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Islamic World News ( 20 Jun 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Malaysia Sends Special Rep to Meet Indian Prime Minister Over Insults against Prophet Muhammad and Syedna Aishah RA, Says Foreign Minister

New Age Islam News Bureau

20 June 2022


Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah


• Criminalise Insulting the Prophets and Messengers, Imam of Masjid al-Haram in Mecca Appeals World Nations and International Organisations

• ‘Islamophobia Worse’ Five Years after Deadly Van Attack at London Finsbury Park Mosque

• Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf: Spiralling Inflation Can Make Us Next Sri Lanka

• Houthis Slammed For Indoctrinating and Recruiting Children at Summer Camps


Southeast Asia

• Report Inappropriate, Deviant Islamic ‘Medical’ Practices Found Online, Says Malaysian Religious Affairs Minister

• Time to recognise refugees’ rights, Umno vice-president tells govt

• Why so long to decriminalise suicide, says Befrienders

• Afghan-born champion sustains hope for refugees stranded in Indonesia through karate


Arab World

• Iraq: Sunni, Kurdish parties hold off talks to persuade Sadr to return to parliament

• Truce ends clashes among Turkey-backed rebels in northwest Syria

• Iran responds to UAE concerns over Tehran’s nuclear plans

• UAE sends 27 tons of food, medical aid to Ukraine refugees in Poland

• Turkish forces ‘neutralize’ 4 PKK terrorists in northern Syria

• Houthi: Continued Saudi-led blockade amounts to deliberate crime against Yemenis



• Memorial service at London mosque honours worshipper killed in terror attack

• Türkiye to reiterate its demands from Sweden, Finland amid their NATO bids

• Türkiye gives Norwegians 'temporary' permission to enter with national ID cards



• Pakistan Faces Inflows of Asylum Seekers Following the Taliban’s Takeover of Kabul: UN Refugee Agency

• 6 terrorists killed in clash with security forces in SW Pakistan

• Eager to get off ‘grey list’, Pakistan trying for early FATF on-site visit

• No deal yet with IMF for revival of loan programme

• Four social activists among six killed in North Waziristan



• Hamas: We stand against Israel’s settlement plans to preserve Islamic identity of al-Quds

• Palestinian Authority calls on Israel to hand over gun in Abu Akleh case

• Senior Lawmaker: Europeans Merely Follow US Policies in Talks with Iran

• Iran hangs extremist accused of murdering Shia clerics

• Israel’s PM warns Iran: Those who send ‘terrorists’ to attack Israelis will pay price

• Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces: Palestinian ministry

• Israeli president thanks Turkish counterpart for Ankara’s efforts in combatting terrorism



• Need To Work Together For a Crime-Free Border, India Tells Bangladesh

• K M Shaji’s Tirade against NRI Businessman Yusuffali Creates Ripples in Muslim League

• Muslim Boy Lived and Studied In PM Modi's Family Home

• India clears emergency visas for 111 Afghan Hindus, Sikhs, hours after Kabul Gurudwara attack

• Four terrorists neutralised in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara, search operations underway

• Jammu and Kashmir: Terrorist killed in Pulwama encounter


South Asia

• Peace Talks Between Pakistan Govt and TTP in Kabul Will Yield Good Results: Taliban Spokesman

• Rohingya Muslim Refugees in Bangladesh Demand Repatriation

• US biggest obstacle to international recognition of Taliban: Spokesman

• Two killed as explosion hits car in Kabul

• Hostile Treatment in India Forcing Rohingya Influx In Bangladesh

• Traffic Accident in South-Western Afghanistan Kills Five People

• “Afghan Invest” Company Inaugurates with a $250M Capital in Kabul

• Armed Robbers Kill a University Lecturer in Eastern Afghanistan



• Algerian Elite Praises Constant Promotion Of Islamic Revolution

• Rabat urges ‘fair trial’ for Moroccan facing Ukraine war death penalty

• Witnesses say more than 200 killed in Ethiopia ethnic attack

• Tunisian judges extend strike to protest president’s policies


North America

• Biden Rebuked For Asking Israel to Halt Violence against Palestinians until After His Visit

• CENTCOM and Pentagon approved Israeli airstrikes in Syria

• Iran’s torpedoes can severely damage US navy aircraft carriers: American publication

• Israeli regime secretly coordinates Syria airstrikes with US: Report

• US military expands bases in eastern Syria, reinforces them with air systems
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Malaysia Sends Special Rep to Meet Indian Prime Minister Over Insults against Prophet Muhammad and Syedna Aishah RA, Says Foreign Minister


Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah


19 Jun 2022

KUANTAN, June 19 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has sent his special representative to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to personally convey to the government, Malaysia’s views over the insults against Prophet Muhammad SAW.

In addition, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah said the Foreign Ministry summoned India’s High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur on June 7, to convey Malaysia’s protest over the incident.

“So far, it is understood that the special envoy has not been able to hold an official meeting with the Prime Minister of India. The move was to ensure that our views are conveyed personally to the highest authorities in India,” he told a press conference after attending the Twenty’s Talk Hi-Tea Programme, here today.

Elaborating, Saifuddin, who is also Indera Mahkota MP, said the Indian government took swift action as the two politicians from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who insulted the Prophet were removed from their government positions.

“I was at the Asean-India Foreign Ministers Special Meeting on June 16 and the next day I attended a bilateral meeting with Indian Foreign Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankardi where I had the opportunity to convey the views of the Malaysian government on this issue.

“He (Dr. Subrahmanyam) said the derogatory remarks did not represent India’s stand and we agreed that both parties need to find a way to resolve it in a better way if the matter is repeated in future,” he said.

Recently two members of BJP, India’s ruling party, issued statements that insulted Prophet Muhammad SAW and his wife Syedna Aishah RA.

The matter had sparked outrage among the Muslim Ummah, especially in West Asia, who have condemned the action, causing several shopping malls to boycott Indian products. — Bernama

Source: Malay Mail

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Criminalise Insulting the Prophets and Messengers, Imam of Masjid al-Haram in Mecca Appeals World Nations and International Organisations


The preacher of the Grand Mosque, Abdullah Awad Al Juhany,


Insulting Prophets must be dealt with law, says Grand Mosque preacher

June 19, 2022

The preacher of the Grand Mosque, Abdullah Awad Al Juhany, appealed to the countries of the world and international organizations to criminalise insulting the prophets and messengers.

In his Friday sermon, Al-Juhany stressed that “insulting the prophets and messengers is a crime, and Muslims’ condemnation of this abuse must be dealt with the law.”

He said, “Criminal attempts to offend the Messenger, (PBUH), and the Mother of the Believers, Aisha (RA), will not harm the Islamic religion.”

He stressed, "The greatest support for the Prophet (PBUH) is to spread his virtues, publicize his biography, and broadcast the values and teachings of Islam."

During the past few days, the statements offensive to the Prophet aroused widespread condemnation around the world, both at the official and popular levels.

On June 6, the United Nations urged "respect for and tolerance of all religions," in statements to the spokesman for the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Stephane Dujarric.

In the UAE, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) affirmed the UAE's firm rejection of all practices and behaviours that contradict moral and human values and principles.

The Ministry underscored the need to respect religious symbols and not violate them, as well as confront hate speech and violence.

The Ministry also noted the importance of strengthening the shared international responsibility to spread the values of tolerance and human coexistence while preventing any practices that would inflame the sentiment of followers of different religions.

Source: Gulf Today

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‘Islamophobia Worse’ Five Years after Deadly Van Attack at London Finsbury Park Mosque


File picture of Ruzina Akhtar, the daughter of Makram Ali, who died in the Finsbury Park attack five years ago. Photograph: Sally Wardle/PA


Clea Skopeliti

19 Jun 2022

The chair of the Finsbury Park mosque in north London has warned that Islamophobia has intensified since the 2017 terror attack in the area, as dozens gathered to remember the man who was killed five years ago.

Makram Ali, 51, was killed on 19 June 2017 when Darren Osborne drove a rented van into worshippers gathered outside the nearby Muslim Welfare House soon after evening Ramadan prayers. Twelve others were injured.

The mosque’s chairman, Mohammed Kozbar, said Muslims still do not feel safe in the UK. “The problem we are facing is that since this attack took place not much has changed in tackling Islamophobia,” he said.

Kozbar said he remembered Theresa May, who was prime minister at the time, promising to take action “to tackle this disease which causes Islamophobia”. However, five years on, he said, “we don’t have a definition of Islamophobia”.

He said the situation for Muslims in the UK has deteriorated further, pointing to “the institutionalisation of Islamophobia” by the government and some parts of the media. “We as Muslims are still feeling the effects of this attack and we won’t feel safe until Islamophobia is taken seriously by the authorities and the police,” he said.

Ali’s daughter Ruzina Akhtar was among those at the memorial service. She said that as a Muslim woman, she wanted everyone “to voice any Islamophobic behaviour as it still exists, so it is tackled right away”.

She remembered her father as “a compassionate husband, a loving father and doting grandfather who was adored by everyone”.

“Our dad was first and foremost one of the most gentle human beings you could have met, who always had a smile on his face and was cracking jokes at the most random of times to make others laugh,” Akhtar said.

“His death has left a black hole but remembering his smile and laughter we surround that hole with more love for one another, as he would have wanted.”

Flowers were laid at a plaque reading “Makram Ali – a husband, a father and beloved grandfather to his dearest Zarif and Seyam”.

Osborne was sentenced to concurrent whole life terms in 2018 for the murder of Ali and the attempted murders of other people. The judge, Justice Cheema-Grubb, said his choice to target a group wearing traditional Islamic dress reflected his “ideology of hate towards Muslims”.

Source: The Guardian

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Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf: Spiralling Inflation Can Make Us Next Sri Lanka


Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan


Ikram Junaidi

June 20, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan warned that inflation is set to rise further and the country is headed towards becoming the next Sri Lanka, which is suffering its worst economic crisis since independence.

Addressing party workers across the country through video link, Mr Khan asked people to take to the streets against inflation “for their own good” and ramp up their struggle against the “imported government”.

PTI workers and supporters took to the streets in various cities across the country to protest against rising inflation on Mr Khan’s call.

At various protest sites, screens were installed for his online address that he delivered a little after 10pm.

Says PTI wants not just elections, but free and fair elections; claims conspiracy against PTI govt hampered economy

“I have called you to protest against price hike as it is in your own favour. The poor class, including salaried people, farmers and labourers, will suffer more because of the inflation. I will again give you a call for the protest, which will be continued until we get the date of the free and transparent election,” he said. “We do not want just elections. We want free and fair elections.”

He said the current government was claiming that Imran Khan had laid landmines, but the fact was that the PTI had increased petrol and diesel prices by just a few rupees while the incumbent rulers had raised it by more than Rs100.

Rejecting the notion that the recent price hikes were because of the International Monetary Fund’s programme, Mr Khan said the current government had been in the IMF programme for the last two weeks, but the PTI government was in the programme for the last two and a half years.

“We also got instructions by the IMF to increase prices, but we instead reduced the price of petrol by Rs10,” he said.

The former prime minister said the economy was in abysmal condition due to which international ratings of the country and its institutions had been downgraded, which would make it unable to get loans for dams.

Mr Khan also claimed that Finance Minister Miftah Ismail had asked for “relief” from the US envoy stationed in Islamabad.

“We took the remittances to $31bn and exports to $32bn. But then a conspiracy was hatched by Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq which hampered the economy,” he said.

“I contacted the neutrals and tried to convince them that it was not the right time to bring a new regime as they cannot control the issues and handle the economy,” Mr Khan said, using a euphemism to refer to the military.

“Khurram Dastgir has confessed that they have come to power because of the fear that [the then opposition] would have been sent to the jail by Imran Khan,” the PTI chief said.

Countrywide protests

The PTI protests were held in all major cities, including Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Multan. The demonstrations are also being held in other cities of the country.

On Thursday, the PTI chief called on citizens to hold protests across the country on Sunday against the “imported” government.

In Lahore, a large number of protesters, including women and children, reached the Liberty Chowk, where a mega electronic screen was installed to display Mr Khan’s speech.

Speaking on the occasion, PTI central Punjab president Dr Yasmin Rashid and general secretary Hammad Azhar said the flood of inflation had pushed the poor masses to commit suicide as they could hardly make ends meet.

