New Age Islam
Thu Aug 13 2020, 05:05 PM

Islamic World News ( 15 Jun 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Pakistan ranked third in survey on violence against women

Zawahri appointed Al Qaeda leader

100 killed in south Sudan clashes in rebel Attacks

18 killed in Waziristan, Pak drone attacks

Ten more killed as ‘ethnic violence’ continues in Karachi

Pak court allows Dalbir to meet brother Sarabjit Singh

Indonesia: Ba’asyir gets 15 years in prison

Shehnaz Bibi, the woman paraded naked: bruised but defiant

Ex-RI citizen charged with terrorism in Malaysia

Somalia worst place to be a woman: minister

Afghan vice president escapes rocket attack

Experts, journalists attempt to understand ISI

US building secret CIA base in Gulf to counter Al-Qaeda

Turkey plans buffer zone on Syrian land

Police confirm arrest of terrorist suspect in Aceh

Terrorist who gave Osama info freed by Pak, working with al-Qaeda again

Video of abuse by Pak forces emerges: Reports

Army ‘mole’ who gave US Osama info held but Pak denies news

Pak SC refuses to request India for release of Pak prisoner

14 parties registered but Musharraf has to wait

Explosions at compound of Libya leader Muammar Gaddafi

Barack Obama has legal power in Libya campaign: White House

Hackers target 51 Malaysian government websites

Militants seize parts of Yemeni city: Officials

Iran assures Russia of nuclear compliance

US-Pakistan security ties hit new low: Report

CIA informants: Up to 40 people detained nationwide

Covert crackdown: ‘Army major was not CIA informant’

Prez Zardari to lend name as father of all children of ‘unknown parentage’

Headley filmed Oberoi to kill time

In Afghanistan, no takers for 'cursed' car number 39

Karachi violence: Coalition partners to revive code of conduct

US defence budget hearing: We cannot walk away from Pakistan, says Mullen

Obama and an elusive peace in Sudan

Journalists protest Saleem Shahzad’s killing

Bahrain to sue The Independent for ‘libel’

Zardari holds talks with Ahmadinejad

Syrian envoy holds crisis talks in Turkey

Makkah forum discusses ways to further ease Haj

Ferry service for Egyptian pilgrims set to resume

Saudi Arab Airlines is not all that bad...

Jordan to go ahead with nuclear program

Troops from Sudan’s north, south clash in Abyei

Iran’s president calls for alliance against West

Israel holds drill for Gaza-bound flotilla

Top charge dropped in NYC terror case

Palestinians youths injured by Israeli firing

New Riyadh centre big boost for treatment of liver, tumour

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/pakistan-ranked-third-in-survey-on-violence-against-women/d/4848

 

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Pakistan ranked third in survey on violence against women

June 16, 2011

LONDON: A global survey of perceptions regarding violence against women has ranked Pakistan third.

Violence, dismal healthcare and brutal poverty make Afghanistan the world’s most dangerous country for women, with Congo a close second due to horrific levels of rape, a Thomson Reuters Foundation expert poll said on Wednesday. Pakistan, India and Somalia ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the survey of perceptions of threats ranging from domestic abuse and economic discrimination to female foeticide, genital mutilation and acid attacks.

“Ongoing conflict, NATO airstrikes and cultural practices combined make Afghanistan a very dangerous place for women,” said Clementina Cantoni, a Pakistan-based aid worker with ECHO, the European Commission’s humanitarian aid department. Pakistan ranked third largely on the basis of cultural, tribal and religious practices harmful to women. These include acid attacks, child and forced marriage and punishment or retribution by stoning or other physical abuse. “Pakistan has some of the highest rates of dowry murder, so-called honour killings and early marriage,” said Divya Bajpai, reproductive health adviser at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. Some 1,000 women and girls die in honour killings annually, according to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. India ranked fourth primarily due to female foeticide, infanticide and human trafficking.

In 2009, India’s then-home secretary Madhukar Gupta estimated that 100 million people, mostly women and girls, were involved in trafficking in India that year. “The practice is common but lucrative so it goes untouched by government and police,” said Cristi Hegranes, founder of the Global Press institute, which trains women in developing countries to be journalists.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), still reeling from a 1998-2003 war and accompanying humanitarian disaster that killed 5.4 million people, came second mainly due to staggering levels of sexual violence in the lawless east. More than 400,000 women are raped in the country each year, according to a recent study by US researchers. The United Nations has called Congo the rape capital of the world.

