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Islamic World News ( 20 Feb 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Libya in turmoil, thousands seek repatriation

Libyan forces open fire again on mourners, total toll may be 300

Libyans have ‘broken the fear barrier’, interview

26/11: HC upholds death sentence for Kasab

63 killed in Afghan east operations’

28 Taliban militants killed in Pakistan

Will Maulana Banarasi be the next VC of Darul Uloom?

51 member team of Majlis-e-Tahaffuz Darul Uloom leaves for Deoband

Ulema Council organizes Nyay rally in Lucknow

Kashmir will never be separated from India: Farooq

Modi appoints Ahmed Patel in Waqf Board

Davis is CIA spy, claims British newspaper

US could launch an operation to release Davis: Lawyers

Pakistani army’s drama series on War on Terror

Do not hire Pakistan artistes, 'Cine, TV Sena' tells industry

Pak rejects Menon's concerns about safety of its N-weapons

Gaddafi son says Libya will 'destroy seditious elements'

Bahrain protesters retake square, shooting in Libya

Libya arrests Arab 'network' for destabilising country

Libya's ambassador to India resigns in protest against violence: BBC

Indians in Libya safe: Govt

Libyan uprising a ‘foreign plot’: Kadhafi son

Libyan protesters brave bullets to close in on Gaddafi

Egyptian revolution the first drop of rain: JI chief

Egyptian banks reopen after week of shutdown amid employee protests

Muslim Brotherhood expected to win legality, lose popularity

Tunis demands Ben Ali's extradition

Bahrain Opp plots strategy before talks

Thousands demand change in Morocco

Yemen Opp rejects Saleh’s call for dialogue

Gulf monarchies urged to abandon absolutism

Security alert in south Kashmir

Iran warships head for Suez, give Israel the jitters

Pakistan says it is a responsible nuclear state

First Pakistan drone attack in weeks kills seven

Iran awakening: opposition websites

Pak team inspects site of artificial lake in Jammu

Eight killed as coaches collide in Dera Ghazi Khan

US drones hit mostly low-level targets: report

Iraq court delays verdict in trial of Briton

US drone kills six in South Waziristan

Arab world protests at a glance

Compile by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/libya-in-turmoil,-thousands-seek-repatriation/d/4162

 

 

 

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Libya in turmoil, thousands seek repatriation

Feb 21, 2011

TRIPOLI: Libya's Muammar Gaddafi will fight a popular revolt to "the last man standing", one of his sons said on Monday after protests broke out in the capital for the first time following days of unrest in the city of Benghazi.

Anti-government protesters rallied in Tripoli's streets, tribal leaders spoke out against Gaddafi, and army units defected to the opposition as oil exporter Libya endured one of the bloodiest revolts to convulse the Arab world.

Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi appeared on national television in an attempt both to threaten and calm people, saying the army would enforce security at any price. (Read: Gadhafi's son warns of civil war in Libya )

"Our spirits are high and the leader Muammar Gaddafi is leading the battle in Tripoli, and we are behind him as is the Libyan army," he said. "We will keep fighting until the last man standing, even to the last woman standing ... We will not leave Libya to the Italians or the Turks."

Wagging a finger at the camera, he blamed Libyan exiles for fomenting the violence. But he also promised dialogue on reforms and wage rises.

A Tripoli resident, who did not want to be identified, said the streets of the capital were calm early on Monday morning but that there was no sign of police, which is unusual for the city. (Read: Libya's ambassador to India resigns in protest )

He said that late on Sunday night anti-Gaddafi protesters had been replaced by his supporters, who rallied in the centre of the city around Green Square until about 5 am (0400 GMT).

"After Saif al-Islam's speech, the pro-Gaddafi people, especially the youth, were touring the streets, particularly in the centre, cheering Gaddafi. These people stayed up the whole night, they were marching all night, some driving in cars.

"They were in Green Square and along Omar al-Mokthar street. I would say there were hundreds," he said.

"I talked to someone near the square where the clashes were taking place and he told me it was quiet and they (anti-government demonstrators) have now departed.

"Last night during the rioting there were police around and they were shooting into the air. But after that there have been no police around," added the Tripoli resident.

Saif al-Islam's cajoling may not be enough to douse the anger unleashed after four decades of rule by Gaddafi — mirroring events in Egypt where a popular revolt overthrew the seemingly impregnable President Hosni Mubarak 10 days ago.

"People here in Benghazi are laughing at what he is saying. It is the same old story (on promised reform) and nobody believes what he says," a lawyer in Libya's second city told the BBC after watching the speech.

"He is liar, liar, 42 years we have heard these lies." The international community must do everything it can do prevent Libya sinking into civil war, French government spokesman Francois Baroin said on Monday.

"We're extremely worried and shocked and we strongly condemn what's happening, this unprecedented violence, which could descend into an extremely violent and lengthy civil war," Baroin said in an interview on Europe 1 radio.

"The repression has begun and everything must be done at diplomatic level to coordinate the American and European positions to prevent something drastic happening."

The United States said it was weighing "all appropriate actions" in response to the unrest.

"We are analysing the speech ... to see what possibilities it contains for meaningful reform," a US official said.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said that around 3,000 Turkish citizens had applied to be repatriated from Libya since Friday and the first plane was sent to Benghazi on Sunday morning, with more planes to be sent once permission was granted.

But CNN Turk reported that one Turkish Airlines plane had returned without landing amid reports that the airport had been taken over by opposition protesters. It was unclear if this plane was the same as the one mentioned by the foreign ministry.

In Benghazi, protesters appeared to be largely in control after forcing troops and police to retreat to a compound. Government buildings were set ablaze and ransacked.

"Security now, it is by the people," the lawyer said. In the first sign of serious unrest in the capital, thousands of protesters clashed with Gaddafi supporters. Gunfire rang out in the night and police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators, some of whom threw stones at Gaddafi billboards.

South Korea said hundreds of Libyans, some armed with knives and guns, attacked a South Korean-run construction site in Tripoli, injuring at least 4 foreign workers.

Human Rights Watch said at least 223 people have been killed in five days of violence. Most were in Benghazi, cradle of the uprising and a region where Gaddafi's grip has always been weaker than elsewhere in the oil-rich desert nation.

Habib al-Obaidi, a surgeon at the Al-Jalae hospital, said the bodies of 50 people, most of them shot, were brought there on Sunday afternoon. Two hundred wounded had arrived, he said.

