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IS Claims Bombing That Killed 60 and Wounded 200 at Shiite Mosque In Pakistan's Peshawar

New Age Islam News Bureau

05 March 2022


A general view of the prayer hall after a bomb blast inside a mosque during Friday prayers in Peshawar, Pakistan, (REUTERS)


• Saudi Crown Prince and De Facto Ruler Mohammed Bin Salman Says He Sees Israel as A Potential Ally with Shared Interests

• Islamist Extremist Preacher Anjem Choudhry Protests Outside Saudi Embassy since His Public Speaking Ban Was Lifted

• Supreme Court Deals Setback to Muslims Suing FBI over Spying On a California Mosque

• Haryana Becomes 11th State to Table 'Love Jihad' Law, Congress Protests in Assembly



• PM Imran Khan Did Nothing to Enforce Islamic Law: Jamaat-e-Islami

• Effective crackdown on terror outfits demanded amid blast condemnations

• Peshawar blast widely condemned, termed conspiracy against Pakistan

• Pakistan remains on ‘grey list’ as UAE also joins the club

• Uzbek president winds up ‘productive’ Pakistan tour

• Church leaders shocked, grieved by Peshawar mosque attack

• Govt to go after terrorists behind Peshawar attack with ‘full force’: PM Imran Khan


Arab World

• Saudi Arabia, Russia foreign ministers review Ukraine invasion, Middle East security

• Saudi Crown Prince Affirms To Zelenskyy Support to Ukraine Crisis De-Escalation

• Saudi Arabia condemns suicide attack on Pakistan mosque

• State losing stature, crime rising as economic gloom envelops Lebanon



• Russia Says US Transferring Terrorists from Syria to Ukraine

• Ukrainian mufti fears for his country's Muslim community

• Dutch football legend Clarence Seedorf converts to Islam


North America

• Biden extends national emergency against Iran

• US warns Pakistan of Ukraine war consequences

• Afghan Evacuees Fleeing Taliban Face Months More Limbo In UAE: US Official



• After 30 Weeks, Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid Reopens For Devotees

• AMU City School renamed after Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh

• Hindu Youth Harass Dupatta-Clad Muslim Students Who Wrote Exams Wearing a Dupatta and • Not Pinning It as Directed by the Principal, In Mangalore

• Many Muslims In Eastern UP Say AIMIM's Time Mayn't Have Come In This Poll But Is Option For Future


South Asia

• Taliban Spokesperson Condemns Peshawar Mosque Attack

• Nigeria donates $1 million to Afghanistan’s Humanitarian Trust Fund

• Shooting at check post, Taliban gunned down boy in eastern Afghanistan

• Pakistan donated inedible wheat, India’s far better: Taliban official

• Taliban official urges Afghan investors to return



• Friday Imams Use Sermons to Launder Khamenei's Line on Ukraine

• Iran condemns terrorist bombing at Shia mosque in Pakistan

• Iran, EU officials say nuclear deal not yet done as officials focus on ‘final’ steps

• Israeli forces injure 23 Palestinians in anti-settlement rallies

• Top Israeli court urged to stop IDF arresting Palestinian minors at night

• Israeli forces suppress protests in West Bank, al-Quds



• Tunisia sees UAE investments in real estate, solar projects

• Over 50 protesters injured in anti-military rallies in Sudan


Southeast Asia

• Sarawak Govt to Set Up University in Telaga Air to Develop Quality Ummah, Says CM

• Rebels kill eight civilians in Indonesia's Papua province

• PIJ Property lodges police report against Muda for alleged trespass of asset

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



IS Claims Bombing That Killed 60 and Wounded 200 At Shiite Mosque In Pakistan's Peshawar


A general view of the prayer hall after a bomb blast inside a mosque during Friday prayers in Peshawar, Pakistan, (REUTERS)


05 MAR 2022

The Islamic State says a lone Afghan suicide bomber struck inside a Shiite Muslim mosque in Pakistan's north-western city of Peshawar during Friday prayers, killing at least 56 worshippers and wounding 194 people.

The Islamic State affiliate in the region known as Islamic State in Khorasan province and headquartered in Afghanistan claimed Friday's devastating attack in a statement translated by the SITE Intelligence group.


(Photo: Time of India)


The statement was posted on the group's Amaq News Agency. The statement identified the attacker as Afghan, posted his picture and said “Islamic State fighters are constantly targeting Shi'ites living in Pakistan and Afghanistan despite the intense security measures adopted by the Taliban militia and the Pakistani police to secure Shi'a temples and centers.”

The carnage at the mosque buried deep inside the narrow streets of Peshawar's old city was horrific.




According to the spokesman at Peshawar's Lady Reading Hospital, Asim Khan, many of the wounded were in critical condition. Scores of victims were peppered with shrapnel, several had limbs amputated and others were injured by flying debris.

Peshawar Police Chief Muhammed Ejaz Khan said the violence started when an armed attacker opened fire on police outside the mosque in Peshawar's old city. One policeman was killed in the gunfight, and another police officer was wounded. The attacker then ran inside the mosque and detonated his suicide vest.


People attend the funeral prayers for the victims of Friday's suicide bombing in Peshawar, Pakistan, Saturday, March 5, 2022. The Islamic State says a lone Afghan suicide bomber struck inside a Shiite Muslim mosque in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar during Friday prayers, killing dozens worshippers and wounding more than 190 people.Muhammad Sajjad/AP


The suicide bomber had strapped a powerful explosive device to his body, packed with 5 kilograms (12 pounds) of explosives, said Moazzam Jah Ansari, the top police official for Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province where Peshawar is the capital.

The device was hidden beneath a large black shawl that covered much of the attacker's body, according to CCTV footage seen by The Associated Press. The footage showed the bomber moving quickly up a narrow street toward the mosque entrance. He fired at the police protecting the mosque before entering inside.


Men cry during the funeral prayers for the victims of Friday's suicide bombing in Peshawar, Pakistan, Saturday, March 5, 2022. The Islamic State says a lone Afghan suicide bomber struck inside a Shiite Muslim mosque in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar during Friday prayers, killing dozens worshippers and wounding more than 190 people.Muhammad Sajjad/AP


Source: Outlook India

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Saudi Crown Prince and De Facto Ruler Mohammed Bin Salman Says He Sees Israel as A Potential Ally with Shared Interests


Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (Photo by AFP)


04 March 2022

Saudi Crown Prince and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) says he sees Israel as a potential ally with shared interests, not an enemy, as the Tel Aviv is working behind the scenes towards normalization of diplomatic relations with the Persian Gulf kingdom.

“For us, we hope that the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is solved,” the prince told US monthly magazine The Atlantic, according to remarks carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

“We don’t look at Israel as an enemy, we look to them as a potential ally, with many interests that we can pursue together,” Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler said.

“But we have to solve some issues before we get to that,” he added.

Earlier this year, a high-ranking official at the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs said Tel Aviv is working clandestinely towards normalization of diplomatic relations with Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

“These are the two countries we want to reach an agreement with, but it is a slow process that takes a lot of time and effort. We hope for the best,” the unnamed official noted at a media briefing in early January.

Even though Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have formal diplomatic relations, Riyadh has taken a number of steps recently toward normalizing relations with the Tel Aviv regime.

Saudi authorities were said to have given a behind-the-scenes green light to the UAE forging ties with Israel in 2020 and have since allowed Israeli aircraft to use the kingdom’s airspace for direct flights to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

On January 6, an independent nongovernmental organization advocating human rights in Saudi Arabia said the Riyadh regime is making use of arbitrary arrest to silence vociferous opponents of normalization of diplomatic relations between the kingdom and Israel.

The London-based rights group ALQST said Saudi officials have kept writer and researcher Abdullah al-Yahya behind bars since December 24 last year, after he criticized normalization with the Israeli regime in a series of posts published on Twitter.

Iran relations

On Iran, Prince Mohammed said the Islamic Republic was its neighbor so the two countries should find a way to coexist.

“We have had discussions, and we have heard many statements from Iranian leaders that are very welcome in Saudi Arabia,” he said. “I hope we can reach a position that is good for both countries, and a bright future for Saudi Arabia and Iran.”

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister says rapprochement with Iran is possible as the kingdom is planning to schedule a fifth round of direct talks with the Islamic Republic.

“The kingdom is interested in a positive relationship with Iran including a relationship that delivers benefits for both of us. So we are not just interested in some political détente, but we are interested in a relationship,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said at the 58th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in the German capital.

He said Riyadh is looking to schedule a fifth round of direct talks with Iran, adding, that the restoration of Tehran-Riyadh relations requires progress on the issues that "concern Saudi Arabia and its neighbors."

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters, enraged by the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, stormed its embassy in Tehran.

For years, the kingdom pursued a confrontational foreign policy toward the Islamic Republic, but it appears that it has recently changed tack.

The two Middle East heavyweights have held four rounds of talks in Iraq since last April, including a meeting in December under the administration of President Ebrahim Raeisi, who assumed office in mid-2021.

Source: Press TV

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Islamist Extremist Preacher Anjem Choudhry Protests Outside Saudi Embassy since His Public Speaking Ban Was Lifted


Islamist extremist preacher Anjem Choudary has been protesting outside the Saudi embassy


4 March 2022

Islamist extremist preacher Anjem Choudary has been protesting outside the Saudi Arabian embassy.

The protest happened in London on Friday at the Saudi embassy near Green Park, London.

It is the first public protest since the 54-year-old's public speaking ban was lifted last year.

It also meant he was unable to carry out social media campaigns.

Choudary, the former leader of the banned Islamist group Al-Muhajiroun, was jailed for five-and-half years in 2016 for inviting support for the Islamic State.

He served less than half that term, and was out in 2018.

The cleric is free to preach but security sources have said that if he stoked up extremism in this country, he could be put under a form of house arrest known as Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures and tried again in court on terrorism and hate law charges.

The extremist is known for his shocking hate speech on topics from 9/11 to the Charlie Hebdo attacks and his wish for Buckingham Palace to be turned into a mosque.

In May 2013 terrorist Michael Adebolajo killed soldier Lee Rigby near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, southeast London.

After the attack Choudary said of Adebolajo: 'He is a practising Muslim, a family man and I'm very proud of him.'

Meanwhile, although he claimed not to condone the September 11 and 7/7 attacks, he said 'there are people that justify [them] on the divine text'.

The Islamic preacher has also suggested he condones the Charlie Hebdo attacks, which left 12 dead and a further 11 injured after the attack on the French magazine's offices in Paris.

