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Islamic World News ( 15 Jul 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Makkah: Burned by father, girl, 5, traumatized; court refused her mother’s divorce request earlier

Indonesian maid's pardon raises new hope for Rizana

‘Pak link seen in death of Karzai’s half brother’

Iranian actress arrested en route to women's World Cup

Bombs hit Iraq holy city Karbala during Shia Pilgrimage

Iraq bombs kill 8, dozens wounded

Syrian forces kill 32, opposition cancels meeting

Clashes in Kohlu, Quetta; 15 militants, 8 FC men dead

Mine blast kills five civilians in Afghanistan: Govt

3 LeT militants, jawan killed in J&K encounter

Oz school apologises for forcing Sikh boy to shave off beard

$10bn of US financial support unaccounted for in Pakistan

Ilyas Kashmiri alive and active in Af-Pak border: report

Al-Qaeda terrorist tool kit includes ISI training manuals

US, other world powers recognise Libya rebels

East Libya 'not ready to pump oil'

Satisfied with Indo-Pak resolve to continue talks: Gilani

Raj Thackeray blames migrants for terror strikes; BSP calls him 'terrorist'

Afghanistan a safe haven for terrorists: Pak

Tracking kidnapped foreigners: ‘Abducted Swiss couple in Fata’

Mumbai blasts: IM operative's Bengal link being probed

No help request from India on Mumbai attack: US

Blow hot, blow cold: Pakistan, US say ties on track after spat

Mullah Omar, headscarves & bizarre Af talks: A female Lawmaker

United Nations drops sanctions against 14 ex-Afghan Taliban

Violence in Yemen leaves 10 dead; protests persist

India-US talks on July 13 to discuss Mumbai blasts

India may take a beating in terror risk index again

After 27 years in Pak jail, 'spy' seeks damages from govt

ISI chief Pasha meets CIA brass in bid to mend rift

First US troops begin to leave Afghanistan as drawdown starts

Osama's 'hit list' included Obama, kamikazi crash at sports event

Pak’s minister for gaffes strikes again

IB suspects new IM cell behind attacks

Bahrain opposition may pull out of talks

Ahead of Iran visit: Saudi envoy meets President Zardari

Pak-Afghan border: ‘Additional troops to be deployed’

Cross-border militants: Afghan governor urges intelligence sharing

Pasha assured of greater Pak role in Afghan talks

Saudi banks take out campaign to educate customers about hackers

Arab stocks suffer from Greek and Italian debt debacle

Egyptians extend protests at Tahrir Square

Egyptians protest against slow pace of reform

US: Somalia food crisis one of biggest in decades

Campaigners seek arrest of former CIA legal chief over Pakistan drone attacks

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/makkah--burned-by-father,-girl,-5,-traumatized;-court-refused-her-mother’s-divorce-request-earlier/d/5040

 

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Makkah: Burned by father, girl, 5, traumatized; court refused her mother’s divorce request earlier

By MUNEERA AL-MATROUK

Jul 16, 2011

MAKKAH: Raghad, the five-year-old girl who was beaten and given second-degree burns on sensitive parts by her father is in deep shock, according to her mother.

“This is not the first time my husband has beaten and physically abused Raghad. Our life is a series of drama, physical violence and abuse,” she told Arab News.

Raghad is the second child of three, but was singled out for abuse by the father, the mother said.

“He would ask her to leave every time she came near him. He would not allow her to take food with the rest of the family, so we served her food alone to keep her away from her father,” the mother said.

The mother added that the day of the incident, Raghad had diarrhea and she had to rush to the bathroom.

“The father followed her to the bathroom and started beating her and burning her body and asked me to take her away from his sight,” she recalled.

“I cannot believe that this man is her father,” said the grandmother.

The mother said: “He pulled out his revolver threatening to kill me. He also strangled me until I was about to die. He also pushed my mother and badmouthed her.”

The mother said she took her case to the court filing for divorce but the court asked her to go back to her husband so as to keep the family intact.

“Things have worsened since then,” she said.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article472553.ece

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Indonesian maid's pardon raises new hope for Rizana

By MD RASOOLDEEN

Jul 16, 2011

RIYADH: In the wake of the pardon given to an Indonesian housemaid who was sentenced to death on murder charges, the Sri Lankan government and social service organizations on Friday renewed their appeal for clemency for Rizana Nafeek, who is currently awaiting execution in the Kingdom.

Darsem binti Dawud Tawar, an Indonesian maid who was convicted of murdering her employer, returned to Jakarta on Wednesday following a pardon given by the kin of her victim.

The maid from Subang, West Java, was convicted in May 2009 and sentenced to death despite her plea that she killed the victim in self-defense during attempted rape. The Indonesian government paid $534,884 in blood money to secure the pardon.

“President Mahinda Rajapaksa is deeply concerned about Nafeek's case,” Sri Lanka Parliamentarian Abdul Hameed Mohammed Azwer told Arab News on Friday from Colombo.

“While we express our regret to the parents over the death of the baby in Nafeek's care, we also wish to make an appeal to them and the government of Saudi Arabia to take into consideration the circumstances surrounding her employment as a housemaid in Saudi Arabia,” Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference, and the Rev. Norbert M. Andradi, the group's secretary-general, said in a joint statement issued in Colombo.

Nafeek was 17 when a recruiter in Sri Lankan forged her identity to make her appear old enough to work in Saudi Arabia. Because she was underage, the person responsible committed human trafficking for facilitating the transfer of a minor across international boundaries. Nafeek arrived in the Kingdom to work as a maid, but she was also assigned nanny duties without any formal training in post-natal care.

Nafeek claims the four-month-old infant choked during bottle feeding, but the family said she murdered the baby. The courts found Nafeek guilty and sentenced her to death based on a hadd ruling — a hadd ruling is one specifically prescribed in the Qur'an: decapitation if the next of kin of the victim does not forgive the crime and accept blood money.

The state cannot force a pardon, as it is a private right and therefore the family must pardon Nafeek or come to a blood-money settlement through reconciliation efforts.

“It is with great sense of gladness that I read in Arab News of the pardoning of Darsem binti Dawud Tawar,” said Lankan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ahmed A. Jawad. “This gracious act symbolizes the generous nature of the Saudi people. I am optimistic that Rizana Nafeek too would similarly be given her freedom by the parents of the infant.”

