New Age Islam
Sat Aug 15 2020, 07:48 AM

Islamic World News ( 13 Jan 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Muslim-West tensions seen as avoidable: Study presented in a Sharja Seminar

26/11: JuD chief Hafiz Saeed wants Pak govt to defend him in US court

“Fatwas must be backed by credible Islamic scholarship”

Journalist among eight killed in Karachi

Pak to block websites, SMS 'propagating anti-Islam agenda'

46 Bangla border guards get jail for 2009 bloody mutiny

Four security men killed in bomb attacks in Pak

Samjhauta blasts case: Swami Aseemanand sent to judicial custody

CBI to reinvestigate Malegaon blast case

Swami gets 2 days to record ‘confession’

Omar's outreach takes him to separatist hub

Implementation of welfare programmes for Muslims entrusted to Maulana Azad Foundation: Digvijay Singh

A step towards bringing the West closer to the Muslims

Pak still remains epicentre of global terrorism: US

CBI To Probe ’06 Malegaon Blast Again

BJP Defends Lal Chowk Flag Hoisting

Army busts militant hideout in Rajouri

30 SIMI activists chargesheeted by NIA in terror camp case

Malegaon blast suspects pushed own plans

'Not just White girls, Pak Muslim men sexually target Hindu and Sikh girls as well

Two private channels fined for airing Qadri’s interview

Lebanese government falls

Petition to declare Kasab, Ansari as fugitives in Pak

Iran invites foreign experts to inspect nuclear sites

Geo Journo Shot Dead In Karachi

Zardari Seeks Allies Unity Ahead Of US Visit

Boxer Amir Khan Behind Jordan Split?

Shadow over Pakistan security grows

Israel troops on alert after Lebanon govt falls

Omar targets BJP, Hurriyat over ‘negative politics’

From SIMI to Swami: Court lets CBI probe Malegaon 2006 afresh

ISLAMABAD: Police routinely change nature of the cases reported

UK calls on Pakistan to amend blasphemy laws

Zardari-Obama talks to focus on economic reforms

Smoke from cooking and heating kills 54,000 Afghans a year

Five policemen killed, nine injured in Khyber bomb blasts

Three tribesmen killed in Mohmand explosion

Mortars fired from Afghanistan kill 8 in N Waziristan

WikiLeaks gives $15k to soldier's defense fund

Talks on new govt in Lebanon to start Monday

Kuwait’s interior minister resigns over custody death

Clinton admits US limitations on Israel

Biden: Iraq’s success in US interest

Turkish PM: Israel must remove foreign minister

Iraq probes shootout with Kuwaiti coast guard

Three of UAE firms raise diesel prices

Slabs for rent hike in Dubai

Dubai rental market shows signs of stabilisation

Bahrain mulls change in law to fill local council seats

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/muslim-west-tensions-seen-as-avoidable--study-presented-in-a-sharja-seminar/d/3930

 

 

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Muslim-West tensions seen as avoidable: Study presented in a Sharja Seminar

14 January 2011

SHARJAH - In engaging diplomatically and building efforts for collaboration, majority of Muslim and Western society leaders must emphasise resolving political issues rather than religious conflict, suggested Dalia Mogahed, US President Barack Obama’s Adviser for Muslim Affairs, at a presentation held on Thursday, at the American University of Sharjah (AUS).

The lecture was the third in a series of presentations held at the university as part of a three-day event entitled ‘Co-existence between Muslims and Non-Muslims since the Dawn of Islam.’ The event was held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

Mogahed, who is also Senior Analyst Executive Director of the Gallup Centre for Muslim Studies in Abu Dhabi, delivered an engaging presentation entitled ‘Measuring the State of Muslim-West Relations: Assessing the New Beginning.’ Her presentation featured the results of extensive surveys conducted by Gallup over the past two years.

“From March 2008 to May 2010, Gallup conducted 115,157 interviews across 55 countries or areas, representing the views of more than 1.5 billion people,” she said. The surveys addressed a number of pertinent questions such as whether the respondents believe the Muslim world and the Western world were getting along well with each other today; if they thought the Western world is committed to improving the interaction between the Muslim and Western worlds; whether they believed that the Muslim world respected the Western world; whether they believed that the Western world respected Muslim world; and if they thought violent conflict between the Muslim and Western worlds could be avoided, or not; among numerous other important questions.

She said that the survey results indicated that the greatest improvement in opinion of the US among Muslims was found in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region but it was not sustained. The results also showed that Muslim-West tensions were seen as mostly avoidable, especially by those who viewed them as political vs religious, and that the Muslim religious practice and satisfaction with its own leaders was associated with greater readiness for engagement.?And finally, the respondents viewed ‘respect’ to include perceptions of fairness in policies.

Mutual respect

As a result of the findings of the survey, she offered the following recommendations: when engaging Muslims globally, focus the most effort in the MENA region, the area of greatest need and receptivity; and that policy initiatives should continue to emphasise mutual respect and mutual interests by discussing the fairness of decisions and actions, in addition to continuing to use culturally appropriate narratives.

Mogahed’s presentation was followed by the final presentation in the lecture series. It was delivered by Shaikh Dr Samir Mattar,  renowned Muslim preacher, who spoke on the topic of “Islamic Principles and Treatment of Non-Muslims.” He said that one of the most important factors that could assist in making peaceful coexistence a reality was to distinguish between what are viewed matters of faith and “what should be said, when it should be said and to whom it should be said, in addition to developing a method for addressing the people in a way that brings them closer together, rather than dividing them.”

“The basis for peaceful coexistence lies in proper diagnosis and identification of the existing problems, dealing with all facts in a transparent way and harbouring no grudges towards the other,” he said. He said that the UAE was a living example of peaceful co-existence in contemporary times. “The founder, the late Shaikh Zayed, may Allah rest his soul, was very keen to create a state where everyone, irrespective of their race or creed, could live together in peace and harmony. The result of those efforts is what we are witnessing today,” he concluded.

Islam’s tolerance

The series also saw two lectures being presented on the inaugural day of the event. Sayyed Ali Al-Hashimi, Adviser to the President for Judiciary and Religious Affairs, Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Abu Dhabi, and Bishop Isaac Al Anba Bishoy, Pastor of Al Anba Antonio Cathedral Church, Abu Dhabi, spoke on ‘Islam’s Tolerance toward Other Religions’ and ‘A Journey of Love throughout 15 Centuries,’ respectively.

Dr Peter Heath, AUS Chancellor, along with Dr Thomas Hochstettler, AUS Provost; Salem Yousef Al Qaseer, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs; Dr. Mark Edward Rush, Dean of the AUS College of Arts and Sciences; as well as faculty, staff, students and members of the public attended the talks.

The event was organised by the AUS Department of Arabic and Translation Studies, and also included an exhibition of displays made by AUS students that symbolised and documented Islamic coexistence with other religions since the dawn of Islam.

news@khaleejtimes.com

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2011/January/theuae_January348.xml&section=theuae

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26/11: JuD chief Hafiz Saeed wants Pak govt to defend him in US court

Jan 14, 2011

The JuD chief has moved the Lahore HC seeking direction for the Pak govt to defend him before a US court that has issued summons to him in Mumbai attacks case.

