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Islamic World News ( 22 Jul 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Islamic Countries Nonaggression Pact For New World Order - Beginning Of The Third Muslim Renaissance

New Age Islam News Bureau

23 July 2022

  

This file photo taken on Dec.13, 2017, shows President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (C) delivering an opening speech during an extraordinary summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in Istanbul, Turkey. (AFP Photo)

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• Afghans Launch ‘Ban Taliban’ Campaign On Twitter

• Saudi Arabia Ropes In Giant US PR Firm To Cast Off 'Pariah' Status

• French MPs Sign Resolution Condemning Israeli Apartheid Against Palestinians

• Uttarakhand HC Seeks Replies From Centre, State On 'Child Marriage' Allowed By Shariat

 

Arab World

• Hezbollah Rejected US Support Offer To Stop Confrontation With Israel: Nasrallah

• UAE President Reminisces 1975 Paris Visit In Photo He Shares With Macron

• Saudi Arabia foils captagon smuggling attempt, seizes 15 million pills

• Saudi Navy takes over command of international task force to secure key trade routes

• Syria calls on UN Security Council to condemn Israeli attacks on its territories

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South Asia

• Consensus on Non-Recognition of the Taliban Gov’t in Western World: EU Ambassador

• Islamic Emirate Leader Bans 'Unproven Allegations' Against Members

• Taliban torture arrested Afghan YouTuber Ajmal Haqiqi and his team: Report

• UNAMA Negotiates with Taliban Gov’t to Reopen Girls School

• Taliban's worrying new diktat for those who criticise 'Islamic Emirate'

• Thousands flee feuding Taliban in Afghanistan’s north

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North America

• Sanders: US should not maintain ‘warm relationship’ with Saudi Arabia

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Europe

• UAE visit to France was ‘successful and important’ in all domains: French ambassador

• Former Afghan interpreter separated from baby son amid UK visa delays

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India

• Namaz At Waiting Room Of Prayagraj Station Sparks Row

• Man Held In UP For Raping Teen, Bid To Convert Her To Islam: Police

• Karnataka: Muslim boy attacked with glass bottles dies, 8 held

• Jamiat factions’ nod to merger, but no deadline

• ‘Waqf law not applicable in Gyanvapi case’

• 3 Of UP Family Held In Pakistan With Pistols

• Udaipur killing: NIA arrests eighth person in connection with tailor Kanhaiya Lal Teli's brutal murder

• Mathura court reserves decision over appointing commissioner to survey Shahi Idgah mosque to verify temple signs in it

• Jahangirpuri: Muslim Family Alleges Police Detained 3 Women, 2 Minors 'Illegally', Move HC

• Pak intruder who intended to kill Nupur Sharma has links with far-right Islamic group TLP: Police

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Pakistan

• Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl Agree To Adopt ‘Aggressive Posture’ To Counter Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Politics

• Pak, China Welcome 'Interested' Third Countries Joining CPEC For Mutually Beneficial Cooperation

• Balochistan Orders Stricter Action Against Terrorists

• State institutions, media should create enabling environment for ‘truly representative govt’: President

• Military huddle discusses ‘peace talks’ with TTP

• Punjab CM election: Imran urges supporters to stage 'peaceful protests', says all eyes on SC

• FM Bilawal for close Pakistan-Iran cooperation on Afghanistan matters

• TLP’s sit-in outside ECP continues in Karachi

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Southeast Asia

• Minister Targets Indonesia To Become Muslim Fashion Hub By 2024

• Ministry Seeks To Standardize Honorarium For Mosque Imams, Managers

• Malaysian politician hails Turkey-led deal as 'major diplomatic coup'

• 12 Appeals Court judges in race for 4 Federal Court positions

• Rafizi, Najib cross swords over RM1.5bil bank scandal

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Mideast

• Turkiye Steps Up Efforts to Combat Islamic State, Detains 10 Suspects in Istanbul

• Iranian FM Confirms UAE, Kuwait to Send Envoys to Tehran

• Spokesman: Iran Recalls Envoy from Sweden over Hamid Nouri's Case

• Iran wants nuclear deal guarantees so as ‘not to be stung twice’

• Iran’s nuclear program is ‘galloping ahead’, IAEA chief says

• Houthis commit 277 violations of UN truce in 48 hours

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Africa

• Dozen Killed As Armed Groups Violently Clash In Libya

• Nigeria's former treasury head remanded to prison in $262 million fraud case

• South Africa, Ivory Coast welcome landmark grain deal reached in Türkiye

• Mali’s army says terrorist attack on base near capital repelled

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:   https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/islamic-countries-nonaggression-muslim-renaissance/d/127554

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Islamic Countries Nonaggression Pact For New World Order - Beginning Of The Third Muslim Renaissance

 

This file photo taken on Dec.13, 2017, shows President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (C) delivering an opening speech during an extraordinary summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in Istanbul, Turkey. (AFP Photo)

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By Ihsan Aktaş

JUL 23, 2022

After the post-Cold War security paradigm shattered, the nations were unable to replace it with a new one. Occupations, inequalities in income distribution, refugee mobility, and displaced people created widespread chaos. All the circumstances are reminiscent of the situation before World War I. This situation disturbs the great powers as well as annoys the nation-states. Countries like Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia can take precautions regarding their national security. However, most Islamic countries have to maintain their dependent relations for security. In a possible chaos scenario, the most vulnerable countries still seem to be Muslim countries.

Recently, Turkey's changes in its security paradigm and ability to deal with big states or negotiate on an equal level have attracted attention in the Islamic world, African and South American countries. These countries have formed a subliminal partnership with Turkey and discovered similarities between their future and Turkey’s destiny.

Turkey's historical background plays a role in forming such symbolic value. Another factor creating this strong image of Turkey is the leadership effect. Inspiring all oppressed people in the post-Cold War chaos, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan raises the symbolic value of a great Turkey.

Turkey's effort is critical for its interests. But no country in the world lives alone. And states coexist through alliances. In this context, I suggested establishing a nonaggression pact a few years ago, when Turkey was the acting president of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Recently, the president of Qatar made a similar offer to Iran and Turkey, which brings me to a discussion on the Islamic Countries Nonaggression Pact.

When World War II was over, Middle Eastern, African and Asian countries had the opportunity to gain independence, as England and France had gotten weaker and lost their colonial powers. Today, we are in a similar atmosphere. Western influence on African, Asian and Middle Eastern countries is declining. The direct and indirect influences of the colonialists are weak. Western states are no longer as powerful as in the past.

The current frontier of the West, the United States, has never established order in the countries it intervened in, and it has never been able to conduct a program properly from beginning to end in this regard. Afghanistan or Iraq's experiences are a disaster. The United States enters, knocks down everything, dismantles the existing orders, can not establish a new order and leaves behind material and moral debris, leaving the elements that supported them in the country to their destinies. These examples are a nightmare for all the states.

Conflicts between Islamic countries facilitate the influence and occupation of Western states in these countries. Today, Saudi Arabia and Iran see each other as threats. Although there seem to be more balanced relations between Iran and Turkey, there is always a struggle for regional power included. Pakistan has problems originating from India. The Gulf countries, since their establishment, have been in the hinterland of Saudi Arabia. They were almost drawn into a conflict in the Qatar crisis a few years ago. Iraq's attack on Kuwait and the U.S. occupation did not end in favor of any of them. There are stability problems and weakness in administration in most countries of Africa. It is possible to extend this list.

In this context, as a first idea, the stronger Muslim states can come together and form a nonaggression pact. Turkish states, which are in a relatively safer environment, can participate in this process.

In recent years, Libya experienced a civil war and was about to be divided into pieces. Five Muslim countries adopted a position against Turkey. If Turkey's dominant stance had not emerged, Libya might have turned into Syria today. Many Western countries would have arrived as invaders; Libyans would have continued to die for another 50 years.

The idea of an Islamic pact of nonaggression can be irritating for many, at first glance. Because for 200 years, Westerners have shaped the world order and security architecture. Muslim countries have been subject to occupation, exploitation or manipulation by Westerners due to security concerns among themselves. Such a pact would reduce the security concerns of Muslims related to each other and thus enable them to distance themselves from the undesirable effects of the Westerners.

One thing to remember is that the Asian continent has ruled the world for most of history. In addition, the Ottoman state existed strongly within the European system for 400 years.

The world, whose traditional security paradigms collapsed after the Cold War today, requires a new order of justice and compassion. The new world order must be compatible with the developed human mind and meet modern societies' security and welfare needs.

It no longer seems possible for Europe to establish such a new order. Muslims must take the lead for such a step. Establishing the Islamic Countries Nonaggression Pact may also be the beginning of the third Muslim renaissance – because such ideas only flourish in safe environments.

Source: Daily Sabah

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.dailysabah.com/opinion/columns/islamic-countries-nonaggression-pact-for-new-world-order

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Afghans launch ‘Ban Taliban’ campaign on Twitter

 

Photo: Shutterstock

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23 July, 2022

Kabul [Afghanistan], July 23 (ANI): After Meta’s crackdown on Taliban-affiliated content and pages, Afghans have launched a trend on the social media platform Twitter with a hashtag calling for a ban on Taliban.

The hashtag “BanTaliban” became a global sensation, with over thousands of tweets so far in support. Rapidly on the rise, the trend has gained significant coverage in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Europe and India, as well as the United States of America.

According to Afghan Peace Watch, among the advocates are Afghan journalists and civil activists urging Twitter to deny access to all Taliban members on Twitter, owing to the group’s spreading of misinformation and engaging in harmful content, including calls for violence and beheading, as well as support for terrorists.

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This comes as Meta, formerly known as Facebook, banned Taliban-related content and pages on various platforms, including the RTA TV channel and Bakhtar News Agency, on Wednesday. The decision of banning Taliban- related content has been highly welcomed by the Afghan public, leading to the Twitter campaign.

Last year in August, as the Taliban came to power, many social media companies revisited their policies on pro-Taliban accounts. However, Twitter decided to allow Taliban-affiliated accounts to continue using its platform despite its policies against the glorification of violence and threats.

This Twitter trend comes as the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Wednesday released a report outlining the human rights situation in Afghanistan over the 10 months since the Taliban takeover.

The report summarises UNAMA’s findings with regards to the protection of civilians, extrajudicial killings, torture and ill-treatment, arbitrary arrests and detentions, the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, fundamental freedoms and the situation in places of detention. The report also contains recommendations to both the de facto authorities and the international community.

Despite an overall, significant reduction in armed violence, between mid-August 2021 and mid-June 2022, UNAMA recorded 2106 civilian casualties (700 killed, 1406 wounded). The majority of civilian casualties were attributed to targeted attacks by the armed group self-identified “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province” against ethnic and religious minority communities in places where they go to school, worship and go about their daily lives.

“It is beyond time for all Afghans to be able to live in peace and rebuild their lives after 20 years of armed conflict. Our monitoring reveals that despite the improved security situation since 15 August, the people of Afghanistan, in particular women and girls, are deprived of the full enjoyment of their human rights,” said Markus Potzel, Acting Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.

While the de facto authorities have taken some steps seemingly aimed at the protection and promotion of human rights, such as the amnesty for former government officials and security force members, the 3 December decree on women’s rights and a code of conduct relating to prisoners, they also bear responsibility for a broad range of human rights violations. The erosion of women’s rights has been one of the most notable aspects of the de facto administration to date.

Since 15 August, women and girls have progressively had their rights to fully participate in education, the workplace and other aspects of public and daily life restricted and in many cases completely taken away.

The decision not to allow girls to return to secondary school means that a generation of girls will not complete their full 12 years of basic education. At the same time, access to justice for victims of gender-based violence has been limited by the dissolution of dedicated reporting pathways, justice mechanisms and shelters. (ANI)

Source: The Print

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://theprint.in/world/afghans-launch-ban-taliban-campaign-on-twitter/1051570/

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Saudi Arabia Ropes In Giant US PR Firm To Cast Off 'Pariah' Status

 

A demonstrator dressed as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with blood on his hands protests outside the Saudi embassy in Washington, on 8 October 2018.(Photo by AFP)

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18 July 2022

Saudi Arabia has roped in one of the biggest US public relations firms in yet another attempt to change its ‘pariah’ image after unleashing horror on the voices of dissent in the country and spearheading a brutal war in neighboring Yemen.

In a previously unreported 109-slide proposal filed -- per law -- with the US Justice Department (DOJ) in June, the Chicago based Edelman PR company proposed to the Saudi regime what it dubbed a five-year-long “Search Beyond” campaign to help the kingdom market itself as “a new, modern-minded tourism and culture destination,” the US-based Politico news outlet reported Sunday.

The proposal, which was made in Arabic and professionally translated for the news company, illustrates the extent to which the Saudi rulers have been willing to go to cast off their internationally recognized “pariah” status gained over the recent years, particularly after the 2018 killing and dismemberment of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who at the time lived in the US and worked for Washington Post newspaper.

Top US intelligence agency issued a report in 2021 confirming that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the murder.

Former US president Donald Trump, however, refused to condemn the state-sponsored atrocity. Despite initial condemnation of the Khashoggi’s killing and Saudi’s war crimes in Yemen, the incumbent US President Joe Biden also changed course and visited Saudi Arabia last week.

