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Islamic World News ( 9 Dec 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Keralite Football Fan Displays ‘Rebuild Babri Masjid’ Banner At World Cup In Qatar

New Age Islam News Bureau

09 December 2022

Photo: Yasar Moidu/Facebook


• First Group Of 62 Rohingya Leaves Bangladesh For Resettlement In US

• ‘From The East To The East’ Art Exhibition In Riyadh Bridges Arab And Chinese Cultures

• Pakistan ‘Disappointed’ Over Inclusion In Religious Violators List By US

• Rights Group Warns Of ‘Mass Executions’ In Iran After First Protester Put To Death



• KhedawalaFrom Cong To Be Lone Muslim MLA After BJP’s Landslide Win

• Gyanvapi Case: Existence of Hindu Deities on Mosque Walls; Old Vishweshwar Temple Map Placed before Allahabad HC

• MCD Polls: Delhi’s 15 Muslim Councillors Split Between AAP, Congress

• Conduct inquiry on madrasas admitting non-Muslim students: NCPCR

• BJP against Muslim men having multiple wives: Himanta


South Asia

• Hard-Line Policies Implemented; 27 Men and Women Publicly Lashed in Northern Afghanistan

• Facing Intl Condemnation, Islamic Emirate Defends Sharia Executions

• US Says It Will Intervene If Terrorists Regroup in Afghanistan

• Republican Senators Remove the Extension of SIV Program for Afghan War Interpreters

• Taliban welcome maiden India-Central Asia NSA meet


Arab World

• Saudi Arabia, China Sign Agreements On Hydrogen Energy, Direct Investment

• Leaders, Delegates Arrive In Riyadh For Gulf, Arab Summits With China

• Lebanese court sentences ‘Captagon King’ to seven years in prison with hard labour

• Saudi Arabia, UAE announce successful mediation efforts in US-Russia prisoner swap

• Chinese, Egyptian leaders discuss bilateral ties, Middle East

• Yemen, UAE sign military cooperation, counter-terrorism agreement



• Leaked Audio Clip Purportedly Has Ex-PM Imran Khan’s Wife, Bushra Bibi, Discussing Sale Of State Depository Wristwatches

• President Arif Alvi Wants Politicians To ‘Cash In’ On Army’s ‘Apolitical’ Stance

• Anti-Islam forces plotting to weaken Pakistan: Fazl

• US designates 6 Pakistani firms for 'unsafeguarded' nuclear proliferation

• Ready to revive SAARC process, says PM Shehbaz

• Qatar to invest $3bn in Pakistan: envoy

• Saudi Arabia To Increase Pakistan’s Pilgrims Quote For Hajj To Almost 180,000



• Iran says five accused over Shiraz shrine attack face hanging

• New Israeli finance minister brings religion to the front of economic strategy

• Israeli troops kill three Palestinians in West Bank

• Israel’s incoming PM Netanyahu secures parliament majority, closer to forming govt

• UN demands immediate halt to death penalty after Iran's first execution over protests



• Bradford West Muslim Students ‘Exhausted All Avenues’ After Campaigning For A Multi-Faith • Prayer Room For Five Years

• New Zealand's accommodation of Muslim faith in mosque terror attack case deemed 'ground-breaking'

• Belgian court suspends controversial Iran prisoner treaty

• France says EU to add new Iran sanctions on human rights, drone supplies

• Greece continues to violate human rights of Turkish minority, says Ankara

• Italian police detain 13 far-right suspects in attack on Moroccan football fans

• Türkiye takes over presidency of Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea

• UK lawmakers urge govt. to explain about-face on Saudi torture comments


North America

• US Defence Budget Trims Millions Of Dollars Benefiting Terrorist Group PKK/YPG

• US sanctions Erdogan associate over ties to Islamic Revolutionary Guard

• US imposes sanctions on Turkish businessman, citing links to Iran’s Quds Force



• Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Nigeria Holds 68th Islamic Conference


Southeast Asia

• DAP Accepts Position Of Islam, Malay Rights, Says Zahid

• Suicide Bombing In Indonesia: Security Forces Suspect ISIS Offshoot Behind Attack

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Keralite Football Fan Displays ‘Rebuild Babri Masjid’ Banner At World Cup In Qatar

Sakina Fatima

7th December 2022

Photo: Yasar Moidu/Facebook


Doha: A banner in support of rebuilding Babri Masjid was displayed by Keralite football fan at the Lusail Stadium in Al-Wakrah at World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

On Tuesday’s game between Portugal and Switzerland, Kerala youth SaifudheenZaif held up a banner that reads “Rebuild Babri Masjid” and “30 years of injustice” and drawing of mosque structure.

Facebook user Yasar Moidu posted an image of Kerala youth holding a banner and wrote, “SaifudheenZaif, a friend and movement colleague.”

Tuesday, December 6, 2022, marked the 30th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Uttar Pradesh, one of the prominent and iconic mosques in India.

Thousands of Hindu Kar Sevak toppled the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. They believed it was built by the Mughal emperor Babar over the ruins of a Hindu temple that marked the birthplace of Lord Rama, an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.

Since the 1950s, several Hindu and Muslim petitioners have been contesting the land on which the Babri Masjid was built. In 2019, the Supreme Court awarded the disputed piece of land. Ram Mandir is currently under construction there.

With the Supreme Court judgment in 2019 ending the Ram Janmabhoomi land dispute, people from both communities appear to be yearning for peace.

Muslims alleged that demolishing the structure was injustice, and it should be rebuilt so that ‘injustice could be ended’.

Source:Siasat Daily

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First Group Of 62 Rohingya Leaves Bangladesh For Resettlement In US

Shehab Sumon

December 08, 2022

Bangladesh security personnel stand guard beside Rohingya refugees rescued from the sea after a Malaysia bound boat sank off the Bangladesh coast in Teknaf on October 4, 2022. (AFP/File)


DHAKA: The first group of Rohingya refugees left Bangladesh for the US on Thursday, in a move seen as paving the way for further resettlement of members of the persecuted community to third countries.

Although Bangladesh is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, it has been hosting and providing humanitarian support to 1.2 million Rohingya Muslims, most of whom fled Rakhine State in neighbouring Myanmar during a military crackdown in 2017.

A majority live in squalid camps in Cox’s Bazar district, a coastal region in the country’s southeast and the world’s largest refugee settlement.

Despite multiple attempts from Bangladesh, a UN-backed repatriation and resettlement process was failing to take off for the past few years, and only individual relocations have taken place in extraordinary cases.

At the same time, pressure on the South Asian nation has been increasing, as hosting the Rohingya refugees costs Bangladesh an estimated $1.2 billion a year, multiplying the challenges the developing country battered by the COVID-19 pandemic is already facing.

While the security situation in the military junta-led Myanmar does not allow for the repatriation to begin, a deal to start the relocation process was recently reached by Bangladeshi and US authorities.

Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister A. K. Abdul Momen told reporters earlier this week that he had requested the US to receive 100,000 Rohingya, while similar petitions have been made with the government of the UK and Japan.

“In the first batch, 62 Rohingyas will be taken by the USA government,” he said. “It’s expected that every year 300 to 800 Rohingyas will be relocated to the USA.”

So far, 24 refugees have boarded a flight to their new home.

“As a part of the relocation to the USA, the first batch of 24 Rohingyas left Bangladesh on Thursday,” Mainul Kabir, director general of the Myanmar wing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, confirmed to Arab News.

“The date of the next batch is yet to be determined as it involves the other parties also — the US embassy and International Organization for Migration.”

While the number of resettled refugees is not significant, it is seen as the first step to formalize their transfer from Bangladesh to places where they would be granted not only permanent residence, but also the right to employment and access to formal education.

“Although the number of relocated Rohingyas is very low, it has a token value. If these Rohingyas can be resettled in any third country, it’s good. The big thing is that the process began,” Mohammad Nur Khan, renowned Bangladeshi rights activist and migration expert, told Arab News.

“We have been talking quite long about the resettlement of the Rohingyas to third countries. In reality, the situation in Myanmar doesn’t seem to allow these Rohingyas to be repatriated with dignity any time soon. In this context, relocation to any third country can be a good solution, whatever the number is.”

Source: Arab News

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‘From the East to the East’ art exhibition in Riyadh bridges Arab and Chinese cultures


December 09, 2022

An event titled “From the East to the East and the Selected Exhibition of Famous Arab Artists Visiting China” was held in the Palace of Culture. (Supplied)


RIYADH: While bolstering trade ties and strategic cooperation during President Xi Jinping’s three-day visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and China have also prioritized cross-cultural exchange to help cement the diplomatic relationship.

On the sidelines of Xi’s visit, an event titled “From the East to the East and the Selected Exhibition of Famous Arab Artists Visiting China” was held in the Palace of Culture to showcase the work of Arab and Chinese artists and musicians.

Sponsored by the Saudi Ministry of Culture, the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the Arab League, in cooperation with the Saudi Ministry of Information, the event featured a traditional Ardah performance and a Chinese dance routine.

With the faint sounds of the Chinese musical strings of the zheng, the Arabic version of the string instrument, the qanun, and the oud, a trio of Saudi and Chinese performers created a unique fusion of sounds.

Since 2009, more than 170 well-known artists from 21 Arab countries have been invited to visit the People’s Republic by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China. The artists turned what they saw, felt and thought into more than 500 paintings, sculptures and ceramic works.

The exhibition features 40 of these works by an assortment of Saudi, Libyan, Algerian, Palestinian, Egypian, Bahraini, Iraqi and Jordanian artists alongside works by Chinese artist who visited Arab countries.

It features Chinese paintings of Manama and Amman, and one of an Egyptian man with a camel, decorated with colorful strings and bells, against the iconic backdrop of the Pyramids of Giza.

Influences of the ancient Silk Road were also evident in several of the artworks and large screens covering the walls showing Chinese and Arabic calligraphy and heritage objects.

The exhibition was organized by Bauhinia Culture Holdings Limited, executed by China Arts and Entertainment Group Ltd., supported by the China Artists Association.

A live art show also took place, highlighting the distinctive architecture of the Great Wall of China and Diriya’sSalwa Palace.

“I found similarities in the way rock and stone was used here and in my country,” Chinese painter Wang Haikun told Arab News.