LAHORE: Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed has moved the Lahore High Court seeking direction for the Pakistan government to defend him, ISI chiefs and others before a US court, which has issued summons to them in connection with the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Saeed, his operational commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, DG ISI Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, his predecessor Lt Gen (r) Nadeem Taj, Major Ali and Major Iqbal are among those who have been summoned for appearing before the court in a case filed by an injured US citizen and the heirs of four others, who were killed in the terror strike on November 26, 2008.

Petitioner's counsel AK Dogar stated that Rabbi Gavriel Noah Holtzberg and his wife Rivka were killed in a terrorist attack at the Chhabad House in Mumbai, and their son, Moshe, who survived the attack, along with other people, had moved a US court against his client Saeed and others.

He said the complainant accused them of providing material support for the Mumbai terror attacks and demanded damages. Dogar stated that Hafiz Saeed was the head of the Jamaatud Dawa, which was a charity organisation and had no links with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

The Pakistan government had detained him in 2009, and a full bench of the LHC had ordered his release, Dogar added.

Noting that on December 31, the Pakistan government had announced to defend ISI head Lt Gen Pasha, he maintained that Saeed was also a Pakistani, and had the same rights as any other citizen of the country.

In response to the summons, a reply had already been sent to the US court, rejecting the jurisdiction of American courts, as international law did not allow an exercise of jurisdiction over any person and property of other states, he added.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/26/11-JuD-chief-Hafiz-Saeed-wants-Pak-govt-to-defend-him-in-US-court-/articleshow/7275523.cms#ixzz1Ayyhoh3f

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“Fatwas must be backed by credible Islamic scholarship”

S. Arun Mohan

Grand Mufti of Egypt sees need to deradicalise the understanding of Islam

Rehabilitation of militants not possible overnight

Stresses rejuvenation of ties between India and Egypt

New Delhi: Before issuing a fatwa, a Muslim cleric should consider three important factors. It must be issued only after thorough reference to textual sources and also must be based on an investigation of the lived realities.

Most importantly, the fatwa sought to be issued must strike a fine balance between texts and the human experience. Clerics must hence adhere to a ‘clear, systematic' methodology that is backed by credible scholarship, according to Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt.

Dr. Gomaa heads the Dar Al-Ifta Al Misriyyah in Egypt, one of the leading authorities in the world for Islamic legal research that issues nearly 3,500 fatwas a day.

A vocal proponent of a moderate and tolerant version of Islam, he is a pre-eminent jurist widely respected across the Muslim world.

In conversation with journalists at the Egyptian Embassy here, Dr. Gomaa spoke of the need to deradicalise the understanding of Islam and usher in a ‘fresh, revisionist' perspective on critical issues that face the community.

‘Cannot happen overnight'

Observing that Muslims drawn towards militancy pass through diverse stages of literalism, rigidity and extremism, Dr. Gomaa warned that their rehabilitation was not possible overnight.

He noted that over 90 per cent of nearly 16,000 imprisoned Islamists in Egypt were absorbed into mainstream, moderate thinking through a rehabilitation project that spanned several years.

However, various forces constantly sought to sow seeds of division, as was evidenced by the bombing on New Year's eve at the Two Saints Church at Alexandria. Condemning the attack, Dr. Gomaa said that the unity and solidarity between religious communities in Egypt was unshakeable.

Shia-Sunni divide

The Grand Mufti stressed that there were no major ‘theological or juristic' differences between the Shia and Sunni branches of Islam. In fact, the division was created by ‘manipulative political agendas,' more often than not.

On the independence referendum currently underway in Southern Sudan, he was personally against the ‘dividing up' of nations, but emphasised that the will of the people to realise the modern ideal of democracy must be accepted.

Dr. Gomaa is on his first visit to India. He participated in an international Islamic conference in Kerala last week. Scheduled to meet with Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Farooq Abdullah in New Delhi, Dr. Gomaa spoke of the need to ‘rejuvenate' ties between India and Egypt, especially relations between religious establishments. Terming ties that dated back to the age of Nehru and Nasser as ‘historic and solid,' he said that his visit was an ‘enormous success.'

http://www.hindu.com/2011/01/14/stories/2011011467372200.htm

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Journalist among eight killed in Karachi

Jan 14 2011

KARACHI: A young journalist was gunned down here on Thursday. Seven other people were killed and at least 12 injured in different incidents of firing and armed attacks in the city.

The 29-nine-year-old journalist, Wali Khan Babar of Geo News, was targeted near Liaquatabad Dakkhana bus stop when he was going home in his car.

“Initial investigation suggests that Babar was stuck in a traffic jam when a man stopped in front of his car,” said DIG West Sultan Khawaja.

“The man pulled out a pistol and fired several shots at Babar before returning to his associate waiting across the road on a motorbike to disappear from the scene in a flash.”

Police found five cases of spent 9mm bullets from the scene. Babar received bullets on his forehead, face and neck.

The DIG ruled out mugging attempt as motive behind the firing, saying “it appeared to be a premeditated murder”.

The incident came as a grim reminder of a recent report by a press advocacy group which declared Pakistan as the deadliest country for journalists in 2010.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said that of the 42 journalists killed worldwide in 2010 eight belonged to Pakistan.

Politicians, government officials and media bodies condemned the incident and called for immediate arrest of the killer.

“We don’t know who is behind this, but definitely we take it as a message for the entire media community,” said Azhar Abbas, managing director of the Geo Television Network.

“This reflects a dangerous trend of intolerance to target the media personnel who only reveal truth. The incident should serve as a wakeup call for all those who are part of this struggle.”

FRESH VIOLENCE

At least seven people were killed and 12 injured in different incidents of firing and armed attacks in the city on Thursday night.

The fresh spate of violence broke out after a senior leader of the Awami National Party was attacked near Hasan Square.

According to police and party sources, two gunmen on a bike sprayed bullets on the car of Bashir Jan, Sindh ANP’s information secretary, near Gharibabad. He suffered a bullet wound in the hand and his two guards in the legs and abdomen. They were taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.

The incident sparked violence in Banaras, Qasba Colony and parts of Orangi Town which reverberated with frequent gunfire.

Four men were killed when a group of people came under an armed attack near Qasba Mor. Three others were killed in Liaquatabad and Orangi Town.

An official at the Sindh police surgeon office said that five bodies with gunshot wounds were brought to Abbassi Shaheed Hospital and Qatar Hospital.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/14/journalist-killed-by-gunmen-in-liaqatabad.html

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Pak to block websites, SMS 'propagating anti-Islam agenda'

Jan 14 2011

Islamabad: Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik today directed the authorities to block websites and SMS "propagating an anti-Islam agenda" within 24 hours.

Malik ordered the Interior Secretary to trace all websites that are "propagating against Islam". Cases should be registered against persons who are involved in such acts and are residing in Pakistan, he said.

The minister also asked the Secretary to constitute a committee comprising representatives of the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority and Federal Investigation Agency to tackle anti-Islam propaganda.

The panel should submit its report in a week, he said.

He also called on people to inform authorities about websites that are "propagating against Islam and Pakistan".

In a separate development, Malik told reporters at Pirpai village in northwest Pakistan that the government has no intention of repealing or amending the blasphemy law.

