New Age Islam
Mon Nov 30 2020, 06:37 AM

Islamic World News ( 23 Apr 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Kashmir solution just a signature away: Kasuri

French woman fined for wearing veil

Zimbabwe's Mugabe backs Ahmadinejad on nuclear Iran

Behind France's Islamic veil 

New York's Imam Is on a Mission

Pak parliament to probe gurdwara land grab case

Iran's bid for UN human rights panel seat fails

Iran Agrees To More Nuclear Inspection

Charity aims to promote organ donation

Haia man stabbed by youth in Yanbu

Al-Asheikh tells Haia official to stay out of Shariah issues

Obama ordered drone attacks on Pak 'inspiring anti-American fanaticism': Congressman

Kashmir: Bank helps them weave dreams into reality

Kashmir strike to protest against death penalty

Musharraf was hostile when he telephoned Benazir: Siegel

Pakistan allows US to question Taliban leader Baradar

Bangladesh troops guard water supplies

Al-Qaeda leaders said to have ordered attack on New York subway system

Amnesty International says UAE abused Indian prisoners

Pakistan troops killed in North Waziristan ambush

Mumbai's Oberoi hotel reopens after deadly 2008 attack

Terror glorifying activities in the guise of HR

Top US senator presses Clinton on Iran sanctions

Taliban warn Pak media against 'ignoring' their viewpoint

Iraq closes secret prison, arrests three officers

 ‘Operation Rah-e-Rast should eliminate terrorists’

Osama’s former bodyguard writes against Al Qaeda

Nato irons out plan for Afghan civilian, military handover 

Malaysia admits arresting LTTE leaders

Violence on eve of polling day

U.S. military, diplomats at odds over how to resolve Kandahar's electricity woes

US envoy Mitchell meets Netanyahu in push to end rift

Lawyers hopeful for 'sorcerer' on death row

NATO agrees to plan for Afghanistan security handover

Burney reaches Dhaka on Monday

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/kashmir-solution-just-a-signature-away--kasuri/d/2754

 

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Kashmir solution just a signature away: Kasuri

By Babar Dogar & Ranjan Roy

April 24, 2010

LAHORE: Former foreign minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri has said the solution to the Kashmir dispute is just a signature away once India and Pakistan decide to pull the file from the rack.

While addressing the concluding session of the two-day seminar — held as part of the ongoing Aman ki Asha campaign, launched by the Jang Group and Times of India — and later talking to The News and the Times of India here on Friday, the former foreign minister revealed the previous Musharraf government had completed almost 90 per cent of the spadework on the half-a-century old Kashmir dispute by 2007 as the whole exercise just needed the formal signature of all the three parties to the issue - Pakistan, India and representatives of Kashmir.

“All India and Pakistan now need is to defreeze the process. The entire paper-work has been done. The copies of related documents are safe with some friendly countries as well,” said Kasuri.

Full report at:

http://thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=28466

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French police fine Muslim driver for wearing veil

April 24, 2010

A French Muslim woman has been fined for wearing a full-face veil while driving a car.

Police in the western city of Nantes said the veil - which showed only her eyes - restricted her vision and could have caused an accident.

The woman's lawyer says they will appeal against the decision, which he described as a breach of human rights.

The incident follows months of intense debate in France about whether the veils should be banned.

Earlier this week, President Nicolas Sarkozy ordered parliament to debate a law banning women from wearing full-face Islamic veils in public.

'Safety risk'

After stopping the 31-year-old woman - who has not been named - police asked her to raise her veil to confirm her identity, which she did.

They then fined her 22 euros ($29; £19), saying her clothing posed a "safety risk".

"This fine is not justified on road safety grounds and constitutes a breach of human and women's rights," her lawyer, Jean-Michel Pollono, told AFP news agency.

He said the woman's field of vision was not obstructed and added that a veil was no different from a motorcycle helmet in terms of hindrance to vision.

He said he had formally complained to the state prosecutor.

"The ball is clearly in the authorities' court," he said. "Currently no law forbids the wearing of the niqab."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8641070.stm

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Zimbabwe's Mugabe backs Ahmadinejad on nuclear Iran

April 24, 2010

President Robert Mugabe has backed Iran's "just cause" on seeking nuclear power, as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continues his Zimbabwe visit.

Zimbabwe's leader said both countries had been "unjustly vilified and punished by Western countries".

Iran is subject to a range of UN diplomatic and trade sanctions, although it insists its nuclear project is for energy, not to build a weapon.

