New Age Islam
Mon Aug 10 2020, 11:34 PM

Islamic World News ( 4 Apr 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Malaysian Muslims told to shun those who promise ‘power to the people’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southeast Asia

Malaysian Muslims told to shun those who promise ‘power to the people’

Police Arrest Couple Offering Live Sex Shows in Surabaya

Officer Accused of Forcing Teens to Make Sex Video

West Java Governor Supports a Bikini-Free Miss World Pageant in Bogor

Bekasi Government Shuts Down Ahmadiya Mosque

Aceh Has 14 Days to Stop Using GAM Flag: SBY

Prosecution Demands 2 Years for Rois in Sampang Shiite Attack

 

Pakistan

Pak court acquits Christian man on death row for blasphemy

Punishment urged for making false blasphemy allegation

Sindhi stories: The Pir’s power, the Syed’s sway

Pakistan army starts offensive in Khyber; 4 troops dead

Judiciary accused of encroaching on political space

Elections: Musharraf's nomination papers rejected

Taliban leaders make mockery of Afghanistan peace efforts

Pakistan expels suspected French jihadists

Zia era legacy returns to haunt Pak politicians

ECP to decide the fate of 182 minority candidates today

Pak debate team gets passage to India

SC directs Balochistan govt to act against illegal activities

Pakistan needs another Bhutto but not another Zia

LHC seeks reply from government over drone strikes

‘8,000 policemen will make no difference to Karachi’s law and order'

Pakistan's Sectarian Violence Creeps Into Art Scene

 

Arab World

Assad deploys foreign fighters in capital to protect Shiite shrines

Salafists to hold conference against 'spread of Shia doctrine in Egypt'

Hezbollah threatens regional security: Lebanese Sunni cleric

Attacking Azhar would undermine Egypt security: Grand Mufti

Lebanese Officials Charged With Receiving Sexual Bribes

Aid crisis growing as millions flee Syria bombs

Two attacks in Iraq kill three soldiers, three civilians

Rocket Attack in Syrian Capital Kills 5

Hezbollah Bloc to Back Salam for Lebanon Premier

Tammam Salam builds consensus to be Lebanon’s new prime minister

Civil war in Syria threatens ancient oasis city of Palmyra

‘We don’t collaborate with the oppressive Assad regime’: Kurdish military group

 

India

Detained in 2003, Kashmiri youth figures in terror plot

India starts visa-on-arrival facility for Pakistani senior citizens

Army killed minor in fake encounter 16 yrs ago, says J&K SHRC

Ishrat Jahan case: another Gujarat cop arrested

Minister to discuss with 9 states fallout of Nitaqat

IM co-founder: Forced to give false confession in train blasts

Indian-origin man jailed for 24 yrs in Malaysia

 

Africa

Veteran Sudan Islamist meets 'revolutionary' Morsi

Group Says South Sudan Aids Rebels in Sudan

Police station attacked in Tripoli, three detainees freed

First UN food aid allowed into war-torn Sudan state

Moncef Trabelsi, brother-in-law of Tunisia's Ben Ali, dies in jail

 

Europe

French firm aims to create pool of Saudi talent

EU worried about Egypt's civil society proposals

A Bosnian Muslim welcome to Pope Francis

UN cuts Gaza food aid after protest at local offices

Syria's humanitarian crisis worsening rapidly: Red Cross

World powers and Iran seek solution at Kazakh talks

UN condemns Afghan court massacre

 

South Asia

Bangladesh Islamists Reportedly Abduct 11 Christian Children Again

New Zealand troops begin withdrawal from Afghanistan

Afghan relations with Pakistan at new low

Ethnic Rifts Strain Myanmar as It Moves Toward Democracy

Pak army, Razakars killed 600 on this day in Lalmonirhat

Rising extremism could threaten Maldives’ tourism industry: report

Entire panel of judges have ganged up on a C J after a verdict: Nasheed’s lawyer

MDP dismisses prospect of power-sharing coalition

Bangladesh Govt asked to probe attacks on Hindus   

Bomb attached to donkey kills Afghan policeman

Bangladesh Govt backs atheists: Hefazat-e Islam

Attacks on minorities not acceptable: US Ambassador to Bangladesh

 

Mideast Asia

Hamas urges UN to resume Gaza food aid

Ismail Haniyeh named deputy head of Hamas

Palestinian President Abbas 'to suspend unilateral action against Israel'

Thousands of Palestinians protest in West Bank

Iran Says It Offers New Plan for Nuclear Program

Iran Road Accident Kills 18, Including 15 Afghans

Turkey nears decision on $22 billion nuclear plant

Israel denies link with arms ship seized by Egypt

 

North America

94% LeT recruits view J&K as 'fighting front': US report

US issues fresh waiver for sale of major defence equipment to Pakistan

Washington Escalates Syria Intervention

 

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: File photo of Muslims at Friday prayers. Today’s official Friday sermon urged Muslims to elect leaders who fulfil promises.

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/malaysian-muslims-told-to-shun-those-who-promise-‘power-to-the-people’/d/11026

 

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Southeast Asia

 

Malaysian Muslims told to shun those who promise ‘power to the people’

Apr 5, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — Muslims across the country were today warned off leaders who promised “power to the people” and urged instead to elect those who fulfil promises in an official Friday sermon that mirrored the Barisan Nasional (BN) campaign for Election 2013.

The sermon — prepared by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) — pointed out those attempts to manipulate emotions and sentiments by promising to return power to the people had been used by the enemies of Muslims to destroy Islamic countries.

“It starts by casting a false shadow towards the current ruler, which creates a believable perception for the people who will then be manipulated to dethrone the ruler and their country,” said the sermon, as it warned the audience to shun any leaders who act as such.

Keeping promises made to his followers is one of the traits of a capable leader, the sermon added.

“A leader who keeps his promises is a leader who is accepted and trusted, not one who lies, throws false promises and disappoints his followers,” Muslims were told.

“Imagine, do the leaders who we will choose possess these traits? Be mindful, if our decision is wrong, we would be responsible for selling out our religion and country.”

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the ruling BN have been using the “Janji Ditepati (Promises Fulfilled)” slogan in the past year.

Najib’s “Jelajah Janji Ditepati (Promises Fulfilled Tour)” to showcase his administration’s achievements began last April in Johor and ended last month in his home state of Pahang. The national tour has been used to promise funds by the BN federal government.

In a state-of-the-union address last month, Najib trumpeted his government’s achievements over the past three years, and promised an annual Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) cash handout scheme.

The prime minister also took the chance to attack Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in his National Transformation Programme (NTP) annual report speech, reminding the public to continue the mandate of his BN government instead of voting for the opposition.

“The people of Malaysia must choose between ... a government that will continue proven policies, or the other side who speak with a forked tongue, who take people’s trust lightly,” Najib said when outlining the many achievements of the dual-pronged Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and Government Transformation Programme (GTP).

Parliament was dissolved on Wednesday and state assemblies have followed suit, paving the way for the 13th general election which has to be held by May 28.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/muslims-told-to-shun-those-who-promise-power-to-the-people/

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Police Arrest Couple Offering Live Sex Shows in Surabaya

Farouk Arnaz | April 05, 2013

Police in Surabaya have arrested a married couple from Tanjung Perak who started offering live sex shows this week to help support their family financially.

The parents, identified as Kevin and Devi, were arrested on Tuesday after an undercover police officer caught them in the act.

“They admitted to have done it twice, but of course we don't believe it,” Adj. Sr. Comr Anom Wibowo, Tanjung Perak Police chief told the Jakarta Globe on Thursday. “We will still find out their customers, they might have numerous [customers] of this newly revealed crime. During questioning, Kevin seemed normal and really rational.”