"[Mohammed bin Salman] tried to launder his reputation, whitewash it through bringing in celebrities to hold concerts, to sportswash it by buying soccer clubs, and anyway he can sort of try to rehabilitate his reputation and his image,” said Seth Binder, director of advocacy at the Project on Middle East Democracy as quoted in the report. “I think to my mind, President Biden’s trip is that sort of final complete rehabilitation.”

“But the current contract could be one of the most lucrative among its partnerships with the kingdom in recent years,” the report added, citing Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) filings.

Edelman -- an agency under Daniel J. Edelman Holdings known as United Entertainment Group -- broke down the costs for the contract into four categories: research, planning and strategy; media relations and strategic partnerships; social media plan development and outreach; and client management and reporting.

Within those categories, according to the report, Edelman pledged to -- among other things -- “monitor online conversations and media coverage to identify ‘friends’ and detractors,” “Commence a relationship building program of US based media contacts,” and host “Monthly Client Meetings.”

Edelman’s proposed “Search Beyond” campaign, the report insists, “provides a window into how mega PR firms believe controversial clients can ingratiate themselves with modern media consumers.”

It further notes that the contract Edelman signed with the Saudi regime underscores the changing attitudes of US companies towards the oil-rich Persian Gulf state, adding: “In Washington, some who once balked at working with the kingdom have steadily dropped their objections.”

In addition to targeting a US audience, the Saudi PR and lobbying campaign would also target markets in the Middle East, Britain, Germany, France and elsewhere, according to the report, pointing out that “influencers and the use of social media — be it Twitter, Instagram, or other platforms — appear to be a key part of the effort.”

Reiterating that the Saudi Kingdom has long thrown copious amounts of money in improving its tarnished image internationally, it goes on to add that among the expenditures includes a new professional LIV Golf Series tournament, which will host events at clubs owned by, among others, Trump.

“The tour was derided as “sportswashing,” or the use of athletics to mend reputation, and raised eyebrows for enticing [famous golf players] Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and others to participate with its sizable prizes. The Saudi-sovereign Public Investment Fund, with others, also purchased the United Kingdom-based soccer team Newcastle United last year, over objections.”

Edelman, the report also points out, has a history of work in and with Saudi Arabia, including a campaign to promote the professional networking company LinkedIn as a “platform that amplified the voices of Saudi career women.”

“It’s the next step in their reputational laundering campaign, and whether it’s through sports or whether it’s through Hollywood connection — you name it — this is something they’ve been trying to do for years,” said Ben Freeman, a research fellow at the Washington-based liberal think tank, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

“I think that this lobbying campaign … is a big part of the reason why Biden was able to do this trip, why this was at all possible. It’s because of places like Edelman and the other folks working for the Saudis,” Freeman underlined.

“In 2020, Edelman registered with the DOJ to represent the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, a company producing chemicals and other materials that is majority owned by the Saudi government, in a deal that was worth roughly $6.7 million,” according to the report.

“You can’t ignore the money,” said former communications director for Trump’s transition team, Bryan Lanza, as quoted in the report. “Celebrities will make more money pitching a foreign government than making a film these days.”

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/07/18/685819/Saudi-regime-hires-mega-US-PR-firm-to-change-its-pariah-image

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French MPs Sign Resolution Condemning Israeli Apartheid Against Palestinians

 

A participant holds up a sign reading 'Stop Israeli Apartheid' during a protest in solidarity with the Palestinians on 15 May 2021 [WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP/Getty Images]

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23 July 2022

Dozens of far-left members of the French parliament have signed a draft resolution condemning the Israeli regime for practicing apartheid and committing war crimes against Palestinians.

Titled "Institutionalization of an Apartheid Regime Against the Palestinian People", the motion was endorsed by 38 members of the French National Assembly, who represent the newly-formed far-left NUPES coalition.

The draft resolution was originally submitted on July 13 by Communist MP Jean-Paul Lecocq but stirred a public debate on Friday.

Among the signatories include former presidential candidate Fabien Roussel, and deputies from the "France Proud" (radical left) party, such as Adrien Katniss, socialist Christine Pierce-Bonn, and both Aurelian Tashi and Sabrina Sabaihi of the Green Party.

Much to the chagrin of the pro-Israeli lobby in the West, it describes Tel Aviv as an "institutional apartheid regime," blasting the occupying entity for establishing a system of "systemic oppression and control by one group" and committing war crimes against Palestinians under occupation.

Since 1948, when the Israeli regime came into existence through illegitimate means, it “has pursued a policy aimed at establishing and maintaining a Jewish demographic hegemony and expanding its control over the territory for the benefit of Israeli Jews,” reads the text.

And following the regime's victory against a combined force of Arab armies in the Six-Day War of June 1967, “Israel extended this policy to the West Bank and Gaza Strip,” the draft further adds, referring to Palestinian territories.

“Currently, all territories under Israeli control remain administered with the aim of favoring Israeli Jews at the expense of the Palestinian population, while successive Israeli governments have continued to deny the right of return to Palestinian refugees for more than seven decades.”

The resolution also calls for the legalization of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, a transnational, Palestinian-led organization that works to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressures Tel Aviv to comply with international law.

The draft text urges “imposition of a strict arms embargo” and a French-sponsored resolution to the United Nations Security Council that would impose “targeted sanctions, such as the freezing of assets, on the Israeli officials most implicated in the crime of apartheid.”

The signatories call on the French government to “recognize the State of Palestine,” and demand that the United Nations impose an arms embargo on the occupation, and “target sanctions” against Israeli officials “most implicated in the crime of apartheid.”

Jérôme Guedj, a NUPES parliamentarian, attacked the motion for describing the Israeli regime as a colonial entity devoid of legal and moral legitimacy.

“If it is always legitimate to challenge the policy of a government, I do not understand how the abolition of a state advances peace by a millimeter,” he wrote.

“The resolution maintains that Israel is an apartheid regime, calls for the legalization of the boycott of Israeli products, and pleads for the official recognition of Palestine,” Guedj added. “If I can defend this last point, the first two are unacceptable. I condemn them.”

Source: Press TV
Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/07/23/686092/France-parliament-anti-Zionist-resolution-Israel

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Uttarakhand HC Seeks Replies From Centre, State On 'Child Marriage' Allowed By Shariat

 

File photo of Uttarakhand high court

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Jul 23, 2022

NAINITAL: Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking to declare the "marriage of minor girls allowed by Muslim personal law as illegal", the Uttarakhand high court (HC) on Friday issued notices to the central and state governments, asking them to file their response in the matter. The petition was filed by the Youth Bar Association of India, a group of advocates working for social causes.

The PIL argued that "child marriages lead to girls dropping out of school and getting pregnant at a young age, which is detrimental to society's health and violates several laws, including Right to Education and Pocso, so it should be declared illegal across religions".

Representing the petitioner, advocate Sanpreet Singh Ajmani said, "The Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, was introduced in the Parliament, as an amendment to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, raising the marriageable age of women from 18 to 21 years, making it the same as men. The bill, meant to override all personal laws, would ensure Muslim women, too, are granted protection."

Ajmani added: "We demand this bill is passed at the earliest, or the Centre forms SOPs preventing child marriages across religions." Notably, Muslims in India mainly follow the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937. This law deals with marriage, succession, inheritance and charities pertaining to the community. In a recent case, the Punjab and Haryana HC had granted protection to a young Muslim couple -- 16-year-old girl married to a 21-year-old boy -- while noting that "she is of marriageable age under Muslim personal law". Essentially, the bench was hearing a protection plea filed by the couple who solemnised their marriage as per Muslim customs.

Incidentally, the Uttarakhand government is working on implementing a Uniform Civil Code (UCC), which would allow "uniform rights to all religions". It has constituted a five-member panel to prepare a draft proposal for its implementation in the state.
Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/uttarakhand-hc-seeks-replies-from-centre-state-on-child-marriage-allowed-by-muslim-law/articleshow/93065856.cms

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Arab World

Hezbollah Rejected US Support Offer To Stop Confrontation With Israel: Nasrallah

22 July 2022

In a rare interview recorded some 20 years ago and aired this week, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah says the resistance movement rejected American offers of money and support that were made in exchange for its elimination from the Arab-Israeli conflict equation.

Lebanon's al-Mayadeen channel is airing a five-part documentary series dubbed "40 and Beyond" about Hezbollah. The series comes on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Hezbollah as well as the 30th anniversary of the election of Nasrallah as the head of the movement. The episodes include an unseen interview of Nasrallah with Ghassan Ben Jeddou, the current CEO of al-Mayadeen.

In the third episode of the series, Nasrallah says the United States made several offers to Hezbollah after the liberation of southern Lebanon and western Bekaa in 2000, aiming at neutralizing the movement and eliminating it from the Arab-Israeli conflict equation.

The United States was trying to convince Hezbollah that Shebaa farms were not worth a conflict and that the issue could be resolved through dialogue, Nasrallah said.

According to the top resistance figure, what the United States was offering in exchange for the movement's neutralization included working out a solution about the issue of Lebanese prisoners in Israeli prisons, recognizing Hezbollah's political role and its inclusion of Hezbollah into the government, providing the resistance with a significant financial aid to rebuild the liberated areas, and removing Hezbollah from the so-called terror list.

Washington was also asking the Lebanese movement to abandon its military and financial support for the Palestinian Intifada, said Nasrallah.

These offers, he went on, were strongly rejected by Hezbollah because the movement sought to help the Palestinians and considered Israel a permanent threat to Lebanon's security.

American authorities repeated the same offers after 9/11 following its declaration of war against organizations it recognizes as terrorists, added the resistance leader.

Hezbollah was established following the 1982 Israeli invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon. Since then, the popular resistance group has grown into a powerful military force.

The resistance group fought off two Israeli wars against Lebanon in 2000 and 2006, forcing a humiliating retreat upon the regime’s military in both wars. The movement has vowed to resolutely defend Lebanon in case of another Israeli war.

In an interview with Iran’s Arabic-language al-Alam news network in early January 2022, Nasrallah also pointed to the offer by the United States to turn its back on Palestine and end confrontation with the occupying regime.

"Previously, they (the Americans) sent us a delegation on behalf of Dick Cheney to negotiate a halt in our support for Palestine and attacks against Israel. In return, they said that they would pay us billions of dollars and even allow us to have our weapons, an offer which we naturally opposed,” he said.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/07/22/686073/Hezbollah-rejected-American-offer-to-stop-confrontation-with-Israel

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UAE President Reminisces 1975 Paris Visit In Photo He Shares With Macron

22 July ,2022

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was reminiscing his first official visit to France in a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, a viral video shared on Thursday showed.

In the light-hearted video shared by the Cultural Adviser to the UAE President Zaki Nusseibeh, Sheikh Mohamed was seen showing Macron an image of his younger self alongside his father, the late Sheikh Zayed, during a visit to Paris in 1975.

In the photo, both 14-year-old Sheikh Mohamed and Nusseibeh were seen in a meeting with then-French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing.

When the UAE President pointed out that the suited boy was his younger self, Macron said, “come on, seriously?” while his wife Brigitte told Sheikh Mohamed “you have not changed,” to which he replied, “thank you ma’am.”

“In the same way that Sheikh Zayed made his first visit to France in ’75, it was the very first, His Highness also made his first state visit to France,” Nusseibeh was heard telling Macron in the video, adding in his Tweet that it “underlines the special status of France as a strategic ally of the UAE.”

The interaction took place during Sheikh Mohamed’s recent official trip to France between July 17-19, his first overseas state visit since being named President, following the death of the late UAE President Sheikh Khalifa in May.

The UAE leader described Macron on Twitter as a friend and his country as one of the Emirates’ closest allies.

“I was pleased to arrive in France, a close strategic ally of the UAE, and meet my friend President Emmanuel Macron,” Sheikh Mohamed wrote on Twitter in Arabic, English, and French.

“Our countries enjoy longstanding partnerships across many fields. We look forward to further collaborations and strengthening ties towards a prosperous future.”

Sheikh Mohamed’s visit to the European country last week saw the signing of a wide range of agreements on topics such as space, education and climate change. The agreements were aimed at enhancing bilateral relations in various vital fields, WAM reported at the time.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/07/22/Video-UAE-President-reminisces-1975-Paris-visit-in-photo-he-shares-with-Macron

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Saudi Arabia foils captagon smuggling attempt, seizes 15 million pills

2 July ,2022

Saudi Arabia announced Friday the seizure of nearly 15 million captagon pills, an amphetamine that seeks to wreak havoc in the Kingdom as well as across the region.

The customs authority “foiled an attempt to smuggle” the drug through the Red Sea port of Jeddah, the official Saudi Press Agency reported on Friday.

As many as 14,976,000 of the pills had been found “hidden in a machine designed to manufacture concrete blocs” in a commercial consignment from abroad, SPA reported.

Saudi Arabia regularly announces seizures of captagon. The drug is known to come from Syria and transits through Lebanon in cargo such as fruit and vegetables.

The Kingdom’s customs authority said it seized a total of 119 million pills last year, and figures so far for 2022 show trafficking of the drug is continuing to rise.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/07/22/Saudi-Arabia-foils-captagon-smuggling-attempt-seizes-15-million-pills-

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Saudi Navy takes over command of international task force to secure key trade routes

22 July ,2022

The Royal Saudi Navy took command of a mixed task force that is part of the largest international naval partnership in the world, according to a US Central Command report released on Thursday.