Sri Lankan officials have pointed out that Nafeek comes from an impoverished family in Muttur, about 380 km from Colombo. Her father supports his family by harvesting wood from the jungle.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article472485.ece

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‘Pak link seen in death of Karzai’s half brother’

Jul 16 2011

Washington: Investigators are trying to determine whether the rogue police commander who murdered Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s half brother this week was a long-term Taliban sleeper agent or a recent recruit, who joined them, probably after a recent trip to Pakistan.

The reasons behind the dramatic switch that turned Sardar Mohammad against Ahmed Wali Karzai, 49, perhaps the most powerful figure in southern Afghanistan, are still not understood, The Washington Post reported Friday.

But one of Karzai’s brothers and a senior Afghan official said they were now convinced the Taliban somehow won the police officer’s allegiance in recent months and convinced him to carry out an assassination on the group’s behalf.

Mohammad was an ally of the US in the war against the Taliban, the report said, pointing out that he had played a part in Afghan arrests of scores of Taliban fighters.

Mahmood Karzai, one of the president’s brothers, said the family has learnt that Mohammad travelled to the Pakistani city of Quetta in the past three months to meet with Taliban insurgents.“All of a sudden, he changed,” Karzai said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/818158/

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Iranian actoress arrested en route to women's World Cup

15 July 2011

Iranian actress Pegah Ahangarani has been arrested while travelling to the women's World Cup in Germany.

A popular Iranian actor and outspoken supporter of the country's opposition movement has been arrested in Tehran after attempting to travel to Germany to take part in coverage of the women's World Cup.

Pegah Ahangarani, 27, was scheduled to go to Germany to participate in TV programmes about the Fifa tournament, but was picked up from her home in the capital by security officials on Sunday.

Ahangarani fell foul of the Islamic regime when she publicly campaigned for opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in Iran's 2009 presidential elections, but escaped arrest until recently because of her widespread popularity.

She is the second woman to have been arrested in recent weeks in connection with the women's World Cup in Germany. Maryam Majd, a prominent Iranian photographer and activist who had campaigned for women to be allowed to enter stadiums to watch football matches in Iran, was arrested in late June before going to Germany, where she wanted to work on a book about women and sport.

Within days of Ahangarani going missing, Deutsche Welle – Germany's international broadcasting service, which had invited her to Berlin – confirmed she had been arrested. "The Farsi-language service of Deutsche Welle, Germany's international broadcasting service, has learned from people close to the actress that Ahangarani has been arrested," the German news organisation said. "Deutsche Welle had set up a blog for Ahangarani, who enjoys broad popularity in Iran, to report on the women's World Cup soccer championships currently being held in Germany."

At least four other women rights activists have been arrested in recent weeks, including Mahnaz Mohammadi, an acclaimed documentary filmmaker, Zahra Yazdani, a journalist, and campaigners Maryam Bahrman and Mansoureh Behkish.

Ahangarani, the daughter of acclaimed Iranian filmmakers Jamshid Ahangarani and Manijeh Hekmat, has repeatedly pushed boundaries in her career as a young actor playing roles in a country where women are obliged to cover themselves from head to toe.

At 15, Ahangarani featured in a controversial film, The Girl in the Sneakers, which touched the then taboo issue of a rebellious girl who wanted to have a boyfriend in an Islamic society. Girls in Iran are not allowed to have boyfriends, although the majority of young people rebel against it in today's Iran.

According to Deutsche Welle, officials in Tehran have confirmed that Ahangarani is currently being held by the security agents of the Revolutionary Guards.

Ahangarani has contacted her family once since her arrest, when she told them she was unaware of her whereabouts or the charges against her. No information was available on where she was being held or whether she had access to legal representation.

The London-based human rights organisation ARTICLE 19 has called on Iran to release Ahangarani and Mohammadi.

"ARTICLE 19 calls on the Iranian government to immediately release Mohammadi and Ahangarani, and other artists and activists unjustly detained," Agnes Callamard, the executive director, said. "The authorities must clarify the reasons for their arrests and ensure that the women have access to legal representation."

In recent years, several filmmakers and actors have been arrested or sentenced to lengthy prison terms. Director Jafar Panahi received a six-year prison term and 20-year ban on filmmaking last year, along with Mohammad Rasoulof, who was also sentenced to six years in jail. Ramin Parchami, a prominent actor, remains in custody after he was arrested in protests staged in February in solidarity with the uprisings in the Arab world.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/15/iranian-actress-pegah-ahangarani-womens-world-cup

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Bombs hit Iraq holy city Karbala During Shia Pilgrimage

16 July 2011

BAGHDAD - A bomb attached to a policeman’s car blew up on Saturday in the Iraqi city of Kerbala, killing at least three people and wounding 15 others during an annual Shia pilgrimage, officials said.

It was the third attack in the holy city in the last two days as Shia observe the anniversary of Imam Mohammed Al Mehdi’s birthday, one of the annual pilgrimages that have evolved into shows of strength for Iraq’s majority Shias since the fall of Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The latest blast occurred near a security checkpoint in Kerbala, 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Baghdad, and most of the casualties were police officers, police and provincial council officials said.

On Friday a car bomb exploded in a garage near a hospital west of Kerbala. Police said four people were killed and 20 wounded.

In a separate incident, a bomb placed under a parked car killed two people and wounded four others in northern Kerbala on Friday, according to an army commander, while a hospital source said the blast killed three people and wounded 23 others.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/July/middleeast_July363.xml&section=middleeast

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Iraq bombs kill 8, dozens wounded

16 July 2011

BAGHDAD — Violence in Baghdad and southern Iraq killed eight Iraqis, including six Shiite Muslim pilgrims, and an American soldier on Friday, security officials said.

The six killed on the outskirts of the holy shrine city of Karbala, 100 kilometres (70 miles) south of the capital, were making their way there as part of commemorations for the birth of a revered Shiite Muslim figure.

“A car bomb killed three people and wounded 20 people inside a bus station north of the city of Karbala,” said General Othman al-Ghanimi, a security official in charge of security in the region.

Nazeer al-Rubayee of Karbala’s Al-Hussein Hospital confirmed the toll, saying that the wounded included women. The blast occurred at around 4:00 pm (1300 GMT).

