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Israel Court Allows Jewish Silent Prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, Says, It Was Not a ‘Criminal Act’

New Age Islam News Bureau

07 October 2021


Jewish worshippers, with police protection, visit Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third-holiest site of Islam which is also revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, on 8 June 2021 (AFP)


• Malaysian Islamic Affairs Minister Confirms Bill to Control Non-Muslim Religions

• The Biggest Perpetrator and Supporter of Terrorism Masquerading As Its Victim: India Slams Pakistan at UN

• Why Imran Khan Must be Wary of Faiz Hameed, Who Could be Next Pakistan Army Chief

• Passport Office Reopening Gives Threatened Afghans Hope



• Iran UN Envoy: Terrorism Should Not Be Linked to Any Nationality, Religion

• Spokesman: Vienna Talks Should Guarantee Iranians' Rights

• Israeli archaeologists find ‘luxurious’ 2,700-year-old toilet in Jerusalem

• Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza apply for Israeli work permits

• Iran’s cyber-espionage poses threat to Israel, countries in the region: Report


Southeast Asia

• Royal Malaysia Police Investigating Viral Video Clip Of Preacher Insulting Non-Muslim Faiths

• Govt gives pledge on RUU355, bill to limit propagation of non-Muslim faiths

• Fathers' rights association wants equal custody of children in Malaysian divorce cases



• Muslims Revive Durga Puja in a Muslim Neighbourhood in the Heart of Kolkata with Help from Hindu Families

• 2 teachers killed in terror attack in Srinagar

• Probe ordered into AMU land lease



• Pakistan Army Replaces Powerful Spy Agency ISI Chief in Surprise Reshuffle

• Pakistan Court Indicts Saba Qamar, Bilal Saeed for Shooting a ‘Dance Video’ In Mosque

• No Compromise on Khatm-e-Nubuwwat and Pakistan: MoS Parliamentary Affairs

• At least 20 killed as 5.9-magnitude earthquake rocks parts of Balochistan

• Bill to increase NA seats for ex-Fata likely after political consensus: speaker


South Asia

• Taliban Launches Operation against Daesh in Kabul's Paghman District

• UN Calls On Donors to Scale up Life-Saving Response to Crisis in Afghanistan

• Taliban say they captured four Islamic State members near Kabul after raid

• Afghanistan’s Electricity Body to Sell Estate to Pay off Debt

• Now in power, Taliban set sights on Afghan drug underworld


Arab World

• Grand Imam of Al Azhar Hails UAE's Support for Tolerance Values

• Iran, Iraq exchange remains of 31 soldiers killed in 1980-88 war: ICRC

• Saudi Arabia arrests two residents for collecting funds of unknown origin

• Saudi air defences intercept Houthi drone targeting Abha airport, four injured

• Arab Coalition destroys Houthi militia site used to launch booby-trapped drones

• Arab Coalition intercepts three explosive-laden boats launched by Houthis in Yemen



• Report: Libyan Islamic Fighting Group Threat to UK

• Tunisia police seize equipment used by pro-Ennahda TV

• Algeria tells France to ‘decolonize its history’ in new spat

• Sudan's military asks premier to form new government

• Islamist militants kill at least nine Malian soldiers


North America

• US Investigating Reports That Ghani Fled Kabul with Millions of Dollars: Official

• Twenty-Six Art Works By Boxing Great Muhammad Ali Sell For Nearly $1 Mln



• War Games Stoke The Flames Of Enmity Between Caucasus Rivals Iran And Azerbaijan

• Briton charged with terror offenses after disappearing in Turkey

• Moscow to host international talks on Afghanistan on Oct. 20

• Germany repatriates 8 women, 23 children with ties to Daesh

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Israel Court Allows Jewish Silent Prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, Says, It Was Not a ‘Criminal Act’

6 October 2021


Jewish worshippers, with police protection, visit Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third-holiest site of Islam which is also revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, on 8 June 2021 (AFP)


In a landmark decision on Wednesday, an Israeli judge ruled that silent prayer by Jewish worshippers at al-Aqsa mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem was not a "criminal act", according to Israel's Channel 7 news.

Justice Bilha Yahalom of Jerusalem Magistrates' Court said Jewish prayer at the holy site could not be considered a "criminal act" if it remained silent, as it would not violate police instructions.

The ruling came after a case was brought forward by Rabbi Aryeh Lippo contesting a ban imposed by the police on his visits and prayers at the compound.

The judge ordered Lippo be allowed to return to his prayer at the site in Occupied East Jerusalem.

While Jewish worshippers are allowed access to al-Aqsa compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, they are not allowed to pray there.

Jordan, which has managed the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf - or endowment - since 1948, condemned the decision, stressing the Waqf held the sole legal authority to administer the affairs of al-Aqsa.

"The decision is a serious violation of the historical and legal status of al-Aqsa Mosque," Jordan's foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian foreign ministry said the "unprecedented decision… constitutes a flagrant aggression against the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque".

In recent years the number of Jewish worshippers quietly praying on the site has increased, despite the long-standing agreement banning the practice between Jordanian authorities overseeing the compound and the Israeli government.

Heightened tensions

A growing far-right Jewish movement has been calling for Israel to take full control of al-Aqsa, arguing that it should be an exclusively Jewish holy site.

Jewish activists have repeatedly stormed the complex, prompting fears the Israeli government would strengthen its control over the third-holiest site in Islam.

While Muslim worshippers are often prevented from entering the complex, Israeli security officials have often been seen protecting Jewish settlers in prayer and blocking Muslim officials from interfering with Israeli visitors.

During this year Jewish holiday of Passover, the al-Aqsa Mosque compound witnessed a number of incidents viewed as attempts to breach the status quo on the site, including Jewish worshippers praying and loudly reading the Torah at the site.

Al-Aqsa mosque compound has been the site of rising tension between Palestinians and Israeli activists this year.

A raid by Israeli police on the mosque which left hundreds of Palestinians wounded helped trigger an 11-day war in May between Israel and Hamas in Gaza in May.

Last month thousands of Israelis broke into the complex following the end of the seven-day Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

Activists were joined by prominent members of the Israeli media, government ministers, Knesset members and senior Israeli officials.

Source: Middle East Eye

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Malaysian Islamic Affairs Minister Confirms Bill To Control Non-Muslim Religions

07 Oct 2021



DAP’s Lim Guan Eng noted that Wan Junaidi previously denied that the Bills were on the cards and downplayed the perception that they would diminish constitutional freedoms, especially to those of non-Muslim faiths. ― Bernama pic


KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — DAP’s Lim Guan Eng today urged de facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar to clarify his position on the government’s plan to introduce two new Islamic laws that critics say affect religious freedom in Malaysia.

The Bagan MP noted that Wan Junaidi previously denied that the Bills were on the cards and downplayed the perception that they would diminish constitutional freedoms, especially to those of non-Muslim faiths.

“Wan Junaidi should clarify, especially when the Sabah and Sarawak state governments have openly declared their opposition towards PAS proposals,” Lim said in a statement.

Lim was referring to two government proposals — the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill 2016, better known as RUU355, and the Control on the Propagation of non-Muslim Religions Bill.

Wan Junaidi was reported by several news outlets as saying on September 7 that several Islamic Bills that had been talked about had not yet been raised in Cabinet meetings.

The Santubong MP from Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu also reportedly said that even if they were tabled in Parliament, the proposed laws must first have the consent of all the respective state Rulers as Islam is under state jurisdiction.

Islamic Affairs Minister Idris Ahmad who is also PAS vice-president yesterday confirmed the Control on the Propagation of non-Muslim Religions Bill will be tabled in Parliament, but said it is not intended to restrict religious freedom among non-Muslims as they can proselytise their faiths among themselves.

However, Lim claimed PAS has adopted a hostile stance towards non-Muslims since the death of Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat who was its spiritual adviser.

“Further, PAS’ brand of extremism is highlighted by their support of the Taliban government in Afghanistan, which denies educational and employment opportunities to women.

“For Idris Ahmad to claim that this proposed new legislation will only be enforced on Muslims, such as the bill to restrict the propagation of non-Islamic religions, reminds us of the justification by religious extremist preacher Syakir Nasoha, spreading lies against non-Muslims, that his insulting and derogatory remarks against non-Muslims, were meant only for Muslims,” he added.

Lim pointed out that questions will continue to be asked about such law proposals and whether they contravene the Federal Constitution?

In August, PAS International Affairs and Foreign Relations committee chairman Muhammad Khalil Abdul Hadi took to Twitter to “congratulate the people of Afghanistan and the Taliban-led government for their victory” after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan's capital city of Kabul.

Last week, a video of Kedah-based preacher Syakir Nasoha — where amongst other things, he asserted that non-believers were “rushing” to kill Muslims — went viral on social media, causing public outrage and multiple police reports have been lodged against him.

Source: Malay Mail

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The biggest perpetrator and supporter of terrorism masquerading as its victim: India slams Pakistan at UN

Oct 7, 2021

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan is the biggest perpetrator and supporter of terrorism and masquerades as its victim and should stop cleansing its own minorities including Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, and Buddhists, India has said in a strong response slamming Islamabad for again raking up the Kashmir issue at the UN.

Emphasising that the fight against terrorism has to be unrelenting and across all fronts, Counsellor/Legal Adviser at India's Permanent Mission to the UN Dr Kajal Bhat said that all member states must fulfil their obligations enshrined in international counter-terrorism instruments and conventions.

“…let me express my dismay that Pakistan has once again misused this august forum to repeat at adnauseam their litany of lies,” Bhat said at the General Assembly 6th committee (Legal) meeting on ‘Measures to eliminate international terrorism'.

“Here is the biggest perpetrator and supporter of terrorism masquerading as its victim. We condemn their Pavlovian response wherever the name of India is mentioned and reject all their allegations and insinuations," she said on Wednesday.

India's strong response came after Pakistan's UN envoy Munir Akram again raked up the issue of Kashmir at the Sixth Committee meeting and made baseless allegations against India in his remarks.

"Jammu and Kashmir is, and will always be a part of India," she said.

"We call on Pakistan to stop cleansing their own minorities including Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and others,” Bhat said.

While some states lack the legal-operational frameworks and necessary Combating of Financing of Terrorism (CFT) capacities, others are "clearly guilty of aiding and supporting terrorism by providing financial assistance and safe havens to terrorists," Bhat said, in a veiled reference to Pakistan.