Members of an army unit known as the "Thunderbolt" squad had brought wounded comrades to the hospital, he said. The soldiers said they had defected to the cause of the protesters and had fought and defeated Gaddafi's elite guards.

The Libyan uprising is one of series of revolts that have raced like wildfire across the Arab world since December, toppling the long-time rulers of Tunisia and Egypt and threatening entrenched dynasties from Bahrain to Yemen. The West has watched with alarm as long-time allies and old foes have come under threat, appealing for reform and urging restraint. (Read: Libyan forces fire on mourners at funeral )

Support for Gaddafi, the son of a herdsman who seized power in 1969, among Libya's desert tribes was also waning. The leader of the Al-Zuwayya tribe in the east threatened to cut oil exports unless authorities halted "oppression of protesters".

Libya is Africa's fourth biggest oil exporter, producing 1.6 million barrels of oil a day.

Oil jumped by more than $1 a barrel to $103.5 a barrel on fears the unrest could disrupt supplies.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Libya-in-turmoil-thousands-seek-repatriation/articleshow/7539422.cms#ixzz1EbFK1pdw

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Libyan forces open fire again on mourners, total toll may be 300

February 21, 2011

Libyan security forces opened fired on mourners at a funeral for anti-Government protesters in the eastern city of Benghazi again on Sunday, a day after commandos and foreign mercenaries loyal to longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi pummeled demonstrators with assault rifles and other heavy weaponry as well as knives.

A doctor at one city hospital said he counted 200 dead in his morgue alone since unrest began six days ago.

The crackdown in Libya is shaping up to be the most brutal repression of the anti-Government protests that began with uprisings that toppled the regimes in Tunisia and Egypt. The protests then spread quickly around the region to Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Algeria, Morocco and outside the Middle East to places including the East African nation of Djibouti and even China.

The latest violence in the flashpoint city of Benghazi followed the same pattern as the crackdown on Saturday, when witnesses said forces loyal to Gadhafi attacked mourners at a funeral for anti-Government protesters. The doctor at a Benghazi hospital said at least one person was killed by gunshots during the funeral march, and 14 were injured, including five in serious condition. He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.

A man shot in the leg Sunday said marchers were carrying coffins to a cemetery when they passed a military compound in Libya’s second-largest city. The man said security forces fired in the air and then opened up on the crowd.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Abdullah, a Dubai-based member of the Libyan Salvation Front, said on Sunday that the toll could be much higher. He quoted hospital officials in Benghazi saying the death toll might have reached 300.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/319164/Libyan-forces-open-fire-again-on-mourners-total-toll-may-be-300.html

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Libyans have ‘broken the fear barrier’, interview

FEBRUARY 18, 2011

An exile from Libya living in Switzerland tells swissinfo.ch that it is unclear whether protests in the North African state can unseat Moammar Gaddafi from power.

Ahmed el-Gasir of the Geneva-based, non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Solidarity, said the Libyan leader’s control of the army and security forces appeared to be shaky.

For three days, protesters have been calling for the departure of Colonel Gaddafi – the longest serving Arab potentate.

A call made on the internet several weeks ago for a “day of rage” on February 17, was followed in several towns and villages across the country, particularly in Benghazi in the east of the country.

This city has long been a thorn in the side of the Libyan leader. It was only lukewarm in its support for Gaddafi’s military coup in 1969 and has benefited little from Libya’s oil wealth.

swissinfo: Can you explain why these demonstrations are taking place now?

Ahmed el-Gasir: This is a country that has been run by a dictatorship for 41 years. Following Tunisia and Egypt, the people have finally broken the fear barrier.

swissinfo: But the Libyan people are not demonstrating because they are hungry.

A.G.: The economic situation is very bad because the country is very poorly managed. This is a rich country but you have – according to official estimates – a 22 per cent youth unemployment rate. There are thousands of people graduating and not finding jobs. But unofficial estimates put the figure at 30 per cent or even a little higher.

This is also a country that is being run without a constitution. There have been promises for 10 years to have a constitution. And it’s being run by a political model that is based on the ideas of the dictator. In reality, they have something like a parliament – the General People’s Congress – which has issued a law called the revolutionary legitimacy, by which all the directives and ideas from the Libyan leader are binding by law and must be adhered to. People are yearning for freedom; yearning to have a better future.

swissinfo: What we are seeing now is that the largest demonstrations are not taking place in the capital, Tripoli, but Benghazi. How can you explain that?

A.G.: Benghazi is historically a restless city. It has been resisting the regime since the early 1970s. But since Tripoli is the centre of power they (security forces) have a heavy presence there. I have heard that there have been small demonstrations in two suburbs of Tripoli and a nearby town.

The phenomenon now in the Arab world is that the regimes have lost their monopoly on information. The propaganda machines of the regimes don’t work anymore because people have greater access to information. They have satellite television. They see a different picture of what the regime is trying to convey.

swissinfo: The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt were in a way facebook and Twitter revolutions. Is there also a generation of young people in Libya who communicate using these social networks?

A.G.: The use of social network forums, facebook specifically, is quite widespread for those who have internet access. But the amount of people who have internet access is not as high as in neighbouring countries. But among those who have access, their presence on Facebook is quite high. There were calls on Facebook for people to go out on the streets on February 17 (Thursday).

swissinfo: What do you think the role of the army is in this process? Is it eager to behave like the armies in Tunisia and Egypt and not use force to suppress the demonstrations, or is it too entangled with the Gaddafi family, and will remain loyal?

A.G.: Gaddafi came from the army. But for 12 years he has marginalised the army. And he has set up what’s called security battalions. They have more power and privileges than the official army, which he has weakened a lot.

We know that in Benghazi and al-Bayda some members of the security battalions refused to use force. So he has used two options: deploying a special police force and resorting to using criminal elements of society, which have been given money and cars and have been organised to attack demonstrators. This is a sign that he has no support from the official security forces.

He’s either keeping the battalions for later use or he has lost their support, so he’s resorting to criminal elements. In al-Bayda, which is 200km east of Benghazi, the people there defeated the central police force on Wednesday, so on Thursday morning two planeloads of soldiers from a special battalion which is commanded by Gaddafi’s youngest son were flown in. These forces are not Libyans – they don’t speak Arabic, but only French – and they caused havoc in al-Bayda on Thursday afternoon causing the death of 30 demonstrators.

swissinfo: Do you think that these demonstrations could eventually lead to the end of Gaddafi’s rule?

A.G.: If other cities join in the demonstrations. On Thursday for example we had people in about ten towns that came out against him. They have been very vocal. And there have also been demonstrations in suburbs of Tripoli. If they spread, I think he will lose control.

swissinfo: What kind of reaction do you expect from the international community?