At around 9:30 pm (1830 GMT) east of the city, another car bomb killed three worshippers and wounded more than 25, Karbala health department spokesman Jamal Mehdi said.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/July/middleeast_July359.xml&section=middleeast

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Syrian forces kill 32, opposition cancels meeting

16 July 2011

In this citizen journalism image provided by Shaam News Network, Syrian anti-government protesters hang a banner, during a rally in the central city of Hama, Syria on Friday, July 15, 2011. - AP

Syrian security forces killed 32 civilians, including 23 in the capital Damascus, in a crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations on Friday, activists’ group said.

It was the highest death toll in central neighbourhoods of Damascus since the uprising against President Bashar Al Assad’s autocratic rule erupted four months ago in the southern Hauran Plain near Syria’s border with Jordan.

The killings prompted the opposition to cancel a “National Salvation” conference that was due in Qaboun neighbourhood of Damascus on Saturday after security forces killed 14 protesters in front of the wedding hall where the conference was scheduled to take place, opposition leader Walid Al Bunni said.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/July/middleeast_July360.xml&section=middleeast

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Clashes in Kohlu, Quetta; 15 militants, 8 FC men dead

By Saleem Shahid

A spokesman for the banned Baloch Liberation Army claimed that BLA militants had carried out the attack. – File Photo by AP

QUETTA: At least eight security personnel and 15 militants were killed in fierce clashes in Chamalang area of Kohlu district on Thursday night and Friday.

According to sources, 12 security men were injured in the clashes which continued till late Friday night. Two ‘commanders’ were reported to be among the dead militants.

But a Frontier Corps (FC) spokesman disputed the casualty figure and said: “Four of our soldiers and eight militants have been killed.” He said the assailants had attacked FC personnel whom were on duty in the area and firing continued till evening.

A spokesman for the banned Baloch Liberation Army claimed that BLA militants had carried out the attack.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/16/clashes-in-kohlu-15-militants-8-fc-men-dead.html

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Mine blast kills five civilians in Afghanistan: Govt

Jul 16, 2011

Five civilians were killed in one of the deadliest parts of Southern Afghanistan when their mini-van drove over a land mine, a provincial government spokesman said today.

Helmand provincial spokesman Daud Ahmadi said one person was also injured in the blast yesterday afternoon in the district of Sangin, the deadliest area for US forces in the course of a nearly 10-year war against the Taliban.

"A mini-van struck a Taliban-planted mine and five people were killed and another person was injured," he said, adding: "They were civilians."

They were killed on the same day that the United Nations said the number of civilians killed in the first half of 2011 was up 15 per cent, putting the year on track to be the deadliest in the current conflict in Afghanistan.

The UN mission in Afghanistan said insurgents were responsible for 80 per cent of civilian deaths in the past six months and Nato troops 14 per cent of the killings.

Nato is investigating claims that six civilians were killed during a military operation targeting the Al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network in the east.

http://www.asianage.com/international/mine-blast-kills-five-civilians-afghanistan-govt-036

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3 LeT militants, jawan killed in J&K encounter

Jul 16, 2011

SRINAGAR: Three terrorists and an Army jawan were killed in a gun battle in Kupwara, north Kashmir, on Friday. The terrorists, said to belong to Lashkar-e-Taiba, were holed up in a house at a village in Lolab, about 120 km from Srinagar, officials said.

Four security personnel were also injured in the encounter that began early morning when troops cordoned off a house in Dar Mohalla village.

According defence spokesman J S Brar, security forces comprising soldiers from Rashtriya Rifles and the state police had specific information about the presence of foreign terrorists in the house.

The hiding terrorists took a woman as hostage and opened fire on the forces when they were asked to surrender, defence spokesman Brar said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/3-LeT-militants-jawan-killed-in-JK-encounter/articleshow/9242812.cms

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Oz school apologises for forcing Sikh boy to shave off beard

Jul 14 2011

Chandigarh: A catholic school in Australia, which had forced a Sikh student to shave off his beard, has apologised to him, Ministry of External Affairs said.

In a communique to Rajya Sabha MP Avinash Rai Khanna, who had demanded Central government's intervention into the incident that took place last month, the MEA said principal of the Melbourne-based school has sought an apology from the student.

"The MEA said it had taken up the issue with the High Commission in Canberra which informed it that the school principal has apologised to the student for hurting religious sentiments," Khanna told reporters here today.

According to the letter, the Indian High Commission at Canberra was told that as per the school's rules and regulations, it is mandatory for students to shave off their facial hair. However, at no stage the boy indicated his religious practices and his beard was not shaved off, the MP said.

Last month, the Sikh boy studying in class 11 at an outer northern Christian school in Melbourne was forced to a shave off his beard by the school administration, sparking an outrage among the Indian community which accused the institute of religious discrimination.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/817483/

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$10bn of US financial support unaccounted for in Pakistan

July 16, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Around $10 billion of US financial support provided over the past 10 years is missing in Pakistani official calculations.

According to the US Congressional Research Service, $18.76 billion was disbursed to Pakistan for losses incurred in the war against terrorism, but Pakistani officials claim to have received only $8.76 billion, including the military`s share of $1.63 billion.

The records in Islamabad show that the country has filed claims of only $13.3 billion, speakers at a discussion on `The US assistance to Pakistan: A critical appraisal` held on Friday at the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (Sassi) said.

They said there was a discrepancy of about $6 billion in claims by both governments because the US reimbursed to Pakistan amounts that had not been claimed.

“This money cannot be accounted for and perhaps the US can best explain where it was spent when Pakistan never asked for it,” the institute`s Director General Dr Maria Sultan said.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/16/10bn-of-us-financial-support-unaccounted-for.html

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Ilyas Kashmiri alive and active in Af-Pak border: report

Jul 16 2011

Islamabad: Al-Qaeda-linked militant commander Ilyas Kashmiri, who was reported to have been killed in a US drone attack in Pakistan's tribal belt last month, is still alive, according to a media report on Saturday.

Kashmiri, the chief of the Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami is still alive and active in the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Dawn News channel quoted its sources as saying.

Security officials of the US and Pakistan have failed to confirm the death of Kashmiri, the sources said.