"We must enhance capacities of the former, but must collectively call out the latter and hold them accountable,” she said.

Bhat said terrorism continues to persist globally, spreading into new areas, with terrorists having significantly enhanced their capabilities by gaining access to new and emerging technologies like drones, virtual currencies and encrypted communications for furthering their objectives and accomplishing their evil acts.

“Covid-19 pandemic has further aggravated the situation. Isolation due to lockdown, distress and economic uncertainty has made the world more susceptible to radicalizing narratives and violent extremist propaganda,” she said.

Asserting that terrorists at one place are a “threat" to the whole world, Bhat said fighting terrorism collectively requires “action from all of us, without any exception.”

She underscored India's condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and firm belief that there cannot be any exception or justification for any act of terrorism, regardless of motivations behind such acts, and wherever, whenever and by whomsoever, they are committed.

“There cannot be bad terrorists or good terrorists based on their intensions or objectives.”

A member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), India is already in the process of upgrading its Financial Intelligence Network to ensure quicker referral of terror-financing cases to law enforcement agencies, she said.

India reiterated the need for early finalisation of the Draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, saying the UN needs to do more in this direction.

“We believe that when right action is not taken at the right time, then it is time itself that causes the action to fail,” Bhat said, strongly calling on states to unite in efforts and end the stalemate preventing the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT).

“We all need CCIT as a law enforcement instrument that should strengthen the existing framework of global anti-terrorism conventions,” she said.

India expressed hope that the UNGA Resolution of December 2020 that recommends to Sixth Committee to establish the “Working Group” with a view to finalising the process on the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism will “bring finality to the most important task in hand before the international community.”

Welcoming the adoption of the 7th review resolution of the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy (GCTS) by the General Assembly by consensus in June 2021, Bhat expressed hope that the member states will “walk the talk” and implement the strategy by taking effective measures.

India had contributed constructively to the GCTS negotiations, especially to strengthen the language on countering the financing of terrorism, prevention of misuse of emerging technologies, strengthen the rights of victims of terrorism, providing greater financial resources to the UN counter-terrorism architecture and obligations of member states to take effective measures to prevent terrorist activities.

Source: Times of India

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Why Imran Khan Must be Wary of Faiz Hameed, Who Could be Next Pakistan Army Chief

OCTOBER 07, 2021

The equivalent of a Cabinet reshuffle in India is the reshuffle of the military top brass in Pakistan. No surprise then that even a routine reshuffle of the top command and staff positions in the Pakistan Army invites so much attention. More than anything else, this is a statement on who calls the shots in each of these two countries. The appointment of ISI chief Lt General Faiz Hameed as a Corps Commander is, therefore, nothing out of the ordinary.

It is a routine transfer and wasn’t entirely unexpected. The only reason why it is inviting so much attention is that this gives Hameed a shot at becoming the Army Chief next year when the current incumbent General Qamar Bajwa’s term ends. Without having commanded a Corps for at least a year, Hameed wouldn’t have been eligible for the top job in Pakistan. But whether or not he gets the job is far from certain.

For one, there is speculation that Bajwa might well seek another extension. While that looks a bit difficult right now, it cannot be entirely ruled out. But assuming Bajwa condescends to retire, Hameed will be number four in the seniority list. That doesn’t mean much because in Pakistan the senior-most three-star general becoming the chief is more of an exception than the rule.

The last senior-most Lt General who became chief was Jehangir Karamat. His successor Pervez Musharraf superseded three Lt Generals to become chief. Musharraf’s successor Ashfaq Kayani, his successor Raheel Sharif and even Bajwa superseded senior three-stars to become chief. Going by that record, Hameed is well placed to become chief, assuming Imran Khan is still the prime minister when the time comes to pick Bajwa’s successor just over a year from now.

The fact that Hameed is in the good books of Imran is hardly a secret. But to imagine that because he is a loyalist, or if you will a Youthia (a pejorative term for the cult of Imran’s followers), he will be Imran’s man as chief is a mistake that many prime ministers in Pakistan have made. The thing is that in Pakistan, prime ministers appoint their own boss—the Army chief.

The moment someone becomes chief, he becomes his own man. That is the nature of the job. Every prime minister thinks he is appointing his man as Army chief. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto superseded seven generals to appoint an obsequious Zia-ul-Haq and then got hanged by him.

Nawaz Sharif appointed five of them and had problems with all of them — Asif Nawaz Janjua who died in the saddle before he could get rid of Nawaz Sharif, Abdul Waheed Kakar who forced Nawaz to resign, Jehangir Karamat who was the only gentleman who quit after differences with Nawaz Sharif, Pervez Musharraf who did a coup and imprisoned Nawaz Sharif, Raheel Sharif who had serious tensions but did not depose Nawaz Sharif, and Qamar Bajwa who engineered the judicial coup to get rid of Nawaz Sharif.

The Pakistan Peoples Party [PPP] gave an extension to Kayani who in his second term almost got rid of the government over a cooked-up Memogate scandal. Therefore, if Imran thinks he will have a smooth ride with Hameed, he has another thought coming.

Imran would, of course, think that since Hameed was instrumental in his ‘selection’ in the 2018 elections, he will ensure his victory in the 2023 general elections. In 2018, Hameed was Deputy DG ISI in charge of internal security but played the same role in the election that brought Imran into power that in 2002 was played by Major General Ehtesham Zamir who ensured the formation of the Pakistan Muslim League {Q} [PMLQ] government by a single vote.

He intimidated candidates to change loyalties or refuse tickets of Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League {N} [PMLN], forced some candidates to withdraw from the election [remember when the Department of Agriculture became a euphemism for the ISI?], engineered splits in PMLN and other parties and corralled candidates and electives to PTI, created a new front in South Punjab to cut into PMLN votes and then got all these guys to merge their front in PTI. He was instrumental in the rise of the Barelvi extremist party Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan which was supposed to cut into the votes of PMLN, he is accused to have ensured that the election transmission system RTS crashed which made it easy to rig the election results.

The services rendered by Hameed were not his personal decision but that of the Pakistan Army that placed its bets on getting Imran Khan into the saddle. In 2023, the Army might not want Imran back. The experience of the last three years has boomeranged on the Army which is getting all the flak for inflicting a disastrous and utterly incompetent man like Imran Khan on the country. If the public mood is ugly, it is unlikely the Army will risk backing Imran Khan regardless of how much Hameed likes him.

A lot will depend also on whether Bajwa decides to shaft Hameed. Postings and transfers in the Army are the prerogatives of the chief. If Hameed’s tenure as Corps Commander XI Corps (Peshawar) is cut short, it would remove him from the race.

Of course, it is probably a bit far-fetched to think Bajwa would do any such thing especially since the XI Corps is right now probably the most important Corps as it deals with Afghanistan. Hameed’s stint in the ISI during which he would have developed very close contacts with the Taliban, especially the Haqqanis who are the real rulers of Afghanistan, is probably the reason why he was picked for the Peshawar Corps.

But this will not be a cakewalk because no one knows how things will play out in Afghanistan and inside Pakistan, what with the spike in terror attacks by the TTP. As the XI Corps Commander, Hameed along with his successor in ISI will be pivotal players in the ‘peace negotiations’ with some of the Pakistani Taliban. How he handles this will be critical for not just his future but also for Pakistan’s. There will also be the issue of a possible fallout of the meltdown in Afghanistan that will spill over into Pakistan.

The professional side of Hameed will of course be important in determining his future. But his personal side, including his peccadilloes, will also have some bearing on whether or not he becomes chief.

His sexual indiscretions—he is believed to have been shot by his wife who discovered his affair with someone—might well be overlooked by Imran who is himself no spring chicken when it comes to affairs. But Hameed doesn’t enjoy a good reputation within his own military fraternity.

Add to this the fact that just a day earlier the bête noire of the Pakistan Army, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, filed a petition in which she has dragged in Hameed, who had been accused by a deposed Islamabad High Court Judge Shaukat Siddiqui of trying to influence him to convict Nawaz Sharif. While no one expects this petition to succeed — it is Pakistan, stupid! Generals don’t suffer adverse verdicts from courts — it nevertheless adds to Hameed’s notoriety.

The thing is that if Hameed stays in the race by the time the successor of Bajwa has to be picked, Imran Khan would be smart to drop him and pick a more non-political general. Hameed has shown himself to be a sort of ambitious and political general who will not hesitate to usurp power if the opportunity presents itself, as it might well if Imran Khan’s popularity continues to plummet or if widespread disturbances break out because the 2023 polls are rigged. In the event, Imran Khan might well end up as a Bhutto and Hameed as a clone of the obsequious but ruthless and cunning Zia-ul-Haq.

Source: News18

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Passport office reopening gives threatened Afghans hope

Oct 6, 2021

KABUL: The reopening of the passport office in Kabul on Wednesday gave some Afghans who feel threatened under Taliban rule fresh hope they may soon be able to escape the country.

Hundreds of people flocked to the department to apply for travel documents in a test of the new Afghan government's commitment to the international community to allow eligible people to leave.

"I'm trying to run away," said Mohammad Hanif, who said he was an interpreter for the US special forces in the south of the country from 2009 to 2013.

Like many Afghans who worked for US and allied forces following the 2001 invasion, Hanif fears the Taliban will take revenge if they find him, so is desperate to flee.

"I have a stress right now," Hanif said in English. "Because also I live in Helmand province -- it's very dangerous."

The 32-year-old was among those who went to the passport office in Kabul as it opened for the first time since the Taliban seized power in mid-August.

A day earlier the Taliban had announced that all staff -- including female employees -- had been asked to return to their offices as the new government tries to kickstart the country's flailing infrastructure.

Hanif said he first applied for his passport four months ago, but only managed to complete the application on Wednesday and will collect the document in a couple of days.

The former interpreter said he has a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) for the United States and plans to move there with his wife and two children.

He said he first tried to leave Afghanistan during the chaotic US-led evacuation operation in August, but could not get into Kabul airport.

"When the Taliban took over the country, especially the capital, everyone tried to go to the airport," he told AFP outside the passport office, clutching his paperwork.

"I got an email and phone call from my mentor as well to get my ass to the airport, so I went there.

"There were a lot of people, a lot of crowds. I couldn't make it."

Since then, Hanif told AFP he is being hunted in Helmand province by the Taliban who accuse him of stealing weapons and a vehicle from the government.

"Yesterday I got a call... and they're trying to catch me," he said.

