New Age Islam
Sat Nov 28 2020, 07:56 PM

Islamic World News ( 31 March 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Muslim scholars tell Osama he's got it all wrong

Islamic scholars at Saudi meet urge 'extremists' to repent

Chechen militant claims Moscow subway blasts

A 'halal' sex shop in Holland

Malaysia beer drink woman's caning sentence commuted

Muslim empires no model for today's world'

Taliban target Pak checkposts, 39 dead

Pakistani troops kill 28 militants in northwest

Five schools blown up, eight militants killed in Orakzai

Afghanistan now world’s top cannabis source: UN

Judge calls for new law to deal with honour killings

Islamic Finance, Muslim Philanthropy

Tourists flock to 'Jesus's tomb' in Kashmir

Israel launches air strikes on Gaza

Terrorists blow up Anantnag-Baramulla rail track

Medvedev in Dagestan for security talks

Al-Sadr flexes muscles in Iraqi political jockeying

Condemned 'sorcerer' won't die Friday, lawyer says

Iran has the right to possess nuclear weapons

David Headley not connected to ISI, army: Pak

Pakistan has role in Afghan reconciliation: US

Israel welcomes China decision to discuss Iran sanctions

Obama's Divided Jerusalem

Afghan president accuses foreign election observers

UN probe quizzed Hezbollah members says Nasrallah

30 prisoners escape after bomb blast at south Yemen jail

Muslim scholars tell Osama he's got it all wrong

Zardari enjoys immunity, can't reopen corruption case: Swiss prosecutor

Gunman fires upon crowd in DC, kills 4

Iran continues to build nukes, says CIA report

Iran sanctions within weeks: Obama

Iran's Jalili heads for China

26/11 trial ends, verdict on May 3

Benazir commission mandate not extended

6 security men, 20 militants killed in Bara

Obama focusing on South Asia stability, says White House

India wants dialogue with Iran on IPI pipeline

3 Army men, 4 terrorists killed in J&K encounter

Jordan nixes nuclear ties with Israel

160,000 Indians for this Haj

China 'ready for talks' on new UN sanctions on Iran

Gujarat riots: Now, Nanavati panel may summon Modi

BJP not anti-Islam, but against terror outfits: Gadkari

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/muslim-scholars-tell-osama-he-s-got-it-all-wrong/d/2644

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Muslim scholars tell Osama he's got it all wrong

Apr 1, 2010

PARIS: Prominent Muslim scholars have recast a famous medieval fatwa on jihad, arguing that the religious edict radical Islamists often cite to justify killing cannot be used in a globalized world that respects faith and civil rights.

A conference in Mardin in southeastern Turkey declared the fatwa by 14th century scholar Ibn Taymiyya rules out militant violence and the medieval division of the world into a "house of Islam" and "house of unbelief" no longer applies.

Osama bin Laden has quoted Ibn Taymiyya's "Mardin fatwa" repeatedly while calling for Muslims to overthrow the Saudi monarchy and wage jihad against the US.

Referring to that document, the conference said: "Anyone who seeks support from this fatwa for killing Muslims or non-Muslims has erred in his interpretation... It is not for a Muslim individual or group to declare war or engage in combative jihad... on their own."

The declaration is the latest bid by mainstream scholars to use age-old Muslim texts to refute current-day religious arguments by Islamist groups. A leading Pakistani scholar issued a 600-page fatwa against terrorism in London early this month.

Another declaration in Dubai this month concerned peace in Somalia. They may not convince militants, but could help keep undecided Muslims from supporting them, the scholars say.

The Mardin conference gathered 15 leading scholars from countries including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India, Senegal, Kuwait, Iran, Morocco and Indonesia. Among them were Bosnian Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric, Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah of Mauritania and Yemeni Sheikh Habib Ali al-Jifri.

The fatwa is often cited by militants who say it allows Muslims to declare other Muslims infidels and wage war on them. The scholars said it had to be seen in its historic context of Mongol raids on Muslim lands.

The emergence of civil states that guard religious, ethnic and national rights "has necessitated declaring the entire world a place of tolerance and peaceful co-existence between all religious, groups and factions," their declaration said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Muslim-scholars-tell-Osama-hes-got-it-all-wrong/articleshow/5748591.cms

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Islamic scholars at Saudi meet urge 'extremists' to repent

April 01, 2010

RIYADH: Muslim scholars from around the world who met this week in Medina have denounced "terrorism" and appealed to "extremists" to repent, a statement said on Thursday.

The four-day Islamic conference, sponsored by Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz and organised by the Islamic University of Medina, drew some 500 participants, according to press reports.

The scholars condemned "all acts of terrorism wherever they take place and whoever is behind them," said the concluding statement from the conference, which wrapped up late Wednesday.

The scholars also criticised "the harm inflicted on unarmed civilians and civilian facilities under the pretext of combating international terrorism."

The statement published on the organisers' website called on extremists to "return to their senses and follow the path of groups that have announced repentance and rejected acts of terrorism."

"Hold on to moderate Islam and tolerance towards others," and "reject false interpretations of ... jihad (holy war)," it said, addressing Muslim youths.

The conference urged Muslim communities in non-Muslim countries to encourage their children "to adopt a moderate understanding of Islam, respect for others and to comply with (local) laws."

It also urged the governments of those countries to respect the rights of Muslims and "treat them equally with other members of the community." http://www.thenews.com.pk/updates.asp?id=101979

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Chechen Militant Claims Moscow Subway Blasts

By Lauren Frayer

A top Chechen rebel leader has posted a chilling Web video statement claiming responsibility for sending suicide bombers onto the Moscow subway in attacks that killed 39 commuters earlier this week.

In the clip, Doku Umarov also threatened more attacks to avenge what he called atrocities ordered by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in the country's volatile North Caucasus region -- an area where Muslim separatists have waged a nearly 20-year insurgency against Russian control.

"You Russians only see the war on television and hear about it on the radio, and this is why you are quiet and do not react to the atrocities that your bandit groups under Putin's command carry out in the Caucasus," Umarov said in the 4.5-minute video. "I promise you that the war will come to your streets, and you will feel it in your lives and under your skin."

Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov has posted a Web video statement claiming responsibility for sending suicide bombers onto the Moscow subway in attacks that killed 39 commuters

The statement was posted on a pro-rebel Web site late Wednesday, just hours after another double suicide bombing killed at least 12 people -- mostly Russian law enforcement officials -- in Dagestan, another area of the North Caucasus near Chechnya. Early this morning, two more people were killed in Dagestan when a car packed with explosives blew up, local media reported.

"All these are links of the same chain, all this is the manifestation of the same terrorist activity which has recently started to resurface in the Caucasus," President Dmitry Medvedev told Russia's security council Wednesday. "I don't rule out that this is one and the same gang," Putin also said.

On Monday, investigators believe that two female suicide bombers strode onto a busy Moscow subway line during the morning rush hour and exploded themselves as the train doors were just opening, in brazen attacks that killed at least 39 people and wounded scores of commuters. It was the worst attack on Russia's capital in six years, hitting Muscovites close to home after a lull in which they began to feel insulated from violence raging in Russia's mainly Muslim southeast corner.

The 45-year-old Umarov, dressed in military camouflage and sitting cross-legged in what appears to be a forest clearing, said he ordered Monday's attacks to retaliate for an anti-terrorism raid by Russian security forces back in February. At least 20 people were killed in the operation, and Umarov accused officers of using knives to execute innocent, impoverished villagers.

This is the first official claim of responsibility for Monday's bombings, though Russian officials quickly blamed Muslim militants from the North Caucasus. They did not name Umarov publicly, but Putin vowed to "drag out of the sewer" those responsible.

In his video, Umarov said he could only grin when accused of terrorism because he has not heard people condemn Putin for similar crimes. Russian leaders "send their gangs to the Caucasus and support their security services that carry out massacres," he said.

There's been no public response from Putin since Umarov's video hit the Internet late Wednesday. But Chechnya's representative in Russia's parliament, Ziyad Sabsabi, dismissed Umarov's threats. "It doesn't matter that he has claimed responsibility for those bestial murders," Sabsabi told the Interfax news agency. "In any case, his days are numbered."

Russian forces have tried for years to capture or kill Umarov, who declared jihad in 2007 to establish an Islamic emirate in the Caucasus ruled by Muslim sharia law. Despite two brutal wars against Chechen separatists like Umarov, the Kremlin has been unable to halt a simmering insurgency in the mainly Muslim region.

The area has seen increased attacks in recent months, with almost daily clashes between Russian security forces and rebel fighters. Police have killed several high-profile militant leaders during that time, including one known for training suicide bombers.

A report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies said 916 people died in the North Caucasus in 2009 in violence related to the clashes, up from 586 in 2008. Another monitoring group, the Caucasian Knot, reported the region had 172 terrorist attacks last year, killing 280 people in Chechnya, 319 in Ingushetia and 263 in Dagestan.

It's unclear how much power Umarov wields over militants across the North Caucasus, of which Chechnya is part. Analysts say small groups of insurgents are loosely connected but largely operate independently, without overall coordination.Full report at:

aolnews.com/world/article/chechen-militant-doku-umarov-claims-responsibility-for-moscow-subway-blasts/19422553

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A 'halal' sex shop in Holland

Apr 1, 2010,

THE HAGUE: Candid but demure, an online sex shop for Muslims has been launched in the Netherlands to tap into a demand for erotica that does not offend Sharia law.

"We had about 70,000 hits in the first four days," founder Abdelaziz Aouragh said of his site that went online last week and claims to be the world's first erotic webshop for Muslims. The 29-year-old Dutch national said it targets married Muslim couples as an alternative to sites "that focus on pornography and the extravagant side of erotica" — things forbidden in Islam.

The home page of El Asira, which means "Society" in Arabic, is a sober black and grey street with a line down the center, inviting women to enter on the left and men on the right. Once inside, clients can browse in Dutch, Arabic or English through more than a dozen products, mainly massage oils, lubricants and tablets that claim to act as aphrodisiacs.

Full report at:  timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/A-halal-sex-shop-in-Holland/articleshow/5749096.cms

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Malaysia beer drink woman's caning sentence commuted

1 April 2010

A Malaysian woman sentenced to be caned for drinking beer has had her punishment commuted.

Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno had pleaded guilty to the offence under Malaysia's Islamic law and was to have received six strokes of a rattan cane.

But her family said religious officials had overturned the ruling, ordering her to carry out community service instead.

Ms Kartika's original sentence, which had been delayed several times, had provoked fierce debate.

While drinking alcohol is forbidden for Muslims, prosecutions are rare.

Ms Kartika's family was informed by letter that the sultan of Pahang state, where Ms Kartika was arrested for drinking beer in a beachfront hotel in December 2007, had overturned the ruling.

Full report at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8598190.stm

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'Muslim empires no model for today's world'

Apr 1, 2010

PARIS: Aef Ali Nayed, a Libyan who heads the Dubai theological think-tank Kalam Research and Media, said at the Mardin conference in Turkey that the great Muslim empires of the past were not a model for a globalised world where borders were increasingly irrelevant.

"We must not be obsessed with an Islam conceived of only geographically and politically," he said. "Living in the diaspora is often more conducive to healthy and sincere Muslim living. Empires and carved-out 'Islamic states' often make us complacent."

Nayed said that Muslims must also understand that "not all types of secularisms are anti-religious." The United States has stayed religious despite its separation of church and state, but some "French Revolution-like secularisms" were anti-religious.

The declaration ended with a call to all Muslim scholars for more research to explain the context of medieval fatwas on public issues and show "what is hoped to be gained from a sound and correct understanding of their respective legacies."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Muslim-empires-no-model-for-todays-world/articleshow/5749098.cms

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Taliban target Pak checkposts, 39 dead

By A. Muhammad

01 April 2010

Peshawar : Hundreds of heavily armed Taliban fighters attacked Pakistani security forces’ checkposts at two places near the Afghan border triggering fierce gunbattles which left six soldiers and 33 militants dead.