Royal Saudi Navy Commodore Abdullah al-Mutairi assumed command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 from Pakistan Navy Commodore Vaqar Muhammad during a ceremony at the US Navy base in Bahrain.

Al-Mutairi has reportedly served in the Royal Saudi Navy for 27 years and was most recently the deputy director of operations for Saudi Arabia’s Western Fleet.

“My team will continue to strengthen our relationship with our maritime partners, progress our interoperability and provide a robust security presence to some of the world’s most challenging and important international waters,” al-Mutairi was quoted as saying in the CENTCOM report.

This marks the third time Saudi Arabia leads CTF 150, according to the CENTCOM statement.

The CTF 150 task force, one of four as part of the Combined Maritime Forces, was established in 2002 to conduct maritime security operations in the Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea.

It helps ensure the free flow of commerce, in addition to combating terrorism and the activities linked to it, including human trafficking, drugs and weapons trafficking, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

According to the report, the task force has already interdicted illegal drugs worth $200 million (in US street value) in 2022.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/07/22/Saudi-Navy-takes-over-command-of-international-task-force-to-secure-key-trade-routes

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Syria calls on UN Security Council to condemn Israeli attacks on its territories

23 July 2022

Syria has called on the UN Security Council to condemn Israel's attacks on its territories following the regime's recent strike that killed three Syrian soldiers and injured seven others near the capital Damascus.

The call came in two identical letters by the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates on Friday addressed to UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the rotating President on the UN Security Council Ronaldo Costa Filho.

The ministry urged the UN to exert pressure on Israel to abide by the 1947 Agreement on Disengagement, which stipulates in its first paragraph a ceasefire on land, sea, and air between Syria and the Israeli-occupied territories.

The statement said Syria reserves the right to respond to the Israeli strikes by appropriate means in accordance with international law and the UN Charter.

It stressed that the Security Council’s failure to adopt necessary measures to prevent and condemn repeated Israeli missile strikes in Syria shows the UN body’s incapability to honor its obligations concerning establishment of peace and security in the Middle East region and across the world.

The statement further highlighted that such Israeli attacks cannot be treated in isolation from US acts of aggression, violations of international principles, occupation of northeastern Syria, plunder of Syrian energy reserves, and delivery of various weapons to Takfiri militants in the country.

The Syrian foreign ministry noted that these attacks are conducted in a show of direct support for terror groups that spread insecurity and chaos across Syria.

Israeli fighter jets launched a series of airstrikes on areas near Damascus shortly after midnight on Friday, killing three soldiers and wounding seven others, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.

SANA, citing a military source, said most of the missiles launched from over the occupied Golan Heights were intercepted.

Syria has been in the grip of foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies aid Takfiri terrorist groups that continue to wreak havoc in the country.

Israel frequently targets military positions inside Syria, especially those of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah which has played a key role in helping the Syrian army in its fight against foreign-backed terrorists.

The Tel Aviv regime rarely comments on its cowardly attacks on Syrian territories, which many see as a knee-jerk reaction to the Syrian government’s phenomenal success in confronting and decimating terrorism.

Source: Press TV

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https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/07/23/686099/Syria-urges-UN,-Security-Council-to-condemn-repeated-Israeli-attacks-on-its-territories

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South Asia

 

Consensus on Non-Recognition of the Taliban Gov’t in Western World: EU Ambassador

By Arif Ahmadi

23 Jul 2022

KABUL, Afghanistan – Ambassador of the European Union for Afghanistan Andreas Von Brandt, at a meeting in the European Parliament Friday, drew attention to the increasing hunger crisis in Afghanistan, saying there is consensus on non-recognition of the Taliban government in Western world.

According to Brandt, the world is trying to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan, not to the de facto government, exclaiming the consensus of the international community is that the Islamic Emirate should not be given formal recognition.

“We have a very cautious approach…and I think …if there are a few good things at the moment it is, that there is the tremendous consensus on the non-recognition in the entire Western world and I actually don’t see that changing in the near future,” he said, as TOLOnews quoted.

Meanwhile, political analyst believe the current situation in Afghanistan could get worse if the Taliban leadership will not consider an inclusive government, saying such could also pave the way for the international community to offer formal recognition to the group.

“If the people’s demand to form an inclusive government is not taken into consideration, the situation will not only worsen, but the government won’t be recognized by the international community,” said Sayed Sajad Sajadi, international relations expert.

“The international community and the people of Afghanistan want the current government to include diverse layers of educated youth and representatives from different ethnic groups,” said Ahmad Monib Rasa, political analyst.

But the so-called Islamic Emirate government has repeatedly defied the international community, saying its leadership has “fulfilled all the promises it made with the United States in the Doha Agreement.”

“The Islamic Emirate does not allow anyone to use the territory of Afghanistan against the United States and its allies,” said Spokesman of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Zabihullah Mujahid in a thread. “In addition, IEA is also committed to providing all the Shariah rights of its citizens.”

Reflecting on the overall security of the country, the spokesman said a “peaceful atmosphere” has been created in the country, where women and men could rightfully take part on Afghanistan’s development.

“In Afghanistan, a normal life and peaceful atmosphere has been created for women and men, and the rights of all minorities are maintained,” he said. “Moreover, the system and way of life in Afghanistan are issues related to Afghans.”

Source: Khaama Press

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https://www.khaama.com/consensus-on-non-recognition-of-the-taliban-govt-in-western-world/

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Islamic Emirate Leader Bans 'Unproven Allegations' Against Members

July 23, 2022

A statement of the Islamic Emirate leader, Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada, said allegations against officials of the Islamic Emirate that lack proof are forbidden.

The statement, issued by Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, said several Islamic Hadiths suggest that unproven allegations are considered lies and are worthy of punishment.

The statement said that it is the responsibility of all citizens and media organizations to bring this decree into effect.

"Based on Islamic values, making unnecessary allegations about officials and inaccurate criticism is not allowed, based on Sharia. There is no place for rumors in Islam because it causes hatred among the Muslims, it negates trust and affects morale," the statement reads.

The statement said that the humiliation of Islamic clerics and government employees verbally, through body language or by any other means is not appropriate.

Meanwhile, analysts said a standard government should be flexible and accept criticism.

"Indeed, criticism has its benefits as well. Criticism can cause reform in the system, it can cause the strengthening of the government. Unfortunately, I found this statement very serious and this could be for those people among the Taliban who made remarks about the girls' schools in recent days," said Torek Farhadi, a political analyst.

"National freedom, civil freedom, legal explanation and criticism, which improve the system, should have the people's support," said Najibullah Jami, university instructor.
Source: Tolo News

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https://tolonews.com/afghanistan-179059

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Taliban torture arrested Afghan YouTuber Ajmal Haqiqi and his team: Report

Jul 23, 2022

The Taliban are torturing arrested Afghan model and YouTuber Ajmal Haqiqi, along with other three people, reported news agency ANI citing sources. Reportedly, the Taliban tortured them by brutally beating them with rods and filmed it “for fun” - which then went viral on social media.

On June 9, the Taliban arrested Haqiqi along with three people for allegedly “disrespecting” Islam and the Quran, as per videos released by Afghanistan's new rulers.

The model known for his fashion shows, modelling events, and YouTube videos had reportedly appeared handcuffed in a light brown jail uniform - in the videos released by the Taliban.

Reportedly, the model was seen laughing as his colleague Ghulam Sakhi — who is known to have a speech impediment that he uses for humour — recited the verses of the Quran in Arabic in a comical tone. Upon this, the Taliban arrested Haqiqi and his colleagues as “no one is allowed to insult Quranic verses or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad”.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International has been calling on the Taliban to release them, reported ANI citing Khaama Press.

Ever since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August last year, they have imposed hard censorship on media.

Source: Hindustan Times

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https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/taliban-torture-arrested-afghan-youtuber-ajmal-haqiqi-and-his-team-report-101658540244242.html

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UNAMA Negotiates with Taliban Gov’t to Reopen Girls School

By Arif Ahmadi

23 Jul 2022

KABUL, Afghanistan – United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Chief of Human Rights Fiona Frazer, in an interview with TOLOnews Friday, said they bid to interact with the Islamic Emirate government to reopen girls’ school in Afghanistan.

This came days after (UNAMA) released a report, outlining the human rights situation in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover last August, including ban on high school girl’s education in the country.

“I think that we need to continue to keep raising what we see as concerns on the ground and to keep interacting and engaging with the de facto authorities…” she said, as TOLOnews quoted.

Frazer believes the restrictions against girls’ high schools in Afghanistan is an obstacle to the country’s development, saying such a leadership of the Taliban interrupts a generation of girl’s basic learning and schooling.

“We do have the fact that girls are no longer able throughout Afghanistan to go to secondary school,” she said. “One of the points that we make related to this is that it is really interrupting a generation of girls’ basic education.”

Since the takeover last August, Taliban government has been imposing strict restrictions against women rights and girls’ education in Afghanistan, which has sparked global reactions.

Earlier, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released a report, outlining the human rights situation in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover last August.

The report summarizes UNAMA’s findings with regards to the protection of civilians, extrajudicial killings, torture and ill-treatment, arbitrary arrests and detentions, the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, fundamental freedoms and the situation in places of detention.

Despite a significant reduction in armed conflict, UNAMA recorded 2106 civilian casualties between mid-August 2021 and mid-June 2022. The majority of civilian casualties were attributed to targeted attacks by the ISIL against ethnic and religious minority communities.

“It is beyond time for all Afghans to be able to live in peace and rebuild their lives after 20 years of armed conflict,” said Markus Potzel, Acting Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. “Our monitoring reveals that despite the improved security situation since 15 August, the people of Afghanistan, in particular women and girls, are deprived of the full enjoyment of their human rights.”

While the Taliban leadership have taken some steps seemingly aimed at the protection and promotion of human rights, including amnesty for former government officials and security force members, they bear responsibility for a broad range of human rights violations, according to the findings.

The erosion of women’s rights has been one of the most notable aspects of the de facto administration, where women and girls have particularly been restricted from obtaining education and living a normal public life in the country.

“The education and participation of women and girls in public life is fundamental to any modern society. The relegation of women and girls to the home denies Afghanistan the benefit of the significant contributions they have to offer. Education for all is not only a basic human right, it is the key to progress and development of a nation,” said the UN envoy.

Source: Khaama Press

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https://www.khaama.com/unama-negotiates-with-taliban-govt-to-reopen-girls-school/

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Taliban's worrying new diktat for those who criticise 'Islamic Emirate'

Jul 23, 2022

The Taliban will punish those to criticise the scholars and public servants of ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’ without any authenticity, be it with gesture, word or anything else, reported news agency ANI citing Voice of America (VOA). Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid has reportedly published new set of instructions attributed to their leader, Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada, calling their implementation "Sharia responsibility" of the people and the media.

The people of Afghanistan have been ordered to stop unnecessary accusations against the government officials and avoid criticism that are “away from reality”, without specifying it. The Sunni Pashtun group has long been accused of gross human rights violations and often faces criticism for its stance on girls' education and women's rights.

Several reports from human rights organisations and media suggest that the Taliban have "arrested, imprisoned and tortured some people who criticised them on social media". Under the new instructions from Akhundzada, such actions are deemed as "negative propaganda" that "unconsciously helps the enemies", reported VOA.

If any person "touches any soldier, or pulls his clothes, or say bad things to him" will be considered as a punishable act, according to the new directives as per VOA.

A self-identified "National Resistance Front" is fighting the Taliban government in Afghanistan and has repeatedly accused the Islamist fundamentalists of "arresting, killing and injuring civilians". According to a UN report released earlier this week, 18 extrajudicial killings, 54 instances of torture and ill-treatment and 113 instances of arbitrary arrest and detention and 23 cases of incommunicado detention of individuals affiliated with the National Resistance Front have been recorded.

The new directives were published weeks after a Mullah from Herat, Mujibur Rahman Ansari, asked the participants at the "Great Meeting of Scholars" in Kabul to issue a fatwa that calls for beheading of the chiefs of the opponents of the Taliban government, reported VOA.

Baitullah Hamidi, professor of journalism faculty of Kabul University, wrote on his Facebook page that this situation will "make the oppression and violence in the country stronger and more frightening."

Source: Hindustan Times

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https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/talibans-worrying-new-diktat-for-those-who-criticise-islamic-emirate-101658534532007.html

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Thousands flee feuding Taliban in Afghanistan’s north

July 22, 2022

DUZDANCHISMA, Afghanistan: When fighting erupted between Taliban forces and a breakaway group led by one of their former commanders in northern Afghanistan last month, Zahra and her family fled to the mountains.

For days they walked across the rocky terrain, unsure what lay ahead or when they might return to their home Sar-e Pol province’s Balkhab district, where the clashes erupted.

“We didn’t want to get trapped ... we all might have been killed,” said Zahra, 35, asking to use a pseudonym for security reasons.

Zahra’s family is among thousands that fled conflict between the Taliban and fighters loyal to Mahdi Mujahid, the group’s former intelligence chief for Bamiyan.

Ethnicity, religious sectarianism and a battle for a lump of Balkhab’s lucrative coal resources are at the heart of the fighting.

