merah receives anti-Semitic calls and hate mail

March 28, 2012

TOULOUSE, France — The French Jewish school where three children and a teacher were murdered this month has received a wave of anti-Semitic hate mail and calls, the local prosecutor said Wednesday.

Michel Valet said he had received a complaint from the school and had ordered a police investigation to discover the “origin of these calls and letters and the identities of those behind them.”

The Ozar Hatorah school was at the centre of a national drama on March 19, when self-declared al-Qaeda operative Mohamed Merah pulled up on his scooter and attacked a crowd of pupils and parents waiting for class.

After killing a 30-year-old religious studies teacher and his two sons aged four and five, the 23-year-old Islamic extremist pursued a seven-year-old girl onto the grounds, grabbing her and shooting her through the head.

Full report at:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/03/28/french-jewish-school-targeted-by-toulouse-killer-mohamed-merah-receives-anti-semitic-calls-and-hate-mail/

-----------

 

Vigilance call after French Jews hit by new attacks

 Mar 28 2012

There has been a call for vigilance in France after an assault on a Jewish boy, the latest anti-Semitic incident reported since the Toulouse massacre.

Teenagers punched the boy, 12, in the back of the head and beat him, calling him a "dirty Jew" in the attack near a Jewish school in south-eastern Paris.

Jean-Paul Amoyelle, head of the Ozar Hatorah network of Jewish schools in France, said he feared further attacks.

The Jewish school attacked in Toulouse has reportedly received hate mail.

Several emails are said to have been sent to the school four days after the massacre on 19 March, when Islamist gunman Mohamed Merah shot dead three small children and a teacher, as well as seriously wounding a schoolboy.

The messages warned that the shooting was only "a beginning", the French newspaper Le Parisien says.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17534308

----------

 

After Killings in France, Muslims Fear a Culture of Diversity Is at Risk

By SCOTT SAYARE

Mar 28, 2012

TOULOUSE, France — As near to the Spanish border as it is to the Mediterranean, this sunny red-brick city has long been known as a place of welcome and diversity, far removed from the divisive politics of Paris. In contrast to much of the French south, the far right, with its virulent anti-immigrant stance, has little presence here. Nor does radical Islam.

Toulouse is by no means without racism, anti-Semitism, crime or the deep social segregation that marks many French cities, but with a culture shaped by successive waves of immigration, it is described by its inhabitants as a place of particular tolerance.

Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards fled the Franco dictatorship into France after the Spanish Civil War, and many settled here. So, too, did the pieds noirs, the French expelled from newly independent Algeria in 1962, as well as the harkis, the Algerians who had backed the French colonialists, and thousands of Jews.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/28/world/europe/in-toulouse-muslims-fear-diversity-is-at-risk.html?ref=global-home

----------

 

The Hajj Comes to London, Advancing Cultural Diplomacy

28, Mar 2012

LONDON --- "Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam," the exhibition at the British Museum that has drawn more than 80,000 visitors since it opened in late January is a remarkable achievement. First, it is glitz-free, relying on its intellectual content rather than the son et lumiere approach on which so many museums today rely. It explains, in a straightforward way, the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca undertaken each year by about three million Muslims. Participating in the Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, required of every Muslim who is able to make the trip.

The exhibition also addresses the controversial topic of what Islam is about. Many people in the non-Muslim world think that "Islam" means terrorism, and they react to mentions of Islam with fear or anger. In doing so, they dismiss the sanctity of one of the world's great religions, which has roughly 1.6 billion adherents. The Hajj exhibition offers a straightforward explanation of a duty that has nothing to do with politics but rather is an affirmation of religious belief.

Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/philip-seib/the-hajj-comes-to-london-_b_1370681.html

----------

 

U S Muslims call new religious freedom appointee a ‘puppet’ for Islam foes

By Lauren Markoe

28, Mar 2012

WASHINGTON — One of two new members of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has Muslim civil rights groups crying foul.

Zuhdi Jasser, who lauded a controversial New York City police surveillance program that targeted Muslims and helped lead the opposition to an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero, has been appointed to the commission, which advises the president, Congress and State Department on religious rights abuses internationally.

“It would have been better to appoint someone who has some measure of credibility with Muslim Americans,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“He has long been viewed by American Muslims and the colleagues in the civil liberties community as a mere sock puppet for Islam haters and an enabler of Islamophobia.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., appointed Jasser and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, appointed Robert P. George, a philosophy professor at Princeton University and top adviser to the U.S. Catholic bishops.

Democrats appoint five of the commission’s nine members, because they are the party in the White House; the other four are appointed by Republicans. With the Jasser and George appointments, three commission spots remain vacant.

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/muslims-call-new-religious-freedom-appointee-a-puppet-for-islam-foes/2012/03/27/gIQAdH6meS_story.html

----------

 

Saudi religious police ease up to improve image

March 28, 2012

JEDDAH: Saudi religious police will stop car chases that have led to fatal accidents in the past, local media said on Tuesday, in an attempt to soften the image of a force that aggressively enforces Islamic Sharia laws.

Bearded members of the religious police patrol the streets in Saudi Arabia to enforce strict gender segregation laws and ensure that all shops close during Muslim prayer times and that men and women are modestly dressed.

Formally known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, religious police officers arrest those who do not adhere to their rules.

Involvement in violent incidents and lethal car chases has tarnished the reputation of the force.

Full report at:

 http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Mar-27/168155-saudi-religious-police-ease-up-to-improve-image.ashx#ixzz1qOBBjA6T

----------

 

Pakistan: University rocked by sex scandal again

28 MARCH 2012

ISLAMABAD: All public and private organisations in the country are required to implement the Sexual Harassment Act but a female university teacher could pick up the courage of reporting her case only after reaching the safety of a foreign land.

Higher Education Commission’s Executive Director Dr Sohail Naqvi confirmed to Dawn that a female faculty member of the Hazara University, currently doing PhD in the United Kingdom, has filed an application with the HEC that she suffered sexual harassment at the university.

“It is a very serious issue. We will take action if the university fails to investigate and act on its own in a given time,” he said.

Initial investigation has shown the charge was correct, according to an HEC official.

“There is a cult in the university and some top officers in its management, deans and female faculty members are involved in the racket,” he said requesting anonymity.

However, the university management, instead of explaining its position, has sought explanation from the complainant for “violating the procedure” by taking her complaint directly to the HEC.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/28/university-rocked-by-sex-scandal-again.html

----------

 

N-terrorism, clandestine proliferation pose serious threats: Indian P M

Mar 28, 2012

SEOUL: India on Tuesday warned that nuclear terrorism and clandestine proliferation will continue to pose serious threats as long as there are terrorists seeking access to atomic material and technologies for malicious purposes.

"Nuclear terrorism and clandestine proliferation continue to pose serious threats to international security," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told world leaders while addressing the second Nuclear Security Summit here.

He said an India-piloted resolution on measures to deny terrorists access to weapons of mass destruction had been adopted by consensus since 2002.

Singh said it seeks enforcement of legal and regulatory measures against the proliferation of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons to non-state actors.

"Nuclear terrorism will remain a potent threat as long as there are terrorists seeking to gain access to nuclear material and technologies for malicious purposes. India is acutely conscious of this threat," he said, without referring to any specific country.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/N-terrorism-clandestine-proliferation-pose-serious-threatsPM/articleshow/12429619.cms

----------

 

Israel Group Adds a Softer Voice to Debate on Iran

By HELENE COOPER

Mar 28, 2012

WASHINGTON — Memo to Congress: Not all American Jews support a military strike on Iran, either by Israel or by the United States.

Members of J Street, the dovish pro-Israel group formed four years ago in part as an alternative to the more hawkish American Israel Public Affairs Committee, made that point on Tuesday when they descended on Capitol Hill as part of an effort to convince lawmakers that supporting Israel does not mean agreeing with everything advocated by the country’s conservative prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

“There’s a myth that the so-called Jewish vote is a monolithic vote in favor of a militaristic position in support of Israel,” said Elaine Tyler May, a professor at the University of Minnesota, who came to Washington for J Street’s annual conference and met on Tuesday with Representative Keith Ellison and Senator Amy Klobuchar, both Minnesota Democrats. Instead, Ms. May maintained, “the vast majority of American Jews believe the United States should take a leadership role on a peace agreement, even if it means disagreeing with the Israeli leadership.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/28/us/politics/j-street-pro-israel-but-against-iran-strike-takes-its-message-to-washington.html?ref=world&gwh=39854647B34098AB64FA37965BC4A292

----------

 

Pak arsenal may fall into wrong hands: Obama

Mar 28, 2012

US President Barack Obama on Monday voiced concern over safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, saying the world cannot allow non-state actors and terrorists to get their hands on the nuclear weapons and end up destroying cities.