Due to the "sensitivity" of the issue, people should not play it up as the government has adopted a "categorical stance on the subject", he said.

Malik went to Pirpai in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province to offer condolences to the family of senior Pakistan People's Party leader Naseerullah Babar, who died recently.

He said the blasphemy law will be taken up with noted clerics and religious scholars of different schools of thoughts and the issue will be "amicably resolved".

Senior PPP leader and Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer was gunned down on January 4 by a police guard who said he was angered by the politician’s criticism of the blasphemy law.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/737061/

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46 Bangla border guards get jail for 2009 bloody mutiny

January 14, 2011

A special Bangladeshi court on Thursday jailed 46 border guards for a maximum of seven years for their involvement in the 2009 bloody mutiny that killed 74 people, including 57 army officers.

Forty six jawans of the 29 Rifles Battalion of Border Guard Bangladesh were sentenced to jail terms ranging from four months to seven years for their involvement in the mutiny in Matiranga sub-division in Chittagong’s Khagrachhari district that led to the killing of 57 army officers, including the then BDR chief Major General Shakil Ahmed.

The Special Court-15, headed by Chittagong Sector Commander Lt Col Zahedur Rahamn, fined them Tk 100 each, the Star online of the The Daily Star newspaper said on Thursday.

However, it acquitted border guard Nayak Md Hanif as charges were not proved against him.

At least 70 people, including 57 army officials deputed at the BGB Headquarters at Peelkhana in the capital were killed in bloody BDR mutiny on February 25-26, 2009.

The BDR has been renamed as Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) with a new combat uniform as part of a reform process.

Some 3,500 border guards have been facing trial in 40 cases countrywide over the mutiny that spread to battalions outside Dhaka. Trial of crimes like murders and looting during the rebellion are being held under civil law, according to media reports.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/310425/46-Bangla-border-guards-get-jail-for-2009-bloody-mutiny.html

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Four security men killed in bomb attacks in Pak

January 14, 2011

Militants targeted a police van and a security check post with bombs in Pakistan’s restive northwest on Thursday, killing at least four security personnel and injuring nine others, a day after a suicide attack on a police station in the region claimed 20 lives. The police van was attacked with a remote-controlled bomb at Sardi Khel town in Bannu district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, officials said. The area borders North Waziristan tribal region, considered a hub of Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives. The attack left three policemen dead and five more injured, the officials said. The injured were taken to a hospital in Bannu city.

Security forces launched a massive crackdown against militants following the attack.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/310430/Four-securitymen-killed-in-bomb-attacks-in-Pak.html

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Samjhauta blasts case: Swami Aseemanand sent to judicial custody

Rajinder Nagarkoti

Jan 14, 2011

PANCHKULA: Swami Aseemanand, one of the major accused in Samjhauta blasts, was sent to judicial custody in Ambala jail till January 27 by a local court in Panchkula on Thursday morning. The court also accepted the application for recording Swami Aseemanand's statement.

Aseemanand's statement is very crucial as the hardline Hindutava swami on December 18, 2010 confessed to his involvement in the terror attack on Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid, while confirming that bomb attacks on the mosques in Malegaon (in 2006 and 2008) as well as the Samjhauta Express were carried out by Hindu radicals and he knew about it. But Assemanand's counsel Manvir Rathi had told TOI that he had made the statement under duress.

On Thursday morning, amidst tight security of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Haryana police, Swami Aseemanand was produced before the special NIA court. The NIA officials did not seek any further police remand of Swami Aseemanand. NIA counsel informed the court that Aseemanand was not required for any further interrogation. Accepting their plea, special NIA judge Ritu Garg sent Aseemanand to judicial custody in Ambala jail till January 27.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Samjhauta-blasts-case-Swami-Aseemanand-sent-to-judicial-custody/articleshow/7274895.cms#ixzz1Ayxk5lL2

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CBI to reinvestigate Malegaon blast case

Neeraj Chauhan

Jan 14, 2011

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: The CBI will "reopen and reinvestigate" the 2006 Malegaon blast case in view of Swami Aseemanand's confession that a group of Hindu radicals was behind it and also in light of other corroborative evidence.

The CBI on Thursday moved an application before an MCOCA court in Mumbai "to reopen and reinvestigate" the blast case. The court accepted the agency's plea and allowed it to reinvestigations the case.

Sources in the agency said CBI would also seek the court's permission to question accused persons in jail including Mohammad Zahid and Faruq Iqbal Ahmad. "If required, we will also talk to Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) officials, who investigated the case earlier and chargesheeted a number of Muslim youths," said an official. A CBI spokesperson confirmed that "an application was filed today in Mumbai which has been accepted". Agency sources said they would take the case diary of Maharashtra ATS, disclosure statements of all the arrested persons, chargesheet and other investigation documents.

Recently, Maharashtra home minister had asked CBI to take a re-look at the case.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/CBI-to-reinvestigate-Malegaon-blast-case/articleshow/7280710.cms#ixzz1AyyA211p

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Swami gets 2 days to record ‘confession’

Rajinder Nagarkoti

Jan 14, 2011

PANCHKULA: The key accused in the Samjhauta blasts case, Swami Aseemanand, was sent to judicial custody in Ambala jail till January 27 by a Panchkula court on Thursday. The court accepted National Investigation Agency's (NIA's) application for recording Aseemanand's statement under section 164 of CrPC which entails a confession.

The court has given him two days to record his statement, which is likely to completed on January 15.

Aseemanand's statement is going to be crucial. This is because the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had recorded his confession before the metropolitan magistrate of Tis Hazari court in Delhi on December 18 in connection with Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid blast case. Aseemanand had then said that radical Hindu groups were involved in the Samjhauta Express and other blasts. But Aseemanand's counsel Manvir Rathi told TOI earlier this week that he had made the statement under pressure from the police.

Aseemanand was produced before the special NIA court on Thursday morning amid tight security. NIA officials did not seek any further police remand of the swami, with the NIA counsel telling the court that he was not required for further questioning. Accepting their plea, special NIA judge Ritu Garg sent Aseemanand to judicial custody.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Swami-gets-2-days-to-record-confession/articleshow/7280701.cms#ixzz1AyyDZzFI

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Omar's outreach takes him to separatist hub

Jan 14, 2011

SRINAGAR: For the first time since street protests left over 110 people dead in the Valley last year, J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah addressed a rally in the separatist stronghold of Zainakadal in old Srinagar on Thursday.

The rally, which came a day after the J&K police organized a recruitment drive in the area, is part of Omar's efforts to reach out to the people in the separatist stronghold.

The CM lashed out at the separatist for destroying the Valley's economy by calling for frequent shutdowns and experimenting with the gun.''The frequent shutdowns (have) shattered the Valley's economy, but the people have now realised that nothing has been achieved through gun and hartal culture,'' he said after inaugurating a community centre in the area named after a Sufi saint. Omar asked the separatist to read the writing on the wall and return to the negotiating table. ''They should realise that dialogue is the only way out,'' he said.