He said: 'I think that this magazine went out of their way to insult the Prophet and they put their very nasty cartoons on their front pages in the past. It obviously angers many Muslims.

'I think it's completely ridiculous, the idea that I should say I don't condone the attack.'

On his plans to see Buckingham Palace made into a mosque, he said: 'This is an image of how Buckingham Palace will look one day, Insha’Allah.'

Just last year Britain's most fanatical hate preacher urged the Taliban to impose a stricter form of Islamic justice – including stoning adulterers, chopping off the hands of thieves and lashing anyone caught drinking alcohol.

Choudary also said he wanted to ban music and mixing between sexes and said non-Muslims should pay an 'infidel tax'.

His outpourings were included in an extraordinary 3,500-word treatise entitled Sincere Advice to the Leadership of the Taliban.

Source: Daily Mail

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Supreme Court Deals Setback To Muslims Suing FBI Over Spying On A California Mosque


In the years following 9/11, the FBI paid an informant to infiltrate the Islamic Center of Irvine, above, and spy on Muslim Americans.(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)


MARCH 04, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a setback Friday to three Muslim men in Orange County, California, who have been suing the FBI for spying on their mosques in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In a unanimous but narrowly written opinion, the high court said the government may invoke the “state secrets” privilege to block such a lawsuit from proceeding and ruled the current law does not authorize a judge to examine the supposedly secret information pertaining to the case in order to determine whether it would be relevant. The ruling in FBI vs. Fazaga rejects a compromise set out by the 9th Circuit Court, which said a judge acting under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act may weigh the evidence behind closed doors. This was seen as a way to allow the lawsuit against the FBI to proceed, but without revealing intelligence information about the basis for the surveillance. But Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., writing for the court, said that was a mistake. “We conclude that Congress did not eliminate, curtail or modify the state secrets privilege when it enacted” FISA, the law that regulates electronic surveillance. He called the decision “narrow.” The court’s opinion did not block or end the long-running lawsuit. It sent the case back to the 9th Circuit to reconsider the core issue of whether “privileged” and secret evidence is crucial to the case, as the government maintains.

“The 9th did not decide those questions, and we do not resolve them here,” Alito said. University of California, Los Angeles law professor Ahilan Arulantham, who has represented the Muslim men, said the decision means they “can continue to pursue their claims that the FBI spied on them because of their religious beliefs. My clients and many other members of Southern California’s Muslim American communities have been waiting 15 years for justice. The decision today brings us one step closer to achieving it.” But the ruling also shows again the force of the “state secrets” doctrine as a shield for the U.S. government. On Thursday, the court by a 6-3 vote blocked two former CIA contractors from testifying in a Polish tribunal about the CIA’s waterboarding and torture of supposedly high value prisoners in the Bush administration’s war on terrorism. The justices said their testimony could reveal state secrets, even though the basic facts have been public knowledge for years. For a decade, the Justice Department under Presidents Barack Obama, Donald Trump and now Joe Biden have insisted the lawsuit involving the Orange County mosques should be blocked because it may reveal national security secrets.

In November, the justices sounded divided and uncertain when they heard arguments in the Orange County case. In the end, they stopped short of deciding whether the case can proceed, and instead only agreed that the FISA compromise was inappropriate. The case before the court began in 2006 when the FBI in Los Angeles hired Craig Monteilh and paid him to pose as a convert to Islam. For two years, he recorded thousands of hours of conversations and compiled names and phone numbers. When he began to talk in the mosque about violent jihad, several of the Muslim men reported him to the FBI. After his story was revealed, Monteilh broke with the FBI and cooperated with the ACLU in bringing a lawsuit against the FBI. The lead plaintiff, Yassir Fazaga, was an imam at the Orange County Islamic Foundation, a mosque in Mission Viejo. The suit alleged the FBI’s so-called Operation Flex was a “dragnet surveillance” program designed to “gather information on Muslims.” The FBI said the aim of Operation Flex “was to determine whether particular individuals were involved in the recruitment and training of individuals in the United States or overseas for possible terrorist activity.” But the FBI and U.S. attorneys did not explain why they targeted several mosques in Orange County for surveillance. That was a “state secret,” they said. For more than a decade, the lawsuit has been stuck at a preliminary stage in the federal courts in California. Beginning with Atty. Gen. Eric Holder in 2012, top Justice Department officials have said the suit should be dismissed on the grounds it could reveal national security secrets. In 2019, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, devised what sounded like a compromise. It said the judges who meet in secret to hear the government’s requests to conduct “foreign intelligence surveillance” should examine the FBI’s basis for undertaking the surveillance of the mosques and decide whether the suit may proceed. Lawyers for the outgoing Trump administration in December 2020 asked the high court to take up the case and order the dismissal of the suit. The 9th Circuit’s approach “poses a substantial risk that state secrets will be disclosed,” they said.

Source: Centre Daily

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Haryana Becomes 11th State to Table 'Love Jihad' Law, Congress Protests in Assembly

Mar 5, 2022

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Haryana government on Friday, March 4, introduced an ‘anti-conversion’ Bill in the state assembly, becoming the 11th state in the country to bring such a law.

The Prevention of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Bill was introduced in the House by Haryana home minister Anil Vij.

‘Freedom of religion’ or ‘anti-conversion’ laws are dubbed ‘love jihad’ laws. In November 2020, Vij had announced that the state government would be setting up a three-member committee to draft a bill against ‘love jihad’.

Last year, the inclusion of the term ‘love jihad’ in the Bill had led to disturbance in Haryana’s ruling coalition, with deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala saying that his party would not back a bill which carries the term in it, causing Vij to declare that the term would not be present in the Bill.

The term is popularised by the Sangh Parivar and the laws made invoking it attempt to offer legal credence to rightwing Hindutva’s unfounded claim that there is a conspiracy among Muslim men to convert Hindu women through marriage. The Union home ministry has earlier said it has no data on such cases and in the 10 states where this law has been brought recently, reports have it that it has affected women’s freedom in various ways.

Then last month, while presiding over a meeting of the “drafting committee”, Vij had stated that the “enactment of this law will prevent any attempt to get religious conversion by force, inducement, bluff of marriage or by any other unethical methods by anyone in the state” and that “strict action will be taken against the culprits”.

‘No mention of religion’

According to the tabled Bill, the onus of proof lies with the accused.

If conversion is done by allurement, use of force, fraudulent means or coercion, then there is a provision for imprisonment of one to five years and a fine of not less than Rs 1 lakh.

However, Haryana chief minister Manohal Lal Khattar appeared to soften the government’s stance on the issue by stating that “there is no mention of any religion in the bill. The purpose is to stop forcible conversions. No person shall be allowed to use coercion, threat or marriage as a means to convert people.”

He said the Bill – which prohibits “religious conversions through misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage, by making these actions an offence” – was not designed to discriminate against any religion and only deals with forcible conversions.

“If a person wants to change religion at will, then its provision is written in the Bill,” he added.

The Bill provides for declaring marriages, which were done solely for the purpose of conversion from one religion to another religion, null and void.

If religion is concealed with an intention to marry, then the person shall be punished with imprisonment of three years to 10 years and shall also be liable to pay a fine, which shall not be less than Rs 3 lakh, according to the Bill.

The mass conversion, contravening to the provisions, shall be punished with the imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years, which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine not less than Rs 4 lakh, as per the Bill.

Also read: On Paper and At Odds With ‘Love Jihad’ Law, Uttarakhand’s Interfaith Marriage Scheme Still Exists

However, the Congress has decried the move. In the absence of Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda in the House, party MLA Raghuvir Singh Kadian charged that by bringing the legislation, the BJP had shown that it indulges in “divisive politics”.

He also tore apart a copy of the Bill for which he was suspended from the House by the Speaker. All Congress legislators then walked out in protest.

Prior to Haryana, 10 other states – most of them BJP-ruled – had brought in similar legislations. These states are Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand. Many of these laws have also been challenged in courts.

Gujarat among first

The Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act was enacted in 2003 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister. The state government last year brought in an amendment to the Act, titled The Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021, which sought to bring the existing law in line with several similar laws enacted by other BJP-ruled states, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.

The amendments sought to seek an end to conversions through unlawful means and provided for prohibiting any conversion for marriage, even if it was with the consent of the individual, except when prior sanction was obtained from the state. The 2021 amendments also shifted the onus of proof of a lawful religious conversion from the converted to his/her partner.

The Act also gave powers to the state government to conduct a police inquiry to verify the intentions of the parties to convert for the purposes of marriage.

Gujarat HC had stayed certain amendments to 2003 law

In August last year, the Gujarat high court stayed the operation of several sections of this amendment Act including the provision that termed interfaith marriages as means for forceful conversion.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Biren Vaishnav granted interim stay on certain provisions of the amendment, while observing that “prima-facie inter-faith marriages between two consenting adults by operation of the provisions of Section 3 of the 2003 Act interferes with the intricacies of marriage including the right to the choice of an individual, thereby infringing Article 21 of the Constitution Of India”.

The Gujarat government appealed to the Supreme Court. It argued that the apex court has in the past ruled that “there is no fundamental right of any person to convert another person to one’s own religion because if a person purposely undertakes the conversion of another person to his religion, as distinguished from his effort to transmit or spread the tenets of his religion, that would impinge on the ‘freedom of conscience’ guaranteed to all the citizens of the country alike.”

The apex court had subsequently issued a notice in the matter.

Source: The Wire

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PM Imran Khan Did Nothing to Enforce Islamic Law: Jamaat-e-Islami

March 05, 2022

SUKKUR: Jamaat-e-Islami staged a sit-in here on Friday against inflation. It was led by Siraj-ul-Haq, the JI chief. Reports said on Friday hundreds of workers of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, led by Siraj-ul-Haq, staged a protest rally and later a sit-in against inflation in front of the Sukkur Press Club. Workers chanted slogans against the anti-people policies of the government.

Addressing the sit-in, the chief of Jamaat-e-Islami, Siraj-ul-Haq, and other leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami said that an ongoing nationwide movement against inflation, unemployment and IMF slavery was continuing under the party leadership. The participation of the people of Pakistan in their protest against the PTI government was a victory of Jamaat-e-Islami.

He reiterated that the JI’s struggle was for enforcing the Islamic system and an attempt to assure that people's fundamental rights were provided. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan was raising slogans to make the country the state of Madina for many years but did nothing to enforce the Islamic law or take any other concrete action to Change the interest-based economy.