In Karachi, too, hundreds of PTI workers and supporters congregated on Shahrah-e-Qauideen to join the countrywide demonstrations.

Led by former Sindh governor Imran Ismail, PTI’s Sindh president Ali Zaidi, senior leaders and legislators, the charged protesters, including women and children, chanted slogans and danced to party songs.

In Peshawar, many PTI workers gathered at Hashtnagri Chowk. A 20-foot screen was installed at the site to show Mr Khan’s speech. Former Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, MNA Arbab Aamir Ayub, KP Environment Minister Ishtiaq Urmar and female MPAs were also present on the occasion.

NA-240 by-polls

Earlier on Sunday, the PTI chairman contacted the party’s provincial leaderships in Sindh and Punjab over incidents of violence and the arrest of an MPA in Karachi and Lahore.

He also demanded that the NA-240 by-election be declared null and void, claiming that only eight per cent of the voters used the right to vote.

Mr Khan, who was ousted as prime minister earlier this year through a vote of no confidence in parliament, contacted PTI Sindh president Ali Zaidi and former governor Imran Ismail through telephone and inquired about the arrest of MPA Shabbir Qureshi in Karachi.

He also spoke to party leader Khalid Gujjar in Lahore and asked about his son, who was injured because of firing allegedly by PML-N workers.

While condemning the Sindh and Punjab police for the incidents, Mr Khan said the police did not take such steps in a democratic country.

Meanwhile, while chairing a meeting of the party’s political committee, Imran Khan said the Election Commission of Pakistan had failed to hold a peaceful and transparent election in just one constituency.

One person was killed and nine were injured due to violence on the election day, which was also marred by low turnout.

“Only 8pc people have cast their vote, which clearly indicates that they don’t trust the current electoral system. It is strange that the election commission has not declared the result of the election null and void. I demand that the election should be held again,” Mr Khan said.

According to a report submitted to the party chairman, the turnout in the June 16 by-poll was less than 9pc, as only 39,729 of the 529,855 registered people cast their votes. The report also claimed that most political parties had refused to accept the election results.

Dastgir’s ‘confession’

Lashing out at the government for back-breaking inflation, PTI leader and Mr Khan’s chief of staff Shahbaz Gill demanded that a judicial commission should be formed to probe the statement of PML-N leader Khurram Dastgir, “who tried to drag the military into politics”.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday, he said the reality of a cipher came to the fore after Khurram Dastgir’s “confession”, which had also exposed the government that it “conspired” to oust the PTI government earlier this year to secure an NRO 2 and not for the country’s betterment.

He said that Mr Dastagir should be asked as to why he had concerns about the change of the army chief, adding that the “thieves” knew that Imran Khan had come close to their accountability and therefore “they conspired and ganged up against him”.

He said the power minister tried to drag the army into politics and action should be taken against him.

Imran Ayub in Karachi, Mansoor Malik in Lahore and Manzoor Ali in Peshawar also contributed to this report

Source: Dawn

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Houthis Slammed For Indoctrinating and Recruiting Children at Summer Camps


A 17 year-old boy holds his weapon at the High dam in Marib, Yemen, July 30, 2018. (AP)


June 19, 2022

AL-MUKALLA: Yemeni government officials, human rights groups, and child protection advocates have called for international action to force the Iran-backed Houthis to stop indoctrinating and recruiting children for battle.

They warned that those recruited by the militia would become radical fighters who would undermine security in Yemen, the region, and the rest of the world.

Their warnings and demands came as fresh videos leaked from Houthi-managed summer camps showed the militia subjecting children to endurance activities and training them to use arms.

Yemeni Information Minister Muammar Al-Eryani accused the Houthis of extensively enlisting children in areas under their control through annual summer camps where they brainwashed children, gave them military lessons, and later dispatched them to fight government troops.

“Houthi militia escalates child recruitment & pushing them to frontlines amid a surprising & unjustified Intl silence, & failure of human rights & child protection orgs to play their role in condemning this heinous crime, and stopping the mass killing of Yemeni children,” he tweeted, sharing a “shocking” video of children as young as 10 being trained at one of the camps.

He warned that they would go on to fuel violence in Yemen and undermine UN-brokered efforts to reach a sustainable peace settlement in the country.

Last month, the Houthis launched their annual summer camps for children across densely populated areas under their control.

Thousands are said to have joined the camps, where they are taught to correctly recite the Qur'an, receive Islamic lessons, and taught how to confront false ideas from the West, according to the Houthis.

But videos leaked from the camps or those that appear on Houthi–controlled media show the children being prepared for fighting.

In one of the videos, a Houthi man in a classroom teaches children as young as 10 how to use an AK-47. The man can be seen handing the weapon over to children, who take turns trying it out.

Children in other videos are seen pledging their allegiance to the Houthi leader Abdul Malik Al-Houthi and vowing to fight his opponents inside and outside the country.

The images of young children carrying weapons or chanting hate slogans sparked outrage among Yemenis who called for the Houthis to be punished for violating international child protection charters and exploiting the UN-brokered truce to swell their ranks with young fighters.

“The Houthis continue to violate the rights of children in Yemen. This Houthi teaches students to use weapons in order to push them to the fronts,” said Yemeni activist Nadia Abdullah.

Yemeni journalist Ahmed Al-Mosibly called the Houthi summer camps “time bombs” that prepared some people to kill others and serve Iran’s agendas in Yemen. “Unfortunately, there are still parties inside and outside the country that are not well aware of the danger of the Iranian expansionist project,” he tweeted.

Yemeni journalist Ammar Zabal, who was a media officer at a Saudi-funded child soldier rehabilitation center in Marib, met young Houthi fighters.

He told Arab News the influence of Houthi indoctrination lessons had made some children hate the community and the Yemenis who opposed the movement.

“The influence of the toxic Houthi thoughts on those children is huge,” Zabal said.

Ahmed Al-Qurashi, director of the SEYAJ Organization for the Protection of Children, told Arab News that child recruitment in Yemen had accelerated during the past few months despite the truce and extensive efforts to strike a deal to end the war. He warned that the child soldiers recruited today would become veteran fighters who would undermine regional and international security.

“The increasing recruitment of children in Yemen is evidence that all initiatives and proposals to protect children have failed. It also shows the failure of the UN initiatives, including an agreement with the Houthis regarding stopping the recruitment of children in fighting,” Al-Qurashi said.

Source: Arab News

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Southeast Asia

 Report Inappropriate, Deviant Islamic ‘Medical’ Practices Found Online, Says Malaysian Religious Affairs Minister

19 Jun 2022

TAIPING, June 19 — Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Idris Ahmad has called on members of the public to report any Islamic medical practices found online that are inappropriate and considered deviant.

He said such reports were necessary to enable investigations and action to be taken against the perpetrators.

“We hope that if there are any medical practices that violate religious beliefs (with practices) such as (casting) spells, do not wait for the religious office and report it directly to the state Islamic Religious Department, police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

“We do not want the matter to spread to the point of causing trouble,” he said during a press conference at the ‘Bantu Rakyat’ mobile sales programme for the Bukit Gantang parliamentary constituency in Kampung Kurnia Jaya, Kamunting here, today.

He was commenting on a statement yesterday by Penang Mufti Datuk Seri Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor who suggested that the Muzakarah Committee of the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs hold a meeting to discuss issues with regard to the current trend of online Islamic medical practices.

Earlier, Darussyifa Malaysia Research and Development Committee chief Datuk Abdul Rashid Mat Amin said the emergence of individuals who have allegedly committed fraud by imposing high charges and performing immoral acts such as molestation had tarnished the image of Islamic healthcare.

Source: Malay Mail

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Time to recognise refugees’ rights, Umno vice-president tells govt

June 20, 2022

PETALING JAYA: Umno vice-president Khaled Nordin has called for the government to recognise the fundamental rights of refugees living here, saying it is in line with Malaysia being an Islamic nation.

The former Johor menteri besar said refugees in Malaysia should have access to education, healthcare, and the freedom to move about safely, describing these as fundamental human rights.

“Let us strengthen our commitment to ensure that their rights and dignity are respected,” he said in a Facebook post in conjunction with World Refugee Day.

Khaled said there were currently almost 100 million refugees worldwide, most of whom were victims of armed conflicts and war.

He said that while Malaysia was not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, it did not mean that the government does not have a moral responsibility of guaranteeing the safety and well-being of refugees here.

He also stressed that refugees were not illegal immigrants but were, instead, victims of difficult circumstances that forced them to leave their homeland and families.

“In fact, most of the refugees seeking refuge in Malaysia are Muslims from Syria, Myanmar, Iraq and Afghanistan. All of them have no chance to return home safely,” he said.

Khaled said that based on their tragic situation, Malaysia has a moral obligation to ensure these refugees were treated with dignity and humanity.

“We are an Islamic country, and our religion teaches us to do good to our fellow human beings regardless of their status and origin.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Why so long to decriminalise suicide, says Befrienders

Dineskumar Ragu

June 19, 2022

GEORGE TOWN: Suicide prevention group Befrienders has questioned Putrajaya’s delay in making changes to the law so that suicide would no longer be a crime.

“Why is it taking them so long to come up with the amendment bill,” said the group’s president, Saras Pillai, at a public discussion here today.

She urged the government to speed up the amendments to the law, and hoped Putrajaya would involve Befrienders and other groups working on suicide prevention and mental health problems.

In March, law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said that a study on the proposed amendments to the Penal Code was almost ready and would be submitted to the Cabinet.

Under the Penal Code, an attempt to commit suicide is a criminal offence punishable by up to a year’s jail, or a fine, or both.

Neil Hawkins, head of Befrienders Worldwide, said creating an open discussion on suicide and mental health would help to overcome the sense of shame that still exists.

He said people in Britain were now opening up to talk about suicide and mental health without shame, stigma, and judgement.

Saras urged Malaysians to have an open discussion on suicide to allay some of the stigmas.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Afghan-born champion sustains hope for refugees stranded in Indonesia through karate

June 19, 2022

JAKARTA: Meena Asadi fought against all odds to chase her dreams of being a professional karate athlete.

She was 13 years old and living in a refugee camp in Pakistan when she first decided to learn the martial art. After fleeing violence in Afghanistan with her family, Asadi was driven to break gender barriers in sports.

“When I saw boys playing sports freely, I asked myself: ‘Why couldn’t I do that?’” Asadi told Arab News in an interview. “It motivated me to start karate professionally.”

Asadi’s passion for karate has guided her life journey since, even over a decade later in Cisarua, a West Java town south of Jakarta, where she now teaches the art to fellow refugees.

Asadi returned to Afghanistan in 2011 but had to leave the country again due to violence and war. She arrived in Indonesia in 2015, where she has lived for years under increasing uncertainties over the future.

“In Indonesia, refugees live without even the most basic human rights. We consider ourselves forgotten,” Asadi said. “We all suffer from depression and psychological damage.”

Indonesia, which is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and mainly serves as a transit country, is host to more than 13,000 refugees, many of whom have languished in the archipelago nation for years as they await resettlement in a third country.

As refugees in the Southeast Asian country find themselves further trapped in uncertainties, without the right to work and with only limited access to education, Asadi has been using karate to help them reduce their anxiety and find hope.

“Karate helps them to be physically and mentally strong. When they wear a karate uniform, they forget that they are homeless,” she said.

“This is how their stress decreases and they become hopeful.”

Asadi, who is a black belt in karate, won three silver medals at the 2010 South Asian Games.

She started the Cisarua Refugee Shotokan Karate Club in 2016 and now trains 40 students three times a week for two hours per session. Her youngest student is 7 years old, while her oldest is in his 50s. They are refugees from Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sudan. More than half are girls.

The club in Indonesia, which the 29-year-old sustains with the help of local and foreign donations, was not her first, as she had started one back in Afghanistan not long after she returned to Kabul as an adult.

“You can just imagine being the one girl who is a karate coach in Afghanistan; people don’t want you to do sports,” she said.

“If a girl opens a karate club for boys and girls, she will find many enemies, which is something I was faced with. That is why I escaped and came here — to save my life.”

Throughout her life, Asadi has faced many barriers in pursuing her karate dreams, from family members who did not believe in her to the persistent violence in her home country.