He also called on the BJP to cancel its youth wing's plans to hoist the Tricolour in Srinagar on January 26. ''It has exposed their intentions of creating trouble in the Valley.'' He said the situation has improved after serious endeavours.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Omars-outreach-takes-him-to-separatist-hub-/articleshow/7280689.cms#ixzz1AyyKFMHg

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Implementation of welfare programmes for Muslims entrusted to Maulana Azad Foundation: Digvijay Singh

New Age Islam News Bureau

New Delhi: (Shesh Narain Singh)Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh has proposed to the Ministry of Minority Affairs and the Planning Commission that the implementation of all the welfare programmes for Muslims should be done through Maulana Azad Foundation so that the benefit of the schemes formulated basically for Muslim should reach to the right people. He said that complaints were received that the schemes formulated for the welfare of Muslims had not only become ineffective but had also become a victim of the local politics. The schemes of the UP have failed to achieve their objectives. He also suggested that the government should do everything that is needed in this regard as some states like Gujarat do not give much importance to the interests of the Muslims. Previously, a delegation had complained that the scholarships for students were not accepted by the Gujarat government. The fact was corroborated by the Minister for Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid who said that scholarships issued in favour of Muslim students had been returned by the Gujarat government in the past. These views were expressed in an unofficial meeting held by the NGO Anhad at the residence of the Member Planning Commission Dr Sayeeda Hamid. The Chairman of Plannig Commission Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia was also present. Digvijay Singh said that the principle of 25 per cent Muslim population for declaring a district a minority district was being reviewed. He further said that the schemes should be implemented on Muslims wherever they inhabit and supervision on town and block level should be ensured. He proposed that the supervision work should not be entrusted to government officials but the involvement of the Muslims in it should be made mandatory. He pointed out that the sense of insecurity has increased among the Muslims which results in dense Muslim populations. He said that instead of the principle of grant of predetermined funds for the development of Muslims, the arrangement should be made for the welfare of each and every Muslim inhabiting in a particular area.  One the occasion many representatives of Muslim organisations present in the meeting highlighted the defects in the schemes meant for the Muslim minority.

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A step towards bringing the West closer to the Muslims

New Age Islam News Bureau

Cairo: Practically following a verse in the Quran which says that the purpose of God behind the categorisation of human beings in tribes and sects is to make them recognise each other, the Al Azhar University has opened a centre for the English language. A student of Islamic Sharia Md Al Sayyid who has become a part of this centre said that he had not imagined before enrolment that his association will not remain limited to merely learning English but will open the windows of his intellect to the world outside. According to Al Sayyid, the Quranic verse encourages familiarity with the people of different beliefs. The Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Dr Ahmad Al Tayyab has taken many initiative to bring people of different beliefs and cultures together. This was reported by C G News. The Al Azhar English Training Centre (AAETC) is a joint endeavour of the British Coucil and the University that aims to teach English to the students of religious sciences. According to Al Sayyid, many issues were discussed with the British teachers which could not be imagined with a non-Muslims or non-Egyptians. In such monthly discussions, topics are chosen which are discussed in the context of the Muslims and the Western world. Recently the topic ‘Evolution and the creation of the universe’ was discussed and the views of others were also listened to with due respect to their beliefs. In a similar discussion, the global issues were discussed. The issue of environmental pollution and jihad were also discussed in some discussions.

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Pak still remains epicentre of global terrorism: US

January 14, 2011

After years of showering Islamabad with economic and military aid, the United States believes that Pakistan continues to be the epicentre of global terrorism, which can make or mar its ongoing war effort in Afghanistan. Unless Pakistan dismantles the terror safe havens on its soil, America cannot succeed in Afghanistan, says US’s Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again it [Pakistan] is the epicentre of terrorism in the world right now, and it deserves the attention of everybody to do as much as we can to eliminate that threat,” Mullen said during an interaction with the foreign media.

“It is absolutely critical that the safe havens in Pakistan get shut down. We cannot succeed in Afghanistan without that,” Mullen said, adding: “I’ve had many meetings with (Pakistani Army Chief) General Kayani on this subject and he has evolved his military against this threat.”

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/310423/Pak-still-remains-epicentre-of-global-terrorism-US.html

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CBI To Probe ’06 Malegaon Blast Again

Jan 14, 2011

A special court on Thursday granted permission to the Central Bureau of Investigation to reinvestigate the 2006 Malegaon blasts which killed 37 persons.

The CBI had filed an application seeking permission for the same after Swami Aseemanand, arrested in Haryana, had “confessed” that Hindu radicals were behind the blast in which the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad had filed a chargesheet against nine Muslims.

A special investigation team will be formed by the Mumbai unit of the CBI to probe the matter all over again from the beginning.

The minorities commission had taken Swami Aseemanand’s confession to state home minister R.R. Patil, who had assured them that he would ask the CBI to look into the matter. The move comes in the wake of heavy political pressure, sources said.

Swami Aseemanand had, under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, made a confessional statement before a magistrate on December 18 in Delhi. Accepting the CBI’s arguments, special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act judge Yatin D. Shinde on Thursday granted the agency permission under Section 173 (8) of the Criminal Procedure Code to reinvestigate the case. “We need to conduct further investigations into the blast following fresh disclosures made by Aseemanand in his confession,” CBI counsel Ejaz Khan argued before the court.

Full report at: http://www.asianage.com/india/cbi-probe-%E2%80%9906-malegaon-blast-again-177

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BJP Defends Lal Chowk Flag Hoisting

Jan 14, 2011

Senior BJP leader and the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley on Thursday said those who term speeches of anti-nationalists as freedom of expression are objecting to political parties hoisting the tricolour in certain parts of the country. The BJP youth wing will be hoisting flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on January 26 despite Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah urging the party not to, fearing it will create problem in the state.

Criticising the “perversion of political thought,” Mr Jaitley said, “A few days ago certain forces bent on disintegrating the nation were opining that Kashmir is not a part of India. Some even said the nation cannot be united at all as it is an unnatural combination.”

He said when these people were speaking and objections were raised about their views, it was argued by some that they should have a right to express their views.

“Those who were for their views are questioning our objective to hoist the national flag in parts of the country. This is perversion of political thought that those expressing views against the nation are considered free speakers, whereas some want to hoist the flag in any part of the country but it is looked upon as injustice,” the BJP leader said at a party function on “Personal Law Reforms and Women”.

He said “perversion of political thought was the reason behind women not getting equal rights or being kept in the dark about them.” “It is this same line of thought that comes in the way of implementing personal law reforms for women,” Mr Jaitley said.

http://www.asianage.com/india/jaitley-defends-lal-chowk-flag-hoisting-193

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Army busts militant hideout in Rajouri

Jan 13, 2011

JAMMU: Army troops busted a militant hideout and recovered a cache of ammunition and explosive materials from it in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, army spokesperson said.

"Based on specific information a joint team of Infantry Battalion of Territorial Army and police launched a search operation and busted the hideout in Khab area of Pichainar belt in Rajouri district last evening", he said.

The troops recovered three Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), six Under-Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) grenades, 76 rounds of AK rifle, 26 rounds of 9 mm, 5 Rocket Propellant Grenades (RPGs) and large quantity of assorted Pakistan made-medicines, he added.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Army-busts-militant-hideout-in-Rajouri/articleshow/7277107.cms#ixzz1AyyeaFRq

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30 SIMI activists chargesheeted by NIA in terror camp case

Jan 14, 2011

KOCHI: The NIA today filed a chargesheet against 30 hardcore SIMI activists from nine states accusing them of sedition, waging war against the state and other offences for holding a terror training camp in Kerala in 2007 to carry out attacks in the country.