A.G.: We expect that they withdraw political support for the Libyan regime. This is a regime that has a history of disrespecting the human rights of its citizens. It must be made clear to Gaddafi he has to stop in order to prevent a massacre.

swissinfo: Do you expect more than words, for example from the United States, but also action?

A.G.: They should threaten him with the International Criminal Court. What’s going on amounts to a crime against humanity. In one single day, on Thursday, around 60 people were killed and over three days the total is between 70 and 80. This is a small country and in Benghazi at most 10,000 people will join the demonstrations, so this is a large proportion of killings. swissinfo.ch

http://www.yalibnan.com/2011/02/18/libyans-have-broken-the-fear-barrier/

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26/11: HC upholds death sentence for Kasab

Feb 21, 2011

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court today upheld the death sentence to Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab for his involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks that left 166 people dead. ( Read Bombay HC's judgment )

A division bench of the court comprising justices Ranjana Desai and R V More also dismissed the Maharashtra government's petition against acquittal of two Indians, Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, accused of aiding the commission of the crime.

Kasab, 24, the only one of the 10 perpetrators of the attack to be captured alive, was sentenced to death by a special anti-terror court on May 6 last year.

Ansari and Ahmed had been, however, let off for want of adequate evidence by the trial court.

Kasab appeared briefly in the court through a video link wearing a white kurta with his head down.

Kasab and his accomplices had landed at Budhwar Park in south Mumbai on November 26, 2008 night from Karachi by sea and went on a shooting spree at various city landmarks including CST railway terminus, iconic Taj Mahal and Oberoi Hotels, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital and Nariman House, a Jewish outreach centre, leaving 166 dead and many more wounded.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/26/11-HC-upholds-death-sentence-for-Kasab/articleshow/7537753.cms#ixzz1EaEfxFuh

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63 killed in Afghan east operations’

February 21, 2011

Military operations and airstrikes in eastern Afghanistan have killed 63 people in the past week, mostly civilians including 20 women, a provincial governor said on Sunday. They were killed mostly in air raids by the US-led NATO force against suspected rebels in the eastern province of Kunar, provincial Governor Fazlullah Wahidi said.

Death toll in Afghanistan bank raid rises to 38

Kabul: A brazen attack in which five suicide bombers dressed in security force uniforms stormed a bank in the eastern Afghanistan and killed 38 people is a sign that insurgents are increasingly going after “soft targets,” the Government said on Sunday.

Saturday’s bombing, just as many members of the Afghan security forces were collecting their pay, was evidence that militants are seeking to attack places that are not heavily barricaded and fortified Government buildings or military compounds, said Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/319157/%E2%80%9863-killed-in-Afghan-east-operations%E2%80%99.html

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28 Taliban militants killed in Pakistan

Feb 21, 2011,

PESHAWAR: Pakistan security forces repulsed a Taliban attack on a check post and shelled militant positions in the restive tribal belt on Sunday, killing 28 terrorists, security officials have said.

At least 20 militants were killed when troops repulsed an attack on the Salala Ziarat check post in Mohmand tribal region. Thirty more rebels were injured in the skirmish, the officials said.

In the Orakzai tribal region, security forces targeted militant hideouts with artillery. Eight militants were killed two compounds destroyed in the shelling, the officials said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/28-Taliban-militants-killed-in-Pakistan/articleshow/7533506.cms#ixzz1EYiIM7GS

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Will Maulana Banarasi be the next VC of Darul Uloom?

New Age Islam News Bureau

Deoband: The review meeting of the Majlis-e-Shoura is scheduled for Feb 23 but the reports indicate that the interim VC Maulana Abul Qasim Banarasi will be elected the next VC of Darul Uloom Deoband. Maulana Vastanvi whose election and the subsequent controversy over his remarks on Modi had sparked widespread protests will either submit his resignation or be removed. The two factions have reportedly agreed on Maulana Banarsi. But the final decision is to be taken in the meeting of the Shoura.

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51 member team of Majlis-e-Tahaffuz Darul Uloom leaves for Deoband

New Age Islam News Bureau

New Delhi: Ulema and scholars attending  the convention on Darul Uloom Deoband held in India International Centre passed a resolution demanding the removal of Maualan Vastanvi from the post of the VC of Darul Uloom as his remarks and actions  had allegedly damaged the reputation of the grand institution. The resolution has also demanded that Maulana Vastanvi’s membership of the Shoura should also be terminated. A 51 member team of the Majlis has left for Darul Uloom to present the resolution and pitch for Maulana Vastanvi’s removal.

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Ulema Council organizes Nyay rally in Lucknow

20 February 2011

Lucknow: Thousands of workers of Rashtriya Ulema Council (RUC), converged at Mini Stadium in Vikas Nagar for their Nyay (Justice) rally to demand justice and equality for Muslims and other marginalized sections on Sunday. The RUC, which was formed in the wake of crackdown on Azamgarh after Batla House encounter in 2008, completed its two years of existence.

Maulana Amir Rashadi and Maulana Tahir Madani, the top RUC leaders who are prominent Muslim clerics, adopted a matured political tone unveiling their future plans.

“We are not in a hurry for grabbing power by any means, it is the start of a political revolution to change the system and our goal is not 2012. We have 100 years planning and are working on it,” said Maulana Rashadi.

From its earlier policy of “only Muslim” stand, the RUC has also included other marginal sections in their agenda. The charter of demands included reservation to dalit Muslims and Christians, reservation of 9.41 percent within the 27 percent quota for backward caste beside equality to all the marginal, downtrodden sections of the society. Corruption, price rise and other issues also figured in the speeches of the RUC leaders.

Rashadi also reiterated his demand of implementation of Nimesh Commission report and release of Maulana Hakim, Tariq Qasmi and Maulana Kahlil Mujahid-the accused in terror cases. “If the Mishra commission report is not made public and implemented within one month, we will launch an agitation,” said Rashadi.

Lashing out at the Congress led UPA government, Rashadi claimed that the central government was concealing the Nimesh Mishra report while dispatching its emissary to Sanjarupur in Azamgarh. “It is a cruel joke on the sufferings of the Azamgarh people,” he said.

Rashadi also denied any alliance in the coming state assembly elections. The RUC leader even ruled out any association with the Gorakhpur based Peace Party, claiming to go all alone in the coming elections.