Mr Ahmadinejad has opened a trade fair in Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo.

The only sin... we have committed is the cancelling of the concessions that the West had in our country

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iran's leader also castigated Western nations, saying: "They want to seize the markets of the countries [Iran and Zimbabwe] and destroy their economies," reports the AFP news agency.

The visit has exposed the deep divisions in Zimbabwe's power-sharing government.

The Movement for Democratic Change of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has condemned the visit and did not send anyone to welcome Mr Ahmadinejad at Harare's airport on Thursday.

It said inviting him to open a trade fair was like "inviting a mosquito to cure malaria".

Uranium deposits

The leader of oil-rich Iran is due to travel to Uganda later on Friday.

Oil has recently been discovered in Uganda, which currently holds a seat on the UN Security Council.

At a state dinner in honour of Iran's leader in Harare, Mr Ahmadinejad said: "The only sin... we have committed is the cancelling of the concessions that the West had in our country.

"The United Nations' organ of the Security Council is being used to serve the powerful countries to put pressure on the smaller countries like Iran and Zimbabwe."

Zimbabwe is believed to have uranium deposits in the north of the country, but as yet no exploration contracts have been awarded and the size of the deposits are unknown, according to the Reuters news agency.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, an ally of President Mugabe, said Zimbabwe would benefit from the Iranian leader's visit by signing several trade and co-operation agreements.

Mr Mugabe and some of his closest allies are subject to targeted sanctions by several Western nations.

These include a travel ban and an assets freeze but not trade measures.

The MDC has expressed concern that the trip could affect attempts to improve relations with the West.

Mr Tsvangirai was due to visit Europe for talks this week on getting the sanctions lifted but his trip was delayed by the volcanic ash flight ban.

The MDC joined a power-sharing government in 2009 in an attempt to revive the ruined economy.

Mr Mugabe previously tried to portray the MDC as a stooge of the former colonial power, the UK.

He has criticised it recently for failing to get the sanctions on him lifted.

They were imposed after the US and the EU accused Mr Mugabe of rigging elections.

He says they were really a punishment for his policy of seizing land from white farmers.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8639588.stm

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Behind France's Islamic veil

April 24, 2010

 France is one of several European countries considering a ban on the Islamic veil, and some restrictions on the niqab could become law within weeks. Claire Bolderson reports on how the debate plays into a broader struggle over French identity.

In a small park at the back of a housing estate in Avignon, Kenza Drider, 31, races around a scruffy tennis court giggling and shouting encouragement to her opponent as she swings her racket at the ball.

It is just a knock-about game and would be unremarkable, except that Kenza Drider is a very unusual sight.

Her plain blue dress reaches to the ground. On top of it, covering her hair and shoulders, is a voluminous, long grey shawl.

And, most striking of all, over her face she wears a piece of black cloth - a niqab - that conceals everything except her deep brown eyes.

Full report at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8607802.stm

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New York's Imam Is on a Mission

Chine Labbe and Mahawish Rezvi

April 24, 2010

Assistant Imam Mohammad Shamsi Ali, a thin, short man with a well-trimmed moustache, was appointed assistant imam to the Islamic Cultural Center of New York, on 96th Street and 3rd Avenue, in November 2001, shortly after 9/11.

He believes his wide range of activities with non-Muslims got him the job.

After growing up in a remote region of Indonesia, Ali arrived in the U.S in 1996. And he rapidly imposed himself as a central figure of New York City's Muslim community, known for his continuous efforts to reach out to other faiths.

He became the chairman of the Muslim Day Parade, started working as a clergy liaison for the New York Police Department, and engaged in many interfaith events. After 9/11, city officials chose him as one of three religious leaders to represent American Muslims at the memorial prayer at Yankee Stadium. In 2006, New York City Magazine rated him the most influential Islamic leader in the city.

His appointment to the ICC, the first building constructed as a mosque in New York City, only reinforced his commitment to bridge different religious communities. Calling the ICC the "PR officer" of American Muslims, Ali believes it is his mission to "dispel misconceptions" about Islam, and to connect with other faiths. "It is perceived as the real center, the cathedral of Muslims," Ali says.

Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chine-labbe/new-yorks-imam-is-on-a-mi_b_546305.html

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Pak parliament to probe gurdwara land grab case

April 24, 2010

Lahore: A Pakistani parliamentary panel has taken up the alleged illegal sale of agricultural land attached to two Sikh shrines in a village near this eastern city to the army-run Defence Housing Authority.

