New Age Islam
Tue Aug 11 2020, 06:12 PM

Islamic World News ( 2 Feb 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Pakistan blast kills 3 US Marines, School kids, Taliban own up

Pilgrims killed in explosion in Iraqi city of Karbala

Terrorists may strike Vaishnodevi, says CRPF

Saudi girl, 12, drops plea to divorce 80-year-old

France refuses a citizenship over full Islamic veil

Bangladesh SC declares law on religion-based politics illegal

To take on US, Taliban mix old tactics with new

A BJP record in MP: 119 Muslim candidates, 82 winners

Azamgarh: Fact-finding visit, says Digvijay

Apologise or go to Pak, says Sena; SRK unfazed

Two soldiers, 20 Taliban killed in Bajaur clashes

13 more killed as violence continues:

Sindh govt hands over control of 26 police stations to Rangers

Kazmi calls to follow thoughts of Iqbal, Rumi and Gulen of ideal Humanity 

Banned JuD steps up activities in Pak

Indian Home Minister to go to Pakistan on Feb 26 for SAARC meet

Pakistan blast kills US soldiers

Iraq lifts election ban on suspected Baathists

Dhaka to honour Indian soldiers killed in 1971 Liberation War

US wary as Iran president agrees nuclear deal terms

Razak personally responsible for false sodomy case: Anwar

 ‘Hakimullah’s likely successor also killed’

Maulana Toofan, Taliban new acting chief?

Arrested IM terrorist to be charged with M C Sharma's murder

Train blasts mastermind nabbed

Emulate Kasab’s zeal, says top police officer

Sohrabuddin Encounter probe: CBI registers case

Militant group vows attack on oil facilities in Nigeria

Big jump in Pakistan aid

Iran to hang nine more over election unrest  

Karzai in Riyadh for talks with king on Taliban issue 

More efforts needed to defeat Taliban: US

Tahir Hussain passes away

Kashmir Chief Minister seeks resolution of all issues amicably

Israel closes beaches after explosives wash ashore

Suspected US drone strikes kill at least 29 in Pakistan

ED cracks down on terror funds

Krishna now hints at future Indo- Pak talks

J&K distances itself from Mir’s Padma

US must welcome ‘back-door’ negotiations on Kashmir: Mullen

‘Indian influence in Afghanistan matter of concern’

Yemen rebels pledge not to attack S. Arabia  

Israel feels under siege

US deployment of anti-missile defences off Iran’s coast raises tensions in region

US plans 75pc increase in drone operations

Indo-Pak students join hands to design space settlement project at NASA

Compiled By New Age Islam News Bureau

URL of this page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/pakistan-blast-kills-3-us-marines,-school-kids,-taliban-own-up/d/2446

 

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Pakistan blast kills US soldiers

3 February 2010

Three US soldiers were among 10 people killed when a bomb blast hit a convoy near a school in north-west Pakistan.

Three schoolgirls were among the dead while 70 people, including another 63 schoolgirls and two US soldiers, were injured in the explosion in Lower Dir.

The US embassy said the military personnel had been training Pakistan's Frontier Corps in counter-insurgency.

Both governments deny large numbers of US troops are in Pakistan, where public opinion opposes their presence.

The US embassy in Islamabad confirmed in a statement three American military personnel were killed and two wounded in what it branded a "vicious terrorist bombing".

The Pakistani military and the government are both extremely sensitive about the strong US presence in their country and both appear to be saying different things to different audiences.

Officially the government says it is deeply concerned about increasing numbers of US diplomatic and aid staff who have appeared in the country since US President Barack Obama declared the country to be a top foreign policy priority.

The Pakistani authorities have on several occasions during the past five months arrested American officials - in Lahore and Peshawar - who were suspected of having incorrect paperwork.

But unofficially the government is believed to be relying on US effort and expertise to fight the Taliban.

The statement also said the Americans had been due to attend the inauguration of a girls' school recently renovated with US humanitarian assistance.

Azam Tariq, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Tehreek-e-Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement to AFP news agency.

Military spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas told the BBC that the US personnel were attached to the Frontier Corps as military trainers.

Pakistan's Frontier Corps is a paramilitary force responsible for operations against militants in the volatile north-west, near the Afghan border.

The US soldiers were said to have been travelling in a convoy, along with Pakistani troops, that was heading to the inauguration of a newly built girls' school in Maidan, an area of Lower Dir district in the North West Frontier Province.

The bomb - which police said was activated by remote control - occurred near a different school in Koto, a heavily populated village along the route.

The impact flattened much of the Koto Girls' High School, leaving pupils crying for help from under the rubble.

News that three US soldiers were killed will be highly embarrassing for the Pakistani government, which is acutely aware of the unpopularity of its close ties to Washington, says the BBC's Ilyas Khan in Islamabad.

Critics accuse Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari of turning a blind eye to repeated American drone attacks in the north-west, which have killed more than 600 people during the past year, our correspondent says.

The US has argued in the past that its soldiers are in Pakistan to provide security for US citizens, he adds.

Last year, the Pakistani army carried out a major offensive to drive Taliban insurgents out of Lower Dir and the neighbouring districts of Swat and Buner.

But the Taliban are still present in remote areas and the latest attack shows that the militants remain a powerful force in the region, says the BBC's Mark Dummett in Islamabad.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani also condemned the attack and ordered an investigation, the AFP news agency reports.

The Taliban has frequently targeted girls' schools in recent years, burning several to the ground. Many are now being rebuilt.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8494890.stm

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Pilgrims killed in explosion in Iraqi city of Karbala

3 February 2010

A suicide bombing in the Iraqi city of Karbala has killed at least 20 pilgrims travelling to a Shia festival.

Scores were wounded in the attack on the route to an important Shia shrine, health officials said.

A bomber had driven a car into the crowd before it exploded, Iraqi police told BBC News, correcting earlier claims he had been riding a motorcycle.

On Monday a female suicide bomber killed at least 41 and wounded more than 100 people in north-east Baghdad.

The pilgrims were making their way to the Imam Hussein shrine in the city where Shia Muslims are to mark Arbaeen, the end of 40 days of mourning for the death of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson.

The bomb went off on one of the three routes into the city.

Earlier reports incorrectly stated the suicide bomber had been towing an explosive-laden cart on a motorcycle.

March elections

It was the latest, and most serious, of a string of attacks targeting pilgrims on Wednesday.

The first bomb went off in the early morning in western Baghdad, killing one person and wounding three.

Another explosion in south-west Baghdad wounded four pilgrims, Associated Press reported.

Tens of thousands of Shias, many from neighbouring Iran, are expected at the shrine before the festival's end on Friday.

The bombing raises fears of heightened sectarian violence before Iraq's March elections.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/8495100.stm

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Terrorists may strike Vaishnodevi, says CRPF

3 February 2010

JAMMU: The cave shrine of Vaishnodevi, one of the most visited pilgrimage centers in the country, is on the radar of militants, a senior officialsaid on Wednesday.

"There is a threat to the cave shrine of Vaishnodevi from militants. We have received inputs that militants want to do some mischief," Special Director General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) N K Tripathi told reporters here.

"Elaborate security measures are in place as per the threat perception. There is no laxity on part of the CRPF," he said.

Jawans have been put on high level of vigilance and they started patrolling well before January 26 in Trikuta hills, the abode of cave shrine, Tripathi said, adding "the shrine is secured and safe so pilgrims should not fear. They can undertake pilgrimage as CRPF is there for their security".

To a question, he said CRPF is main security agency providing security cover to the shrine and a full 6th battalion is guarding it. There is always a change in the strategy as per threat perception from time to time.

"I had visited the shrine for security review after the threat inputs. There is frisking of pilgrims, round the clock patrolling, check points, nakas and electronic surveillance at the shrine and around it," he said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Terrorists-may-strike-Vaishnodevi-says-CRPF/articleshow/5531482.cms

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Saudi girl, 12, drops plea to divorce 80-year-old

3 February 2010

RIYADH: A 12-year-old Saudi girl unexpectedly gave up her petition for divorce from an 80-year-old man her father forced her to marry in exchange for a dowry, Saudi media said.

Despite support from human rights lawyers and child welfare advocates, the girl and her mother, who originally sought the divorce, withdrew the case in a court in Buraidah, in Al-Qasim province.

The girl told the court that her marriage to the man was done with her agreement, according to Okaz newspaper. “I agree to the marriage. I have no objection. This is in filial respect to my father and obedience to his wish,” she said.