Anom said that while both of them were named as suspects, only Kevin was detained.

“His wife was not detained for humanity reasons,” he said. “They have two children, the first one is four years old and the second one is two years old.”

Police started investigating the pair after they discovered an advertisement in a Surabaya newspaper which read “Kevin & Devi Chinese massage special for husband and wife, clean and white” with a contact number.

“It turned out that the advertiser did not only offer massages but also live sex shows performed by Kevin and his wife,” Anom said. “That's why our undercover member booked the service and arrested them.”'

Kevin said that he had asked for Rp 850,000 ($87.16) for a 20-minute show, which excluded the price of the hotel room in Tambak Bayan, Surabaya. Kevin told the police that they only launched the business this week as they were struggling financially. The father said he did not have a steady salary working as a porter.

Both of them have been charged under the Anti-Pornography Law that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail or an Rp 5 billion fine.

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/police-arrest-couple-offering-live-sex-shows-in-surabaya/583865

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Officer Accused of Forcing Teens to Make Sex Video

Jakarta Globe | April 05, 2013

Police in Mamuju, West Sulawesi, are looking for a Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) officer who allegedly forced two junior high school students to have sex while he recorded them on his cell phone.

The unidentified Satpol PP officer reportedly caught two teens on a date in an abandoned building in Mamuju. He then reportedly forced the school children to have sex while he filmed the act on his cell phone.

The 67-second video shows the two minors having sex while an unknown man directs them off-camera. The man, whose face is not shown in the video, directs the teenagers and orders them to repeat certain acts.

Police were alerted of the video when it was traded around town, according to reports on Kompas.com.

Mamuju Police Chief AKBP Darwis Rincing said police know the officer’s identity, but were still searching for him.

The West Sulawesi Legal Aid Foundation will provide assistance for the teenagers until the Satpol PP officer is brought to justice, foundation head Sukri Wandi said.

“This can cause massive psychological shock for the two innocent students,” he said.

Sukri urged Mamuju administration to promise swift action if the officer is found guilty.

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/satpol-pp-officer-accused-of-forcing-teens-to-make-sex-video/583892

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West Java Governor Says He Supports a Bikini-Free Miss World Pageant in Bogor

Jakarta Globe | April 05, 2013

West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan has thrown his support behind the 2013 Miss World pageant which will be held in Bogor this September, as there will be no bikini category at the grand final of the event.  

“This Miss World event is different with other similar events as during the grand final [the finalists] won't wear a bikini,” Ahmad said on Thursday, as quoted by Antaranews.com. “Insya Allah, it will be more polite.”

This will be Indonesia's first time hosting the event, with the grand final for Miss World 2013 to be held at the Sentul International Convention Center in Bogor on Sept. 28.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/west-java-governor-says-he-supports-a-bikini-free-miss-world-pageant-in-bogor/583870

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Bekasi Government Shuts Down Ahmadiyah Mosque

Camelia Pasandaran | April 05, 2013

The Bekasi government shut down a mosque of Indonesia's beleaguered Ahmadiyah sect in Pondok Gede on Thursday, in the latest act of religious intolerance in the district.

“Last night, members of the Bekasi Public Order Agency [Satpol PP] placed an iron sheet surrounding the mosque,” Iman Rahmat Rahmadijaya told the Jakarta Globe on Friday.

“The government said that we kept on carrying out activities despite the fact that they had locked the entrance gate.”

Bekasi Mayor Rahmat Effendi had previously said that the decision to shutdown the Ahmadiyah mosque was made to prevent future bloodshed. But Ahmadiyah officials had argued that the city only took action after Islamic hard-liners announced plans to open a branch in Pondok Gede.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/bekasi-government-shuts-down-ahmadiyah-mosque/583861

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Aceh Has 14 Days to Stop Using GAM Flag: SBY

ID/Novy Lumanauw | April 05, 2013

Aceh’s provincial government has two weeks to stop using the flag of the now-disbanded separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM) army as a regional symbol, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Friday.

“I am still hopeful that in one or two weeks, this will be settled and there will no longer be any disturbances regarding the issue of the flag...” Yudhoyono said. “What is clear is that the ‘Merah-Putih’ [Indonesian flag] has to fly across the entire country.”

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/aceh-has-14-days-to-stop-using-gam-flag-sby/583924

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Prosecution Demands 2 Years for Rois in Sampang Shiite Attack

Amir Tejo | April 04, 2013

Surabaya. Prosecutors demanded a two-year sentence on Thursday for Nahdlatul Ulama figure Rois Al-Hukama, a man accused of fanning anti-Shiite furor in Sampang, Madura Island, ahead of last August's deadly rampage.

Prosecutor Bagus Wicaksono told the Surabaya District Court that Rois’ dispute with brother and Shiite leader Tajul Muluk set off a wave of violence in Sampang that left two dead, seven injured and more than 30 homes torched. He accused Rois of igniting tensions between the island’s Sunni and Shiite Muslims and then failing to step in before the situation turned violent.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/lawandorder/prosecution-demands-2-years-for-rois-in-sampang-shiite-attack/583684

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Pakistan

 

Pak court acquits Christian man on death row for blasphemy

 April 05, 2013

A Pakistani court has acquitted a Christian man who was sentenced to death for blasphemy six years ago in Lahore. Younis Masih, 34, a labourer, was arrested in September 2005 from a low-income neighbourhood of Lahore after local residents accused him of interrupting a gathering of Sufi

singing to make blasphemous remarks, reports The Express Tribune.

Masih's lawyer, Naeem Shakir, said his client was sentenced to death in May 2007 and fined 100,000 rupees, but appealed to the high court in Lahore.

Shakir said his client would be freed "in a couple of days" after he obtained a written copy of the decision and a detailed judgment.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/pakistan/Pak-court-acquits-man-on-death-row-for-blasphemy/Article1-1037806.aspx

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Punishment urged for making false blasphemy allegation

 Apr 5, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Discussing the Badami Bagh incident in Lahore, the Senate Standing Committee on National Harmony on Thursday recommended stern punishment for people involved in making false blasphemy accusations.

Mir Mohammad Ali Rind who presided over the meeting at the Parliament House said the burning of properties in Badami Bagh was a tragic incident which portrayed a wrong image of Pakistan all over the world. He said immediate steps should be taken to avoid such kind of incidents in future.

Kamran Michael, a member of the committee, said when people were accused of blasphemy it took them eight to 10 years to prove their innocence in courts and even after that they could not stay safe in their areas.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/04/05/punishment-urged-for-making-false-blasphemy-allegation/

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Sindhi stories: The Pir’s power, the Syed’s sway

April 5, 2013

KARACHI: The influence of Pir and Syed families runs deep in Sindh.  Not only do these families, especially the Sajjada Nashin (heirs/ caretakers) of the different Gaddis, or seats, indirectly back particular political parties, but they also directly contest the elections as well.

Prominent Dargahs include the Sarwari Jamaat led by the Makhdoom family of Hala, the Hur Jamaat led by Pir Pagaro, the Ghousia Jamaat led by Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pir of Ranipur in Khairpur Mirs, and Bharchundi Sharif in the Ghotki district.

“I have closely been monitoring elections since the 1970s,” says Senior journalist Niaz Bhanbhro. “Every time, the families of Pir Pagara and the Pir of Ranipur oppose each other. The former fields candidates representing Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, while the latter is with Pakistan People’s Party,” says Bhanbhro. “So far, the PPP has managed to win the provincial and national seats with a thumping majority.” In Sanghar district however, Pir Pagara’s Hur Jamaat is undefeated.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/531336/sindhi-stories-the-pirs-power-the-syeds-sway/

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Judiciary accused of encroaching on political space

 Apr 5, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has accused the judiciary of exercising its power rather than its jurisdiction and encroaching on political space, condemned the killing of minorities and expressed fears about the future of democracy.

