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Islamic World News ( 9 Feb 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Maldives court orders arrest of ousted president: party official

  • New Age Islam News Bureau

    9 Feb 2012
  • British media deliberately publish Islamophobic stories: journalist
  • UK: Islamist radicals planned to use benefits to fund terror training
  • UN resolution veto 'disastrous' for Syrian people: Ban
  • Nigeria, EU to engage anti-terrorism experts on Boko Haram
  • Af-Pak said to attract fewer foreign fighters for jihad
  • Top US envoy met Taliban in Qatar
  • Uzbek refugee pleads not guilty to terror charges
  • Pak, Afghan, NATO commanders hold border talks
  • Iraq executes 14 in one day, 65 this year
  • Bangladesh: Killing at border unacceptable
  • India: Muslim political choices could turn out to be an electoral game- changer
  • Senators irked by India’s Iran ties, stalled nuclear trade
  • Qaddafi daughter presses UN to probe father’s death
  • Pak-Afghan Border: Lifeline for extremists throttled
  • Hafiz Saeed had the same teacher as bin Laden, Zawahiri: Report
  • Pakistan, Russia pledge broad-based partnership
  • Pak: SC begins PM contempt appeal hearing
  • Pak SC to Gilani: Reopen graft cases against Zardari, contempt case will end
  • JUI faction’s leader shot dead in Chaman
  • US drone attack kills 10 in North Waziristan
  • Four injured in Quetta grenade attack
  • Dozens dead as Syria regime pounds Homs: activists
  • Bangladesh: Police sues 300 in connection with CU clash
  • US public supports Obama's drone programme: Poll
  • Iran gas pipeline a bad idea, says US Anwar Iqbal
  • No choice but to support Iran if Israel attacks: Pak High Commissioner of Britain
  • Pakistan Navy ships arrive in Jeddah
  • Islamabad: Contacts with NATO and Isaf resume
  • Academics gather in Jakarta
  • Malaysia: Govt awaiting DNA verification before identifying slain terror suspects
  • Ahmadinejad wants pope to visit Iran: Envoy
  • Ex-president's family flees Maldives
  • International community urges restraint in Maldives
  • Maldives test for India-Pakistan relations?
  • EU threatens new sanctions on Syria
  • Indonesia Terror Suspect Denies Jihad Was Motive In Attempt to Poison Police
  • India: Islamic students' group asks JK youths to abandon V-Day
  • India: Karnataka ministers filmed watching porn in assembly quit

Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: The ousted Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed is carried by his supporters 




Maldives court orders arrest of ousted president: party official

Mohamed Nasheed

Reuters, Colombo

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A criminal court in the Maldives issued arrest warrants for ousted president Mohamed Nasheed and his former defence minister, but the charges against them were unclear, a senior official of Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) said.

"An arrest warrant has been issued for him and his former defence minister," MDP official Adam Manik told Reuters. "We have no idea (what the charges are)."

Police and soldiers were reportedly on their way to arrest Nasheed, who had just met with a Commonwealth delegation in the Indian Ocean islands to mediate in the political crisis that followed his resignation on Tuesday, which Nasheed called a coup.


British media deliberately publish Islamophobic stories: journalist

by Cihan

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A former  journalist with the British tabloid newspaper the Daily Star has repeated accusations that a number of British daily newspapers put pressure on journalists to fabricate anti-Muslim stories.

Richard Peppiatt, who worked as a full-time freelance journalist at the Daily Star for two years, claimed that editors forced journalists to fabricate news that suggested Muslims and immigrants were threatening national security.

He said the fabricated stories were mainly related to Muslims, depicting them as a threat to British society. The defamatory stories became more widespread after the bombings in London on June 7, 2005 — often referred to as 7/7 — and the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the United States.

Full Report At:


UK: Islamist radicals planned to use benefits to fund terror training

Wednesday 8 February 2012 08:32

AN extremist inspired by al-Qaida called on British Muslims to claim benefits to raise funds for a terrorist training camp, a court has been told.

Usman Khan, 20, was secretly recorded talking about plans to recruit UK radicals to attend the camp in Kashmir, London’s Woolwich Crown Court heard yesterday.

He said there were only three possible outcomes for him and his fellow jihadists – victory, martyrdom or prison.

Khan’s home in Persia Walk, Stoke-on-Trent, was bugged as he discussed plans for the firearms training camp, which was to be disguised as a legitimate madrassa, an Islamic religious school, the court heard.

Discussing terrorist fundraising, he said that Muslims in Britain could earn in a day what people in Kashmir, a disputed region divided between Pakistan and India, are paid in a month.

He went on: “On jobseeker’s allowance we can earn that, never mind working for that.”

During the late-night meeting on December 4, 2010, Khan contrasted the action he was planning in support of jihad with the passive approach of Muslims like radical cleric Anjem Choudary.

Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC, opening the case on day two of a sentencing hearing, said: “Mr Khan, the prosecution say, reveals his intention to supply money and people to something which he describes in this as an existing set-up. He has recently returned from Pakistan, and the inference is he’s been there, and is going back there within a few weeks.

“That set-up from the outside will appear like a normal madrassa, but the inference is clear from that conversation that that’s indeed the place where firearms training will be available.”

He added: “It is also quite clear that the hope is that there will be a significant number of UK citizens who will attend there.”

Mr Edis said those who underwent training at the camp in Kashmir could have returned home and carried out attacks in Britain.