“We can’t afford to have non-state actors and terrorists to get their hands on nuclear weapons that would end up destroying our cities or harming our citizens,” Obama told reporters alongside Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani before the two leaders held private talks on the sidelines of the nuclear security summit here.

The West is concerned over the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons as it remains vulnerable because the atomic facilities are located in areas where “Taliban and al-Qaeda are more than capable of launching terrorist attacks”.

In their first meeting since the killing of Osama bin Laden in a covert US raid on Pakistani soil last May, the two leaders tried to rescue a troubled anti-terror alliance which has been full of mistrust and recriminations in recent times.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/52994-pak-arsenal-may-fall-into-wrong-hands-obama.html

----------

 

India: Congress general secretary seeks NIA probe Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith chief's links with BJP leader

Mar 28, 2012

BHOPAL: Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on Wednesday demanded a probe by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) into the activities of Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith's chief, based in Jabalpur, and his alleged links with a senior BJP leader in Madhya Pradesh.

Talking to newsmen in the state assembly premises, Digvijay Singh released the media a copy of a letter written by him to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in which he alleged that Abdul Razak' also have close connection with organisations like Student Islamic Federation of India (SIMI).

In his letter, Singh alleged that the state police was reluctant to take action against Abdul Razak as he enjoyed patronage and protection by senior BJP leader Ishwardas Rohani. Rohani, who hails from Jabalpur, is now the speaker of Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha.

"Did Digvijay Singh release to the media any evidences to substantiate his charges? No, then the matter ends there", Spekaer Ishwardas Rohani told TOI when his comment was sought over the AICC general secretary's charges that Abdul Razak had close proximity with him.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Digvijaya-seeks-NIA-probe-Jamiat-Ahl-e-Hadith-chiefs-links-with-BJP-leader/articleshow/12441606.cms

-----------

 

Pakistan Right Activist appeals to CJ of India for Chishti release

March 28, 2012

Islamabad: Leading rights activist Ansar Burney has appealed to the Chief Justice of India's Supreme Court to direct authorities to release Pakistani national Khalil Chishti, saying it would be a "good gesture for peace".

In a letter to the Chief Justice, Burney said an order to release Chishti, an 81-year-old Pakistani national who has been detained in Rajasthan for 18 years, "would be a good gesture for peace in the region" and to improve relations between India and Pakistan.

He called for the release of the ailing octogenarian in the "greater interest of human dignity, justice and peace".

Burney, who briefly served as Human Rights Minister in a caretaker government before the 2008 general election, has campaigned for the release of Indian and Pakistan prisoners held in jails of the two countries.

Full report at:

http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/burney-appeals-to-cji-for-chishti-release_766704.html

-----------

 

Iraqi Immigrants in California Town Fear a Hate Crime in a Woman’s Killing

By IAN LOVETT and WILL CARLESS

Mar 28, 2012

EL CAJON, Calif. — Shaima Alawadi’s family says they found the first note taped to the front door of their house on a quiet suburban street here. It said: “This is my country. Go back to yours, terrorist,” according to her 15-year-old son, Mohammed.

Ms. Alawadi’s husband, Kassim Alhimidi, says he wanted to call the police. But his wife said no, insisting the note was only a child’s prank. Like many others in the neighborhood, the couple were immigrants from Iraq. In 17 years in the United States, they had been called terrorists before, he said.

But last Wednesday, Ms. Alawadi was found in the family’s dining room by her 17-year-daughter, lying unconscious in a puddle of blood with a severe head wound. Nearby lay another threatening note, similar to the one the family found a week earlier.

Ms. Alawadi, 32, died three days later. The police caution against jumping to conclusions, saying they are still trying to determine whether she was targeted because of her religion or ethnicity, calling that just one possibility.

“At this point, we are not calling it a hate crime,” said Lt. Mark Coit of the El Cajon police. “We haven’t made that determination. We are calling it an isolated incident, because we don’t have any evidence of anything similar going on at this point.”

Whatever the police eventually determine, the crime has shattered the sense of security for Iraqi immigrants in El Cajon, exposing cultural tensions and distrust that have often simmered just below the surface since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.

Hanif Mohebi, director of the San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that many Muslim women in the area were worried that Ms. Alawadi had been targeted because she wore a headscarf in public, as many observant Muslim women do.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/28/us/killing-of-iraqi-woman-leaves-immigrant-community-shaken.html?ref=global-home

----------

 

3 Syrian soldiers die in clashes with rebels

Mar 28, 2012

BEIRUT: Three Syrian soldiers died in clashes with rebels in the central province of Homs on Wednesday, an activist group said, just a day after President Bashar Assad said he has accepted a UN plan to resolve the country's crisis.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the fighting broke out when government forces tried to enter the town of Rastan, which is in the hands of army defectors. The activist group also reported clashes in the Deir el-Zour province along the Iraqi border and said government troops had fired mortars at the city of Homs.

The fresh violence coincides with a new wave of international diplomacy seeking to end the year-old conflict that the UN says has left more than 9,000 people dead.

Syria said Tuesday that Assad accepted a peace plan put forward by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan. The plan calls for Damascus to immediately stop troop movements and use of heavy weapons in populated areas and to commit to a daily two-hour halt in fighting to allow humanitarian access and medical evacuations.

It also calls for a full cease-fire to be supervised by the UN so that all parties can discuss a political solution.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/3-Syrian-soldiers-die-in-clashes-with-rebels/articleshow/12440681.cms

----------

 

Russian forces kill Islamist rebel leader

Mar 28, 2012

MOSCOW: Russian security forces killed the regional leader of a rebel group fighting to carve an Islamic state out of the volatile North Caucasus region, news agencies quoted Russia’s anti-terrorism committee (NAK) as saying on Tuesday.

Alim Zankishiyev died in a hail of bullets after a shootout with security forces. He had led the Caucasus Emirate insurgency in Karachayevo-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria provinces, which saw the largest increase in militant violence last year.

President Dmitry Medvedev has called the North Caucasus separatist movement, which killed 37 people in a suicide bombing at Moscow’s busiest airport last year, Russia’s top domestic security problem.

Russia’s anti-terror body said Zankishiyev was hiding in a house in the regional capital Nalchik, where police told him to put down his weapons and give himself up.

“In response he showed resistance and was neutralized in the course of the assault,” said Interfax, citing a statement from the committee.

The NAK statement said Zankishiyev was responsible for more than 30 attacks over the past year in the region.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article599041.ece

----------

 

5 Lashkar militants killed in a gunbattle in Kupwara, J&K

March 28, 2012

The security forces inflicted a major damage on the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) militant outfit on Wednesday by killing its five militants in a daylong encounter in north Kashmir's border district of Kupwara.

A joint operation of the local police, the army and the CRPF was launched at 10

am on Wednesday in a forest area near Laribal village, 90 km north of Srinagar.

Immediately after making a contact with the hiding militant, the security forces threw a water-tight cordon around them to ensure there is no escape route.

"The militants were asked to surrender. However, they opened fire resulting in an intense firefight," said Srinagar-based army spokesman Lt Col JS Brar.

During the encounter, the militants got split into two groups. "Three militants were killed inside the jungle area where as two were shot at in a house nearby the forests," Handwara superintendent of police Muhammad Aslam told the Hindustan Times.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Srinagar/5-Lashkar-militants-killed-in-a-gunbattle-in-Kupwara/Article1-832121.aspx

-----------

 

At least 50 people killed in south Libyan tribal clashes

Mar 28, 2012

TRIPOLI: A Libyan health ministry official said on Tuesday that at least 50 people have been killed in two days of tribal clashes in a southern city.

The battles underlined the fragile nature of Libya after the fall of longtime leader Moammar Gaddafi last year. The new government has been unable to impose its authority, and Libya is ruled instead by squabbling tribes and militias.