He said that protests and sit-ins of his Jamaat were continuing against the “incompetent government”. Jamaat-e-Islami has always raised its voice for the rights of people.

He condemned the Peshawar mosque incident and held the PTI government responsible. Siraj-ul-Haq said that those who spent the government resources on rallies and paid money to the people should know that the nation was fed up with them.

Rejecting the Peca Ordinance, he said that Jamaat-e-Islami stood by the journalists in their struggle.

He claimed that the rulers were using fascist tactics to suppress the media. He said the PTI and PPP are holding long marches to protect their respective political interests and governments. The country's economy is on the verge of collapse, as the PTI followed dictations of the IMF.

Source: The News

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Effective crackdown on terror outfits demanded amid blast condemnations

March 5, 2022

PESHAWAR: Politicians and traders on Friday condemned the Peshawar mosque bombing and demanded of the federal government to take effective steps for the eradication of terrorist groups in the country.

They also called for the provision of the Shuhada Package compensation to the families of those, who lost life in the suicide blast.

In separate statements, Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, Qaumi Watan Party chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Pakistan Peoples Party provincial president Najamuddin Khan, Pakistan Muslim League-Fazl provincial information secretary Ikhtiar Wali Khan and ANP central general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain, and trader leaders declared the terror attack against worshipers worst kind of barbarism in the country’s history and sympathised with the families of the dead.

The ANP chief warned that the law and order situation would worsen in the country if the federal government didn’t crackdown on terrorist outfits immediately.

Politicians, traders also call for Shuhada Package for mosque bombing victims

He said the fresh acts of terrorism in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces had caused a serious sense of insecurity among the people.

Mr Asfandyar said the Peshawar mosque bombing showed that terrorists followed no religion, so they deserved no leniency.

He said thousands of people, including personnel of law-enforcement agencies, had lost lives during terrorist attacks in the country.

QWP chief Aftab Sherpao complained that Prime Minister Imran Khan wasn’t bothered about the protection for public life and property and that his only priority was to protect his government from the combined opposition’s bids to oust it.

He said the government should take effective measures to protect the life and property of the people.

ANP leader Mian Iftikhar said his party had a clear stand against terrorists and had always called for the effective implantation of the National Action Plan on security to eradicate the menace of terrorism from the country once and for all.

He said the government wasn’t serious about a decisive action against anti-state elements.

PML-N leader Ikhtiar Wali Khan condemned the mosque bombing and said the terrorist attack showed the failure of the government’s security policy.

He said it was the duty of intelligence agencies to monitor the activities of anti-state groups and hit them hard.

Mr Ikhtiar said interior minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad should admit his failure to deliver the goods and step down.

PPP leader Najamuddin Khan condemned the killing of people in the mosque attack and asked the government to compensate the families of those who were killed in the bombing.

During a visit to the Lady Reading Hospital to inquire after the injured victims of the blast, he sympathised with them and the families, who lost members in the attack.

National Commission for Human Rights, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, chief Tariq Javed condemned the bombing and expressed sympathies with the affected families.

In a statement, he called for a strict action against terrorist groups without delay.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazal provincial chief Senator Maulana Attaur Rehman, Peshawar mayor Zubair Ali, Jamaat-i-Islami provincial chief Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan and representatives of various organisations of business community also condemned the suicide bombing.

Source: Dawn

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Peshawar blast widely condemned, termed conspiracy against Pakistan

Iftikhar A. Khan

March 5, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The grisly bomb explosion in Peshawar claiming dozens of lives and injuring hundreds of people has been widely condemned across the world, with a federal minister terming it a conspiracy against Pakistan.

Strongly condemning the bombing, President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of innocent lives. In their separate messages, they also extended condolences to the families of the deceased, while the prime minister ordered an inquiry into the inciden.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, while condemning the incident, said it was a planned bomb attack to disrupt peace and tranquility in the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There was no threat received about any untoward incident in the area, he said, adding that he had directed law enforcement agencies to ensure security in the area and sought a report from the KP chief secretary and inspector general of police.

Mr Qureshi said that being foreign minister he knew which forces were supporting the anti-state elements and providing them resources to carry out terrorist activities like the attack on Peshawar’s mosque. Such forces wanted to destabilise Pakistan, he added.

UN, OIC, Afghan Taliban also offer sympathies; interior minister seeks report from KP officials

The foreign minister said Pakistan’s army, police, Rangers and anti-terrorism squads had protected the people and defeated terrorists, but this was not acceptable to some forces. “These forces don’t want to see Pakistan’s economy taking off; the simplest way to block this growth is to create uncertainty in the country,” he added.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the blast was part of a big conspiracy against the country and vowed to thwart all inimical designs of the anti-state elements effectively. “In the past, we have effectively tackled such conspiracies, and now too by the grace of Allah Almighty, the enemies of Pakistan will fail,” he said in a tweet.

Minister of State for Information Farrukh Habib, while condemning the bomb blast, said terrorists were enemies of the country, nation and Islam. “Those who have no sanctity of mosques have no right to claim themselves human beings,” he stated.

Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Amin-ul-Haque termed the attack on worshipers a cowardly act of terrorists. He stressed the need for unity and solitary to defeat the anti-state elements.

Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Interfaith Harmony and Middle East and Pakistan Ulema Council Chairman Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi termed the Peshawar blast an attack on Pakistan.

Condemning the terrorist attack, Mr Ashrafi said the whole nation, including religious scholars of all walks of life, would do their utmost to make Pakistan a hub of peace and interfaith harmony.

Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and Deputy Chairman Mirza Mohammad Afridi, Leader of the House in the Senate Dr Shahzad Waseem and Leader of the Opposition Yousuf Raza Gilani, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar and Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and various other political leaders, lawmakers and legal fraternity also condemned the explosion.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a phone call to Pakistan UN Ambassador Munir Akram expressed his ‘deepest condolences’ over the terrorist attack and said this was personal for him as he knew Peshawar very well and had been well treated by its people. Also, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Hissein Brahim Taha called Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to condemn the attack and convey deep condolences over the loss.

Source: Dawn

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Pakistan remains on ‘grey list’ as UAE also joins the club

Khaleeq Kiani

March 5, 2022

ISLAMABAD: With just two unmet targets out of 34 action points, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has retained Pakistan on its terrorism financing “grey list” and asked the country to address the remaining deficiencies in its financial system as soon as possible.

However, at the concluding session of its hybrid plenary meeting on Friday, the Paris-based global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog also appreciated Pakistan’s robust progress on its global commitments to fight financial crimes.

The FATF added the United Arab Emirates to its increased monitoring list, also known as the grey list, of countries with inadequate controls over terrorism financing. The watchdog also decided to appoint T. Raja Kumar of Singapore as its next president for a fixed two-year term.

FATF notes two targets out of 34 not met; praises Islamabad’s ‘robust progress’

Pakistan was placed on the list in 2018, which made foreign firms more cautious about investing in the country.

The Friday plenary noted that Pakistan had completed 26 of the 27 action items in its 2018 action plan of the FATF and of the seven action items of the 2021 action plan of the watchdog’s Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) ahead of the deadlines.

It was noted that since June 2018 — when Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen its anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime and to address its strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies — the country’s continued political commitment had led to significant progress across a comprehensive CFT action plan.

The FATF encouraged Pakistan to continue making progress to address, as soon as possible, the one remaining item by continuing to demonstrate that terror financing investigations and prosecutions target senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terrorist groups.

In response to additional deficiencies later identified in Pakistan’s 2019 APG Mutual Evaluation Report in June 2021, Pakistan provided further high-level commitment to address these strategic deficiencies pursuant to a new action plan that primarily focuses on combating money laundering.

“Since June 2021, Pakistan has taken swift steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime and completed six of the seven action items ahead of any relevant deadlines expiring, including by demonstrating that it is enhancing the impact of sanctions by nominating individuals and entities for UN designation and restraining and confiscating proceeds of crime in line with Pakistan’s risk profile,” the FATF said.

“Pakistan should continue to work to address the one remaining item in its 2021 action plan by demonstrating a positive and sustained trend of pursuing complex [money laundering] investigations and prosecutions,” it said.

Officials said Pakistan now aimed to fully comply with the 2021 action plan on anti-money laundering and combating terror financing by the end of January 2023.

The country had two concurrent action plans with a total of 34 action points, of which 30 had either been fully or largely addressed to curb money laundering and terror financing. The most recent action plan of 2021 on money laundering from the APG had largely focused on money laundering.

Source: Dawn

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Uzbek president winds up ‘productive’ Pakistan tour

March 5, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Uzbekistan on Friday agreed to promote science and technology linkages and cooperation between the youths to benefit the people of two countries.

The bilateral ties were discussed in a meeting between President Arif Alvi and his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who visited the Aiwan-i-Sadr on Friday before wrapping up his two-day official tour to Islamabad.

The two leaders noted progress on collaboration in education, culture, security and defence and reiterated commitment to continue pursuing common goals of economic development. A wide range of issues of bilateral interest and important regional and international matters were discussed.

At the meeting, President Alvi highlighted prospects of regional integration and connectivity to Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries through Pakistan’s seaports. He expressed satisfaction on the upward trajectory of bilateral ties and reiterated the desire to promote multifaceted cooperation in all spheres, including political, trade, economic, defence, security, connectivity, education and cultural exchanges.

Tashkent, Islamabad agree to boost technology, youth cooperation

He elaborated Pakistan’s efforts for enhanced engagement with Central Asia within the framework of the Vision Central Asia policy.

Trans-Afghan railway, he said, would be one such project to establish consolidated land connectivity. The Ministry of Railways of Pakistan and the Ministry of Transport of Uzbekistan had signed a memorandum of understating a day ago. However, President Alvi said, peace and stability in Afghanistan was vital to reap the dividends of land connectivity. A peaceful Afghanistan would contribute to the economic progress and prosperity of the region and beyond, he added.

He also underlined the importance of air connectivity for boosting tourism and people-to-people exchanges.

Mr Alvi lauded the signing of the joint declaration on ‘Next Steps in Strategic Partnership between Pakistan and Uzbekistan’ as well as the memorandum of understanding and agreements in multiple areas. The signing of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) would open new avenues of enhancing bilateral trade, he observed. The sides earlier signed PTA and agreed on an action plan of practical measures (road map) to develop cooperation in security.

President Alvi also apprised his Uzbek counterpart of the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The meeting was followed by a luncheon hosted in the honour of President Mirziyoyev. The Uzbek president, who came on Thursday along with a high-level delegation comprising ministers and businessmen on the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan, later returned home.