Khan, Mohammed Shahjahan 27, and Nazam Hussain, 26, all from Stoke-on-Trent, last week admitted engaging in the preparation of terrorism.

Mohammed Chowdhury, 21, and Shah Rahman, 28, both from east London, and brothers Gurukanth Desai, 30, and Abdul Miah, 25, from Cardiff, pleaded guilty to preparing for acts of terrorism by planning to plant a bomb in the toilets of the London Stock Exchange.

Omar Latif, 28, also from Cardiff, admitted attending meetings with the intention of assisting others to prepare or commit acts of terrorism, and Mohibur Rahman, 27, from Stoke-on-Trent, admitted possessing copies of al-Qaida magazine Inspire for terrorist purposes.

Some London and Cardiff members of the group discussed launching a “Mumbai-style” atrocity, while the Stoke extremists talked about setting off pipe bombs in the toilets of two pubs in their home city, the court heard.

Chowdhury, described as the “linchpin” of the group, spoke at a meeting on December 12, 2010 of original plans to attack the Houses of Parliament or the London Eye in “the Mumbai style”, the court heard.

But Mr Edis noted: “There is no evidence at all that this group had the physical capability to carry out a Mumbai-style attack.”

Christopher Blaxland QC, mitigating for Chowdhury, said his client became mixed up in Islamist extremism through his involvement in Anjem Choudary’s groups. He said the likelihood that Chowdhury “would have actually done something is frankly extremely remote”.

The hearing was adjourned until today when judge, Mr Justice Wilkie, expects to pass sentence.


UN resolution veto 'disastrous' for Syrian people: Ban

9 February 2012

UNITED NATIONS: UN leader Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday that the UN Security Council's failure to agree a resolution on Syria had been "disastrous" for the country's people because of the deaths since the vote.

"It has encouraged the Syrian government to step up its war on its own people," Ban told reporters after briefing the UN Security Council about events in the Middle East. (AFP)


Nigeria, EU to engage anti-terrorism experts on Boko Haram

Chris Agbambu and Christian Okeke, Abuja

Thursday, 09 February 2012

A combined team of security agents has uncovered a hideout where a large number of arms used by the Boko Haram sect were kept.

The Director of Defence Information, Colonel Mohammed Yerima, speaking on behalf of the Joint Security Information Managers’ Committee on Security Developments in the country, said that a joint team of the Police and Army in Kano, acting on a tip-off by well-meaning Nigerians, discovered the large cache of arms and ammunition in the residential Mariri area of Kano.

He said 10 AK47 rifles, one teargas gun, 26 magazines, 107 rounds of 7.22mm special gun, 27 assault rifles and ammo 29 rounds, five wallets, one Nigerian international passport, two police identity cards, one briefcase and three GSM handsets were recovered.

Full Report At:


Af-Pak said to attract fewer foreign fighters for jihad

February 9, 2012

PARIS: The Afghan-Pakistan jihad is attracting fewer foreign fighters following the death of Osama bin Laden, the growing threat posed by US drones, and lack of funds, Western security officials say.

While no precise figure is available, it would appear that the number of would-be jihadists from abroad has been drying up, according to one security official who declined to be named.

However, more Pakistanis are willing to take up the fight and make up the numbers, he also warned.

“Over the past six months, young Frenchmen there have nearly all left Pakistan. There were 20 to 30 of them, who had either converted (to Islam) or had links to the Maghreb; today there are hardly any left,” he said.

Full Report At:


Top US envoy met Taliban in Qatar

Thursday, February 09, 2012

KABUL: Washington’s chief envoy to Afghanistan met Taliban leaders in Qatar as part of US efforts to bring the terrorists to the negotiating table, a senior Afghan official said on Wednesday. The talks between the Taliban and Marc Grossman came in late January, after he met Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul, the official said, asking to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue. Grossman, US President Barack Obama’s chief envoy for war-torn Afghanistan and neighbouring Pakistan, later briefed Karzai about his talks with Taliban representatives during a visit by the Afghan leader to Italy. “I can confirm that Grossman met with the Taliban representatives in Qatar,” the official said.

Full Report At:\02\09\story_9-2-2012_pg7_10


Uzbek refugee pleads not guilty to terror charges

By Felisa Cardona

The Denver Post


Uzbek refugee Jamshid Muhtorov pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court on Tuesday to providing material support to a terrorist organization.

The 35-year-old Aurora resident and former human-rights activist is accused of vowing to fight with the Islamic Jihad Union, a group designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.

During the hearing, Muhtorov's wife broke down in tears as she sat in the courtroom gallery listening to the proceedings through a Russian translator. She declined through her attorney to discuss the case against her husband.

Full Report At:


Pak, Afghan, NATO commanders hold border talks

Thursday, February 09, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Afghan, NATO and Pakistani commanders on Wednesday held talks in an effort to improve coordination along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, a sign of thawing relations after American air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last year. Pakistan was outraged by the attack on two of its Afghan border posts on November 26 and claimed it was deliberate. Islamabad retaliated by closing its border to supplies meant for NATO troops in Afghanistan and by kicking the US out of Shamsi airbase used by American drones. But tensions seemed to have eased slightly, with Pakistani officials saying in recent days the government should reopen its border to NATO supplies as long as it can negotiate higher fee. The United States and Pakistan have long had a troubled relationship, but both sides have an interest in preventing it from rupturing completely. The US needs Pakistan’s help to fight al Qaeda and negotiate peace with the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan, while Islamabad is keen on keeping billions of dollars in American aid flowing. Wednesday’s meeting took place at a border coordination centre in Torkham, a city on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, the Pakistan Army said.