A total of 575 kanals of land attached to the two shrines, Samadh Bhai Maan Singh and Gurdwara Deh in the village within Lahore cantonment were sold to the DHA by the Evacuee Trust Property Board, which is responsible for managing the properties of Pakistan's minority communities.

The Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly or lower house of parliament has summoned ETPB chief Syed Asif Hashmi, minority affairs ministry Secretary Javed Akhtar and other officials involved in the controversial deal.

"I think now the controversy will be settled after the intervention of the Public Accounts Committee," Hashmi told PTI.

Under the Evacuee Trust Property Board Management and Disposal Act of 1975, the body's function is to develop agriculture land for increasing its productivity and enhancing the commercial value of its property.

Full report at:

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/pak-parliament-to-probe-gurdwara-land-grab-case/113840-2.html?from=rhs

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Iran's bid for UN human rights panel seat fails

Laura Rozen:

April 23, 2010

Iran's bid to become a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva has failed, human rights watchers tell POLITICO. Sources say that today in New York Iran indicated that it will pull out of a vote slated for May 13 that will elect new members to the human rights body.

"Iran's out," a human rights official said Friday.

It has been rumored that western states mounted an aggressive behind the scenes campaign against Iran's membership bid in the body, which has been frequently scorned by American conservatives for having so many notorious human rights abusers among its members.

But the Obama administration has argued that the U.S. being on the UN rights panel, which it joined in September 2009, is able to improve the situation, even if progress is slow and incremental.

Full report at:

http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/0410/Irans_bid_for_UN_human_rights_panel_seat_fails.html?showall

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Iran Agrees To More Nuclear Inspection

April 24, 2010

Vienna — Iran has agreed to give the U.N. nuclear monitoring agency greater inspection and monitoring rights to a sensitive site where it is enriching uranium to higher levels, diplomats said Friday.

The move – indirectly confirmed by a senior Iranian envoy – comes as Tehran mounts a diplomatic offensive meant to stave off new U.N. sanctions for its defiance of Security Council demands that it curb nuclear activities that could be used to make weapons.

Iran began enriching uranium to near 20 percent two months ago and says it will be turned into fuel rods for research reactors that manufacture medical isotopes for cancer patients. It says it was forced to take this step because the big powers refused to meet it half way on a moribund plan that would have supplied the rods from abroad.

The International Atomic Energy Agency had pushed in vain for greater access to the enrichment operation since the start of the project, seeking to realign monitoring cameras already set up to oversee Iran's long-standing enrichment plant that is churning out much-lower-level uranium. It has also been asking for more frequent inspections, said the diplomats, who asked for anonymity because their information is confidential.

They said Iran agreed in principle about 10 days ago to some – but not all_ of the oversight the IAEA had asked for.

Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/23/iran-agrees-to-more-nucle_n_549288.html

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Charity aims to promote organ donation

By SIRAJ WAHAB

Apr 23, 2010

ALKHOBAR: For a young accident victim or chronically ill hospital patient, cultural taboos against organ donations can be akin to a death sentence.

Now a group of 36 highly motivated and concerned Saudis, led by prominent businessman Abdul Aziz Alturki, have set up a society to raise awareness about the issue in the Eastern Province. Donating organs to sick or injured people is not considered to be an obligation by many in the Arab world and Saudi Arabia in particular.

Yet hundreds, if not thousands, of Saudi men, women and children in need of a transplant are forced to endure pain and misery because of the lack of organs.

“The formation of the Saudi Charitable Foundation for Promoting Organ Donation was long overdue,” Alturki, the foundation’s chairman, said at a press conference on Wednesday.

“There are so many people who are in need of organs. Some of them are forced to travel abroad and pay an astronomical sum to buy an organ. Not all of them can afford that kind of money. So we thought, why not create awareness in our society and basically encourage people to donate their organs.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article46305.ece

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Haia man stabbed by youth in Yanbu

By MUHAMMAD AL-SULAMI

Apr 24, 2010

JEDDAH: Yanbu police arrested a youth on Friday for stabbing a member of the Commission to Protect Virtue and Prevent Vice (Haia) on Thursday at the spring Yanbu festival.

The youth attacked the victim when he was asked to leave the women's section of the festival at the corniche.

The wounded man is currently being treated in the emergency ward at Yanbu General Hospital. A medical report said the man was injured on his left side and his condition was stable.

Sources said Haia members found the youth harassing girls in an area set apart for women.

