New Age Islam
Tue Dec 05 2023, 04:09 AM

Islamic World News ( 16 Dec 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

Memogate was Conspiracy against Army and National Security: Pak Army Chief Kayani

Son of toppled Shah of Iran wants leader of Islamic Republic Tried by International Court

Pak Hindus Ask India for Citizenship or Refugee Status

As Indonesia Grows, Discontent Sets in Among Workers

Mosque Is Attacked After Demolitions at Settler Outpost, West Bank

Dutch Catholic Sexual abuse of Children 'affected thousands'

Prominent journalist killed by unidentified gunman in Russia’s restive Caucasus province

Libya: Qaddafi Death a Potential Crime

Three Bullet -riddled bodies of Baloch missing persons found

Syrian Army Defectors Reportedly Kill 27 Soldiers

Muslim World League issues ‘code of honor’ for Muslim journalists

Govt. behind 'mystery killings': Bangladesh Opposition Leader

2 Bangladesh Opposition leaders of Noakhali, Jessore murdered

AIMA sends high profile delegation to Pakistan Management Convention

SIT registers Ishrat case with CBI

Two Modules of LeT, Hizb Busted in J&K

`Former Indian President Kalam not exempted from U.S. screening'

3 Bangladeshis jailed in India for attacking police

Call for war trial reverberates through country

Death wish of the Pakistani political class

Pakistan's sovereignty non-negotiable: FO

Afghan Rebuke of Qatar Sets Back Peace Talks

Military dictatorships destroyed Pakistan: Imran

Zardari setting up a presidential camp office in Dubai

Zardari fit, resuming duties next week: High Commissioner to the UK

Pakistan battle kills '1 soldier, 25 insurgents'

On the Run with Pakistan's Taliban

Ijaz submits handwritten notes implicating Haqqani

Pakistani intelligence agencies target killed BNM activist, injured his son and wife

UK Experts Eye Islamic Finance Solution

Stop U.S. Drone Flights, Iran Warns Afghanistan

Syria crisis: Russia circulates surprise UN resolution

Nahyan Bin Mubarak inaugurates ceremony to launch MA programs in Islamic Studies at Zayed University

Tajikistan profile

Bangladesh man 'admits' cutting off wife's fingers

Compiled By New Age Islam News Bureau



Memogate was conspiracy against army and national security: Pak Army chief Kayani


ISLAMABAD: Dec 16, 2011, Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has for the first time acknowledged the existence of the memogate document describing it as conspiracy against his force as well as national security, and demanded a thorough probe.

The powerful general made these comments in a reply filed with the Supreme Court which is hearing petitions related to the matter, media reports here said.

ISI Chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha in a separate reply said he was satisfied with evidence given by memogate whistleblower Mansoor Ijaz.

Kayani said there is a need to find out the truth behind the memo that was sent to the US military.

The scandal had affected Pakistan's national security and the memo was an attempt to affect the morale of soldiers who are making sacrifices for democratic freedom and national security, he was quoted as saying by Geo news channel.

The responses of Kayani and Pasha were submitted to the apex court last evening while there was no reply from President Asif Ali Zardari even though a deadline set by the court had expired yesterday.

There was no official word on why the President's response had not been submitted.

After admitting nine petitions seeking a probe into the Memogate controversy, the apex court had directed 10 respondents, including the President, to submit their replies by December 15.

The responses of Kayani and Pasha were submitted to the Supreme Court's registrar by Attorney General Anwarul Haq.

Pakistani-American businessman Ijaz, who made public the memo that sought US help to prevent a military coup in Pakistan in the wake of the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May, had submitted his response earlier in the day.

The replies of the Cabinet, Law, Interior, Defence and Foreign Secretaries too have been submitted while Husain Haqqani, former envoy to US, had sent in his reply several days ago.

Geo News reported that ISI chief Pasha, in his response, had said he was satisfied with the evidence provided by Ijaz.

"Having seen these means of communication used, I was satisfied that he (Ijaz) had enough corroborative material to prove his version of the incident," Pasha was quoted as saying.

Pasha asked the apex court to summon Ijaz to appear before it and produce the evidence in his possession.

He further asked the court to order a forensic examination of the BlackBerry phones and computers of both Ijaz and Haqqani, and to obtain the call record data of the BlackBerry phones from service providers.


Son of toppled shah of Iran wants leader of Islamic Republic Tried by International Court

By Associated Press,

PARIS — December 15, 2011, The exiled son of the toppled shah of Iran said Thursday he plans to ask the United Nations to bring Iran’s supreme leader before the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity.

Reza Pahlavi is among exiles working for regime change in Iran. He said at a Paris news conference that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei must be held responsible for the executions, jailing and torture of political dissidents.

Pahlavi said he will submit a complaint about Khamenei to the five permanent U.N. Security Council members along with a report of the cleric’s alleged crimes that will be constantly updated.

Pahlavi’s father, the late Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, was ousted in the 1979 Islamic Revolution that installed a clerical hierarchy. The ultimate leader of the government running the country now is Khamenei.

Iran has not ratified the Rome statute that established the International Criminal Court, the world’s permanent war crimes tribunal, known as the ICC. It is therefore not subject to the court’s jurisdiction — unless the Security Council decides to step in and refer Iran to the court as it did in the case of Libya.

ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, asked about Pahlavi’s announcement, said “citizens around the world are learning to request the court’s intervention.”

“In this sense, I think it’s great to show people who are looking for justice. Now they know how to do it. We are providing a new institution to the world, to make the world better,” Ocampo told a news conference in New York.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Pak Hindus Ask India for Citizenship Or Refugee Status

PTI JALANDHAR (PUNJAB)DEC 16, 2011 A group of Pakistani Hindus have urged the Indian government to grant them either refugee status or citizenship, claiming that they are not treated well in their home country.

The group members are currently on a visit to the city on tourist visas.

"If the Indian government can't give us citizenship then they should give us refugee status...We are not treated well in our country," Shobha Ram, one of the Pakistani Hindus, said.

"Since January, around 400 families have come here from Pakistan and are taking refuge with their relations in parts of Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan," Surinder Kumar Billa, who heads the All India Shivsena, an organisation working for Pakistani Hindus, said.

"The government is doing injustice to the Hindus by not giving them a permanent settlement," he alleged, and demanded that the government should consider their cases on humanitarian ground.