Paramilitary Frontier Corps personnel repelled the attack in which Taliban fighters used bomb-rigged vehicles, rockets and assault rifles to overwhelm the security forces’ checkpost in Jansi area of Khyber tribal region on the main highway between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Officials said six Frontier Corps personnel were killed and about 15 others injured in the attack. But the security forces did not allow the insurgents to get inside the military camp.

The security forces killed 25 militants while repulsing the attack, they said. The troops also destroyed a number of explosive-laden vehicles which were being used by the Taliban fighters to storm into the camp.

Full report at:

asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7394:taliban-target-pak-checkposts-39-dead-&catid=36:international&Itemid=61

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Pakistani troops kill 28 militants in northwest

Apr 1, 2010

PARACHINAR, Pakistan: Pakistani troops stormed militant positions and helicopters destroyed vehicles carrying insurgents near the Afghan border Thursday, killing 28 suspected militants and forcing thousands of civilians to flee, officials said.

The offensive in the Orakzai tribal region is aimed at flushing out Pakistani Taliban insurgents who had fled an army onslaught further south. Government official Sami Ullah said at least 18 militants died in clashes with troops in Orakzai.

As a group of insurgents fled to the neighboring Kurram region, helicopters hit three vehicles, killing 10 more militants and wounding some others, local military commander Lt. Col. Akbar Butt said.

Orakzai is a major base for supporters of Hakimullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban's top commander, who is believed to have died in a January U.S. missile strike near Afghanistan. The Taliban deny Mehsud is dead.

The militants have been fleeing to Orakzai and other parts of the northwest to avoid the army's offensive in the South Waziristan tribal region, long a Pakistani Taliban stronghold.

Tens of thousands of Orakzai residents have fled the area over the past few months as the military has launched airstrikes and other operations there.

Over the past 10 days, at least 10,000 civilians have moved to a camp set up by the government in the Kohat area just outside the tribal belt, said Janzeb Khan, a government official. The government is providing food and other facilities to them, he said.

Orakzai usually has a population of 450,000 and borders the tribal regions of Khyber and Kurram.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistani-troops-kill-28-militants-in-northwest/articleshow/5751151.cms

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Five schools blown up, eight militants killed in Orakzai

By S. Hassan Mahmood

01 Apr, 2010

KALAYA: Militants set on fire five schools and a basic health centre in Utmankhel area of Orakzai on Wednesday while eight militants were killed in attacks by helicopter gunships.

According to reports reaching here, the five government schools in Spin Kada, Dhand Garhi and Shalon Talab areas were torched and later blown up by militants.

The basic health unit was blown up in Karghan.

Militants were also reported to have set 15 houses on fire. Helicopter gunships pounded suspected militant positions in the region and killed eight militants. Official sources said five militant bunkers had been destroyed in Merobek, Surgul, Sherin Dara and Bezot areas.

Meanwhile, a mortar shell hit the house of a tribesman Dadir Khan in Liari area, killing four people, including two women.

According to sources, four militants were killed by a roadside bomb, but their leader Noor Jamal narrowly escaped.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-five-schools-blown-up%2C-8-militants-killed-in-orakzai-140-hh-02

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Afghanistan now world’s top cannabis source: UN

01 Apr, 2010

KABUL, March 31: Afghanistan, the world’s biggest producer of opium, has now become the top supplier of cannabis, with large-scale cultivation in half of its provinces, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

Between 10,000 and 24,000 hectares of cannabis are grown every year in Afghanistan, with major cultivation in 17 out 34 provinces, the UN drug agency (UNODC) said in its first report on cannabis production in Afghanistan.

While some countries grow cannabis on more land, Afghanistan’s robust crop yields make it the world’s largest producer, estimated at 1,500-3,500 tonnes a year.

“This report shows that Afghanistan’s drug problem is even more complex than just the opium trade,” said Antonio Maria Costa, head of UNODC in the report.

“Reducing Afghanistan’s cannabis supply should be dealt with more seriously, as part of the national drug control strategy.”

For years Afghanistan has been the world’s largest producer of opium, a paste extracted from poppies and processed into heroin. While land cultivated with poppies fell by 22 per cent last year, record yields meant production fell only 10 per cent.

The illegal opium trade is said to fuel the insurgency with the Taliban siphoning off millions of dollars from the trade by imposing taxes on farmers and smugglers in return for ensuring safe passage of the drug.—Reuters

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/afghanistan-now-worlds-top-cannabis-source-un-140

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Judge calls for new law to deal with honour killings

Sukhbir Siwach & Manoj Dhaka

Apr 1, 2010

CHANDIGARH: The woman judge who awarded death penalty to five for the brutal murder of Manoj and Babli, a young couple who had married in breach of gotra norms, has called for a specific legislation to curb honour killings.

In her 96-page long judgment, additional district and sessions judge Vani Gopal Sharma said, "The present case is a classic example and reflects a long standing tradition of oppression against women. It has to be curbed by legislation categorizing such honour killing as a separate offence, giving a clear message to the public."

She wondered how a progressive society could allow such action in the name of community honour. Quoting a judgment of the SC, the judge said, "The present case does fall within the category of rarest of rare cases, not because such murders commonly take place, but because such killings shock the collective conscience of society."

The observations of the judge come in the wake of Union home minister P Chidambaram saying there is need to amend CrPC and IPC in cases of honour crimes.

Full report at:

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Judge-calls-for-new-law-to-deal-with-honour-killings/articleshow/5749037.cms

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Islamic Finance, Muslim Philanthropy

By Michele Fugiel

March 31 2010

Two articles have been sitting on my desk for weeks now and I’ve spent a number of afternoons mulling over what to write about them.  The first Doing God’s Work from the Wall Street Journal takes another look at the success of Islamic finance funds and ask how well they are fairing & whether they are able to 1) make a  profit and 2) stick to the rules of Islam.  The second, from the Case Foundation, explores the creation of a Palestine Venture Fund which promotes stability, in a private-sector/economic way, to a region where diplomacy and security have not been successful.