The dreaded commander, a key suspect in the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the alleged mastermind of the terrorist strike on a naval airbase in Karachi in May, was reported to have been killed a US drone strike in South Waziristan on June 3.

Several questions have been raised about a statement purportedly issued by HuJI about Kashmiri's death in the drone strike.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/818324/

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Al-Qaeda terrorist tool kit includes ISI training manuals

Jul 16 2011

Washington: Al-Qaeda has introduced a new online course in operational security in which militants can directly study from some of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)’s training manuals, according to a new report by a Jordan-based intelligence expert.

The report by Abdul Hameed Bakier at The Jamestown Foundation said that Al-Qaeda’s Global Islamic Media Front has posted the documents on jihadi Internet forums.

However, it is not clear how the terrorist network got its hands on the documents of Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency.

The course starts with an introduction to basic espionage terms, then moves into ways to screen potential mujahideen members.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/818325/

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US, other world powers recognise Libya rebels

Jul 16 2011

Istanbul: Rebel leaders won recognition as the legitimate government of Libya from the United States and other world powers on Friday in a major boost to the rebels' faltering campaign to oust Muammar Gaddafi.

Western nations said they also planned to increase the military pressure on Gaddafi's forces to press him to give up power after 41 years at the head of the North African state.

Recognition of the rebels, announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a meeting in Turkey of the international contact group on Libya, is an important diplomatic step which could unlock billions of dollars in frozen Libyan funds.

The decision comes as reports are circulating Gaddafi has sent out emissaries seeking a negotiated end to the conflict, although he remains defiant in his public utterance.

In a speech broadcast as thousands of loyalists rallied in a street demonstration, Gaddafi rejected international recognition of the rebels.

Trample on those recognitions, trample on them under your feet, he told his supporters. They are worthless.

He said he enjoyed the support of millions of Libyans who yearned for death, martyrdom and suicide.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/818328/

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East Libya 'not ready to pump oil'

Jul 16, 2011

LONDON: Libya is not ready to start pumping oil from fields held by rebels in the east of the country, a spokesman for rebel-held oil firm Arabian Gulf Oil Company (Agoco) told Reuters, dampening hopes for a quick resumption of exports.

“We are not producing. Everything is under repair. I can’t tell you a date to restart,” Agoco information manager Abdeljalil Mayouf said.

The official was speaking in response to a report in trade publication Petroleum Economist that repairs at the Sarir and Misla oil fields had been completed and oil production was imminent.

Before the war, Libya was Africa’s third-largest producer, pumping 1.6 million barrels per day, but production has since fallen to virtually zero because of infrastructure damage and international sanctions.

Mayouf declined to comment on the extent of damage to oil fields.

Oil traders said they thought it was considerable and were not expecting a resumption of exports from the North African country in the near future.

“Fields and pipelines are still damaged significantly,” said a Mediterranean trader working for an oil firm active in the Libyan upstream business before the war.

A second oil trader said the state of the fields was worse than in April, when Agoco exported its first and only oil cargo from territory held by the rebel government.

“Lots of repairs are needed before crude output resumes,” the trader said.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/economy/article472584.ece

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Satisfied with Indo-Pak resolve to continue talks: Gilani

Jul 15, 2011

Islamabad: Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani today expressed satisfaction at the resolve of India and Pakistan to continue their bilateral talks and not be deterred by terrorists' "designs to derail the dialogue once again."

Gilani made the remarks during a meeting with visiting Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G L Peiris at the Prime Minister's House.

Pakistan has strongly condemned the recent terrorist attack in Mumbai, he said.

The Premier's comments came a day after External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said India would go ahead with Foreign Minister-level talks with Pakistan as scheduled at the end of this month despite the triple blasts in Mumbai that killed 18 people on Wednesday.

Pakistan's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar is scheduled to visit New Delhi for talks with Krishna.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/817937/

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Raj Thackeray blames migrants for terror strikes, BSP calls him 'terrorist'

Ashish Tripathi

Jul 15, 2011

LUCKNOW: The Bahujan Samaj Party on Friday condemned MNS chief Raj Thackeray's statement blaming the influx of migrants for terror strikes in Mumbai, saying the MNS chief was acting like a terrorist who wanted to disturb peace and harmony of the country. The party also said that the sectarian politics practiced by Raj Thackeray should be denounced by all.

Defending the Mumbai police on Thursday, Raj Thackeray had said every time we could not blame police department or failure of intelligence as it was not possible to control the number of people due to migrants.

"I trust the Mumbai Police but the influx is so much that there will be intelligence failure and such type of terror attacks would keep happening," he said.

"Is any crime possible without the help of local people? (terrorist) Kasab knows Taj hotel kitchen but you and me do not," Raj added.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Raj-Thackeray-blames-migrants-for-terror-strikes-BSP-calls-him-terrorist/articleshow/9236060.cms

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Afghanistan a safe haven for terrorists: Pak

Jul 16, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Terrorists from Pakistan have found safe havens in Afghanistan from where they launch cross-border attacks, a top Pakistani official has said.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) director general Athar Abbas claimed that terrorists from Pakistan's Swat region were reportedly in Kunar and Nuristan provinces of Afghanistan.

Abbas said prominent militant leaders - Fazalullah, Faqir Muhammad, Abdul Wali and Hakimullah - had hideouts in these areas.

Pakistan has conveyed "its well-founded concerns" to the Nato which was pulling out its troops from these areas.

Abbas said although the Pakistani army could not directly act in Kunar, a commission has been set up in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar to see what possible action could be taken.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/worldarticlelist/articleshow/9236705.cms

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Tracking kidnapped foreigners: ‘Abducted Swiss couple in Fata’

By Qaiser Butt

July 16, 2011

QUETTA: The Balochistan government believes that a Swiss couple, who was kidnapped by unidentified armed men in the province’s Loralai district early this month, has been taken to the Federally Administratively Tribal Areas (Fata).

Provincial home secretary Zafarullah Baloch told The Express Tribune that the Swiss nationals, Divid Oliver Och and Daniela Widmer, had been transported into Fata from Zhob district.

Oliver and Widmer were last seen on July 2 at Minara, some 14 kms from Loralai.

“They are close to the Afghan border but still in Fata,” he said.