“All these factors are working together in driving the conflict,” Australia-based political analyst Nematullah Bizhan said.

Mujahid, a Shiite Hazara, joined the mostly Sunni and Pashtun Taliban in 2019, and was appointed to his post soon after the hard-line Islamists seized power in August last year.

Afghanistan’s Shiite Hazaras have faced persecution for decades, with the Taliban accused of abuses against the community when they first ruled from 1996 to 2001.

They are also the target of attacks by the Daesh group, which considers them heretics.

Mujahid’s appointment was initially seen as supporting the Taliban’s claim of being more inclusive to non-Pashtuns, but he soon fell foul of the leadership.

The group routinely denies reports of infighting in its ranks, but in June local media said Mujahid split with the Taliban leadership when Kabul sought greater control over the coal business.

Balkhab is home to several coal mines and demand has soared in recent months with Pakistan — in the grip of an energy crisis partly caused by rising oil prices — stepping up imports to fuel power plants.

Local Taliban commanders were known to “tax” trucks on their way to Pakistan — as officials in the previous government did before them — but when Mujahid resisted Kabul’s efforts to rein in the practice, they sacked him.

“Balkhab has a long history of resisting the government,” analyst Bizhan said, adding the region also fought strongly against the Taliban during their first reign.

While the June fighting lasted only a few days, the United Nations says it displaced at least 27,000 people — almost all of them Hazara.

The result is a humanitarian crisis that aid agencies are now struggling to deal with.

“We used to sleep thirsty on empty stomachs and wake up in the morning and start walking again,” said Zahra, whose family walked for nearly a fortnight before finding shelter in a village mosque in Bamiyan.

“Everyone was sick.”

The family of Barat Ali Subhani, another resident of Balkhab, has taken refuge in the same mosque.

“We didn’t have anything with us. We just left in clothes we were wearing,” Subhani said.

His seven-member family — including five children — walked for four days before a shepherd led them to the mosque.

“He saved us,” Subhani said.

“We had nothing. We thought that we will probably die.”

In the town of Duzdanchishma in Bamiyan, Najiba Mirzae has spent days treating those who fled Balkhab.

Many are pregnant women suffering from diarrhea, nausea and respiratory ailments caught while traveling through the mountains, said Mirzae, head of a local hospital.

Several UN aid agencies have tried to respond, but have not managed to reach all those displaced as many are still in the mountains.

“We couldn’t reach the area even after walking for five and half hours because the mules were unable to pass,” said Noryalai, who led a UNICEF team on one mercy mission.

In Balkhab, Mujahid and his followers have fled into the mountains, according to defense ministry spokesman Enayatullah Khwarizmi, and fighting has stopped.

But rights group Amnesty International accused Taliban forces of carrying out summary executions of civilians there — a charge denied by Kabul.

Source: Arab News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2127441/world

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North America

 

Sanders: US should not maintain ‘warm relationship’ with Saudi Arabia

17 July 2022

Independent Senator Bernie Sanders has denounced US President Joe Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia, saying the United States should not maintain a “warm relationship” with the kingdom.

Sanders on Sunday said Biden should not have visited the kingdom or met its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), who was accused by American intelligence of ordering the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The former presidential candidate said that he does not believe “that type of government should be rewarded with a visit by the president of the United States.”

When asked in an interview with ABC whether Biden should have visited the country, Sanders replied, “No, I don’t think so.”

“You have a leader of that country who was involved in the murder of a Washington Post journalist,” he added. “I don’t think that that type of government should be rewarded with a visit by the president of the United States.”

“I just don’t believe we should be maintaining a warm relationship with a dictatorship like that,” he stated.

A team of Saudi operatives murdered Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2, 2018.

Biden, who once called for Saudi Arabia to be made a pariah, visited Saudi Arabia and met with the crown prince.

Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement by the crown prince in the murder and rejected a US intelligence report that assessed that MBS "approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill" Khashoggi.

Sanders also dismissed arguments that Biden visited the kingdom to try to get it to increase oil production and lower American gasoline prices.

The price for a gallon has doubled since Biden took office in January last year, but that same gallon costs $4.53 on Sunday morning, according to data from the non-profit American Automobile Association (AAA). The association said the average gallon of gas cost only $2.39 during the first week of Biden’s presidency.

The gasoline prices are a problem for Biden and his fellow Democrats ahead of the November midterm congressional elections.

Sanders said that the focus should be on the American companies, as their profits in the last quarter “have been extraordinarily high.”

I happen to believe that we have to tell the oil companies to stop ripping off the American people, and if they don’t, we should impose a windfall profits tax on them,” he added.

Sanders slammed Saudi Arabia’s human rights violations, democracy and violence against government dissidents, saying that all of this show why the US should not maintain a close relationship with the regime.

“If this country believes in anything, we believe in human rights, we believe in democracy,” he said. “And I just don’t believe we should be maintaining a warm relationship with a dictatorship like that.”

US relations with Saudi Arabia have been strained since the assassination of Khashoggi.

Biden, after winning the presidential election and even in the election campaign, had repeatedly said that bin Salman was the main perpetrator of this crime. But to date, no practical action has been taken by the White House in this regard.

Democratic members of the US House of Representatives had introduced two bills to penalize MBS for his personal role in the violent murder of Khashoggi.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar said back then that the legislation would freeze the Saudi crown prince’s assets and impose a visa ban on him.

Biden also scaled back support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen amid disgust over civilian casualties.

Source: Press TV

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https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/07/17/685803/Sanders-slams-America%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98warm-relationship%E2%80%99-with-Saudi-Arabia

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Europe

 

UAE visit to France was ‘successful and important’ in all domains: French ambassador

22 July ,2022

The visit of United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to France was “successful and important in all domains,” the French ambassador to the UAE was quoted as saying by state news agency WAM on Friday.

Sheikh Mohamed visited the European country last week, with both countries signing agreements on topics such as space, education and climate change. The agreements are aimed at enhancing bilateral relations in various vital fields, WAM reported at the time.

During the visit the UAE and France also announced the launch of the UAE-France Business Council, signed in the presence of Sheikh Mohamed and French President Emmanuel Macron, which aims to strengthen the economic relations between the two countries in the fields of energy, transport and investment.

The “visit also underscores the deep-rooted friendship and cooperation between the two countries,” French Ambassador to the UAE Xavier Chatel told WAM.

Chatel explained that over 600 French companies employ nearly 30,000 people in the UAE, noting that France has gained a strong and diverse presence in the country, according to WAM.

The UAE hosts the largest number of French citizens abroad, Chatel reportedly added.

Sheikh Mohammed’s state visit to France took place between July 17-19, his first overseas state visit since being named President, following the death of the late UAE President Sheikh Khalifa in May.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/07/22/UAE-visit-to-France-was-successful-and-important-in-all-domains-French-ambassador

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Former Afghan interpreter separated from baby son amid UK visa delays

July 22, 2022

LONDON: A former Afghan interpreter and his wife who live in Britain have been separated from their infant son for more than six months due to visa problems, The Times newspaper reported.

Sajid Naeemi, 29, told The Times that the situation was devastating for him, adding that his wife Mena was “crying every single day” after they left their son in Afghanistan because of visa delays.

The UK Ministry of Defence in January requested copies of the child’s passport and birth certificate to commence a reuniting effort, but the couple have not heard from them due to a growing backlog of cases for civil servants to work through.

“I am devastated,” Naeemi told The Times. “I feel like I am being betrayed by the MoD and the government as a whole. My wife is feeling the same. She is crying when she sees him over the phone. She tells me every single day to send her back to Afghanistan.”

Ministry officials are struggling to process thousands of asylum applications since the fall of Kabul to the Taliban last year.

Rules for who can move to Britain from Afghanistan have gradually relaxed in recent years, with family members being offered the opportunity to join interpreters.

But many people who worked with British troops have struggled to acquire the necessary clearances and permission to move to the UK, even as restrictions are eased.

Naeemi has been luckier than most interpreters, moving to Britain in 2016 ahead of the fall of Kabul under a government relocation scheme. He spent two years on the frontline in Helmand province, serving alongside British troops.

He moved with his last wife, who he divorced after moving to the northwest of England, and married his current wife Mena in 2019 on a visit to his home country.

Naeemi, who found work with Amazon, applied for Mena to join him in Britain, saying he spent £1,400 ($1,600) on a fast-track visa service.

The service was advertised as taking six weeks to process, but their son was born while they waited. Naeemi was told that if he restarted the application for the new family member, then it would be rejected due to his limited funds from his work.

Naeemi’s life became additionally strenuous when the Taliban took over last autumn.

Mena, 25, attempted to board a flight for Britain but was turned away due to having insufficient paperwork.

His brother, Halimjan, was shot while commuting to work, which his family believes was a revenge attack due to their support as interpreters.

Naeemi then asked the ministry to bring his wife, son, and Halimjan’s five children to Britain.

Last October, Mena was granted a short-time visa by the UK Home Office. She took it, fearing that there was a risk she would never be united with her husband in Britain if she waited for a better deal.

Naeemi this year responded to a ministry request for documentation on his son and Halimjan’s five children, who were adopted by Naeemi with their mother’s blessing.

He replied with the full official documentation but has been kept in the lurch, sending requests for an update.

He told The Times: “They haven’t sent me a single letter in all that time. Now I’m worried they are stuck thinking about the Ukraine crisis and focusing on us less and less.”

Source: Arab News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2127596/world

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India

 

Namaz At Waiting Room Of Prayagraj Station Sparks Row

Jul 23, 2022

PRAYAGRAJ: Barely a few days after a row over Namaz at a mall in Lucknow, a video of some persons offering ‘Namaz’ in the waiting room of platform number one of Prayagraj Junction has hit the social media.

The video shows a Muslim cleric leading the prayers at the waiting room while those behind him are madrassa students. GRP and RPF are now keeping a close watch at the Prayagraj Junction. Railway officials are tight lipped over the incident, but said that an investigation was underway in connection with rescue of some children at the station on suspicion of child trafficking.

On Thursday morning, RPF and GRP had rescued some children from Mahananda Express at Prayagraj Junction on suspicion of child trafficking. The action was taken on the information passed by an NGO ‘Bachapan Bachao Andolan’ run by Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi. Officials said the rescue was carried out at Mahananda Express bound for New Delhi. As train reached platform number 3 of Prayagraj Junction, RPF and GRP swung into action. Two persons identified as Abdul Rab of Sitapur and Mohd Sahil of Saharsa district of Bihar were detained for questioning. They claimed that they were taking the children to a madrassa in Fatehpur district.

Investigations revealed that the two persons were taking 15 children to a madrassa while 17 others including adults and children were being taken to Delhi for labour.

The children being taken to the madrassa and the two men accompanying them offered ‘Namaz’ three times at the waiting room where they were being kept. GRP personnel raised objections, but Abdul Rab claimed he has taken permission from officials as they have no place to offer Namaz.

Source: Times Of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/allahabad/namaz-at-waiting-room-of-prayagraj-stn-sparks-row/articleshow/93065076.cms

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Man Held In UP For Raping Teen, Bid To Convert Her To Islam: Police

July 23, 2022

THE KANPUR police have arrested a 22-year-old Muslim man for allegedly raping and forcing a minor girl to “convert to Islam for marriage”. The man had allegedly taken the 17-year-old girl to a court on Thursday and was accosted by some members of the Bajrang Dal, police said on Friday

The police were also informed and the two were taken to the local police station, where Bajrang Dal members staged a protest demanding action against the arrested accused.

An FIR was registered against the arrested accused on charges of rape, cheating and criminal intimidation. Police also invoked Protection of Offence Sexual Children Act and anti conversion law against the accused.

Police said that during preliminary investigation, the girl told them that the accused allegedly raped her and also took Rs 50,000 from her on the pretext of marrying her.

“The accused was on Friday produced before a local court that sent him to judicial custody,” said a senior police officer.

The police also sent the girl for medical examination of the girl and said her statement would be recorded before a court on Saturday.

Source: Indian Express

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https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/man-held-in-up-for-raping-teen-bid-to-convert-her-to-islam-police-8046475/

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Karnataka: Muslim boy attacked with glass bottles dies, 8 held

22nd July 2022

Hyderabad: 19-year-old, Mohammed Masood died on Thursday while undergoing treatment after being attacked by a gang of eight members at Kalanja village in Sullia taluk, Karnataka on July 19.

On Tuesday, the deceased Masood and one of the accused Sudhir allegedly got into a fight. Later, the same night, Sudhir and seven other people attacked Masood while demanding a resolution to the conflict outside a local shop.

Masood was gravely injured in the altercation, as glass bottles were also allegedly smashed on his head. He received initial care at a hospital in Sullia before being transferred to a private facility, where he passed away on July 21, Thursday.

The accused Abhilash, Sunil, Sudhir, Shiva, Ranjith, Sadashiva, Zym Ranjith, and Bhaskar were all taken into custody by the Bellare police on July 20. They were charged with crimes that were prohibited under sections 143 (Whoever is a member of an unlawful assembly, shall be punished), 147 (Punishment for rioting), 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), and 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence commit­ted in the prosecution of the common object) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The eight people have also been charged with murder following the passing away of Masood.