When they told him to leave he refused and stabbed the official before fleeing.

Police arrested the youth later and investigations are under way. The source added that another Haia member was attacked at the same festival last year.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article46710.ece

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Al-Asheikh tells Haia official to stay out of Shariah issues

By MUHAMMAD HUMAIDAN

Apr 23, 2010

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti has reportedly told the chairman of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) in Makkah to stay out of Shariah matters that are not of his concern.

Al-Madinah newspaper reported on Friday that Sheikh Abdul Aziz ibn Abdullah Al-Asheikh was not happy that Sheikh Ahmad Qasim Al-Ghamdi had sent him his research on the controversial and hotly debated issue of gender mixing in the Kingdom and refused to read it.

The grand mufti asked Al-Ghamdi to fear God and not to make statements about issues that are not of his concern, the newspaper reported.

Al-Ghamdi told Al-Madinah that he had sent his research to the grand mufti to read and talked to him over telephone.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article46606.ece

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Obama ordered drone attacks on Pak 'inspiring anti-American fanaticism': Congressman

24 Apr 2010

Washington, Apr.24 (ANI): A U.S. Congressman has condemned the unmanned drones strikes ordered by President Obama in western Pakistan, arguing that such tactics are inflaming radical Islamic factions.

"I do not support the drone attacks," said Democrat Dennis Kucinich in an interview, contending that the approach is pushing the United States "into an area of unaccountability that leads to blowback, where we actually lose friends, where we help inspire anti-American sentiments and fanaticism and radicalism.  

The strikes that began in 2005 during the Bush regime as part of an effort to wipe out spillover militant activity on the eastern side of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border have escalated under his successor.

 US military leaders say the approach has purged scores of militants, including high-level Al-Qaeda operatives.

Full report at:

http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/160276

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Bank helps them weave dreams into reality

Nusrat Ara

April 24, 2010

Dastkar scheme promotes the art and craft of Jammu & Kashmir, writes Nusrat Ara A muddy lane at Hardshura village on the Srinagar Gulmarg highway in Kashmir leads to a single-storeyed mud and wood house of Ghulam Nabi Malik. On the threshold, Malik's three daughters sit working with nimble fingers on shawls spread across their laps. Malik and his wife are old sozni embroiders. Being in the craft for 30 years, they have now passed on the art to their daughters. The craft, prized the world over, is unique to Kashmir. Sozni involves the making of beautiful intricate colourful patterns using a needle and colourful threads on a shawl, stole or a garment.

Ironically, shawls embroidered by Malik made to global showrooms bringing fortunes for traders while he found difficult to make ends meet. Malik and artisans like him worked for meagre wages that rarely comes on time. The trader, the Malik family worked for, would pay him according to his whims, often delaying payments. At times, if he did not like the work, he had commissioned, the trader would simply not pay or Malik would have to pay a penalty. This way Malik ended up sharing the cost of raw materials which was supposed to borne by the trader.

Full report at:

http://www.thenorthlines.com/newsdet.aspx?q =31369

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Kashmir strike to protest against death penalty

April 24, 2010

A strike in Indian-administered Kashmir has been called after the death penalty was awarded to two Kashmiris for their role in a 1996 blast at a Delhi market.

Shops in most parts of Kashmir Valley are closed and traffic is suspended. An undeclared curfew has been imposed in parts of Srinagar to prevent protests.

On Thursday, a Delhi court sentenced six people convicted of the blast. Three were given the death penalty.

The 1996 blast in the Lajpat Nagar area killed 13 people and wounded 38 others.

The BBC's Altaf Hussain in Srinagar says many ordinary Kashmiris, in addition to separatist leaders, believe the two men may have been falsely implicated.

"Every Kashmiri is treated as a militant and the courts are eager to hang them," a shopkeeper in Srinagar told the BBC.

The shutdown has been called by the Hurriyat Conference, a separatist political alliance in Kashmir.

The president of Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Mian Abdul Qayoom, said the accused were not given a fair trial.

Six members of a militant group operating in Kashmir were found guilty by the court earlier this month.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8639005.stm

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Musharraf was hostile when he telephoned Benazir: Siegel

April 24, 2010

LAHORE: Former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf was hostile and had a confrontational discussion with former premier Benazir Bhutto before her return to Pakistan, a private TV channel quoted Benazir’s close friend and adviser Mark Siegel on Friday.

Siegel said Musharraf had telephoned her when she was with him in the US to discuss her return to Pakistan. He said Benazir later told him about the conversation saying Musharraf confronted her, as he did not want her to return to Pakistan.