Libyan health ministry official Abdul-Rahman al-Hasnawy said on Tuesday most of the 50 died from gunshot and shrapnel wounds. He said about 160 people have been wounded, and some were transferred to other cities for treatment.

The clashes in Sabha, about 650 kilometres south of the capital, Tripoli, erupted on Monday after a man from the Tabu tribe allegedly killed a member of the Abu Seif tribe.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/At-least-50-people-killed-in-south-Libyan-tribal-clashes/articleshow/12434267.cms

----------

 

UN says more than 9,000 dead in Syria unrest

Mar 28, 2012

UNITED NATIONS/DAMASCUS: The United Nations on Tuesday increased its death toll for the Syria unrest to more than 9,000.

Robert Serry, a UN Middle East peace envoy, told the Security Council there were "credible" estimates that the number of dead was now more than 9,000.

Assad tours Homs

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday toured the former rebel stronghold of Baba Amr in Homs, assuring residents that the battered neighbourhood would be rebuilt and that normal life would resume.

"Baba Amr will be much better than before," Assad told dozens of residents as he surveyed the destruction wrought on the neighbourhood in a month-long assault by regime forces.

The brief visit, which was aired on state television, marked a rare public appearance by the embattled head of state who is in the throes of an unprecedented revolt against his regime.

Assad, standing under a light drizzle, is seen during his tour discussing reconstruction efforts with local officials and saying that a plan needed to be drawn up to ensure residents can return home.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/UN-says-more-than-9000-dead-in-Syria-unrest/articleshow/12430195.cms

----------

 

Pak SC orders girl to ponder fate for three weeks in conversion row

 Mar 28 2012

Islamabad : Hopes for the rapid resolution of a controversy over the conversion of a Hindu woman to Islam that has seized the Pakistani public were dashed on Monday, when the Supreme Court declined to decide the matter for at least three more weeks.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry ruled Rinkel Kumari, a 19-year-old Hindu student who converted under disputed circumstances last month, should spend three weeks pondering her fate in protective custody, along with another Hindu Dr. Lata Kumari, 29, in a similar situation.

During the emotional and sometimes rowdy hearing, Chief Justice Chaudhry scheduled the next hearing for April 18.

The case started in Mirpur Mathelo, a town in Sindh, where in 12 hours on February 24, Kumari left her family home, converted to Islam and married Naveed Shah, a Muslim neighbour who said he had been courting her through Facebook and cellphone contact. Kumari’s family and Hindu community leaders reacted angrily, alleging she had been abducted at gunpoint and forced to convert by Mian Mitho, a powerful conservative Muslim politician who sits in the national Parliament.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/929211/

----------

 

Forced conversions hike Pakistani minorities’ fears

Mar 28 2012

LAHORE: It was barely 4am when 19-year-old Rinkal Kumari disappeared from her home in a small village of Sindh province. When her parents awoke they found only her slippers and a scarf outside the door.

A few hours later her father got a call telling him his daughter, a Hindu, had converted to Islam to marry a Muslim boy. Only days later, Seema Bibi, a Christian woman in the province of Punjab, was kidnapped along with her four children after her husband couldn’t repay a loan to a large landlord. Within hours, her husband was told his wife had converted to Islam and wouldn’t be coming home. Seema Bibi escaped, fled the village and has gone underground with her husband and children. Hindu and Christian representatives say forced conversions to Islam had become the latest weapon of extremists in what they called a growing campaign against religious minorities. The groups are increasingly wondering if they still have a place in Pakistan. “It is a conspiracy that Hindus and Christians and other minorities should leave Pakistan,” says Amar Lal, the lawyer representing Kumari in the Supreme Court. “As a minority, we feel more and more insecure. It is getting worse day by day.”

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\03\28\story_28-3-2012_pg7_16

----------

 

Assad Accepts Cease-Fire; Opponents Are Skeptical

By ANNE BARNARD and RICK GLADSTONE

Mar 28, 2012

AL QAA, Lebanon — Seeking to project an image of responsibility and reason, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria formally accepted a United Nations envoy’s cease-fire proposal on Tuesday and conducted a televised walking tour through the shell-shocked city of Homs, a center of the year-old uprising against him.

But his actions belied a new outbreak of bloodletting on the Syria-Lebanon border, where government troops clashed with rebels who had taken refuge there. And his political critics expressed strong skepticism that Mr. Assad, who has broken numerous pledges before in the Syrian conflict, would now honor a cease-fire with his opponents, whom he has described as terrorists and thugs.

Some of his fractious opponents outside the country, meeting in Istanbul to seek a common front, said late Tuesday they had agreed to reunite under the Syrian National Council, whose Paris-based leadership projects itself as the main umbrella group for exiled dissidents.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/world/middleeast/assad-accepts-cease-fire-opponents-are-skeptical.html?ref=middleeast&pagewanted=print

----------

 

Anti-Assad Syrians Seek Unity as 70-Nation Istanbul Summit Nears

 Mar 28, 2012

Syria’s opposition is seeking to mend fences four days before a meeting with about 70 countries to trigger greater outside support in its bid to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian National Council met in Istanbul yesterday to unite all opposition movements under the organization’s umbrella, said Anas Ayrout, a member of the council. While most agreed, at least five factions postponed participation until the SNC alters its executive committee, said Tariq al-Said, foreign- affairs attache of one such group, the Liberation and Building Bloc. A member of the anti-Assad groups inside Syria said they boycotted the meeting.

The opposition is seeking agreement before the April 1 summit of the self-described Friends of Syria group of Western and Arab countries following the Assad government’s decision yesterday to support United Nations envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan. Western governments have pressed for greater unity among those opposing Assad, with British Foreign Secretary William Hague last month saying that his country was providing assistance “to bring greater unity to the opposition in Syria.”

Full report at:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-28/anti-assad-syrians-seek-unity-as-70-nation-istanbul-summit-nears.html

-----------

 

Syria authorities target children, says UN rights chief

Mar 28, 2012

Syrian authorities are systematically detaining and torturing children, the United Nations' human rights chief, Navi Pillay, has told the BBC.

She said she was deeply concerned about the fate of hundreds of children being held in detention.

Ms Pillay said President Bashar al-Assad could end the detentions and stop the killing of civilians immediately, simply by issuing an order.

Syria has accepted a peace plan, amid scepticism about its intentions.

The peace plan was put forward by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

Navi Pillay, in an interview with the BBC before Syria accepted the plan, said the Syrian leader would face justice for the abuses carried out by his security forces.

Asked if President Assad bore command responsibility for the abuses, she said: "That is the legal situation. Factually there is enough evidence pointing to the fact that many of these acts are committed by the security forces [and] must have received the approval or the complicity at the highest level.

"Because President Assad could simply issue an order to stop the killings and the killings would stop."

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17532966

----------

 

Saudi diplomat kidnapped in Yemen

Mar 28, 2012

Saudi Arabia's deputy consul in the southern Yemeni city of Aden has been kidnapped outside his home.

Police in the city's Mansoura district said gunmen abducted Abdullah al-Khalidi as he was about to get into his car, escaping in another vehicle.

A security operation is now under way in the city in an effort to find him.

Aden is the city closest to Yemen's Abyan province where government forces have been struggling to contain militant groups linked to al Qaeda.

In the past year these groups have consolidated their control over several towns and villages in the region, including Abyan's capital Zinjibar.

Kidnapping is common in Yemen, with captives often being held as negotiating tools in disputes between rival tribes or armed groups.

Earlier on Wednesday Saudi Arabia announced it would provide Yemen with all its petroleum needs for two months.

The official news agency Saba announced the deal in its report of a meeting between King Abdullah and the Yemeni president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Attacks by armed groups on pipelines have hit Yemen's small oil industry hard, with both domestic and export production badly effected.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-17534644

----------

 

Indian politician-diplomat honoured for ‘special role’ in 1971 Bangladesh war

Mar 28, 2012

Indian politician-diplomat DP Dhar was on Tuesday honoured posthumously by Bangladesh for his “special role” in the country’s 1971 ‘Liberation War’.

“Sree Durga Prasad Dhar is conferred with the Liberation War Friendship Honour (posthumous) in recognition of his pioneering role in concluding the 1971 Indo-Soviet Friendship Treaty, mobilising international support in favour of Bangladesh and playing a special role in support of the Liberation War,” read the citation honouring him.