Though she is thankful for the hospitality she has received from Indonesia, Asadi said that refugees in the transit country are akin to prisoners.

“We are prisoners here. Our crime is that we escaped from violence and survived. We have been living without basic human rights for years,” Asadi said. 

As the world commemorates World Refugee Day on Monday, Asadi hopes that resettlement is in the near future for herself and her community.

Source: Arab News

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Arab World


Iraq: Sunni, Kurdish parties hold off talks to persuade Sadr to return to parliament

19 June, 2022

Sunni political factions in Iraq will postpone discussions on recent developments in the country’s political crisis to persuade a main Shia figure to backtrack on a recent decision which saw his party resign from parliament.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party and other blocs were scheduled to hold talks and meetings to announce their positions going forward, but wanted to give more time for negotiations.

Parliament in Baghdad has been in turmoil since October's legislative election, and intense negotiations among political factions have failed to forge a majority in support of a new prime minister to succeed Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

The crisis took a new turn after Iraqi lawmakers from firebrand Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc resigned a week ago, in a move ostensibly designed to up pressure to end an eight-month political paralysis.

Sources close to Sadr told The New Arab’s sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the cleric’s office will not receive any guests at the present time as he reportedly plans on visiting Saudi Arabia to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

The same sources indicated that mediation to persuade Sadr to backtrack on his decision to exit the political process did not produce any tangible progress.

Source: The New Arab

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Truce ends clashes among Turkey-backed rebels in northwest Syria

20 June, 2022

Clashes among Syrian opposition groups backed by Turkey ended on Sunday after they agreed to a truce, residents and opposition sources said, easing fears of wider internecine warfare among opponents of President Bashar al Assad’s rule.

Opposition negotiators told Reuters that Turkey, which maintains thousands of troops inside northwest Syria, mediated a deal among Failaq al-Sham, Levant Front, Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham.

They are part of the Syrian National Army coalition of armed opposition groups backed by Turkey.

At least eight people were killed and scores injured on Saturday in fighting among the factions near al-Bab city in northwest Syria’s Aleppo province.

The clashes prompted Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the former al-Qaeda offshoot, to deploy in areas under the control of its rivals in the Syrian National Army, raising fears it sought to expand beyond the areas they control in Idlib province to the Afrin area.

Under the truce, the factions returned Ahrar al-Sham’s headquarters and moved back to their prior positions. The accord ended the specter of prolonged fighting.

The northwest of Syria near the Turkish border is the last part of the country still in the hands of fighters seeking to topple the Syrian president, but control has been divided between extremist factions and others backed by Turkey.

Ideological differences divide extremist militants from nationalist groups in the Free Syrian Army that have gathered under the banner of the Syrian National Army, which has the backing of Turkey.

Turkey with the help of the Syrian National Army has carried out four operations in northern Syria since 2016, seizing hundreds of kilometers of land. Opposition commanders say they have stepped up their readiness to back up any new incursion.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iran responds to UAE concerns over Tehran’s nuclear plans

19 June, 2022

Iran on Saturday told the United Arab Emirates that Tehran gave a high priority to improving ties with its neighbors, Iranian state media reported, a day after the UAE voiced concern over Tehran’s nuclear program.

The UAE’s envoy at the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog on Friday said he hoped Iran would work with the body to provide reassurances to the international community and the region about Tehran’s nuclear program.

In a phone call with his UAE counterpart, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian “pointed to the priority of neighbors in Iran’s foreign policy and called for more consultation ... to expand bilateral ties,” state media said.

In 2019, US-allied UAE started engaging with Iran after years of tense relations.

Source: Al Arabiya

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UAE sends 27 tons of food, medical aid to Ukraine refugees in Poland

18 June, 2022

The UAE sent 27 tons of food and medical supplies to assist Ukrainian refugees in Poland, the Emirates news agency WAM reported on Saturday.

The UAE Ambassador to Ukraine Salem Ahmed al-Kaabi reaffirmed the country’s keenness to contribute to the humanitarian relief efforts.

The Gulf country has so far sent six planes to Poland and Moldova carrying 156 tons of food, medical aid and ambulances to assist refugees who fled Ukraine following Russia’s invasion on February 24.

The assistance comes as part of the UAE’s commitment to donate AED18.3 million (US$5 million) in response to the United Nations’ Humanitarian Flash Appeal.

The Dubai International Humanitarian City (IHC) also sent 124 tons of relief supplies and shelter equipment with other international organizations in the city, WAM reported.

More than 5.5 million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring Poland, Moldova, Romania and beyond since Russia’s invasion on February 24, according to the United Nations, which has called it Europe’s fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War Two.

As war rages in Ukraine’s east, Kyiv received a major boost on Friday when the European Union recommended that it become a candidate to join the bloc, foreshadowing a dramatic geopolitical shift in the wake of Russia’s invasion.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Turkish forces ‘neutralize’ 4 PKK terrorists in northern Syria

Mumin Altas  


Turkish forces "neutralized" four YPG/PKK terrorists in northern Syria, the Turkish National Defense Ministry said on Sunday.

The terrorists were plotting an attack in the area of Operation Peace Spring, the ministry said in a statement.

Turkish authorities use the term “neutralized” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

Since 2016, Ankara has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Houthi: Continued Saudi-led blockade amounts to deliberate crime against Yemenis

20 June 2022

A senior member of the Yemeni Supreme Political Council has censured the ongoing Saudi-led naval and air blockade on his country, emphasizing that the crippling blockade amounts to a deliberate crime against the entire Yemeni population.

Mohammed Ali al-Houthi wrote in a tweet on Sunday evening that the Riyadh-led coalition is making use of starvation as a weapon of war against the Yemeni people.

“The continuation of the siege and the Saudi-led coalition’s refusal to implement provisions of the ceasefire, which is an official document under the auspices of the United Nations and the Security Council, amounts to an intentional crime against all Yemeni people,” al-Houthi said.

Saudi Arabia began to lead a devastating war and blockade against Yemen in 2015 in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states.

The objective was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.

While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to meet any of its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

‘Less than 10% of UN-backed truce materialized’

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs Jalal al-Ruwishan said there is clear evidence that the Saudi-led coalition continues its all-out aggression against Yemen in violation of the terms and conditions of a UN-brokered ceasefire, which began on April 2 and was extended earlier this month.

Ruwishan said in an interview with Arabic-language al-Masirah television that the truce would be “meaningless and pointless” in case it does not result in the opening of Yemeni ports and airports as well as the payment of civil servants.

He asserted that Yemenis will determinedly restore their rights by all available means.

“If the Saudi-led war coalition keeps on violating the ceasefire, the Yemeni nation will not accept a failed truce,” the top Yemeni official warned.

“Our people and armed forces have not tied domestic and defense issues to the truce, and have been not held down by it. They are doubtful about the sincerity of aggressors and forces of aggression.”

Ruwishan went on to say that Yemeni diplomats have insisted on the removal of the brutal siege and elimination of the sufferings of the Yemeni people in the so-called peace talks, noting that Saudi Arabia and its allies do not abide by the UN-backed ceasefire as required.

Source: Press TV

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Memorial service at London mosque honours worshipper killed in terror attack

Layla Maghribi

Jun 19, 2022

Dozens of people gathered at Finsbury Park Mosque in north London on Sunday to remember Makram Ali, who was killed during a terrorist attack in the area five years ago.

After listening to opening prayers at the memorial service, Ali’s daughter Ruzina Akhtar remembered her father as “one of the most gentle human beings you could have met” in a tearful tribute.

“He has been tragically taken from us five years ago,” said Ms Akhtar, on the anniversary of the attack which also injured 12 people.

“Our dad was first and foremost one of the most gentle human beings you could have met, who always had a smile on his face and was cracking jokes at the most random of times to make others laugh.

“He was a compassionate husband, a loving father and doting grandfather who was adored by everyone.

“His death has left a black hole, but remembering his smile and laughter we surround that hole with more love for one another, as he would have wanted.”

Sunday marks five years since Darren Osborne ploughed a hired van into worshippers gathered outside the nearby Muslim Welfare House shortly after evening Ramadan prayers.

Ms Akhtar said that “as a Muslim woman” she wanted everyone “to voice any Islamophobic behaviour as it still exists so it is tackled right away”.

Speaking at the service, the chairman of Finsbury Park Mosque Mohammed Kozbar told gathered crowds that Islamophobia in the UK had worsened over the years and that Muslims still do not feel safe.

“The problem we are facing is that since this attack took place not much has changed in tackling Islamophobia,” Mr Kozbar said.

“Even still, we don’t have a definition of Islamophobia.

“In fact, it is much worse now than it was five years ago with the institutionalisation of Islamophobia by this government and some sections of the media.

“We as Muslims are still feeling the effects of this attack and we won’t feel safe until Islamophobia is taken seriously by the authorities and the police.”

Toufik Kacimi, chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House, where the terrorist attack took place, said at the service “many of us just can’t forget that horrible night.”

“This incident was trying to divide us but it actually brought us together — as you can see, five years on we’re still coming together today,” said Mr Kacimi, and he called for the “root cause” of Islamophobia to be tackled.

“British Muslims still think that Islam is not compatible with Europe”, he said.

Source: The National News

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Türkiye to reiterate its demands from Sweden, Finland amid their NATO bids

Baris Gundogan 


If the Swedish government does not take steps to end the PKK terror group's actions within their countries, the negotiations are unlikely to progress for Sweden's NATO membership process, said Türkiye's presidential spokesperson on Saturday.

Earlier, the YPG/PKK-linked social media accounts shared images showing pieces of rag symbolizing the terror group and its convicted ringleader's photos projected onto the historic City Hall in Stockholm.

Türkiye's Presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin, after a conference in the Turkish capital Ankara, told the press that the projection of images belonging to the terrorist organization YPG/PKK on buildings in Stockholm is one of the most striking examples of the extent that the PKK is deployed in this country and how spoiled it is.

Kalin said that as NATO is a security alliance and not an economic cooperation organization, they expect Sweden and Finland to end the existence of terror groups such as the PKK, PYD, YPG, FETO, DHKP-C, and their front organizations.

Ankara also expects complete prevention of any funds to be collected, recruitment of personnel, activities, and propaganda against Türkiye, he added.

"I would like to express once again that the process will not progress until such threats against Türkiye's security in these countries are eliminated," Kalin also said.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Türkiye gives Norwegians 'temporary' permission to enter with national ID cards

Seda Sevencan  


Norwegian citizens will be allowed to enter Türkiye with just their national identity cards for a “temporary” period, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

The decision has been taken “to enable Norwegian citizens to visit Türkiye during the 2022 tourism season,” ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said in a statement.

The arrangement has been made “upon the request of the Turkish tourism sector” because “Norwegian citizens are unable to renew their passports due to the ongoing global chip crisis,” the statement said.

“Within the framework of this temporary arrangement, Norwegian citizens will be allowed to travel to Türkiye with their biometric ID cards, containing their personal information, for a temporary period of six and a half months,” it added.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Pakistan Faces Inflows of Asylum Seekers Following the Taliban’s Takeover of Kabul: UN Refugee Agency

June 19, 2022

Pakistan is facing new inflows of asylum seekers from neighbouring Afghanistan, following the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul, according to the UN refugee agency.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency on the eve of the World Refugees Day, observed June 20 every year, Qaiser Khan Afridi, a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Pakistan, said more than 250,000 Afghans seeking asylum have trickled into Pakistan since January 2021.

“UNHCR is aware that over 250,000 Afghans seeking asylum are reported to have arrived in Pakistan since January 2021, however, the overall number of Afghans with international protection needs is likely to be higher,” said Afridi.

“We are currently discussing with the government of Pakistan the way forward on registration and documentation of asylum-seekers, predominantly from Afghanistan,” he said.

Hundreds of thousands of Afghans fled to Pakistan and Iran since the fall of Kabul to the Taliban last August.

Many, who worked or associated with the previous regime, left the country, even before the capture of Kabul fearing a backlash from the hard line group, with others finding it an opportunity to emigrate to the US or Europe.

The Wall Street Journal newspaper reported earlier this week that many top officials in the US-backed previous Afghan government had started purchasing expensive properties in the US and other countries in the final years of the war, which ended in an unexpected surrender of the Afghan National Army.

