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Islamic World News ( 15 Apr 2023, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Minor Muslim Boy Stripped, Forced To Chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’, ‘Pak Murdabad’ Slogans in MP

New Age Islam News Bureau

15 April 2023

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• In A First For US Cities, Minneapolis To Allow Muslim Prayer Call At All Hours To Be Heard Over Speakers

• Iraq’s Muqtada Al-Sadr ‘Freezes’ Movement Over ‘Sinful’ Practices Among Supporters

• Int'l Quds Day Resolution: Beit ul-Muqaddas Most Important Living Common Issue of Islamic Ummah

• London To Hold Europe’s Biggest Eid Festival At Westfield Square For 4th Time

 

India

• Hindu Man Fasts During Ramzan, Muslim Friend Celebrates Chhath In Bihar's Gaya

• Govt disallows Friday prayer at Srinagar’s Grand Mosque; parties condemn decision

• Rajasthan Police Arrests 2 Cow Vigilantes For Murder Of Muslim Men In Haryana

• Why Is KCR Silent On 12 Pc Muslim Reservation? Shabbir Downplays Govt Iftar

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North America

• CENTCOM: 11 more US troops diagnosed with 'traumatic brain injury' after last month's attacks in Syria

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Arab World

• Officials Arrive In Saudi Arabia For Gulf, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq Meeting

• Arab Foreign Ministers Condemn ‘Illegal’ Israeli Practices That Undermine Palestine Peace Efforts

• Arab leadership role crucial in seeking political solution to Syria crisis, say FMs

• Populist Iraqi cleric announces suspension of his movement

• Man sues Syria in US court on torture claims

• Hezbollah flag sparks Lebanon-Israel border tensions

• Hezbollah chief: Israel didn't hit Hamas in Lebanon strikes

• Iraqi envoy hails KSA’s leading experience in several sectors

• Saudi customs officials seize 860kg of hashish at Yemen border

• Saudi ministry of Islamic Affairs in volunteering push

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Mideast

• Al-Quds Rallies Call On Muslim World To Break Ties With Israel

• President Rayeesi Blasts Sacrilege of Al Aqsa Mosque, Urges Muslims' United Front Against Israeli Regime

• Iran's Parliament Speaker: Criminal Face of Israeli Regime Exposed by Int'l Quds Day

• FM: Palestine Turns Into Resistance Scene

• Millions Rally Across World to Mark International Quds Day Amid Continued Israeli Aggression

• 250,000 perform final Friday Ramadan prayers at Al-Aqsa

• Bahrainis stage rallies in support of Palestine, demand expulsion of Israeli envoy

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Europe

• Dutch Man To Be Questioned For Using Racist Language While Tearing Apart Copy Of Quran

• British Daesh recruit ‘watched Netflix, played video games’ while living with terror group in Syria

• Greek foreign minister attends Easter service on Gokceada in northwest Türkiye

• Doubts surround death of Syrian refugee in Polish detention centre

• Türkiye strongly condemns another attack on Muslim holy book, Turkish flag in Denmark

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Pakistan

• Military, Political Leaders Agree To Revisit Anti-Terror Policy

• Sikh Pilgrims Lauds Arrangements For Baisakhi Festival At Gurudwara Punja Sahab In Pakistan

• LHC grants protective bail to Imran in incitement case

• Samarkand Moot Endorses Pakistan’s Stance On Afghan Soil Being Used By Militant Groups

• Pakistan inches closer to IMF deal with $1.3bn boost

• Imran Asks Supporters To Back Supreme Court For Sake Of Democracy

• Pakistan: PTI to stage peaceful protests after Eid-ul-Fitr, announces Imran Khan

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South Asia

• Australian Army Chief Warns of Further Criminal Charges Over Alleged War Crimes in Afghanistan

• China, Pakistan Press Afghan Taliban Admin To Intensify Crackdown On Terror Groups

• Rallies held in Bangladesh against Israeli attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque

• India to Supply 10,000 Tons of Wheat to Afghanistan

• Taliban leader, Punjab gangsters behind smuggling of drugs, arms via drones

• Sri Lanka eyes new agreements with Oman for broader cooperation

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Africa

• Libyan Armed Forces Voice Readiness To Secure Upcoming Elections

• 4 Church-Goers Starve To Death In Kenyan Church

• Nigeria: At Least One Dead, Several Injured As Police Open Fire On Quds Day Demonstrators

• Turkish embassy extends helping hand to South Sudan for Ramadan

• Tunisian football player dies after setting himself on fire in protest against police

• Morocco stops around 150 Sub-Saharan African migrants from crossing into Spain

• 33 Europe-bound migrants dead in boat sinking off Tunisia

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Southeast Asia

• Anwar Participates InQiyamullail Perdana Programme At Putra Mosque

• Philippines grateful for Saudi help in resolving workers’ wage claims

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/minor-muslim-jai-shri-ram-pak-murdabad-slogans/d/129572

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Minor Muslim Boy Stripped, Forced To Chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’, ‘Pak Murdabad’ Slogans in MP

14th April 2023

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A minor Muslim boy was allegedly kidnapped and forced to raise ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Pakistan Murdabad’ slogans in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

According to reports, three minors abducted the 11-year-old boy and took him to a pond, luring him with toys. They then forced him to chant ‘Jai Siya Ram’, ‘Pakistan Murdabad’ and ‘Hindustan Zindabad’.

In a video, recorded by the accused that surfaced and has been shared widely shared on social media, the naked Muslim boy can be seen repeating “Jai Shri Mahakal” and “Jai Shri Ram” after the perpetrators as they thrash him with a belt.

As they force him to say Hindustan Zindabad, he states, “We live in Hindustan we will say Hindustan Zindabad only!”

A First Information Report (FIR) has been registered against them in response to a complaint filed by the boy’s parents. They have been accused under Indian Penal Code Sections 323 (causing harm), 294 (obscene act in a public place), and 365 (kidnapping for unlawful imprisonment).

The police released the three youngsters based on the surety of the parents and will also be counselled.

According to the Indore police, the youngster and those accused of the crime used to live in the same neighbourhood, and their parents are workers.

The police have requested for the video not be circulated since the boys are minors.

Source:Siasat Daily

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.siasat.com/mp-muslim-boy-stripped-forced-to-chant-jai-shri-ram-pak-murdabad-2568226/

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In A First For US Cities, Minneapolis To Allow Muslim Prayer Call At All Hours To Be Heard Over Speakers

14 APR 2023

Minneapolis becomes first major US city to allow broadcasts of Muslim call to prayer. Representative Image

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Minneapolis will allow broadcasts of the Muslim call to prayer at all hours, becoming the first major US city to allow the announcement or “Adhan” to be heard over speakers five times a day, year-round.

The Minneapolis City Council unanimously agreed on Thursday to amend the city's noise ordinance, which had prevented dawn and late evening calls at certain times of the year due to noise restrictions, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. The vote came during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“The Constitution doesn't sleep at night,” said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, after the vote. He said the action in Minneapolis shows the world that a “nation founded on freedom of religion makes good on its promise.”

Minneapolis has had a flourishing population of East African immigrants since at least the 1990s, and mosques now are common. Three of 13 members of the council identify as Muslim. The decision drew no organized community opposition. Mayor Jacob Frey is expected to sign the measure next week.

“Minneapolis has become a city for all religions,” said Imam Mohammed Dukuly of Masjid An-Nur mosque in Minneapolis, who was among several Muslim leaders who witnessed the vote.

Three years ago, city officials worked with the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque to allow the adhan to be broadcast outdoors five times daily during Ramadan. Prayers are said when light appears at dawn, at noon, at mid- to late afternoon, at sunset and when the night sky appears.

In Minnesota, dawn arrives as early as before 5.30 am in summer, while sunset at the solstice happens after 9 pm.

The city allowed year-round broadcasts last year, but only between 7 am and 10 pm — typically excluding early morning prayer and sometimes night prayer.

At a recent public hearing, Christian and Jewish leaders expressed support for extending the hours for the adhan.

Council Member Lisa Goodman, who on Thursday was observing the final day of Passover, said the Jewish call to prayer — which is generally spoken rather than broadcast — doesn't face legal restrictions. Observers said church bells regularly toll for Christians.

“It's something I grew up with, but not my children,” council member Jamal Osman said, adding that hearing the call to prayer from local mosques brings him joy.

Source:OutlookIndia

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.outlookindia.com/international/in-a-first-for-us-cities-minneapolis-to-allow-muslim-prayer-call-at-all-hours-news-278485

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Iraq’s Muqtada Al-Sadr ‘Freezes’ Movement Over ‘Sinful’ Practices Among Supporters

14 April ,2023:

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. (File photo: AFP)

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Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who wields great influence over national politics, said Friday he was “freezing” for a year his movement over “sinful” practices among supporters.

Al-Sadr, a Muslim Shia leader, has the ability to mobilize tens of thousands of his supporters with a single message and presents himself as an anti-corruption champion, often clashing with Iraq’s political leadership.

He has repeatedly taken supporters and opponents by surprise with major announcements on social media, such as a Twitter message last year on his “definitive retirement” from politics.

In a statement shared on the cleric’s official Twitter page on Friday, al-Sadr said he had decided to “freeze the movement... for at least a year.”

The move would not affect religious activities including Friday prayers and an institution dedicated to his father’s legacy, the statement said.

Al-Sadr retains a devoted following of millions among the country’s majority Shia population, and claims direct lineage to Prophet Mohammed.

His rise was aided by the reputation of his father, Mohammed Sadek al-Sadr, whom former President Saddam Hussein had assassinated in 1999.

The mausoleum in the city of Najaf where his father is buried would remain closed through the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan that ends later in April, according to al-Sadr’s statement.

“That I may be a reformer for Iraq... but fail to reform the Sadrist movement, is a transgression,” the cleric said.

“And it is a serious issue to continue leading the Sadrist movement as it includes... some corrupt elements” within it, he said.

Al-Sadr was referring to a fringe group appearing in a video shared on social media and reported by Iraqi media, calling to “pledge allegiance to the awaited imam, Sayyed Muqtada al-Sadr.”

Faithful believe the Mahdi, the twelfth imam of Shia Islam, disappeared more than 1,000 years ago and will return one day to usher in a new era of peace and harmony.

In response to the video, authorities issued arrest warrants against “65 suspects from a gang that promotes ideas that incite dissent and disturb public security,” a statement from the judiciary said.

In August, al-Sadr announced he was retiring from politics and closing institutions linked to his movement, in a statement that came amid political wrangling over the nomination of a prime minister and resulted in deadly clashes in Baghdad between his followers, the army and paramilitary forces.

Earlier last year he had ordered all 73 lawmakers affiliated with his movement to quit parliament in a show of force meant to break a logjam in political negotiations.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2023/04/14/Iraq-s-Muqtada-al-Sadr-freezes-movement-over-sinful-practices-among-supporters

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Int'l Quds Day Resolution: Beit ul-Muqaddas Most Important Living Common Issue of Islamic Ummah

2023-April-14

TEHRAN (FNA)- The participants of the International Quds Day Rally in a final resolution deemed Beit ul-Moqaddas and Al Aqsa Mosque as hub of convergence and synergy of the Islamic Ummah and their most important and living common issue, and asked the United Nations to suspend the Israeli regime's membership and expel the usurper regime from international forums.

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The participants in the International Quds Day of 1402 voiced their positions by reading a resolution in 7 paragraphs.

They pointed out that Beit ul-Muqaddas and Al Aqsa Mosque are the abode of revelation, the holy place of the prophets and the first Qiblah of Muslims; the bloody land of Palestine with its martyrs is the focal point of the Islamic world, the axis of the convergence of the Islamic nation and the synergy of Muslims, and the most important and living common issue of the Islamic nation and the constant nightmare of the Zionists and its American and European supporters.

"Today, with the passage of 44 years since the historical initiative of the great architect of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (may God have mercy on him) and the wise leadership of his successor, Imam Khamenei, the goal of the liberation of the holy place and the liberation of the oppressed nation, Palestine has prevented creating stable security for the Zionists in the occupied territories by accompanying the Ummah of the Great Prophet "Peace be upon him" and the nations and right-seeking and freedom-loving societies of the world," it said.

The resolution pointed out that Palestine has also prevented the realization of the evil policies and strategies of US and the regional and extra-regional allies of the White House in the establishment of stable security for "the Zionists in the occupied territories".

"In the face of new developments in the front of resistance and the expansion of the flames of the Holy Intifada to the West Bank and all over the occupied territories, the Zionist Provisional is caught in the security challenge and internal collapse and is rapidly going down the path of definite decline," it added.

In another paragraph of the resolution, the participants stated: Quds Day and support for the Palestinian nation are considered as a strong support of "national security of dear Iran" and a symbol of "unity and unity of the Islamic Ummah" against the plots of global arrogance and international Zionism.

The recalled the guidelines of Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution as a necessity to strengthen support for the anti-Zionist resistance as the only solution to the Palestinian issue as the 'first issue of the Islamic world', and said, "We emphasize the return of Palestinian refugees from all over the world and the holding of a comprehensive and free referendum to determine the future fate of this country."

The fasting people participating in this huge gathering, while condemning the brutal attack on the pilgrims in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which led to the martyrdom and wounding of a group of fasting people in the first Qibla of the Muslims and the West Bank, considered the attacks and desecration of the Zionist military as a way out of the political and economic chaos.

The 7-paragraph resolution of the International Quds Day condemned the silence and indifference of the world assemblies and human rights institutions to the barbaric crimes of the Zionists, and asked the United Nations to suspend the Israeli regime's membership and expel the usurping, racist and child-killing Zionist regime from that organization and other international forums which is demanded and acknowledged by authoritative figures and international jurists

Iranians poured into the streets throughout the country to hold the International Quds Day rallies, showing support for the Palestinian nation and cause.