"They're calling me directly to bring those things back. I told them that I didn't take anything. I'm not in the government. I was an interpreter."

Until he manages to board a flight, Hanif said he is "hopeless".

"I can't move around. I stay in Kabul, because people up here don't know me. That's why I'm here."

The Taliban have been trying to get government employees back to work, but civil servants have gone months without salaries.

The head of the passport department, Alam Gul Haqqani, said passport office staff were being paid and separate offices had been created for women and men in accordance with the Taliban's view of Islamic law.

"There is no problem," he said. "Both female and male employees are back at work."

Haqqani, who said the office is able to issue about 6,000 passports a day, told AFP the "great mass of people flocking for passports will not cause any negative effect".

Meanwhile, a sixth passenger flight left Kabul airport to Doha on Wednesday, a senior Qatari government official said.

The flight carrying more than 300 passengers included Afghan journalists as well as citizens from countries all around the world.

Source: Times of India

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Iran UN Envoy: Terrorism Should Not Be Linked to Any Nationality, Religion


Ershadi made the remarks at the 6th Committee of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Wednesday on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) entitled 'Measures for Eradication of International Terrorism'.

Ershadi reiterated that terrorism must not and cannot be tied to any religion and nationality and used to justify terrorism or counter-terrorism actions including interference in the privacy of individuals.

The full text of the Iranian envoy's speech at the UN is as follows:

Thank you, Madam Chairperson, 

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

At the outset, I would like to congratulate you for your well-deserved election. Allow me to assure you of the Non-Aligned Movement’s fullest cooperation and support throughout the work of the Sixth Committee.

 The Non-Aligned Movement unequivocally rejects terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, as well as all acts, methods and practices of terrorism wherever, by whomever, against whomsoever committed, including those in which States are directly or indirectly involved, which are unjustifiable whatever the considerations or factors that may be invoked to justify them.

All such acts are condemned as criminal. In this context, NAM members reaffirm their support for the provisions contained in General Assembly resolution 46/51 of 9 December 1991 and other relevant United Nations resolutions.

The Non-Aligned Movement reaffirms that terrorist acts constitute a flagrant violation of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, in particular the right to life, leading to the lack of the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms of peoples.

Such acts endanger the territorial integrity and stability of States as well as national, regional and international security, destabilize legitimately constituted governments or the prevailing constitutional order and political unity of States, affect the stability of nations and the very basis of societies, create adverse consequences on the economic and social development and cause the destruction of the physical and economic infrastructure of States. 

The NAM reiterates its respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all States in accordance with the UN Charter.

We would like to stress that terrorism should not be equated with the legitimate struggle of peoples under colonial or alien domination and foreign occupation, for self-determination and national liberation.

The brutalization of peoples remaining under foreign occupation should continue to be denounced as the gravest form of terrorism, and the use of State power for the suppression and violence against peoples struggling against foreign occupation in exercising their inalienable right to self-determination should continue to be condemned.

The Movement reaffirms its principled position under international law and in accordance with General Assembly resolution 46/51 of 9 December 1991 as well as other relevant UN resolutions on the legitimacy of the struggles of people under colonial or alien domination and foreign occupation for national liberation and self-determination.

Furthermore, terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group, and these attributions should not be used to justify terrorism or counter-terrorism measures that include, inter alia, profiling of terror suspects and intrusion on individual privacy.

Conscious of the need to take speedy and effective measures to eliminate international terrorism, the Movement urges all States, consistent with the UN Charter, to fulfill their obligations under international law and international humanitarian law in combating terrorism, including by prosecuting or, where appropriate, extraditing the perpetrators of terrorist acts; by preventing the organization, instigation or financing of terrorist acts against other States from within or outside their territories or by organizations based in their territories; by refraining from organizing, instigating, assisting, financing or participating in terrorist acts in the territories of other States; by refraining from encouraging activities within their territories directed towards the commission of such acts; by refraining from allowing the use of their territories as sanctuaries and safe havens or for planning, training or financing for such acts; or by refraining from supplying arms or other weapons that could be used for terrorist acts in other States.

The Non-Aligned Movement rejects actions and measures, the use or threat of use of force, imposed or threatened to be imposed, by any State against any Non-Aligned Member Country under the pretext of combating terrorism or to pursue its political aims, including by directly or indirectly categorizing them as terrorism sponsoring-States.

Furthermore, the NAM totally rejects the unilateral preparation of lists accusing States of allegedly supporting terrorism, which are inconsistent with international law and constitute on their part a form of psychological and political terrorism.

The Non-Aligned Movement calls upon all States to condemn any form of, and refrain from extending, political, diplomatic, moral or material support for terrorism.

The NAM urges all States, consistent with the UN Charter and in fulfilling their obligations under international law, to ensure that refugee status or any other legal status is not abused by the perpetrators, organizers or facilitators of terrorist acts and that claims of political motivation by them are not recognized as grounds for refusing requests for their extradition.

The Movement expresses grave concern over the acute and growing threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, namely, individuals who travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning, preparation of, or participation in terrorist acts, or providing or receiving terrorist training, including in connection with armed conflict.

In this context, the Movement emphasizes the need for States to address this issue, including through the implementation of their international obligations, and underlines the importance of United Nations capacity-building and facilitation of capacity-building in accordance with existing mandates to assist States, including those in the most affected regions, upon their request.

The Movement expresses deep concern over the misinterpretation and the misrepresentation of religions by terrorist groups to justify terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as well as violent extremism conducive to terrorism, all in an effort seeking to instill hatred in the hearts and minds of the youth while justifying and glorifying brutality and violence.

 In this regard, it is imperative to effectively counter the narratives of terrorism through a comprehensive and international framework with an effective and comprehensive method aimed at addressing all of its root causes, including through the engagement of community leaders and clerics from all denominations,

The Movement also calls upon all States to respect all human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism and to reaffirm their commitment in this respect to prevent human rights violations in consistency with the rule of law and their obligation under international law, in particular international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law and in accordance with relevant General Assembly resolutions.

 We call upon the Security Council sanction committees to further streamline their listing and delisting procedures to strengthen due process and the rule of law through an independent, transparent and permanent position of the ombudsperson.

The Non-Aligned Movement reiterates its call for an International Summit Conference under the auspices of the UN to formulate a joint organised response of the international community to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including identifying its root causes.

We further reiterate the importance of the conclusion of a Comprehensive Convention for Combating International Terrorism, noting the negotiations in the Ad Hoc Committee established by General Assembly Resolution 51/210 of 17 December 1996, for the elaboration of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and the continuing efforts to that end, including during the intersession period, and we call upon all States to cooperate in resolving the outstanding issues.

The Movement reaffirms the United Nations Global Counter Terrorism Strategy as well as the Member States’ primary responsibility to execute the aforementioned Strategy and calls for its transparent and comprehensive implementation, including through cooperation with the UN Office of Counter Terrorism (UNOCT) and the UN Centre for Counter Terrorism (UNCCT). We look forward to receiving the contributions of the UNOCT aimed towards bringing more coherence and effectiveness to the activities carried out by the UN in the counter-terrorism sphere. This includes the assistance it can provide in addressing such issues upon the request of Member States’ capacity-building needs while underscoring that such assistance must be tailored to the specific needs and realities of the concerned state and that it shall take into account the centrality of national ownership.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Spokesman: Vienna Talks Should Guarantee Iranians' Rights


"Our sole aim is to ensure talks will secure our rights, including sufficient guarantees that the US will actually stick to the deal this time," Khatibzadeh tweeted.

In relevant remarks in late September, Khatibzadeh blasted the US for its dishonesty in the nuclear deal talks, and said that Tehran will merely take part in result-oriented talks in a bid to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“Only Iran speaks for Iran. Our mandate is to engage in only RESULTS-oriented dialogue,” Saeed Khatibzadeh tweeted.

He underlined that talks for sake of talks is non-starter, and said, "So is fallacy that #EconomicTerrorism works."

"High time for the party that unilaterally left JCPOA—to wake up to NEW reality," he added.

In a relevant development in late September, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian in a meeting with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in New York cast doubt about seriousness of US President Joe Biden administration's decision to return to the JCPOA.

During the meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) meeting in New York, Amir Abdollahian said that Iran's new administration is "pragmatic" and considers negotiations as an important tool of diplomacy.

The Iranian foreign minister expressed his regret over non-compliance of the United States and three European countries involved in nuclear talks, including France, the UK and Germany to live up to their obligations under JCPOA.

He reiterated that practical and tangible results for Iranian people are of paramount importance with regards to returning to JCPOA talks.

The two sides also discussed bilateral issue and the latest situation in Afghanistan.

Describing that France is vehemently interested in expanding its relations with Iran, Le Drian, for his part, said that that recent phone talk between Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron show the importance that the two sides attach to bilateral relations.

Le Drian agreed with the principled position of Iran on the need to form an inclusive government and prevent the spread of terrorist acts in Afghanistan and stressed the need to help refugees in Afghanistan's neighboring countries.

In a relevant development in mid-September, Amir Abdollahian in a meeting with his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis criticized Washington for its dishonesty in the nuclear deal talks, and called on the US to change its approach.

During the meeting held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Amir Abdollahian referred to the stable and good ties between the two countries, saying, "We want to expand bilateral relations more than before and see the vast presence of Swiss firms in Iran's economic and development projects. There are many grounds for developing relations between the two countries."

Source: Fars News Agency

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Israeli archaeologists find ‘luxurious’ 2,700-year-old toilet in Jerusalem

07 October ,2021

Israeli archaeologists have found a rare ancient toilet in Jerusalem dating back more than 2,700 years, when private bathrooms were a luxury in the holy city, authorities said Tuesday.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority said the smooth, carved limestone toilet was found in a rectangular cabin that was part of a sprawling mansion overlooking what is now the Old City. It was designed for comfortable sitting, with a deep septic tank dug underneath.

“A private toilet cubicle was very rare in antiquity, and only a few were found to date,” said Yaakov Billig, the director of the excavation.

“Only the rich could afford toilets,” he said, adding that a famed rabbi once suggested that to be wealthy is “to have a toilet next to his table.”

Animal bones and pottery found in the septic tank could shed light on the lifestyle and diet of people living at that time, as well as ancient diseases, the antiquities authority said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza apply for Israeli work permits

06 October ,2021

Thousands of Gazans applied Wednesday for work permits for Israel, which has been reopening its gates to laborers from the Palestinian enclave following the latest war in May.