Last week, the federal cabinet approved a policy under which, transit visas will be issued to the Afghan asylum seekers to enter the country legally to complete paperwork for further international travel.

Much expectedly, there has been no increase in the number of Afghan refugees returning to their homeland after the Taliban’s takeover, said the UNHCR.

Afridi said only 850 refugees (185 families) have returned to the war-torn country since the beginning of 2022 under the commission’s voluntary repatriation program.

The figure, he added, is slightly higher compared to repatriation during the same period last year.

“Upon return, repatriated families receive a grant to support them as they rebuild their lives and communities. The UNHCR provides financial support of $250 each to the repatriating families,” he added.

Pakistan is currently hosting 1.3 million documented and almost as many undocumented Afghan refugees. Of them, a majority are residing in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, which serves as a gateway to Afghanistan. Balochistan and Karachi, also host a large number of refugees.

“UNHCR advocates that returns need to be voluntary and take place in conditions of safety, dignity and security,” said Afridi.

Saleem Khan, the chief commissioner for Afghan refugees, said the repatriation process remained sluggish because of coronavirus-related restrictions in the past two years, aside from economic and political developments in Afghanistan.

“The process has seen a kind of resumption over the past one week but it’s premature to predict the future trend. It will take another couple of months to determine that,” he told Anadolu Agency.

Hunched on plastic chairs outside a cafe and enjoying green tea at a refugee camp in the southern port city of Karachi, a group of Afghan youths had no plans to return to their homeland.

Located on the northern outskirts of Pakistan’s most populous city, the run-down locality with limited access to health care and basic sanitation is home to nearly 250,000 refugees who were forced to flee due to a lingering conflict.

Karachi is home to more than 300,000 Afghan refugees, most of whom work as laborers or own small shops in Pashtun-dominated areas.

Maulana Rahimullah, who migrated to Pakistan and made Karachi his new home in 1980 following the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, cites the economy and unwillingness of young refugees as reasons behind a snail-paced repatriation despite “much better” law and order in the war-hacked country.

“Although our major concerns, which were about law and order, and a possible civil war after the Taliban takeover, have been addressed, still a brute majority of refugees have no plans to return, at least in the near future,” Rahimullah, who hails from Afghanistan’s northeastern Takhar province, told Anadolu Agency.

“Here we often get work to make a living. But that’s still not the case in Afghanistan,” he said.

The father of six, Rahimullah said the younger generations born and raised in Pakistan have little interest to go back to their homeland.

“Even if I want to go back, my children won’t let me go. For them, this (Pakistan) is their country,” he said.

According to UNHCR, more than 4.4 million refugees have been repatriated to Afghanistan since 2002, but many, including hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers, returned to Pakistan due to violence, unemployment and a lack of education and medical facilities.

Huzaifa bin Nauman, 17, along with his family, came to Pakistan months ago from the northern Mazar-i-Sharif region. He claimed that instead of returning, Afghans are trickling into Pakistan following the Taliban’s takeover.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Nauman who has not been able to get admission to a local school due to his missing educational records, said several families of his tribe that had repatriated to Afghanistan, have returned to Pakistan in recent years under pressure from youths, who do not want to live in the war-stricken country.

Source: Pakistan Today

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6 terrorists killed in clash with security forces in SW Pakistan

June 20, 2022

Six terrorists were killed in a clash with security forces in Pakistan's southwest Balochistan province on Sunday, a military statement said.

The security forces launched an operation after receiving a tip-off regarding the presence of terrorists in a mountainous range of the province, the military's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in the statement.

When the troops started a clearance operation in the area, terrorists tried to escape from their hideout and opened fire on security forces, the statement added.

In retaliatory fire, six terrorists belonging to the banned outfit Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) were killed, said the statement.

"The terrorists were involved in attacks on security forces posts besides recent planting of improvised explosive devices on security forces convoys," the ISPR said.

Source: ABNA24

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Eager to get off ‘grey list’, Pakistan trying for early FATF on-site visit

Jun 19, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday said it was working closely with the FATF to schedule an early on-site visit by its experts to verify the progress made by the country in countering financing of terrorism and money-laundering activities before removing Islamabad from the grey list.

The Financial Action Task Force said Pakistan may be removed from the grey list after an on-site visit to verify the implementation of reforms on countering terror-financing. Outgoing FATF president Marcus Pleyer said a formal announcement on Pakistan’s removal from the list would follow an on-site inspection, which would be conducted before October. In a media briefing, minister of state for foreign affairs Hina Rabbani Khar said the government was working closely with the global watchdog to schedule the visit at mutually convenient dates so the process could be concluded prior to the FATF’s plenary session in October.

Source: Times Of India

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No deal yet with IMF for revival of loan programme

Khaleeq Kiani

June 20, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have not yet been able to reach close to a staff-level agreement for revival of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), leaving authorities in a tight spot to bridge the gap and get the updated federal budget for the fiscal year 2022-23 passed by the National Assembly.

The authorities in the finance ministry were expecting to conclude the staff-level agreement by Sunday (June 19) on the basis of revenue and expenditure measures that could deliver next year’s primary budget (the difference between revenues and expenditures, excluding interest payment) in Rs152 billion surplus.

However, the IMF staff still has reservations over Rs9.5 trillion expenditures projected by the authorities for the next fiscal year. The revenue measures in the budget, according to IMF estimates, are also insufficient to deliver slightly over Rs7tr target.

Read: Up the IMF creek

A top finance ministry official confirmed on Sunday night that they had not yet received the first draft of memorandum of economic and financial policies (MEFP) from the IMF as targeted earlier because certain matters remained unsettled. “We are working very closely with the IMF and will soon reach some conclusion,” the official said.

The government is targeting to secure the passage of the budget 2022-23 from the National Assembly on June 27-28, according to the finance ministry’s schedule of events. For this to happen, it has to reach an agreement with the IMF so that the agreed measures could be protected in the budget. In any case, the budget has to be passed by parliament by 28 to legally ensure its implementation with effect from July 1, as required under the Constitution.

While the two sides remained divided over personal income tax slabs and rates, the federal authorities received another setback after the provinces came up with their budgets which created another shortfall of almost one per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) — apparently meaning that the primary account would be in a massive deficit — rather than Rs152bn surplus.

The federal government had projected Rs800bn cash surplus from the four provinces in the budget for next fiscal year. However, so far only the Punjab government announced a budget with Rs125bn surplus, while Sindh presented a Rs35bn deficit budget. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has neither committed a surplus nor projected a deficit in its budget. Balochistan has not yet announced its budget, but is highly unlikely to provide any sizeable surplus.

Based on Rs800bn provincial surplus, the Centre had projected an overall budget deficit for the next fiscal year at Rs3.8tr or 4.9pc of GDP because it had estimated its own federal budget deficit at Rs4.6tr or 5.9pc of GDP. This means that unless the federal government is able to convince the provinces to curtail their expenditures or increase revenues, the primary account would be in Rs650bn deficit.

This comes at a time when the KP government was already running on overdraft to meet its expenditures during the current fiscal year. The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet has approved a supplementary grant — budget overrun — of Rs115bn for KP as late as last week i.e. after the presentation of the federal budget.

In a report last week, the finance ministry had reported to the ECC that the federal government had, under an IMF conditionality, prohibited borrowing from the State Bank of Pakistan by the federal and provincial governments. Prior to these IMF-sponsored reforms, the provinces were availing ways and means advances (overdraft facility) from the SBP.

In order to enable the provinces to continue availing such advances after the prohibition, the ECC had in June 2020 put in place a new lending policy for the provincial governments, besides enhancing their ways and means limits. Under that policy, the facility of ways and means advances is provided to the provincial governments by the Centre instead of the SBP.

Read: Budgeting illusions

In this regard, tri-partite agreements have been signed with all the four provinces. The agreement authorises the SBP to debit/credit federal and provincial government accounts as and when a province is in need of ways and means advance or has sufficient balance to clear the advance availed by that province. The existing limit of the ways and means advances of the four provinces is about Rs164.3bn — Rs77bn for Punjab, Rs39bn for Sindh, Rs31.3bn for KP and Rs17bn for Balochistan.

The provision of Rs15bn under the head of ways and means advances to the provinces was included in the outgoing budget as federal miscellaneous investment and other loan and advances, but KP has availed Rs115bn cumulatively during the year as of June 9, 2022.

In order to adjust the expenditure of Rs100bn made by the KP government in excess of the allocated limit as well as likely future requirements of the provinces during the outgoing year, supplementary grant of Rs130bn was required for which schedule of supplementary grants for Rs100bn will be issued forthwith. However, schedule of supplementary grants for the balance amount will be issued on a need basis as per ways and means advances availed by the provinces.

Source: Dawn

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Four social activists among six killed in North Waziristan

Pazir Gul

June 20, 202

NORTH WAZIRISTAN: Six people, including four volunteers of a social organisation, were killed in two incidents in North Waziris­tan tribal district on Sunday.

Police and residents said that unidentified men on two motorcycles opened fire on a moving car in the Haiderkhel area of Mirali tehsil.

Four activists of the Youth of Waziristan, a social organisation, were killed in the attack.

The deceased have been identified as Waqar Ahmad Dawar, Sunaid Ahmad Dawar, Aamad Dawar and Assadullah.

The bodies were shifted to a hospital in Mirali town.

The Youth Organisation was formed after the Zarb-i-Azb military operation. The organisation works for restoration of peace in the militancy-hit region. The organisation has also staged protest and sit-in against target killings.

About two years ago security agencies took action against a sit-in organised by the Youth of Waziristan and arrested its founding president, Noor Islam Dawar.

Meanwhile, bullet-riddled bodies of two people, who were kidnapped from a market in Mirali town, were found near the Tochi river, also called the Gambila River, on Sunday.

Residents said that unidentified gunmen had kidnapped the two people from Khadi market in Mirali town.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the killing.

The deceased belonged to Lakki Marwat district.

In South Waziristan, two people were gunned down in separate incidents on Sunday.

Source: Dawn

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Hamas: We stand against Israel’s settlement plans to preserve Islamic identity of al-Quds

19 June 2022

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has condemned Israel’s plans to build more settlements in the occupied Palestinian lands, saying the resistance will counter such plans in order to preserve the Islamic identity of the occupied city of al-Quds.

In a Sunday statement, the movement condemned Israel’s plan to build a new settlement that would separate al-Masara and Bab al-Amud neighborhoods of the occupied East al-Quds, describing it as a step toward the Judaization of the occupied city.

“We stand against [Israel’s] settlement [construction] in order to preserve the Arab and Islamic identity of al-Quds,” the movement said.

It added that the plan is also a clear violation of Islamic and Christian sanctities in the city, and its main goal is to change the historical identity of al-Quds and reduce the presence of Palestinians there.

Hamas further called on the Palestinian people and factions to voice their opposition against the new Israeli Judaization plan and resist it by all possible means.

It made clear that the Tel Aviv regime’s attempt to impose a new status quo in al-Quds will not change the Arab and Islamic identity of the holy city.

The Israeli regime has accelerated the construction of its illegal settlements in occupied al-Quds in recent years.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas have already warned that Israel’s house demolitions and its expansion of illegal settlements in al-Quds will trigger an “explosion” of the situation in the occupied territories.

Human rights activists say Israel’s settlement expansion policies amount to apartheid. However, some Arab countries have remained silent in the face of the inhumane Israeli measures.

Nearly 700,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

Most of the international community considers Israeli settlement construction illegal under international law and an obstacle to the so-called two-state solution to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The UN Security Council has in several resolutions condemned the Tel Aviv regime’s settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian lands.

Source: Press TV

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Palestinian Authority calls on Israel to hand over gun in Abu Akleh case

19 June 2022

The Palestinian Authority (PA), which governs the occupied West Bank, has urged Israel to hand over the gun that fired the shot which killed veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh more than a month ago.

Abu Akleh was shot in the head by Israeli forces on May 11, while she was standing with a group of journalists near the entrance of the Jenin refugee camp, reporting on an Israeli raid on the camp.

Her tragic death sent shock waves across the region, drawing global condemnation. The United Nations and the European Union, among others, called for a full investigation into what has been described as a deliberate murder “in cold blood.”