This year, Iranians started massive and epic demonstrations in Tehran and all Iranian cities and villages at 10 local time.

The Iranian people chanted slogans in support of oppressed Palestinians in al-Quds and the Gaza Strip, who are suffering from the Zionist regime’s atrocities and siege.

Late Imam Khomeini designated the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as Quds Day on August 7, 1979, in a bid to hinder the distortion of history by the Zionist regime and to show support for the oppressed nation of Palestine.

Since that year, Muslims and freedom-loving nations commemorate the great event in order to stand against ignoring crimes committed by the occupying regime every last Friday of Ramadan.

Each year, the Iranian people take part in the international event on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan with the aim of following late Imam Khomeini’s designation of the last Friday of each year’s Ramadan as the International Quds Day.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14020125000672/In'l-Qds-Day-Reslin-Bei-l-Maddas-Ms-Impran-Living-Cmmn-Isse-f-Islamic

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London to hold Europe’s biggest Eid festival at Westfield Square for 4th time

April 14, 2023

Over 220,000 visitors are expected to attend London Eid Festival from Apr. 29 to May 1, as the event returns for the fourth year to Westfield Square, making it Europe’s biggest Eid Al-Fitr Festival. (Supplied)

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LONDON: Over 220,000 visitors are expected to attend London Eid Festival from Apr. 29 to May 1, as the event returns for the fourth year to Westfield Square, making it Europe’s biggest Eid Al-Fitr festival.

Scheduled to take place at the Atrium and Westfield Square, London Eid Festival will welcome Muslim and non-Muslim community members to celebrate the end of Ramadan during this free annual event, where guests get to enjoy live entertainment, activities, a feast of food stalls and modest fashion concessions inspired by Muslim regions from across the globe.

Open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. over the weekend and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the bank holiday Monday, Westfield London’s visitors will find at the Atrium a range of concessions including fashion and Eid gift stalls, as well as a Crepe Protect Trainer Cleaning Vehicle to ensure their shoes are sparkling whilst roaming around the venue.

Meanwhile at John Lewis, live activities include cookery demonstrations, a fashion show and beauty masterclass, as well as an Islamic art gallery where all culture lovers can unite and share traditions.

At Westfield Square, visitors will enjoy the beautiful works of henna artists and experience makeovers from face painters in addition to the Halal Food Festival where there will be a wide variety of cuisines from all over the world, including Pakistan, North Africa and the Middle East. For children, there will be a play area and children’s choir.

In a media statement issued Friday, Waleed Jahangir, managing director at Algebra Consulting, said: “We’ve felt a great sense of belonging at Westfield London for the last few years and are excited to bring back the London Eid Festival for its fourth year. With its ever-growing success, the event offers a plethora of activities and enjoyment for the thousands of people celebrating Eid this year.”

Meanwhile Katie Wyle, general manager at Westfield London, said the Muslim community is incredibly important to Westfield London, and they are honored to welcome the return of the London Eid Festival. “The event has grown to become a major highlight in our cultural events calendar, and we look forward to once again welcoming families and individuals of Muslim faith, as well as wider communities, to participate in a marvellous celebration of good will and unity,” added Wyle.

Source: Arab News

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2286841/world

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India

 

Hindu man fasts during Ramzan, Muslim friend celebrates Chhath in Bihar's Gaya

Apr 15, 2023

PATNA: A Hindu man from Gaya has been observing Ramzan fast for the last eight years to promote communal harmony in the society. He gets up early in the morning for "Sehri" (the morning meal eaten by Muslims before sunrise) and then breaks his daylong fast in the evening in the company of Muslim friends.

Amardeep Kumar Sinha, a resident of Bangla Sthan locality in Gaya town, began fasting like a devout Muslim during Ramzan on being advised by some Muslim friends one day after suffering huge losses in the business.

"My economic condition was poor after I suffered huge losses in every business that I started. Then I started observing fast during Ramzan in 2015 and by the grace of God, happiness returned to my family," 38-year-old Sinha told TOI on Friday. "I will keep Roza till I am alive and my priority is now to bridge the gap between the two communities and promote communal harmony in society. All religions are one," Sinha said.

He gets full cooperation from his family members who prepare food as per his requirement. The situation turns joyous when his Muslim friends join Sinha for breaking the fast in the evening. Fruits, fritters, and dates - everything is available on the platter.

Naseem Akhtar, one of his Muslim friends, who is usually seen joining his iftar, has a high regard for Sinha, who works with a missionary zeal to ensure that followers of all faiths live in peace and harmony.

"We all are one and Sinha has been doing a wonderful job to build bridges in society," said Akhtar, who has been observing Chhath for the past 20 years. He began celebrating Chhath after his son Mohammad Bhola, who was suffering from liver ailments, got cured. "Sabhidharm ek hain," he sums up, explaining why his son has the surname Bhola.

The 60-year-old Akhtar along with his family celebrates Chhath with another Hindu friend Amar Chandravanshi (65), who is from a very modest background.

The Akhtar family participates in all the rituals except observing fast. He contributes Chhath material also to his Hindu friend.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/hindu-man-fasts-during-ramzan-muslim-friend-celebrates-chhath-in-bihars-gaya/articleshow/99504824.cms?from=mdr

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Govt disallows Friday prayer at Srinagar’s Grand Mosque; parties condemn decision

April 15, 2023

The All Parties Hurriyat Conference has said disallowing congregational Friday prayers at Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid as well as the continued incarceration of its chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq defy the government’s claims that “all is well now” in “Naya Kashmir”.

Mainstream political leaders, including former chief minister Omar Abdullah, also condemned the closure of the Grand Mosque on ‘Jumat-ul-Vida’ — the last Friday of Ramzan.

In a statement, the separatist alliance said, “even in the holy month of Ramzan, despite appeals from all quarters for his release, barring him from his religious obligations as the Mirwaiz is greatly regrettable”. It said the repeated closure of the mosque was “condemnable” and a violation of people’s fundamental right to practice their religion.

The statement said “such measures” are a reminder that things on the ground in Kashmir are not what is being shown to the outside world by “strictly controlled narrative and a huge number of forces on the ground”.

“The repeated closure of the historic and central Jamia Masjid Srinagar by the authorities also belies the claims… that ‘all is well now’ in Naya Kashmir. Not allowing Jumat-ul-Vida prayers at the Jamia Masjid, on an important religious day when lakhs of namazis from all over the valley traditionally pray at the Masjid for its great religious significance, is condemnable,” the APHC said.

Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid, the management committee of the mosque, said the District Magistrate and police officials visited Jamia Masjid Friday morning and “asked the management to lock its gates as administration had decided that Jumat-ul-Vida prayers will not be allowed.”

Omar Abdullah wrote on Twitter: “We are constantly treated to claims of normalcy in J&K and yet the administration betrays its own claims when it resorts to locking up one of our holiest mosques thus denying people the chance to offer prayers on the last Friday of Ramzan.”

J&K Apni Party leader Altaf Bukhari also expressed regret over the closure of the mosque and termed the act by the authorities as “deeply regrettable” and a “brazen violation” of religious freedom.

Source: Indian Express

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/srinagar/govt-disallows-friday-prayer-at-srinagar-grand-mosque-parties-condemn-move-8557056/

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Rajasthan Police Arrests 2 Cow Vigilantes For Murder Of Muslim Men In Haryana

14 APR 2023

The Rajasthan Police arrested two of the eight men – suspected cow vigilantes in Haryana – wanted in the alleged abduction and murder of two Muslim men in Rajasthan, an official said on Friday.

The accused were identified as Monu Rana alias Narendra and Gogi alias Monu, Inspector General of Police (Bharatpur) Gaurav Srivastava told PTI. They were detained from an isolated hilly area in Dehradun. Both of them have connections with Bajrang Dal as well as other organisations including Haryana Gau Raksha Dal, he said.

On February 16, two Muslim men – Nasir (25) and Junaid alias Juna (35) – both residents of Ghatmeeka village in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district, were allegedly abducted by a group of men. Their bodies were found inside a burnt car in Loharu in Bhiwani in Haryana on the next morning.

During initial interrogation, both the accused revealed that Junaid and Nasir were abducted on suspicion of cow smuggling. They were badly thrashed and when they failed to fetch any information regarding the smuggling from them, they took them to a local police station in Haryana but the policemen refused to take action seeing the condition they were in, IG Srivastava said.

“When Haryana police refused to take action against the duo seeing their condition, the accused took Nasir and Junaid and murdered them. The bodies were put in a vehicle and it was burnt,” he added.

On February 17, one of the accused, Rinku Saini, was arrested. Based on his disclosure and other evidence collected by the police, eight others were identified and teams were sent to several states in search of them.

The remaining, each carrying a cash reward of Rs 10,000, are still absconding and being searched.

The police have also issued notices to several other suspects including office bearers and members of Haryana Gau Raksha Dal but no one has turned up. However, the arrest of the two accused will expedite the investigation of the case, IG Srivastava said.

On the involvement of cow vigilante Monu Manesar, the IG said that his role will become clear after the questioning of Monu Rana and Gogi. The officer said that several teams of the Rajasthan police camped in different districts undercover in search of the accused.

The accused were brought to Bharatpur and placed under arrest on Thursday night under sections 302 (murder), 365 (abduction), 367 (abduction to subject a person to grievous hurt), 368 (wrongful confinement), 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence) and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) and 143 (being a member of an unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code.

Source:OutlookIndia

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.outlookindia.com/national/rajasthan-police-arrests-2-cow-vigilantes-for-murder-of-muslim-men-in-haryana-news-278451

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Why is KCR silent on 12 pc Muslim reservation? Shabbir downplays govt Iftar

Zahed Farooqui

14th April 2023

Hyderabad: Former Leader of Opposition Mohammad Ali Shabbir on Thursday rejected Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s claims on minority welfare, saying KCR tried to mislead Muslims on the occasion of the Iftar party.

He said that “in the last nine years, not a single promise made to Muslims has been fulfilled and the implementation of schemes of the Congress government has been stopped. At the iftar party, KCR claimed that Congress spent Rs 1,200 crore on minority welfare in 10 years, while the BRS government had allocated Rs 12,000 crore for minority welfare in nine years.”

Mohammad Ali Shabbir said that “there is a need to review the allocation of funds for minorities in terms of the overall budget. In united Andhra Pradesh, the budget was Rs 85,000 crore. Today, the state’s budget has gone up to Rs 2.56 lakh crore. The combined budget of the two Telugu states is Rs 5.56 lakh crore.”

He said that the minorities constitute 14 percent of Telangana’s population but only Rs 2,200 crore has been allocated in the budget. If KCR was really serious about minority welfare, he should have allocated 14 percent of the total budget for minority welfare. An attempt was made to please the ears of Muslims in iftar and the agenda of participating in national politics was presented.

He said that the 4 percent reservation provided by the Congress party to Muslims has been reduced to 3 percent, but till date, there has been no official clarification. He said the KCR government had failed to continue the steps taken by Congress for the educational and economic development of minorities.

He said that “for the last nine years, not a single Muslim has been provided loans by the Minority Finance Corporation. KCR had promised 12 percent reservation to Muslims but no initiative has been taken in this regard till date. The chief minister made no mention of the promise of 12 percent reservation at the Iftar party. During the last nine years, the implementation of post-matric scholarships, fee reimbursement, and scholarship schemes has been stopped. Many minority colleges have shut down as a result of the abolition of the fee reimbursement scheme.”

Source:Siasat Daily

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.siasat.com/why-is-kcr-silent-on-12-pc-muslim-reservation-shabbir-downplays-govt-iftar-2568313/

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North America

 

CENTCOM: 11 more US troops diagnosed with 'traumatic brain injury' after last month's attacks in Syria

14 April 2023

A spokesman for US Central Command (CENTCOM) says 11 more American troops have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury following a series of attacks that targeted US illegal bases in Syria back in March.

“Our medical teams continue to assess and evaluate our troops for indications of [traumatic brain injury],” said Col. Joe Buccino, spokesman for CENTCOM, CNN reported on Thursday.

The new cases bring the number of US personnel wounded in the attacks to a total of 25, including one US contractor who was killed at a facility in Hasakah, northeast Syria, on March 23 in an alleged drone attack that Washington attributed to IRGC-backed resistance groups.

The US troops, whose presence in Syria is illegal under international law, carried out what they called "precision airstrikes" in eastern Syria on the same day.

“The airstrikes were conducted in response to today's attack as well as a series of recent attacks against coalition forces in Syria,” Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin said in a statement, noting that the aggression was carried out at the direction of President Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, local sources pointed out that the target was not an Iran-aligned military post as the US military claimed, but rather a rural development center and a grain center in Hrabashneighborhood, near Dayr al-Zawr military airport.

On March 24, more than 20 rockets are reportedly fired against two illegal American outposts based near the al-Omar oilfield and the Koniko gas field in Syria's Dayr al-Zawr Province.

One week after the attacks on US illegal bases, the Pentagon announced that six service members had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries, also cautioning the number may grow since symptoms develop over time.

"All personnel in the vicinity of a blast are screened for traumatic brain injury. So these additional injuries were identified during post-attack medical screenings," Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told a news briefing on March 30.

Mild traumatic brain injuries can lead to changes in personality and balance issues as well as symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, headaches, and irritability.

Meanwhile, some observers believe the US military does not openly acknowledges when it suffer casualties in the occupied territories due to retaliatory attacks by resistance fighters and rather, it uses the term “brain injuries” for fallen soldiers.

They say the term “brain injuries” reflects the number of dead, which the US hesitates to formally announce.