The accused were reportedly members of the Bajrang Dal and reports of the murder of Masood being a pre-planned crime have also emerged.

On July 21, several people gathered at the municipal hospital after hearing of his death. They demanded that Masood’s body not be moved unless Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra visits the scene and guarantees that the deceased’s family members would receive compensation.

After receiving confirmation from the Tahsildar, people let the body be moved for the last rituals. U.T. Khader, a Mangaluru MLA, visited the hospital in the meanwhile and urged the arrest of everyone connected to the crime.

Source: Siasat Daily

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.siasat.com/karnataka-muslim-boy-attacked-with-glass-bottles-dies-8-held-2375166/

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Jamiat factions’ nod to merger, but no deadline

Jul 23, 2022

NEW DELHI: In a significant development, putting aside their differences, the two factions of the influential Deobandi clerics led Jamiat Ulama -i- Hind have decided to formalise the roadmap to merge. The JUH faction led by Maulana Mahmood Madani after its working committee meeting on Friday issued a statement on the "reconciliation process" between the two factions. The move is seen as an assertion of a show of strength to put up a united front to voice the concerns of minorities to counter communal forces.

It is learnt that the modalities of the merger and the power sharing model will be worked out in subsequent meetings between the Presidents of the two factions Maulana Mahmood Madani and Maulana Arshad Madani. However, the JUH is still not willing to set a deadline for the merger.

"It was unanimously approved by the working committee to take forward the process of reconciliation. To advance this process, the WC authorised Maulana Mahmood Madani to continue the process of reconciliation and it also considers it necessary that the concerned parties should not only limit themselves to verbal discussions but present their suggestions and positions in written form." .

Meanwhile, the working committee also discussed the on-going communal situation, hate crime, protection of the constitution and the need for an anti-blasphemy law.

In his address, Mahmood Madani said that to deal with the prevailing circumstances, JUH has been conducting interfaith harmony programs and has also established a department to fight hate crime incidents.

 In a resolution approved by the working committee about the prevailing communal situations, JUH said that "religious fanaticism and insulting of religious leaders as promoted by political leaders is a grave threat to the country and would tarnish the image of the country among the global fraternity." The working committee wants the Government of India to take measures to stop communal riots and derogatory behaviour and implement effective legislation in the light of Supreme Court directives to prevent violence.

Claiming to have the backing of over 1.2 crore members, the move by the two JUH factions to bury their differences and work out a strategy for a merger is part of its vision to strengthen the organisation to give voice to the community’s concerns as one.

The merger has long been in the works since the Delhi High Court in 2017 directed both factions to settle their differences through arbitration and arrive at a consensus.

The division in JUH was triggered during the presidential tenure of Arshad Madani who took on the reins of the organisation in 2006 when the former president Asad Madani passed away. The latter’s son and Arshad Madani’s nephew Mahmood Madani was the general secretary of the organisation. It is learnt that soon trouble broke out over the division of powers and the working of the organisation between Arshad Madani, and Mahmood Madani and the members of the executive committee.

Arshad Madani’s decisions related to the organisation were cited to be autocratic by his opponents. Consequently, Arshad Madani was dismissed as the president of the united Jamiat, leading him to form a new executive committee which he claimed to be the true Jamiat. The existing Jamiat was led by Mahmood Madani, and in April 2008 this faction appointed Usman Mansoorpuri as their first president. Mahmood Madani became President of this faction earlier this year.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/jamiat-factions-nod-to-merger-but-no-deadline/articleshow/93063800.cms

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‘Waqf law not applicable in Gyanvapi case’

Jul 23, 2022

PRAYAGRAJ: The Waqf Act of 1995 cannot be applied in the Gyanvapi case as the law is exclusive to the minority community, while the current litigation involves two separate religious groups, the counsel for the Kashi Vishwanath Temple argued in the Allahabad HC on Friday.

Temple counsel Vijay Shankar Rastogi said provisions of the Waqf Act are not binding upon Hindus and if any dispute arises between the Waqf Board and a nonMuslim, a notice essentially has to be issued to the opposite party. “In the current matter, no notice or opportunity was ever given to the plaintiffs. Therefore, the property in dispute cannot be treated or said to be Waqf property,” he said.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/waqf-law-not-applicable-in-gyanvapi-case/articleshow/93063748.cms

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3 Of UP Family Held In Pakistan With Pistols

Jul 23, 2022

SHAMLI: Three of a family from UP’s Shamli were arrested by Pakistani authorities at Wagah-Attari border in Punjab after some pistols were recovered from them. Seventy-year-old Nafees Ahmad, his wife Aamna and 35-year-old son Mohd Kaleem are residents of Nokua Mohalla in the district.

An intelligence officer in Shamli said, on condition of anonymity, that they could be part of ‘kabootarbazi’, a term used for smuggling of goods using travellers. Top officials of Shamli police have refused to reveal further details. The local police on Friday found their house in Nokua Mohalla locked, as other family members have gone underground.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/3-of-up-family-held-in-pakistan-with-pistols/articleshow/93063686.cms

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Udaipur killing: NIA arrests eighth person in connection with tailor Kanhaiya Lal Teli's brutal murder

Jul 22, 2022

NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested an eighth accused in the case relating to the brutal killing of Udaipur tailor Kanhaiyaa Lal Teli.

Mohammed Javed, 19 years old and a resident of Udaipur, had played an important part in the murder conspiracy by conducting reconnaissance and passing on the information about Teli’s presence at his shop, to the main accused and killer Riyaz, prior to the crime, said NIA.

Teli was murdered by two assailants, armed with sharp weapons, at his shop in Maldas Street, Udaipur, Rajasthan, last month. The killing took place after Teli had allegedly put up a social media post in favour of former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/udaipur-killing-nia-arrests-eighth-person-in-connection-with-tailor-kanhaiya-lal-telis-brutal-murder/articleshow/93059933.cms

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Mathura court reserves decision over appointing commissioner to survey Shahi Idgah mosque to verify temple signs in it

July 23, 2022

Mathura: A court in Mathura has reserved its decision over the appointment of a commissioner to survey the Shahi Idgah mosque near the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple to verify temple signs in it.

The hearing was held in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Sanjay Chaudhary, said Devkinandan Sharma and Deepak Sharma, the advocates of Dinesh Sharma, who is the treasurer of the plaintiff Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha.

"We insisted on the demand of conducting a survey of the Idgah through the court-appointed commissioner. On this the court has reserved the decision," the advocates told PTI.

They said that their next course of action will be decided after the court arrives at a decision.

Source: Firstpost

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.firstpost.com/india/mathura-court-reserves-decision-over-appointing-commissioner-to-survey-shahi-idgah-mosque-to-verify-temple-signs-in-it-10946961.html

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Jahangirpuri: Muslim Family Alleges Police Detained 3 Women, 2 Minors 'Illegally', Move HC

Nikita Jain and Sumedha Pal

July 23, 2022

New Delhi: Five women, all Muslims, have alleged that they were picked up by Delhi Police and illegally kept in custody for 42 hours over what police claim is their connection with the communal violence that took place in the city’s Jahangirpuri area on April 16 this year.

On the day, a Ram Navami procession halted outside a mosque in the C Block area and provocative slogans were raised, reports have said. Amid tensions, violence was seen in the area.

In its charge sheet, Delhi police have identified three main conspirators and has accused them of instigating riots and inciting youth in the region.

The Wire had earlier reported on locals’ allegations on Muslim residents being harassed repeatedly by police investigating the communal violence.

Some of the women The Wire spoke to then are among the five who have alleged that they were illegally picked up and kept in custody.

Jahangirpuri resident Bano* and her daughter had previously told The Wire that they had been receiving threats and were being asked to get the men in their family to surrender. Police, they had said, suspect that Bano’s son had a role in the violence.

Bano says that on July 17, once again, police came to their house. The visit was at around 9 pm.

“They knocked on our doors asking for the whereabouts of my son. When I told him that I didn’t know anything, he asked me and my daughter to go sit in the police van. There were no women police officers with him,” she said.

The mother and daughter were then taken to Jahangirpuri Police Station. Bano’s daughter Salma* is 17 years old. She says that she informed police that she was a minor but that they did not listen to her.

When Salma’s aunt and two female cousins reached the station, they were also detained. One of her cousins is four years old.

“The five of us were first asked to sit. Then they locked us in a room where we stayed for three days [around 42 hours over the course of three days],” Salma says.

The women managed to call their lawyer, who reached the police station. It was only after lawyers intervened that the women were released.

Among the five, only Bano had a phone with her, which she managed to pass to a tea seller whom the police officials had called on July 18. Her lawyers were called early on July 19 and reached the police station immediately. On reaching the police station, the lawyers were told that the women were locked up two nights ago, on July 17.

The women alleged they were verbally abused as well and that police had not allowed them to contact or meet with anyone.

The family, through their lawyer, has filed a petition in the Delhi high court against police, over this ‘illegal’ detentions in the investigation into the case.

“The case of the petitioners concern grave violations of their fundamental right to life and liberty as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The Petitioners before the Hon’ble Court are all women who along with the two minor girls were subjected to illegal detention by the Jahangirpuri Police Station, New Delhi wherein they were kept in continuous Police detention/custody starting from 17.7.222 to 19.7.22,” read the petition.

Speaking to The Wire, Bano’s lawyer Kawalpreet Kaur said they have demanded that the women be compensated for the trouble they were put through.

“This is the case of illegal detention of more than 40 hours. There are various judgements by courts stating that people cannot be kept in illegal detention. There were also two minor girls who were in detention as well. Action must be taken against the police personnel who have done it,” she said.

Further stating that a proper procedure needs to be followed during an arrest, Kaur said, “So many laws were violated in this case. There were no female personnel present during the arrest. The women were arrested after 7 in the evening, which is not allowed. Minor girls were arrested and they were not even given a chair to sit in.”

The provisions of sub-section (4) of Section 46 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 mandates that if the Police want to arrest a woman after sunset, they have to seek prior permission of the Magistrate, and arrest should be made by a female police officer.

The matter will be heard in the high court next week. 

Jahangirpuri residents have also termed the probe as “one sided”, portraying the minorities as aggressors. National Security Act was invoked against five accused persons in connection with the case, among those arrested for the violence, majority of the accused were Muslims.

Source: The Wire

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://thewire.in/communalism/jahangirpuri-muslim-family-police-detained-illegally

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Pak intruder who intended to kill Nupur Sharma has links with far-right Islamic group TLP: Police

July 22, 2022

Jaipur: Pakistani intruder Rizwan Ashraf, who infiltrated into India with the intention to eliminate suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, has been associated with a far-right Islamic group in his country, police said on Friday.

Rizwan (24) was caught by the Border Security Force (BSF) near the India-Pakistan border in Sri Ganganagar on the night intervening July 16 and 17, and was handed over to the local police for interrogation.

He has also been involved in vandalising a statue of erstwhile Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh at Lahore Fort last year, after which he was nabbed and sent to a jail in Pakistan.

Rizwan has been associated with the Tehreek-e-Labbaik, a far-right Islamic group in Pakistan, police said.

Sri Ganganagar SP Anand Sharma said during interrogation, Rizwan said he came to India with a plan to kill Nupur Sharma for insulting Prophet Mohammad.

The SP said that the accused has been actively associated with the Tehreek-e-Labbaik.

"This group had organised a protest march a month ago in the village of the accused against the statement of Nupur Sharma," the SP said.

He had taken part in a religious meeting in Pakistan and after being motivated there, he made a plan to kill the suspended BJP leader.

He was caught by the BSF in Hindumalkot when he entered India after crossing the border. Two knives, religious books, food and clothes were recovered from a bag in his possession.

Source: Firstpost

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.firstpost.com/india/pak-intruder-who-intended-to-kill-nupur-sharma-has-links-with-far-right-islamic-group-tlp-police-10944801.html

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Pakistan

 

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl Agree To Adopt ‘Aggressive Posture’ To Counter Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Politics

July 22, 2022

LONDON, ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif on Friday telephoned Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) President and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and discussed with him present political situation of the country.

Sources privy to the development informed that both the leaders agreed on adopting an “aggressive” posture to counter the politics of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI). They further said that the former prime minister not only agreed with the suggestions given by the JUI-F chief for the success of the coalition government, but also assured him that these would be implemented as well.

Furthermore, sources said that both Nawaz and Fazl were of the opinion that the coalition government should now take on the challenges of inflation and also take those trampling upon the constitution to task.

Similarly, both the leaders agreed that the “tales of corruption and bad governance” of the PTI government would be made public. Nawaz also had a telephonic conversation with former president and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari yesterday.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has said that PTI Chairman Imran Khan wants to create economic instability in the country, asserting that Pakistan cannot bear the Imran-Bushra-Gogi mafias’ thefts any more.

Reacting to Fawad Chaudhry’s statement on Friday, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said in a statement that people of Pakistan had rejected the politics of thieves, hypocrites and liars. She held that Imran’s government was toppled on April 3. “Days to hurl threats by the PTI members have gone now. Now keep your mouth shut and let the government do its work,” Ms Aurangzeb said categorically.

She asked her predecessor where the PTI’s election framework had been for the last four years. She said that everybody had seen PTI’s election framework in 2018 elections, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Senate and Daska elections.