My goal was to work up something clever to say, cast some insightful notion about these pieces or draw a larger conclusion.  Yet, while my gut is telling me there is something very interesting here, my head has refused to find its meaning.

Since I usually beat on the drum that “there is more than the Western way”, I will apply that rhythm here as well.  Looking through the program of the recent World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists and thinking about the launch of a World Zakat Fund, I see another option unfolding before our eyes.  It may not look so different from what we already know - contribute money, invest money, and apply towards creating social good - but the underlying cultural elements of how these things work may expand our norms.

I’m interested to see from where the funding comes, how it is disbursed, and what cultural implications occur.  For me, this area is less about foreign policy and more about another vehicle/theory for giving.   For others, I can already anticipate the debate.

If you have good resources to share on the topic, please do drop me a line.  The clever insight and larger conclusion for this post is TBD.

http://philanthropy.foreignpolicyblogs.com/2010/03/31/islamic-finance-muslim-philanthropy/

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Tourists flock to 'Jesus's tomb' in Kashmir

By Sam Miller

Srinagar: Jesus is reputed to be buried in this run-down shrine in the Kashmir capital

In the backstreets of downtown Srinagar is an old building known as the Rozabal shrine.

It's in a part of the city where the Indian security forces are on regular patrol, or peering out from behind check-posts made of sandbags.

There are still occasional clashes with militants or stone-throwing children, but the security situation has improved in recent times and the tourists are returning.

When I first searched for Rozabal two years ago, the taxi circled around a minor Muslim tomb in a city of many mosques and mausoleums, the driver asking directions several times before we found it.

The shrine, on a street corner, is a modest stone building with a traditional Kashmiri multi-tiered sloping roof.

A watchman led me in and encouraged me to inspect the smaller wooden chamber within, with its trellis-like, perforated screen.

Through the gaps I could see a gravestone covered with a green cloth.

When I returned to the shrine recently though, it was shut - its gate padlocked because it had attracted too many visitors.

The reason? Well, according to an eclectic combination of New Age Christians, unorthodox Muslims and fans of the Da Vinci Code, the grave contains the mortal remains of a candidate for the most important visitor of all time to India.

'Crazy professor'

Full report at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/8587838.stm

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Israel launches air strikes on Gaza

02-04-10

Gaza City:  Israeli jets launched eight air strikes early Friday on Gaza, Palestinian officials said. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement that two weapons factories were hit, one in northern Gaza and the other in central Gaza, as were two weapons depots in southern Gaza.

The strikes were carried out in retaliation against the recent firing of makeshift Qassam rockets from Gaza into Israel, an IDF spokesman said.

"The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm the citizens of Israel and will continue to operate firmly against anyone who uses terror against it," the IDF statement said.

"The IDF holds Hamas as solely responsible for maintaining peace and quiet in the Gaza Strip."

On Thursday, Israel dropped leaflets over Gaza warning residents of a possible strike.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz, citing the IDF, said the strikes were Israeli's initial response to an operation in Khan Younis that killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded two others.

Three of Friday's strikes occurred in Khan Younis, one occurred east of Rafah, one on a cheese factory in Gaza City and one northwest of Beit Lahia, which is northwest of Gaza, Palestinian officials said.

Other strikes were on the Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza, on a resistance training camp and on a Hamas outpost, they said.

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/04/01/gaza.air.strikes/index.html?hpt=T2

 

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Terrorists blow up Anantnag-Baramulla rail track

April 02, 2010

Terrorists blew up a portion of the Anantnag-Baramulla rail track near Galbugh in the south Kashmir Pulwama district late on Thursday night.

This is for the first time where terrorists in Kashmir have attacked Kashmir's railways -- the Anantnag-Baramulla rail track is the only rail link connecting the south and north of the Valley and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh [ Images ] in 2008.

A senior police officer said militants had used an improvised explosive device for the blast, which destroyed a portion of the track near Galbugh village.

"The rail traffic has been suspended and restoration work is on,' said the officer.

The Anantnag-Baramulla train, which starts its journey from Qazigund in Anantnag district and is used extensively by office-goers, students and businessmen, has been suspended till the repair is completed.

"The traffic on the track would be resumed soon," the officer said.

Authorities have made elaborate security arrangements along the south-north rail link, which is guarded by the railway police and the central reserve police force

© 2010 Rediff.com

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Medvedev in Dagestan for security talks

1 April 2010

Moscow, Russia -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrived Thursday in Dagestan to hold talks with regional political leaders and government officials following this week's bomb blasts in Moscow and car bombings in the southern Russian republic.

Medvedev planned to to hold a meeting about the situation with the heads of republics in the North Caucasus, territorial units of Russia's Federal Security Service, and the Interior Ministry, the Interfax news agency reported.

A car exploded in Dagestan late Wednesday, killing two men and wounding one more, Russian state-run news agency Itar-Tass reported.

The Dagestani Interior Ministry said the car may have been carrying a homemade explosive device, Itar-Tass reported.

It happened in the Khasavyurt region, about 75 kilometers (46.5 miles) from the regional capital of Makhachkala, the news agency said.

Twelve people were killed and 23 wounded earlier Wednesday when two car bombs exploded in the Dagestani town of Kizlyar, near the restive republic of Chechnya.

Most of the dead and wounded were police officers, officials told CNN.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he doesn't rule out the double bombings earlier Wednesday were carried out by the same terrorist groups behind Monday's suicide attacks on the Moscow metro, in which two female suicide bombers killed at least 39 people.

Chechen rebel leader Dokku Umarov claimed Wednesday on a Chechen rebel Web site that he personally gave orders for the subway attacks.

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/04/01/russia.dagestan.bomb/index.html?hpt=

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Al-Sadr flexes muscles in Iraqi political jockeying

By Mohammed Tawfeeq, Yousif Bassil and Mohammed Jamjoom

02 April 2, 2010

Baghdad, Iraq -- Muqtada al-Sadr, the firebrand cleric with a loyal following among the Shiite population in Iraq, could play a major role in the formation of a new national government.

