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Muslims Revive Durga Puja for Only Hindu Family Living On Muslim-Dominated Street in Kolkata

New Age Islam News Bureau

01 October 2022


Members of the Muslim community restarted Durga Puja celebrations in 13/A Sharif lane, Alimuddin Street last year.


• Muslims Revive Durga Puja for Only Hindu Family Living On Muslim-Dominated Street in Kolkata

• Iranian Protesters Want Regime Change, Says Renowned Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh

• Pakistan: 4 Years after Transgender Rights Act was Enacted, Religious Parties call it 'Un-Islamic'

• France, Denmark, and Austria Contributing To A “Systematic Suppression Of Muslim Civil Society”, Says Human Rights Conference

• Tensions Increase between Pakistan, Afghan Taliban despite Historical Ties



• Arshi Qureshi Accused of Radicalising Youngsters to Join Islamic State Acquitted After Six Years in Jail

• Several Popular Front of India Members Travelled To ISIS Strongholds To Join Jihad: Officials

• Muslim Cleric Who Called Mohan Bhagwat 'Rashtra Pita' (Father of Nation) Receives Death Threats from International Numbers

• Garba Organisers in Madhya Pradesh Restrict Entry of Muslims

• Pakistan Government's Twitter Account Withheld In India, Again

• Two Jaish-e-Mohammed men killed in Baramulla

• BJP agitation in Sasaram today to ‘free’ Ashokan inscription turned into a ‘Mazar’ in 2005



• Iran says nine nationals from European countries arrested for role in unrest

• Iran protests over young woman's death continue, 83 said killed

• Turkish Opposition Revives Questions over Islamic State Burning Execution

• Senior IRGC commander killed during clashes in southeastern Iran: State media

• Casualties feared after angry mob storms police station in southeast Iran

• Israel ‘green lights’ assassination drones in West Bank; heightens Gaza anxiety

• Palestinians mourn 7-year-old boy who died from ‘fear’ of Israeli forces

• Iran: Israeli regime’s history full of massacres, child killings

• Teacher wounded, students arrested in Israeli military attack on Palestinian school in al-Khalil



• Suicide Bomber Blows Himself Up Minutes before Friday Prayers in Pakistan's Restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

• JUI-F moves Shariat Court against transgender persons act

• Pakistan anti-terror court charges 3 more for blast outside Hafiz Saeed's house

• PIA issues clarification after issuing bizarre dress code for cabin crew

• Ashrafi for Celebrating Rabiul Awwal as ‘Paigham-e-Rehmatul-Lil-Alameen’

• Pakistan committed to deepen ties with UAE: PM



• Saudi-UK business to grow ‘significantly’ under GCC trade deal, says lord mayor of London

• Turkey rejects Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory

• Norway police arrest 95 rioters over ‘acting aggressively’ against Iranian embassy


South Asia

• Islamic Emirate Asks UNSC to Extend Travel Ban Exemptions

• Bangladeshi Buddhists denied justice for a decade

• At UN, Iran raises concern over resurgence of terrorist groups in Afghanistan

• Pakistan upset over Afghan Taliban's remarks, says it's 'against spirit of friendly ties'



• Burkina Faso Soldiers Announce Overthrow of Military Government


North America

• Pentagon Silent on Overall Number of Civilian Deaths in 2 Decades of Afghanistan Occupation

• US Military Killed 12 Afghan Civilians In 2021; 10 In Kabul Drone Strike: Pentagon

• Turkish delegation says US lawmakers were 'positive' sales of F-16 jets

• US imposes new Iran-related sanctions on several international companies


Southeast Asia

• PAS Lists 10 Reasons Why DAP Is Anti-Malay, Anti-Muslim

• Tommy Thomas to be probed for sedition over book, says PM

• Respect decision to amend DAP constitution, Guan Eng tells Liu

• Indonesian police kill militant suspected in farmers’ deaths


Arab World

• Lebanon’s Central Bank Extends Ceiling Free Dollars Purchases Until End Of October

• Lebanon receives US mediator proposals for maritime border with Israel

• Arab states condemn terrorist attack on educational centre in Kabul

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Muslims Revive Durga Puja for Only Hindu Family Living On Muslim-Dominated Street in Kolkata


Members of the Muslim community restarted Durga Puja celebrations in 13/A Sharif lane, Alimuddin Street last year.


Suryagni Roy


September 30, 2022

A club in Kolkata with all members of the Muslim community took it upon themselves to ignite the festive spirit of the only Hindu family living in 13/A Sharif lane in Alimuddin Street--an area with a predominantly Muslim population-- by organising Durga Puja in the colony.

The Durga Puja celebrations in this lane stopped 16 years ago after a majority of the Hindu families left the area for various reasons. Last year, youngsters from the Muslim community decided to revive the decades-old Durga Puja celebration this year for the Hindu families living here.

Sayanta Sen's family is the only Hindu Bengali family living in the area and his father was among the first few organizers of Durga Puja. Speaking to India Today, the 20-year-old student said that he was happy to see that the tradition of holding Durga Puja festivities has been revived in his colony.

"I was around three to four-years-old when the Durga Puja celebrations stopped. I had heard from my father that Durga Puja celebrations used to be held here. It's beautiful how a decade-old tradition, which died after Hindu families left, has been revived by Muslims in the area," said Sen.

The puja was revived by Tousaf Rahman, who is also a resident of the area. While speaking to India Today, he said that Sen's family is the only Bengali Hindu family in the area and that they had been upset with the fact that Durga Puja celebrations had stopped.

"The Sen family had approached us and we thought we should revive the puja. Afterall, Durga Puja is for one and all. So, we arranged the puja and pandal and the rituals are being conducted by the Sen family. If we speak for the rights of minorities in India, we should also think about the rights of the sole Hindu family in a predominantly Muslim area," said Rahman who started the puja in 2021.

Source: India Today

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Iranian Protesters Want Regime Change, Says Renowned Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh


Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh smiles at her home in Tehran on September 18, 2013, after being freed following three years in prison. (AFP)


30 September, 2022

There is a “clear demand” for regime change in the ongoing anti-government protests in Iran, internationally renowned Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh said in an interview published Thursday.

“What is increasingly clear is that there is clear demand for change in the regime,” Sotoudeh told TIME magazine.

“What the people want is regime change, and no return to the past. And what we can see from the current protests and strikes that are now being initiated is a very real possibility of regime change,” she added.

Sotoudeh said she anticipated more crackdown from Iranian authorities.

“The crackdown will continue. But so too will the protests. I in no way see a return to the past, no matter the nature of the crackdown,” she said. “Even if the people’s demands are not met, the reality will have shifted permanently. They will not tolerate the compulsory veil anymore.”

Sotoudeh, 59, has represented opposition activists including women prosecuted for removing their mandatory headscarf. She was arrested in 2018 and charged with spying, spreading propaganda and insulting Iran’s supreme leader.

Sotoudeh, who denied the charges, was sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes.

She is currently out of prison on a medical furlough.

In 2010, Sotoudeh was jailed on similar propaganda charges and for conspiring to harm state security – charges she also denied – and was released after serving half her six-year term.

The European Parliament awarded her the Sakharov Prize for human rights in 2012.

Protests erupted across Iran after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman, was pronounced dead on September 16. She fell into a coma shortly after she was detained by the morality police for allegedly not complying with the regime’s strict hijab rules in Tehran on September 13.

The protests continued in several cities on Friday, videos shared on social media showed.

Iran Human Rights, a Norway-based group, said on Thursday that at least 83 people, including children, were confirmed to have been killed during the protests.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Pakistan: 4 Years after Transgender Rights Act was Enacted, Religious Parties call it 'Un-Islamic'


Members of the transgender community hold signs against the anti-begging law for the transgender community, during a protest demanding jobs in Karachi, on April 10, 2019. Photo: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters



Oct 1, 2022

Karachi: With what many transgender activists believe is suspicious timing, several religious political parties in Pakistan, such as the Jamiat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan, have recently been raising objections to the country’s Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018.

Leaders of these parties have been calling the Act ‘un-Islamic’ and demanding amendments to it that would effectively strip the transgender community of the rights promised by the Act. According to a report published in Dawn on September 26, a bill amending the Act will shortly be sent to a Senate standing committee for debate.

Activists believe that the parties objecting to the Act four years after it was passed are planning to make the issue part of their campaigns for the forthcoming elections which are due in 2023 at the latest, pointing out that at this particular time, when Pakistan is trying to recover from the worst floods in its history and enormous parts of Sindh are still under water, there can be no other reason to suddenly bring up the issue.

According to Kami Sid, founder of the Sub Rang Society that focuses on the rights and wellbeing of gender and sexual minorities in Pakistan, religious parties tend to abhor the concept of human rights in any case. Now, with elections around the corner, they are focused on the transgender community.

“Sometimes they [the religious parties] go after women’s rights; now we are their target,” said Sid.

Changing attitudes

Before the arrival of the British colonists in South Asia, the transgender community was perceived as an integral part of society, many of its members occupying high places in Mughal governments. In the faith-based ethos of the region as well, the community was venerated as carriers of prayers. In 1897, however, the British Raj criminalised certain tribes and communities, including the hijra or transgender community. Though the criminalisation law was discarded after independence, the community has remained not just marginalised, but brutalised as well.

Better known in Pakistan as the Khwaja Sira community, the transgender community had fought long and hard for a law to recognise their rights and is prepared once again to fight the religious parties’ objections.

“The Act does not address Islamic or un-Islamic issues. It just gives us the right to have our identity recognised and it gives us fundamental rights. It helps the police change their behaviour towards us,” said Nayyab Ali, founder of Transgender Rights Consultants, Pakistan.

Added Bindiya Rana, founder of Gender Interactive Alliance, “In 2018, suggestions made by the opposition parties, the ruling party, religious groups, the Islamic Council, lawyers and the Supreme Court were added to the bill and after a long process, the Act was approved. Now, four years later, what makes the religious parties oppose the Act?”

The National Assembly of Pakistan enacted The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018, on May 8, 2018, providing the transgender community with fundamental rights in health, education, government and security.

The definition of a transgender person according to the Act is: “Intersex (Khusra) with a mixture of male and female genital features or congenital ambiguities, or (ii) Eunuch assigned male at birth but undergoes genital excision or castration; or (iii) a Transgender Man, Transgender Woman, Khawajasira, or any person whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the social norms and cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at the time of their birth.”

Since the Act was passed, transgender persons have had the right to register themselves as transgender female and transgender male, which is a significant advance for the community’s identity. In 2010, a time when no law in Pakistan recognised the existence of transgender persons, the Supreme Court had ordered the community to register for national identity cards—identification documents based on which citizens can access financial and social services. However, the national identity cards offered only two gender options, female and male, giving members of the Khwaja Sira community no choice but to register as women or men.

The legislation had taken two years to be passed, Bindiya said. After it was enacted, some 80% of Pakistan’s society had begun to accept the existence of the Khwaja Sira community and even consider the problems faced by the community. “Now, their behaviour has changed due to the religious parties’ stand,” said Bindiya.

‘Show us proof’

Due to the religious parties’ constant claims that the Act promotes same sex relationships and other un-Islamic values, the harassment of members of the transgender community has noticeably increased in the last few weeks. On September 27, for example, a transgender person was brutally murdered in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

But as activists point out, there are no references at all in the Act to same sex relationships and un-Islamic values. If such clauses do exist, they say, the religious parties must point them out. However, no religious party so far has shown any clause of the Act to support their claims.

“Even the Islamic Council approved the bill,” said Kami Sid. “The bill gives us basic human rights. It neither gives us property nor a palace.”

She added, “The propaganda spread against the Act will lead to violence against our community. When transgender persons are raped, brutally murdered, and harassed, no religious political parties speak up. Don’t we require human rights?”

To counter the propaganda of the religious parties, activists point to Egypt and Iran. Both are Islamic countries and both have legalised sex-reassignment surgery.