Source: Pakistan Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/07/22/nawaz-fazl-agree-to-adopt-aggressive-posture-to-counter-pti-politics/

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Pak, China welcome 'interested' third countries joining CPEC for mutually beneficial cooperation

Jul 23, 2022

ISLAMABAD: All-weather allies Pakistan and China have decided to welcome "interested" third countries joining the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying it was "an open and inclusive platform" for mutually beneficial cooperation.

Launched in 2013, the CPEC is a corridor linking Pakistan's Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea with Kashgar in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which highlights energy, transport and industrial cooperation.

The 3rd meeting of the CPEC Joint Working Group (JWG) on International Cooperation and Coordination (JWG-ICC) was held in virtual mode on Friday.

During the meeting, co-chaired by Pakistan's foreign secretary Sohail Mahmood and China's Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao, both sides reviewed the continued implementation of the CPEC and its expansion to the jointly agreed priority areas, according to a statement by the Foreign Office here.

It was noted that as a flagship of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the CPEC had broken new ground in strengthening international and regional connectivity, especially in the context of its extension to Afghanistan.

“As an open and inclusive platform, both sides welcomed interested third parties to benefit from avenues for mutually beneficial cooperation opened up by CPEC,” according to the Foreign Office.

India has protested to China over the CPEC as it is being laid through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). The CPEC is a USD 60 billion flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of the Chinese government and promoted by President Xi Jinping.

During Friday's meeting, Pakistan and China also agreed that CPEC's development had reached a new point, with increasing emphasis on high-quality development of industry, agriculture, IT, and science and technology, while ensuring tangible socio-economic benefits for the people.

Foreign Secretary Mahmood underscored the centrality of the time-tested Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperative partnership in Pakistan's foreign policy.

He said that manifesting the historic choice of both countries and peoples, the vitality and dynamism of CPEC reflected the deep-seated mutual goodwill that lay at the heart of the bilateral relationship.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/pak-china-welcome-interested-third-countries-joining-cpec-for-mutually-beneficial-cooperation/articleshow/93068131.cms

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Balochistan orders stricter action against terrorists

Saleem Shahid

July 22, 2022

QUETTA: Adviser to the Balochistan Chief Minister on Home Mir Ziaullah Langove on Thursday ordered the law enforcement agencies to speed up operations against terrorists and extremists to maintain peace in the province.

Presiding over a meeting to review the law and order situation, Mr Langove asked the authorities concerned to review the security of sensitive installations, places of worship and educational institutions.

In view of the recent attacks in the province, Mr Langove also ordered strict monitoring of banned organisations, terrorists and extremist elements, including their facilitators.

He asked the CTD and Special Branch to speed up intelligence-based and combing operations while closely monitoring the movement of persons on Fourth Schedule.

The adviser said the process of searches at inter-provincial and intra-provincial security posts should be improved to check the movement of terrorists.

Arms licences

The Balo­chistan cabinet has lifted the ban on issuance of licences for non-prohibited weapons and directed the home deportment to make a policy for the purpose.

The cabinet approved a proposal for making legislation on permanent residence certificate (PRC) for residents of Balochistan.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1700971/balochistan-orders-stricter-action-against-terrorists

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State institutions, media should create enabling environment for ‘truly representative govt’: President

July 22, 2022

President Dr Arif Alvi on has said that all state institutions and media should endeavour to create enabling environment for setting up a government which was truly representative of the people of Pakistan.

The president while addressing the 5th Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Business Excellence Awards ceremony, at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Thursday night, said the truly representative government should reflect their aspirations and hopes of the people to ensure political and economic stability needed for the promotion of business, trade and investment in the country.

The president said that Pakistan could rise within a decade if it strengthened its democracy, established a government that was truly representative of its people’s aspirations, and its leadership made the right decisions, curbed corruption, upheld justice and promoted human rights.

He said that consultative institutions, trade and investment, and passion were the key ingredients for any nation to become prosperous.

He said that in addition to making the right decisions, and implementing dynamic policies, Pakistan needed to curb corrupt practices if it was to become a peaceful, prosperous, progressive and respectable country in the comity of nations.

President Alvi said that Pakistan needed to maintain cordial relations with all of its international partners and avoid becoming parties to divisive politics in international relations.

Urging the business community to invest in the development of intellectual avenues, the president said that upskilling the human resources in different sectors of the economy, especially the IT sector, could help Pakistan achieve high economic growth rates.

He stated that by focusing on the development of the knowledge-based economy and intellectual development of its human resources, Pakistan could achieve the status of a developed, peaceful and progressive country.

He said that the business and industrial sectors were the backbone of the country’s economy.

“Country grows when the industry grows, therefore, the government should take every step possible to promote business and industry by rationalizing the taxation system, setting up new industrial estates and economic zones and focusing on the promotion of exports and industrialization”, he added.

The president also called upon the members of ICCI to collaborate with universities to develop indigenous solutions to the specific problems being faced by the local industry.

He said that it was the social responsibility of the private sector to contribute to the uplift of society and the economy.

The ICCI should help make cities more environmentally friendly and accessible for differently-abled people (DAPs), he added.

He said the private sector should also take steps to provide training and skills to the uneducated and DAPs and employ them as per their capabilities as equally empowered employees.

The president added that all industries should make sure that the quota fixed for DAPs was fully implemented.

He urged the business community to increase the participation of women in business and other social activities, stating that the exclusion of women from economic and social activities had no basis in religion rather it was derived from cultural and human biases embedded in our culture and social norms.

He stressed that cultural and structural hindrances against women’s inclusion should be removed by taking affirmative action in different sectors, including business, trade, investment and manufacturing.

He regretted that women were being deprived of their inheritance and property rights in some parts of the country, despite Islam and the Constitution granting them their rights.

The president also highlighted that polarization in Indian society was increasing and the situation of Indian minorities, especially Muslims, was particularly debilitating.

He said that in India religious minorities were facing intimidation, harassment and discrimination at the hands of the Hindu majority population.

He emphasised that when the business interests of India were hurt, India was forced to take action against those who hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims.

He further stated that high moral and ethical standards should be the basis of global order, instead of vested interests.

While expressing concerns over brain drain and Pakistan’s low ranking in the gender parity index, he said that Pakistan pursued a regressive policy of exporting highly educated and skilful Human Resources from the 70s to the 90s which deprived the country of necessary human intellect and knowledge needed for progress and development.

He said that government and the private sector should create enabling conditions to stop the brain drain and bring the women population into the mainstream of the economy.

President ICCI, Shakeel Munir, said that industrialization could pave the way for Pakistan’s accelerated growth and would also help address the issue of inflation and overcome the economic difficulties being faced by the country.

Former President of ICCI, Khalid Iqbal Malik, said that Pakistan had the potential to take its annual exports up to USD 40 billion provided the right policies were in place and business and industrial sectors were properly consulted.

Source: Pakistan Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/07/22/state-institutions-media-should-create-enabling-environment-for-truly-representative-govt-president/

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Military huddle discusses ‘peace talks’ with TTP

Baqir Sajjad Syed

July 23, 2022

ISLAMABAD: A high-level military huddle on Friday discussed ‘peace talks’ with the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and decided to pursue the matter in accordance with “comprehensive security strategy”.

The national security meeting, chaired by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Nadeem Raza, was attended by all three services chiefs — Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu —, ISI Director General Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum, Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Faiz Hamid, and other senior officials.

Though the meeting carried the impression of a Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee session, it wasn’t one. A JCSC meeting would normally include the director general of Strategic Plans Division, and secretaries of ministries of defence and defence production, but none of them were there.

It was the first of such meetings, involving all the armed services, since the army-led talks with the militants in Afghanistan assumed a public profile with briefings for political leaders and the Parliamentary Committee on National Security on the issue by the army top brass.

Decides to pursue matter in accordance with ‘comprehensive security strategy’

“The forum was given a detailed briefing on review of national security situation specific to Western Border, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan,” the ISPR said about the meeting. It added that “fast-paced developments in the realm of strategic and conventional policies, the importance of peace in Afghanistan for sustainable development in the region and the operational preparedness of the armed forces” were also discussed.

The participants, the ISPR said, resolved to respond to “entire spectrum of threats” in accordance with the “comprehensive security strategy”.

It apparently means that the approach would go beyond the usual ‘kinetic strategy’ — an apparent reference to the peace talks.

The military leadership had told the political leadership at the earlier briefings that it wanted to give peace a chance, but would respond with full force if the TTP did not abide by the agreement that may be eventually concluded.

The meeting noted its “complete satisfaction” and “full confidence” in the readiness of all the three services.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1701083/military-huddle-discusses-peace-talks-with-ttp

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Punjab CM election: Imran urges supporters to stage 'peaceful protests', says all eyes on SC

July 22, 2022

Former prime minister and PTI leader Imran Khan on Friday urged his workers and supporters — particularly the youth — to register their protests tonight, adding that he now expects the Supreme Court to play its role in light of Hamza Shehbaz's shock win over Parvez Elahi in Punjab CM election.

"I am in shock at what happened in the Punjab Assembly," he said referring to Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari's ruling to not count PML-Q votes — a decision that reduced PTI-backed Parvez EIahi's votes from 186 to 176 and handed him a shocking defeat.

"Last night, Asif Zardari reached Lahore. We knew that he had to play a game. For 30 years, he has ruined the country. He buys democracy through black money."

Repeat of Sindh House

Imran said the developments of the day were similar to what was allegedly done prior to his ouster from the top office.

"This circus that we are seeing, it first happened in the Sindh House," he referred to him losing his party MNAs ahead of the no-confidence move in March. "A mandi (market) was set up. Our children were seeing it. Every child has social media these days. There was a market set up where the price of the conscience of public leaders and parliamentarians was ascertained.

"The way goats and sheep are sold ... the same way members of the parliament were being sold. Even there, the biggest culprit was the biggest dacoit Asif Zardari. He has gone to jail and still rules over Sindh. He became the part of an imported conspiracy".

"I am telling the nation today. You have to do peaceful protest. Until and unless you do that, nothing will happen. Register your protest. You have to tell that we are humans, and not sheep. Register your protest today so that they know the Pakistani nation is alive. Tell them that you wont let these dacoits steal the mandate of the public."

Hussain's letter 'invalid', Mazari has 'no shame'

Commenting on Mazari's contentious ruling, Imran said: "It has clearly been written in Article 63-A that the parliamentary party's head issues instructions for vote. Shujaat Hussain's letter is not valid.

"This man who is the speaker (Mazari) has no shame that votes have been cast and we have won and then he goes and awards the win to someone else.

Imran, whose party has decided to challenge the deputy speaker's ruling in the Supreme Court, also addressed the top judiciary in his address.

"I also want to urge the Supreme court that things are clear in front of you. I have done jihad against Zardari and Sharifs for years. I was pressured to give them NRO but I refused. Both of them looted the country," he said.

"Until and unless we bring these dacoits under the rule of law, there is no future for this country. Remember that our children are seeing this."

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1701013/punjab-cm-election-imran-urges-supporters-to-stage-peaceful-protests-says-all-eyes-on-sc

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FM Bilawal for close Pakistan-Iran cooperation on Afghanistan matters

July 22, 2022

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday underscored the importance of close cooperation between Pakistan and Iran on matters relating to Afghanistan, including refugee management, regional security, and institutional mechanisms.

He reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to a peaceful, stable, prosperous and connected Afghanistan.

The foreign minister was talking to Iran’s Special Representative to the President on Afghanistan, Hassan Kazemi Ghomi, who called on him here, a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

He highlighted Pakistan’s provision of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, including recent relief efforts in wake of the devastating earthquake in eastern Afghanistan on 22 June 2022.

The foreign minister also reiterated the importance of continued constructive engagement and practical cooperation with the Interim Afghan Government in order to promote the objective of sustainable peace and security in the region.

On bilateral ties, he expressed Pakistan’s keen desire to further strengthen relations with Iran, which are rooted deep in common faith, shared history, and cultural affinities.

The foreign minister highlighted the importance of regular exchanges to advance economic and trade relations, energy cooperation, regional security and connectivity.

Special Envoy Hassan Kazemi Ghomi noted that Iran associated high importance to its relations with Pakistan.

He appreciated the constructive role played by Pakistan in Afghanistan and underscored that peace and stability in Afghanistan were essential pre-requisites for the region’s long-term stability and prosperity.

Source: Pakistan Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/07/22/fm-bilawal-for-close-pakistan-iran-cooperation-on-afghanistan-matters/

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TLP’s sit-in outside ECP continues in Karachi

July 22, 2022

A large number of activists of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) continue to sit outside the office of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in Karachi on Friday to register their protest against one of the commission’s decisions.

TLP Ameer Hafiz Saad Rizvi will lead Friday prayers at the site of the sit-in.

Later, he will also address the participants.

Source: Pakistan Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/07/22/tlps-sit-in-outside-ecp-continues-in-karachi/

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Southeast Asia

 

Minister targets Indonesia to become Muslim fashion hub by 2024

23 July, 2022

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan expressed optimism of Indonesia's target of becoming a hub of the world's Muslim fashion being achieved by 2024 as mandated by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

"We support every effort to enliven Muslim fashion trends and modest fashion. Our goal is clear, which is to make Indonesia the center of the world's Muslim fashion in 2024," Hasan stated here, Friday.