Somalia ranked fifth due to a catalogue of dangers including high maternal mortality, rape and female genital mutilation, along with limited access to education, healthcare and economic resources. “The most dangerous thing a woman in Somalia can do is to become pregnant. When a woman becomes pregnant her life is 50-50 because there is no antenatal care at all,” Somali women’s minister Maryan Qasim told TrustLaw. reuters

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\06\16\story_16-6-2011_pg7_5

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Zawahri appointed Al Qaeda leader

16 June 2011

DUBAI - Osama bin Laden’s long-time lieutenant Ayman Al Zawahri has taken command of Al Qaeda after the killing of the group’s founder and leader, a website said on Thursday.

Egyptian-born Zawahri had vowed earlier this month to press ahead with Al Qaeda’s campaign against the United States and its allies, in what appeared to be his first public response to bin Laden’s death in a US commando raid in Pakistan in May.

“The general leadership of al Qaeda group, after the completion of consultation, announces that Sheikh Dr Ayman Zawahri, may God give him success, has assumed responsibility for command of the group,” the website Ansar Al-Mujahideen said in a posted statement.

Zawahri had been seen as bin Laden’s most likely successor. His whereabouts are unknown.

Believed to be in his late 50s, Zawahri met bin Laden in the mid-1980s when both were in Pakistan to support guerrillas fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan.

In a video message posted on the internet on June 8, Zawahri said Al Qaeda would continue to fight.

“The Sheikh (bin Laden) has departed, may God have mercy on him, to his God as a martyr, and we must continue on his path of jihad to expel the invaders from the land of Muslims and to purify it from injustice,” Zawahri said.

“Today, and thanks be to God, America is not facing an individual or a group ... but a rebelling nation which has awoken from its sleep in a jihadist renaissance challenging it wherever it is.”

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/June/international_June633.xml&section=international

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100 killed in south Sudan clashes in rebel Attacks

June 16, 2011

Clashes in south Sudan have killed almost 100 people in separate cattle raids and rebel attacks in the past week, officials said today, as the soon-to-be independent state struggles to contain bloody violence.

In Warrap State, 29 people were killed after an attack on Monday by rebels led by Peter Gadet, a former southern general turned militia commander.

“These people were killed in an attack by those rebels of Gadet, coming from Unity state, and the dead included two police officers,” said Philip Aguer, southern army spokesman.

The southern army has battled at least seven different rebel militia groups in recent months, with the scale of violence raising concern for the plight of civilians, as the region gears up for independence due in less than a month.

Meanwhile, separate battles between heavily armed cattle raiders last week have left at least 71 people dead in Lakes state, local officials there said.

Deadly clashes over livestock between south Sudan’s Toposa tribesmen and the Kenyan ethnic Turkanas in a remote area of the countries’ shared border were also reported on Wednesday.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/346122/100-killed-in-south-Sudan-clashes.html

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18 killed in Waziristan, Pak, drone attacks

June 16, 2011

MIRAMSHAH: Three US drone attacks killed 18 suspected militants in South and North Waziristan on Wednesday.

Four missiles hit a vehicle carrying suspected militants from Razmak road to Tappi area, some 10km east of Miramshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan Agency.

All eight people on board the vehicle were killed.

The vehicles was destroyed The mutilated bodies were behind recognition.

AP adds: Earlier, missiles targeted a vehicle and a compound near Wana, the main town in South Waziristan Agency, killing 10 people.

The victims were believed to be allied with Maulvi Nazir, a prominent militant commander in the area, according to officials.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/16/18-killed-in-waziristan-drone-attacks.html

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Ten more killed as ‘ethnic violence’ continues in Karachi

June 16, 2011

KARACHI: Ten more people were killed in separate incidents on Wednesday as violence on ‘ethnic and political grounds’ continued unabated in the city, pushing the death toll to 23 in over three days.

Orangi Town remained the worst-hit part of the metropolis where most of the causalities occurred.

Tension and panic continued to grip Qasba Colony and Aligarh Colony on a third consecutive day as residents stayed indoors and those who left early on Monday for their workplaces were still unable to return home due to the deteriorating law and order situation.

The bullet-riddled body of a student activist of the All Pakistan Muttahida Students Organisation, who had gone missing from the Liaquat National Hospital after an armed attack, was found near Essa Nagri under the Lyari Expressway in the early hours of Wednesday.