As Indonesia Grows, Discontent Sets in Among Workers


JAKARTA — December 16, 2011, As a flare-red sun set, a group of laborers in their 20s and 30s gathered on the bare floor of a battered house wedged beneath power lines in an industrial part of Jakarta. They were members of a confederation of multi- sector workers, one of the largest trade unions in Indonesia, whose slogan is “Young, brave, militant.”

The men — all employees of the biggest hypermarket chain in the nation, run by the French retail giant Carrefour — said the company was violating their rights by paying them as contract workers, unprotected by strict Indonesian labor laws.

“Cheap wages and outsourcing, these are the main issues in Indonesia,” said Abdul Rahman, a Carrefour employee and the secretary general of the union, known as Kasbi, which represents about 130,000 workers.

He and others have been negotiating with the company for improved contracts since a 1,000-person strike in late August, but talks have gone nowhere. The same cycle has played out repeatedly since Carrefour entered Indonesia in 1998, said Mr. Rahman, 33, who has worked at the company for 11 years.

United by discontent, Mr. Rahman and his fellow activists are far from alone. Indonesia, the largest economy in Southeast Asia, is also among the top 20 economies in the world, with growth this year of around 6 percent. On Thursday, the ratings agency Fitch upgraded the country to investment-grade status. More than 50 percent of its 240 million inhabitants have entered the middle class, according to the World Bank, which defines that as those who spend between $2 and $20 a day. Still, many of them toil for barely a living wage, offering some of the cheapest labor in Asia.

In recent years, though, this labor force has watched certain sectors grow fat on rising commodity prices and booming domestic demand, and increasingly, it is pushing for a greater share of company profits.

The biggest pushback has come from workers employed by Freeport McMoRan, which is based in Arizona and controls the world’s largest recoverable gold and copper reserves in Timika, Papua. On Wednesday, its workers’ union agreed to a 37 percent increase in wages after a three-month strike.

Affordable labor is a main reason investors are attracted to Indonesia, in part to offset wage increases in China, said Gita Wirjawan, currently the country’s trade minister and formerly head of its investment coordinating board.

But recent strikes for higher wages by mine workers and supermarket clerks, not to mention pilots of the state-owned airline, Garuda, have disrupted business operations — and could potentially deter foreign dollars.

According to the Manpower Ministry, Indonesia had 53 strikes in the first seven months of 2010, the last period for which figures are available. By comparison, in 2008 the International Labor Organization recorded five apiece in the nearby countries of Thailand and the Philippines.

Muhammad Chatib Basri, an economist at the University of Indonesia and the director of the Institute for Economic and Social Research, says frequent and prolonged strikes reduce profit margins and competitiveness. Sluggish Indonesian industries like garment manufacturing are starting to pick up as wages rise elsewhere, he says. But if the costs of dealing with unrest and lengthy union negotiations increase, that could stem growth in a country that will depend on labor-intensive industries for productive employment for the foreseeable future.

Mr. Basri says legally mandated high severance payments are another deterrent to investment.

“The labor law acts like a hiring tax, so many companies don’t want to absorb permanent workers because if there is downsizing, they have to pay out a lot of money,” he said.

Many companies get around that regulation by hiring contract workers, like the men of Kasbi demanding better benefits from Carrefour. But typically, big foreign concerns have a more difficult time evading the law in that way, and others, too, are facing worker unre


Mosque Is Attacked After Demolitions at Settler Outpost, West Bank


December 15, 2011

A mosque in a village outside the West Bank city of Ramallah was defaced and set on fire early Thursday, the third day of extremist Jewish violence that has prompted widespread condemnation and new law enforcement steps by the Israeli government.

The attack came after the Israeli Army moved in overnight to remove two structures at an unauthorized settler outpost of six families near Nablus.

Inside the third floor of the mosque, where carpets and chairs were burned, Hebrew graffiti said “war” and “price tag,” the name given to a campaign by radical settlers angered by Israeli government policy. Other graffiti referred to the settler outpost, saying, “Regards from Mitzpe Yitzhar.”

On Tuesday, rumors that illegal outposts were to be removed prompted dozens of settlers to attack an Israeli Army base, a move that hardened the resolve of Israeli leaders to contain right-wing militants.

Israeli officials condemned the mosque attack. President Shimon Peres, meeting with settler leaders over the tensions, said such attacks were “pouring oil on the flames” of regional anger at Israel.

For Full Report:


Dutch Catholic Sexual abuse of Children 'affected thousands'

Dec 16th, 2011

Tens of thousands of children have suffered sexual abuse in Dutch Catholic institutions since 1945, a report says.

The report by an independent commission said Catholic officials had failed to tackle the widespread abuse at schools, seminaries and orphanages.

But the report also found that one in five children who attended an institution suffered abuse - regardless of whether it was Catholic.

Allegations at a Catholic school in the east Netherlands triggered the inquiry.

The commission, which began work in August 2010, sought to uncover what had gone on and how it had happened, and examined what kind of justice should be offered to victims.

It studied 1,800 complaints of abuse at Catholic institutions, identifying 800 alleged perpetrators, just over 100 of whom are still alive.

It also conducted a broader survey of more than 34,000 people, to gain a more comprehensive picture of the scale and nature of abuse suffered by Dutch minors.

The problem of sexual abuse was known... but the appropriate actions were not undertaken”

The report estimates that 10,000-20,000 minors were abused in the care of Catholic institutions between 1945 and 1981, when the number of Church-run homes dropped. In the years between 1981 and 2011, several more thousands suffered at the hands of priests and others working for the Church.

For Full Report:


Prominent journalist killed by unidentified gunman in Russia’s restive Caucasus province

Associated Press,

MAKHACHKALA, Russia — December 16,, 2011, The founder of a newspaper critical of authorities in the restive province of Dagestan in Russia’s North Caucasus has died after he was gunned down in a hail of bullets outside his office, police said Friday.

Khadzhimurad Kamalov’s leading independent weekly paper Chernovik (Rough Draft) has reported extensively on police abuses in the fight against an Islamist insurgency that originated in neighboring Chechnya and has spread across the region.

Kamalov founded the weekly in 2003, worked as its editor for several years and remained its publisher until his killing late Thursday. He was 46.

Vyacheslav Gasanov, a spokesman for the Russian Interior Minister in Dagestan, said a masked gunman riddled Kamalov with bullets outside the office in the provincial capital, Makhachkala. Kamalov died of his wounds at a local hospital shortly after.

Biyakai Magomedov — the editor of Chernovik, who witnessed the attack — said on Russia’s NTV television that Kamalov fell on the pavement as he was struck by the first round, and then covered his head with hands when the assailant approached to finish him off.