“These similarities prompted me to apply it to my side of the mural as a symbol of our unity.”

Source: Arab News

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Pakistan ‘disappointed’ over inclusion in religious violators list by US

December 9, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday called Washington’s decision to designate Pakistan as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) “detached from ground realities” and expressed concern over the exclusion of India from the list.

“I would now like to express Pakistan’s deep concern and disappointment on the US State Department’s unilateral and arbitrary designation of Pakistan as a “Country of Particular Concern (CPC),” said Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch during the weekly briefing.

The spokesperson highlighted that Pakistan had a “multi-religious and pluralistic society with a rich tradition of inter-faith harmony”.

She added that religious freedom and protection of the rights of minorities are guaranteed in the Constitution and enforced through a range of legislative, policy, and administrative measures.

“We have also noted with deep concern and disappointment that India, the biggest violator of religious freedom, has once again not been included in the State Department’s designation list despite a clear recommendation by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF),” deplored the spokesperson.

Baloch said that New Delhi’s “conspicuous omission raises serious questions about the credibility and transparency” of the process. She added that the “omission” also makes the list a “subjective and discriminatory exercise”.

The spokesperson reminded Washington that New Delhi’s treatment of religious minorities has been the “subject of several hearings of the US Congress and reports of UN high commissioner for human rights, the special procedure mandate holders of the UN Human Rights Council, and reputed international NGOs”.

“We have conveyed our concerns to the US government regarding this designation,” said the spokesperson.

‘Countries of concern’

Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the United States has designated Pakistan, China, Iran and Russia, among others, as countries of particular concern under the Religious Freedom Act over severe violations.

Blinken in a statement said those designated as countries of particular concern — which also include North Korea and Myanmar — engaged in or tolerated severe violations of religious freedom.

Algeria, the Central African Republic, Comoros and Vietnam were placed on the watch list.

Several groups, including the Kremlin-aligned Wagner Group, a private paramilitary organisation that is active in Syria, Africa and Ukraine, were also designated as entities of particular concern. The Wagner group was designated over its activities in the Central African Republic, Blinken said.

“Around the world, governments and non-state actors harass, threaten, jail, and even kill individuals on account of their beliefs,” Blinken said in the statement.

“The United States will not stand by in the face of these abuses.”

He added that Washington would welcome the opportunity to meet with all governments to outline concrete steps for removal from the lists.

Source: Pakistan Today

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Rights group warns of ‘mass executions’ in Iran after first protester put to death

08 December ,2022

Mohsen Shekari. (Twitter/ @AlinejadMasih)


There will be “mass executions” of protesters in Iran if Tehran does not face “serious consequences” for its execution of a protester, a human rights group warned on Thursday, after the Islamic Republic carried out its first death penalty over demonstrations sparked by MahsaAmini’s death.

Mohsen Shekari, who had been convicted of wounding a member of the security forces and closing off a street in Tehran, was executed early Thursday, state media reported.

According to state media, Shekari was arrested on September 25, nine days after Amini’s death which has led to nationwide protests against the Islamic Republic.

Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman, died shortly after her arrest by the morality police for allegedly not complying with the regime’s strict hijab rules.

Since her death, demonstrators have been calling for the downfall of the regime in a movement that has become one of the boldest challenges to the Islamic Republic since its establishment in 1979.

Iran Human Rights (IHR), an Oslo-based rights group, condemned Shekari’s execution and called on the international community to take “immediate action” to stop the execution of protesters.

“Mohsen Shekari’s execution took place after a hasty, unfair trial and without a lawyer. The international community must immediately and strongly react to this execution,” IHR Director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said in a statement published on the group’s website.

“This crime should have such consequences for the (Iranain) government that it prevents further executions,” he added.

Amiry-Moghaddam warned: “If the execution of Mohsen Shekari does not have serious consequences for the government, we will face mass executions of protesters.”

At least 11 others who were arrested during protests have been sentenced to death and are “in serious and imminent danger of being executed,” IHR said.

At least 458 people, including 63 children and 29 women, have been killed by security forces in the protests, according to IHR.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Khedawala From Cong To Be Lone Muslim MLA After BJP’s Landslide Win

Dec 09, 2022

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) record win in the Gujarat assembly elections on Thursday also brought with a sizeable increase in the party’s tally in seats with sizeable Muslim populations. However, the number of Muslims in the state assembly dropped from three to one.

The BJP did not field any Muslim candidates and the opposition Congress fielded six, of whom one, Imran Khedawala (who contested the Jamalpur-Khadia seat) secured a win.

Muslims constitute about 9-10% of the state’s population and, according to estimates by political parties, 15 of Gujarat’s 182 constituencies have Muslim populations above 20%.

The BJP grabbed 12 of those seats this year, building on its 2017 tally of eight.

The Congress, in turn, saw its count in these seats dip from eight in 2017 to three this year.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) fielded four Muslim candidates and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) fielded 14, all of whom lost, but splitting anti-BJP votes in some cases.

For instance, in the Dariapur constituency, the Congress’ sitting MLA GyasuddinHabibuddeen Sheikh lost to the BJP’s Kaushik Jain by a margin of about 5,200 votes — around 700 fewer than the combined ballots won by the AAP’s candidate TajmohammedHabibbhaiKureshi and the AIMIM’s HasankhanSamsherkhan Pathan in this seat.

The Congress’s Khedawala beat the BJP’s Bhushan Ashok Bhatt by about 13,658 votes.

Source: Hindustan Times

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Gyanvapi Case: Existence of Hindu Deities on Mosque Walls; Old Vishweshwar Temple Map Placed before Allahabad HC

DECEMBER 08, 2022

An old map of the Vishweshwar temple was presented by the counsel for the Hindu devotees before the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday which indicated the places on the outer wall of the Gyanvapi premises where worship of Hindu deities used to take place.

The bench of Justice JJ Munir is currently seized with the revision plea filed by the Committee of Management AnjumanIntezamiaMasajid Varanasi against the order passed by the Varanasi District and Sessions Judge rejecting its application challenging the maintainability of the suit by the Hindu women.

Five Hindu women have filed a suit before the local court at Varanasi where they have alleged that Maa Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman & other visible and invisible deities reside inside the Gyanvapi Complex, therefore, they should be allowed to perform all rituals of these deities inside the complex all year long.

Currently, permission is granted to perform the rituals of Hindu pooja at Gyanvapi only once a year.

However, the Hindu devotees have claimed that Hindu deities were regularly worshipped at their respective places at Gyanvapi till 1993, but later this practice was stopped by an order issued by the state government.

The Hindu women’s claim is being contested by the Committee of Management AnjumanIntezamiaMasajid Varanasi which manages the affairs of Gyanvapi mosque and the Waqf Board.

The present reivision plea has been filed by the mosque management committee challenging the order dated September 12, 2022 passed by Dr. A.K. Vishvesha, District and Sessions Judge, Varanasi, who rejected its application filed under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure questioning the maintainability of the suit by the Hindu women.

After conclusion of Wednesday’s arguments, the high court posted the matter for today (December 8) to continue the hearing in the matter.

To be noted, another single judge bench of the high court has reserved the judgment in the five petitions that had been clubbed together pertaining to the land dispute at Gyanvapi. The issue in the petitions mainly concerns a survey of the Gyanvapi complex by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).


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MCD polls: Delhi’s 15 Muslim councillors split between AAP, Congress

Dec 08, 2022

Among the 250 newly elected councillors in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), 15 are Muslims, seven of whom are from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and seven from the Congress while one is an independent councillor from Seelampur.

In the 2012 MCD polls there were 15 Muslim winners while in the 2017 MCD polls there were 15 Muslim winners as well (4 in EDMC, 4 in SDMC and 7 in NDMC).

Five of the seven wards that AAP has won are from the walled city -- Mohammad Sadik won from Ballimaran, Shamim Bano from Quresh Nagar, Aley Mohammad Iqbal from Chandni Mahal, RafiaMahir from Sitaram Bazaar, and Sultana Abad from Zama Masjid ward. Intrestingly, while the AAP performed well in walled city it did not get expected votes in North East Delhi which has a seizable Muslim population and was affected by the communal riots. Only Mohammad Amil Mallik from Sri Ram Colony won from the riot hit areas.

In Okhla assembly constituency, which is governed by the AAP’s Amanatullah Khan, Delhi’s ruling party could not win any of the two Muslim-dominated wards. Congress won the two wards - NaziaDanis won Zakir Nagar while Ariba Khan won from Abu Fazal Enclave. Congress candidate Nazia Khatoon won from Brij Puri, Sabila Begum from Mustafabad, Zarif from Kabir Nagar, Shagufta Chaudhary Zubair from Chauhan Bangar and Samir Ahmed from Shastri Park ward.

Out of the six wards falling under riot-hit areas in north east Delhi which AAP had won in 2017 have slipped out of the AAP’s control. AAP has lost five of the six wards to the BJP and one among it to the Congress (Chauhan Bangar, Shubhash Mohalla, Nehru Vihar, Satadpur (earlier Khajuri Khas), Kardampuri and Nehru Vihar)

The outcome from the Muslim areas throws up a complex picture -- in some Muslim pockets AAP got good support while in others it could not. It suggests that multiple factors were at play including the popularity of the party candidate, and that the people were not happy with the performance of sitting councillors.

Muslim voters in the Abul Fazal ward in Okhla constituency seem to have reverted back to the Congress. Congress candidate Ariba Khan, daughter of former Congress MLA Asif Khan, won the seat with a margin of 1479 votes over AAP candidate and former councillor Wajid Khan. Locals in the area said that the residents were disappointed by Khan, who had failed to resolve the deteoriating sanitation problem in the area. In addition to local civic issues, there was a sentiment among the many voteers that AAP’s was increaingly propagating Hindutva’s idealogy.

Tanvir Aeijaz, associate professor of Political Science at Ramjas College, said: “AAP soft hindutva is not a reflection on the party but on the civil society. It’s turn to soft hindutva is recent. AAP definitely has taken a large electoral base of Congress and has also cut into BJP’s constituency. AAPs welfare subsidies, particularly schools and mohalla clinic, cuts across religious lines and it is that which has made a huge difference. Muslims immediately affected by violence and exclusion, as is the case of North East and Okhla, voted for congress but as a voting strategy it wasn’t a pragmatic move. All parties are playing competitive communalism game and AAP is seen as the weakest in this game. AAPs strength lies in its ability to articulate the welfare subsidies and convert it into potential votes.”