“According to our information, there were five people who kidnapped them at gun point,” he said, adding that all the kidnappers were Pushtu-speaking.

“They were last seen in the Tank Frontier Region and near the Jundola tribal region,” Baloch said. “It is yet to be confirmed whether the Swiss couple was kidnapped by Taliban or any other organisation.”

Full report at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/210680/tracking-kidnapped-foreigners-abducted-swiss-couple-in-fata/

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Mumbai blasts: IM operative's Bengal link being probed

July 16, 2011

Maharashtra's Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) has contacted its counterparts in West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh seeking help in tracing an Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative who went underground post the triple bombings, an official said here Saturday.

The operative, reportedly identified as Abdullah, is believed to have recruited several youths into the IM -- a home-grown Islamist terrorist group -- since early this year and was in touch with some people in Karachi, the official from the state police, requesting anonymity, told IANS.

The security agencies have been examining the role of all known and unknown terror groups or their sleeper cells around the country and the operative's sudden disappearance from the security agencies radar is being viewed with suspicion.

The authorities have sought details of passenger reservation charts of trains on the Kolkata-Mumbai and Kanpur-Mumbai routes in the past few weeks.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/353571/Mumbai-blasts-IM-operatives-Bengal-link-being-probed.html

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No help request from India on Mumbai attack: US

July 16, 2011

The United States has not received any request of help from India on its investigations of the Mumbai terrorist attack this week, a State Department official said today.

"My understanding is that we did offer assistance, but it's not been formally requested. If that change, we'll let you know," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference.

Earlier, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had offered US assistance in the investigations of the July 13 Mumbai blasts that left 18 people dead and over 100 injured.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/353574/No-help-request-from-India-on-Mumbai-attack-US.html

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Blow hot, blow cold: Pakistan, US say ties on track after spat

Chidanand Rajghatta

Jul 16, 2011

WASHINGTON: The US and Pakistan pronounced that their intelligence cooperation was back on track after a flurry of exchanges to arrest a deteriorating relationship in the wake of continuing mistrust in Washington over the Pakistani military's bonafides in the fight against terror, and anger in Islamabad over cavalier US attitude.

Pakistan's top spook, ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha, flew to Washington DC for meetings with the acting CIA Director Mike Morrell even as the agency's Director-designate Gen. David Petraeus met with the Pakistani military chief Gen.Pervez Kayani in Pakistan. The precise details of the exchanges were not disclosed , but officials from both sides expressed satisfaction at the results in talks aimed at restoring a modicum of civility and normalcy in a relationship that has gone rapidly downhill in recent weeks.

US officials made no reference to recent allegations about the Pakistani military continuing to be in cahoots with terrorist groups or the Pakistani government "sanctioning" the murder of a journalist as they conveyed that the talks "went very well." The two sides agreed on a number of steps that will improve Pakistani and U.S national security, an unnamed official said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Blow-hot-blow-cold-Pakistan-US-say-ties-on-track-after-spat/articleshow/9243511.cms

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Mullah Omar, headscarves & bizarre Af talks: A female Lawmaker

Jul 16, 2011

KABUL: Afghanistan's complex and often confusing business of talks with the Taliban took a surprisingly dramatic turn this week when a female lawmaker told a news conference she had recently met the militant group's leader, Mullah Omar, who agreed to make peace.

Despite questions of credibility, the large turnout to Thursday's unusual event, which included representatives from Western embassies, highlights the somewhat desperate nature of peace talks as foreign powers look for an exit from the war.

Homa Sultani, a former rights activist and now an MP from Ghazni, a volatile province southwest of Kabul, said she had met the reclusive Omar some 150 km from the capital and that they had wept together over the country's plight.

Omar then sat down on Sultani's headscarf which she had placed on the floor in front of him, she said, before the one-eyed fugitive leader accepted her proposal to act as his lone mediator for peace.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Mullah-Omar-headscarves-bizarre-Af-talks/articleshow/9243462.cms

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United Nations drops sanctions against 14 ex-Afghan Taliban

Jul 16, 2011

UNITED NATIONS: The UN committee that oversees the Taliban blacklist dropped 14 names on Friday at the Afghan government's urging, including several members of the peace council that President Hamid Karzai formed to find a political solution to the country's insurgency.

The Afghan government had asked the sanctions committee to drop up to 50 former Taliban leaders from its list, and provided extensive documentation aimed at showing they have since been reintegrated into society. Removing sanctions against former Afghan Taliban, including a travel ban and assets freeze, is seen as key to promoting dialogue.

"The Security Council and the international community support the efforts of the Afghan government to engage reconciled Taliban in a political dialogue in order to achieve peace and security in Afghanistan," said German Ambassador Peter Wittig, who chairs the Security Council committee that oversees those sanctions.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/United-Nations-drops-sanctions-against-14-ex-Afghan-Taliban/articleshow/9243628.cms

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World recognizes Libyan opposition

By SIRAJ WAHAB

Jul 16, 2011

ISTANBUL: In a major setback for Muammar Qaddafi, a large bloc of the international community recognized Friday the opposition National Transitional Council (NTC) as the nation’s only legitimate body.

The 40-nation International Contact Group on Libya, which also has representatives from the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab League and the African Union, announced the decision during a meeting in Istanbul. Qaddafi now faces near complete isolation.

“We have agreed to recognize the NTC as the only legitimate voice of the Libyan people,” Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the United States also joined more than 30 countries in extending diplomatic recognition to the Benghazi-based NTC.

“The United States views the Qaddafi regime as no longer having any legitimate authority in Libya,” she said. “And so I am announcing today that, until an interim authority is in place, the United States will recognize the NTC as the legitimate governing authority for Libya, and we will deal with it on that basis.”

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article472573.ece

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Violence in Yemen leaves 10 dead; protests persist

Jul 15, 2011

SANAA, Yemen: At least 10 Yemenis were killed Friday in fighting between government forces and tribesmen seeking to oust President Ali Abdullah Saleh, officials said, raising fears about a collapse of security during a popular uprising in the Arab world’s poorest country.

The violence began when armed tribesmen attacked a military convoy, killing a colonel and two of his aides near Sharab, 12 miles (20 kilometers) northwest of Taiz, security officials said. Hours later, the Yemeni army fired tank and artillery shells into Taiz, killing at least seven civilians and wounding more than 30 others, according to medical officials.