“They deliberately killed him in front of the newspaper’s office to scare the staff,” Magomedov said.

Chechen rebels have fought two separatist wars against Russian forces since 1994. Major battles in the second war subsided about a decade ago, but the Islamist insurgency has engulfed neighboring provinces, stoked by poverty and corruption. Rights activists accuse security services of fueling the violence with arbitrary arrests, torture and extra-judicial killings of militant suspects.

For Full Report:


Libya: Qaddafi Death a Potential Crime


December 15, 2011

The death of the former Libyan leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, who was captured and killed by rebels in October, may have been a war crime, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said on Thursday. The chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said he thought that “the way in which Mr. Qaddafi was killed creates suspicions” of a war crime. Under pressure from Western allies, Libya’s interim government has promised to investigate the former leader’s death.


Three Bullet -riddled bodies of Baloch missing persons found

Occupied Balochistan: Three more bullet-riddled bodies of Baloch missing persons, all from one family, were found in the Zero Point area of the Khuzdar district, some 310 kilometres from the provincial capital on Monday, police said.

“Some passers-by spotted the bodies in Zero Point area on Shadadkot Road and informed the police. Police rushed to the area and bodies were taken to the District Headquarters Hospital Khuzdar for autopsy,” police constable Dur Muhammad told Daily Times.

“The victims were activists of the Balochistan National Party,” said BNP Information Secretary Agha Hassan.

The victims were identified as Allah Baksh and his two nephews, Sanaullah and Bashir Ahmed. They were residents of Ferozabad area of Khuzdar. “They were brutally tortured before they were killed,” hospital sources said, and added that they had been shot in the head and chest and had received multiple bullets in other parts of body. The bodies were handed over to their relatives after the autopsy.

Chairman of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, Nasrullah Baloch, said that over 300 bullet-riddled bodies of missing persons have been recovered during the past 15 months.


Syrian Army Defectors Reportedly Kill 27 Soldiers


BEIRUT, Lebanon, December 15, 2011 — The armed insurgency against the government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has become more organized in recent weeks, with defectors launching attacks that have become bolder and in some cases more sophisticated, according to activists and residents inside the country and in exile.

The latest attack took place on Thursday at dawn, when military defectors killed at least 27 soldiers, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, in one of the largest attacks yet on troops loyal to the government.

The observatory, which is based in London and has a network of informants inside Syria, said in a statement that clashes erupted in and around the city of Dara’a, where the antigovernment uprising began in March.

It said the attackers, armed with rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, hit two checkpoints in the countryside and a military base inside the city, suggesting a level of coordination that had not been seen there before.

For Full Report:


Muslim World League issues ‘code of honor’ for Muslim journalists

Erwida Maulia, The Jakarta Post,

Jakarta 12/15/2011, The Muslim World League (MWL) issued on Thursday a “code of honor” for media institutions and journalists in the Muslim world, calling on them to spread Islamic messages while countering biased reports against Muslims and Islam.

The code of honor was presented during the closing ceremony of the Second International Conference on Islamic Media in Jakarta, which raised the theme “New Media and Communication Technology in the Muslim World: Opportunity and Challenge”.

“The conference recommends the issuance of a code of honor for communication and information media according to the attached draft and circulation of it among ministries of information and media institutions in the Muslim world,” conference participant Mohammed Musa said as he read out recommendations from the three-day


“[The conference also] stresses the need to adhere to [the code of honor] when issuing national media codes, as well as codes for media institutions,” said the communications professor from New Zealand’s University of Canterbury.

For Full Report:


Govt. behind 'mystery killings': Bangladesh Opposition Leader

Dhaka, Dec 15th, 2011 ( — BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has alleged that the government had a hand in the abduction and murder of Jessore unit BNP leader Nazmul Islam.

Nazmul's bloody was found on Thursday.

"We want to state firmly that the government is carrying out mystery killings. Opposition leaders and activists, mostly from BNP, are victimised," Alamgir told the media at the party's Naya Paltan office on Thursday.

"It has only one objective — to stop protests against misdeeds of the government."

Nazmul Islam, chief of Jhikargachha thana unit BNP in the district, went missing on Wednesday night on way back home, in Dhanmondi, after attending a wedding. His body was found by Dhaka-Mymen Singh highway on Thursday morning.

Another Jessore BNP leader, T H Ayub, filed a general diary on Wednesday night.

The police said they found signs of balm applied to Nazmul's eyes and that he had been strangled to death.

For Full Report:

"The current situation has reached a more terrifying level," he said.


2 Bangladesh Opposition leaders of Noakhali, Jessore murdered

Star National Desk

Two BNP leaders of Noakhali and Jessore districts were murdered yesterday and the day before.

An elderly union-level leader of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) was killed at village Charkakra in Charkakra union under Companyganj upazila of Noakhali early yesterday, reports our correspondent.

The deceased, Abdul Wahhab, popularly known as Wahhab Raja, 60, was the vice president of Charkakra union BNP and also president of 7 No. ward BNP.

Relatives of the victim said Wahhab came out of his home after getting a mobile phone call around 10pm. As he was not returning till 1am, his relatives searched for him in all probable places, but failed to find him anywhere.

Yesterday morning, Wahhab’s cousin Mubarak found the body in a garden near the victim's house.

On information, Companyganj police rushed to the spot and recovered the body and sent it to the Noakhali Medical College Hospital for autopsy.

Jessore BNP leader Nazmul Islam, 42, was murdered in Gazipur district while he was returning to his home district from the capital by his car on Wednesday night, reports UNB.

Police said Nazmul, treasurer of Jessore district BNP, was abducted on Wednesday at about 11pm. They recovered his body from Salna Bridge area in Gazipur early yesterday and sent it to Gazipur Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy.

Jessore BNP has called a day-long hartal in the district on December 17 to protest the killing.


AIMA sends high profile delegation to Pakistan Management Convention

New Delhi: December 16, 2011,  All India Management Association (AIMA) President, Mr Rajiv Vastupal told Pakistan industry that time had come for Indian and Pakistani businesses to break free from the past and approach the future with a new agenda. "There is no better guarantor of peace than having a stake in each other's prosperity," he said while delivering the keynote address on the theme 'Leading in a Time of Crisis and Complexity' at the 12th Convention of Management Association of Pakistan (MAP) in Karachi on 14 December 2001.