Shahid Ali, a Shaheen Bagh resident, said that Khan had not worked for the area. “In the past few years, major stretches in the area have become garbage dumping sites. Earlier, the situation was not so bad. Asif Mohammad Khan has worked in the area due to which people gave a chance to his daughter,” said Ali. He added that some residents were of the view that the party was similar to BJP. “Some people feel that AAP is the B team of the Congress. However, I am of the view that had the councillor worked for the area, he would have secured a win,” said Ali.

Source: Hindustan Times

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Conduct inquiry on madrasas admitting non-Muslim students: NCPCR

9th December 2022

New Delhi: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has written to the chief secretaries of all states and union territories and directed them to conduct a detailed inquiry of all recognized madrasas admitting non-Muslim children.

The NCPCR also recommended the Chief Secretaries to admit all non-Muslim students in the said Madrasas to formal schools subsequent to the inquiry besides the mapping of all unmapped madrasas.

The letter undersigned by Chairperson-NCPCR Priyank Kanoongo on Thursday said based on various complaints received, “…it is noted that children belonging to Non-Muslim community are attending Government funded/ Recognised Madrasas.”

Madrasas, as institutions, are primarily responsible for imparting religious education to children. They are of three types “Recognised Madrasas”, “Unrecognised Madrasas” and “Unmapped Madrasas”.

The Commissions letter said: “However, it is also learnt that those Madrasas which are funded by the Government or recognised by the Government are imparting both religious and to some extent formal education to children.”

Further, it is also learnt by the Commission that some State/UT Government/s are providing them with scholarships too.

“This is a clear-cut violation and contravention of Article 28(3) of the Constitution of India which prohibits educational institutions from obligating children to take part in any religious instruction, without the consent of parent.

“It is pertinent to mention that the Constitution of India makes it an obligation of the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children without any discrimination or prejudice and ensure that children go to neighborhood schools for availing formal education as per Section 6 of the RTE Act, 2009.”

The statutory body constituted under a Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005, aimed at protecting child rights, said: “Conduct a detailed inquiry of all Government Funded/Recognized Madrasas who are admitting Non- Muslim children in your State/UT.

“The inquiry should include physical verification of children attending such Madrasas.

“Subsequent to the inquiry, admit all such children in schools for availing formal education.

It also ordered undertaking of “Mapping of all Unmapped Madrasas in your State/UT and admit any/all children into Schools for availing formal education with immediate effect.”

The Action Taken Report by the states and UTs were to be shared with the Commission within 30 days from December 8, 2022.

The NCPCR letter referred to the Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act, 2002 wherein Article 21- A, mentions providing of free and compulsory education of all children in the age group of six to fourteen years as a Fundamental Right in such a manner as the State may, by law, determine.

Source:Siasat Daily

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BJP against Muslim men having multiple wives: Himanta

8th December 2022

Morigaon: Assam Chief Minister HimantaBiswaSarma on Thursday said his party was against men from the Muslim community having multiple wives.

Launching a scathing attack on Lok Sabha MP Badruddin Ajmal, Sarma said women can give birth to “20-25 children” as per the AIUDF chief’s reported advice but all their future expenses on food, clothes and education will have to be borne by the opposition leader.

“There cannot be any right to a man living in independent India to marry three-four women (without divorcing the previous spouse). We want to change such a system. We will have to work to give justice to Muslim women,” the chief minister said at an official function here.

“We want ‘sabkasaathsabkavikas’. If there are doctors from Assamese Hindu families, there should be doctors from Muslim families as well. Many MLAs don’t give such advice because they need the votes of ‘Pomuwa’ Muslims,” Sarma said.

Bengali-speaking Muslims originating from East Bengal or present-day Bangladesh are colloquially called ‘Pomuwa Muslims’ in Assam.

Speaking about Ajmal’s controversial comments on women, the chief minister said, “In Assam, we have some leaders like Badruddin Ajmal. They say women must give birth to children as soon as possible because that is a fertile land.”

A woman’s childbirth process cannot be compared with a field, he added.

“I have repeatedly said that our women can give birth to 20-25 children, but their food, clothes, education and all other expenses will have to be borne by Ajmal. Then, we don’t have any problem,” Sarma said.

If the perfume baron-turned-Lok Sabha MP does not give the expenses of the children, then nobody has the right to lecture on childbirth, he added.

Sarma further said that a family should give birth to only those many children whom they can provide food, clothes and education to make them better human beings.

“Our government’s policy is clear. We work for the indigenous people, but we want progress for all. We don’t want the students of Muslims, especially the ‘Pomuwa’ Muslims, to study in madrassas and become ‘Jonab’ and ‘Imam’,” he added.

The BJP-led government wants all Muslim children to get admitted to general schools and colleges to become doctors and engineers.

Ajmal, in an interview with a media house on December 2, had commented on women and Hindu men as well as Sarma, purportedly as a response to the chief minister’s remarks on ‘Love Jihad’.

The Dhubri MP, who is revered as a ‘Maulana’, reportedly advised Hindus to marry young to produce more children like Muslims.

As the comments led to a backlash, the MP apologised the next day and said he was “ashamed” of the controversy it stoked. He, however, maintained that his comments were twisted and he had not targeted any community.

Referring to the arrest of some terror elements with links to a madrassa in the district, the chief minister said, “I am very concerned about Al-Qaeda links to a madrassa in Morigaon. We can’t transform the district into a base for Al-Qaeda.

Source:Siasat Daily

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South Asia 

Hard-Line Policies Implemented; 27 Men and Women Publicly Lashed in Northern Afghanistan

By SaqalainEqbal

December 8, 2022

Local authorities in the Parwan province of northern Afghanistan reportedly said that 27 people—men and women—were publicly lashed on Thursday for crimes such as alleged adultery, theft, drug use, and other offenses.

Abdul Rahim Rashid, an official of the Supreme Court, told the Associated Press that 18 men and 9 women were sentenced to between 25 and 39 lashes for their crimes after being found guilty by three courts in each case.

He said that a certain number of those penalized in Charikar, the provincial capital of Parwan, also received two-year imprisonment.

The punishments highlight the determination of the new rulers of Afghanistan to cling to their version of Sharia law and to the hard-line measures they have undertaken since taking power in August 2021.

According to the court statement, provincial officials and local residents were present for the public whippings, during which officials stressed the value of adopting Sharia rule in society.

The public whippings on Thursday occurred a day after a man convicted of killing another was publicly executed, marking the first confirmed execution since the incumbent ruling body took control.

Source: Khaama Press

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Facing Intl Condemnation, Islamic Emirate Defends Sharia Executions

December 8, 2022

Following widespread reactions over a recent execution, the Islamic Emirate said that the execution of guilty people is a divine command and that no one should be concerned about it.

A spokesman for the Islamic Emirate, Bilal Karimi, said that the execution, which happened on Wednesday in the western province of Farah, was carried out after many investigations and assessments.

“The execution yesterday took place after many investigations, which were aligned with Islamic (law). All sides should not have any concern in this regard and should respect it,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.

“The supreme leader spoke and said we have struggled this much and fought for 20 years with the pagans to ensure an Islamic system and that now that God has given it to us, (God) means for us to ensure his divine commands,” said Mohammad Ismail Rahmani, a senior member of the Islamic Emirate.

The public execution of a man charged with murder and sentenced to death by the Supreme Court faced widespread reactions by human rights organizations and other countries.

“The UN strongly opposes the death penalty in all circumstances, and calls on de facto authorities to establish immediate moratorium with a view to abolishing the death penalty,” the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said on Twitter.

“The implementation of (Hudud) is a Sharia command and its implementation is a must, but only if the situation warrants it,” said Aziz Maarij, a former diplomat.

This comes as Afghanistan's supreme court in a statement issued on Thursday said 27 people--18 males and 9 females--were punished by court order in Parwan.

The flogging was in public, sources said.

“Some of them were involved in depravity, running away from home, or being in (illegal) relationships, and some of them were involved in robbery,” said Obaidullah Ameenzada, governor of Parwan.

Source: ToloNews

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US Says It Will Intervene If Terrorists Regroup in Afghanistan

By SaqalainEqbal

December 8, 2022

The US State Department expressed concerns that Afghanistan would once again become a haven for terrorists while simultaneously warning that it would intervene and take action if terrorists regrouped in Afghanistan.

During a press briefing on Wednesday, December 7, the US Department of State spokesperson, Ned Price, reiterated US President Joe Biden’s pledge to take action in the event of terrorists reassembling in Afghanistan.

The statement was made on Wednesday in response to a question regarding the escalation in violence in Afghanistan and the government’s failure to stop offering “safe havens” to terrorist organizations, such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and others.

The US’s overarching objective, according to Price, is to prevent terrorists and others from using Afghanistan as a “launchpad for attacks on Pakistan,” and the authorities in Afghanistan have been “either unable or unwilling to live up to the commitments.”

In terms of regional counterterrorism, Price said that the US also possesses capabilities that do not make it totally dependent on the authorities in Afghanistan, referring to the US assassination of Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the Al-Qaeda chief in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

Price referred to Pakistan as an important partner of the US in the region and indicated that the US appreciates its relations with Pakistan when he said, “We are committed to working with partners in the region” to tackle the problems posed by terrorists.

Source: Khaama Press

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Republican Senators Remove the Extension of SIV Program for Afghan War Interpreters

By Nizamuddin Rezahi

December 9, 2022

The Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) a pathway through which thousands of Afghan translators who worked with the U.S. forces during the two-decade-long war in Afghanistan, resettled in the U.S. is coming to end.

Following the removal of the Special Immigration Visa extension from the Senate version of the defence spending bill, the Democrats, veterans, and advocacy groups criticized the republican lawmakers for the decision.

“The National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) fails our Afghan allied, today. The Senate removed a provision to extend the Afghan SIV program as well as bipartisan protection of our wounded Afghan allies. American veterans will not stand for the abandonment of our partners,” tweeted No One Left Behind, an advocacy group helping Afghan SIVs to get out of Afghanistan and reach the United States. 