The Trade Ministry will support Indonesian Muslim fashion exports through various trade cooperation schemes with partner countries, he remarked.

Hasan made the statement while receiving representatives from the organizers of Indonesia Modest Fashion Week (IMFW).

To this end, the public is invited to increasingly echo Muslim fashion trends in the domestic market to help the Muslim fashion industry and Indonesia's modest fashion to reach a wider market, Hasan noted.

The minister also supports the implementation of the 2022 IMFW event and will mobilize 46 foreign trade representative offices to promote the event to attract more participants and buyers.

Based on data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS), Indonesia is ranked 13th as the Muslim clothing exporter in 2021.

Indonesia's exports of Muslim clothing in 2021 amounted to US$4.68 billion, an increase of 12.49 percent as compared to only US$4.16 billion in 2020.

Meanwhile, the export value of Muslim clothing during the January-May 2022 period had reached US$2.35 billion, an increase of 41.42 percent as compared to US$1.66 billion recorded during the corresponding period in 2020.

The main export destinations for Indonesian Muslim clothing are the United States, Japan, Germany, Korea, and Canada, Hasan stated.

Moreover, the demand for halal products has continued to rise. By 2024, Muslim fashion is projected to contribute 6.04 percent to the global halal industry, whose value had reached US$311 billion.

Source: Antara News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://en.antaranews.com/news/240717/minister-targets-indonesia-to-become-muslim-fashion-hub-by-2024

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Ministry seeks to standardize honorarium for mosque imams, managers

23 July, 2022

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Religious Affairs Ministry is considering formulating a regulation to standardize the honorarium paid to imams and managers of mosques, an official has confirmed.

"We are now deliberating the (honorarium) requirement and mechanism," the ministry's director of Islamic affairs and sharia guidance, Adib, said here on Friday.

Besides ensuring the smooth running of religious activities at the mosques they manage, imams and mosque managers also play a role in helping maintain religious harmony in society, he added.

According to the official, as improving imams and mosque managers' livelihood is the ministry's concern, the standardization of the honorarium by the ministry is expected to enhance their livelihood and professionalism.

"I believe it is appropriate that the Religious Affairs Ministry consider measures to enhance the livelihood of mosques' imams and managers. So far, they are the ministry's partners in developing a pious and moderate society, as well as maintaining religious harmony," he expounded.

Meanwhile, an official from the ministry's Sub-directorate for Mosques under the Directorate General of Islamic Community Guidance, Ahmad Zamroni, said that the honorarium for the imams and managers would be funded from three sources: the state budget, regional budget, and the mosques’ monthly income.

The amount of honorarium would depend on the type of mosque, he added.

"(The honorarium will depend) on the mosque type, such as state mosque, great mosque, grand mosque, and jami (congregational) mosque. Apart from the mosque type, the honorarium will also depend on the monthly mosque income," Zamroni explained.

Earlier, the ministry's director general of Islamic community guidance, Kamaruddin Amin, had highlighted the need for enhancing religious literacy among the managers of mosques to prevent radical thoughts from taking root in mosques.

"While a lot of mosque managers have good, even outstanding, religious literacy, some others have very low religious literacy," Amin noted.

Source: Antara News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://en.antaranews.com/news/240713/ministry-seeks-to-standardize-honorarium-for-mosque-imams-managers

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Malaysian politician hails Turkey-led deal as 'major diplomatic coup'

JUL 22, 2022

The incumbent opposition leader in Malaysia praised Turkey for its efforts to mediate a deal to secure grain exports from Ukraine through the Black Sea.

"This is a major diplomatic coup," said Anwar Ibrahim, referring to the deal signed by Turkey, the U.N., Russia and Ukraine on Friday.

Ibrahim was speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) in an interview in Istanbul.

Thanking Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkish authorities, and the Turkish people for taking the lead, Ibrahim said, "This (deal) is a remarkable story in the period of despair and negativity."

"The President (Recep) Tayyip Erdoğan has managed to bring together Ukraine and Russia to settle an international problem of food security,” he said.

"This is a major diplomatic victory. Although there is still war, this is at least an opportunity to be able to meet and engage," said the globally renowned reformer and academic-turned-politician.

The deal, signed in presence of Erdoğan and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, came after a general agreement reached between the parties on a U.N.-led plan during talks in Istanbul on July 13 to form a coordination center to carry out joint inspections at the entrance and exit of the harbors and to ensure the safety of the routes.

Internationally praised for its mediator role, Turkey coordinated with Moscow and Kyiv to open a corridor from the Ukrainian port city of Odessa to resume global grain shipments, which are stuck due to the Russia-Ukraine war, now in its fifth month.

Ibrahim, who in the past also performed duties as Malaysia's deputy prime minister, said the deal "affects the food security... therefore the welfare of general people in Turkey and other countries."

Pointing to the participation of the U.N. chief, the Malaysian politician said the deal was a "major step in resolving partly the problem that is affecting lives of the common people."

"This is a major diplomatic success in terms of resolving the problem of escalating prices of food and more so food security," he added.

Referring to the Russia-Ukraine war which began on Feb. 24, Ibrahim said the grain exports deal indicates "at least there is light at the end of the tunnel... where engagement is taking place, though not a substantive matter affecting the war, which means there is a form of collaboration taking place."

"What Turkey has done is to be able to use its influence in trying to settle a major dispute that affects the livelihood of people and to me, that is very significant," said Ibrahim, who earlier taught at U.S.-based Georgetown University among others.

"This (Turkey) is probably the only country that has been able to bring these two countries together at least on some specific sphere, in this case, import and export of grain," said Ibrahim, calling himself a personal and family friend of Erdoğan.

"We are proud at least we have an emerging moderate Muslim nation (Turkey) undertaking that role," he added.

Source: Daily Sabah

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/diplomacy/malaysian-politician-hails-turkey-led-deal-as-major-diplomatic-coup

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12 Appeals Court judges in race for 4 Federal Court positions

V Anbalagan

July 23, 2022

PETALING JAYA: Twelve of 26 Court of Appeal judges could be in the running to fill four existing and expected vacancies in the Federal Court.

Based on seniority they are Yaacob Md Sam, Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, Suraya Othman, Hanipah Farikullah, Kamaludin Md Said, Nor Bee Ariffin, Has Zanah Mehat, Lee Swee Seng, Azizah Nawawi, Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera, Abu Bakar Jais and M Nantha Balan.

Last week, the most senior Federal Court judge, Zawawi Salleh, retired after a six-month extension given by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Earlier, in May, another apex court judge, Zaleha Yusof, retired.

Another two vacancies will arise when Chief Judge of Malaya Azahar Mohamed and Court of Appeal president Rohana Yusuf leave office in October and November, respectively.

This is because two Federal Court judges will be elevated to these two administrative posts.

This means, four Court of Appeal judges will likely be picked to fill the vacancies in the Federal Court, though nothing stops the prime minister from picking senior lawyers from the Bar.

According to procedure, the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, will meet to propose the names to be sent to the prime minister’s office.

As required under Article 122B of the Federal Constitution, the King appoints judges acting on the advice of the prime minister after consulting the Conference of Rulers.

A former JAC member said the selection criteria includes integrity, competency, experience, the ability to make timely judgments, and good writing skills.

“Seniority is a factor that will be considered for elevation to the apex court, too” said the former member, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

He said the JAC was more inclined to look for judges from within the judiciary for elevation.

Former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram said the Federal Court needed writers and thinkers and not mere passengers.

“It is a policy making court and a constitutional court. Its decision binds every other court below,” he said.

Sri Ram said Yaacob, who was chairman and member of the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC), should be elevated as he had a good track record of writing judgments.

He said Hanipah, Vazeer Alam and Nantha Balan were other good choices.

“In her capacity as chief justice, Tengku Maimun will have the records and conduct of all judges before the JAC makes proposals,” he said, adding that there should be no executive interference.

Sri Ram, who was directly promoted to the Court of Appeal from being a lawyer in 1994, said there was no reason to look for candidates outside the ranks of the judiciary as there were now sufficiently-talented candidates for promotion.

“At one time, an outsider was brought in as the morale and public confidence in the judiciary was low,” he said, alluding to the appointment of lawyer Zaki Azmi as a Federal Court judge in 2007. Zaki was made the chief justice the following year.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/07/23/12-appeals-court-judges-in-race-for-4-federal-court-positions/

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Rafizi, Najib cross swords over RM1.5bil bank scandal

July 22, 2022

PETALING JAYA: A RM1.5 billion scandal involving loans from Bank Pembangunan led to PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli and former prime minister Najib Razak crossing swords today.

Rafizi questioned why the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has not called up Najib over the missing funds, and claimed that Najib, as the then finance minister, had approved the RM1.5 billion loans.

He said there was enough evidence in a suit filed by Bank Pembangunan last month for MACC to act against those involved.

The bank suit, filed on June 29, is against 27 people and entities, including its former president and managing director Zafer Hashim, over a RM400 million loan granted to Aries Telecoms a decade ago.

In a response on Facebook today, Najib said Rafizi was either “desperate or stupid” because the prime minister and finance minister did not approve bank loans. “Banks have their own credit committees and loan policies,” he said.

“Do I need to be probed for every fraud and losses incurred by the banks during my time as prime minister? And why didn’t Pakatan Harapan probe it then when they were in government?” he said.

According to court filings, as reported by The Edge, Bank Pembangunan is accusing the 27 defendants of conspiring and using unlawful means to defraud the bank and concealing such fraud and its proceeds.

The bank alleged that the money, which was meant to be used for an optical fibre project, was misused and “siphoned off or unjustifiably transferred” to others.

Rafizi also made reference to other loans provided by the bank. These were:

RM337 million to offshore supply vessel operator Borcos Shipping which he said became insolvent in 2017;

RM450 million to Asian Broadcasting Network for a digital cable TV network; and

RM305 million to Nautical Resort Sdn Bhd and Garuda Suci Sdn Bhd which were involved in a Langakawi hotel and convention centre project.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/07/22/rafizi-najib-cross-swords-over-rm1-5bil-bank-scandal/

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Mideast

 

Turkiye Steps Up Efforts to Combat Islamic State, Detains 10 Suspects in Istanbul

JULY 23, 2022

Turkish law enforcement agents in Istanbul have detained 10 individuals suspected of being active members of the Islamic State (IS).

Special Operations forces raided 10 different locations in the city on early Friday morning, capturing the suspects, operational files and digital material that could give clues about other IS cells within the region, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the local Demiroren News Agency (DHA).

Suspects were active operatives and could have been in preparation for an attack inside Turkiye, reported DHA.

Turkiye has been stepping up its efforts to combat the IS, according to state officials.

Since the beginning of the year, 13 would-be suicide bombers were captured by local law forces, owing to information deciphered from previously seized operational files, the Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said in June.

Source: News18

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.news18.com/news/world/turkiye-steps-up-efforts-to-combat-islamic-state-detains-10-suspects-in-istanbul-5609221.html

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Iranian FM Confirms UAE, Kuwait to Send Envoys to Tehran

2022-July-22

Following Saudi Arabia's decision to sever ties with Iran in 2016, some other Persian Gulf states also followed suit, reducing the level of diplomatic ties, Amir Abdollahian said in an interview broadcast on state television Thursday evening while elaborating on the Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi-led administration's foreign policy.

The foreign minister added that the new Iranian administration implemented measures last year, including the invitation of Persian Gulf states to the inauguration ceremony of President Raeisi, to improve the level of ties with neighbors.

"Efforts were made to use all practical plans as well as political and diplomatic capacities to strengthen ties with these states," he stressed.

"The efforts have resulted in decisions of the UAE and Kuwait to introduce ambassadors to Tehran," the top diplomat continued.

"The United Arab Emirates decided to introduce an ambassador to Tehran and the envoy will soon arrive in Tehran," Amir Abdollahian said, adding, "Kuwait has introduced its ambassador and we agreed; the new Kuwaiti envoy will enter Tehran in the coming days."

In other remarks during the interview, the Iranian foreign minister said Saudi Arabia has shown readiness to advance the ongoing talks from security to the political sphere, after progress in the previous five rounds hosted by the Iraqi government.

He stated the two sides have reached some agreements, including on re-opening embassies in their respective countries.

"Last week we received a message from Iraqi foreign minister [Fuad Hussein] saying that the Saudi side is ready to move the phase of talks from a security one to a political and public one," added the minister.

"We also expressed our readiness to continue talks at the political level so that it leads to the return of Iran-Saudi Arabia ties to the normal level," Amir Abdollahian continued.

Riyadh decided to sever diplomatic relations with Iran back in January 2016 after protestors who were enraged by the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir Al-Nimr threw stones at its consultae in Mashhad in Northeastern Iran.

There was no change in Riyadh's confrontational policy towards Tehran until 2021 when it signaled an inclination to mend fractured ties with Iran.

Iraqi government agreed to the role of mediator between the two countries and has so far hosted five rounds of talks in Baghdad.

Both Tehran and Riyadh have hinted at some progress in recent rounds of talks, although they remain divided over some contentious issues, mainly the devastating Saudi-led coaltion's war on Yemen.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Amir Abdollahian stated revenge for the assassination of Iran's celebrated anti-terror commander Lieutenant general Qassem Soleimani is among the "absolute responsibilities" of the foreign ministry and other concerned organizations.