According to reports, the girl’s father arranged her marriage to the 80-year-old last September for a dowry of $22,667. The case caused an uproar after Al-Riyadh newspaper first reported it in early January, saying the marriage had been consummated and quoting the girl as pleading to journalist to “save me.”

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Saudi-girl-12-drops-plea-to-divorce-80-year-old/articleshow/5529280.cms

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France refuses a citizenship over full Islamic veil

3 February 2010

The French government has refused to grant citizenship to a foreign national on the grounds that he forced his wife to wear the full Islamic veil.

The man, whose current nationality was not given, needed citizenship to settle in the country with his French wife.

But Immigration Minister Eric Besson said this was being refused because he was depriving his wife of the liberty to come and go with her face uncovered.

Last week, a parliamentary committee proposed a partial ban on full veils.

It also recommended that anyone showing visible signs of "radical religious practice" be refused residence permits and citizenship.

'Integration'

In a statement, Mr Besson said he had signed a decree on Tuesday rejecting a man's citizenship application after it emerged that he had ordered his wife to cover herself with a head-to-toe veil.

"It became apparent during the regulation investigation and the prior interview that this person was compelling his wife to wear the all-covering veil, depriving her of the freedom to come and go with her face uncovered, and rejected the principles of secularism and equality between men and women," he said.

Later, the minister stressed that French law required anyone seeking naturalisation to demonstrate their desire for integration.

Mr Besson's decree has now been sent to Prime Minister Francois Fillon for approval.

The interior ministry says only 1,900 women wear full veils in France, home to Europe's biggest Muslim minority.

In 2008, a French court denied citizenship to a Moroccan woman on the grounds that her "radical" practice of Islam was incompatible with French values.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8494860.stm

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Bangladesh SC declares law on religion-based politics illegal

3 February 2010

Bangladesh’s Supreme Court on Tuesday declared as illegal a constitutional amendment that had allowed religion-based political parities to flourish in the country, paving the way for the Government to ban such groups. The Supreme Court’s order came on two writ petitions challenging an earlier High Court verdict that had declared the 1979 Fifth Amendment to the Constitution as illegal.

A six-member bench of the apex court’s Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Md Tafazzul Islam upheld the High Court verdict after six days of hearing on the two leave-to-appeal petitions filed by opposition BNP Secretary General Khondker Delwar Hossain and three lawyers from its key ally Jamaat-e-Islami.

The amendment also legitimised the Governments that came to power following the coup of August 15, 1975 in which Bangladesh’s founder President was killed.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/233322/Bangladesh-SC-declares-law-on-religion-based-politics-illegal.html

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To take on US, Taliban mix old tactics with new

C J CHIVERS

3 February 2010

KARARDAR (AFGHANISTAN): The marine infantry company, accompanied by a squad of Afghan soldiers, set out long before dawn. It walked silentlythrough the dark fields with plans of arriving at a group of mud-walled compounds in Helmand province at sunrise.

The company had received intelligence reports that 40 to 50 Taliban fighters had moved into this village a few days before, and the battalion had set a cordon around it. The marines hoped to surprise any insurgents within.

But as the company moved, shepherds whistled in the darkness, passing warning of the Americans’ approach. Dogs barked themselves hoarse. The din rose in every direction, enveloping the column in noise. And then, as the marines became visible in the bluish twilight, a minivan rumbled out of one compound. Its driver steered ahead of the company, honking the van’s horn, spreading the alarm. Spotters appeared on roofs.

Mixing modern weapons with ancient signaling techniques, the Taliban have developed the habits and tactics to evade capture and to disrupt US and Afghan operations.

Seven months after the marines began flowing forces into Helmand province, clearing territory and trying to establish local Afghan government, such tactics have helped the Taliban transform themselves from the primary provincial

power to a canny but mostly unseen force. “You’ll go to one place, and for some reason there will be a big plume of smoke ahead of you,” said Capt Paul Stubbs, the Weapons Company commander. “As you go to the next place, there will be another.”

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/To-take-on-US-Taliban-mix-old-tactics-with-new/articleshow/5529188.cms

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A BJP record in MP: 119 Muslim candidates, 82 winners

Milind Ghatwai

Feb 03, 2010

Bhopal : The BJP in Madhya Pradesh is chasing an unusual personal milestone: getting 100 Muslim representatives in urban local bodies.

An unprecedented 82 Muslims, including 36 burqa-clad women, were elected on the BJP symbol in the recent elections to 268 urban bodies. “Once the remaining bodies go to polls, the number will easily cross 100,” president of the party’s minority cell, Kamalbhai Lalbhai, told The Indian Express on Tuesday, a day after the newly-elected representatives were felicitated at the party headquarters here.

The Congress was dismissive of the BJP’s “achievement”. Party leaders argued that 82 — the number of Muslims who won on BJP tickets — was a very small number in comparison to 5,059 — the total number of councillors who were elected in the polls.

These leaders could not, however, say how many Muslims had won on Congress tickets, or even how many Muslims the party had fielded. “We have no record of this,” said a Congress leader. “We don’t classify councillors according to their religion.”

The number of Muslim BJP councillors in the state’s urban local bodies had never crossed 25 earlier, Lalbhai said. This time, the party had fielded an unprecedented 119 Muslims. “Earlier we would find it difficult to get candidates from the community. And we would also not seek their votes,” state BJP president Narendra Singh Tomar told the meet organised by the party’s minority cell on Monday.

The felicitation ceremony began with the singing of Vande Mataram. State Minorities’ Welfare Minister Ajay Vishnoi presented councillors with medals. The urban local body elections had paved the way for the entry of Muslims into the Vidhan Sabha as well, he said.

The 230-member state Assembly currently has no Muslim member.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/a-bjp-record-in-mp-119-muslim-candidates-82-winners/574785/0

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Azamgarh: Fact-finding visit, says Digvijay

Feb 03, 2010

Lucknow : A day before his much-hyped visit to Azamgarh, AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh said he was going there on a fact-finding visit to find out “the reasons behind Azamgarh being named in terror attack cases”. He said he would visit the families because people of Azamgarh wanted him to be there and said that if the government imposed Section 144, then he will go there alone.

This came even as the Ulema Council, a body of clerics formed in the backdrop of Batla House encounter just before the Lok Sabha elections last year, announced that it would not allow Singh to meet the families of those accused in terror attacks. Doubting Singh’s intentions, Ulema Council has called the visit an eyewash and declared that it will do its best to stop Singh.

Singh, however, said representatives of the families from Azamgarh had met him and told him that no one visits them to listen to their problems. “A number of people from the area claim they are innocent. Some had visited me a few months ago. I can at least give them a patient hearing. I am just trying to find out what had happened in the past which led to Azamgarh being named in terror attacks. It would be kind of fact-finding,” said Singh.

The AICC general secretary was among the few Congress leaders to demand a judicial probe into the Batla House encounter and also to demand that the aggrieved must also be heard by the NHRC. He will meet the families of youths named in terror cases in Sanjarpur on February 3 and in Mubarakpur on February 4.

Asked about reports of opposition to his visit in Azamgarh and an advisory from the district administration recommending him not to visit the area, Singh said that fundamentalist forces, be it Hindus or Muslims, have always opposed the Congress.

Ulema Council chief Maulana Amir Rashadi, however, said: “Entire Azamgarh is with us in opposing Digvijay Singh. They can shoot at us if they want, but we will not allow him inside Sanjarpur.” 

“What kind of information does he want from us when everything is an open chapter. We had asked for a judicial inquiry into the encounter but they could not hold it.”

Hindu outfits like the VHP and the Hindu Yuva Vahini have also opposed Singh’s visit, alleging that it would encourage terrorism.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/azamgarh-factfinding-visit-says-digvijay/574790/0

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Apologise or go to Pak, says Sena; SRK unfazed

Rajendra Aklekar and Anirudh Bhattacharya

February 03, 2010

The Shiv Sena on Tuesday threatened it would not allow screening of Shah Rukh Khan’s movies till he apologised for his remarks regretting the absence of Pakistani cricketers in the forthcoming Indian Premier League tournament in March.

Though Khan has a major film, the Karan Johar directed My Name in Khan slated for release on February 12, he remained unfazed. In New York, he said he did not regret any of his comments, be it about Pakistani cricketers or about Mumbai belonging to all Indians and not Maharashtrians alone.