The HRCP Chairperson, Asma Jahangir, and Secretary General I.A. Rehman spoke about the increasing violation of human rights when they unveiled the commission’s annual report on disturbing events in 2012 at a hotel on Thursday afternoon. It was attended by civil society representatives, lawyers and media personnel.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/04/05/judiciary-accused-of-encroaching-on-political-space/

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Pakistan army starts offensive in Khyber; 4 troops dead

April 05, 2013

Pakistani military officials say four soldiers and 14 militants were killed as the army launched a ground offensive in a restive valley in the northwest.

The officials say five soldiers were also wounded in Friday's operation in the Tirah Valley in the Khyber tribal area. The

officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the media.

Rival militant groups, including the Pakistani Taliban, have been fighting for supremacy in the valley in recent weeks, forcing thousands of civilians to flee the rugged, mountainous area.

Khyber is part of Pakistan's semiautonomous tribal region bordering Afghanistan, the main sanctuary for Taliban militants and their allies in the country. The army has launched many operations against the Taliban in Khyber and other parts of the tribal region.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/pakistan/Pakistan-army-starts-offensive-in-Khyber-4-troops-dead/Article1-1038051.aspx

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Elections: Musharraf's nomination papers rejected

April 5, 2013

KASUR: Former president Pervez Musharraf’s nomination papers for NA-139 were rejected by the returning officer of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday, Express News reported.

His papers were rejected following six objections made by advocate Javed Kasuri.

One of the objections stated that the ex-general does not meet the criteria established in Article 62 and 63 of the constitution.

After hearing arguments, the returning officer declared Musharraf ineligible to contest the elections from NA-139.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/531486/musharraf-disqualified-from-contesting-elections/

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Taliban leaders make mockery of Afghanistan peace efforts

TNN | Apr 5, 2013

NEW DELHI: What happened to the Taliban leaders released by Pakistan? According to sources, a number of them have rejoined the insurgency in Afghanistan, making a mockery of the entire reconciliation process.

Pakistan released about 28 mid-levels Taliban leaders at the end of last year after a "roadmap" issued by the Afghan High Peace Council laid out that Pakistan could play a leading role in bringing about a political reconciliation with the Taliban, a concession made by Kabul. In return, Pakistan would release some Taliban leaders.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Taliban-leaders-make-mockery-of-Afghanistan-peace-efforts/articleshow/19392609.cms

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Pakistan expels suspected French jihadists

 Apr 5, 2013

PARIS: Police in France are questioning three suspected Islamic extremists who were deported from Pakistan this week, judicial sources said on Thursday.

The three Frenchmen had been held in secret in Pakistan since they entered the country illegally 10 months ago to fight NATO troops in neighbouring Afghanistan.

The case is likely to draw parallels with that of Mohammed Merah, the 23-year-old who shot dead seven people in southwest France in March 2012 after returning from Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\04\05\story_5-4-2013_pg7_6

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Zia era legacy returns to haunt Pak politicians

ANITA JOSHUA

 Apr 5, 2013

A long-forgotten and seldom-used Zia era legacy has come to haunt Pakistani politicians as they file their nominations for the elections scheduled on May 11.

While nomination papers of a couple of candidates were rejected at the altar of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution — that prescribes “near impossible standards of morality” — earlier this week, these provisions got their most prominent scalp thus far on Thursday in Ayaz Amir of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz).

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/zia-era-legacy-returns-to-haunt-pak-politicians/article4581211.ece

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ECP to decide the fate of 182 minority candidates today

 Apr 5, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will decide the fate of 182 minority candidates contesting elections on 10 national assembly seats reserved for minorities today (Friday). The ECP is scheduled to hold scrutiny process of the nomination papers today. The ECP has also invited 24 parliamentarians today (Friday) who were cleared earlier in degree verification process.

Scrutiny of Minority Candidates: According to the officials at ECP, some 182 nomination papers have been filed for the 10 seats of the national assembly reserved for minorities and candidates of almost all the political parties have filed their nomination papers.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\04\05\story_5-4-2013_pg7_1

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Pak debate team gets passage to India

Apr 05 2013

New Delhi : Three Pakistani students and their debating coach nearly missed the final of the India-Pakistan schools debate being held here due to procedural delays at the Wagah border.

The four-member team from the Debating Society of Pakistan — Ushaka Farooq, Azeem Liaqat, Hassan Qaiser, all students of Salamat International Campus for Advanced Studies, Lahore, and their coach Sufyan Sultan — reached the border Tuesday. But they could not cross over due to “delay caused by the extensive documentation”.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pak-debate-team-gets-passage-to-india/1097951/

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SC directs Balochistan govt to act against illegal activities

 Apr 5, 2013

Islamabad: Hearing the Balochistan target killing case, the Supreme Court on Thursday sought report from Balochistan government over the abduction of a lawyer and former Advocate General Salauddin Mengal besides stressing the need to stop illegal activities in the province.

Taking action over the kidnapping of former AG Balochistan, the court directed the provincial government that prompt action must be taken against the kidnappers and efforts be ensured to recover him.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\04\05\story_5-4-2013_pg7_16

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Pakistan needs another Bhutto but not another Zia

By Riaz Ali Toori

 Apr 5, 2013

Today is April 4th -a gloomy day in the history of Pakistan. This day in 1979, the alluring leader and voice of the people of Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was put to death in a most deplorable way by a military dictator in connivance with Pakistan’s apex judiciary.

ZA Bhutto -an elected democratic Prime Minister of Pakistan was confined to the dark narrow barracks of different jails and was subjected to both physical and mentally torture for two years at the end of which, this only voice of the people of Pakistan was forced into eternal silence, extinguishing any flame of hope for the country’s better future. The political history of Pakistan was stained with blood of another Prime Minister after Shaheed Liaqat Ali Khan but this time not at the hands of an unknown gunman, rather by Zia ul Haq, who then ruled the country for 11 dreadful years illegally and would have continued to do so, had he himself not be killed on 17 August, 1988.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\04\05\story_5-4-2013_pg7_17

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LHC seeks reply from government over drone strikes

 Apr 5, 2013

LAHORE: Chief Justice of Lahore High Court, Umar Ata Bandial sought reply till April 18 from the federal government on a petition moved by Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, against drone attacks on Pakistani land.

During the proceedings on Thursday, a deputy attorney general (DAG) sought time saying the caretaker government had recently taken charge and more time was needed to file a reply.

DAG also raised objection on the jurisdiction of the LHC on this point, by submitting that the areas targeted by drones are out of the jurisdiction of this court.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\04\05\story_5-4-2013_pg13_2

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‘8,000 policemen will make no difference to Karachi’s law and order'

 April 5, 2013

The deteriorating law and order situation of this city of 20 million is unlikely to improve even though the interim provincial government recently decided to recruit 8,000 policemen.

This decision of the Sindh cabinet is too big itself considering they have hardly two months. In this short span of time, the caretaker chief minister could have managed with five or six ministers and only two advisers given they are only expected to look after routine matters. Perhaps, political considerations were kept in mind.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/531255/analysis-8000-policemen-will-make-no-difference-to-karachis-law-and-order/

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Pakistan's Sectarian Violence Creeps Into Art Scene

April 05, 2013

ISLAMABAD: A total of 2,050 people were killed and another 3,822 injured in over 1,500 terrorist attacks across Pakistan last year, according to a report issued by a leading rights body on Thursday.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan's annual State of Human Rights report said over 100 Shia Hazaras were killed in Balochistan province alone during 2012.