“The opponents of the Act say that the Act was created because it was ‘America’s agenda’. They seem to be dying for a call from America! We are asking them not to discuss America. Instead, tell us about Iran and Egypt and then tell us if the Act is un-Islamic,” said Bindiya.

The religious parties’ claim that the Act supports same sex relationships by allowing men to marry men and women to marry women, which is un-Islamic, is also easily countered, said Bindiya.

Also read: Pakistan’s Transgender Rights Bill Is a Small Step Towards a Big Leap

“The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has a strict registration process. If a man is discovered to have been registered as a woman, then the parties must show us proof of this,” she said. “In any case, this has nothing to do with the transgender community.”

She referred to the case of a woman in Sindh who claimed she was actually a transgender man and whose claim was approved by the Sindh High Court some years ago. “Why were the religious parties silent then?” Bindiya asked. “If a woman undergoes sex-reassignment surgery, will you thwart her and let her die? She is the creation of God, and it is important to protect her.”

Ready for battle

According Senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan, a member of the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, some 23,000 people have changed gender since the Transgender Act was passed.

“But only 27 reassignment cases have actually been registered,” said Nayyab.

The issue is somewhat clouded by the fact that those transgender persons forced to register as female or male in 2010 changed their gender identities to transgender female or transgender male after the Act was passed.

Religious parties also want transgender persons to prove their identity by submitting a medical certificate. “If this is accepted, then males and females should also prove their identities with medical certificates,” said Bindiya. “Who knows, the Khwaja Sira community may double in number,” she added sarcastically.

The community has been feeling isolated since opposition to the Act began. Mainstream political parties are silent on the issue and no such strong voice has come forward to support these citizens of the country.

Meanwhile, Senator Mushtaq recently stated that one million videos would be uploaded on social media against the Act, which will create more trouble for the transgender community.

Just having their identity recognised was long and painful journey for the transgender community, said Bindiya. “Now that we have a window of hope, religious political parties want to lock the door again,” she said.

Added Kami Sid, “The religious parties want to make us invisible again.”

Nayyab is disappointed, but ready for battle. “We will fight for our existence. We will knock on the doors of the Supreme Court for justice,” she said.

Veengas, a Karachi-based journalist, is the founder of The Rise News. She tweets @veengasJ.

Source: The Wire

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France, Denmark, and Austria Contributing To A “Systematic Suppression Of Muslim Civil Society”, Says Human Rights Conference


Lamies Nassri said Islamophobia in Denmark was "no longer a far-right issue" (Screengrab)


30 September 2022

Muslim civil society organizations, at a major security and human rights conference held in Poland on Thursday, warned about the alarming surge of state-sponsored Islamophobia in Europe.

They singled out France, Denmark, and Austria as some of the European countries contributing to a “systematic suppression of Muslim civil society” across the continent.

Addressing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Human Dimension Conference in Warsaw, Lamies Nassri, project manager of the Danish Muslim Rights Center, said Islamophobia was spreading throughout Europe.

She called on governments to protect Muslims in their respective countries from this toxic wave.

“It is your responsibility as member states to see to it that citizens in these member states are protected from state racism, surveillance, stigmatization and violence both symbolically and physically," Nassri told the delegates.

Pointing to the situation in Denmark, she said Islamophobia was being “enabled directly through state policy and participation” and was “no longer a far-right issue but is shared across the political spectrum”.

She said that many Muslims in Denmark faced discrimination due to the country’s categorization of people from non-western backgrounds, which took precedence over their rights as Danish citizens.

Nassri further cited the impact of so-called “ghetto laws” on Muslim communities.

The laws, which have been widely criticized, aim to reduce the number of people of “non-Western origin” in designated “vulnerable areas” to less than 30 percent, through evictions, double punishment, over-policing, and compulsory daycare.

Nassri termed the laws "discriminatory" against Muslims and ethnic minorities, which deprive them of their rights and label them as “enemies within the state, who live in parallel societies that must be fought".

“We also see this targeting in the way Muslims families are portrayed as oppressive and controlling toward their children and, as such, need to be surveilled,” she added, citing a law that requires non-western residents in “ghetto” neighborhoods to put their children into state nurseries from the age of one “to get instruction in Danish values and language”.

Delegates from France underscored the impact on Muslim communities of the so-called “imams’ charter” which was adopted last year by the French Council of the Muslim Faith at the behest of French President Emmanuel Macron.

Elias d’Imzalene of French NGO Perspectives Musulmanes said the charter amounted to an “Orwellian policy” that seeks to impose “a new reading of Islam ordered by the state”.

“The police threaten to close any mosque denouncing this new inquisition while a political hunt is also carried out, targeting the dissenting voices of the community, thus making Muslim expression essentially criminal,” said d’Imzalene.

Muhammad Rabbani, managing director of Cage, a UK-based advocacy organization that also works in France, said French Muslims face a "state-led program of repression" in which organizations critical of government policies are censored, shut down, and criminalized.

Nehal Abdalla, an advocacy officer at ACT-P, an Austrian organization formed to support children caught up in police raids in the aftermath of Operation Luxor, also addressed the conference.

Austrian police raided 70 Muslim households and arrested 30 academics and activists in November 2020, but none of them were later charged.

Abdalla said that families and children caught up in the raids had awoken to a “real-life nightmare” which amounted to “terrorizing the Muslim community”.

According to a poll conducted by the Savanta ComRes in recent months, anti-Islamic behavior in Europe and the UK has increased in recent years.

The survey found that 69 percent of Muslims currently employed in the UK experienced some sort of Islamophobic behavior during work-related engagements.

Almost 44 percent percent of British Muslims said they faced anti-Muslim behavior during interactions with customers, clients, and other people in the workplace, while 42 percent experienced it during work-related social events, and 40 percent when seeking promotions.

While discriminatory treatment of all Muslims in the UK is reported at 37 percent, the figure stands at 58 percent among Black Muslims.

The British Muslim community has borne the brunt of the cost of living crisis in the country as well, with 54 percent of respondents saying that providing for their households had become a major challenge.

A recent report on Islamophobia in the UK showed that British Muslims were among the groups facing the most discrimination in the country.

Another report published in 2020 criticized many European states for failing to report on anti-Muslim incidents as a separate category of hate crime.

Source: Press TV

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Tensions Increase between Pakistan, Afghan Taliban despite Historical Ties


A Pakistani paramilitary soldier (left) and Afghan Taliban fighters stand guard on their respective sides of the border at a crossing in Torkham, in Pakistan's Khyber district. (file photo)


September 30, 2022

By Abubakar Siddique

Pakistan has been the Afghan Taliban's key foreign sponsor for decades, with Islamabad harboring the militant group's leadership during the nearly 20-year U.S.-led war in neighboring Afghanistan.

But since the Taliban seized power in August 2021, its ties with Islamabad have deteriorated amid deadly border clashes. More recently, the militants have accused Islamabad of permitting its air space to be used by U.S. drones to strike targets in Afghanistan. In turn, Pakistan has accused the Taliban of harboring terrorists.

Experts say the longstanding alliance, which dates back to the emergence of the Taliban in southern Afghanistan in the mid-1990s, is coming under unprecedented strain as their interests diverge.

"The Taliban may have accepted Pakistani support for years but do not wish to be Pakistani proxies forever," said Husain Haqqani of the Washington-based Hudson Institute who previously served as Pakistan's ambassador to the United States.

Last month, the Taliban accused Pakistan of allowing U.S. drones to use its airspace to conduct strikes inside Afghanistan. The August 28 claim came after an American drone strike in Kabul killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri in July. Islamabad has denied involvement in or advanced knowledge of the strike.

On September 14, Islamabad accused the Taliban government of harboring Masood Azhar, head of the Jaish-e Mohammad (JeI) extremist group and a UN-blacklisted terrorist. The Taliban strongly rejected Pakistan's claims.

In his speech to the UN General Assembly on September 23, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Islamabad "shares the key concern of the international community regarding the threat posed by major terrorist groups operating from Afghanistan."

Sharif mentioned the Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K), the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Al-Qaeda, the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan as groups based in Afghanistan that "need to be dealt with comprehensively, with the support and cooperation of the interim Afghan authorities."

The speech provoked a sharp rebuke from the Taliban, with Deputy Foreign Minister Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai on September 27 claiming Islamabad was "receiving millions of dollars" from Washington for allowing American drones to conduct flights over Afghanistan.

"How long can we tolerate this?" Stanikzai asked a gathering in Kabul. "If we rise against this [Pakistani interference], no one will be able to stop us."

Experts say another source of tension is the Taliban's unwillingness to crack down on the TTP, a close ideological and organizational ally. From its bases inside Afghanistan, the extremist group has intensified its insurgency against Islamabad in recent years.

The Afghan Taliban has mediated peace talks between Islamabad and the TTP, also known as the Pakistani Taliban. But doubts have been cast over the peace process as Pakistan has conducted air strikes against TTP fighters inside Afghanistan. There have also been suspected TTP attacks in Pakistan.

"Pakistan keeps assuming that the Taliban are reliant on them economically and politically," said Obaidullah Baheer, a lecturer at the American University of Afghanistan. "The Taliban, on the other hand, are overreacting to Pakistani statements because, for a long time, they were accused of being allied to Islamabad."

Graeme Smith, a consultant for the International Crisis Group, says Pakistan and the Taliban have many incentives to cooperate despite their differences. He cites the rapidly growing trade volume between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"The relationship will remain very fractious," he said. "It's worth monitoring the flare-ups of violence, but the incentives for cooperation are overwhelming."

Source: Gandhara

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Arshi Qureshi Accused of Radicalising Youngsters to Join Islamic State Acquitted After Six Years in Jail

By Sadaf Modak

September 30, 2022

A SPECIAL court on Friday acquitted Arshi Qureshi, who has been behind bars since 2016 following allegations that he had radicalised youngsters to join the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation. Special Judge A M Patil pronounced the judgment and informed 52-year-old Qureshi that he was being cleared of all charges after scrutiny of evidence before the court. He was acquitted of charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act related to abetting, inciting commission of unlawful activity and lending support to a terrorist organisation.

Qureshi was booked in 2016 when he was working as the guest relations manager at the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) founded by controversial televangelist Zakir Naik. Qureshi was arrested on the complaint received by Mumbai police by Mumbai-based Abdul that his son, Ashfak Majeed, was indoctrinated by him through his work at IRF. Ashfak, his wife, along with their daughter and other youngsters from Kerala, were alleged to have left the country to join IS. It was alleged that they had come in touch with Qureshi and were influenced to join the terror group.

The case against Qureshi was among the offences cited by the Central government while imposing a ban on IRF in 2016.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the probe from the Mumbai police and filed a chargesheet against Qureshi in 2017. At that time, two others arrested along with Qureshi were dropped as accused with the NIA stating that there was not enough evidence against them.

Qureshi’s lawyers had submitted that there was no evidence to show that he had, in any manner, incited the youth to join the terrorist organisation. It was submitted that neither was he a member nor sympathiser of the organisation. “Nothing on record even to suggest that at any point of time arranged/encouraged/addressed any meeting for propagation of any unlawful activity or to support any cause or purpose of any banned organisation,” his lawyers T W Pathan, I A Khan and Faizan Qureshi had submitted during the final arguments before the court.

It was also submitted by them that there were no documents produced on record by the NIA to ratify that the missing youngsters had joined any banned organisation, nor were they named as accused in the case.

“I am very happy, I just want to be back with my family now,” Qureshi said after the pronouncement of the verdict on Friday. Qureshi, who returned to India after studying hotel and business management in the US, was working with the IRF as a guest relations manager for seven years. He said that after the six-year incarceration, his concern was in finding the means for earning a livelihood again. When asked if he had anything to say about the period spent in jail, Qureshi said that he had no complaints against anyone and was only happy to be acquitted.

