New Age Islam
Sat Aug 15 2020, 06:46 AM

Islamic World News ( 7 Jul 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

NATO kills 13 Afghan children and women

One Woman Leads the Way in Yemen's Uprising

Saudi Shura council supports women voting: paper

Woman Owns, Operates Bahrain's 1st Sex Shop

AQ Khan implicates Pak military in nuclear sales to North Korea

Pak Govt may have approved Shahzad's murder: Mullen

Pakistan rejects accusations on Shahzad killing

Indonesia must abolish death penalty, show mercy

Forty militants killed in clash with Pak security forces

Nato fires 16 mortar bombs inside North Waziristan

Bangladesh approves law on equal rights for women

'Pak to give voice samples of 26/11 accused if court allows'

Bloodbath in Karachi, Pak orders troops in

India, Pakistan to announce CBMs on Kashmir, nuclear issues

Omar unveils ambitious power policy in Valley

Sonia to visit B'desh on July 25

UN chief calls for halt to Libya fighting

NATO denies trying to aid Libyan rebels’ advance

Tunisians demonstrate against Islamist influence

'Human bomb' advisory puts airports on high alert

Women of loyalist Libya see Qaddafi as their Liberator

Sabina Yasmin becomes first Muslim woman minister in West Bengal

Sports Hijab lets Muslim Women throw some punches

Eleven suspected militants killed in Kurram

Iran escalates use of capital punishment

Pak body denies allowing commercial plaza on gurdwara land

Canada calls on Iran to respect human rights 1

US returns recovered artifacts taken from Iraq

US, Iraq weigh post-2011 US force: Mullen

Muslim Brotherhood to join Tahrir Square demonstration

Turkey, Israel still at table despite deadlock

Turkish youth movement heads to Hatay in solidarity with ‘Syrian revolutionaries’

Law ministry's views sought on quotas for Muslims

Qaeda hospital’ in N Waziristan demolished

Organization of Islamic Cooperation appeals for urgent relief aid to Horn of Africa

Nurseries of tolerance: Hindus in Islamic seminaries

Suspected Al-Qaeda militants kill 10 Yemeni troops

My cousin, not I, was interested in Benazir: Imran Khan

Pak is reassigning its relationship with U.S.: Mullen

Canada formally ends its combat mission in Afghanistan

'Pak considers India, not Afghanistan existential threat'

Pakistani, Afghan, US militaries discuss border tensions

Afghanistan, Pakistan to coordinate amid cross-border confusion

ISAF, Pakistan, Afghanistan discuss border incursion issue

US, Iraq negotiating possible post-2011 US force: Mullen

US envoy to observe Friday demo in Syria’s Hama

Somali detainee linked to Qaeda cleric: US

Taleban commander back on the air in Pakistan

Syria accuses US of interference in its affairs

IIM cook among three held for militant links

An untold Kashmir chronicle

Relations with US back on track: Pakistan

Time running out for four Indonesians on death row

Egypt to try 25 Mubarak loyalists in camel attack

US ambassador in Syria’s Hama ahead of protests

Syrians flee Hama, Friday rallies reject dialogue

Zardari following in Musharraf footsteps, says Nawaz

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/nato-kills-13-afghan-children-and-women/d/4987

 

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NATO kills 13 Afghan children and women

Jul 08 2011

KHOST: Up to 13 civilians, mostly women and children were killed in a NATO airstrike on Thursday in the eastern Afghan province of Khost according to provincial police chief Mohamad Zazai. “Unfortunately eight women, four children, and one man were killed in a NATO airstrike on a residential house in Dowamanda district early this morning,” Zazai said, adding that four Taliban-linked Haqqani terrorists were also killed. The deaths triggered protests which blocked the main highway to Kabul nearby. Police have launched an investigation into the incident. A spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said Afghan-led forces had gone in search of the insurgents when they came under attack by the terrorists. “Responding to the insurgent attack, the security forces returned fire and called in an airstrike. The subsequent assault killed several insurgents and, also, unintentionally killed a number of associated family members,” he said. Eight Afghan policemen were meanwhile killed on Thursday when their vehicle struck a mine in the Jawzjan province in northern Afghanistan, according to police. Police also said that six Afghan policemen and a civilian were killed in another landmine blast in the restive southern province of Uruzgan late on Wednesday.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\07\08\story_8-7-2011_pg7_6

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One Woman Leads the Way in Yemen's Uprising

Jul 08 2011

Women are second-class citizens in Yemen, yet it’s a woman leading the country's latest round of protests, the Washington Post reports. Tawakkol Karman, a 32-year-old mother of three, is the country’s best-known activist, and she organized the first protests at Sanaa University following the ouster of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia. “After Egypt, all the dictators in this region will fall,” she says, “and the first one will be Ali Abdullah Saleh.”

One political analyst calls her a needed hero, saying, "She manages to do what most men cannot do.” She hasn’t escaped the regime’s notice, either; Karman says Saleh has threatened her, telling her brother that if he can’t control her, she’ll be killed. The ruling party says it knows of no such threat—but makes it clear that they’re not fans. “She doesn’t respect the president, the government, or the law,” one senior official says. “She says bad things about the president.”

Saudi women get in the driver's seat

Women in Saudi Arabia got behind the wheels of their cars Friday to challenge the world's only ban on driving by females.

"It's my right to drive. I didn't do anything wrong," Maha al-Qahtani, 37, said in a phone interview from Riyadh. "I should have the choice to drive or not to drive."

She said she drove for less than an hour with her husband, Mohammed al-Qahtani, an economics professor and human rights activist.

The plan to get women with international driving licences out in their cars followed a campaign that led to the detention of one activist, Manal al-Sharif. A group of Saudi men and women, including Ms. Sharif, began the campaign in May on the Facebook and Twitter social-networking websites. They insisted their plan was not a protest.

Several women wrote on Twitter to describe driving in Mecca and Jeddah. Two Saudi women used YouTube to post videos of themselves driving in the kingdom. There were no immediate reports of arrests.

"I was so happy when I saw the online postings," said Najla Barasain, 25, in Riyadh. "Yesterday, I didn't think anyone would actually drive."

It's "good that even some men are supporting the move," she added. Ms. Barasain said she has been trying to persuade her father to allow her to drive. "If he agrees, then I will drive later today when it gets dark," she said. "If he doesn't, I won't. I don't want to do something he is not convinced of."

Ms. Qahtani, who, like Ms. Barasain, learned to drive while living in the United States, said when she was driving in Riyadh she saw five police cars and one even passed her blue Hummer.

"I told her about possible dangers," her husband said. "But I also told her she could advance the cause. I told her if she wants to have a car and to drive, she should do it."

Ms. Sharif, 32, a computer security consultant, was arrested last month in al-Khobar, Eastern Province, after she drove more than once and urged other women to drive in a video she posted on YouTube. Amnesty International said she was forced to sign a pledge not to drive again before being released 10 days later.

"Since her arrest, several women have reportedly been arrested on various occasions for driving in different parts of Saudi Arabia and released shortly after signing pledges not to drive in future," the hu-man rights organization said Thursday. "Saudi Arabian authorities must stop treating women as second-class citizens and open the kingdom's roads to women drivers."

The kingdom enforces restrictions interpreted from the Wahhabi version of Sunni Islam. Woman are not allowed to apply for driver's licences, though some drive when they are in desert areas away from cities. They cannot travel or get an education without male approval or mix with unrelated men in public. They are not permitted to vote or run as candidates in municipal elec-tions, the only balloting the kingdom allows.

The last time a group of women publicly defied the driving ban was Nov. 6, 1990, when U.S. troops massed in Saudi Arabia before the Gulf War.

The Saudi women were spurred by images of female U.S. soldiers driving in the desert and stories of Kuwaiti women driving their children to safety, and they were counting on the presence of the international media to ensure their story would reach the world and lessen the arepercussions.

The women were briefly detained and lost their jobs for at least two years.

The Facebook page for the campaign Ms. Sharif helped to organize, called "I will drive starting June 17," is no longer found on the website. Amnesty International said Friday's initiative was led by organizers from Women2Drive.

"June 17 is the starting date for seeing women driving their cars," Women2Drive said on the group's Facebook page. "We want to see women drive their cars to run errands every hour and every day."