In Jabalia, a refugee camp in northern Gaza, a crowd of men holding their identity papers lined up hoping to obtain a permit to work in Israel, AFP journalists said.

“There is no work in the Gaza Strip,” said Fathi Abu Nur, a 40-year-old unemployed man.

“Yesterday I heard that workers are registering to get permits (for Israel),” he said.

“I hope things will get better because the current situation is really difficult,” the father of five said.

The total number of permits being granted by Israel to Palestinian laborers in Gaza is 7,000, an Israeli security official told AFP, up from 5,000 workers and traders allowed in August.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iran’s cyber-espionage poses threat to Israel, countries in the region: Report

06 October ,2021

By stealing sensitive information from states, Iran’s cyber-espionage poses a threat to countries in the Middle East region, including Israel, according to a recent report by cybersecurity company Cybereason.

Cybereason, a cybersecurity technology company, headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, published a report on Wednesday detailing an Iranian-based group’s operations targeting the US, Russia, Europe, Israel, and the Middle East.

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The group nicknamed “MalKamak,” targets companies including those in the telecom and aerospace sectors, according to Cybereason and media reports.

According to Cybereason, their research “resulted in the identification of a new Iranian threat actor dubbed MalKamak that has operated since at least 2018 and remained publicly unknown thus far.”

“The investigation draws possible connections to other Iranian state-sponsored threat actors including Chafer APT (APT39) and Agrius APT [Advanced persistent threat],” the report added.

Cybereason reported that Chafer APT has been active since at least 2014 and is believed to be linked to the Rana Intelligence Computing Company, a Teheran-based company, previously known to serve as a front company for the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Southeast Asia


Royal Malaysia Police Investigating Viral Video Clip Of Preacher Insulting Non-Muslim Faiths

07 Oct 2021

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 ― The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) is investigating a viral video clip which contains disparaging remarks on non-Muslim faiths and race linked to an independent preacher.

Bukit Aman CID director, Datuk Seri Abdul Jalil Hassan said the one minute video which started to be disseminated on several social media such as TikTok, Facebook and WhatsApp in the past few days, had incurred the anger of the people.

“Therefore an investigation has been carried out by the Classified Crime Investigation Unit, Prosecution and Law Division (D5) of Bukit Aman CID under Section 505 (c) of the Penal Code for making statement with intent to incite or which is likely to incite any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community of persons, as well as Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1988 on abuse of net facilities or network services,” he said in a statement last night.

Source: Malay Mail

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Govt gives pledge on RUU355, bill to limit propagation of non-Muslim faiths

Dineskumar Ragu

October 6, 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: The religious rights of non-Muslims will not be affected by the proposed RUU355 and the bill to restrict the propagation on non-Islamic religions, the government said today.

The minister in charge of Islamic affairs, Idris Ahmad, gave this assurance in the Dewan Rakyat when responding to a question by Fong Kui Lun (PH-Bukit Bintang), who expressed concern that the bills will infringe on religious freedom enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

“The bill to restrict the propagation of non-Islamic religions will only be enforced on Muslims. Non-Muslims are free to propagate their faiths among themselves,” the minister in the prime minister’s department said.

Asked by Ahmad Fadhli Shaari (PAS-Pasir Mas) on how the government will tackle the perceptions by non-Muslims that the two bills will pave the way to discrimination and the “Talibanisation of Malaysia”, Idris said they “will not concern the non-Muslim community at all”.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Fathers' rights association wants equal custody of children in Malaysian divorce cases

07 Oct 2021


KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — A newly-formed fathers’ rights advocacy group wants the current Law Reform (Divorce & Marriage) Act 1976 to be well, reformed to be more in keeping with the times.

Father’s Rights Association of Malaysia (FRAM) co-founders Malcolm Fernandez and Sheikh Faleigh Sheikh Mansor said the law has been against fathers from the get go as in a divorce, mothers are automatically granted sole custody of the children.

“The norm in Malaysia in divorce cases is that the mother is granted sole custody of the child from the very beginning, with the father usually ending up with only alternate weekends with his kids at best, or a 15-minute supervised video call a week in worse cases,” said Fernandez, a lawyer.

“I have seen good, loving and responsible fathers sharing that when they get alternate weekends, they treat it as if they have hit the jackpot. That is not right, it should not be the case. FRAM is saying no to this.

“If a father wants to play an important role and be with his child, added with the fact that a father is willing to fight for his share of equal custody in court, he should be allowed to do so.”

Starting off as a WhatsApp group created by Fernandez who was going through his divorce in 2018, FRAM received its certification as a legitimate association from the Registrar of Societies (RoS) in May this year, and now has over 50 active members.

“We decided to not just stick to a WhatsApp group. We decided to go one step further and start an association which really doesn’t exist in Malaysia. A specific fathers' rights association. That’s how we began,” said Sheikh Faleigh, an entrepreneur.

Fernandez explained that even though the association is called Father’s Rights Association of Malaysia, its primary focus is the wellbeing of children involved in divorce cases, and is pushing for reforms to make the Law Reform (Divorce & Marriage) Act 1976 fair to both parents.

“FRAM is an association that puts the child in the forefront,” said Fernandez. “While there are a lot of child’s rights advocates, when it comes to a custody battle, they will all inevitably say the same thing... which is that the child is better off with the mother.

“This is a very strange and archaic stereotype because a lot of studies and findings by psychologists and child experts say that a child is actually better off not with just the father or mother, but with both parents playing an active role and having equal access,” he said.

He also shared that FRAM is working on a Bill to bring to Parliament that would focus on bringing about fairness in divorce cases, adding that Malaysia can start by simply tweaking certain aspects of the Law Reform (Divorce & Marriage) Act 1976.

Fernandez added the stereotype in Malaysia is that fathers are always the “bad guys” in the courts, with mothers being viewed as the only person who can care for their children, calling out the hypocrisy of gender equality when it comes to divorces in Malaysia.

“Does not being able to carry a child make the father a lesser parent? No, because a lot of the time, you don’t see the struggles of a father. He needs to go to work and bring in the money, he needs to also spend time with the kids and why we call it hypocrisy of the highest level is we all talk about gender equality but it is only women having equal rights.

“We are all for women having equal rights, but when it comes to the children in divorce cases, Malaysia takes 10 steps back. We have to adapt our current laws to be like those in Scandinavian countries, where when there is a divorce, both parents are granted equal custody,” explained Fernandez.

Sheikh Faleigh said the child’s emotional needs are immediately secure when both parents care for the child, adding that in Malaysia, no matter the circumstances, the father is always the one being punished.

“In Malaysia, the mother gets to keep the child, while the father is punished, even if he is the most loving, caring and responsible father,” he said.

He also shared that there is currently no clause in the Law Reform (Divorce & Marriage) Act 1976 that dictates the amount of time allocated to fathers to spend with their children, adding that it is now just a habitual judgement handed down by judges.

“There is no such law carved in stone. There is only the judgement that is given to fathers; alternate weekends or a 15-minute video call a week. There’s no such law. So why do we continue to agree with this?

“Why is it so difficult to think that naturally, a child needs both a mother and a father. I always tell people, couples can get divorced or separated, but you can never stop being a parent. You are a parent until you die,” he said.

Fernandez added that the burden of proof to show that a father is fit to have sole custody is unbelievably high when compared to mothers.

“For a mother, you just have to go to the court and tell them I carried this child for nine months, this is my child, and she would be granted full custody. For a father, the burden of proof is so limited, that the only way they can get full custody is to show that the mother is of unsound mind, an alcoholic or a drug addict.

“The chances of fathers getting equal custody, not even full custody, is the same as a person getting hit with debris from the International Space Station,” added Fernandez.

Sheikh Faleigh said that currently, FRAM is working to build momentum and create awareness of the topic of shared or equal custody in Malaysia, from giving talks to hosting podcasts, as well as being the platform for fathers who are going through a divorce.

“Previously, fathers didn’t know where to go. Now, I feel like they have a place to call home, where you have other fathers and people who are in a similar predicament to talk to.

“We have a support system. We organise sessions for fathers to come and share their feelings, no holds barred, and we also have a counsellor who has offered to counsel fathers for free.

“Change is not going to happen overnight, but we are being aggressive and optimistic and we want to bring about changes at least to get a Bill into Parliament by next year, simply because divorces and unequal custody can be so damaging to the children,” said Fernandez.

Source: Malay Mail

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Muslims Revive Durga Puja in a Muslim Neighbourhood in the Heart of Kolkata with Help from Hindu Families

Oct 7, 2021

KOLKATA: Local Muslim residents have revived a Durga Puja in a predominantly Muslim neighbourhood in the heart of the city that was discontinued nine years ago after most Bengali Hindu families migrated from the area and the three families that stayed back were unable to carry forward the tradition.

The pandal is coming up at the original venue — next to the pavement opposite Pratt Memorial School on AJC Bose Road and a stone’s throw from CPM’s Alimuddin Street office — and the Muslim organisers are being enthusiastically guided by members of a Bengali Hindu family who have been living in the area for decades.

The shared spirit of communal harmony and festivity might appear extraordinary to the outside world at a time when convergence of religion and politics has frayed the social fabric, but for those staying around Alimuddin Street, a lower middle-class neighbourhood of mostly Urdu-speaking Muslims, this harmonious co-existence of the two communities has always been the normal.

Jayanta and Sharmila Sen, members of one of the three Bengali Hindu families left in the area, were surprised when some local Muslim residents approached them a few weeks ago with the proposal of reviving the Durga Puja.

“This Durga Puja had started in the late 1960s. At one point, my husband too was active in organising the Puja but gradually most families settled elsewhere, and nobody was left to shoulder the responsibility. But when the local Muslims approached us for guidance because they are not aware of the rituals, we were both surprised and touched. We decided to extend all possible help so that they can organise the Puja,” said Sharmila.

‘Durga Puja was a shared culture of this locality’

After a group was formed to look into the logistics and money collected, Jayanta Sen, Mohammad Tauseef Rahman and others went to Kumartuli to book the idol.

Source: Times of India

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2 teachers killed in terror attack in Srinagar

Oct 7, 2021

NEW DELHI: Two teachers were killed in a terrorist attack at a government school in the Sangam Eidgah area of Srinagar on Thursday, Jammu and Kashmir Police said.

"At about 11:15 am, terrorists shot dead two school teachers at Sangam Eidgah in Srinagar district," a police official said.