Surprisingly, some of the leaders of RUC during their speeches made derogatory comments on Chief Minister Mayawati, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and even termed Maulana Abul Kalam Azad as a traitor. However, the senior leaders disowned these remarks from the stage itself.

“We cannot allow any such personal comment and also cannot call Maulana Azad as a traitor. Our stage cannot be used for such statements,” said Maulana Nizamuddin clearing the murmuring among the crowd.

The rally which was the second one by RUC at the same ground, this time witnessed a bigger crowd and better management.

Twocircle.net

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Kashmir will never be separated from India: Farooq

Feb 21, 2011

Despite inflamed socio-political conditions, Kashmir would not be separated from India, Minister of Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah said here on Sunday.

Speaking at a conference on Urdu, Mr. Abdullah regretted that the events that had taken place in the strife-torn valley during the last few decades had deviated from Mahatma Gandhi's “vision of an ideal Hindustan.”

The former Chief Minister bemoaned the fate of the Hindu Kashmiri Pandits and the repeated allegations against the State's Muslim populace — who were being dubbed as “secessionists” and “militants” by divisive and anti-secular forces.

According to the former Chief Minister, the special place that Kashmir held in the hearts of the body politic in 1947 had steadily corroded as a result of the bloody strife that engulfed it in the early 1990s.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article1475212.ece

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Modi appoints Ahmed Patel in Waqf Board

February 21, 2011

In an unusual move that may embarrass the Congress leadership at the Centre, Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday appointed UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s political advisor Ahmed Patel as a member of the State Waqf Board.

Ironically, Patel’s appointment announced late on Sunday comes on a day the Congress Legislature Party leader in the State Assembly Shaktisinh Gohil alleged that Muslims in Gujarat are discriminated against in matters of postings.

Addressing a seminar on minorities organised by a television channel at Mumbai on Sunday, Gohil said that Muslims in Gujarat do not get good postings. If at all, Muslims get only sidelined posts in Gujarat, Gohil told the seminar at Mumbai.

Ahmed Patel’s appointment as member of the Gujarat State Waqf Board is part of couple of other posts in the boards and corporations filled up by Modi on Sunday evening.

Ahmed Patel himself was unavailable for comment but a spokesman of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee told The Pioneer that Modi has only fulfilled a Constitutional provision.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/319180/Modi-appoints-Ahmed-Patel-in-Waqf-Board.html

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Davis is CIA spy, claims British newspaper

February 21, 2011

LONDON: The US gunman, Raymond Davis, who shot dead two men in Lahore, triggering a diplomatic crisis between Pakistan and the United States, is a CIA agent who was on assignment at the time of the incident, British newspaper claimed.

Based on interviews in the US and Pakistan, the newspaper quoted a Pakistani intelligence official that the 36-year-old former special forces soldier is employed by the CIA.

Pakistani officials believe the vehicle's occupants were also CIA because they came from the same suburban house where Davis lived.

The US refused Pakistani demands to interrogate the two men who crushed another Pakistan with vehicle and on Sunday a Pakistani intelligence official said they had left the country.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=11478

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US could launch an operation to release Davis: Lawyers

February 21, 2011

Lahore: An application filed in a Pakistani court has sought a probe by the Inter-Services Intelligence agency against US official Raymond Davis, arrested last month for shooting and killing two men. The application filed in the Lahore High Court on Saturday by lawyer Rana Ilamuddin Ghazi was clubbed with a petition asking the court to direct authorities to submit all records related to Davis. Ghazi also claimed that Davis was spending his days in detention as a "guest" because two barracks equipped with special facilities had been set aside for him in Kot Lakhpat Jail. He claimed the prison was located far from Lahore and this could help Davis in "fleeing from the jail".

Full report at:

http://www.munsifdaily.com/

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Pakistani army’s drama series on War on Terror

New Age Islam News Bureau

Swat: The Pakistani army has made a drama series on the war on terror it is fighting in the tribal area of Swat in Pakistan. It is aimed at showing the US and the Western donor countries that Pakistan was indeed spending the money it gets for fighting terror and sacrifices its jawans in the process. It also aims at dissuading the Pakistani youth from joining the jihadi forces. In one of the series, the young protagonist decides to join the jihadi organisation but at once remembers his mother’s wise words about Islam that Islam does not preach suicide and so changes his mind at the last moment. The series titled ‘Beyond the Call of the Duty’ also shows the problems the people of the area are facing due to the ongoing war on terror. One of the actors Laila Zuberi said that the most of the stories filmed in the series were true. She said the foreign diplomats often say that the Pakistani army supports the militant organizations that carry out terrorist activities in Afghanistan and India. The Pakistani leaders have always refuted the allegations leveled by the foreign diplomats. Some time back a video was released on the internet showed Pak army men taking blindfolded youth into a jungle and shooting them. Similarly, in another video, the police were shown torturing some prisoners. The human rights organizations have said that they have seen many cases like the ones shown in the videos. These organizations have accused the army of extrajudicial killings and tortures.

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Do not hire Pakistan artistes, 'Cine, TV Sena' tells industry

Feb 21, 2011

An outfit, “Maharashtra Cine, TV Sena,” has asked the Hindi film industry to desist from hiring singers and artistes from Pakistan in the wake of the recent arrest of noted Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. It threatened to “teach a lesson in our Shiv Sena style” if anybody engaged them.

Sends letters

In letters sent to all “production houses, organisers, event managers and media houses,” the outfit drew attention to the recent incident in which Fateh Ali Khan and his assistant and Indian manager Chitresh Srivastav were detained on the charge of “money laundering.

The outfit asked them to abstain from engaging such artistes, “who had put the entire film fraternity to shame.”

Disclosing the letters' contents to reporters on the sidelines of a seminar on “can composite culture survive the onslaught of terrorism?” here on Sunday, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said one should remember that bridges were built with great difficulty to remove bitterness through art, cinema and culture.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article1474887.ece

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Pak rejects Menon's concerns about safety of its N-weapons

Feb 21, 2011,

Pakistan on Sunday rejected National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon's concerns about the safety of its nuclear weapons and material, saying it had "impeccable" custodial controls for its strategic arsenal.

"Pakistan is a responsible nuclear weapon state with impeccable credentials and custodial controls of its strategic assets," Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua said in response to Menon's comments.

"We are mindful of our responsibilities in the context of global peace and security and in particular in our larger Asian neighbourhood," she said.

Janjua also noted that "Pakistan has made a sincere gesture in reaching out to India for promoting stability, peace and development in South Asia" and called for a "new mindset" to usher in an "Asian security architecture".