Without mincing words, the actor added he was proud to be an Indian, describing the Shiv Sena’s attitude as ‘unhealthy’, and ‘undemocratic’. “If there’s a controversy and if somebody’s got an issue, it’s with me and I stand up for it. I have a take on it that’s very strong, and I’m happy that’s the take I have as an Indian,” he said. .

“Whether it’s Shah Rukh or anyone else, when the Shiv Sena says he must take back his comments, he’ll have to do it,” said Manohar Joshi, Sena leader former Maharashtra’s chief minister.  “It’s better he understands this well. Shah Rukh will have to apologise or else we will not let his film release in Mumbai.”

The Sena, and its breakaway Maharashtra Navnirman Sena have intimidated a number of other Bollywood personalities in the past, most recently Karan Johar for referring to ‘Bombay’ instead of ‘Mumbai’ in the script of his film Wake up, Sid.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india/Apologise-or-go-to-Pakistan-says-Sena-SRK-unfazed/Article1-504644.aspx

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Two soldiers, 20 Taliban killed in Bajaur clashes

3 February 2010

PESHAWAR/KHAR: The security forces killed 20 Taliban while two soldiers were martyred and another injured in various clashes in Bajaur Agency on Tuesday. According to a Frontier Corps statement, helicopter gunships and fighter jets pounded Taliban hideouts in Damdola, Chinagai, Shinkot and adjacent areas of Mamoond tehsil, killing eight Taliban and destroying several militant hideouts. Two Taliban were also reportedly injured in the attacks. Separately, security forces consolidated territorial gains by regaining control of Damdola area. Authorities also apprehended 14 Taliban and recovered a cache of arms and ammunition in various parts of the agency. Curfew remained in force for the fourth consecutive day in Khar, the Bajaur Agency headquarters, where local tribesmen killed two Taliban and publicly hanged the bodies in the Inayat Kali area. Also, a terrorist was apprehended from Nala area of Khyber Agency, while four were arrested from Dir district. staff report

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\02\03\story_3-2-2010_pg7_8

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13 more killed as violence continues: Sindh govt hands over control of 26 police stations to Rangers

By Faraz Khan

KARACHI: As many as 13 people - ten of whom were claimed by the Awami National Party as being their activists - were killed in the ongoing violent incidents in various parts of Karachi on Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 37.

Meanwhile, the Sindh government has awarded special powers to the Pakistan Rangers, Sindh under Section 5 of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 and imposed Section 144 in the limits of 26 police stations for a month.

The Sindh government has taken these steps to control the deteriorating situation in the city after the bloodshed, which had started on Friday night, continued on the fifth consecutive day.

“The government has given the Rangers special powers similar to that of the police and it has withdrawn in the limits of 26 police stations in 12 towns all permission letters for carrying weapons that were issued in relaxation of the ban under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code,” Sindh Special Home Secretary Collin Kamran Dost told Daily Times.

It should be noted here that previously the Rangers were called in only to support the police, but now the Rangers have been given complete authority similar to that of the police, except registering an FIR, as the government has the authority to grant these powers under Section 10 of the Rangers Ordinance of 1959.

According to details of the violent events and their victims, Khyber Khan was gunned down in an incident of target killing in the North Karachi area in Khwaja Ajmer Nagri police station limits.

Full report at: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\02\03\story_3-2-2010_pg12_2

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Kazmi calls to follow thoughts of Iqbal, Rumi and Gulen of ideal Humanity

By Khalid Amin

ISLAMABAD—Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Hamid Saeed Kazmi has said that the eminent thinkers like Allama Iqbal, Allama Rumi and Fethullah Gulen have presented glorious thoughts about the Ideal Human Society in the world. They advocated for peace, Love and tolerance through Spiritual thinking to promote humanity in the society. The Minister paid great tributes to these scholars in his speech to a seminar on “Ideal of Human in the thoughts of Rumi, Iqbal and Gulen, organized by Allama Iqbal Open University in collaboration with Rumi Forum here today.

The Minister expressed that Allama Iqbal, through his extensive command on Western Philosophy, highlighted the importance of self-realization of the ego and rehabilitation it with the tenets and dynamic of Islam.

He was of the Opinion that these three eminent scholars in their discourse identified the common features of an ideal society established by last Messenger of Allah at Media. He added that reflecting their inspiring thoughts through the crystal of Islam, they highlighted Human Being and the essences that are only special to Human Being such as ego, Love, compassion, Power of expression which are vital Unit of the society that possibly help bring alive stagnant contemporary Muslim and world societies. These three scholars are acclaimed as mediators of Peace forerunners of a bright future in their particular regions and the promoters of inclusive peace in the world. They emphasized on the renewal of self potential to take an individual to the sky of human perfection in faith and humanity, the minister concluded.

Full report at: http://dailymailnews.com/0210/03/CityPage/CityPages6.php

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Banned JuD steps up activities in Pak

3 February 2010

JAMAAT- UD- DAWAH ( JuD), the frontal outfit of Lashkar- e- Tayyeba ( LeT), has stepped up its activities and unveiled plans to hold major conferences of Pakistani jihadi groups on Kashmir this week.

The JuD was lying low for over a year because of the scrutiny of its leaders in the wake of the 26/ 11 Mumbai attacks, The ‘ Yakjaiti- e- Kashmir’ ( Kashmir Solidarity) conference has been organised by the JuD in Pakistan- occupied Kashmir’s ( PoK) capital Muzaffarabad on Thursday.

It is expected to be attended by Hizbul Mujahideen commander Syed Salahuddin, JuD leader Abdul Rehman Makki and former Inter- Services Intelligence agency chief Hamid Gul. JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the mastermind of the 26/ 11 attacks, will address another Kashmir Solidarity conference to be held in Islamabad on Friday.

The conference in Muzaffarabad is being held after a gap of several years as such gatherings were not permitted by authorities after former military ruler Pervez Musharraf clamped down on jihadi groups following an assurance to New Delhi that Pakistani soil would not be used for anti- India activities The meet in Muzaffarabad will be addressed by leaders of jihadi groups, including General Abdullah, Sheikh Jameel Ahmed and Ghulam Muhammad Safi. It will be presided over by Abdul Aziz Alvi, the chief of the PoK chapter of the JuD. Alvi was briefly detained by authorities in his home in Muzaffarabad in December 2008 after the JuD was declared a front for the LeT by the UN Security Council.

Full report at: Mail Today, New Delhi.

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Indian Home Minister to go to Pakistan on Feb 26 for SAARC meet

3 February 2010

ON BOARD SPECIAL AIRCRAFT: In the first high-level bilateral visit since Mumbai terror attacks, home minister P Chidambaram will travel toPakistan on February 26 for a SAARC meeting on a two-day visit that is expected to break the deadlock in Indo-Pak dialogue.

Announcing the visit of Chidambaram, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna today said the home minister will attend the SAARC meeting scheduled on February 26 and 27 in Rawalpindi.

Krishna also indicated the possibility of Chidambaram holding bilateral meetings with his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik and other leaders on the sidelines of the third SAARC Interior Ministers' Conference.

"Chidambaram will get a chance to have very useful exchanges with his counterparts and other leaders in Pakistan," he told reporters accompanying him on his two-day official visit to Kuwait.

This will be the first visit by an Indian Minister to Pakistan since May 2008 when then External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had gone there for Composite Dialogue.

The visit also indicate a thaw in Indo-Pak relations, which has been going through a turbulent phase since the November 26, 2008 attacks in Mumbai with the evidence leading to the fact that these were conspired and hatched in Pakistan.

Krishna also said even "a few steps" by Pakistan in Mumbai terror attacks probe will satisfy it and help in dialogue as well as carrying on with normal business between the two countries.

He said India will be "quite satisfied" with "a few steps" by Pakistan in the course of 26/11 investigations.

This, he said, will "certainly make it easier for India to carry on normal business with Pakistan".

"We are trying to focus their attention also on terrorism. It would be extremely helpful for our bilateral relationship and dialogue (if they take these measures)," he told journalists accompanying him on the visit.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Chidambaram-to-go-to-Pakistan-on-Feb-26-for-SAARC-meet/articleshow/5531813.cms

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Iraq lifts election ban on suspected Baathists

3 February 2010

Iraq has lifted a ban on nearly 500 candidates barred from the March election for alleged links to the late Saddam Hussein's Baathist party.

The ban was lifted by an appeals panel on candidates listed last month by the post-Saddam Justice and Accountability Committee, election officials said.