Source: Institute of Islamic Studies

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Saudi Shura council supports women voting: paper

Jul 08 2011

Saudi Arabia's Shura Council threw its weight behind allowing women to vote future municipal elections, recommending the government to take necessary measures to do so, local daily Arab News reported on Tuesday.

Members of the council unanimously supported the decision, the paper said.

Saudi men in the kingdom, the world's largest oil exporter, will vote in September to elect half the members of municipal councils across the country, but women are banned from voting or running in the elections.

But the council didn't say if its members supported female candidates or voters.

Hundred of women across the kingdom have spearheaded an online campaign, called Baladi or My Country, in an attempt to garner support to allow them to take part in the elections.

In April, dozens of Saudi women protested outside a voting center in capital Riyadh to demand their right to vote. Other cities have been witnessed similar protests.

Saudi females, who make up to nine million of the kingdom's 18. 5 million people are subject to a guardian system which prohibits any woman from driving, traveling or living independently without written permission from mahram or a male guardian who could be her husband, father or brother.

Over the past years, working as a teacher in girls-only schools was the only job sanctioned for Saudi women to hold down, but recently there is a growing number of Saudi professional women and female doctors.

Many young Saudi women are being emboldened to set up their own businesses

Saudi Arabia opens largest women’s university in the world

King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia inaugurating Princess Nora Bint Abdulrahman University (PNU) on the outskirts of the capital, Riyadh.

King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia opened on Sunday the largest women’s university campus in the world in a major move to boost women’s higher education in the Kingdom.

The SAR20 billion ($5.3-billion) new campus of Princess Nora Bint Abdulrahman University (PNU) on the outskirts of the capital, Riyadh, was inaugurated in the presence of senior royal family members, ministers and foreign diplomats.

The university campus, spreading over eight million square meters (26 million feet), will host up to 50,000 students in its 15 departments.

It is also planned to be a car-free environment, operating a shuttle monorail train and electric buggies for internal transport, while solar panels stretched on the campus will reportedly generate 18 percent of the power needed for air-conditioning.

The campus also boasts a 700-bed hospital and accommodation facilities that could lodge 12,000 students.

“The new campus is considered the largest women-only university in the world,” Huda Al-Ameel, the newly appointed PNU president said, according to Arab News.

Ms. Al-Ameel said the huge campus was completed in a record time of less than three years on the instructions of King Abdullah.

“We are grateful to King Abdullah for this vital project, which will surely encourage PNU staff and students to exploit this state-of-the art facility to excel in education,” she said.

Munira Al-Abdan, vice president for studies and development, said PNU seeks to provide high quality academic education and skills for its students. “We have designed our academic programs to meet job market requirements,” she said.

“We provide our graduates with additional training courses to strengthen their competitive capabilities in the job market,” Ms. Abdan added.

She also said the university will be environment-friendly by promoting a paperless work policy and carrying out all its internal activities electronically.

The university’s library has about six million titles including reference books.

Women make up 58 percent of the total student population of 130,000 at seven universities in Saudi Arabia, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Saudi government devotes nearly 30 percent of its annual budget, or $40 billion, to education.

Source: Institute of Islamic Studies

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Woman Owns, Operates Bahrain's 1st Sex Shop

Jul 08 2011

 (NEWSER) – Khadija Ahmed is a 33-year-old Bahraini wife and mother of three. But she is also a pioneer: the owner of the first public sex shop in Bahrain and possibly the Persian Gulf as a whole. Khadija Fashion House, which began as a profitable online outlet, supplies lingerie, massagers, sex toys, and even edible undies—all from its storefront in the market district of Isa. The store is so popular that she's preparing to open a second location, AOL Newsreports.

Khadija says male clients have no issues buying products or receiving love advice from a female proprietor. Her shop is likely successful because it remains sensitive to Islamic mores—advice on preserving one's marriage

Our Outstanding Contribution in the History

Abadi Bano Begum - BI AMMA

She was married to Abdul Ali Khan who was a senior official of Rampur State. She had one daughter and five sons including Maulana Shaukat Ali and Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar.

She became a widow at the age of thirty .Although she did not have any formal education yet, she was deeply convinced of the advantages of acquiring modem education for the Muslims of the Indo-Pakistan sub- continent she educated her sons at Aligarh and Oxford; for that she pawned her jewellery to pay for her sons education.

During the sessions of the All India Muslim League in 1917, she delivered the most touching and forceful speech which left a lasting effect on the Muslim Ummah. While her sons were still in Jail this bold and venerable mother kept alive the fervor for the Khilafat Movement. She toured the country, addressed large gatherings of people, which flocked to hear her and exhorted them to follow the footsteps of her great sons in their struggle for the unity and fraternity of the Muslim Ummah. She replaced her illustrious sons in popularity and leadership I and the famous Urdu couplet

“Boli Amma Muhammad Ali Ki Jaan Baita Khilafat Pay De Do”,

became household words and were sung in every nook and corner of the Sub-continent by all sections of people irrespective of caste or creed.

After the end of the Khilafat Movement Bi Amma, however, did not survive for long and died on November 13, 1924. Her death was a great loss to the Muslim Nation, but Muslim women who had come out to work with Bi Amma were to become a political force to reckon with and their activities were a necessary prelude to their active participation in the forthcoming hectic political struggle of the Indo-Pakistan sub- continent

Source: Institute of Islamic Studies

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AQ Khan implicates Pak military in nuclear sales to North Korea

Chidanand Rajghatta

Jul 8, 2011

Nuclear engineer AQ Khan's disclosures implicating Pakistani military of nuclear sales to North Korea in lieu of payouts come as a huge embarrassment to Islamabad.

WASHINGTON: A payout of $ 3.5 million in US dollars stashed in a fruit carton along with some jewelry for high-ranking Pakistani generals lubricated Islamabad's nuclear proliferation to North Korea, Pakistani nuclear engineer AQ Khan has disclosed in the latest embarrassment for the beleaguered country.

In documents and testimony that implicate the Pakistani military in nuclear technology supplies to the isolated Chinese ally, Khan has revealed a communication from a senior North Korean official requesting transfer of nuclear technology in lieu of "three million dollars... paid to Army Chief Gen J Karamat and half a million dollars and 3 diamond and ruby sets which have been given to Gen Zulfikar Khan."

"Please give the agreed documents, components, etc. to .?.?. [a North Korean Embassy official in Pakistan] to be flown back when our plane returns after delivery of missile components," the letter states, indicating a nuclear technology-for-ballistic missiles swap between Pakistan and North Korea that the United States long suspected but did little to address.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/AQ-Khan-implicates-Pak-military-in-nuclear-sales-to-North-Korea/articleshow/9143418.cms

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Pak Govt may have approved Shahzad's murder: Mullen

July 08, 2011

Pakistan government may have sanctioned the abduction and subsequent killing of journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad, a top US military official has said.

"I haven't seen anything that would disabuse that report," Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff, told reporters when asked about media reports that the Pakistani government approved the killing of the reporter.

At the same time, the top Pentagon official noted that he hasn't seen any concrete evidence in this regard either of the Pakistan government or that of the ISI, as reported by The New York Times recently.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/351632/Pak-Govt-may-have-approved-Shahzads-murder-Mullen.html

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Pakistan rejects accusations on Shahzad killing

July 08, 2011

Pakistan on Friday denounced as "extremely irresponible" comments by the top ranking US military officer, that elements of the Pakistan government had sanctioned the killing of a Pakistani journalist in May. The remarks by Admiral Mike Mullen are likely to place new strains on

Pakistan-US ties, already seriously damaged following the killing of Osama bin Laden by US forces in Pakistan in May.

The death of journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad prompted intense speculation about the possible involvement of the Pakistan military's powerful spy agency, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), but Mullen said on Thursday he could not confirm involvement of the ISI.

Full report at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/Pakistan-rejects-accusations-on-Shahzad-killing/Article1-718727.aspx

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Indonesia must abolish death penalty, show mercy

Frans H. Winarta and Colin McDonald QC

08/07/2011

Indonesians were shocked and appalled by the beheading of fellow citizen Ruyati binti Satubi in Saudi Arabia on June 18, 2011. The execution again highlighted the use and efficiency of the death penalty as criminal punishment.

The facts surrounding Ruyati’s execution beg for a principled and measured response, beyond diplomatic protests.