MAP is the apex management association of Pakistan. With more than 1400 MAP members, MAP provides a platform for exchange of management knowledge and acts as a bridge between the public and private sectors, management practitioners and the government in Pakistan. Both AIMA and MAP are members of Asian Association of Management Organization (AAMO).

AIMA sent a high profile delegation to the Karachi management convention which included Mr Rajiv Vastupal, President, AIMA and Chairman & MD, Rajiv Petrochemicals Pvt. Ltd; Mr D Shivakumar, Senior Vice President, AIMA & Senior Vice President, Nokia India, Middle East & Africa; Ms Rekha Sethi, Director General, AIMA and Mr Nimish Patel, Group Chairman, N K Proteins Ltd.

For Full Report:


SIT registers Ishrat case with CBI


NEW DELHI, DEC. 15, The Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the alleged fake encounter case of Ishrat Jahan, on Thursday registered a fresh complaint related to the case with the CBI. The complaint, sources said, will be converted into an FIR by the CBI on Friday.

According to sources the SIT registered the complaint with the CBI on the basis of their findings

related to the case in Gujarat. The SIT, constituted by the Gujarat high court in 2010 to probe the allegations of fake encounter, submitted its report in November. The SIT in its report maintained that the encounter was staged by the Gujarat police.

Sources further said, “The agency officials will now examine the complaint. The complaint will be converted into a regular case on Friday. After registering a fresh FIR the agency will start its investigation. The agency will probe the allegations of fake encounter in which

the Mumbai-based teenager was killed along with three others”. The CBI will constitute a special team, headed by a joint director, to probe the case. Besides, a DIG and two SPs will be part of the team, sources added.

Ishrat Jahan and three others — Pranesh Pillai, alias Javed Sheikh, and two alleged Pakistani terrorists — were gunned down by the Gujarat crime branch police near Kotarpur.


Two modules of LeT, Hizb busted in J & K


SRINAGAR, DEC. 15, The Jammu and Kashmir police on Thursday claimed it has succeeded in busting two modules of Lashkar-eTayyaba and Hizb-ulMujahideen outfits operating in south Kashmir.

A police spokesman said here that on November 25, 2011, unknown gunman fired upon a ruling NC block president and sarpanch of village Panzoo.

During the investigation of the case, the local police arrested one Sabzar Ahmad Sheikh, a resident of Brenthal outside neighbouring town of Tral.

It was during his questioning that the youth revealed that he along with others identified as Rafiq Ahmad Butt, Parvaiz Ahmad Wani and Shahid Nabi Sheikh were affiliated with the Lashkar.

Meanwhile, another module that of the Hizb operating in Tral area has been busted following the arrest of four persons.


`Former Indian President Kalam not exempted from U.S screening'

New Delhi: Dec 16, 2011, The centre on Thursday said that former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam did not fall under the category of people exempted from security screenings at the US airports but this courtesy was extended to him in keeping with his stature.

Minister of state for external affairs E. Ahmed told the Rajya Sabha that his ministry had on learning about the incident involving security screening of former President Kalam at the JFK Airport launched a protest with the US government.


3 Bangladeshis jailed in India for attacking police

Star Online Report, December 16, 2011

A Delhi court on Thursday sentenced three illegal immigrants from Bangladesh to seven years in jail for opening fire on a police team to prevent their arrest.

While sentencing Ibrahim, Javed and Sager – all hailing from Bagerhat, Additional Sessions Judge Gurvinder Pal Singh convicting them of various penal offences, including attempt to murder and obstructing public servants in discharge of their duties besides offences under the Arms Act and the Foreigners Act.

“The prosecution has been successful in establishing and proving its case beyond any shadow of doubt for commission of offences under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Arms Act, the Foreigners Act and also under the Explosives Substances Act by accused Sagir for which offences these accused persons are held guilty and convicted,” the court said.

According to the prosecution, on a tip off that three illegal Bangladeshi immigrants were to visit a South Delhi area to commit a crime, the police had constituted a team to nab them.

As the police team waited at a check post, it found the trio coming on a motorcycle, said the prosecution, adding that the three opened fire on them when police tried to intercept.

The prosecution said Sagir also pulled out a hand grenade from his pocket and tried to remove its pin to hurl at the police officials.

But the officials subdued and arrested the three, police said, adding that their statements disclosed that they were involved in other crimes in Delhi and Haryana states.

During the trial, the accused admitted they were citizens of Bangladesh but claimed false implication by the police.

The court however said the witnesses in the case were reliable. “During the course of cross examination of the material witnesses, the defence counsel did not even give any suggestion as to why they were falsely deposing against the accused.”

“There is absolutely no material or evidence on record to show that the prosecution witnesses had any reason to falsely implicate the accused,” the judge said.


Call for war trial reverberates through country

Star Online Report, Dec 16, 2011

Thousands of people called for expediting the trial of war criminals Friday as they saluted the valiant sons of the soil who sacrificed their lives for liberating the country from the grip of the oppressive rulers in 1971.

The celebrations of 41st Victory Day started with 31-cannon salute at the Tejgaon Old Airport at the dawn.

People from all walks of life defied the cold of the winter morning to hit the road to march towards monuments built in memory of the national heroes.

Streets were flooded with the enthusiastic people carrying banners of different political, social, cultural and professional organisations, and singing patriotic songs.

There were cultural programmes to mark the auspicious occasion.

On this day in 1971, Pakistani occupation forces chief general AAK Niazi along with 93,000 troops surrendered to the joint forces of Mukti Bahini and Mitra Bahini in Dhaka.

Bangladesh proclaimed its independence on March 26, 1971 after 23 years of struggle for self-determination, bringing down the erstwhile West Pakistani armed forces' genocidal wrath on its people the night before.

In a heinous genocide, the Pakistan army and their local collaborators -- Razakars, Al-Badrs and Al-Shams -- launched a barbarous crackdown on the innocent people of Bangladesh at midnight past March 25, 1971.

The nation, under the paramount leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, finally clinched independence on December 16 after the nine-month war.

The day was a public holiday. The national flag is being hoisted atop all government, semi-government and other important establishments.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia placed wreaths at National Mausoleum at Savar in the morning.

Cabinet members, lawmakers, Awami League leaders, the chiefs of three services, foreign diplomats, high civil and military officials were present.

Newspapers published special supplements to mark the glorious day.