He said the area has been cordoned off and a hunt has been launched to nail the attackers

This comes days after three people, including prominent pharmacist Makhan Lal Bindroo, were shot dead in Srinagar and Bandipora in separate incidents.

A road in Srinagar will be named after Bindroo, Mayor Junaid Mattu had said on Wednesday.

Source: Times of India

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Probe ordered into AMU land lease

Oct 06, 2021

Agra The Uttar Pradesh government has ordered a probe regarding the land leased out by late Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh to the Aligarh Muslim University in 1929. Commissioner, Aligarh division, has been asked to conduct the probe and he has sought a report from the district magistrate of Aligarh.

“A letter in this regard was received from additional chief secretary SP Goyal. The matter to be probed relates to land leased out for 90 years by late Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh to the Aligarh Muslim University. The term of the lease has lapsed and so a report has been sought from the district magistrate of Aligarh,” said Gaurav Dayal, commissioner, Aligarh division.

It may be recalled that late Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh was a known freedom fighter, social reformer and academician. He had leased out land owned by him to Aligarh Muslim University for 90 years in 1929. The term of the lease has lapsed but, according to the complaint lodged in the chief minister’s office, the said land has not been handed back to legal heirs of late Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh.

Taking note of the complaint lodged by Ashok Chaudhary from ‘Ahuti’, a social organization in Aligarh, the chief minister’s office, through additional chief secretary, has directed commissioner, Aligarh division to probe the matter and submit the report.

On the said land leased out to the AMU, there stand a ‘Tikonia Park’ and the city school run by Aligarh Muslim University. The legal heirs of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh had suggested to the AMU to hand over land on which Tikonia Park stands and name the city school run by AMU after Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh. In this regard, a committee headed by the vice chancellor was constituted by the AMU Executive Council, to consider the proposal.

When contacted, AMU spokesperson Prof Shafey Kidwai admitted that a proposal from the legal heirs of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh was considered by the Executive Committee of Aligarh Muslim University. However, no final decision had been taken yet, he added.

“The Executive Council of Aligarh Muslim University was ready to give back the land on which Tikonia Park is located. Further, the Executive Committee said it was acceptable that the city school run by AMU on remaining land will be named after Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, an alumnus of AMU, and the lease of this land be extended,” said Prof Shafey Kidwai.

Source: Hindustan Times

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Pakistan Army Replaces Powerful Spy Agency ISI Chief in Surprise Reshuffle

Oct 6, 2021

NEW DELHI: Lieutenant General Nadeem Ahmed Anjum has been appointed as the new chief of Pakistan's powerful spy agency ISI in an unexpected reshuffle.

Lt Gen Anjum will replace Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, who has been appointed as the Peshawar Corps Commander.

According to Dawn, Lt Gen Anjum was previously the commander of Karachi Corps. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general in September 2019.

A graduate of UK's Royal College of Defence Studies, Lt Gen Anjum also holds a degree from the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies, Honolulu.

The outgoing spymaster Hameed was appointed to the post on June 16, 2019 in a military shake-up. He had previously served in the ISI as the head of internal security.

Lt Gen Hameed was considered as close to Army chief General Qamar Bajwa and was appointed as ISI head at a crucial time due to several external and internal security challenges.

As ISI chief, Lt Gen Hameez oversaw crucial changes in Afghanistan where the Taliban took control in August.

He even rushed to Afghanistan when the government formation talks between the Taliban and Haqqanis went sour, resulting in a scuffle during which Mullah Baradar got injured.

During his visit to Kabul, he told the media in a brief chat that "everything will be ok" in Afghanistan, when there were rumours about differences among Taliban ranks due to delay in the announcement of the government.

In Pakistan, it is the Prime Minister's prerogative to appoint the chief of ISI. However, the choice is made by the PM in consultation with the army chief.

Source: Times of India

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Pakistan Court Indicts Saba Qamar, Bilal Saeed for Shooting a ‘Dance Video’ In Mosque

October 07, 2021

A Pakistani court on Wednesday indicted Hindi Medium actor Saba Qamar in a case registered against her last year for shooting a ‘dance video’ at a historical mosque in Lahore.

Both Qamar and singer Bilal Saeed were present in the court of judicial magistrate Javeria Bhatti when they were charge-sheeted with desecration of Wazir Khan Masjid (in old city of Lahore).

The magistrate directed the prosecution to present its witnesses on next hearing on next hearing on 14 October.

Both the suspects pleaded before the court ‘not guilty’. They said they would contest the trial.

Clad in a black burqa (scarf covering her from head to toe) Ms Qamar looked nervous when she was indicted in the case which she contested registered on frivolous charges.

The versatile actress said she was booked under ‘baseless facts''.

“No dance or music took place at the mosque. I am falsely implicated in this case,” she pleaded.

Lahore police last year had registered a case against Qamar and Saeed under section 295 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) for allegedly ‘desecration’ of Masjid Wazir Khan in the old city of Lahore.

According to the FIR, both actors had trampled upon the sanctity of the mosque by shooting a dance video and this act also sparked an outrage among the people of Pakistan.

The Punjab government had also sacked two senior officers in connection with violation of the mosque’s sanctity.

Following strong criticism and even death threats to her on social media, Qamar and Saeed had apologised for their act.

“It was the music video featuring a Nikah (marriage) scene. It was neither shot with any sort of playback music nor has it been edited to the music track,” she had said.

Source: Firstpost

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No Compromise on Khatm-e-Nubuwwat and Pakistan: MoS Parliamentary Affairs


October 07, 2021

ISLAMABAD - Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan on Wednesday said that there is no compromise on Khatm-e-Nabuwat and Pakistan.

Addressing Khatm-e-Nabuwat Conference held by Jamaat-e-Jalalia Pakistan, Ali Muhammad Khan said that every Muslim Pakistani is ready to sacrifice his life for Khatm-e-Nabuwat and Pakistan.

He said Pakistan came into being on the name of Islam and no one is allowed here to plot against Pakistan and Khamt-e-Nabuwat.

Source: The Nation

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At least 20 killed as 5.9-magnitude earthquake rocks parts of Balochistan

Ghalib Nihad

October 7, 2021

An earthquake of magnitude 5.9 struck parts of Balochistan early on Thursday morning, killing at least 20 people and injuring over 300 others, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said.

According to the National Seismic Monitoring Centre, the earthquake was centred near the province's Harnai district and had a depth of 15 kilometres.

It added the quake had a longitude of 67.96 east and a latitude of 30.08 north.

Tremors were felt in Quetta, Sibbi, Pishin, Muslim Bagh, Ziarat, Qila Abdullah, Sanjavi, Zhob and Chaman, the PDMA said in its initial report.

It further said the "exact damage" has not yet been confirmed.

The death toll was also confirmed by Deputy Commissioner of Harnai District Sohail Anwar Hashmi. He said six children were also among the deceased.

The injured, which include women and children, have been shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital in Harnai, he said.

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani shared that assistance and evacuation efforts were under way.

"Blood, ambulances, emergency assistance, [helicopters] and rest all things are placed ... All departments are working on it," he tweeted.

Security forces also reached the district for rescue and relief efforts, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

Army doctors and paramedics were assisting the civil administration with necessary medical care, it said, adding that food and medicines were also transported to remote mountainous district Harnai, which was the worst-affected area where a lack of paved roads, electricity and mobile phone coverage hampered rescue efforts.

Nine critically injured patients were airlifted to Quetta in Pakistan Army helicopters, according to the statement.

The ISPR statement said the inspector general of Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan has reached the district for damage assessment and response. In addition, an urban search and rescue team was being flown in from Rawalpindi to assist in rescue work.

An injured patient is being airlifted from Harnai to Quetta. — Photo via NDMA

PM Imran, others call for immediate relief efforts, offer condolence

Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered authorities to provide immediate assistance to Harnai and the quake victims, and conduct an assessment so relief and compensation could be dispensed.

"My condolences and prayers go to the families who lost their loved ones," he tweeted.

President Arif Alvi shared his condolences over the loss of lives in the earthquake. He hoped the authorities would swiftly assist in relief operations.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif said he was also saddened over the loss of lives.

"The authorities must act on war footing to rehabilitate those affected by this disaster," he stated on Twitter.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also offered condolence to the families of those killed in the quake.

He also called upon the federal and provincial governments to save the lives of those injured and pay compensation to the families of the deceased.

"PPP Balochistan leadership should help the earthquake affectees," he added.

Landsliding, infrastructural damage

Speaking to Geo News, PDMA Director General Naseer Ahmed Nasir said there had been some landsliding in mountainous areas. He added that houses within a 15km radius of Harnai had been destroyed and rescue teams were busy in relief efforts.

The official said that government buildings had been damaged as well.

“There are reports that some 15 coal miners are trapped in a mine on the outskirts of the town due to the quake,” Suhail Anwar Hashmi, a senior provincial government official in Harnai told AFP.

Separately, Home Minister Mir Ziaullah Langove said five to six districts were affected on a "major scale" and data was still being collected.

He said the highest number of deaths and injuries had been reported in Harnai, adding that critical patients would be shifted to Quetta immediately.

"They are our people, the state's resources are for them. People won't be left helpless. Those who have suffered a loss will be compensated," the minister said while speaking to Geo News.

Source: Dawn

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Bill to increase NA seats for ex-Fata likely after political consensus: speaker

Amir Wasim

October 7, 2021

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser has said that a new legislation to increase the number of seats in the assembly for the merged districts of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) will be introduced in parliament after a political consensus on the issue.

The speaker was presiding over a meeting of parliamentary committee on development of former Fata areas here on Wednesday, according to an official handout issued by the National Assembly Secretariat.

The parliamentary committee, which met for the second consecutive day, had invited representatives of the ex-Fata and the members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly as special invitees. The purpose of the meeting was to make recommendations for the development of ex-Fata region.

During the meeting, a number of participants called for allocation of seats for the ex-Fata region which was merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province after the passage of the 25th Constitution Amendment in May 2018.

Says region needs special attention after recent developments in Afghanistan

As a result of the merger, the existing 12 seats of the region would be abolished in the National Assembly that would emerge after the next general elections.

However, there has been a constant demand from representatives of ex-Fata region to retain these seats by increasing the seats allocation for KP province. In this regard, independent MNA Mohsin Dawar had also introduced a constitution amendment which was passed by the present National Assembly in 2019, but it could not be approved by the Senate.