Correspondents say the repeal of the ban has been welcomed by Sunni politicians who felt it targeted them.

Restrictions on former Baathists have been eased in recent years.

"The appeals panel decided to allow the banned candidates to participate in the next election and decided to postpone looking into the case until after the election," said Hamdiya al-Husseini, a member of the Independent High Electoral Commission.

She said successful candidates on the list would not be able to assume office until the appeals panel had given a final ruling on their cases.

Reconciliation concerns

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani had asked for the ban to be lifted, saying the commission's decision might not have been legal as it was not approved by parliament.

Although the list included candidates from across the sectarian divide, the decision will be seen primarily as a victory for Sunni politicians, who had felt disproportionately targeted by the ban, says the BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse in Baghdad.

Many in the once-dominant Sunni minority had regarded the barring of their candidates as a tactic to marginalise them.

A spokesman for prominent Sunni politician Saleh al-Mutlaq told the BBC he welcomed the ruling.

But there are those in Iraq who believe strongly that there is no place in public life for people with ties to the now-outlawed Baath party, through which Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq, says our correspondent.

The 7 March general election is regarded as a crucial test for Iraq's national reconciliation process ahead of a planned US military withdrawal in stages.

Many Sunni Arabs boycotted the last parliamentary election in 2005.

Baathism is a form of secular Arab nationalism and was the ideology espoused by Saddam Hussein when he came to power.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8496169.stm

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Dhaka to honour Indian soldiers killed in 1971 Liberation War

Anisur Rahman | Dhaka

Bangladesh would honour the Indian Army for its key role in the country’s ‘Liberation War’ against Pakistan by inscribing the names of Indian soldiers killed in the 1971 military operation at a special memorial in the heart of the capital.

Bangladesh will seek a list of martyred Indian soldiers in the 1971 Liberation War against Pakistan in a bid to honour them by inscribing their names at a memorial at Suhrawardy Udyan park, Tajul Islam, the State Minister of Liberation War Affairs, said on Tuesday.

“We are yet to know how many Indian soldiers lost their lives in our Liberation War. We will soon seek a list through the Foreign Ministry,” Islam told reporters. He said the names of the martyred Indian soldiers would be inscribed at the memorial. “Bangladesh will never forget India’s role in 1971 war,” he underlined. The announcement to honour the Indian soldiers came as a visiting military delegation led by Lt-Gen Vijay Kumar Singh, the next chief of the Indian Army, called on Islam at his office.

Lt-Gen Singh, currently Eastern Army Command chief at Kolkata, will take over as the next Army chief from General Deepak Kapoor on March 31. Bangladesh won its independence after nine months of bloody struggle with the Pakistani military with crucial Indian support.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/233306/Dhaka-to-honour-Indian-soldiers-killed-in-1971-Liberation-War.html

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US wary as Iran president agrees nuclear deal terms

3 February 2010

The US has reacted warily after Iran appeared to accept a deal to swap enriched uranium for nuclear fuel.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran would have "no problem" if most of its stock was held for several months before being returned as fuel rods.

The US said that if this was a new offer, it was "prepared to listen".

Soon after the statement, Iranian state TV announced the successful launch of a satellite rocket carrying an "experimental capsule".

The West is concerned about Iran's growing missile technology and possible links to its nuclear programme.

If President Ahmadinejad's comments are followed up by an Iranian approach to the IAEA stating that it is ready to negotiate on a uranium deal, then the whole picture would be changed.

Up to this point, Iran has said that it wants major changes to the proposed deal, which would make it unacceptable to the US and its allies.

If, on the other hand, he is saying this now as a way of undermining the current discussions on increasing sanctions on Iran, there would be no progress.

As always with Iran, it is difficult to assess its policy from one statement. But at least there is some hope.

A deal struck in October between Iran, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the so-called P5+1 - the US, Russia, China, UK, France plus Germany - envisaged Iran sending about 70% of its low-enriched uranium to Russia and France where it would be processed into fuel for a research reactor.

Full report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8494939.stm

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Razak personally responsible for false sodomy case: Anwar

Jaishree Balasubramanian | Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia’s Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, facing trial in a sodomy case, on Tuesday said he would call the country’s Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife on the witness stand, alleging that they were ‘personally’ responsible for the ‘false charges’ against him.

Anwar, a former deputy PM who was charged with similar charges a decade ago, is facing trial for allegedly sodomising a former male aide. The trial, which was to begin this morning, was postponed by five hours over some court issues.

Anwar, whose wife Wan Aziza heads the Opposition party, has always proclaimed innocent of the charges and termed them as false. The charge was lodged in a police report against him by his then aide Saiful Azlan in 2008.

The Opposition leader who held the Finance portfolio in former PM Mahathir Mohammad’s Cabinet told reporters he had evidence that Saiful visited Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah a few days before making the allegation. He said he call them both to the witness stand.

Najib has acknowledged Saiful came to see him but says it was in connection with a university scholarship.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/233318/Razak-personally-responsible-for-false-sodomy-case-Anwar.html

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‘Hakimullah’s likely successor also killed’

3 February 2010

PESHAWAR: Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud’s close aide Qari Hussain, the top trainer of suicide bombers and one of his potential successors, was killed in the same US drone attack that fatally injured him, sources said.

The sources in Aurakzai tribal region, who did not want to be identified for security reasons, said Qari Hussain died in the attack in North Waziristan on January 14. Wali-ur-Rehman, the chief military strategist of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, too has been missing since that drone attack, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the Taliban in North Waziristan threatened the government with a “big war” if the army launched any operation there. “If the army starts another operation here, the mujahideen will start a big war, so locals are directed to form a committee of elders to meet Karzai and ask him for a safe place... to migrate”, pamphlets in the region said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Hakimullahs-likely-successor-also-killed/articleshow/5529206.cms

 

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Maulana Toofan Taliban new acting chief?

SHAFQAT ALI

3 February 2010

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has appointed Malik Noor Jamal, alias Maulana Toofan, as acting chief to head the outfit in place of "wounded" Hakimullah Mehsud, sources said.

The reports come as rumours are rife that Hakimullah Mehsud died in a US missile strike in January.

The Taliban deny he is dead. Malik Noor Jamal alias Maulana Toofan is a local Taliban commander from the Orakzai Agency. The sources said that Malik Noor Jamal would head the organisation until the TTP leadership decides its next course of action.

The TTP again on Monday denied reports of Hakimullah Mehsud’s death in the January 14 US drone attack in Shaktoi area in South Waziristan and insisted that this was part of propaganda started by the intelligence agencies and propagated by the "West-oriented" media. There were unconfirmed reports that Hakimullah Mehsud died last Friday after succumbing to his injuries at his father-in-law’s house in Stara Gadda village in Tajaka area of Orakzai Agency.

The reports said he was buried in the Sama graveyard in Mamozai alongside the grave of a Palestinian militant, who was locally known as Kaka and was killed along with some Taliban in a US drone strike in Stara Gadda village in 2009.

The reports, still unsubstantiated, said Hakimullah Mehsud’s father-in-law Rehman was originally an Afridi tribesman settled in Mamozai area. His daughter was Hakimullah Mehsud’s second wife and they got married in 2009. A son had been born to the couple.

The reports said despite the best efforts of Taliban they couldn’t get any doctor from Hangu to treat Hakimullah Mehsud.

One doctor who was suspected of having treated Hakimullah Mehsud has now been cleared after investigations revealed he had been coming for duty to the government hospital during this period and had not travelled out of Hangu. The closure of almost all roads leading to Orakzai Agency by the security forces was also a big hurdle for the Taliban to bring a doctor for Hakimullah Mehsud’s treatment or transport him somewhere else for medical care.

TTP spokesman Azam Tariq rejected fresh reports about the death of Hakimullah Mehsud, and termed it a part of the propaganda by the enemy.

The TTP spokesman issued a statement from South Waziristan, in which he refuted media reports that Hakimullah Mehsud died of wounds suffered in a drone attack.

The TTP spokesman said there was no truth in these reports. He termed such reports as propaganda by the intelligence agencies and the "West-influenced media outlets".

http://www.asianage.com/presentation/leftnavigation/news/international/maulana-toofan-taliban-new-acting-chief.aspx

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Arrested IM terrorist to be charged with M C Sharma's murder

2 February 2010

LUCKNOW/NEW DELHI: A suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorist arrested in Azamgarh in connection with the 2008 serial blasts in Delhi will be charged with the murder of Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma during the Batla House encounter by Delhi Police, which have been granted his custody.