Death wish of the Pakistani political class

South Asian News Agency (SANA)

Ayaz Amir, December 16, 2011 ·

Did our founding fathers have any idea of the kind of country they were creating? A country where conspiracies would never cease and stability would never come. Sixty-four years, going on sixty-five, and not one peaceful transition from one democratic government to another. Quite a record and we seem determined it should remain like this forever.

Mansoor Ijaz must be laughing up his sleeve, the most flattered man in the world. After all, it is no small thing to throw the one-and-only Fortress of Islam, the world’s sole Islamic nuclear power (as we keep reminding ourselves), into a mad spin by something bizarre you have set in motion. The composure of the Islamic Republic torpedoed by a memo: quite an achievement.

But a con job is only as good as its gullible target. And what easier target, what more willing assembly of fools, than Pakistan’s movers-and-shakers: a claque of media-men eager for adventure, politicos despairing of removing Zardari and finally sensing their opportunity, and generals with a gift for conspiracy, long wanting an excuse to target Asif Zardari, their bête noire, and hard put to find a handy instrument to achieve their goal until they stumble upon the godsend of Ijaz’s memo.

For Full Report:


Pakistan's sovereignty non-negotiable: FO

ISLAMABAD: 16 December, 2011, Islamabad has taken very seriously the United States threat that US military aid to Pakistan will soon dry up, as the Envoys Conference deliberated at length on this eventuality.

"The finance minister gave a briefing to the envoys on this question. We are very much cognisant of this aspect. Foreign policy of any country has to cater for economic realities. We are very much conscious of this. But, Pakistan's sovereignty is non-negotiable," the spokesman at the Foreign Office told the weekly media briefing.

But at the same time the US embassy was at pains to stress that there was no 'cut' in military aid to Pakistan. The embassy spokesman clarified that the current draft of the Act does not "cut" $700 million in military aid to Pakistan. Rather, it includes a reporting requirement. In this instance, once the secretary of defence certifies that Pakistan is cooperating with US joint efforts to combat improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the funds will be released.

For Full Report:


Afghan Rebuke of Qatar Sets Back Peace Talks


KABUL, Afghanistan, December 15, 2011 — Afghanistan withdrew its ambassador from Qatar in protest over reports that the Persian Gulf emirate has been in discussions about bringing in Taliban insurgents to jump-start peace talks, officials confirmed Thursday.

The move was the latest in a series of setbacks for efforts to start talks between the insurgents and the Afghan government. It came after news reports in Pakistan and India said the United States had been mediating talks in Doha, the Qatari capital, and that the emirate planned to host a Taliban peace mission.

The United States, Germany and Qatar have been in discussions recently about how to restart peace talks, according to Afghan officials; in diplomatic parlance, the talks have centered on how to establish an “address” for the Taliban, so that negotiators will know they are talking to the right intermediaries.

Qatar apparently went beyond the scope of those discussions, reportedly spreading the notion of allowing a former Taliban official, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, to act as the “political address” for the Taliban in Qatar. Mr. Zaeef, the former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, who now lives in Kabul under an amnesty, said there was no substance to such reports.

“I have not heard anything, and I have not received any message neither from the Taliban nor from any other side,” he said.

For Full Report:


Military dictatorships destroyed Pakistan: Imran

ISLAMABAD - Dec 16, 2011, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Friday said that his party fully favoured the democratic system and would not accept any unconstitutional steps.

Speaking to the media men, Khan said the country had been destroyed by military dictatorships and another martial law would not be tolerated.

Commenting on his talks with US ambassador Cameron Munter, Khan assured that his position during the meeting was similar to his public stance and that no changes had occurred in his stand after the meeting.

On the topic of calls for resignation by ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha over memogate, the PTI chief said the Supreme Court was dealing with the issue and he hoped that a fair probe would unveil those responsible.


Zardari setting up a presidential camp office in Dubai

Dec 16, 2011

Islamabad: Some secretarial staff from the presidency have flown to the United Arab Emirates amid speculation that a presidential camp office was being set up at Pakistan’s ailing President Asif Ali Zardari’s private residence in Dubai.

This is the second batch of officials from the presidency to go to the UAE since Zardari travelled to Dubai on 6 December to seek treatment for a heart condition. He is currently recuperating at his residence after being discharged from a Dubai hospital on Wednesday.

There was speculation that a presidential camp office is being set up in the posh area of Jumeirah, where Zardari has his private residence, the Dawn newspaper reported today.

Pakistan's ailing President Asif Ali Zardari. Reuters

Some officials of the presidency had accompanied the president when he left for Dubai and the second batch left yesterday.

“About 15 employees of the presidency left for Dubai on Thursday and they are in addition to those already accompanying the president,” a source told the daily.

The move hinted that Zardari has no plan to return to Pakistan in the coming days, the report said.

Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar confirmed that some staffers of the presidency had left for Dubai yesterday but ruled out the possibility of setting up a presidential camp office in Dubai.

“The President’s military secretary, ADC, security personnel and personal physician are in Dubai,” he said.

Zardari required the presidency’s skeleton staff in Dubai to make arrangements for his meetings there, Dawn quoted an unnamed insider as saying. He also needed his media team in Dubai to issue official statements and press releases, the insider said.

Legal and constitutional experts said such a camp office could not be set up outside Pakistan at a time when Senate Chairman Farooq Naik had been given the charge of acting President.

“If any camp office is established in Dubai, it would mean that President Zardari is holding his office in the presence of the acting president, which is constitutionally impossible,” retired judge Tariq Mehmood said.

The President’s role had become almost symbolic after the 18th Amendment and all powers rested with the premier, he said.


Zardari fit, resuming duties next week: High Commissioner to the UK

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK) Wajid Shamsul Hassan has said that President Asif Ali Zardari is “fit and will return to work next week,” a CNN-IBN report said on Friday.

Speaking to CNN-IBN, Hassan dismissed rumours of a military coup against Zardari. “Predictions and deadlines have fallen flat on their face,” he said.

Hassan said:

President Zardari is now recovering and once he gets a clearance by doctors he will resume his duties. After all he is a human being and can fall sick but unfortunately the media in Pakistan has been floating stories.

Rehman Malik meets Zardari in Dubai

Interior Minister Rehman Malik met President Asif Ali Zardari in Dubai and briefed him about the current security situation in Pakistan, Express News reported.

President Zardari advised Malik to assist the Pakistani nationals residing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), regarding their national identity cards and passports.

The president also had a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani  about the current political situation in Pakistan.

Earlier on Wednesday, the president was discharged from the hospital and moved to his residence in Dubai.