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pak-rejects-menons-concerns-about-safety-of-its-nweapons/752420/

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Gaddafi son says Libya will 'destroy seditious elements'

21 Feb 2011

In this video image broadcast on Libyan state television early Monday 21 February 2011 Saif Al-Islam, son of longtime Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, speaks. (AP)

Libya faces civil war and "rivers of blood", the son of its leader Muammar Gaddafi warned on Monday, as a brutal crackdown failed to stop an unprecedented popular uprising from reaching the capital.

With gunfire crackling in the streets of Tripoli, and Human Rights Watch putting the death toll at 233 since Thursday, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi vaguely promised reforms as he condemned the revolt as a foreign plot.

"Libya is at a crossroads. If we do not agree today on reforms .... rivers of blood will run through Libya," he said in a fiery but rambling televised speech that betrayed a note of desperation within his father's 41-year regime.

"We will take up arms... we will fight to the last bullet," he said. "We will destroy seditious elements. If everybody is armed, it is civil war, we will kill each other.

"Libya is not Egypt, it is not Tunisia," added Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, 38, who has no defined political role but wields vast influence.

The elder and famously mercurial Gaddafi, 68, the longest-serving leader in the Arab world, and whose nation holds Africa's biggest oil reserves, remained out of sight.

Heavy gunfire broke out in central Tripoli and several city areas on Monday for the first time since the uprising began in eastern Libya, witnesses and an AFP journalist reported.

Several witnesses said fire was set to public buildings overnight, including the state broadcasting offices and branches of the People's Committees that are the mainstay of the regime.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/~/NewsContent/2/8/6068/World/Region/Gaddafi-son-says-Libya-will-destroy-seditious-elem.aspx

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Bahrain protesters retake square, shooting in Libya

Feb 21, 2011,

Protesters in Bahrain appeared to gain the initiative on Saturday and mourners buried their dead in western Libya as the wave of protest washing across the Arab world tested more of the region’s longtime rulers.

Unrest has spread from Tunisia and Egypt to Bahrain, Libya, Yemen and Djibouti, as people of one country after another lose their fear of oppressive, autocratic rulers and take to the streets demanding democratic change and economic opportunity.

Pro and anti-government crowds in the Yemeni capital Sanaa hurled stones at each other and fired in the air, riot police corralled protesters in Algiers into a courtyard, and demonstrators clashed with security forces in Djibouti.

In Bahrain, thousands of protesters regained control of Pearl Square in Manama, after first troops and then riot police withdrew from the symbolically important traffic circle.

The crown prince, charged by King Hamad with opening a dialogue with protesters, called for a national day of mourning, appealing for calm.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/bahrain-protesters-retake-square-shooting-in-libya/752316/

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Libya arrests Arab 'network' for destabilising country

Feb 21, 2011,

Libyan authorities have arrested dozens of members of a "network" of Arab nationals allegedly seeking to destabilise the country, official Jana news agency reported.

Those detained in several Libyan cities on Saturday were members of a "foreign network (and were) trained to damage Libya's stability, the safety of its citizens and national unity".

Sources close to the investigation, quoted by the agency, said "Libyan security agencies established that those arrested have Tunisian, Egyptian, Sudanese, Palestinian and Syrian" as well as Turkish citizenship.

On the fifth day of an unprecedented challenge to his four-decade regime, Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi has still made no public comment although he reportedly appeared at a mass rally of supporters in the capital on Thursday.

Human Rights Watch said earlier on Saturday security forces had killed more than 80 anti-regime protesters in eastern Libya.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/libya-arrests-arab-network-for-destabilising-country/752408/

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Libya's ambassador to India resigns in protest against violence: BBC

Feb 21, 2011

Libya's ambassador to India has resigned in protest at his government's violent crackdown on demonstrators calling for the ouster of Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported on Monday. (Read: Gadhafi's son warns of civil war in Libya )

The BBC, on its Arabic service website, said Ambassador Ali al-Essawi also accused the government of deploying foreign mercenaries against the protesters. The BBC confirmed to Reuters it had spoken to Essawi.

There was no immediate comment from the Libyan embassy in New Delhi.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Libyas-ambassador-to-India-resigns-in-protest-against-violence-BBC/articleshow/7538308.cms#ixzz1EaEst1m7

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Indians in Libya safe: Govt

Feb 21, 2011

India today said its nationals and Indian companies in Libya are safe as that country was rocked by unprecedented protests against the Moammar Gadhafi regime which reportedly left nearly 100 people dead.

“Indians in Libya (are) safe. The embassy is in touch with Indians and Indian companies throughout Libya,” Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said on the microblogging site Twitter.

Protesters in Libya have been demanding ouster of Gadhafi, who has been in power for 42 years. According to rights bodies, security forces have reportedly killed nearly 100 anti-regime protesters in the last one week.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article1474464.ece

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Libyan uprising a ‘foreign plot’: Kadhafi son

February 21, 2011

CAIRO: Saif al-Islam Kadhafi, the son of strongman Moamer Kadhafi, said Monday that Libya was on the verge of civil war and branded the unprecedented protests against his father’s rule a foreign plot.

Blaming Arab and African expatriates of fomenting unrest in the country, he said the violence was aimed at installing Islamic rule, in a speech on television.

“At this moment there are tanks being driven by civilians in Benghazi,” Libya’s second city and an epicentre of the unprecedented protests against Moamer Kadhafi’s iron-fisted rule for nearly 42 years.

“We have arms, the military has arms and the forces which want to destroy Libya have arms,” he said.

Kadhafi, speaking in Arabic, also pledged a new constitution and new liberal laws saying the north African country was at a crossroads.

In the tough-talking, finger-wagging speech, Kadhafi’s son blamed foreign media of inflating the death toll, which he repeatedly put at 84, and warned that any uprising would be ruthlessly suppressed.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/21/libyan-uprising-a-foreign-plot-kadhafi-son.html

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Libyan protesters brave bullets to close in on Gaddafi

February 21, 2011

TRIPOLI: Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi will fight a popular revolt to “the last man standing,” one of his sons said on Monday as people in the capital joined protests for the first time after days of violent unrest in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Anti-government protesters rallied in Tripoli’s streets, tribal leaders spoke out against Gaddafi, and army units defected to the opposition as oil exporter Libya endured one of the bloodiest revolts to convulse the Arab world.

Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi appeared on national television in an attempt to both threaten and calm people, saying the army would enforce security at any price.

“Our spirits are high and the leader Muammar Gaddafi is leading the battle in Tripoli, and we are behind him as is the Libyan army,” he said.