Yemen’s army has been shelling the outskirts of Taiz, Yemen’s second-largest city, to try to dislodge the tribesmen who have joined forces with anti-government protesters.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article472582.ece

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India-US talks on July 13 to discuss Mumbai blasts

Jul 16, 2011

NEW DELHI: Without going into the specifics, India said Friday the July 13 serial blasts in Mumbai would be discussed during the strategic dialogue with the US next week. US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and foreign minister S M Krishna are expected to discuss counter-terror measures during the dialogue on July 19.

"It will certainly come up as part of the ongoing exercise between the two countries to share intelligence on terror. We will see if this can be of any help in the Mumbai blasts," said government sources, even though they added that it can't be said with certainty that the blasts originated from outside India.

Top US counter-terrorism officials, including US director of national intelligence James R. Clapper and deputy secretary at the department of homeland security Jane Holl Lute, are among those accompanying Clinton on her three-day visit that begins on Monday.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-US-talks-on-July-13-to-discuss-Mumbai-blasts/articleshow/9242395.cms

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India may take a beating in terror risk index again

Jul 16, 2011

MUMBAI: India's rankings which had improved in the World Terrorism Risk index during 2010 may again take a beating because of Wednesday's blasts.

A year back, India ranked sixth in the list of most dangerous countries. According to Maplecroft, a UK-based organization that measures global risks for companies and investors, the worst terrorist risk as on February 2010 was Iraq, followed by Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Lebanon and India. However, nine months later India's ranking had improved to 16 due to a fall in incidents. The world order in respect of terrorism also changed with Somalia being declared the most dangerous followed by Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanisatan, Palestine occupied territories, Colombia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-may-take-a-beating-in-terror-risk-index-again/articleshow/9242755.cms

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After 27 years in Pak jail, 'spy' seeks damages from govt

Jul 16, 2011

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday sought the Centre's response to Gopal Dass's plea seeking to be compensated for the 27 years he spent in a Pakistani prison on the charge of being an Indian spy.

A bench of Justices Markandey Katju and C K Prasad asked senior advocate Ashok Bhan to seek instructions within four weeks from the Union government on the plea of Dass, who alleged that the government had dumped him.

Initially the bench was reluctant to entertain the petition and said: "There are hundreds of people like you wrongly lodged in Pakistani jails. You can sue the Pakistan government."

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/After-27-years-in-Pak-jail-spy-seeks-damages-from-govt/articleshow/9242299.cms

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ISI chief Pasha meets CIA brass in bid to mend rift

July 16, 2011

S Rajagopalan

In a clear bid to mend the widening US-Pakistan rift over the operations against militants, ISI chief Lt. Gen. Shuja Pasha flew into Washington and held extensive consultations with the CIA’s top brass.

The discussions between Pasha and CIA’s acting director Michael Morell “went very well”, a US official said later. Without going into details, the official said the two spy chiefs “agreed on a number of steps that will improve Pakistani and US national security”.

A wire service quoted a Pakistani official as saying that both sides have agreed on the way forward in intelligence. The official went on to claim that Pasha’s visit “has put the intelligence component back on track completely”.

Some reports said a number of contentious issues figured in the “candid exchange of views” that the two top intelligence officials had. They included the increased US drone strikes and Pakistani demands for more intelligence sharing. Islamabad has been nursing a deep-seated grouse since the CIA kept it totally in the dark on the whole operation against Osama bin Laden.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/353415/ISI-chief-Pasha-meets-CIA-brass-in-bid-to-mend-rift.html

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First US troops begin to leave Afghanistan as drawdown starts

July 16, 2011

The first American soldiers of about 10,000 due to leave Afghanistan this year have flown home, military officials said on Friday, kicking off a gradual drawdown due to be completed in 2014.

US President Barack Obama in June announced that 33,000 American troops would leave Afghanistan by the end of next summer, leaving behind 65,000 and effectively ending a military surge ordered into the country late 2009.

Around 650 US army troops deployed northwest of the capital in the province of Parwan flew out on Wednesday and will not be replaced by an incoming unit, the US military confirmed on Friday.

“It’s correct that these soldiers are the first to redeploy from Afghanistan without being replaced by a new rotation of soldiers since the president’s announcement,” said US army press officer Major Michael Wunn.

US officers have said that a total of about 800 soldiers in two Army units will depart this month.The speed of the drawdown has been heavily criticised in Washington — liberals wanted more, Republican hawks complained it was too fast and top Pentagon officials felt snubbed for having much of their advice overruled.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/353412/First-US-troops-begin-to-leave-Afghanistan-as-drawdown-starts.html

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Osama's 'hit list' included Obama, kamikazi crash at sports event

Jul 16 2011

Washington: Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden had a hit list that included US President Barack Obama, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Commander David Petraeus and a major US sporting event, according to the treasure trove of intelligence found at his compound in Pakistan’s Abbottabad city.

US officials said that bin Laden was trying to hatch a plan to kill Obama by shooting down Air Force One or Marine One, the president’s plane and helicopter.

The Al-Qaeda chief also hoped to kill Petraeus the same way, either in a helicopter or fixed wing airplane with a missile or rocket propelled grenade.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/818286/

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Pak’s minister for gaffes strikes again

By Badar Alam in Karachi

PAKISTAN’S interior minister Rehman Malik has the unenviable talent of putting his foot in the mouth, quite a lot more than the country’s other political leaders of his generation.

A couple of days ago, he expounded the theory that 70 per cent of the murders taking place in Karachi were family affairs.

“ According to my personal experience, if, say, 100 people died in target killings in Karachi, I carried out investigations and discovered that the target killings were only 30… Seventy per cent were those who wanted to get rid of their wives or girlfriends and girlfriends who wanted to get rid of their boyfriends. All the figures are with me…,” Malik had proclaimed.

It was just the latest instance of his explaining a macabre issue in a frivolous manner. On May 22, when a naval base in Karachi had come under a deadly terrorist attack, he was unable to suppress the film buff within while discussing the incident with the media. He said the attackers were wearing “ western clothes, had small beards and three of them had sharp features”. Then followed the funny part: “ They were dressed in black clothes, like the villains do in movies… They were dressed like Star Wars characters.” At the same media briefing, Malik came up with a rather bizarre reason for the attack.