Dhar was the Chairman of Policy Planning in the Indian External Affairs Ministry and played a crucial role in the 1971 Indo-Pak war leading to the creation of an independent Bangladesh.

The award was received by his son Vijay Dhar from President Zillur Rahman along with a certificate and a replica of the National Mausoleum.

Dhar was among 83 other foreign dignitaries and international organisations honoured as “foreign friend” at a grand ceremony in the capital attended by top political leaders, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Ahead of the ceremony, 70-year-old Vijay Dhar, told PTI that it “is embarrassing for me to review his role being his son...But I can recall how he persuaded Soviet Union” to support the liberation movement.

He said like most Indians, his father did not see it as an Indo-Pak war rather as a human tragedy. Dhar, who passed away in 1975 at the age of 56, was India’s Ambassador to the Soviet Union and subsequently became a top policy aide of the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/52978-dp-dhar-honoured-for-special-role-in-1971-bangladesh-war.html

----------

 

Nuclear family of First Wives provides the much needed picture of unity, assurance and integration

By Tanya Banon

Mar 28, 2012

ALL EYES are fixed on the leaders of the world who are debating serious business at the ongoing 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, but it is the first wives club who provide the much needed picture of unity, assurance and integration.

The Convention and Exhibition Center in Seoul might be where all the action is but it’s the Presidential Blue House that portrays a vision of harmony and unity in diversity.

Kim Yoon- Ok, the wife of President of South Korea along with spouses of other leaders including Gursharan Kaur, Ani, wife of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Cecilia Morel Montes — First Lady of Chile and Hayrunnisa Gul from turkey to name a few were present at the Presidential Blue House for an event.

Despite the absence of the usual glamorous faces of Politics, including the likes of Carla Bruni- Sarkozy of France, America’s Michelle Obama, Princess Rania of Jordan and Syria’s Asma al- Assad, there was still plenty of style to boast off.

From matching headgears to scarves and feminine accessories, all formed a part of these ladies welldesigned and well put together attire.

Gursharan Kaur matched shoulders with her counterparts, looking elegant in a simple cream sari with colourful border that she teamed with a black overcoat, red shawl and simple pearl accessories.

While the Korean First Lady stuck to minimalism in neutral shades, wearing a simple white dress with beige shawl; Indonesia’s Ani chose to flaunt printed pants and a bright orange blouse.

In this gathering of First Wives was Pakistan’s foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar, who’s still single. She stayed true to her glamorous image at the event in a metallic grey salwar- suit with a colourful shawl, black pearls and a signature black Birkin.

Denmark’s PM Helle Thorning- Schmid, Australian PM Julia Gillard, Thailand PM Yingluck Shinawatra, who attended the plenary session showed how power dressing is done bang on trend.

Mail Today

----------

 

Al Qaeda suspect met Sept 11 figure in Pak

Mar 28, 2012

A German-Afghan man whose information prompted terrorism warnings across Europe in 2010 told a court on Tuesday he received orders from a senior al Qaeda militant in Pakistan, and met a key member of the Hamburg al Qaeda cell that included three of the Sept 11 suicide hijackers. Ahmad

Wali Siddiqui, 37, concluded four days of testimony before the Koblenz state court by admitting that he received orders from al Qaeda's Younis al-Mauritani, who was apprehended in 2011 by Pakistani agents working with the CIA.

No pleas are entered in the German legal system, and Siddiqui faces a possible 10-year sentence if convicted of membership in a terrorist organisation. Courts often reduce sentences, however, if suspects are seen as cooperative.

His testimony in the opening days of the trial has given a rare glimpse into the operations of al Qaeda along the Afghan border.

Siddiqui told the court Tuesday that he and others met twice in mid-2010 with al-Mauritani in an al Qaeda apartment in Mir Ali, one of the main towns in North Waziristan near the Afghan border. He and a friend from Germany were told to return to Europe "with the aim of weakening the economy."

He said there were no concrete plans for a terrorist attack, but they were told to prepare themselves and wait for orders, while blending in by wearing Western style clothes and not otherwise attracting attention.

But he was captured by US forces in Kabul in July, 2010, on his way back to Germany, and his friend was captured in Pakistan, so neither made it home to find out what they were to do, he testified.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Europe/Al-Qaeda-suspect-met-Sept-11-figure-in-Pak/Article1-831730.aspx

----------

 

Indian poets escape gunmen attack in Karachi 'mushaira'

Mar 28, 2012

From Rezaul H Laskar Islamabad, Mar 27 (PTI) Indian poets Manzar Bhopali and Iqbal Ashar were among those who had a narrow escape when unidentified gunmen attacked a 'mushaira' in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi, one of the poets said today. "We were just outside the venue of the mushaira in Clifton area of Karachi on Sunday night when the firing started. People began running in panic and we had to take cover for some time before we were escorted to safety by the organisers and the police," said Manzar Bhopali, a well-known Urdu poet from Bhopal. At least one person was killed in the attack that was carried out by about a dozen gunmen. Political rivalry is believed to have been behind the attack, sources said. The mushaira was organised by a unit of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, a party that draws its power from Urdu-speaking residents of Karachi. Bhopali told PTI on phone from Karachi that he and Ashar had arrived at the venue of the mushaira at about 11.30 pm when the firing began. They had to lie on the ground for about 10 minutes as the gunmen and police exchanged fire. "However, the mushaira went ahead as scheduled and the audience really appreciated our poetry. People in both countries want peace and better relations," Bhopali said. "I have been to Pakistan several times but this sort of incident never occurred earlier," he added. Four Indian poets ? Wasim Barelvi, Rahat Indori, Bhopali and Ashar ? had recently arrived in Pakistan to participate in mushairas organised by the MQM. Barelvi and Indori had already returned and Bhopali said he and Ashar expected to go back soon. In recent years, the financial hub of Karachi has been rocked by sectarian and political violence that has claimed hundreds of lives. The killing of a MQM leader and his brother this morning triggered a fresh spell of violence in Pakistan?s largest metropolis.

http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/indian-poets-escape-gunmen-attack-in-karachi-mushaira/980151.html

----------

 

Annan says Syria accepts peace plan, fighting enters Lebanon

28 March 2012

Syria has accepted a cease-fire drawn up by UN envoy Kofi Annan, but the diplomatic breakthrough was swiftly overshadowed by intense clashes between government soldiers and rebels that sent bullets flying into Lebanon.

Opposition members accuse President Bashar Assad of agreeing to the plan to stall for time as his troops make a renewed push to kill off bastions of dissent. And the conflict just keeps getting deadlier: The UN said the death toll has grown to more than 9,000, a sobering assessment of a devastating year-old crackdown on the uprising that shows no sign of ending.

Annan’s announcement on Tuesday that Syria had accepted his peace plan was met with deep skepticism.

‘We are not sure if it’s political maneuvering or a sincere act,’ said Louay Safi, a member of the opposition Syrian National Council. ‘We have no trust in the current regime. ... We have to see that they have stopped killing civilians.’

Annan’s plan calls for an immediate, two-hour halt in fighting every day to allow humanitarian access and medical evacuations. The plan also outlines a complete cease-fire, but that will take more time because Syria must first move troops and equipment out of cities and towns, government forces and the divided opposition must stop fighting, and a U.N.-supervised monitoring mission must be established.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle11.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2012/March/middleeast_March610.xml&section=middleeast

----------

 

Walkouts spoil Syrian opposition’s bid for unity

28 March 2012

ISTANBUL - A meeting of Syrian opposition groups on Tuesday that aimed to show they can unite to form an alternative to President Bashar al-Assad, was marred when a veteran dissident and Kurdish delegates walked out, saying their views were not being heard.

Leading opposition figures were invited by Turkey and Qatar, which holds the rotating chair of the Arab League, to the talks in Istanbul to seek a common front in their year-old uprising against Assad.

Criticism of both the way the Syrian National Council, the main opposition umbrella group, was being run and the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood was rife among more than 300 dissidents attending the gathering at a seaside hotel in Pendik, a suburb on the Asian side of the Turkish city.

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting dominated by the internal divisions, SNC spokeswoman Basma Kodmani voiced support for a peace and ceasefire plan drawn up by U.N. and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan, so long as it led to Assad’s removal.