During the trial, 57 witnesses were examined including Ashfak’s parents and other relatives of the Kerala-based youth, who were alleged to have joined IS. Abdul, based on whose complaint Qureshi was arrested, did not support the NIA’s case. During his deposition in the court in 2019, Abdul said neither did he know anything about IRF nor Qureshi. He told the court that his son was missing since 2016 but was not aware where he and others had gone. He also told the court that the Mumbai police had written a complaint and he was asked to sign it, adding he did not know what was written in it.

During the final arguments, the NIA, through special public prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves, had submitted that other witnesses including the brother of one of the women who went missing had pointed to Qureshi’s role in influencing them and in converting people to Islam and hence there was evidence to convict him. An NIA official said that the detailed judgment will be studied when made available and a decision will be taken on appealing the acquittal before the Bombay High Court.

Source: Indian Express

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Several Popular Front Of India Members Travelled To ISIS Strongholds To Join Jihad: Officials

Sep 30, 2022

NEW DELHI: Popular Front of India (PFI) members, who joined the dreaded terror organisation ISIS, always took a long circuitous route to avoid the security dragnet before arriving in conflict theatres like Syria to take part in jihad, officials said.

The PFI was banned by the government on Tuesday for five years for allegedly having "links" with global terror organisations like the ISIS and trying to spread communal hatred in the country.

According to documents prepared by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), there were a few cases of youths getting killed or arrested at foreign soil and later being deported back to India.

In 2017, Kerala Police received information that some Muslim youths had migrated to Syria and some were planning to join hands with ISIS in its jihad and most of the accused in the case were members of the PFI.

Hamza, a Gulf returnee, was the alleged mastermind behind recruiting Kerala youths to ISIS. To execute his plans, Hamza befriended suitable PFI supporters who already harboured anti-national or anti-establishment sentiments, officials said.

The divisional president of the PFI, Md Sameer alias Abu Safvan, allegedly hatched and conveyed the plan to exit India and enter Syria after taking refuge in different countries to finally join ISIS in Syria.

In the process, the accused went to Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Turkey and waited for final call to join jihad in Syria, the officials said.

Later, Abdul Manaf alias Abu Fathimaand, Mohammed Sameer alias Abu Safvan, both PFI leaders, were killed in Syria while participating in jihad. As investigation progressed, five persons including the mastermind were apprehended by the Kerala Police before joining the ISIS, they said.

The Kerala Police filed a charge sheet against 17 accused for supporting the ISIS or Daesh. Hamza, the alleged mastermind in the case was a "hardcore Salafi follower" who used to preach in support of the ISIS and Taliban.

After declaration of Islamic Caliphite in Iraq and Syria, Hamza convinced Mohammed Sameer and Abdul Manaf, both PFI members, about the need to perform 'hijra' from the land of 'infidels', the officials said.

Sameer indoctrinated ISIS ideology to other PFI cadres like Shajahan VK, who was accused in another terror case, and Mohammed Shajil.

Mohammed Sameer moved to Saudi Arabia along with the family on December 12, 2015 on the pretext of performing 'Umrah'. Before infiltrating to Syria, he directed other PFI associates to leave India where criminal cases were already pending against them. Later, Sameer was reportedly killed in Syria. Meanwhile Abdul Manaf alias Abu Fathima, an aggressive leader of PFI, joined ISIS in Syria after crossing Turkish borders.

Manaf was also killed while waging war in Syria. Mohammed Shajil and Shajahan VK also motivated their close associates in PFI to join ISIS. They travelled to Malaysia, UAE, Iran to reach Turkey and waited for directions from their handlers to join ISIS.

But only Mohammed Shajil and family were able to cross over to Syria. Shajahan VK and his family were apprehended by Turkish authorities and deported to India.

After remaining underground for a while, Shajahan VK tried to get hold of a fake Indian passport to join ISIS again.

In his second attempt, with the help of one Midlaj alias Abu Misab, who was also recruiting youth to ISIS, Shajahan VK managed to convince Abdul Khayoom and Abdul Razak to join ISIS, the officials said.

Among the trio, only Abdul Khayoom, who was reportedly killed in Syria, was able to sneak into Syria. Shajahan and Abdul Razak were deported back to India. On arrival they were arrested by Indian authorities in New Delhi.

Source: Times Of India

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Muslim Cleric Who Called Mohan Bhagwat 'Rashtra Pita' (Father of Nation) Receives Death Threats From International Numbers

September 30, 2022

All India Imam Organisation head Umar Ahmed Ilyasi stated that he had been receiving threat calls. The cleric hit the bulletin after he deemed Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat as 'Rashtriya Pita' (father of the nation). On September 22, Bhagwat, while visiting a mosque in Delhi, interacted with madrasa pupils as part of his outreach to the Muslim community.

The Muslim cleric has said he received repeated death threats from international numbers. Against the backdrop of Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi deeming Bhagwat as the father of the nation, he started getting dangerous calls wherein he was threatened to be killed.

“Mohan Bhagwat Ji visited on my invitation today. He's 'rashtra-pita' and 'rashtra-rishi', a good message will come out of his visit. Our ways of worshipping god are different, but the biggest religion is humanity. We believe the country comes first,” Umer Ahmed Ilyasi was quoted as saying by ANI.

Bhagwat visited the madrasa in a bid to interact and reiterate cordial ties with the community. In this pursuit, he had invited the chief cleric of the All India Imam. Sources said that the madrasa students also chanted 'Madre Vatan' and 'Jai Hind' while interacting with the RSS chief.

"He [Mohan Bhagwat] was extremely cordial," said madrasa cleric Mehmud Hasan, going on to describe the RSS chief's visit to the madrasa.

Source: India Today

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Pakistan government's Twitter account withheld in India, again

Oct 1, 2022

NEW DELHI: The Twitter account of the Pakistan government has been withheld in India. This is reportedly the second such incident in recent months.

This account was withheld earlier in July as well but had been reactivated and was visible. Today, again the account displayed the message of being withheld in India.

"@GovtofPakistan account has been withheld in India in response to a legal demand," is seen while accessing the Twitter handle.

According to Twitter guidelines, the microblogging site takes such action in response to a valid legal demand, such as a court order.

Currently, the Twitter feed of the Pakistan government "@GovtofPakistan" is not visible to Indian users.

Previously, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry had blocked 16 YouTube news channels including six Pakistan-based channels for spreading disinformation related to India's national security, foreign relations, and public order.

Twitter said that if it "receives a valid and properly scoped request from an authorized entity, it may be necessary to withhold access to certain content in a particular country from time to time."

Such withholdings will be limited to the specific jurisdiction that has issued the valid legal demand or where the content has been found to violate local law(s)," the social media giant said.

In June, Twitter in India banned official accounts of Pakistan Embassies in UN, Turkey, Iran and Egypt.

Later in August this year, India blocked 8 YouTube-based news channels, including one operating from Pakistan and one Facebook account for posting "fake, anti-India content" online.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in a statement that the action was taken by imposing emergency powers under Information Technology Rules, 2021. The orders for the move were on August 16. The blocked Indian YouTube channels were observed to be using fake and sensational thumbnails, images of news anchors and logos of certain TV news channels to mislead the viewers to believe that the news was authentic.

Source: Times Of India

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Two Jaish-e-Mohammed men killed in Baramulla

Oct 1, 2022

SRINAGAR: Two Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists were killed in a shootout with a combined team of Army, CRPF and J&K police in the Pattan area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Friday.

The terrorists had snuck into Baramulla to attack the Army Agniveer recruitment rally being held at its 10 Sector Hyderbeigh HQ in the district, SSP Rayees Mohiuddin Bhat said.

Police said both were Kashmir natives. They were surrounded by a security team following intelligence inputs about terrorists hiding at Yedipora village of Pattan. The cornered duo fired at the forces and were killed eventually in the gunfight.

Source: Times Of India

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BJP agitation in Sasaram today to ‘free’ Ashokan inscription turned into a ‘Mazar’ in 2005

Sep 30, 2022

The opposition Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bihar has announced an agitation here on October 1 to “free” the 3rd century BCE Ashokan rock inscription near Sasaram, an ASI-protected monument which was allegedly taken over by the local Muslim community members in 2005 and turned into a “shrine”.

Samarat Chaudhary, a former minister and currently the leader of opposition in the Legislative Council, who has announced the agitation, said in a statement that the site was captured and locked by members of the Muslim community, who were not willing to relent despite repeated letters from the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) since 2005.

Asked why the BJP, which has been part of the state government for most of the duration since 2005, did not act earlier, Chaudhary said, “Nitish Kumar was the chief minister and the home minister. If it was not freed before, it will be freed now. We will fight for justice.”

Chaudhary belongs to the Kushwaha community, which constitutes more than six per cent of Bihar’s population. The community believes its roots lie in the Mauryan dynasty and celebrates the anniversary of Emperor Ashoka the Great with much fanfare on April 14, which was declared a state holiday by the state government in 2016.

It is believed that Lord Buddha, during his first visit to Sarnath after attaining enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, had spent a night at this cave where Ashoka made the inscription.

The inscription of Mauryan ruler Ashoka (272-232 BC), situated in a cave on Ashoka Pahari (now called Ashik Pahari), three kilometres south of Rohtas district headquarters town Sasaram, has great historical and archaeological importance. It was acquired by ASI and declared a nationally protected monument on December 1, 1917.

The inscription is among 18 minor rock edicts of Ashoka spread over the country, according to Dr Shyam Sundar Tiwary, researcher and expert on Sone valley civilization.

Noted historian Dr Parmeshwari Lal Gupta, in his work “Prachin Bharat Ke Pramukh Abhilekh”, has also written about the importance of this inscription.

In 2005, some local Muslim community members allegedly locked the entrance gate of the cave after covering the inscription with a “green cloth” and declaring it a Mazar (shrine). ASI officials said that since then, they have repeatedly requested the Rohtas district administration through several letters for removal of encroachment, to no avail.

In July 2018, the then district magistrate of Rohtas, Pankaj Dixit, had held a meeting with representatives of the local Muslim community to persuade them to hand over the cave to ASI.

“But the cave could not be freed and handed over to the ASI due to reasons known best to the authorities,” Dr Tiwary said.

When contacted for his response, GM Ansari, the “custodian” of the “Mazar”, said he was headed for Mecca and could not speak on the subject before his return after one month.

Source: Hindustan Times

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Iran says nine nationals from European countries arrested for role in unrest

30 September, 2022

Iranian security forces have arrested nine people from Germany, Poland, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and other countries for their role in the protests against the death of a young woman in police custody, the intelligence ministry said on Friday.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iran protests over young woman's death continue, 83 said killed

30 September, 2022

Protests continued in several cities across Iran on Thursday against the death of young woman in police custody, state and social media reported, as a human rights group said at least 83 people had been killed in nearly two weeks of demonstrations.

Mahsa Amini, 22, from the Iranian Kurdish town of Saqez, was arrested this month in Tehran for “unsuitable attire” by the morality police that enforces the Islamic Republic's strict dress code for women.

Her death has sparked the first big show of opposition on Iran's streets since authorities crushed protests against a rise in gasoline prices in 2019.

“At least 83 people including children, are confirmed to have been killed in (the) #IranProtests,” Iran Human Rights, a Norway-based group, said on Twitter.

Despite the growing death toll and a fierce crackdown by authorities, videos posted on Twitter showed demonstrators calling for the fall of the clerical establishment in Tehran, Qom, Rasht, Sanandaj, Masjed-i-Suleiman and other cities.

State television said police had arrested a large number of “rioters”, without giving figures.

Rights groups said dozens of activists, students and artists have been detained and the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Twitter that it had learned that security forces had arrested at least 28 journalists as of Sept. 29.

Meanwhile, Germany's foreign minister said on Thursday she wanted the European Union to impose sanctions on Iran following Amini's death.

In Norway, several people attempted to enter the Iranian embassy in Oslo during an angry demonstration in which two people sustained light injuries, Norwegian police said. Police detained 95 people, public broadcaster NRK reported.