Full report at: Mail Today

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IB suspects new IM cell behind attacks

Jul 16, 2011

Two days after three explosions rocked Mumbai, the Centre’s intelligence agencies — which have been examining various theories — suspect that a new module of the Indian Mujahideen called Bullet 313 might have carried out the attack.

Union home secretary R.K. Singh, however, said on Friday that no particular group had been zeroed in on as yet.

But while the home ministry says there were no specific intelligence inputs warning of possible blasts, officials of Central agencies, including the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing, say that they had received inputs earlier about the formation of a new module of the terror outfit.

IB sources said that last year they had got information about the formation of Bullet 313, and also got the names of its operatives. “It is likely that this outfit may have carried out Wednesday’s blasts,” a source said.

He added that the agency had identified three alleged cadres handling Bullet 313, and that the IB had also prepared a detailed report on it.

Two international calls — one from the United Arab Emirates and one from Saudi Arabia — intercepted by the intelligence agencies on the night of the blasts are also being probed further. “Electronic surveillance is on,” a senior official said.

The Union home secretary said the two-wheeler in which the explosive material was planted at one of the three blast sites had been identified. Mr Singh also said several people were being questioned on the basis of their “previous known linkages”. He added: “Suspicious people are being verified. Various people with previous known linkages are being questioned. This investigation is on.”

Full report at: http://www.asianage.com/india/ib-suspects-new-im-cell-behind-attacks-078

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Bahrain opposition may pull out of talks

16 July 2011

DUBAI — Tens of thousands of people took part on Friday in a gathering of Bahrain’s opposition bloc, which is considering withdrawing from a national dialogue, the group said.

The meeting of the Islamic National Accord Association (Al Wefaq) at Bilad Al Qadim near the capital Manama was attended by “around 50,000 people”, the group’s Khalil Al Marzuk said.

He is a former MP and head of its delegation at the national dialogue.

In a speech, Al Wefaq chief Sheikh Ali Salman reiterated its demand for “radical reform centring on a government elected by the people and a parliament with full legislative powers.”

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/July/middleeast_July361.xml&section=middleeast

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Ahead of Iran visit: Saudi envoy meets President Zardari

July 16, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Pakistan Abdul Aziz Ibrahim Al-Ghadeer met with President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday, a day ahead of the president’s visit to Iran.

While an official statement only said that the ambassador discussed bilateral relations and regional affairs, the timing of the visit is made significant by the fact that it comes just ahead of the president’s trip to Tehran on Saturday (today).

Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia have been strained since the 1979 Iranian revolution and have taken a turn for the worse during the recent political upheaval in the Middle East. Iran has fully supported the uprising against Bahrain’s monarch while Saudi Arabia has been concerned by the instability in its neighbourhood.

Saudi Arabia has, in the past, conveyed its concerns to Pakistan when it felt that Islamabad was drifting too close to Tehran. In recent weeks, President Zardari has quietly ignored such protests, attending an anti-terrorism summit in Tehran despite Saudi objections.

Friday’s meeting was also attended by Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who had been sent by the president to Riyadh last time where the Saudis expressed reservations about the ties between Islamabad and Tehran.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/210684/ahead-of-iran-visit-saudi-envoy-meets-president-zardari/

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Pak-Afghan border: ‘Additional troops to be deployed’

By Islamuddin Sajid

July 16, 2011

PESHAWAR: Plans to deploy additional contingents of troops along the Pak-Afghan border have been finalised, army officials told a grand jirga in Upper Dir district.

The jirga was held in the Barawal Bandi area of Dir on Friday.

Operations Commander Lower and Upper Dir Brigadier Nadeem Mirza, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly member Anwar Khan, former provincial minister Inayatullah Khan, District Coordination Officer (DCO) Dir Ghulam Muhammad, District Police Officer (DPO) Mir Qasim Khan and elders belonging to different areas of Barawal tehsil were present during the meeting.

According to sources, elders of the area expressed concern over the volatile situation around the border and asked the army officials to take stern action against the militants to put an end to cross-border infiltration.

Full report at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/210834/pak-afghan-border-additional-troops-to-be-deployed/

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Cross-border militants: Afghan governor urges intelligence sharing

By Tahir Khan

July 16, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Governor of Afghanistan’s Kunar province, Fazalullah Waheedi, on Friday denied charges that Pakistani Taliban militants had established bases in Afghanistan and invited the Pakistan government to share information about their presence in the country’s border regions.

Pakistan Army spokesperson Major General Athar Abbas on Thursday had said that Afghanistan’s eastern provinces of Kunar and Nuristan have become a sanctuary for attacks into Pakistan by a host of Pakistani militant groups and their leaders. General Abbas told BBC Urdu that these groups are now conducting cross-border raids into Pakistan.

Governor Waheedi, however, denied these claims saying that the Pakistani Taliban have not established bases in Afghanistan. “These people are not in Afghanistan and if found, we will take action against them,” Waheedi told The Express Tribune via phone.

General Abbas had also said that Taliban leader from Swat, Maulana Fazlullah, deputy chief Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Maulvi Faqir Muhammad, Taliban leader from Mohmand Agency, Abdul Wali and TTP Chief Hakeemullah are now operating from border regions in Afghanistan. Maulvi Faqir and Maulvi Fazalulah had confirmed their presence in Afghanistan in several media interviews while Faqir was interviewed by an Afghan journalist in Kunar last month.

Full report at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/210833/cross-border-militants-afghan-governor-urges-intelligence-sharing/

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Pasha assured of greater Pak role in Afghan talks

By Anwar Iqbal

According to sources, intelligence cooperation, reconciliation in Afghanistan and the dispute over visas dominated the talks during Lt-Gen Shuja Pasha’s one-day stay in the US capital. – File Photo by APP

WASHINGTON: During the ISI chief’s meetings in Washington, senior US officials have assured Pakistan of a greater role in the Afghan reconciliation process, diplomatic sources told Dawn.

According to these sources, intelligence cooperation, reconciliation in Afghanistan and the dispute over visas dominated the talks during Lt-Gen Shuja Pasha’s one-day stay in the US capital.

The two issues highlighted by the media – restoration of US military aid to Pakistan and the release of a Pakistani helper of the CIA – were not discussed, the sources said.