The accused were involved in various terror acts in the country, including the Ahmedabad serial blasts that killed 57 people and left over 150 injured on July 26, 2008, the charge sheet filed before a CBI court here said.

From Dec 10-12, 2007, they held a secret training camp at Thangalpara in Wagamon in Kerala, where classes on "Jihad in India" were also conducted.

Twentynine of the accused have been arrested and lodged in Sabarmati Central Jail in Ahmedabad while one is absconding.

The camp in Kerala was conducted to train the participants to advocate, incite and abet terrorist activities, disrupt communal harmony, causing threat to the sovereignty and integrity of the country and thereby waging war against the legally established government, it said.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/30-SIMI-activists-chargesheeted-by-NIA-in-terror-camp-case/articleshow/7276870.cms#ixzz1AyymNYvq

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Malegaon blast suspects pushed own plans

Mateen Hafeez

Jan 13, 2011

MUMBAI: Police investigations show that while Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) members Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand, Sunil Joshi and others were planning terror attacks across the country, disillusioned sympathizers such as Lt Col Prasad Purohit and his associates were discussing plans to ex-communicate Hindu leaders who might have become obstacles to their Hindu Rashtra plan.

Even as the suspects were working on a single agenda, they differed on issues and formed their own groups. Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, a former Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad member, had formed her own Jai Vande Matram Kalyan Samiti.

Purohit formed his own Abhinav Bharat. Police investigation found that while Aseemanand and his group limited themselves to carrying out bomb blasts, Purohit had a larger plan. The third group was the one caught by the Rajasthan police for the Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blast. In the Mecca Masjid blast case, the police arrested five people, including one Lokesh Sharma who was connected to the RSS.

Before the 2006 Malegaon blast, a meeting was held in Gujarat and attended by Joshi and another suspect, Sandeep Dange. Later, Dange joined Abhinav Bharat since he had a conflict with Swami Aseemanand over money.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Malegaon-blast-suspects-pushed-own-plans/articleshow/7273210.cms#ixzz1Ayyqcrwi

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'Not just White girls, Pak Muslim men sexually target Hindu and Sikh girls as well

Yudhvir Rana

AMRITSAR: A day after UKs' former home secretary Jack Straw blamed some Pakistani Muslim men for targeting "vulnerable" White girls sexually, UK's Hindu and Sikh organizations also publicly accused Muslim groups of the same offence.

Straw, in an interview to the BBC recently, had said, "...there is a specific problem which involves Pakistani heritage men...who target vulnerable young white girls...they see these young women, white girls who are vulnerable, some of them in care ... who they think are easy meat."

Feeling emboldened by Straw's statement, UK's Hindu and Sikh organizations have also come in open and accused some Pakistani men of specifically targeting Hindu and Sikh girls. "This has been a serious concern for the last decade," said Hardeep Singh of Network of Sikh Organizations (NSO) while talking to TOI on Monday.

Sikhs and Hindus are annoyed that Straw had shown concern for White girls and not the Hindu and the Sikh teenage girls who have been coaxed by some Pakistani men for sex and religious conversion.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Not-just-White-girls-Pak-Muslim-men-sexually-target-Hindu-and-Sikh-girls-as-well/articleshow/7254035.cms#ixzz1AyzHENX8

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Two private channels fined for airing Qadri’s interview

By AZHAR MASOOD

Jan 14, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Two private TV channels — Sama and Waqt — have been fined by Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (PEMRA) for airing an interview of Malik Mumtaz Qadri, alleged killer of Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer.

According to a press statement by PEMRA, a fine of one million rupees each has been slapped on Sama and Waqt TV (owned by Nawa-e-Waqt group).

PEMRA in its order said the two channels projected "terrorists."

According to the press release, PEMRA took immediate cognizance of the violation of rules by the two channels.

PEMRA issued notices to both channels on Jan. 4 for “projecting terrorists/outlaws and showing blood and gore which by all means is in contravention of PEMRA rules, regulations and code of conduct besides the self-regulatory code of conduct agreed to by Pakistan Broadcasters Association.”

Authorities said both the channels were provided with reasonable opportunity to show cause and explain their position in personal hearings.

http://arabnews.com/world/article234073.ece

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Lebanese government falls

Atul Aneja

DUBAI: Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman on Thursday asked the outgoing Cabinet to continue in office in a caretaker capacity after the government collapsed on Wednesday following the resignation of more than one-third of the Ministers.

“Since one-third of the Cabinet members quit, the government is now considered resigned,” said Mr. Suleiman in a statement, “For this reason, I request the caretaker government to carry out its duties until a new one is formed.”

Eleven Cabinet Ministers belonging to Hizbollah and its allies resigned on Wednesday over the international investigation on the 2005 assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri.

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2011/01/14/stories/2011011467772400.htm

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Petition to declare Kasab, Ansari as fugitives in Pak

January 14, 2011

A Pakistani court on Thursday admitted a petition by prosecutors to declare Ajmal Kasab and Fahim Ansari as “proclaimed offenders” or fugitives in connection with the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Justice Saghir Ahmed Qadri of the Rawalpindi-based bench of the Lahore High Court directed the registrar’s office to fix the petition for regular hearing by a division bench within two weeks.

In a twist in the trial of seven Pakistani suspects charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks, prosecutors made a U-turn on an earlier proposal to drop the legal move to get Kasab, the lone surviving attacker in Mumbai terror strike, and Ansari declared as fugitives.

Ansari was accused of surveying the places to be targeted during 26/11 terror strikes and passing maps to his Pakistani handlers. Instead, the Federal Investigation Agency decided to pursue the petition filed in the Lahore High Court to challenge an anti-terrorism court’s decision not to declare Kasab and Ansari as fugitives.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/310432/Petition-to-declare-Kasab-Ansari-as-fugitives-in-Pak.html

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Iran invites foreign experts to inspect nuclear sites

January 14, 2011

Iran said foreign experts can accompany the international envoys it has invited to inspect its nuclear facilities ahead of planned talks with world powers, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast spokesman said the invitation by Iran to representatives of Russia, China, EU, developing and Arab countries to visit its nuclear facilities could be extended to the experts as well.

“There are no restrictions on bringing nuclear experts as companions,” he said, in response to concerns by some country representatives that they didn’t have sufficient expertise for the trip.

Mehmanparast said the invitation aimed at building trust ahead of talks Jan. 21 with world powers in Istanbul over Iran’s controversial nuclear program that many fear might be aimed at developing weapons. Iran denies the charge. Iran’s invitation pointedly did not include the United States, one of its biggest critics internationally, and many saw this as an attempt to divide the nations conducting the nuclear talks. Already a number of countries have indicated they may pass on the tour.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/310429/Iran-invites-foreign-experts-to-inspect-nuclear-sites.html

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Geo Journo Shot Dead In Karachi

Jan 14, 2011

Islamabad: A reporter of Geo News was shot dead in Pakistan's southern Karachi city, the news channel said on Thursday.

Wali Khan Babar was on his way home from office when he was attacked in the Liaquatabad area of the city, Geo News said.

The gunmen opened fire at close range, killing him instantly. His body was found in a car.