His physician had confirmed that all medical investigations carried out were within the normal range.

The 56-year-old head of state had left Pakistan for treatment after falling ill in the midst of a major scandal over alleged attempts by a close aide to seek US help to limit the power of Pakistan’s military.


Pakistan battle kills '1 soldier, 25 insurgents'


PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Dec 16, 2011, Dozens of militants ambushed Pakistani troops on Friday, killing a soldier and sparking clashes that left up to 25 insurgents dead in the Taliban-infested tribal badlands, officials said.

Members of the Frontier Corps paramilitary were attacked while driving through the Mamuzai area of Orakzai, the stronghold of Hakimullah Meshud, the leader of the nebulous Pakistani Taliban faction.

"Around 50 local militants, waiting on both sides of the road, opened fire on the convoy. One soldier was killed and more than 20 were wounded," a paramilitary official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

They were ambushed at around 7:30 am (0230 GMT) and ensuing clashes lasted around 40 minutes, the official said.

"The troops, backed by helicopters, retaliated and killed at least 25 militants," he added.

Sher Bahadur Khan, an administration official in Orakzai, gave the same casualty numbers but independent confirmation of the toll was not possible in an area cut off to journalists and aid workers.

Pakistan has for years battled homegrown insurgents in the tribal belt that borders Afghanistan. More than 3,000 soldiers have died but Pakistan has resisted US pressure to do more to eliminate havens used by Afghan insurgents.

On Thursday, the US Senate voted to freeze $700 million in aid to Pakistan pending assurances from Islamabad on taking steps to thwart militants who use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against US-led forces in Afghanistan.

Pakistan angrily criticised the move, the latest rift in a fraying alliance that has been in deep crisis since air strikes by US-led forces killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last month.


On the Run with Pakistan's Taliban


BANNU: Dec 15, 2011, Nothing terrifies Pakistani Taliban fighter Tariq Wazir more than US drones, a harbinger of instant death invisible to the naked eye and proof of America’s mastery of the skies.

Each time he hears the low hum reminiscent of a bumble bee, fear clutches his heart and he remembers how 20 of his comrades were pulverised by missiles they never saw coming in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

Gone are the days of communicating by phone and travelling freely. Instead he spends his days praying or reading newspapers in safe houses, moving under the cover of darkness, trying to keep one step ahead and stay alive.

An AFP reporter was this week given a tantalising glimpse of the day-to-day life of a group of Pakistani Taliban, travelling with them for four days between safe houses in North Waziristan.

He and three other journalists were invited to interview the head of the faction, Hakimullah Mehsud, or “another top Taliban leader” but the interview never materialised, due to what the Taliban said were “security reasons”.

Instead, they spent each night on the move, resting by day in relatively comfortable mud-brick homes with kitchens, running water and toilets, offered freshly cooked meals and fizzy drinks.

For Full Report:


Ijaz submits handwritten notes implicating Haqqani

ISLAMABAD - Dec 16, 2011, In response to the Supreme Court’s December 1 order in the memogate controversy, the central character of the scandal, Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, submitted his 81-page written reply on Thursday with documentary evidence to substantiate his claims made in the memo issue, including notes handwritten by Husain Haqqani.

According to the documentary evidence (communication log form) he annexed with his written reply, as many as 85 communications including phone calls and Blackberry Messages took place between him and former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani during May 9 and May 12, 2011.

According to the communication log, the first communication was initiated by Haqqani on May 5, 2009 with the contents: “Are you in London? I am here just for 36 hours. Can we meet for after dinner coffee or s’thing?” The last communication made by Haqqani to Ijaz on May 12, 2011 was: “Thanx. On way to Isloo. Will touch base on return.” About contact with Pakistani officials, Ijaz said: “While I maintain high-level political and military/intelligence contacts in nearly two dozen countries around the world, during the past decade, I have had no contact with any Pakistani government officials, civilian, judicial, military or intelligence - with the four exceptions (ambassador Haqqani excluded) - A: 2003 when I last interacted with the former DG ISI Gen Ehsanul Haq, shortly before he left the DG ISI position in 2004.

For Full Report:


Pakistani intelligence agencies target killed BNM activist, injured his son and wife

Balochistan: Dec 10, 2011, Pakistan FC has gunned down an activist of BNM, injured his wife and son in Turbat town of Balochistan on Saturday.

According to details Hamid Baloch along with his wife and son was on his way to Turbat when the FC opened indiscriminate firing at his car in Sarikan area of Turbat. As result of the unprovoked attack Master Hamid Baloch died on spot whereas his wife and son have been wounded. Hamid Baloch's young son is said be have been admitted in a local hospital in a very critical condition.

Master Hamid Baloch, a teacher by profession, was a resident of Kulaho are of Turbat and he was also affiliated with Baloch National Movement and pro-freedom political party in Balochistan.

Master Hamid Baloch was laid to rest with Baloch national honour in his place Kulaho Tump. The thousands of freedom loving activists attended the funeral to pay their respects and tributes to Mr. Baloch.


UK Experts Eye Islamic Finance Solution

CAIRO – 15 Dec 2011, A decision by the UK government to put on hold earlier plans for the first Islamic sovereign bond from a western country was criticized as a setback for the initiative that could have provided more security to a shaking economy.

“It would certainly help the UK market if the government decided to go ahead with a benchmark sukuk,” Farmida Bi, partner at Norton Rose, the law firm, told the Financial Times.

“It could galvanize the market and would lead to more interest in Islamic finance in London and [continental] Europe.”

Affected by a financial crisis, the UK put the plans to issue the Islamic instrument on hold which would have been the first Islamic bond to be issued by a western government.

The government cited fears that a new instrument might struggle to attract demand in difficult market conditions that have been made worse by the troubles in the eurozone.

Yet, London still remains the main arena outside the Muslim world for Islamic finance.

In 2006, Britain's fifth-biggest bank, Lloyds TSB, began to roll-out its Islamic financial services across the country.

For Full Report:


Stop U.S. Drone Flights, Iran Warns Afghanistan


December 15, 2011

Iran escalated its confrontation with the United States on Thursday over the captured American spy drone launched from Afghanistan, warning the Afghan government to order a halt to such surveillance flights.

Any further flights would be regarded as a hostile act, the Iranian foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, said in an interview with Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency. His warning threatened to drag Afghanistan directly into the dispute over American aerial surveillance of Iran.