President Ebrahim Raisi said the unrest was the latest move by hostile Western powers against Iran since its Islamic revolution in 1979.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Turkish opposition revives questions over Islamic State burning execution

Sibel Hurtas

September 30, 2022

Turkey’s main opposition has revived questions over the gruesome execution of two Turkish nationals by the Islamic State (IS) in Syria, almost six years after a video showing the pair being burned alive shook the nation to its core.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the Republican People’s Party, visited the family of one of the victims this week, pledging to take the issue to parliament. “What upsets me the most is that the army and the government made no statement about the incident after it reverberated on social media,” he said.

The authorities responded with silence to the execution video, shared by IS-linked accounts in December 2016, that showed two young Turkish-speaking men clad in military camouflage being burned alive.

One of the victims — Sefter Tas, a soldier abducted from a border area the year before — has been confirmed dead. According to official records, the other victim — Fethi Sahin — is still alive. Authorities have yet to shed light on the execution and punish its perpetrators, even though several suspects — most of them Turkish nationals — have emerged from IS-related court cases over the years.

A Syrian IS member is believed to have ordered the execution following failed efforts by Ilhami Bali — the alleged Turkey emir of IS who remains on Ankara’s most wanted list — to use the two victims as a bargaining chip. The killing was allegedly carried out by two Turkish militants. Turkish national Omer Yetek disseminated the video.

Yetek, who was arrested in 2018 and released pending trial in 2020, had spoken about the execution in his testimony to the police. Contacted by Al-Monitor this week, he disowned his testimony, claiming the police had forced him to write it; he denied knowing any of the militants implicated in the killing. That Yetek remains free despite a six-year sentence for membership in a terrorist group is quite intriguing, even though he said he had appealed the sentence.

Even more intriguingly, Jamal Alwi — the Syrian who allegedly ordered the execution — appears to have lived quietly in Turkey for years. Having walked free after initial detention, he was rearrested last year after an investigative journalist reported he ran a bird shop in the border city of Gaziantep. 

Senem Doganoglu, a lawyer representing victims' families in a court case over a bloody IS bombing in Ankara in 2015, told Al-Monitor that prosecutors in the city of Antalya had obtained phone records showing that Bali had sought to use the two victims as a bargaining chip.

Bali’s wife, who remains behind bars, has named Hasan Aydin as an executioner in her questioning by the police. Aydin’s fate remains unknown, while the other alleged executioner, Talip Akkurt, was reportedly killed in 2018.

According to investigative journalist Gokcer Tahincioglu, a comprehensive probe into the incident “could be conducted only after the state officially acknowledges the two soldiers were burned to death.”

Tas’ father said in 2017 that officials had informed the family the execution video was authentic and their son was dead.

As for Sahin, authorities have kept mum. Though he, too, is usually referred to as a “soldier,” some media outlets claim he had joined IS while others say he was an intelligence operative who infiltrated the group. According to his parents, Sahin left the family home in March 2015, saying he would go to Syria. Several months before the execution video, Sahin’s father was reportedly contacted by Syrians from a Turkish-backed rebel group who said his son was detained by IS for “being an informant” for Turkey’s gendarmerie force.

If Sahin really had an intelligence role, the official silence comes off as a sign that “the state is trying to evade responsibility” for his death, Doganoglu said.

Source: Al Monitor

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Senior IRGC commander killed during clashes in southeastern Iran: State media

30 September, 2022

A senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander died on Friday after he was injured during clashes with “anti-regime” gunmen in southeastern Iran, state media reported.

Ali Mousavi, chief commander of the IRGC’s intelligence unit in the province of Sistan-Baluchestan, died after being shot in the chest by a group of “anti-regime” gunmen in the city of Zahedan, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

Earlier on Friday, state media had reported that gunmen opened fire at a police station in Zahedan, the provincial capital city of Sistan-Baluchestan.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Casualties feared after angry mob storms police station in southeast Iran

Syed Zafar Mehdi



Heavy clashes erupted in the city of Zahedan in Iran's southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province on Friday after an angry mob stormed a police station, leading to a firefight.

The incident took place following Friday prayers at police station 16 on Razi Street in west Zahedan, a few blocks away from a mosque, according to local reports.

At least two deaths and dozens of injuries have been reported in local media, but the exact toll remains unclear. The injured have been admitted to hospitals.

Videos circulating on social media showed gory scenes of wounded people being taken away amid plumes of smoke and the sound of intermittent gunfire in the background.

State media said unidentified gunmen opened fire and threw Molotov cocktail at the police station, leading to an intense firefight.

However, other reports said the assailants were unarmed, but pelted stones at the police who responded with live fire.

Later, angry protesters set ablaze public properties, banks and police cars across the city, according to eye witnesses.

Tensions have been running high in recent days in the Sunni-majority province that borders Pakistan over the death of a young Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, in police custody.

However, media reports also point to another case in the province that has inflamed the situation — the alleged sexual harassment of a 15-year-old girl by a police officer in the neighboring port city of Chabahar.

The incident, which was reported earlier this month, has drawn widespread anger and outrage in the border province with people calling for justice and accountability.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Israel ‘green lights’ assassination drones in West Bank; heightens Gaza anxiety

01 October 2022

The Tel Aviv regime has given the ‘green light’ for the use of armed drones to carry out assassinations against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, in an escalation in aggression by the Israeli occupation troops.

According to a report published by the Jerusalem Post, Israeli commanders will now be allowed to use the platforms not only as cover and intelligence for forces during operations but also to carry out strikes against Palestinians.

The order seemingly comes within the context of Israeli forces attempts to police the Palestinian territories, especially since drones are a military instrument that can be used easily and without risk.

Army Chief, Aviv Kochavi, gave his approval to use the armed drones for assassinations and “to carry out strikes” against Palestinian resistance groups that "pose an imminent threat to the Israeli military", the media outlet said.

The Israeli army has evaluated the situation in the West Bank, said Kochavi on Wednesday, adding that Israel will keep preparing for every scenario to ensure what he described as "Israel's security".

According to the Jerusalem Post, Israel is hoping that drones and remote-controlled weapons can keep its troops out of harm’s way in the West Bank for the time being. In the same context, it is noteworthy that the Israeli occupation forces recently installed a remote gun turret in a heavily populated area of al-Khalil, after reportedly deploying facial recognition technology on the Palestinian territory last year.

Israel has used Elbit’s Hermes 450 drones to carry out targeted assassinations in Gaza since 2008. According to reports, these drones have been in production since the late 1990s. However, establishing a full account of their usage is difficult, as Israel’s military censor had banned reports on their use until earlier this year.

In July, the Jerusalem Post reported on this note that Israel Air Force has been using attack drones for at least the past 20 years, and it has been extensively documented in US diplomatic cables as well as at international air shows. The Israeli troops, however, never publicly disclosed the use of such platforms, and Israeli journalists who attempted to publish anything were blocked by the censor.

Also in September, the same source confirmed that Israeli occupation commanders had undergone training to prepare them for the possibility that they will use armed drones during counter-terrorism operations. It is believed that the order was given as Israel feels it might be facing an extensive operation in the northern West Bank, similar to Operation Defensive Shield in 2002.

The Tel Aviv regime follows the footsteps of its number one ally, the United States, which has been conducting drone strikes for years, especially under the Obama administration.

In 2020, the US carried out its notorious drone attack in which it assassinated commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps' Al-Quds Brigade, General Qassem Soleimani on Iraqi soil.

Back then, Agnes Callamard, a UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said, "There are no robust standards governing drones' development, proliferation, export, or capability for use of force. No transparency. No effective oversight. No accountability."

Similarly, using drone strikes allows the Israeli occupation to evade accountability the same way the US has been for years.

Despite Israeli claims that the intelligence provided by drones makes it easier to target those Palestinians it has defined as “terrorists”, research shows civilians are the main victims.

In 2009, the total number of Gazan civilians killed by drone-launched missiles remains unclear. Human rights organizations including B’Tselem, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, and the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights reported 42 drone attacks that killed 87 civilians in the 2008 war on Gaza.

Amnesty International told media outlets that it documented 48 civilian deaths from drones, and this does not represent the full number. In only six Israeli drone strikes back then, 29 Palestinian civilians were killed, 8 of them children.

Israel’s response back then was that Israeli forces failed to take all feasible precautions to verify whether the targets were Palestinian resistance fighters or civilians. According to statistics compiled by human rights groups in Gaza, civilians are the chief casualties of what Israel refers to as “surgical” strikes from drones.

Drone Anxiety in Gaza

Meanwhile, psychiatrist Iman Hijjo, who treats Palestinians from conflict trauma triggered by the sound of Israeli drones says “children suffer fear and anxiety as a direct result of the drones,” lamenting a lack of scientific research to determine longer-term impacts.

Based in Gaza's southern city of Khan Yunis, Hijjo says "When an insect moves around you, you can hit it, but not the drone," adding that the situation leads to a "sense of powerlessness".

Her fellow psychiatrist Sami Oweida points out for his part that "children need to feel safe in order to develop, but with the presence of drones in the sky, these feelings cannot flourish."

Moreover, teenager Bissam from the enclave was quoted by AFP as saying she “has trouble sleeping and concentrating as the buzzing sound of Israeli military drones above the crowded Palestinian enclave drives her to distraction.”

The 18-year-old, the source reported, said "the drone is constantly with me in my bedroom -- worry and fear don't leave our homes.”

Bissam's mother said she struggles to calm her children when the drones fly overhead, fearing an Israeli air strike could follow even if there is no active conflict. "The kids sleep intermittently. We wake up, we sleep, then we wake up" the 42-year old mother explained.

Israel uses drones above Gaza for 4,000 flying hours every month-- the equivalent of deploying five of the unmanned aircraft permanently in the sky, the Israeli military told AFP.

Unmanned surveillance aircraft have become an integral part of Israel's 15-year-old blockade of the Gaza besieged enclave, and 2.3 million Palestinians endure their incessant hum of what Palestinians call ‘Zanana’, which stands for a noise maker or buzz in Arabic.

Source: Press TV

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Palestinians mourn 7-year-old boy who died from ‘fear’ of Israeli forces

01 October 2022

Thousands of Palestinians have participated in the funeral of the 7-year old Palestinian boy Rayan Suleiman, who died in an Israeli raid.

The Funeral of Rayan took place in the occupied West Bank. The boy lost his life on Thursday as his heart stopped when he was chased alongside other school children by the Israeli occupation forces in the town of Teqoa, southeast of Beit Lahm

Mourners, who filled the streets of Teqoa to mourn Rayan’s death, chanted “we all die, and Palestine lives.” The little boy’s body was wrapped in a Palestinian flag.

Violent confrontations erupted on Friday between Palestinian youths and the Israeli occupation forces after the funeral of the martyred child Rayan.

According to local Palestinian sources, the confrontations began immediately after the funeral of the child, as Palestinian youths began throwing stones at the occupation forces.

Rayyan's father, Yasser, said the Israeli soldiers chased his son to their house alleging that he and the children with him were ‘throwing stones at them’, which caused him to fall from a considerable height.

However, a medical official who inspected the boy’s body told Reuters that even though he reportedly fell from a significant height, his body bore no sign of physical trauma and that the death appeared consistent with heart failure.

Quoted by al-Jazeera, Rayan’s cousin, Mohammed Suleiman said that upon his arrival at his house, Rayan was chased by the soldiers who were yelling at him.

“The soldiers shouted at him that he’s [a] stone thrower,” he said. “He ran away from one side, and the soldier met him from the other side [of the house]. Rayan saw the soldier in front of him, and was shocked and dropped dead out of fear,” he said.

For her part, Hadeel Salman, a neighbour and witness, said Israeli soldiers were “going in all directions looking for any child they could find”.

“The soldiers even summoned my young brother – they told him he threw stones at them and needed to be arrested,” Salman told the source, “He insisted he had nothing to do with it.”

Relatives of the Suleiman family said on Thursday that Rayan had no previous health problems and accused the army of scaring the child to death. On this note, Rayan’s uncle Mohammed said, "He was a completely healthy boy filled with happiness, and within minutes we lost him."