The US has for long employed the alleged "Daesh threat" as a pretext to continue its illegal occupation of northeastern Syrian territories.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2023/04/14/701513/11-US-troopers-diagnosed-traumatic-brain-injury

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Arab World

 

Officials arrive in Saudi Arabia for Gulf, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq meeting

April 14, 2023

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji received a number of Arab officials on Friday in Jeddah, who will take part in a ministerial consultative meeting between the Gulf states, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.

Al-Khuraiji received the Bahraini Foreign Minister, Dr. Abdullatif Al-Zayani, upon his arrival at the Royal Terminal at King Abdulaziz International Airport.

He also received Dr. Anwar Gargash, the diplomatic adviser to UAE president, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman, and Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid BadrAlbusaidi.

Source: Arab News

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https://www.arabnews.com/node/2286906/saudi-arabia

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Arab foreign ministers condemn ‘illegal’ Israeli practices that undermine Palestine peace efforts

April 15, 2023

JEDDAH: Arab foreign ministers on Saturday condemned Israeli atrocities in the West Bank and Jerusalem that they said were undermining efforts to achieve a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.

A statement issued by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the ministers also bewailed that “illegal Israeli practices” were “undermining chances of achieving a just and comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution, which embodies the independent and sovereign Palestinian state with its capital.”

Palestinian and international human rights organizations have previously denounced the increasingly aggressive Israeli settler land-grabs in Palestinian territories in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The statement came at the conclusion of a consultative meeting of foreign ministers from GCC members states along with Jordan, Egypt and Iraq.

The informal consultation session was held in Jeddah during a Suhoor dinner hosted by Saudi FM Prince Faisal bin Farhan.

The ministers took issue with the repeated Israeli attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Haram Al-Sharif and “violation of the sanctity of the holy places,” especially at a time when Muslims gathered for prayers during Ramadan.

Source: Arab News

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https://www.arabnews.com/node/2287096/middle-east

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Arab leadership role crucial in seeking political solution to Syria crisis, say FMs

April 15, 2023

JEDDAH: Gulf Arab foreign ministers and their counterparts from Egypt, Iraq and Jordan on Saturday exchanged views on the importance of reaching a political solution to the crisis in Syria, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

The ministers also stressed the importance of an Arab leadership role in efforts to end the crisis, according to the statement issued at the conclusion of an informal consultative meeting of the foreign ministers, hosted in Jeddah by Saudi FM Prince Faisal bin Farhan.

They called for setting up the necessary mechanisms for this role, and intensifying consultations among Arab countries to ensure the success of these efforts.”

Syria’s possible return to the Arab fold was also discussed, according to the statement.

Syria's membership was suspended from the 22-nation Arab League following President Bashar Assad's bloody crackdown that sparked a multi-sided war that has devastated the nation and displaced millions of people.

Hundreds of thousands of people died in the war, which drew in numerous foreign powers and splintered the country.

While Some Arab states have mended ties with Damascus, Syria’s broader normalization with the Arab world remains a sensitive issue for several countries.

Earlier this week, Qatar’s prime minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, said the original basis for the 2011 suspension of Syria’s membership in the Arab League still stands.

Abu Dhabi and Oman also received Assad as normalization gathered momentum elsewhere in the region following a devastating quake that hit Turkiye and Syria.

Saudi Arabia said after a rapprochement with Iran, Syria’s key regional ally, that a new approach was needed with Damascus. Both countries agreed to reopen embassies soon.

In a meeting last week between Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Syria's Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in Jeddah, the two diplomats announced the need to explore a political solution to Syria's crisis.

During's Saturday's consultative meeting, the foreign ministers said it was crucial to find a political solution that would "preserve Syria's unity, security, stability, territory and Arab identity."

They also agreed on the importance of resolving the humanitarian crisis, providing a suitable environment for aid to reach all regions in Syria, creating the necessary conditions for the return of Syrian refugees and displaced persons to their areas, the statement said.

Source: Arab News

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https://www.arabnews.com/node/2287111/middle-east

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Populist Iraqi cleric announces suspension of his movement

April 14, 2023

BAGHDAD: Influential Iraqi Shiite cleric and political leader Muqtada Al-Sadr announced Friday that he would suspend the movement he leads for one year, citing “corruption” among some of his followers.

A group within the Sadrists, dubbing itself the “Owners of the Cause,” believes that Al-Sadr is Imam Mahdi, a Shiite religious leader said to have vanished more than 1,000 years ago, who is expected to return leading an army of the faithful to defeat evil in the world.

On Friday, Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council announced that an investigative court had ordered the arrest of 65 alleged members of the “Owners of the Cause,” which it described as a disruptive “gang.”

In a statement posted on his Twitter account, Al-Sadr said, “I want to be a reformer for Iraq, and I cannot reform the Sadrist movement.” He added that he will freeze all activities of the movement — except for religious activities such as Friday prayers.

Al-Sadr resigned from politics last August following a nearly yearlong deadlock in cabinet formation. His party won the largest share of seats in the October 2021 parliamentary elections, but not enough to secure a majority government.

Al-Sadr’s refusal to negotiate with his Iran-backed Shiite rivals and his subsequent exit from the talks catapulted the country into political uncertainty and volatility amid intensifying intra-Shiite wrangling.

After Al-Sadr announced his resignation from politics, hundreds of his angry followers stormed the government palace and clashed with security forces. At least 15 protesters were killed.

Al-Sadr had won a mass base of followers, many of whom hail from Iraq’s poorest sectors of society, with nationalist rhetoric and promised of reform.

Source: Arab News

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https://www.arabnews.com/node/2286781/middle-east

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Man sues Syria in US court on torture claims

14 April ,2023

A US citizen who says he was tortured in Syrian custody has filed a lawsuit against President Bashar al-Assad’s government in Washington, seeking accountability at a time that Damascus is reconciling in the region.

Obada Mzaik, who was born in Ohio and also holds Syrian citizenship, said he was hoping to see family when he was detained on arrival at the Damascus airport in January 2012, nearly a year into the brutal civil war.

In a lawsuit filed in a federal court in Washington, Mzaik said he was taken to a basement cell that held around 10 other people, including a 13-year-old boy who said he had been tortured for more than 80 days.

Mzaik, who had been a student in Syria when protests broke out against Assad, was “brutally and systematically beaten, whipped and threatened with electrocution,” the lawsuit said.

“He was held in inhumane detention conditions and forced to witness other detainees being tortured, including one of his relatives,” it said.

Mzaik alleged that interrogators from the Air Force Intelligence Directorate “inflicted severe physical and mental pain” as they sought information on his friends, contacts, and interactions with the US government and to “punish him for perceived anti-regime activities.”

He was released within a month after his family paid bribes through an intermediary, the lawsuit said. He was then treated by doctors for more than a month before he headed to Jordan and then the United States, it said.

Mzaik is seeking unspecified payment as damages from the Syrian government under a US law that says that foreign governments designated as state sponsors of terrorism are exempt from immunity.

The lawsuit was filed in January but unsealed this week. The court documents showed that the Czech embassy in Damascus, which represents US interests in the country, formally informed the government of the lawsuit.

While it remains highly unlikely that Assad would pay any damages awarded in a court case, the United States has previously seized and allocated Iranian funds as damages, drawing legal challenges from Tehran’s clerical state.

The lawsuit comes as Arab nations meet in Saudi Arabia on reconciling with Assad, widely seen as having won the civil war.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2023/04/14/Man-sues-Syria-in-US-court-on-torture-claims-

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Hezbollah flag sparks Lebanon-Israel border tensions

14 April ,2023

UN peacekeepers in Lebanon appealed for calm late Friday after supporters of the Hezbollah movement clashed with Israeli border guards as Iran and Arab countries marked Jerusalem Day.

The annual commemoration is staged in support of the Palestinian cause, and earlier in the day Palestinian factions paraded in the Burj al-Barajneh refugee camp in Lebanon, a Hezbollah stronghold.

Later, Hezbollah supporters approached the border fence with Israel in south Lebanon and placed one of the group’s flags there.

“UNIFIL peacekeepers observed a crowd of 50 or 60 individuals throwing stones and placing a Hezbollah flag in the technical fence,” deputy UN Interim Force in Lebanon spokesperson Kandice Ardiel said.

Israeli forces “responded with stun and smoke grenades,” she said, adding that Lebanese troops soon arrived and worked with UNIFIL to calm the situation.

“Especially at this sensitive time, we strongly urge everyone to refrain from any acts that could be perceived as provocative and could cause the situation to escalate,” Ardiel said.

Recent weeks have seen deadly attacks and clashes in Israel, annexed east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, as well as cross-border fire between Israeli forces and militants in the Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Syria.

Lebanon’s official ANI news agency said one person was injured when hit in the head by a smoke grenade during a demonstration at the border.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2023/04/14/Hezbollah-flag-sparks-Lebanon-Israel-border-tensions-

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Hezbollah chief: Israel didn't hit Hamas in Lebanon strikes

14 April ,2023

The leader of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah on Friday claimed that Israel did not hit Hamas or Hezbollah targets in last week’s strikes on southern Lebanon.

The strikes last Friday in south Lebanon came a day after militants fired nearly three dozen rockets from there at Israel, wounding two people and causing some property damage. The Israeli military said it had targeted installations of Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, in southern Lebanon.

Speaking at an a ceremony in Beirut marking “Quds Day,” or Jerusalem Day — an annual show of support for the Palestinians held on the last Friday of every Islamic holy month of Ramadan — Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah called the Israeli statements “a barefaced lie” and that “no Hezbollah or Hamas infrastructure was struck.”

Rather, he said, the Israelis hit “banana groves” and a water irrigation channel. There was no immediate comment from Israel.

While Israeli military officials have not said they hit any Hezbollah targets, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a speech Monday said Israel had targeted both Hamas and Hezbollah infrastructure. Nasrallah called this “the biggest lie.”

According to Associated Press reporters on the ground, several missiles fired by Israeli warplanes struck an open field in the town of Qalili, near the Palestinian refugee camp of Rashidiyeh, close to the coastal southern city of Tyre.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2023/04/14/Hezbollah-chief-Israel-didn-t-hit-Hamas-in-Lebanon-strikes

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Iraqi envoy hails KSA’s leading experience in several sectors

April 15, 2023

RIYADH: Dr. Abdul-Sattar Hadi Al-Janabi, Iraqi ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said that Baghdad looks forward to benefiting from the Kingdom’s leading experience in the sectors of electricity, renewable energy, industrial cities, and communications, among others.

In his remarks, the Iraqi envoy said such experiences could also be applied in Iraq to benefit in diversifying and accelerating the national economy.

The ambassador said resumption of direct Saudi-Iraqi flights is essential in enhancing bilateral cooperation and promoting joint work to reach new horizons.

Source: Arab News

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https://www.arabnews.com/node/2287081/saudi-arabia

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Saudi customs officials seize 860kg of hashish at Yemen border

April 14, 2023

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Zakat and Tax said it foiled an attempt to smuggle more than 860 kilograms of hashish into the Kingdom through Al-Wadiah port in the north of Yemen’s Hadramawt governorate.

The authority said the drugs were discovered hidden in a floor cavity when officials inspected a truck.

Source: Arab News

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https://www.arabnews.com/node/2286931/saudi-arabia

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Saudi ministry of Islamic Affairs in volunteering push

April 15, 2023

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance’s volunteer department provided more than 1.7 million volunteer hours during the first quarter of 2023.

Volunteers in all regions of the Kingdom are offering their services to strive to achieve the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals by reaching 1 million volunteers.

These numbers were revealed within official statistics issued by the National Volunteer Portal, where 4,673 volunteer opportunities were offered, in which 14,790 volunteers participated; the number of volunteer hours completed reached 1,745,132 hours, and the economic value and financial return of voluntary initiatives amounted to SR43,982,265 (a little over $11.99 million)

Source: Arab News

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https://www.arabnews.com/node/2287071/saudi-arabia

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Mideast

 

Al-Quds rallies call on Muslim world to break ties with Israel

April 15, 2023

KARACHI: Rallies and demonstrations were held across the country on Friday to mark Youm Al-Quds, in solidarity with the people of Palestine and reject the “so-called deal of the century” as participants vowed to continue their support for the oppressed Arab nation.

In Karachi, a large number of people, including women and children, attended the rally taken out by Imamia Students Organisation (ISO) from Numaish to Tibet Centre on M.A. Jinnah Road, vowing to continue their support for an independent Palestinian state with Al-Quds as its capital.

The key speakers at the rally included Hasan Arif of ISO, Ali Zaidi of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Muslim Pervez of Jamaat-i-Islami, Allama Ahmed Iqbal Rizvi of Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeen (MWM) and Maulana Aqeel Anjum of Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan (JUP).

The MWM also held demonstrations and rallies to mark Youm Al-Quds. The main protest was held outside Jamia Masjid Noor-i-Iman in Nazimabad led by AllamaBaqir Zaidi, president Sindh chapter of the party. Addressing the demonstration, he said that Israel is a threat to global peace and harmony.

“Moral and ethical support of occupied nations like Kashmir and Palestine is our prime responsibility. Pakistani people and its leaders have always been supporting Palestinian cause and we will keep continue this practice till its independence. Muslim and Arab rulers should break their ties with Israel to struggle for the liberation of Palestine,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Sindh, the Shia Ulema Council took out a rally from Qadam Gah Maula Ali, where Allama Israr Raza Naeemi, Mustafa Ali Hyderi and others made speeches. They said that Israel had unleashed a reign of terror against Muslims soon after the illegitimate state came into being. They expressed solidarity with people of Palestine and said that innocent Palestinians were being butchered by Israel daily and the Al-Aqsa mosque was desecrated by Israeli forces during the holy month of Ramazan.

Source: Dawn

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1747740/al-quds-rallies-call-on-muslim-world-to-break-ties-with-israel

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President Rayeesi Blasts Sacrilege of Al Aqsa Mosque, Urges Muslims' United Front Against Israeli Regime

2023-April-14

President Rayeeis made the remarks in a telephone conversation with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday night.