Geo News said it was a case of target killing as the victim was shot at least five times, including two on his forehead.

Wali Khan Babar was covering the operation against the drug-traffickers in the Pehalwan Goth area of Karachi. He was on his way home after filing a report when he was gunned down.

http://www.asianage.com/international/geo-journo-shot-dead-karachi-257

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Zardari Seeks Allies Unity Ahead Of US Visit

Jan 14, 2011

Seeking solidarity among ruling alliance partners on foreign policies, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari held talks with several leaders, including Opposition PML(N) chief Nawaz Sharif, before leaving for a week-long US trip.

Mr Zardari separately held telephonic talks on Wednesday with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Rehman and Awami National Party (ANP) president Asfandyar Wali Khan to take them into confidence on his visit to the US.

Mr Zardari also consulted Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain over telephone, the News reported.

According to sources, the President took them into confidence about his scheduled meeting with United States secretary of state Hilary Clinton. Mr Zardari left for the US on Wednesday after his meeting with US vice president Joe Biden in Islamabad. It was first time that before leaving for a foreign visit, Mr Zardari held consultations with national leaders.

Full report at: http://www.asianage.com/international/zardari-seeks-allies-unity-ahead-us-visit-159

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Boxer Amir Khan Behind Jordan Split?

Jan 14, 2011

Glamour model Katie Price’s marriage to Alex Reid is in trouble and according to reports it is Pakistani-origin boxer Amir Khan who is behind the split.

Last week the 32-year-old model had taken to Twitter to announce that her marriage is indeed “in crisis” and it is her closeness to Amir Khan that was the final straw for Reid, reported Sun online.

The 24-year-old world champion has been linked to Price many times in the media and the mother-of-three had flown to Las Vegas last month to watch one of his bouts.

“The breaking point for Alex came when he saw stories about Katie and Amir Khan. Then when Katie announced she was running the London Marathon with Andrew Gould this year, it was another nail in the coffin” said a source close to the 35-year-old former cage fighter.

Price and Khan first met when they recorded TV show Scream If You Know The Answer, in May last year.

An announcement about a split, which will end a marriage lasting just 11 months, is expected any day.

Price was earlier married to ‘Mysterious’ girl singer Peter Andre for three years and they divorced in 2010.

http://www.asianage.com/newsmakers/boxer-amir-khan-behind-jordan-split-209

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Shadow over Pakistan security grows

Jan 14 2011

Rawalpindi : The police guard who confessed to gunning down a Pakistani governor had been assigned to the president and prime minister 18 times over the last three years and to two foreign delegations, according to police reports that also cast suspicion on four other elite bodyguards who could "take terrorist action anytime."

The documents, obtained by The Associated Press, highlight the danger of extremist infiltration into the security forces of the unstable, nuclear-armed country. The police force, which helps form the front line in the war against Taliban and al-Qaeda militants, is seen as being especially at risk.

"There is no psychological or personality test, or any other method to check on the background of personnel," a former police chief of Punjab province, Khwaja Khalid Farooq, told the AP. "It is dangerous to give someone a gun and power without putting them through a good system of recruitment and training."

US officials have long worried about the loyalty of Pakistan's security forces, especially the powerful army, given historical ties to Islamist militants fighting in Afghanistan and Indian-held Kashmir. The army is better than the police at weeding out radicals, according to analysts, but current and former military officers have participated in attacks in recent years.

Concern about infiltration spiked last week with the assassination of Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer by bodyguard Mumtaz Qadri. The 26-year-old said he killed the governor, an outspoken liberal, because of his criticism of laws that mandate the death penalty for insulting Islam.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/736963/

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Israel troops on alert after Lebanon govt falls

Jan 13 2011

Jerusalem: A senior Israeli military officer says thousands of troops in the north are on alert following the fall of the Lebanese government.

Authorities are concerned that the political turmoil in Lebanon will spill over into renewed violence on the Lebanese-Israel border.

The officer spoke today on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the press.

The Hezbollah militant group and its allies pulled out of the Lebanese government yesterday, causing it to collapse.

They bolted over the government's insistence on cooperating with a UN tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Harir.

Hezbollah expects the tribunal to indict some of its members.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/736985/

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Omar targets BJP, Hurriyat over ‘negative politics’

By Mir Ehsan

Jan 14 2011

Srinagar: On Thursday, Omar Abdullah addressed workers of his National Conference at Khankah-e-Mualla in downtown Srinagar. It would have passed as just another rally, but for the fact that it was held in the heart of Kashmir's stone-pelting capital and the Chief Minister had not set foot in this separatist bastion for the past eight months.

And in their den, Omar lashed out at the separatists, comparing them with the BJP for “playing negative politics and stoking trouble” in the state.

“Hurriyat and the BJP are trying to add fuel to the already sensitive situation of the valley to gain political benefits,” he alleged.

The Hurriyat, Omar said, should read the writing on the wall and realise that dialogue was the only solution to all the issues.

“Politics of Hurriyat has given death and destruction to the people. Now they should shun that path and come to the negotiation table for the sake of the people,” he said. “Various elements have experimented with the use of gun and resorted to gruesome hartals which destroyed the economy, but people have now realised that nothing has been achieved through the gun and hartal culture,” he added.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/737224/

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From SIMI to Swami: Court lets CBI probe Malegaon 2006 afresh

Jan 14 2011

Mumbai : Days after the alleged confession of Swami Aseemanand that Hindu extremists may be responsible for the Malegaon bomb blasts of 2006, a Special MCOCA court today allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to reinvestigate the case which had first been probed by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad.

In his statement, Aseemanand, arrested for his alleged role in the Ajmer and Mecca Masjid blasts of 2007, said that RSS activist Sunil Joshi had told him in 2006 that the Malegaon blasts that year had been “carried out by our men”. Joshi, who is also linked to the Mecca Masjid, Ajmer and the 2008 Malegaon blasts, was murdered in December 2007.

The court order came after CBI counsel Ejaz Khan said that the agency wanted to investigate the blasts afresh in light of Aseemanand’s reported confession. The CBI also told the court that it would ask for Aseemanand’s custody to question him along with Sadhvi Pragyasingh Thakur, Dayanand Pandey and Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit, arrested for the Malegaon 2008 blast.

The Maharashtra ATS had arrested nine Muslim men in connection with the September 8, 2006 Malegaon blasts in which four bombs killed 37 people and injured hundreds of worshippers on Shab-e-Baraat.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/737286/

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UK calls on Pakistan to amend blasphemy laws

January 14, 2011

By Murtaza Ali Shah

LONDON: British Home Secretary Theresa May has said Britain will continue to lobby the Pakistani government for making amendments in the country's controversial blasphemy laws to prevent more innocent people falling on its wrong side.

In a wide ranging interview with The News/Geo TV, the home secretary said she had met the assassinated Punjab governor on a number of occasions and found him to be a moderate and liberal-minded person, who still had a great contribution to make for Pakistan's progress and she was "appalled" at his murder after the governor campaigned for the release of Aasia Bibi, the Christian woman who is alleged to have committed blasphemy, which she sternly denies.