Full Report At:\02\09\story_9-2-2012_pg7_3


Iraq executes 14 in one day, 65 this year

9 February 2012

BAGHDAD: Iraq executed 14 people on a single day this week, most of them al-Qaeda members, a senior justice ministry official said on Wednesday, bringing to at least 65 the number of executions so far this year.

“Fourteen Iraqis were executed yesterday (Tuesday),” the official said, asking not to be named.

“They were convicted of terrorism and other crimes committed in 2006 and 2007. Most of them are from al-Qaeda, among them the wali (leader) of Mosul,” the official said.

The hangings bring the number of people executed in the first six weeks of this year close to the total of 68 for all of 2011.

Full Report At:


Bangladesh: Killing at border unacceptable

BGB Director General Maj Gen Anwar Hossain

UNB, Dhaka

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Chief Maj Gen Anwar Hossain said on Thursday that killing at the border under any circumstances is not acceptable.

“Killing in no way is acceptable,” he told UNB over telephone responding to Indian BSF Chief UK Bansal’s remark that the firing at the border won’t stop as they need to prevent the offenders.

Gen Anwar said: “We condemn killing wherever it takes place including at the border.”

He added: “Our standpoint is very clear: We don’t shoot. We don’t shoot at Indian trespassers; we arrest them and try under the laws of our land. We strictly follow the International Human Rights convention.”

Full Report At:


Muslim political choices could turn out to be an electoral game-changer


 9 FEB, 2012

The 35 million Muslims in Uttar Pradesh rarely attract much attention. When they do, the context is invariably that of elections, victimisation at the hands of communal forces or threat posed to internal stability or security. The lack of attention has resulted in perpetuating stereotypes and hindering policies aimed at the incorporation of Muslims into the mainstream of public discourse. Although there is a sizeable stratum of wealthy Muslims in UP, the majority of households in both town and country are uneducated and poor, working in badly paid jobs in insecure conditions. Little has changed in recent years despite economic growth. Repeated surveys have shown they are among the most systematically disadvantaged and marginalised people in the state.

This knowledge has begun to reshape Muslim politics from the conventional identity-security preoccupation to a more varied set of concerns, which challenges the very notion of a monolithic Muslim community with singular interests. The demand for reservation for Muslim dalits and OBCs is an example of the new politics signifying that social divisions matter as much for Muslims as they do for other groups.

Yet, there is a pervasive myth that Muslims vote for one candidate or party and that they vote under the influence of clerics and community leaders guided principally by Islamic issues than everyday interests. That's why major parties have fallen over backwards to woo the Muslim vote as never before. The Congress, SP and BSP are engaged in a no-holds-barred contest to garner the support of Muslims, who constitute 18.5% of the population and make up more than a fifth of the population in 20 districts. In the absence of a wave or an issue that could sway people, the Muslim vote will be a game-changer in this election.

To appreciate how the state's Muslims might vote and why, it's important to bear in mind that political parties in UP have for the most part ignored or reinforced social inequalities based upon class, caste and religion and have done very little to address the injustices faced by Muslims in particular. Between 1947 and 1987, upper castes representing the Congress dominated local, regional and state politics. The early 1990s are associated with the rise of OBCs and dalits and the growing influence of the SP and BSP which are formally committed to promoting the interests of all marginalised groups. In practice, both parties raised the standing and representation of just these two influential groups.

Representation of Muslims has also increased in the legislative assembly thanks to these parties giving a large number of tickets to them. Even though lower castes as a whole may not have benefited from political transformation in UP, they have often been able to benefit from increased political representation, especially their inclusion in governmental power. By contrast, increased political presence of Muslims has brought no tangible benefits to them; they remain a neglected constituency as parties seeking their vote don't do very much for they know they will get their votes anyway.

However, there is a significant rise in popular aspirations and seen in this light a different picture emerges. Muslims are keen to fight their socio-economic backwardness and hence are focussed on issues of education and employment, criticising ruling parties at the Centre and the state for their neglect and deprivation. The central government has not done much on the Sachar report, which documents the exclusion of Muslims from broader social and economic life. But with the assembly elections, the Congress upset its rivals by announcing 4.5% seats in government jobs and educational institutions for the backward among minorities to be carved out of the larger 27% reservation for OBCs.


Senators irked by India’s Iran ties, stalled nuclear trade

Chidanand Rajghatta

Feb 8, 2012

WASHINGTON: India's continued engagement with Iran in the face of American pathology against Tehran and New Delhi's insistence on putting safety before commerce in nuclear energy trade surfaced as wrinkles in an otherwise smooth and upbeat assessment of US-India ties during the confirmation hearing of Nancy Powell, the US ambassador-nominee to India.

US Senators gushed about the growing closeness between Washington and New Delhi, a proposition supported by Ms Powell, but on a day India's foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai met Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other state department mandarins to present New Delhi's perspective on these and other issues, lawmakers did not hold back from expressing annoyance at the Indian stance on Iran and stalled nuclear trade with US

The sharpest censure came from New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez who virtually accused India, which is one of Iran's largest energy buyers, of ''rebuking (US-led) sanctions'' and ''looking for workarounds, including considering payments in gold and transactions that detour around'' Washington's move forestall Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

''For our sanctions to be effective, it's really crucial that all nations, particularly democratic nations like India, work together to confront Iran,'' Menendez said, urging Powell to convey to New Delhi that this is a ''policy priority'' and the US will not hesitate to take appropriate action under its law to enforce the sanctions, a step that will hurt Indian companies if they continue trading with Iran.