Human rights groups have long accused the Israeli regime of deliberately targeting Palestinian children. 83 Palestinian children were killed in 2021 and 2022, according to Defense for Children International - Palestine (DCIP) data.

The Geneva-based DCIP presented a report in June, saying that the occupying regime had been intensifying its aggression against minors in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank, and the holy occupied city of al-Quds since the start of 2022. It said that as many as 15 Palestinian children have been killed so far in 2022 at the hands of the Israeli forces.

Source: Press TV

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Iran: Israeli regime’s history full of massacres, child killings

30 September 2022

Iran has slammed Israel over the fear-induced death of a seven-year-old Palestinian boy in the occupied West Bank, saying the history of the usurping regime is replete with such atrocities, among many the killing of children.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kana’ani made the remark in a post on his Twitter account on Friday as he pointed to the death of Rayyan Yaser Suleiman, a Palestinian child who lost his life after falling from a high place while running away from Israeli soldiers in the village of Tuqu, southeast of Bethlehem.

Palestine's health officials said the child was admitted to hospital due to a heart attack and attempts to revive him had failed.

Kana’ani’s tweet also coincided with the 22nd martyrdom anniversary of 12-year-old Muhammad al-Durrah, who was killed by Israeli gunfire on his father’s lap in the besieged Gaza Strip on September 30, 2000.

“From Muhammad al-Durrah to Rayyan Suleiman, the history of Israel's apartheid regime is full of assassinations, massacres, torture and killing of children,” Kana’ani said in a Persian-language tweet.

“Rayyan and other martyred Palestinian children are the victims of ‘silence on normalization’ and ‘false claimants of human rights.’”

Palestine's official Wafa news agency said Rayyan "ran away in fear" from soldiers who chased him and other students after leaving their school, causing him to fall from a considerable height.

Rayyan's father, Yaser, said the Israeli soldiers chased his son to their house and because his son was so scared of the troops he tried to run away but his heart stopped and he fell dead.

Israeli media, quoting Rayyan’s uncle, admitted that the Palestinian boy had died from a heart attack.

"Rayyan's father opened the door and the soldiers entered. Then, there was a commotion and a lot of screaming. Out of fear, [Rayyan] collapsed and had a heart attack," said his uncle Mohammed. "He was a completely healthy boy filled with happiness, and within minutes we lost him."

The Palestinian authorities called the seven-year-old “a martyr” and urged the international community to “hold the occupation accountable for its crimes.”

Israeli forces have recently been conducting overnight raids and committing murder in the northern part of the West Bank, mainly in the cities of Jenin and Nablus, where new groups of Palestinian resistance fighters have been formed.

Source: Press TV

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Teacher wounded, students arrested in Israeli military attack on Palestinian school in al-Khalil

30 September 2022

Israeli forces have raided an elementary school in the southern occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil and attacked teachers and students, as tensions are on the rise across the occupied territories in the wake of near-daily Israeli military operations that have killed dozens of Palestinians.

Director General of Education Department in al-Khalil, Atef al-Jamal, stated that the Israeli troops stormed al-Hajriya Elementary School on Thursday and broke into classrooms, causing panic and fear among students.

He added that the forces beat teachers and students, and sprayed their faces with pepper as they pushed them back the Israeli soldiers.

A teacher, identified as Ihab al-Rajbi, sustained bruises to his hand. The soldiers also detained and interrogated two schoolchildren after dragging them out of their classrooms. They were released later.

The incident came on the same day that a Palestinian boy died of heart failure while being chased by Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank.

Seven-year-old Rayyan Suleiman was coming home from school with other pupils in the village of Tuqu when troops gave chase, and he “died on the spot from fear,” his father Yasser said in a video circulated on social media.

A medical official who inspected the body stated that it bore no sign of physical trauma and that the death appeared consistent with heart failure.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned the incident as “an ugly crime” by the Israeli regime.

Meanwhile, Palestinian local and security sources said Israeli forces have detained seven Palestinians and wounded two others during overnight operations in various parts of the West Bank.

They said that Israeli forces stormed a house in Jalazone refugee camp, located 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) north of Ramallah, in the early hours of Friday, and rounded up a 17-year-old teen following a thorough search.

The soldiers opened live fire at a vehicle in the refugee camp, wounding two people. One of them suffered gunshot wounds the shoulder while the other was struck in the foot. They were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Additionally, gun-toting soldiers detained four Palestinians and ransacked the houses of their families in several neighborhoods of the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil.

They also forced their way into Beit Ummar town, arrested two other Palestinians and searched the houses of their families.

Israeli forces have recently been conducting overnight raids and killings in the northern occupied West Bank, mainly in the cities of Jenin and Nablus, where new groups of Palestinian resistance fighters have been formed.

Source: Press TV

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Suicide Bomber Blows Himself Up Minutes before Friday Prayers in Pakistan's Restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Sep 30, 2022

PESHAWAR: A suicide bomber on Friday blew himself up in an open field situated close to a mosque, minutes before the Jumma prayers in Pakistan's restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, police said. The attacker detonated a hand grenade before exploding his suicide vest, which killed him on the spot, district police officer Irfanullah said.

However, no one else was hurt or injured in the blast.

The incident took place in Mardan district in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Earlier this week, a suicide bomber attacked a Pakistani military convoy in the province, injuring at least 21 soldiers.

Source: Times Of India

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JUI-F moves Shariat Court against transgender persons act

September 30, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) on moved Federal Shariat Court against the Transgender Persons Act 2018, claiming that the law was in contradiction with Islamic principles.

According to details, the JUI-F has filed a petition in Federal Shariat Court, challenging the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) (Amendment) Bill, 2022.

The law should be declared against Shariat, the petition stated, maintaining that no law can be passed in the country that contradicts with Holy Quran and Sunnah.

The Federal Shariat Court will take up the petition on October 3. In a statement, the JUI-F spokesperson said the party would continue its struggle against this act on every platform.

Earlier, Senator Mushtaq Ahmed of Jamat-e-Islami (JI) had filed a petition in the Federal Shariat Court against the Transgender Rights Bill 2018, claiming it’s in contradiction with the Islamic principles of heredity.

The JI leader had argued that the bill would cause complications in Islamic heredity rules.

The petition, filed by the JI senator, would be persecuted by Lawyer Imran Shafique Advocate. Senate’s Human Rights Committee had debated the bill in its September 5 session.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) deemed Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) (Amendment) Bill, 2022 un-Islamic and not in line with the Sharia, ARY News reported.

In a statement, the top religious body said that many sections of the Transgender Act 2018 are not in conformity with Islamic teachings and could add to social problems in the country.

Source: Pakistan Today

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Pakistan anti-terror court charges 3 more for blast outside Hafiz Saeed's house

September 29, 2022

An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has indicted three more suspects in a car bomb blast outside the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed's house here last year that killed three people, an official said on Thursday.

"The prosecutors of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab Police declared the suspects - Samiul Haq (mastermind) Aziz Akbar and Naveed Akhtar (facilitators) - guilty before the court," a CTD official told PTI.

He said the suspects, who were brought amid tight security, pleaded not guilty before the court.

The official said the ATC Lahore directed the prosecution to present witnesses before it on October 4.

In January, the ATC had sentenced four suspects - Eid Gul (activist of banned Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan), Peter Paul David, Sajjad Shah and Ziaullah - to death on nine counts.

The court had also handed down five years imprisonment to a woman, identified as Ayesha Bibi, during the in-camera trial proceedings at the high-security Kot Lakhpat Jail here.

The prosecution had presented 56 witnesses against these five convicts.

Three people were killed and over 20 others injured in the blast outside Saeed’s Jauhar town residence here on June 23, 2021 that also damaged a number of houses, shops and vehicles in the area.

According to the CTD, TTP's Eid Gul had installed explosives in the car used in the blast. The car belonged to Peter Paul David and the other three - Sajjad Shah, Ziaullah and Ayesha - were facilitators.

Saeed, chief of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) has been serving a jail sentence at the Kot Lakhpat Jail, Lahore for his conviction in terror financing cases. There were unconfirmed reports that Saeed was present at his house when the blast took place.

The 71-year-old radical cleric and a UN-designated terrorist, whom the US has placed a USD 10 million bounty on, has been convicted of 36 years imprisonment in five terror financing cases. His punishment is running concurrently.

Saeed-led JuD is the front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans.

The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. He was listed under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008.

Source: India Today

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PIA issues clarification after issuing bizarre dress code for cabin crew

Sep 30, 2022

ISLAMABAD: A red-faced Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was forced to issue a clarification on Friday after the state-owned carrier received much flak for its bizarre dress code for its cabin crew, instructing them that wearing undergarments underneath the uniform was a must.

On Thursday, PIA told its crew that wearing undergarments underneath the uniform was a must, saying that a lack of proper attire would leave a "poor impression" and "portrays a negative image" of the airline.

Not surprisingly, the diktat was massively criticised from several quarters, terming it as "inappropriate."

The national carrier immediately withdrew the bulletin, due to the backlash it received, Geo News reported.

Barely 24 hours later, the airline, in an attempt to downplay the incident, came out with a carefully-worded clarification.

“Despite the fact that the spirit behind the advisory was to ensure proper dress code, however, the standard bulletin, inadvertently, came out with an inappropriate selection of words,” PIA's Chief HR Officer said in a written clarification.

“I personally feel regretful and am fully convinced that the words could have been more civilised and appropriate in this context instead of words published, which, unfortunately, are being trolled and twisted towards the defamation of the company,” he added.

In the previous notification, PIA General Manager Flight Services Aamir Bashir, in an internal instruction memo, said: "It has been observed with great concern that a few cabin crew tend to dress casually while travelling intercity, staying in hotels, and visiting various suffices."

“Such dressing leaves a poor impression on the viewer and portrays a negative image of not only the individual but also of the organisation.”

Bashir asked the cabin crew to "dress properly" in formal plain clothes over "proper undergarments".

PIA is Pakistan's largest airline and operates a fleet of 30 aircraft.

Source: Times Of India

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Ashrafi for celebrating Rabiul Awwal as ‘Paigham-e-Rehmatul-lil-Alameen’

OCTOBER 1, 2022

Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi on Friday said Rabi-ul-Awwal was being celebrated as month of the ‘Paigham-e-Rehmatul-lil-Alameen’ throughout the country.

Addressing a Sirat-un-Nabi Conference on Friday, Ashrafi who is also the chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council said peace, affection and tolerance was the message of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and it was the responsibility of every Muslim to spread this noble message across the world. Assuring the rights of minorities living in Pakistan, he said Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) had made Muslims the protectors of the rights of non-Muslims at all levels.

He said the Prophet of Allah Almighty had given women the right to education and it was Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) to seek the daughter’s consent before her marriage. There was no concept of forced marriage and forcefully conversion to religion in Islam, he added.

Ashrafi said the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) had always sympathized with those who kept enmity against him as extremist attitudes are creating problems for Islam and Muslims all over the world.

“Islam is spread all over the world through best moral values, that is why; even the enemies of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) used to call him Sadiq and Ameen (Truthful and Honest),” he added.

He said today making false statements against one another were causing death and destruction in the society. He said in the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal, ‘Paigham-e-Rehmatul-lil- Alameen’ conferences, seminars and congregations would be held under the aegis of Pakistan Ulema Council across the country.

Meanwhile, talking to media after the conference, he said the ongoing political turmoil in the country could be settled down by reconciliation.

Source: Daily Times Pakistan

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Pakistan committed to deepen ties with UAE: PM

October 1, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al-Zaabi called on Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif here on Friday and discussed matters of mutual interest.

The prime minister reaffirmed the importance Pakistan attached to its fraternal relations with the UAE, and extended the best wishes for the continued progress and prosperity of its brotherly people.

He highlighted the extensive devastation caused by the recent floods across Pakistan and the response of the government to address the dire situation. In this regard, he expressed gratitude for the relief assistance provided by the UAE for the flood-stricken people and for establishing an air corridor to provide humanitarian assistance.

The prime minister added that Pakistan was committed to further deepen its relations with the United Arab Emirates in all areas of common interest.

Pakistan and the UAE enjoy close fraternal ties for five decades that are rooted firmly in common belief and shared values and culture. The UAE is Pakistan’s largest trading partner in the Middle East and a major source of investments.

Pakistan desires Japanese investment

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Friday said Pakistan was desirous of Japanese investment in the projects of solar energy, cleaning drinking water and treatment, and drainage of waste water and materials.

The prime minister expressed these views while talking to a delegation of Japanese companies based in Pakistan, led by Japan’s Vice Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Satomi Ryuji. Japan’s Ambassador to Pakistan Wada Mitsuhiro was also present on the occasion.

He said Pakistan was speedily moving towards benefitting from sources of renewable energy like solar, wind and hydel as the money being spent on the expensive oil, gas and other fuels was an intolerable burden on the economy.

The PM said Pakistan was initiating on emergency basis projects for generation of 10,000 megawatts of solar power.

For the purpose, the government had prepared an effective investment plan and had already held a pre-bid conference of the stakeholders, he told.

Under the solarization project, he said, solar parks would be established and government buildings, commercial centers and tube-wells would be converted to solar energy to save precious foreign exchange.

He said Pakistan wanted investment of the Japanese companies under the public private partnership mode for setting up projects for provision of clean drinking water and treatment and drainage of waste water and materials in Karachi.

The prime minister thanked the government and people of Japan for the financial assistance of $7 million and for their expression of sympathy on the loss of precious lives during the recent unprecedented devastating floods in Pakistan.

Source: Pakistan Today

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Saudi-UK business to grow ‘significantly’ under GCC trade deal, says lord mayor of London


September 30, 2022

LONDON: A pending free-trade agreement between the UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council will “significantly increase” their financial ties at a transformational moment for the global economy, the lord mayor of the City of London told Arab News prior to his tour of the region.

Vincent Keaveny, who will begin his tour in Riyadh this weekend, said Saudi investment in Britain already topped £65 billion ($69.36 billion) annually, with UK trade with the Gulf surpassing £33 billion.

“The GCC is our fourth-largest trading partner, which gives you an idea of the importance and scale of investment flows, which are two way, and I see this increasing significantly over the years,” he added.

“Saudi Arabia has great transformational plans for its own economy, and the financial and professional services here in the UK have a huge amount to offer in helping implement and support this.”

One of the oldest continuously elected civic officers, the lord mayor of London serves as mayor of the City of London and leads the City of London Corp., with a focus on representing, supporting and promoting business within the financial heart of the UK capital.

The UK-GCC FTA that was announced in June appears to remain a priority for Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss, and is hoped to generate £33.5 billion in new trade.

While hosting GCC foreign ministers last December, then-Foreign Secretary Truss stressed that “closer economic and security ties with our Gulf partners” was a priority.

Keaveny said: “The FTA would be a very positive statement of intent about the future relationship between the UK and the countries that make up the region, and we would support the prime minister’s ambitions to get this done and get this done as quickly as possible.”

He added: “I think with Liz Truss this will happen; she’s someone the City knows very well. We worked with her closely on the international trade agenda when she was international trade secretary and indeed, she had a pronounced focus on trade during her time as foreign secretary.”

Chris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding, told Arab News that the FTA will be a priority for Truss.

Her focus when it comes to the Middle East, he said, would very much be on “getting the free-trade deal over the line.”

Keaveny said he would not be surprised by requirements for country-level agreements between each of the parties to flesh it out, stressing that “we’d have to wait and see” on the details.

“I take the view that free-trade agreements provide a framing context. It may be that some of the FTAs we see coming through in the next couple of years aren’t as full as we’d like them in the City,” he added.

“I’d only encourage the negotiators involved in this FTA to get it settled as quickly as possible, albeit I do recognize that this is a complicated position when negotiating with a body, like the GCC, that represents a diverse group of countries with divergent interests.”

When questioned if increased regulatory alliance was on the agenda, he stressed that he was “not close enough to the negotiation to know if regulatory alignment will be the outcome,” but that greater alignment would be a positive, particularly from a financial services perspective.

“Anything that makes provision of financial services smoother, whether through regulatory alignment or the liberalization of data flows, would be welcome,” he said. “But I’m genuinely not close enough to the negotiations to know if this is a realistic outcome.”

For Keaveny, “strong, historic” ties exist between the Gulf and the UK, and he envisages “significant investment requirements and opportunities.”

In Saudi Arabia, there is the combination of its Vision 2030 plan — aimed at reducing its reliance on hydrocarbons, diversifying its economy and expanding public services — and its determination to be net-zero by 2060.

“All of this requires support, and the UK’s expertise and approach to net-zero and the financing of the transition means in many ways the City of London and the country are the thought leaders on this issue,” said Keaveny. 

“So we’ll be able to contribute massively to Saudi Arabia’s plans on this. It’s a big win as there are all sort of benefits that will flow and scope to significantly increase this, both in terms of financial assets and UK infrastructure, whether power structure or other utilities.”

Keaveny’s tour coincides with a fractious moment for the world, as the Russia-Ukraine conflict ekes into its ninth month amid growing concerns of a winter of discontent for a Europe that grew dependent upon Russian gas.

Even so, he does not see it being a major talking point for the parties involved. “Clearly the war in Ukraine has global economic repercussions, and if it comes up I believe it will be in the context of that, and on the effects it’s having on inflationary pressures around the world and on our net-zero ambitions,” said Keaveny.

He expressed excitement at the decision to host this year’s and next year’s UN Climate Change Conference in the Middle East, in Egypt and the UAE respectively.

“It’s very exciting that we have a COP festival in Africa this year and next year’s in Dubai, as it will frame a different set of discussions than the Glasgow one, and will set in motion what we need to do to finance the transition in developing economies,” he said.

Source: Arab News

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Turkey rejects Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory

October 01, 2022

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday it rejects Russia’s annexation of four regions in Ukraine, adding the decision is a “grave violation” of international law.

Turkey, a NATO member, has conducted a diplomatic balancing act since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. Ankara opposes Western sanctions on Russia and has close ties with both Moscow and Kyiv, its Black Sea neighbors. It has also criticized Russia’s invasion and sent armed drones to Ukraine.

The Turkish ministry said on Saturday it had not recognized Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, adding that it rejects Russia’s decision to annex the four regions, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

“This decision, which constitutes a grave violation of the established principles of international law, cannot be accepted,” the ministry said.

“We reiterate our support to the resolution of this war, the severity of which keeps growing, based on a just peace that will be reached through negotiations,” it added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin proclaimed the annexation of the regions on Friday, promising Moscow would triumph in its “special military operation” even as he faced a potentially serious new military reversal.

His proclamation came after Russia held what it called referendums in occupied areas of Ukraine. Western governments and Kyiv said the votes breached international law and were coercive and non-representative.

The United States, Britain and Canada announced new sanctions in response.

Source: Arab News

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Norway police arrest 95 rioters over ‘acting aggressively’ against Iranian embassy

30 September 2022

Norwegian police have arrested 95 rioters who had behaved “violently” and “aggressively” during an unannounced demonstration against the Iranian embassy in Oslo.

Operations manager of Oslo police district, Bjørn Gunnar Nysæter, told NTB that a total of 85 of the 95 people arrested on Thursday were taken to the detention center.

Nine of them were arrested for damage to the embassy area and/or violence against the police, including in the form of stone-throwing, he added.

The Norwegian police are also set to go through some video material from the demonstration for further investigations.

Meanwhile, Gjermund Stokkli, an official with Oslo police, confirmed that tear gas had been used to control the crowd.

No injuries to police personnel have been reported, he said, adding that there has been damage to the facade and fences belonging to the embassy.

The riots began at around 2 PM on Thursday in front of the embassy, where many of the rioters were behaving violently and aggressively, according to Norwegian media.

Several rioters also tried to get into the embassy but the police controlled the situation by deploying a “significant” number of officers.

Photos from the scene show that some of the rioters carried Kurdish flags.

Since last Saturday, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has launched a series of aerial raids on the positions of Iraqi Kurdistan-based terrorist groups, including the so-called Komala Party, which has gained a strong foothold in the region bordering Iran.

The operations came in response to the dispatching of terror teams and a large cache of weapons to western Iranian regions aimed at creating unrest following the death of a 22-year-old Iranian woman.

In a statement on Thursday, the IRGC Ground Force said that the operations against terror bases will continue until all anti-Iran separatist and terrorist outfits holed up in the rugged mountainous area lay down their arms and surrender.

Similar riots against Iranian representative offices have also been reported in other cities, including at the Iranian embassy in London on Sunday.

Source: Press TV

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South Asia


Islamic Emirate Asks UNSC to Extend Travel Ban Exemptions

By Mohammad Farshad Daryosh

September 30, 2022

Over 40 days have passed since the end of the travel ban exemption for Islamic Emirate officials instated by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Kabul once more requested that the United Nations Security Council extend the travel ban exemption of the officials of the Islamic Emirate, saying that adopting an isolationist policy would not benefit any side.

"Isolation policies are not in the benefit of any side. The Islamic Emirate wants good relations and good interaction with all sides, and this is in the interest of all sides,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate.

However, some political analysts said that the world's political and economic sanctions are not beneficial to Afghanistan.

"There is no unity of thought in the Security Council on this issue as there was previously, and the only way European countries will accept their travel again is if Kabul gives a specific date for the opening of girls' schools,” said Tariq Farhadi, political analyst.

Earlier, some diplomatic sources said that the UN Security Council members were divided over whether or not to extend the Islamic Emirate leaders' travel ban exemption.

Source: Tolo News

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Bangladeshi Buddhists denied justice for a decade

September 30, 2022

Buddhists in Bangladesh have expressed frustrations as they marked the tenth anniversary of anti-Buddhist violence that left 12 temples and dozens of houses destroyed in the Muslim-majority country.

“The incident took place ten years ago, but the trial has not been completed. It is unfortunate for us. There is no progress and I think justice has been deliberately delayed by the state,” Pragyananda Bhikkhu, a Buddhist monk from Cox’s Bazar district told UCA News on Sept. 29.

The monk said on the day Buddhists observed the anniversary in silence and prayer, adding that most Buddhists have lost hope for justice for the communal violence.  

Ucan Store

“The names of the main accused have been omitted from the investigation report for political reasons,” alleged the monk, president of the district unit of the Buddhist Protection Council.

On Sept. 29, 2012, a Muslim mob attacked Buddhist temples and houses in the Ramu area of Cox’s Bazar district.

The violence was allegedly triggered by a Facebook post of a burned Quran by a local Buddhist man, Uttam Barua, that defamed Islam and “hurt religious sentiments” of Muslims.

The mayhem left 12 temples and some 100 houses razed in arson attacks. The attackers also looted the centuries-old temples and Buddhist houses before setting those on fire, local media reported at that time.

The violence came communal riots erupted between Buddhists and Muslims in the Rakhine state of neighboring Myanmar in June of that year.

In the following month, the leading Bangladeshi English daily, the Daily Star published an investigative report that said the anti-Islam image was posted by a Fake page to trigger the hate crime against Buddhists.

Bangladesh's government, under the supervision of the military, reconstructed the destroyed temples and rebuilt the houses of the Buddhists.

Police officials said a total of 19 cases were filed over the violence. One case has been compromised through an out-of-the-court settlement and 18 cases are still pending in different courts.

While alleging negligence for justice, monk Pragyananda has also pointed out that the government also failed to ensure the safety of the man falsely accused of posting the defamatory image.

“Uttam Barua ran away from home fearing an attack that day. He has not been found since then. Uttam's family also had to stay in hiding for a long time,” he added.

Kajol Barua, 35, a local Buddhist and day laborer alleged that on the day of the attack police stood silently when the mob was formed that marched to the temples.

Barua, an eyewitness, said many like him refrained from testifying in the court fearing a backlash.

“In absence of security no one will go to the court to give witness, and there will be no justice,” Barua told UCA News.

In past years, a judicial probe boy identified 298 people responsible for the mayhem. Another probe by the Home Minister found the involvement of 205 people and concluded the attack was planned 10 days earlier.

Police have pressed charges against 385 people including leaders and supporters of three major political parties – the ruling Awami League, opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, and hardline Jamaat-e-Islami party.

Faridul Alam, a state prosecutor in Cox’s Bazar claimed that cases have been dragging for years due to the non-availability of witnesses.

“Total of 19 cases were filed, and one has been settled outside the court. Police filed 18 cases as the plaintiff. Due to a lack of witnesses, there has been a long delay in the trial,” Alam told UCA News.

Kajol Barua said the witnesses would go to the court to testify if they are promised adequate security.

“When you see those accused getting bail and roaming freely, you cannot expect witnesses to testify in the court. We continue to live in fear,” he said.

A Catholic priest, who did not want to be named, expressed regret, saying that due to the indifference of the government, one after another attacks on religious minorities occurred in the country.

He referred to a series of violent attacks against minority Hindus in Bangladesh.

Source: UCA New

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At UN, Iran raises concern over resurgence of terrorist groups in Afghanistan

September 30, 2022

Post the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, the international community as a whole is concerned about the affinity of the group with other terrorist organizations. Iran also expressed alarm, warning that terrorism in Afghanistan poses a threat to regional and global security, reported The Khaama Press.

According to Zahra Ershadi, ambassador and deputy permanent representative of Iran to the UN the re-emergence of terrorism in Afghanistan poses a threat to both regional and international security. The Iranian official placed a strong emphasis on fighting terrorism and stated during the UN Security Council meeting that the Taliban must uphold its commitment to this cause, reported The Khaama Press.

She also highlighted that the Taliban should ensure the security of the diplomatic places in Afghanistan, emphasizing that Afghanistan should not once again become a sanctuary for international terrorist groups.

Ershadi further called on the Taliban to establish an inclusive administration in Afghanistan. She told that inclusive administration in Afghanistan is a major need, and called on the world leaders to honour their pledges in this way, reported The Khaama Press.

Notably, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif earlier in the UN General Assembly session explicitly stated that Afghanistan has become a safe haven for terrorists.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister said that “Pakistan shares the key concern of the international community regarding the threat posed by the major terrorist groups operating from Afghanistan, especially Islamic State-Khorasan (ISIS-K) and Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), as well as Al-Qaeda, East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU),” reported Tolo News.

Sharif’s remarks sparked reactions from the Islamic Emirate and former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai. Karzai said in a statement that Afghanistan has been the victim of terrorism and that terrorist sanctuaries have been active under the Pakistani government in the country and have been used against Afghanistan for decades, reported Tolo News.

At the annual UN 77th session, the foreign minister of Tajikistan also raised alarm over the re-emergence of terrorist organizations in Afghanistan, adding that the nation rapidly attracts terrorists and turns into a haven for them.

The Taliban, however, dismissed these statements and demanded that the Taliban be given a seat in the UN to accurately represent Afghanistan to the rest of the world.

Since its ascent to power in Kabul, the Islamic group imposed policies severely restricting basic rights–particularly those of women and girls.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Taliban dismissed all women from leadership posts in the civil service and prohibited girls in most provinces from attending secondary school.

Taliban decrees prohibit women from travelling unless accompanied by a male relative and require women’s faces to be covered in public–including women TV newscasters.

The Taliban have also carried out censorship, limited critical reporting, and beaten journalists. Taliban forces have carried out revenge killings and enforced disappearances of former government officials and security force personnel. They have summarily executed people deemed affiliated with the Islamic State.

Source: The Statesman

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Pakistan upset over Afghan Taliban's remarks, says it's 'against spirit of friendly ties'

Oct 01 2022

Islamabad, Oct 1 (IANS): Pakistan has termed the recent remarks of an official from the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan as "against the spirit of friendly relations", and highlighted the need for interim authorities to take necessary steps to address international expectations and concerns.

The views were expressed by Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Asim Iftikhar at the weekly media briefing here on Friday, in response to a question regarding the statement of the Taliban's Deputy Foreign Minister Sher Abbas Stanikzai, a week after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif shared the concern of the international community regarding threats posed by terrorist groups operating from the neighbouring country, during an address to the UN General Assembly, Dawn news reported.

The premier's speech, however provoked a sharp rebuke from the Taliban, with Stanikzai claiming on September 27 that Islamabad was "receiving millions of dollars" from Washington to allow American drones to conduct flights over Afghanistan.

"How long can we tolerate this?" he asked a gathering in Kabul. "If we rise against this, no one will be able to stop us."

In response to the question about his comment, the FO spokesman said: "This is very unfortunate and unacceptable. We have noted with concern, these recent remarks. We consider such statements as against the spirit of friendly relations between our two brotherly countries.

"Pakistan's role in facilitating peace in Afghanistan, and our efforts to strengthen bilateral ties are well known, and they are acknowledged widely.

"We believe that for the success of positive engagement, it is important that the interim Afghan authorities take necessary steps to address international expectations and concerns.

Source: Daiji World

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Burkina Faso soldiers announce overthrow of military government

Oct 1, 2022

OUAGADOUGOU: Armed soldiers in fatigues and masks appeared on television in Burkina Faso on Friday night to confirm the ouster of President Paul-Henri Damiba, the second coup in the troubled West African country this year.

The announcement capped a day that began with gunfire near a military camp in the capital Ouagadougou, an explosion near the presidential palace, and interruptions to state television programming.

It is a pattern that has become increasingly familiar in West and Central Africa in the past two years as Islamist insurgents wreak havoc across the arid expanses of the Sahel region, killing thousands and eroding faith in weak governments that have not found a way to beat them back.

Mali, Chad, and Guinea have all seen coups since 2020, raising fears of a backslide towards military rule in a region that had made democratic progress over the past decade.

Burkina Faso's new leader is army Captain Ibrahim Traore. In a scene that replicated Damiba's own power grab in a Jan. 24 coup, Traore appeared on television surrounded by soldiers and announced the government was dissolved, the constitution suspended and the borders closed. He declared a nightly curfew.

Damiba's whereabouts were unknown on Friday evening.

Traore said a group of officers who helped Damiba seize power in January had decided to remove their leader due to his inability to deal with the Islamists. Damiba ousted former President Roch Kabore for the same reason.

"Faced with the deteriorating situation, we tried several times to get Damiba to refocus the transition on the security question," said the statement signed by Traore and read out by another officer on television.

The statement said Damiba had rejected proposals by the officers to reorganise the army and instead continued with the military structure that had led to the fall of the previous regime.

"Damiba's actions gradually convinced us that his ambitions were diverting away from what we set out to do. We decided this day to remove Damiba," it said.

National stakeholders will be invited soon to adopt a new transitional charter and designate a new civilian or military president, it said.

Civilian populations have cheered military juntas in the hope that they may be more successful at containing the insurgents than their democratically elected predecessors. But hope has faded fast.

Burkina Faso has become the epicentre of violence carried out by groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State that began in neighbouring Mali in 2012 and has spread to other West African countries south of the Sahara Desert.

Thousands have been killed in raids on rural communities and millions have been forced to flee. This week, at least 11 soldiers died in an attack in northern Burkina Faso. Dozens of civilians are still missing.

Friday's coup creates a conundrum for West Africa's political bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which has tried to persuade coup leaders in the region to return to civilian rule as soon as possible.

ECOWAS suspended Burkina Faso after the January coup but had since agreed to a two-year transition back to democratic elections.

"ECOWAS reaffirms its unreserved opposition to any taking or maintaining of the power by unconstitutional means," it said in a statement.

Source: Times Of India

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North America


Pentagon silent on overall number of civilian deaths in 2 decades of Afghanistan occupation

29 September 2022

Abdullah Amirzada

A recent report by the Pentagon says 12 civilians were killed in drone strikes during 2021 in Afghanistan.

Two were killed in separate airstrikes in Herat and Kandahar, and 10 members of a family in a drone operation in Kabul, just before the US withdrawal. Although General McKenzie admitted that the incident was a "mistake" but none of the US military forces went on trial for this attack.

The report also compares the number of casualties in 2021 and 2020. It shows there is a decrease, but those are not the only years the US was present in Afghanistan. The United States came to Afghanistan in 2001 and left the country in 2021. Armed drones were used by the US military from the beginning. Still there is no mention of the overall number of casualties in the report.

The exact number of casualties during the 20 years of the US occupation of Afghanistan is unknown, but statistics show a 330 percent increase in the figure since 2017, when the US military relaxed its rules of engagement for airstrikes in Afghanistan. Another source estimates more than a thousand civilians have lost their lives in air raids, but that only includes the death toll from 2015 to 2020, which accounts for only 5 years of the US presence.

Source: Press TV

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US military killed 12 Afghan civilians in 2021; 10 in Kabul drone strike: Pentagon

28 September 2022

The US military, which invaded and illegally occupied Afghanistan for almost two decades, killed 12 Afghan civilians in 2021, according to a congressionally mandated Pentagon report, pointing to a tip of an iceberg.

They were killed in a botched drone strike the American military carried out in the Afghan capital Kabul on August 29, 2021, the report states, one day before the phased US military drawdown ended.

Seven of the ten civilians killed in that incident were children, according to the report released on Tuesday, which constitutes only a fraction of atrocities unleashed by the US forces in Afghanistan.

It also documents the killing of a civilian in a US strike on January 8 in western Herat province, and another on August 11 in southern Kandahar province.

The botched drone strike in August 2021 prompted a half-hearted apology from then-head of US Central Command Gen. Frank McKenzie, who admitted it was a “mistake.”

However, no US military officials or troops were punished or held accountable for the deadly strike.

Taliban staged a stunning comeback in August 2021, toppling the West-backed government in Kabul and forcing the US and its allies to abandon the country after years of futile military adventure.

For two decades, the war in Afghanistan remained an enigma for the successive US governments, from George Bush to Joe Biden, finally ending in a botched military exit and a disgraceful defeat.

It started on February 29, 2020, when then-US President Donald Trump’s administration signed an agreement with the Taliban to pull out US troops from the country by May 1, 2021.

The deal, however, failed to de-escalate tensions between the two sides.

On April 14, 2021, President Joe Biden announced that the remaining 2,500-3,500 US troops in Afghanistan would withdraw by September 11 to end what he called America’s “forever war.”

Between May and August 2021, the Taliban overran several key provincial capitals across the South Asian country, with the beleaguered Afghan forces offering little resistance.

On August 15, 2021, the Taliban fighters finally marched into Kabul, without firing a single bullet, as the US-backed government officials fled the country.

A day after, thousands of panic-stricken people flocked to the Kabul Airport, looking for evacuation flights. The disastrous war ended the way it started — in a reckless fashion.

Amid the ensuing chaos and commotion, on August 29, a US drone strike killed 10 family members, including seven children, near the airport.

The bombing targeted the car of Zemari Ahmadi, an Afghan national who worked for a US-based aid organization, killing him and nine of his family members.

In September 2021, the Pentagon acknowledged it was a tragic mistake but said none of the military personnel involved in the botched strike will face any kind of punishment, prompting a global outcry.

“What we saw here was a breakdown in process, and execution in procedural events, not the result of negligence, not the result of misconduct, not the result of poor leadership,” said John Kirby, Pentagon’s chief spokesman.

“So I do not anticipate there being issues of personal accountability to be had with respect to the Aug. 29 airstrike.”

One year since the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban government in Kabul continues to struggle with the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country amid crippling US sanctions and a shortage of funds.

Millions of Afghans are without work now, the banking system is virtually dysfunctional, medical facilities are lying in tatters and the worst humanitarian catastrophe in modern history is in the making.

Source: Press TV

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Turkish delegation says US lawmakers were 'positive' sales of F-16 jets

Dildar Baykan Atalay  



A Turkish lawmaker visiting the US capital said Friday that congressional members his delegation met were "positive" during talks on modernization of the fleet of Türkiye's F-16 fighter jets.

Justice and Development (AK) Party Deputy Chair in charge of Foreign Affairs, Efkan Ala, led a Turkish delegation that included Akif Cagatay Kilic, head of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission, Osman Askin Bak, chair of the Turkish delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, AK Party Istanbul deputy and Mehdi Eker, AK Party Diyarbakir deputy.

During a news conference at the Turkish Embassy, Ala said the delegation discussed bilateral and regional issues, including the F-16 fighter jet sales with two senators and 17 Democrat and Republican representatives.

They last visited the Congress in May.

Ala said Türkiye's diplomatic efforts during the conflict between Russia and Ukraine were welcomed by their US counterparts. He was referring to a grain deal brokered by Ankara and the UN, and Türkiye's role in a prisoners swap between Russia and Ukraine earlier this month.

"For this reason, it is once known how necessary the F-16 modernization and supply package demanded by Türkiye is for our country's security, NATO's deterrence and the stability of our region," Ala told reporters.

"As in the meetings of our President (Recep Tayyip Erdogan) with some members of Congress in New York, the members of Congress we met here gave positive messages regarding the modernization of our country's F-16 fleet," he said, referring to Erdogan's talks on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting.

Ala said Senator Bob Menendez, who serves as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a bill conditioning sales of the F-16 to Türkiye on relations with Greece in the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.

"We deem this amendment, which binds the sale of F-16s to Türkiye to our bilateral relations with another NATO ally, unfair and baseless," said Ala.

He also urged Congress to maintain a "fair and equal" stance toward two NATO allies -- Türkiye and Greece -- and to respect Türkiye's sensitivity on Aegean Sea issues.

"We believe that the positive outcome of the F-16 procurement process will have a positive impact on reestablishing trust between the parties and resolving our current disputes," he added.

Ankara requested F-16s and modernization kits last October. The $6 billion deal would include the sale of 40 jets and modernization kits for 79 warplanes that the Turkish Air Force has in its inventory.

In July, however, the US House of Representatives approved legislation creating a new hurdle for the sale.

It prohibits the sale unless President Joe Biden certifies the transfer is in US national interests and guarantees to Congress that in the 120 days before the transfer, the Turkish government has not "violated the sovereignty of Greece, including through territorial overflights."

Source: Anadolu Agency

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US imposes new Iran-related sanctions on several international companies

29 September 2022

The United States has slapped illegal sanctions on a number of international companies saying they are involved in Iran's petrochemical and petroleum trade, including some firms based in China.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement on Thursday warned of further actions to enforce its economic curbs on Tehran.

Blinken said the US imposed sanctions on two China-based companies, Zhonggu Storage and Transportation Co. Ltd, and WS Shipping Co Ltd, saying these companies are helping Iran to sell its Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products, according to Reuters.

The US Treasury Department also placed sanctions on a network of companies saying it was involved in the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Iranian petrochemical and petroleum products to users in South and East Asia.

The Treasury said it targeted Iranian brokers and front companies based in the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and India.

The United States, under former president Donald Trump, abandoned the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018 and reinstated unilateral sanctions that the agreement had lifted.

The talks to salvage the agreement kicked off in the Austrian capital of Vienna in April last year, months after Joe Biden succeeded Trump, with the intention of examining Washington’s seriousness in rejoining the deal and removing anti-Iran sanctions.

Despite notable progress, the US indecisiveness and procrastination caused multiple interruptions in the marathon talks.

In recent weeks, there have been unfruitful, indirect exchanges of responses between Tehran and Washington over an EU draft proposal on restoring the JCPOA, with Iranian officials urging their American counterparts to show “realism” and “flexibility” in order to secure a deal.

European diplomats say talks now appear headed toward a pause until after the US mid-term elections on November 8.

"As Iran continues to accelerate its nuclear program in violation of the JCPOA, we will continue to accelerate our enforcement of sanctions on Iran’s petroleum and petrochemical sales under authorities that would be removed under the JCPOA," Blinken said in the statement on Thursday, making baseless accusations against the Islamic Republic.

Source: Press TV

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Southeast Asia


PAS lists 10 reasons why DAP is anti-Malay, anti-Muslim

FMT Reporters -September 30, 2022

PETALING JAYA: The Islamic party PAS has cited DAP’s constitution as among 10 reasons to show that the party is anti-Muslim and anti-Malay.

PAS information chief Khairil Nizam Khirudin said Article 2 of DAP’s constitution said it sought to “reaffirm and restore the Malaysian Constitution to its original ‘secular’ framework”.

“This is proof that DAP is anti-Muslim and anti-Malay,” he said in a statement today in response to criticism of PAS as having adopted a racist and extremist approach.

Khairil said that DAP was blatantly against the move to provide shariah courts with power to impose more severe criminal penalties, even though such punishments could only be meted out against Muslims for shariah-related offences.

He said DAP had also pushed for the ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination which was opposed by PAS as a “Freemason agenda to destroy religion, race and country”.

Khairil also highlighted criticisms by several DAP personalities.

He said DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang had alleged that Friday sermons, which are prepared by the Islamic development department (Jakim), were used to spread hate, while a DAP Wanita chief had criticised another sermon on the need for women to dress modestly, and P Ramasamy had once labelled televangelist Zakir Naik as “satan”.

Other reasons cited by Khairil were:

Questioning the need for loudspeakers to be used for the azan (call to prayer) and recital of Quranic verses;

Angering the sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, by refusing to nominate more than two candidates for the position of menteri besar in 2014;

Its record in offending the Malay rulers;

Snarky remarks by DAP leaders on ‘purdah’ worn by Muslim women.

Calling for Muslims to be given the freedom to leave Islam.

The Setapak declaration which called for the opposition to segregating citizens into “bumiputeras” and “non-bumiputeras”.

Khairil said these examples were among the many that showed the racism within DAP.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Tommy Thomas to be probed for sedition over book, says PM

September 30, 2022

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has directed that former attorney-general Tommy Thomas be immediately investigated for sedition and several other offences arising from the contents of his controversial memoirs.

An official statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said that Thomas will be probed under Section 8 of the Official Secrets Act (OSA), Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act and Sections 124I and 203A of the Penal Code.

Ismail said a special task force formed to look into allegations in Thomas’ book had initially identified 19 issues. These issues were then narrowed down into four main issues, namely:

allegations levelled against the judiciary

exposing government secrets

abuse of power and professional negligence

seditious statements.

In his statement, Ismail said the special task force had presented its findings at a Cabinet meeting earlier today.

The book, titled “My Story: Justice in the Wilderness”, was published in January last year.

“The report prepared by the task force over the past nine months has detailed every allegation made by Thomas in his book.

“I have instructed for further investigations to be immediately conducted by the relevant enforcement agencies to probe any possible offences by Thomas,”  Ismail said in the statement.

Section 4 of the Sedition Act provides for a maximum jail term of three years or a RM5,000 fine, or both, while Section 23 of the MACC Act deals with abuse of power, providing up to 20 years in prison and a fine not less than five times the value of the bribe.

Section 203A of the Penal Code involves disclosure of information obtained in the performance of one’s duties, which provides for up to one year in prison, a maximum RM1 million fine, or both.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Respect decision to amend DAP constitution, Guan Eng tells Liu

Predeep Nambiar

September 30, 2022

GEORGE TOWN: Sungai Pelek assemblyman Ronnie Liu should respect the decision of DAP delegates to amend the party’s constitution to terminate the membership of elected representatives who do not toe the party line on fundamental issues, says its chairman Lim Guan Eng.

This comes after Liu, a DAP central executive committee (CEC) member, said the party may no longer be “democratic”, and that he would have been removed from the party if the amendment had been in place in the past.

Liu had also said “God save DAP”.

Lim reiterated that the new sacking provision was to plug a “loophole” in the upcoming anti-hopping law, which allowed an MP to remain in his seat despite not being aligned with the party’s ideals.

“If you are serious about getting rid of political frogs, it is a necessary step. It is not just DAP, other parties are doing the same,” he said on the sidelines of an event here.

“There are some who hang on to be elected representatives. They defy party directives, yet they don’t leave the party.

“Those who continuously defy the party’s directive, behaving no different from Barisan Nasional, MCA or even Perikatan Nasional, but remain in the DAP, are they not a thorn in our flesh?

“It is a classic case of someone who looks like a frog, talks and sings like one, too, but they are not technically a frog since they didn’t resign.”

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Indonesian police kill militant suspected in farmers’ deaths

October 01, 2022

PALU, Indonesia: Indonesia’s elite counterterrorism police have killed a militant who was the last remaining member of an organization that pledged allegiance to Daesh, police said Friday.

Police said Al Ikhwarisman, also known as Jaid, was a key member of the East Indonesia Mujahideen network.

The East Indonesia Mujahideen, known by the Indonesian acronym MIT, has claimed responsibility for the killings of police officers and minority Christians, some by beheading, and has pledged allegiance to the Daesh group.

Provincial police chief Rudy Sufahriadi said Jaid conducted at least 10 of the group’s executions, including the killing of four Christian farmers in May 2021. He was killed by the Densus 88 counterterrorism unit in a shootout late Thursday in mountainous Kawende village in Poso district, an extremist hotbed in Central Sulawesi province, Sufahriadi said.

Thursday’s shootout occurred four months after security forces killed the other remaining member of MIT in a jungle shootout, police said.

“He was the last remaining suspected member of the group,” Sufahriadi said. “We have managed to eliminate a dangerous militant group that has disturbed peace in Poso.”

Security operations in Central Sulawesi were intensified last year to capture MIT members, particularly Ali Kalora, the group’s leader and Indonesia’s most wanted militant. Kalora was killed in a shootout in July 2021, two months after the group killed the four Christians in Kalemago village, including one who was beheaded.

Authorities said the attack was in revenge for the killing in March 2021 of two militants, including the son of the group’s former leader, Abu Wardah Santoso.

Santoso, Kalora’s predecessor, was killed by security forces in July 2016. Dozens of other leaders and members of the group who escaped to remote mountain jungles of Poso have since been killed or captured.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, has conducted a crackdown on militants since bombings on the resort island of Bali in 2002 killed 202 people, mostly Western and Asian tourists.

Source: Arab News

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Arab World


Lebanon’s central bank extends ceiling free dollars purchases until end of October

30 September, 2022

Lebanon’s central bank on Friday extended a circular allowing banks to purchase an unlimited amount of US dollars on its Sayrafa exchange platform until the end of October, a central bank statement said.

On Wednesday, Lebanon’s finance ministry said the official exchange rate of 1,507 pounds per dollar would be replaced with one of 15,000, calling this a step toward unifying multiple rates that have emerged during Lebanon’s three-year long financial crisis.

But after declaring a November 1 implementation date, the ministry later linked the step to approval of a financial recovery plan, the latest version of which is being discussed in parliament.

Some economists and politicians saw this as a government retreat: the recovery plan, which must address a $72 billion hole in the national finances, has been in dispute since 2019.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Lebanon receives US mediator proposals for maritime border with Israel

October 01, 2022

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has received a letter from US mediator Amos Hochstein regarding proposals for the demarcation of a maritime border with Israel, the presidency said on Saturday on Twitter.

Source: Arab News

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Arab states condemn terrorist attack on educational centre in Kabul

October 01, 2022

DUBAI: Arab states have condemned Friday’s terrorist attack that targeted an educational center in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, which killed teenage students, most of them girls.

The bombing happened in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood of western Kabul, a predominantly Shiite Muslim area home to the minority Hazara community, the target of some of Afghanistan’s most deadly attacks.

The bomber shot dead two security guards before entering the gender-segregated hall where students were sitting for a practice college examination, earlier reports said.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.

The Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in a statement, condemned the attack which killed and injured “scores of innocent people.”

The ministry voiced its rejection of all forms of violence and terrorism.

Bahrain also condemned the suicide blast, and in a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed the kingdom’s “deep condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims.”

Source: Arab News

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