On May 26, Palestinian Attorney General Akram al-Khatib said an Israeli soldier gunned down Abu Akleh, confirming the results of a preliminary investigation announced nearly two weeks earlier.

While the Tel Aviv regime claims the Al Jazeera journalist was killed as she was caught in the crossfire, the attorney general said the PA investigation showed there were no Palestinian fighters near the scene of the shooting.

Abu Akleh was hit with an armor-piercing bullet fired from a semi-automatic rifle Ruger Mini-14 while she was wearing a helmet and a vest that was clearly marked with the word “PRESS”, the probe said, refuting Israel’s claim that the bullet may have come from the Palestinians.

The Palestinian investigation echoed findings by Al Jazeera and several other major news organizations.

Following the incident, the Israeli military asked the PA to hand over the bullet that killed Abu Akleh to Israeli authorities for investigation. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refused to do so. He said the regime cannot be trusted.

On Sunday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said at a ceremony in the West Bank town of Ramallah to mark 40 days since Abu Akleh’s assassination that the PA had called on the Tel Aviv regime to hand over the gun.

“We have refused to hand over the bullet to them, and we even demand that they hand over the weapon that murdered Shireen Abu Akleh,” Shtayyeh said.

The Israeli military persistently claims it has not yet concluded whether the Palestinian journalist was killed by one of its soldiers or stray Palestinian gunfire. Israel says it has not either concluded yet whether one of its troopers will face criminal charges over the killing.

Furthermore, the top lawyer of the Israeli military has already said such charges will be unlikely given the circumstances surrounding Abu Akleh’s killing that occurred during an active combat, according to the refuted claims of the Israeli military.

Eyewitnesses and journalists who were with Abu Akleh on the day she was shot also described the shooting as a “deliberate attempt” to kill journalists.

Source: Press TV

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Senior Lawmaker: Europeans Merely Follow US Policies in Talks with Iran


The Europeans have practically no power in nuclear talks with Iran and they merely follow in the footsteps of the US, which has a final say on all the policies pursued by the western side vis-à-vis Tehran, Hassan Hemmati said on Saturday.

He added that no agreement will be reached on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal as long as the conditions set by Iran in the negotiations are not met.

Iran will never accept a one-sided agreement that the other side pushes to impose with bullying, the lawmaker said.

Elsewhere, Hemmati said that a withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has not been on the agenda of the parliament so far, stressing that the country will never surrender to a one-sided agreement on its nuclear program under pressure.

“For the time being, a withdrawal from the NPT has not been discussed at the Parliament and this issue should be decided as the general policies of the [Iranian] establishment,” he added.

He was reacting to some media speculation in Iran that the country has the option of quitting the NPT, following the adoption of a resolution, drafted by the US and its European allies, against the Iranian nuclear program at a meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The legislator said the resolution, which was approved under pressure from the US and Israel, was “expectable”.

Since April last year, the Iranian negotiating team has been involved in marathon talks with the other remaining parties to the JCPOA – Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia – with the aim of bringing the US back into the deal and destroying its sanctions regime against Tehran.

Under former president Donald Trump, the United States pulled out of the landmark agreement and instigated what it described as the “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions against the Islamic Republic to reach a “better deal” than the JCPOA.

The Vienna talks have been on hold since March as Washington insists on its refusal to undo its past wrongs through measures such as removing Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) from its list of foreign terrorist organizations.

EU Foreign Policy Chief Joseph Borrel in a phone conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian earlier this week underlined the necessity for the resumption of Vienna talks between Iran and the world powers on removal of the US sanctions.

During the phone talks, Borrell said he is ready to make necessary efforts to pave the way for a deal in the Vienna talks that would be agreed upon by all sides.

He admitted that Iran is constructively determined to reach a good and lasting deal, saying, “We are not far from a deal in Vienna and time is now to resume the talks swiftly and to make an effort to prevent an escalation.”

Borrel pointed to the latest developments regarding the Iran nuclear deal, JCPOA, and stressed that the only way out of the current situation is pursuit of diplomacy and avoiding unconstructive actions.

Amir Abdollahian, for his part, said Iran has always welcomed logical and result-based talks but it is necessary that the other side quit adopting double standards and contradictory behavior in order to reach a good and lasting deal.

He thanked Borrell for his efforts to forge a deal in Vienna, and criticized the US over its unconstructive and hasty moves to get a resolution approved at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors.

“After the approval of the resolution at the Board of Governors, we showed that we would not retreat from the rights of the Iranian people and if the US wants to continue behaving unconstructively, it will be met with an appropriate response from our side”.

Amir Abdollahian added that we still believe diplomacy is the best and most proper path and solution to the issue.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran hangs extremist accused of murdering Shia clerics

20 June, 2022

Iran on Monday hanged a Sunni extremist who was sentenced to death for killing two Shia clerics and wounding another in early April, the judiciary said.

A 21-year-old national of Uzbek origin carried out the April 5 stabbing attack at the Imam Reza shrine which honors one of the most revered figures in Shia Islam.

The killings happened during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when large crowds of worshippers had gathered at the shrine, in Iran’s second-largest city Mashhad.

“The death sentence against Abdolatif Moradi was carried out by hanging this morning, in the presence of a group of citizens and officials in Vakilabad prison in Mashhad,” said provincial judiciary chief Gholamali Sadeghi, quoted by the judiciary’s website Mizan Online.

The assailant “was accused of moharebeh (‘war against God’, in Persian) using a weapon to terrorize the population in the shrine and even outside it,” Sadeghi added.

The assailant stabbed one of the victims 20 times, Tasnim news agency reported earlier.

On June 7, the judiciary announced Moradi’s death sentence, adding that his lawyer had appealed to the Supreme Court.

According to local media, Moradi entered Iran illegally a year earlier from Pakistan and settled in Mashhad, the country’s main holy city.

Iranian leaders blamed “takfiri elements” for the attack. The term takfiri in Iran and in several other countries refers to radical Sunni groups.

One of the clerics, Mohammad Aslani, died immediately while the death of the second, Sadegh Darai, was announced two days later.

The attack came days after two Sunni clerics were shot dead outside a seminary in the northern Iranian town of Gonbad-e Kavus.

The three suspects in that case, also Sunnis, were arrested in late April but were said to have “no connection with terrorist groups”, state media reported at the time.

Sunnis make up between five and 10 percent of Shia-majority Iran’s population of 83 million people.

Iran last year recorded its highest annual execution total in four years, rights group Amnesty International said last month.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Israel’s PM warns Iran: Those who send ‘terrorists’ to attack Israelis will pay price

19 June, 2022

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennet warned Iran on Sunday against any attempts to target Israelis abroad in “terrorist attacks”, threatening that anyone who attempts to orchestrate such attacks will pay the price.

“We are currently witnessing Iranian attempts to attack Israelis in various overseas locations,” Bennett said.

“The security services are working to thwart attempted attacks before they are launched. We will continue to strike those who send the terrorists. We will continue to strike those who send the terrorists,” he added.

He also warned Israelis against traveling to Turkey for their safety. “Alongside this, we have warned Israeli citizens to avoid flying to Turkey – especially Istanbul – at this time if it is not necessary. The danger is still great. I call on the citizens of Israel to show personal responsibility and safeguard their security.”

Last week, Israel warned its citizens against traveling to Turkey, citing the danger of possible Iranian “revenge attacks” after the assassination of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Colonel Sayad Khodai.

Israeli public broadcaster Kan radio reported last week that security officials foiled an Iranian attack targeting Israelis in Turkey last month.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces: Palestinian ministry

19 June, 2022

A Palestinian worker was shot dead by Israeli forces on Sunday while crossing a security barrier in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian sources said.

The Palestinian health ministry identified the man killed as Nabil Ghanem, 53, from the West Bank city of Nablus.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa said Ghanem was among the tens of thousands of West Bank Palestinians who regularly seek work in Israel.

An Israeli army spokesperson said forces had shot at “a suspect who vandalized the security fence.”

Wages on Israeli farms and construction sites are far higher than what most Palestinian employers can pay in the West Bank, a territory occupied by Israeli since 1967.

Jobs inside Israel are highly coveted by many Palestinians. Some have permits to work in Israel while others seek to cross without authorization.

Ghanem’s killing comes amid a spike in Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Nineteen people, mostly Israeli civilians -- including 18 inside Israel and a Jewish settler -- have been killed in attacks by Palestinians and Israeli Arabs since late March.

Israeli security forces have responded with raids inside Israel and in the West Bank, particularly in and around Jenin. Three Israeli Arab attackers and an Israeli police commando have been killed.

Forty-five Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank -- suspected militants but also non-combatants, including an Al Jazeera journalist who was covering a raid in Jenin.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Israeli president thanks Turkish counterpart for Ankara’s efforts in combatting terrorism

Handan Kazancı 


The Israeli president in a phone call thanked his Turkish counterpart for Ankara’s efforts in combatting terrorism, Türkiye's Communications Directorate said on Sunday.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog discussed Türkiye-Israel relations and regional matters, the directorate said in a statement.

The two leaders “agreed on maintaining cooperation for peace and stability as well as dialogue in the two countries’ relations and regional matters, including security and the fight against terror,” the statement added.

Last month, during a visit to Israel, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkiye and Israel demonstrated a "common will" to improve relations in every field.

"Even though there were difficult days, we decided to continue our relations," Cavusoglu said.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Need to work together for a crime-free border, India tells Bangladesh

Jun 20, 2022

NEW DELHI: Better management of India’s long border with Bangladesh is a key priority and the two countries must continue to work together to make sure that the border remains crime-free, said foreign minister S Jaishankar after a meeting with his counterpart A K Abdul Momen.

After co-chairing the 7th round of Joint Consultative Commission, Jaishankar said the Border Guarding Forces remain committed to combating trans-border crimes. Bangladesh also sought India's support for early repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.

More than a million refugees are living in camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazaar area, close to the border with Myanmar. Dhaka is also worried about an influx of Rohingyas from India. About 1,000 of them are based in the camps in Cox’s Bazar.

“Both sides reiterated the importance of safe, speedy and sustainable return of the forcibly displaced persons from the Rakhine State of Myanmar, currently being sheltered by Bangladesh,” said the Indian government in a statement.

This was the first in-person JCC meeting convened since the onset of Covid-19 pandemic. Jaishankar conveyed India’s support and solidarity at the unprecedented flooding in northern Bangladesh. “We are now sharing flood management data for an extended period. I would like to take the opportunity to convey that if in any concrete way, we can be of assistance to you in the management of flood and relief efforts, we would be very glad to be supportive. It would be in keeping with our relationship,” he said. Jaishankar said the two countries are looking at subregional cooperation in power, especially, hydropower. “We are both the largest producer and consumer of energy in the region. And we would be very happy to work with Bangladesh to structure a progressive partnership in the areas of production, transmission and trade,” he said.

Source: Times Of India

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K M Shaji’s Tirade against NRI Businessman Yusuffali Creates Ripples in Muslim League

20th June 2022

KOZHIKODE:  Muslim League state secretary K M Shaji’s outburst against NRI businessman Yusuffali M A over his remarks on the Opposition for boycotting the Loka Kerala Sabha has created ripples within the party. Shaji has become an instant hero of the party workers on social media, who hail him as the true representative of the Opposition.

Though Shaji’s anger during the speech in Bahrain on Saturday was directed at the businessman, many believe IUML national general secretary P K Kunhalikutty was the real target. Shaji said the businessman (without naming Yusuffali) may have reasons to please Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to protect his business interests. “You can do that, but don’t try to purchase IUML,” he said.

While addressing the Loka Kerala Sabha on Friday, Yusuffali had criticised the UDF’s decision to abstain from the conference. Shaji’s remarks have surprised the political observers as Yusuffali maintains a good relationship with political figures, including Kunhalikutty.

According to them, Shaji’s reference to ‘purchasing’ the party is an innuendo on the alleged Pinarayi-Kunhalikutty-Yusuffali axis. Kunhalikutty’s detractors believe he is soft towards the LDF government because of his proximity with CM, which is mediated by Yusuffali.

We respect the stature of Yusuffali, says Thangal

Kunhalikutty’s near absence in the UDF agitation in the wake of the revelations by the gold smuggling case accused is interpreted by many as the indirect fallout of an agreement. The ‘secret meeting’ between the IUML leader and K T Jaleel at Kuttippuram a few months ago had fuelled many speculations.