Thousands of SIV-eligible applicants who are waiting for their cases to be processed are hiding or living in fear in Afghanistan or moved to Pakistan. The latest decision taken to remove the extension of the Afghan SIV program beyond 2023 will negatively affect the lives of Afghan interpreters and their families living in complete ambiguity and desperation.

In May last year, three months before the overthrow of the U.S.-backed government in Kabul, the SIV program had some bipartisan support. A letter from 20 senators including seven Republicans called to the Biden administration for support and to maintain the integrity of the program.

Source: Khaama Press

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Taliban welcome maiden India-Central Asia NSA meet

Dec 09, 2022

The Taliban have welcomed India’s initiative to hold a meeting of the National Security Advisors of Central Asian countries held recently. It also said it would not allow its territory to be used for any agency or powers to interfere in other nation’s internal affairs

A statement by the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” welcomed the move aimed at building better coordination for the security of the region. It also supported the joint communique issued expressing support for a stable, peaceful, integrated and secure Afghanistan.

Source: TribuneIndia

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Arab World 

Saudi Arabia, China sign agreements on hydrogen energy, direct investment

08 December ,2022

Saudi Arabia and China have signed several memorandums of understanding including on hydrogen energy and encouragement of direct investment during Xi Jinping’s visit to the Kingdom, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Thursday.

Earlier on Thursday, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomed Xi, who arrived on Riyadh on Wednesday, at al-Yamamah Palace where they discussed recent regional and international developments as well joint efforts to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

After their meeting, which was also attended by Saudi and Chinese officials, the Crown Prince and Xi witnessed signing several agreements and MoUs.

The agreements signed include a plan to harmonize between the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and China’s Road and Belt Initiative and an agreement on judicial cooperation in civil, commercial and

personal status matters.

The two countries also signed a memorandum of cooperation to teach the Chinese language.

Separately on Thursday, Bloomberg reported that an agreement has also been signed with China’s Huawei on cloud computing and high speed internet complexes in Saudi Arabia, and another to build an aluminum plant signed between the Saudi investment ministry and Shandong Innovation Group.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Leaders, delegates arrive in Riyadh for Gulf, Arab summits with China

08 December ,2022

Arab Leaders arrived in Saudi Arabia on Thursday to participate in the China-Gulf and China-Arab summits, Al Arabiya reported.

Kuwait’s Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah, Sudan’s Sovereign Council head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani arrived in Riyadh to attend the summits which will be held during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the Kingdom.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Lebanese court sentences ‘Captagon King’ to seven years in prison with hard labour

09 December ,2022

A Lebanese court handed a man known as the “Captagon King” a seven-year sentence with hard labor Thursday for producing and trafficking the illegal drug, a judicial source told AFP.

This is the first time a major drug baron is convicted in a captagon case in Lebanon.

Hassan Dekko, a Lebanese-Syrian drug kingpin with high-level political connections in both countries, is accused of once running an empire out of a Lebanese border village in the notoriously lawless Bekaa region.

But Lebanese security forces arrested him in April last year after several major captagon hauls.

“Dekko was handed seven years of hard labor and convicted of manufacturing captagon pills, and smuggling them abroad,” said the judicial source.

The Beirut court that issued the verdict is not taking part in a nationwide judges’ strike that has paralyzed the judiciary since August.

Most of global captagon production originates in Syria, spurring an illegal $10 billion industry, according to estimates drawn from official data by AFP, making the drug the country’s largest export by far.

In court documents obtained by AFP, Dekko denied any involvement in drug trafficking, claiming he worked with the Syrian military.

But Lebanese security sources claim that some of the businesses he owns, including a pesticide factory in Jordan, a car dealership in Syria and a fleet of tanker trucks, are common covers for drug lords.

The court found that Dekko was in contact with drug smugglers in Syria and that he asked one of the defendants in the same case to purchase materials used to produce captagon pills.

Dekko previously worked with police intelligence in Lebanon, the court found, leaking information about some captagon shipments smuggled abroad.

But the investigation showed he purposefully failed to inform them about other shipments, the source said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Saudi Arabia, UAE announce successful mediation efforts in US-Russia prisoner swap

08 December ,2022

Saudi Arabia and the UAE said their joint mediation efforts helped lead to a successful prisoner exchange between the US and Russia on Thursday.

“The [two countries] said the success of the mediation efforts was a reflection of the mutual and solid friendship between their two countries and the United States of America and the Russian Federation,” a joint Saudi-UAE statement read. “They also highlighted the important role played by the leaderships of the two brotherly countries in promoting dialogue between all parties.”

According to the statement, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed led the mediation efforts.

The US and Russia finalized a prisoner swap on Thursday, according to officials, in a deal that freed American basketball star Brittney Griner for notorious Russian arms dealer Victor Bout.

The exchange occurred in Abu Dhabi in the presence of “specialists” from the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE thanked the governments of the US and Russia for their cooperation and response to the mediation efforts by the leadership of the two countries.

This is the second time Saudi Arabia has mediated the release of prisoners this year.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Chinese, Egyptian leaders discuss bilateral ties, Middle East

İbrahim Khazen, Ali Semerci


The presidents of China and Egypt discussed bilateral relations and developments in the Middle East on Thursday, according to a statement from the Egyptian presidency.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

During the meeting, El-Sisi said Egypt is looking forward to increasing the flow of Chinese tourists to Egypt and is encouraging Chinese companies to maximize their investments in the country, the statement said.

El-Sisi also met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani and discussed the importance of implementing joint projects between Egypt and Iraq.

The Egyptian president expressed his country’s keenness to provide full support for the Iraqi people at all levels to overcome all difficulties, especially in the fight against terrorism and restoring security and stability.

On Wednesday evening, Xi arrived in Saudi Arabia on a three-day official visit to attend the first China-Arab Summit and China-Gulf Summit in Riyadh as well as to hold talks with Saudi officials.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Yemen, UAE sign military cooperation, counter-terrorism agreement

Aziz Ahmadi, SafiyeKarabacak


ADEN, Yemen

Yemen and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) inked a cooperation deal Thursday concerning military, security and counter-terrorism, according to media reports.

The deal was signed during a meeting between Yemeni Defense Minister Mohsen al-Dairi and UAE’s Justice Minister Abdullah Al Nuaimi in Abu Dhabi, state news agency Saba reported.

The agreement is part of efforts to improve military and security coordination between the two countries and it responds to a desire for cooperation that will serve the interests of the peoples of Yemen and the UAE, said Saba.

Al-Dairi arrived in Abu Dhabi on Nov. 26 to hold talks about the Houthis' efforts to escalate tensions.

Yemen’s civil war began in September 2014 when Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa. A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia entered the war in early 2015 to restore the government to power.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Leaked Audio Clip Purportedly Has Ex-PM Imran Khan’s Wife, Bushra Bibi, Discussing Sale Of State Depository Wristwatches

Dec 9, 2022

ISLAMABAD: A new audio clip, purportedly containing the voice of Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan’s wife, Bushra Bibi, was leaked on Thursday in which she is allegedly heard asking a senior Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf official, Zulfi Bukhari, to sell her husband’s wristwatches.

The 21-second audio clip revived the controversy related to Imran Khan selling off his “Toshakhana (state depository)” gifts.

In the latest audio, Bibi allegedly asked Bukhari to sell some of the watches the PTI chairman possesses. “There are some watches of Khan Sahib who wants them to be delivered to you (Zulfi Bukhari) so you could sell them. These watches are not in his use so he wants them to be sold off,” Bushra Bibi purportedly tells Bukhari.

In response, Bukhari assures Khan’s wife that the job will be done. The conversation ends with Zulfi saying, “Sure, Murshid (spiritual guru). I will do it.”

Bukhari later reacted strongly to the purported audio, saying that he had neither sold nor bought a watch and demanded that the audio clip be subjected to a forensic audit. “I am ready to pay for it (audit),” he added.

Last August, a reference was filed against the PTI chief in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) by the incumbent coalition government for “not sharing details” of toshakhana gifts and proceeds from their alleged sale.

In a written reply submitted to the ECP on September 8, Imran had admitted selling at least four presents he had received during his tenure as PM. In his reply, Imran had maintained that he had sold the gifts that he had procured from the state treasury after paying Rs 21.56 million (Pakistani rupees). The gifts included a Master Graff wristwatch, a pair of cufflinks, an expensive pen, a diamond ring and four Rolex watches. A month later, the electoral watchdog had disqualified Khan as a lawmaker after finding his statement and declaration, submitted annually to the electoral body, to be false and incorrect.

Source: Times Of India

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President ArifAlvi wants politicians to ‘cash in’ on army’s ‘apolitical’ stance

December 9, 2022

ISLAMABAD: President ArifAlvi on Thursday urged politicians to “grab the op­­p­o­rtunity” resulting from the mi­­­litary’s planned retreat from politics and work toge­ther to strengthen democracy.

The president was speaking at the concluding session of ‘Islamabad Conclave-2022’ organised by the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islam­ab­­ad, a think tank based in the capital.

“The army has publicly committed to stay out of politics. It’s now for the politicians to grab this opportunity with a sense of responsibility,” he said.

The president was referring to a statement by form­er army chief retired Gen Qamar JavedBajwa that the milit­a­­ry has decided to re­­main ‘ap­­olitical’ after admitting the army’s “unconstitutional” meddling in the politics for almost seven decades.

Urges nation to ‘modify’ behaviour to save water; calls for modernising agriculture sector

In the context of intense political polarisation, President Alvi said politicians should talk and discuss all contentious matters.

“There is nothing which cannot be talked about,” he said while pleading with the political parties to “take the country out of crises and polarisation.”

On foreign relations, he underscored the need for engagement and said it was also important from the security perspective.

“Democracy, defence, inf­ormation and communication, security, and economic independence were essential elements for comprehensive security,” he added.

He also regretted that debates on national issues, including health, economy, communication or development are held from “an elitist perspective”.

‘Irresponsible behaviour’

Separately, addressing ‘Sus­­tainable Development Conference’ organised by Sustainable Develop­ment Policy Institute (SDPI), an Islamabad-based think tank, the president advised the nation to conserve water, energy, and other natural resources.

“We must realise that our actions and irresponsible behaviour are the reason behind global warming,’’ the president said, adding that the rectification of such behaviour was needed to conserve depleting natural resources.