“This is for us a position that cannot change because thousands of Syrians have died for it, Kodmani said.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2012/March/middleeast_March607.xml&section=middleeast

----------

 

 

'Actions must show Syria’s seriousness about peace'

 Mar 28, 2012

WASHINGTON: The US said yesterday that Syria’s reported acceptance of a peace plan by envoy Kofi Annan is an “important step,” but the proof will be in the actions the Assad regime takes.

“We certainly view the fact that Kofi Annan reports that he’s had a positive response as an important step,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

“But as with all things with the (President Bashar) Assad regime, the proof will be in the actual action that he takes,” Nuland said.

“We will be looking for him to take immediate action to begin implementing Annan’s proposals, starting with silencing his guns and allowing humanitarian aid to go in,” Nuland said.

Annan aides said the Assad government has accepted a six-point proposal by Annan, the UN-Arab League special envoy, on halting more than a year of bloodshed in the strife-hit country.

Meanwhile, a draft resolution on Syria to be submitted to the Arab summit in Baghdad this week urges “serious national dialogue” and calls on Syria to end violence, according to copy obtained by AFP yesterday. The draft resolution urges the “Syrian government and all opposition factions to deal positively with the (UN-Arab League) envoy (Kofi Annan) by starting serious national dialogue.”

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article599363.ece

----------

 

Medvedev says Syrian people should decide own fate

Mar 28, 2012

SEOUL: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday the Syrian people, not foreign powers, should decide their own fate.

International peace envoy Kofi Annan said in Beijing he would make public a response from the Syrian government to a six-point peace proposal, which calls for a cease-fire and humanitarian aid, and hoped to translated Syria’s response into action.

Russia has said Annan has its full support and that his mission could be the last chance to avoid a protracted and bloody civil war but would need more time.

“I would like the decision on the fate of the Syrian state, society, political system and people to be taken not by the respected leaders of world powers, even by those acting in good faith, but by the Syrian people themselves, by all the levels of the Syrian society,” Medvedev said at the end of a nuclear security summit in Seoul.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article598917.ece

----------

 

Hillary Clinton asks Assad to pull back troops from populated areas

Mar 28, 2012

WASHINGTON: US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has asked Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to demonstrate his willingness to peace by pulling back troops from populated areas and accept a UN-brokered peace plan.

"Given Assad's history of over-promising and under- delivering, that commitment must now be matched by immediate actions. We will judge Assad's sincerity and seriousness by what he does, not by what he says," Clinton told reporters in joint press availability with Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet.

"If he is ready to bring this dark chapter in Syria's history to a close, he can prove it by immediately ordering regime forces to stop firing and begin withdrawing from populated areas," she said.

Clinton was responding to questions on joint UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's six-point plan that calls for a UN-monitored ceasefire, access for humanitarian aid workers and an inclusive, Syrian-led political transition to a democratic, multi-party political system.

"He (Assad) can also allow international aid workers unfettered access to those in need, and he can release political prisoners, permit peaceful political activity, allow the international news media unobstructed access, and begin a legitimate political process that leads to a democratic transition," Clinton said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Hillary-Clinton-asks-Assad-to-pull-back-troops-from-populated-areas/articleshow/12437751.cms

----------

 

Thousands rally in Pakistan against cooperation with NATO

Mar 28, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Thousands of members of extremist groups rallied near parliament on Tuesday as leaders of the right-wing Defa-e-Pakistan Council, including Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, warned the government against reopening routes for transporting supplies to US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Saeed, the founder of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba, told a rally held at a ground a short distance from parliament that the Pakistani people will never allow the resumption of NATO supplies and there would be protests across the country If the supply routes are reopened, "American agents will again sneak into Pakistan and start killing innocent citizens", he claimed.

"Pakistani leaders, including army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, should step down if they think they cannot safeguard national interests," he said as protesters shouted slogans in support of jihad.

Earlier in the day, thousands of supporters of the Defa-e-Pakistan Council marched to the ground from Aabpara and other parts of Islamabad.

Many of them carried the black-and-white flags of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, a front for the LeT.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Thousands-rally-in-Pakistan-against-cooperation-with-NATO/articleshow/12433720.cms

----------

 

Outlawed Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief dodges police in Pak capital to attend rally

 Mar 28 2012

Islamabad: Outlawed Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat leader Ahmed Ludhianvi played a cat-and-mouse game for almost six hours with police and paramilitary forces who were trying to prevent them from entering the Pakistani capital.

Despite an order barring their entry into Islamabad, Saeed and Ludhianvi sneaked into the city yesterday and joined a rally organised by the Defa-e-Pakistan Council to pressure the government not to reopen NATO supply routes which were shut down last year.

While Saeed was able to address a gathering of thousands of members of hardline and extremist groups at a short distance from parliament, Ludhianvi was unable to speak due to pressure from the security forces.

The capital's "security apparatus" proved no match for Saeed and Ludhianvi, the Dawn newspaper reported.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/929466/

----------

 

Yemen urges Pakistan to release injured widow of Bin Laden

28 MARCH 2012

SANAA: Yemen urged Pakistan on Tuesday to free one of Osama bin Laden’s injured widows, saying the Yemen-born Amal Al-Sadeh and her four children were not guilty of any crime.           

Pakistan’s interior minister said earlier this month that bin Laden’s three widows, including Sadeh, would be put on trial for entering and living in the country illegally.

“The Pakistani authorities retracted from their initial position to surrender Amal to the Yemeni government,” Yemeni Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi told Reuters.

“We continue to call on the Pakistani authorities to transfer her to her home country. We are also concerned about the well being of her young children. The children should not be punished for the mistakes of their father.”

Al Qaeda leader bin Laden was shot and killed in May last year by US Special Forces who stormed his house in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad after a decade-long manhunt.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/356278/yemen-urges-pakistan-to-release-injured-widow-of-bin-laden/

----------

 

Pakistan: Lashkar-e-Islam promised justice, delivered violence

28 MARCH 2012

PESHAWAR: At first, locals in the Khyber region thought Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) would deliver a fairer and more orderly system of governance in the region. They are now wiser, as LeI has unleashed a reign of terror for four years.

Members of the banned outfit are unapologetic and uncompromising in their outlook. “We believe in terrorism and instilling fear in the hearts of the unbelievers and those Muslims who do not follow the true Islamic way of life,” says Omar, an LeI spokesperson, from an undisclosed location in Khyber Agency.

The rise of this armed militia did not happen overnight. A mixture of sectarian violence, control over key smuggling routes and an unfair system of justice gave the initial impetus to LeI.

Omar boasts that they have support beyond the tribal belt: from Peshawar through to Punjab. He says he just came back from the troubled area of Tirah. Mangal Bagh, the group’s leader, was reportedly killed in a suicide attack there earlier this month. According to Omar, the news is false. “Our opponents are spreading rumours about our leadership but I can assure you that he is alive,” he says.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/356186/inside-khyber-agency-v-lashkar-e-islam-promised-justice-delivered-violence/

----------

 

Pakistan SC orders action against jirga system

28 MARCH 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday ordered the chief secretaries and inspectors general of police (IGP) of all provinces and Islamabad to submit a report on holding illegal jirgas/panchayats.

A three-member bench of the SC, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry heard a petition in this regard. National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) Chairwoman Anis Haroon filed the petition to declare jirga system illegal and unlawful.

The court also ordered the officials concerned to look into violation of Section 310A of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). The SC also said the officials concerned should keep an eye on jirgas held in their jurisdiction where girls were given in compensation to settle disputes.

The court also ordered the officials concerned to take action against those people who hold jirgas in their jurisdiction. All IGPs were ordered to submit detailed reports about jirgas being held in their respective provinces.

The police have also been ordered to submit comprehensive reports showing how many cases had been registered under Section 310A of the PPC and how many cases have been taken before the trial courts in this regard.

The court also took serious notice of gang rape of a girl by five men. No action has been taken against the culprits so far. An intermediate student was gang raped by five men, including two police constables, in Sheikhupura four days ago. The court ordered the Punjab IGP to probe the matter and arrest the culprits within three days. The court also ordered the top police official to submit a report to the SC registrar in this regard.

The SC registrar’s office has been ordered to circulate the SC order dated April 24, 2006 to the registrars of all high courts and general secretaries of district bars to assist the complainants in cases of Section 10A of the PPC.

