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Islamic World News ( 21 Feb 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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NATO air strike kills 33 Afghan civilians

Two Sikh men beheaded in north-west Pakistan

Sikh terror outfits seeking volunteers from US, India: Report

Two Khalistani terrorists held with explosives

Pak Sikh leaders condemn beheading of Sikhs

Ethnic tension mounts in Chittagong

Riots over Israeli heritage sites in the West Bank

Young clerics to dispel misgivings about Islam

Blast 'kills three' in main city in Pakistan's Swat

Iran to ban airlines not using the term 'Persian Gulf'

Sudan, Darfur rebels sign ceasefire

US wants Pak to shift Barader to Afghan prison

Afghan forces ready to take control of Marjah

ElBaradei back in Egypt to contest polls

Saba Qureshi new lawyer for 26/11 co-accused Ansari

Qureshi in China to brief on Indo-Pak talks

US military: 2 US helicopter pilots killed in Iraq

Netanyahu Authorized Hamas Murder:

Amnesty is morally bankrupt, says Rushdie

Recent Google Hack Traced to Chinese Schools

Stronghold shrinks, Taliban confined to 2 sq miles in Marjah

Baradar’s lips sealed, US wants him shifted to Afghan prison

The Mossad spy who seduced me

Two foreign women among five arrested for terror links

India agrees to talks beyond terror after Pakistan’s challenge

Qureshi optimistic about talks with India

Chidambaram terms Pakistan ‘most important neighbour’

Outcome of Indo-Pak talks depends on India: Qureshi

Bangladesh to restore 1972 Constitution

Netanyahu approved Mabhuh’s murder

Burney concerned at reports about Osama’s presence in Pakistan

Maulvi Kabir arrested from Nowshera: US TV

Baradar’s arrest shows Pak committed to fighting terror'

Women lawyers likely to win access to Saudi courts

Killers of Hamas leader used diplomatic passports: police

‘Muslim unity must for combating terrorism’

Ibad, Qaim help sort out administrators issue

13 killed in Iraq suicide blast

US not to use Uzbek base, says Holbrooke

Taleban cornered in Marjah

New measures to combat terrorism

Turkish film wins Berlinale’s top award

Old Saudi suffers due to delayed litigation

Pakistan kills 30 militants in airstrike

US warns of Al-Qaeda threat in Central Asia

6 al-Qaida-linked militants killed in Philippines

The truth is, Gandhi is less of a draw than Jinnah

Headley was an absolute monster, a terror jackal: Rahul Bhatt

Tehran to host 2nd intl. conference on women

Gadkari plea to Muslims an insult to kar sevaks: Sena

Muslims cold to Gadkari call for negotiated settlement of Babri issue

1,000 held in Pak for flying kites

Homosexual acts not good, says AMU V-C

Yasin Bhatkal is IM bombmaker, now in Karachi

International gathering of Muslim experts to discuss caning of women

‘Hey... My Name Is Not Khan…’

India for meaningful ties with Pakistan, active engagement with world

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/nato-air-strike-kills-33-afghan-civilians/d/2491

 

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NATO air strike kills 33 Afghan civilians

Feb 22, 2010

KABUL: A NATO air strike killed at least 33 civilians, the Afghan government said today, in the third such mistaken bombing raid in Afghanistan in a week and forcing another apology from a top US commander.

Four women and a child were among the civilians killed yesterday when they were attacked after being mistaken for Taliban militants who are waging an eight-year insurgency to evict Western troops.

The top ground commander, US General Stanley McChrystal, apologised for the incident to President Hamid Karzai, who has repeatedly warned foreign and Afghan forces to take all measures possible to avoid harming civilians.

The air strike came days after NATO forces pressing a major offensive in the south killed at least nine Afghan civilians when a rocket slammed into a house -- for which McChrystal also apologised.

A statement from the decision-making council of ministers, which is chaired by Karzai, condemned the latest incident as "unjustifiable".

"Initial reports indicate that NATO fired Sunday on a convoy of three vehicles in Gujran district of the province of Daykundi, killing at least 33 civilians including four women and one child and injuring 12 others while they were on their way to Kandahar," the statement said.

Yesterday's incident was the third mistaken NATO air strike in Afghanistan reported by Afghan officials in a week.

Last Thursday, a NATO bombing raid in the northern province of Kunduz killed seven Afghan policemen, according to hospital and government officials.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/NATO-air-strike-kills-33-Afghan-civilians/articleshow/5603464.cms.

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Two Sikh men beheaded in north-west Pakistan

22 February 2010

Two Pakistani Sikhs have been beheaded, weeks after being kidnapped in separate incidents in the country's tribal north-west, officials say.

Jaspal Singh was taken while travelling in Khyber district a month ago. His body was found on Sunday.

Mastan Singh was kidnapped in the Orakzai region at about the same time.

The neighbouring regions are home to crime syndicates involved in carjacking and kidnappings, which are known to have links with extremist groups.

Unidentified gunmen demanded ransoms in both cases. A large Sikh community has lived in the area for more than 200 years.

Ransom demand

Officials in Khyber say Jaspal Singh was among seven Sikhs travelling in the tribal district a month ago. He and two others were kidnapped by a group of armed men - four others in the party escaped.

Later, the family of Jaspal Singh received a ransom demand for 20 million rupees ($235,000) to be paid by last Saturday.

His body was found when members of his family arrived in the area on Sunday to negotiate his release.

Two other Sikh men still remain in the custody of the kidnappers, officials say.

In Orakzai, Mastan Singh was also kidnapped by gunmen from the Bezot area one month ago.

There was a ransom demand for his release which was not met, officials said.

Many of the Sikhs in the Orakzai and Khyber regions own businesses or farms. But the community has come under increasing pressure as the influence of Islamist militants has grown in the area, BBC correspondents say.

Most of them have moved to Peshawar, and further east to cities in Punjab province.

There have been reports that Sikhs in the region have been subjected to jizya - an Islamic tax that is collected from non-Muslims.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8527614.stm

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Sikh terror outfits seeking volunteers from US, India: Report

Feb 22, 2010

CHANDIGARH: Security around top leaders and vital installations in Punjab has been increased following intelligence reports of Pakistan-based Sikh separatist groups trying to recruit youth from the US and India to revive terrorism in the state.

Reports of a meeting between officials of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) chief Wadhawa Singh in December has raised concerns among security agencies in the state.

A top-secret intelligence communication from Punjab Police to security agencies last week states: "To execute this task, Wadhawa Singh is making efforts to mobilise volunteers from Punjab as also from the US, who could be made to travel to India via Malaysia or Singapore." IANS is in possession of the document.

Security agencies have been asked to take appropriate security measures to protect VIPs and important installations across the state.

The VIPs said to be in the target list of the terror outfits include Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu.

Bittu, who is the Punjab Youth Congress president, is the grandson of former state chief minister Beant Singh, who is credited with wiping out terrorism in the state in the early 1990s with 'super-cop' KPS Gill.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Sikh-terror-outfits-seeking-volunteers-from-US-India-Report/articleshow/5603397.cms

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Pak Sikh leaders condemn beheading of Sikhs

Feb 22, 2010,

LAHORE: Leaders of Pakistan's minority Sikh community today called on the government to negotiate with the Taliban for the safe release of other Sikh traders kidnapped by militants following the beheading of two captives.