“We will keep fighting until the last man standing, even to the last woman standing…We will not leave Libya to the Italians or the Turks.”

Wagging a finger at the camera, he blamed Libyan exiles for fomenting the violence. But he also promised dialogue on reforms and wage rises.

The cajoling may not be enough to douse the anger unleashed after four decades of rule by Gaddafi — mirroring events in Egypt where a popular revolt overthrew the seemingly impregnable President Hosni Mubarak 10 days ago.

In the coastal city of Benghazi protesters appeared to be largely in control after forcing troops and police to retreat to a compound. Government buildings were set ablaze and ransacked.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/21/libyan-protesters-brave-bullets-to-close-in-on-gaddafi.html

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Egyptian revolution the first drop of rain: JI chief

February 21, 2011

KARACHI: After Tunisia and Egypt, the waves of revolution would also sweep away dictatorships and anti-people governments in other countries of the region.

In Pakistan, conditions are also ripe for a revolution; however, a religious agenda would chalk up the contours of this uprising, as no movement without a religious force behind has ever succeeded in this region, said chief of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Pakistan Syed Munawar Hasan.

This he said while addressing a seminar on ‘Awareness in Middle East, Global Game in South Asia and Future of Islamic Revolution in Pakistan,’ here at Faran Club on Saturday evening. He said all successful movements in the subcontinent, including the Pakistan Movement, had religious force behind them. He said after the creation of Pakistan the big movements witnessed by the country, including Tahreek Khatme Nabuwat, had a plausible religious agenda.

Hasan said it was true that people of Pakistan faced immense poverty, price hike, injustice and exploitation, but the history had shown that Pakistani people took to the street when it was the matter of their faith. He said it was undeniable fact that their society was basically a religious society, where religious compulsions and aspirations set the chart of sociopolitical changes. He said in this contest he could predict that an Islamic revolution in Pakistan was not far behind.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\02\21\story_21-2-2011_pg7_1

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Egyptian banks reopen after week of shutdown amid employee protests

Feb 21, 2011

Banks across Egypt were reopening their doors Sunday after being shut down last week by strikes by employees at state-owned banks alleging corrupt practices.

Last week, the central bank urged all banking sector employees to resume work “to ensure the stability of the national economy.” It also promised to hold meetings with representatives from each bank to discuss their demands with senior management in the presence of the governor of the central bank.

It remained unclear, however, when the Egyptian stock exchange would reopen. How banks handle their re-opening is expected to be an indication of when the market can return to normal activity.

The stock exchange was closed on January 30 after nationwide political turmoil had sent the benchmark EGX30 index plunging by 17 per cent of its value in its last week of trading.

The 18 days of unrest eventually forced President Hosny Mubarak to step down on February 11.

http://www.thehindu.com/business/article1474509.ece

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Muslim Brotherhood expected to win legality, lose popularity

Yasmine Fathi

 20 Feb 2011

Three days after former president Hosni Mubarak stepped down from power, the Muslim Brotherhood announced plans to form a political party.

"When the popular demand for the freedom to form parties is realized, the group will establish a political party," said the statement, posted on the group's website on 14 February.

The announcement did not surprise anyone. The group, founded in 1928 by Hassan El Banna, has been trying to form a party for at least two decades but to no avail. A 2007 constitutional amendment banning the formation of political parties based on religion made this prospect even more distant.

But the revolution changed everything. Mubarak has stepped down, parliament has been dissolved and the constitution suspended. Most significant of all, in terms of the brotherhood’s ambitions, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has formed a committee to amend the constitution, paving the way for it to gain political legitimacy.

“We have wanted to form a political party for decades,” says Mohamed Morsi, a member of the brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau. “But the corruption and injustice that we lived in, the legislation aimed at stifling of political participation, and the fact that the Political Parties Committee was controlled by the NDP made our quest impossible.”

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/5956/Egypt/Politics-/Muslim-Brotherhood-expected-to-win-legality,-lose-.aspx

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Tunis demands Ben Ali's extradition

February 21st, 2011

Tunis/Paris: Tunisia has demanded the extradition of former president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali from Saudi Arabia, French media reported on Sunday.

Ben Ali had been involved in 'several serious crimes', a statement from the Tunisian Foreign Ministry said, according to media.

After weeks of violent protests, the president fled to Saudi Arabia January 14. His ousting has since provided inspiration for anti-government protests across the Middle East and North Africa.

The Tunisian government has also demanded that Riyadh provide 'as soon as possible' information about Ben Ali's health or 'about his possible death'.

Rumours have been circulating for days that the former president has been suffering from ill health.

 http://www.deccanchronicle.com/international/tunis-demands-ben-alis-extradition-582

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Bahrain Opp plots strategy before talks

February 21, 2011

MANAMA: Bahraini protesters camped out in Manama’s Pearl Square on Sunday as police held back amid growing pressure on the ruling family to open meaningful talks with the opposition. Riot police fired tear gas in an unsuccessful attempt to disperse the demonstrators but then withdrew as Crown Prince Salman ordered police and troops alike to hold back. The heir to the throne has been tasked by his father King Hamad with launching a sweeping dialogue with the opposition. “The opposition does not refuse dialogue but they ask for a platform that is favorable to dialogue,” said opposition’s Abdel Jalil Khalil Ibrahim. “The government that was unable to protect its people must quit and those responsible for the massacres must be judged,” he added. afp

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\02\21\story_21-2-2011_pg1_2

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Thousands demand change in Morocco

February 21, 2011

RABAT: Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Morocco on Sunday demanding King Mohammed give up some of his powers, dismiss the government and clamp down on corruption. In the capital Rabat, some people in the crowd waved Tunisian and Egyptian flags in recognition of the popular uprisings that overthrew the two countries’ presidents. At least 5,000 people marched across central Rabat, according to Reuters reporters. Uniformed police kept their distance from the protest but plain-clothes officers with notebooks mingled with the crowd amid chants of “The people reject a constitution made for slaves” and “Down with autocracy”. Some called on the fragile coalition government of Prime Minister Abbas El Fassi to leave. reuters

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\02\21\story_21-2-2011_pg1_4

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Yemen Opp rejects Saleh’s call for dialogue

February 21, 2011

ADEN/SANAA: The leader of Yemen’s secessionist Southern Movement was arrested and shots were fired at a demonstration in the capital Sanaa on Sunday as unrest hit the poor Arab country for a ninth consecutive day. Hasan Baoum, head of the secessionist Southern Movement, was arrested by an “armed military group” in an Aden hospital where he was receiving treatment, his son Fadi Hasan Baoum said. Saleh, a US ally, renewed his call for dialogue with opposition parties. But the coalition of main opposition parties, including the radical Islah and the secular Socialist Party, said there could be no dialogue with “bullets and sticks and thuggery”. reuters

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\02\21\story_21-2-2011_pg1_3

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Gulf monarchies urged to abandon absolutism

21 Feb 2011

"It's time the ruling families took the initiative... and transformed into European-style monarchies," said a statement signed by the liberal Gulf Civil Society Forum coordinator, Anwar al-Rasheed.