The CJP said the provincial and federal governments had become week, as lawlessness was on the rise and “it seems that we are living in the Stone Age”. He said it was the government’s responsibility to maintain law and order.

The petitioner told the court that 87 cases of jirgas and 26 vani cases were reported in Sindh in one year. She requested the bench to give a “strong decision”.

The court adjourned the hearing until April 12.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\03\28\story_28-3-2012_pg7_1

----------

 

Official: Killer didn’t send French attacks video to Al-Jazeera

28 MARCH 2012

PARIS: A video apparently showing a Muslim gunman’s attacks on soldiers and a Jewish school was sent to the Al-Jazeera news network, but not by him, French police said, raising the spectre of a possible accomplice.

Al-Jazeera on Tuesday decided not to air a video that seems to have been filmed from the killer’s point of view and includes the cries of his victims. The decision came after President Nicolas Sarkozy asked the network not to broadcast it.

While French politicians describe gunman Mohamed Merah as a “lone wolf” terrorist, his brother is behind bars on suspicion of helping in the attacks and police are continuing to look for potential accomplices.

A French official close to the investigation said the video was not sent by Merah, a 23-year-old Frenchman who was killed in a shootout Thursday after a 32-hour standoff with police at his apartment building in Toulouse.

Another official said the envelope sent to Al-Jazeera contained a Wednesday postmark from a large postal processing center for the area around Toulouse, meaning it was unclear exactly where it was mailed from. He could not say anything about who may have sent the video.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/28/official-killer-didnt-send-french-attacks-video-to-al-jazeera.html

----------

 

Israel says Iran attack not imminent

Mar 28, 2012

Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Thursday an Israeli attack on Iran is not imminent but all options remain open to stop what Israel sees as an Iranian bid to develop nuclear weapons.

"We have no intention, at the moment, of taking action, but the State of Israel is far from being paralysed by fear," Barak told Israel Radio. "It must act calmly and quietly – we don't need big wars."

Iran says its nuclear energy programme is wholly peaceful.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog, citing intelligence reports, said last month Iran appeared to have worked on designing an atom bomb and may still be pursuing secret research to that end.

Barak was interviewed a day after the top U.S. military officer said he did not know whether Israel would alert the United States ahead of time if it decided to strike Iran, the Jewish state's arch-adversary in the Middle East.

General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also acknowledged differences in perspective between the United States and Israel over the best way to handle Iran and its nuclear programme.

Full report at:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/8927613/Israel-says-Iran-attack-not-imminent.html

----------

 

Afghan war strategy can't be guided by polls: Leon Panetta

Mar 28, 2012

OTTAWA: The war in Afghanistan can't be determined by polls, defense secretary Leon Panetta said on Tuesday, asserting that the US must continue with its strategy in the decade-old conflict despite plummeting American confidence in the war.

Panetta said that there is no question that the American people are tired of war. But, he said, the public understands the US is engaged in Afghanistan because of the attacks on Sept. 11, and to prevent al-Qaida from again finding safe havens there to launch attacks.

"We cannot fight wars by polls. If we do that we're in deep trouble," Panetta told reporters at a news conference after a day of meetings with Canadian and Mexican defense ministers here. "We have to operate based on what we believe is the best strategy to achieve the mission that we are embarked on. And the mission here is to safeguard our country by insuring that the Taliban and al-Qaida never again find a safe haven in Afghanistan."

A New York Times/CBS News poll found that 69 percent of those questioned believe the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan, and roughly the same amount say the fighting is going either somewhat or very badly. The numbers are up sharply from four months ago, when a bit more than half said the US should not be at war in Afghanistan.

The survey reflects a growing frustration among the public and on Capitol Hill with the war, even as the Obama administration tries to map out an exit strategy that would shift the security lead to the Afghans by mid-2013.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Afghan-war-strategy-cant-be-guided-by-polls-Leon-Panetta/articleshow/12436046.cms

----------

 

Terror threat sparks 2-hour lockdown at Afghan defence ministry

Mar 28, 2012

KABUL: The Afghan defence ministry was locked down for two hours on Tuesday after an intelligence report warned that the highly secured compound in the heart of Kabul was under threat of attack. Afghan officials said later the report was false.

In Kabul, two Afghan officials , who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the lockdown at the ministry, said the threat emerged from faulty intelligence.

Several news organizations reported that on Monday , nearly a dozen vests packed with explosives were found, and more than a dozen suspects, including Afghan soldiers, were arrested in connection with an alleged plot to attack the ministry.

The ministry issued two statements on Tuesday, both calling the media reports baseless. The second statement said, "Sixteen people have not been captured. Eleven suicide vests have not been recovered."

Taliban talkback: Militants answer queries online

Want to know why the Afghan Taliban opened talks with the US even though they have fought the world's most advanced military to a virtual stalemateor prospects for girls' schools if they regain power? Go online and post your question. The Taliban have opened an online forum on their website, called "Your questions and Zabihullah Mujahid's answers" where readers are invited to leave queries for their spokesman to answer. The Taliban have made extensive use of the Internet to spread their message. Mujahid told a questioner that the group kept a close eye on Facebook, YouTube and scoured media for reports about them. "We try to look at everything that gets published and then announce our position."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Terror-threat-sparks-2-hour-lockdown-at-Afghan-defence-ministry/articleshow/12435607.cms

----------

 

Nuclear talks with world powers on April 13: Iran

Mar 28, 2012

TEHRAN: Long-stalled talks between Iran and world powers are to be revived on April 13 at a place yet to be agreed, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying on Wednesday by official media.

Salehi announced the date as he welcomed visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Tehran for a two-day visit focusing on Iran's nuclear programme and bilateral ties, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

"The venue will be announced in coming days," IRNA quoted Salehi as saying.

Salehi added that Iran considered Istanbul -- the location of the previous round of talks, which collapsed in January 2011 -- the "best place" but that options were still being discussed.

Iran's principal nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, would announce any agreement on where the talks will take place, Salehi said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Nuclear-talks-with-world-powers-on-April-13-Iran/articleshow/12439446.cms

----------

 

Taliban to answer your questions online

Mar 28, 2012

The Taliban have opened an online forum on their website, called "Your questions and Zabihullah Mujahid's answers" where readers are invited to leave queries for their spokesman to answer.

Want to know why the Afghan Taliban opened talks with the United States even though they have fought the world's most advanced military to a virtual stalemate or prospects for girls' schools if they regain power? Go online and post your question. The Taliban have opened an online forum

on their website (http://www.alemara1.com/index.php?option=com_phocaguestbook&view=phocaguestbook&id=3&Itemid=67), called "Your questions and Zabihullah Mujahid's answers" where readers are invited to leave queries for their spokesman to answer.

One of the burning issues of the moment is the Taliban's secret dialogue with the United States, their sworn enemy whose forces they have vowed to drive out of Afghanistan.

Questioner Ahmad Ahsan said Taliban supporters had long trusted the leadership but a proposal to open an office in Qatar for talks with foreigners was causing disquiet.

"We have always believed in our leaders and elders. Now we are restless in our minds," Ahsan wrote in the Pashto language.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/technology/SocialMedia-Updates/Taliban-to-answer-your-questions-online/SP-Article1-831601.aspx

----------

 

Israel says sabotage may stretch Iran atom timeline

Mar 28, 2012

JERUSALEM: Israel on Tuesday played down the prospect of an imminent attack on Iran, saying its arch-foe’s controversial nuclear program could still be set back by sanctions and sabotage.

Six world powers are expected to renew efforts next month to talk Tehran into curbing its uranium enrichment, which can yield fuel for atomic warheads as well as for civilian projects. Iran denies having any hostile designs.

Israel, widely believed to have an atomic arsenal, sees a mortal threat in a nuclear-armed Iran. It has caused international concern, and worried oil markets, by hinting it could resort to military strikes if it deems diplomacy, including mounting global sanctions, to be at a dead end.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article598908.ece

----------

 

Turkey ex-army chief refuses to defend self on coup charges

Mar 28, 2012

Turkish ex-army chief Ilker Basbug on Tuesday rejected terrorism charges against him and refused to mount a defence in his trial for seeking to overthrow the government, the Anatolia news agency said.