Shaji also blasted the leaders of the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC) -- the feeder organisation of the IUML -- who had attended the Loka Kerala Sabha. He said the duty of KMCC representatives should be to present the party’s view point at the conference and not to eulogise the LDF government.

The Congress and IUML had allowed the representatives of their NRI organisations to take part in the conference while the UDF leaders boycotted the event for political reasons. There was pressure from some corners to force Shaji to apologise to Yusuffali or at least disown his remarks considering the influence wielded by the NRI businessman.

But social media activists of the party opposed it tooth and nail, saying there is no question of any apology. Meanwhile, IUML state president Panakkad Syed Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal said the UDF decided to boycott the Loka Kerala Sabha taking into consideration the volatile situation existing in the state.

Source: New Indian Express

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Muslim boy lived and studied in PM Modi's family home

Jun 20, 2022

AHMEDABAD: A Muslim boy who became an integral part of the Modi household at Vadnagar in Gujarat’s Mehsana district in the early seventies, finding familial love and forging a lifelong friendship as he pursued his studies there, finds mention in PM Narendra Modi's emotional blogpost commemorating his mother Hiraba entering her 100th year.

“After the untimely death of my father's close friend who stayed in a nearby village, my father brought his friend's son, Abbas (Ramsada), to our home. He stayed with us and completed his studies. Mother was as affectionate and caring towards Abbas as she was towards all of us siblings. Every year on Eid, she prepared his favourite dishes,” PM Modi writes.

Abbas, who now lives in Australia with his son, completed his matriculation with excellent grades while staying in Modi’s family home. He was in the same class as the PM's brother Pankaj Modi, and both got government jobs – Pankaj in the information department and Abbas in the civil supplies department – together.

PM Modi’s father Damodardas, a grocer, had convinced the family of his deceased friend, Miyanbhai Ramsada from neighbouring Kesimpa village, to send Abbas to stay with his family in Vadnagar for further studies as the village school did not offer classes beyond fifth grade.

By the time Abbas appeared for his SSC exam in 1973-74, Modi had left Vadnagar for Ahmedabad to become a full-fledged RSS pracharak. Abbas mentions in his book on PM Modi the crucial role the latter's family played in his life and career.

Prahlad Modi, another of the PM's siblings, vividly remembers Abbas Ramsada’s stay at their house. “Abbas stayed with us for a few years and left after matriculation. He was my brother Pankaj’s classmate,” he said.

Source: Times Of India

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India clears emergency visas for 111 Afghan Hindus, Sikhs, hours after Kabul Gurudwara attack

Vijaita Singh

JUNE 19, 2022

All applications were pending since September 2021; a total 159 Hindus and Sikhs remain in Afghanistan now.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) granted emergency visas to 111 Hindus and Sikhs from Afghanistan, hours after Saturday’s terror attack at a gurdwara in Kabul. All had applied for the visa in September 2021, but the applications were cleared only after the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), a terrorist group, attacked the gurdwara on Saturday killing two people including a Sikh granthi, a member representing the community said.

Only 159 minorities remain in Afghanistan after the Taliban took control in August 2021, including three members who do not have any passport.

The community had been petitioning the government to clear the visas after the ISKP issued threats two-weeks ago as a retaliation against the controversial statement made against the Prophet by suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.

According to Puneet Singh Chandhoke, president of the India World Forum who has been coordinating with the Indian government to evacuate Sikhs from Afghanistan, the applicants had applied for a visa as early as September 12, 2021 but it was being blocked due to pending security clearance.

“Though the visas had been pending for months it was cleared within hours of the attack at the gurdwara on Saturday. The person who died [Satwinder Singh] was also among those who intended to travel to India,” Mr. Chandhoke said.

Last year, 163 members of the minority community came to India after they were granted “e-Emergency X-Miscellaneous visa.” India had suspended all kinds of visa after the Taliban took over the governance in Afghanistan in August 2021. On August 17, the special emergency visa was announced for the stranded citizens but most visas were only granted to people from the Hindu and Sikh communities. More than 80 members of the communities who fled to Dubai and Russia after Taliban take over have also been waiting for visas to be cleared. At least 11 persons who came to India last year but returned to Afghanistan citing personal reasons are also among the list of people awaiting evacuation from Afghanistan.

A delegation of Afghan Hindus and Sikhs when they met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 19 had raised the issue of the pending visas.

Source: The Hindu

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Four terrorists neutralised in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara, search operations underway

Jun 20, 2022

KUPWARA: Two more terrorists were neutralised in an encounter that broke out in the Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir, informed the police on Monday.

So far, four terrorists have been killed in the Kupwara encounter including two on Sunday. The neutralised terrorist was linked with the proscribed terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

Police also recovered incriminating materials, arms and ammunition from the spot during the encounter.

"Two more terrorists including terrorist Showkat got neutralised (total 04). Incriminating materials, arms and ammunition were recovered. Search going on. Further details shall follow. @JmuKmrPolice," Kashmir Zone Police tweeted.

#KupwaraEncounterUpdate: 02 more #terrorists including #terrorist Showkat got #neutralised (total 04).…

— Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) 1655690369000

Kupwara Police launched a joint anti-terrorist operation alongwith the Army's 28RR on the disclosure of an arrested terrorist Showket Ahmed Sheikh.

"The terrorist killed in Kupwara has been identified as a Pakistani, linked with proscribed terror outfit LeT. 2-3 more terrorists alongwith arrested terrorists trapped in the ongoing encounter," Kashmir Zone Police further said in a tweet.

#KupwaraEncounterUpdate: Killed #terrorist has been identified as a #Pakistani, linked with proscribed #terror outf…

— Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) 1655630492000

"The terrorists were neutralised during a search of hideouts when the hiding terrorists fired upon joint search parties and our team also retaliated, in which one terrorist got killed. The arrested terrorist also got trapped. Encounter in progress. Further details shall follow," said IGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar.

More details are awaited.

Security forces are on alert as there have been incidents of targeted killings in Kashmir and sections of the minority community had threatened that they were preparing for mass migration if the government did not relocate them.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who was on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, had urged the people not to allow inimical forces to break the social fabric and noted that the electoral process is likely to begin in the coming months.

Rajnath Singh also made a veiled reference to Pakistan and said some forces were trying to sow seeds of hatred in the Union Territory.

He said there is a foreign conspiracy in the recent targeted killings in Jammu and Kashmir and such attempts would be foiled.

He was addressing an event held here today to mark the 200th anniversary of Maharaja Gulab Singh's 'Rajyaabhishek ceremony'.

Source: Times Of India

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Jammu and Kashmir: Terrorist killed in Pulwama encounter

Jun 20, 2022

SRINAGAR: A terrorist was killed in an encounter with security forces in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, police said.

The encounter broke out at Chatpora in Pulwama after the security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in the area, a police official said.

Source: Times Of India

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South Asia


Peace talks between Pakistan govt and TTP in Kabul will yield good results: Taliban spokesman

Jun 18, 2022

PESHAWAR: The peace talks between the Pakistan government and the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have concluded in Kabul, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Saturday, exuding confidence that the negotiations facilitated by the Afghan government will soon bear good results.

Speaking to reporters in Kabul, Mujahid said the talks held between the two sides to end nearly two-decade-long militancy in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan ended two days ago.

He said the talks, facilitated by the Taliban government in Afghanistan, will yield good results this time.

Mujahid also said that Afghanistan's soil will not be used against Pakistan even if the talks fail to bear any result.

After several rounds of talks, the government and the TTP last month agreed to extend a ceasefire indefinitely while continuing negotiations to find an end to the nearly two decades of militancy.

The TTP, also known as the Pakistan Taliban, was set up as an umbrella group of several militant outfits in 2007. Its main aim is to impose its strict brand of Islam across Pakistan.

The group, which is believed to be close to al-Qaeda, has been blamed for several deadly attacks across Pakistan, including an attack on army headquarters in 2009, assaults on military bases and the 2008 bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad.

The talks with the TTP were led by the defence experts and it was earlier confirmed by the defence sources that former ISI chief and current Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, also participated in the talks.

A 50-member traditional tribal jirga from Pakistan also joined the talks but came back with an understanding to continue political engagements with the TTP.

Pakistan has been fencing the 2,600-km border with Afghanistan since 2017 to end terrorist infiltration and smuggling, despite intense opposition from the neighbouring country.

Besides the erection of a fence, the project also includes the construction of border posts and forts, and the raising of new wings of the Frontier Corps, the paramilitary force that guards the border.

When the Taliban returned to power last year, Pakistan hoped that the new dispensation would deal with these terrorist groups. Despite promises, the Taliban have not yet taken decisive action to fulfil their commitments, which has frustrated the Pakistan government.

Source: Times Of India

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Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh demand repatriation

June 20, 2022

Rohingya Muslims living in sprawling refugee camps in southeastern Bangladesh have staged demonstrations demanding repatriation to their ethnic homeland of Rakhine state in Myanmar.

Bangladeshi authorities on Sunday allowed several groups of Rohingya to hold simultaneous ‘Go Home’ demonstrations ahead of the World Refugee Day on Monday. Organizers said more than 1,000 Rohingya took part in each of the events in at least 29 camps.

Police said thousands of refugees joined the marches, standing on roads and alleys with placards that read, ‘Enough is Enough! Let's Go Home.’

“Over 10,000 Rohingya took part in the rally in the camps under my jurisdiction,” police official Naimul Haque said, referring to Kutupalong, the largest refugee settlement in the world.

Top Rohingya community leader Sayed Ullah said in a speech at one rally, “We don't want to stay in the camps. Being refugees is not easy. It's hell. Enough is enough. Let's go home.”

Authorities deployed extra security in the camps to prevent any violence.

Last week, the foreign secretaries of Bangladesh and Myanmar held a meeting by video conference. The Bangladeshi Foreign Ministry said that during the meeting Myanmar’s government was encouraged to repatriate the Rohingya refugees before the year’s end. “We are hopeful the repatriation will start after the monsoon this year at least in a limited scale.”

Previous repatriation attempts have failed, with the Rohingya refusing to go home until Myanmar gives the largely Muslim minority guarantees of security. Rohingya leaders say they want to go back to their original villages in Rakhine.

Bangladeshi authorities have become increasingly impatient about hosting the refugees while criticizing the rest of the international community for not providing more assistance.

At least 920,000 Rohingya refugees remain stuck in squalid, crowded conditions in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. This includes about 750,000 Rohingya who were forced to leave their homeland amid the military-led crackdown against their community in 2017.

Thousands were killed, raped, tortured, or arrested in the crackdown, perpetrated with “genocidal intent,” according to the United Nations, which has described the community as the most persecuted minority in the world.

Source: ABNA24

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US biggest obstacle to international recognition of Taliban: Spokesman

June 20, 2022

The US is the biggest obstacle to recognition of Afghanistan's governing body, a Taliban spokesperson said, claiming that the group has met "all the conditions" for its diplomatic recognition at the international level.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday and in answer to a question about the recognition of the Taliban on the international stage, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said that the policies of the current Afghan rulers have not prevented its recognition and foreign countries have a role to play.

"When it comes to recognition of the Afghanistan government by foreign countries, I think the United States is the biggest obstacle," Mujahid said.

The United States does not allow other countries to step on the path of recognizing the Taliban, and it has not taken any steps in this regard, he also stressed,

The Taliban spokesman further stressed that the Afghan governing body has met "all the conditions" for its diplomatic recognition at the international level.

All countries, including the United States, should know that political engagement with the Taliban is in the interest of everyone and allows countries around the world to formally address their "concerns" with the Taliban.

Source: ABNA24

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Two killed as explosion hits car in Kabul

June 20, 2022

KABUL: At least two people were killed when a blast hit a car in the Afghan capital on Sunday, officials said, the third deadly attack in the country in as many days.

Khalid Zadran, a spokesman for Kabul’s commander, said the explosion hit a civilian vehicle in a neighbourhood in the north of the city. It was not clear who was behind the blast and or who was the target.

The attack followed an attack on a Sikh gurdwara in Kabul on Saturday that killed at least two people.