This will respond to the Gulf peoples' continued "demands for reforms, fighting corruption and becoming democratic states like other countries of the world," the statement said.

All six states of the Gulf Cooperation Council are ruled by monarchies which enjoy almost absolute powers, controlling all key government positions and with rulers having the final say in internal and external affairs.

The bloc, which groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, sits on around 45 percent of global oil reserves and 30 percent of natural gas deposits. Together they pump just under a fifth of world crude.

Only Kuwait and Bahrain have elected parliaments but their powers are limited. The Saudi Shura (Consulative) Council is appointed by the king.

Bahrainis have been demonstrating for the past week demanding sweeping reforms.

Corruption has been on the rise in line with the sharp increase in oil wealth.

The Gulf Civil Society Forum is made up of liberal intellectuals, academics and human rights activists from the six states.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/6074/World/Region/Gulf-monarchies-urged-to-abandon-absolutism.aspx

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Security alert in south Kashmir

Feb 21, 2011

An alert was sounded on Sunday across south Kashmir to foil any militant attack using a car, snatched by two unidentified gunmen from a civilian in Shopian district, officials said.

The security forces have been asked to remain on the lookout for a Maruti car, which was snatched by gunmen from Pinjoora in Shopian, 55 km from here, they said.

The agencies apprehend that militants might use the stolen vehicle to stage an attack on security forces.

HIDEOUT BUSTED

Meanwhile, security forces busted a militant hideout and recovered ammunition in Kishtwar district, police officials said.

On specific information, a joint team of police and CRPF busted the hideout in the forest area of Andheri in Keshwan area on Saturday.

The recoveries included a rocket launcher, two rocket shells, 63 rounds of AK ammunition, a wireless set and a radio antenna.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article1475213.ece

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Iran warships head for Suez, give Israel the jitters

Feb 21, 2011

JERUSALEM: Israel views with "gravity" what Iran says is the "routine" dispatch of two warships to the Mediterranean , Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday, as the vessels were expected to pass through the Suez Canal. During his weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said Israel viewed the movement as an Iranian power play.

"Today we are witnessing the instability of the region in which we live and in which Iran is trying to profit by extending its influence by dispatching two warships to cross the Suez Canal," Netanyahu said, according to a statement from his office.

"Israel views with gravity this Iranian initiative and other developments that reinforce what we have said in past years about Israel's security needs." Earlier this week, Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called the move a "provocation."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iran-warships-head-for-Suez-give-Israel-the-jitters/articleshow/7537386.cms#ixzz1EaH6BEKa

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Pakistan says it is a responsible nuclear state

Feb 21, 2011

Pakistan on Sunday asserted that it was a responsible nuclear weapon state with “impeccable credentials and custodial controls of its strategic assets” after National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon voiced concerns at the security of nuclear material and weapons in the neighbourhood.

Foreign Office spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua said it was important for all regional states to live up to their responsibilities on the basis of recognised norms to promote an Asian security architecture.

Maintaining that Pakistan was mindful of its responsibilities in the context of global peace and security — particularly in “our larger Asian neighbourhood” — she said Pakistan had made a sincere gesture in reaching out to India for promoting stability and peace in South Asia.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article1475280.ece

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First Pakistan drone attack in weeks kills seven

Feb 21, 2011

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: A drone strike killed at least seven people on Monday in a tribal region along Pakistan's western border, officials said, the first such attack in a month as a diplomatic feud strains US-Pakistani ties.

At least four missiles were fired from unmanned US aircraft at a suspected militant training centre in Azam Warsak, just west of Wana, the main town in the South Waziristan tribal agency, intelligence officials in South Waziristan said.

It is the first time since January 23 that intelligence officials have reported a US drone attack, marking a resumption of a campaign that has become the centerpiece of US efforts to halt militants launching attacks on its soldiers in Afghanistan.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/First-Pakistan-drone-attack-in-weeks-kills-seven/articleshow/7538467.cms#ixzz1EaItcwHa

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Iran awakening: opposition websites

February 20th, 2011

Teheran: Several Iran opposition websites said that anti-government demonstrations had started in some cities, including Teheran on Sunday, as police said security forces were deployed in the Iranian capital.

"Police fired tear gas as a cat-and-mouse game (between police and demonstrators) began in Vali Asr Square" of Teheran, the Rahesabz.net said citing witnesses.

Crowds of demonstrators were also gathering in other Teheran squares and some streets, shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is Greatest), the Sahamnews.org website of opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, said.

It also reported that gatherings were staged in the central city of Isfahan and in the southern city of Shiraz, while Fars news agency reported that situation was calm in Iran's second largest city of Mashhad in the northeast.

Fars said that ‘calm’ prevailed in Teheran in the face of the presence of security forces in ‘full strength.’

"The police was in control of the situation and there was peace in the city with no reports of any incidents," Fars said.

Full report at:

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/international/iran-awakening-opposition-websites-453

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Pak team inspects site of artificial lake in Jammu

February 21, 2011

A three member Pakistani team of Indus water commission led by its commissioner Shiraz Jamil Memon on Sunday inspected the construction site of the artificial lake project being set up on the banks of the river Tawi in Jammu at an estimated cost of `110 crore.

After passing through Jammu Tawi, river flows into Pakistani territory along with river Chenab. The artificial lake project was conceived by the State Government to attract more tourists to the State and upgrade irrigation facilities for the rice bowl in Jammu.

Once completed, the artificial lake will eventually be connected to one of the two main canals — 60-kms long Ranbir Canal and 33-kms long Partap Canal. Soon after the construction work on the project started last year in November the Pakistani officials had raised their concerns on the basis of published news reports and sought an on the spot visit to the project site.

The Pakistani officials, accompanied by their Indian counterparts arrived here on Sunday afternoon to clarify their doubts whether India was violating any provisions of the Indus water treaty of 1960 or not.