Pakistan Minority Council chairman Sardar Bishon Singh and Pakistan Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee chief Sardar Sham Singh said the federal and North West Frontier Province governments should hold talks with the Taliban for the release of abducted Sikhs.

They also called on authorities to provide security to Sikhs, especially those living in the troubled northwestern city of Peshawar.

"The Taliban had demanded Rs 30 million from the families of the abducted men and they killed Jaspal Singh after they did not get the ransom," Sardar Bishon Singh told PTI.

He said the Sikhs had secured the release of another member of the community who was kidnapped about six months ago by paying Rs 1.2 crore as ransom to the Taliban in Aurakzai Agency.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-Sikh-leaders-condemn-beheading-of-Sikhs/articleshow/5603723.cms

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Ethnic tension mounts in Chittagong

22 February 2010

Ethnic tension mounted in Bangladesh’s southeastern hills following the recovery of another body after clashes between tribesmen and Bengali-speaking settlers, amid unconfirmed claims that seven persons had died in the violence. Body of a tribesman was recovered, taking the official toll in the clashes to two, as Army troops patrolled the area to prevent further violence, officials and witnesses said.

“Army troops continued to patrol the region as the local tribesmen and Bengali-speaking settlers rallied in groups with lethal weapons at a remote subdistrict of the Sajek valley in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT),” a journalist present in the said over phone. CHT police confirmed the death of the second tribesman on Sunday but the local tribal leaders claimed seven people had died in military shootouts on Saturday, and their bodies were hid in the barracks.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/237675/Ethnic-tension-mounts-in-Chittagong.html

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Riots over Israeli heritage sites in the West Bank

22 February 2010

Israeli soldiers have clashed with protesters in the West Bank town of Hebron after two disputed shrines were listed as Israeli heritage sites.

Palestinian protesters threw bottles and stones at soldiers who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

The protesters say the move to list the shrines as heritage sites would restrict Muslims access to them, but this has been denied.

The shrines are important burial grounds for both Jews and Muslims.

The rioting was the most serious unrest in the area for months, the Associated Press reported.

Restoration plan

On Sunday Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Tomb of the Patriarchs, known to Muslims as the al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, and the site of Rachel's tomb in Bethlehem would now be included in a $107m (£69m) restoration plan.

About 100 protesters clashed with soldiers, a military spokeswoman said.

One soldier was injured in the clashes.

Full report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8528231.stm

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Young clerics to dispel misgivings about Islam

Himanshi Dhawan

Feb 22, 2010

NEW DELHI: In a move that displays the need for liberal Islamists to be heard, leading Islamic organisation Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind plans to set up a team of `young ulamas' or teachers that will work to "dispel misunderstanding" on the religion in the current geo-political discourse.

JUH leader Maulana Mahmood Madani on Sunday said the Jamiat was planning to set up a centre that would nurture young people to understand and write on Islamic teachings. "We need to know today's language to understand what is being written or talked about and to match it to our own understanding and writing... if not all (all Muslims) but at least a team of young people. We will start a centre and nurture people with leadership qualities to dispel misunderstanding about Islam," he said outlining a long-term strategy to counter terrorism in India.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Young-clerics-to-dispel-misgivings-about-Islam/articleshow/5600671.cms

 

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Iran to ban airlines not using the term 'Persian Gulf'

By Jon Leyne

Airlines that fail to comply with the ruling will be banned or detained

Iran has warned that airlines will be banned from flying into its airspace, unless they use the term "Persian Gulf" on their in-flight monitors.

The transport minister has threatened to impound planes that fail to comply.

The nation is most insistent that the stretch of water separating it from its southern neighbours should be known as the Persian Gulf.

To call it the Gulf, annoys the authorities; to call it the Arabian Gulf, infuriates them even more.

Conferences are held to make the matter quite clear, an ancient map with definitive proof of the correct name was sent on a world tour.

And recently a foreign member of the cabin crew working for an Iranian airline was sacked and expelled from Iran when he got it wrong.

Now the Iranian transport minister has given foreign airlines 15 days to change the name to Persian Gulf on their in flight monitors.

Full report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8527729.stm

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Sudan, Darfur rebels sign ceasefire

21 February 2010

KHARTOUM ,Feb. 21: Sudan agreed a ceasefire with Darfur’s most powerful rebel group on Saturday as part of an agreement to “heal” the war in the western region, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said.

The rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said the framework agreement reached in the Chadian capital N’Djamena was not a final peace deal but set out the terms for negotiations that could still fail if it saw signs of bad faith from Khartoum.

Mr Bashir said he would cancel death sentences handed out to JEM prisoners and free 30 per cent of them immediately. More than 100 men were sentenced to death by hanging after being found guilty of taking part in a JEM attack on Khartoum in 2008. Mr Bashir told state television: “Today we signed an agreement between the government and JEM in N’Djamena, and in N’Djamena we heal the war in Darfur.” Khartoum has agreed to a series of ceasefires during the seven-year conflict, but some have fallen apart days after their signing, and distrust between the warring parties remains deep.

Full report at: http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3372:sudan-darfur-rebels-sign-ceasefire-&catid=36:international&Itemid=61

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US wants Pak to shift Barader to Afghan prison

22 February 2010

The US is pushing for the transfer of captured Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar to an America-run prison in Afghanistan, apparently frustrated by his silence during interrogation by Pakistani investigators.

Baradar, second in command to Taliban leader Mullah Omar, was captured in Pakistan last month but the US officials say he has not revealed useful information so far.

Baradar has refused to provide information that could be used against his insurgent network, prompting the CIA to push for his transfer to the US-run Bagram air base prison in Afghanistan, the Dawn news reported.

The proposal reflects US frustration with the interrogation of Baradar, who was taken into custody by Pakistani security agencies working alongside the CIA.

It also points to the Obama administration’s dilemma over what to do with the so-called high-value detainees.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/237662/US-wants-Pak-to-shift-Barader-to-Afghan-prison.html

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Afghan forces ready to take control of Marjah

21 February 2010

MARJAH (Afghanistan) ,Feb. 21: The Afghan police on Sunday prepared to take control of a town at the centre of a US-led offensive against the Taliban, as trapped residents said they were running out of food.

About 15,000 Afghan and Nato troops faced tough fighting as Operation Mushtarak entered a second week, with gunfights and hidden bombs bogging down attempts to secure the Nad Ali and Marjah areas of the southern province of Helmand. Civilians locked down by boobytrap bombs in the conflict zone were facing increasingly desperate conditions but officials were hopeful that an elite Afghan police force would soon be able to control parts of Marjah township.

General Muhaidin Ghori, the Afghan National Army commander for Helmand province, said that about 600 police with the newly-established Public Protection Police Force had expanded their positions day-by-day since Friday.

“They are in Marjah centre in the bazaar,” he told AFP.

“We are busy carrying out the clean-up and search operations to provide the grounds for establishing the opportunities for installing permanent posts and bases for the police to take up their policing duty.”