President Alvi also emphasised the modernisation of agriculture sector to make it more sustainable and productive.

Our agriculture practices have a high carbon footprint and the use of AI and modern technologies can imp­ro­­ve yield, develop pest and climate resistance and lead to resource efficiency, he added.

The president said food scarcity can be countered by adopting AI and other modern technologies. He also quoted the example of the Netherlands, which, he said, was “19 times smaller than Pakistan” but due to the effective use of AI, the Internet of Things for crop and water management, it was the second largest food exporter in the world.

Source: Dawn

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Anti-Islam forces plotting to weaken Pakistan: Fazl

Saleem Shahid

December 9, 2022

QUETTA: The chief of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Maulana Fazlur Rehman, has said that international anti-Islam forces are hatching conspiracies to politically and economically destabilise Pakistan.

The agents of these forces, he said, were making efforts to weaken parliament, political parties and the Constitution.

Addressing a JUI-F convention at Ayub Stadium on Thursday, Maulana Fazl ple­dged that his party would foil all such plots with the help of people and political forces. A large number of party workers and supporters attended the convention.

The JUI-F leader said the ‘failed foreign policy’ of the PTI government had isolated Pakistan and the country lost the trust of its friendly countries, particularly Saudi Arabia.

Maulana Fazl said that since it gained power at the Centre in April, the coalition government of PDM was making all-out efforts to restore the confidence of all friendly countries.

Source: Dawn

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US designates 6 Pakistani firms for 'unsafeguarded' nuclear proliferation

Dec 9, 2022

WASHINGTON: The United States has placed six Pakistani companies on its entity list for missile proliferation and unsafe-guarded nuclear activity.

These companies were part of two dozen entities from countries like Russia, Switzerland, Latvia, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, that were added to the Entity List of the US Commerce Department.

"Today, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued a rule that adds 24 new entities to the Entity List under 26 entries, applying stringent license requirements that will severely restrict these entities' access to commodities, software, and technologies subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). These entities are added under the destinations of Russia, Switzerland, Latvia, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.)," the US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) said in a press release.

Six Pakistan-based companies which are designed are Dynamic Engineering Corperation, Rainbow Solutions (Pakistan), Universal Drilling Engineers (Pakistan), EnerQuip Private, Ltd. (Pakistan), NAR Technologies General Trading LLC (Pakistan and UAE) and TROJANS (Pakistan and UAE).

These companies were added to the entity list for "unsafeguarded nuclear activity and missile proliferation related activities."

"For the unacceptable risk of using or diverting items subject to the EAR for Pakistan's unsafeguarded nuclear activities, Dynamic Engineering Corperation has been added to the Entity List," BIS said in the statement.

"Five companies are being added to the Entity List for their contributions to unsafeguarded nuclear activity and missile proliferation related activities that are contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States," the statement added.

US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Thea Rozman Kendler said advancements in missile and nuclear technology must be vigorously protected from those who seek to cause harm and destruction at a global scale.

Source: Times Of India

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Ready to revive Saarc process, says PM Shehbaz

Baqir Sajjad Syed

December 9, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Prime Mini­s­ter Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday reiterated Pakis­tan’s desire for revitalisation of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) and signalled its readiness to contribute to the revival of the seemingly dead eight-member regional bloc.

In a tweet he posted to mark the Saarc Charter Day, PM Sharif reminded that the people of South Asia had suffered because of “missed opportunities” for regional development, connectivity and cooperation.

Pakistan is “ready to play its part for revival of Saarc”, he said.

Saarc has been in a state of limbo for the past six years as India has been blocking the hosting of its summit by Pakistan.

Pakistan was to host the 19th summit in November 2016, but India, supported by its regional allies Bangla­desh, Bhutan and Afgha­nistan, forced its postponement.

The last summit was held in Nepal in 2014.

Meanwhile, Foreign Off­ice spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch at the weekly media briefing reminded about “undeniable proof” of Indian involvement in terrorism in Pakistan and called on the international community to take notice of it.

She made the comment in the context of the first-ever India-Central Asia National Security Advisors’ meeting in New Delhi, which focused on counterterrorism cooperation.

Source: Dawn

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Qatar to invest $3bn in Pakistan: envoy

Jamal Shahid

December 9, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of the state of Qatar Sheikh Saoud Abdulrahman Al-Thani on Wednesday said an investment worth $3 billion would be made in Pakistan.

“During the recent visit of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to Doha, Qatar has announced to make an investment in Pakistan worth $3 billion. The Amir of Qatar has stressed the importance of the brotherly and strategic relations between the two countries and their aspiration to enhance economic partnership by raising trade exchange and promoting investments through the Qatar Investment Authority,” said the ambassador during the celebration of the National Day of Qatar here.

The ambassador said Qatar National Day was a great occasion when the people of Qatar showed cohesion, solidarity and unity in meanings of love for homeland, loyalty to ancestors and fathers and their unforgettable sacrifices.

“It is the day of pride of the wise leadership of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the leader of the process of achievement, development, and promising future,” he said.

“The celebration of Qatar National Day is particularly important this year as it coincides with Qatar hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“Both events are an opportunity for the people of Qatar to show their unity and culture to the world. During this period, visitors to Qatar will learn about the bright aspects of our history and culture and our belief in civilised interaction with other cultures, and our respect and pride in our Arab and Islamic values.”

About relations with Pakistan, he said the state of Qatar and Pakistan shared unique historical ties and enjoyed strong cooperative relations based on solid foundations.

“Our relation has seen remarkable development in the recent years in all fields. We have doubled the number of Pakistanis working in Qatar as the country is now home to about 210,000 Pakistanis. They are participating in the development of Qatar and we appreciate their role in this regard,” he said.

Announcing that the government of Qatar had decided to enhance the number of Pakistanis working in Qatar gradually, Sheikh Abdulrahman said Qatar’s global education foundation, Education Above All (EAA), had partnered with the Asia Development Bank to enroll 960,000 of Pakistan’s poorest out of school children in primary education over the next four years.

The new partnership was part of a concerted effort to bring the country’s most marginalised children into primary level education.

“It is worth mentioning that EAA has already contributed to the education of about 1.3 million out of school children in Pakistan through various projects implemented since 2012 in cooperation with different partners and the total amount of support to education through the educate a child programme was $124 million. Qatar is also supporting Pakistan’s national programme to eradicate polio,” the ambassador said.

Besides assistance during the pandemic, Qatar was among the countries which immediately responded to Pakistan’s call for help two months ago when floods hit the country and sent medical and humanitarian assistance through C-17 aircraft. Qatar’s teams of medics and rescuers also remained busy in the flood-hit areas, he said.

In February 2021, Qatar Petroleum entered into a new long-term sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with Pakistan State Oil (PSO) for the supply of up to three million tonnes per annum of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Pakistan.

Source: Dawn

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Saudi Arabia to increase Pakistan’s pilgrims quote for Hajj to almost 180,000

December 8, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia would increase Pakistan’s quota of pilgrims for next year’s Hajj pilgrimage to almost 180,000 as the kingdom seeks to revive the old Hajj quota of countries around the world to pre-pandemic levels, a senior official of Pakistan’s religious affairs ministry confirmed.

At the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the Hajj was restricted to just 1,000 local residents. Last year, the kingdom limited the pilgrimage to 60,000 domestic participants, compared with the pre-coronavirus pandemic figure of 2.5 million.

For this year’s Hajj, Saudi Arabia allowed 1 million people from both within and outside the kingdom to perform the pilgrimage. These included 83,132 Pakistani pilgrims.

“Pakistan received a “verbal intimation” last week from a Saudi delegation, in a virtual meeting, that Pakistan’s quota for Hajj pilgrims would be increased,” Secretary Ministry of Religious Affairs, Aftab Akbar Durrani, was quoted by Arab News on Thursday.

The Saudi delegation was led by Dr. Abdulfattah bin SulaimanMashat, Saudi deputy minister for Hajj and Umrah.

“They [Saudi officials] have informed us that they are reviving the old Hajj quota for the whole world including Pakistan,” Durrani said.

After the revival of the pre-coronavirus Hajj quota, over 179,210 Pakistanis would be able to perform the pilgrimage next year, he said. However, Durrani added, that Pakistan is yet to receive written confirmation from the Saudi authorities.

“The written agreement will be signed in this regard with the Saudi government during a Hajj conference which is taking place next month on January 9 in Jeddah,” Durrani said.

Durrani added that either Pakistan’s religious affairs minister or he would represent Pakistan at the conference where all Hajj-related details would be finalized with the kingdom’s officials.

Source: Pakistan Today

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Iran says five accused over Shiraz shrine attack face hanging

08 December ,2022

Iran’s judiciary said Thursday five people faced the death penalty over an October attack that killed at least 13 people at a Shia shrine in the southern city of Shiraz.

The five were charged with “corruption on earth,” a capital offence in Iran, for the attack on the Shah Cheragh mausoleum on October 26, said the judiciary’s Mizan Online website.

Kazem Moussavi, the judiciary chief in Shiraz’s Fars province, said the case was expedited “in the shortest possible time,” according to Mizan.

The accused were also charged with membership of ISIS and “conspiracy against the security of the country,” Moussavi said.

If found guilty the defendants could appeal to Iran’s supreme court, he added.

The ISIS-claimed attack came more than a month after protests erupted across Iran over the death in custody of a young Iranian Kurdish woman.

MahsaAmini, 22, died after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran for allegedly violating the country’s dress code for women.

One of the attack perpetrators, identified by media in Iran as Hamed Badakhshan, died of injuries sustained during his arrest, according to authorities.

The Islamic Republic last month said 26 “takfiri terrorists” from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan had been arrested in connection to the attack.

Source: Al Arabiya

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New Israeli finance minister brings religion to the front of economic strategy

08 December ,2022

Israel’s incoming finance minister said his economic strategy will be infused with religious beliefs laid out in the Torah, saying it will help the country prosper.

Bezalel Smotrich, head of the far-right Religious Zionism party, said that as finance minister he will delve deep into the inner workings of the economy, but, taking a step back, the Torah - the first five books of the Hebrew Bible - tells that obeying God brings prosperity.