There was no immediate response from the United States or Afghanistan to Mr. Salehi’s admonition. But Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, visiting with Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, in Kabul on Wednesday, said that surveillance flights over Iran would continue despite the loss of the drone. Mr. Karzai was more circumspect, saying Afghanistan wanted “the best of relations” with all its neighbors.

Iran has said it captured the drone — a sophisticated, batwinged RQ-170 model with radar-evading features — by way of an electronic attack on the aircraft’s navigation system as it hovered over northern Iran on Dec. 4, causing it to land without damage.

The drone was operated remotely by C.I.A. controllers in Afghanistan, in what American officials have acknowledged was part of a stepped-up effort to monitor suspected Iranian nuclear sites. The officials have dismissed Iran’s explanation of how it came into possession of the aircraft as propaganda, and contend that it was lost through an unspecified technical malfunction. But they have offered no further details on what went wrong.

For Full Report:


Syria crisis: Russia circulates surprise UN resolution

Dec 16, 2011

Russia has circulated a UN Security Council resolution aimed at resolving the crisis in Syria, in a move that surprised Western nations.

The draft condemns the violence by both Syria's government and the opposition, but does not mention sanctions.

Western nations said the proposal was not tough enough but that they were prepared to work on the document.

The West has been pushing the council to act on Syria for months, but Russia and China have vetoed such proposals.

In the latest violence in Syria, 27 security forces members were reportedly killed by army deserters.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the deaths occurred in the restive southern province of Deraa.

International journalists face severe restrictions on their movements in Syria, and it is hard to verify reports.

The UN believes more than 5,000 people have been killed in nine months of unrest, which the government of President Bashar al-Assad blames on "armed terrorist gangs".

In a recent interview with the US network ABC, he insisted he had given no orders for violence to be used against protesters.

Western diplomats say they are willing to negotiate the draft, but they want changes - such as much stronger language on human rights abuses, and endorsement of Arab League sanctions.

For Full Report:


Nahyan Bin Mubarak inaugurates ceremony to launch MA programs in Islamic Studies at Zayed University

WAM Abu Dhabi, Dec 15th, 2011 (WAM) -- Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and President of Zayed University Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan opened today a ceremony organised by the Zayed University to launch its four new Masters Programs.

The programs developed by the Institute for Islamic World Studies (IIWS) includes 'Contemporary Islamic Studies', 'Endowment Studies', 'Islamic Economics and Wealth Management' and 'Islamic World Studies'.

Opening the ceremony Sheikh Nahyan said that the launching of these programs emphasises the strong commitment of the UAE to uphold the ultimate importance of the Islamic studies and the pride it takes in its religion.

The launching ceremony was attended by Grand Mufti of Egypt Dr. Ali Gomaa, Fujairah Ruler's Special Adviser Saeed Mohammed Al Raqabani, Zayed University Vice President Dr. Sulaiman Al Jassem, a number of officials, dignitaries and specialists in Islamic studies.

As part of the efforts to support education through practical methodology, the new IIWS MA programs aim to promote advanced research on the contribution of Muslims to science and culture to respond positively to the challenges of modernity and globalization. IIWs seeks to advance critical research and original scholarship on theoretical, empirical, and comparative Islamic studies.

The four new MA programs offered by the Institute for Islamic World Studies (IIWS) in Zayed University will be covered in 36 credit hours and will be taught by highly qualified experts and professors well-known nationally and Internationally.


Tajikistan profile

Dec 15, 2011

8th century - Tajiks emerge as distinct ethnic group; Arab invaders conquer Central Asia, including what is now Tajikistan, and introduce Islam.

9th/10th century - Persian Samanid dynasty gains control of Central Asia and, in alliance with the caliph of Baghdad, develops Bukhara as centre of Muslim culture.

Capital Dushanbe - a Soviet-era planned city

Lies on River Dushanbinka

Population: 679,000 (2008 est.)

13th century - Genghis Khan conquers Tajikistan and the rest of Central Asia, which becomes part of the Mongol Empire.

14th century - Tajikistan becomes part of Turkic ruler Tamerlane's empire.

1860-1900 - Tajikistan divided, with the north coming under Tsarist Russian rule while the south is annexed by the Emirate of Bukhara.

1917-18 - Armed Central Asian groups exploit the upheaval in Russia following the Bolshevik revolution to mount an insurrection, but eventually fail.

Soviet rule

1921 - Northern Tajikistan becomes part of the Bolshevik-designated Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR), which also included Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, part of northern Turkmenistan and southern Kazakhstan.

1924 - Tajik ASSR set up by Soviets and becomes part of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR).

1929 - Tajik ASSR upgraded to the status of an SSR and becomes distinct from the Uzbek SSR; acquires territory of Khujand from Uzbek SSR.

1930s - The collectivisation of agriculture completed despite widespread resistance.

1960s - Tajikistan becomes the third largest cotton-producing republic in the Soviet Union; heavy industries, notably aluminium, introduced.

1970s - Increased Islamic influence, violence towards non-indigenous nationalities.

1978 - Some 13,000 people take part in anti-Russian riots.

Late 1980s - Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's policy of glasnost, or openness, leads to the formation of unofficial political groups and a renewed interest in Tajik culture.

1989 - Tajik Supreme Soviet (legislature) declares Tajik to be official state language; Rastokhez People's Front established.

Independence and civil war

Russian troops intervened in Tajikistan's bloody civil war in the early 1990s

1990 - State of emergency declared and some 5,000 Soviet troops sent to the capital, Dushanbe, to suppress pro-democracy protests, which are also fuelled by rumours that Armenian refugees are to be settled in Dushanbe; Supreme Soviet declares state sovereignty.

1991 - Tajik Communist leader Qahhor Makhkamov forced to resign after supporting the failed anti-Gorbachev coup in Moscow.

Supreme Soviet declares Tajikistan independent from the Soviet Union; Rahmon Nabiyev, Communist leader during 1982-85, wins Tajikistan's first direct presidential election with 57% of the vote; Tajikistan joins Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) following the collapse of the Soviet Union in December.

1992 - Anti-government demonstrations in Dushanbe escalate into civil war between pro-government forces and Islamist and pro-democracy groups which eventually claims 20,000 lives, displaces 600,000 and devastates the economy.

Violent demonstrations force Nabiyev to resign in September; Emomali Rahmonov, a pro-Nabiyev communist, takes over as head of state in November.

1993 - Government re-establishes control, suppresses political opposition and imposes strict media controls; Supreme Court bans all opposition parties, leaving the Communist Party of Tajikistan as the only legal party; CIS peacekeeping force deployed on Tajik-Afghan border to prevent Islamist guerrilla groups infiltrating from bases in Afghanistan.