The Crime Branch of Delhi Police has got two-day transit remand of Shahzad, arrested by UP's Anti-Terror Squad on Monday in Khalispur village, from the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Abid Shameem in Lucknow.

Sources in New Delhi said Shahzad will be charged with the killing of Sharma during the September 19, 2008 encounter at Batla House in south Delhi, a week after the serial blasts rocked the capital killing 26 people.

Shahzad, who carries a reward of Rs five lakh on his head, and Junaid had allegedly escaped from Batla House during the encounter and Delhi Police had charged them for their alleged involvement in the death of Sharma, who was leading a team to nab the suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists.

When intercepted, the group members allegedly opened fire which was retaliated by police. While two terrorists were killed in the encounter, police had claimed that the two others managed to give them a slip and fled from the spot.

In Lucknow, Additional Director General of Police Brij Lal said Shahzad told his interrogators that his group planned to recruit youths and also to carry out serial blasts in Indore and technical education institutes across the country, before Batla House encounter happened.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Arrested-IM-terrorist-to-be-charged-with-M-C-Sharmas-murder/articleshow/5528695.cms

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Train blasts mastermind nabbed

Atiq Khan

LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday arrested Hamiduddin alias Hamiruddin alias Salim, who was wanted in connection with the serial bomb blasts on running trains in different parts of the country in 1993.

Hamiduddin, who carried a reward of Rs. 50,000 on his head, was nabbed by the Special Task Force after an encounter on the outskirts of Lucknow, Additional Director-General ( Law and Order, STF and ATS) Brij Lal said here. A .32 bore pistol, a hand grenade and a fuse were seized from Hamiduddin, who had been absconding for the past 16 years. “Three other serial bomb blasts accused, Syed Abdul Kareem, Mohammad Tufail and Irfan Ahmed, are still at large. They belong to Ghaziabad, Hardoi and Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh,” Mr. Lal said. Hamiduddin was among the 15 persons who were instrumental in planting bombs aboard the Rajdhani Express, the Flying Queen Express and the A.P. Express in December 1993.

http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/03/stories/2010020356270100.htm

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Emulate Kasab’s zeal, says top police officer

3 February 2010

Indore: A top police officer of Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday said Ajmal Kasab, lone surviving Pakistani gunman of the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, was a good role model for training with passion.

Addressing a training camp, Rajendra Kumar, Inspector General of Police (Special Armed Force), said: “if you are trained well, you can do anything. An example is Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab. He just studied up to Class 8 and had training for just one year. With this, he could operate weapons, gadgets and GPS devices. He could do this because he had passion and trained very well. He could operate technology well because he trained himself well,” he said.

“He [Kasab] had the zeal in him. Can’t we have the same like his? We are more educated than him; we are more able than him. Learn from Kasab how to handle weapons,” he stated.

Later, Mr. Kumar, said: “If somebody feels bad, I really say sorry for that. But the thing is that I have cited other people like Sachin Tendulkar too while underlining the need for excellence.”

‘Not praising Kasab’

Denying that he praised Kasab, he said: “I am not praising Kasab. I strongly condemn him. He should be given the maximum punishment. My only aim was to motivate jawans in the area of shooting so that they can give a befitting reply to terrorists. My point was that we should take better training, because ultimately we have to face this type of terrorist situation [26/11] in future. Unless we are very well trained, we cannot deal with them.”

The IG said besides Kasab he had given the example of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar for motivating the participants.

Even Ram and Ravana are often quoted in the country, he added.

http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/03/stories/2010020359481100.htm

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Sohrabuddin Encounter probe: CBI registers case

3 February 2010

MUMBAI: The CBI has registered a case against Gujarat police officials to probe the alleged fake encounter that killed Sohrabuddin Sheikh, said to be a gangster, and his wife in 2005.

http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/03/stories/2010020356310100.htm

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Militant group vows attack on oil facilities in Nigeria

3 February 2010

ABUJA: The main militant group in Nigeria's oil rich region has vowed to attack an oil facility belonging to Shell. The group, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) called off a ceasefire it unilaterally declared last October on Saturday after which an oil pipeline was attacked.

The military said the attack could have been carried out by thieves while MEND claimed one of its freelance rebels was responsible.

"MEND hereby promises to re-visit the Trans-Ramos pipeline which we attacked in June last year after it has been repaired, as well as other oil facilities around the Niger Delta in the weeks to come," the group said in an emailed statement.

It warned oil companies regarding their staff who they are "putting in harm's way by their continued presence on our soil."

Nigeria has boasted of increased oil output this year and the attack may affect this as it has done in recent past.

While calling off the ceasefire MEND had warned oil companies and their affiliates in the region to prepare for an all-out onslaught against their installations.

The group which was granted amnesty by the Nigerian government last year said they ordered a ceasefire hoping that it would consider true dialogue "founded on sincere desire to bring justice to the people of the Niger Delta and true peace to Nigeria" but the latter had acted like a victor.

MEND is one amongst some other militant groups fighting for resource control in the oil producing region of Nigeria.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Militant-group-vows-attack-on-oil-facilities-in-Nigeria-/articleshow/5529586.cms

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Big jump in Pakistan aid

3 February 2010

Washington: U.S. President Barack Obama has proposed $3.2 billion in assistance to Pakistan in the fiscal 2011, a substantial jump in American aid.

Noting that Pakistan is a key country in the war against extremism, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Jacob Lew said the budget focused on improving basic infrastructure.

“This is key to improving stability and will also provide the military the tools needed to wage an effective counterterrorist campaign. For fiscal 2011, funding for Pakistan is $3.2 billion,” he said, adding that in 2010 it had been $1.88 billion.

“For Pakistan, the budget also increases security assistance and funds a new signature energy project,” said the White House in a fact sheet.

Mr. Obama has proposed $1.2 billion for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund as against $700 million in 2009. — PTI

http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/03/stories/2010020359861500.htm

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Iran to hang nine more over election unrest

03 Feb, 2010

TEHRAN, Feb 2: Iran said on Tuesday it would soon hang nine more rioters over the unrest that erupted after the June presidential vote, and the leader of the opposition said such repression showed the 1979 Islamic revolution had failed.

“Nine others will be hanged soon. The nine, and the two who were hanged on Thursday, were surely arrested in the recent riots and had links to anti-revolutionary groups,” said senior judiciary official Ebrahim Raisi, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

The two men hanged last week were among a group of 11 people sentenced to death on charges including “waging war against God” and being members of armed groups.

Opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi, former prime minister, said on Tuesday the repression showed the 1979 Islamic revolution that overthrew the US-backed Shah “had not achieved its goals”.

“Filling the prisons and brutally killing protesters show that the root of ... dictatorship remain from the monarchist era,” he said on his Kalemeh website.

Influential cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati praised the hangings and urged the judiciary on Friday to execute more.

“The cruel cleric praises the judiciary for the hangings despite serious concerns over the methods used for getting confessions from detainees,” Mousavi said.

Eight people, including a nephew of Mousavi, were killed in demonstrations during the Shi’ite ritual of Ashura on Dec 27 and officials said over 1,000 were arrested.

“The ‘green movement’ will not abandon its peaceful fight ... until people’s rights are preserved,” Mousavi told the Kalemeh website. “Peaceful protests are Iranians’ right.”

His comments may encourage supporters to take to the streets on Feb 11, when Iran marks the anniversary of the 1979 revolution with state-organised rallies. If so, clashes are expected.

Since a disputed presidential election in June, the opposition has used state rallies to stage anti-government protests. Mousavi and another defeated candidate, Mehdi Karoubi, have urged their supporters to attend the Feb 11 events.

“Under no condition will we let the ‘green movement’ show up ... it will be firmly confronted by us,” said Hossein Hamedani, a commander of the Revolutionary Guards.

Iran has been rocked by protests since the election that gave President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term.

The poll, which reformist leaders said was rigged, touched off the worst internal crisis in the Islamic Republic’s history.—Reuters

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/iran-to-hang-nine-more-over-election-unrest-320

 

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Karzai in Riyadh for talks with king on Taliban issue

03 Feb, 2010

Jeddah Governor Prince Mishaal bin Majed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (right) talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, wearing an Umrah dress for a mini pilgrimage, upon his arrival at Jeddah airport February 2, 2010. - Reuters photo Front Page

US plans 75pc increase in drone operations US plans 75pc increase in drone operations RIYADH: Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has called for Riyadh’s help in restoring peace to his country, arrived on Tuesday for talks in Saudi Arabia, the official SPA news agency said.