"I was very pleased to meet Salmaan Taseer in October in Lahore and we had a good discussion. His murder should make us all think very carefully on these issues. From our point of view, we have been on a number of occasions - and continue to lobby the government to amend the blasphemy laws so that they cannot be abused," she said, adding that the proposals made within Pakistan are the sort of amendments required. "The final decision is for the people of Pakistan to make but there is a need for the government to amend the laws so that they are not abused."

She said that since coming into the government after last year's 5 May election, which resulted into Conservative and Liberal Democrats Coalition government, she had taken on board many of the recommendations made by John Vine, the Independent Inspector of UK Border Agency (UKBA), which said in a damning report that the UKBA may be unlawfully discriminating against Pakistanis and it was harder to enter the UK from Pakistan, the 4th largest group to apply for UK visas each year, than from the likes of Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Full report at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=9354

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Zardari-Obama talks to focus on economic reforms

By Anwar Iqbal

WASHINGTON: While confirming that US President Barack Obama will have a closed-door meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday, the White House said that proposed economic reforms for Pakistan would be on top of their agenda.

The reforms, proposed by the IMF and World Bank, aim at speeding up economic recovery and are strongly supported by Washington.

President Zardari arrived in the US on Thursday to attend a memorial service in Washington for Special US Envoy Richard Holbrooke, who died last month.

The late envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan was considered Mr Zardari’s strongest supporter in the US capital.

“President Obama will meet President Zardari of Pakistan here at the White House tomorrow,” Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters in Washington.

“The two leaders will discuss aspects of the US-Pakistan strategic partnership, including our mutual commitment to economic reform, support for democracy and good governance and joint efforts to combat terrorism,” the White House spokesman said.

“The meeting is closed-press and we’re going to do some still stuff out of it,” he added.

Diplomatic observers in Washington say that the inclusion of proposed economic reforms in the agenda for the Obama-Zardari meetings is significant.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/14/obama-to-meet-pakistans-zardari-on-friday.html

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Smoke from cooking and heating kills 54,000 Afghans a year

Jan 14 2011

KABUL: Afghan Khan Mohammad’s once long henna-stained beard is burned up to his chin and his face is swollen and raw after a gas lamp exploded because it was placed too close to the family’s wood-burning stove.     

As temperatures drop well below freezing during the country’s harsh winter, bombs and bullets from a near-decade long war against a Taliban-led insurgency are not the only threat – just trying to light a home and stay warm can be deadly.         

“We were using gas for a lamp and cooking food on the bukhari (stove) and the gas bottle was too close and got too hot,” Mohammad said of the explosion, which also hurt his 11-year old son. They were being treated at Ahmed Shah Baba hospital in eastern Kabul.        

But aside from the threat of burns, the main problem posed by heating and cooking is the smoke, which the World Health Organisation said kills 54,000 Afghans a year. Most of those killed are children under five, it said.        

 The WHO has also ranked the problem as one of the worst health risks facing the poor. Burning solid fuels inside is also a large problem for other regional countries like Pakistan, China and India.         

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/13/smoke-from-cooking-and-heating-kills-54000-afghans-a-year.html

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Five policemen killed, nine injured in KP bomb blasts

Jan 14 2011

LANDIKOTAL: Five police officials were killed and nine others were injured in separate incidents of bomb blasts on Thursday.

In the first incident, an official, Syed Marjan, was killed and four others were injured in a bomb blast near Qamberkhel checkpost on Thursday. The bomb had been planted near the post. The injured have been admitted to a hospital for medical treatment.

Separately, unidentified miscreants attacked a police mobile van with a remote control bomb, killing four policemen and injuring five others in Bannu a day after a bomber hit a police station in the area, killing 20 people.

The police van was attacked with a remote control device in Sardikhel town bordering North Waziristan. The injured are admitted to Bannu District Headquarters Hospital while the police have launched a massive crackdown on terrorists.

The funeral of the 20 dead of the suicide attack on the police station was held in the district amid touching scenes. staff report/app

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\14\story_14-1-2011_pg7_2

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Three tribesmen killed in Mohmand explosion

Jan 14 2011

PESHAWAR: Three tribesmen were killed and one injured due to an explosion in a scrap godown at Ghalanai, the headquarters of Mohmand Agency on Thursday. According to local police sources, the victims were cleaning an undefused mortar shell, which exploded with a big bang at Ghalani Bazaar, killing all three instantly and injuring one. The victims reportedly belonged to the same family. Personnel of the Khasadar Force rushed to the spot and sealed the godown. app

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\14\story_14-1-2011_pg7_3

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Mortars fired from Afghanistan kill 8 in N Waziristan

Jan 14 2011

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Mortars allegedly fired from Afghanistan killed eight people in North Waziristan on Thursday, officials said. Two intelligence officials said the mortars hit a house in Tity Mada Khel village in the North Waziristan tribal area and killed eight people, including five men and three women. According to two other officials, 11 people were wounded in the attack. It was not immediately clear who fired the mortars. ap

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\14\story_14-1-2011_pg7_11

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WikiLeaks gives $15k to soldier's defense fund

January 14, 2011

WASHINGTON: A legal defense fund for the US soldier suspected of leaking secret US documents to WikiLeaks said Thursday it has received a 15,000 dollars contribution from the website. 

US Army private Bradley Manning, 23, has been held in a military brig in Virginia since July on suspicion of leaking secret US military documents and State Department cables to WikiLeaks.     

WikiLeaks has repeatedly said it does not know whether Manning was the source of the documents but has pledged to help with his defense.

The Bradley Manning Support Network said in a statement on Thursday published at bradleymanning.org that WikiLeaks had transferred 15,100 dollars on Monday to the legal trust account of Manning's attorney.

Full report at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=9333

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Talks on new govt in Lebanon to start Monday

Jan 13, 2011

BEIRUT: Lebanon's president will launch formal talks Monday on creating a new government after the resignation of Hezbollah ministers and their allies brought down Prime Minister Saad Hariri's government.

"The consultations will start Monday at noon," Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri told reporters after meeting President Michel Suleiman.

Suleiman asked Hariri to stay on as caretaker prime minister on Thursday after 11 ministers quit in a dispute over an investigation into the 2005 assassination of Hariri's father.

According to the constitution, Lebanon's president nominates a prime minister to form a new government after consultations with members of Parliament.

It was not clear how long consultations will take.

Officials have declined to say whether Hariri, whose coalition won a 2009 parliamentary election, will be asked to form a new government, or if someone else would be nominated.

Boutros Harb, a parliamentarian close to Hariri, said: "I do not see a government in the country without Saad Hariri."

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article234119.ece

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Kuwait’s interior minister resigns over custody death

Jan 14, 2011

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s interior minister handed in his resignation on Thursday, parliamentary sources said, over allegations that police had tortured a man to death in custody.

Citing Interior Ministry sources, Kuwaiti lawmakers have accused police of torturing to death a man detained on suspicion of illegal possession of alcohol. The death was first reported by local media earlier this week.

Interior Minister Sheikh Jaber Khaled Al-Sabah had denied those allegations.

A parliamentary source said Sabah submitted his resignation on Thursday, adding that it was now up to the prime minister to decide whether to accept it.

The man, Mohammed Al-Mutairi, was detained by police on suspicion of possessing 24 bottles of alcohol — a criminal offense in Kuwait.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article234147.ece

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Clinton admits US limitations on Israel

By MATTHEW LEE 4

Jan 14, 2011

DOHA: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton acknowledged the limits of US power Thursday in a combative exchange with an Al-Jazeera reporter, saying, “We can’t stop a lot of countries from doing things that we disagree with and we speak out against.”

In the Qatari capital of Doha for a regional development conference, Clinton was asked why Arab countries should listen to her criticism when the US can’t even get its longtime ally, Israel, to make peace with the Palestinians.

“Israel is a sovereign country and it makes its own decisions,” Clinton responded.

“I wish there were a way we could tell a lot of countries what they should do because there are a lot of countries doing things that are not in the best interests of their own people, their neighbors or the world,” she added.

Clinton pointed out that Israel has reasons to be cautious. “You often make decisions based on your own experience and history,” she said. “And when the Israelis pulled out of Lebanon they got Hezbollah and 40,000 rockets and when they pulled out of Gaza they got Hamas and 20,000 rockets.”

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article234145.ece

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Biden: Iraq’s success in US interest

By LARA JAKES

Jan 14, 2011

BAGHDAD: Vice President Joe Biden emphasized to Iraqi leaders Thursday that the US wants nothing more than for Iraq to be a free and democratic country in a daylong visit that officials said would focus on the departure of American troops from the country.

Biden’s trip marks the first visit by a top US official since Iraq approved a new Cabinet last month, breaking a political deadlock and jump-starting its stalled government after March’s inconclusive elections.

Three explosions in the capital killing two people, however, demonstrated the lingering security challenges facing the country’s young democracy.

“We have one overwhelming desire, the single best thing, that could happen to the United States, literally, is for you to be a free, prosperous democracy in this part of the world,” the vice president told reporters before a meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article234149.ece

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Turkish PM: Israel must remove foreign minister

By HADEEL AL-SHALCHI

Jan 14, 2011

CAIRO: The prime minister of Turkey, whose ties with Israel have been badly strained over the past year, has called on the Jewish state to remove its hawkish foreign minister whom he says poses an obstacle to Middle East peace.

Avigdor Lieberman is a polarizing figure in Israel and outside, with his outspoken skepticism about peace with the Palestinians and his questioning of the loyalty of Israel’s Arab minority.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan called the Israeli minister “a problem at the head of Israel” in an interview broadcast on Al Jazeera Wednesday night.

“Israelis must rid themselves (of Avigdor Lieberman) and that is surely their duty and not ours,” he told the network.

Israel and Turkey built strong military and economic ties over the past 15 years, and Turkey became Israel’s closest ally in the Muslim world.

Relations between the two soured, however, with Turkey’s government’s increasingly vociferous criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. They hit an all-time low in May, when Israeli naval commandos killed nine activists from Turkey on board a Gaza-bound ship that tried to breach Israel’s naval blockade.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article234154.ece

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Iraq probes shootout with Kuwaiti coast guard

By SAAD ABDUL-KADIR

Jan 13, 2011

BAGHDAD: Iraqi fishermen killed a Kuwaiti coast guard member during a shootout in one of the more serious incidents between the neighboring countries in years, Iraqi officials said Tuesday.

Tensions between Iraq and Kuwait have been strained since the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by President Saddam Hussein and the narrow body of water between the two countries has yet to be clearly demarcated making it a lingering flashpoint.

There have been constant, low-level incidents between the two countries along the narrow waterway that separates them, with Iraqi fishermen complaining of harassment by Kuwaitis and the Kuwaiti government maintaining that the fishermen do not respect their boundaries. But the latest incident was one of the most serious between the two countries in years.

Iraqi government spokesman Ali Al-Dabbagh said in a statement that a Kuwaiti officer was killed in the skirmish Monday in the Gulf, and his men responded by sinking the Iraqi boat.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article233041.ece

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Three of UAE firms raise diesel prices

14 January 2011

Three UAE oil marketing and distribution companies — ENOC, Eppco and Emarat — are planning to hike diesel prices by 15 fils per litre from January 16.

Consumers in the UAE are likely to feel the pinch with three UAE oil marketing and distribution companies — ENOC, Eppco and Emarat — planning to hike diesel prices by 15 fils per litre from January 16.

A petrol price hike, however, is not on the cards.

Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) in Dubai confirmed a report in Al Bayan Arabic daily on Thursday that the companies had decided to increase prices from Dh2.75 to Dh2.90.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Khalid Hadi, Director of Communications at ENOC, termed it as a “slight increase”. ‘‘The company has decided to increase diesel prices from Dh2.75 to Dh2.90, 15 fils per litre starting from next Sunday, 16 January 2011,” he said.

The three firms, which also import fuel, purportedly reached the agreement at their recent meeting in Dubai.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2011/January/theuae_January366.xml&section=theuae

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Slabs for rent hike in Dubai

14 January 2011

Dubai on Thursday unveiled a new ‘slab’ system to determine and regulate rent hikes. A new decree issued by Shaikh Mohammed provides clearer and specific guidelines to landlords to implement rent increases.

A  new decree issued by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, in his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, provides clearer and specific guidelines to landlords to implement rent increases.

The decree replaces an earlier procedure that allowed landlords to implement a flat seven per cent hike if the rentals were more than 25 per cent below the average price index set by Dubai’s Real Estate Regulator Authority or RERA.

The new decree sets the rates of maximum rent increases that can vary from five per cent to 20 per cent depending on the extent of difference between rent value set by the RERA Index and the prevailing rental value.

However, as was in the earlier regulation, any rent hike can only be implemented if the property rent was more than 25 per cent below the average index price.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2011/January/theuae_January364.xml&section=theuae

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Dubai rental market shows signs of stabilisation

12 January 2011

Dubai’s property rental market shows signs of stabilisation as apartment rental rates recorded the lowest quarter-on-quarter fall in fourth quarter of 2010, according to a property management company.

Dubai tenants keep moving in search of quality property to take the advantage of increased supply of high quality and affordable accommodation.

An increased supply particularly in the apartment sector provided the catalyst for considerable tenant movement across Dubai in fourth quarter. In addition apartment rental rates declined by just 3 per cent during the same period, according to the latest report by Asteco.

“The real estate market is characterised by a large supply of high quality stock at affordable rates, leading to a flight-to-quality trend currently seen across Dubai.

Apartment rates have dropped 17 per cent on average during 2010 and this has brought a number of upscale developments within the reach of mid-income budgets,” Elaine Jones, chief executive officer, Asteco Property Management.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/business/2011/January/business_January182.xml&section=business

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Bahrain mulls change in law to fill local council seats

14 January 2011

MANAMA — Bahrain might allow by-election in case a seat falls vacant in the municipal councils, according to an amendment made to the municipality law on Tuesday.

Under the current procedure, a vacant seat is offered to a candidate who got the second highest number of votes in the elections. However, majority of lawmakers are of the opinion that such action could not be followed as it gives a chance to someone who is opposed or rejected by the public in the first place.

According to an amendment to article 13 of the law, by-election should be conducted within sixty days of a seat falls vacant, however, no by-election will be held if the term of the council is due to be over in three months time.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/January/middleeast_January226.xml&section=middleeast

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/muslim-west-tensions-seen-as-avoidable--study-presented-in-a-sharja-seminar/d/3930


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