At least 2,284 people died in ethnic, sectarian and political violence in Pakistan's largest city of Karachi during the period.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Terrorist-attacks-kill-2050-people-in-Pak-last-year-Report/articleshow/19386663.cms

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Arab World

 

Assad deploys foreign fighters in capital to protect Shiite shrines

 5 April 2013

Shiite fighters from neighboring countries are flocking to Damascus to defend their religious sites and defend Bashar al-Assad against advancing Sunni-dominated opposition forces. Many of these foreign guerrillas fight under the umbrella group of Abu al Fadl al-Abbas brigade. They come from Iraq, Lebanon, Iran and Pakistan.

In Damascus, they are no strangers; they roam the streets and often clash with the members of the Free Syrian Army.

Their brigade is based in Sayeda Zeinab district and its 12 battalions are deployed in al-Hajar al-Aswad and Qaboun.

Leaked footage shows the deployment of brigade members under the flag of the Syrian regime army in al-Jobar.

The brigade was formed a few months ago amid the escalation of clashes around the capital, and is now fighting its main battles around the shrine of Sayeda Zeinab, south of Damascus.

The growing phenomenon of foreign fighters in the regime’s army follows the public calls by State Mufti, Ahmad Hassoun, who believes it is every Muslim’s duty to defend the regime. His call has apparently been heard and reinforced by Damascus’ sectarian dimension.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/04/05/Assad-deploys-foreign-fighters-in-capital-to-protect-Shiite-shrines.html

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Salafists to hold conference against 'spread of Shia doctrine in Egypt'

Salafist Call and Nour Party will host a conference in Cairo on Friday to 'reveal dangers' of spreading Shia teaching in Egypt; spokesperson of Shiites in Egypt claims all Shiites are welcome except those from Iran

 4 Apr 2013

The Salafist Call and its political arm, the Nour Party, will hold a conference on Friday in an attempt to condemn what they claim is the ‘spread of the Shiite tide in Egypt.’

The conference will take place in the Amr Ibn Al-Ass Mosque in the historic Fustat Cairo and is an attempt to show the differences between Shiite and Sunni branches of Islam, "that originates in the doctrine itself,” Sheikh Sherif El-Hawary, leading member of the Salafist Call, said in a press release.

"Egypt is a real catch because the Shiites see it as the main base for Sunni Islam, which they want to overtake. They believe their Mahdi [twelfth Imam] will only appear once Egypt is in their reach, but God willing, this will not take root", asserted El-Hawary.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/68461/Egypt/Politics-/Salafists-to-hold-conference-against-spread-of-Shi.aspx

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Hezbollah threatens regional security: Lebanese Sunni cleric

April 05, 2013

The Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah "has become a dangerous militia, threatening the region's security as well as civil peace," Sunni holy man Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir told Al Arabiya TV, in comments to be broadcast Friday on the weekly program "Point of Order."

Acting as "Iran's party," Hezbollah "assaults all the Lebanese, even free-thinking Shiites," added Assir, who is the imam of Belal bin Rabah mosque in Sidon, southern Leb.

Many politicians, including Hezbollah, deal with Sunnis as if they are a "defeated sect in Leb," by appointing and removing the Sunni prime minister at will, said the holy man.

He described "Iranian hegemony on all Lebanese" as more dangerous than the Israeli occupation.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/04/04/Hezbollah-threatens-regional-security-Lebanese-Sunni-cleric.html

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Attacking Azhar would undermine Egypt security: Grand Mufti

 5 April 2013

Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawky Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam has warned that any attack on al-Azhar Institution or its head Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb would “undermine Egypt’s security,” Ahram Online reported Thursday.

Allam said Azhar will remain independent of political divisions and that it will not be drawn in to a “political game.”

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/04/05/Attacking-Azhar-would-undermine-Egypt-security-Grand-Mufti.html

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Lebanese Officials Charged With Receiving Sexual Bribes

Amlan Chakraborty | April 04, 2013

Three Lebanese soccer officials have been charged with receiving sexual bribes to fix an AFC Cup match in Singapore, a government law-enforcement agency of the island city-state said on Thursday.

Referee Ali Sabbagh and assistant referees Ali Eid and Abdallah Taleb were hastily replaced by officials from Thailand and Malaysia for Tampines Rovers’ 4-2 defeat by East Bengal of India on Wednesday.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/sports/football-lebanese-officials-charged-with-receiving-sexual-bribes/583789

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Aid crisis growing as millions flee Syria bombs

 April 5, 2013

WASHINGTON DC: UN officials believe some four million people are now trapped inside Syria after fleeing the fighting, as the United States echoes calls for donors to step up and help in a burgeoning aid crisis.

The figure, due to be officially released in the coming days, is a dramatic rise on earlier estimates by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees of some 2.5 million displaced living in precarious conditions inside the country.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/531434/aid-crisis-growing-as-millions-flee-syria-bombs/

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Two attacks in Iraq kill three soldiers, three civilians

 Apr 5, 2013

Iraqi officials say two bomb attacks have killed six people in two cities.

In the first incident on Friday, a police officer said attackers detonated a bomb as an army jeep was driving through the western Baghdad neighbourhood of Abu Ghraib, killing three soldiers.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/two-attacks-in-iraq-kill-three-soldiers-three-civilians/article4584662.ece

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Rocket Attack in Syrian Capital Kills 5

 Apr 5, 2013

BEIRUT (AP) — A barrage of rockets slammed into a contested district on the northeastern edge of Damascus, killing at least five people and trapping others under the rubble, while violence raged around suburbs of the capital, activists said Friday.

The attack on Barzeh, where rebels aiming to topple President Bashar Assad are known to operate, follows days of heavy fighting between the rebels and the military in the area.

Rebels have established footholds in districts on the edge of Damascus and in suburbs in the northeast and south, from where they fire mortars into the heavily guarded city. Despite their efforts, they have been unable to break the Assad regime's tight hold in the capital.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/04/05/world/middleeast/ap-ml-

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Hezbollah Bloc to Back Salam for Lebanon Premier

 Apr 5, 2013

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah and its allies are expected to back Sunni politician Tammam Salam on Friday to be Lebanon's new prime minister, politicians said, handing him an overwhelming parliamentary endorsement to form a government.

President Michel Suleiman is holding two days of talks to nominate a successor to Najib Mikati, who resigned last month after two fraught years in office during which he sought to contain sectarian tensions, street violence and economic fallout from the civil war raging in neighbouring Syria.

Salam's main task, if Suleiman asks him to form a government, will be to steer the fractious country towards a parliamentary election which is due in June but is now widely expected to face delay.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/04/05/world/middleeast/05reuters-lebanon-

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Tammam Salam builds consensus to be Lebanon’s new prime minister

 5 April 2013

Tammam Salam, a former minister from a prominent Sunni Muslim political dynasty, emerged on Friday as a consensus candidate to take over as Lebanon’s prime minister.

The post has been vacant since March 22 when prime minister Najib Mikati announced his surprise resignation, in effect bringing down his Hezbollah-dominated government.

Parliamentary representatives were to begin submitting their nominations for the post to President Michel Sleiman on Friday afternoon, with Salam winning the endorsement of the opposition March 14 coalition and Walid Jumblatt, the veteran kingmaker who leads Lebanon’s Druze community.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/04/05/Tamam-Salam-builds-consensus-to-be-Lebanon-s-new-prime-minister.html

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Civil war in Syria threatens ancient oasis city of Palmyra

April 05, 2013

BEIRUT — The millenia-old oasis city of Palmyra is being damaged in clashes between Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces and rebels fighting for his overthrow in the midst of the precious archeological site, a resident said.