On Thursday, a number of agreements and MoUs were signed by the two sides. An MoU was signed between Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Tourism and Sport and Pakistan’s Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony to promote pilgrimage tourism. Another MoU was inked between the two states in the field of environment and climate change.

The historic visit marked the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

Source: Dawn

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Church leaders shocked, grieved by Peshawar mosque attack

March 4, 2022

LAHORE: The leaderships of the Church of Pakistan and the global Anglican Communion have condemned the suicide attack in Peshawar, terming it yet another attempt to sow discord in Pakistani society and disrupt interfaith harmony in the country.

In a statement, Church of Pakistan Moderator Bishop Dr Azad Marshall lamented the loss of lives in the terrorist attack on an Imambargah during Friday prayers.

He said the attack had shocked and grieved the entire nation.

“The attack on the Shia Muslim community and the recent killing of our church leader in Peshawar appears to be a part of a conspiracy to push Pakistan again into the abyss of religious terrorism.

“In the face of this brutality, the human family, all people of faith and of good will, must stand together to recommit to respecting and caring for one another, to protecting one another, and to preventing such violence,” he said.

Bishop Marshall encouraged prayer for and solidarity with the victims and those close to them. He acknowledged the role of the security forces in fighting the scourge of terrorism, but urged the government to “do more to protect all people in Pakistan, whether Christians, Muslims, or of any other religion or belief, from the violence perpetrated by such extremist sectarian criminals”.

“The principle of freedom of religion and belief for all people must be affirmed and protected in Pakistan as a fundamental ethical and legal responsibility of the government,” he said.

Bishop Marshall said that the news of the attack in Peshawar had also shocked the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who visited the city on Sunday, Feb 27, to condole with the family of the slain church leader William Siraj and offer support to the families affected in the All Saints Church suicide bombings in 2013.

“The archbishop has offered his condolences and sympathy to the families of the people who lost their lives in today’s terrorist attack on the Kucha Risaldar Imambargah. In a letter, the archbishop has said that all attacks perpetrated against the innocent are anathema to our understanding of the Grace and love of our God,” he said.

Quoting the archbishop’s letter, Bishop Marshall said: “During my visit to Pakistan, I was reminded time and again that the health of a nation is based upon the tolerance of the many towards the few, and that only when all our honoured and recognised for their individual humanity and the contribution that they bring to society, does a nation truly progress”.

He said this latest attack against worshippers from a minority Islamic tradition, and the attacks against the Christian community, represent utterly wicked attempts to destroy this dream.

“And these attacks will continue to fail to break the resolve of those who boldly profess their faith. We all stand in solidarity with you and our Muslim brothers and sisters in condemnation of this and other criminal acts of senseless violence and murder.”

Source: Pakistan Today

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Govt to go after terrorists behind Peshawar attack with ‘full force’: PM Imran Khan

March 4, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Reacting to the terrorist attack in a Peshawar mosque, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that the government has “all the information regarding the origins” of the terrorists involved in the blast and assured the nation that the state is “going after” the culprits with “full force”.

“Have personally been monitoring operations and coordinating with CTD and agencies in the wake of the cowardly terrorist attack on Peshawar Imambargah,” tweeted PM Imran Khan.

“My deepest condolences go to the victims’ families and prayers for the recovery of the injured. I have asked CM Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to personally visit the families and look after their needs,” said PM Imran.

Source: Pakistan Today

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Arab World


Saudi Arabia, Russia foreign ministers review Ukraine invasion, Middle East security

05 March ,2022

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan encouraged Russia to “strengthen dialogue” with Ukraine during a call with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, the Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The two ministers reportedly “discussed the latest developments related to the crisis in Ukraine,” according to the statement.

Additionally, the duo explored ways to strengthen bilateral ties, primarily “security and stability in the Middle East,” according to the ministry’s report.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, with Reuters reporting at least 9,100 deaths and one million displaced as of March 5. It marks the biggest attack on a European state since World War 2.

This has resulted in drastic measures from NATO and other world powers, including sanctions that sever logistics, market access, and dealings powerful individuals with ties to Kremlin.

While these sanctions are expected to halt Russia’s economic growth and sustenance, no direct impact has been recorded on the war front.

In contrast, Moscow continues to maintain that the invasion is a “special operation” to capture individuals it regards as dangerous nationalists and has denied targeting civilians.

However, media reports and verified government findings refute the claim. On March 4, the Ukrainian authorities reported that 47 people were killed in air strikes conducted on a residential district of the Ukrainian city of Chernihiv.

The town of Chernihiv lies 120 kilometers (75 miles) northeast of Kyiv, which the Russian forces have been trying to invade from the north.

But more recently, Russia seized Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant in a violent take over which resulted in a fire in the vicinity of the reactors.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Saudi Crown Prince affirms to Zelenskyy support to Ukraine crisis de-escalation

04 March ,2022

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman affirmed the Kingdom’s support to de-escalation of Ukraine’s crisis in a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and told him the Kingdom is willing to mediate to resolve the conflict with Russia, state news agency SPA reported on Thursday.

“They discussed the crisis in Ukraine, and in this regard, the Crown Prince affirmed the Kingdom's support to everything that reduces the severity of the escalation of the crisis, its readiness to exert efforts to mediate between all parties, and its support for all international efforts aimed at resolving the crisis politically,” SPA reported.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Saudi Arabia condemns suicide attack on Pakistan mosque

March 05, 2022

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Friday strongly condemned and denounced a terrorist bombing that targeted a mosque in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing and injuring dozens of people.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed the Kingdom’s position against “targeting places of worship, terrorizing civilians and shedding innocent blood,” adding that it supports Pakistan against all forms of violence, extremism and terrorism.

A suicide bomb claimed by Daesh killed at least 56 people and injured 194 at a mosque during Friday prayers, the deadliest attack in the country since 2018.

The ministry offered condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims, the government and the Pakistani people, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.

The UAE issued a statement condemning the attack as well and said it rejected all forms of violence and terrorism aimed at destabilizing security and stability and inconsistent with humanitarian values and principles.

Kuwait affirmed its solidarity with Pakistan and its support for all measures it takes to maintain its security and stability, while Egypt and Jordan also issued similar statements condemning the attack.

Source: Arab News

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State losing stature, crime rising as economic gloom envelops Lebanon

March 04, 2022

BEIRUT: For Lebanese Culture Minister Mohammed Al-Murtada it was a sign that sums up the attitude of the country’s people toward the state, amid the nation experiencing one of the world’s worst economic crises and crime on the rise: Citizens failing to stand in respect for the national anthem.

Al-Murtada had attended a cultural celebration held in the city of Sidon, southern Lebanon, and was astonished when the anthem was not played. Furious, he asked for the anthem to be played, but the attendees refused to stand.

Al-Murtada, a former judge, said in a statement: “I repeated the request to play the national anthem so that the audience would hear me and stand up in respect.

“Anyone who fails to play the national anthem and deliberately ignores it, would be contributing, knowingly or unknowingly, to neglecting a binding national duty, and this is something we will not tolerate.”

However, nothing binds Lebanese citizens to their state anymore, and forgetting to play the national anthem is proof; the state is losing its stature.

Theft of state property is on the rise, despite the security forces’ efforts to arrest criminals. Manhole covers are constantly being stolen and sold for scrap, between $10 and $20 each, depending on their weight.

Thieves take advantage of the electricity rationing after midnight to dismantle electrical installations, which they later melt for copper that they can sell for scrap.

The thievery had been anticipated because of the economic crisis that has resulted in unprecedented rates of poverty and unemployment on one hand, and inflation on the other. However, the strangest items are being stolen, which reflects the dire reality experienced by Lebanon’s citizens and residents.

The latest, most blatant theft, was of an iron railing from a bridge in Beirut.

A civil society organization, YASA, that works to secure and develop public safety to avoid traffic accidents, recently published a picture on social media of the Barbir intersection bridge, the busiest intersection in Beirut, without any handrails, captioning it: “We leave this to the competent judiciary and the internal security forces.”

On Thursday, the Lebanese Army said: “Unknown individuals have stolen the metal poles and the barbed wires surrounding minefields in the southern border area to sell them. Consequently, the minefields are no longer marked out.”

The army command warned against “committing such acts, given the direct danger they may pose to citizens,” stressing that it would “track the perpetrators down and arrest them.”

The Lebanese are living amid a devastating economic crisis that has pushed two-thirds of the population into poverty since 2019. The World Bank described the situation in Lebanon, which hosts more than a million Palestinian and Syrian refugees, as “one of the worst crises the world has witnessed in modern times.”

The lack of kinship between the state and citizens is evident by the levels of absenteeism in the public sector, with workers staying home for several days a week.

Many are now unable to buy fuel to go to work after the government gradually raised subsidies, which caused the price of gasoline to double within a few months, not to mention the price hike following the rise in global fuel prices because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The Public Administration Employees Association protested “the government's failure to meet employees’ demands with effective solutions, and its decision to only offer social aid without increasing salaries.”

The association decided to reject this aid and carry on with its strike, calling on employees to only attend work one day a week.

The head of the General Labor Union, Dr. Bechara Al-Asmar, described the social aid as “peanuts.” He criticized the government and Prime Minister Najib Mikati “who had previously agreed to the system of rotation at work,” and blamed the government for not controlling market prices.

Al-Asmar added: “Public and private sector employees are the most vulnerable here.” He said a general strike at all institutions could happen soon.

Dr. Bashir Ismat, a professor of development studies and former advisor to the minister of social affairs, said: “The policies adopted in Lebanon, and the inability to find an alternative and root out corruption, have led to major existential crises, the result of which (could see) state institutions completely collapse.”

Source: Arab News

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Russia says US transferring terrorists from Syria to Ukraine

04 March 2022

Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service says the United States has been transferring Daesh terrorists from Syria to Ukraine.

The intelligence service said in a statement on Friday that the Daesh terrorists had undergone training in the US-held military base of al-Tanf in Syria.

"At the end of 2021, the Americans released from prisons… several dozen Daesh terrorists, including citizens of Russia and CIS countries. These individuals were sent to the US-controlled al-Tanf base, where they have undergone special training in subversive and terrorist warfare methods with a focus on the Donbass region," the statement added.

The US military has stationed forces and equipment in eastern and northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists. Damascus, however, says the unlawful deployment is meant to plunder the country’s resources.

The Russian intelligence service also said that most of the Daesh terrorists who have so far been deployed to Ukraine were killed during Russia’s military offensive in the country. However, Washington continues to form new Daesh units in the Middle East and Africa in order to deploy them to Ukraine via neighboring Poland.