The Taliban say they have secured the country since taking over in August, but many analysts say the risk of militant violence remains and several deadly attacks have taken place in recent months.

A blast on Friday in the northern city of Kunduz killed one person and injured two.

IS claims responsibility for attack on Sikh gurdwara

Meanwhile, the militant Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack on the Sikh gurdwara in Afghanistan that killed one community member and a Taliban fighter, saying it was retaliation for insults against Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Protests in several Muslim countries were sparked by the derogatory remarks by a spokeswoman for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist party earlier this month.

In a message posted on its Amaq propaganda site, IS said Saturday’s attack targeted Hindus and Sikhs and the “apostates” who protected them in “an act of support for the Messenger of Allah”.

The militant group said one of its fighters “penetrated a temple for Hindu and Sikh polytheists in Kabul, after killing its guard, and opened fire on the pagans inside with his machine gun and hand grenades”.

Interior ministry spokesman Abdul Nafi Takor said the attackers lobbed at least one grenade when they entered the gurdwara, setting off a blaze.

The attack follows a visit by an Indian delegation to Kabul to discuss the distribution of humanitarian aid from India to Afghanistan.

The number of bombings across Afghanistan has dropped since the Taliban returned to power, but several attacks — many targeting minority communities — have rocked the country in recent months, including several claimed by IS.

The number of Sikhs living in Afghanistan has dwindled to around 200, compared to about half a million in the 1970s. Most of those who remain are traders involved in selling herbal medicines and electronic goods brought from India.

In recent months, many impoverished Sikhs, including women and children, took refuge in the complex that was attacked on Saturday.

Source: Dawn

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Hostile Treatment in India Forcing Rohingya Influx In Bangladesh

SM Najmus Sakib 


DHAKA, Bangladesh

Thousands of Rohingya Muslims have begun an arduous journey to cross the Indian-Bangladeshi border for safe shelter on the southeast coast of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh where more than 1 million Rohingya have been provided shelter.

There are about 40,000 Rohingya in India with 20,000 registered with the UN refugee agency.

Experts and activists on the eve of World Refugee Day, observed June 20, expressed concerns about the influx of refugees to Bangladesh and they are asking for a diplomatic push to stop the flow from India and resume the longstanding repatriation of Rohingya to Myanmar as the ultimate solution.

Ansar Ali, a Rohingya leader at one of the largest refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, told Anadolu Agency that Rohingya Muslims who had taken shelter in India in a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” in Myanmar, are now fleeing India.

Recent anti-Muslim sentiment in India has stoked the situation for Rohingya taking shelter, he said, citing refugees who joined them from India.

Muslims in India under the Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been experiencing mounting pressure and humiliation, including right-wing Hindu organizations’ demands that Muslims leave India, restrictions on wearing the hijab, not having halal food and the use of loudspeakers to call for prayers.

More than 300 people were arrested in Uttar Pradesh and those who took to the streets to demonstrate against official comments regarding Prophet Muhammad and his wife, Aisha, had their houses damaged. Human rights groups asked India to immediately end the vicious crackdown on Muslims.

Troublesome journey to reunite fellow refugees

Refugees who managed to cross the border said Rohingya in India “had a story of struggle to secure basic human rights like food, shelter and face rising harassment, including from the officials,” said Ali. “They have to live in a situation of fear, hostility and rejection due to the rising islamophobia in the BJP-led India.”

Rohingya have to pay on average taka 10,000 ($100) each to middlemen on the Bangladesh side while they have to pay 5,000 - 15,000 rupees ($64 - $192) to brokers who hold them hostage, according to refugees.

India shares its longest border with Bangladesh. The neighbors share a 4,096-kilometer-long (2,545-mile) international border, the fifth-longest land border in the world.

“Being a big country, India should extend its support to Rohingya refugees and play a greater role in Rohingya repatriation to Myanmar. Instead, they force refugees to leave. Thousands are gathering near border areas to leave India,” said Ali.

The commanding officer of the Armed Police Battalion, Naimul Haque, in Cox’s Bazar told Anadolu Agency that authorities have detained more than 1,000 Rohingya from India since last May and provided shelter in refugee camps.

“Bangladesh ensures good food and shelter for refugees under the UN arrangement. Meanwhile, there are a small group of refugees currently living in India and most of their relatives in Cox’s Bazar. So, many of them live in India and want to live with their family and friends in Cox’s Bazar.”

There have been reports of hostile treatment of refugees coming from India, he said, adding that Rohingya mostly come from Jammu and Kashmir.

Experts for greater UN, diplomatic role in India

Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abdul Momen expressed unhappiness about the influx from India.

Urging a greater UN role to solve the crisis, he recently told reporters in Dhaka that refugees went to India about 9 years ago in 2012 where they had been staying in different provinces.

Imtiaz Ahmed, a foreign policy analyst at Dhaka University, told Anadolu Agency that it is India’s responsibility to keep refugees, as settled by the UN agencies. Bangladesh alone cannot shoulder the responsibility of the persecuted community.

“What we see is that India is no longer a safe country as it was for Muslims. The rising anti-Muslim sentiment or Islamophobia is among the major causes that cause Rohingya to flee from India. The dwindling economic condition of India is also provoking the influx,” he said.

Ahmed emphasized a greater role for UN agencies, activists and journalists in India to ensure refugee rights and safety for the Rohingya.

He criticized the UN, alleging that the world body is not playing its due role to initiate the longstanding repatriation of Rohingya to Myanmar which is exacerbating the crisis in the region, and repatriation is the ultimate solution.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said Bangladesh would return Rohingya who entered Bangladesh from India.

Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Shah Rezwan Hayat told Anadolu Agency that refugee who crossed the border are seeking a better environment and security in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar which is not provided in India, citing refugees who came from India.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Traffic Accident in South-Western Afghanistan Kills Five People

By Saqalain Eqbal

19 Jun 2022

The collision of a Fielder type vehicle with a tractor-trailer in south-western Afghanistan, Zabul province, kills five people and injures one more, according to the Taliban provincial security officials.

Consistent with the Taliban officials, on Saturday evening, 18th June, the incident occurred in the Noorak area of Qalat, the Zabul’s provincial capital, approximately 323 kilometers far from Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital.

The Taliban’s Director of Information and Culture for the south-western province of Zabul stated that the victims and the injured were transported to a nearby hospital.

According to him, relatives of passengers killed in the incident were rushing at the hospital to claim their friends and families’ bodies.

The cause of the accident remains unknown at this time.

The weather was fine at the time of the accident, according to authorities, and police officials were investigating possible mechanical issues or human fault.

Source: Khaama Press

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“Afghan Invest” Company Inaugurates with a $250M Capital in Kabul

By Saqalain Eqbal

19 Jun 2022

A limited liability company (LLC), called the Afghan Invest, established in Kabul and acquired its license after an initial investment of $250 million.

According to the state-run Bakhtar News Agency’s report, the newly inaugurated company is established with an investment of $250 million.

The company presently has 13 investors from various regions of Afghanistan, but the number of the investors, according to the sources, is expected to grow to 50.

Senior officials of the Taliban’s interim administration, including cabinet officials, and ambassadors serving in Kabul, and members of the Afghan private sector attended the ceremony to inaugurate the company.

The LLC is claimed to be prepared to invest $250 to $300 million in four important sectors of the country which are construction, mining, energy, and agriculture.

A senior Taliban official, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who serves as the Taliban’s Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs, participated in the inauguration ceremony and has stated that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) “fully supports” the traders, investors and businessmen who are willing to invest in Afghanistan.

While there are reports that some former government officials have returned to the country, She Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai reiterated and called on Afghans to “unite” and live in Afghanistan “with dignity”.

Source: Khaama Press

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Armed Robbers Kill a University Lecturer in Eastern Afghanistan

By Saqalain Eqbal

19 Jun 2022

According to local sources, Nematullah Wali, a university instructor in Nangarhar, a province in eastern Afghanistan, was stabbed to death in the city of Jalalabad by armed robbers.

Professor Nematullah Wali was attacked last week when he was caught in a confrontation with the robbers who first took the professor’s phone and money by force, and then stabbed him in Jalalabad’s fourth district, according to sources.

The health provincial officials reported that his condition was critical as he was taken to the hospital.

However, the professor’s brother said that his brother, professor Nematullah Wali has died this morning, 19th June, in the hospital.

After professor’s phone and cash was taken, the robbers were said to have escaped the crime scene and have not yet been arrested by the Taliban security officials.

The provincial security officials of the Taliban have not yet responded to the incident.

Professor Nematullah Wali’s demise comes at a time when Afghanistan faces a brain drain situation, which according to the experts, affect the Taliban’s ability to rule in the country.

Source: Khaama Press

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Algerian elite praises constant promotion of Islamic Revolution

June 20, 2022

Senior Algerian thinker attending the webinar on “Imam Khomeini (RA) and Islamic Revolution” lauded the 1979 popular uprising in Iran for its constant development and stressed Islamic unity in confrontation with dividing movements.

Noureddin Abu Lahi, Qur’an interpreter from Algeria related on the global movement of Imam Khomeini (RA) and detailed the reviving uprising by the late leader.

He called Islamic Revolution as a great revolution which is on its path of success and continues its influence despite all hurdles created by world arrogant powers.

Algerian elite also highlighted the global aspect of the uprising by the late leader of Islamic Revolution and said,” Imam Khomeini (RA) kept Islam as a burning light to lead all nations, a light capable of stemming tyranny and materialize social justice.”

He stressed the concepts of Islamic unity, proximity of Islamic denominations in confrontation with dividing movements, endeavors to settle the key issues in the world of Islam, particularly the issue of Palestine, plans to support world oppressed nations and also revival of the Islam originally brought by Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

Source: ABNA24

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Rabat urges ‘fair trial’ for Moroccan facing Ukraine war death penalty

19 June, 2022

Morocco's national human rights body has urged Russian authorities to guarantee a “fair trial” for a young national appealing a death sentence imposed by a pro-Russian court in Ukraine.

Brahim Saadoun, a Moroccan citizen born in 2000, was sentenced to death on June 9 along with two British men by a court in Donetsk, a self-proclaimed statelet in eastern Ukraine.

The trio have been accused of acting as mercenaries for Ukraine following Russia's invasion of its neighbour.

Amina Bouayach, president of the National Council of Human Rights (CNDH), has contacted the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, a source from the Moroccan rights council told AFP on Sunday.

She has urged the Russian body to take “the necessary steps to ensure Brahim Saadoun receives a fair trial during his appeal,” the source said.

Taher Saadoun, father of the accused, has said his son, who obtained Ukrainian citizenship in 2020, “is not a mercenary,” calling him instead a “victim of manipulation.”

But Dmytro Khrabstov, 20, a friend of Saadoun, has said the Moroccan joined the Ukrainian military last year, telling friends he wanted to “die as a hero.”

The Moroccan government had not responded until last Monday, saying through its embassy in Ukraine that Saadoun “was captured while wearing the uniform of the army of the state of Ukraine, as a member of the Ukrainian marine unit.”

It said he was “currently imprisoned by an entity that is recognized by neither the United Nations nor Morocco,” without commenting further.

Morocco has taken a position of neutrality at the United Nations on the war in Ukraine.

The move reflects Rabat's desire to avoid alienating Russia, a member of the UN Security Council, on the question of the disputed Western Sahara, a key Moroccan diplomatic priority.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Witnesses say more than 200 killed in Ethiopia ethnic attack

19 June, 2022

Witnesses in Ethiopia said Sunday that more than 200 ethnic Amhara have been killed in an attack in the country’s Oromia region and are blaming a rebel group, which denies it.

It is one of the deadliest such attacks in recent memory as ethnic tensions continue in Africa’s second most populous country.

“I have counted 230 bodies. I am afraid this is the deadliest attack against civilians we have seen in our lifetime,” Abdul-Seid Tahir, a resident of Gimbi county, told The Associated Press after barely escaping the attack on Saturday. “We are burying them in mass graves, and we are still collecting bodies. Federal army units have now arrived, but we fear that the attacks could continue if they leave.”

Another witness, who gave only his first name, Shambel over fears for his safety, said the local Amhara community is now desperately seeking to be relocated somewhere else “before another round of mass killings happen.” He said ethnic Amhara that settled in the area about 30 years ago in resettlement programs are now being “killed like chickens.”