During the Wednesday’s meeting, the members of parliament again stressed the need for re-introducing the constitution amendment bill so that the seats of the ex-Fata region could be retained in the next National Assembly.

The participants also called for allocating three per cent share for the ex-tribal region in the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award as per the agreement that reached among the political parties while announcing the plan for the merger of the tribal area with KP.

During the meeting, Speaker Asad Qaiser said the development in ex-Fata would ensure prosperity for the common people of former tribal areas. He, however, said changing environment of ex-Fata region was interlinked with a political consensus. He said opinions of all stakeholders were required to bring Fata out of challenges after its merger with KP, adding that a national support was compulsory for provision of fundamental necessities to the people of ex-Fata.

The speaker was of the view that ex-Fata needed special consideration in the context of changing situation in Afghanistan.

Mr Qaiser assured the provincial representatives that they would continue to make efforts to make the region prosperous. He also briefed the participants on three working groups which had been constituted by the special parliamentary committee.

Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri said political consensus and political input were imperative to resolve the issues of NFC Award and allocation of seats in the National Assembly for ex-Fata. For this purpose, he said there was a need to take Sindh and Balochistan on board.

Senator Ayub Afridi called for allocation of more funds for provision of basic health and education facilities to the people of the tribal region.

MNA from Swat Dr Haider Ali and Jawad Hussain from Orakzai called for increasing federal cooperation for release of three per cent NFC share for the tribal region which, according to them, is the right of the people and necessary for the development of the region.

MPA Naeema Ishrat drew the attention of the participants towards the stalled bill in the Senate regarding allocation of NA seats for ex-Fata. She also objected to the methodology adopted in ex-Fata while conducting population census in 2018.

MNA from Bajaur Gul Dad Khan said ex-Fata had faced negative effects of turmoil in Afghanistan, adding that the situation in the region would have an effect on the overall development of the country. He also called for retaining the existing 12 seats of ex-Fata in the National Assembly. Besides this, he also called for maintaining the special quota system for the tribal people.

Source: Dawn

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South Asia


Taliban launches operation against Daesh in Kabul's Paghman district

Oct 6, 2021

KABUL: The Taliban on Tuesday launched an operation against a Daesh hideout in Kabul's Paghman district.

As per Information and culture deputy Minister Zabihullah Mujahid, four Daesh members were arrested.

"The Islamic Emirate forces launched an operation against a Daesh hideout in Kabul's Paghman district on Tuesday evening, information and culture deputy minister Zabihullah Mujahid said, adding four Daesh members were arrested," tweeted Tolo News.

Source: Times of India

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UN calls on donors to scale up life-saving response to crisis in Afghanistan

07 Oct 2021

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – AUGUST 12: Displaced Afghans from the northern provinces are evacuated from a makeshift IDP camp in Share-e-Naw park to various mosques and schools on August 12, 2021 in Kabul, Afghanistan. People displaced by the Taliban advancing are flooding into the Kabul capital to escape the Taliban takeover of their provinces. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

United Nations in a statement published on Wednesday, October 6 said that their aid agencies and NGOs are racing against the time to deliver life-saving aid to crisis-affected people in Afghanistan and called on other donors to turn their pledges into reality.

The statement reads that millions of people in Afghanistan have been affected by decades of war. Failing health system, displacement, chronic poverty, COVID19, severe drought, and falling economic situation that need urgent humanitarian aids.

The UN has also expressed concern over the violation of rights of the women, children, and minorities and pledged to spare no aid to these people affected.

Source: Khaama Press

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Taliban say they captured four Islamic State members near Kabul after raid

06 October, 2021

Taliban forces raided an area west of Kabul and captured four members of an Islamic State cell, the movement's main spokesman said on Wednesday.

The raid, in Paghman district just outside the Afghan capital, followed a bomb attack on a mosque on Sunday claimed by Islamic State, which has mounted a series of operations since the Taliban seized power in Kabul in August.

As well as the four prisoners, the raid yielded quantities of weapons and documents, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter.

Earlier on Wednesday, Islamic State said on one of its Telegram channels that it had captured and beheaded a member of a Taliban militia force in the eastern city of Jalalabad, where there have been several incidents involving the group in recent days.

It was not clear whether there was any direct connection between the incidents in Jalalabad and Paghman.

The return of Islamic State's local affiliate, just as the new government is grappling with a potentially catastrophic economic crisis, has added to the mounting array of problems facing the Taliban.

The Taliban say they have complete control of the country following the collapse of the Western-backed government of President Ashraf Ghani in August.

But remnants of opposition forces made up of former members of the Afghan army and local fighters, under the banner of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, continue to hold out in Panjshir province, north of Kabul.

Mujahid and other Taliban spokesmen have dismissed suggestions of a threat from Islamic State, saying the group has no roots in Afghanistan. But Wednesday's arrests showed it has not been completely eliminated.

Source: The New Arab

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Afghanistan’s electricity body to sell estate to pay off debt

07 Oct 2021

De Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS)- the electricity body of Afghanistan- decided to sell the estate of its debtors so that they pay nearly $62 million bills of the power to the central Asian countries.

As per the decision, DABAS plans to sell the houses of former officials and politicians who did not pay the bills of electricity for years and consumed a large amount of electricity.

The acting head of DABAS, Safiullah Ahamdzai said that they will implement the plan and will pay off all the debts in order to prevent cutting electricity by exporting countries.

Ahmadzai said that they have talked with the exporting countries and they were assured about the electricity not be cut for the time being.

The decision is taken after reports over the cutting of electricity by central Asian countries as the winter season is approaching.

Source: Khaama Press

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Now in power, Taliban set sights on Afghan drug underworld

October 07, 2021

KABUL, Afghanistan: Now the uncontested rulers of Afghanistan, the Taliban have set their sights on stamping out the scourge of narcotics addiction, even if by force.

At nightfall, the battle-hardened fighters-turned-policemen scour the capital’s drug-ravaged underworld. Below Kabul’s bustling city bridges, amid piles of garbage and streams of filthy water, hundreds of homeless men addicted to heroin and methamphetamines are rounded up, beaten and forcibly taken to treatment centers. The Associated Press gained rare access to one such raid last week.

The scene provided a window into the new order under Taliban governance: The men — many with mental illness, according to doctors — sat against stone walls with their hands tied. They were told to sober up or face beatings.

The heavy-handed methods are welcomed by some health workers, who have had no choice but to adapt to Taliban rule. “We are not in a democracy anymore, this is a dictatorship. And the use of force is the only way to treat these people,” said Dr. Fazalrabi Mayar, working in a treatment facility. He was referring specifically to Afghans addicted to heroin and meth.

Soon after the Taliban took power on Aug. 15, the Taliban Health Ministry issued an order to these facilities, underscoring their intention to strictly control the problem of addiction, doctors said.

Bleary-eyed and skeletal, the detained encompass a spectrum of Afghan lives hollowed out by the country’s tumultuous past of war, invasion and hunger. They were poets, soldiers, merchants, farmers. Afghanistan’s vast poppy fields are the source of the majority of the world’s heroin, and the country has emerged as a significant meth producer. Both have fueled massive addiction around the country.

Old or young, poor or once well-off, the Taliban view the addicts the same: A stain on the society they hope to create. Drug use is against their interpretation of Islamic doctrine. Addicts are also stigmatized by the wider, largely conservative Afghan community.

But the Taliban’s war on drugs is complicated as the country faces the prospect of economic collapse and imminent humanitarian catastrophe.

Sanctions and lack of recognition have made Afghanistan, long an aid-dependent country, ineligible for the financial support from international organizations that accounted for 75 percent of state spending. An appalling human rights record, especially with respect to women, has rendered the Taliban unpopular among international development organizations.

A liquidity crisis has set in. Public wages are months in arrears and drought has exacerbated food shortages and disease. Winter is weeks away. Without foreign funds, government revenues rely on customs and taxation.

The illicit opium trade is intertwined with Afghanistan’s economy and its turmoil. Poppy growers are part of an important rural constituency for the Taliban, and most rely on the harvest to make ends meet.

During the insurgency years, the Taliban profited from the trade by taxing traffickers, a practice applied on a wide variety of industries in the areas under their control. Research by David Mansfield, an expert on the Afghan drug trade, suggests the group made $20 million in 2020, a small fraction compared to other sources of revenue from tax collection. Publicly, it has always denied links to the drug trade.

But the Taliban also implemented the only largely successful ban on opium production, between 2000-2001, before the US invasion. Successive governments have failed to do the same.

Police roundups of addicts did occur during previous administrations. But the Taliban are more forceful and feared.

On a recent evening, fighters raided a drug den under a bridge in the Guzargah area of Kabul. With cables for whips and slung rifles, they ordered the group of men out of their fetid quarters. Some came staggering out, others were forced to the ground. The sudden clinking of lighters followed another order to hand over belongings; the men preferred to use up all the drugs they possessed before they were confiscated.

One man struck a match beneath a piece of foil, his sunken cheeks deepening as he sucked in the smoke. He stared blankly into the distance.

Another man was reluctant. “They are vitamins!” he pleaded.

Taliban fighter Qari Fedayee was tying up the hands of another.

“They are our countrymen, they are our family and there are good people inside of them,” he said. “God willing, the people in the hospital will be good with them and cure them.”

An elderly, bespectacled man raised his voice. He is a poet, he announced, and if they let him go he will never use drugs again. He scribbled verses on a piece of paper to prove his point. It didn’t work.

What drove him to drugs? “Some things are not meant to be told,” he replied.

In the end, they were at least 150 men rounded up. They were taken to the district police station, where all their belongings — drugs, wallets, knifes, rings, lighters, a juice box — were burned in a pile since they are forbidden to take them to the treatment center. As the men crouched nearby, a Taliban officer watched the plumes of smoke, counting prayer beads.

By midnight, they were taken to the Avicenna Medical Hospital for Drug Treatment, on the edges of Kabul. Once a military base, Camp Phoenix, established by the US army in 2003, it was made into a drug treatment center in 2016. Now it’s Kabul’s largest, capable of accommodating 1,000 people.

The men are stripped and bathed. Their heads are shaved.

Here, a 45-day treatment program begins, said Dr. Wahedullah Koshan, the head psychiatrist.

They will undergo withdrawal with only some medical care to alleviate discomfort and pain. Koshan conceded the hospital lacks the alternative opioids, buprenorphine and methadone, typically used to treat heroin addiction. His staff have not been paid since July, but he said the Health Ministry promised salaries would be forthcoming.