The Pakistani officials were briefed in detail and the proposed 'pictorial image' of the artificial lake site was explained to them by the project engineers.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/319184/Pak-team-inspects-site-of-artificial-lake-in-Jammu.html

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Eight killed as coaches collide in Dera Ghazi Khan

February 21, 2011

DERA GHAZI KHAN: Eight people were killed and several were injured in a collision between two passenger coaches in Dera Ghazi Khan’s Pir Adil area on Monday, DawnNews reported.

The accident occurred when one coach crashed into a trawler while trying to overtake the other coach. The second coach could not maintain its balance and crashed into the overtaking coach.

The coaches were on their way from Karachi to Peshawar when the accident occurred on the Indus Highway.

The injured were shifted to a nearby hospital and the two coaches were destroyed as a result of the accident.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/21/eight-killed-as-coaches-collide-in-dera-ghazi-khan.html

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US drones hit mostly low-level targets: report

February 21, 2011

WASHINGTON: CIA drones killed at least 581 militants in Pakistan last year, but only two were noteworthy enough to appear on a US list of most-wanted terrorists, the Washington Post reported on its website late Sunday, citing independent estimates.

The report, due to appear in Monday’s edition of the daily, said that despite a drastically escalated number of Predator drone strikes, the number of high-ranking militants as a result has fallen or increased only slightly.

The daily reported that the relatively meager recent return on US efforts to target Islamic militants with the controversial drone program has raised questions about the purpose and parameters of the drone campaign.

The Post reported that the CIA carried out a record 118 drone strikes over the last year, costing more than $1 million apiece.

The CIA is increasingly killing “mere foot soldiers,” a senior Pakistani official said, adding that the issue has come up in discussions in Washington involving President Asif Ali Zardari.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/21/us-drones-hit-mostly-low-level-targets-report.html

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Iraq court delays verdict in trial of Briton

February 21, 2011

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi judge on Sunday postponed a verdict in the murder case of a British security guard, the first trial of a Western national in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion.

Karkh criminal court in west Baghdad adjourned the trial of Danny Fitzsimons, who is accused of having murdered two colleagues inside the Iraqi capital’s heavily-fortified Green Zone 18 months ago, until February 28. The defendant, 30, faces a maximum sentence of death if convicted.

The judge, who cannot be identified, sought clarification regarding a psychiatric report on Fitzsimons, which said he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder but added that he was aware of his actions and their consequences. afp

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\02\21\story_21-2-2011_pg4_6

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US drone kills six in South Waziristan

February 21, 2011

PESHAWAR: A US drone attack late Sunday killed at least six people South Waziristan tribal district, officials said.

An intelligence official who confirmed the attack put the toll at six dead and two wounded.

The unmanned aircraft fired three missiles at the house in Kaza Panga village, 15 kilometres (10 miles) west of Wana, the main town in South Waziristan.

The attack was the first since a US gunman shot and killed two Pakistanis in Lahore on January 27, triggering a diplomatic row between Pakistan and the United States.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=11476

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Arab world protests at a glance

February 21, 2011

A summary of developments in the Arab world, as instability and anti-government protests inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia spread in the region.

LIBYA:

Libyan forces fire machine-guns at mourners at a funeral for anti-government protesters in the eastern city of Benghazi. A doctor at one Benghazi hospital said 20 people were killed Sunday.

Libya is oil-rich, but an estimated one-third of its people live in poverty. The protesters demand the resignation of Moammar Gadhafi, who has ruled for 42 years. Gadhafi has clamped down, but has also promised to replace some government administrators to defuse anger.

Human Rights Watch said more than 200 people died - mostly in Benghazi - from Thursday through Saturday. Switzerland-based Libyan activist Fathi al-Warfali said 11 people were killed in the city of Beyida on Wednesday night. The latest numbers brought the toll to at least 225 since Wednesday.

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TUNISIA:

Several thousand protesters swarm the governmental palace to demand the ouster of the provisional government. Police briefly fired warning shots to disperse the crowd that defied government warnings not to challenge emergency measures enacted after the toppling of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's 23-year rule last month.

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MOROCCO:

Thousands of people march in cities across Morocco, demanding greater democracy in the North African kingdom. Demonstrators shouted slogans calling for economic opportunity, educational reform, better health services and help in coping with rising living costs.

The demonstrations are Morocco's first since anti-government protests started spreading throughout the Arab world. The demonstrators' main target was the parliament, though they will likely put pressure on King Mohammed VI, who is seen as a reformer, but still holds absolute authority.

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YEMEN:

Yemen's president offers to oversee a dialogue between the ruling party and the opposition, in a bid to diffuse 11 days of protests across the country calling for his ouster. Opposition groups refuse all dialogue with Ali Abdullah Saleh, a key U.S. ally, as long as security forces suppress demonstrations. At least nine people have died since the protests began.

The demonstrators demand the resignation of Saleh, who has ruled the Arab world's poorest nation for 32 years. The main grievances are poverty and corruption. Saleh's promises not to run for re-election in 2013 or to set up his son as an heir have failed to quell the anger.

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BAHRAIN:

Bahrain's opposition weighs the regime's offer for talks after nearly a week of protests calling for the tiny Gulf nation's monarchy to give up its near-absolute control over key policies and positions. Deep bitterness underpins the political haggling after battles that included riot police opening fire at protesters, then pulling back to let them occupy a landmark square. At least seven people have been killed and hundreds injured.

Bahrain hosts the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, the main U.S. military counterweight to Iran's efforts to expand its reach into the Gulf. Other Gulf Arab leaders strongly back the nation's ruling Sunni dynasty, fearing that Shiite powerhouse Iran could gain further footholds through the uprising led by Bahrain's Shiite majority.

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JORDAN:

Jordan's King Abdullah II calls for "quick and real" reforms to give the public a greater role in governing and to eliminate corruption following anti-government protests over the last seven weeks. Activists are demanding a stronger role in politics and greater political freedoms.

The king, a hereditary monarch and close U.S. ally, called for a change in a heavily disputed election law that critics say favors his loyalists. He did not mention curbing his own power to dismiss the prime minister and the parliament and rule by decree.

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KUWAIT

Descendants of desert nomads demonstrate for a third day to demand Kuwaiti citizenship and its lavish benefits. The stateless Arabs hold no citizenship but have been settled in the oil-rich Gulf nation for generations. Security forces fired tear gas to disperse them on Saturday.

Kuwait's parliament speaker appeals for an end to the protests. http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=11483

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/libya-in-turmoil,-thousands-seek-repatriation/d/4162


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