Powell was measured in her response, noting that Iran and India have a long tradition of trade across energy and other fields, but also noting twice that foreign secretary Mathai has indicated India's effort to diversify its energy sources and reduce Iranian oil imports to less than 10 per cent. She also pointed out that India had supported the US at the IAEA four times and it shared with Washington a desire to see a nonnuclear state in Iran.

''I think these are positive developments,'' she said, adding that ''our own efforts to support India in looking at other sources of energy will be a contributor to this.'' She however promised to spend time working with New Delhi on this subject.

Similarly, Powell also heard senatorial annoyance at India's nuclear liability bill, which veteran senator and disarmament pundit Richard Lugar said could frustrate the US nuclear industry's efforts to play a role in India's expanding nuclear power sector. Lugar said the bill's terms are ''fundamentally inconsistent'' with the liability regime that the international community is seeking to achieve and wanted the prospective envoy to take this up.

Outside these two niggles, there was the usual buoyant assessment of US-India ties, with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry reiterating the broad Washington consensus that ''America is an interested stakeholder in India's increasing ascent to greater economic and greater global power and participation.'' Powell, a veteran foreign service nominee who Kerry described as ''one of our best'' agreed, describing India as ''leading security partner of the US in the 21st century.''

Describing India as a ''net security provider in the Indo-Pacific region,'' Powell, considering a shoo-in for the New Delhi post with confirmation a mere formality, said the ''number and kinds of interactions between our two countries at all levels is staggering in its breadth and depth.''


Qaddafi daughter presses UN to probe father’s death

Feb 8, 2012

ALGIERS: Muammar Qaddafi’s daughter has expressed concern that a United Nations commission looking into human rights violations during the Libya conflict is not trying to find out who killed her father.

The circumstances of Qaddafi’s killing on Oct. 20 last year remain unclear. Footage of his last moments, bloodied and dazed as his captors dragged him along a road, marked the grisly success of the revolt against his rule, even though many Libyans said they were glad to see the end of a violent dictator.

In a letter sent to the chairman of the UN’s commission of inquiry on Libya, a lawyer acting for Qaddafi’s daughter Aisha questioned whether investigators were meeting their obligation to probe violations by both sides in the conflict.

Full Report At:


Pak-Afghan Border: Lifeline for extremists throttled

January 27, 2012

WASHINGTON: The United States moved on Thursday to deny any US financing or material support to alleged Islamic extremists operating in Afghanistan, Europe and Lebanon. The State Department targeted brothers Yassin and Mounir Chouka, who it said are recruiters, facilitators and propagandists for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and stage operations along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. It also targeted Mevlut Kar as a facilitator and recruiter for the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU). It said he is implicated in a 2007 bomb plot targeting US military facilities and US citizens in Germany.


Hafiz Saeed had the same teacher as bin Laden, Zawahiri: Report

February 8, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed in an interview revealed that he had been taught by the same teacher who had taught al Qaeda supremos Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri, reported late on Tuesday.

JuD, listed as a charity organisation in Pakistan, is labeled by India and the United Nations as a terrorist organisation.

In an interview to, the JuD chief revealed that he had studied under the tutelage of Sheikh Bin Baz, who had also taught bin Laden and al-Zawahiri.

Bin Baz was the grand mufti (scholar) of Saudi Arabia from 1993 until his death in May 1999.

AfPak head and a retired Central Investigation Agency (CIA) officer, Bruce Riedel in his book titled “The Search for al Qaeda” described Bin Baz as one who “preached a very reactionary brand of Islam, proclaiming the earth is flat, banning high heels for women as sexually provocative, barring men from wearing Western suits and imposing other restrictions on behavior.

Full Report At:


Pakistan, Russia pledge broad-based partnership

Thursday, February 09, 2012

MOSCOW: Pakistan and Russia on Wednesday agreed to promote and enhance the bilateral relations in diverse fields, including trade, energy and people-to-people contacts.

Addressing a joint press conference along with her Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said there had been scope for cooperation between the two countries in different areas and all the aspects for improving cooperation had been discussed during their meeting.

Khar is visiting the Russian Federation at the invitation of her Russian counterpart Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov. She held in-depth talks with her Russian counterpart on expanding and diversifying Pakistan-Russia relations. The two foreign ministers exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest besides increasing cooperation in energy, infrastructure development, agriculture, science and technology.

Full Report At:\02\09\story_9-2-2012_pg1_6


Pak: SC begins PM contempt appeal hearing

9 February 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday began the hearing of the intra-court appeal challenging its order in a contempt case against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, DawnNews reported.

The prime minister’s counsel, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, was presenting his arguments before the court.

During the hearing, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry expressed his displeasure over certain parts in the draft of the appeal.

He further said that a country’s prime minister should have high ethical standards and that the language of the appeal gave the impression that the premier wanted to influence the court’s judgment.

The chief justice said that the judges had taken their oaths under the Constitution and that they gave judgments in accordance with the Constitution.

The premier’s appeal had said it would be ironic to send to prison a democratically elected prime minister who had released detained judges of the court even before taking oath as the chief executive.