The Taliban have broader aims. “This is just the beginning, later we will go after the farmers, and we will punish them according to (Islamic) Sharia law,” said lead patrol officer Qari Ghafoor.

For Mansfield, the expert, the latest drug raids are history rinsed and repeated. “In the 90s, (when the Taliban were in power) they used to do exactly the same thing,” he said. The only difference now is that there are drug treatment centers; back then drug users were made to stand on mountain melts, or rivers, thinking it would sober them up.

Whether they will be able to ban opium production is another story, he said. Any meaningful ban will require negotiations with farmers.

Mohammed Kabir, a 30-year-old poppy farmer from Uruzgan province, checked himself into the hospital two weeks ago. He said demand from traffickers remains high, and come harvest time in November, selling opium is his only means to make a living.

In the hospital, patients, totaling 700, float around the halls like ghosts. Some say they aren’t being fed enough. Doctors said hunger is part of the withdrawal process.

Most of their families don’t know where they are.

Source: Arab News

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Arab World


Grand Imam of Al Azhar hails UAE's support for tolerance values


CAIRO, 6th October 2021 (WAM) - The UAE is playing a prominent role in promoting the values of tolerance and fraternity, and will go down in history for hosting the signing of the iconic human fraternity document, said the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb.

Source: Emirates News Agency

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Iran, Iraq exchange remains of 31 soldiers killed in 1980-88 war: ICRC

06 October ,2021

Iraq and Iran on Wednesday exchanged the remains of 31 soldiers killed in the 1980-1988 war between the two countries which have since become allies, the Red Cross said.

“Under the auspices of the #ICRC, the remains of 11 Iraqi & 20 Iranian soldiers were repatriated to their respective homelands today,” the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Twitter.

It said the exchange took place at the Shalamcheh border post in the Basra region of southern Iraq.

“We will continue to support relevant authorities in providing answers to families of the #missing,” since the UN-brokered ceasefire that ended the war, it said.

Several exchange ceremonies have been held in past years, with hundreds of remains being transferred to their home countries under a 2008 accord with the ICRC.

“Over 30 years have passed since the end of the conflict and thousands of families on both sides still remain in the dark on the fate of their loved ones,” the ICRC said in April.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Saudi Arabia arrests two residents for collecting funds of unknown origin

07 October ,2021

Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh police arrested two Sudanese residents in the capital for “collecting funds of unknown origin,” the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported Thursday.

The media spokesman for the Riyadh police, Major Khaled al-Kuraides, said the police arrested the two residents, who are in their thirties, for committing “crimes of collecting funds of unknown origin and transferring them outside the Kingdom in various ways, using two housing units in Riyadh as a headquarters,” according to SPA.

The spokesman said that $24,4827 (918,141 riyals) were seized from their possession, along with foreign currencies.

SPA reported that the two individuals were arrested and were referred to the Kingdom’s Public Prosecution.

Last month, Saudi Arabia had sentenced 24 gang members to 20 years in prison for laundering $4.5 billion.

The gang members, including Saudi nationals and expatriates, were also fined a total of $19.9 million and ordered to hand over all the money found at the crime scene – which is estimated to amount to billions of Saudi riyals.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Saudi air defenses intercept Houthi drone targeting Abha airport, four injured

07 October ,2021

Saudi Arabia’s air defenses have intercepted a booby-trapped drone launched by the Iran-backed Houthis in attempt to carry out an attack on Abha International Airport.

“Shrapnel have scattered and fell in the vicinity of Abha’s internal airport as a result of the interception,” a statement by the Arab Coalition added.

“The shrapnel have caused minor injuries to four employees of Abha International Airport and some windows had been shattered. The Houthi attempt to target civilians at Abha Airport as a civilian airport constitutes a war crime. We are taking operational measures to neutralize the sources of threat used in the attempt to attack Abha airport,” the coalition added.

Last month, eight people had been injured in Houthi drone strikes on Saudi Arabia's Abha airport that also damaged a civilian airplane.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Arab Coalition destroys Houthi militia site used to launch booby-trapped drones

06 October ,2021

The Arab Coalition has destroyed a Houthi militia site in Yemen’s al-Jawf used to launch booby-trapped drones.

“The coalition has destroyed two drones in al-Jawf that were prepared to carry out an imminent hostile act towards Saudi Arabia,” a statement added.

The Houthis regularly launch attacks on Saudi Arabia and Yemeni areas under the control of the internationally-recognized government.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Arab Coalition intercepts three explosive-laden boats launched by Houthis in Yemen

06 October ,2021

The Arab Coalition has successfully intercepted and destroyed three explosive-laden boats in the Red Sea, launched by Iran-backed-Houthi militia in Yemen.

"The coalition's efforts have contributed to protecting navigation and global trade in the Bab al-Mandab strait. Our efforts contributed to protecting shipping lanes in the Bab al-Mandab strait and the southern Red Sea" the coalition said.

The Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, stressed the importance of the full implementation of the Riyadh Agreement to support stability and the functioning of state institutions.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Report: Libyan Islamic Fighting Group Threat to UK

October 6, 2021

The European Center for Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (ECCI) stated in a report that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) is one of the most prominent extremist “Islamist” groups in Britain.

In a report prepared by the researcher, Heba Gharbi the center said that the British government noted that the country faced numerous threats, mainly from Islamic extremists, the extreme right, and anarchists.

In a comprehensive review outlining the country’s post-Brexit political priorities, the British government warned that mismanagement and chaos, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, would give way to extremist groups while increasing the likelihood of states sponsoring terrorism and resorting to proxy wars.

The LIFG, headquartered in southern Manchester, is a branch of the global extremist Islamic movement that draws its ideas from Al-Qaeda. Its most prominent members include Abdel-Hakim Belhaj and Khaled Al-Sharif, both of whom fought with the Mujahedeen movement and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

Source: Libya Review

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Tunisia police seize equipment used by pro-Ennahda TV

06 October ,2021

Tunisian security forces on Wednesday seized broadcasting equipment used by an unlicensed television station close to the Ennahda party, the country’s media authority said.

Zitouna TV, considered close to Ennahda and its ally Al-Karama, both of which oppose a July power grab by President Kais Saied, had been operating illegally, the Independent High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HAICA) said.

“Broadcasting equipment was confiscated today from the Zitouna channel following a decision,” HAICA president Nouri Lajmi told AFP.

“Zitouna has been broadcasting illegally for years and has not received a broadcasting license as it has not respected the legal framework.”

Nasreddine bin Hammouda, head of production at the Zitouna Network that produces programmes for Zitouna TV and other channels, said “security forces accompanied by members of the HAICA raided the headquarters of Zitouna Network... and began confiscating equipment.”

“Nobody told us it was forbidden to work with Zitouna TV,” he said.

The channel was still on air, he added.

Saied in July suspended parliament, sacked the Ennahda-supported government of Hichem Mechichi and removed MPs’ immunity following months of growing public anger over an ongoing economic crisis and failings in managing the coronavirus pandemic.

Hichem El-Senoussi, a member of HAICA, told AFP that decisions had been taken a month ago against Zitouna TV and other channels that had “failed to comply with orders to stop broadcasting.”

Zitouna TV started broadcasting in 2012, following the fall of longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in an uprising the previous year.

In 2015, some of its equipment was seized but it continued operating.

El-Senoussi said the HAICA had repeatedly ordered the channel to close, but that it had been “supported by political actors including Ennahda”, preventing the orders from being implemented.

Tunisian authorities on Sunday arrested Zitouna TV presenter Amer Ayad on charges of “plotting against state security”, his lawyer said, along with an Al-Karama MP who appeared on Ayad’s show and criticized Saied’s moves.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Algeria tells France to ‘decolonize its history’ in new spat

06 October ,2021

Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra has told France to “decolonize” its history, in the latest verbal broadside between Paris and a former colony in Africa.

On a trip to Mali, whose ruling junta has been fiercely criticized by France, Lamamra said French President Emmanuel Macron suffered from “forgetfulness of history,” Malian TV reported late Tuesday.

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“Our foreign partners need to decolonize their own history,” said Lamamra.

“They need to free themselves of certain attitudes, certain behaviors, certain visions which are intrinsically linked to the incoherent logic driven by the West’s claimed mission to bring civilization,” he said.

This mission, he claimed, “was the ideological cover used to try to gain acceptance for the crime against humanity which was (France’s) colonization of Algeria, colonization of Mali and the colonization of so many African peoples.”

Lamamra’s barb appeared to be aimed at comments by Macron last week in which he said Algeria’s post-independence “political-military system” had “totally re-written” the country’s history.

Macron told descendants of Algeria’s war of independence that the version of history transmitted to Algerians was “not based on truths” but “on a discourse of hatred towards France,” according to remarks reported by Le Monde.

Algeria over the weekend recalled its ambassador from Paris and banned French military planes from its airspace, which France regularly uses to reach its forces battling jihadists in the Sahel region to the south.

On Tuesday, Macron said he hoped for a “calming down” of tensions with Algeria and that his relations with President Abdelmadjid Tebboune were “truly cordial.”

Macron is also at loggerheads with Mali’s junta, which ousted the country’s elected president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, in August 2020.

France intervened after jihadists seized control of Mali’s north in 2012, and Paris has since deployed thousands of troops across the Sahel to combat the insurgency.

In June, France announced a major scaleback of its Sahel deployment -- a move that caused Mali last month to publicly declare its ally had decided to “abandon” it.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Sudan's military asks premier to form new government

Talal Ismail 



Military members of Sudan's ruling Sovereign Council asked Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to form a new government to solve the marginalization crisis of tribes, local media reported Wednesday.

According to daily al-Sudani, unidentified informed sources said military members from the Council refused on Tuesday to meet a ministerial committee formed by Hamdok to address the crisis in eastern Sudan.

"The military members refused to meet the ministerial committee and asked to meet Hamdok alone before meeting any minister," said the newspaper.

It also said members representing the army exerted pressure on Hamdok to dissolve the government in response to demands to form a new government by the head of the High Council of Beja, Muhammad al-Amin Turk.

Tensions have risen in recent days between military and civilian members of the Sudanese transitional authority over the coup attempt last month.

The government has yet to comment on developments mentioned by the newspaper.

The Sudanese Council of Ministers decided Tuesday to form a committee, headed by Hamdok, to engage military members of the Sovereign Council to agree on "practical solutions" to the crisis.