Shaky amateur footage filmed by the resident shows the facade of the first century Temple of Baal with a large circle where a mortar bomb has blasted the sandstone. The columns of the great colonnade that extends from the temple have been chipped by shrapnel. Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130405160007

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 ‘We don’t collaborate with the oppressive Assad regime’: Kurdish military group

 5 April 2013

The Kurdish Protection Group (HPG) is considered by some Syrians to be the military arm of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, operating in Syria.

An Al Arabiya correspondent accessed one of the group’s camps in Syria to investigate their goals and day-to-day operations.

According to interviews, the goals declared by the HPG include protecting the regions that are home to a Kurdish majority in Syria.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/features/2013/04/05/-We-don-t-collaborate-with-the-oppressive-Assad-regime-Kurdish-military-group-.html

--------------

India

 

Detained in 2003, Kashmiri youth figures in terror plot

 April 04, 2013

In her 50s, Farida Bano has been religiously attending the sit-ins organised by the Association of Parents of Disappeared People (APDP) --  a group formed to trace the missing since the two decades of violent conflict in the Valley -- since 2003 to know status of his missing son.

This March, the search for her son took a new twist when newspapers quoted police sources saying that he was alive and planning a suicide attack in Srinagar.

"It was shocking to see my missing son's name in the news report. I just wept uncontrollably. My son has been missing for the past 10 years," said Bano, mother of Showkat Ahmad Paul.

Paul, according to the family, was was allegedly taken into custody on June 23, 2003 by an army unit.

"Paul was taken by the officer to an unknown place and was not released from the illegal captivity. We lodged an FIR with the police soon after his arrest, and later it was proved that he was arrested by Major Pratap," said Bano.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/srinagar/Detained-in-2003-Kashmiri-youth-figures-in-terror-plot-court-seeks-clarification/Article1-1037438.aspx

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India starts visa-on-arrival facility for Pakistani senior citizens

Vishwa Mohan, TNN | Apr 5, 2013

NEW DELHI: After dithering over the decision for over two months, India has finally started 'visa-on-arrival' facility for Pakistani senior citizens on reciprocal basis.

Senior Pakistani citizens of more than 65 years of age will now get 'visa-on-arrival' (VoA) at Attari/Wagah check-post for 45 days. It will be a single entry visa.

The facility was scheduled to be started from January 15. But, it was put on hold in the wake of mounting tension along the border after the January 8 killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani Army.

Though Indian officials had then said that the operationalisation of the VoA was just got delayed as several security agencies sought clarifications on facilities to be offered to the Pakistani citizens without Indian sponsors, it later appeared to be just a pretext of putting it on hold due to tensions along the LoC.

Both the countries had decided to issue a single entry VoA to each other's senior citizens under a new liberalized visa agreement in September last year.

Some clauses of the relaxed visa regime like multiple-entry and reporting-free visas for businessmen and allowing them to travel to five cities instead of the earlier three were, however, operationalised after Indian home minister Sushilkumar Shinde and his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik had formally launched the new visa regime on December 14, 2012.

Both the countries had then decided to launch the VoA facility from January 15.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-starts-visa-on-arrival-facility-for-Pakistani-senior-citizens/articleshow/19402138.cms

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Army killed minor in fake encounter 16 yrs ago, says J&K SHRC

 Apr 05 2013

Srinagar : Sixteen years after his death, the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on Thursday concluded after a probe by its Deputy SP that the 16-year-old Class VIII student, Showkat Ahmad Najar, was killed in a fake encounter.

His body was handed over by the 21 Rashtriya Rifles to the police saying he was killed in an encounter at Handwara on May 3, 1997. The Army had also claimed to have recovered some arms and ammunition from his possession.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/army-killed-minor-in-fake-encounter-16-yrs-ago-says-j-k-shrc/1097958/

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Ishrat Jahan case: another Gujarat cop arrested

 April 04, 2013

CBI today arrested another officer of Gujarat police in connection with the 2004 alleged fake encounter of 19-year-old college girl Ishrat Jahan and three others, officials of the agency said.

N K Amin, suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police, who got bail from Bombay High Court last month in Sohrabuddin encounter case on medical grounds, was today arrested by CBI from the Civil Hospital here.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/ahmedabad/Ishrat-Jahan-case-another-Gujarat-cop-arrested/Article1-1037530.aspx

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Minister to discuss with 9 states fallout of Nitaqat

TNN | Apr 5, 2013

NEW DELHI: Concerned over a possible exodus of Indian overseas workers as fallout of the Nitaqat law the Centre has asked the Indian Embassy to facilitate alternative job opportunities and make arrangements for those wanting to come back.

Overseas Indian Affairs minister Vayalar Ravi said he will meet ministers of nine states next week to discuss the issue and announced that government will bear airfares of "deserving" Indians wanting to come back.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Ravi-to-discuss-with-9-states-fallout-of-Nitaqat/articleshow/19392808.cms

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IM co-founder Sadiq Shaikh: Forced to give false confession in train blasts

TNN | Apr 5, 2013

MUMBAI: Suspected Indian Mujahideen co-founder Sadiq Shaikh on Thursday told a special MCOCA court that the ATS and crime branch had tortured and forced to him to give a false confession in the 2006 serial train blasts case.

Shaikh, who was discharged in the case, was deposing as a defence witness. He alleged that the officers forced him to say that he and others had bought the railway timetables, pressure cookers and travel bags, put the bombs together in a Sewri flat and planted them in the trains. They then forced him to repeat the "confession" and videotaped it. The recording is not part of the chargesheet, he said. tnn

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/IM-co-founder-Sadiq-Shaikh-Forced-to-give-false-confession-in-train-blasts/articleshow/19391350.cms

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Indian-origin man jailed for 24 yrs in Malaysia

April 05, 2013

An Indian-origin taxi driver was on Friday sentenced to 24 years in jail by a Malaysian court here for sexually assaulting and robbing a 31-year-old woman passenger two years ago. The 30-year-old driver, identified as M Saravanan, was sentenced to 12 years in jail by a sessions court which also ordered authorities to whip the convict three times for forcing the woman to perform oral sex on him.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/restofasia/Indian-origin-man-jailed-for-24-yrs-in-Malaysia/Article1-1037873.aspx

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Africa

 

Veteran Sudan Islamist meets 'revolutionary' Morsi

 Friday 5 Apr 2013

The "revolutionary" regime of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi should foster tighter ties between its people and those of neighbouring Sudan, veteran Islamist Hassan al-Turabi said on Friday.

Speaking after he and other political party figures met the visiting Islamist leader, Turabi said grassroots links must be developed because Morsi's regime "is a popular government elected by the people."

"The people should be linked with the people. It's more lasting than a government with a government, especially one which is revolutionary and one which is a dictatorship," he told AFP, using the latter term to describe the 24-year regime of

President Omar al-Bashir. Morsi, a former Muslim Brotherhood leader, assumed office last June after a popular uprising toppled long-time president Hosni Mubarak in 2011 as part of the Arab Spring uprisings in the region.

He is on the final day of his first visit to Sudan, which Egypt jointly ruled with Britain until 1956.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/68510/Egypt/Politics-/Veteran-Sudan-Islamist-meets-revolutionary-Morsi.aspx

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Group Says South Sudan Aids Rebels in Sudan

 Apr 5, 2013

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan provided logistical, financial and political support, but not weapons, to rebels fighting to overthrow the government in neighboring Sudan, according to a report from the Small Arms Survey, an independent Swiss research group.