Filed by Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan on Wednesday, the appeal had immediately been fixed for Thursday before an eight-judge larger Supreme Court bench since the prime minister has been summoned by a seven-judge bench on Feb 13 for the framing of charges.

The appeal, citing a number of cases, requests the court to set aside the Feb 2 order of summoning the prime minister on Feb 13 and the show-cause notice in the interest of justice and suspend the proceedings before the seven-judge bench hearing the contempt case.


Pak SC to Gilani: Reopen graft cases against Zardari, contempt case will end

Feb 9, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Supreme Court on Thursday insisted that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani should write to Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, saying no one is above the law.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said the contempt proceedings against the prime minister would end if he wrote a letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen cases of alleged money laundering against Zardari.

Chaudhry made the remarks while hearing Gilani's appeal against an order summoning him on February 13 for the framing of charges in a contempt of court case for refusing to revive the cases against Zardari.

The person involved in these cases is the head of the prime minister's party but no one is above the law, he said.

Full Report At:


JUI faction’s leader shot dead in Chaman

Saleem Shahid

9 February 2012

QUETTA: A senior leader of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Ideological group), Maulana Abdul Ghani was gunned down in the border town of Chaman on Wednesday, Levies sources said.

Unidentified attackers opened fire at Maulana Ghani, leaving him seriously injured. He was taken to hospital where he died soon afterwards.

The cause of the attack is yet to be ascertained, Levies sources said.

Further investigation was in progress.

Full Report At:


US drone attack kills 10 in North Waziristan

Thursday, February 09, 2012

MIRANSHAH: A US drone aircraft killed 10 suspected terrorists in the North Waziristan region near the Afghanistan border on Wednesday, security officials and residents said, the fifth such strike this year.

A drone fired two missiles at a house suspected of being a terror hideout in Thapi village, 15 kilometres east of Miranshah. The building was completely destroyed and 10 suspected terrorists were killed, security officials said.

“Almost all the men were burnt beyond recognition,” a villager said after visiting the destroyed house. “Dozens of terrorists arrived later and took over rescue work. They pulled out nine bodies,” he said, requesting anonymity. Security officials and villagers said the dead included foreign fighters, but they did not specify their nationalities.

The unacknowledged Central Intelligence Agency drone programme was apparently halted after a November NATO air attack from across the Afghan border killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The US resumed attacks with the missile-firing drones in northwest Pakistan on January 10.

Full Report At:\02\09\story_9-2-2012_pg7_4


Four injured in Quetta grenade attack

Thursday, February 09, 2012

QUETTA: At least four people, including a child, were injured in a hand grenade attack on Zarghoon Road area near the Saryab Bridge of the provincial capital on Wednesday. According to police, unidentified persons riding a bike hurled the grenade, injuring four passer-bys and damaging three vehicles. Police immediately rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area. The injured were taken to the Civil Hospital for treatment, and had been identified as Gul Muhammad, Muhammad Aman, Samiullah , Rouhullah and Abdul Kahir. Meanwhile, Surab Deputy Director (Agriculture) Abdul Sattar Reki was traveling towards Khuzdar from Karachi with his five family members in a private vehicle when they went missing. It is feared that they must have been kidnapped. When contacted, local officials feigned ignorance about the incident. staff report\02\09\story_9-2-2012_pg7_7


Dozens dead as Syria regime pounds Homs: activists

9 February 2012

DAMASCUS: Syrian forces pressed a relentless assault on the protest city of Homs Wednesday, with dozens of civilians reported killed, hours after President Bashar al-Assad said he was committed to ending the bloodshed.

The barrage of gunfire, mortars and shells came at daybreak and flattened many buildings in the flashpoint neighbourhood of Baba Amr, a stronghold of army defectors the regime is targeting for a fifth straight day.

Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the overall toll amounted to around 50 dead, including three entire families slain overnight by regime forces and government-backed thugs known as Shabiha.

“We expect the death toll to rise … given the fact that many victims remain under the rubble,” Abdel Rahman told AFP.

The most intense shelling was in Baba Amr, where at least 23 buildings were completely destroyed, including a home hit by a rocket that killed a little girl.

All power and communications were cut off.

The three families were killed in the same neighbourhood and included at least three children aged five, seven and 15.

Activists in the besieged central city claimed the widespread shelling was a clear bid to pave the way for a ground assault.

“Since dawn the shelling has been extremely intense and they are using rockets and mortars,” Omar Shaker, who was reached by satellite telephone from Beirut, told AFP.

“They have destroyed all infrastructure and bombed water tanks and electricity poles. The humanitarian situation is extremely dire and food is lacking.

“We are trying to set up a field hospital but we have no medical supplies.”

Later in the morning, the shelling intensified as tanks moved toward the city from the capital Damascus, said Hadi Abdullah, another activist.

“We fear a new massacre,” he told AFP by satphone.

The Britain-based Observatory has reported several hundred civilians killed since the onslaught on the protest hub was launched overnight Friday.

It said new clashes killed at least one person in northwestern Idlib province, and added that 18 soldiers defected in the southern region of Daraa, cradle of the popular uprising against Assad’s 11 years of iron-fisted rule.

Rights groups estimate more than 6,000 people have died in nearly a year of upheaval in the Middle Eastern country, as Assad’s hardline regime seeks to snuff out the revolt that began in March with peaceful protests amid the Arab Spring.