"The issue of General Soleimani will never be forgotten. The issue is so deep that even [Russian President Vladimir] Putin pointed to the important position and role of General Soleimani during his meetings with the Leader of the Islamic Revolution and the Iranian president," the top diplomat said.

The foreign ministry, he noted, has beefed up a committee that follows up on international issues, adding that the judiciary branch is also seriously pursuing the case.

"We consider avenging the blood of Martyr Soleimani in legal, international, and political arenas and deem following up on the issue in all its aspects as our absolute responsibility," Amir Abdollahian asserted.

General Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), were martyred along with their companions in a US drone strike in January 2020.

The strike near the Baghdad International Airport was authorized by then-President Donald Trump.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010431000309/Iranian-FM-Cnfirms-UAE-Kwai-Send-Envys-Tehran

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Spokesman: Iran Recalls Envoy from Sweden over Hamid Nouri's Case

2022-July-22

"Following the illegal verdict and statement issued in Sweden regarding Hamid Nouri, an Iranian citizen who is in jail in this country, in protest against the illegal statement and verdict issued in Sweden against Hamid Nouri, which is based on baseless, distorted and fabricated accusations, Iran has decided to call its ambassador in Sweden to Tehran for some consultations," Kana'ani said.

"The local court of Stockholm in Sweden sentenced ‘Hamid Nouri’ for life imprisonment by issuing a verdict as given by false accusations of MKO terrorist group," Kana’ani added.

Nouri, a former Iranian judiciary employee who has been in solitary confinement in Sweden since 2019, was sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Sweden on Thursday.

Nouri was arrested upon arrival in Sweden at Stockholm Airport in November 2019 and immediately imprisoned. He has been held in solitary confinement for over two years.

Swedish prosecutors have requested the maximum penalty of life imprisonment for Nouri, accusing the former Iranian judiciary official of prisoner abuse.

The charges against Nouri stem from allegations leveled against him by members of the anti-Iran Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) terrorist group. Nouri has vehemently rejected the allegations.

Amir Abdollahian has denounced his detention as “illegal”.

Swedish judicial authorities have been preventing Nouri from contacting his family since moving him to a different detention center.

Upon arrest, he was forbidden for around eight months from making phone calls to his family members, and barred from meeting them in person for two years.

Also in May, Iran’s Judiciary Spokesman Zabihollah Khodayian said that Hamid Nouri who is deprived of human rights is being tried in a politically-driven trial in Sweden.

Nouri’s trial couldn’t be described as judicial because it is political and lacks international and even Sweden's national legal standards, Khodayian said.
Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010430000552/Spkesman-Iran-Recalls-Envy-frm-Sweden-ver-Hamid-Nri's-Case

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Iran wants nuclear deal guarantees so as ‘not to be stung twice’

22 July ,2022

Iran is seeking economic guarantees from the US to revive a long-stalled 2015 nuclear deal so as “not to be stung twice” the same way, its foreign minister said.

The agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its atomic program to guarantee that it could not develop a nuclear weapon - something it has always denied seeking.

But the US unilateral withdrawal from the accord in 2018 under then-president Donald Trump and the reimposition of biting economic sanctions prompted Iran to begin rolling back on its own commitments.

“We do not want to be stung twice on the same spot. In order to enjoy the full economic benefits of the JCPOA, the Americans must accept some commitments and guarantees,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told state television in an interview on Thursday night.

“We are now at a point where we have a text ready in front of us; we agree with all parties on 95 percent of its content,” he said.

“We are serious about reaching a good, strong and lasting agreement but we do not want an agreement at any price.”

Talks in Vienna that started in April 2021 to restore the deal have stalled since March amid differences between Tehran and Washington on several issues.

The two sides negotiated indirectly through the European Union coordinator.

Qatar hosted indirect talks last month between the United States and Iran in a bid to get the process back on track, but those discussions broke up after two days without any breakthrough.

“The Americans have not yet assured us that we can enjoy the full economic benefits of the JCPOA,” Amir-Abdollahian stressed, saying Iran will continue its indirect negotiations with the US through the European Union.

On Thursday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said Iran “doesn't seem to have made the political decision - or decisions, I should say -necessary to achieve a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA.”

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/07/22/Iran-wants-nuclear-deal-guarantees-so-as-not-to-be-stung-twice-

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Iran’s nuclear program is ‘galloping ahead’, IAEA chief says

22 July ,2022

Iran’s nuclear program is “galloping ahead” and the International Atomic Energy Agency has very limited visibility on what is happening, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi told Spain’s El Pais newspaper in an interview published on Friday.

In June, Iran began removing essentially all the agency’s monitoring equipment, installed under its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Grossi said at the time it could be a “fatal blow” to chances of reviving the deal following 2018’s pullout by the United States.

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“The bottom line is that for almost five weeks I have had very limited visibility, with a nuclear program that is galloping ahead and, therefore, if there is an agreement, it is going to be very difficult for me to reconstruct the puzzle of this whole period of forced blindness,” he told El Pais.

Grossi had said in June there was a window of just three to four weeks to restore at least some of the monitoring that was being scrapped before the IAEA lost the ability to piece together Iran’s most important nuclear activities.

Since then-US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the deal and re-imposed sanctions against Tehran in 2018, Iran has breached many of the deal’s limits on its nuclear activities. It is enriching uranium to close to weapons-grade.

Western powers warn it is getting closer to being able to sprint towards making a nuclear bomb. Iran denies wanting to.

“It is not impossible (to reconstruct the puzzle), but it is going to require a very complex task and perhaps some specific agreements,” Grossi, who was visiting Madrid, said in his interview with El Pais.

Indirect talks between Iran and the United States on reviving the 2015 deal have been stalled since March.

Grossi said he was concerned and worried about these weeks with no visibility.

“The agency needed to reconstruct a database, without which any agreement will rest on a very fragile basis, because if we don’t know what’s there, how can we determine how much material to export, how many centrifuges to leave unused?,” he said.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/07/22/Iran-s-nuclear-program-is-galloping-ahead-IAEA-chief-says

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Houthis commit 277 violations of UN truce in 48 hours

July 23, 2022

DUBAI: The Houthi militia has been accused of committing 277 breaches of the UN-brokered truce in the span of 48 hours across several Yemeni cities.

At least 12 army personnel were killed and 19 others were injured as a result of the violations, according to state news agency SABA  referring to the Yemeni army.

The Military Forces' Media Center reported that 109 breaches were committed in areas located in southern Hodeida, 51 in Hajjah, 42 in Barh Military Pivot in western Taiz, 37 in Taiz Pivot, 24 in the southern, western and north-eastern parts of Marib, seven in Hazm Jawf, four in Dhale and three in Sa'adah's warfronts.

Source: Arab News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2127836/middle-east

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Africa

 

Dozen Killed As Armed Groups Violently Clash In Libya

23 July 2022

Clashes between armed groups in Tripoli have left 13 people dead and 30 others injured in the latest violence to hit the Libyan capital amid rising political tensions.

They exchanged fire in a central district where several government and international agencies, along with diplomatic missions, are based, and clashes spread to the areas of Ain Zara and Asbaa.

The fighting "killed 13 people, among them three civilians including a child aged 11, and wounded 30," the ambulance service told news channel Libya al-Ahrar.

The United Nations Libya mission UNSMIL said it had received reports of civilian casualties and demanded an investigation.

"Any action that endangers the lives of civilians is unacceptable," it said in a tweet, calling on "all Libyans to do everything possible to preserve the country's fragile stability at this sensitive time".

The clashes occurred between two armed groups with major clout in the west of the war-torn country: the Al-Radaa force and the Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade.

Another brigade called "444" intervened to mediate a truce, deploying its armed vehicles in a buffer zone east of Tripoli, noted an AFP photographer.

According to Osama Ali, a spokesman for Libya’s Ambulance and Emergency Services, around 60 students who were stranded in the dormitories of the University of Tripoli due to the conflict were transported by ambulances.

Flights of Libyan Airlines from Cairo and Al Alamiya (Global Air) from Benghazi, which were supposed to land at Mitiga Airport, were diverted to Misrata, 200 kilometers east of Tripoli.

Meanwhile, the management of Mitiga Airport, the only airport that serves the Libyan capital, also suspended air traffic until further notice.

Last month, Tripoli also witnessed clashes between the al-Nawasi brigade affiliated with the Libyan National Unity Government and the Stability Support Service affiliated with the Presidential Council.

The Libyan presidential election was supposed to be held on December 24, 2021, but it was postponed due to a disagreement between the representatives of the Tobruk Parliament and the Supreme Council of the Libyan Government regarding the election law.

Following the postponement of the elections, the members of the House of Representatives in Tobruk, located in eastern Libya, elected Fathi Bashagha, the former interior minister of Libya, as the prime minister during a meeting chaired by Aqila Saleh.

Then, the prime minister of the National Unity Government of Libya Abdul Hamid Dbeibah accused the House of Representatives of leaving the roadmap set in the Geneva Agreement and announced that he would remain in his responsibility and hand it over only to an elected government.

For about four months, there have been two separate governments led by Dbeibah and Bashagha in Libya. This situation has increased the concerns of the escalation of violence in the country.

Libya has been beset by violence and chaos since the overthrow and killing of its long-serving ruler Muammar Gaddafi following a bombing campaign by the US-led NATO military alliance in 2011. The resulting chaos and factional divisions then escalated into a regional proxy war fueled by foreign powers, who poured weapons and mercenaries into the country.

Since 2015, Libya has been divided between the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and lawmakers in Tobruk, allied to renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar.

The Government of National Unity of Libya was supported by countries such as Qatar, Turkey, some European countries and the United Nations, and countries such as Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE also supported the army of Khalifa Haftar, a retired general based in Benghazi and Tobruk.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/07/23/686101/Libya-political-tensions-Tripoli-Libyan-capital-United-Nations

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Nigeria's former treasury head remanded to prison in $262 million fraud case

Ibrahim Garba Shuaibu  

23.07.2022

KANO, Nigeria

The former head of Nigeria’s Treasury was remanded Friday for his alleged involvement in diverting more than 109 billion Nigerian nairas ($262 million).

Justice Adeyemi Ajayi gave the order after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) indicted Ahmad Idris on a 14-count charge including conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and money laundering.

Idris allegedly received payments from Godfrey Olusegun Akindele worth 15.1 billion nairas in exchange for accelerating payment to the 13% derivation fund -- a benefit-sharing system that helps communities get development funds. It goes to the country’s nine oil-producing states.

The former Treasury chief was arraigned alongside Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Kudu Usman and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited.

EFCC counsel Rotimi Jacobs pleaded with the court to grant the prosecution time to prepare additional criminal charges.

But Idris’ lawyer, Chris Uche, asked the court to grant bail to his client pending a formal written application.

He said his client had to take the next available flight from Kano to appear for the trial in the nation's capital, Abuja.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/nigerias-former-treasury-head-remanded-to-prison-in-262-million-fraud-case/2643872

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South Africa, Ivory Coast welcome landmark grain deal reached in Türkiye

Hasan Isilow 

23.07.2022

JOHANNESBURG 

The presidents of South Africa and the Ivory Coast welcomed a landmark deal Friday that was brokered in Türkiye between Russia and Ukraine to allow Ukrainian grain exports to resume.

“The flow of grains from that sea is going to be helpful to Africa and I’m particularly pleased,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a joint news conference in the nation’s capital of Pretoria with his Ivorian counterpart, Alassane Ouattara, who is on a state visit .

Ramaphosa said he was particularly pleased to hear that UN chief Antonio Guterres will be going to Turkey to sign the agreement.

“From the beginning of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, we held a view and continue to hold the view that the conflict needs to be settled and resolved through negotiation,” he said.

Speaking through an interpreter in French, Ouattara said he was equally happy with Ankara and the deal.

He said he spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and requested that Africa be considered a priority once supplies resumed because of its social economic conditions.

“We should also see this agreement as something which could signal the end of conflict. Everyone wants to see peace and everyone wants to see an end to conflict and president Ouattara and myself shared this view,’’ said Ramaphosa.

The South African leader said the Russia-Ukraine conflict should be seen as a wakeup call for Africa which depends on fertilizers and grains from those countries.
Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/south-africa-ivory-coast-welcome-landmark-grain-deal-reached-in-turkiye/2643853

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Mali’s army says terrorist attack on base near capital repelled

James Tasamba  

22.07.2022

KIGALI, Rwanda

A soldier was among eight people killed in a terrorist attack on a military base near Mali’s capital Bamako, the army said on Friday.

Seven terrorists were shot dead as Malian forces “vigorously repelled” the attack by Katiba Macina, a group affiliated with the al-Qaeda and Daesh/ISIS terror organizations, according to a military statement.

The attack on the Kati military barracks, some 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Bamako, began early in the morning with two vehicles packed with explosives, the army said.

Six people were wounded in the assault and eight more have been arrested, the statement said.

“The situation is under control and a search is underway to flush out the perpetrators and their accomplices,” it added.

Since 2012, Mali has been battling violence orchestrated by militant and terrorist groups in northern and central parts of the country.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/mali-s-army-says-terrorist-attack-on-base-near-capital-repelled/2643647

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