Smotrich was tapped by prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu to serve as finance minister for two years. He will then be replaced by Aryeh Deri, who heads an ultra-Orthodox party.

Netanyahu on Thursday secured a parliamentary majority following a November 1 election win, but has still to finalize the coalition agreements. Until he does, a caretaker government remains in office.

Smotrich is more known for his hardline politics than his economic views, which, according to his party’s platform, are fiscally conservative.

He spoke about his approach in an interview with an ultra-Orthodox magazine, Mishpacha. Excerpts of the interview were broadcast by Israel’s Channel 12.

“They tried many economic theories, right? They tried capitalism, they tried socialism. There is one thing they didn’t try: ‘if you obey’,” Smotrich said, referring to Jewish scripture that calls on people to follow God’s will.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Israeli troops kill three Palestinians in West Bank

December 9, 2022

JENIN: Israeli troops killed three Palestinians on Thursday in their latest deadly raid on the flashpoint city of Jenin, Palestinian health officials said, as violence surges in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli forces said no troops were hurt in an exchange of fire in Jenin, during one of scores of near-daily raids it has carried out in recent months following a series of deadly attacks on Israelis.

The Palestinian health ministry said three people were killed “by bullets from the Israeli occupation during its aggression in Jenin at dawn today”. The Israeli military said troops entered Jenin to detain people “suspected of involvement in terrorist activity”.

“The soldiers operated while being targeted with direct fire and responded with live fire,” the army said in a statement.

Mahmud al-Saadi, head of the Palestinian Red Crescent in Jenin, said an ambulance crew came under fire “from a building where Israeli snipers were present” while it was evacuating a wounded person. The Israeli military said it was “not aware” of such allegations. The Islamic Jihad militant group said its fighters engaged in “fierce clashes” with Israeli forces in Jenin.

Jenin’s Ibn Sina hospital identified the dead as Atta Shalabi, SidqiZakarneh and Tariq Damej.

Mourners gathered as Palestinians carried the body of one of those killed through the streets for his funeral procession.

The Israeli army said it had carried out multiple operations across the West Bank overnight to arrest wanted suspects in cities including Bethlehem and Ramallah.

Palestinian towns and cities in the West Bank are nominally under the control of the Palestinian Authority and its security forces.

International alarm

A surge in bloodshed this year has seen 26 Israelis and at least 150 Palestinians killed across Israel and the West Bank.

The toll includes more than 40 Palestinians killed during Israeli operations in the Jenin area, among them children as young as 12 and veteran Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh as well as militants.

Palestinian prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called on the international community “to protect our people” amid ongoing “Palestinian bloodshed”.

In the West Bank town of Silwad, Palestinians gathered for the funeral of Muhajid Mahmud Hamed, 32, killed by Israeli troops on Wednesday.

He was killed following what the army said was a drive-by shooting at a military post.

The European Union said it was “greatly concerned about the increasing level of violence”.

A US State Department spokesman called Friday “for all parties to do everything in their power to de-escalate the situation”.

Israel has occupied the West Bank, including annexed east Jerusalem, since the Six-Day War of 1967. Hamas, the Palestinian militant group which rules Gaza, described the latest killings in the West Bank as “cowardly assassinations” by Israeli forces.

“We call on the masses of our people in the West Bank and the revolutionary youth to escalate the resistance” against the Israeli occupation, it said.

Source: Dawn

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Israel’s incoming PM Netanyahu secures parliament majority, closer to forming govt

08 December ,2022

Israel’s incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secured a parliamentary majority on Thursday after his Likud party said it had reached an agreement with the Jewish ultra-Orthodox Shas party.

Netanyahu’s right-wing alliance won a comfortable victory in a November 1 election, Israel’s fifth in less than four years. His partnership with far-right parties has stirred concern at home and abroad.

“We have completed another step towards the formation of a right-wing government that will act to serve all of Israel’s citizens,” Netanyahu said in the statement.

The agreement with Shas gives Netanyahu control over 64 of the Knesset’s 120 seats, though a final coalition deal has yet to be signed.

According to the agreement, Shas leader Aryeh Deri will head the interior and health ministries during the first half of the government’s term, then take up the finance ministry in the second half. Deri will also serve as deputy prime minister throughout Netanyahu’s tenure.

Source: Al Arabiya

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UN demands immediate halt to death penalty after Iran's first execution over protests

Betul Yuruk  


The UN demanded an immediate halt to the death penalty Thursday after Iran executed a man arrested during nationwide protests.

"We stand firmly against the use of the death penalty," spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters. "We join our colleagues in the Human Rights Office calling for an immediate halt to these executions. The death penalty, as far as we are concerned, can never be reconciled with the right to life."

Mohsen Shikari was executed in the wee hours of Thursday after he "threatened citizens with a cold weapon and injured a security guard during protests" in the Sattar Khan neighborhood of the nation’s capital of Tehran, according to Iran's Mizan News Agency.

Shikari was given the death penalty Nov. 20 by a court in the capital for "disturbing the social order and security."

Iran has been rocked by widespread protests following the death of MahsaAmini while in police custody in September for not wearing her attire properly. A government crackdown has since continued since her death.

Thousands have been detained, according to human rights groups, while more than 200 have died, as acknowledged by Iran's Interior Ministry last week.

Foreign-based NGOs, however, have put the number of fatalities at more than 450, with the US and EU imposing a slew of human rights-related sanctions on officials and entities.

At least 11 death sentences have so far been issued in connection with the months-long unrest, which authorities say are subject to appeal in the apex court before execution.

Shikari's death penalty was upheld by the Supreme Court, while other sentences are currently under review, according to reports.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Bradford West Muslim Students ‘Exhausted All Avenues’ After Campaigning For A Multi-Faith Prayer Room For Five Years

8th December

PARENTS of Muslim students at a Grammar School feel they have ‘exhausted all avenues’ after campaigning for a multi-faith prayer room for five years.

Parents have campaigned and raised the issue with the head teacher, but claim the matter has not been solved and students have been told to pray in the corridors during lunchtime, after it became too cold to pray outside.

Prayer is a key pillar of Islam and is compulsory five times a day. In winter prayer times come closer together, falling into school hours, which students struggle to perform due to the lack of prayer space.

One parent, said: “We have been asking for this prayer room for a long time and we just haven’t had any support in the matter.

“We’ve appealed to the head teacher, we’ve had meetings, MPs have been involved and still nothing has come from it.

“We were told that a new building is in the works and there is a chance that it could have a prayer room but, in the meantime, there are no other provisions.”

Prayers would not be taking place during school teaching hours, but at lunchtime and after school, the campaigners say.

Students have claimed that the lack of a prayer space has impacted their spiritual, social, health and well-being and feel as though the school is alienating their needs.

On previous occasions when the situation had been raised, parents say they have been told that the main reason behind not being able to provide a prayer space was due to overcrowding and lack of supervision.

Now parents claim that some students, from year 10 onwards have been allowed to pray on the premises, not in a private space, but rather in the corridor.

Naz Shah, MP for Bradford West, whose constituents attend the school, said: “It has been five years since parents of students at Bingley Grammar School first raised their concerns to me about the barriers their children were facing with prayer on school grounds, outside of learning and teaching time.”

“For five years, I have been liaising with parents and the leadership at Bingley Grammar School to help facilitate a mutually agreeable plan.

"However, despite, the years of dialogue, patience and negotiation, parents and students in my constituency still feel that they are not any closer to achieving a dedicated space for students to use for prayer, meditation, mindfulness, and reflection.

“Instead, I have been informed by constituents that sixth formers were recently prevented from praying and that some students have resorted to praying on a field on school grounds.

“Despite contemplation and multi-faith rooms being added as key features on our university campuses, in airports, shopping centers, civic buildings, hospitals, community centers, and in workplaces across sectors, it saddens me to see the value of these spaces being undermined in our early education spaces, particularly when students feel they need such spaces to prioritise their spirituality, health and well-being to learn better and sharpen their focus.”

Source: Asian Image

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New Zealand's accommodation of Muslim faith in mosque terror attack case deemed 'ground-breaking'

Jake Kenny

Dec 09 2022

The way New Zealand’s judicial system met the needs of the Muslim community during the mosque terror attack case may provide a model for the rest of the world, academics say.

At Brenton Tarrant’s sentencing for the murder of 51 people at the Christchurch High Court in August 2020, the system was tasked with balancing the principles of open justice against the need to prevent the hearing becoming a touchstone for white supremacists.

The way the Islamic faith was accommodated by state agencies, the courts and New Zealand media was “groundbreaking” and could be used as a model worldwide, a New Zealand Law Journal study has found.

“We believe the ways in which the judicial system met the needs of the Muslim community may provide a model not only for courts in dealing with communities of faith but with any group that has been collectively targeted by terrorists,” media law scholars Dr Gavin Ellis and Dr Denis Muller found.

According to the article, the New Zealand courts were faced with several imperatives. It had to ensure it delivered a fair and dignified process and would be recognised internationally as having done so. It needed to minimise the risk of re-traumatising victims and families, while giving them a voice.

The New Zealand justice system drew on Norway’s experience with the trial of Anders Breivik in 2012. This was given added relevance by Breivik being mentioned directly in the terrorist’s manifesto.

However, absent in the Norwegian case was the faith and culture of the Christchurch victims. Islam was a focus for the attacker and way of life for the victims and families, and the way this was handled by New Zealand state agencies and court was “in our view, groundbreaking,” the article said.

Another element to balance was respecting the right of the media to report while minimising the risks of re-traumatising the victims and their families.

“To a very great extent, these tensions were resolved by a remarkable degree of co-operation between the court system and the New Zealand media,” it said.

Key to this was the New Zealand Media and Courts Committee, the article found.

Established in 2001, its composition – five judges, six senior media representatives, representatives of the Office of the Chief Justice, and a senior registry official – was a measure of the importance attached to it by both the judiciary and mainstream media organisations.

The Committee was essential in agreements between media on how the case would be reported.

The second foundation on which the co-operation in New Zealand rested was the voluntary adoption by New Zealand’s five largest media organisations of the protocol for covering the case. This was developed in April 2019, the month after the attack, and was the work of the Media Freedom Committee.

It was born out of the desire to report on the case while not relaying his white supremacist views.