Western and Arab efforts to end the violence have met resistance from Russia, whose foreign minister said after meeting Assad in Damascus on Tuesday that the Syrian leader was “fully committed” to ending the bloodshed.


Bangladesh: Police sues 300 in connection with CU clash

Thursday, February 9, 2012

This February 8 photo shows Shibir activists equipped with sharp weapons attacking Bangladesh Chhatra League men during clashes on Chittagong University campus.

Star Online Report

Islami Chhatra Shibir observed a half-day hartal in Chittagong city on Thursday in protest against the killing of two students in clash with Bangladesh Chhatra League men Wednesday

Meanwhile, police sued more than 300 people Wednesday night in connection with the clash that left two CU students – Masud bin Habib and Mujahidul Islam – dead on the campus.

Chintu Miah, sub-inspector of Hathazari Police Station, filed the case against at least 300 people on charge of preventing police from discharging their duties.

The 11 Shibir men detained by the law enforcers on Wednesday have been made accused of the case. The rest of the accused are unknown, reports our Chittagong University correspondent

The 11 detainees are: Shibir CU unit Secretary Imrul Hasan and activists Mojadidul Islam, Masudur Rahman, Shahed Uddin, Nur Hasan Riad, Mostafizur Raman, Maruf Billah, Safique Uddin, Mahfuzur Rahman, Faisal Ahmed, Jahedul Islam and Morshedul Islam.

Our Chittagong correspondent reports, police picked up four Shibir activists from Pahartali area on charge of picketing during the hartal hours.

M Saifuddin, Ahmed Shafi, Sohrab Hossain and Md Ataullah were held as they attempt to vandalise vehicles around 9:30am, said Abdur Razzak, officer-in-charge (investigation) of Pahartali Police Station.

The pro-hartal activists also damaged at least 10 vehicles at Bahaddarhat intersection, Andarkilla, Chandanpur and Chakbazar during the strike that ended at 12:00pm.

Fearing further tension on the campus, the CU authorities shut the university till February 16 and ordered all resident students to vacate the halls by 11:00am Thursday.

Our CU correspondent reports, the male students of the university vacated the dormitories Wednesday night.

The women students were seen leaving the halls around 1:00pm when the report filed as the authorities extended their time for leaving the dormitories for three hours.

After the clash on Wednesday, Shibir, a pro-Jamaat-e-Islami student organisation, called the six-hour strike in city to protest the killings, claiming both the victims to be its members.

BCL however said one of the victims was an activist of the pro-Awami League student body.


US public supports Obama's drone programme: Poll

February 9, 2012

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama has overwhelming support from American voters for his use of drone strikes against terror suspects and his planned troop drawdown in Afghanistan, a poll found Wednesday.

Obama, who signed off on the US special forces raid which killed Osama bin Laden last year, also enjoys a wide edge over his likely Republican election foe Mitt Romney on national security and foreign policy, the poll showed.

Eighty-three per cent of those asked in the Washington Post/ABC News survey said they backed Obama’s use of unmanned drone aircraft against suspected militants in the tribal belt of Pakistan. The programme has drawn the ire of the Pakistani public and some civil liberties groups who have termed the drone as illegal and its victims as being murdered extra judiciously.

The president publicly acknowledged the drone strikes for the first time in a Google+ and YouTube interview last month, and that such attacks had been authorised against targets in Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Seventy-eight per cent of those asked approved of Obama’s plans to draw down troops in Afghanistan, despite fierce criticism of the president’s strategy from Republican presidential candidates, including Romney.

Voters were also asked whether they approved of the decision to keep the Guantanamo Bay war on terror detention facility in Cuba open and 70 per cent approved.

Obama had vowed to close the camp, which he said was a recruiting tool for terrorists, shortly after taking office in 2009, but due to congressional opposition and complications in dispersing inmates, has so far been unable to do so.

Respondents also trusted him more on international affairs by a 56 to 37 percent margin.

The survey contained the latest evidence that Obama’s conduct as US commander-in-chief has wiped out the traditional edge Republicans have had over Democrats in national security policy.


Iran gas pipeline a bad idea, says US

Anwar Iqbal

9 February 2012

WASHINGTON: The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline is a bad idea and Washington is engaged with Islamabad to find better alternatives for meeting its energy need, says the US State Department.

On Tuesday, President Asif Ali Zardari told the visiting Iranian Vice President for International Affairs Ali Seedlou that Pakistan was committed to the early implementation of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and will not abandon the project despite external pressures.

“We’re also talking to Pakistan about these issues, and our view with regard to this pipeline hasn’t changed. We think it’s a bad idea and we’re continuing to talk to Pakistan about that,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told a briefing in Washington when asked to comment on Islamabad’s stance.

“Are you also giving them some alternative options?” she was asked.

“We are working with Pakistan as we’re working with countries around the world on other ways to meet their energy needs,” Ms Nuland responded.

Replying to a question on a recent New York Times report that the United States was considering an apology to Pakistan on the Nov 26 Nato airstrikes, Ms Nuland said: “We’re not going to be able to make any decisions about where we might go until Pakistan itself completes its internal review that is still ongoing and until we have a chance to consult directly with Pakistan.”

The US and Pakistan, she added, had talked about the timelines for completing the review process but until they do so, “we can’t be sure when that will be”.

“How does that relate to an apology or not making an apology?” a journalist asked.

“Well, what we’ve already said, what we said at the time, what we said for days and days, continues to stand,” Ms Nuland responded.