“It wasn’t a very good conversation. He was very confrontational. He seems to be very hostile. He didn’t want her to return,” Siegel said. “She made it clear that she was returning and the preparations were underway for her return.”

Strike a deal: Siegel said right after the 2002 general elections, Musharraf offered Benazir a deal for dropping charges against President Asif Ali Zardari, releasing him from prison and giving him a ministry of his choice if she agreed to bid goodbye to politics for the next 10 years.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\04\24\story_24-4-2010_pg7_5

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Pakistan allows US to question Taliban leader Baradar

April 24, 2010

Pakistan's main intelligence agency has eased restrictions for US investigators to interrogate a top Afghan Taliban commander, officials have told the BBC.

Security sources say the Americans began getting "limited access" to Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar last month.

He was caught in late January during a raid on a madrassa near Karachi.

Mullah Baradar's capture came amid a major Nato-led offensive against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan and was hailed as a significant breakthrough.

US media reports suggest the Americans are satisfied with the information they are getting from the detained Taliban leader.

Full report at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8637780.stm

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Bangladesh troops guard water supplies

April 24, 2010

CNN) -- A water shortage in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka is so acute that troops have been called in to guard water pumps in parts of the city.

The city of more than 13 million people experiences a water shortfall every year during the peak dry season in April and May, but this year it is particularly bad, the United Nations said.

Soldiers were called in to help coordinate water distribution after protests by residents, angry at the worsening situation, said the U.N.'s Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN).

Two factors have exacerbated the shortage this year: Lack of rain has caused groundwater levels to drop. And regular power outages have made it difficult for officials to pump what is needed.

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/04/22/bangladesh.water.shortage/index.html

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Al-Qaeda leaders said to have ordered attack on New York subway system

By Jerry Markon

April 24, 2010

Two top al-Qaeda leaders ordered an attack on the New York subway system, in what authorities call one of the most serious terrorism plots on American soil since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, before they were apparently killed in U.S. missile strikes, a criminal defendant in the plot and law enforcement officials said Friday.

Zarein Ahmedzay, a New York City taxi driver, pleaded guilty to federal charges in a Brooklyn courtroom, testifying that he plotted suicide attacks in Manhattan in September, during the month of Ramadan. Ahmedzay said he conspired with Najibullah Zazi, an airport shuttle bus driver who had earlier pleaded guilty in the plot. Federal officials have said their plan was in its final stages when it was thwarted.

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-yn/content/article/2010/04/23/AR2010042302807.html?hpid=moreheadlines

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Amnesty International says UAE abused Indian prisoners

April 24, 2010

Rights group Amnesty International has condemned authorities in the United Arab Emirates over the alleged torture and forced confession of 17 Indians.

They were sentenced to death last month for killing a Pakistani man.

Amnesty says the men were taken to the scene of the killing in the emirate of Sharjah and forced to re-enact it.

It says they were made to beat a police officer posing as the dead man a month after their arrest - an act filmed and presented as genuine evidence.

There has so far been no comment so far on the allegations from the UAE authorities.

'Faked video'

Citing evidence produced by Indian rights group Lawyers For Human Rights International (LFHRI), Amnesty said that the 17 men were beaten with clubs, given electric shocks, deprived of sleep and forced to stand on one leg for prolonged periods.

"This is a mockery of justice. These 17 men have been tortured, forced to confess and sentenced to death based on a faked video," Amnesty's deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, Hassiba Hadj Sharaoui said.

Full report at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8641044.stm

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Pakistan troops killed in North Waziristan ambush

April 24, 2010

At least seven soldiers have been killed in an ambush by militants in the Pakistani tribal region of North Waziristan, officials say.

The insurgents ambushed the troops on Thursday in the Dattakhel area. At least 16 soldiers were injured.

The area is part of the lawless tribal region bordering Afghanistan and is a Taliban and al-Qaeda stronghold.

Meanwhile suspected Taliban militants in the same region have killed four men they accused of spying for the US.

The BBC's Haroon Rashid in Islamabad says that all of North Waziristan is extremely tense and a curfew has been imposed there.

"The military convoy was carrying out a routine movement from Miranshah to Dattakhel," a statement from the military said.

The mutilated bodies of those accused of spying for the US were dumped in an open area in Mir Ali, a major town in North Waziristan.