Mr Karzai flew into Jeddah with a delegation and was to perform Umrah ahead of meetings with Saudi and regional officials on Wednesday, SPA said.

He is to hold talks with the Organisation of the Islamic Conference chief in Jeddah before heading to Riyadh where he is expected to meet King Abdullah and other top Saudi officials.

President Karzai is believed to be seeking Saudi help in negotiating a peace with the Taliban militants as well development aid for Afghanistan.

“To make our programme a success we hope that His Majesty King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia will kindly play a role to guide peace and assist the process,” he told an international conference on war-torn Afghanistan in London last week.

Mr Karzai won backing for a new peace and reconciliation programme with the Taliban at the London conference.

Long influential in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, Riyadh has urged Mr Karzai to find a political solution to the Taliban insurgency.

But Riyadh has also said repeatedly they will not deal with the Taliban as long as the group helps protect Al Qaeda.

Mr Karzai is expected to stay in Saudi Arabia for three days.—AFP

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/13+karzai-in-riyadh-for-talks-with-king-on-taliban-issue-320-za-02

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More efforts needed to defeat Taliban: US

03 Feb, 2010

WASHINGTON, Feb 2: The US military chief told a congressional panel on Tuesday that defeating the Taliban would mean “more sacrifice and more bloodshed”.

Admiral Mike Mullen, however, warned that the US could not afford to lose this war as “the stakes are too high for failure”.

Appearing with Defence Secretary Robert Gates before Senate Armed Services Committee, chairman of the US Joint Chief of Staff warned that the Taliban had a growing influence across Afghanistan and Pakistan’s tribal belt remained an epicentre of global terrorism.

Admiral Mullen warned that the next 18 months would be critical in the fight against the Taliban.

“The outcome of today’s conflicts will shape the global security environment for decades to come,” he said.

America’s top uniformed soldier said that Afghanistan and Pakistan were “critical terrain” and the US needed to continue to support their efforts to push back the militants.

He warned that the Taliban in Afghanistan had moved well beyond their southern strongholds and now had a growing influence in most of Afghanistan’s provinces.

Admiral Mullen and Secretary Gates told the Senate panel that they expected about 18,000 of the 30,000 additional US troops authorised by President Barack Obama last year, to be in Afghanistan by late spring.

This, they hoped, could reverse the gains the Taliban had made in 18 Afghan provinces since last year.

They said while $159.3 billion they had requested was needed to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the next year and a half, $33 billion was required o send 30,000 more troops there by the end of the year.

Many anti-war Democrats are sceptical of endorsing such a large sum yet they did not use the hearing to push back on the war spending, signalling that Congress would probably endorse it despite reservations.

“Rolling back the Taliban is now necessary, even if not sufficient, to the ultimate defeat of Al Qaeda and its affiliates operating along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border,” Mr Gates told the Senate panel.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/more-efforts-needed-to-defeat-taliban-us-320

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Tahir Hussain passes away

Feb 03 2010

Mumbai, Feb. 2: Bollywood producer Tahir Hussain, the father of superstar Aamir Khan, passed away on Tuesday morning following a cardiac arrest, family sources said.

“He had a massive heart attack. Aamir and Kiran, who are in Los Angeles, are flying back. The funeral is likely to be on Wednesday evening,” sources said.

Tahir is best known as the producer of blockbusters like Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993), Zakhmee (1975), Anamika (1973) and Caravan (1973).

He had also directed Aamir for the first time in his directorial debut Tum Mere Ho in 1990.

Tahir also acted in Janam Janam Na Saath (1977), Pyar Ka Mausam (1969) and Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai (1961).

The filmmaker is survived by his wife and two sons, Aamir and Faisal, and two daughters, Farhat and Nikhat. Aamir, who is in the US with wife Kiran Rao to attend the Sundance film festival where his movie Peepli Live has premiered, is expected to arrive on Wednesday.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/national/tahir-hussain-passes-away-196

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Kashmir Chief Minister seeks resolution of all issues amicably

3 February 2010

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah advocated for early resumption of Indo-Pakistan dialogue for the resolution of “all issues amicably”. He urged that the complex problems, which have resulted in prolonged turmoil, are also addressed so that the peaceful atmosphere prevails and the State could move towards peace and prosperity.

Addressing a public gathering at Ladoora village in Baramulla district, Omar lamented that on different pretexts youths has been exploited by anti-social elements and they used them to supplement personal political gains. He said these forces of violence have made fortunes and their kin are enjoying good posts in the Government or different institutions abroad. They have learnt to live luxurious life by exploiting youngsters to indulge in anti-social activities, he said, observing they feel sadistic pleasure by bringing normal life to halt as a result of which poor people, vendors, daily rated workers and others suffer.

Omar was referring to separatist-sponsored strike in the Valley against the death of a teenager in old Srinagar. He appealed the people to frustrate the designs of such forces and extend their full support to the Government in steering J&K into prosperity.

The Chief Minister claimed that his Government supported dialogue between India and Pakistan and this dialogue process should continue and be purposeful to find out permanent solution of all the issues. He said that quiet diplomacy is going on with Hurriyat leaders without any condition. However, he said this process needs to be accelerated. He also said that it was made clear to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the youth have not taken guns for paani, sadak, bijli and taleem but they want a permanent solution of the Kashmir issue.

Omar said that time has come to work untidily for restoration of complete peace in the State, as the people have seen much destruction and killings during the past 20 years. “We have to work now for peace, prosperity and development,” he maintained and asserted not to rest till complete peace and prosperity is restored in the State.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/233508/Omar-seeks-resolution-of-all-issues-amicably.html

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Israel closes beaches after explosives wash ashore

3 February 2010

Israeli police has cordoned off beaches along a 25-mile area north of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday after two barrels carrying explosive devices washed up on Israeli shores. Palestinian militants claimed responsibility for the failed attack, which came amid heightened tensions over the assassination of a Hamas commander in Dubai last month.

While Israel has not commented on the killing, Gaza’s Hamas rulers and their Iranian patrons have blamed the Jewish State. Israeli police said the two barrels, each containing 22 pounds of explosives, washed up on Israel’s shores late Monday, first in the port city of Ashkelon and several hours later in Ashdod to the north.

A bomb squad defused one barrel, while the explosives in the second blew up while a robot was inspecting them. There were no injuries.

“The attack was an intended terrorist attack that failed,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. “Police assessed the security situation throughout last night and continue to keep the beaches closed.”

Maritime authorities warned sailors and fishermen to be alert to possible dangers in the waters, surfers were ordered out of the water and the public was told to keep away. In Ashdod, a small crane-like robot crawled along the beach, prodding suspicious objects.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/233321/Israel-closes-beaches-after-explosives-wash-ashore.html

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Suspected US drone strikes kill at least 29 in Pakistan

Hasbanullah Khan

February 03, 2010

Multiple missile strikes carried out by suspected US pilot less drone aircraft killed at least 29 people in Pakistan's restive tribal region Tuesday, a Pakistani intelligence official said.

Several more people were injured in the air attacks that took place in at least four villages of North Waziristan district, a known sanctuary of Taliban and Al Qaeda militants conducting cross-border raids on US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan.

"At least eight drones took part in the attack, and they have fired some 18 missiles at three training camps of Taliban, their two vehicles and some bunkers," said a local intelligence official that spoke on condition of anonymity.

Taliban militants have fired at the US aircraft from some of these bunkers. The militants shot down one drone on January 24.

"According to the initial reports we have received from various areas, at least 29 people have been killed while around a dozen more are injured," said the official about Tuesday's attack, adding that the death toll might rise.

People are buried under the debris of the demolished house, but no one dares to carry out rescue work since the drones are still flying in the area, the official said over phone. "Almost all those killed are Taliban (fighters)."

The US has intensified its campaign to target militant hideouts with drone strikes in Pakistan's rugged tribal region since an Al-Qaeda double agent killed five CIA officials and two private security contractors in a suicide bombing in the Afghan province of Khost on December 30.

Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud was reported to have been killed in a similar missile strike in early January, but days later he denied the reports in two audio messages released to local reporters.