“But is there some possibility that once the Pakistani review is over that might change?” the journalist asked.

“We will make no decisions until we have a chance to consult with the Pakistanis,” she replied. “We are not going to be able to be clear about how we’re going to get this relationship back on track until we hear from the Pakistanis what the result of their review is and we have a chance to work with them on where we might go.”

Responding to another question, Ms Nuland said Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani did not meet any US official during his visit to Qatar. She, however, assured Pakistan that the US recognised its role in the Afghan reconciliation process.

“We have long said that we would hope that Pakistan would continue to support the process of Afghans reconciling with each other. We have kept the Pakistani government briefed,” she said.

At the Pentagon, Press Secretary George Little noted that the US had already expressed “deepest regret” on the loss of life in the Nov 26 strike but declined to say if there was any move by the US to apologise for the incident that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

According to the NYT report, the US military’s Central Command chief, Gen James Mattis will give final shape to ‘new terms of engagement’ with Pakistan during his talks with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and other military officials in Islamabad next week.

“I do not have any visits to announce today. We always look forward to meeting our Pakistani counterparts,” Mr Little said when asked about the visit. He also said that there were no new updates on the closed Nato supply routes to Afghanistan.

The New York Times reported that these supply routes could soon be opened as the two allies move closer to rebuilding their ties.


No choice but to support Iran if Israel attacks: Pak High Commissioner of Britain

9 February 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Britain Wajid Shamsul Hasan said that Pakistan would be left with no option but to support Iran if Israel attacks it.

In an interview to a British newspaper The Sun published Wednesday, Hasan expressed his concerns over the United States’ “Drone Wars” that have taken the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians in Pakistan.

“We know the damage — destroyed schools, communities, hospitals. They are civilians — children, women, families. Our losses are enormous,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

“I think time is running out until the Pakistan government can take a stand. They will have to at some stage take punitive actions to stop them. They have got means to take such actions to defend their own frontier and territories,” Hasan further added.

Hasan urged British Prime Minister David Cameron to convince the US that the drone attacks were counter-productive, making the American “the most hated people in the minds of the people in Pakistan.”

Talking about Iran, he said: “We wouldn’t like to be seen as part of Israel’s campaign against any country. If Israel attacks Iran, it will have an impact on Pakistan as well.”

“We will have to safeguard our own interests. We also have a Shia population in Pakistan who will not take it lying down.”


Pakistan Navy ships arrive in Jeddah

Feb 8, 2012

JEDDAH: In a bid to further strengthen the warm and cordial relations between Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan Navy vessels, PNS Zulfiquar, PNS SV Behr Paima and PNS/Sub Marine Hamza have arrived at the Jeddah port.

The visiting Pak Navy ship will remain open for visitors on Feb. 10 (Friday) from 1500 hours to 1700 hours during their stay at Jeddah sea port.

Full Report At:


‘Iran can hit US interests worldwide if attacked’

Feb 8, 2012

MOSCOW/TEHRAN: Iran is capable of carrying out military strikes on US interests all around the world if the country is attacked by the United States, Iran’s ambassador to Moscow said on Wednesday.

The United States has tried to force Tehran to scrap sensitive nuclear work by imposing sanctions targeting Iran’s central bank and giving US banks new powers to freeze Iranian government assets.

Iran’s ambassador to Moscow said that the United States would be making a serious mistake, akin to suicide, if it risked a military strike on OPEC’s No. 2 oil exporter.

Washington has announced no such plans, but has said a military option is always on the table if Iran cannot be otherwise prevented from developing atomic weapons.

“The Americans know what kind of country Iran is. They are well aware of our people’s unity,” Iranian ambassador Seyed Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi told a news conference in Moscow. “And that’s why Iran is fully able to deliver retaliatory strikes on the United States anywhere in the world,” he said, speaking through an interpreter. “Even if it attacks, we have a list of counter actions. (The United States) would be disappointed with their huge mistake.”

Full Report At:


Contacts with Nato and Isaf resume

Baqir Sajjad Syed

9 February 2012

ISLAMABAD, Feb 8: A meeting of senior military officials of Pakistan, Afghanistan and coalition forces based in Afghanistan held on Wednesday for discussing border security and coordination marked the formal resumption of military contacts with the US and Nato after months of estrangement in the aftermath of Nov 26 strikes on Pakistani border posts.

“Representatives of Isaf, ANA and Pakistan Army met at Border Coordination Centre (BCC) in Torkham today under tripartite engagement format to discuss and improve various coordination measures on Pak-Afghan border,” a military

official said.

The Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), Maj-Gen Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmed, represented Pakistan at the meeting, which was technically the highest level of military interaction among the three sides since the Salala incident after which Pakistan had closed the crucial Nato supply route, evicted US personnel from Shamsi airbase, and essentially put the entire bilateral relationship on hold.

Full Report At:


Academics gather in Jakarta

Thu, 02/09/2012

Around 200 researchers from across the world have gathered to attend an annual international conference about Indonesia in Bali from Feb. 9-11.

The conference, titled “International Conference and Summer School on Indonesian Studies”, was hosted by the University of Indonesia (UI).

The conference, which is expected to promote understanding and scholarship of Indonesian affairs, will discuss many issues including among other things, maritime culture, local wisdom, diversity and change.

Also present in the conference was renowned researcher from Oxford University, Professor Stephen Oppenhaimer, reported on Thursday.