Both witnesses blamed the Oromo Liberation Army for the attacks. In a statement, the Oromia regional government also blamed the OLA, saying the rebels attacked “after being unable to resist the operations launched by (federal) security forces.”

An OLA spokesman, Odaa Tarbii, denied the allegations.

“The attack you are referring to was committed by the regime’s military and local militia as they retreated from their camp in Gimbi following our recent offensive,” he said in a message to the AP. “They escaped to an area called Tole, where they attacked the local population and destroyed their property as retaliation for their perceived support for the OLA. Our fighters had not even reached that area when the attacks took place.”

Ethiopia is experiencing widespread ethnic tensions in several regions, most of them over historical grievances and political tensions. The Amhara people, the second-largest ethnic group among Ethiopia’s more than 110 million population, have been targeted frequently in regions like Oromia.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Tunisian judges extend strike to protest president’s policies

Yamena Salemi  


TUNIS, Tunisia

Tunisian judges have extended their ongoing strike for a third week in protest of the sacking of their colleagues by President Kais Saied.

“The strike has yet to achieve results as the president ignored our protest,” Murad al-Masoudi, the head of the Association of Young Judges, told Anadolu Agency.

“We have decided to extend the strike for a third week,” he added, vowing further escalations if their demands were not heeded.

“Judges will also stage a “day of anger” next week to express our rejection of Saied’s policies,” al-Masoudi said.

On June 1, the Tunisian president sacked 57 judges, citing corruption and covering up terrorist cases, accusations that were vehemently rejected by judges.

Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis that has aggravated the country's economic conditions since Saied ousted the government, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority last year in July. He later dissolved the suspended parliament.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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North America


Biden rebuked for asking Israel to halt violence against Palestinians until after his visit

18 June 2022

Activists have rebuked the Joe Biden administration after it reportedly asked Israel to temporarily stop violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank until after the US president’s visit next month, predicting no change in Israeli atrocities owing to Washington’s unwavering support for the regime.

Citing four Israeli, US, and Palestinian officials, Axios reported on Wednesday that the US had asked Israel to halt any actions in the occupied West Bank and al-Quds that could create tensions until after Biden’s visit in mid-July.

“The US wants the visit to take place in a good atmosphere – different than the one now,” Hussein al-Sheikh, who is in charge of Palestinian contact with the Biden administration, told the American news website Axios. “If the Israelis don’t stop their unilateral action the situation deteriorates and becomes much worse.”

A senior Israeli official also said the Biden administration wants “quiet and calm” and doesn’t want the regime to create any crisis in the West Bank.

The report prompted a flood of comments on social media, with activists saying Israel will never stop its crimes against Palestinians due to US’s support for Israel regardless of what it does to Palestinians.

“US: Please refrain from home demolitions, forced expulsions, & settlement unit approvals & decrease the military presence in W Bank until after Biden visits,” Ariel Gold, the national co-director and senior Middle East policy analyst with CODEPINK for Peace, wrote in a tweet, interpreting Washington’s request.

She added, “Israel: Thanks for the suggestion, but since you support us regardless of what we do...”

Osama Abuirshaid, executive director of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), told the Middle East Eye that the request indicates that the Biden administration has neither a vision nor a plan to deal with the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.

“The administration may have decided that this was an issue that failed many American presidents before Biden, so taking a political risk seems unnecessary,” Abuirshaid said.

Palestinian political analyst Nour Odeh said that the Biden administration’s request conveyed the message to Israel that “you can resume killing, dispossessing, and persecuting them without restrictions once Biden leaves.”

Israel has destroyed more than 1,200 Palestinian-owned structures in the occupied West Bank and left more than 1,600 Palestinians homeless since Biden came into office, according to UN data.

According to Israel's leading human rights group B'Tselem, more than 20,000 Palestinian-owned housing units are at risk of demolition in East al-Quds alone.

The regime in Tel Aviv has also continued its acts of violence against Palestinians across the occupied territories, including a wave of incursions, arrests, and arbitrary killings.

In the early hours of Friday morning, Israeli forces killed three young Palestinians and injured several others during a military raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the northern part of the West Bank.

Following Friday prayers, Israeli forces injured at least 78 people during protest rallies against the regime’s settler-colonial activities in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

The protests, which have become a weekly affair, erupted in and around the West Bank city of Nablus, with Israeli regime forces using indiscriminate force to quell them.

On Twitter, users also pointed to the Biden administration’s silence in the aftermath of the murder of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces.

“Could you stop murdering journalists, just for a little while? You can do it again once we leave,” wrote a user.

Source: Press TV

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CENTCOM and Pentagon approved Israeli airstrikes in Syria

20 June 2022

The Wall Street Journal reveals that Israel secretly coordinates with the US on many of the airstrikes it carries out in Syria.and that, since 2017, Israel has carried out more than 400 airstrikes in Syria and other parts of the West Asia region.

It claims that Israeli attacks have been aimed at restricting Iran and its allied forces in Syria.

The vast majority of those Israeli airstrikes have been approved by the US Central Command, CENTCOM and the Pentagon.

The US aim is to ensure that Israel's bombing raids don't interfere with the US led military campaign in Syria.

Many observers believed that the revelation by The Wall Street Journal was confirmation of an open secret policy.

I think first of all, whenever anyone says that the US is secretly doing this or that with Israel, it's almost naive to say that. Israel is, in essence, an agent of the United States and other people that think it works the other way around.

Israel is a Euro American white settler state that was imposed on Palestine, as people know. A Project beginning I guess perhaps you saved from the Balfour in the 20s forward to when the State of Israel "was created". And it's been a military base, basically, from which to secure the oil fields of the area of Iran. Iraq, all of Syria, everywhere.

The Israeli military, for all of its public relations efforts to the contrary, is an agent of the US military, with some nominal French and British input into that. Certainly financial input is not nominal. It's real.

But this is a creature of the Pentagon and Langley (CIA) that behaves in coordination with the policy that is implemented by the United States.

Don DeBar, Journalist

The timing of the revelation by the Wall Street Journal comes as the Israeli regime has increased its attacks against Syria. Last week, the regime heavily struck Damascus International Airport which is a still not completely up and running.

Syrian officials have said on many occasions that US troops in Syria are there to loot the country's resources. Former US President, Donald Trump, was not embarrassed to frankly say that he kept US troops in Syria for Syrian oil only.

We've kept the oil, we stayed back and kept the oil. Other people can patrol the border of Syria frankly...

Former US President, Donald J Trump

The fight against Daesh seems to have been a good pretext to maintain us illegal presence in Syria.

Syrian officials have also repeatedly called on the United Nations to stop Israel's strikes on the country. But those calls have almost always gone unnoticed behind a couple of verbal admonitions by UN officials.

This seems to have emboldened the regime in Tel Aviv to carry on its attacks with impunity.

After setting loose Daesh and Al Qaedeh and 47 other varieties of jihadi on Syria, the US government found itself facing a request from the Syrian government that had, by the way, been twice elected since 2011 by vast majorities of Syrians inside and outside the country. Israel is, you know, a US lap dog that has lots of advanced weapons, it's money laundry for money that goes,,,, funneled through the Pentagon and Langley.

Billions and billions of dollars of money taken from American taxpayers ends up in the hands of arms merchants, all kinds of people, through Israel and whatever and these things are used to inflict misery on the people of the Middle East. To the extent that there's any resistance between these people that wants to own the resources of that area and the actual ownership of it.

Source: Press TV

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Iran’s torpedoes can severely damage US navy aircraft carriers: American publication

20 June 2022

Iran possesses submarines equipped with torpedoes that can strike a US aircraft carrier and severely damage its structure, according to an American publication.

The 19FortyFive said in an article that “although US defenses are superior in every way, the potential for Iran’s successful destruction of a US naval aircraft carrier is not impossible.”

“The Iranian Navy’s fleet of Kilo-class submarines is equipped with torpedoes that could severely impact the structure of a carrier,” it said.

The article also noted that Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has greatly expanded and advanced its weapons arsenals in recent years.

Moreover, the Islamic Republic “has been able to develop longer-range ballistic missiles that will ultimately be capable of hitting US assets.”

According to the article, the Islamic Republic “practiced destroying US military assets, including a naval aircraft carrier, in its semi-regular wargame exercises.”

For a long time, Iran has demanded an end to the United States’ hostile presence in the Persian Gulf, where Washington has deployed a remarkable number of military assets thousands of kilometers away from its soil.

Tehran has also called on its Persian Gulf Arab neighbors to enter dialog on how to establish security in the region without any foreign military presence.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi reiterated on Sunday that the presence of foreigners does not bring security to the West Asia region, stressing that regional countries are fully capable of solving their own problems.

“We agree that the presence of foreigners in the region will not create security, but rather, it will cause many problems. We also believe that regional officials are capable of solving regional problems and that the region’s [Gordian] knots can be untied by the region itself,” Raeisi said in a presser with visiting Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Tehran.

In recent years, Iranian military experts and technicians have made substantial headway in manufacturing a broad range of indigenous equipment, making the armed forces self-sufficient in the arms sphere.

Iranian officials have repeatedly underscored that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, including its missile power, which are entirely meant for defense, and that Iran’s defense capabilities will be never subject to negotiation.

Source: Press TV

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Israeli regime secretly coordinates Syria airstrikes with US: Report

19 June 2022

The Israeli regime’s air strikes against targets in Syria have been conducted with the secret approval of the American military, a US-based daily has reported citing current and former officials.

The Israeli military forces have been coordinating their attacks against Syrian targets with the Pentagon and US Central Command, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, claiming that the dialogue was needed to ensure that the raids by Israeli warplanes would not interfere with the operations of American forces stationed at the Al-Tanf military base near Syria’s border with Jordan.

The report further cited its sources as saying that the vast majority of the strikes by the Israeli regime’s warplanes have been reviewed by Washington, though the US did not assist the Israelis in picking their targets.

It’s a “well-developed and deliberate process,” said a former US official quoted by the daily, which further noted that the secrecy surrounding those contacts “shows how Washington has sought to support its Israeli ally without being drawn into Israel’s shadow war against Iran.”

“There is tacit American support for the Israelis acting to blunt the Iranians’ efforts to spread weapons around and build their leverage throughout the region. But there has also been a consistent hesitancy about wanting any fingerprints on this,” former senior US State Department official Dennis Ross said as quoted by the daily.

“It would be irresponsible if there was not deconfliction and coordination because of the risk that we could have an inadvertent problem,” Ross claimed.

Source: Press TV

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US military expands bases in eastern Syria, reinforces them with air systems

18 June 2022

The US military has reportedly expanded its illegal bases in eastern Syria and strengthened them with air systems.

Russia's Sputnik news agency reported on Friday that that the US occupation forces are strengthening their ranks in eastern Syria, expanding their positions and moving more military convoys in the area.

The agency cited local sources in the northeastern province of Hasaka as saying that the American forces reinforced their illegal bases in the area with a “modern radar system” after they had built the bases to set up the radar on them.

The sources underlined that the bases, which include large warehouses, a command center and a helipad for military helicopters, were among the firsts established by the American forces with the support of Kurdish-led SDF militants loyal to them in Hasaka Province.

"US forces also expanded the grain silos base, which includes an airstrip in the town of Tal Baidar, north of Hasaka, near the M4 highway, by linking it with the headquarters of a former Syrian army regiment in the area," the sources added.

The sources confirmed that the "grain silos" base also witnessed an increase in fortifications and military equipment, as well as the deployment of Humvee vehicles and observation posts.

The US military has stationed forces and equipment in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists.

Damascus, however, maintains the deployment is meant to plunder the country's rich mineral resources.

Former US President Donald Trump admitted on more than one occasion that American forces were in the Arab country for its oil.

After failing to oust the Syrian government through militant proxies and direct involvement in the conflict, the US government has stepped up its economic war on the Arab country.

In June 2020, the US enacted the so-called Caesar Act that imposed the toughest sanctions ever on Syria intending to choke off revenue sources for the government.

The sanctions have crippled the war-torn country’s economy by barring foreign companies from doing trade with Damascus.

Syria says the real purpose of the measures is to put pressure on Syrians and their livelihoods.

Source: Press TV

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