Dozens of men have been killed in a similar fashion in North Waziristan in recent years.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8639346.stm

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Mumbai's Oberoi hotel reopens after deadly 2008 attack

April 24, 2010

The Oberoi hotel, one of the best-known landmarks in Mumbai, is due to reopen - 18 months after being badly damaged when militants stormed the Indian city.

Nearly 170 people died in the attack, more than 30 of them Oberoi staff and guests of the luxury hotel.

Every room was destroyed as the gunmen rampaged through the hotel, firing indiscriminately and setting off explosions.

The hotel has now been refurbished at a cost of $35m (£23m).

Fully booked

In the Oberoi hotel, the finishing touches are now being put, the BBC's Ben Richardson in Mumbai says.

Full report at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8641435.stm

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Terror glorifying activities in the guise of HR

April 24, 2010

 What prompted the police to swing into action and arrest Ahsan Untoo, chairman ‘Human Rights Organisation’, who had organised a conference on human right situation in Kashmir, on Wednesday?

Official sources today said that Untoo and his close associates had managed to procure a taped speech of Lashkar-i-Toiba Chief, Hafiz Mohd Saeed which was to be played during the Conference in Srinagar.

Police have seized the tape. Official sources said that the taped speech is nothing but Saeed's venom against India.

He has, in his taped speech, urged the Hurriyat Conference factions to unite and wage a battle against the Indian establishment.

Saeed has declared his resolve to liberate Kashmir from the Indian occupation.

He is stated to have said that when a super power like America could not keep its control on Afghanistan India was in no position to retain its control on Kashmir. Hafiz has called for sustained jehad till liberation of Kashmir became a reality.

Full report at:

http://www.thenorthlines.com/newsdet.aspx?q=31381

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Top US senator presses Clinton on Iran sanctions

24 April 2010

 WASHINGTON - A day after calling Iran a “festering sore,” the top US senator on Friday urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to work with lawmakers to ensure speedy approval of new sanctions against Tehran.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also pressed Clinton to patch up strained ties with Israel and help promote direct negotiations between the crucial Middle East ally and the Palestinians.

“I am writing to ask you to work with Congress to quickly complete action on the Iran sanctions legislation and to encourage you to support direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians,” he wrote.

The US Senate and House of Representatives have launched discussions to meld their rival versions of legislation to target Iran’s gasoline imports in order to force the Islamic republic to freeze its suspect nuclear program.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?col=&section=middleeast&xfile=data/middleeast/2010/April/middleeast_April358.xml

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Taliban warn Pak media against 'ignoring' their viewpoint

April 24, 2010

Islamabad: The Taliban have warned the Pakistani media for "the last time" against "ignoring" the group's viewpoint and claimed that newspapers and television channels were hiding the truth and working as an ally of army.

Pakistani Taliban 'spokesman' Muhammad Umar issued the warning through an e-mail sent to journalists in Peshawar hours after militants attacked an army convoy in North Waziristan tribal region, killing seven soldiers and injuring 16 others yesterday.

Umar, who described himself as "a spokesman for the Taliban Media Centre" in North Waziristan, said: "Why is the media only conveying the army's point of view? Is this proof that the media is also working as an ally for the government and the army? Or they are being forced to hide the truth?"

"This e-mail should be considered a last warning for the media of Pakistan. If the media doesn't stop working as an ally of the government and the army, the Taliban would have to treat the media as they want to be treated," he said.

Umar said the media could either be with "the terrorists or the truth."

The Taliban have issued threats to the media in northwest Pakistan on several occasions in the past two years.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Taliban-warn-Pak-media-against-ignoring-their-viewpoint/articleshow/5852387.cms

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Iraq closes secret prison, arrests three officers

By KHALID AL-ANSARY

Apr 24, 2010

BAGHDAD: Iraqi authorities have closed down a secret prison where over 400 mainly Sunni prisoners were held without trial, and arrested three officers of the military unit that ran it, an official said on Friday.

The unit that operated the detention center reported directly to the office of Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki but officials denied any connection to or knowledge of the facility in Al-Maliki's inner circle.

"The three officers were detained for interrogation," Kamil Ameen, a spokesman for Iraq's human rights ministry, told Reuters. "What matters to us is that the prison has been closed and it is now part of the past." The closure of the secret jail comes at a sensitive time for Al-Maliki, who is fighting to hold onto his position as prime minister following an inconclusive general election in March.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article46614.ece

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‘Operation Rah-e-Rast should eliminate terrorists’

By Iqbal Khattak

April 24, 2010

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Army’s Operation Rah-e-Rast should reach its logical conclusion and eliminate all terrorists from the Swat district, veteran nationalist politician Afzal Khan Lala said on Friday.