“This culture of restraint by the media reflects a preparedness to act collaboratively for the common good and to set aside their usual competitiveness in order to do so.”

There was no live coverage of the proceedings and two daily windows for reporting.

Overseas media were also ordered to comply with the same regulations, and all did so.

“The fact that none of the recipients broke the agreement or court orders suggests that this system of registration and delivery could be usefully employed in other jurisdictions in high-profile proceedings with international interest.”


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Belgian court suspends controversial Iran prisoner treaty

08 December ,2022

Belgium’s constitutional court on Thursday suspended a prisoner exchange treaty with Iran criticized for opening the way for a bomb-plot mastermind to return to Tehran.

Opponents of the Iranian government challenged the deal, which they argue was “tailor-made” to permit the release of AssadollahAssadi, an Iranian diplomat sentenced last year to 20 years in prison.

An Antwerp court convicted him of supplying explosives for a foiled 2018 bomb plot, targeting a meeting outside Paris of Iran’s exiled opposition.

The Belgian government has said the treaty is the only way to secure the release aid worker Olivier Vandecasteele, who was detained in Iran in February.

The constitutional court ruled that the treaty was “suspended” pending a final ruling within the next three months.

“There is for the moment no longer any legal basis allowing this transfer,” Francois Tulkens, a lawyer acting for the opposition group the National Council of Resistance of Iran, told AFP.

The Assadi case sparked a furious reaction in Iran.

The Antwerp court ruled that he had masterminded the bomb plot under diplomatic cover as an envoy to Austria -- and thus had no immunity in Belgium.

Tehran has demanded that Belgium recognize Assadi’s diplomatic status and release him.

Aid worker Vandecasteele, 41, launched a hunger strike over the “inhuman” treatment by his captors in Iran, his family said last week, expressing worries about his failing health.

Source: Al Arabiya

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France says EU to add new Iran sanctions on human rights, drone supplies

08 December ,2022

The European Union is set to agree new sanctions targeting Iran over human rights abuses in its crackdown on protesters in the country and the supply of drones to Russia, France’s foreign ministry spokesperson said on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters, Anne-Claire Legendre said foreign ministers would discuss new designations on individuals and entities involved in the crackdown and entities exporting drones to Russia.

Iran has said it shipped a small number of drones to Russia before its invasion to Ukraine. Russia has denied its forces have used Iranian drones to attack Ukraine.

The EU has already imposed two rounds of sanctions since October in the form of asset freezes and travel bans.

The protests, triggered by the September 16 death of Kurdish Iranian woman MahsaAmini while in morality police custody, mark one of the boldest challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution.

So far, 475 demonstrators have been killed in the unrest and more than 18,000 detained, according to the activist HRANA news agency.

Western powers have also said that they continue to see provision of Iranian drones to Russia and believe Tehran will also soon supply ballistic missiles.

Two diplomatic sources said the new sanctions were expected to be approved and adopted on Monday. One of the sources said 21 individuals and one entity would be sanctioned over human rights abuses, while there had been 10 proposals on the drone side.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Greece continues to violate human rights of Turkish minority, says Ankara

Diyar Guldogan


Greece does not recognize the Turkish community living in Western Thrace as an ethnic minority, thus violating a major international treaty, Türkiye's top diplomat said on Thursday.

"Greece persistently continues to violate the Lausanne Treaty and basic human rights of Turkish minority. Our brothers in Western Thrace were never and shall never be alone!" Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Twitter.

Cavusoglu's remarks came after he met with members of the advisory board of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace in Türkiye's capital Ankara.

The Western Thrace region -- located near Greece's northeastern border with Türkiye -- is home to a substantial, long-established Muslim Turkish minority numbering around 150,000.

Cavusoglu also shared a list of discriminatory practices Greece has perpetrated against the Turkish community, including preventing them from using the words "Turk" or "Turkish" in the names of their schools and foundations, as well as barring them from electing their own religious representatives.

The rights of Turks of Western Thrace are guaranteed under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. But over the decades, the situation has seriously deteriorated, with Greece refusing to carry out rulings by the European Court of Human Rights.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Italian police detain 13 far-right suspects in attack on Moroccan football fans

Giada Zampano



Italian police detained 13 far-right activists in the northern city of Verona, suspected of attacking Moroccan fans celebrating a historic World Cup win against Spain late Tuesday, media reports said Thursday.

The Moroccan supporters were attacked by a group of men dressed in black with their faces covered up, police said in a statement.

The suspects "were identified by investigators as militants of far-right groups in the city," it added.

The detainees were accused of hitting the Moroccan fans’ cars with chains and sticks, causing damages and injuries. A woman was wounded by shards of broken windows during the assault.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Türkiye takes over presidency of Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea

Talha Ozturk  



Türkiye on Thursday took over the presidency of Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC).

Turkish parliament speaker Mustafa Sentop arrived in Serbia's capital Belgrade to attend the 60th General Assembly of the cooperation to take over the term.

Sentop said that it is necessary to cooperate internationally and regionally based on multilateralism of issues that countries cannot overcome alone or bilaterally.

"First of all, this organization, which we have implemented as a peace project, has not made any significant progress in contributing to regional peace despite the past 30 years... The efforts made under the PABSEC prevented the strained relations between the countries from becoming more complex," said Sentop.

Sentop said that it is essential for the member countries to evaluate the developments around them from a comprehensive perspective and to produce rational and permanent solutions.

"Global-scale issues such as terrorism, extremism, immigration, economic turmoil are issues that concern all countries. Now we see much more clearly that the world is going through a much more difficult period today, and this difficult period brings with it the need for an important transformation at both the global and regional levels.

Emphasizing that Türkiye has built its foreign policy on a peaceful, humanitarian and entrepreneurial basis with this understanding, Şentop said "We stand by the right and the just in every issue, we say right to right, wrong to wrong, and we say our word clearly. We stand for negotiation, peace and stability. In a geography surrounded by conflict and instability, we are trying to create a zone of peace and prosperity around us."

Sentop called the members to increase the international visibility of the PABSEC and to make the organization more efficient and productive should be sought.

The assembly was chaired by the president of the National Assembly of Serbia, Vladimir Orlic.

Orlic, in his closing remarks, said that Türkiye will make a significant contribution to PABSEC.

"I am confident that, as always, Türkiye will certainly make an incredible contribution to the PABSEC during its term presidency," said Orlic.

Sentop during his visit met with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic.

Established in the late 1980s as a result of political transformations the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC) aims for the nations of the Black Sea Region to re-emerge on the world scene.

Headquartered in Istanbul, the group has 13 members; Türkiye, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine, North Macedonia.

The group's aim is to have good neighborliness, enhance mutual respect and confidence, dialogue and cooperation among the member states acting in a spirit of friendship.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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UK lawmakers urge govt. to explain about-face on Saudi torture comments

09 December 2022

A number of British lawmakers have urged the government to explain to the parliament why a Foreign Office minister’s claim about Saudi Arabia’s torture of a death row inmate was struck from the parliamentary record.

MPs raised their concerns on Thursday while addressing an International Human Rights Day debate, questioning whether the measure was adopted due to reported Saudi pressures for the alteration.

David Rutley, Foreign Office minister for the Americas and the Caribbean, told lawmakers last week that 57-year-old Jordanian Hussein Abo al-Kheir had “clearly” been tortured.

Kheir was arrested in 2014 on drug smuggling accusations when he crossed into Saudi Arabia from Jordan. He says he did not commit any crime but was under 12 days of torture to give a confession.

He is only one of dozens of individuals currently on death row in Saudi Arabia over drug offences.

We find that abhorrent and we raised that issue at the highest level and will continue to do so not just in his case, but in other cases where that might be happening as well,” Rutley said then.

However, four days later, he said there was an “error” in his comments as he should have described the death row inmate’s torture as “alleged”.

‘Not a correction but a withdrawal’

Labour MP Chris Bryant believes the minister has been under the influence of pressures from Saudi Arabia on this case.

“It wasn’t correcting the record at all. He was withdrawing his comment on Saudi Arabia and whether the gentlemen concerned had been tortured, which all the evidence shows he was,” he said.

“What I fear has happened is that basically they’ve been told off by the Saudi government and they’ve decided that the Saudi government has more say in this than we do and I think that’s nonsense,” added the lawmaker. “I'm guessing the Saudis must be laughing their way to the end of the week.”

Andy Slaughter, another Labour MP, said the u-turn showcases the challenges facing British politicians who want to take action on human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia.

He criticized the UK government’s “double standards”, noting that Rutley’s changes were not “ministerial correction”, but rather, “That is tailoring your words to suit a barbaric regime.”

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael called on the Foreign Office to provide official explanations to the parliament.

“If there is evidence that the Foreign Office now has that shows that what the minister then said is incorrect, there is a mechanism for them to come to the chamber and explain why the mistake was made," he said.

“Surely, that would be a more appropriate way to proceed,” added the lawmaker.

'UK government avoiding upsetting MBS'

Meanwhile, Maya Foa, director of legal action NGO Reprieve, which is presenting Al-Kheir, has raised the likelihood of UK government’s efforts to avoid upsetting Saudi Arabia and its rulers.

“Since when was the Saudi government allowed to edit statements to parliament? This looks very much like the British government has abandoned its policy of opposing torture in all circumstances to avoid upsetting Mohammed bin Salman,” she told Middle East Eye.

Source: Press TV

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North America 

US Defence Budget Trims Millions Of Dollars Benefiting Terrorist Group PKK/YPG

Kasim Ileri



As it moves towards final approval, the US military budget for 2023 cuts millions of dollars in military aid that would have aided terrorist groups in northern Syria and northern Iraq, but still leaves millions more for the groups, which threaten the Turkish border and local civilians.

The US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) bill, which passed in the House of Representatives on Thursday by a vote of 350-80, cuts more than $35.81 million from the Iraqi part of the anti-Daesh/ISIS fund, which the PKK/YPG terror group will also benefit from, and almost $18.37 million from the Syrian part.

Following its House of Representatives approval, the $858 billion NDAA bill now heads to the Senate for a final vote, and if passed there, to President Joe Biden to sign into law.