(Reuters quoted a US official as having said “the discussions today between General Pasha and the acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency went very well. They agreed on a number of steps that will improve Pakistani and US national security”. A senior official at the Pakistani embassy in Washington said: “Both sides were able to agree on the way forward in intelligence. This visit has put the intelligence component back on track completely. We have had difficulties since May 2 operation in Abbottabad. Those difficulties are being addressed”).

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/16/pasha-assured-of-greater-pak-role-in-afghan-talks.html

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Saudi banks take out campaign to educate customers about hackers

By IBRAHIM NAFFEE

Jul 16, 2011

JEDDAH: Saudi commercial banks have decided to increase their dose of enlightening customers against hackers who try to penetrate their accounts using the most advanced technological methods, according to banking experts.

A report published recently by Al-Riyadh newspaper said the banks receive more than 4,800 complaints ann-ually against computer banking fraud operations.

Saudi Arabia tops the Arab world in the number of customers using e-banking operations. According to experts more than 12 million customers make banking operations worth more than SR468 billion on the Internet annually. They said the figure was registered last year and it was the highest in the Arab world.

According to unconfirmed reports, electronic piracy in the banking system amounts to more than $1 billion in Arab countries. The experts said the level of computer piracy was increasing with the rapid technological progress.

In this connection, Talaat Hafiz, an expert on banking awareness, said the increasing use of e-banking operations has led Saudi banks to raise their awareness campaign to customers.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article472462.ece

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Arab stocks suffer from Greek and Italian debt debacle

By ABDUL JALIL MUSTAFA

Jul 15, 2011

AMMAN: Arab stock markets lost ground last week as investors came under negative impact from global recovery worries, Europe’s debt ordeal and the persistent political turmoil in the Middle East, financial analysts said.

The summer vacations and the approaching holy month of Ramdan, tentatively set to start on August 1, have also contributed to the slump of regional bourses, they added.

”I believe Arab markets, particularly in the Gulf area, continue to suffer from the Greek and Italian debt debacle, concerns over the world economic recovery and the ongoing Arab revolts,” Wajdi Makhamreh, CEO of the Amman-based Noor Investments brokerage, told Arab News.

He, however, expected regional stocks to make benefit in the medium and long terms from the semi-annual earnings, high oil prices and the huge public spending in GCC countries.

Saudi shares were volatile last week as investors evaluated the second quarter earnings declared so far.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/economy/article472534.ece

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Egyptians extend protests at Tahrir Square

By EDMUND BLAIR

sJul 15, 2011

CAIRO: Egyptians gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday, after a week of demonstrations, to tell the ruling generals they are failing to meet demands to reform the system.

But the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s most organized group, said it was not participating and said the authorities must have time to respond to demands first made at a mass rally last week.

The split partly reflects caution in the Brotherhood, banned under ousted President Hosni Mubarak, about riling the army under which it now has unprecedented freedom.

Analysts said it also indicates the gap between the Brotherhood’s cautious approach and a new generation of activists, who are less well established but determined to keep up the pressure.

“The youth reject the language of threats used by the Supreme Council (for the Armed Forces), and reject that this is the way for dialogue,” said Mohamed Adel of the April 6 movement, which has been calling for a big turnout on Friday.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article472552.ece

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Egyptians protest against slow pace of reform

16 July 2011

CAIRO — Thousands of protesters rallied across Egypt on Friday, capping a week of nationwide sit-ins to demand political change as anger grows with the military rulers over the slow pace of reform.

More than 28 movements had called for the rallies to pressure the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) — which took power when President Hosni Mubarak was toppled — to respond to their demands.

In Cairo, thousands of demonstrators crowded into Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the protest movement that overthrew Mubarak in February and where hundreds have been staging a sit-in for a week.

A preacher who gave the sermon at the Friday noon prayer in the square called for speedy trials of policemen responsible for the deaths of protesters during the 18-day revolt and led a funeral prayer for them, the official MENA news agency reported.

In the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, around 5,000 people broke off from the main rally at Qaed Ibrahim Square to protest outside the police headquarters where they called for Interior Minister Mansur Essawy to resign.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/July/middleeast_July358.xml&section=middleeast

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US: Somalia food crisis one of biggest in decades

07/15/2011

East Africa's worsening famine is one of the largest humanitarian crises in decades, a U.S. State Department official said Friday, pledging "significant" aid despite the debt ceiling impasse being debated in Washington.

The U.S. already has pledged $5 million to help Somali refugees on top of a previously budgeted $63 million. Reuben E. Brigety, who is responsible for State Department assistance to refugees and conflict victims in Africa, said Washington is now studying how much more it will give.

"A great nation can do more than one thing at the same time and that is what we the United States will continue to do even in the context of the financial challenges that we are facing," said Brigety, an assistant deputy secretary.

Tens of thousands of Somali refugees are flooding camps in Ethiopia and Kenya in search of food after several seasons without rain decimated livestock and killed crops in Somalia.

Full report at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/07/15/us-somalia-food-crisis-one-biggest-decades.html

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Campaigners seek arrest of former CIA legal chief over Pakistan drone attacks

15 July 2011

The CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Photograph: Danita Delimont/Getty Images/Gallo Images

Campaigners against US drone strikes in Pakistan are calling for the CIA's former legal chief to be arrested and charged with murder for approving attacks that killed hundreds of people.

Amid growing concern around the world over the use of drones, lawyers and relatives of some of those killed are seeking an international arrest warrant for John Rizzo, until recently acting general counsel for the American intelligence agency.

Opponents of drones say the unmanned aircraft are responsible for the deaths of up to 2,500 Pakistanis in 260 attacks since 2004. US officials say the vast majority of those killed are "militants". Earlier this week 48 people were killed in two strikes on tribal regions of Pakistan. The American definition of "militant" has been disputed by relatives and campaigners.

The attempt to seek an international arrest warrant for Rizzo is being led by the British human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith of the campaign group Reprieve, and lawyers in Pakistan. The lawyers are also building cases against other individuals, including drone operators interviewed or photographed during organised press facilities.

Full report at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/15/cia-usa

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/makkah--burned-by-father,-girl,-5,-traumatized;-court-refused-her-mother’s-divorce-request-earlier/d/5040


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