“Operation Rah-e-Rast must reach its logical conclusion by eliminating all terrorists from Swat,” Lala told Daily Times before leaving for Kabul on a special invitation of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The veteran politician bravely faced the onslaught of the Taliban before Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani ordered the army to start the operation in Swat. But law enforcement agencies and civil society members have blamed the Taliban for killing three pro-government personalities in the Swat Valley. “Had the army launched Operation Rah-e-Rast in 2007 this menace would have now been finished,” Lala said, indirectly suggesting that the military operation should had started as soon as the Taliban had surfaced in Swat.

The veteran politician said he believed that the delay in launching the operation allowed the Taliban to gain strength in the district, which was dangerous. “We need to wipe out these people. If we cannot take the Operation Rah-e-Rast to its logical conclusion – elimination of all terrorists – then we will face destruction on a wider scale,” the veteran nationalist warned.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\04\24\story_24-4-2010_pg7_29

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Osama’s former bodyguard writes against Al Qaeda

24 Apr, 2010

SANAA, April 23: A former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden, Yemeni Nasser al-Bahri, wants to dissuade young people from joining Al Qaeda, and has co-authored a book with a French journalist to get his message across.

“The main purpose of the book is to teach youth how to say no” to extremists such as Al Qaeda, Bahri said, adding that he is surprised that France denied him a visa for a trip to publicise “In the Shadow of Bin Laden.” Bahri explains that, as a supporter of holy war against what he considered “Western injustice” he had joined Al Qaeda but found it “not very convincing from the inside.” He left the organisation in 2000.

He counsels young people who might be swayed by the arguments of Islamic extremism to opt instead for dialogue with the West.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/osamas-former-bodyguard-writes-against-al-qaeda-440

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Nato irons out plan for Afghan civilian, military handover

24 Apr, 2010

TALLINN: Nato foreign ministers sealed on Friday a plan for international troops and civilian staff in Afghanistan to hand over responsibility to the local military and government.

In talks in Tallinn, capital of Estonia, the ministers endorsed guidelines for passing control to the Afghans as Nato and US-led forces drive Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters out of provinces across the insurgency-hit country.

“We agreed the approach we will take to transition. We set out a process, the conditions that will have to be met, and what we will do to make those conditions happen,” Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

“Where it occurs, transition must not just be sustainable but irreversible,” he told journalists after the meeting.

But he underlined: “It will not be a run for the exit.”

“We will hand over responsibility to the Afghan security forces and then our soldiers will play a supporting role,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/nato-irons-out-plan-for-afghan-civilian,-military-handover-440

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Malaysia admits arresting LTTE leaders

24 Apr, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has arrested and deported several alleged Sri Lankan Tamil rebels who took refuge here after their leader was killed in the war to crush a decades-old insurgency, officials said on Friday.

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said in a statement that several leaders of the Tamil Tigers were arrested between August 2009 and March this year. The statement gave no further details about the arrests.

Hishammuddin said Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa “very much appreciated” the arrests. Hishammuddin informed him about the arrests at a defence exhibition in Kuala Lumpur this week, the statement said.

Maj Gen G.V.D.U.A. Perera, the deputy commissioner at the Sri Lanka High Commission, or embassy, declined to comment on the Malaysian statement.

A Malaysian official said all the arrested Tamils have been deported. Among them was a top leader but he could not name him, he said.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/malaysia-admits-arresting-ltte-leaders-440

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Violence on eve of polling day

Abdullah Juberee . Lalmohan, Bhola

April 24, 2010

At least a dozen vehicles, more than 30 shops and two election camps of the Awami League were vandalised on Friday night as violence broke out in the Bhola 3 constituency on the eve of the polling day.

   The car of the Awami League candidate Nurunnabi Chowdhury Shawon’s election coordinator Tofail Ahmed, also a member on the party’s advisory council member, was also damaged as BNP supporters pelted it with stones when it was passing by the house of the BNP candidate Hafiz Uddin Ahmed.

   The clash began at the news of assault on three polling agents of Hafiz Uddin at Raddibari and Char Kachchhapiya of Badarpur in the upazila.

   As the news spread, supporters of the BNP along with Hafiz and his chief polling agent Amanullah Aman went to the Lalmohan election office to lodge a compliant.