Full report at: http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3367:afghan-forces-ready-to-take-control-of-marjah-&catid=36:international&Itemid=61

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ElBaradei back in Egypt to contest polls

19 February 2010

CAIRO ,Feb. 19: Nobel Peace laureate Mohammed ElBaradei, former head of the UN nuclear watchdog, is awaited in Cairo as the police warns his supporters not to mark the homecoming of a would-be electoral challenger to President Hosni Mubarak.

Mr ElBaradei, expected to fly home on Friday, has repeatedly called for democratic change in Egypt since stepping down as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency in November 2009.

On the eve of his return, he reaffirmed his determination to “do everything I can for Egypt to advance toward democracy and economic and social progress.”

“I hope to be an instrument for change,” the 67-year-old long-time international civil servant said in an interview with Egypt’s Dream TV.

“I am ready to throw myself into Egyptian political life on the condition that there are free elections, and the first step toward that would be a constitutional amendment under which I can be a candidate and others as well.”

Full report at: http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3081:elbaradei-back-in-egypt-to-contest-polls&catid=36:international&Itemid=61

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Saba Qureshi new lawyer for 26/11 co-accused Ansari

Feb 22, 2010

MUMBAI: The special court conducting the trial in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks Monday appointed Saba Qureshi, the assistant to Shahid Azmi, as the new lawyer for 26/11 co-accused Fahim Ansari.

Special Judge M.L. Tahilyani also rejected Ansari's plea for bail as he wanted to search for a new lawyer after Azmi, his previous lawyer, was shot dead in his Kurla office Feb 11.

In his bail plea filed last week, Ansari had claimed, among other things, that Azmi was threatened by police to withdraw from the case.

The state government will provide adequate security to Qureshi, who was injured when unidentified gunmen shot Azmi dead in his office.

Meanwhile, another co-accused Sabahuddin Mohammed's lawyer Ejaz Naqvi moved an application seeking permission to summon filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt's son, Rahul who had met David Headley, a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) functionary currently in the custody of the US authorities.

In his application, Naqvi also sought to summon Vilas Parab (who used to work as a gym trainer), officials of the National Investigation Agency and the Gujarat police.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Saba-Qureshi-new-lawyer-for-26/11-co-accused-Ansari/articleshow/5603632.cms

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Qureshi in China to brief on Indo-Pak talks

Feb 22, 2010

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi reached Beijing on Sunday on a key visit to deepen the Sino-Pak “all-weather relations” and brief Beijing on regional issues, including the forthcoming bilateral talks with India.

During the five-day visit, Qureshi will hold bilateral meetings with the top Chinese leadership, call on the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Secretary General, hold luncheon meeting with corporate leaders, and speak at Chinese Institute of International Studies, officials at the Pakistan Embassy here said on Sunday. The Pakistan Foreign Minister will hold formal talks with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi and call on Premier Wen Jiabao.

The two sides will cover the full spectrum of bilateral relations. Qureshi is expected to brief the Chinese leadership on the regional situation, including the India-Pakistan Foreign Secretary talks on February 25 in New Delhi in a bid to normalise its relations with New Delhi.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/237672/Qureshi-in-China-to-brief-on-Indo-Pak-talks.html

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US military: 2 US helicopter pilots killed in Iraq

Feb 22, 2010

BAGHDAD: The US military says two Army helicopter pilots have been killed in an accident on a base in northern Iraq.

The military said in a statement that there were no ``enemy forces'' present and no hostile fire reported.

It said the aircraft made a ``hard landing'' Sunday near an airfield inside the base, but gave no further details. The military often uses the phrase ``hard landing'' to mean a crash.

The statement said the accident was under investigation, and the pilots' names are being withheld pending notification of the next of kin.

The deaths raise to at least 4,378 the number of US military personnel who have died in Iraq since the war began in March 2003. That's according to an Associated Press count.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/US-military-2-US-helicopter-pilots-killed-in-Iraq-/articleshow/5601047.cms

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Netanyahu Authorized Hamas Murder:

22 February 2010

CAIRO – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has personally met with a number of a Hamas leader’s assassins and authorized the assassination, The Times revealed on Sunday, February 21.

"The people of Israel trust you. Good luck," Netanyahu told the hit squad after a meeting at the Mossad headquarters in Tel Aviv in early January.

According to sources, the hawkish premier visited the secretive headquarters of the notorious spy agency in January where he was welcomed by its Meir Dagan.

Netanyahu was reportedly escorted to a briefing room where he was updated about a plot to kill Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh.

He even met with members of the hit squad.

Mabhouh, 50, was found dead in his hotel room in Dubai on January 20.

Dubai police chief Dahi Khalfan Tamim has expressed his conviction that it was "99 percent sure" Mossad was behind the assassination, and added they had evidence, including wiretaps, of the agency's role.

He had said he would seek an arrest warrant for the Israeli premier if proved he was involved in the killing.

Full report at: http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1265890585678&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout

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Amnesty is morally bankrupt, says Rushdie

22 February 2010

London: Controversial Indian-origin author Salman Rushdie has accused Amnesty International of "moral bankruptcy" for working with a former terror suspect from Britain.

Rushdie, whose plight was championed by Amnesty when he was placed under a fatwa by the Iranian regime for his novel The Satanic Verses, said the charity had done "incalculable damage" to its reputation by collaborating with Koazzam Begg, a former inmate of Guantanamo Bay, and his organisation Cage prisoners.

His accusation follows the suspension this month of Sahgal who raised concerns about the organisation's links to Begg and Islamists.

"It looks very much as if Amnesty's leadership is suffering from a kind of moral bankruptcy and has lost the ability to distinguish right from wrong," Rushdie, a Booker-prize winner, said.

Kate Allen, director of Amnesty UK said it took criticism "seriously" but would continue to press for "universal respect" for human rights.

http://www.zeenews.com/news605919.html

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Recent Google Hack Traced to Chinese Schools

By Kevin Parrish

The New York Times reports that investigators have traced the recent hacking attacks on Google back to computers located at two schools in China, one of which has close ties to the Chinese military. The attacks may have even started earlier than previously believed, possibly attacking Google and other companies as early as April 2009. There's even indication that one link leads to a specific science class taught by a Ukrainian professor.

The two schools in question are Shanghai Jiaotong University and the Lanxiang Vocational School. The University provides one of China's top computer science programs while the vocational school was established with military support and trains many computer scientists for the military. The NYT said that the vocational school's network is maintained by a company close to Google's competitor, Baidu.

Lanxiang Vocational School is also where the Ukrainian professor teaches science.

Speculation is a mixed bag: it's believed that the vocational school is being used as camouflage for government operations. Others claim that a third country is using the schools as a cover for a "false flag" intelligence operation. There's also talk that the attacks were nothing more than criminal industrial espionage on a grand scale, set to leech technology secrets from American companies.

There's also the possibility that students were testing their hacking skills by breaking into foreign websites. A professor at Jiaotong’s School of Information Security Engineering said this was actually normal, however he also said that hackers could have hijacked the university's IP address during the Google attack.