On Thursday, the Russian Defense Ministry said US military intelligence was stepping up a campaign to recruit mercenaries to fight in Ukraine.

“US military intelligence has launched a large-scale propaganda campaign to recruit PMC [private military company] contractors to be sent to Ukraine. First of all, employees of the American PMCs Academi, Cubic, and Dyn Corporation are being recruited… Only last week, about 200 mercenaries from Croatia arrived through Poland, who joined one of the nationalist battalions in the southeast of Ukraine,” the ministry’s spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

On February 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military offensive in Ukraine, whose eastern regions broke away in 2014 after refusing to recognize a Western-backed Ukrainian government that had overthrown a democratically-elected Russia-friendly administration.

Source: Press TV

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Ukrainian mufti fears for his country's Muslim community

Mar 05, 2022

Mufti Said Ismagilov, one of the most important Muslim figures in Ukraine, is well versed in conflict.

The Donetsk native was forced to flee his home town when Russian-backed separatists occupied eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region in 2014 after receiving word they were out to capture him for becoming an outspoken activist against the takeover.

Later, when driving in a nearby area, someone shot a rifle round through his car window. His life was only spared thanks to a bulletproof vest.

Mufti Ismagilov then moved to Kyiv, but now, as rockets fall around him, he fears for Ukrainians in general and the country’s Muslim population in particular.

He said Russia's actions in Crimea after Moscow annexed the Ukrainian province did not bode well for the Ukrainian Muslim and Tatar communities.

Most Crimean Tatars, a Muslim people indigenous to the Black Sea region, opposed Russia’s seizure of the territory from Ukraine in March 2014.

Community members said they faced discrimination and hardship as they came under pressure to align themselves with the Russia-backed authorities.

The Tatar representative assembly, called the Mejlis, was banned, while a Tatar-language television channel was closed down.

There are roughly 250,000 Crimean Tatars in Crimea — about 12 per cent of its population.

Crimean Muslims deemed to be members of the Hizb ut-Tahrir organisation — an Islamist group banned in Russia but not in Ukraine — have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison on terrorism charges.

If Russia takes over the rest of Ukraine, Mufti Ismagilov told The National he worries that Muslims in Ukraine could face repression.

In Ukraine, Muslims have enjoyed relatively normal lives in recent years.

The Tatars were officially recognised by the government as an indigenous group in 2014, and increasing numbers of Muslim Russians have been immigrating to Ukraine from the restive northern Caucasus.

Until recently, Friday afternoons on the street in western Kyiv that is home to the city’s Islamic Cultural Centre was a carnival-like atmosphere following prayers.

Students from Turkey, Egypt and Central Asia snacked and drank tea, locals hawked trinkets and halal goods, friends chatted.

But that is all now in the past.

On Tuesday, Russia shelled the city’s television tower and nearby Holocaust memorial — one kilometre to the north of the Islamic Cultural Centre — killing five people.

“It is dangerous in Kyiv every day, starting from the first day of the war,” Mufti Ismagilov told The National in a phone interview.

The fears of some community members are built on historical instances of repression.

During the Second World War, thousands of Tatars living in Crimea were removed to the plains of present-day Uzbekistan and points further east in cattle trains on the orders of Josef Stalin. Many died on the journey.

“In Soviet times, Crimean Tatar anti-Soviet dissidents and human rights defenders were often supported by their Ukrainian colleagues,” said Konrad Zasztowt of the University of Warsaw’s department of European Islam.

“The Crimean Tatars, due to their historical experience with the Stalinist regime, which forcefully deported them from their homeland in 1944 to Central Asia, were always anti-Soviet.”

Source: The National News

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Dutch football legend Clarence Seedorf converts to Islam

Selcuk Bugra Gokalp


The Dutch football legend Clarence Seedorf has announced that he has converted to Islam, the 45-year-old said on Friday from his official Instagram account.

Seedorf said: "A special thanks to all the nice messages in celebration of me joining the Muslim family. I'm very happy and pleased to join the all Brothers and Sisters around the world, especially my adorable Sophia, who has taught me more in-depth the meaning of Islam. I didn't change my name and will continue to carry my name as given by my parents, Clarence Seedorf! I'm sending all my love to everyone in the world."

Clarence Seedorf played for many big-name clubs, including Ajax, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan, throughout his remarkable career.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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North America


Biden extends national emergency against Iran

March 5, 2022

US President Joe Biden has extended a national emergency against Iran for another year, in yet another act of bad faith as diplomats are engaged in the final stages of talks in Vienna.

In a statement on Thursday, Biden said the national emergency declared by former president Bill Clinton on March 15, 1995, must continue in effect beyond March 15, 2022.

The actions and policies of the Government of Iran continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, the statement read.

“Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency with respect to Iran declared in Executive Order 12957,” it added.

Earlier, the European Union’s deputy foreign policy chief, Enrique Mora, who coordinates the Vienna talks, tweeted that “we are at the final stages of the #ViennaTalks on #JCPOA.”

In recent days, diplomats participating in the eighth round of negotiations in the Austrian capital have said that “a deal is within reach” provided that the remaining, narrowed-down issues are resolved.

The Vienna talks began last April between Iran and the other parties to the Iran deal on the assumption that the US, under the Biden administration, is willing to repeal the so-called maximum pressure policy against Tehran.

Former US president Donald Trump instigated the maximum pressure campaign after he pulled the US out of the Iran deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in 2018 and unleashed what he called the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

One key issue on which Iran and the US are now in full agreement is that the maximum pressure campaign of sanctions has failed.

However, since the beginning of the talks, the US has taken several measures that run counter to its claim of favoring diplomacy, including the imposition of several fresh rounds of anti-Iran sanctions.

Source: ABNA24

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US warns Pakistan of Ukraine war consequences

Baqir Sajjad Syed | Anwar Iqbal

March 5, 2022

WASHINGTON / ISLAMABAD: The United States said on Friday it had informed Pakistan the war in Ukraine could have both regional and global consequences, even as the Foreign Office objected to the issuance of a press release by a group of 23 envoys earlier this week, saying the move was undiplomatic.

“We have briefed the government of Pakistan on the impact that Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine could have on regional and global security,” a US State Department spokesperson told Dawn when asked to respond to these developments.

However, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Munir Akram says that Islamabad is not only aware of the consequences of its actions, but also “supports all efforts” to restore peace in Ukraine.

In his words, to interpret Pakistan’s position on this issue as an expression of support for Russia “would be a perverse interpretation, especially once seen together with our statement in the UNGA.”

FO objects to envoys’ letter issued earlier this week urging Islamabad to denounce Moscow’s actions

“We are advocating a ceasefire and negotiations. If we had joined the Ukraine resolution, we would have no political space for diplomacy with the two sides,” he said.

Earlier this week, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a non-binding resolution, demanding the immediate withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukraine. Out of five South Asian nations, only Nepal voted for the resolution while Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka decided to abstain.

Pakistan sees China as its closest ally and, apparently, China’s strong pro-Russian stance on this issue also influenced Pakistan’s stance on the Ukrainian conflict. Bangladesh is also building a close relationship with China.

As for India, the country apparently did not want to choose between an old ally, Russia, and a new strategic partner, the United States, and that’s why it decided not to vote.

The US spokesperson, however, insisted that all 35 nations who abstained should also have taken a strong stance on this issue.

“The United States believes countries must speak out clearly against President Putin’s flagrant aggression, and to stand with the people of Ukraine,” he said.

Asked if the United States had discussed the abstentions with India and Pakistan, the spokesperson said: “The United States continues to engage with our partners around the world to discuss the importance of a strong collective response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

As the statement indicates, the United States has been extremely careful in responding to South Asia’s approach to the Ukrainian conflict. While Pakistan used to be a US partner during the Cold War and the fight against terrorism, India is now a key member in a US-led alliance to counter China’s increasing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

In an interview with the semi-official Voice of America broadcasting service, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Munir Akram explained Pakistan’s new approach to staying neutral.

Explaining Pakistan’s abstention at the UNGA emergency session on Ukraine, Ambassador Akram pointed out that while the resolution addressed some concerns, it missed other key points.

“Russia is concerned about Nato’s expansion (to its borders), and those concerns are not even mentioned in the resolution,” he said, referring to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance of 28 European and two North American countries.

“So it was, in a way, one-sided. We want a balanced approach, and we believe that this dispute should be settled through negotiations.”

Asked if Pakistan condemned civilian deaths in Ukraine, he said civilian deaths, whether in Ukraine, Kashmir or Afghanistan, should always be condemned.

But he also pointed out that “there’s a lot of propaganda and fake news” on this issue. “It’s difficult to verify facts. Difficult to say who to trust. But if civilians are really getting killed, obviously we condemn such acts.”

He noted that the United States, China and several other countries were engaged in peace efforts and Pakistan too would like to contribute to this process. “All these countries need to work together to end the war,” he said.

FO objects to envoys’ letter

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office has objected to the issuance of a press release by the heads of various foreign missions in Pakistan, including Germany and France, urging the Pakistan government to denounce Russian action against Ukraine as undiplomatic.

“We took note of that and in a subsequent meeting with a group of ambassadors, we expressed our concern about that because, as I said, that is not the way diplomacy should be practised, and I think they have realised it,” FO Spokesman Asim Iftikhar said at the weekly media briefing on Friday.

On Tuesday, the envoys issued a rare joint statement asking Islamabad to condemn Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The statement was made at a time when UNGA’s emergency session was in progress.

It was evident from the timing and the phrasing of the statement that it had been issued to influence Pakistani position during the UNGA debate. The government, however, stuck to its stance and Pakistan abstained.

Mr Iftikhar emphasised that diplomats are expected to observe diplomatic norms and protocols. “It is not usual diplomatic practice to say such things through media, and we have made that clear,” he said.

However, he acknowledged that engagement with European countries on the Russia-Ukraine war was continuing.

“There have been various engagements at different levels with various ambassadors here at the Foreign Office, at the level of the Foreign Secretary, additional secretaries, director generals and others. The foreign secretary is meeting some ambassadors today as well,” he said, adding that it was the right way to undertake diplomatic activities.

The Foreign Office, he said, was engaging with foreign envoys “very proactively” and holding meetings on short notices despite the preparation for the upcoming Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers.

“We have engaged and continue to engage on this issue. The [envoys’] press release was not the right way and it has been conveyed to them,” he maintained.