Pakistan publicly opposes the air raids, saying they violate the country's territorial sovereignty and stoke anti-American sentiments among the local population.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Suspected-US-drone-strikes-kill-at-least-29-in-Pakistan/H1-Article1-504721.aspx

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ED cracks down on terror funds

Manish Tiwari

February 03, 2010

In what could be the biggest-ever exercise to track down terror funding, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered around 30 cases across India in the last three months against dreaded terrorists on charges of money laundering and waging war against the country. It has also frozen many bank accounts, and sealed properties allegedly acquired using terror funds.

In Delhi alone, 15 cases have been registered against terrorists such as Jagar Singh Hawara, Babbar Khalsa International activist accused in Delhi cinema hall blasts in 2005 and Lashkar-e-Tayebba operative Tarik Ahmed Dar, allegedly involved in the Delhi Diwali bombings in Sarojini Nagar in the same year.

The ED has tracked down the Germany-based source from which Hawara received Rs 19 lakh. Dar's account in Jammu and Kashmir Bank with a balance of Rs 5.5 lakh has also been sealed.

Other terrorists against whom the ED has registered cases include Mukhtar Ahmed Khan (arrested in Delhi with explosives in 2007), Imran Ahmad Kirmani and Ghulam Rasool Bafanda (both arrested for possessing RDX in Delhi in 2006).

“All these cases are based on FIRs and chargesheets filed by Delhi police, the CBI or other security agencies. Our major focus this year would be on terrorist-related financing,” a senior ED official said. “We'll be questioning those terrorists lodged in different jails and also sending Letter Rogatories (LRs) to the countries from which the funds came.”

Last year, the government had amended the Prevention of Money laundering Act (PMLA), giving the ED powers to freeze funds associated with terrorist outfits.

“The chances of conviction of the terrorists are maximum under the PLMA as the burden of proof is on the accused. Moreover statements recorded before the ED under the money laundering act are admissible in courts, which is not the case with statements to the police,” the official said.

The Financial Action Task Force, an Inter-governmental body,  promoting policies to combat terrorist financing, is closely monitoring the effort.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/newdelhi/ED-cracks-down-on-terror-funds/Article1-504678.aspx

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Krishna now hints at future Indo- Pak talks

3 February 2010

AFTER A thaw in relations, chances of India and Pakistan resuming a ‘ composite dialogue’ looks bright. External affairs minister S. M. Krishna hinted on Tuesday that the two governments could meet for a fresh round of talks but stressed it would focus only on the war against terror.

Relations between the two countries soured following the 26/ 11 Mumbai attacks.

But there have been indications in recent weeks that the two might revive talks.

Only last week Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi avoided having a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the London conference on Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, the external affairs minister appeared positive but indicated that future Indo- Pak talks would depend on the 26/ 11 probe.

“ Based on the dossiers provided by India, Pakistan should investigate further and bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice,” Krishna said on the sidelines of the 60th anniversary of the Fulbright programme in India. He said that talks would continue to revolve around the terror infrastructure in Pakistan.

“ The terror infrastructure in Pakistan has been the focal point of dialogue with Pakistan and will continue to be the focal point,” Krishna said when asked whether Union home minister P. Chidambaram would visit Islamabad for the SAARC home ministers’ meeting to be held later this month.

Chidambaram had earlier said that if he went to Pakistan, there could be bilateral talks. There are reports that foreign secretary Nirupama Rao might soon meet her Pakistani counterpart.

Krishna, meanwhile, blasted the Australian government and said Indian students are being “ singled out” for attacks.

“ There are so many foreign students in Australia. Why do such attacks happen on Indian students only? We want the attacks on Indian students to stop immediately. Some introspection on the part of the Australian government is required,” Krishna said while pointing out that India had received no such complaints from the US where nearly one lakh Indian students study.

Mail Today, New Delhi.

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J&K distances itself from Mir’s Padma

3 February 2010

SRINAGAR: Jammu & Kashmir government today sought to distance itself from the Padma Shri award to Ghulam Mohammed Mir, a former militant, who said he deserved the award on the basis of his anti-militancy operations during the crucial period in the state.

As a controversy raged over the selection of the counter-insurgent, CM Omar Abdullah said, “I am not aware of the state government making any recommendations. There is

unfortunately a lot of controversy over this year’s award. We had made some recommendations including that of Rukhsana for bravery. But this is not our recommendation.”

However, sources in New Delhi said that chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah and BJP leader Harsh Vardhan had supported Mir for the award. In the midst of this, Mir wondered why he was being dragged into a controversy. “My name has been mentioned in one FIR of a mine blast. The case has never been proved. But what I can prove is saving the lives of former minister Khemlata Wakhloo, former MP Mir Magami and two foreigners,” he said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/JK-distances-itself-from-Mirs-Padma/articleshow/5529528.cms

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US must welcome ‘back-door’ negotiations on Kashmir: Mullen

3 February 2010

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration should welcome all steps that Pakistan and India take to regenerate ‘back-door’ negotiations on the Kashmir dispute, US Joint Chiefs Staff Chairman Mike Mullen said on Tuesday.

Talking at a congressional hearing, he called for supporting moves to improve trust between the two South Asian nuclear powers.

Mullen said, “While the US acknowledges the sovereign right of India and Pakistan to pursue their own foreign policies, we must demonstrate our desire for continued and long-term partnership with each, and offer our help to improve confidence and understanding between them in a manner that builds long-term stability across the wider region of South Asia.”

Pakistan has reversed the Taliban territorial gains through a series of military operations, he added. app

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\02\03\story_3-2-2010_pg1_5

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Top Madhya Pradesh cop goes gaga over Qasab’s weapon skill

By Anup Datta in Bhopal

STOMACH this: Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab’s dexterity in handling firearms and gadgets during the 26/ 11 Mumbai attack has got the terrorist an admirer in the Indian police.

A Madhya Pradesh Police officer cited the lone surviving terrorist of 26/ 11 as a model worthy of emulation when it comes to training and passion.

“ Qasab has studied only till Class VIII. But with just a year of training he learnt how to handle arms and to operate sophisticated cell phones,” state IGP ( special armed force) Rajender Kumar said.

“ How was all this possible? This was only because of training.

Qasab had passion. Do we have passion to learn like Qasab? We are more educated and have better facilities in comparison,” he added.

The IGP was addressing a state- level shooting championship at the Reoti Shooting Range in Indore.

However, as an afterthought he apologised for citing Qasab as an example. He also cited Sachin Tendulkar to underline the need for excellence.

“ I was telling 150 policemen in Indore that only the gun and accurate target practice can help policemen survive against terrorists and Naxalites. ( I cited the) example of Sachin Tendulkar — how each time the master got out, he watched video replays of his wicket and corrected his style. Similarly, in target practice, policemen should see where they are going wrong each time they missed the target,” Kumar said.

The IG later denied having praised the terrorist. “ I am not praising Qasab. I strongly condemn him. He should be given the maximum punishment,” he said.

“ My only aim was to motivate jawans so that they can give a befitting reply to terrorists. The point I wanted to make was that we should take better training because ultimately we may face terrorist situations such as 26/ 11 in future. Unless we are well- trained, we cannot deal with them,” he added.

Qasab and nine other Lashkar- e- Tayyeba terrorists killed around 160 people in the Mumbai attack. He is now being tried in a Mumbai court.

Mail Today, New Delhi.

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Indian influence in Afghanistan matter of concern: Mukhtar By Our Staff Reporter

03 Feb, 2010

ISLAMABAD, Feb 2: Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar said on Tuesday Pakistan had serious concerns over the growing influence of India in Afghanistan.

During a meeting with United Kingdom’s Naval Chief of Staff Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, the minister said the armed forces had successfully cleared the troubled areas of Swat, Bajaur and South Waziristan of militants with the support of the nation.

The two sides discussed cooperation between navies of the two countries, regional security situation and the London conference on Afghanistan.

Mr Mukhtar said the international community had endorsed Pakistan’s stance on Afghanistan at the recent London conference. Pakistan, he added, had been urging the world to open dialogue with moderate Taliban to integrate them into the mainstream for the sake of peace and stability in the war-torn country.

The minister reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to promoting durable peace and stability in Afghanistan which was imperative for regional peace and security. He said the international community should recognise Pakistan as a nuclear state.

Maritime security of Indian Ocean and role being played by Pakistan Navy as part of CTF 150 and CTF 151 were also discussed. The two sides stressed the need for closer collaboration between the navies of Britain and Pakistan.

They called for a coordinated mechanism for exchange of information to combat human and drug trafficking and militancy.