“I am astounded at being accused of leading a terrorist organisation,” the retired general told a court in Silivri, outside Istanbul, where his trial opened on Monday. Basbug said the court did not have the jurisdiction to try him, and said he would not present a defence or answer any questions. “To try and accuse a head of the armed forces of crimes of this nature is the result of a comedy of incompetence,” the 68-year-old career soldier said in his first statement to the court. “The charge sheet has no credibility from my point of view.”

Basbug went on trial on Monday on charges of leading a terrorist group dubbed the Ergenekon network accused of plotting to overthrow the government led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP).Chief of staff of the armed forces from 2008 to 2010, Basbug has been in custody since January and risks life in prison if convicted in a case that has inflamed tensions between the Government and the powerful military.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/52985-turkey-ex-army-chief-refuses-to-defend-self-on-coup-charges.html

----------

 

Asylum Claims Rose 20 Percent Last Year, U.N. Refugee Agency Says

By RICK GLADSTONE

Mar 28, 2012

Escapees from new uprisings in the Middle East and Africa, combined with a rising tide of people fleeing chronic conflicts like those in Afghanistan and Iraq, contributed to a 20 percent increase in requests for asylum in industrialized countries last year, the United Nations refugee agency reported Tuesday.

Its annual report, Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries 2011, said 441,300 people requested asylum last year, compared with 368,000 in 2010. The report surveyed 44 countries in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

The report said that the region with the largest increase in claims for the year was southern Europe, where 66,800 people sought asylum last year, most of them arriving by boat in Italy and Malta, an increase of 87 percent from the year before.

“The large number of asylum claims clearly shows 2011 to have been a year of great difficulty for very many people,” Antonio Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said in a statement from his Geneva office.

Together, the 38 countries of Europe registered 327,200 asylum claims, more than any other region; the figure was a 19 percent increase over 2010. North America registered 99,400 claims, a 25 percent increase.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/28/world/asylum-claims-up-20-percent.html?ref=global-home&gwh=2AF61BD74C293B0229C2072052F4CF52

----------

 

Pilot creates al-Qaeda emergency in flight

 Mar 28 2012

Houston : A Las Vegas bound flight of a US airliner made an emergency landing in Texas when the plane's pilot gave a mid-air scare to passengers about a possible attack by al-Qaeda and had to be restrained.

"They're going to take us down!" the captain of the plane screamed and rambled about al-Qaeda as passengers pinned him to the floor yesterday while another pilot took charge to make an emergency landing, JetBlue Airways said in a statement.

An off-duty airline captain, who was a passenger on the flight, entered the cockpit, locked the door and helped the aircraft land in Amarillo, Texas.

The original pilot on flight 191 from New York's John F Kennedy airport had been taken to hospital after suffering a "medical situation" on board, it said.

Passengers were quoted by local media as saying that the captain seemed disoriented, jittery and constantly sipped water when he first marched through the cabin. He then began to rant about threats linked to Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan and a bomb following which crew members tried to calm him down.

Gabriel Schonzeit, who was sitting in the third row, told the local media: "He started screaming about al-Qaeda and possibly a bomb on the plane and Iraq and Iran and about how we were all going down."

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/929511/

----------

 

Palestinian medic gets Libyan jail compensation

28 March 2012

THE HAGUE — A Palestinian-born doctor who spent eight years in a Libyan jail on charges of infecting children with HIV has got one million euros in compensation, his Dutch lawyer said Tuesday.

Ashraf Juma Hajuj, who now lives in the Netherlands, last year sued for compensation in a Hague civil court.

The 41-year-old and five Bulgarian nurses were sentenced to death in Libya for deliberately infecting 438 children with HIV-tainted blood.

“A Dutch civil court has awarded my client, a Palestinian doctor, one million euros ($1.3 million) on allegations of his torture and mistreatment while in detention in Libya,” Liesbeth Zegveld told AFP.

The six were sent to jail in 1999 after 56 children died in a hospital in Benghazi under the rule of slain Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

Hajuj on July 27 last year sued 12 Libyan civil servants, saying they were involved in his torture during his time behind bars.

“We chose to focus on the individuals as we wanted to get as close as possible to those responsible for his torture,” said Zegveld.

But the defendants were not present during the case, with Zegveld admitting “we have no idea where they are”.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2012/March/middleeast_March606.xml&section=middleeast&col=

----------

 

India’s technological progress impresses Saudi delegation

Mar 28, 2012

A 40-member Saudi youth delegation visited the charitable Narayana Cardiac Hospital and Indian Space Research Organization here Monday and talked to the hospital’s doctors and senior ISRO officials.

A spokesman for Narayana said the Saudi government is seeking the hospital’s help in setting up a telemedicine center in Riyadh to provide remote health care to its citizens.

As a pioneer in using telecommunications and information technology to provide clinical health care remotely, the privately-run super-specialty cardiac hospital uses telemedicine to administer affordable medical treatment in distant areas.

“Exposure to the working of telemedicine at our facility and its multiple benefits impressed the medical students in the delegation who discussed its operation with our chairman Devi Prasad Shetty during an interactive session,” the official said.

The youth delegation also went around the hospital’s sprawling health city and saw firsthand its pediatric facility where children, including infants, are treated for cardiac ailments.

“At the pediatric ward, the Saudi youths interacted with doctors, house surgeons, nurses and some young patients and enquired about the facilities and the nature of treatment for heart ailments,” the spokesman said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article599337.ece

----------

 

India: SIMI, IM network under Babu Khan

 Rajnish Sharma

Mar 28, 2012

The arrest of Mohd. Abrar Babu Khan, 32, by Maharashtra ATS on Monday is being viewed as a significant development by Central intelligence agencies here with highly-placed sources claiming that the dreaded terrorist was controlling the entire network of Indian Mujahideen and banned Simi in western and central India.

What is also significant is that the entire information on Khan and his two associates, Mohd. Shakir and Khalil Qureshi, was developed entirely by the Maharashtra ATS with little assistance from the Central intelligence agencies.

The Maharashtra ATS has in a report sent to the Centre on the arrest has stated that Khan was in constant touch with top leaders of Indian Mujahideen and Simi-like Abdul Subhan Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/india/simi-im-network-under-babu-khan-675

----------

 

President Pratibha Patil refuses assent to Gujarat anti-terror legislation again

28 MARCH 2012

Notwithstanding repeated efforts by the Narendra Modi Government during the past eight years to get the Centre’s approval for an anti-terror law for Gujarat, President Pratibha Patil has once again refused giving assent to the GUJCOC Bill.

The President has withheld her assent to the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill on January 22, 2012 on the ground that the State Government had not made any amendments in clauses 16 and 20 in the Bill as directed by the Presidential message on the earlier Bill.

This has been conveyed to the secretary to Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal on February 2, 2012, Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

The controversial Bill was passed by the Gujarat Assembly in 2004 and despite Modi pushing for it the President had first returned it to the Governor in 2009 asking the state legislature to reconsider it. The ground for rejection at that time was that it was not in line with the Central laws pertaining to terrorism like Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act.

However, the Gujarat government remained firm and resubmitted the Bill without carrying out any amendment. The Bill which was once again sent by the Governor to the President was received in the Home Ministry on November 11, 2009.

Earlier, the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), which is similar to GUJCOC, was given assent by the Centre in 1999 as it was in accordance with the then policy of the Government.

However, later the UPA Government changed its policy at the Centre and conveyed to Parliament that all subsequent state Acts should be in line with the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2008, as approved by Parliament.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/nation/53153-prez-refuses-assent-to-gujarat-anti-terror-legislation-again.html

----------

 

India will not apply for U.S. sanctions exemption on Iran

NARAYAN LAKSHMAN

  Mar 28, 2012

Even as the U.S. steadily tightens the screws on the sanctions regime against Iran, energy-deficient, rapid-growth nations such as India are finding themselves walking a tightrope with their continued but declining reliance on Iranian oil imports.

Ten European nations and Japan have already been given an exemption from punitive actions by the U.S. for purportedly reducing their oil imports from Iran “significantly.”

Yet India in particular would appear to be purposefully walking a line that sacrifices neither its core interest, the need to meet the demands of more than 400 million Indians with no access to commercial energy, nor its commitment to adhere to United Nations sanctions regimes.

Last week the U.S. put out its most direct message on Iran yet — that India, along with other importers of Persian oil, could face sanctions by July if it too did not reduce such imports “significantly” — a term that has not been defined quantitatively in the U.S. 2012 National Defence Authorisation Act (Section 1245), except to allude, by comparison, to Japan's reduction of 15-22 per cent.