“The victim was identified as 23-year-old Saad Asad, who was a resident of Azizabad,” said an official at the Sharifabad police station.

“He went missing from the Liaquat National Hospital an hour after the clash between two student organisations. An FIR of his kidnapping was already lodged with the New Town police station and now they will also investigate the murder case.”

He said the victim was a student of the Federal Urdu University and said to be associated with the APMSO.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/16/death-toll-in-karachi-unrest-rises-to-20.html

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Pak court allows Dalbir to meet brother Sarabjit Singh

Jun 16, 2011

AMRITSAR: The Lahore high court on Wednesday allowed Dalbir Kaur to meet her brother Sarabjit Singh, lodged in Kot Lakhpat Central Jail on charges of spying. "The court has allowed me to meet Sarabjit twice. I will meet him on Thursday and later before I return to India," she said.

Following dilly-dallying by Pakistani authorities, Sarabjit's lawyer Awais Sheikh had filed a petition seeking the court's direction to jail authorities to allow Dalbir to meet her brother. Dalbir left for Lahore on June 6 to meet Sarabjit and persuade the Pakistan government to set him free as he was a victim of mistaken identity.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pak-court-allows-Dalbir-to-meet-brother-Sarabjit-Singh/articleshow/8870438.cms

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Indonesia: Ba’asyir gets 15 years in prison

06/16/2011

South Jakarta District Court has sentenced firebrand cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir to 15 years in prison, after it found the defendant guilty of committing an act of terrorism.

In his verdict read out at the court hearing on Thursday, presiding judge Herri Swantoro said Ba'asyir stood against the government's cause to fight terrorism and had once been sentenced for a similar crime but had repeated the offense.

Herri said Ba'asyir's old age and behavior during the court proceedings were among the mitigating factors.

“[Ba’asyir] planned and/or encouraged other people intentionally to use violence or threats of violence to create terror and fear among the people and cause massive [numbers of] victims,” Herri said.

The verdict was far lower than the life sentence demanded by state prosecutors.

Ba'asyir has been accused of planning and persuading people to support a military-style training facility in Jantho Mountain in Aceh.

He allegedly collected Rp 350 million (US$ 41,000) from two donors, Haryadi Usman (Rp 150 million) and Syarif Usman (Rp 200 million).

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/06/16/ba%E2%80%99asyir-gets-15-years-prison.html

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Shehnaz Bibi, the woman paraded naked: bruised but defiant

Owais Tohid

When Shehnaz Bibi was paraded naked on the streets on the orders of a local jirga, it was meant to humiliate her and make her life not worth living. In conservative tribal and feudal systems such victims are usually ostracised. But Shehnaz, despite her scarred soul, is ready to fight back and seeks justice.

“I had few choices. Either to commit suicide by jumping in a well or spend my life shedding tears. Or I could challenge and fight back against this barbarity,” says the middle-aged woman. She was punished for no crime of her own. Almost a week ago, Shehnaz’s fate changed. Before, she was just a simple, uneducated peasant of a small hilly village, Nilour Bala, some 20 kilometres south of Haripur city.

On that day, she was making lassi for herself and eleven-year-old son, Shebaz, who had just returned from school, oblivious of the fact that hundreds of yards away from her mud-brick house, around twenty village elders were issuing the “inhuman” verdict.

The influential village landlord and notorious arms dealer, Bashir Khan, was heading the punchayet. The complainants in front of punchayet, were four brothers – Manzoor, Imran, Zahoor, and Salman – believed to be the carriers of Bashir Khan’s arms wheeling dealing. The brothers alleged that Shehnaz’s son along with young man had illicit relationship with a girl, married to one of them. The landlord, Bashir Khan, saw a cleric, Syed Sakhawat Shah, coming out of the mosque. “Maulana Sahib, jaldi ain yahan gaoon ki izzat neelam hogai hai aur aap ko itni dafa bulana par raha hai (hurry up maula Sahib, here honour of the whole village is at stake and we have to invite you so many times,” a villager quoted him as saying.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\06\16\story_16-6-2011_pg1_4

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Ex-RI citizen charged with terrorism in Malaysia

Thu, 06/16/2011

National Police spokesperson Insp. Gen. Anton Bachrul Alam said the Malaysian police had arrested a former Indonesian citizen for terrorism.

Abdul Haris bin Shuhadi is allegedly linked to the terrorist group Jamaah Islamiah, he said.