Admiral Mark Stanhope also called on General Tariq Majid, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.

They exchanged views on the regional security situation, the impact of US strategy for Afghanistan and the region, outcome of the London conference, measures for enhancing cooperation in dealing with militancy on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border and specific measures to improve bilateral maritime cooperation.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/indian-influence-in-afghanistan-matter-of-concern-mukhtar-320

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Yemen rebels pledge not to attack S. Arabia

03 Feb, 2010

SANAA:Yemeni Shia rebels pledged on Tuesday not to attack neighbouring Saudi Arabia, a key condition laid down by the Sanaa government to end its nearly-six-month military campaign against them.

“As long as no one attacks us, we would not target any party,” the office of rebel leader Abdul Malak al-Huthi said in a statement posted on the rebels’ website.

It said the rebels, known also as Huthis, had already made this position clear last week when they announced a “withdrawal from Saudi territory and ending the war”. The issue of captured Saudis would not be a “hurdle”, it said, adding that “if there is a willingness to have peace, this issue can be solved through an exchange of prisoners.” The rebel leader offered on Saturday to accept the government’s five-point truce terms, as long as the government halts military attacks.

But the government rejected the offer, pointing to a sixth condition stipulating a Huthi pledge not to attack Saudi Arabia.

The demand was apparently added after the northern rebels started to lock horns with Riyadh in early November.

Saudi Arabia, in its largest military mobilisation since the 1991 Gulf War, deployed reinforcements on its border with Yemen after accusing the Huthis of killing a border guard and occupying two small villages.

The rebels last week announced their withdrawal from the last positions they occupied in Saudi Arabia, which in turn said they had been chased out of its territory.

“We have offered all that we can to stop the bloodshed ... The party that is playing with words, finding excuses and setting up more hurdles in order to keep the war raging should be held responsible,” Tuesday’s statement said.—AFP

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/yemen-rebels-pledge-not-to-attack-s.-arabia-320

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Israel feels under siege

By Robert Fisk

03 Feb, 2010

So the propaganda war is on. Forget Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the 15,000 Lebanese and Palestinian dead. Forget the Sabra and Shatila massacre that same year by Israel’s militia allies as their troops watched. Erase the Qana massacre of 1996 — 106 Lebanese killed by Israeli shellfire, more than half of them children — and delete the 1,500 in the 2006 Lebanon war. And forget, of course, the more than 1,300 Palestinians slaughtered by Israel in Gaza last year (and the 13 Israelis killed by Hamas at that time) after Hamas rockets fell on Sderot. Israel — if you believe the security elite of Israel’s right wing here in Herzliya — is now under an even more dangerous, near-unprecedented attack.

Britain — this came yesterday from Israel’s ambassador in London, no less — is “a battlefield” in which Israel’s enemies wish to “de-legitimise” the 62-year-old Jewish state.

Even Israel’s erstwhile friend, that fine Jewish judge Richard Goldstone, is now, in the words of one of Israel’s staunchest American-Jewish supporters, Al Dershowitz, an “absolute traitor to the Jewish people” and “an evil, evil man”. (Headlines for this, of course, in Israel yesterday.)

Israel under siege. That was the dreary, familiar, hopelessly misunderstood theme at the 10th annual Herzliya conference of diplomats, Israeli civil servants, military gold braid and government yesterday.

Israel the underdog. Israel the victim. Israel whose state-of-the-art, more-moral-than-any-other army was now in danger of seeing its generals arraigned on war crimes charges if they set foot in Europe.

Heaven forbid that Israeli officers should ever be accused of atrocities! The Jerusalem Post yesterday carried a photograph of Kadima leader Tzipi Livni looking at a Krakow poster abusing her as “wanted for war crimes in Gaza”. Forget that she did nothing as Foreign Minister when the Israelis rained phosphorous on Gaza. This whole judicial attack on Israel was an abuse, a deliberate use of international law to de-legitimise the state of Israel — like all the other condemnation of Israel. Would that it was. This current identity crisis is indeed a tragedy for Israel — though not in the way that its right-wing government now suggests.

I remember all too well how, after the disastrous Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, a huge London conference sought to find out how Israeli “propaganda” failed. Never mind the slaughter of the Lebanese and the growing Israeli military casualties. How come Israel’s message didn’t get across? How come the anti-Semitic press was allowed to get away with such calumny? It was an identikit forum to this week’s Herzliya confab.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/israel-feels-under-siege-320

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US deployment of anti-missile defences off Iran’s coast raises tensions in regionBy Ali Khalil

03 Feb, 2010

DUBAI: US deployment of anti-missile defences off Iran’s coast and in a number of its Gulf Arab neighbours is certain to fuel tensions in a strategic region that supplies a third of the world’s oil, analysts say.

“This will make Iran more nervous,” said Mustafa Alani, head of security research at the Dubai-based Gulf Research Centre.

To counter a perceived threat from a controversial Iranian nuclear programme and Tehran’s advancing missile capabilities, Washington has said it is deploying anti-missile weapons systems in the region.

The move is unlikely to please Iran, which has already warned its Gulf Arab neighbours not to take part in US moves against the Islamic republic.

But Tehran is likely to take comfort from the announcement in Washington that a US military failed on Sunday to shoot down a ballistic missile in a test resembling an Iranian or North Korean strike.

The US administration is reportedly placing specialised ships with missile-targeting capabilities off Iran’s coast, and anti-missile systems in at least four Gulf states— Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia has long had the Patriot missile defence system, while the UAE placed an order in 2008. Bahrain is also home to the US Navy Fifth fleet, Qatar hosts the US Central Command (CENTCOM) and Kuwait has a large US military base.

“Iranians will interpret this as an opening shot in the intensification of US military agenda,” said Professor Anoush Ehteshami, Iran and Gulf expert at Durham University in Britain.

“Tehran will see this as America putting indirect pressure on Iran by extending the security umbrella over Iran’s neighbours,” he told AFP by telephone. Iran “will not see this in a positive light.”

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/us-deployment-raises-tensions-in-strategic-gulf-320

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US plans 75pc increase in drone operations

By Anwar Iqbal

03 Feb, 2010

Even though the $3.8 trillion budget for 2011 announced by President Obama is the third budget in a row with a deficit of more than $1 trillion, it boosts the defence outlay by 3.4pc over the 2010 enacted level. - File photo World

US officials say terrorism suspect is cooperating WASHINGTON: The US defence budget for 2011 seeks more funds to enhance drone operations by 75 per cent, citing its success in targeting militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s tribal belt.

“With this funding, we will increase the unmanned Predator and Reaper orbits from 37 to 65, while enhancing our ability to process, exploit and disseminate information gathered by this game-changing technology,” said Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen.

“As we’ve seen firsthand through eight years of war, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets are absolutely critical enablers for the war-fighter,” he said.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, while briefing journalists on the 2011 budget, said the new drones would be added to the American military’s arsenal “in a couple of years” and these would be “the most advanced UAVs”.

On Monday afternoon, the Pentagon sent a $708 billion defence budget proposal to Congress, reflecting a shift in the US military strategy from conventional wars to counter-insurgency.

The three separate requests include the $548.9 billion fiscal 2011 base budget, $159.3 billion fiscal 2011 overseas contingency operations proposal and the $33 billion fiscal 2010 supplemental.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/13+us-plans-75pc-increase-in-drone-operations-320-za-05

 

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Indo-Pak students join hands to design space settlement project at NASA

3 February 2010

NEW DELHI: A group of Indian and Pakistani students will design a project for space settlement at America’s National Aeronautical Space Agency (NASA). Designing a space city for 10,000 inhabitants will not only test their technical competence but also their creativity, management skills, environmental knowledge, teamwork as well as presentation.

US Ambassador in India Timothy J Roemer, who received the students on Tuesday, said he was looking forward to hear their experiences in the US. “This group of Indian and Pakistani students are together designing the future of our civilization – one with few limitations of geographical boundaries,” he said.

The students had qualified for working at NASA’s 16th Annual International Space Settlement Design Competition.

The competition has been sponsored by NASA and Boeing.

The winning team includes high school students from Amity International School, Delhi and Lahore Grammar School who will be joining 12 other finalist teams from around the world to compete at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas. iftikhar gilani

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\02\03\story_3-2-2010_pg7_2

URL of this page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/pakistan-blast-kills-3-us-marines,-school-kids,-taliban-own-up/d/2446


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