Referring to the recent developments in Palestine and expressing deep concern about the Israeli regime's brutal acts, specially breaching the sanctity of Al Aqsa Mosque, the Iranian president expressed hope that establishment of Islamic Countries' United Front "will end Zionists' evil acts".

President Rayeesi also referred to the historical and amicable relations between Tehran and Islamabad, and expressed hope for their further expansion, especially in the economic and energy fields.

"The expansion of deepening of relations and cooperation with neighboring, and specially Islamic countries is the 13th government's top priority in its foreign diplomacy," the Iranian president said.

Sharif, for his part, condemned the Israeli regime's criminal acts during the past weeks, arguing that Pakistan has always been a supporter of the oppressed Palestinian nation.

"I hope the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will establish the Islamic United Front to block the path for the continuation of the Zionists' criminal acts," he added.

The Pakistani premier, meanwhile, expressed his country's interest in further strengthening Islamabad-Tehran relations, and referred to the agreements reached on launching joint economic projects while announcing Pakistan's readiness for implementing them.

Iranians poured into the streets throughout the country to hold the International Quds Day rallies, showing support for the Palestinian nation and cause.

This year, Iranians started massive and epic demonstrations in Tehran and all Iranian cities and villages at 10 local time on Friday.

The Iranian people chanted slogans in support of oppressed Palestinians in al-Quds and the Gaza Strip, who are suffering from the Zionist regime’s atrocities and siege.

Late Imam Khomeini designated the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as Quds Day on August 7, 1979, in a bid to hinder the distortion of history by the Zionist regime and to show support for the oppressed nation of Palestine.

Since that year, Muslims and freedom-loving nations commemorate the great event in order to stand against ignoring crimes committed by the occupying regime every last Friday of Ramadan.

Source: Fars News Agency

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https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14020125000653/Presiden-Rayeesi-Blass-Sacrilege-f-Al-Asa-Mse-Urges-Mslims'-Unied-Frn

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Iran's Parliament Speaker: Criminal Face of Israeli Regime Exposed by Int'l Quds Day

2023-April-14

Qalibaf made the remarks addressing participants of International Quds Day on Friday.

"The initiative of Imam Khomeini in appointing International Quds Day has turned the issue of Palestine into a popular and global issue in the world," the Iranian parliament speaker said.

He pointed out that today, thanks to International Quds Day, all Muslims can say that Al-Quds is the capital of all Palestine and Palestine is the capital of the Islamic world.

"International Quds Day has become an effective political tradition and a strong political ritual," he said, adding that it has revealed the criminal face of this child-killing regime in front of the people of the world.

Iranians poured into the streets throughout the country to hold the International Quds Day rallies, showing support for the Palestinian nation and cause.

This year, Iranians started massive and epic demonstrations in Tehran and all Iranian cities and villages at 10 local time.

The Iranian people chanted slogans in support of oppressed Palestinians in al-Quds and the Gaza Strip, who are suffering from the Zionist regime’s atrocities and siege.

Late Imam Khomeini designated the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as Quds Day on August 7, 1979, in a bid to hinder the distortion of history by the Zionist regime and to show support for the oppressed nation of Palestine.

Since that year, Muslims and freedom-loving nations commemorate the great event in order to stand against ignoring crimes committed by the occupying regime every last Friday of Ramadan.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14020125001012/Iran's-Parliamen-Speaker-Criminal-Face-f-Israeli-Regime-Expsed-by

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FM: Palestine Turns Into Resistance Scene

2023-April-14

"Undoubtedly, the issue of Palestine is still the most important issue of the Islamic world and it should not be diminished in the wake of other regional and international developments," Amir Abdollahian wrote in a message on the occasion of the International Quds Day.

He said that more than four decades after Imam Khomeini set the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as "Quds Day", the day of unity of Muslim nations, regional and global equations promise clear prospects in the Palestinian issue.

"We have no doubt that the continuation of Zionist violence against the Palestinians will have no result other than increasing the cohesion and strengthening the determination of the Palestinians in resisting the Zionist occupation," he noted.

The top Iranian diplomat also expressed hope that the world will soon witness the liberation of the first Qibla of Muslims from the clutches of the invaders.

In a relevant development earlier on Friday, the participants of the International Quds Day Rally in a final resolution deemed Beit ul-Moqaddas and Al Aqsa Mosque as hub of convergence and synergy of the Islamic Ummah and their most important and living common issue, and asked the United Nations to suspend the Israeli regime's membership and expel the usurper regime from international forums.

The participants in the International Quds Day of 1402 voiced their positions by reading a resolution in 7 paragraphs.

They pointed out that Beit ul-Moqaddas and Al Aqsa Mosque are the abode of revelation, the holy place of the prophets and the first Qiblah of Muslims; the bloody land of Palestine with its martyrs is the focal point of the Islamic world, the axis of the convergence of the Islamic nation and the synergy of Muslims, and the most important and living common issue of the Islamic nation and the constant nightmare of the Zionists and its American and European supporters.

"Today, with the passage of 44 years since the historical initiative of the great architect of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (may God have mercy on him) and the wise leadership of his successor, Imam Khamenei, the goal of the liberation of the holy place and the liberation of the oppressed nation, Palestine has prevented creating stable security for the Zionists in the occupied territories by accompanying the Ummah of the Great Prophet "Peace be upon him" and the nations and right-seeking and freedom-loving societies of the world," it said.

The resolution pointed out that Palestine has also prevented the realization of the evil policies and strategies of US and the regional and extra-regional allies of the White House in the establishment of stable security for "the Zionists in the occupied territories".

"In the face of new developments in the front of resistance and the expansion of the flames of the Holy Intifada to the West Bank and all over the occupied territories, the Zionist Provisional is caught in the security challenge and internal collapse and is rapidly going down the path of definite decline," it added.

In another paragraph of the resoltuon, the participants stated: Quds Day and support for the Palestinian nation are considered as a strong support of "national security of dear Iran" and a symbol of "unity and unity of the Islamic Ummah" against the plots of global arrogance and international Zionism.

The recalled the guidelines of Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution as a necessity to strengthen support for the anti-Zionist resistance as the only solution to the Palestinian issue as the 'first issue of the Islamic world', and said, "We emphasize the return of Palestinian refugees from all over the world and the holding of a comprehensive and free referendum to determine the future fate of this country."

The fasting people participating in this huge gathering, while condemning the brutal attack on the pilgrims in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which led to the martyrdom and wounding of a group of fasting people in the first qibla of the Muslims and the West Bank, considered the attacks and desecration of the Zionist military as a way out of the political and economic chaos.

The 7-paragraph resolution of the International Quds Day condemned the silence and indifference of the world assemblies and human rights institutions to the barbaric crimes of the Zionists, and asked the United Nations to suspend the Israeli regime's membership and expel the usurping, racist and child-killing Zionist regime from that organization and other international forums which is demanded and acknowledged by authoritative figures and international jurists

Iranians poured into the streets throughout the country to hold the International Quds Day rallies, showing support for the Palestinian nation and cause.

This year, Iranians started massive and epic demonstrations in Tehran and all Iranian cities and villages at 10 local time.

The Iranian people chanted slogans in support of oppressed Palestinians in al-Quds and the Gaza Strip, who are suffering from the Zionist regime’s atrocities and siege.

Late Imam Khomeini designated the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as Quds Day on August 7, 1979, in a bid to hinder the distortion of history by the Zionist regime and to show support for the oppressed nation of Palestine.

Since that year, Muslims and freedom-loving nations commemorate the great event in order to stand against ignoring crimes committed by the occupying regime every last Friday of Ramadan.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14020125000972/FM-Palesine-Trns-In-Resisance-Scene

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Millions Rally Across World to Mark International Quds Day Amid Continued Israeli Aggression

2023-April-14

The rallies in Iran, organized by the Islamic Propagation Coordination Council (IPCC), started at 10 am local time (0630 GMT) in Tehran and other cities across the country on Friday, presstv reported.

The demonstrators sought to communicate to the world the deplorable situation of the Palestinians and condemn Israeli atrocities which have intensified this year, especially since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.

Ten routes were designated for the rallies throughout the Iranian capital, where people from all walks of life headed to the iconic Enqelab (revolution) Square.

Every year on the last Friday of Ramadan, worldwide rallies are held to support the Palestinian people’s resistance against Israel and the struggle to liberate their territories which have been occupied since 1967.

The annual event is seen as an opportunity for freedom-seeking people across the world, regardless of faith, to voice their support for the Palestinian cause and vent their anger at Israel.

The International Quds Day is among the legacies of the late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini, who is revered as a spiritual leader by Muslims across the world. Back in 1979, shortly after leading an Islamic Revolution which toppled the US-backed Shah of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini named the last Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan the Quds Day.

In their final communiqué in Tehran, the demonstrators described unity and solidarity within the Muslim world as the key to triumph over global arrogant powers and their conspiracies.

The Axis of Resistance, it said, has confounded Zionists and driven the corrupt and far-right administration of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to despair.

"The child-killing regime is experiencing gradual deterioration, political instability as well as severe bipolarity," it said.

"The unfolding developments across the Israeli-occupied territories and the reverse migration of Israeli settlers clearly show that the fake Zionist regime has reached an irreversible point of decline and is moving closer to collapse," it added.

The protesters also underscored the need to reinforce support for the anti-Israel resistance front, saying it is the only viable solution to resolve the Palestinian issue as the first and foremost issue of the Muslim world.

The statement went on to emphasize the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their lands from which they were expelled in 1948, and the rights of the Palestinians to hold a comprehensive and free referendum and determine their future political fate.

The demonstrators also condemned Israeli raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and assaults on Palestinian worshipers, terming them as part of Tel Aviv's attempts to escape from the political and economic turmoil it is currently experiencing.

The statement touched on a new Intifada (uprising) in the making in the occupied West Bank, saying Israel is alarmed by the unity of Palestinian groups and the mass mobilization of young Palestinians to join resistance groups.

The participants also hailed the retaliatory missile strikes by Palestinian resistance fighters, warning Israeli officials against committing any act of folly against the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Any future desecration of the holy site would inflict a heavy price upon Zionists, and a new military confrontation will accelerate the collapse and destruction of the racist and usurping Israeli regime, they pointed out.

The protesters finally condemned the silence and inaction of international institutions and human rights institutions vis-à-vis the barbaric Israeli crimes, urging the United Nations to suspend Israel’s membership and subsequently expel the occupying, racist and child-killing Zionist regime from the world body and other international bodies.

Since the start of the holy month of Ramadan, the Israeli regime has imposed strict restrictions on the entry and exit of Palestinians to and from the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Amid heightened tensions with Palestinian worshipers, Israeli settlers also press ahead with their frequent incursions and provocative rituals at the holy site.

The resistance movements in Gaza and elsewhere have vowed to confront the Israeli regime on multiple fronts.

On April 6, at least 30 rockets were reportedly launched from Southern Lebanon into the Israeli-occupied territories in retaliation against the Israeli aggression against Al-Aqsa. Resistance fighters based in Gaza also fired several rockets toward the occupied territories.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14020125000744/Millins-Rally-Acrss-Wrld-Mark-Inernainal-Qds-Day-Amid-Cnined-Israeli

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250,000 perform final Friday Ramadan prayers at Al-Aqsa

MOHAMMED NAJIB

April 15, 2023

RAMALLAH: A massive Israeli security presence lined the streets of Jerusalem as up to 250,000 Palestinian Muslims performed the fourth and probably final Friday prayer of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

More than 3,200 police, border police and Shin Bet security agents were deployed on roads leading to the mosque.

Authorities allowed women of all ages, men over the age of 55 and children under 12 to enter Jerusalem from the West Bank without permits to perform Friday prayers.

Ramadan is a rare chance for many Palestinians to visit Jerusalem and pray at Al-Aqsa. For many, this was their first time in the city.

Ahmed Khassib, 51, from Ramallah, told Arab News: “I am delighted to be able to perform the fourth Friday prayer of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

“I cannot obtain a permit to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque except on Fridays during Ramadan, so I wait for this opportunity throughout the year.”

Praying at the mosque, Khasib said, “carries a message that Al-Aqsa is for Muslims.”

During his Friday sermon, Sheikh Ekrimeh Sabri, the imam of Al-Aqsa Mosque, told worshippers: “You who came to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque from all parts of holy Palestine, you who have crossed the unjust military checkpoints, your march to the blessed Aqsa for the evening prayer and Taraweeh prayers is to remind the 2 billion Muslims of the world of the captive Al-Aqsa.”

Abd Al-Salam Abu Askar, a Palestinian from the Gaza Strip who lives in Ramallah, told Arab News that inflammatory comments about Al-Aqsa by far-right Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir had made Palestinians more determined to challenge Israeli restrictions on worshipping there.

When they felt the mosque was in danger, he said, they flocked to it during Ramadan, especially on Fridays.

Source: Arab News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2287126/middle-east

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Bahrainis stage rallies in support of Palestine, demand expulsion of Israeli envoy

15 April 2023

Thousands of people have staged demonstrations across Bahrain in solidarity with the Palestinian people on the occasion of International Quds Day, and demanded expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Manama in response to Israeli forces’ incursions into al-Aqsa Mosque and violent attacks on Palestinian worshipers.

Demonstrators took to the streets in the villages of Abu Saiba, Shakhura, Ma'ameer, al-Musalla, Shahrakan, Dumistan and Nuwaidrat on Friday to condemn heinous crimes committed by the Israeli regime against the Palestinian nation and urge the international community not to keep silent on the issue.

People also staged a rally in Bilad al-Qadeem suburb of the capital, Manama, to mark the International Quds Day and express their support for Palestinians.

In another protest rally in Sitra Island, which lies 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) south of Manama, people marched along streets to voice their solidarity with the Palestinian nation.

The demonstrators carried various placards, reading “Israel! Your house is that of a spider [fragile],” “West Bank is the shield of al-Quds” and “Bahraini nation rejects normalization” in Arabic.

The Bahraini protesters once again expressed their fierce opposition to normalization of relations between Manama and Tel Aviv, and underscored their support for the Palestinian issue and the resistance of its people against the occupying Israeli regime.

The demonstrators emphasized that they will continue to fervently support the oppressed Palestinian nation against the barbaric Israeli atrocities, and will never abandon the issue of Palestine as the foremost and principal issue of the Muslim world.

They also called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador from Bahrain and the rejection of any cooperation with the Tel Aviv regime.

Every year on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan, worldwide rallies are held to commemorate the Palestinian people’s resistance against Israel and their struggle to liberate their territories, which have been occupied by Israel for decades.

The annual event is seen as an opportunity for freedom-seeking people across the world, regardless of faith, to voice their support for the Palestinian cause and vent their anger against the apartheid regime in Tel Aviv, which has occupied Palestinian territories since 1967.

The International Quds Day is among the legacies of the late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini, who is revered as a spiritual leader by Muslims across the world. Back in 1979, shortly after leading an Islamic Revolution which toppled the US-backed Shah of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini named the last Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan the Quds Day.

Since the start of the holy month of Ramadan, the Israeli regime has imposed strict restrictions on the entry and exit of Palestinians to and from the gates of al-Aqsa Mosque. Amid heightened tensions with Palestinian worshipers, Israeli settlers also press ahead with their frequent incursions and provocative rituals at the holy site.

The resistance movements in Gaza and elsewhere have vowed to confront the Israeli regime on multiple fronts.

On April 6, at least 30 rockets were reportedly launched from southern Lebanon into the Israeli-occupied territories in retaliation against the Israeli aggression against al-Aqsa. Resistance fighters based in Gaza also fired several rockets toward the occupied territories.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2023/04/15/701579/Bahrainis-stage-rallies-in-support-of-Palestine,-demand-expulsion-of-Israeli-envoy

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Europe

 

Dutch man to be questioned for using racist language while tearing apart copy of Quran

Abdullah Asiran

14.04.2023

AMSTERDAM

A man in the Netherlands will be questioned for using racist expressions while tearing up a copy of the Quran, according to the Dutch Public Prosecution Service.

An official statement on Friday said the unidentified man, age 54, who resided in Germany, tore up the Quran in front of the Dutch parliament in The Hague on Jan. 22, while saying things such as: "The Quran is a fascist book. Just as bad as (Hitler’s biography) Mein Kampf. Its followers are pursuing the same ideology as Hitler."

The suspect is being investigated for "insulting a group" due to his speech while tearing up the Quran and has been summoned to the Netherlands for questioning.

The statement also mentioned that intentionally insulting a group of people based on their religion or beliefs can result in punishment in the Netherlands, but tearing up a Quran is not considered a crime.

The prosecution service acknowledged that tearing up the Quran is seen as criticism of a belief and that this action causes unrest within the Muslim community.

Local media reports suggest that the man being investigated may be Edwin Wagensveld, the leader of the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA) movement.

Wagensveld, 54, in fact tore up the Quran in front of the temporary Dutch parliament building in The Hague on Jan. 22 while under police protection, and did so again on Feb. 13 in Utrecht.

Despite Muslim groups warning that PEGIDA would burn the Quran, the demonstration was not prohibited, prompting a counter-protest by the Muslim community in the same location.

Wagensveld was detained but released on the same day.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/dutch-man-to-be-questioned-for-using-racist-language-while-tearing-apart-copy-of-quran/2872533

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British Daesh recruit ‘watched Netflix, played video games’ while living with terror group in Syria

April 15, 2023

LONDON: A former British school student who disappeared on a family holiday to Turkiye has pleaded guilty to traveling to Syria to join Daesh, years after claiming that he had spent his time in the country “playing computer games,” Sky News reported.

Shabazz Suleman, who used the name Abu Shamil Al-Britani, said that he volunteered for a Turkish NGO after disappearing aged 19 while on a family holiday in 2014, months before he was due to begin his studies at university.

But the former grammar school student was arrested by Turkish authorities and traded to Daesh in a prisoner swap, with the terror group releasing 47 detained Turkish diplomats as part of the exchange.

At first, Suleman appeared to be in favor of Daesh’s activities, posting a message of support for the perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo killings in early 2015.

He said: “There’s so many brothers just waiting for the order to do attacks on the West.”

Suleman also posted images of an alleged spy who had been beheaded and crucified by the group.

But later that year, after the former student had grown disillusioned with Daesh’s treatment of local Muslims, he was arrested and imprisoned in Raqqa.

After witnessing the torture and assault of fellow inmates, Suleman said that he “gave in” and offered to work for Daesh in exchange for his release.

That led to his employment within Daesh’s informal military police, which oversaw control of local populations in territory under the terror group’s control.

But he claimed in a 2017 interview with Sky News that his work consisted of sitting in an office, where he would play video games during work hours.

He then went into hiding, purchasing a PlayStation console and “watching Netflix, ‘House of Cards’ mostly” — all while living in Daesh-controlled territory.

Despite wanting to serve a prison sentence back in the UK in exchange for his return, Suleman was captured by anti-regime forces on the Syrian border in 2017.

He told Sky News at the time: “I take responsibility. I was with Daesh, I was with a terrorist organization. But I didn’t kill anyone, I hope I didn’t oppress anyone.

“I did have (a) Kalashnikov and a military uniform, but I didn’t hit anyone, I didn’t oppress anyone, if you understand.

“I was there with military police but, like I said, I was in the office.”

After being released, Suleman returned to the UK in late 2021 and was charged with a series of terror offenses.

Source: Arab News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2287041/world

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Greek foreign minister attends Easter service on Gokceada in northwest Türkiye

BurakAkay

15.04.2023

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias attended an Easter service Friday led by Istanbul-based Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomew I on Gokceada island in Türkiye’s northwestern province of Canakkale.

The service was held at the Agridia Church on Gokceada, formerly known as Imbros, which was mostly populated by Greeks before population exchanges between Greece and Türkiye in the 1920s.

Dendias arrived at the Gokceada Airport by private plane and was welcomed by KyrillosSykis, the Metropolitan Gokceada and Bozcaada at the island’s Central Panayia Greek Orthodox Church.

Later, Dendias met Bartholomew I and said that they were happy because the Turkish and Greek relations have been going well recently.

Noting that he does not want tensions, he said: “We want and hope that these bilateral relations will continue in a good way. This is the same for the Patriarchate. We want better steps to be taken.”

Bartholomew I expressed happiness at the positive developments and hoped it would continue.

Dendias' visit came as Türkiye and Greece mend ties following the Feb. 6 earthquakes which killed more than 50,000 people in eastern Türkiye. Greece was among the first countries to convey condolences and offer aid to the region.

The Greek foreign minister later visited the Private Greek Primary School in Zeytinlikoy, took pictures with the students and met executives of an NGO focusing on the protection and development of Gokceada.

While leaving the school, Dendias said he was happy to visit the island at the foreign ministry level 11 years after the last Greek foreign minister’s trip to the region.

Noting that the school currently has 60 students, Dendias said he hoped “this number will be 120, (when) the next foreign minister visits here. We are very happy with this situation.”

He also visited the Private Gokceada Secondary and High School in Tepekoy and was hosted by principal Ioakim Makis Kamburopoulos.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/greek-foreign-minister-attends-easter-service-on-gokceada-in-northwest-turkiye/2872591

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Doubts surround death of Syrian refugee in Polish detention center

Jo Harper 

14.04.2023

WARSAW

The Polish Border Guard on Thursday publicly admitted the death of a Syrian man at a detention center for refugees in southwestern Poland, but almost a month after the man died.

The refugee of Syrian origin, Mahmoud RyadAlbana, died on the night from March 16 to 17 after seven days in the Guarded Center for Foreigners in the city of Przemysl, Piotr Zakielarz, the spokesperson of the Bieszczady Border Guard Unit, told Polish Press Agency (PAP).

However, Polish activists, who help refugees from Africa and the Middle East coming into Poland via Belarus, say they were the first to inform about the man’s disappearance from the center after he had been complaining of being sick for several days.

“He was denied medical help for several days despite his friends begging for it. Then, he simply disappeared,” Maria Ksiazek, a psychologist who works with the refugees in Polish camps, told Anadolu. The authorities only informed about his death because we intervened to identify the man.

“Inmates said the violence was used against him, he was kicked in the stomach when he was already squirming on the ground in pain,” Ksiazek said.

“These are the allegations and all need to be confirmed, but my fear is that the investigation will not be public and not of a high standard,” she added.

Ksiazek said the guards have been considering handing over the body for medical examination. “When there is no information from the family, after 14 days, they have the right to do this,” she added.

“The witnesses are still being held in the centers, and may well not want to repeat the allegations for fear of reprisals,” the psychologist said.

Family wants body of Syrian refugee home

Karolina Mazurek, who also operates as an activist, said the border guards want to deport Albana’s friend – and potentially a crucial witness – back to Syria.

The family was not informed of what had happened to Albana, she added. “I spoke with Mahmoud’s brother and his wife, with whom he has an 18-month-old child living in Aleppo. They want the body home.”

According to Zakielarz, the Syrian embassy was notified about the death.

“The man lost consciousness and, despite resuscitation activities with the use of a defibrillator, which was undertaken immediately by the Border Guard officers and the Border Guard physician and an emergency medical team summoned by the Border Guard, it was not possible to restore his vital functions,” Zakielarz said.

A spokeswoman for the district prosecutor’s office in Przemysl, Marta Petkowska, told PAP on Wednesday that proceedings had been initiated, as usual in such cases, on establishing whether this was a case of unintentional manslaughter.

“The autopsy of the young man’s body did not give an answer as to the cause of his death. No injuries or marks, internal or external, which could have caused his death were found on his body. Samples have been taken for histopathological examination and we are waiting for the results,” Petkowska told PAP.

She added that other foreigners staying in the center were being questioned as witnesses in the case. “Their testimonies do not indicate that there was any incident involving the deceased man,” the prosecutor noted.

Allegations of maltreatment

Six centers in Poland – Ketrzyn, Bialystok, Lesznowola, Biala Podlaska, KrosnoOdrzanskie, and Przemysl – often hold people who often should not be there, according to Amnesty International. Wedrzyn and CzerwonyBor facilities have been closed since the refugee crisis started in August 2021.

Amnesty said there are people held there who have been subjected to violence, people with disabilities applying for international protection, and minors staying in Poland without parental care.

A report by the European Anti-Fraud Office, which tracked abuses by the EU’s border agency Frontex, was leaked last April, showing violations of the law, with refugees kept with a dozen or so people in one room, unable to leave of their own free will and with limited contact with the world, including doctors, psychologists, and lawyers.

In January, four Iraqi migrants held at a detention facility began a hunger strike to protest the conditions of their detention. They had been held at Lesznowola, east-central Poland, for 17 months, Polish news site wyborcza.pl reported.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/doubts-surround-death-of-syrian-refugee-in-polish-detention-center/2871940

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Türkiye strongly condemns another attack on Muslim holy book, Turkish flag in Denmark

MerveAydogan

14.04.2023

Türkiye on Friday strongly condemned the recurrence of a “vile attack” on the Muslim holy book, the Quran, and a Turkish flag in Denmark.

“It is unacceptable to allow these vile attacks under the guise of freedom of expression,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement, pointing out that the act was allowed despite several warnings by Ankara.

Danish Ambassador Danny Annan was summoned to the ministry and Türkiye’s stance on the issue was conveyed to him, the statement said.

The ministry stressed that Türkiye will continue its efforts, both on multilateral platforms and at the bilateral level, against such “vile attacks” and “hate crimes.”

Such incidents are examples of the alarming increase in Islamophobia and xenophobia in Europe, it said.

The ministry called out Denmark for its “insensitive attitude on this issue” and for ignoring the sentiments of Muslims around the world.

The ministry reiterated its request that Denmark take measures to prevent such provocations, most especially during the current Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/turkiye-strongly-condemns-another-attack-on-muslim-holy-book-turkish-flag-in-denmark/2872387

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Pakistan

 

Military, political leaders agree to revisit anti-terror policy

Malik Asad

April 15, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff Gen Syed Asim Munir acknowledged on Friday that a strategy to engage with terrorists had allowed them to regroup in the tribal areas, before the country’s political and military leadership agreed to revisit the anti-terrorism strategy, during an in-camera briefing to members of the National Assembly.

Gen Munir was apparently referring to the policy devised and followed by the military and political leadership under the PTI regime, following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021.

To date, former prime minister and PTI chief Imran Khan has defended his policy and still supports the idea of resettling militants returning from Afghanistan.

In a clear shift from the policy of the previous regime, Friday’s in-camera sitting was told that a three-pronged plan — deter, dialogue and development — to root out terrorism was already underway, after lawmakers expressed serious concerns over the resurgence of terrorist groups.

The agreement came after the military leadership discussed recent acts of terrorism across the country and shared details of efforts being made by security forces aimed at eliminating terrorism, maintaining internal security and defending Pakistan from external threats.

The two-hour in-camera briefing contained updates about the country’s current security issues and the army’s anti-terror operations in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan and other parts of the country.

During the briefing, Gen Munir also apprised parliamentarians about plans of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and security forces’ endeavours to counter them.

The director general of Inter-Services Intelligence, Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum in his briefing apprised lawmakers about the connivance of hostile intelligence agencies with terrorist groups.

The briefing was followed by a one-and-a-half-hour long Q&A session.

Sources said the army chief stressed the need for revisiting the anti-terrorism action plan and suggested a multi-dimensional or ‘3-D’ strategy.

After the Army Public School attack on Dec 16, 2014, a national consensus was evolved leading to a 20-point National Action Plan (NAP) for countering terrorism and extremism which was approved by parliament. NAP spelled out the specifics for the counterterrorism drive in the country.

A lawmaker told Dawn the army chief dispelled the impression of waging a full-scale anti-terror operation in the tribal areas and suggested the ‘deter, dialogue and development’ plan to neutralise the terrorists.

According to the army chief, the ‘3-D’ plan is not a novel idea because it is consistent with state policy. He suggested including all stakeholders in this strategy such as security forces, legal fraternity, civil society, politicians, social workers, bureaucracy, diplomats and media.

Gen Munir claimed that security forces had cleared all ‘no-go areas’ in Pakistan and 80,000 personnel had made sacrifices for this cause.

He further said that the terrorists were left with no option than to accept the writ of state.

Gen Munir also urged politicians to leave aside their differences. According to a lawmaker, the army said that instead of working for ‘new or old Pakistan’, politicians should unite for “our Pakistan”.

Tough questions

During the Q&A, senior politicians and heads of political parties appreciated the efforts of armed forces, but the army chief also faced some tough questions, especially from those lawmakers hailing from tribal districts.

They questioned the resurgence of the TTP and the previous government’s strategy of engaging them through dialogue.

A couple of MNAs also demanded action against those who facilitated the terrorist groups, at which the military leadership responded that there would be zero tolerance for such elements, the lawmaker said.

According to sources, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif praised the security forces for their sacrifices.

Sources quoted PM Shehbaz as saying that the previous government had wasted the anti-terror efforts and subsequently terrorism returned to the country.

On Thursday, Ali Wazir from South Waziristan while speaking in the National Assembly had declared that they would not allow any operation in the territory without “trial and conviction of those serving and retired army generals” who had helped these terrorists resettle in these areas.

Mr Wazir, who spent most of the time behind bars reportedly due to his anti-establishment speeches and actions, recalled that he had raised the matter with Shehbaz Sharif when he was brought from Karachi to attend meetings of the then opposition parties at the time of the no-confidence resolution against former prime minister Imran Khan.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1747735/military-political-leaders-agree-to-revisit-anti-terror-policy

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Sikh Pilgrims Lauds Arrangements For Baisakhi Festival At Gurudwara Punja Sahab In Pakistan

April 14, 2023

ATTOCK: Sikh pilgrims came across the world on Friday have expressed their profound satisfaction over the extra ordinary boarding lodging arrangements besides lauding the other modern facilities extended by the Government of Pakistan at their Baisakhi festival in Gurudwara Punja Sahab Hassanabdal.

The Sikh pilgrims hailing from Toronto Brampton city of Canada, District Ferozepur, Amritsar, Sialkot while talking to media lauded the government of Pakistan for making foolproof security, travel in Air conditioned coaches, and the accommodation arrangements in air conditioned marquees on the occasion. They told that they were feeling safe and comfortable while staying at their homes.

They added that the protocol granted by the Government of Pakistan has proved that the well behaviour of their Pakistani brethren will always be remembered.

A lady devotee from Sialkot while paying glowing tributes upon the teachings of their spiritual leader Baba Gru Nanak who never allowed any kind of oppression. She said that her children were afraid of when coming to Pakistan who had performed their all religious rituals in free atmosphere.

They would come again in Pakistan to celebrate their festivities of Baisakhi festival. The pilgrims said that Wi-Fi facility inside the Gurdwara Panja Sahib was very important so that they could visit their loved ones and communicate with them. The Sikh pilgrims also took out a palanquin procession and celebrated their religious rites (Nagar Ketan) in full style around Gurdwara Panja Sahib by singing songs. The Sikh pilgrims on their return from Vali and Kandahari, said that they have got peace of mind by going to Baba Vali Kandahari and the wish they had brought from India had been fulfilled, the devotees added.

Source: Pakistan Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2023/04/14/sikh-pilgrims-lauds-arrangements-for-baisakhi-festival/

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LHC grants protective bail to Imran in incitement case

April 15, 2023

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Friday granted interim protective bail to PTI Chairman Imran Khan in a case of inciting people against the army. The case was registered with the Ramna Police Station of Islamabad.

Mr Khan appeared before the court amid strict security as he was guarded under bulletproof shields.

The PTI chairman had to wait for about an hour as the judge was not available due to Friday prayer break.

In a brief conversation with reporters, Mr Khan said it would be a big tragedy for the country if the Supreme Court continued to be divided. He said the people should pray for unity and harmony among judges of the top court of the country.

The former prime minister said he had nothing to do with the division in the Supreme Court, but wanted the general election to be held within constitutional limits of 90 days. He said no judge should oppose the constitutional mandate for the election.

He said the right to vote was the fundamental right of the people and the supremacy of the Constitution was critical for the survival of the country, adding that all other parties were running away from the election to save their ‘NRO’.

He alleged that at least 3,000 workers of PTI were in police custody as a new FIR was registered every other day.

Justice Ali Baqar Najafi took up the bail petition of Mr Khan at 2pm and asked his counsel to read the contents of the FIR.

Barrister Salman Safdar, the counsel, argued that the police had registered the FIR on the basis of edited statements of the PTI chief. He said the petitioner wanted to appear before the relevant court of Islamabad on April 18 to seek pre-arrest bail. He requested the judge to grant protective bail to Mr. Khan till a date after Eidul Fitr.

Justice Najafi allowed the request and granted protective bail to Mr Khan till April 26.

Ramna police had registered the FIR on a complaint of a judicial magistrate.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1747736/lhc-grants-protective-bail-to-imran-in-incitement-case

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Samarkand moot endorses Pakistan’s stance on Afghan soil being used by militant groups

April 14, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The Fourth Ministerial Conference of Afghanistan’s Neighboring Countries held in Samarkand on Thursday pointed out that the presence of terrorist groups in Afghanistan continued to pose threats to regional peace – a stance Pakistan has long been advocating.

“The Parties pointed out that all terrorist groups, namely the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Al-Qaeda, the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Jundallah, Jaish al-Adl, Jamaat Ansarullah, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), and other terrorist organizations based in Afghanistan continue to pose a serious threat to regional and global security,” according to the declaration of the neighboring countries’ meeting.

Recently, in its report, Radio Free Europe also said that after the United States pulled out its troops from Afghanistan, it left behind military equipment and weapons worth $7 billion which later boosted the military capabilities of the banned Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Baloch separatist groups.

According to the report, the US left behind weapons and equipment including firearms, communications gear, and even armored vehicles which gave the militants a “vast war chest.”

Attended by the foreign ministers and senior officials of China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the neighboring countries’ meeting noted that the terrorism-related security situation in Afghanistan was still severe and reaffirmed their commitment to enhance cooperation on counter-terrorism and security among neighboring countries and to develop a united front against terrorism.

Pakistan always maintained that the success of any regional or international effort to mitigate the current situation of Afghanistan will remain subject to IAG’s seriousness for ensuring that Afghan soil is not used against any country.

Since the Taliban takeover, Pakistan also called for the establishment of an inclusive political structure, the adoption of moderate domestic and foreign policies, and safeguarding basic rights of all Afghans, including ethnic groups, women and children.

The Afghan authorities would also have to take visible steps to ensure that Afghanistan would never again serve as a breeding ground, safe haven or source of proliferation for terrorism.

“Terrorism is a common enemy and peace and stability is a collective responsibility. Any action by IAG to rein in anti-Pakistan elements and not to let Afghan soil against Pakistan would strengthen brotherly relations between the two countries,” a security analyst said.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, who also addressed the meeting said, “We also believe that more needs to be done to eradicate the foothold of terrorist organizations from Afghanistan, without distinction and in a concerted and uniform manner. Greater cooperation and coordination with the interim Afghan Government remains critical. We look forward to working closely with the neighbouring states and the international community to this end.”

Source: Pakistan Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2023/04/14/samarkand-moot-endorses-pakistans-stance-on-afghan-soil-being-used-by-militant-groups/

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Pakistan inches closer to IMF deal with $1.3bn boost

KhaleeqKiani

April 15, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday announced financial support from the United Arab Emirates and China totalling $1.3 billion, giving the ailing economy a shot in the arm as it seeks to meet conditions to unlock IMF funding.

He said the UAE had promised $1bn to prop up Pakistan’s forex reserves — which at their current level of $4.04bn can barely pay for four weeks of controlled imports. The confirmation from the emirates removes a key hurdle to securing the much-awaited bailout tranche from the International Monetary Fund.

Besides, China on Friday was set to release $300 million to Pakistan — the last tranche of a $1.3bn rollover loan, he said.

“UAE authorities have confirmed to IMF for their bilateral support of US $ One billion to Pakistan,” Mr Dar tweeted, adding that the State Bank of Pakistan was now preparing the documentation to receive the deposit.

Officials said the IMF had committed to declaring a staff-level agreement once Pakistan secures half of the $6bn external financing gap for the current fiscal year through bilateral funding that would unlock flows from other multilateral lenders, including programme loans from the World Bank and the IMF itself, besides some loans from commercial banks held up for lack of IMF umbrella.

Pakistan’s external debt declined by about $4.5bn during the current fiscal year, as foreign commercial banks did not roll over their maturing loans because of the IMF impasse, although such loan extensions had been almost a regular feature.

With the last week’s confirmation from Saudi Arabia for $2bn and now $1bn from the UAE, that milestone is reported to have been met. The state minister for finance, Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, told a parliamentary panel last week that the confirmation of support from the UAE was the last hurdle to signing the staff-level agreement with the IMF.

Reuters reported that Pakistan’s dollar-denominated government bonds rose by more than two cents to the highest level in a month on Friday after the UAE’s confirmation of financial support. The dollar-denominated 2024 maturing bond rose by 2.25 cents on the dollar to 48.25.

Chinese rollover

Mr Dar also announced on Friday that $1.3bn rollover from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) had been completed on disbursement of the third and last tranche of $300m.

The ICBC had already provided two instalments of $500m each in the first and third weeks of last month. But this only maintained a Chinese loan portfolio that runs into more than $27bn — the highest single source of external debt.

The external financing gap had been hampering the signing of a staff-level agreement for more than two months in completing the ninth review of the IMF loan programme that has been in limbo since October. The agreement is to be followed by a meeting of the IMF’s executive board for disbursing about $1.2bn.

Pakistan signed a $6.5bn bailout package with the IMF in 2019, but has repeatedly reneged on conditions and so far just $3bn has been released.

Earlier this week, Finance Minister Dar had separate virtual talks with IMF’s deputy managing director and the director for its Middle East and Central Asia department to push for a date for signing the agreement.

While the Fund had been tight-lipped about these engagements, the Ministry of Finance had claimed to have been assured that the staff-level agreement “will be signed soon followed by the IMF board’s approval”.

The government has already met other IMF conditions, including Rs170bn additional taxes for the remaining fiscal year and Rs500bn through the next year, over 300 basis-point increase in the central bank’s policy rate to a record 21pc, unprecedented hike in electricity rates including through permanent surcharge on honest consumers to fill the gap of mismanagement and governance crisis, up to 124pc increase in gas rates, and complete market-based exchange rates.

On successful completion, Pakistan would be entitled to 894 statutory drawing rights (SDRs) of the IMF with a calculated value of $1.2bn.

The tranche has been held since October because of the government’s reluctance to allow free movement of the exchange rate, increase in the interest rate and full-cost recovery of power supply through additional surcharges and other adjustments to generate more than Rs800bn in less than two years.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1747730/pakistan-inches-closer-to-imf-deal-with-13bn-boost

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Imran asks supporters to back Supreme Court for sake of democracy

Mansoor Malik

April 15, 2023

LAHORE: Making an impassioned appeal to all segments of society to lend support to the top court, PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Friday said that democracy in Pakistan is now hanging by a thread called Supreme Court.

“All those, who want democracy in the country, should stand with the Supreme Court and the Constitution of Pakistan,” he emphasised.

Addressing the nation from his Zaman Park residence, the PTI chairman said that the ruling mafia had weakened all institutions creating hatred among them [institutions] and people of Pakistan.

“If this trend continues, the nation must get ready to take to the streets for peaceful protests after Eid. I will lead you from the front,” Mr Khan announced while addressing his supporters.

PTI chief to lead street protests after Eid if ‘ruling mafia’ continues to ‘weaken state institutions’

Noting that with economy already ruined and democracy and people of Pakistan facing a debacle, he asked the powers that be to take remedial measures immediately to turn around the fate of the country.

Explaining what he called the torture and excesses being committed against the party leaders and workers, Mr Khan said the powers that be should keep in mind that they would not be able to force the nation to accept the “corrupt” rulers, who were about to be convicted in the Rs24 billion FIA and NAB cases.

He regretted that the establishment had allegedly sided with the corrupt mafia just to ensure that Imran Khan must not return to power. He said the rulers’ attack on judiciary, attempts to block elections, decision to stop poll funds and weakening of institutions indicated to their “one-point agenda to keep Imran Khan out of power”.

“They are working on their earlier claim that they have marked cross on my name,” he added.

The PTI chief predicted that PDM and the caretaker Punjab government would begin another phase of arrest of party’s senior leaders and office-bearers after the 27th of Ramazan.

Asserting that people will no longer bear such excesses, Mr Khan warned the powers that be to be mindful of the fact that when “a nation rises, the violent tactics do not work”.

He said PTI’s popularity was increasing by the day, adding that he was facing difficulties in selecting candidates for party ticket for Punjab elections from among so many applicants on each seat.

Referring to court matters, Mr Khan said the prohibited funding case had reached its logical end while Toshakhana case would become a nightmare for Nawaz Sharif, Asif Zardari and Maryam Nawaz, who had “stolen” luxury vehicles from the state repository despite a ban.

Earlier in a series of tweets, the former premier said the judicial magistrate had handed over Ali Amin Gandapur to the Punjab police on orders of “Namaloom” (unknown) in sheer violation of the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) order. He condemned the way Mr Gandapur was being treated clearly on orders of the “Namaloom”.

“Despite IHC inductive order viz handing over custody, he was handed over to Punjab police by Judicial Magistrate at 11:40pm, the other day in brazen violation of IHC Court order,” he stated.

Talking about division within judiciary, he said everyone should pray for unity among the judges in the Supreme Court and warned that division at the top court would be tragic.

“Division among the apex court will be a tragedy for the country,” he cautioned. He said the country cannot be saved unless the Constitution is saved.

Lashing out at the imported government for running away from elections, he reiterated that these cabal of crooks did not care about the Constitution and law as they just wanted to secure another NRO to save their skin.

Mr Khan said democracy flourished across the world because of freedom of expression while dictatorships fast faded away since there was no place for constructive criticism. He said the country had become a banana republic without rule of law.

Source: Dawn

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1747732/imran-asks-supporters-to-back-supreme-court-for-sake-of-democracy

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Pakistan: PTI to stage peaceful protests after Eid-ul-Fitr, announces Imran Khan

15 April, 2023

Islamabad [Pakistan], April 15 (ANI): Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has announced that PTI will stage peaceful protests in the country after Eid-ul-Fitr, ARY News reported.

Khan, while addressing PTI workers and supporters, said that PTI will stage a series of protests after Eid-ul-Fitr. He alleged that the rulers planned to start crackdowns on PTI leaders and workers after April 27.

The PTI chief said that the Pakistan government has not yet arrested a single person associated with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N). Khan said that 3,000 PTI workers were arrested by the government.

Khan said that PTI would not remain silent on the atrocities. He then appealed to the nation to start preparations for peaceful protests after Eid. He also asked the rulers to take steps for protecting the nation.

According to Khan, the economic crisis in Pakistan will not end until the organisation of fresh elections. According to the PTI chief, the Pakistan Supreme Court (SC) is protecting democracy in the country and the nation will have to back the top court and the Constitution.

PTI recently launched a white paper to mark the first year of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), a multi-party coalition that overthrew Imran Khan-led government via a no-trust vote in April last year, in power and underlined how the ruling coalition had “devastated” the economy and “contravened” the Constitution, Dawn reported.

The document spans six chapters and passes a scathing judgement on the PDM government’s style of governance, particularly the treatment given to the opposition party by the ruling coalition. It also deliberates on issues related to the economy, Constitution, democracy and rule of law, political exploitation of state institutions, attack on the judiciary, ‘chained’ foreign policy, and law and order.

According to a report in Dawn, the party has dedicated the white paper to Imran Khan, party workers, and the people of Pakistan, who are “fighting and facing torture for real independence” and democracy.

Source: ThePrint

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https://theprint.in/world/pakistan-pti-to-stage-peaceful-protests-after-eid-ul-fitr-announces-imran-khan/1520079/

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South Asia

 

Australian Army Chief Warns of Further Criminal Charges Over Alleged War Crimes in Afghanistan

By Fidel Rahmati

April 14, 2023

Australian Defence Force (ADF) chief Angus Campbell has warned that additional criminal charges may be brought concerning claims that Australian soldiers committed war crimes in Afghanistan.

Speaking to the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Campbell reportedly stated that the Office of the Special Investigator (OSI) was still looking into claims of war crimes against Australian service members, reports the Guardians.

According to reliable information, Australian Special Forces members killed up to 39 people while operating in the country, and 19 servicemen were referred for criminal prosecution.

Over 40 alleged offences are being looked at, according to the Office of the Special Investigator (OSI), established in the wake of the report.

It claimed that throughout 23 different occurrences, 25 Special Forces members had either directly participated in or served as “accessories” to unlawful killings.

“The OSI, which is working independently, has seen a first arrest and charging of a former soldier. You will not see me trying to gloss over these things, and I think there could be some very uncomfortable days coming forward,” Campbell said.

According to the 2020 probe report, some soldiers’ unchecked “warrior culture” was responsible for the murders of “prisoners, farmers, or civilians” between 2009 and 2013.

Source: Khaama Press

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https://www.khaama.com/australian-army-chief-warns-of-further-criminal-charges-over-alleged-war-crimes-in-afghanistan/

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China, Pakistan press Afghan Taliban admin to intensify crackdown on terror groups

K J M VARMA

14 April, 2023

Beijing, Apr 14 (PTI) Terrorism in Afghanistan has gone from “bad to worse” after the withdrawal of the US troops, China has said and asked the country’s Taliban rulers to deliver on its pledge to rein in terrorist groups which pose problems for neighbouring countries, especially its close ally Pakistan.

Pakistan is reeling under frequent terrorist attacks by the militant group TPP, which Islamabad alleges is based on Afghan soil.

“The terrorism went from bad to worse in Afghanistan. The number of Afghan terror groups has increased to more than 20 today,” Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said after presiding over the Afghan neighbouring states conference attended by his counterparts from Russia, Pakistan and Iran in Samarkand in Uzbekistan on Thursday.

This is the fourth meeting of the Foreign Ministers convened by China, whose Uygur Muslim majority Xinjiang province shared borders with Afghanistan.

Beijing is also seeking to enhance its role in Afghanistan by backing the Taliban interim administration, prodding it to crack down on the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a separatist militant outfit in Xinjiang which allegedly has links with radical outfits like Al Qaeda and Islamic State.

But more significantly Pakistan which helped the Taliban for decades faced major problems from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), as it caused havoc in the country by carrying out numerous terrorist attacks.

A joint statement issued at end of the Samarkand meeting also attended by Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar said the militant groups based in Afghanistan posed serious problems for neighbouring countries.

“The Ministers emphasised their deep concerns regarding the terrorism-related security situation in Afghanistan, and pointed out that all terrorist groups, namely the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-KP), Al-Qaeda, the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Jaish al-Adl etc. based in Afghanistan continue to pose a serious threat to regional and global security,” the joint statement said.

“The Ministers took note of the Afghan interim government’s efforts to counter ISIS-KP, and urged it to take more visible and verifiable measures in upholding its stated commitments on counter-terrorism, dismantling and eliminating all sorts of terrorist groups, with a view to preventing the soil of Afghanistan from being used by any terrorist group,” it said.

Pakistan which had celebrated the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan after the sudden pullout of the US troops in 2021 faced a piquant situation as the Afghan militant group heading the interim administration declined Islamabad’s repeated pleas to crack down on the TPP, whose terrorist attacks were adding to Pakistan’s economic woes.

“There is no doubt that the militants’ strength largely lies in Afghanistan. The TTP uses Afghan soil and has the full backing of the Taliban regime. Baloch insurgents are also using Afghan and Iranian soil,” Muhammad Amir Rana, a columnist with Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper, wrote recently in the daily.

“But the Taliban regime repeatedly denies the claim that Afghan soil is being used against Pakistan. Most official and independent assessments, however, indicate otherwise,” he said.

The Samarkand meeting also called on the Afghan authorities to promote inclusive governance and protect the basic rights and interests of all Afghan people, including women, children and ethnic minorities.

They stressed that the US and its allies bear the historical responsibility for the current difficult situation in Afghanistan, should immediately lift their unilateral sanctions against Afghanistan and return the assets overseas belonging to the Afghan people.

Source: ThePrint

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https://theprint.in/world/china-pakistan-press-afghan-taliban-admin-to-intensify-crackdown-on-terror-groups/1518906/

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Rallies held in Bangladesh against Israeli attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque

Md. Kamruzzaman

14.04.2023

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Thousands of Bangladeshi Muslims staged a huge demonstration in the capital Dhaka after Friday prayers in solidarity with Palestinians attacked at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem by Israeli forces.

The protesters gathered in front of the country’s national Baitul Mukarram Mosque.

“We are shocked at the overlooking of the Israeli aggressions by the United Nations and other global bodies,” said Hafez MaolanaYunus Ahmad, one of the speakers and secretary general of the Islamic political party, IslamiAndolan Bangladesh, while addressing the rally.

He also urged the Bangladeshi government to adopt a resolution at the country’s National Parliament against Israeli attacks at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The demonstrators carried banners and raised slogans against Israeli attacks.

They also called on Muslims to boycott Israeli products to show solidarity with Palestinians.

“It’s our moral and religious duty to stand boldly against Israel and raise our voices for the protection of our Palestinian innocent Muslim brothers and sisters,” Md. Nasir Uddin, one of the demonstrators, told Anadolu.

Bangladesh on Thursday strongly condemned Israeli forces for a raid and attacks on Muslim worshippers at the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.

The Foreign Ministry in a statement condemned the attack, saying Israeli forces on Wednesday morning used violence against worshippers and civilians during prayers.

“Bangladesh expresses deep concerns over the violations of basic civil norms, international human rights laws and international accords by the Israeli forces,” it said.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/rallies-held-in-bangladesh-against-israeli-attacks-on-al-aqsa-mosque/2872082

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India to Supply 10,000 Tons of Wheat to Afghanistan

By Fidel Rahmati

April 15, 2023

India and the World Food Program (WFP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for humanitarian food assistance of 10,000 tons of wheat for the people of Afghanistan.

J P Singh, joint secretary of the Pak-Afghan-Iran Division of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, and Elisabeth Faure, a representative and the country director of the World Food Programme in India, signed the MoU on Thursday in Mumbai.

According to the statement, the MoU represents the fifth shipment of humanitarian aid from India to Afghanistan sent through the Chabahar port.

Following the donation of 40,000 tons of wheat from India the previous year, the WFP organized assistance for 23 million food-insecure people throughout Afghanistan.

“The fifth tranche builds upon assistance already delivered to those who need it most by WFP in Afghanistan. India has delivered on its commitment,” Singh stated.

“Sincere gratitude to the Indian government for food assistance to the people of Afghanistan. India’s support has been a lifeline for families in need and is an important part of WFP’s assistance to millions of people across Afghanistan,” Faure said.

Earlier, the WPF warned that Since the Taliban seized over, a severe and unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe has gotten even more complicated. A new class of hungry people is emerging in Afghanistan due to job losses, lack of cash, and rising prices. The organization said there is an inadequate food supply for 19.9 million Afghans.

Meanwhile, the organization warned last week that the people of Afghanistan are at the worst risk of famine and urgently needed $800 million for the upcoming six months.

“Catastrophic hunger knocks on Afghanistan’s doors, and unless humanitarian support is sustained, hundreds of thousands more Afghans will need assistance to survive,” WFP said.

Despite a difficult humanitarian situation in the country, the de facto government last week extended its ban on female UN relief workers.

Source: Khaama Press

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https://www.khaama.com/india-to-supply-10000-tons-of-wheat-to-afghanistan/

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Taliban leader, Punjab gangsters behind smuggling of drugs, arms via drones

Apr 14, 2023

By Prawesh Lama

A Taliban leader of whom not much is known, Nazar Mohammed, former Punjab gangster Navpreet alias Nav (currently based in Turkey), and Lakhbir Singh Rode (chief of the separatist Khalistan Liberation Force), along with five others have been identified as the main players in a syndicate pushing drugs and weapons into India using drones according to a charge sheet filed earlier this month by Delhi Police in the case of a heroin seizure of 350 kg.

The police said the names came from the interrogation of the two Afghan nationals arrested in the case, and an “in-house analysis” of the narco-terrorism syndicate, which, they claimed, is helped by Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Police also questioned a man who was arrested in a 2021 case for helping Pakistani smugglers bring in drugs through the sea route .

The others identified as the key players in the syndicate are Punjabi gangster who fled to Pakistan, Harvinder Singh alias Rinda , Afghan national Ahmed Shah alias Nawab Shah, a Peshawar resident Haji Musa, Mohib Masood (who is suspected to be in Pakistan) and Haji Nepali , whose location is not known.

Police told the court that Sikh extremist Nav, originally a resident of Punjab’s Tarn Taran, is based in Turkey, and the other people of this syndicate work from areas near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

In their charge sheet, police said drones are being used to smuggle drugs into Punjab by the “Turkey-controlled syndicate headed by Sikh extremists along with Af-Pak based syndicate” and with the involvement of the Taliban and ISI.

Quoting the statement of an arrested man, named Manjeet Singh, proprietor of an import company involved in a drug seizure case of 2021 from the JNPT port in Navi Mumbai, police mentioned that “a secret meeting” was held by Harvinder Rinda( he is believed to have died in a Pakistan hospital last November), Lakhbir Singh Rode and others in 2021 to spread “terror activities in India and to expand illegal trade of narcotics drugs to finance terror activities.”

Singh was questioned at the special cell headquarters in January this year.

After Rinda’s meeting in Pakistan the Indo-Pak western frontier has reported a high number of drones from Pakistan entering India’s territory to drop weapons and drugs.

The first case of smugglers using drones to smuggle drugs into India was detected sometime in 2019. At least 22 drones carrying drugs and weapons were shot down in 2022. In 2021, there was only 1 such case. This year, the Indo-Punjab border in Punjab has already reported nearly 24 such cases. Records show that not just drugs but even weapons such as AK series rifles and Chinese pistols are being dropped. Last month, Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Maan in a meeting with union minister Amit Shah alerted him about the increasing number of such incidents. Most drop zones of weapons and drugs have been reported in the Amritsar and Ferozpur districts.

Source: Hindustan Times

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https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/taliban-khalistani-isi-involved-in-drug-and-weapon-smuggling-into-india-via-drones-say-delhi-police-in-charge-sheet-filed-this-april-101681495118581.html

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Sri Lanka eyes new agreements with Oman for broader cooperation

MOHAMMED RASOOLDEEN

April 15, 2023

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka is looking to enter new agreements with Oman to consolidate bilateral collaboration after a recent round of political consultations with the Gulf state.

The foreign ministries of Sri Lanka and Oman held earlier this week the third session of their bilateral political consultations, which were first established in 2014 to strengthen ties between the two countries.

The virtual meeting took place between Sri Lanka’s delegation led by Additional Secretary for Consular, Middle East and Africa Affairs U. L. M. Jauhar and Oman’s delegation headed by Department of International Cooperation

Chief Sheikh Hamad bin Saif Al-Rawahi.

Colombo’s Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman Sabarullah Khan and senior officials from both sides also participated in the discussions, which the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said were focused on broadening the existing areas of cooperation and entering into new bilateral agreements.

“Several new initiatives in the spheres of agriculture, tourism, education, fisheries, trade, investment, employment promotion, vocational training, skills development and culture were discussed at the meeting,” Jauhar told Arab News.

With about 30,000 Sri Lankans living and working in Oman, he said the two countries enjoyed “long-standing bilateral relations and excellent people-to-people contacts,” as Sri Lankan nationals have been contributing to the development of Oman “in multiple sectors.”

Sri Lanka and Oman established their diplomatic relations in 1981, but contacts between their peoples have a longer history.

“Sri Lanka-Oman relations go far back in history, and the two nations are bound by a vibrant tradition of people-to-people contacts. As countries sharing the Indian Ocean, they are well poised for greater cooperation to encompass many areas of mutual interest,” Ameer Ajwad, Colombo’s former ambassador to Muscat, told Arab News.

He said that Oman is an “unexplored destination for Sri Lankans” and there is a great potential for cooperation.

“Both countries have many potential commonalities that could be synergized for mutual benefits,” Ajwad added.
Source: Arab News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2287046/world

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Africa

 

Libyan armed forces voice readiness to secure upcoming elections

MoatazWanis

14.04.2023

TRIPOLI, Libya

The leaders of the Libyan armed forces in the west and east of the country on Thursday evening announced their readiness to secure upcoming elections.

The announcement came during a meeting between Libyan Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Mohammed Al-Haddad with Abdel Razek al-Nadori, Kahlifa Haftar's army chief, in the city of Benghazi.

“The Libyan army is ready to secure the upcoming Libyan elections,” al-Nadori said.

“The military institution in Libya is independent and does not belong to any political party,” he added.

For his part, Al-Haddad affirmed their quest "to preserve the unity of Libyan soil.”

“There are countries that are interfering in Libyan affairs and do not want the country to be stable,” he added.

Al-Haddad also said, "Today's meeting came to complete what was discussed earlier and implement what we agreed upon," without giving further details.

On March 17, Abdoulaye Bathily, the UN envoy to Libya, urged Libyan rivals to engage in talks to unify Libya's military institutions and to pave the way for a safe environment to hold the country's long-awaited elections.

Following that call, two meetings of the 5+5 joint military committee took place this April, the first in Tripoli and the second in Benghazi.

The 5+5 Joint Military Committee includes five members from the Libyan government military in western Libya and five other members from Haftar's forces in the east.

The committee has been holding UN-sponsored meetings over the past two years to ensure a continued cease-fire and hold talks on unifying the military in Libya.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/libyan-armed-forces-voice-readiness-to-secure-upcoming-elections/2872559

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4 church-goers starve to death in Kenyan church

Andrew Wasike

14.04.2023

NAIROBI, Kenya

At least four people were confirmed dead and 11 other emaciated church-goers were rescued from a cult-like church in Kilifi County of Kenya on Friday morning.

Police raided the church after getting a tip from locals that suspicious cult activities were happening at the Good News International Church of Pastor Paul Mackenzie.

A police statement released to the media on Friday said that six rescued people were severely emaciated and in critical condition.

The pastor who owns the church has gone into hiding. He was charged last month with the death of two toddlers who starved to death and is presently free on police bail.

The police report revealed that the four victims, three men and a woman, were all members of the church. The police have not yet released the identities of the deceased.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/4-church-goers-starve-to-death-in-kenyan-church/2872099

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Nigeria: At Least One Dead, Several Injured As Police Open Fire On Quds Day Demonstrators

14 April 2023

At least one person has reportedly been killed while many more were injured after Nigerian police opened fire on Quds Day protesters in the main city of Abuja.

Videos from Abuja showed police firing tear gas at the protesters, who were scrambling for cover, at the annual International Quds Day march in the capital city on Friday.

Eyewitnesses in the city of Kaduna also reported seeing police forces shooting at the rally in the city. However, until now no casualties were reported from the city of Kaduna, located in north-western Nigeria.

International Quds Day rally is held annually on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims worldwide rally in support of the Palestinian people’s resistance against the Israelis, and their struggle to liberate their lands, which have been occupied by the zionists for decades.

Millions of demonstrators take part in the Quds Day rallies across the world in solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians and to denounce the Tel Aviv regime's atrocities and acts of aggression against Palestinian people in the occupied territories.

The event, which is held each year, is seen as an opportunity for freedom-seeking people across the world, regardless of faith, to voice their support for the Palestinian cause and vent their anger at the Apartheid Israeli regime, which has seized Palestinian lands for decades despite widespread condemnation by the global community for Tal Aviv's crimes.

Source: Press TV

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https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2023/04/14/701543/Nigeria-shooting-International-Al-Quds-Day-Rally

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Turkish embassy extends helping hand to South Sudan for Ramadan

Benjamin Takpiny

14.04.2023

JUBA, South Sudan

The Turkish Embassy in South Sudan, with funding from the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), donated nearly 200 packages of food to vulnerable Muslims in South Sudan on Friday during the holy month of Ramadan.

The food packages, which contained cooking oil, beans, rice, sugar, and maize flour, were handed over to Muslims in South Sudan with the coordination of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and Tawasul Humanitarian Islamic Organization.

The Turkish embassy distributed 400 food packages to vulnerable people in different locations across the capital city of Juba during Ramadan.

ErdemMutaf, the Turkish ambassador to South Sudan, affirmed that, even after the recent catastrophic earthquake which resulted in the loss of over 50,000 lives, Türkiye is still committed to supporting and helping the people of South Sudan.

"We are here and we will be here in future," said Mutaf. "These food packages are the symbols of your Turkish sisters and brothers’ help and solidarity with you".

The Turkish Embassy, along with their developmental and aid agencies, is also working closely with women's organizations in South Sudan, according to the ambassador.

"We are implementing projects of women empowerment, vocational training child care, helping elderly and disabled people... From these projects, they will be able to generate money for themselves and feed themselves and their family in the future.

"Supporting women means supporting the societies," said the ambassador.

Medina Mohamed, the executive director of Tawasul Humanitarian Islamic Organization, expressed her gratitude to the Turkish Embassy, stating that the assistance they received is of great support, especially during a critical time when people are fasting and unable to go out and find food for themselves.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/turkish-embassy-extends-helping-hand-to-south-sudan-for-ramadan/2872520

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Tunisian football player dies after setting himself on fire in protest against police

14 April ,2023

Tunisian football player Nizar Issaoui, 35, has died from burns suffered after setting himself alight earlier this week as a protest against “police injustice,” his family said on Friday.

Clashes erupted between police and angry protesters in Haffouz, the hometown of Issaoui. Police fired gas to disperse the protesters who had gathered in front of the police headquarters, witnesses told Reuters.

Issaoui, a former player for top-flight side US Monastir and a father of four, published a video on Facebook in which he said the reason for his protest was being falsely accused of terrorism in Haffouz, Kairouan, central Tunisia.

The striker, who was a free agent and playing in the amateur leagues before his death, suffered third-degree burns and doctors weren’t able to save his life, his brother Ryad told reporters.

The interior ministry was not immediately available for comment.

Local media said that Issaoui decided to make his extreme protest outside a police station after officers accused him of “terrorism” when he complained about the price of bananas.

A video selfie circulating on social media shows Issaoui screaming: “For a dispute with someone selling bananas at 10 dinars ($3.29), I get accused of terrorism at the police station. Terrorism for a complaint about bananas.”

The incident was similar to that involving Mohamed Bouazizi, a street vendor who torched himself on Dec. 17, 2010 in the town of Sidi Bouzid after a policewoman confiscated his fruit cart.

Bouazizi’s death sparked protests that ended with Ben Ali’s overthrow and inspired rebellions elsewhere in the Middle East.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2023/04/14/Tunisian-football-player-dies-after-setting-himself-on-fire-in-protest-against-police

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Morocco stops around 150 Sub-Saharan African migrants from crossing into Spain

14 April ,2023

Moroccan security forces stopped some 150 Sub-Saharan African migrants from crossing early on Friday into Spain’s Ceuta enclave, the interior ministry said.

The operation resulted in 70 arrests of migrants while 14 members of the Moroccan security forces and six migrants were injured and transferred to hospital, the ministry said in a statement.

“Some migrants were armed with sticks, stones and bladed weapons,” it said.

Local authorities in Ceuta said no migrant had managed to cross into Spanish territory. Land, sea and air police had been deployed but didn’t have to intervene, a statement said.

The border was temporarily closed to vehicles crossing into and out of Ceuta as a precaution but it was reopened later on Friday morning, a source close to the authorities said.

Mohammed Ben Aisa, a migrant rights activist, said migrants usually pick days such as during the fasting month of Ramadan, religious feasts, or when security forces swap positions to attempt crossings, thinking security would be less tight during these times.

In June 2022, Moroccan authorities said 23 migrants died in a mass attempted storming of the border around Melilla, another Spanish enclave in northern Morocco. Some human rights activists have said the death toll was higher.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2023/04/14/Morocco-stops-around-150-Sub-Saharan-African-migrants-from-crossing-into-Spain

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33 Europe-bound migrants dead in boat sinking off Tunisia

April 15, 2023

TUNIS: The Tunisian coast guard has recovered eight more bodies from a migrant boat that sank off the country’s shores this week, raising the death toll to 33, the coast guard said on Friday.

A wooden boat packed with about 110 African migrants sank on Wednesday off the city of Sfax. Seventy-six people were rescued.

The costguard said four other decomposing bodies were also recovered, apparently from old shipwrecks.

Drowning accidents off Tunisia have increased in recent weeks, leaving dozens dead and missing, amid a sharp rise in migrant boats heading toward Italy from the Tunisian coast.

Tunisia has overtaken Libya as a main departure point for people fleeing poverty and conflict in Africa and the Middle East in the hope of a better life in Europe.

The Tunisian National Guard said this month that more than 14,000 migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, were intercepted or rescued in the first three months of the year while trying to cross to Europe, five times more than figures recorded in the same period last year.

Attempts at illegal migration have increased in recent weeks from the Tunisian coast toward the nearby Italian coast, leaving dozens dead and many missing.

The central Mediterranean is the most dangerous migration route in the world, according to the International Organization for Migration.

European countries rely on countries in North Africa to police migration, and Italy on Thursday pledged Tunisia a host of investments and help negotiating an International Monetary Fund bailout as the Italian government seeks to stem the number of migrant arrivals.

Tensions around migration have risen in Tunisia this year after President Kaïs Saied ordered a crackdown on sub-Saharan African migrants and lashed out at a perceived plot to erase Tunisia’s identity.

Source: Arab News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2287031/middle-east

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Southeast Asia

 

Anwar participates in Qiyamullail Perdana programme at Putra Mosque

15-04- 2023

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim participated in the Qiyamullail Perdana programme held early today at the Putra Mosque, here.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali and Director-General of the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (JAKIM) Datuk Hakimah Mohd Yusoff were also there.

The congregational qiyamullail started at about 4.40 am with the Tahajjud (night) prayer, followed by the “sunattaubat”or repentance prayer and the Hajat prayer (prayer of need), all led by a guest imam, Hanif Azmir Hassim, and then the “sahur” (pre-dawn meal).

After that, Anwar joined in the congregational Subuh prayer led by a guest imam Ahmad Fairuz Nazaruddin, which was then followed by “tausiyah” (talk) delivered by the Director of the Policy and Strategic Division of the National Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre Mohd Gunawan Che Ab Aziz.

Source: TheSunDaily

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https://www.thesundaily.my/local/anwar-participates-in-qiyamullail-perdana-programme-at-putra-mosque-KO10874608

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Philippines grateful for Saudi help in resolving workers’ wage claims

ELLIE ABEN

April 15, 2023

MANILA: The Philippines Department of Migrant Workers on Friday expressed its gratitude to the Saudi government for deciding to help thousands of overseas Filipino workers who lost their jobs at private companies in the Kingdom.

About 10,000 Philippine workers at several construction firms operating in Saudi Arabia  were laid off with their wages pending when the companies declared bankruptcy in 2015-16.

Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople told a press conference in Manila that the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development had asked for a list of claimants needing assistance, and a special group made up of Saudi officials, representatives of the Philippine Embassy, and department officials was created to fast-track the process.

The developments follow a meeting of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bangkok last November, during which the Saudi government agreed to shoulder the wage claims that should have been paid by the private companies.

“We thank most of all Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for his compassionate and generous leadership,” Ople said, while praising the crown prince’s “concern for the Filipino people.”

She added that the two governments were now in the “final stages” of resolving the issue, which is expected to be finalized this year, and called on all legitimate claimants to contact the DMW, which has a dedicated team to help workers submit their claims.

Ople said she will visit the Kingdom next month for follow-up meetings on the invitation of Saudi Human Resources Minister Ahmed bin Sulaiman Al-Rajhi.

Before her arrival, Migrant Workers Undersecretary Bernard Olalia will also visit Saudi Arabia to discuss mechanisms for the payment of the claims.

Source: Arab News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2287051/world

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