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Google-Chine-Hack-School-University,news-5892.html

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Stronghold shrinks, Taliban confined to 2 sq miles in Marjah

Feb 22, 2010,

MARJAH: Marines and Afghan units converged on a dangerous western quarter of the Taliban stronghold of Marjah on Sunday, with Nato forces facing “determined resistance” as their assault on the southern town entered its second week.

Fighter jets, drones and attack helicopters hovered overhead, as Marine and Afghan companies moved on a 2 sq-mile area of the town where more than 40 insurgents have apparently holed up.

“They are squeezed,” said Col Brian Christmas, commander of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. “It looks like they want to stay and fight but they can always drop their weapons and slip away.”

Insurgents are putting up a “determined resistance” in various parts of Marjah, though the overall offensive is “on track,” Nato said on Sunday, eight days after thousands of Afghan and international forces launched a massive operation.

The Taliban on Sunday also rejected Afghanistan’s president Hamid Karzai’s latest call for peace, saying that foreign troops should leave Afghanistan first. agencies

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Stronghold-shrinks-Taliban-confined-to-2-sq-miles-in-Marjah/articleshow/5600932.cms

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Baradar’s lips sealed, US wants him shifted to Afghan prison

Feb 22, 2010,

KARACHI: The US is pushing for the transfer of captured Taliban commander Mullah Baradar to a US-run prison in Afghanistan, apparently frustrated by his silence during interrogation by Pakistani investigators.

Baradar, the second-in-command to Taliban leader Mullah Omar, was captured in Pakistan last month but US officials say he has not revealed useful information so far.

Baradar has refused to give information that could be used against his network, prompting the CIA to push for his transfer to Bagram prison, the Dawn reported. The CIA was denied direct access to Baradar for about two weeks and has since worked with Pakistani interrogators, who control the process of questioning.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Baradars-lips-sealed-US-wants-him-shifted-to-Afghan-prison-/articleshow/5600929.cms

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The Mossad spy who seduced me

Jon Swain

Feb 21, 2010,

At the threshold of my career as a journalist in Paris I was once the unwitting victim of a classic Mossad honey trap.

Little did I know that Patricia Roxborough, the girl who pursued me and made sure she was the object of my desire, was a trained assassin of the feared Israeli intelligence service. We met, by chance, through friends in 1969. I was an impressionable 21-year-old learning the ropes of being a foreign correspondent in the French capital. Roxborough said she was a Canadian freelance news photographer.

She was tall, beautiful and intelligent and her flashing eyes hinted at all sorts of enchantments. Soon I was spending happy times in her little flat in the city. As our friendship blossomed she encouraged me to use her as my photographer.

She talked a lot about the Middle East without ever betraying her allegiances or politics. I remember that she had a particular fascination for Colonel Muammar Gadaffi, Libya's revolutionary leader who had seized power that September in a bloodless coup. She wanted to go with me to Tripoli. I would interview the colonel; Roxborough would do the photographs.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/The-Mossad-spy-who-seduced-me/articleshow/5600923.cms

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Two foreign women among five arrested for terror links

February 22, 2010

FAISALABAD: Five people, including two foreign women, were taken into custody here on Sunday for alleged links with terrorist groups. However, a joint team of law-enforcement agencies, after hours long interrogation, freed both Yemeni women on personal guarantees.

They had been arrested along with two others in a raid on a Naimatabad house on Jhang Road. They were taken to a women police station for interrogation. Police confirmed the women were Yameni nationals. A computer and three cameras were also seized. Police verified their documents and allowed them to leave the police station but not to move out of the city without formal intimation. Police claimed their documents were being verified by various agencies.

In another raid, law-enforcement agencies held Qari Muhammad Jawed, an Imam of a mosque, in Diglaspura in Jhang Bazaar police limits. Qari Jawed was taken to some undisclosed location for interrogation. Sources claimed the arrests were being made by police on information from two suspects who had been arrested in Faisalabad during a bloody shootout on Friday.

http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=225530

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India agrees to talks beyond terror after Pakistan’s challenge

22 February 2010

—hints at including Kashmir, other issues in revived parleys

NEW DELHI: India has indicated to include other issues in scheduled talks with Pakistan, balking at an earlier stance that the talks will only be focused on anti-terrorism issue. The New Delhi has taken this summersault after Pakistan accepted the Indian challenge and throw down gauntlets to Indian foreign office and prepared to come up with proofs of terrorism against and seek similar actions against Colonel Purohit, Bal Thackeray, Babloo Srivastava etc whereas Delhi wants Pakistan to take against Hafiz Saeed etc.

Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram said India has agreed to take up different issues (besides terrorism) with Pakistan during the secretary-level talks scheduled to be held on February 25.

Full report at: http://dailymailnews.com/0210/22/FrontPage/FrontPage5.php

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Chidambaram terms Pakistan ‘most important neighbour’

February 22, 2010

NEW DELHI: Pakistan is the most important neighbour of India and politics should not come into the way of commerce.

Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram said this while laying the foundation stone for the first integrated check-post at Atari on the Pak-India border. “Even though Pakistan has not reciprocated by granting the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status, this does not mean that India should stop encouraging trade and commerce with that country.

“We shall continue our negotiations on this account and seek to facilitate movement of passengers as well as cargo along the land route,” The Hindu quoting him said. “India has many neighbours and the one to our west is the most important,” he said.

India has planned 13 integrated check-posts (ICPs) along its borders with Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar. The facility at Atari will become operational in 14 months at a projected cost of Rs 150 crore.

The ICP at Atari will provide facilities of customs, immigration and taxation clearances for passengers as well as cargo traffic. At present, due to lack of proper facilities, lengthy delays are caused in clearance of trucks carrying goods between India and Pakistan.

http://thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=27407

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Outcome of Indo-Pak talks depends on India: Qureshi

February 21, 2010

Pakistan's Foreign Minister on Sunday expressed his optimism on the resumption of talks with India, but said the outcome of the talks on February 25 "depends on the response from the Indian side".

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said he is "optimistic" on the Pak-India Foreign Scretary level talks later this week. He, however, made it clear that the outcome of the talk "depends on the response from the Indian side".

Qureshi, who is on a five day-visit to China, said as neighbours, we can not do without talking to each other.

The Minister's visit aims to deepen the Sino-Pak "all weather relations" and brief Beijing on regional issues, including the forthcoming bilateral talks with India.

India has stalled the composite dialogue with Pakistan after the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008, asking Islamabad to punish those involved in the carnage.

Talking to mediaperson in Beijing, he said the peace process between the two countries had been proceeding well, but India unfortunately suspended the talks after the Mumbai incident, according to the Pakistani news agency APP.

Commenting on China's role in fighting international terrorism, Qureshi said Beijing is playing a positive and important role.

Full report at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/restofasia/Outcome-of-Indo-Pak-talks-depends-on-India-Qureshi/Article1-511382.aspx

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Bangladesh to restore 1972 Constitution

February 22, 2010

DHAKA: Bangladesh will restore secularism as a state principle in the constitution, a government minister said, following a Supreme Court decision to strike down an amendment moved after a 1975 military coup. The move comes at a time when Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is seeking to rein in Islamist parties which have tried to promote a more austere vision of society. “In the light of the verdict, the secular constitution of 1972 already stands to have been revived,” Law MinisterShafique Ahmed said late on Saturday.

“Now we don’t have any bar to return to the four state principles of democracy, nationalism, secularism and socialism as had been heralded in the 1972 statute of the state,” he said.

The four principles were enshrined in Bangladesh’s original constitution formulated by independence leader Sheikh Mujibur Rehman. But the words “secularism” were dropped following a1975 coup in which Mujib, as he was popularly called, was killed along with most of his family members.

Full report at: http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=225585

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Netanyahu approved Mabhuh’s murder

UAE condemns abuse of passports by Hamas killers

February 22, 2010

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates condemned on Sunday the abuse of European passports by the assassins of a top Hamas leader in Dubai, as police said some of the killers entered the country with diplomatic passports.

The Dubai police Chief also called for Hamas to conduct an internal investigation into the killing, pointing to a possible mole in the Palestinian Islamist movement, a theory Hamas rejected.

“The UAE is deeply concerned by the fact that passports of close allies, whose nationals currently enjoy preferential visa waivers, were illegally used to commit this crime,” said a foreign ministry statement, carried by the official WAM news agency.

Mahmoud al-Mabhuh, a founder of Hamas’ armed wing, was found dead in his hotel room in Dubai on January 20.

Full report at: http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=225586

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Burney concerned at reports about Osama’s presence in Pakistan

February 22, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Ansar Burney Trust and former federal minister Ansar Burney has said that the recent arrest of one of the close allies of Osama bin Laden and Mulla Omar from Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, has proved that his previous statements about the presence of terrorists in Karachi were true.

In a press release issued here on Sunday, Ansar Burney showed his grave concern over the information that Abu Riyan al Zarqawi, also known as Abu Musa, reportedly provided to security agencies that Osama bin Laden and Mulla Omar were in Pakistan and that just a month ago he met them personally.

Burney said it was shocking to know after the reports that Osama bin Laden and Mulla Omar were in Pakistan under the patronage of some political parties and supporters in the government.

Full report at: http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=225527

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Maulvi Kabir arrested from Nowshera: US TV

22 Feb, 2010

WASHINGTON: Police in northwest Pakistan arrested Mulvi Kabir, one of the top 10 most wanted Taliban leaders and a former Taliban governor of Afghanistan's Nangahar Province, Fox News reported on its website Sunday.

The network, citing two unnamed senior US officials, said that police captured Kabir in the Nowshera district.

The capture is a “significant detention,” a senior US military official in Afghanistan told Fox.

Information leading to Kabir's capture was obtained from Mullah Baradar, the Taliban's second in command, whose arrest was announced on February 18 following a joint US-Pakistani operation, according to Fox.

Baradar's capture has resulted in the arrests of several Taliban leaders, US officials told

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/19-molvi-kabir-of-the-taliban-arrested-from-nowshera-hh-05

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Baradar’s arrest shows Pak committed to fighting terror'

22 Feb, 2010

WASHINGTON: The arrest of the Taliban military chief in Karachi should be seen in the context of Pakistan’s overall commitment to fight religious extremists, the commander of the US Central Command said in an interview with NBC television on Sunday.

Gen David Petraeus also said that the current military operation in southern Afghanistan was part of a long campaign.

“I’d like to put this into context as well,” said the general when asked to comment on Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar’s arrest.

“Some 10 months ago or so, the Pakistani people, their political leaders, including the major opposition figures, and even the clerics all recognised the threat posed to the very writ of governance of Pakistan,” he said.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-baradars-arrest-shows-pakistan-committed-to-fighting-terror-220-hh-07

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Women lawyers likely to win access to Saudi courts

22 Feb, 2010

RIYADH, Feb 21: Saudi Arabia would soon allow women lawyers to appear in court, though apparently only to represent other women, the country’s justice minister said in comments published on Sunday. Justice Minister Mohammed Al-Issa said the ministry is drafting new rules to permit female lawyers to argue family cases, Saudi newspapers reported.

The women would be able to represent women in marriage, divorce, custody and other family cases, the newspapers said.

Female lawyers in the kingdom can currently work only inside the women’s sections of law and government offices, where they do not come into contact with men. All judges in the kingdom are male religious clerics.

As part of ongoing judicial reforms, the Saudi government is developing a network of specialised courts, including “personal status” or family courts, where the women lawyers would be allowed to practice.—AFP

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/women-lawyers-likely-to-win-access-to-saudi-courts-220

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Killers of Hamas leader used diplomatic passports: police

22 Feb, 2010

DUBAI, Feb 21: The assassins of a senior Hamas militant in Dubai made use of diplomatic passports, the Gulf emirate’s police chief said on Sunday, as he warned of a mole within the ranks of the Palestinian group.

Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper, meanwhile, said the killing was carried out by Israel’s spy agency Mossad with the green light and blessing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“There is information that Dubai police will not make public for the moment, especially regarding diplomatic passports” used by some of Mahmud Al-Mabhuh’s killers to enter Dubai, police chief Dahi Khalfan said in Al-Bayan newspaper.

Mabhuh, a founder of the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, was found dead in his hotel room in Dubai on January 20.

Last week, Khalfan released the names and photos of 11 murder suspects with European passports — six from Britain, three from Ireland, one from Germany and one from France.

The use of European passports has sparked a diplomatic furore in which Israeli envoys in the four countries have been summoned for talks. But on Saturday, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon insisted there would be no diplomatic crisis with Europe over the use of foreign passports in the Mabhuh murder “as Israel had nothing to do with what happened”.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/killers-of-hamas-leader-used-diplomatic-passports-police-220

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‘Muslim unity must for combating terrorism’

22 February 2010

ISLAMABAD: Unity amongst Muslim countries is essential for combating terrorism, Bosnian

grand mufti Dr Mustafa Ceric said on Sunday, according to a press release. Dr Mustafa Ceric, who is on a two-day visit to Pakistan, said this while delivering a lecture at the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI). He expressed solidarity with Pakistanis in their fight against terrorism and thanked Pakistan for supporting Bosnia’s independence movement. The Bosnian grand mufti said terrorism has not only affected Pakistan but the whole Muslim world as well. Dr Mustafa Ceric said religious scholars advocated that Muslims should lay down their lives for Islam, but failed to explain how one should live his life according to Islamic principles. His remarks were greatly applauded by the audience. The lecture was also attended by Dr Ragheb Naeemi, head of the Jamia Naeemia in Lahore, Federal Religious Affairs Minister Syed Hamid Saeed Kazmi, scholars and people from all walks of life. Dr Mustafa Ceric also interacted with journalists from the print and electronic media and met government officials and the Bosnian ambassador to Pakistan. Dr Mustafa Ceric’s visit was part of the Karvaan-e-Aman campaign, organised by the Radical Middle Way, which aims to build an international network of scholars, individuals and organisations. staff report

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\02\22\story_22-2-2010_pg7_46

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Ibad, Qaim help sort out administrators issue

22 February 2010

KARACHI: The issue of appointment of administrators to replace nazims and other matters related to the local government system in Sindh were discussed in a high-level meeting between the leaders of the Pakistan People’s Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement at the Governor’s House on Sunday.

All the issues were settled through mutual understanding, an official release issued by the Governor’s House said.

According to details, a meeting of the core committee of the PPP and the MQM was held earlier at the Chief Minister’s House to discuss and settle the issues related to appointment of administrators to replace nazims in the province and the timeframe for holding new local government elections.

The PPP was represented by Pir Mazharul Haq, Agha Siraj Durrani, Muhammad Ayaz Soomro, Murad Ali Shah, Rafique Engineer, Rashid Rabbani and Abdul Qadir Patel; while Dr Farooq Sattar, Sardar Ahmed and Wasey Jalil represented the MQM. The meeting discussed the amendments in the local government ordinance presented by the law committee. However, it failed to settle the issue related to the appointment of administrators.

Nevertheless, a handout issued by the Chief Minister’s House said both parties showed satisfaction on the achievement attained so far and decided that joint efforts would be taken in this regard in the future.

Full report at: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\02\22\story_22-2-2010_pg12_2

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13 killed in Iraq suicide blast

22 February 2010

BAGHDAD—A suicide car bomb exploded Thursday outside the gate of the main government compound in the capital of Iraq’s Anbar province, killing at least 13 people, including four police, a health official said.

The attacker detonated his explosive-packed car at the compound housing the governor’s office, police headquarters and courts in downtown Ramadi. The province, where al-Qaida-backed Sunni insurgents once held sway, has seen a rise in attacks against security forces and government officials in recent months.—Agencies

 http://dailymailnews.com/0210/22/FrontPage/FrontPage14.php

 

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US not to use Uzbek base, says Holbrooke

22 February 2010

ASTANA—The United States is not looking to re-open a key military base in Uzbekistan that was shut in 2005 in a diplomatic row, a US envoy said on Sunday as he ended a rapid tour of former Soviet Central Asia.

Uzbekistan, which shares a border with Afghanistan, evicted US troops from the Karshi-Khanabad base after Washington condemned it over a violent crackdown on a protest in the town of Andizhan in May 2005.

Relations have since improved, and some diplomats have suggested Washington may try to re-open the base. Speaking after a visit to Uzbekistan, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke ruled out the possibility when asked about it in neighbouring Kazakhstan.

“No,” he said. “But Uzbekistan does provide us with a valuable opportunity to transit materials to Afghanistan and that is important. As for the military base, no.” Keen to restore its sour relations with the West, Uzbekistan – Central Asia’s most populous and ethnically divided nation – has agreed to host the new Nato supply route for Afghanistan.

Holbrooke met Uzbek President Islam Karimov on Friday and has also visited Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan during his first trip to the region in his current capacity.

Full report at: http://dailymailnews.com/0210/22/FrontPage/FrontPage9.php

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Taleban cornered in Marjah

PuFeb 21, 2010

MARJAH, Afghanistan: Marines and Afghan units converged Sunday on a dangerous western quarter of the Taleban stronghold of Marjah, with NATO forces facing “determined resistance” as their assault on the southern town entered its second week.

The Marjah operation is a major test of a new NATO strategy that stresses protecting civilians over routing insurgents as quickly as possible. It is also the first major ground operation since President Barack Obama ordered 30,000 reinforcements to Afghanistan.

In a setback to that strategy, the Dutch prime minister said Sunday that his country's 1,600 troops would probably leave Afghanistan this year. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende spoke a day after his government collapsed when a coalition partner insisted the Dutch troops leave in August as planned.

Fighter jets, drones and attack helicopters flew over Marjah, as Marine and Afghan companies moved on a 5-sq. km area of the town where more than 40 insurgents are apparently holed up.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/world/article20534.ece

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New measures to combat terrorism

By GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN

Feb 21, 2010

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has formulated and introduced new measures to combat terrorism, said top Saudi officials from the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution (BIP) here Sunday.

“The Kingdom is in the process of creating chairs for scientific research on terrorism in almost all universities across the country,” said Abdul Mohsen Al-Munif, a BIP counselor.

Al-Munif said that Saudi Arabia has boosted its counterterrorism efforts by introducing a number of measures, including the dispersing of religious discourse on terrorism (religious edicts) through television channels, newspapers and other media, including mosques. These fatwas, he said, call on people to refrain from insane violence, acts of terror, organized crime and financing terrorist operations, which are strongly prohibited in Islam.

Al-Munif was speaking after the first session of the “Workshop on International Legal Framework for Counterterrorism and its Financing” that has been organized by the BIP in cooperation with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article20595.ece

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Turkish film wins Berlinale’s top award

By Ammar Mangorangca

Feb 22, 2010

BERLIN: Turkish director Semih Kaplanoglu’s film Bal (Honey), about a young boy who goes in search of his father after his father fails to return home, won the Berlin Film Festival’s prestigious Golden Bear prize Saturday.

Romanian director Florin Serban won two prizes for “Eu cand vreau sa fluier, fluiere” (If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle), about a young man in a youth detention center who is facing up to the new realities that have emerged in the wake of the fall of Communism across Eastern Europe.

The Berlinale’s best director award went to controversial Polish-French director Roman Polanski for best director for his thriller “The Ghost Writer” Saturday.

However, Polanski was not on hand to accept the prize as the 76-year-old the Oscar-winning director is at present under house arrest in his Swiss chalet facing US extradition moves for a 1977 underage sex case.

The festival’s international jury, headed up by veteran German director Werner Herzog, awarded the Silver Bear for best actress to Shinobu Terajima for Japanese director’s Koji Wakamatsu’s anti-war film “Caterpillar”.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/lifestyle/art_culture/article20502.ece

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Old Saudi suffers due to delayed litigation

By ANWAR AL-SAYED

Feb 21, 2010

MAKKAH: A Saudi man who claims to be 120-year-old, Dakhil Awad Allah Al-Maabadi, who was wrongly arrested after someone filed a malicious complaint against him, has been waiting 18 months for a court to amend the wrong. As a result of the delay, Al-Maabadi’s health has deteriorated and he is currently in hospital, suffering from high blood pressure, kidney problems and diabetes.

“A Saudi man told police that my grandfather was dressed in an army uniform and had threatened his laborers,” said Al-Maabadi’s grandson, Subhi, adding that officers took him to a police station where the complaint was found to be malicious.

“My grandfather filed a lawsuit at Khulais Court, which is about 90 km to the north east of Jeddah, but the lengthy litigation and frequent court trips have worsened his health and we have had to admit him in intensive care,” he said.

Subhi said he and his uncles carried his grandfather to the headquarters of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) in Makkah where they asked the NSHR to bring the case to a close.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article20602.ece

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Pakistan kills 30 militants in airstrike

Feb 22, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani jet fighters attacked a hideout of the Al-Qaeda-backed militants in their South Waziristan bastion on Saturday, killing 30, the military said.

Pakistani security forces launched a major offensive in South Waziristan in October last year and the military says it has captured most of the militant bases in the region.

The strike was carried out in Shawal, a major mountainous sanctuary for the militants near the Afghan border.

"The hideout in Shawal was targeted after we were tipped off that terrorists were hiding in the mountains," a military spokesman said.

Pakistan's ethnic Pashtun tribal areas, notably South and neighboring North Waziristan, are seen as global hub of militants, including senior Al-Qaeda and Taleban figures.

Western officials say they believe several Taleban leaders are also living in Pakistani cities and towns.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/world/article19814.ece

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US warns of Al-Qaeda threat in Central Asia

By ROMAN KOZHEVNIKOV

Feb 20, 2010

DUSHANBE: Al-Qaeda aims to infiltrate Central Asia to train militants and turn the ex-Soviet region into a zone of unrest, a US envoy said on Saturday.

The West is worried about risks to stability in the vast Muslim region, dominated by authoritarian but secular governments. Analysts believe Islamist militancy could spread into the heart of Central Asia from nearby Afghanistan.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke is on a blitz tour of the five "stans" of Central Asia.

"I think the real threat in this region is less from the Taleban but from Al-Qaeda, which trains international terrorists," he said on a visit to Tajikistan.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/world/article19956.ece

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India’s belated turnaround

Asif Ezdi

February 22, 2010

The Indian proposal to Pakistan for open-ended talks at the level of foreign secretaries to discuss all outstanding issues is a belated admission by New Delhi that its refusal to engage in a dialogue with Pakistan more than a year after Mumbai has been hurting Indian interests more than it is harming Pakistan’s. Reflecting this recognition, Indian officials have uncharacteristically been quite civilised in their language and tone towards Pakistan recently, and especially since the proposal was made.

India has so far shown reluctance to agree to the Pakistani proposal that the old format of “composite dialogue” should be revived, but the last word has not yet been said. When the two foreign secretaries get together later this month, the major task before them will be to prepare the ground for a meeting between their prime ministers at the sidelines of the SAARC Summit in the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu on April 26 and 27. If things go according to plan, a formal resumption of bilateral dialogue will be announced at this summit.

Full report at: http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=225556

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‘The peace process has restarted:  Kashmir what next?’

By M. Ismail Khan

22 Feb, 2010

Now that Islamabad and New Delhi have agreed to restart talks, it would be a legitimate question for Kashmir’s peacemakers to ask: ‘The peace process has restarted: what next?’

‘Process’ is about catalysing change. Even if does not yield the expected results, a process is important since it contributes to the upstaging of many long-held fixations. Take, for example, President Obama. Who would have thought a decade ago that an African-American would be US president?

The terrorists who carried out the carnage in Mumbai and other equally outrageous acts in Pakistan should know that it is impossible to keep change hostage, even to odious rage. A subtle generational change is taking place in South Asia. It is propelled by rising income levels, access to technology, increased connectivity and choices in a globalising environment; these changes are pushing matters forward.

This forward thrust is visible in the way New Delhi and Islamabad reacted to the Mumbai incident. Leaving aside the media frenzy, the anger and outrage, the two countries did not sever diplomatic ties. Unlike the past, they did not cut off air links or mobilise forces along the border. In fact, many Kashmir-specific confidence-building measures such as the intra-Kashmir bus-service and cross-border trade kept moving, and people-to-people contact remained active though at a more limited level.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/editorial/16-kashmir-what-next-hs-05

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6 al-Qaida-linked militants killed in Philippines

Feb 21, 2010,

MANILA: Philippine marines killed a top al-Qaida-linked militant commander and five other extremists early on Sunday in an assault on a rebel encampment on a southern island, a senior military commander said.

A marine special operations platoon raided an Abu Sayyaf camp outside Maimbung township on Jolo island following intelligence reports that two wanted militant leaders, Umbra Jumdail and Albader Parad, were there, said Lt. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino, head of the military's Western Mindanao Command.

Four civilians have independently identified the body of Parad at a military camp in Jolo town, Dolorfino said, adding that a younger brother of Jumdail, Abdulhaman Jumdail, also was among the slain rebels.

"It's a very significant gain in our campaign against terrorism because we all know that Albader Parad is one of the influential leaders (of the Abu Sayyaf)," he told The Associated Press. "This will have a very big demoralizing effect on the other members and shows that they cannot hide forever from the arms of the law."

Government troops first encountered Parad's group late Saturday and caught up with them at the encampment early Sunday, he said.

One marine was killed and three others were wounded in the clash, Philippine marines spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/6-al-Qaida-linked-militants-killed-in-Philippines/articleshow/5599862.cms

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Headley was an absolute monster, a terror jackal: Rahul Bhatt

22 February 2010

 

Four months after the involvement of American terror suspect David Headley in 26/11 attacks came to light, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt's son Rahul Bhatt is still to come to terms with the "betrayal of faith" by the US national whom he now calls a "terror jackal" and an "absolute monster".

"This incident has shaken me terribly. I have lost faith in everyone. I don't even trust my girlfriend now. I have started suspecting people in my family. I can't trust anymore. I have become like a typical policeman who looks at everyone with suspicion...Its paranoia," says 28-year-old Bhatt.

Bhatt, who is a nutritionist and a fitness professional, said the Headley incident has made him "xenophobic" and he has lost faith in all human relationships. Whatever has happened of late has also made him "wiser", he said.

"I have become a xenophobic... I have stopped trusting people and I am extremely suspicious of foreigners ...It is xenophobia that I have developed. So now, my guard is up and I am in a constant state of awareness and alertness because of the bizarre incident," said Bhatt who was questioned by security agencies after it emerged that Headley had known him during his stay in Mumbai.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/237602/Headley-was-an-absolute-monster-a-terror-jackal-Rahul-Bhatt.html

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Tehran to host 2nd intl. conference on women

22 February 2010

TEHRAN -- The second International conference on women is to be held in Tehran, from February 24 to 25, 2010.

Aimed at spreading Islamic thoughts about families, women; their rights and responsibilities, the conference is to be convened on the theme of “Contribution of the Islamic world to women’s issues and analysis of the consequences of feminism”.

Negative impacts of feminism, particularly in western societies, and its devastating effects on families’ foundation are among the issues to be discussed at the two-day event.

The conference is to be held by women’s cultural department of the Office for Supreme Leader Representative in Universities in cooperation with Iranian Foreign Ministry, the ministries of culture, health, and science as well as World Forum for the Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, and the Ahl-ul-Bayt (A.S.) World Assembly.

About 300 essays in Persian and 100 in other languages from other countries have been so far submitted to the secretariat of the congress.

The First International Conference on women was held on the theme of “women, social-cultural issues, and globalization” in Tehran in April 2005.

http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=214662

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Gadkari plea to Muslims an insult to kar sevaks: Sena

Feb 20, 2010

Mumbai In a fresh rift with its NDA ally, Shiv Sena on Saturday flayed BJP chief Nitin Gadkari for his appeal to Muslims to adopt a "generous" attitude on the Ram temple issue, saying it was an insult to hundreds of kar sevaks who became "martyrs" in the movement.

"Appealing to Muslims (to help in building Ram temple) is an insult to hundreds of kar sevaks who became martyrs during the Ram temple agitation," Sena chief Bal Thackeray said in an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.

He made a "sincere appeal" to BJP that it should stick to the Hindutva ideology.

"The Prime Minister of this country says Muslims have the first right over India's resources and 80 crore Hindus

Full report at: http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Gadkari-plea-to-Muslims-an-insult-to-kar-sevaks-Sena/582225/

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Muslims cold to Gadkari call for negotiated settlement of Babri issue

Rakesh K Singh

Muslim leaders have given a lukewarm response to BJP president Nitin Gadkari’s overture for negotiated settlement of the Ram Janam Bhoomi/Babri Masjid dispute.

Chairman of Delhi State Minorities Commission Kamal Faruqui told The Pioneer, “It is a political statement. The BJP needs to establish its credibility as it was the party responsible for the destruction of Babri Masjid.”

“Such initiatives have been taken earlier but it needs to be seen if BJP’s affiliate organisations like Bajrang Dal and VHP toe the line….Gadkari has spoken soft but there is nothing new and the Muslims are not amused,” Faruqui added.

Spokesperson of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind Abdul Hameed Noumani said, “On the face value, Gadkari’s proposal is good but in practical terms no Muslim individual or organisation is in a position to speak for the community as a whole. The Government alone can bring both the communities on the negotiating table for a settlement…otherwise another dispute would arise if others try to tinker with the sensitive issue.”

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/237694/Muslims-cold-to-Gadkari-call-for-negotiated-settlement-of-Babri-issue.html

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1,000 held in Pak for flying kites

22 February 2010

Police in Pakistan’s Punjab province have launched a massive crackdown on the people selling and flying kites and made over 1,000 arrests after a local group announced it would observe the Basant festival in the traditional manner by flying kites.

The traditional practice of flying kites during Basant was banned three years ago after several people were killed or injured by glass and metal-coated kite twine.

The arrests were made in the provincial capital of Lahore and other parts of Punjab. Police seized over 40,000 kites and 10,000 twine spools over the last couple of days.

Among those arrested was Lahore Kite Flying Association president Sheikh Saleem, who had allegedly announced that Basant would be celebrated on March 6 and 7 in defiance of the ban.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/237656/1000-held-in-Pak-for-flying-kites.html

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Homosexual acts not good, says AMU V-C

Feb 22, 2010

While rights activists have voiced support for Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) reader Dr S R Siras, who was suspended recently on the charge of homosexuality, university Vice-Chancellor Prof P K Abdul Azis has justified the decision.

Talking to The Indian Express, the Vice-Chancellor said that AMU could not digest homosexuality and free sex on the campus. “AMU is an institution of international repute and its students go out with character. Homosexuality is not good for them and so such act could not be allowed on campus,” said Dr Azis.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/homosexual-acts-not-good-says-amu-vc/582662/

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Yasin Bhatkal is IM bombmaker, now in Karachi: Probe team

Feb 22, 2010

One name has been a recurring figure during investigations into every major bomb blast linked to the Indian Mujahideen in India over the past three years. Identified after the September 13, 2008 Delhi blasts as ‘Shah Rukh’, he is believed to be involved — directly or indirectly — in the process of making bombs. Investigators now believe ‘Shah Rukh’ is Yasin Bhatkal alias Mohammed Yasin alias Ahmed, a 27-year-old member of the inner circle of Indian Mujahideen founder Riyaz Bhatkal, now believed to be in Karachi, Pakistan.

Significantly, Yasin has been named in accounts provided to the police by Pune resident Mohammed Akbar Ismail Chaudhry, a key accused in the August 2007 Hyderabad twin blasts who is also the brother of Mohsin Chaudhry — the man now being sought by the Maharashtra ATS in connection with the February 13 Pune blast.

According to information provided to the police by over half a dozen IM men arrested since September 2008 — when the last major IM attack occurred — Yasin supplied explosives, held training sessions in bomb making and even assembled bombs in a few cases. He is believed to have also supplied the ammonium nitrate used in the September 2008 Delhi blasts.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/yasin-bhatkal-is-im-bombmaker-now-in-karachi-probe-team/582699/3

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International gathering of Muslim experts to discuss caning of women

By LOH FOON FONG

22 February 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: An international Islamic conference would be held soon to discuss whether it is the norm to cane Muslim women found guilty of committing offences under Syariah law.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Senator Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said she hoped the conference, to comprise Islamic experts and ministers from Muslim nations, could be convened within three months.

“I will bring this up with the Cabinet soonest possible,” she said, adding that her ministry, through the Secratariat for the Defence and Empowerment of Women, would organise the conference and the venue would be confirmed later.

Ulamak and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) would also have their forums at the conference, she said after signing a memorandum of cooperation between her ministry and the Sultanate of Oman’s Social Development Ministry on Monday.

On a question by a reporter on whether such debates would create tension, Shahrizat said, “We should not fear debating any issue.”

She said that Syariah laws, when implemented with wisdom and fairness, were “the most beautiful laws” in the world.

Full report at: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/2/22/nation/20100222164746&sec=nation

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‘Hey... My Name Is Not Khan…’

Sushil Ku T

I’ve watched some of his movies but I always thought Aamir Khan was the more accomplished actor and more the businessman, also. AK compared to Shah Rukh Khan played safe in whatever he did though some would argue he was bold in as much as he was not wary of springing the odd surprise once he established himself in the minds and hearts of cinema buffs. SRK for most of the early part of his career was a hit-and-let’s-see-if-it-hits-the-mark kind. Several of his films bombed at the box office but there were enough number of the big ones coming in frequent intervals to keep him on the top of the heap, build up the myth Khan is King.

The last decade has seen SRK scale heights hitherto only reached by the Big B but where the Big B is a phenomenon, SRK is a tsunami. So, when SRK bought into the Kolkata Knight Riders IPL team, it wasn’t a surprise. There was talk that he wanted the Mumbai franchise but on hindsight it was fortunate that Reliance beat him to the Mumbai post or else the Shiv Sena would have got a wider spread to dig its teeth into the SRK jugular. 

The IPL-Pak players’ controversy that SRK got himself into wouldn’t have been if not for My Name Is Khan. From all indications, when the IPL teams went into that auction the team owners had already come to an unstated understanding that Pakistani players would not/should not be taken. It made sort of queer logic but logic it was. The ‘security’ aspect was too big to take a risk especially when nobody in authority was willing to take the decision or the hit, if things went awkwardly wrong.

Full report at: http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx? =

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India for meaningful ties with Pakistan, active engagement with world(Lead)

February 22nd, 2010

Pratibha Patil New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) India is prepared to have “meaningful” ties with Pakistan if it curbs anti-India terror on its soil even as it seeks to enhance ties with major powers and continue its “active engagement with the world.”

“India is ready to explore a meaningful relationship with Pakistan if Pakistan seriously addresses the threat of terrorism and takes effective steps to prevent terrorist activities against India,” President Pratibha Patil said in her address to the joint session of parliament to open the budget session Monday.

Patil’s remarks came just a few days before Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao meet in New Delhi Feb 25 for long-awaited talks to break the ice that had developed in their bilateral ties since the Mumbai terror attack.

The president also said that India’s developmental assistance to Afghanistan’s reconstruction will continue. “India’s assistance to the reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan witnessed important milestones and we will continue to partner Afghanistan in its development efforts,” she said.

Full report at: http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/south-asia/india-for-meaningful-ties-with-pakistan-active-engagement-with-worldlead_100324283.html

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/nato-air-strike-kills-33-afghan-civilians/d/2491


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