Through many years and several US administrations, Türkiye has strenuously objected to US military aid – in the form of weapons, ammunition, and training – and partnering with the terrorist YPG/PKK, a branch of a terrorist group that has resulted in the deaths of some 40,000 people in its terror campaign against Türkiye. The US says it works with the YPG/PKK to fight Daesh/ISIS, while Turkish officials say using one terror group to fight another makes no sense.

In the US bill, as part of the fight against Daesh/ISIS in Iraq and Syria, $502.92 million of nearly $541.7 million requested to be given to US partners, including the terrorist group PKK/YPG, was still approved, including an inflation adjustment.

A table attached to the bill said $35.81 million of $358.15 million of the requested for Iraq was found unjustified, so the total was cut to $322.2 million.

The table also says that $18.37 million of the $183.67 million that PKK/YPG terrorists will benefit from in Syria is unjustified, so ultimately nearly $165.31 million was approved for activities including cooperation with the terrorist group.

Taiwan, Ukraine, Türkiye

The wide-ranging bill, which includes raising military salaries by 4.6% and requires the Pentagon to convert fleets of non-tactical vehicles to zero-emission standards, also provides for $10 billion in military assistance to Taiwan by 2027. The status of the self-governing island, which China sees as its territory, has become increasingly contentious since then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited it this August.

On the Ukraine war, now nearing its 10th month, the bill allocates $800 million to finance the Ukrainian Security Assistance Initiative, and also allocates $6 billion in funds to support US military operations in Europe.

Articles linking the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye to restrictive conditions were also removed from the final version of the bill – a step that Ankara had pressed for.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is its Syrian branch.

Following after a terrorist attack in Istanbul last month that killed six people and injured dozens and was blamed on the YPG/PKK, Türkiye launched airstrikes on terrorist YPG/PKK positions in northern Iraq, near the Turkish border, and has said a ground operation might come at any time.

In 2013, Türkiye became one of the first countries to declare Daesh/ISIS a terror group.

The country has since been attacked by the terror group multiple times, with over 300 people killed and hundreds more injured in at least 10 suicide bombings, seven bomb attacks, and four armed assaults.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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US sanctions Erdogan associate over ties to Islamic Revolutionary Guard

8 December 2022

The Biden administration has slapped sanctions on a prominent Turkish businessman and close associate of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for allegedly operating a trading network that handled hundreds of millions of dollars worth of oil for Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps.

On Thursday, sanctions were placed on Sitki Ayan, his son, and a top lieutenant, freezing any assets they have under US jurisdiction and inhibiting their access to global financial and trading markets.

“Ayan’s companies have established international sales contracts for Iranian oil with foreign purchasers, arranged shipments of oil, and helped launder the proceeds, obscuring the oil’s Iranian origin and the (Guard’s) interest in the sales,” the US Treasury said in a statement.

'Head of Quds force finance'

A Politico report says Ayan helped Tehran generate about $1bn in oil revenue since 2020 by using a network of companies around the globe to disguise the true origin of Iranian oil, using front companies and banks in India, Russia, and the UAE.

The report says that in one case, Ayan used his company's bank in Istanbul to transfer at least $80m to accounts controlled by Behnam Shahriyari, a senior commander in Iran’s Quds force, the elite foreign arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

“Sitki Ayan serves currently as the head of Quds Force’s largest financial network in Turkey and possibly the entire world,” an unnamed western official told Politico.

The US frequently targets businesspeople and entities that help Iran evade sanctions. The Biden administration has been ramping up sanctions on Iran in recent months, with prospects for a nuclear deal all but gone and tensions over Iran’s military support for Russia.

The new sanctions could complicate ties between the US and Turkey.

Source: MiddleEastEye

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US imposes sanctions on Turkish businessman, citing links to Iran’s Quds Force

08 December ,2022

The Biden administration on Thursday is set to impose sanctions on prominent Turkish businessman Sitki Ayan and his network of companies, accusing him of acting as a facilitator for oil sales and money laundering on behalf of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

According to a Treasury statement due to be released later on Thursday and seen by Reuters, Ayan’s companies have established international sales contracts for Iranian oil, arranged shipments and helped launder the proceeds and obscured the origin of the Iranian oil on behalf of Iran’s Quds Force, an arm of the IRGC.

“Ayan has established business contracts to sell Iranian oil worth hundreds of millions of dollars to buyers,” in China, the United Arab Emirates and Europe, the statement says, adding that he then funneled the proceeds back to the Quds Force.

Ayan’s son Bahaddin Ayan, his associate Kasim Oztas and another individual will also be designated, along with at least two dozen companies including his ASB Group of Companies, a Gibraltar-based holding company.

The Treasury action will freeze any US assets of those designated and generally bar Americans from dealing with them.

Those that engage in certain transactions would also risk being hit with sanctions.

The US measures come at a time when ties between the United States and Turkey are strained over a host of issues, including disagreement over Syria policy and Ankara’s purchase of Russian air defense systems.

Most recently, Washington has warned Turkey to refrain from carrying out a military incursion into northern Syria after Ankara said it was preparing a possible ground invasion against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia that it views as terrorists but who make up the bulk of US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Washington maintains sweeping sanctions on Iran and has looked for ways to increase pressure as efforts to resurrect a 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran have stalled.

US President Joe Biden had sought to negotiate the return of Iran to the nuclear deal after former President Donald Trump pulled out of the agreement in 2018.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Nigeria holds 68th Islamic conference

By ShakirahAdunola

09 December 2022

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Nigeria will hold its 68th yearly Islamic conference- JalsaSalana from December 23 to 25, 2022, at Ahmadiyya Missionary Training Centre, OwodeIlaro, Ogun State.

The three-day event, which will be guided by the World head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Hazrat Worldwide, Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V, will be chaired by the Amir (Head) Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Nigeria, Alhaji AlatoyeFolorunso Abdul Azeez.

In a statement, the Team Lead (Publicity), Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Nigeria, Dr QasimAkinreti, said five lectures are slated for the event. “They are Recognition of Allah: Panacea to the World problems, The Promised Messiah’s Absolute Trust in Divine Help Darsul Qur’an (Growing the Jama’at spiritually and spiritually), Our Paradise is in our God, HadratAbdur Rahman bin ‘Auf and Hadrat Maulana Ghulam Rasool Raajiki Sahib: Two pious examples of relationship with Allah Almighty.”

Source: Guardian Nigeria

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Southeast Asia 

DAP accepts position of Islam, Malay rights, says Zahid

December 6, 2022

ROMPIN: Deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says DAP has provided guarantees to accept and comply with the four articles enshrined in the Federal Constitution, including on the position of Islam and the special rights of Malays.

Zahid, who is also Umno president, said the other two articles relate to the Malay rulers and the Malay language, adding that the guarantee was provided by DAP secretary-general Loke Siew Fook during a meeting between Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH) before the formation of the unity government.

Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan and Umno secretary-general Zambry Abd Kadir were also present at the meeting.

“My first question as BN president was what about the position of Islam, Malay rights, Malay language and the Malay rulers? When the question was posed, the DAP secretary-general replied, we are the new DAP, new leadership and we accept all articles in the constitution, including those four,” Zahid said in a speech at a gathering at Dewan Terbuka Rompin here today. Also present at the gathering were Mohamad, Zambry and Pahang menteribesar Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail.

He added that party grassroots need not worry because as Umno president and BN chairman, he would never sell them out and would ensure the party remains relevant to continue championing the rights and needs of the people.

“I told myself and all levels of the party … this is our test. We must persevere. Do not let our differences in opinion lead to a split.

“Close ranks and unite so that Umno and BN can continue to be relevant not only in the unity government but also for the future. We promise to serve the people together with our friends in the government,” he said, as he reminded BN elected representatives at state and parliamentary levels to serve the people throughout their entire five-year term and not just in “seasons”.

Zahid also urged those voting in the Tioman state elections to choose BN candidate Johari Hussain as a show of support for the unity government, both in Pahang and at the federal level.

He also promised to assist development in Tioman as prioritised by Wan Rosdy, including upgrading the cargo jetty in Kampung Tekek, PulauTioman, building a new mosque in Felda Selendang and constructing a mini stadium in Kampung Kolam here.

The election for the Tioman state seat will take place tomorrow following its postponement after the death of Perikatan Nasional (PN) candidate Yunus Ramli, 61, hours before polling began on Nov 19.

The election will see a contest between Johari, Nor Idayu Hashim (PN), Osman A Bakar (Pejuang) and independent candidate, Sulaiman Bakar.

Source:Free Malaysia Today

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Suicide bombing in Indonesia: Security forces suspect ISIS offshoot behind attack

Abhishek Awasthi

December 07, 2022

Bandung (Indonesia): A suicide bombing suspected to have been carried out by a banned Islamic terror outfit inside a police station here on Wednesday morning claimed two lives and injured as many as eight people, agencies reported.

Reportedly, the suspected Islamic militant was triggered by the country’s new criminal code in order to blow himself up at a police station, Indonesian authorities told news agency Reuters.

Head of the public information bureau for the National Police, Ahmad Ramadhan said that the counter-terrorism unit is investigating the incident which killed the suspected suicide bomber and an Indonesian policeman.

Ibnu Suhendra of Indonesia’s counterterrorism agency (BNPT) told a TV news channel that the terror attack was suspected to have been planned by the Islamic State-inspired JamaahAnsharutDaulah (JAD).

He said JAD had carried out similar attacks in Indonesia earlier as well.

West Java police chief Suntana told the TV channel that a blue motor bike found at the spot is being investigated after it came out that the alleged attacker used it.

The investigators also recovered a note attached to the bike. It carried a message rejecting Indonesia’s new criminal code that was passed just a day before in the Indonesian parliament.

“There was a note on the motorbike saying the criminal code is an infidel product, let’s eradicate the law enforcers,” Suntana said.

Reportedly, the attacker brought two bombs to the scene but only had time to detonate one.

Footages of the incident showed damage to the police station, with some debris from the building on the ground and

smoke rising from the area.

The world’s largest Muslim populated country, Indonesia has in the recent while witnessed several such incidents of terrorism at churches, police stations, specifically places where foreigners go.

Following these suicide bombings incidents linked to JAD militants, the Indonesian government has created a new anti-terrorism law.

Reports claim that the same group was responsible for a series of suicide church bombings in the city of Surabaya in 2018 in which three families including young children bombed their selves, killing at least 30 people.


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