Ruyati was a poor, hard-working 54-year-old housemaid who went to Saudi Arabia to save money for her family. As a domestic worker employed overseas she was vulnerable. According to reports, she killed the wife of her Saudi employer in circumstances of self defense.

Other reports suggested Ruyati was often abused by her employer. Her case passed through the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court in Saudi Arabia. It appears the death penalty was sought and justified by Qishas (on the principle of “an eye for an eye”).

The Saudi decision has come in for trenchant criticism by Indonesian legal experts, who point out that Qishas only applies when the act of killing is accompanied by an “ill intention”. Qishas does not apply in circumstances of self defense. There was strong criticism of the Saudi courts, which experts said should have taken the motive into account as required by Sharia law.

The justification of criminal punishment is the protection of society. How did the execution of Ruyati better protect Saudi Arabia? Is the world a better place for the execution of Ruyati? Why were the reported circumstances of self-defense and motive not considered and accorded due weight?

Full report at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/07/07/indonesia-must-abolish-death-penalty-show-mercy.html

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Forty militants killed in clash with Pak security forces

Thu Jul 07 2011

Parachinar: At least 40 militants have been killed in a clash with Pakistan security forces in Kurram Agency, according to official and tribal sources.

Sources said that a fierce clash took place between militants and security forces in the Manato area of Kurram Agency on Thursday, leaving 40 militants dead and three soldiers injured.

“Backed by tanks and gunship helicopters, Pakistani security forces made advances in Karawat, Dumbaki, Khalwat and Badama areas,” said the sources, adding that the forces faced stiff resistance in the Murghan, Manato and Pongey areas.

Meanwhile, people from several areas in central tehsil of Kurram Agency have left their homes for safer places.

“Officials said that about 517 families had been registered at the Durrani camp in Sadda,” The News reports.

Reports suggested that a total of 5,000 families have already migrated from the affected areas.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/814114/

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Nato fires 16 mortar bombs inside North Waziristan

Jul 08 2011

PESHAWAR: At least 16 mortar bombs fired from across the border in Afghanistan fell near a Pakistani military check post in North Waziristan’s tribal region.

The shelling was carried out by Nato forces from the Afghan side of the border, DawnNews reported.

Pakistani forces retaliated with more mortar firing, local intelligence officials said.

There were no reports of any casualties.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/08/nato-fires-16-mortar-bombs-inside-north-waziristan.html

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Bangladesh approves law on equal rights for women

Jul 08 2011

The Bangladeshi government has approved National Women Development Policy (NWDP) 2011 with a provision of equal share of women in property and their opportunity in employment and business.

The approval came at the weekly cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday (March 7), a day before the International Women's Day.

The policy is the revival of 1997 Women Development Policy, to the fulfilment of an election pledge by Awami League. The 1997 policy was formulated during the previous tenure of the party.

“The approval of the women development policy has created a great scope for the advancement of women empowerment,” Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury, state minister for women and children affairs, told The Daily Star after the meeting.

Asked whether the policy would contradict with the Muslim family law, the state minister said the NWDP is not a law and does not affect the inheritance laws.

The policy upholds the rights of all women irrespective of their religions, she added.

Shirin Sharmin also said they would draw a national action plan based on this policy which says, “Provide women with full control over their right to land, earned property, health, education, training, information, inheritance, credit, technology and opportunity to earn... And enact necessary new laws to put these rights into practice.”

The NWDP also reads "Ensure women's rights in formulation and implementation of economic policies (for sectors like trade, currency and tax)."

Full report at: Institute of Islamic Studies

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'Pak to give voice samples of 26/11 accused if court allows'

Jul 8, 2011

Pakistan on Thursday said it would give India the voice samples of the "criminals" accused in the Mumbai terror attacks within 24 hours after a court gives a go-ahead.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday said it would give India the voice samples of the "criminals" accused in the Mumbai terror attacks within 24 hours after a court gives a go-ahead.

"We want to bring the criminals behind 26/11 to justice. Action on voice samples will be taken in 24 hours after court gives a go-ahead," Interior minister Rehman Malik told an Indian TV channel.

He was responding to reports of delays in pursuing voice samples of 26/11 accused.

India has been demanding voice samples of prime accused, Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and others, who were giving instructions to the ten terrorists during the attack on November 26, 2008.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-to-give-voice-samples-of-26/11-accused-if-court-allows/articleshow/9138767.cms

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Bloodbath in Karachi, Pak orders troops in

July 08, 2011

Pakistan on Friday ordered 1,000 extra troops to deploy in Karachi with instructions to shoot-to-kill after another 65 people were killed in the deadliest six months of political violence since 1995. Gunfire reverberated in several neighbourhoods and thousands of people were stranded,

short of food and too frightened to go out after three consecutive nights of violence in what is Pakistan's biggest city and economic hub.

The US ambassador to Pakistan voiced concern about increased instability in the city whose Arabian Sea port is used by the United States to ship supplies to the 150,000 foreign troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The killings have been blamed on loyalists of former coalition partners the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Awami National Party (ANP), which represent different ethnic communities and straddle volatile political fault-lines.

Karachi essentially shut down on Friday with shops closed and the dominant local party, MQM, calling for a day of mourning, and protest rallies.

"At least 65 people have been killed in the violence since Tuesday. The number of injured is around 100," Sharjeel Memon, the information minister in the southern province of Sindh where Karachi is the capital, told AFP.

A security official confirmed the toll.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Tension-mounts-in-Karachi-after-65-dead-Pak-orders-troops-in/Article1-718766.aspx

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India, Pakistan to announce CBMs on Kashmir, nuclear issues

July 08, 2011

NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan are set to unveil specific cross-Kashmir and nuclear confidence-building measures (CBMs) when their foreign ministers meet in New Delhi on July 26-27 amid an improved atmosphere to continue the resumed peace process.

The talks between the foreign ministers will be preceded by a meeting of foreign secretaries and separate meetings of working groups on cross-border and nuclear CBMs agreed during the talks in Islamabad last month.

Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir is expected to come to New Delhi on July 25 to meet his counterpart Nirupama Rao , setting the agenda for the talks between the foreign ministers.

Pakistan's Minister of State for External Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, who is widely speculated to be the next foreign minister, is expected to come to New Delhi for talks with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna.

All issues will be on the table, including terrorism and Kashmir, said government sources.

Unlike the foreign minister-level talks that broke down last year and degenerated into mutual recrimination, the talks are being held this time round amid growing realization that the two countries must keep the dialogue process going.

The process was resumed in February after more than two years of freeze following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack blamed on Pakistani terrorists.

Earlier this week, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani described India as Islamabad's most "important neighbour" and stressed that New Delhi would have to play a more positive and accommodating role and respond to his country's legitimate security concerns.

Full report at:

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/india-pakistan-to-announce-cbms-on-kashmir-nuclear-issues/articleshow/9148072.cms

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Omar unveils ambitious power policy in Valley

July 08, 2011

Khursheed Wani

The Jammu and Kashmir Government has approved an ambitious policy to harness power from the hitherto unexploited water resources to reduce energy deficit in the power-starved state. The policy has provisions for local entrepreneurs to invest in the hydroelectric sector, besides inviting multinational companies.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Thursday that the execution of the policy would dramatically help improve the power situation in the state.

Named as the Jammu and Kashmir State Hydro Projects Development Policy (JKSHPDP) - 2011, the scheme was approved by the State Cabinet here to pave way for launching hydroelectric projects under independent power producer (IPP) mode.

Speaking to the media, Omar said the power projects would be approved for generation of 2 MW to 100 MWs, with strict provisions that only permanent residents of the state would invest in 2 MW to 10 MW projects, while the higher generation units would be open for international bidding. Projects of less than 2 MW would be handled by the state's Science and Technology Department.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/351514/Omar-unveils-ambitious-power-policy-in-Valley.html

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Sonia to visit B'desh on July 25

July 08, 2011

Congress President Sonia Gandhi will visit Dhaka on July 25 when she is expected to receive a special award from the Bangladesh Government on behalf of her late mother-in-law Indira Gandhi for her contribution to the liberation war of Bangladesh.

“Sonia Gandhi wears many hats. She is a family member of Indira Gandhi who was our great friend during our war for freedom, the President of Congress and the Chairperson of UPA. We are very much looking forward to the visit of Sonia Gandhi,” Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni told a media conference here.

She said: “We hope Sonia Gandhi will also attend a small ceremony where we will confer an award on Indira Gandhi for her contribution to our war of freedom.”

Moni said Bangladesh is celebrating 40 years of independence from Pakistan and late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's name figures on top of the list of foreign dignitaries who contributed to the liberation.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/351418/Sonia-to-visit-Bdesh-on-July-25.html

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UN chief calls for halt to Libya fighting

Jul 08 2011

UNITED NATIONS: UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmudi to stop the fighting in the North African nation and help improve humanitarian conditions in a telephone call Thursday.

Ban stressed “the urgent need to find a way out of the current fighting and alleviate the dire humanitarian situation and work out a transition that could bring peace to all Libyans,” his office said.

He also said his special envoy to Libya Abdul Ilah al-Khatib was aiming to reach a peace deal for all Libyans.

Mahmudi had agreed that Khatib should be received in Tripoli “at an early date for urgent consultations,” Ban’s office added.

Rebels have been fighting since February to oust longtime Libyan leader Moamer Qadhafi.

In addition to the Nato assistance, the West has thrown its diplomatic and financial support behind the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC), which has been recognized by about 20 countries including Britain and France.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/08/un-chief-calls-for-halt-to-libya-fighting.html

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NATO denies trying to aid Libyan rebels’ advance

By ADAM SCHRECK

Jul 8, 2011

TRIPOLI: NATO denied a Libyan government charge Thursday that the alliance is intentionally using its airstrikes to assist rebel advances, saying it is sticking to its mandate to protect civilians.

Wing Cmdr. Mike Bracken, an alliance spokesman in Naples, Italy, said NATO is “not involved in the ground battles,” although he acknowledged the alliance is tracking the fighting between rebels and forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi.

Libya’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim accused NATO earlier Thursday of intensifying its bombing campaign and backing foreign mercenaries to lay the groundwork for an advance by rebels trying to topple Qaddafi’s regime.

In an early morning interview, Kaim said increased bombings in recent days represent the “final phase” of NATO’s air campaign. But he said the push will fail and that civilians will be the ones to pay the price.

Kaim said NATO targeted police checkpoints in the Nafusa mountains southwest of Tripoli ahead of a rebel advance toward the village of Qawalish, which rebel fighters said they seized Wednesday.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article468295.ece

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Tunisians demonstrate against Islamist influence

Jul 8, 2011

By Tarek Amara

TUNIS (Reuters) - More than 1,000 people took to the streets of the Tunisian capital on Thursday to demonstrate against religious violence and what they say is the rise of radical Islam in the north African country.

The demonstration, which included secular political parties and human rights groups, came days after Islamists attacked a movie audience and smashed the doors of a cinema to protest against the film "No God, No Master" by Tunisian-French director Nadia El-Fani, an outspoken critic of political Islam.

Protesters carried banners reading "Free Tunisia, extremism out" and "Religious freedom, freedom of thought".

Six months after an uprising toppled President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, tension is rising between Islamists and liberals as Islamic purists increasingly try to assert their influence in what was once a citadel of Arab secularism.

Ennahda, Tunisia's main Islamist party, was legalised after the revolution and, although still in its infancy, it is tipped as one of the favourites in the October election.

Its popularity unnerves the many Tunisians who want to keep religion separate from the state.

Prominent political figure Nejib Chebbi participated in the demonstration and said he supports freedom of expression without restrictions.

"We are here to say that difference does not justify resorting to violence", he told Reuters.

© Thomson Reuters 2011 All rights reserved

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'Human bomb' advisory puts airports on high alert

Jul 8, 2011

NEW DELHI: The Centre has issued an advisory to airports across the country, asking them to remain alert and undertake precautionary measures following intelligence inputs from foreign agencies that terrorist groups might surgically implant bomb into human beings to carry out attacks.

Sources in the home ministry said the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has sent the advisory to all the airports to step up vigil following the inputs.

The advisory has also asked security agencies, including the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), to effectively conduct frisking of passengers and checking of baggage with due diligence. The CISF guards majority of the airports across the country.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Human-bomb-advisory-puts-airports-on-high-alert/articleshow/9144102.cms

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Women of loyalist Libya see Qaddafi as their Liberator

Jul 8, 2011

TRIPOLI: The young woman police officer swaggers through a Tripoli slum, her hair cut boyishly short, an empty gun holster and walkie-talkie hanging from her belt. A tattooed man with a cigarette dangling from his lips shrinks away.

He doesn't want to mess with 25-year-old Nisrine Mansour.

A member of the regime's vice squad, her hero is Libyan ruler Colonel Muammar Qaddafi. His image is on her mobile phone, his face emerging from rays of green - the regime colour. Her ringtone is a tinny pro-Qaddafi chant.

Colonel Qaddafi has bestowed many titles upon himself during his 42 years of iron-fisted rule over Libya, branding himself "King of Kings" in Africa and "Brother Leader of the Revolution" in Libya.

Women such as Ms Mansour give him another title: emancipator of women.

"Muammar Qaddafi is the one who opened the opportunities for us to advance. That's why we cling to him, that's why we love him," Ms Mansour says. "He gave us complete freedom as a woman to enter the police force, work as engineers, pilots, judges, lawyers. Anything."

Among Colonel Qaddafi's most ardent loyalists are Libyan women who have risen to high-profile roles in the police, military and government, and who credit Colonel Qaddafi with giving them greater opportunities than many of their sisters in the Arab world. They consider any threat to his regime a threat to their own advancement.

Even as Colonel Qaddafi's regime has cracked down brutally on dissent, locking up and torturing opponents, it has also long touted its policies of breaking cultural taboos concerning women's work and status in the conservative nation. The most well-known example is Colonel Qaddafi's personal guard of female bodyguards, but women have also been elevated to prominent positions in government ministries.

Colonel Qaddafi's policy was in part aimed at weakening traditional tribal and religious powers so he could impose his own vision of society.

It was only somewhat successful. Women who have gained prominence are a small minority in an otherwise strongly male-dominated Libya, far from the popular regime myth of a society filled with revolutionary fighting women. Advancement depends on total adherence to Colonel Qaddafi's authoritarian rule.

Women were also at the forefront of the protests that launched the anti-Qaddafi uprising in mid-February, demanding democracy for the country and - they hope - better rights for themselves. Still, while they have no rosy memories of their lives under Colonel Qaddafi, they say their struggle for equality is ongoing. Women activists were dismayed when the rebels appointed only one woman to the interim administration in their de facto capital of Benghazi.

"We are very disappointed," said Enas Al Dursy, a 23-year-old activist. "We feel like we are being marginalised."

For Ms Mansour, there is nothing a woman such as herself cannot aspire to in Colonel Qaddafi's Libya.

"I've never felt that I was treated differently because I'm a woman. Even when I'm picking up drunkards off the street, nobody ever said, 'She can't do that, she's a woman,'" Ms Mansour said.

Source: Institute of Islamic Studies

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Sabina Yasmin becomes first Muslim woman minister in West Bengal

Jul 8, 2011

Kolkata: Young Congress MLA Sabina Yasmin today created history when she took oath as a Minister in West Bengal. She would be first Muslim woman minister in post-Independence West Bengal. Member of Rahul Gandhi brigade, Yasmin was Sabhadhipati (president) of Malda Zilla Parishad when she contested the recent Assembly poll and won.

Along with Yasmin, four other Congress MLAs, including Abu Nasar Khan Chowdhuri took oath as minister. With the inclusion of Yasmin and Khan, the number of Muslim ministers in the team of CM Mamata Banerjee has reached eight. Six were administered oath last month along with Mamata Banjerjee. Among six, one was from Congress and the rest five from Trinamool Congress.

Sabina Yasmin is MLA from Mothabari constituency in Malda while Abu Nasar Khan Chowdhury, brother of Ex Railway Minister late ABA Ghani Khan Chowdhury, represents Sujapur constituency in the same district.

After Independence this is the first time the state Muslim community has got a Muslim woman in the council of ministers.

Full report at: Institute of Islamic Studies

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Sports Hijab lets Muslim Women throw some punches

Jul 8, 2011

MONTREAL: Letting out shrill cries, several young women in a Montreal taekwondo class kicked their way through the exercises, not a hair out of place as they were demurely covered by a sports hijab.

Their religion prohibits these female athletes from showing off their firm physiques, or their hair. Yet Western society also frowns on the wearing of traditional Muslim headscarves in sports competitions.

So Iranian-born Canadian designer Elham Seyed Javad came up with an idea to marry the two worlds and allow young girls and women to take part in physical activities while also adhering to strict Islamic rules.

And the order books for the 27-year-old’s start-up are fast filling up with calls for her head coverings arriving from around the world including Japan, Germany and Australia.

The company iQO Design is now eyeing a lucrative contract to supply the Iranian women’s football team, with the aim that they will be worn during the next Olympic Games.

The idea came to the young designer in 2007 after five young Muslim women were thrown out of a Montreal taekwondo tournament because their headscarves were deemed by the sports federation to be dangerous.

Seyed Javad, who was studying industrial design at the University of Montreal at the time, was outraged but instead of protesting decided to find a solution.

At school, she designed a slip-on hooded t-shirt made of stretch fabric.

The university immediately seized on its potential: its agency for commercializing its scientific discoveries and inventions filed patents for the sports hijab on her behalf in Canada and the United States.

Made of a fabric that moves perspiration away from the body, the garment slips on like a balaclava and is tied at the back. “It’s much less hot, and it stays in place,” says trainer Gaelle Texier. And, she adds, it doesn’t mess up your hair.

“It’s a compromise,” said taekwondo student Asmaa Ibnouzahir. “It allows us to play the sports we enjoy, that we were doing but were forced to quit.”The university’s commercial unit, Univalor, said it has even greater potential.

“Of course we looked to market it to young Muslim women in sports, but also for F1 racing, go-carting, and hospital operating rooms,” said Univalor’s Thomas Martinuzzo.

It is not just for athletes, he explains. An Australian policewoman, for example, recently started wearing one as part of a trial.

“My goal is to separate the religious connotation from the sports connotation,” said Seyed Javad. “So when other organizations approach us, it’s very positive because the religious aspect is not linked to the garment.” The so-called ResportOn is currently sold for 63 dollars (44 euros) over the internet.

Each prototype is designed and sewn in a Montreal studio, adapted to suit the particular circumstances of each customer. But Javad is already dreaming big, and hopes one day to sell the garment in sports stores everywhere.

Since the ResportOn first went on sale in November interest has skyrocketed, attracting attention from 170 cities around the world.

The start-up behind it has also partnered with an investor and recruited a sales representative in Iran.

The company is now pitching its wares to hospitals and racing drivers, as well as people with dreadlocks who want to keep their prized hairdos in place even when out on the sports field.

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Eleven suspected militants killed in Kurram

Jul 08 2011

PARACHINAR: Security forces pounded militant hideouts in the Kurram tribal region, killing 11 suspected militants and destroying three of their bases, security officials said.

Nearly 50 militants have been killed in a military operation launched this week.

Authorities said forces had managed to secure several areas in the tribal region.

The military offensive was launched against militants in central tehsil of Kurram and families had been fleeing the conflict zone.

The ‘full-fledged operation’ was launched on Sunday, two weeks after the government had notified 80 square kilometres of the area in central Kurram as conflict zone.

Central Kurram is adjacent to Tora Bora, reportedly the stronghold of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Militants having lost their positions in Waziristan and other parts of Fata and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had set up their sanctuaries in central Kurram.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/08/eleven-suspected-militants-killed-in-kurram.html

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Iran escalates use of capital punishment

08 July 2011

Iran has executed an average of almost two people a day in the first six months of this year, human rights groups have warned.

The sharp escalation in the use of capital punishment comes at a time when the Islamic regime is fighting to prevent pro-democracy movements similar to those that have been sweeping across the Middle East from taking hold in the country.

Human rights groups that have been carefully monitoring the rate of executions in Iran said the authorities had launched a fresh campaign of secret and mass hangings of prisoners in the provinces.

According to Amnesty International, Iran has acknowledged the execution of 190 people from the beginning of 2011 until the end of June but at least 130 others have also been reported to have been executed.

Iran Human Rights (IHR), an independent NGO based in Norway, told the Guardian it had recorded 390 executions since January, including two death sentences carried out on Thursday.

Full report at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/07/iran-escalates-capital-punishments

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Pak body denies allowing commercial plaza on gurdwara land

Yudhvir Rana

Jul 8, 2011

AMRITSAR: Close on the heels of allegations about selling gurdwara land to private builders, the Pakistan Evacuee Trust Property Board (PETPB) has now come under scanner for allowing a private builder to construct a commercial plaza in a gurdwara at Raja Bazar in Rawalpindi.

A private builder of Rawalpindi had reportedly objected to renovation work in gurdwara being carried out by education department of Pakistan`s Punjab, which is running a high school from the premises of gurdwara. The builder had claimed that his company had already paid huge amount to PETPB for construction of plaza and demanded its possession.

However, denying grant of permission to any construction company, deputy secretary, PETPB, Sayed Faraz Abbas told TOI, "No, there is no such move. No gurdwara or any temple is being converted into shopping plaza." He instead blamed some vested interests for spreading canards to create confusion among minority Sikh and Hindu communities of Pakistan.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pak-body-denies-allowing-commercial-plaza-on-gurdwara-land/articleshow/9145694.cms

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Canada calls on Iran to respect human rights 1

BY KRISTY KIRKUP

JULY 7, 2011

OTTAWA - Canada called on the Iranian judiciary to respect human rights Thursday after reports that a man may be sentenced to death for his religious beliefs.

According to media reports, Yousef Nadarkhani, 32, converted from Islam to Christianity and has been condemned to death for apostasy under Iran's Islamic Shariah law.

The Canadian government says the Iranian government needs to uphold its international human rights law, which includes freedom of religion and belief.

"If the court decides on capital punishment, it would be the first execution based on an individual's choice of religion or belief since 1990," Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said.

"Canada hopes that the international community will join in this call to pressure Iranian authorities to uphold the fundamental rights, to which every person is entitled."

Iran's government has reportedly been cracking down and arresting Christians in the Islamic nation.

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/07/07/canada-calls-on-iran-to-respect-human-rights

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US returns recovered artifacts taken from Iraq

8 July 2011

WASHINGTON - An ancient bead necklace, terra cotta tablets from ancient Babylonia depicting Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, and posters of deposed leader Saddam Hussein were among artifacts that US officials returned to the Iraqi government on Thursday.

The repatriation of the relics — some as old as 4,000 years — is the latest in an ongoing mission to locate more than 15,000 artifacts thought to have been looted from Iraqi museums and archeological sites since the start of the 2003 U.S.-led war in Iraq.

As Iraq rebuilds and US forces withdraw, events such as these are even more significant, said Samir Sumaida’ie, Iraqi Ambassador to the United States.

“When we repatriate more and more items, it adds to the feeling that Iraq is recovering,” Sumaida’ie told Reuters.

The relics included clay pottery and plaques dating back to 2000 to 1600 BC depicting day-to-day scenes and Mesopotamian gods. At a Christie’s auction, agents found a bead necklace dating back to 2500 BC, possibly from the royal tombs of Ur, an ancient Sumerian city.

A 2006 FBI task force investigated defense contractors suspected of bribery and fraud also discovered some were also collecting and smuggling Iraqi artifacts into the United States.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/July/middleeast_July175.xml&section=middleeast

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US, Iraq weigh post-2011 US force: Mullen

8 July 2011

WASHINGTON — The United States and Iraq are negotiating a possible new security deal that would keep US forces in the country beyond a December 31 deadline for withdrawal, the top US military officer said on Thursday.

Admiral Mike Mullen’s comments marked the first high-level confirmation from the US military that talks were underway on the politically-charged subject, which faces some stiff opposition in Iraq.

“The negotiations are ongoing and it’s hard,” Mullen told reporters.

He said the discussions were addressing both the size of a possible US military mission as well as the capabilities that Iraqi forces lacked.

“There are very clear capability gaps the Iraqis are going to have,” said Mullen, citing air power, air defense and intelligence analysis.

“And both the Iraqi security forces and our forces recognize those gaps are there,” he said at a Pentagon Press Association luncheon.

How those gaps would be addressed is “at the heart of the discussions and negotiations which are ongoing as we speak,” the admiral added.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/July/middleeast_July176.xml&section=middleeast

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Muslim Brotherhood to join Tahrir Square demonstration

8 July 2011

Egypt's military-backed transitional government is bracing itself for the largest protest yet against its rule on Friday with plans for a "million-strong" rally to defend the revolution at Tahrir Square.

In a rare show of unity, Egypt's largest political Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, will join a vast array of liberal, leftist and secular political forces, including youth representatives from this year's anti-Mubarak uprising. They will demand that police officers and former regime officials are finally held accountable and that the army's grip over the justice system comes to an end.

"Take to the streets on July 8: the revolution is still on," reads graffiti scrawled across the Egyptian capital.

The demonstration comes at a perilous time for the authorities, following 10 days of street violence in Cairo and Suez as public frustration at the slow pace of reform begins to grow.

Full report at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/07/muslim-brotherhood-joins-tahrir-square-protest

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Turkey, Israel still at table despite deadlock

July 8, 2011

Turkish-Israeli talks are still in deadlock as the two sides stick to their positions over last year’s deadly Mavi Marmara incident. But regional unrest in the Middle East and North Africa is pushing both Ankara and Tel Aviv to stay at the negotiation table

Israeli commandos attacked the Mavi Marmara ship on May 31, 2010, killing eight Turks and one Turkish-American. AA photo

Although the two parties’ insistence on sticking to their positions in the negotiations aimed at hammering out a formula to repair troubled relations led to a deadlock, regional unrest in the Middle East is pushing both Turkey and Israel to move ahead.

Turkish and Israeli officials on Thursday continued another round of negotiations in New York in a bid to restore their bilateral relationship as the draft version of a controversial U.N. report included elements that satisfied neither of the parties.

The Hürriyet Daily News has learned that the Turkish delegation, made up of Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu, Ambassador Mithat Rende and the Turkish member of the U.N. panel, Özdem Sanberk, is still in New York, while Israel’s deputy prime minister, Moshe Ya’alon, went back home. But sources said talks have not ceased as Israel was being represented by its diplomats and legal advisors.

Full report at: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkey-israel-still-at-table-despite-deadlock-2011-07-07

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Turkish youth movement heads to Hatay in solidarity with ‘Syrian revolutionaries’

July 8, 2011

Syrian refugee family members are seen outside their tent in a camp in Hatay.

A Turkish group calling itself the July 16th Youth Movement has launched plans to gather young people from Turkey and abroad to visit Syrian refugee camps at the Turkish-Syrian border to protest Damascus’ crackdown on anti-regime protesters.

“We will not [remain silent] to the injustice and brutality committed against the Syrian people. There are more than 1,000 participants in the movement so far. We will move from all corners of Turkey on June 15 toward [the southern province of] Hatay to support our Syrian brothers and sisters. We’ll meet on July 16, then make a press statement at the border and then visit the refugees in the camps,” Fatih Kasçioglu, one of the movement’s organizers, told the Hürriyet Daily News on Thursday.

“We identify ourselves as Muslims. But even if [Syrians] were not Muslims, we would not remain silent to the brutality next to us. Muslim or not, the organization is open to all,” he said.

Full report at: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkish-youth-movement-heads-to-hatay-in-solidarity-with-8216syrian-revolutionaries8217-2011-07-07

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Law ministry's views sought on quotas for Muslims

Abantika Ghosh

Jul 8, 2011

NEW DELHI: The ministry of minority affairs has sought the law ministry's opinion on reservation for the Muslims under the category of socially and educationally backward classes.

Minorities affairs minister Salman Khursheed on Thursday stated this while citing the findings and recommendations of the Ranganath Misra Commission and the suggestions made by the Sachar Committee report. "We have to look at how to do it. We believe that the element of affirmative action in OBC reservation needs to be rationalized to include all deprived classes. The matter is in the Supreme Court for Andhra Pradesh. There are different models for different states like Karnataka, Kerala and West Bengal. We need to find what's suitable at a national level," Khursheed said.

The Rangnath Misra Commission had recommended 15% reservation for Muslims in education and employment, and an 8.4% quota for the community in the proposed 27% OBC reservation. The Sachar Committee report had talked about increasing the quota for providing equal opportunities.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Law-ministrys-views-sought-on-quotas-for-Muslims/articleshow/9143666.cms

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Qaeda hospital’ in N Waziristan demolished

Jul 08 2011

PESHAWAR: A demolished private hospital in Miranshah served as “medical centre” for injured al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists in North Waziristan, military said on Thursday.

The building of a private hospital, owned by the father of MNA Malik Imran, hailing from North Waziristan, was blown up on Wednesday by the security forces after terrorists used the facility to attack a military convoy on Tuesday in which three soldiers had been killed.

A spokesman for ISPR said in a statement that the hospital’s building was demolished as the security forces received heavy fire from the building after an IED blast on Tuesday on a military convoy which killed three soldiers and injured seven.

Full report at: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\07\08\story_8-7-2011_pg7_26

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Organization of Islamic Cooperation appeals for urgent relief aid to Horn of Africa

Jul 8, 2011

JEDDAH: The chief of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) appealed to member states, the United Nations, charity organizations, and philanthropists to provide urgent relief assistance to the people in the Horn of Africa who are currently passing through a famine caused by a prolonged drought.

Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said the food crisis in that region was unprecedented and has been causing loss of lives and flight of thousands of people in and outside Somalia in search of food, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.

The OIC Humanitarian Coordination Office in Mogadishu is undertaking the coordination of the relief assistance to the affected people in coordination with a consortium of humanitarian organizations present in Somalia.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article468415.ece

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Nurseries of tolerance: Hindus in Islamic seminaries

7 July 2011

By Imran Khan

Patna: Away from swank colleges and intimidating fee structures, a number of Hindu students in Bihar are lining up at madrassas to pursue higher education, thanks to revamped courses, nominal fees and job opportunities in the Gulf.

"I will complete Alim (equivalent to graduation) degree course from a madrassa. It is affordable and will provide an opportunity to enrich my knowledge," 19-year-old Sanjay, the son of a Hindu trader in Bettiah district, told IANS.

Sanjay took the plunge after topping the Class 12 Maulvi examination conducted by the Bihar Madrassa Education Board in the non-Muslim category this year.

Sanam Kumari, 18, a Dalit girl, also joined a madrassa after she secured third rank in Maulvi exam.

Ask her why a madrassa and pat comes the reply. "My aim is to become an Urdu teacher," says Sanam, the daughter of a farmer in West Champaran district.

Madrassa board officials say non-Muslims, particularly upper caste Brahmins in the Mithilanchal region of north Bihar, are keen on sending their children to madrassas to learn Arabic, Persian, Islamic traditions along with other modern subjects with an eye on jobs in the Gulf and in the embassies of Muslim nations.

The enrolment of Hindus at madrassas is increasing.

Full report at: shttp://twocircles.net/2011jul07/nurseries_tolerance_hindus_islamic_seminaries.html

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Suspected Al-Qaeda militants kill 10 Yemeni troops

Jul 8, 2011

SANAA, Yemen: Security officials say suspected Al-Qaeda militants have killed 10 soldiers who were stopped at a fake checkpoint.

The officials said Thursday the militants ordered the soldiers off a bus as they returned from leave to rejoin their units. The officials say the soldiers were killed execution style.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media, said the incident happened Wednesday in southern Yemen.

The killings are the latest evidence of the growing strength of Islamic militants in parts of Yemen, which has been rocked by an uprising against the authoritarian regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article468447.ece

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My cousin, not I, was interested in Benazir: Imran Khan

Jul 8, 2011

ISLAMABAD: A new biography of Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan pooh-poohs suggestions that he was romantically involved with slain former premier Benazir Bhutto.

"One of my cousins was interested in her (Bhutto) and she also took an interest when I introduced them to each other. At one point, marriage was virtually on the cards," Khan told Frank Huzur, his Indian biographer.

Khan, who now heads the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf party, described Bhutto as a "personal friend" and said there was "mutual admiration between them".

According to Khan, Bhutto had an affair with the "spotlight".

"She trusted my instincts for counsel. Politics was not her calling, but she was able to make it her calling. She would have made a great ambassador for Pakistan," Khan is quoted as saying in an excerpt from Huzur's book "Imran Vs Imran".

"Talking glibly came easy to her. Retorting is not everyone's forte. Benazir had the ability to retort with thunderous impact followed by one of her crystal-eyed stares. She wanted to stay in charge for ever," Khan said.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/My-cousin-not-I-was-interested-in-Benazir-Imran-Khan/articleshow/9142762.cms

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Pak is reassigning its relationship with U.S.: Mullen

Jul 8, 2011

In the aftermath of successful operation conducted by American commandos to kill Osama bin Laden, which took the Pakistani Army by surprise, Islamabad is currently reassigning its relationship with Washington, a top Pentagon official has said.

“Clearly what has happened, they are going through an internal reassessment period of time and part of that is reassess their relationship with the United States,” Admiral Mike Mullen Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters during a luncheon with the Pentagon Press Association on Thursday.

The reduction in trainer troops and few other steps being taken by Pakistan are a direct result of this, he said.

Full report at: http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2210361.ece

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Canada formally ends its combat mission in Afghanistan

Jul 8, 2011

KABUL: Canada formally ended its combat role in Afghanistan on Thursday, closing a mission that has cost 157 soldiers their lives since 2002 _ casualties that shocked Canadians unaccustomed to seeing their troops die in battle.

The move adds to the burden of US and Afghan troops who are trying to prevent a Taliban rebound in the militants' southern stronghold where Canadian troops had been fighting in their bloodiest conflict since the Korean War.

Canada is withdrawing its combat units as the sixth largest troop-contributing nation, behind the US, Britain, Germany, France and Italy. Like Americans and Europeans, Canadians have grown weary of the war as it nears the 10-year mark.

While 2,850 Canadian soldiers are going home, 950 others have started streaming into Afghanistan to help train Afghan security forces to take the lead role in securing the country by 2014.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Canada-formally-ends-its-combat-mission-in-Afghanistan/articleshow/9142453.cms

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'Pak considers India, not Afghanistan existential threat'

July 08, 2011

Pakistan and its leaders consider India as an existential threat to them not terrorism or Afghanistan, Admiral Mike Mullen Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has said, noting that Islamabad needs to do more in the war against terrorism.

"We may disagree with this, but I can tell you their existential threat is not Afghanistan, their existential threats aren't terrorists in their country. Their existential threat is India," Mullen told reporters during a luncheon with the Pentagon Press Association.

"And that's where they focus on. I do not think, they are going to not focus on that (existential threat from India). So they keep that. They keep training people. They keep rotating people to that as well," Mullen said when asked why Pakistan is not doing enough in the war against terrorism.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/351633/Pak-considers-India-not-Afghanistan-existential-threat.html

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Pakistani, Afghan, US militaries discuss border tensions

Jul 08 2011

ISLAMABAD: Military officials from Pakistan and Afghanistan met on Thursday in Peshawar, along with US officials, to discuss a spike in tensions on their lawless border, Pakistan’s military said.

“A comprehensive review of the situation was undertaken so as to ensure the sanctity of (the) international border, during the meeting,” the military said in a statement following the meeting of the cross-border working group.

“The Pakistan army proposed to establish a single point of contact with all Afghan national security forces including Afghan border police through a hotline” between the two countries’ armies, the statement said.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/07/pakistani-afghan-us-militaries-discuss-border-tensions.html

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Afghanistan, Pakistan to coordinate amid cross-border confusion

Jul 08 2011

KABUL: Afghanistan said on Thursday it would work with Pakistan to avoid innocent deaths as they fight militants on their remote, mountainous border after recent shelling killed dozens of Afghans, fuelling tensions and confusion.

Pakistan says it may have accidentally fired a few rockets over the border while chasing militants, but the apparent scale of the shelling has sparked speculation it could be a show of strength by Islamabad, under increasing US pressure, or simply in retaliation for Afghan fire. Afghan officials say nearly 800 rockets fired from Pakistan over the past month have killed 42 people, including children, wounded dozens more and destroyed 120 homes. There are insurgents on both sides of the porous and disputed border and it is extremely difficult to verify events.

The shellings have outraged many ordinary Afghans and there had been calls from within Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s cabinet for a military response. At a news conference this week, Karzai said he wanted to see a non-violent end to the problem. Kabul and Islamabad both issued statements saying their leaders had agreed to find a quick solution.

Full report at: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\07\08\story_8-7-2011_pg7_7

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ISAF, Pakistan, Afghanistan discuss border incursion issue

Jul 08 2011

ISLAMABAD: A joint team of Pakistani, Afghanistan and US military members met on Thursday in Peshawar to discuss the recent spike in tensions emanating from incursions along the Pak-Afghan Border. This meeting of Military Border Working Group was proposed by Pakistan Army, said in a press release issued by ISPR. During the meeting, a comprehensive review of the situation was undertaken so as to ensure the sanctity of international border. The Pakistan Army proposed three steps in this regard which included to establish a single point of contact with all Afghan National Security Forces (Including Afghan Border Police) through a hotline between Pakistan Army and Afghan National Army, frequent Border Flag Meetings between local commanders and interaction/jirgas between maliks of bordering villages living on either side of the border. The working group members also discussed the findings of the June 15 Ziarat border post incursion investigation which, it was decided, would be concluded shortly.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\07\08\story_8-7-2011_pg7_9

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US, Iraq negotiating possible post-2011 US force: Mullen

Jul 08 2011

WASHINGTON: The United States and Iraq are negotiating the possibility of keeping some US forces in the country beyond a December 31 deadline for withdrawal, the US military’s top officer said Thursday.

“The negotiations are ongoing and it’s hard,” Admiral Mike Mullen told reporters at a Pentagon Press Association event.

Mullen’s comments marked the first high-level confirmation from the US military that talks were underway on the politically-charged subject, which faces some stiff opposition in Iraq.

He said the discussions were addressing both the size of a possible US military mission as well as the capabilities that Iraqi forces lacked.

“There are very clear capability gaps the Iraqis are going to have,” said Mullen, citing air power, air defence and the use of intelligence.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/08/us-iraq-negotiating-possible-post-2011-us-force-mullen.html

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US envoy to observe Friday demo in Syria’s Hama

Jul 08 2011

WASHINGTON: The US ambassador to Damascus is visiting the flashpoint Syrian city of Hama and plans to observe mass demonstrations Friday against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the State Department said.

Last Friday, an anti-regime rally brought out half a million people in Hama, according to pro-democracy activists. The security services did not intervene and Assad fired the city’s governor the next day.

Syrian authorities have been trying to quell protests in the city, traditionally a center of opposition to central government, and have positioned tanks on the main entrances, except in the north.

Ambassador Robert Ford spent the day in Hama, “expressing our deep support for the right of the Syrian people to assemble peacefully and to express themselves,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/08/us-envoy-to-observe-friday-demo-in-syrias-hama.html

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Somali detainee linked to Qaeda cleric: US

Jul 08 2011

WASHINGTON: A Somali terror suspect captured and detained by the United States has links to Anwar al-Awlaqi, a key leader of al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen, a US official said Thursday.

Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, who was captured in the Gulf by the US military on April 19 and is now facing terror charges, had contacts with Awlaqi and “was a key interlocutor” between Somalia’s Shebab Islamist insurgency and Awlaqi’s al Qaeda outfit in Yemen, the official told AFP.

“He was a senior commander” in Shebab, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Somali national was indicted on Tuesday in a New York court on charges of providing material support to both Shebab and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, (AQAP).

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/08/somali-detainee-linked-to-qaeda-cleric-us.html

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Taleban commander back on the air in Pakistan

By SEBASTIAN ABBOT AND ANWARULLAH KHAN

Jul 8, 2011

KHAR, Pakistan: One of Pakistan’s most notorious Taleban radio voices is back on the air after the army raided his stronghold last year and drove him across the border into Afghanistan.

The resurgence of Maulvi Faqir Mohammed — also one of the Pakistani Taleban’s top commanders — illustrates the resilience of militants fighting to topple the US-allied Pakistani government and the growing problem of sanctuaries in eastern Afghanistan that allow fighters to elude the army’s grasp.

“We will return and enforce the golden system of Islam,” Mohammed said in a recent radio broadcast from his new base in Afghanistan. “All of those who have turned their backs on us — like we are gone for good — should seek forgiveness from Allah.” Militants and their supporters in Pakistan have long used illegal FM radio stations to spread their message and incite violence against the government. The tactic is hard to counter because the equipment needed is cheap and easily transportable.

Mohammed was one of the most prominent militant radio personalities before the army invaded his enclave early last year in the Bajur tribal area, about 125 miles (200 kilometers) northwest of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

Many of the militants in Bajur, including Mohammed, simply slipped across the border into Kunar province, an area of Afghanistan where the US has largely withdrawn its troops. Kunar has turned into a staging ground for large-scale attacks inside Pakistan, according to the Pakistani army.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/world/article468160.ece

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Syria accuses US of interference in its affairs

Jul 08 2011

Damascus: Syria has accused the United States of "interfering" in the protests rocking the Middle East country for the last four months, after US ambassador Robert Ford visited the rebel city of Hama.

“The presence of the US ambassador in Hama without previous permission is obvious proof of the implication of the United States in the ongoing events, and of their attempts to increase (tensions), which damage Syria's security and stability,” the foreign ministry in Damascus said in a statement on Thursday.

“Syria warns against such irresponsible behaviour and stresses its determination to continue to take all measures that will bring back calm and stability to the country,” the ministry added.

Full report at: ttp://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/814588/

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IIM cook among three held for militant links

July 07, 2011

Three persons including a cook employed at the Indian Institute of Management in Shilong were on Thursday arrested for allegedly having links with a militant group. SP (city) M Kharkrang led a police team that raided the Madan Laban locality and the trio were picked up from a rented house

this morning, police said.

They were identified as Debraj Dalu (21), Simal Barman (18) and Lambus Sangma (27) – all from the state’s West Garo Hills district.

One country-made shotgun was seized from the persons who were suspected to have links with the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA).

Debraj Dalu works as a private security guard and Lambus Sangma is the cook at IIM Shillong.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/meghalaya/IIM-cook-among-three-held-for-militant-links/Article1-718368.aspx

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An untold Kashmir chronicle

Jul 08 2011

The exhibition highlights the little stories of Kashmir that get lost in the images of beauty and terror that crowd our vision

IT’S NOT a surprise that the image of Kashmir that we all carry in our minds is a stark study in contrast — blood drenched hell in a paradise on earth. But in the process of swaying from ecstasy to agony, the carriers of these images often miss out on telling us a million other little stories that exist between these two extremes. Yet another photography show on Kashmir, therefore, came loaded with déjà vu, but giving in to the temptation of browsing through its bare essentials came as a pleasant discovery for this writer. The exhibition, Kashmir... As I See, is not about the many gems of this paradise, anointed thus so well by Shahjehan in the 17th century, nor is it about the nightmare that it has been reduced to in much recent history. It’s about those untold, unread stories that continue to live in nature’s heaven ringed by an eclipse of darkness.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Relations with US back on track: Pakistan

Jul 08 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said on Thursday the difficult phase in ties with the United States was over and relations between the two countries were back on track.

Speaking at a press briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua acknowledged that there had been difficulties in Pak-US relations in the recent past, but said that “through deep discussions with the US, we have tried to address those difficulties as far as possible”.

She, however, said it was an ongoing process.

The statement was contrary to that of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who warned the US on Wednesday against pursuing “narrow interests” that hurt Pakistan’s sovereignty and recent remarks by US Ambassador Cameron Munter that relations with Pakistan were going through “rough patch”.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/08/relations-with-us-back-on-track-pakistan.html

 

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Time running out for four Indonesians on death row

By GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN

Jul 8, 2011

RIYADH: A high-level task force from Jakarta will visit Jeddah next week to seek ways to save four Indonesian women workers on death row.

“The advocacy for the four migrant workers in Saudi Arabia is urgent because there are no legal channels left for them and time is running out for these workers,” Hendrar Pramutyo, spokesman for the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh, said on Thursday.

He said seven members of the Migrant Worker Taskforce selected by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono would visit the Kingdom to hold talks with relevant Saudi government agencies and officials to solve the four cases.

The task force will also appeal to Saudi social activists and religious scholars to act as mediators between the task force and families of the victims.

The four workers facing execution are Siti Zaenab, Satinah binti Jumadi Ahmad, Aminah binti Hajibudi and Darmawati binti Taryani.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article468342.ece

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Egypt to try 25 Mubarak loyalists in camel attack

By HAMZA HENDAWI

Jul 8, 2011

CAIRO: Egyptian prosecutor on Thursday charged 25 Mubarak-era officials with manslaughter, attempted murder and assault for their part in organizing a February attack on anti-regime protesters in which assailants on horses and camels charged into crowds, Egypt's official news agency reported.

Those to stand trial included the speakers of parliament's two chambers, lawmakers from Hosni Mubarak's ruling party, Cabinet ministers and business people, the Middle East News Agency said.

The Feb. 2 attack on the protesters came during an 18-day uprising that forced Mubarak to step down on Feb. 11. The assault, carried live on regional television channels, provided protesters with what they took to be solid proof that Mubarak's regime was desperate and teetering on the brink of collapse. The initial attack sent protesters at Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicenter of Egypt's revolution, running away from the assailants, armed with whips and swords. However, many protesters later found the courage to pounce on the attackers, wrestling them down to the ground before beating them.

Feb. 2 was among the most violent days of the uprising, with protesters and Mubarak loyalists fighting it out at Tahrir Square and adjacent streets with rocks, firebombs and slabs of concrete. The fighting lasted the whole day and well into the night.

At least three people were killed and 600 others were wounded that day.  The horse and camel charge have become known as "The battle of the Camel."

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article468376.ece

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US ambassador in Syria’s Hama ahead of protests

8 July 2011

BEIRUT - The US ambassador to Syria toured Hama on Thursday to show solidarity with residents facing a security crackdown after weeks of demonstrations against President Bashar Al Assad.

Syria condemned ambassador Robert Ford’s visit, which it said went ahead without approval from Damascus, as an attempt to incite escalation in the city where more protests are planned on Friday despite raids by security forces.

The State Department said the US embassy had informed the Syrian government that an embassy team — without naming Ford — was travelling to the city, which residents say is still ringed with tanks, and said Ford hoped to stay until Friday.

“The fundamental intention ... was to make absolutely clear with his physical presence that we stand with those Syrians who are expressing their right to speak for change,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.

“We are greatly concerned about the situation in Hama,” Nuland told a news briefing in Washington.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/July/middleeast_July174.xml&section=middleeast

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Syrians flee Hama, Friday rallies reject dialogue

7 July 2011

DAMASCUS — Hundreds have fled Syria’s central city of Hama fearing a military crackdown ahead of Friday demonstrations under the banner of “no to dialogue” with the regime of Bashar al-Assad, activists said.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon called on the Syrian president on Thursday to make good on his promises, while French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said the Security Council’s silence on account of Moscow’s opposition to a resolution condemning Syria is “unacceptable.”

“In Syria, meanwhile, the killing continues. This must stop,” Ban said in Geneva.

“I call on the Syrian leadership to deliver on its commitments and to allow our UN humanitarian assessment team and the human rights fact-finding mission mandated by the Human Rights Council in.

“It’s time to see progress here. We cannot go on like this.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that about 100 families — or 1,000 people in total — had left Hama, where it said Syrian troops had killed 23 civilians since Tuesday.

The crowds leaving Hama were headed for Salamiyah, some 30 kilometres (18 miles) to the southeast.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/July/middleeast_July161.xml&section=middleeast

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Zardari following in Musharraf footsteps, says Nawaz

July 8, 2011

PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif says in democratic countries the president doesn’t keep any party office with him, but the president, Asif Ali Zardari, is following in the footsteps of General Musharraf who was the president, the army chief and the patron of the PML-Q at the same time, reports The Nation on Thursday.

He said in an interview with The Nation (partly reported Wednesday) that the PML-N had advised president Zardari at the very outset to quit the party office, but he didn’t.

The two-office controversy could have been ignored if the president had shown performance. But since he mismanaged everything, the issue has arisen more vigorously.

‘Good governance covers up many weaknesses’, said Sharif, implying that since the president had failed to come up to people’s expectations the matter is not coming to an end.

Full report at: http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/25331.html

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/nato-kills-13-afghan-children-and-women/d/4987


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