This is the first time an independent organization has said South Sudan is helping Sudanese rebels, a charge South Sudan has often denied.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/04/05/world/africa/ap-af-south-sudan-

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Police station attacked in Tripoli, three detainees freed

 April 05, 2013

TRIPOLI — Masked gunmen attacked a police station in the Libyan capital Thursday, tying the hands of four officers on duty and releasing three detainees, security sources said.

About 10 armed men forced their way into the police station in southwest Tripoli’s Abu Salim neighborhood at dawn and freed three of five men in custody there, one security official said.

“These were criminals. They attacked the police station firing at it with rifles,” said a second security source.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130405160014

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First UN food aid allowed into war-torn Sudan state

 April 05, 2013

KHARTOUM — The first UN food aid has been allowed into Sudan’s war-torn Blue Nile state in a “major breakthrough,” the World Food Program said on Thursday, after severe government restrictions.

“This is the first time that the agency has distributed food assistance since the conflict broke out in September 2011,” the WFP said.

The war in Blue Nile and South Kordofan has raged largely out of world view as Sudan, citing security concerns, tightly constrained the movement of foreign aid workers, diplomats and reporters seeking to visit the region.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130405160049

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Moncef Trabelsi, brother-in-law of Tunisia's Ben Ali, dies in jail

 5 April 2013

Moncef Trabelsi, brother-in-law of the ousted Tunisian President Ben Ali who was jailed for fraud, has died in custody of a brain tumor, the country’s prisons chief said on Friday.

“He died at the neurological hospital where he was taken (from jail) on March 18. He had been operated on for a brain tumor,” the prisons chief, Habib Sboui, told AFP.

Sboui added that Trabelsi, 69, had been unconscious for the past “four or five days.”

Trabelsi had been sentenced to prison for fraud soon after the January 2011 uprising that toppled Ben Ali.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2013/04/05/Moncef-Trabelsi-brother-in-law-of-Tunisia-s-Ben-Ali-dies-in-jail.html

------------

Europe

 

French firm aims to create pool of Saudi talent

 5 April 2013

With its presence in over 70 countries and a work force of 33,000, Legrand, a French multinational company, has a strategic focus: Creating a pool of Saudi talent within the organization to propel future growth in the Kingdom. “We are grooming this Saudi team not only for our industrial projects but also for technical support in view of our historical presence in KSA,” General Manager Nicolas Hobeilah tells Abdul Hannan Tago of Arab News at the inauguration of their new office in Riyadh.

The inauguration was also attended by Legrand Vice President for Export, Michel Marion-Legrang and other Legrand executives based in Middle East.

Legrand, one of the 70 French companies operating in the Kingdom, is an internationally recognized specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures. It does more than half its business in the commercial and industrial sectors.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/447102

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EU worried about Egypt's civil society proposals

The European Union's envoy to Cairo urged Egypt's Islamist-led authorities on Thursday not to rush through legislation on civil society and NGOs that could curb an embryonic democracy

 5 Apr 2013

Civil society was heavily restricted under Hosni Mubarak's rule, and many of those who overthrew him in 2011 are demanding guarantees of greater freedom for civic and political activity to help Egypt complete the transition to popular democracy that the Arab Spring seemed to promise.

But rights activists say a bill backed by President Mohamed Morsi's allies in the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, is even more restrictive than the rules of the past.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/68501/Egypt/Politics-/EU-worried-about-Egypts-civil-society-proposals.aspx

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A Bosnian Muslim welcome to Pope Francis

April 05, 2013

By Mustafa Ceric

The election of Argentine Pope Francis, the 266th Bishop of Rome and head of the Roman Catholic Church, deserves both our congratulations and our reflection for the future of Muslim-Christian coexistence and dialogue.

As a survivor of genocide at the end of 20th century in Bosnia, I am very interested in the policy of the Vatican and the message of the Holy See, which speaks for the Catholic Church. While the political influence of the Vatican might be limited to public diplomacy, the spiritual influence has great significance for millions of Christians worldwide. Consequently, the pope has always had a great impact on global peace and security.

Full report at:

http://dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Commentary/2013/Apr-05/212627-a-bosnian-muslim-welcome-to-pope-francis.ashx#ixzz2PZBoQLE6

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UN cuts Gaza food aid after protest at local offices

April 05, 2013

The United Nations said it has suspended food distribution to about 25,000 Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, after demonstrators angry at aid cuts stormed a UN depot.

Dozens of Gazans forced their way into the field office of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) on

Thursday, demanding reinstatement of a monthly cash allowance to poor families which was halted from April 1 due to UNRWA budget cuts.

The protesters were removed by UN security when they tried to break into a building, staff said.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/restofasia/UN-cuts-Gaza-food-aid-after-protest-at-local-offices/Article1-1037817.aspx

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Syria's humanitarian crisis worsening rapidly: Red Cross

 April 04, 2013

The humanitarian situation in Syria is worsening rapidly with some areas a landscape of "devastation and destruction", the Red Cross said on Thursday after a month which activists said was the bloodiest yet in the conflict.

About 70,000 people have been killed and millions displaced during the two-year-old uprising, the United Nations says.

Civilians have been cut off from water, electricity and life-saving medical supplies, especially in rebel-held areas targeted by air strikes and ballistic missiles.

The Syrian government's restrictions on aid convoys have meant most supplies are distributed in government-held areas.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/restofasia/Syria-s-humanitarian-crisis-worsening-rapidly-Red-Cross/Article1-1037485.aspx

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World powers and Iran seek solution at Kazakh talks

 April 5, 2013

ALMATY: Iran and world powers met Friday in Kazakhstan for new talks in search of an elusive breakthrough on the Iranian nuclear crisis, with Tehran defiantly insisting on its right to enrich uranium.

The decade-old dispute has left the Islamic republic’s economy ravaged by UN sanctions and Tehran risking military action from its arch foe Israel.

At stake at the two-day talks in the Kazakh mountain city of Almaty will be whether Iran is ready to accept a series of demands that the powers presented at the last such negotiations at the same venue in February.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/531471/world-powers-and-iran-seek-solution-at-kazakh-talks/

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UN condemns Afghan court massacre

 Apr 5, 2013

UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council on Thursday strongly condemned the attack on an Afghanistan courthouse by Taliban forces that left more than 40 people dead.

In a unanimous statement, the 15-member panel said it “condemned in the strongest terms” Wednesday’s attack in the remote western province of Farah.

Officials in Afghanistan have said Taliban gunmen went from room to room in the court building, shooting anyone they could found as they looked to free other insurgents facing trial.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/04/05/un-condemns-afghan-court-massacre/

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South Asia

 

Bangladesh Islamists Reportedly Abduct 11 Christian Children Again

April 4, 2013

DHAKA, BANGLADESH (BosNewsLife)-- Eleven of 16 Christian children who were rescued from Muslim traffickers in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka on January 2 have gone missing, raising concerns they were abducted and taken to Islamic training centers, a Christian rights group said.

International Christian Concern (ICC) cited local Christians and officials on Thursday, April 4, as saying that the children were likely "re-trafficked and taken to 'madrassas'," the words used for strict Islamic boarding schools, and "forced to convert to Islam and study [Islam's book] Koran."

The children, along with five others, were rescued by police from a madrassa in the Abuzor Giffari Mosque Complex in Dhaka after they had been missing for months.

Students from Dhaka University reportedly discovered the children, ages 5 to 12, and rescued them.