“This man has been a member of Jamaah Islamiah since 1981 and all of his activities have been under intelligence surveillance for years. He was nabbed once he reactivated his cell there,” Anton said Thursday as quoted by tempointeraktif.com.

He said the Bandung-born Haris had given up his Indonesian citizenship last year and had been living in Selangor. Haris is likely being held under Malaysia’s Internal Security Act (ISA), and may be questioned without a lawyer for 60 days, Anton said.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/06/16/ex-ri-citizen-charged-with-terrorism-malaysia.html

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Somalia worst place to be a woman: minister

June 16, 2011

A Thomson Reuters Foundation poll may have found that Afghanistan is the most dangerous place to be a woman, but Somalia’s women’s minister is astonished any country could be worse than her own.

“I’m completely surprised because I thought Somalia would be first on the list, not fifth,” said Maryan Qasim. The lawless country has been engulfed in conflict for 20 years. But the greatest risk to women’s lives is not war but birth. One woman dies for every 100 live births, according to UN figures — one of the highest rates in the world.

“The most dangerous thing a woman in Somalia can do is to become pregnant,” Qasim said. “When a woman becomes pregnant her life is 50-50 because there is no antenatal care at all. There are no hospitals, no healthcare, no nothing.”

The poll by TrustLaw (www.trust.org/trustlaw), a legal news service run by Thomson Reuters Foundation, marked the launch of its new TrustLaw Women section, a global hub of news and information on women’s legal rights. TrustLaw asked more than 200 gender experts to pick the world’s most dangerous countries for women. Somalia trailed behind Afghanistan, Congo, Pakistan and India. But Qasim described Somalia as a “living hell” for women struggling to feed their children amid war and drought.

The constant risk of getting shot or raped, the lack of education and healthcare and practices like female genital mutilation make women’s lives unbelievably hard, she said. “If I was asked where is the most dangerous place to be a woman I would have said with certainty Somalia,” she told the Foundation during a trip to London.

Qasim, who has spent two decades in exile, said she was shocked by the destitution she saw when she returned to Somalia’s capital Mogadishu last year after being asked to become minister for women’s development and family welfare. Many women have lost their husbands in the fighting, meaning they not only have to raise their children on their own but also scrape together an income to feed the family.

Somalia has been without an effective central government since the overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. Its UN-backed transitional government is embroiled in war with rebels who want to impose their own harsh version of sharia law on the nation.

Around 1.4 million people, mostly women and children, are displaced within Somalia after being forced to flee their homes. Rape is a risk for many. “Rape was used in the beginning as a weapon of war, but now women who are from a minority or who have been displaced can be raped at any minute. I’ve seen a case of rape as young as five years old,” Qasim added.

Women’s health is also seriously compromised by the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), said the minister who worked as an obstetrician and gynaecologist in Somalia until 1991. The practice, which is carried out on almost all girls aged four to 10, is aimed at ensuring girls remain virgins until marriage. But it can cause difficulties in labour and is a factor behind the high rates of death in childbirth. Qasim said people used to be punished for carrying out FGM but now there are no laws and the practice has returned. Some 95 percent of women in Somalia have undergone FGM, according to UN figures.

The minister said she had come across cases of men divorcing new wives if they had not undergone FGM so mothers continue the custom to protect their daughters. Qasim, who was working as a teacher in Britain when she was invited to join Somalia’s government last year, stressed that one of the greatest needs for women was education. “If women are not educated, I think definitely we cannot build a society. I’ve met so many young girls and women in Mogadishu — you cannot imagine their appetite for education but they do not have that opportunity.”

The lack of rule of law, which lets people kill and rape with impunity, and misinterpretation of Islam both compound women’s oppression, the minister said. “After the collapse of the Somali state so many groups and terrorists from all over the world came to Somalia and interpreted Islam as they liked — women cannot go outside, they cannot wear bras. They do whatever they want and they say this is Islam, but it has nothing to do with Islam.”