Full report at:

http://www.newagebd.com/2010/apr/24/oped.html

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U.S. military, diplomats at odds over how to resolve Kandahar's electricity woes

By Rajiv Chandrasekaran

April 23, 2010

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN -- U.S. military commanders and senior diplomats are locked in a dispute over the best way to bring more electricity to Afghanistan's second-largest city, complicating a major campaign to win over the population of Kandahar and push out the Taliban.

The standoff has reached the top two U.S. officials in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry, illuminating the sometimes-sharp differences between the military and civilian officials over how to stabilize this nation.

Convinced that expanding the electricity supply will build popular support for the Afghan government and sap the Taliban's influence, some officers want to spend $200 million over the next few months to buy more generators and millions of gallons of diesel fuel. Although they acknowledge that the project will be costly and inefficient, they say President Obama's pledge to begin withdrawing troops by July 2011 has increased pressure to demonstrate rapid results in their counterinsurgency efforts, even if it means embracing less-than-ideal solutions to provide basic public services.

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/22/AR2010042206227.html

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US envoy Mitchell meets Netanyahu in push to end rift

April 24, 2010

US Middle East envoy George Mitchell is meeting Israeli and Palestinian leaders in the hope of ending a row over Israeli building in East Jerusalem.

Mr Mitchell met Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, on his first visit since the disagreement scuppered planned indirect peace talks.

Reports suggested Israel may be willing to make several gestures to bring the Palestinians back to the negotiations.

But Israel's PM has stressed he will not stop building in East Jerusalem.

Ahead of his meeting with Mr Mitchell, Mr Netanyahu said Israel was "serious" about trying to advance peace, and hoped the Palestinians would "respond".

Mr Mitchell stressed the "unbreakable bond" between the US and Israel.

Officials said the two would meet again on Sunday, after Mr Mitchell has met Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas later on Friday.

US demands

Full report at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8639470.stm

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Lawyers hopeful for 'sorcerer' on death row

April 24, 2010

Lebanese man sentenced to die for "sorcery" in Saudi Arabia remains on death row but may not be executed -- at least not yet, the man's lawyer said.

May El Khansa said that Lebanon's justice minister met with Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Lebanon this week in an effort to spare the life of her client, Ali Hussain Sibat.

The Saudi ambassador told Lebanon's justice minister, Ibrahim Najjar, that Sibat wouldn't be beheaded because a final verdict had not been reached, El Khansa said, citing an account of the conversation that she received from the Lebanese justice minister.

Religious police in Saudi Arabia charged Sibat with sorcery as he visited the country in 2008. A court convicted him and sentenced him to death.

Saudi authorities have not disclosed details of the charge for which Sibat has been condemned. They also have declined to comment about the case.

Najjar could not be reached for comment this week, but he has told CNN that he considered the sentence "disproportionate."

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/04/23/saudi.arabia.sorcerery/index.html?hpt=T

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NATO agrees to plan for Afghanistan security handover

April 24, 2010

KABUL: Ministers have agreed on a NATO plan for the gradual handover of security responsibilities in Afghanistan to Afghan forces. Earlier in the talks, ministers discussed the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Europe.

NATO ministers agreed on conditions for handing over security responsibilities in Afghanistan to Afghan forces this year.

The alliance stressed that the transition would be gradual and that it would depend on the conditions being fulfilled rather than a timetable.

"It will not be a pullout. It will not be a run for the exit," NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a news conference on Friday after the meeting of foreign ministers in the Estonian capital Tallinn.

Full report at:

http://thenews.com.pk/updates.asp?id=103517

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Burney reaches Dhaka on Monday

April 24, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The Ansar Burney Trust International Chairman, Ansar Burney, is arriving in Dhaka on Monday. Invited by human and civil rights organisations, he is to meet Bangladesh officials and representatives of NGOs, says a press release on Friday.

Burney will exchange views on peace, human rights, human trafficking, slavery and issues linked to underage child camel jockeys sent to the Middle East. Later, he will go to Ethiopia, Somalia, Mauritania, Sudan, Sri Lanka and India in connection with thousands of underage child camel jockeys missing from the Middle Eastern countries after the ban on the use of underage children as jockeys.

Burney’s efforts have saved thousands of innocent childrenfrom slavery. He got them released from private prisons and sent back to their respective countries for rehabilitation. The US State Department in 2005 had declared Ansar Burney as ‘international anti-human trafficking hero’.

http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=235775

 

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/kashmir-solution-just-a-signature-away--kasuri/d/2754


 

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