He further recalled that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was also engaging with his European counterparts. On Thursday, Mr Qureshi spoke to EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell and on Friday he had a tele-conversation with Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjártó. Earlier in the week, he also spoke to his Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau.

Source: Dawn

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Afghan evacuees fleeing Taliban face months more limbo in UAE: US official

04 March ,2022

Thousands of Afghans who fled when their country was seized by the Taliban last year face months more in limbo in the United Arab Emirates, a senior US official said Friday.

About 12,000 people have already endured a frustrating wait in the United Arab Emirates capital since the evacuations started in August, when the United States ended its 20-year occupation.

But a senior State Department official, who asked to remain anonymous, said it would take months to clear the two Abu Dhabi centers, which include accommodation built for migrant workers.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but it’d be very nice to have it finished by August,” the official said. “But honestly, I can’t tell you.”

The process has been so slow that the exact number of evacuees in Abu Dhabi remain unclear. A survey of the inhabitants, only cleared to go ahead by UAE officials this year, is still being completed.

“I told them I was really sorry it was taking so long, that I was as frustrated as they were,” said the official, after visiting the Abu Dhabi evacuees.

“Several thousand” can hope for resettlement in the US but “very, very, very many of the people came here with no reference to the United States,” the official said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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After 30 weeks, Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid reopens for devotees

Mar 5, 2022

SRINAGAR: After remaining closed for 49 Fridays since last year, Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid reopened its doors for devotees for special ‘jummah’ (Friday) prayers following 30 consecutive weeks. Chief cleric and Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who heads the management of the grand mosque, was, however, not allowed to preach sermons as a precautionary measure to avoid law and order problems after namaaz. The Friday sermons were held by Imam Haji Syed Ahmed Naqshbandi in the absence of the Mirwaiz, who has been under house arrest since August 2019.

As the call of ‘azaan’ echoed from the minarets of the grand mosque, a huge number of devotees thronged the Masjid from across the Valley, braving the severe cold. On the occasion of “Meraj-e-Alam”, emotional worshippers were witnessed kissing the pillars of the mosque and prostrating before Allah, feeling fortunate for being able to offer Friday prayers here.

The Imam said that the repeated ban on Friday prayers at the grand mosque is a cause of anxiety among the faithful and violates their fundamental human right to practice religion. He also urged the administration for the Mirwaiz’s immediate release as the holy month of Ramadan was approaching and people have been keenly waiting to hear sermons from the Mirwaiz.

Anjuman Auqaf, the mosque’s administrative body, said that the special jummah prayers were held at the Masjid on Friday after 30 consecutive weeks of closure and arrangements for the same had been made in advance. “There was a huge gathering on the eve of Meraj-e-Alam,” said an Auqaf member.

Devotee Ghulam Qadir Rather said it was after a rather long gap that he came to the grand mosque to offer Friday prayers. “Over these years, the closure of the central masjid hurt our religious sentiments,” he said, adding that unfortunately, he couldn’t witness the Mirwaiz at the Masjid’s pulpit on the occasion.

The grand mosque in Srinagar’s Nowhatta area has remained shut for devotees for most of the two-and-half-year period after the nullification of Articles 370 and 35A on August 5, 2019, by the Centre, that paved the way for the reorganisation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.

The Masjid — managed and run by Kashmir’s prominent cleric family of the Mirwaiz — had remained closed for 138 days since the reorganisation but reopened later. It was subsequently closed by the management on March 23, 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown. It reopened five months later in August, before shutting again on March 4, 2021, after a stone-pelting incident, in which 39 supporters of the Mirwaiz were arrested for organising a protest against his house arrest and fuelling unrest in the area.

Source: Times Of India

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AMU City School renamed after Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh

Mar 04, 2022

Agra - The AMU City School was renamed as ‘Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh AMU City School’, with the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) issuing a notification in this regard on Friday.

The descendants of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh gifted the land on which the school was built, to the AMU.

AMU spokesperson Dr Shafey Kidwai said, “The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) City School will now be known as ‘Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh Aligarh Muslim University City School’. A notification was issued on Friday by AMU registrar Abdul Hamid, after completing all required formalities and getting clearance from the ministry of education.”

“The school has been re-named to honour Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, notable AMU alumnus, Indian freedom fighter, journalist, social reformer, writer, revolutionary and president in the Provisional Government of India, which served as the Indian Government in exile during World War I from Kabul in 1915,” said the press statement released by the public relations office of Aligarh Muslim University.

“The decision to rename the school was taken in the light of resolution number 28 of the ordinary meeting of the Executive Council held on March 22, 2021,” said AMU registrar, Abdul Hamid (IPS).

AMU vice chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor said: “With the re-naming of the school, AMU pays tribute to Raja Mahendra Pratap, who attended the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in Aligarh, which later became the Aligarh Muslim University. Raja Mahendra Pratap’s name is counted among the prominent alumni of the university. His father and grandfather were close to educationist and reformer Sir Syed Ahmad Khan”.

The land on which AMU City School is located was leased out to the AMU by Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh in 1928 for 90 years and the lease expired in 2018. Tikonia Park, near AMU City School was also part of the leased land.

The descendants of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh had even served a legal notice to AMU but it was later decided that if AMU named the school after Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, then the land would be gifted to the university which would hand back the Land of Tikonia Park to the descendants of the Raja.

Earlier this week, the gift deed was executed by descendants of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh in favour of AMU for land on which AMU City School stands and Land of Tikonia Park was handed back by the AMU.

Source: Hindustan Times

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Hindu Youth Harass Dupatta-Clad Muslim Students Who Wrote Exams Wearing a Dupatta and Not Pinning It as Directed by the Principal, In Mangalore

4th March 2022

Mangalore: As Karnataka continues to be engulfed in the hijab row, a few female Muslim students were harassed by Hindu youth, on Thursday, after they appeared for exams at Government First Grade College, Mangalore, wearing a Dupatta.

Although the principal of the college had allowed the students to take the exams in a Dupatta without pinning it like a hijab, a group of Hindu youth, allegedly belonging to right-wing organizations, harassed the girls.

The video of the incident was shared on Twitter alongside the caption, “#Muslim students who wrote exams wearing a Dupatta & not pinning it like #Hijabrow were harassed by students belonging to right wing orgns in #Mangalore at Govt First Grade College. Principal had granted them permission inform students. Cops intervened & controlled the situation.”

A few youths can be seen heckling the girls inside the premises of the college. It is to be noted that the Karnataka high court in its recent interim order, upheld the state’s diktat and asked students to follow dress codes (ie without the hijab) until a proper judgement was pronounced. As of the time of writing this article, the court has reserved its judgement.

The Hijab Row:

The row erupted towards the end of last year after Muslim students of Udupi Government Pre-University College were prohibited from attending classes wearing hijab.

Source: Siasat Daily

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Many Muslims In Eastern UP Say AIMIM's Time Mayn't Have Come In This Poll But Is Option For Future

04 MAR 2022

AIMIM may not win many seats or may get restricted to playing the role of "spoiler" in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls but it has made inroads into SP and BSP bastions in the state's eastern parts with many Muslim youth seeing it as "their own" party that could be an option in the future. Muslims in Uttar Pradesh have traditionally oscillated between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and that is unlikely to change this time round as they seem weary of a division of votes. The All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) does not appear to be a serious contender in most seats albeit Azamgarh's Mubarakpur constituency. However, people say that in that constituency also, it has more to do with the strong candidate  Shah Alam, alias 'Guddu Jamali', rather than the party. Several Muslims in parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh, while acknowledging their liking for the AIMIM, state that this election is about ousting the BJP government and if they go for Asaduddin Owaisi's party, their votes would get divided and hand the advantage to the BJP. But, some Muslims argue that the AIMIM is their "own party" and even if it loses, it needs to be supported so that it expands. Obaidullah, a shopkeeper in Phoolpur Pawai, said Muslims got nothing in return for supporting the Congress, the SP and the BSP as no one voices their concerns. "Owaisi raises our voice. Why should we not vote for him. We must have our own party, everyone else does": he told PTI.

AIMIM chief Owaisi has also been aggressively attacking the SP and the BSP to capitalise on this sentiment and says in his speeches that these parties have "back stabbed" Muslims, even after they voted for them. The sentiment of the majority among the Muslims, however, seems to be that the SP or the BSP must be supported this time as priority is to remove the Yogi Adityanath government and votes should not get divided. Matloob Alam, having tea in a shop at Sagri, said, "The AIMIM would have got votes, but it will not happen this time as the main objective now is to vote out the Yogi government. Yes, there is support for AIMIM also, but it is not in a position to win." "It is a compulsion for Muslims to vote for SP this time to defeat the Yogi government, otherwise Muslims would have crossed over to the AIMIM," Alam said. In Azamgarh's Muslim-dominated Takia locality as people congregate at a spot they call their 'adda (hangout)' to discuss politics, they echo similar views, saying like in western Uttar Pradesh, even if Muslims are unhappy with the SP or the BSP, they have no option but to vote for these parties as no other party is in a position to take on the BJP. "In rural areas more so, Muslim youngsters are looking at the AIMIM with hope. But it is unlikely to convert into votes. Like people say, Congress is a good party but nobody votes for it. It is the same thing here," Shamim Agha, an agriculturist, said.

Source: Outlook India

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South Asia


Taliban spokesperson condemns Peshawar mosque attack

Mar 04 2022

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid on Friday condemned the attack on a mosque in Peshawar and said that there is "no justification" for attacking people in places of worship.

Taking to Twitter, Mujahid said the Taliban government in Afghanistan strongly condemned the reported suicide bombing that took place at a mosque in Peshawar.

“There is no justification for the attack on citizens and worshippers,” said  Mujahid, who is also the acting deputy culture and information minister of Afghanistan.

Mujahid expressed his condolences to the families of the victims.

The attack

Earlier today, a suicide bomber killed 57 people and injured close to 200 people during Friday prayers in the Qissa Khawani Bazaar area of Peshawar.

Inspector-General of Police Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Moazzam Jah Ansari, while speaking to journalists at the site of the incident, said that a hawaldar and a police constable were on duty outside the mosque.

"The terrorist was alone and had come to the mosque on foot," he said.

"He targeted the two police personnel stationed at the mosque. One of them embraced martyrdom, while the other has sustained injuries."

Ansari added that the terrorist, after targetting the policemen, ran towards the mosque.

"The terrorist first opened fire at the worshippers after entering the mosque and then blew himself up," the IG said, adding that about 150 ball-bearings were recovered from the site of the incident.