Full report at:

http://www.bosnewslife.com/27619-breaking-news-bangladesh-islamists-reportedly-abduct-11-christian-children-again

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New Zealand troops begin withdrawal from Afghanistan

 Apr 05 2013

Wellington : New Zealand troops began their withdrawal from Afghanistan today, with the lowering of the flag for the last time at their base in Bamiyan to mark the end of a 10-year involvement in the war.

The government announced the early withdrawal last year, with the New Zealand contingent originally scheduled to remain until September 2014.

Ten New Zealand soldiers have died in Afghanistan over the past decade eight in Bamiyan and two in Kabul.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/new-zealand-troops-begin-withdrawal-from-afghanistan/1098103/

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Afghan relations with Pakistan at new low

 Apr 5, 2013

KABUL: Afghanistan accused Pakistan on Thursday of placing unacceptable conditions on efforts to bring peace to the country after nearly 12 years of war, the latest in a series of barbed exchanges that has sunk relations between the two neighbors to a new low.

A breakdown in ties threatens to hinder, or even paralyze, attempts to lure the Taliban to the negotiating table. That’s a key goal of the United States and its allies as they work for a peaceful solution in Afghanistan ahead of the final pullout of foreign combat forces in 20 months.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/04/05/afghan-relations-with-pakistan-at-new-low/

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Ethnic Rifts Strain Myanmar as It Moves Toward Democracy

By THOMAS FULLER

 Apr 5, 2013

MYITKYINA, MYANMAR — When residents of this northernmost region of Myanmar talk about the tremendous changes of the past two years, they are not referring to the media freedoms or the economic liberalization transforming other parts of the country.

They mean the radicalization of the Kachin ethnic group, whose members inhabit the foothills of the Himalayas near the borders with China and India and have become more militant than at any time in living memory, Kachin leaders say.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/world/asia/ethnic-rifts-strain-myanmar-as-it-moves-

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Pak army, razakars killed 600 on this day in Lalmonirhat

 Apr 5, 2013

Today is Lalmonirhat mass killing day.

On this day in 1971, Pakistani occupation army with the help of local razakars and Urdu-speaking people (Biharis) killed around 600 Bangalees at the rickshaw stand near Lalmonirhat Railway Station.

Of them, many were railway officers and employees, said Abu Bakkor Siddique, commander of Muktijoddha Sangsad in Sadar upazila.

The deceased include railway hospital doctors A Rahman, A Moktadir, M Rahman and AG Mostafa, railway engineers Anim Ahmed, Karim Bux, Yiar Ali and Abul Kashem.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/pak-army-razakars-killed-600-on-this-day-in-lalmonirhat/

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Rising extremism could threaten Maldives’ tourism industry: report

By Minivan News | April 5th, 2013

Religious conservatism and extremist violence have been increasing in the Maldives over the past decade, while incidents of Maldivians joining overseas jihadist groups are becoming more common, according to a report published in the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) Sentinel, a publication based out of the West Point military academy in the US.

The article entitled The Threat from Rising Extremism in the Maldives, observes that growing religious extremism and political uncertainty could result in more violence and negatively affect the nation’s tourism industry, which would be “devastating” to the Maldives.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/rising-extremism-could-threaten-maldives-tourism-industry-report-55731

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Entire panel of judges have ganged up on a chief judge after a verdict: Nasheed’s lawyer

By Mohamed Naahee | April 4th, 2013

Member of former President Mohamed Nasheed’s legal team Hassan Latheef has expressed concern over the case filed against the Chief Judge of High Court, Ahmed Shareef.

The judges filed the case with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) over the High Court’s decision to issue a stay order on the Hulhumale Magistrate Court’s trial of former President Mohamed Nasheed.

Nasheed’s legal team had appealed the decision by the Hulhumale Magistrate Court rejecting their request to delay the trial of the former President until the end of the presidential election on September 2013, in which Nasheed is contesting on behalf of opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). The team also contested the legitimacy of the panel of the judges appointed to hear the case.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/first-time-entire-panel-of-judges-have-ganged-up-on-a-chief-judge-after-a-verdict-nasheeds-lawyer-55712

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MDP dismisses prospect of power-sharing coalition

By Mohamed Naahee | April 4th, 2013

Senior figures of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) including former President Mohamed Nasheed have said that sharing cabinet positions among different political parties will not result in an efficient government in the Maldives.

The party’s stand on coalitions come at a time where President Mohamed Waheed’s Gaumee Iththihaadh Party (GIP) and other smaller political parties have claimed that the September 7 elections can only be won through a broad coalition of political parties.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/mdp-dismisses-prospect-of-power-sharing-coalition-55696

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Bangladesh Govt asked to probe attacks on Hindus   

 Apr 5, 2013

The High Court yesterday directed the government to investigate the recent communal violence and attacks on the religious minorities through forming a high-powered committee and submit a report in three months.

In response to a writ petition, the court ordered the government to identify the vulnerable areas for communal violence and provide sufficient protection to the minorities living in those places.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/govt-asked-to-probe-attacks-on-hindus/

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Bomb attached to donkey kills Afghan policeman

AP | Apr 5, 2013

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN: An official says a bomb attached to a donkey has exploded, killing a policeman and wounded three civilians.

Local government spokesman Sarhadi Zwak says the donkey blew up in front a police security post in the Alingar district of Laghman province.

He says Taliban militants carried out Friday's attack.

Insurgents are finding new ways to thwart stepped up security measures in their bid to undermine confidence in the Afghan government, as US and other foreign combat forces prepare to withdraw by the end of 2014.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Bomb-attached-to-donkey-kills-Afghan-policeman/articleshow/19396333.cms

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Bangladesh blogs blacked out on arrests of atheists

Apr 05 2013

Dhaka : Operators of top Bangladeshi blogs said today they had blacked out their sites to protest against a government crackdown on atheist bloggers in the face of pressure from radical Islamists.

The move by eight sites comes after the arrests of four online writers this week on charges of hurting religious sentiment through their Internet writings against Islam.

Their secular supporters have blasted the crackdown, accusing the government of kowtowing to Islamists who are planning a march on Saturday towards the capital Dhaka to demand a blasphemy law and the hanging of anti-Islam bloggers. "Bangla Blogosphere begins blackout in protest against harassing and cracking down on bloggers," reads a notice on the home pages of the protesting sites. All of them were inaccessible from noon today.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/bangladesh-blogs-blacked-out-on-arrests-of-atheists/1097914/

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Attacks on minorities not acceptable: US Ambassador to Bangladesh

 Apr 5, 2013

Voicing deep concerns, US Ambassador Dan Mozena yesterday said the attacks on the Bangladeshi minorities were not acceptable and these must stop now.

“I’m deeply sad, I’m deeply sad for these attacks. These attacks on Bangladeshi minority communities are not acceptable. These attacks are against the spirit of the nation,” he told a views exchange meeting with Hindu leaders at Dhakeshwari temple in the capital.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/attacks-on-minorities-not-acceptable/

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Mideast Asia

 

Hamas urges UN to resume Gaza food aid

AFP | Apr 5, 2013

GAZA CITY: Gaza's Hamas rulers on Friday urged the United Nations to reconsider its suspension of food aid for Palestinian refugees, imposed after protesters stormed a UN depot.

The UN Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, stopped food deliveries after dozens of Gazans forced their way into the field office on Thursday, demanding reinstatement of a monthly cash allowance to poor families which was halted from April 1 due to budget cuts.

"This is an unjustified step from UNRWA," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP.