Sudan is ruled by a civilian government and a Sovereign Council which consists of 14 members; five military representatives from the army, six civilians from the Forces for Freedom and Change Coalition and three members who were added in February to represent armed groups after a peace deal was signed with the government in October 2020.

Demonstrators have since Sept. 17 blocked Khartoum's airport, seaports and the main road between Khartoum and Port Sudan in protest of the peace deal with rebel groups, which Beja tribes in eastern Sudan say marginalizes the community.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Islamist militants kill at least nine Malian soldiers

October 7, 2021

BAMAKO, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Islamist militants killed at least nine soldiers and wounded at least 11 more in central Mali on Wednesday, the army said, while local officials said the death toll was even higher.

The attack involving an improvised explosive device occurred between the towns of Koro and Bandiagra in the Mopti region, an epicentre of violence in Mali by insurgents linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State, the army said in a statement.

The soldiers returned fire, killing 15 militants, it said, adding that the death tolls on both sides were provisional.

Moulaye Guindo, the mayor of the nearby town of Bankass, said 16 soldiers had been killed, while another local official, who asked not be named, said more than 10 soldiers had died.

Malian soldiers as well as French counter-insurgency forces that support them and United Nations peacekeepers are frequently targeted in central and northern Mali by the militants.

Source: Reuters

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North America


US investigating reports that Ghani fled Kabul with millions of dollars: Official

06 October ,2021

The US is investigating reports that Afghanistan’s former president, Ashraf Ghani, fled Kabul with millions of dollars, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR) said Wednesday.

Despite being asked by Congress’s main investigative body to probe allegations that Ghani fled with bags full of cash hours before the Taliban took over Kabul, the SIGAR John Sopko said there was no proof “yet.”

“We’re looking into that [allegation]. Actually the Oversight and Government Reform Committee has asked us to look into that,” he said during a subcommittee hearing with the House of Representatives.

Ghani shocked the US and other backers of his government after he abruptly left Afghanistan just before the Taliban quickly took over Kabul.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Twenty-six art works by boxing great Muhammad Ali sell for nearly $1 mln

07 October ,2021

A boxing sketch in felt pen by the late Muhammad Ali sold for more than $580,000 at an auction in New York of his little-known art works, some of which went for many times over estimates.

The sketch, called Sting Like a Bee and drawn on paper in 1978, was the most sought-after work among 26 paintings, drawings and sketches by the former heavyweight champion that reflected Ali’s interest in religion, social justice and his own career.

It carried a pre-sale estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.

“Ref, he did float like a butterfly and sting like a bee!” reads the speech bubble from a boxer knocked down by an opponent whose arms are raised in victory.

Ali famously used the phrase to describe his boxing style.

Bonhams auctioneers said that 26 art works by Ali sold on Tuesday for a total of $945,524, more than three times the lower end of estimates of their value.

Sting Like A Bee was bought by a British-based collector of Ali memorabilia, Bonhams said. Other buyers were not identified.

Ali’s passion for art was little known but he liked to sketch as a way of unwinding after a fight or training.

Some of the works for sale were traditional nature paintings, while others were more personal, cartoon-like sketches.

Source: Al Arabiya

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War games stoke the flames of enmity between Caucasus rivals Iran and Azerbaijan

October 06, 2021

WASHINGTON D.C.: Tensions between Iran and Azerbaijan are high amid a diplomatic spat that is approaching crisis point, according to regional observers.

Although the two countries normally enjoy cordial relations, they are drifting apart owing to divergent strategic interests and political visions.

Azerbaijani authorities, long frustrated by Iran’s support for its neighbour and rival, Armenia, have launched a crackdown on Iranian cross-border smuggling that was a lifeline for the Armenian separatist holdout in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

In 2020, following a Russian-brokered ceasefire, Armenian forces agreed to hand over much of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan, which marked a significant victory for Baku after a 44-day war.

In Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenian separatists protected by Russian peacekeepers still control the city of Khankendi, also known as Stepankeret, and a handful of surrounding villages.

The entirety of Iran’s shared border with what had once been Armenian-occupied Nagorno-Karabakh is now under the control of Azerbaijani authorities.

However, Iranian trucks reportedly continued to enter Nagorno-Karabakh without paying the requisite customs fees to the Azerbaijani government.

“This is not the first time that Iran’s trucks have illegally traveled to the Karabakh region,” Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said this week.

“This is something that happened repeatedly during the occupation period. Around 60 Iranian trucks entered Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region without permission between Aug. 11 and Sept. 11 this year after Azerbaijan called on Iran to put an end to the practice.

“Then we started to control the road passing through Azerbaijani land, and the trucks sent by Iran to Karabakh came to an end.”

Tensions have been stoked further by joint military drills held by the Azerbaijani army with Turkey and Pakistan 500 kilometers from the country’s border with Iran.

Aliyev also inaugurated a new military base in the city of Jabrayil in Nagorno-Karabakh, right on the border with Iran, making sure to be filmed standing beside a line of Israeli-made Harop combat drones that Azerbaijan used to devastating effect during the 2020 war.

Iran claimed Azerbaijan was allowing Israel to establish a base on Iran’s border.

“Iran will not tolerate the presence of the Zionist regime near our borders,” said Saeed Khatibzadeh, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman.

Iran then conducted a multi-day military exercise along its border with Azerbaijan.

According to Iran’s Tasnim news agency, the Azerbaijani government ordered the closure of a mosque in Baku linked to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“The mosque and representative office of Seyyed Ali Akbar Ojaghnejad, representative of supreme leader (Ayatollah) Ali Khamenei in Baku, were sealed and closed today by order of the authorities of the Republic of Azerbaijan,” Tasnim said.

Azerbaijan claimed the move was necessary because of “a surge in COVID-19 cases in several locations in Baku,” saying that the mosque’s operation had been “suspended temporarily.”

Iran’s embassy in Baku said there had been no advanced warning of the move.

Speaking to Arab News, Farid Shafiyev, chairman of the Baku-based Center of Analysis of International Relations, said: “Only Iran will suffer from these statements. Tehran, first of all, should see the Caucasus as a region of potential cooperation.

“Iran’s statements about ‘third-country’ or ‘foreign’ forces stationed in Azerbaijan are mainly aimed at Israel and Turkey, but they must understand that we are not hiding.

“Azerbaijan has military-political cooperation with Israel and with Turkey, as well as strong economic ties. It is designed, first of all, to ensure the security of Azerbaijan and not against Iran.”

Shafiyev believes there are two key reasons why Iran fears Azerbaijan’s growing regional clout. The first is the Zangezur Corridor — an overland corridor Baku plans to establish across southern Armenia to link up with the Nakhchivan enclave bordering Turkey.

According to Shafiyev, Iran fears the plan, which was agreed under the terms of the ceasefire deal, will leave it cut off from the wider region.

The second factor at play is Azerbaijan’s longstanding relationship with Israel, which has angered Iran at a time when its nuclear program has been set back by a string of suspected Israeli covert operations.

Shafiyev says Azerbaijan is unlikely to back down in the face of Iranian saber-rattling.

“This is our sovereign right,” he said. “Our cooperation with Israel is more about security. Israeli weapons have shown their effectiveness during the Patriotic (Nagorno-Karabakh) War.

“As a former diplomat, I would like the issues to be resolved diplomatically and Iran should (instead) consider this region as a potential region of cooperation.”

Ahmad Obali, a US-based Azerbaijan analyst and founder of Gunaz TV, also believes the outcome of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war is driving Iranian policy in the region.

“Iran does not want to accept the fact that Azerbaijan won the Karabakh war and liberated the border between Iran and Azerbaijan from Armenian occupation,” he said.

“Iran lost significant revenue when Azerbaijan regained Karabakh from the Armenians. The border area in that region was used extensively for narcotics smuggling and exports. Now Azerbaijan is in control.

Source: Arab News

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Briton charged with terror offenses after disappearing in Turkey

October 06, 2021

LONDON: A British man who allegedly joined Daesh after vanishing from a family holiday as a teenager more than seven years ago has been charged with terrorist offenses.

Shabazz Suleman, 25, went missing on holiday in Turkey in 2014 after finishing his high-school exams and securing a university place in Britain.

In the summer of 2013, Suleman traveled to Syria as part of an aid convoy, but stands accused of returning to the region to serve Daesh and being trained by the terror group to use weapons.

When concerns about his disappearance first surfaced in 2014, Suleman said he was caught up in a secret mass prisoner swap between Ankara and regional armed groups after having been picked up near the Turkish border with Syria.

His father Afzal still works in England and previously said he knew his son “was thinking of going there (Syria) and helping people.”

Suleman was eventually captured in Syria by a Turkish-backed militia group called Liwa Al-Shimal in October 2017.

He told The Times that he was safe, but pleaded for an opportunity to return to Britain to challenge any allegations against him.

He was later freed by a court in Jarabulus, Syria — which is not internationally recognized — after it ruled that there was not enough evidence to convict him.

Source: Arab News

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Moscow to host international talks on Afghanistan on Oct. 20

07 October ,2021

Moscow plans to host international talks on Afghanistan on Oct. 20, President Vladimir Putin’s special representative on Afghanistan said on Thursday.

Zamir Kabulov, the representative, did not provide further details on the planned talks in comments carried by Russian news agencies.

Moscow hosted an international conference on Afghanistan in March at which Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan released a joint statement calling on the then-warring Afghan sides to reach a peace deal and curb violence.

It also called on the Taliban not to launch any offensives in the spring and summer.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Germany repatriates 8 women, 23 children with ties to Daesh

October 06, 2021

BERLIN: Germany has repatriated eight women who joined the IS terror group and 23 children from northern Syria, the foreign ministry said overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, the biggest such transfer since 2019.

“The children are not responsible for their situation... the mothers will have to answer for their acts,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement, adding that “many of them were held in custody on arrival in Germany.”

Denmark also brought three women and 14 children to its territory as part of the same operation, carried out with US military support, Berlin said.

Maas said he was “happy” to have brought back to Germany people, especially children, identified “as being in particular need of protection.”

“They are mostly sick children or those with a guardian in Germany, as well as their brothers and sisters and their mothers,” the foreign ministry said.

The group was repatriated from the Roj camp in Kurdish-controlled northeastern Syria.

Tabloid-style daily Bild reported that foreign ministry and police officials landed in the region early Wednesday on a US military plane, which then brought the group to Kuwait before they boarded a flight to Frankfurt.

Source: Arab News

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