Providing further details, Ansari said that about five to six kilogrammes of explosives were used in the blast, which took place in the third row of the mosque.

Source: GEO TV

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Nigeria donates $1 million to Afghanistan’s Humanitarian Trust Fund

05 Mar 2022

Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in a statement announced that the Nigerian government has donated $1 million to Afghanistan’s Humanitarian Fund, a special bank account that raises money for the country’s humanitarian crisis.

The press release released on Friday, March 4, 2022, reads the money will help address the situation of millions of Afghans in need in particular women and children.

OIC’s statement further added that the organization is committed to supporting the people of Afghanistan and that they will fully implement the resolution on Afghanistan issued at the last extraordinary meeting of OIC in Pakistan.

The extraordinary meeting hosted by Islamabad on December 21 last year concluded in making a special bank account- Afghanistan’s Humanitarian Trust Fund- to raise money for Afghanistan’s ongoing humanitarian situation.

Source: Khaama Press

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Shooting at check post, Taliban gunned down boy in eastern Afghanistan

04 Mar 2022

Taliban affiliates in the Shigal district of eastern Kunar province opened fires at civilian people, killed a young boy, and wounded another on Thursday, March 3.

The one killed named Yaseen who was in his 20s and was hanging out with his friends after celebrating his brother’s wedding.

Local residents say that a Taliban affiliate was mistakenly hit with the outside mirror of his car in the checkpoint that led to his death. Yaseen was gunned by the very Taliban affiliate at the check post.

The slain Yaseen succumbed to his wounds while the other is still in a hospital in the neighboring Nangarhar province.

Family members of the slain Yaseen asked the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to bring to justice the perpetrators.

Local officials of the province said to have arrested the culprits and pledged to hold them accountable for the crime they committed.

Source: Khaama Press

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Pakistan donated inedible wheat, India’s far better: Taliban official

5 March, 2022

Kabul [Afghanistan], March 5 (ANI): A war of words have ensued on the social media platform Twitter after reports emerged that a Taliban official had slammed Pakistan for donating poor quality of wheat while praising the quality of wheat sent by India.

A video was making rounds on the social media platform showing a Taliban official complaining about the quality of Pakistani wheat. “Wheat donated by Pakistan is not edible: Taliban Official,” Afghan journalist Abdulhaq Omeri tweeted as he posted a video of the Taliban official.

Afghan people were seen thanking India on Twitter for the “good quality wheat.”

“Thank you India for your continued support to the Afghan people. Our Public to public-friendly relations will be forever. Jai Hind,” Hamdullah Arbab tweeted.

Another user named Najib Farhodis said, “Wheat donated by Pakistan to Afghanistan All Pakistani wheat is worn out and spoiled that can not be used. India has always helped Afghanistan.”

Apparently, the Taliban official, who had made these remarks on the poor nature of Pakistani wheat, was dismissed from his post.

Last month, India started sending wheat to the Afghan people as humanitarian assistance.

The second convoy of India’s humanitarian assistance carrying 2000 MTs of wheat left Attari, Amritsar on Thursday for Jalalabad, Afghanistan, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

This is part of India’s commitment of 50,000 MTs of wheat for the Afghan people and will be distributed by United Nations’ World Food Programme.

“India remains committed to its special relationship with the people of Afghanistan,” MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a tweet.

Source: The Print

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Taliban official urges Afghan investors to return

Mar 04 2022

Kabul, Mar 4 (IANS): The Taliban government on Friday said that First Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has urged Afghan investors to return to the country.

He made the remarks at the Afghan National Private Sector Conference held in Kabul, the government said in a statement.

"Baradar called on Afghan investors living abroad to return to the country and invest here, as security of investors and their assets will be guaranteed," Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.

"International sanctions are being eased day by day and we are trying to provide more facilities in industry, trade and investment, and efforts are being made to improve the economic situation," Baradar was quoted as saying.

On Tuesday, the World Bank board of directors decided to unfreeze $1 billion of the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund which was frozen after the Taliban's takeover on August 15, 2021, according to Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), the country's central bank.

Source: Daiji World

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Friday Imams Use Sermons to Launder Khamenei's Line on Ukraine

4 March 2022

A cluster of Iranian Friday Imams have used today’s sermons to hammer home the earlier comments of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Speaking in the heart of the Iranian capital, Ali Akbari, Tehran’s acting Friday Imam, repeated Khamenei’s description of the US as a “mafia regime”, proclaiming: “American adventurism is behind the recent events in eastern Europe.”

Khamenei’s televised intervention on Wednesday was the object of grim fascination for observers online. The Supreme Leader somehow managed to speak about the war for eight minutes straight without once mentioning Russia.

On Friday, Akbari did the same, omitting to name either Putin or Russia in his address to the faithful. Instead, he repeated, “the main responsibility lies with the US, which has sacrificed Ukraine to its greed.”

He was not the only one. Yousef Tabatabaei-Nejad, Isfahan’s influential – and infamous – Friday Imam, said: “The US is the root of all these wars. Ukraine, a country that had all the instruments of war, even nuclear warheads, and was one of the advanced countries in terms of armaments, was disarmed by America, which that now wants to sell it arms again.”

Friday Imams are directly appointed by the Supreme Leader and tasked with disseminating his views in cities across Iran. These declarations and more were in lockstep with what Khamenei had said earlier in the week: that the US was “controlled by all sorts of mafias” that “create crises in the world to maximise their profits”.

Source: Iran Wire

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Iran condemns terrorist bombing at Shia mosque in Pakistan

March 5, 2022

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh on Friday strongly condemned a terrorist bombing at a Shia mosque in Pakistani city of Peshawar earlier in the day.

Khatibzadeh said that the bombing aimed to sow the seeds of discord among the Muslim Ummah.

He sympathized with the families of the victims, and wished speedy recovery for those injured in the incident.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman expressed hope that the Pakistani government and security officials will take the necessary measures to prevent such criminal activities by terrorist groups.

Source: ABNA24

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Iran, EU officials say nuclear deal not yet done as officials focus on ‘final’ steps

04 March ,2022

Iran said on Thursday more efforts were needed to revive its 2015 nuclear deal, while the EU official coordinating nuclear talks between Tehran and world powers said “we are definitely not there yet” but that talks were in the “final stages.”

“Premature good news does not substitute good agreement. Nobody can say the deal is done, until all the outstanding remaining issues are resolved. Extra efforts needed,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh wrote on Twitter.

“Everybody is now focused on the final critical steps.”

The European Union’s Enrique Mora, who coordinates ongoing nuclear talks between Iran and world powers aimed at reviving the 2015 deal, said on Thursday that the talks were at their “final stages,” adding that “success is never guaranteed in such a complex negotiation.”

“Some relevant issues are still open and success is never guaranteed in such a complex negotiation,” Mora wrote on Twitter.

“Doing our best in the coordinator’s team. But we are definitely not there yet.”

Talks between the remaining signatories to the deal – Iran, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain – are currently taking place in Vienna.

The US is participating indirectly in the talks due to Iran’s refusal to negotiate directly with Washington.

Earlier on Thursday, Britain’s envoy to the talks said negotiators were “very close to an agreement.”

“We are very close to an agreement. All parties have negotiated constructively under the leadership of the EU Coordinator Enrique Mora. Now we have to take the few final steps,” Stephanie Al-Qaq wrote on Twitter.

French chief negotiator Philippe Errera tweeted a photo of French, British and German diplomats at the talks on Thursday, writing: “Thank you for your tireless work over the last 11 months.”

Errera’s tweet was interpreted by some on social media as meaning that a deal was imminent.

The Vienna talks, which began in April 2021, aim to bring Iran back into compliance with the deal and facilitate a US return to the agreement. The deal offered Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

Washington withdrew from the deal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, reimposing sweeping economic sanctions on Tehran. That prompted Iran to breach many of the deal’s restrictions, including a 3.67 percent cap on the purity to which it could enrich uranium.

Tehran, which insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only, has since started enriching uranium up to as high as 60 percent purity – a big step closer to the 90 percent required for weapons-grade material.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Israeli forces injure 23 Palestinians in anti-settlement rallies

Awad al-Rujoub  


RAMALLAH, Palestine

At least 23 Palestinians were injured on Friday as Israeli forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas shells to disperse rallies in different areas of the occupied West Bank.

In a statement, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said medical teams treated 23 Palestinians in protests held in Nablus.

In the town of Beit Dajan, east of Nablus, the statement said the medical staff treated seven persons injured by rubber bullets.

In the village of Beita, east of the same city, an elderly Palestinian was wounded by rubber bullets during confrontation with the occupying army, and another 15 suffered from tear gas inhalation.

On weekly basis, Palestinians hold demonstrations against illegal Jewish settlements in different parts of the West Bank, especially in Beita, Beit Dajan, and Kafr Qaddoum villages.

Israeli and Palestinian estimates indicate there are about 650,000 settlers living in 164 settlements and 116 outposts in the West Bank, including in occupied Jerusalem.

Under international law, all Jewish settlements in occupied territories are considered illegal.

“Innovative and ground-breaking scientific ideas require the talents of both women and men,” she said. “Achieving gender equality in science will create a balanced and holistic approach to leadership and better-educated children in future generations.”

Dushaq was recognized for her post-doctoral research on novel materials and structures in photonics to enhance the speed, capacity and accuracy of conventional technologies. She said such research has the potential to influence, and even revolutionize, other sectors such as health, space, mobility and security.

Arij Yehya, also from Qatar University and honored at the event, said that she believes more must be done to encourage women to pursue a career in science as the benefits of their work can extend far beyond the scientific community.

“Women have important social roles, such as being caregivers,” she said. “Having more women working in the field of science can provide an impact on the community through their social roles, and women in science can pave the way for a more prosperous society.”

Yehya’s research focuses on identifying factors that drive the widening of the gender gap in personality traits to further evaluate current and future gender policies.

Source: Arab News

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Top Israeli court urged to stop IDF arresting Palestinian minors at night


March 04, 2022

RAMALLAH: A legal institution has appealed to an Israeli court to stop the Israel Defense Force from arresting Palestinian minors at their homes at night and taking them for interrogation.

The HaMoked Center for the Defense of the Individual — an Israeli center based in East Jerusalem — submitted a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court against the IDF’s sweeping use of night arrests of Palestinian minors. The petition calls for the process to be regulated, with minors summoned for interrogation accompanied by their families.

Critics say the arrest of minors with handcuffs and blindfolds causes shock both for those detained and their relatives.