Al-Sadr has refused to back the top vote-getters in the March 7 election and is asking his followers to designate a prime minister of their choosing in a referendum this weekend.

This is the latest political jockeying in the aftermath of the election for the 325-member parliament.

International observers, such as the United Nations and the United States, have said they were pleased with the process. They are hoping that disagreements will be settled amicably with no backsliding into instability that could affect the planned withdrawal of U.S. combat troops at the end of August and of all American troops at the end of next year.

The U.N. Security Council on Thursday welcomed the provisional results, looked forward to their certification by the Supreme Court, and urged all political entities "to respect the certified election results and the choices of the Iraqi people."

The Iraqiya bloc of Ayad Allawi won 91 seats, a razor-thin victory over the State of the Law coalition of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, which gained 89 seats, according to the provisional results.

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/04/01/iraq.politics/index.html?hpt=T1

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Condemned 'sorcerer' won't die Friday, lawyer says

02 April 2, 2010

A Lebanese man condemned to death for sorcery by a court in Saudi Arabia won't face beheading Friday, his lawyer said Thursday.

May El Khansa told CNN she received assurances from Lebanon's justice minister that Ali Hussain Sibat will not be executed Friday. But there was no indication that Sibat's death sentence would be commuted or that he would be released, she said.

There was no immediate confirmation of the report from Lebanon's Justice Ministry, and Saudi authorities have not responded to requests for comment on Sibat's case. Sibat's wife made an emotional plea for mercy during a CNN interview Thursday, asking the kingdom's rulers to let him come back to his country and his family."

"All I ask is for the Saudi king and the Saudi government to show him mercy -- let him come back to his country and his family," Samira Rahmoon said.

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/04/01/saudi.arabia.sorcery/index.html

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Iran has the right to possess nuclear weapons

By Khalid Amayreh

April 1st, 2010

One of the most scandalous manifestations of the present international order is the so-called “nuclear hypocrisy.” The United States, the only country to have committed a nuclear holocaust, is insisting that Iran has no right to possess a nuclear capability.

This nearly pornographic hypocrisy which the U.S. displays vis-à-vis the issue of nuclear proliferation is provocative and indefensible.

The US thinks it is fine to have Israel possess several hundred nuclear bombs and warheads, along with their American-supplied or Israeli-manufactured delivery systems. However, the same America vehemently rejects the very suggestion that Iran, or any other Middle Eastern country, should possess a nuclear capability.

The US, along with influential Zionist circles which control US politics to a large extent, routinely come up with a spate of largely spurious arguments about the inadmissibility of an Iranian nuclear capability.

They claim that Iranian leaders are too unreasonable, too unbalanced and might be too suicidal, as Bernard Lewis once claimed, to be allowed to possess a nuclear capability.

Another irrational claim is that once Iran possessed such a capability, it might attack the terrorist state of Israel, an entity armed to the teeth.

Full report at:

thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2010/04/01/iran-has-the-right-to-possess-nuclear-we

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David Headley not connected to ISI, army: Pak

Mar 31, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan military on Wednesday dismissed as "fabricated" reports that Pakistani-American David Headley, who confessed to plotting Mumbai attacks, had named three army and ISI officials for their involvement in the 26/11 strikes, claiming that it was an attempt to malign security agencies.

A spokesman for the Inter-Services Public Relations "strongly denied the contents of a news report which appeared in a section of the national and international media, quoting unsubstantiated sources, that David Headley, a suspect (in the) Mumbai attacks, has named three officers of the Pakistan Army and ISI about their direct involvement in the Mumbai attack."

Full report at:

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/David-Headley-not-connected-to-ISI-army-Pak/articleshow/5747653.cms

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Pakistan has role in Afghan reconciliation: US

By Anwar Iqbal

Thursday, 01 Apr, 2010

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon has said that Pakistan also needs to be enlisted in any effort to seek reconciliation with the Afghan militants, although the process has to be led and managed by Kabul.

A senior US defence official, while briefing journalists in Washington, recalled that Pakistan had offered assistance to Afghanistan in the reconciliation process and the offer needed to be considered “because of the tribal region and the nature of it”.

“Under those terms, then, I think, you know, probably helping enlistment of Pakistan in that as well as — in that framework” for reconciliation would be useful, the official said.

But the decision for accepting Pakistan’s offer would have to be taken by the Afghan government because the reconciliation and reintegration process had to be “led and managed” by the Afghans, said the US official.

The US believed that some of the militants were reconcilable and some were not, the official added.

Full report at:

dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/pakistan-has-role-in-afghan-reconciliation-us-140

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Israel welcomes China decision to discuss Iran sanctions

April 01, 2010

JERUSALEM: Israel on Thursday welcomed China's decision to discuss new UN sanctions against Iran while expressing doubt that the measures under consideration would do much to slow Tehran's nuclear drive.

"It's an interesting change and progress on the part of China, which has eased its opposition to new sanctions against Iran, but there is no need to indulge in premature joy," Israel's UN ambassador Gabriela Shalev said.

"Ultimately, the United Nations will not impose crippling sanctions against the Iranian regime," she added in an interview with Israel's army radio.

The United States said Wednesday that China was ready to hold "serious" talks at the United Nations on sanctions to curb Iran's nuclear programme, which Israel and the West believe is secretly aimed at producing weapons.

China has veto power on UN Security Council resolutions and has consistently opposed punishing Iran.

Full report at:

http://thenews.com.pk/updates.asp?id=101949

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Obama's Divided Jerusalem

By David Weinberg

April 01, 2010

The upshot of last week’s Obama-Netanyahu confrontation is that the White House wants to move Israel rapidly towards a division of Jerusalem.

the shearing of Jerusalem into Arab and Jewish sovereignties will turn it into the bull’s eye of Mideast battle – a city that will make Belfast at its worst look like paradise.