At this point India remains in compliance with United Nations sanctions against Iran, yet it has, however, refused to recognise any country-specific sanctions overlay above this globally accepted level.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3251886.ece

----------

 

Israeli embassy attack: India to seek Iran help in probe

 Mar 28, 2012

NEW DELHI: As investigations into the attack on Israeli diplomat picks up pace, India will be using diplomatic pressure to get to the bombers. Delhi Police will send letter rogatories (a formal judicial request for probe in other country) to three countries - Iran, Thailand and Malaysia.

A senior intelligence official said they will ask Iran for more details on bombers like their address, occupation and family details. They will also seek details of investigations and statements of arrested persons, including operation head Sedaghatzadeh Masoud from Thailand and Malaysia. A questionnaire will also be sent with the letter rogatories. This is the first time, India will be sending a request for probe to Iran.

The three bombers, Houshang Afshar Ali, Mohammad Reza Abolghasemi and Syed Ali Mahdian Sadr, fled to Tehran after the attack. Another Iranian wanted in the Delhi attack, Masoud, is now in Malaysian custody. Delhi Police wants to get his statement and details of investigation through a letter rogatory.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Israeli-embassy-attack-India-to-seek-Iran-help-in-probe/articleshow/12434067.cms

----------

 

2006 Malegaon blasts accused in civic poll fray

 Mar 28 2012

Malegaon : Three persons, who were arrested in connection with the 2006 bomb blasts in this powerloom town, on Tuesday filed nomination papers for the April 15 election to Malegaon Municipal Corporation (MMC).

Salman Farsi, Shabir Masulla and Jahir Abdul Majid, all contesting as Samajwadi Party candidates, filed their papers from civic wards no 28, 21 and 22 respectively, local SP leader Chandrashekhar Devre said.

A total of 600 nominations have been received for the 80-seat civic body in Nashik district, MMC sources said.

The three were among the nine men who were granted bail by a Special MCOCA Court in November last year. They all were accused in the 2006 Malegaon bombings in which 37 persons were killed and hundreds injured.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/929445/

----------

 

India IM Chief’s  aide caught with explosives

 Mar 28 2012

New Delhi : A suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorist, an alleged aide of the outfit's elusive chief operative Yasin Bhatkal, was arrested from north-east Delhi with one kg explosives and a detonator, police said today.

Assadullah Rehman alias Dilkash (20) was apprehended from Chandu Nagar in Karawal Nagar locality yesterday on a tip off, a senior police official said.

Dilkash, who hails from Darbhanga in Bihar, had allegedly escaped in November last year from the arms factory run by Indian Mujahideen in west Delhi's Nangloi before the police crackdown during which a number of suspected terrorists were nabbed by police.

The official said Dilkash had told police that he had recently taken on rent a premises at Chandu Nagar from where investigators allegedly recovered one kg of explosive powder, a detonator, a timer and a mobile phone.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/929469/

----------

 

Terror arrests: ATS says Hindu leaders were target

 Mar 28 2012

Mumbai : The alleged terror module busted by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in Aurangabad on Monday was apparently planning to assassinate some “Hindu leaders’’ in Maharashtra, ATS sources told The Indian Express on Tuesday.

While two members of the module were arrested and a third was killed in an encounter in Aurangabad on Monday, the ATS arrested two more alleged members of the group from Chikli in Buldhana district early on Tuesday.

The two arrested on Tuesday are Aqeel Khilji (45), who was allegedly SIMI’s chief in Madhya Pradesh, and Mohammed Zaffar Hussain Qureshi (32). The police have recovered a 7.65mm pistol, five live rounds, a pen drive and jehadi literature from the duo. They have also identified two bank accounts operated by Khilji.

Following Monday’s encounter, the ATS said it had arrested Mohammed Abrar Babu Khan alias Abrar Shaikh, a wanted accused in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts. While Qureshi was killed, a third, Mohammed Shakir, was injured and taken into custody.

The ATS had claimed the module was allegedly involved in bank robberies in MP for terror financing, and that its members were trying to set up base in Maharashtra for similar activities after a crackdown in MP.

“Besides attempting to set up bases in Aurangabad, Jalna and Buldhana and recruit people in the state, they were also planning to assassinate some prominent Hindu leaders in Maharashtra. We suspect these leaders could be from the BJP, VHP or RSS. This was revealed during the initial interrogation of Abrar and Aqeel. However, they have not divulged any specific names yet, and they are being interrogated for more information,” said an ATS source.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/929190/

----------

 

JEDDAH: 6,000 new jobs offered at women’s work expo

Mar 28, 2012

A number of job opportunities will be offered at the third women’s work exhibition, which kicked off Monday at the Jeddah Exhibition Center.

Mazan Batterjee, the vice chairman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) inaugurated the exhibition on women’s work, which was held under the supervision of the JCCI, in cooperation with Jeddah municipality and Al-Eman cancer patients care charitable society.

The five-day exhibition will target 20,000 visitors with the participation of banks, companies, businessmen in the gold market, car companies, tour operators and owners of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Maya Halvavi, the president of the organizing committee, said this exhibition would contribute to the society’s development and help in promoting a culture of working women. More than 100 companies participated in the exhibition to give a maximum amount of opportunities to Saudi women to meet directly with employers, debate, participate in question and answer sessions, and increase creativity and knowledge.

“We have great expectations. This is a family exhibition where families can come and see what opportunities are available for women in the market. We are expecting around 6,000 new jobs for Saudi women this year and more than 25,000 individuals will benefit from those,” said Halvavi.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article599338.ece

----------

 

Turkey Hitler shampoo advert withdrawn

Mar 28, 2012

A Turkish TV advert for men's shampoo, featuring Adolf Hitler, has been withdrawn following complaints from the country's Jewish community.

The 12-second advert shows footage of Hitler with a dubbed voice shouting that men should not use women's shampoo if they do not wear women's clothes.

Turkey's Jewish community threatened legal action over the "unacceptable" use of Hitler to promote the product.

The advertising firm behind the campaign said it was "misinterpreted".

On Monday, the office of the chief Rabbi in Istanbul demanded a public apology from the company "to repair the damage this commercial has caused to society's conscience".

The US-based Anti-Defamation League said it was "repulsed", calling it "a disgusting and deplorable marketing ploy", Agence France Press reports.

The Istanbul-based advertising firm, Marka, and the company that produces the product, Biota Laboratories, both confirmed that, after just ten days on air, the decision had been taken to withdraw the advert for Biomen shampoo.

"The Jewish community seemed more upset than they were supposed to be," Beril Mardin, account director with the Istanbul-based advertising firm Marka told the BBC.

"Hitler is being made fun of to the utmost degree by making him star in a shampoo commercial," she said.

"It is indeed most upsetting, and also surprising, that people in Turkey and around the world mistook this commercial and interpreted it very, very wrongly, as if Hitler is being portrayed as the epitome of manhood, or as if the commercial is trying to justify him or his ideology."

Around 20,000 Jews live in Turkey, mainly Istanbul, a city of some 14 million Muslims.

Most are descendants of Sephardim who escaped the Spanish Inquisition and found refuge in the Ottoman Empire some 500 years ago.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17527255

----------

 

Shaul Mofaz wins leadership of Israel's Kadima party

 Mar 28 2012

Israel's main opposition party, Kadima, has elected former defence minister and army chief Shaul Mofaz as its leader.

He defeated the current party leader, Tzipi Livni, by a wide margin, winning 61.7% of the vote in Tuesday's primary.

Both politicians are former members of the governing Likud party of the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Kadima is the biggest party in parliament, but recent polls suggest the number of seats it holds could be halved in next year's election.

Despite the polls, Mr Mofaz said in his victory speech that Kadima would lead the next government and appealed to Israelis to have faith.

He also promised to "lead a new social order", seek new peace talks with the Palestinians, and "campaign for Israel's image and its future".

Mr Mofaz was born in Iran and emigrated to Israel with his parents as a child.

He is a former paratrooper who went on to be chief of staff and eventually defence minister under Ariel Sharon.

'Uninspiring contest'

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17533653

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/iran-ahl-al-bait-assembly-slams-wahhabi-fatwa-to-destroy-churches/d/6939


Loading..

Loading..