According to HaMoked, from September to December 2021, 34 Palestinian minors were arrested in the West Bank, with only six summoned for interrogation accompanied by family.

“It should be the last option for a soldier to invade a family home in the middle of the night and drag a teenage boy from his bed, as the military should exhaust all possible ways to bring someone in for questioning before they engage in this very traumatic practice for the kid who is being detained, and for the whole family,” Jessica Montell, director general of HaMoked, told Arab News.

Montell said her institution has been arguing with the Israeli military for several years on this point, and that the IDF has promised to follow it up. But, as is evident from new data, night arrests of Palestinian teenage boys are still the default method for bringing them for interrogation, rather than summoning them alongside their parents.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners Club, about 180 minors are languishing in Israeli jails.

In 2021, the IDF escalated the targeting of Palestinian children, as cases of arrests reached 1,000, including 73 below the age of 14.

“The increasing number of arrests of Palestinian minors confirms that it has become a policy of the Israeli Army and is not necessarily linked to the occurrence of events. The problem is not in the timing, form or method of arrest, but rather in the torture and psychological pressure that the children are exposed to after arrest, away from their families and lawyers,” Qdura Faris, head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, told Arab News.

Faris also expressed his deep concern over the newly adopted Israeli policy of home confinement for minors, especially in East Jerusalem.

In this arrangement, homes are transformed into a prison for the child after their father pays a bail of around $6,000. If the imprisoned child violates any procedure, the amount will be confiscated by the Israeli authorities.

The imprisonment sentence, in some cases, is replaced with exorbitant fines that may reach up to $3,000.

The IDF has also allegedly arrested children while returning from school or playing near homes or at checkpoints for things such as Facebook posts.

Source: Arab News

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Israeli forces suppress protests in West Bank, al-Quds

04 March 2022

Israeli forces have suppressed several protests held across the occupied West Bank and in East al-Quds, leaving dozens of Palestinians injured.

Clashes erupted between Israeli forces and anti-settlement protesters in the town of Beita, and the village of Beit Dajan in the occupied West Bank province of Nablus, on Friday.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society reported that 20 people were hit with rubber bullets fired by the Israeli troops during the clashes in Beit Dajan, east of Nablus, adding that two emergency medical technicians were also wounded when Israeli troops fired rubber bullets at the ambulance car they were riding.

Six protesters were also hit with rubber bullets on Sobeih Mountain in Beita, while 36 others suffered breathing difficulties due to inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli troops.

Since May, Beita has seen intensified clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians protesting against a settlement outpost that has been established on Sobeih Mountain by settlers under the protection of Israeli forces.

In the village of Kafr Qaddum in Qalqilya, Two Palestinians were also hit with rubber bullets, while tens of others suffered breathing difficulties due to tear gas fired by Israeli forces to suppress a weekly anti-settlement protest on Friday.

The protest was also staged to express solidarity with the residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of the occupied East al-Quds and Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

Also on Friday, dozens of Palestinians were injured as Israeli forces attacked a protest in the center of the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron).

The protest was held to condemn the expansion of a military barrier installed at the entrance to Shuhada Street, which connects the city’s neighborhoods to one another.

Israeli settler open fire at Palestinians in al-Khalil

The city of al-Khalil also saw a shooting attack carried out by an Israeli settler against Palestinians.

WAFA news agency said an Israeli settler used live ammunition against four Palestinians near Shuhada Street.

The report said the attack left four Palestinians, including three children, injured. The health condition of one of the children was described as serious.

Israel occupied East al-Quds, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during the Six-Day Arab-Israeli War in 1967. It later had to withdraw from Gaza. More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank. All the settlements are illegal under international law. The United Nations Security Council has condemned the settlement activities in several resolutions.

Israeli forces attack protesters in Sheikh Jarrah

Also on Friday, Israeli troops suppressed a protest in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East al-Quds, arresting three demonstrators.

The protesters were carrying the Palestinian flag and chanting slogans calling for an end to Israeli attacks on Palestinians in the neighborhood.

“Today, We came out as Palestinians and supporters to affirm the Palestinians right to self-determination and to stop forced displacement in Sheikh Jarrah, in particular, and the occupied al-Quds and Palestine, in general,” WAFA cited Member of the Knesset from the Joint List Aida Touma Suleiman as saying.

Tensions heightened across the Palestinian territories on February 13, when Israeli forces and illegal settlers renewed their attacks against Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah. The neighborhood has been the scene of frequent crackdowns by Israeli regime forces on the Palestinians protesting against the threatened expulsion of dozens of families from their homes in favor of Israeli settler groups.

Source: Press TV

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Tunisia sees UAE investments in real estate, solar projects

04 March ,2022

UAE-based Bukhatir Group will revive a $5 billion real estate project in Tunis, Tunisian sources told Reuters on Friday, the first big project in the North African country since a 2011 revolution.

Sources said the group will officially launch the Tunis Sports City project next week after it was halted following the revolution that toppled former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

The project include sports academies, a golf course, hotels and apartments covering 275 hectares in the north of Tunis. It is expected initially to provide about 10,000 jobs in the country, where unemployment is more than 18 percent.

Tunisian government officials were not immediately available for comment. Bukhatir could not immediately be reached for comment.

Tunisia has been seeking foreign investment to revive its economy which has been hit hard by the pandemic after years of stagnation, compounded by political turmoil.

In another business development, Emirates News Agency WAM reported on Friday that the Tunisian Government has awarded the UAE-based AMEA Power a Concession Agreement and a Power Purchase Agreement for a 100MW solar project in Kairouan, worth US$100 million (AED368 million).

The solar power plant construction is expected to “begin by the end of this year,” reported WAM.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Over 50 protesters injured in anti-military rallies in Sudan

Buhram Abdel-Menem  



Over 50 people were injured in a protest demanding full civilian rule in Sudan, a doctors group said on Friday.

In a statement, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said that 55 protesters were injured in Thursday's anti-military rallies in the capital Khartoum, and Gadarif and Dongola cities.

The Sudanese government is yet to respond to the statement.

Protests erupted in Sudan last October in response to extraordinary measures taken by Army Chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, including the imposition of a state of emergency and the dissolution of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok's transitional government, which political forces called a "military coup".

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Southeast Asia


Sarawak govt to set up university in Telaga Air to develop quality ummah, says CM

28 Feb 2022

KUCHING, Feb 28 — The Sarawak government will set up a university near Kampung Trombol in Telaga Air as one of its efforts to develop a quality ummah, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg.

“Sarawak’s goal is to become a high-income and developed state by 2030 and that is why the government has built roads, coastal roads, bridges, university bodies and so on.

“Soon we will develop a university near Kampung Trombol and if the problem is scholarship, we will give a scholarship loan through Yayasan Sarawak to make it easier for our children to enter (the) university,” he said when officiating at the 61st Sarawak State Level Al-Quran Recitation and Memorisation Ceremony at the Majma Hall of the Sarawak Islamic Complex here last night.

At the ceremony, Abang Johari also invited Muslims to deepen their knowledge of the world as well as the knowledge of the hereafter.

He said deepening the knowledge of the hereafter alone is not enough to produce a quality ummah.

Abang Johari said in the history of Islam itself, there are many Islamic scholars who have changed human civilisation and contributed to the stability of the ummah in various fields.

“When I announced the policy until 2030 to use digital, I am confident that we can explore new fields, especially the Muslims.

“Coincidentally, the top leadership of the state are Muslims who are trusted by the people.

“With the trust and confidence of the people of Sarawak in the current government, the Sarawak government is determined to elevate the state to be a high-income and developed state with a more structured economy and our position is respected by others,” he said.

Source: Malay Mail

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Rebels kill eight civilians in Indonesia's Papua province

Konradus Epa

March 04, 2022

At least eight people were shot dead in an attack by armed separatists in Indonesia’s restive Papua province, police said. 

The shootings took place on March 2 in Beoga, a remote village in Puncak district, Papua police spokesman Ahmad Mustofa M. Kamal said on March 4.

All the victims worked for an agency conducting telecommunications work for an infrastructure project of the Communication and Information Technology Ministry.

They were making improvements to a transceiver station in the village when they were attacked, Kamal said.

Military spokesman Aqsa Erlangga confirmed the attack, saying there was only one survivor, who raised the alarm. “Eight of the workers were unfortunately killed,” he said.

He said the bodies had yet to be retrieved as the attack site was only accessible by helicopter and bad weather was grounding aircraft.

The West Papua National Liberation Army and the Free Papua Movement (TPNPB-OPM) later admitted responsibility for the shootings.

Group spokesman Sebby Sambom Sambom said the workers paid the price for entering an area which the rebels had previously declared a no-go zone for civilians.

“There was no justification for them being there since the TPNPB has told all civilians to stay away from the area,” news portal quoted him as saying.

Human rights activist Theo Hesegem called the shooting of civilians indefensible.

“What threat did these civilians pose? They didn’t have weapons and they were working for Papua,” the chairman of the Papua Justice and Human Integrity Foundation said on March 4.

Source: UCA News

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PIJ Property lodges police report against Muda for alleged trespass of asset

04 Mar 2022

JOHOR BARU, March 4 ― PIJ Holdings Sdn Bhd, through its subsidiary PIJ Property Development Sdn Bhd, has lodged a police report against the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) for alleged trespass and unauthorised use of its Inkubator Usahawan asset at Taman Perbadanan Islam in Stulang Baru here.

PIJ Holdings, a Johor state government-linked company, said the premises was developed for entrepreneurs to venture into business and not to serve as the operations centre of any political party.

Based on the latest record, the premises was used by an individual to run a furniture business and that person was not allowed to rent it out to anyone, it said.

“We regret that the premises not only could not be used for entrepreneurship purposes but more disappointing is that the use of this asset was without the knowledge, consent and agreement between PIJ Property and Muda,” it said in a statement today.

Therefore, PIJ Holdings asked MU Muda DA to immediately vacate and return the premises in its original and proper state to ensure the facility could be fully utilised by entrepreneurs in Johor Baru.

PIJ Holdings hoped that this matter could be resolved quickly in a harmonious manner.

Meanwhile, the Muda candidate for the Larkin seat in the Johor state election, Rasid Abu Bakar, denied that the party had committed trespassing.

In a statement, he said Muda had been renting the premises since February 26 for RM4,000 a month from the shop proprietor, who issued a letter allowing the party to use it as its Larkin operations room.

“We have been operating for a week and have never received any notice, complaint or letter from the shop proprietor or any other party stating we have trespassed into the premises.

Source: Malay Mail

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