However, the widely-held presumption that splitting Jerusalem will lead to prosperity for the city and to peace for Jews and Arabs is an egregious error. Partitioning Jerusalem will destroy the city. It will die, in every way – culturally, religiously, economically and more. And politically, the shearing of Jerusalem into Arab and Jewish sovereignties will turn it into the bull’s eye of Mideast battle – a city that will make Belfast at its worst look like paradise.

The main reason for this is that any section of the city handed over to “Arab” rule will immediately become Ground Zero for the fierce war being waged within the Arab world over Islamic lifestyle, ideology and legitimacy.

Just who is going to rule in “Arab” eastern Jerusalem? Will it be the declining secular Palestinian national movement (whose sway in the West Bank is tentative at best), or the radical Islamist Hamas (which openly seeks Israel’s destruction), or the annihilationist Al-Qaeda affiliated forces (who are growing in strength in the territories), or the increasingly radical and violent Israeli Arab Islamic movement (which has been the main force behind recent unrest on the Temple Mount), or the Jordanians (who have a superior claim to Arab leadership in Jerusalem under the 1994 peace treaty with Israel), or the Moroccans (who head the Arab League’s Supreme Jerusalem Committee), or the Saudis (who see themselves as the true custodians of Islamic holy sites)?

Full report at:

http://davidmweinberg.com/2010/03/27/woe-will-be-a-divided-jerusalem/

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Afghan president accuses foreign election observers

1 April 2010

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has accused foreign election observers of fraud during last year's disputed vote.

Fraud had been widespread, Mr Karzai conceded, but he blamed foreigners for it, saying the UN was its focal point.

Mr Karzai singled out Peter Galbraith, the then deputy head of the UN mission, who he said had organised the fraud.

He accused Mr Galbraith of feeding details to the international media in an attempt to blacken his name. Mr Galbraith called the claim incredible.

He said the suggestion that the UN had stolen votes also served as a sharp reminder of the fraud that dogged the election.

Mr Galbraith resigned last year, alleging that the UN was not doing enough to combat fraud in the election.

Full report at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8598843.stm

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UN probe quizzed Hezbollah members says Nasrallah

1 April 2010

The leader of militant group Hezbollah has confirmed that a UN investigation into the killing of a Lebanese prime minister questioned Hezbollah members.

Former PM Rafik Hariri and 22 other people were killed in Beirut in a massive blast in 2005.

His allies accused Syria of involvement in the attack, which it denied. Hezbollah has close ties with Damascus.

This is the first time Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has confirmed that members of the group were questioned.

He said they had been given assurances that they were being questioned as witnesses and not suspects.

Full report at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8598964.stm

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30 prisoners escape after bomb blast at south Yemen jail

Apr 1, 2010

SANAA: Around 30 prisoners escaped after a bomb explosion at a prison in southern Yemen on Thursday, police said, identifying the fugitives as sympathisers of a secessionist movement.

They said a dispute broke out at a police post next to the jail between policemen and sympathisers of the breakaway movement arrested for having taken part in a protest in Daleh, 280 kilometres (170 miles) from Sanaa.

The detained protesters hurled a bomb, according to police, who said two policemen and three of the demonstrators were wounded. About 30 of those just arrested managed to escape in the mayhem.

Members of the movement for the independence of south Yemen said that the bomb was thrown by police.

Full report at:

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/30-prisoners-escape-after-bomb-blast-at-south-Yemen-jail/articleshow/5751078.cms

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Zardari enjoys immunity, can't reopen corruption case: Swiss prosecutor

Mar 31, 2010

GENEVA: Pakistan has not asked Swiss authorities to reopen a corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari, Geneva's public prosecutor said on Wednesday.

In any case, Zardari enjoys immunity from prosecution as a head of state, Prosecutor-General Daniel Zappelli said.

"I have not received any request," Zappelli said, commenting on news from Islamabad that Pakistan's anti-corruption agency would ask the Swiss to revive the case.

Zardari and his wife, assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, were convicted by a Geneva court in 2003 of laundering $13 million linked to kickbacks, but that verdict was overturned on appeal and Swiss judicial authorities said in August 2008 they had closed the file on the case.

Zappelli said that Pakistan's embassy in Switzerland had officially notified him in June 2008 of a decision by Pakistan's prosecutor-general in April of that year to withdraw proceedings against Zardari.

Full report at:

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Zardari-enjoys-immunity-cant-reopen-corruption-case-Swiss-prosecutor/articleshow/5747712.cms

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Gunman fires upon crowd in DC, kills 4

Apr 1, 2010

WASHINGTON: A drive-by shooting killed four people and wounded at least five others in the nation's capital, officials said.

A gunman sprayed bullets "into a crowd" on Tuesday night, DC police chief Cathy Lanier said. Three people were arrested and a weapon was later recovered, police said. Six men and three women were shot around 7.30pm in South Capitol Street in the southeastern part of the city, a DC police department spokesman said.

The fire department said all of the victims were in their 20s and 30s, except for one teenager. The Washington Post reported that police pursued a van from the scene, aided by a helicopter. Four DC officers were slightly injured while chasing a suspect's vehicle.

One victim died at the scene, one was dead on arrival at the hospital, and the third died in the operating room.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Gunman-fires-upon-crowd-in-DC-kills-4/articleshow/5749116.cms

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Iran continues to build nukes, says CIA report

Apr 1, 2010

WASHINGTON: A new report by the Central Intelligence Agency has said that Iran is still working on building nuclear weapons despite technical setbacks and international resistance.

The CIA report is the latest official study expressing concern over Iran's continuing nuclear activities.

"Iran continues to develop a range of capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so," the report said. "Iran continued to expand its nuclear infrastructure and continued uranium enrichment and activities related to its heavy water research reactor, despite multiple UN Security Council Resolutions since late 2006 calling for the suspension of those activities," it added.