"There is a right of peaceful protest for Palestinian refugees," he said, adding: "We call on UNRWA to reevaluate its position and not to overreact to residents' protest."

The protesters were removed by UN security when they tried to break into a building, staff told AFP.

"We fully understand the impact of the decision to suspend cash assistance had on some of our beneficiaries," UNRWA said in a statement.

"Demonstrations during the past week had already forced UNRWA to close many of its facilities," said the UN Palestinian refugee agency.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Hamas-urges-UN-to-resume-Gaza-food-aid/articleshow/19401422.cms

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Ismail Haniyeh named deputy head of Hamas

 April 05, 2013

GAZA CITY — Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, has officially appointed its prime minister Ismail Haniyeh as a deputy head of the movement, a senior member told AFP on Thursday.

The Gaza premier was “officially chosen at a leadership meeting in Cairo,” said the official, who requested anonymity.

Hamas reelected its chief Khaled Meshaal at a Cairo meeting Monday and also selected the rest of the movement’s political bureau, according to the official. Haniyeh thus “became the first Hamas leader based inside (the Palestinian territories) to become deputy head,” the source said.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130405160013

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Palestinian President Abbas 'to suspend unilateral action against Israel'

Palestinian president Abbas decides to suspend all unilateral measures through UN agencies and refrain from taking a case against Israel to the ICC to 'give a sufficient chance for Kerry's peace talks efforts to succeed'

 4 Apr 2013

President Mahmud Abbas will temporarily refrain from unilateral action against Israel to give US-brokered peace talks a chance to resume, a Palestinian official said on Thursday.

"Abbas and the Palestinian leadership have decided to give a sufficient chance for (US Secretary of State John) Kerry's efforts to succeed," the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/68471/World/Region/Palestinian-President-Abbas-to-suspend-unilateral-.aspx

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Thousands of Palestinians protest in West Bank

AP | Apr 4, 2013

HEBRON, WEST BANK: Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in the West Bank in a show of outrage on Thursday over the deaths of two Palestinian protesters killed in clashes with Israel and a third Palestinian who died of cancer in an Israeli prison. In Gaza, militants fired a rocket that landed in southern Israel, causing no casualties.

The unrest has raised tensions between Israel and the Palestinians after days of West Bank clashes and rocket fire into southern Israel, prompting the first Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip since a ceasefire was reached last November. Israel has vowed to respond harshly to further attacks from Gaza.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Thousands-of-Palestinians-protest-in-West-Bank/articleshow/19385532.cms

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Iran Says It Offers New Plan for Nuclear Program

By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN

 Apr 5, 2013

ALMATY, Kazakhstan — As negotiations resumed here on Friday between Iran and the six world powers demanding that it curb its nuclear program, Iran said it had put forward a new “comprehensive proposal” that it hoped would “establish a new bedrock for cooperation.”

In a sign that the talks could be headed toward a quick dead-end, the Iranian statement was depicted as a bewildering surprise to the other negotiators, who said they had not received any concrete new proposal.

A Western official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Iranian remarks essentially echoed a position articulated at talks in Moscow last June. "We are somewhat puzzled by the Iranians’ characterization of what they presented at this morning’s plenary,” the official said. “There were some interesting but not fully explained general comments on our ideas.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/06/world/middleeast/talks-resume-on-curbing-irans-

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Iran Road Accident Kills 18, Including 15 Afghans

 Apr 5, 2013

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A road accident in Iran has killed 18 people after a truck smuggling fuel slammed into a sedan packed with Afghans who were being brought illegally into the country.

The semiofficial Fars news agency says the crash took place on Friday morning on the outskirts of the town of Rigan in southeastern Iran.

Fifteen of the dead were Afghan citizens who had illegally crossed the border into Iran. The remaining three victims were Iranians.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/04/05/world/middleeast/ap-ml-iran-road-accident.html?ref=middleeast&gwh=A64A50C69C32C607C73280465FF51672

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Turkey nears decision on $22 billion nuclear plant

 April 05, 2013

ANKARA — Turkey is close to making a decision in a $22 billion tender as a report said a Japanese-French consortium was in the lead to build the country’s second nuclear plant to power its rapidly developing economy.

“There is no scheduled timeline when the tender process will be finalized but all I can say is that we are nearing the end,” a senior energy ministry official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in a consortium with France’s Areva are expected to win the tender, Japan’s Nikkei business daily reported Thursday.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130405160009

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Israel denies link with arms ship seized by Egypt

 5 April 2013

Israel’s government on Friday strenuously denied it had any link to an arms-laden ship that Egypt said its navy seized as it sailed from the Israeli port of Eilat to Togo in West Africa.

“Nobody in Israel knows anything about this ship. It’s clear that it did not come from Eilat or any other Israeli port,” foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP.

“We cannot understand why anyone should tell stories which can easily be proved to have no basis in fact.”

Egyptian security officials said on Thursday that the navy intercepted the vessel and detained its crew who had set off from the Red Sea port of Eilat en route to Togo.

Officials said that the ship, “which was flying the flag of an African country,” was intercepted after it strayed into Egyptian territorial waters.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/04/05/Israel-denies-link-with-arms-ship-seized-by-Egypt-.html

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North America

 

94% LeT recruits view J&K as 'fighting front': US report

PTI | Apr 5, 2013

Pak intruder held in Jammu and KashmirWoman panchayat member injured in militant attack in Jammu and KashmirNot India? Pakistan army admits enemy no. 1 is terror at home35 killed as militants attack Pakistan army checkpostIndia won't remain passive if attacked: Army chief

WASHINGTON: A staggering 94 per cent of fresh recruits of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) see Jammu and Kashmir as a "fighting front" and hail mostly from Pakistan's Punjab province from families having links with the powerful army and intelligence network, according to a US military report.

The eye-opener report from the US Military Academy in West Point is result of a multi-year research effort conducted by a lead team of five eminent authors, C. Christine Fair, Don Rassler, Anirban Ghosh, Arif Jamal and Nadia Shoeb and is based on a study of over 900 biographies of the deceased LeT militants.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/94-LeT-recruits-view-JK-as-fighting-front-US-report/articleshow/19396784.cms

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US issues fresh waiver for sale of major defence equipment to Pakistan

PTI | Apr 5, 2013

WASHINGTON: In an indication of the "positive trajectory" of the bilateral ties, the US has issued a waiver, second in six months, for sale of major defence equipment to Pakistan citing national security interest.

The waiver issued quietly by the then deputy secretary of state Thomas Nides on February 15 and posted on the state department website a week later on February 22 would pave the way for some major defence equipment sales to Pakistan.

"The department issued the waiver because we have determined that security assistance is important to the national security interests of the United States and is a critical component of US efforts to continue to build a strong, mutually beneficial relationship with Pakistan grounded in concrete action on areas of shared interest," a state department spokesperson told .

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-issues-fresh-waiver-for-sale-of-major-defence-equipment-to-Pakistan/articleshow/19395143.cms

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Washington Escalates Syria Intervention

By Bill Van Auken

04 April, 2013

The US and Jordanian militaries have stepped up a secret program to train thousands of armed fighters to send into Syria with the apparent aim of carving out a buffer zone in the south of the country.

Citing unnamed US and Jordanian officials, the Washington Post reported Wednesday that Washington has ordered the training of some 3,000 officers for the so-called Syrian rebels to be completed sooner than originally planned. The aim is to finish the training program by the end of this month to exploit advances made by anti-government militias along Syria’s 230-mile border with Jordan.

Full report at:

http://www.countercurrents.org/auken040413.htm

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/malaysian-muslims-told-to-shun-those-who-promise-‘power-to-the-people’/d/11026

 

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