1994 - Ceasefire between government and rebels agreed; Rahmonov announces willingness to negotiate with opposition; referendum approves draft constitution reinstituting presidential system; Rahmonov elected president in ballot deemed by international observers as neither free nor fair.

1995 - Rahmonov supporters win parliamentary elections; fighting on Afghan border erupts.

1996 - Islamist rebels capture towns in southwestern Tajikistan; UN-sponsored cease-fire between government and rebels comes into effect.

Peace accord

1997 - Government and rebel United Tajik Opposition (UTO) sign peace accord; National Reconciliation Commission, comprising government and opposition members, created to supervise implementation of accord; Rahmonov injured in grenade attack.

Pamir mountains

Pamir mountain range lies mainly in Tajikistan

Known as the "roof of the world"

Highest point is Ismoili Somoni, formerly "Communism Peak"

Yak's milk and kindness in the Pamirs

1998 - Rahmonov pardons all opposition leaders in exile and agrees to appoint one of the Islamist opposition's leaders as first deputy prime minister. Rebel uprising in north is crushed with the help of former opposition groups.

1999 - Rahmonov re-elected for second term with 96 % of the vote; UTO armed forces integrated into state army; Rahmonov awarded order of Hero of Tajikistan.

2000 - Last meeting of the National Reconciliation Commission held and a new bicameral parliament set up in March; a new national currency, the somoni, introduced; visas introduced for travel between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

2001 August - Renegade warlord and former opposition commander Rahmon Sanginov, regarded by the government as one of its most wanted criminals, is killed in a gun battle with security forces.

2001 September - Tajikistan is quick to offer support to the US-led anti-terror coalition, set up after the September 11 attacks on the US.

War in Afghanistan

2002 July - Tajikistan doubles the number of border guards along its 1,300-km frontier with Afghanistan to prevent al-Qaeda members from entering the country to escape US forces.

2003 April - Russian President Vladimir Putin visits and announces plans to boost Russian military presence.

2003 June - Referendum vote goes in favour of allowing President Rahmonov to run for a further two consecutive seven-year terms when his current one ends in 2006. The opposition describes the referendum as a travesty of democracy.

2003 July - Parliament approves a draft law abolishing the death penalty for women and reducing the number of crimes for which men can face punishment.

Supreme Court sentences Shamsiddin Shamsiddinov, deputy leader of opposition Islamic Rebirth Party, to 16 years in jail on charges with murder. His party says the case is politically motivated.

2004 July - Parliament approves moratorium on death penalty.

2004 October - Russia formally opens military base and takes back control over former Soviet space monitoring centre.

Opposition leader arrested

2004 December - Leader of opposition Democratic Party, Mahmadruzi Iskandarov, arrested in Moscow at request of Tajik prosecutor's office. Tajik authorities seek his extradition, alleging involvement in terrorism and arms offences as well as corruption. His supporters say the move is politically motivated.

2005 January - Car blows up near government building in Dushanbe, killing at least one person. Fire breaks out at Security Ministry on same day. Government later blames Islamic militants.

2005 February - Ruling party wins overwhelming victory in parliamentary elections. International observers say poll fails to meet acceptable standards.

2005 April - Opposition leader Mahmadruzi Iskandarov released in Moscow after extradition request turned down but kidnapped and rearrested in Tajikistan.

2005 June - Russian border guards complete withdrawal, handing the task over to Tajik forces.

2005 October - Opposition leader Mahmadruzi Iskandarov sentenced in Dushanbe to 23 years in jail on terrorism and corruption charges

2006 May - Several killed when gunmen attack border post before crossing into Kyrgyzstan.

2006 August - Gaffor Mirzoyev, former top military commander, sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted on charges of terrorism and plotting to overthrow the government. His supporters say the trial was politically motivated.

Said Abdullo Nuri, leader of the opposition Islamic Revival Party, dies.

Rakhmonov re-elected

2006 November - President Rakhmonov wins a third term in office, in an election which international observers say is neither free nor fair.

2007 March - President Rakhmonov orders that babies no longer be registered under Russian-style surnames, and himself drops the Russian ending -ov from his own name.

2008 February - Tajikistan appeals for help after suffering its worst winter in 50 years as well as an energy crisis.

2008 April - International Monetary Fund (IMF) orders the return of loan of $47m after it finds Tajikistan submitted false data.

2008 July - Russia agrees to write off Tajikistan's $240m debt in return for cession of a Soviet-designed space tracking station.

2009 January - Agreement signed with US military allowing it to transport non-military supplies to Afghanistan over Tajik territory.

2009 September - Uzbekistan cuts off gas supplies to Tajikistan for three days amid a dispute about Tajikistan's payment arrears.

2010 February - President Rahmon's People's Democratic Party wins an overwhelming majority in parliamentary elections. International monitors say widespread fraud took place.

2010 August - 25 Islamist militants accused of plotting a coup break out of jail.

2010 September - Suicide car bomb attack on police station.

Islamists kill 23 soldiers in an ambush.

2011 January - Tajikistan settles a century-old border dispute with China by agreeing to cede some land.


Bangladesh man 'admits' cutting off wife's fingers

By Anbarasan Ethirajan, BBC News,

Dhaka,15th Dec. 2011, Human rights groups in Bangladesh have demanded a severe punishment for the husband of a young woman who allegedly cut off most of her right hand.

Police say Rafiqul Islam, 30, attacked her because she pursued higher education without his permission.

They say Mr Islam, a migrant worker, admitted to the crime shortly after returning home from the Gulf.

However there has been no independent confirmation from the suspect that he carried out the attack.

The incident is one of a number of acts of domestic violence targeting educated women in recent months.

Police say that Mr Islam, who works in the United Arab Emirates, tied up his 21-year-old wife, Hawa Akther Jui, earlier this month. He then taped her mouth and cut off the five fingers.

'Severe consequences'

Doctors say the fingers cannot be re-attached and it appears that Ms Akther will have to live with permanent disfigurement.

"After he came back to Bangladesh, he wanted to have a discussion with me. Suddenly, he blindfolded me and tied my hand," Ms Akther told the BBC from the town of Narsingdi.

"He also taped my mouth saying that he would give me some surprise gifts. But, instead he cut off my fingers."

She said her husband, who is not well educated, did not approve of her enrolling in a college for higher studies.

For Full Report: