New Age Islam
Thu Oct 22 2020, 01:33 AM

Islamic World News ( 1 Feb 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Mubarak rejects protesters’ demand to step down

RSS rejects Burney apology, to pursue case against him

Explosion kills seven in Peshawar

Two killed in attack on NATO oil tanker

Frontier Corps man killed in Turbat

Two schools bombed in Peshawar

Abdul Kalim is now going through social ostracism

Remove sketches of Hadhrat Muhammad (PBUH): Maharashtra govt to Commissioner

Innocent Muslim Youth should be released: Salman Khurshid

Arrested youth will be released, give us some time: Digvijay Singh

Pakistan high court blocks release of US official, puts name on Exit Control List

Can people's power propel Egypt out of chaos?

Wajahat Habibullah to head minorities’ commission

Obama tells Mubarak, transition must begin ‘now’

Afghan war winnable without Pakistan help on border: US

‘Jihad Jane’ terror suspect pleads guilty in US

US warned WikiLeaks suspect unfit for Iraq

Anger sweeps Sopore after local militants kill two girls

Libya's Gaddafi a man well in charge

Obama Should Stay Clear from Mubarak’s Final Sins

US warns Wall Street of terror threat

Jordan king fires govt, names new PM after protests

Egypt’s army caught between president, people

Air India made Cairo evacuees pay double

Palestinian officials suggest elections to end split

UN says 147 killed in Tunisian uprising

Iran returns remains of 38 Iraqi soldiers

Al Jazeera TV says signal jammed in Middle East

Iraqi central bank says assured of independence

Threats persist from left-wing extremism, terrorism: Manmohan Singh

No one has the guts to own up to the killings, says Omar

“New terror groups raising their heads”

BJP opposes Muslim reservation in jobs: Joshi

Egypt crisis: Mubarak will go but not before completing term

Dubai murder case: Blood money paid to save eight Indians

World must demand Egypt respect Israel peace: Israeli Prime Minister

US can help improve Indo-Pak ties: Blake

PM orders special flight to bring home Pakistanis from Egypt

Islamabad dispels arms race but alive to security needs

Mubarak’s move a trick to hold on power: ElBaradei

Pak flood warning 'not shared'

Premature marriages to blame for divorces

Terror suspects to receive fair trials

Syrians call for protests on Facebook and Twitter

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/mubarak-rejects-protesters’-demand-to-step-down/d/4051

 

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Mubarak rejects protesters' demand to step down

By SARAH EL DEEB AND HADEEL AL-SHALCHI

Feb 2, 2011

CAIRO: President Hosni Mubarak announced Tuesday he will not run for a new term in September elections but rejected protesters’ demands he step down immediately and leave the country, vowing to die on Egypt’s soil, after a dramatic day in which a quarter-million Egyptians staged their biggest protest yet calling on him to go.

Soon after his speech, clashes erupted between protesters and government supporters in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, and gunshots were heard, according to footage by Al-Jazeera television. The TV station showed pictures of youths throwing rocks who then scattered as automatic gunfire rang out and the tank advanced toward them before halting and then withdrawing. There was no sign of any casualties.

Mubarak’s half-way concession — an end to his rule seven months down the road — threatened to inflame frustration and anger among protesters, who have been peaceful in recent days but have made clear they will not end their unprecedented week-old wave of demonstrations until he is out.

The speech was immediately derided by protesters massed in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square. Watching his speech on a giant TV, protesters booed and waved their shoes over their heads at his image in a sign of contempt. “Go, go, go! We are not leaving until he leaves,” they chanted. One man screamed, “He doesn’t want to say it, he doesn’t want to say it.”

In the 10-minute address, Mubarak appeared somber but spoke firmly without an air of defeat. The president who has ruled the country for nearly three decades — and during that time has rarely if ever admitted to making a mistake or reversing himself under pressure — insisted that his decision not to run for a new six-year term had nothing to do with the protests.

“I tell you in all sincerity, regardless of the current circumstances, I never intended to be a candidate for another term,” he said. “I will work for the final remaining months of the current term to accomplish the necessary steps for the peaceful transfer of power.” Mubarak, a former air force commander, resolutely vowed not to flee the country. “This is my dear homeland ... I have lived in it, I fought for it and defended its soil, sovereignty and interests. On its soil I will die. History will judge me and all of us.”

The United States has been struggling to find a way to ease Mubarak out of office while maintaining stability in Egypt, a key ally in the Mideast that has a 30-year-old peace treaty with Israel and has been a bullwark against Islamic militantcy.

An envoy sent by President Barack Obama to work out a transition — former US ambassador to Egypt Frank Wisner, a friend of the Egyptian president — told Mubarak directly that that the US “view that his tenure as president is coming to close,” according to an administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the ongoing diplomacy.

Obama and his foreign policy team watched Mubarak’s televised speech, which came amid unprecedented anti-government protests in Cairo, from the White House Situation Room. A White House official said Obama would likely speak at around 6:30 p.m. EST (2330 GMT).

The US ambassador in Cairo, Margaret Scobey, spoke by telephone Tuesday with Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, one of the most prominent leaders of the opposition, the embassy said. The pro-democracy advocate has taken a key role with other opposition groups in formulating the movement’s demands for Mubarak to step down and allow a transitional government paving the way for free elections. There was no immediate word on what they discussed.

Only a month ago, Mubarak’s announcement could have been seen as a formula for a stable handover and would certainly have been a stunning development greeted with joy by reform activists — many Egyptians have assumed he was certain to run again despite health issues. But after the past week of unheaval, it struck many of those in the streets as too little and as an infuriating stubbornness.

A million protesters

Tuesday’s protest marked a dramatic escalation that organizers said aims to drive Mubarak out by Friday. In a single day, the protesters’ numbers multiplied more than tenfold, with more than a quarter-million people flooding into Tahrir, or Liberation, Square.

Protesters jammed in shoulder-to-shoulder, with schoolteachers, farmers, unemployed university graduates, women in conservative headscarves and women in high heels, men in suits and working-class men in scuffed shoes.

Joining the crowds were significant numbers who defied a government transportation shutdown and roadblocks on intercity highways to make their way from rural provinces.

They sang nationalist songs, danced, beat drums and chanted the anti-Mubarak slogan “Leave! Leave! Leave!” as military helicopters buzzed overhead. Organizers said the aim was to intensify marches to get the president out of power by Friday, and similar demonstrations erupted in at least five other cities around Egypt.

Soldiers at checkpoints set up at the entrances of the square did nothing to stop the crowds from entering. The military promised on state TV Monday night that it would not fire on protesters answering a call for a million to demonstrate, a sign that army support for Mubarak may be unraveling.

Mubarak would be the second Arab leader pushed from office by a popular uprising in the history of the modern Middle East, following the ouster last month of the president of Tunisia — another North African nation.

The movement to drive Mubarak out has been built on the work of online activists and fueled by deep frustration with an autocratic regime blamed for ignoring the needs of the poor and allowing corruption and official abuse to run rampant. After years of tight state control, protesters emboldened by the Tunisia unrest took to the streets on Jan. 25 and mounted a once-unimaginable series of protests across this nation of 80 million.

The repercussions were being felt around the Mideast, as other authoritarian governments fearing popular discontent pre-emptively tried to burnish their democratic image.

Jordan’s King Abdallah II fired his government Tuesday in the face of smaller street protests, named an ex-prime minister to form a new Cabinet and ordered him to launch political reforms. The Palestinian Cabinet in the West Bank said it would hold long-promised municipal elections “as soon as possible.”

So far, Egypt’s protesters have rejected earlier concessions by Mubarak, including the dissolution of his government, the naming of a new one and the appointment of a vice president, Omar Suleiman, who offered a dialogue with “political forces” over constitutional and legislative reforms.

In an interview with Al-Arabiya television Tuesdsay, ElBaradei dismissed Suleiman’s offer, saying there could be no negotiations until Mubarak leaves. In his speech, Mubarak said the offer still stands and promised to change constitutional articles that allow the president unlimited terms and limit those who can run for the office.

'Give him a chance'

Egypt’s state TV on Tuesday ran a statement by the new prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, pleading with the public to “give a chance” to his government.

The United States ordered non-essential US government personnel and their families to leave Egypt. They join a wave of people rushing to flee the country — over 18,000 overwhelmed Cairo’s international airport and threw it into chaos. EgyptAir staff scuffled with frantic passengers, food supplies were dwindling and some policemen even demanded substantial bribes before allowing foreigners to board their planes.

Banks, schools and the stock market in Cairo were closed for the third working day, making cash tight. Bread prices spiraled. An unprecedented shutdown of the Internet was in its fifth day.

The official death toll from the crisis stood at 97, with thousands injured, though reports from witnesses across the country indicated the actual toll was far higher.

No more crackdown

But perhaps most startling was how peaceful the protests have been in recent days, after the military replaced the police around Tahrir Square and made no move to try to suppress the demonstrations. No clashes between the military and protesters have been reported since Friday night, after pitched street battles with the police throughout the day Friday.

Egypt’s military leadership has reassured the US that they do not intend to crack down on demonstrators, but instead they are allowing the protesters to “wear themselves out,” according to a former US official in contact with several top Egyptian army officers. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Troops alongside Soviet-era and newer US-made Abrams tanks stood guard at roads leading into Tahrir Square, a plaza overlooked by the headquarters of the Arab League, the campus of the American University in Cairo, the famed Egyptian Museum and the Mugammma, an enormous building housing departments of the notoriously corrupt and inefficient bureaucracy.

Protester volunteers wearing tags reading “the People’s Security” circulated through the crowds in the square, saying they were watching for government infiltrators who might try to instigate violence. Organizers said the protest would remain in the square and not attempt to march to the presidential palace to avoid frictions with the military.

Two effigies of Mubarak dangled from traffic lights. On their chests was written: “We want to put the murderous president on trial.” Their faces were scrawled with the Star of David, an allusion to many protesters’ feeling that Mubarak is a friend of Israel, still seen by most Egyptians as their country’s archenemy more than 30 years after the two nations signed a peace treaty.

Life under Mubarak

Every protester had their own story of why they came — with a shared theme of frustration with a life pinned in by corruption, low wages, crushed opportunities and abuse by authorities. Under Mubarak, Egypt has seen a widening gap between rich and poor, with 40 percent of the population living under or just above the poverty line set by the World Bank at $2 a day.

Sahar Ahmad, a 41-year-old school teacher and mother of one, said she has taught for 22 years and still only makes about $70 a month.

“There are 120 students in my classroom. That’s more than any teacher can handle,” said Ahmad. “Change would mean a better education system I can teach in and one that guarantees my students a good life after school. If there is democracy in my country, then I can ask for democracy in my own home.” Tamer Adly, a driver of one of the thousands of minibuses that ferry commuters around Cairo, said he was sick of the daily humiliation he felt from police who demand free rides and send him on petty errands, reflecting the widespread public anger at police high-handedness.

“They would force me to share my breakfast with them ...

force me to go fetch them a newspaper. This country should not just be about one person,” the 30-year-old lamented, referring to Mubarak.

Among the older protesters, there was also a sense of amazement after three decades of unquestioned control by Mubarak’s security forces over the streets.

“We could never say no to Mubarak when we were young, but our young people today proved that they can say no, and I’m here to support them,” said Yusra Mahmoud, a 46-year-old school principal who said she had been sleeping in the square alongside other protesters for the past two nights.

Tens of thousands rallied in the cities of Alexandria, Suez and Mansoura, north of Cairo, as well as in the southern province of Assiut and the southern city of Luxor.

Authorities shut down all roads and public transportation to Cairo and in and out of other main cities, security officials said. Train services nationwide were suspended for a second day and all bus services between cities were halted.

Still, many from the provinces managed to make it to the square. Hamada Massoud, a 32-year-old a lawyer, said he and 50 others came in cars and minibuses from the impoverished province of Beni Sweif south of Cairo.

“Cairo today is all of Egypt,” he said. “I want my son to have a better life and not suffer as much as I did ... I want to feel like I chose my president.”

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article249125.ece

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Sajjad Lone defends separatists silence over killing of Kashmiri girls

 

By Naveen Kapoor, New Delhi, Feb.1 : The Chairman of the Kashmir-based People's Conference, Sajjad Lone, has refused to directly comment on the silence of separatists with regard to the killing of two young Kashmiri girls allegedly by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba in Sopore on Monday.

 

He termed the killing of girls as dastardly and cowardly, but said: "I can speak for myself. I would put my condemnation on record that it is a dastardly act, a cowardly act and it is reprehensible. I share utter contempt for such acts of violence and my condolence is with the family of the deceased. I can understand what must be going on in that family".

 

Surprisingly, in the same breath, Lone made an odious comparison.

 

He said: "We had 120 kids killed last year during street protests. There was a similar muted response from your leaders (read Indian leadership)". So, I think it's the same."

 

"It's very wrong to equate killings, A killing is a killing, a murder, and, we need to condemn all such killings, taking a

political color out of it," he added.

 

Separatists, including both factions of the Hurriyat and the JKLF last year led the four-month-long street protests characterized by stone pelting. More than 120 Kashmiri youth were killed in the bloody street battles with security forces. The agitation led to an estimated loss of over 10,000 crore rupees to the exchequer.

 

However, the separatists have chosen to remain mum on the killing of the two sisters in Sopore.

 

Taking on the separatists over their silence on the killing, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said: "Full details about the Sopore incident has yet not come, but it's quite sad that no condemnation of this killing by militants is coming out. If there was any whiff or suggestion that security forces had killed civilians, then the entire valley would have been up in flames."

 

Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists allegedly killed the two sisters after dragging them out of their house in Sopore in North Kashmir. Seventeen-year-old Arifa and 20-year-old Akhtar were gunned down by three terrorists.

 

Talking to ANI, Lone said: "Most of the separatists are out of the valley this time. Mirwaiz is out, Yasin is out. I don't think anyone of them is condoning these acts of violence."

 

ANI has learnt that Yasin Malik is currently staying at Sajjad's residence located on the outskirts of Delhi and is avoiding speaking to the media.

 

--ANI

 

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Jammu & Kashmir: Sopore killings evoke widespread condemnation

 

02-02-2011

 

Sopore, J & K, India,, (Greater Kashmir): Unidentified gunmen killing two sisters in this north Kashmir town on Monday night has sent shudders across the entire area. The killings have evoked widespread condemnation from various sections of the society including mainstream political parties and the separatists.

 

Pertinently, two sisters- Arifa and Akhter - were killed at Takia Bal after being abducted from their house in Muslim Peer locality of the Apple Town.

 

As the word about the killings spread in the area, scores of people assembled in the house of victims. No one wanted to talk with fear writ on their faces.

 

They were anxiously waiting for the bodies which were handed over to the relatives late in the night.

 

Hundreds of people from Takia Bal and other adjoining areas participated in the funeral prayers of the victims this morning.

 

After the duo was laid to rest their mother Sharifa Begum mustered some courage to narrate what happened on Monday night. “Three veiled gunmen barged into our house at 8:30 pm and asked for my daughters, saying that they need to talk with them. We pleaded before them to talk to them inside the house, but they didn’t listen and took them away,” she said.

 

“We were shocked when we heard gunshots after an hour from the nearby locality,” she said.

 

Naza Begum, a relative of the deceased, said, “The men were speaking Kashmiri and Urdu. Police handed over the bodies to us late in the night.”

 

Police said the sisters were shot at from close range. “Akhter had two bullet injuries in the head while Arifa had four bullet injuries on the body,” a police official said.

 

Shattered by death of his daughters, Ghulam Nabi, who would eke out living by working as labourer was asking everybody who turned up at his two room house that he desired to see his daughters married.

 

“How unfortunate am I that I have to carry the coffins of my daughters at this age,” he said.

 

Dar said that he was in Masjid when gunmen barged into his house.

 

“I cannot blame anybody for the killings. I want to know why my daughters were killed?” he asked.

 

Hailing from a poor family of Muslim Peer area, Arifa and Akther could not continue studies due to poverty. Their brother Ghulam Geelani studies in class 10th.

 

Talking to Greater Kashmir, Inspector General of Police, SM Sahai, said that “militants killed the sisters.”

 

“We are figuring out the motive behind the killings,” he said.

Superintendent of Police, Sopore, Altaf Ahmed Khan said that the girls were not linked to any agency. “They were innocent and not remotely connected with any agency. This is gruesome incident which needs to be condemned vehemently at every fora,” he said.

 

He said that police have registered a murder and abduction case against the militants.

 

CONDEMNATION

 

The killings have evoked widespread condemnation from cross section of people, including Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Hurriyat Conference (G).

 

Speaking on the sidelines of the Chief Ministers’ Conference on Internal Security in New Delhi, Omar said “I find it difficult to understand.

 

Under these circumstances, I doubt anybody would have guts to stand up and say they did it and why they did it.”

 

“I think this in itself brings out the contradictions that exist in Kashmir because if there was even the slightest of indication that these deaths have been the result of high handedness of forces, the whole Valley would have erupted in flames. But because these killings were by the militants, the condemnation is muted or the condemnation does not come at all,” he said.

 

Omar said reaction of the people is also muted which he thought was “unfortunate”.

 

In an apparent dig at separatist leaders, Omar said, “If you can’t condemn the killing of these two girls, irrespective of your political beliefs and do so without qualifying it, then shame on you.”

 

The Hurriyat Conference (G) led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani has termed the killing of two sisters a heinous crime.

 

“No Muslim can tolerate the barbaric killings. Whatever the reason, killing of the two sisters of Sopore can’t be justified. The freedom lovers can’t remain silent over the killings and we strongly condemn the inhuman act,” Akbar said.

 

Coming down heavily on the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, Akbar said the State Government has been at forefront of “rewarding the cops and soldiers for killing innocent Kashmiris to suppress their right to self-determination.”

 

Chairman of Peoples Conference Sajjad Gani Lone has termed the killings of two sisters as dastardly act.

 

“It is imperative that society stops searching justification for such murders. A murder is a murder and must be unequivocally condemned,” he said, in a statement issued here.

 

The chairman of Democratic Liberation Party Hashim Qureshi has demanded an impartial probe into the murder of innocent girls and exemplary punishment to the killers.

 

Senior Congress leader Abdul Gani Vakil has demanded thorough probe in the incident. He said no religion permits innocent killings especially Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has categorically prohibited killing of a woman, child and old aged human being in a war also.

Minister of State for Roads and Buildings, Javed Ahmad Dar, on the directions of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, visited the house of Ghulam Nabi Dar of Muslim Peer Sopore to condole the death of his two daughters. He also paid ex-gratia to the next of the kin of the victims.

 

http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/2011/Feb/2/sopore-killings-evoke-widespread-condemnation-38.asp

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RSS rejects Burney apology, to pursue case against him

Feb 01 2011

 The RSS rejected the apology tendered by Aziz Burney, the editor of an Urdu newspaper, for hinting in a book that the organisation was behind the 26/11 conspiracy and said that the criminal case against him would not be withdrawn.

"The apology tendered by Aziz Burney is in RSS' view not sufficient ground to withdraw the case registered against him in a Navi Mumbai court", senior RSS leader Ram Madhav said.

He said the charges against Burney are "much more serious" as his writings tantamount to treason and, hence, RSS would not accept his apology nor withdraw the case against him.

Burney hit national headlines in December 2010 when he wrote a book titled 'RSS Ka Shadyantra, 26/11 (RSS conspiracy, 26/11)' and invited Congress leader Digvijay Singh to its launch.

Burney had compiled his articles written on the 26/11 terror strikes and the conspiracy behind them into the book, where he had differed from the investigating agencies' conclusion that no saffron terror activists were involved in the carnage.

The Pioneer

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Explosion kills seven in Peshawar

Feb 2, 2011

Police officials examine the wreckage of a police vehicle after a road side bomb blast in Peshawar on January 31, 2011. — Photo by AFP

PESHAWAR: Seven people were killed in a blast in Peshawar’s Badaber area on Wednesday, DawnNews reported.

The blast occurred near a police station.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/02/explosion-in-peshawar.html

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Two killed in attack on NATO oil tanker

Feb 2, 2011

QUETTA: Two people were killed, including a driver, when unidentified terrorists opened fire on an oil tanker, which was carrying oil for NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan, in Kari Dori area in Dasht of Mastung on Tuesday. The NATO container was heading towards the bordering town of Chaman from Karachi and overturned when marauders opened fire on it. Driver Saleh Muhammad received multiple bullet wounds on his upper torso and died on the spot while his helper Muhammad Rahim sustained bullet injuries and died instantly. staff report

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\02\02\story_2-2-2011_pg7_10

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Frontier Corps man killed in Turbat

Feb 2, 2011

QUETTA: A lance naik of the Frontier Corps (FC) was shot dead and five others, including a woman, were injured in a gunbattle between assailants and FC forces in a small village of Turbat district on Tuesday morning. The incident sparked anger, panic and protest in Turbat city, where people closed their shops and businesses soon after the gunbattle. According to sources, a vehicle of FC was on routine patrol in Dasht Gokdan area, some five kilometres from Turbat city, when two men riding a motorbike opened indiscriminate fire on them. Resultantly, a lance naik died on the spot while two other personnel received bullet injuries. The assailants tried to escape, but security personnel chased them into a house, in which they had taken shelter. “FC besieged the house during which the accused again opened fire on the security personnel,” an official told Daily Times. The two assailants were arrested after an exchange of fire and were taken into custody by police. FC seized seven pistols, two repeaters and more than 100 bullets during from the attackers, he added. Officials claimed that one of the attackers was identified as Rasul Baksh, who was a gunrunner and provided weapons to miscreants. However, the residents of Gokdan accused the security forces of carrying out a siege and search operation in the area, which lasted more than five hours. “A woman and her brother were injured during the exchange of fire,” a local said. staff report

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\02\02\story_2-2-2011_pg7_15

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Two schools bombed in Peshawar

Feb 2, 2011

PESHAWAR: Two schools were partially damaged in two blasts on Tuesday in the suburbs of the provincial metropolis.

According to police reports, explosive devices had been planted at two government-run schools in the jurisdiction of the Mattani Police Station.

The first incident took place at the Adezai area, where a blast damaged a room in a girls’ primary school. The second blast also occurred at a girls’ school located in the Mariamzai area. It caused damage to the school building.

According to the bomb disposal unit, the explosions were of minor intensity.

Meanwhile, private schools in the cantonment area of Peshawar were closed on Tuesday in the wake of Monday’s two deadly explosions that left seven dead and 14 injured. The schools administrations had informed students that the schools would remain closed on Tuesday owing to security reasons.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\02\02\story_2-2-2011_pg7_6

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Abdul Kalim is now going through social ostracism

New Age Islam News Bureau

Mumbai: Md Abdul Kalim who was released after four years of detention on charges of involvement in Makkah blasts is finding it difficult to continue his studies of Law as all the students of Mahatma Gandhi College are scared of him. Moreover, his leturers also do not pay attention to him and he has reportedly been told that he should continue with his studies at home. This has demoralised Abdul Kalim.

However, Abdul Kalim has not lost heart and trying hard to carry on with his law career. A student of Law (Last Year), Abdul Kalim said that every one is turning his face away from him. Even the teachers do not permit him to sit in the class which is disappointing to him. But he says that he will not give up and complete his studies.

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Remove sketches of Hadhrat Muhammad (PBUH): Maharashtra govt to Commissioner

New Age Islam News Bureau

Mumbai: The Minister for Minority Welfare Md Arif Nasim Khan issued orders to remove the sketches of Hadhrat Muhammad (PBUH) from Google Images immediately yesterday. He said the the Muslims of the World cannot tolerate such blasphemy against the Prophet (PBUH) and these sketches were hurting the sentiments of the Muslims. Nasim Khan has ordered the site to be closed immediately and held talks with the higher officials of the Home Ministry demanding that it should be made effective in the whole state. He also held a meeting with the Police Commissioner Himanshu Roy and issued orders for immediate action. The Minority Affairs minister also wrote a letter to the Foreign Minister S M Krishna and requested him that he demand the US government to act against the company and get the site blocked. Apart from him, renowned lawyer and the General Secretary of Nationalist Congress Party Majid Memon, Lawyer of company affairs Zulfiqar Memon and the former judge of South Africa A Muhammad have also written letters to Google Images demanding the closure of the site immediately and have warned that if no action was taken in this direction, the Muslims worldwide would stage strong  protests against it.

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Innocent Muslim Youth should be released: Salman Khurshid

New Age Islam News Bureau

Mumbai: The Central Minister for Minority Welfare, Salman Khurshid admitted that excesses were committed against the Muslim youth arrested on charges of Makkah Masjid blasts after the confession of Aseemanand and said that they should be released now. Speaking to the press in Mumbai he said that the government was soon going to present the Communal Violence Bill in the Parliament after which strict actions would be taken against people vitiating the communal harmony and against the terrorists. Asked about the ban on the RSS, he says that the government would take appropriate action at an opportune time on this issue. Replying to questions on Maulana Vastanvi, he said that the Majlis-e-Shoura had elected him the Darul Uloom and that it is a historical institution. On whether he considered Gujarat a developed state, he said that the biggest court of the country had recommended transfers of various cases related to Gujarat riots. How could one call such a state of its system a developed one, he quipped.He said that he was not satisfied with the development of Gujarat.

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Arrested youth will be released, give us some time: Digvijay Singh

New Age Islam News Bureau

Mumbai: Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh said that the innocent Muslim youth would definitely be freed but people would have to wait till legal bottlenecks are removed. Mr Singh was assuring representatives of the Raza Academy who have been demanding release of the arrested youth. It should be noted that Raza Academy has also met the political advisor of Sonia Gandhi, Ahmad Patel in this regard. Apart from them, various other organizations like the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, Jamat Islami Hind, Majlis Mashawrat, Muslim Political Council of India and Anhad have also made the same demand.

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Pakistan high court blocks release of US official, puts name on Exit Control List

By Omer Farooq Khan

Feb 2, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Ruling out any move to hand over to US authorities its national involved with a double-murder case in Lahore, Pakistan's court directed the government on Tuesday to put his name on the Exit Control List (ECL), to prevent him from leaving Pakistan.

Raymond Davis, a US citizen, was arrested in Lahore on Thursday after gunning down two persons, Faizan, 22 and Fahim, 17, in broad daylight. A third person was killed when he was hit by a vehicle from the American Consulate in Lahore that was rushing to the rescue of Davis.

"I am restraining him (Raymond Davis) from being handed over to US authorities. Whether he has or does not have diplomatic immunity will be decided by the court," Lahore High Court's (LHC) chief justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry said in short court order.

"An order is issued to put his name on the exit control list. The case is adjourned for 15 days," it said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-high-court-blocks-release-of-US-official-puts-name-on-Exit-Control-List/articleshow/7405734.cms#ixzz1Cm0INFHJ

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Can people's power propel Egypt out of chaos?

Miniya Chatterji

Feb 2, 2011

CAIRO: What's happening in the land of the pharaohs is an uprising against a regime of fear by a headless body of people, which refuses to settle for anything less than the removal of the regime itself.

In Egypt, we are living in a lawless state under a regime that is flexing its muscles against its own people and feigning ignorance of people's demands. We are living amid violations of basic human expression without communication , dignity and security. But we are also witnessing the rise of a people who are organizing themselves locally, and innovatively, to reclaim their nation.

Although leaderless, the realization of the power of their unified voice and action is perhaps the most remarkable character of Egypt's uprising.

The uprising is remarkable in not just its persistence but also in its rejection of the leadership. Perhaps, being leaderless so far, has been the movement's biggest strength because it has made it even more difficult for the regime to kill it.

Initially, Egyptians felt if Tunisians could come together and bring down a totalitarian regime, then why not them. Egypt has indeed enjoyed a growth rate of 5.6% in 2010 with a robust GDP per capita of over $5,000 — far ahead of other similarly placed countries. But Egyptians also believe that the country shares many of Tunisia's characteristics — high unemployment , inflation, and corruption.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Can-peoples-power-propel-Egypt-out-of-chaos/articleshow/7409103.cms#ixzz1Cm0bgZFh

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Wajahat Habibullah to head minorities’ commission

Vidya Subrahmaniam

New Delhi: India's first Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah is the next chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM).

Mr. Habibullah, who received his orders on Tuesday, will formally take charge on Thursday.

Mr. Habibullah, a 1968-batch IAS officer, will be filling a post that has been lying vacant for the past five months.

His predecessor, Mohammad Shafi Quereshi, retired on September 2, 2010.

A member of the NCM, who described the chairperson as the “driving force” of the NCM, said things had come to a “standstill” in the Commission with no one to guide its affairs.

Mr. Quereshi was a Union Minister and Governor before his appointment to the NCM.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Habibullah said that while he needed time to study his brief, he would be looking to fulfil the constitutional mandate with regard to providing a level playing field to all communities: “The overall objective is that the full weight of the Constitution, which enjoins equal opportunities for all communities, is respected in all parts of the country.”

Mr. Habibullah disputed the perception that the NCM was powerless in intervening on behalf of the minorities: “It is a Commission with a certain degree of authority and in the past it has successfully brought issues of importance to the government's atte

http://www.hindu.com/2011/02/02/stories/2011020262620800.htm

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Obama tells Mubarak, transition must begin ‘now’

Feb 2, 2011

US President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks to the media following televised remarks made by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington. -Reuters Photo

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama said Tuesday he told President Hosni Mubarak a peaceful, orderly political transition must begin “now” in Egypt but did not say he should heed calls to quit immediately.

In a first reaction to Mubarak’s statement that he would cede power after elections due in September, Obama reiterated that it was not up to the United States to choose the leader of Egypt.

Obama poured more pressure on Mubarak, a US ally for 30 years, but stopped short of adopting calls by mass crowds of protesters for him to leave immediately.

“What is clear, and what I indicated tonight to President Mubarak is my belief that an orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now,” Obama said, minutes after calling the Egyptian leader.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/02/obama-tells-mubarak-transition-must-begin-now.html

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Afghan war winnable without Pakistan help on border: US

Feb 2, 2011

WASHINGTON: Nato-led forces can still win the war in Afghanistan even if Pakistan fails to move against militant havens on the border, a top US general said on Tuesday.

“That’s not a mission stopper in my mind,” General David Rodriguez, deputy US commander in Afghanistan, told a Pentagon news conference.

US officials have long pressed Islamabad to crack down on the Haqqani network and other militants based in North Waziristan, saying the insurgents exploit the area as a sanctuary to stage attacks on coalition forces in neighboring Afghanistan.

But Rodriguez said the war effort would not be derailed even if Pakistan never fulfils promises to take action in North Waziristan, saying Islamabad has launched effective operations elsewhere along the northwest border.

“We need them to do more. We’re going to encourage them to do more because that makes it easier on what we’re doing. But I think it’s still doable, without them decreasing what they’ve been doing, which is significant,” he said.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/02/afghan-war-winnable-without-pakistan-help-on-border-us.html

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‘Jihad Jane’ terror suspect pleads guilty in US

Feb 2, 2011

Director of National Intelligence General James Clapper (L) and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (R) attend a meeting of cabinet-level officials. – Reuters Photo

PHILADELPHIA: A suburban woman who was the live-in caretaker for her boyfriend’s elderly father calmly told a US judge Tuesday that she had worked feverishly online under the name “Jihad Jane” to support Islamic terrorists and moved overseas to further her plan to kill a Swedish artist who had offended Muslims.

Colleen LaRose, 47, faces the possibility of life in prison after pleading guilty to four federal charges, including conspiracy to murder a foreign target, conspiracy to support terrorists and lying to the FBI.

LaRose, who spent long hours caring for the father, also was building a shadow life online from 2008 to 2009. According to prosecutors, LaRose “worked obsessively on her computer to communicate with, recruit and incite other jihadists,” using screen names including “Jihad Jane,” “SisterOfTerror,” and “ExtremeSister4Life.”

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/02/%E2%80%98jihad-jane%E2%80%99-terror-suspect-pleads-guilty-in-us.html

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US warned WikiLeaks suspect unfit for Iraq

Feb 2, 2011

Bradley Manning, 23, who is being held in solitary confinement, is charged with eight violations of federal criminal law, including transmitting classified information to a third party, and two counts under military law stemming from the first WikiLeaks release last year. –Photo by AP

WASHINGTON: Immediate commanders of Bradley Manning, the US Army private suspected of passing secret government files to WikiLeaks, defied a mental health expert’s recommendation that he not be deployed to Iraq, The Washington Post reported online Tuesday.

Manning was not disqualified from deployment from his base at Fort Drum, New York, where experts said he exhibited behavioral problems, the report said.

“The final decision on whether a soldier is fit to go to a war zone rests with his immediate commanders,” the Post said, citing an unnamed military official said, adding that an Army probe found the decision to not heed the advice could have contributed to the massive classified documents leak.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/02/us-warned-wikileaks-suspect-unfit-for-iraq.html

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Anger sweeps Sopore after local militants kill two girls

Randeep Singh Nandal & M Saleem Pandit

Feb 2, 2011

SOPORE/SRINAGAR: Anger swept through Sopore on Tuesday at the killing of two girls by local militants and one suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist late on Monday. Sopore superintendent of police Altaf Khan identified them as Muzaffar Naiko and Wasim Gania — students of a madrassa in Muslim Peer locality in Sopore — and described the third as a Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist.

Twenty-year-old Akhtara was pumped with four bullets from an AK-47 held inches from her head while her younger sister Arifa (17) was shot in the chest — at around 8pm. They were dragged out of sight of their parents and a brother by the terrorists at gunpoint while the girls' aunts followed them, pleading for their lives.

Their piteous wails and cries resounded through the narrow lane of Muslim Peer Mohalla, past 11 shops and hundreds of lit homes, but not one window opened and not a soul stirred. Five hundred yards from their home, the girls were slaughtered.

"There are around 13 madrassas in Sopore and the government is aware of their existence. We'd informed the authorities about their indoctrination but nothing was done about it," said another police officer. SP Altaf Khan said these madrassas are breeding grounds for militants. "We have strong inputs that these are run by the Lashkar," he said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Anger-sweeps-Sopore-after-local-militants-kill-two-girls/articleshow/7408229.cms#ixzz1Clzb8HC5

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Libya's Gaddafi a man well in charge

By GITAU WARIGI

February 2 2011

There is something funny about Arab “democracy.” Forget the straightforward monarchies that litter the Middle East, from Morocco to Saudi Arabia to Jordan to the Gulf statelets. Even in the so-called republics, the monarchical spirit runs deep.

Look at Syria. The long-serving Hafez Assad (now late) was seamlessly succeeded by his son…, never mind that he was happy as a doctor and hardly a politician. Egypt’s 82-year-old Hosni Mubarak before the latest tempest caught up with him was overtly grooming his pushy son Gamar.

Even Muammar Gaddafi’s supposedly egalitarian Libya, a talkative princeling called Seif al-Islam has been hovering in the wings, waiting for the day – surely not imminent – when his dad will expire.

Full report at: http://www.africareview.com/Blogs/Gaddafi%20rides%20out%20the%20storm/-/979192/1100068/-/view/asBlogPost/-/13ut31d/-/

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Obama Should Stay Clear from Mubarak’s Final Sins

February 2 2011

To add insult to injury, the Egyptian dictator placed the blame for the current turmoil and political uncertainty squarely on the shoulders of the Egyptian people, notes Louay Safi.

Middle East Online

After treading cautiously for several days, Hosni Mubarak came out today swinging. In a televised address on the Egyptian Television, Mubarak promised political reform and an official investigation of widespread corruption, and he insisted to do that himself with the help of the same people who are responsible for harboring corruption in the first place.

To add insult to injury, the Egyptian dictator placed the blame for the current turmoil and political uncertainty squarely on the shoulders of the Egyptian people who took to the streets in revolt after putting up with him and his cronies for 30 years. “These demonstrations,” he insisted, “moved from a civilized expression of practicing freedom of speech to sad confrontations which were organized by political groups who wanted to throw fire on the oil and to threaten the stability, and provoke, and create looting and destruction and fires, and to block roads, and to attack national possessions and public and private possessions, and attacks on some diplomatic missions on Egypt.”

Full report at: http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=44050

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US warns Wall Street of terror threat

February 2 2011

US officials have warned the leaders of Wall Street banks that the firms and their executives may be the targets of al-Qaeda plots, the NBC network reported Tuesday.

NBC’s New York affiliate said that intelligence officials are worried that al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen may try to mail package bombs or biological or chemical agents to Wall Street bankers.

The threats are not specific and there is ‘no indication of a targeted assassination plot’ against any Wall Street executive, NBC reported.

But, officials are concerned that the names of some top banking executives have been discussed by terror operatives overseas.

Marquee banks including Goldman Sachs, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Barclays and others, have been briefed by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, security officials told NBCNewYork.com.

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/7273.html

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Jordan king fires govt, names new PM after protests

Feb 2, 2011

King Abdullah II of Jordan government has designated Maruf Bakhit as the new prime minister replacing the govt of Samir Rifai.

AMMAN: King Abdullah II of Jordan on Tuesday sacked the government of Samir Rifai and named Maruf Bakhit as prime minister with orders to carry out "true political reforms," the palace said, after weeks of opposition protests demanding change.

"King Abdullah II designated Maruf Bakhit to form a new government to replace the government of Samir Rifai," a palace statement said.

"Bakhit's mission is to take practical, quick and tangible steps to launch true political reforms, enhance Jordan's democratic drive and ensure safe and decent living for all Jordanians."

Jordan's powerful Islamist opposition said on Monday that it had started a dialogue with the state, saying that unlike the situation in Egypt, it did not seek regime change.

Opposition demands included "the resignation of the government, the amendment of the electoral law and the formation of a national salvation government headed by an elected prime minister," a member of the Islamic Action Front's executive council, Zaki Bani Rsheid, told AFP.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Jordan-king-fires-govt-names-new-PM-after-protests/articleshow/7405754.cms#ixzz1Cm09ebOn

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Egypt’s army caught between president, people

February 2 2011

The Egyptian army is finding itself caught between a popular uprising, which it has vowed not to crush, and the president Hosni Mubarak, from whom it has distanced itself but not abandoned, analysts say.

By dropping Mubarak, the military would endanger its position as ultimate guarantors of Egypt’s security and stability, with all the economic and political trappings that come with such responsibility.

But crushing an anti-government movement that has so far received tanks and soldiers warmly would likely only erode popular respect for the military — with no guarantee it would be able to restore order.

Many have called for restraint, with the United States announcing on Monday that it will send its former ambassador to Cairo, Frank Wisner, back to the Egyptian capital as a special envoy.

‘We urge you to shoulder your historic responsibility and to assist in bringing about this transition,’ said Human Rights Watch in an open letter to the defence minister, Mohammed Hussein Tantawi.

Full report at: http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/7275.html

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Air India made Cairo evacuees pay double

Feb 01 2011,

NATIONAL carrier Air India ( AI) seems to have made a killing out of the turbulence in Egypt.

It has allegedly charged astronomical fares to the tune of ` 45,000 for evacuating stranded Indian passengers.

A one- way ticket from Cairo to Mumbai normally costs anything between ` 18,000 and ` 20,000.

The airline’s special flight, AI- 800, evacuated about 300 passengers from Cairo and brought them to Mumbai on Tuesday morning. AI operated Boeing 747 jumbo aircraft from Mumbai to Cairo and back. Furthermore, two flights were diverted from Jeddah to Cairo to bring back Indian citizens stuck in troubled Egypt.

The Union government and the Indian consulate in Cairo had organised special flights to evacuate students, tourists and fliers stranded in transit. A woman passenger, however, told television channels that this was anything but a rescue mission.

“ The government didn’t evacuate us. We paid $ 1,000 ( over ` 45,000) as airfare. Air India overcharged us and even embassy officials offered conditional help to students who couldn’t pay up.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Palestinian officials suggest elections to end split

By MOHAMMED MAR'I

Feb 1, 2011

RAMALLAH: Senior Palestinian officials on Tuesday called for holding general elections in Palestinian territories to pave the way to overcome the internal split.

Prime Minister Salam Fayyad suggested holding general elections in West Bank and Gaza Strip "as soon as possible to reunify the two parts of homeland and its institutions."

Fayyad added in an interview with the Palestinian television that "the date of holding local and general elections will be fixed this year."

He added that the Palestinians are on the verge of creating their independent state. Fayyad stressed, "The creation of the state requires the reunification of West Bank and Gaza Strip and the institution of Palestinian people."

On Oct. 24, 2009, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree calling on the Palestinians to head to the ballots on Jan. 25, 2010. However, the Central Elections Committee (CEC) informed Abbas later that it is impossible to hold the elections on time after Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip refused to let its teams work freely.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article248908.ece

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UN says 147 killed in Tunisian uprising

Feb 1, 2011

TUNIS: At least 147 people were killed and 510 wounded during the Tunisian uprising that unseated Zine Al-Abdine Ben Ali last month, the head of a UN human rights team in Tunisia said on Tuesday.

Bacre Waly Ndiaye told a news conference that 72 people had also been killed in unrest that took place in the country’s jails during weeks of protests that began on Dec. 17.

Ben Ali fled Tunisia on Jan 14. The interim government that took over has promised to investigate any deaths and injuries that took place during the uprising and to compensate the families affected.

Tunisia’s former interior minister, replaced in a cabinet reshuffle on Thursday, had said 78 people were killed in the demonstrations.

The eight-member UN human rights team began work in Tunisia last week. It is helping to investigate any abuses and will offer advice to the government.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article248666.ece

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Iran returns remains of 38 Iraqi soldiers

Feb 1, 2011

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi government official says Iran has handed over the remains of 38 Iraqi soldiers killed during the 1980s war between the two nations.

Iraqi Human Rights Ministry officer Hussein Eidi Hassan said on Tuesday that only five of the soldiers have been identified so far and their remains have been handed over to their families.

DNA samples will be taken from the other remains before the soldiers are buried in a temporary grave in the southern city of Basra.

The two nations signed an agreement in October 2008 to find tens of thousands of soldiers still missing after the eight-year war.

Hassan says the remains of at least 2,139 Iraqi and 1,453 Iranian soldiers have been returned since 1996.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article248940.ece

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Al Jazeera TV says signal jammed in Middle East

2 February 2011

DOHA - Qatar-based news channel Al Jazeera said its signal was being jammed in parts of the Middle East on Tuesday, days after Egypt shut the network’s operations in the country and an Egyptian satellite cut its broadcast signal.

“Signals on the Nilesat platform were cut, and frequencies on the Arabsat and Hotbird platforms were disrupted continually forcing millions of viewers across the Arab world to change satellite frequencies throughout the day,” Al Jazeera said in a statement, referring to a few of the geostationary satellites broadcasting across the region.

At least one million Egyptians took to the streets on Tuesday in scenes never before seen in the Arab nation’s modern history, roaring in unison for President Hosni Mubarak and his new government to quit.

“We have been working round the clock to make sure we are broadcasting on alternative frequencies. Clearly there are powers that do not want our important images pushing for democracy and reform to be seen by the public,” a Jazeera spokesman said in an emailed statement.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/February/middleeast_February35.xml&section=middleeast

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Iraqi central bank says assured of independence

2 February 2011

BAGHDAD - The head of Iraq’s central bank said on Tuesday he was not worried the bank’s independence may be compromised by a court ruling placing it under the cabinet, despite having warned Iraq’s overseas assets could be at risk.

The Iraqi supreme court last month ruled that several ostensibly independent institutions, including the central bank, the anti-corruption watchdog and the electoral agency, should be supervised by the cabinet, and not by parliament.

The decision was prompted by a request for clarification from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, and the decision sparked accusations from critics that the Shi’ite leader was trying to consolidate power after being reappointed in December.

Maliki, whose government is trying to pull Iraq out of the chaos wrought by the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, pledged on Monday it would not curtail the independence of the institutions or attempt to use central bank reserves to fund spending.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/February/middleeast_February32.xml&section=middleeast

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Threats persist from left-wing extremism, terrorism: Manmohan Singh

Vinay Kumar

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday warned that serious challenges and threats to the country's internal security still persist from left-wing extremism, cross-border terrorism and religious fundamentalism and ethnic violence.

Inaugurating the Chief Ministers' conference on internal security here, Dr. Singh emphasised the need for greater coordination and responses from the States to effectively deal with the threats, particularly from Maoists.

While stressing the importance of being constantly vigilant, the Prime Minister said there “can be no let-up in our efforts if we are to succeed in our fight against terrorism as well as communal violence.''

The Prime Minister said as far as left-wing extremism was concerned, 2010 saw a decrease over the previous year in the number of incidents and casualties of security forces, though the number of casualties among civilians increased.

Chhattisgarh, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand continue to be a cause for concern in view of the level of violence. The problems in Orissa and Maharashtra are also quite serious,'' he told the conference.

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2011/02/02/stories/2011020256251800.htm

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No one has the guts to own up to the killings, says Omar:

Shujaat Bukhari

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday condemned the killing of two teenaged sisters. They were shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the north Kashmir town of Sopore on Monday night. Police say the Lashkar-e-Taiba is involved.

Mr. Abdullah expressed shock at the incident. “I find it difficult to understand. Under these circumstances, I doubt anybody would have the guts to stand up and say they did it and why they did it,” he said on the sidelines of a function in Delhi on Tuesday.

“I think this in itself brings out the contradictions that exist in Kashmir, because if there was even the slightest indication that these deaths have been the result of high-handedness of the security forces, today the whole Valley would have erupted in flames. But because these killings were by militants, the condemnation is muted or the condemnation does not come at all,” the Chief Minister said.

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2011/02/02/stories/2011020265522200.htm

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“New terror groups raising their heads”:

 

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi during the Chief Ministers' conference on internal security in New Delhi on Tuesday.

NEW DELHI: Pointing out that India got affected one way or the other by some of its neighbours which were vulnerable to acts of terror, Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday said new groups were suspected to be behind some terror attacks that took place in recent years.

“I must caution you that there is no let-up in the attempts to infiltrate into India from across the Pakistan border. Besides, there are a number of modules operating within the country and new groups have raised their heads that are suspected to be behind some terror attacks that took place in recent years.”

While giving an overview of internal security at the Chief Ministers' conference here, Mr. Chidambaram said: “We cannot shy away from naming these groups or exposing their designs. Whatever their religious affiliations, I have no hesitation in condemning every group that resorts to terror as a means of advancing dubious religious causes or fundamentalist goals.”

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2011/02/02/stories/2011020264021800.htm

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BJP opposes Muslim reservation in jobs: Joshi

Feb 01 2011,

Senior BJP leader, Murli Manohar Joshi today said his party strongly opposed West Bengal Government's decision on ten per cent reservation for Muslims in jobs.

"West Bengal Government's decision on Muslim reservation is unacceptable. We shall oppose it tooth and nail. Reservation on religious line is unconstitutional too," Joshi told a rally at Ashighar, 45 km from here.

"We are opposed to any reservation either on religion or on castes. Reservation should be given to the poorest of the poor irrespective of caste and religion," Joshi said.

Apparently with an eye on elections in the state, West Bengal government last year in February announced 10 per cent job reservation for Muslims under the OBC category.

Referring to the political situation of the state, Joshi said both the ruling and opposition parties had resorted to politics of violence. "It is unfortunate that poor farmers are killed in the state," he said without mentioning the January 7 Netai village massacre.

The Pioneer

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Egypt crisis: Mubarak will go but not before completing term

Feb 02 2011

Cairo: The Egyptian crisis has breached a new barrier with President Hosni Mubarak seeming to climb down from his high perch, but still seeming to defy the huge crowds on the streets seeking his downfall.

President Hosni Mubarak defied a quarter-million protesters demanding he step down immediately, announcing on Tuesday he would serve out the last months of his term and "die on Egyptian soil." He promised not to seek re-election, but that did not calm public fury as clashes erupted between his opponents and supporters.

The protesters, whose numbers multiplied more than tenfold in a single day on Tuesday for their biggest rally yet, have insisted they will not end their unprecedented week-old wave of unrest until their ruler for nearly three decades goes.

Mubarak's halfway concession - an end to his rule seven months down the road - threatened to inflame frustration and anger among protesters, who have been peaceful in recent days.

In the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, clashes erupted between several hundred protesters and government supporters soon afterwards, according to footage by Al-Jazeera television. The protesters threw stones at their rivals, who wielded knives and sticks, until soldiers fired in the air and stepped in between them, said a local journalist, Hossam el-Wakil.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/745048/

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Dubai murder case: Blood money paid to save eight Indians

Feb 02 2011

Dubai: The case involving eight Indians jailed in Dubai for a murder is likely to be settled as the blood money has been paid to the victim's father.

Dubai-based hotelier and businessman S P Singh Oberoi, who has paid the money on behalf of those jailed, said the three judge jury in Sharjah's Shariah court were handed over the compromise papers.

The judgment is scheduled to be delivered on February 6.

"We arranged the visit of the victim Mumtaz Yusuf's father Mohd Yusuf to Dubai. He appeared in the court and said that he has pardoned those involved," Oberoi told the court.

Other documents were also handed over, he said.

Oberoi had also recently visited Punjab to apprise the families of those involved about the developments in the case.

On January 4, the Punjabi youths were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for periods varying from 10 years to life.

Oberoi said families of these men were not even aware of their whereabouts till the case of 17 Indians convicted for the murder of a Pakistani man hit headlines early last year.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/745071/

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World must demand Egypt respect Israel peace: Israeli Prime Minister

Feb 2, 2011

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel speak to the press prior to attending a joint dinner in Jerusalem, on January 31, 2011. – Photo by AFP

JERUSALEM: The international community must demand that any future Egyptian government that takes power respect the 30-year peace treaty with Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday.

“Israel believes that the international community must demand that any Egyptian government must preserve the peace treaty with Israel,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying in a statement from his office.

His comment came as Egypt battles a momentous tide of civil unrest, with hundreds of thousands of protesters calling for the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak who has long been Israel’s closest ally in the region.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/01/world-must-demand-egypt-respect-israel-peace-pm.html

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US can help improve Indo-Pak ties: Blake

Feb 2, 2011

WASHINGTON: A top American official for South Asia, underscoring Washington’s stakes in Pakistan-India detente, has said the United States can offer ideas towards improvement in ties between its two key friends in the region.

South and Central Asia Assistant Secretary of State, Robert Blake, said Washington had a very significant multi-dimensional relationship with India but Pakistan was also “equally important”.

“My piece of this is to help on the India-Pakistan side where we have a great interest in promoting better ties between our two friends,” Blake told WRVO Radio during a visit to upstate New York.

“We’ve always said that it’s important for them to determine the pace and the scope and the character of how they will improve their relations, but again, we can always offer ideas,” he added, without elaborating on peace ideas.

Full report at: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\02\02\story_2-2-2011_pg7_5

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PM orders special flight to bring home Pakistanis from Egypt

Feb 2, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has directed the Defence Ministry to dispatch a special aircraft to Cairo to bring back Pakistani families, non-essential staff of the Pakistan Embassy in Egypt and stranded tourists, who wish to leave Egypt because of the prevailing security situation there. The prime minister has also ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Pakistan’s ambassador to Egypt to facilitate and arrange the required logistics for ensuring every Pakistani national’s evacuation from Egypt, who may be feeling insecure in the country. Reportedly, about 200 Pakistani citizens are likely to be airlifted to Pakistan from Egypt through a PIA’s special flight in the coming days. staff report

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\02\02\story_2-2-2011_pg7_8

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Islamabad dispels arms race but alive to security needs

Feb 2, 2011

Pakistan is mindful of the need to avoid arms race with India but would never compromise on its national security, Foreign Office spokesman said on Tuesday.

Commenting on David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt’s article titled “Pakistani nuclear arms pose challenge to U.S. policy” published by New York Times on January 31, 2011, the Spokesman said that unnecessary alarmist reporting about Pakistan’s nuclear programme continues to surface occasionally.

In the nuclearized environment of South Asia he said Pakistan pursuing a responsible policy of maintaining credible minimum deterrence.

“Pakistan attaches importance to ensuring peace, security and stability in South Asia and is mindful of the adverse implications of “selectivity” and “exceptionalism” in evidence on issues of nuclear non-proliferation,” he maintained.

He added Pakistan had consistently advocated to India the need to resume the stalled Pakistan-India dialogue, including on issues of peace and security.

In this context Pakistan’s proposal for strategic restraint regime in South Asia, including nuclear and conventional forces as well as resolution of all issues and dispute is of extreme importance, he concluded.

http://dailymailnews.com/0211/02/FrontPage/index.php?id=3

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Mubarak’s move a trick to hold on power: ElBaradei

February 02, 2011

CAIRO: Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei said on Tuesday that President Hosni Mubarak had failed to meet the demands of protesters and his pledge not to stand again for the presidency was an act of deception.

ElBaradei, a Nobel peace prize winner as head of the U.N. nuclear agency, said in an interview with US television channel that if Mubarak did not heed the call to leave power at once he would be “not only a lame duck president but a dead man walking.”

Under mounting pressure from Washington and a week of street demonstrations, Mubarak said in a broadcast statement he would not run in presidential elections scheduled for September but would work for a peaceful transfer of power.

Full report at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=10456

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Pak flood warning 'not shared'

February 02, 2011

LONDON: A study has suggested that the effects of last year's floods in Pakistan could have been less catastrophic if European weather forecasts had been shared with Pakistan.

The American Geophysical Union said the forecasts could have given up to 10 days' advance warning of the floods.

The study said this could have allowed the authorities in northern Pakistan to take preventative measures.

The monsoon floods affected 20 million people and one fifth of the country.

At least 1,500 people died in the deluge.

The American Geophysical Union said the information did not reach Pakistan because of a "lack of cooperation between the forecasting centre and Pakistan".

Full report at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=10452

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Premature marriages to blame for divorces

By ABDULLAH BAJUBAIR

Feb 2, 2011

In the past, divorces were infrequent and only happened for fundamental reasons that made married life impossible.

It never happened during the early years of marriage, out of fear for the potential damage to the wife’s reputation.

For this reason, married life used to continue for several years before it broke down, if at all. In most cases, divorce would only come after 10 years of marriage at least.

There is a new trend emerging where divorces occur earlier to the extent that some marriages do not last more than a year!

A number of sociologists believe that early divorces are the natural result of premature marriages between young people, such as university students.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/world/article249167.ece

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Terror suspects to receive fair trials

Feb 1, 2011

RIYADH: Terrorism is one of the major enemies of Saudi Arabia, said Justice Minister Muhammad Al-Eissa on Tuesday while meeting with a delegation from the American Commission for Religious Freedom.

He said suspected terrorists receive a fair trial in the Kingdom’s court and that a special anti-terror court in Riyadh has so far issued preliminary verdicts on 442 cases involving 765 Al-Qaeda militants.

“I would like to emphasize here, being the justice minister, that none of the detainees would be denied a fair trial. There is no exceptional justice for us and there is no double standard in our judicial values,” he said.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article249068.ece

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Syrians call for protests on Facebook and Twitter

By ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY

Feb 1, 2011

BEIRUT: Syrians are organizing campaigns on Facebook and Twitter that call for a “day of rage” in Damascus this week, taking inspiration from Egypt and Tunisia in using social networking sites to rally their followers for sweeping political reforms.

Like Egypt and Tunisia, Syria suffers from corruption, poverty and unemployment. All three nations have seen subsidy cuts on staples like bread and oil. Syria’s authoritarian president has resisted calls for political freedoms and jailed critics of his regime.

The main Syrian protest page on Facebook is urging people to protest in Damascus on Feb. 4 and 5 for “a day of rage.” It says the goal is to “end the state of emergency in Syria and end corruption.” The number of people who have joined Facebook and Twitter pages calling for protests on Friday and Saturday is still relatively small, and some are believed to live outside the country.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article248958.ece

URL:http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/mubarak-rejects-protesters’-demand-to-step-down/d/4051


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