The new report also stands in contradiction with the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, which determined that the country had halted its nuclear production efforts in 2003.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama said he wants the new sanctions against Iran to be placed within weeks and not in months. "My hope is we are going to get this (sanctions against Iran) done this spring. So I am not interested in waiting months for a sanctions regime to be in place. I'm interested in seeing that... in weeks," Obama said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Iran-continues-to-build-nukes-says-CIA-report/articleshow/5749110.cms

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Iran sanctions within weeks: Obama

Narayan Lakshman

Washington DC: President Obama on Wednesday said he believed the U.S. and the international community could have United Nations sanctions against Iran “within weeks,” over Iran's alleged nuclear development programme.

Speaking at a press conference with visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr. Obama said the U.S. had made clear that there would be a time limit to the engagement-based approach, and if progress was not evident by the end of the year, it would be time to move forwards on that sanctions track.

“I am not interested in waiting months for a sanctions regime to be in place. I am interested in seeing that regime in place in weeks, and we are working diligently with our international partners,” said Mr. Obama, adding that the U.S. would “move forcefully on a U.N. sanctions regime”.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/04/01/stories/2010040163241600.htm

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Iran's Jalili heads for China

Atul Aneja

DUBAI: Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili is heading for China as the U.S. has mounted a high profile effort to impose sanctions against Tehran.

Mr. Jalili will meet high-ranking Chinese officials when he commences his visit to Beijing on Thursday.

Reiterating that Washington and Beijing were not on the same page on the question of sanctions, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Tuesday more diplomatic initiatives were required to address the Iranian issue.

“We will continue to work with all parties towards the solution of the

Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic and peaceful means,” said Mr. Qin. “China has not changed its stance on the Iranian nuclear issue. We insist on safeguarding international nuclear non-proliferation regime, and we also take into account regional peace and stability.”

http://www.hindu.com/2010/04/01/stories/2010040155401400.htm

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26/11 trial ends, verdict on May 3

Rahi Gaikwad

Mumbai: Marking the end of the year-long 26/11 trial, the special sessions court here on Wednesday announced May 3, 2010, as “the day of judgment.” Judge M.L. Tahaliyani gave the date after the lawyer for the third and last accused, Sabahuddin Ahmed, concluded his final arguments.

On May 3, the court will give its verdict on the various charges against Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, and co-accused Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin. The recording of the judgment will be done in April.

“May 3 ko faisla hoga aapka [Verdict will be pronounced on you on May 3],” Mr. Tahaliyani informed Kasab, who appeared unmoved by the announcement. He did not interact with his lawyer K.P. Pawar on Wednesday and has not done so in a long time.

Full report at:

hindu.com/2010/04/01/stories/2010040155890100.htm

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Benazir commission mandate not extended

By Masood Haider

01 Apr, 2010

UNITED NATIONS, March 31: Diplomats and officials at the United Nations headquarters were surprised at the last-minute request by the Pakistan government to delay the UN Commission report on the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Islamabad asked the United Nations to delay the release of report to April 15.

A UN spokesman told Dawn on Wednesday “this is a technical delay”, adding that the “commission has not asked nor has it been given an extension so far”. However, UN officials did not preclude the possibility of extension if sought by the commission.

Last December the commission sought the extension citing more work and the secretary general extended the mandate to March 31.

In Islamabad, presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar was quoted as saying “the country had requested the delay so the commission could attempt to question two heads of state who he said had called Ms Bhutto before her death warning her of “serious threats to her life”.

Full report at:

dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/benazir-commission-mandate-not-extended-140

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6 security men, 20 militants killed in Bara

By Ibrahim Shinwari

Thursday, 01 Apr, 2010

LANDI KOTAL: At least six security personnel were killed and 15 others injured in a suicide blast which followed an attack by militants on a checkpoint in Bara area of Khyber Agency on Wednesday.

According to a security official in Jamrud, security forces killed at least 20 militants and injured 30 others in a clash after the attack. After that a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into the gate of the Jansi post.

A handout issued by the ISPR said that the pre-dawn attack by over 100 heavily armed terrorists had been repulsed.

Troops launched an operation in Bara tehsil with the help of the Frontier Corps in September last year to flush out militants and outlaws.

A large number of militants belonging to banned organisations have been killed or captured during the operation.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/6-security-men%2C-20-militants-killed-in-bara-140

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Obama focusing on South Asia stability, says White House

April 1st, 2010

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama is devoting considerable time to United States’ relations with Pakistan, Afghanistan and India in order to see the security strengthened and advance mutual goals in the vitally important region, a White House spokesman said Tuesday.

“Obviously the President, as you know and as many of you have seen, has spent considerable time on our relationships with Afghanistan, Pakistan and India in order to see security strengthened and our mutual goals worked on in an important region in the world,” Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.

The spokesman’s remarks, in response to a question about progress in US-India nuclear deal, came in the wake of President Obama’s surprise weekend visit to Afghanistan, where the US is striving for a positive outcome of its high-stakes post-9/11 military and civilian engagment. Washington also relies critically on Pakistan’s anti-militancy efforts in its tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, a fact the US leader noted in his speech in Afghanistan while acknowledging that Islamabad is mounting major offensives against violent extremists within its borders.

Full report at:

http://dailymailnews.com/0410/01/FrontPage/FrontPage4.php

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India wants dialogue with Iran on IPI pipeline

April 1st, 2010

CANCUN—Seeking to revive talks that have been on freeze for almost three years, India today proposed dialogue with Iran to discuss impediments in implementation of the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project. Petroleum Minister Murli Deora met Iran’s Deputy Minister for International Affairs H Noghrehkar Shirazi on the sidelines of the 12th International Energy Forum here to propose bilateral talks in May. “We are ready to hold talks and have proposed meeting of Joint Working Group (of the two countries) on the pipeline project,” Sunil Jain, Joint Secretary (International Cooperation), said after the meeting, reported PTI.

India has been boycotting formal talks on the project since 2007 over security concerns. “We are waiting for them (Iran) to decide on the dates,” he said. The New Delhi’s offer of talks follows Iran and Pakistan signing pacts to implement the long-talked project on bilateral basis.