UI’s Cultural Sciences Faculty held the first conference in 2009 at UI Campus in Depok, and this conference will be the fourth time the event has been held in Indonesia. (fzm)


Malaysia: Govt awaiting DNA verification before identifying slain terror suspects


Thursday, February 9, 2012Metropolitan

PUTRAJAYA: The Government will wait for DNA verification before identifying suspected Malaysian terrorists killed in air strikes in the Philippines.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein confirmed there was "more than one" Malaysian, but declined to confirm their identities.

"This is a long and gruesome process," he said at a press conference at his office Thursday.


Ahmadinejad wants pope to visit Iran: Envoy

Feb 8, 2012

ROME: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would like Pope Benedict to visit Iran, Teheran's ambassador to the Vatican said on Wednesday.

"If the pope decides to come, we will welcome him in an excellent way, and, as far as the government is concerned, we will welcome him with enthusiasm," Ali Akbar Naseri told reporters.

Full Report At:


Ex-president's family flees Maldives

Feb 9, 2012

COLOMBO: The family of deposed Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed has fled the country and sought refuge in Sri Lanka following unrest, a media report said.

Nasheed's wife Laila Ali arrived here on Wednesday night, reported the Sunday Leader, without saying who else was accompanying her.

She spoke to President Mahinda Rajapaksa over telephone after her arrival, the newspaper's website reported.

Full Report At:


International community urges restraint in Maldives


Thursday, February 9, 2012

The international community has appealed to both President Mohamed Nasheed and his opponents to step back from the brink and maintain calm.

India made the appeal in private meetings with both Mr. Nasheed and new President Dr. Waheed Hassan the day the transition took place, February 8. The peace held for a day, but on Wednesday, the fragile truce gave way. After India made the appeal to both parties, supporters of Mr. Nasheed viewed this as a let down. In their view, they were the wronged, and India had to – at least – be morally on their side of the conflict and ensure that order was restored and that the democratically elected President was allowed to continue to his full term.

Full Report At:


Maldives test for India-Pakistan relations?

Jawed Naqvi

Thursday, February 9, 2012

NEW DELHI: Has the current political crisis in the Maldives come as a test for the familiar India-Pakistan rivalry for influence in the region, or is it an opportunity for them to face a potentially serious challenge together? Indian analysts on Wednesday indicated it could be a bit of both.

One view of the abrupt resignation of Mohammed Nasheed as the first democratically elected president of the Maldives on Tuesday was that it had been “guided” by India, in a delicate manoeuvre, amid police-led anti-Nasheed protests, so as to stave off any charge of intervention.

Full Report At:


EU threatens new sanctions on Syria

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The European Union will impose harsher sanctions on Syria, a senior EU official has said, as Russia tried to broker talks between the vice president and the opposition to calm violence. Activists reported at least 50 killed in the regime’s siege of the restive city of Homs.

Russia, a close ally of Syria, and the West are pushing down starkly different paths in trying to deal with Syria’s nearly 11 months of bloodshed. After blocking a Western and Arab attempt to bring U.N. pressure on President Bashar Assad to step down, Russia has launched a bid to show it can resolve the turmoil.

Full Report At:


Indonesia Terror Suspect Denies Jihad Was Motive In Attempt to Poison Police

Agus Triyono

 February 08, 2012

Jihad might be a word that drives some militant Muslims to commit suicide bombings, but terror defendant Paimin, a.k.a. Joni Gondrong, claimed in his trial on Tuesday that he was not sure of the meaning of the word.

Paimin, together with three other members of his group, has been accused of trying to poison police officers in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, last year. However, he claimed to not know the word “jihad.”

“I don’t know the meaning of that [word]. I just try to earn a living here,” he told the Central Jakarta District Court on Tuesday.

Full Report At:


India: Islamic students' group asks JK youths to abandon V-Day

Feb 09, 2012

An Islamic students' group here has asked youths in Jammu and Kashmir not to celebrate the Valentine's Day and instead observe a ‘Haft-e-Haya’ (week of modesty) from February 13-19.

Islami Jamaat-e-Taulba has circulated pamphlets and published advertisements in local newspapers asking youths to ‘say no to immodesty, immorality and lewdness’.

They have also started a vigorous online campaign on various social networking websites with posters of 'Haft-e-Haya' injected with Quranic verses urging Muslims to safeguard their modesty and refrain from celebrating the day of love.

An advertisement published by the group in local newspapers has asked women to adopt hijab.

Both moderate and radical Muslim groups have abhorred celebration of Valentine's day, which has become popular in Kashmir over the past decade.

Radical groups, including Aasiya Andrabi's 'Dukhtaraan-e-Millat (Daughters of the Nation)', have in past held protests against V-Day celebrations and burned cards.


India: Karnataka ministers filmed watching porn in assembly quit

Anil Kumar M

TNN | Feb 8, 2012

BANGAORE: Three Karnataka ministers - Lakshman Savdi, C C Patil and Krishna B Palemar - have resigned following allegations of watching porn clips in the legislative assembly.

It took just few minutes for the top BJP leaders, chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda, state BJP chief K S Eshwarappa and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa to decide, who met early on Wednesday morning to seek resignations from the trio. The copies of their resignations have been forwarded to the governor for acceptance. While Savdi was holding cooperation portfolio, Patil was woman and child development minister. Palemar was entrusted with ports and environment responsibilities.

Full Report At: