New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 9 Jan 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Nearly 70 killed in Iran plane crash

Pak minorities term Salmaan Taseer ‘Shaheed-e-Haq’

Huge Karachi rally supports blasphemy laws

Teacher held for ‘removing’ student’s veil

‘Ajmer blast carried out to deter Hindus from dargah visit’

'Swami paid Rs 25,000 for bomb that targeted Malegaon mosque'

'Told them can’t take it lying down. Must reply, bomb for bomb'

Indian Muslim Women demand codification of Muslim Personal Law

Ambedkar union objects to SC quota extension to Dalit Christians, Muslims

Hindu Goddess Dhakeswari Temple looted in Bangladesh

Fear Forces Hindus To Leave Pak, or Convert

Shia-Sunni differences should be removed: Sirajuddin Quraishi

The year 2011 dedicated to Faiz Ahmad Faiz in Britain

Quran Conference:  From darkness to light

Government should free innocent Muslims

Nato kills more than 10 insurgents in Afghanistan

Muslim groups condemn Salman Taseer's killing

Qadri is not a religious fanatic: report

Release Muslim youths held for Malegaon blast, say scholars

Ajmer Shrine Objects To Pak Trust Name

We asked extremists to leave RSS: Mohan Bhagwat

Same saffron hand in Malegaon blasts?

Swami Aseemanand 'confessed' under duress: Counsel

TV channels couldn’t telecast Khaleda’s speech live

The great divide: Muslims split on Telangana state

Pakistan's release of militant stirs questions

Forces, Jagmohan, Mufti Sayeed drove Pandits out of Kashmir: Farooq brother

Krishna wants Pak out of Afghan talks

Terror confounds nation: Khaleda

US court postpones Rana's trial in 26/11 terror attack

Karzai: we will not make any move that is detrimental to India's interest

Rights activists, Islamists face off in Karachi

US Claims Right To Interfere In Pak

Clashes disrupt voting in south Sudan oil state

India to revisit cotton export ban to keep onions flowing

Israeli academics to boycott Settlement College at Ariel

Taxman's notice to SRK over 'gifted' Dubai villa

'Afghanistan peace process cannot be Pak-driven'

India, Pak foreign secys to meet in Thimphu next month

Saudi lists 47 wanted Qaeda suspects abroad

Kashmir interlocutors submit report to Chidambaram

Prime Minister Gilani accepts PML-N agenda

Germany says it has no plans to boost Afghan AWACS force

Jobless Saudi teachers stage rare protest

US, Palestinians slam Israeli east Jerusalem move

Iran woos Oman as Clinton begins Gulf tour

BSF kills two Bangladeshis

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/nearly-70-killed-in-iran-plane-crash/d/3910

 

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Nearly 70 killed in Iran plane crash

January 10, 2011

The initial optimism by the Iranian transportation and health ministry about a low death toll faded Sunday after reports that between 55 and 70 people died in a a plane crash or emergency landing near Orumieh in Azerbaijan province.

A Red Crescent official told official news agency IRNA that 70 people were killed and only 32 survived the crash in the Azerbaijan province in northwestern Iran. Heydar Heydari said that the death toll may increase beyond that, probably referring to the injured passengers.

Passenger numbers have been put at between 100 and 105 people.

A spokesman from the Azerbaijan coroner office confirmed that 70 bodies were transferred to the office and more could follow, the Fars news agency reported.

The governor's office of Azerbaijan however put the death toll at 55, ISNA news agency reported.

The plane had departed from the capital Tehran and was headed to Orumieh in northwestern Iran.

Iran's national state airline Iran Air said there were 106 people on board, but as one of the passengers was a baby and two others children, the reported numbers varied. There were 91 adult passengers with seats, two children, one baby and 12 crew members.

Red Crescent official Heydari also spoke of a crash while transportation deputy minister Ahmad Majidi had told Fars news agency that there was no crash, but that the plane, coming from the capital Tehran, made an emergency landing - for as yet unclear reasons - in a nearby village 10 minutes before reaching Orumieh airport.

First photos of the plane shown on the news network Khabar indicate a crash rather than an emergency landing.

According to local officials in the Azerbaijan province, the first villagers to notice the crash rushed to the site and freed some of the passengers, providing them with initial medical care.

Iran's transportation minister had earlier Sunday voiced optimism that the death toll was low as the plane did not catch fire.

ISNA news agency quoted Hamid Behbahani as saying: "Thank god, the plane did not catch fire and therefore the death toll is expected to be lower than initially feared."

Behbahani, who rushed to the crash site Sunday night, said the plane's black box would need to be studied before more details could be made available. He also noted there would be interviews with survivors of the landing.

Aid teams from the Red Crescent have rushed to the site, but heavy snow has hampered the work of aid teams, the official said.

All hospitals in the provincial capital of Orumieh were prepared to take on those injured in the crash, officials have said.

According to ISNA, the plane was a Boeing 727 belonging to the national state-airline Iran Air. It has been speculated that the emergency landed was necessitated by bad weather and heavy fog.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/309613/Nearly-70-killed-in-Iran-plane-crash.html

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Minorities term Salmaan Taseer ‘Shaheed-e-Haq’

January 10, 2011

By Mahtab Bashir

ISLAMABAD: Terming Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer ‘Shaheed-e-Haq’ for his outburst against the extremist forces and for protecting the rights of minorities, the minorities observed Sunday as Solidarity Day to pay glowing tribute to the daring services of slain governor for raising voice for their rights.

Under the aegis of Minorities Affairs’ Ministry, congregations were held all over the country where special prayers were offered for the salvation of Taseer and for solidarity of the country condemning the killing of Taseer. They also condemned the fanatic forces, which wanted to sabotage the peace of the country and derail the democratic process.

In federal capital, one such gathering was held at Fatima Church, F-8/4, where Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti was the chief guest. Christian community, human rights activists and people from different walks of life participated in the event. On the occasion special prayers were offered for national integrity and prosperity of the country.

A huge gathering of people at the gate of Fatima Church showered rose petals and lit candles in front of a massive portrait of the Late Salmaan Taseer.

“We have gathered here to pay tribute to the daring services of Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer for raising voice for the minorities, said an aged woman Nasreen Bibi inside Church while talking to Daily Times. “The governor was a brave person who dedicatedly worked for the rights of opressed and he was the foremost politician who talked about elemination or to amend Blasphemy Laws in the country that are being wrongly used for expolitation of minorities in particular,” she said.

Ishaque Masih, a Christian standing at main gate of the church said the killing of governor indeed was a ruthless act and it would create chasm between the liberal and fanatic forces in larger extent. “This would not be helpful for the nation as the country is already facing multiple crisis,” he said, adding he has offered special prayers not only for the governor but also for peace and proserity and progress of the country.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\10\story_10-1-2011_pg7_23

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Huge Karachi rally supports blasphemy laws

Jan 10, 2011

KARACHI: Tens of thousands of demonstrators have marched in Pakistan's largest city in opposition to any change to blasphemy laws and to praise the man charged with murdering the provincial governor who opposed the legislation.

The rally of up to 50,000 people in downtown Karachi on Sunday was one of the largest demonstrations of support for the laws that make insulting Islam a capital offense. The march was organized before Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer was shot dead last week by a bodyguard for opposing such laws.

Opposition politician Fazlur Rehman told the crowd that Taseer “was responsible for his own murder” because he had criticized the law. Banners at the event included some supporting Taseer's killer, police commando Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri. "Mumtaz Qadri is not a murderer, he is a hero," said one banner in the national Urdu language. "We are ready to sacrifice our lives for the dignity of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)," read another.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, during a press conference in Islamabad on Sunday, said his government had  no  intention  to bring a fresh  legislation  to amend  the blasphemy  law.

Activists at the rally, which has been organized by religious groups, called for "jihad" or holy war.

The protest forced the closure of the city's main road and all markets in the teeming southern metropolis.

Controversy over the law flared when former Information Minister Sherry Rehman tabled a private member's bill in November, calling to end the death penalty for blasphemy, after a Christian mother-of-five was sentenced to hang.

Rights activists also say the law encourages extremism in a nation already besieged by Taleban attacks.

Politicians and conservatives have been at loggerheads over whether President Asif Ali Zardari should pardon Aasia Bibi, the Christian mother who was sentenced to death under the blasphemy law.

Pakistan has yet to execute anyone for blasphemy, but Bibi's case has exposed the deep fault lines in the conservative country. Bibi was arrested in June 2009 after Muslim women laborers allegedly refused to drink from a bowl of water she was asked to fetch while out working in the fields.

Days later, the women allegedly complained that she made derogatory remarks about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Bibi was set upon by a mob, arrested by police and sentenced on Nov. 8. Most of those convicted of blasphemy in Pakistan have their sentences overturned or commuted on appeal through the courts.

Rights activists and pressure groups say it is the first time that a woman had been sentenced to hang in Pakistan for blasphemy.

Only around three percent of Pakistan's population of 167 million are estimated to be non-Muslim.

http://arabnews.com/world/article231864.ece

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Teacher held for ‘removing’ student’s veil

Jan 09 2011

Ranchi: A teacher of a college in Ranchi was arrested Saturday for “outraging the modesty” of a girl student.

Father Baa, a priest and teacher at St Xavier’s College, was arrested after one of his students, Neha Praveen, alleged he forcibly removed her veil. “He abused me and removed my veil,” she alleged in an FIR filed at Lower Bazaar Police Station on Saturday.

Baa has been charged with “outraging the modesty of a woman” and “provoking enmity”, said SP Shambhu Thakur

Photographs of the incident, which took place in the college principal’s office on Friday, were front paged by a local Hindi daily on Saturday, sparking protests by hundreds of Muslims. “We will not rest in peace till Baa is dismissed,” said Fakhruddin Ahmad, a Muslim leader.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/735152/

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‘Ajmer blast carried out to deter Hindus from dargah visit’

January 10, 2011

The 2007 Ajmer Shariff blast was carried out to deter Hindus from going to the famous shrine and the act was carried out by a group of extremists whose members belonged to both majority and minority communities, Swami Aseemanand, an accused in the case has said in his confessional statement.

“A couple of days after the Ajmer blast, Sunil Joshi (a former RSS pracharak who was murdered) came to see me. He was accompanied by two men named Raj and Mehul, who had also visited Shabri Dham on previous occasions.

“Joshi claimed his men had perpetrated the blast and he was also present at Ajmer Dargah at the time of the blast. He said that Indresh (senior RSS leader) had provided him two Muslim boys to plant the bomb,” he said in the statement.

The statement, made under Section 164 of the CrPC before a Magistrate, is admissible in the Court.

Explaining the reasons for selecting the dargah for the bombing, he said, “Ajmer Shariff is one Dargah where Hindus also go in large numbers. And hence we should keep a bomb in Ajmer so that Hindus get frightened and stop going there.”

In his statement, Assemanand spells out roles of a number of RSS workers and its Central Committee member Indresh Kumar in carrying out blasts in Malegaon, Hyderabad and even in the Samjhauta Express.

He also claimed that in 2005, Indresh had met him and said planting bombs was not his (Aseemanand’s) duty and that he had deputed Joshi for the job.

“Indreshji met me at Shabri Dham (Aseemanand’s ashram in Gujarat) in 2005 and was accompanied by many top RSS functionaries...He told me my talks about ‘bomb for bomb’ is not my job. He said the RSS has directed me to work among the tribals and do nothing more than that. He said they are also thinking on similar lines like me and hence Sunil (Joshi) has been given the responsibility and all help would be extended to him,” he said.

Full report at: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article1077876.ece

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'Swami paid Rs 25,000 for bomb that targeted Malegaon mosque'

Mateen Hafeez

Jan 10, 2011

MUMBAI: Swami Aseemanand's confession has opened a can of worms. In a startling revelation, Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar told a magistrate that he paid Rs 25,000 to slain blast suspect, Sunil Joshi, before the 2006 Malegaon mosque blast to purchase material for the bomb.

Aseemanand (59) was arrested by the CBI after a chase of two years. On December 18, he told magistrate Deepak Dabas that after the blast at Kashi's Sankat Mochan temple in Kashi they decided to bomb places of worship of Muslims. At a meeting, attended by Joshi, Bharat Riteshwar alias Bharat Bhai, Malegaon blast suspect Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Aseemanand, they decided to carry out the blasts. The meeting was held at Bharat Bhais Valsad's house. ''I told the other members that Malegaon has 80% Muslims. So, we should try our luck in Malegaon first by planting bombs,'' Aseemanand told the magistrate. Sandeep Dange and Pragya had asked for money but Swami refused. ''I realized Dange was taunting me because I refused to give him money,'' he said.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Swami-paid-Rs-25000-for-bomb-that-targeted-Malegaon-mosque/articleshow/7250359.cms#ixzz1AbggdbNp

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'Told them can’t take it lying down. Must reply, bomb for bomb'

Jan 10 2011

Swami Aseemanand’s 26-page confession to the CBI details the design of the Hindu terror web. The confession, recorded in Hindi, was first made available by Tehelka on its website. Below are excerpts from his statement. Translated by Rahul Tripathi

Meeting Pragya

In January 2003, Jayantibhai Kevat told me over the phone that an ABVP (BJP students’ wing) worker named Pragya Singh Thakur wanted to meet me... I went to Kevat’s house in Navsari... there I met Pragya Singh.

One month later, Pragya Singh came to Waghai. Three young men were with her. She introduced one of them as Manoj, but later I came to know his name was Sunil Joshi. Pragya Singh told me he was from Indore, but later I got to know he was wanted in some cases in Madhya Pradesh... Pragya Singh left Waghai with these boys and I returned to Shabri Dham. Pragya Singh and Manoj alias Sunil Joshi came to Shabri Dham after a month. They stayed for a day or two.

I went to Ujjain Kumbh in April-May 2004. Pragya Singh had put up a tent there under the banner of Jai Vande Mataram. Manoj alias Sunil Joshi and I stayed in the RSS office. A man called Bharatbhai had also come there from Valsad. I knew him from earlier (since 1998).

‘Do something’

Since 2002, Hindu temples had been under bomb attacks by Muslims. I was very disturbed. I kept discussing it with Bharatbhai and I felt he too wanted to do something about it. I discussed it with Pragya Singh and Sunil Joshi and understood that they shared my views. In 2006, a blast took place in Sankatmochan temple in Kashi. Pragya Singh, Manoj alias Sunil Joshi and Bharatbhai were in Shabri Dham. All of us were disturbed by the blast... we decided we should retaliate. We decided that Sunil Joshi and Bharatbhai would go to Jharkhand and buy SIM cards and weapons, such as pistols. I suggested that they go to Gorakhpur and Agra too, meet Yogi Adityanath in Gorakhpur and Rajeshwar Singh in Agra and discuss this. I gave Sunil Joshi Rs 25,000 for the purchases and they left in April 2006.

The meeting

Manoj alias Sunil Joshi met us at Shabri Dham in May 2006. He told me that three or four others had joined us. We held a meeting in June at the house of Bharatbhai in Valsad. Bharatbhai, Pragya Singh, Sunil Joshi and I were there, besides four youths whose names I did not know then. I met one of them later and learnt that his name was Sandeep Dange. Later, the CBI showed me photographs of the other three and I recognised them. I got to know that one of them was called Ramji, another was Lokesh Sharma and the third was Amit.

In the meeting at Bharatbhai’s home, I told everyone that bombs should be the reply to bombs; we Hindus should not take it lying down. Sandeep Dange replied that Hindus were silent; you (Aseemanand) too stay silent. He said whoever were doing (something) would keep doing it. I understood the sarcasm was because he and Pragya Singh had asked me for money and I had refused... Sunil Joshi later explained to us that Sandeep Dange was somewhat aggressive but a nice boy. I gathered that these people had already been thinking about this and were also planning something.

Plot takes shape

After dining, Sunil, Bharatbhai and Pragya Singh and I sat together, separately from the other four. I suggested that Malegaon (Maharashtra) has an 80 per cent Muslim population, so we could start nearby; the first bomb should be planted there. Then I said the Nizam of Hyderabad had opted to go with Pakistan at the time of Independence, so Hyderabad should be taught a lesson. I said Ajmer was a place where many Hindus too visit the Dargah... a bomb in Ajmer would scare Hindus and they would stop going there. I also suggested a bomb at Aligarh Muslim University because Muslim youths would be there. They all agreed to my suggestions... Sunil Joshi was asked to do a recce of the four places. He also suggested that since only Pakistanis travel by the Samjhauta Express between India and Pakistan, the train too should be bombed. He took the responsibility for this himself. Sunil Joshi said they had procured pistols and SIM cards from Jharkhand. He said Yogi Aditya Nath and Rajeshwar Singh had not helped. Sunil Joshi said a blast on the Samjhauta Express could not be carried out using a SIM and we would need chemicals. The chemicals would be arranged by Sandeep. Sunil Joshi said there should be three teams for the blast. The first team would handle finances, the second would assemble the material, the third would plant the bomb. Sunil Joshi said it was best that none of the three groups knew the others. He took the responsibility of recruiting the three teams. Our meeting ended with this discussion and I was given charge of arranging finances and hideouts. Sandeep’s job was to make and store the bomb. Sunil Joshi said none of the members in any group would ask questions about any of the others, because one arrest would mean everyone else getting caught.

Progress report

Sunil Joshi came to meet me at Shabri Dham in 2006, by which time the Malegaon blast had taken place. He told me the Malegaon blast had been carried out by our men. I told Sunil about newspaper reports that some Muslims had been arrested. So I asked him who specifically in our teams had carried out the attack. Sunil refused to tell me. I told Sunil he was only making a claim but he was not really behind the blast. Sunil assured me they had done it.

In February 2007, Sunil, Bharatbhai and I met in a Shiva temple at a place called Balpur. Sunil told me some good news would appear in the papers in two days... After two-three days I went to Bharatbhai’s house where Sunil Joshi and Pragya were already there. News of the Samjhauta Express blast had appeared in the papers. I told Sunil Joshi that the Samjhauta blast has already taken place and you are sitting here. He replied his people had done it. I told him it was the work of the ISI, Pakistan. Sunil asked, why would Muslims kill Muslims? I replied this happens everyday in Pakistan. Sunil did not respond.

At Bharatbhai’s home, Sunil Joshi took Rs 40,000 from me... A day or two later, he called me and told me to keep reading the newspapers, I would get good news. Three or four days later came the news of the blast at the Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad. Seven or eight days later, Sunil Joshi came to Shabri Dham with a Telugu newspaper with a photograph of the scene. Sunil told me that this too had been done by his men. I told him that the newspapers have reported that some Muslims have been caught. Sunil said no, it was his people who had done it. He stayed there for a day or two.

(After two or three months) Sunil Joshi came to meet me. With him were two boys, Mehul and Raj, who had been to Shabri Dham earlier. Sunil Joshi said the blast in Ajmer had been carried out by his people and he too had been present.

‘Indreshji’

I asked Sunil who else had been with him; he claimed there were two Muslim boys. I asked him where he had got Muslim youths from. He said Indreshji (RSS leader Indresh Kumar) had provided the boys. I told him that if Indreshji provided these people, then if you get caught Indreshji’s name will come out.

I told him that his life was in danger from Indreshji and from the Muslims hired for the blast. I asked him to stay with me but he said that he had some work at Dewas in MP and would come back once that was over. Sunil said Mehul and Raj would stay on. He told me that both were wanted in connection with the Baroda Best Bakery case. I told Sunil that the Best Bakery case is lodged in Gujarat and Shabri Dham too is in Gujarat. It was not safe for them to stay and he should take them away. Next day, Sunil Joshi and the other two left for Dewas in MP.

Murder

Some days later, Bharatbhai called up to say Sunil Joshi had been murdered... I immediately called up Lt Col Purohit (Army officer since arrested for terror attacks) and told him that since he is with Intelligence, he should find out who had killed Sunil Joshi... Col Purohit (later) told me that Joshi had killed someone and it appeared that someone had taken revenge.

More on Indresh

During the Shabri Kumbh (earlier) in Pumpa Sarovar, Indreshji had met me in a tent. Sunil Joshi was present. Indreshji had told us that what we were discussing, replying to a bomb with a bomb, was not our work. He said we should stick to our brief of working with tribals as instructed by the RSS. He said their line of thought was the same as ours. He said Sunil Joshi has been assigned this work. Indreshji told me that whatever help Sunil needed, they would provide him.

I got to know that Sunil had met Indreshji with Bharatbhai in Nagpur too. And Indreshji had given Sunil Rs 50,000 in front of Bharatbhai. Col Purohit had once told me that Indreshji is an ISI agent and he had documents to prove this.

In April 2008 a big meeting of Abhinav Bharat was convened in Bhopal. Pragya Singh, Bharatbhai, Col Purohit, Dayanand Pandey, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, Sameer Kulkarni, Himani Savarkar, Tapan Gosh, Dr R P Singh and Rajeshwar Singh and many others attended the meeting. I proposed that for each bomb we should reply strongly with another.

Malegaon-2

In October 2008 I got a call from Sandeep Dange. He told me he was at a place called Vyara and wanted to come to Shabri Dham for a couple of days. I told him I would be leaving for Nadiad and it would not be safe for him to stay there in my absence. Sandeep asked me if I could take him along; he would travel till Baroda. I drove from Shabri Dham to Vyara bus stand. Another man was with Sandeep. Both sat down in a hurry. They had two or three bags of different sizes. I asked them where they were coming from. They told me they were coming from Maharashtra. I dropped them at Rajpipla junction. It was later that I realised they had met me just a day after the (2008) Malegaon blast. Later I was told that the man accompanying Sandeep was called Ramji.

Remorse

Before every blast or a couple of days after, Sunil used to tell me that it was the work of our men. But by the Malegaon blast in 2008 he had been murdered and it was only later that I came to know that even in this our men had been involved. Till Sunil was alive we worked on each blast together, but now I feel that whatever we did was wrong. I am pained. That is why I have confessed. I have nothing else to say.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/735476/

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Indian Muslim Women demand codification of Muslim Personal Law

9 January 2011

Lucknow: Activists of the Muslim Mahila Andolan from different parts of Uttar Pradesh converged here Sunday to demand codification of the Muslim Personal Law, which they say is being "misinterpreted to the disadvantage of women".

They also demanded an "immediate ban" on the malpractice of divorce by triple utterance of the word 'Talaaq'.

Prominent among those who addressed the gathering at the Mahila Natya Kendra here were former Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) MP Subhashni Ali, Noor Jehan Safia Niaz and others.

Muslim Mahila Andolan had shot into spotlight a few months ago when its activists took up the cause of Muslim women fraudulently divorced by a particular Maulana, who was busy issuing 'talaaq' certificates for a price in Lucknow. They even went to the extent of publicly thrashing the Maulana.

"We are in the process of preparing a draft for codification of personal laws, that were often misinterpreted to the disadvantage of women," Muslim Mahila Andolan founder Naish Hasan told reporters.

"Our meet expressed deep concern over the negative attitude of certain class of Islamic Maulanas. What we all wish to ask is that when Islamic personal laws have been codified in most of the Islamic nations, including Malaysia, Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Bangladesh and even Pakistan, then what is the hitch in doing so in India?.

"It has come to our notice that often Maulanas cite pre-Islamic diktats as laws of the 'shariat', which needs to be checked," she added.

Speakers at the meet unanimously resolved to strongly oppose this "malpractice" and "misuse" of the 'shariat', which they felt was distinct from the Muslim Personal Law.

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/127750/women-demand-codification-muslim-personal.html

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Ambedkar union objects to SC quota extension to Dalit Christians, Muslims

January 10, 2011

The All Odisha BR Ambedkar Lawyers’ Association (AOBLA) has objected to the extension of Scheduled Caste (SC) quota reservation to the Dalit Christians and Muslims here on Thursday.

AOBLA general secretary Akuli Sethi reacting on the recent Supreme Court’s remark said that their association is very much aggrieved and requested to withdraw the order.

Sethi also said that after the independence, the Constitution of India has guaranteed the economic, social, political and educational rights to the communities. While 40 per cent quota has been given to the SC and ST, the State SC and ST people would get only 38 per cent facilities, Sethi alleged.

Sethi also alleged that in 2002, while the Dewar castes have been included in the SC list, the 38 per cent quota could have been increased up to 40 per cent but the same figure is in stagnant and the innocent and hard working SC and ST people have no repercussion to check it and object to protect it.

Sethi also alleged that BR Ambedkar’s theme was to bring the SC and ST people into the mainstream at par with general people. But the theme of the quota has been decreasing from year to year and in the long run it will vanish.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/309603/Ambedkar-union-objects-to-SC-quota-extension-to-Dalit-Christians-Muslims.html

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Hindu Goddess Dhakeswari Temple looted in Bangladesh

Jan 10, 2011

Thieves stole huge amount of gold and silver ornaments adorned on Goddess Durga, charity boxes full of uncounted amount of money, and about Tk 4.5 lakh in cash from the vault of Dhakeswari Mandir on Saturday night.

The burglars broke open four locks of the temple’s main gate after it was closed at about 9:00pm on Saturday and took away 200 bhori gold, six bhori of silver ornaments, and also broke the vault inside the main chamber to take the cash, the authorities said.

Temple authorities said they found the locks broken and everything stolen when they came to start the day’s worship at 6:00am.

Chawkbazar thana police officer Ekram Hossain said the temple’s night guard and three other employees were detained for interrogation in connection with a case filed by Dhaka Mahanagar Sarbajanin Puja Committee president BS Chandra Saha.

Saturday’s theft, the third such heist in Hindu Temples in the capital in a span of 18 days, will create a negative impact on the Hindu community, said Dhaka Mahanagar Sarbojanin Puja Committee general secretary Babul Devnath.

Full report at: http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/frontpage/4588.html

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Fear Forces Hindus To Leave Pak, or Convert

Jan 10, 2011

Shafqat Ali

More and more Hindus are leaving Pakistan or converting to Islam to save their future, official records and media reports suggest.

“The Hindus, like other minorities, feel insecure and are leaving for other countries, mainly India. They are also becoming Muslims to make sure they are given equal rights,” a human rights activist told this newspaper citing survey reports. He said even the government has not been able to assure the minorities, at least in their statements, that their rights will be protected.

“Hindus and other minorities feel the government is also not sincere in bringing them at par with other citizens and they also consider them second-rate citizens,” he added. Hindus make up about 1.8 per cent of Pakistan’s predominantly Muslim population of 165 million, according to official figures. The largest number, about 95 per cent, is concentrated in the southern province of Sindh. The Hindu population has declined over the years as they opt to leave the country or become Muslim to avoid discrimination.

The bias against all minority communities has expanded rapidly. Early in November, Aasia Bibi, a young Christian mother of five, was sentenced to death by a court under controversial blasphemy laws. She became the first woman to be condemned to hang under the law. The case against her seemed to have been triggered by a minor dispute with other female farm labourers on the land she worked on after they said she, as a non-Muslim, was “impure” and could not fetch water from a well.

Full report at: http://www.asianage.com/international/fear-forces-hindus-leave-pak-or-convert-589

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Shia-Sunni differences should be removed: Sirajuddin Quraishi

New Age Islam News Bureau

New Delhi: A spiritual evening was held under the title “Islam zinda hota hai har karbala ke bad” at the India Islamic Cultural Centre. The ceremony began with the recitation of the Quran. The President of the Islamic Centre Sirajuddin Qureshi said that Muslims should remove their differences as Shia and Sunni and unite. He recalled that in the past, the mourning of Hadhrat Hussain’s death was held by both Shias and Sunnis and lamented the fact that the new generation had forgotten the lessons of the great sacrifice. Prof Akhtarul Wassey presented an article on the life of Hadhrat Zainab (R.A.).

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The year 2011 dedicated to Faiz Ahmad Faiz in Britain

New Age Islam News Bureau

Oldham:  The general meeting of the Karwan-e-Adab was held that was presided over by Sabir Raza. Shariq Khan presented a report on the organization’s activities and the Almi Adabi Conference which was praised by the participants. The President of Karwan-e-Adab, Britain proposed that 2011 should be dedicated to Faiz Ahmad Faiz and programmes should be organized in his memory all through the year. He also suggested that an international conference on Faiz should be held and the articles read on the occasion should be published in a book form. It was decided that conferences will be held in Liverpool and Oldham on June 17and 18 and an international mushaira would be held on June 19 in Newcastle.

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Quran Conference:  From darkness to light

New Age Islam News Bureau

New Delhi: The last book in the series of divine revelations the holy Quran was revealed to Hadhrat Muhammad (PBUH) for the guidance of the human beings till the judgment day. The holy Quran itself emphasizes this aspect  of its teachings that it guides humanity from darkness to light. These views were expressed by the Principal of Zakir Hussain College, DR Aslam Pervez at the Quran Conference held at Aiwan-e-Ghalib. He further said that it was the very light which we have lost and are ignorant of. Lamenting our blind emulation of the Western culture, he appealed to Muslims to follow the Quranic teachings and cited verses in support of his statements. Prof Masood Alam Qasmi, Ms Sammiya Ahmad, Zameer Ahmad Muzmir were the other speakers on the occasion.

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Government should free innocent Muslims

New Age Islam News Bureau

Expressing his concern over the present situation In the wake of terrorist activities, the General Secretary of Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind and MP Maulana Mahmood Madani said that in such circumstances the attention of the people are diverted from development to communal hatred and also an atmosphere of mistrust towards the law and order is created. The situation arising out of the terrorist blasts, disclosures and discussions in the media merits serious thought and raises many questions. Following the disclosures about the extremist organizations in the majority community, the detention of innocent Muslim youth demands explanation, he said. Mr Madani asks what it means arresting the innocent youth. Did the people of both the community carry out the blasts, he asked. Maulana Madani raised the question over the system and asked where the deprived and weaker sections of the society could go for justice, especially those whose career was ruined because of their detention for as long as 18 years. He also asked what punishment the people should be given who created this situation. He further said that people with communal mindset have infested the police and the administration who use the names of Muslim individuals and organizations after every incident of extremism. Our country emulates even evil aspects of the Western countries, why then it does not follow it in terms of justice and human rights, he asked. The case of Dr Md Hanif can be a model for our country in terms of delivering justice. Maulana Madani demanded that the central and the state governments should pay appropriate compensation to the innocent persons who have been released and strengthen public confidence in the law and order.

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Nato kills more than 10 insurgents in Afghanistan

January 10, 2011

Nato said troops attempted to draw the occupants out of the compound where the man was believed to be. When that failed, they entered the compound, a gunbattle ensured, and several insurgents were killed. –Photo by Reuters

KABUL: Nato says it has killed more than 10 insurgents and captured two others in an operation targeting a Taliban leader in north Afghanistan.

The coalition said in a statement Monday that its forces, along with their Afghan counterparts, were searching for a Taliban leader who was the district leader of Khanabad in Kunduz province. The coalition says he is linked to Taliban leaders in Pakistan and is involved in aiding the insurgents with roadside bombs and weapons.

Nato said troops attempted to draw the occupants out of the compound where the man was believed to be. When that failed, they entered the compound, a gunbattle ensured, and several insurgents were killed.

Kunduz police chief Abdul Rahman Sayedhkaili said 13 people were killed.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/10/nato-kills-more-than-10-insurgents-in-afghanistan.html

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Muslim groups condemn Salman Taseer's killing

Vidya Subrahmaniam

New Delhi: Over 70 Indian Muslim groups, besides individuals from the community, among them journalists, artists and activists, have signed a statement condemning the killing of the Governor of the Pakistani province of Punjab, Salman Taseer, by a member of his bodyguard force.

Governor Taseer was killed in retaliation for the support he extended to Asia Bibi, who faces death under the blasphemy law of Pakistan.

The signatories said they were shocked as much by the killing as by the “cynical and vocal support” extended to the killer by extremist sections in Pakistan. Governor Taseer was one of the “liberal and democratic voices in Pakistan who have been fighting for the repeal of this reprehensible law.” Further, “We are worried by the trend of increasing religious intolerance in Pakistan and feel that if not fought with resolve and courage, it might lead to a deathly silence in Pakistan for a long, long time to come. While concerned for the safety of democratic and progressive voices, we are equally worried for the general wellbeing of the common people of Pakistan and express our solidarity with them.”

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2011/01/10/stories/2011011061911400.htm

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Qadri is not a religious fanatic: report

January 10, 2011

By Tahir Khalil

ISLAMABAD: Mumtaz Qadri, the assassin of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, is not a religious fanatic having extremist ideologies. This was disclosed in the initial report submitted to Interior Minister Rehman Malik.

According to the report, Mumtaz Qadri had fulfilled all worldly requirements and was married 11 months ago. Before his marriage, he had a long love affair with a girl residing in Karachi. He some times grew beard or trimmed it.

The report said Mumtaz Qadri had been performing the VIP duties since 2007, and had served in the security squad of Governor Taseer eight times earlier. He used to take the accused of blasphemy from jail to courts.

Full report at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=9069

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Release Muslim youths held for Malegaon blast, say scholars

2011-01-10

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Mumbai, Jan 10 (IANS) Muslim intellectuals Monday asked the Maharashtra government to free young Muslim men held in connection with the 2006 Malegaon bomb blast, following the recent statements of arrested Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Swami Aseemanand.

Aseemanand, who was arrested last year, in a confessional statement before a magistrate said that he along with other Hindu activists was involved in the bombings in Malegaon, Ajmer, Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid, and the Samjhauta Express train.

A delegation of Muslim scholars met Home Minister R.R. Patil and said that the confessional statement of Aseemanand had exposed his role in the Sep 8, 2006, Malegaon blast.

The scholars said that innocent Muslim youths nabbed in the case should be released forthwith and the incident should be re-investigated.

The delegation was led by Mumbai Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Narendra Verma, former legislator Sohail Lokhandwala, Raza Academy secretary general Mohammed Saeed Noorie and Sunni Jamiatul Ulema secretary general Maulana Mansoor Ali Khan.

Full report at: http://www.sify.com/news/release-muslim-youths-held-for-malegaon-blast-say-scholars-news-national-lbkpOndhfec.html

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Ajmer Shrine Objects To Pak Trust Name

Jan 10, 2011

The management of India’s Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti’s dargah strongly objected to the formation of a trust in Karachi in the name of the saint. “We have decided to send a notice to the trust,” said Nazim Ahamd Raza.

The dargah administration acted when it was informed that a trust namely Khwaja Garibh Nawaz Welfare Trust has been constituted in Karachi and the trust was involved in collecting donation. “No one has right to form such trust and collect money,” Mr Raza said.

According to the management, the notice will be send to the Pakistan high commission and addresses of the trust officials will be sought from the authorities. “We will take legal action because it is wrong to collect money on the name of Garibh Nawaz,” the nazim says.

According to the Khadim community, there was no objection on forming a trust on name of the Sufi saint.

“Basically, the trust in question was involved in taking money on name of langar, which is wrong. Otherwise, there are several trusts working in Garibh Nawaz’s name,” said a Khadim Sarwar Charity.

The shrine has its own act passed by Parliament to run its management.

http://www.asianage.com/india/ajmer-shrine-objects-pak-trust-name-607

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We asked extremists to leave RSS: Mohan Bhagwat

January 10, 2011

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat on Monday slammed the Congress for linking Hindu groups with extremism and said that there was no place for radical elements in the party. He said, "We have always asked extremists to leave the Sangh." He blamed the Congress party of diverting attention from the corruption

Bhagwat said, "The Congress is losing its votebank. It's trying to divert attention. It is deliberately linking the name of the RSS to terror. The government says all these suspects were outside the Sangh when they indulged in extremist activities. RSS has always asked members with extremist views to leave."

Full report at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/We-asked-extremists-to-leave-RSS-Mohan-Bhagwat/H1-Article1-648455.aspx

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Same saffron hand in Malegaon blasts?

By Gyanant Singh in New Delhi

THE JAMIAT Ulama-I-Hind has moved the Supreme Court seeking the monitoring of the 2006 Malegaon blast case which, it alleged, could have been the handiwork of the same saffron terror group that carried out the September 21, 2008 blasts.

Though the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) had chargesheeted nine Muslim youths before the 2006 case was handed over to the CBI, Jamiat president Maulana Arshad Madani pointed out in his writ petition that there were many similarities between the two blasts.

Both the blasts took place on days of festivities and in areas where Muslims were expected to gather in large numbers after offering prayers. While the bomb in the 2008 blast was planted on a motorcycle, the bomb in the 2006 case was planted on a bicycle. The petition had come up for hearing before a bench presided by then Chief Justice K.G.

Balakrishnan on December 5, 2008 but Jamiat was unable to convince the bench. With the bench not inclined to entertain the petition, Madani’s counsel had withdrawn the petition.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Swami Aseemanand 'confessed' under duress: Counsel

Rajinder Nagarkoti

Jan 10, 2011

PANCHKULA: Giving a new twist to the Samjhauta Express blasts case, the counsel of Swami Aseemanand — he is also an accused in the Hyderabad Mecca Masjid explosion case — claimed on Sunday that his client's statement recorded before the metropolitan magistrate of Tis Hazari court in Delhi on December 18, 2010, was obtained under duress.

Manvir Rathi, who represents Aseemanand in the Samjhauta blasts case, said he had a one-to-one conversation with him on January 3 when he was produced before special NIA court in Panchkula. Rathi says Aseemanand told him that the CBI had recorded his statement in a Delhi court, but that statement was not voluntary.

It may be recalled that Aseemanand had given a signed statement in the court saying he was making the confession about his involvement in the blasts voluntarily, and that no one had forced or tortured him into making that statement.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Swami-Aseemanand-confessed-under-duress-Counsel/articleshow/7250302.cms#ixzz1AbgpOEdR

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TV channels couldn’t telecast Khaleda’s speech live

Jan 10, 2011

None of the private satellite television channels could broadcast the speech of opposition leader and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia live at the eleventh hour, even though some of them had made the necessary preparations on Sunday.

At least five television channels — Ekushey Television, Banglavision, Islamic TV, NTv and Channel i — were seen making preparations to air the speech of the opposition leader live at her Gulshan office where she met members of press to deliver the speech.

Khaleda Zia delivered her address to the nation through reporters from her Gulshan office, two days after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addressed the nation on Thursday.

Officials of some of the TV channels attributed their failure to broadcast Khaleda’s speech live to technical problems, while some of them blamed certain quarters for pressuring them not to air it live.

Mostafa Firoz, the head of news in Banglavision, admitted that they had taken all the measures to broadcast the speech live but could not do so because they were ‘forbidden by the management’.

Full report at: http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/national/4567.html

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The great divide: Muslims split on Telangana state

Sreenivas Janyala

Jan 10 2011

Hyderabad: It is not just the rest of the country which is divided on the issue of a separate Telangana state. The Justice B N Srikrishna Committee found that while the Muslims in Hyderabad, represented by the powerful All India Majlis e Ittahadel Muslimeen (AIMIM), favoured a united Andhra Pradesh, their community members in other parts of Telangana supported the demand for a separate state.

While Muslims form 41 per cent of the population in Hyderabad, they account for just 8.4 per cent of the population in the rest of Telangana. However, Muslims in both the regions are unsure about their security in a separate state.

“Muslims in Telangana are looking at higher reservation quotas which are being promised. On the other hand, they worry about communal conflict in a smaller state. The uncertainties over new political configurations have a bearing on the psychology of the Muslims, especially in the context of their safety and security,” observes the Srikrishna report.

The AIMIM, led by Hyderabad MP Assaduddin Owaisi, told the Srikrishna Committee that a united Andhra Pradesh was in the overall interest of Muslims. His main contention was that Muslims would be safer in a united Andhra than in a separate Telangana. “We would rather prefer a united state than a separate Telangana. There are social, economical and security issues. If division is inevitable, then a Greater Telangana should be created which combines Telangana and Rayalaseema,” he says.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/735514/

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Pakistan's release of militant stirs questions

Jan 10 2011

Islamabad: He is a self-declared warrior against US and NATO troops in Afghanistan. He allegedly ran terrorist training camps there when the Taliban was in power. He was suspected of involvement in the attempted assassination of two Pakistani leaders.

And today, Qari Saifullah Akhtar is free.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, the top judicial official in Akhtar's native Punjab province, said he was released from four months of house arrest in early December because authorities finished questioning him in connection with the October 2007 attempted assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and found no grounds to charge him. Bhutto was killed in December the same year.

However, one US official said Akhtar has extensive ties to al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups and is someone who should not be free to walk around the streets of Pakistan or any other country.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/735577/

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Forces, Jagmohan, Mufti Sayeed drove Pandits out: Farooq brother

RIYAZ WANI

Jan 10 2011

Srinagar: Mustafa Kamal, brother of Union Minister Farooq Abdullah, on Sunday blamed security forces, former Jammu and Kashmir governor Jagmohan and PDP leader Mufti Sayeed for forcing the migration of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley.

The statement comes two days after Abdullah sought the forgiveness of Kashmiri Pandits for their “exodus” and “ethnic cleansing” from the Valley in early 1990, and shows signs of rumblings within the family deepening by the day.

“It was the government which forced Kashmiri Pandits to flee Valley. It was Army, governor Jagmohan and PDP leader Mufti Sayeed who played a role in this,” Kamal, who was health minister in the previous NC government, told The Indian Express.

“Isn’t it true that official vehicles were pressed into service to evacuate Pandits from the Valley and escort them to Jammu and other parts of the state. I will tell you that Jagmohan did it so that he has a free hand in dealing with Muslim majority in Valley”.

Interestingly, Kamal said that the eruption of militancy in the state in 1989 was also an inside job and not a result of Pakistan’s interference.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/735497/

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Krishna wants Pak out of Afghan talks

By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury In Kabul

EXTERNAL affairs minister S. M. Krishna cautioned in a veiled reference to Pakistan on Sunday that “ external interference in the Taliban reintegration process would be detrimental to both the success of the process and the future of Kabul”. The minister, currently on a two- day visit here, was addressing a joint press conference following the talks with his Afghan counterpart Zalmay Rasool.

Concerned over efforts by Pakistan to dictate the reintegration process, Krishna sought a clarification from Afghan President Hamid Karzai and senior ministers. India fears Islamabad’s interference could see the return of hardline Taliban figures.

Krishna pointed out that India has always supported the reintegration of those who sever links with terror groups. Echoing Krishna’s sentiments, Rasool said the peace process cannot succeed without being led by the Afghan people.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Terror confounds nation: Khaleda

Jan 10, 2011

The BNP chairperson, Khaleda Zia, on Sunday said the government had unleashed a reign of terror with a single person ruling the country.

Khaleda, also the leader of the opposition in parliament, also said that those who had imposed a single-party BKSAL rule on the country in the past, have again established the rule of a single person and made others ‘slaves of that person’s will.’

‘The situation is dangerous… Attacks, threats, arrests, murders, oppression and violence have confounded the nation… only a band of sycophants are singing the praise of a single person. No one is allowed to speak out against their misrule,’ she said in her speech in which she assessed the performance of the Awami League-led alliance government in last two years.

Khaleda said it was ‘hardly necessary’ to respond to the prime minister’s address to the nation… ‘The people are feeling the heat in the kitchen market. They understand well if the prime minister’s claims over the prices are true or false.’ 

She made a comparison of the prices when she had left office and the present day, and asserted that the prices had shot up during the emergency government of Moeen Uddin and Fakhruddin – which Sheikh Hasina claimed was the result of her movement – and the incumbents were following the path.

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/frontpage/4592.html

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US court postpones Rana's trial in 26/11 terror attack

Jan 10, 2011

TORONTO: A US court has put off by three months, at the request of the defence, the trial of Pakistani Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana, charged with helping David Headley plot the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

The trial in a Chicago court, which was scheduled to start Feb 14, will now begin May 16 at the request of Rana's lawyer.

Rana, 49, who runs an immigration service in Chicago with offices in New York and Toronto, was arrested Oct 3 for plotting to attack the Danish newspaper that published the controversial cartoons of Prophet Muhammad in 2005.

Later, investigators found that Rana was also involved in helping David Headley, a Pakistani American whose real name is Daood Gilani, in plotting the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai terror attack that left 166 people dead. The two Pakistani-origin men had travelled to India just before 26/11.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/US-court-postpones-Ranas-trial-in-26/11-terror-attack/articleshow/7250351.cms#ixzz1Abgl0IjB

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Karzai: we will not make any move that is detrimental to India's interest

Jan 10, 2011

ASSURANCE:External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Afghan President Hamid Karzai engaged in a discussion at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on Sunday.

KABUL: With India raising concern over Pakistan's increasing involvement in Afghanistan's transition process, President Hamid Karzai on Sunday assured the visiting External Affairs Minister, S.M. Krishna, that his government would not make any move that was detrimental to New Delhi's interest.

Mr. Karzai sought to allay India's concerns during his meeting with Mr. Krishna.

Pat for India

The Afghan President assured Mr. Krishna that India was “uppermost” on his government's priorities and appreciated New Delhi's contribution to the post-war reconstruction and rebuilding efforts in his country.

He said the Afghan government would not act in any way that was detrimental to India's interests, official sources said.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/01/10/stories/2011011061771200.htm

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Rights activists, Islamists face off in Karachi

Anita Joshua

Voicing support: A rally in support of Mumtaz Qadri, alleged killer of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, in Rawalpindi on Sunday.

ISLAMABAD: On a day when civil rights activists registered a complaint against a Karachi-based cleric for hate mongering and inciting violence as a symbolic gesture to show that the moderate Pakistani voice cannot be silenced, “religious” right-wing parties managed to draw a large gathering in the commercial capital on Sunday to warn against any attempt to amend the blasphemy laws.

The public meeting had been called last month amid indications of a possible amendment to the blasphemy laws. Though the government has since then time and again reiterated that it would not amend the blasphemy laws, the “religious” right-wing parties refused to call off their protest action.

And, the assassination of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer last week gave the protest action more fuel with people holding placards lionising his assassin and maintaining that Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/01/10/stories/2011011055211500.htm

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US Claims Right To Interfere In Pak

Jan 10, 2011

Shafqat Ali

US ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter on Saturday said the United States has a right to interfere in Pakistan’s economic and governance affairs as the former provides funds to Islamabad.

Addressing a function here, Mr Munter said the US is the biggest donor to Pakistan and, “therefore, it has the right to interfere in economic and governance affairs”.

The ambassador said the US made demands of Pakistan with respect and dignity, adding that the statement of US secretary of state Hillary Clinton about petroleum prices was misquoted.

He dispelled the impression that the US was mounting pressure on Pakistan to launch a military operation in North Waziristam. Ms Clinton’s opposition to the withdrawal of the hike in petroleum prices was seen as “interference” in Pakistan’s matters by Opposition parties.

A former CIA official, meanwhile, said Pakistan has more terrorists per square mile than any other country in the world, making it the most dangerous place on earth.

“Pakistan is our most important partner in the war against Al Qaeda and the most difficult partner in the war against Al Qaeda,” Bruce Riedel, author of Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America and the Future of Global Jihad, said in an interview.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/international/us-claims-right-interfere-pak-591

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Clashes disrupt voting in south Sudan oil state

Jan 10, 2011

JUBA: Clashes between renegade militiamen and south Sudanese troops disrupted voting in a landmark independence referendum in part of a key oil state on Sunday, the organising commission number two said.

“There has been some fighting because of certain militiamen but I am assured that the situation has been contained,” Chan Reec told a news conference.

Mr. Reec said he had no details on any casualties from the fighting in Unity state, which abuts the north-south border.

Earlier, military spokesman Philip Aguer said the situation was calm on Sunday.

“There have been no fresh clashes today in Unity state. The situation is calm across the whole of south Sudan,” he said.

The new fighting came after clashes between the militia and southern troops in the state's Mayom county on Friday and Saturday in which the Army said it killed six fighters and captured 32 without sustaining any casualties.

Unity state is the location of some of the south's main oil fields, which were one of the key issues of conflict in the devastating 1983-2005 civil war with the north.

Both U.N. and military sources said the earlier clashes may have been the work of loyalists of Gatluak Gai, a renegade militia commander who rejected an amnesty offer from the southern government and whose forces are active in the area.

http://www.hindu.com/2011/01/10/stories/2011011055321500.htm

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India to revisit cotton export ban to keep onions flowing

Sujay Mehdudia

NEW DELHI: India is understood to have told Pakistan that it is ready to lift the ban on cotton exports if the latter resumes its onion exports through rail and land routes.

Official sources in the Commerce Ministry said this was conveyed to Islamabad by the External Affairs Ministry. “The Indian side has conveyed to the Pakistani counterparts that it was ready to revisit the cotton export ban and ceiling issues, if the gesture is reciprocated by Pakistan through the removal of the ban on the movement of onion,” a senior official said.

On January 6, Pakistan banned onion exports to India by land. This pushed up onion prices once again to the Rs.60-70-a-kg range. Around 300 trucks carrying 3,000 tonnes of onion to India had reached Wagah near Amritsar, but were not allowed to cross the border.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/01/10/stories/2011011059070100.htm

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Israeli academics to boycott Settlement College at Ariel

January 10, 2011

At least 165 Israeli professors have declared a boycott against a contentious Israeli college in the West Bank, organisers said on Sunday, deepening an internal rift in Israel over the expansion of West Bank settlements.

The academics signed a petition stating they are unwilling to partake in any activities at Ariel University Centre. They said Ariel is an “illegal settlement” intended to prevent Palestinians from establishing an independent State.

Ariel, a settlement of 19,000 people, lies deep inside the West Bank. Palestinians claim all of the West Bank, which Israel seized in 1967, as part of a future independent State.

“Ariel is not part of the sovereign territory of Israel, and we therefore cannot be required to go there,” the petition reads. The continued growth of Jewish settlements is at the heart of the current impasse in West Asia peace efforts.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/309572/Israeli-academics-to-boycott-settlement-college-at-Ariel.html

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Taxman's notice to SRK over 'gifted' Dubai villa

Hetal Vyas

Jan 10, 2011

MUMBAI: A villa gifted to actor Shah Rukh Khan in Dubai has attracted the attention of tax authorities. The Income Tax (I-T) department served a notice on Khan towards the end of December for the Signature Villa valued at Rs 17.84 crore. A Dubai-based company had gifted it to him three years ago.

According to the I-T department, the villa received by Khan under a gift deed from Nakheel Public Joint Stock Company (Nakheel PJSC) was in return for lending his name to promote the company. For the assessment year 2008-09, Khan had, in April 2009, filed returns declaring income of Rs 126.31 crore. He said his income was from house, property, profession, capital gains and other sources.

Khan mentioned Dubai's Signature Villa, which is a part of The Palm, Jumeirah, as a gift given by Nakheel PJPC on September 16, 2007.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Taxmans-notice-to-SRK-over-gifted-Dubai-villa/articleshow/7250195.cms#ixzz1AbfWJHK3

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'Afghanistan peace process cannot be Pak-driven'

Jan 10, 2011

KABUL: In a clear pointer to Pakistan, India on Sunday said that any "external" interference in the transition process of Afghanistan will be detrimental to both its success and the future of the Afghan people.

Echoing India's views, Afghanistan said the peace process cannot succeed without being led by the Afghan people and noted that the process was fully controlled by it.

These views were expressed at a joint press conference here by external affairs minister S M Krishna and his Afghan counterpart Zalmay Rasool after their extensive talks on issues like terrorism in the region, security of Indians and various economic projects.

Though both leaders refrained from naming Pakistan, the message was clear for Islamabad, which has been pressing for a decisive role in the Afghan transition process.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Afghanistan-peace-process-cannot-be-Pak-driven-/articleshow/7250400.cms#ixzz1AbgTvxxg

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India, Pak foreign secys to meet in Thimphu next month

Indrani Bagchi

Jan 10, 2011

NEW DELHI: In a replay of its 2010 diplomatic exercise, India is getting ready once again to engage Pakistan. Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao will meet her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir separately during a SAARC meeting in Thimphu next month.

Confirming this, the MEA's official spokesperson said, "Nirupama Rao is likely to meet her Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of the SAARC Standing Committee meeting at Thimphu on February 6-7, 2011."

In his first press conference in the New Year, foreign minister S M Krishna quoted the PM as saying that India had no alternative but to talk to Pakistan. But he said, "We expect Pakistan to fulfill its repeated assurances given to us at the highest level to not allow the territory under its control for fomenting terrorism aimed against us, and to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai terrorist attack to justice expeditiously. I have extended an invitation to my counterpart to visit India and earnestly hope that we can take the process of dialogue forward."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-Pak-foreign-secys-to-meet-in-Thimphu-next-month/articleshow/7250397.cms#ixzz1AbgXsRzf

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Saudi lists 47 wanted Qaeda suspects abroad

January 10, 2011

Saudi authorities announced on Sunday a list of 47 people wanted for suspected links to Al Qaeda who are all abroad, the Interior Ministry said in a statement carried by State news agency SPA.

“Authorities have identified 47 wanted Saudis who are abroad and who adopt the deviant ideology,” the ministry said, using the kingdom’s term for the Al Qaeda terror network. The Interior Ministry said that it has passed the list to the international police, Interpol, and advised the suspects to hand themselves in at Saudi Embassies “to repatriate them and reunite them with their families.”

This was the fifth in a series of lists of people with suspected Al Qaeda links to be released so far by the Saudi Interior Ministry. Saudi militants linked to Al Qaeda launched a wave of attacks against Westerners and Government installations between 2003 and 2006 before coming under a severe crackdown by the authorities.

Many are believed to be active in neighbouring Yemen after the merger of the Saudi and Yemeni Al Qaeda front groups in the two countries under the banner of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) which is based in Yemen.

The Saudi Justice Ministry announced on Saturday that by the end of November 765 people suspected of links to Al Qaeda have been tried and sentenced, although it did not mention any verdicts. Last month police at a checkpoint in Wadi al-Dawasir, 600 km southeast of Riyadh, killed an Al Qaeda militant disguised as a woman after he emerged from a car and fired at security personnel.

US diplomatic cables leaked last month by WikiLeaks claimed that Saudi Arabia was a key source of funding for radical Sunni Islamist groups, including Al Qaeda.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/309566/Saudi-lists-47-wanted-Qaeda-suspects-abroad.html

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Kashmir interlocutors submit report to Chidambaram

January 10, 2011

The three interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir have submitted a report to union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, stressing on the right to protest and outlining a basic framework to bring peace in the state, an official source said Monday.

Journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, academician Radha Kumar and economist M.M. Ansari in their report have stressed on the basic right of the people to protest, the official said.

"This right cannot be denied to the people having grievances," the official, aware of the content of the report, told IANS.

The central government had appointed the interlocutors in the wake of street protests in Kashmir and police action in which more than 100 protestors were killed in the summer of 2010. The interlocutors were tasked with suggesting ways of bringing about sustained peace in the state.

The interlocutors have been interacting with various sections of society and have met key political figures in the state, including Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and main opposition Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/309614/Kashmir-interlocutors-submit-report-to-Chidambaram.html

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Prime Minister Gilani accepts PML-N agenda

January 10, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday called Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) Chief Nawaz Sharif, and accepted the PML-N’s agenda, bringing the three-day ultimatum to come to an end.

The PML-N’s deadline for the government to accept its demands was supposed to end on Monday.

The demands included that the government investigate corruption scandals, reduce non-development spending by one third, and set up an independent election body.

One of the demands, that a controversial fuel price hike be reversed, was already met by the government on Friday.

Sharif accepted the gesture by Gilani and termed it as political maturity.

PML-N Senator Ishaq Dar has been appointed as the head of the party’s monitoring committee which will check the PPP government’s delivery on PML-N’s demands.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/09/prime-minister-gilani-accepts-pml-n-agenda.html

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Germany says it has no plans to boost Afghan AWACS force

January 10, 2011

KABUL: Germany does not plan to support a request made by field commanders for more AWACS reconnaissance aircraft in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Sunday. Westerwelle said the decision would be no surprise for allies as he had informed the top commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, of it weeks ago during a visit to Berlin. “We made it clear to our partners early on that we will not take part, as our main focus is on local training,” he said. Petraeus requested the additional aircraft from NATO late last year. German media have reported that increased AWACS capability would require Berlin to send about 100 additional troops to Afghanistan to man the flying radar stations. Germany’s deployment in Afghanistan is already unpopular with public opinion, and a decision to send any new detachment could be blocked in parliament due to conflict over its mandate and funding. The United States, which currently flies AWACS surveillance missions over Afghanistan using its own planes, overhauled its Afghan strategy last year. A review last month found US and NATO forces were making headway against the Taliban and al Qaeda but that serious challenges remain. reuters

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\10\story_10-1-2011_pg7_13

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Jobless Saudi teachers stage rare protest

January 10, 2011

RIYADH - A group of 250 unemployed Saudi university graduates staged a rare protest in the capital Riyadh, and the group's spokesman vowed on Sunday to keep up the demonstrations till the Gulf Arab state creates jobs for them.

The U.S. ally and OPEC's biggest oil exporter is an absolute monarchy and usually does not tolerate public displays of dissent. Newspapers tend to carry the official line. Despite its massive oil wealth Saudi Arabia is grappling with unemployment that hit 10.5 percent in 2009, the latest published figure.

"We are a group of teachers who have not found any jobs. We have staged a peaceful protest in front of the ministry of education ... We would like to protest for longer but the police keep dispersing us," Nayef al-Tamimi told Reuters. Al-Hayat daily showed a picture of graduates protesting in front of the Ministry of Education on Saturday. The protestors, who staged a similar protest in August, met with ministry officials to demand the creation of more jobs in government schools. "There is a big chance that we will stage another protest. They promised us that they will announce jobs soon but if they don't then we will stage another protest," Tamimi said.

Full report at:

http://dailymailnews.com/0111/10/Business/index.php?id=1

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US, Palestinians slam Israeli east Jerusalem move

January 10, 2011

RAMALLAH: The United States and the Palestinians have slammed Israel's bulldozing of an east Jerusalem hotel to make way for settler homes, saying it undermines Middle East peace efforts.

"We are very concerned about the initiation of demolition of the Shepherd's Hotel in east Jerusalem," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after arriving in Abu Dhabi for talks on the stalled peace process.

"This disturbing development undermines peace efforts to achieve the two state-solution," she said in a statement.

Earlier, furious Palestinian officials accused Israel of destroying any chance of peace by demolishing part of the building, which sits on a plot of land in occupied east Jerusalem where developers plan to build a complex of 20 luxury apartments for Jewish settlers.

"By doing this, Israel has destroyed all the US efforts and ended any possibility of a return to negotiations," Nabil Abu Rudeina, a spokesman for Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, said in a statement.

"Israel has no right to build in any part of east Jerusalem, or any part of the Palestinian land occupied in 1967," Abu Rudeina said, calling on the United States to "stop Israeli tampering."

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=9059

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Iran woos Oman as Clinton begins Gulf tour

Jan 10, 2011

MUSCAT: Iran’s interior minister says his visit to Oman will focus on security issues, including safeguarding vital oil routes in the Gulf.

The visit by Mostafa Muhammad Najjar comes at a time when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is beginning her tour to Gulf countries in a bid to tighten sanctions against Iran and win greater support from allies for Iraq's new government.

Iran’s state media reports Sunday that Najjar’s talks will include proposals for closer coordination on maritime security. Oman and Iran share control of the Strait of Hormuz, the passageway for about 40 percent of oil tanker traffic.

Oman also has strong ties to the West and helped negotiate the $500,000 bail in September to free American Sarah Shourd from a Tehran prison. Shourd’s two American companions remain jailed on espionage charges.

In her five-day trip to the UAE, Oman and Qatar, Clinton will also urge the region to cooperate more to advance democratic, economic and social reforms, officials said. It is her second trip to the energy-rich Gulf in around a month, following her visit to Bahrain in early December.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article231839.ece

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BSF kills two Bangladeshis

Jan 10, 2011

India’s Border Security Force shot dead two Bangladeshi cattle traders in the Khanpur frontier at Motihar in Rajshahi on Saturday night, sources in the Border Guards Bangladesh said.

The deceased were Sirajul Islam, 40, and Jaheduddin, residents of Bhugolbari at Shibganj in

Chapainawabganj. The Indian guards took away the bodies, the sources said.

The families said that the Indian guards had shot Sirajul and Jaheduddin about 30 yards inside the Bangladesh territory when they were taking Indians cattle into Bangladesh early Sunday. The both died on the spot.

Motihar police subinspector Shahjahan Ali said that they had heard about the killing. He said the Indian guards had not returned the bodies although the Bangladesh guards wrote to the Indian authorities.

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/frontpage/4585.html

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/nearly-70-killed-in-iran-plane-crash/d/3910


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