India wants Iran to be responsible for safe passage of gas through 1,035-km pipeline length in Pakistan and would pay for the fuel only when it is delivered at Pakistan-India border. Iran, on the other hand, has suggested a trilateral mechanism, meaning contractual provisions between three countries, to ensure safe delivery of gas to India. Under this system, New Delhi pays for its share of gas even if the supplies were to be disrupted in Pakistan, officials said. They said Tehran has been insisting that ownership of gas would be transfered at Iran-Pakistan border while New Delhi wants it to be Pakistan-India border.—Agencies

http://dailymailnews.com/0410/01/FrontPage/FrontPage6.php

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3 Army men, 4 terrorists killed in J&K encounter

Apr 1, 2010

JAMMU: Three Armymen and four Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists were killed in an 18-hour fierce encounter that ended in Rajouri on Wednesday. Nagrota-based defence spokesman Lt Col Vikram Singh said a jawan and the Dharamsal police station SHO were injured in the encounter in forest area of Kamrot Kandi Kalakote in Rajouri.

Singh said a joint team of Army and police was engaged in a combing operation in Tilnai Khoo forest area in Kandi Bhudal belt of Rajouri district when they spotted six Pakistani terrorists trying to sneak into the Indian side.

When challenged, the terrorists fired at the security focres, triggering a fierce gunbattle at 4.50pm on Monday. In the encounter that lasted till early Tuesday, four LeT terrorists — all from Pakistan — were killed, police said.

Four AK rifles, magazines, grenades, pistols, a satellite phone, a GPS device, geo-satellite maps of J&K, Pakistan-made edible and electronic items were recovered from them, police added.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/3-Army-men-4-terrorists-killed-in-JK-encounter/articleshow/5748976.cms

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Jordan nixes nuclear ties with Israel

By ABDUL JALIL MUSTAFA

Mar 31, 2010

AMMAN: Jordan on Wednesday totally excluded cooperation with Israel in nuclear spheres unless it joined the relevant global agreements and withdrew from the occupied Arab territories.

“Jordan will not have any form of nuclear cooperation with Israel before it abides by the relevant international resolutions, including the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,” chairman of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) Khalid Touqan said.

“Israel should also commit itself to a peaceful, just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian question and returning the occupied territories to their legitimate owners,” he said.

Touqan called for a Middle East free of all mass destruction arms and urged the world community to “apply this policy to all parties in the region”.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article37619.ece

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160,000 Indians for this Haj

By K.S. RAMKUMAR

Apr 1, 2010

JEDDAH: India signed on Wednesday night an agreement enabling its pilgrims to perform this year’s Haj. Minister of Haj Fouad Al-Farsy and India’s Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor signed the deal, which will allow over 160,000 Indian pilgrims perform this year’s Haj.

Tharoor was accompanied by members of Parliament Mohsina Kidwai and Madani Mahmood Hussain, and Indian Ambassador Talmiz Ahmad.

“Over 160,000 Indian pilgrims coming through the Haj Committee of India (HCI) and private tour operators are expected to perform Haj this year. A request for an additional quota has been forwarded to the Ministry of Haj taking into account the large number of applicants,” Tharoor told a press conference at the consulate.

Last year, 160,000 pilgrims performed the Haj successfully. They were selected from 357,000 applicants. “Our discussion with the Haj minister was both positive and constructive. Our efforts are directed to improving our partnership in the interest of our pilgrims,” he said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article37686.ece

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China 'ready for talks' on new UN sanctions on Iran

1 April 2010

Tehran says its nuclear programme is peaceful

Iran's top nuclear official is holding talks in China amid signs Beijing may have relaxed its opposition to a new round of UN sanctions against Tehran.

The US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, said China was ready to hold "serious" talks with Western powers on a new UN resolution.

This would mark a policy shift for China, which has strong ties with Iran. China says it wants a peaceful outcome.

Western powers claim Iran seeks nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

China has in the past expressed reluctance to see new sanctions imposed, and as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, along with France, the US, the UK, and Russia, it has the power to veto such a move.

US President Barack Obama, meanwhile, has said he hopes to have sanctions in place "within weeks".

Full report at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8598215.stm

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Gujarat riots: Now, Nanavati panel may summon Modi

Apr 1, 2010,

AHMEDABAD: The Nanavati Commission probing the 2002 riot cases on Thursday kept the option of questioning Chief Minister Narendra Modi open when it told the Gujarat High Court that its decision not to summon him was "not final".

The Commission was clarifying its position while responding to a poser by the High Court on March 22 that it communicate by today whether its decision not to summon the 59-year-old BJP leader for questioning was tentative or final.

State Advocate General Kamal Trivedi produced a letter written by secretary of Nanavati Commission in this regard in the court which was taken on record.

Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya and Justice Akil Kureshi in its order said, "The Nanavati Commission's letter says that its order of September 18, 2009 is not final."

"In view of the letter submitted by the Nanavati Commission the matter has been adjourned till June 17", the court said.

Full report at:

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Gujarat-riots-Now-Nanavati-panel-may-summon-Modi/articleshow/5751333.cms

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BJP not anti-Islam, but against terror outfits: Gadkari

April 1st, 2010

Kolkata, BJP today denied allegations of being anti-Islam, saying it was against organisations like al-Qaeda, ISI and Lashkar-e-Taiba which carry out terrorism in the name of religion.

"The BJP is sometimes accused of being anti-Islam. I say, if it were so, why did Atal Bihari Vajpayee suggest the name of A P J Abdul Kalam for the post of President?" BJP President Nitin Gadkari told a citizen's convention.

Charging the Congress with being unable to contain terrorism, he said, "it cannot fight terrorism as long as it remains at the Centre. Terrorists will come and go... and people will end up organising candlelight vigils."

Taking a dig at secular parties without naming any, he said, "at one time, secularism meant appeasement of minorities. Now it means appeasement of terrorists with an eye on the vote bank.

© PTI 2010

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/muslim-scholars-tell-osama-he-s-got-it-all-wrong/d/2644


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