Both men and women need to be educated more about Islam and women’s rights, she said. reuters

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\06\16\story_16-6-2011_pg4_7

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Afghan vice president escapes rocket attack

June 16, 2011

Afghan Vice President Mohammad Karim Khalili survived a rocket attack Wednesday while he was attending an event at a police training centre in Afghanistan’s Wardak province, Xinhua reported.No one was hurt in the attack that took place around 10.30 a.m. in the provincial capital of Maidan Shar, some 35 km west of Kabul, Mohammad Najib Nikzad, an official with the press department of the Afghan interior ministry, said.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/346117/Afghan-vice-president-escapes-rocket-attack.html

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Experts, journalists attempt to understand ISI

By Huma Imtiaz

June 15, 2011

WASHINGTON: “Inside Pakistan’s ISI”, an event held by think tank Middle East Institute headed by former US Ambassador to Pakistan Wendy Chamberlain, attempted to answer questions about “Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency”.

The panel featured Washington Post’s diplomatic correspondent Karen DeYoung, RAND Corporation’s Senior Political Scientist Arturo Munoz and Atlantic Council’s South Asia director and author Shuja Nawaz.

DeYoung began by describing the relationship between Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) and the US’ Central Investigation Agency (CIA), saying the CIA is constantly frustrated with the ISI and how it operates. “They (CIA) know very little”.

DeYoung said that US intelligence had taped the conversations with General Kayani and General Pasha when they were told of the Abbottabad raid. According to conclusions of the voice analyses of the recordings, said DeYoung, they were not only surprised about the raid, but also that he was there.

Full report at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/189036/middle-east-institute-seminar-experts-journalists-attempt-to-understand-isi/

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US building secret CIA base in Gulf to counter Al-Qaeda

By KIMBERLY DOZIER

Jun 16, 2011

WASHINGTON: Preparing for a worst-case scenario in Yemen, the United States is building a secret CIA air base in the Gulf to target Al-Qaeda terrorists there, in case anti-American factions win the current power struggle and shut US forces out, The Associated Press has learned.

The White House has already increased the numbers of CIA officers in Yemen, in anticipation of that possibility. And it has stepped up the schedule to construct the base, from a two-year timetable to a rushed eight months.

The Associated Press has withheld the exact location of the base at the request of US officials. They spoke on condition of anonymity because portions of the military and CIA missions in Yemen are classified.

The current campaign is run by a military counterterrorism unit, the Joint Special Operations Command, with the CIA providing intelligence support. JSOC forces have been allowed by the Yemeni government of Ali Abdullah Saleh to conduct limited strikes there since 2009. Saleh loyalists have recently allowed expanded strikes by US armed drones and even warplanes against Al-Qaeda targets who are taking advantage of civil unrest to grab power and territory in Yemen.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article455571.ece

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Turkey plans buffer zone on Syrian land

June 16, 2011

MEHMET ALI BIRAND

Ankara is gradually losing hope and distancing itself from President Bashar al-Assad.

If you look closely, the prime minister is becoming increasingly tough with every statement he makes and the dose of his warnings is increasing. Even though he has not burned bridges like he did with Moammar Gadhafi, a surprise is still expected, the dominant belief is that Assad will not be able to solve the situation easily.

Those talks I have had with people who are the final decision makers on the subject show clearly how serious the situation is.

It is not only that the tensions in Ankara are rising but the viewpoint of Damascus on Turkey is also changing. The embraces and words of fraternity of the past do not exist anymore.

On Syrian State Television, it is now openly said that the weapons of Muslim Brothers are coming from Turkey. Let us not forget that the Muslim Brothers is as dangerous and as much an enemy for the Syrian administration as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, is for us.

As if this is not enough, a Turkish involvement behind the rebellions and the Antalya meeting of the dissidents is being discussed. Assad has not put forward his stance; he has not put Ankara at his opposing side but, you will see, it is not too far away.

The worst case scenario Ankara fears

Full report at: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkey-plans-buffer-zone-on-syrian-soil-2011-06-15

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Police confirm arrest of terrorist suspect in Aceh

06/16/2011

The Densus 88 counterterrorism squad on Wednesday arrested another suspect in connection with a military-style training camp in Aceh, Jakarta Police says.

The suspect, identified only with the initials as IR, was nabbed in front of the YAI campus in Salemba, Central Jakarta, on Wednesday evening and is currently being detained at the National Police detention center in Jakarta, Jakarta police spokesman Sr. Comr. Baharuddin Djafar said Thursday.

“We received a report from the Central Jakarta police chief, who confirmed the arrest by Densus 88,” Baharuddin said as quoted by kompas.com.

Earlier, the National Police had released the names of 10 suspects wanted in relation to the Aceh training facility, a suspected suicide bombing at a mosque near Cirebon Police headquarters in West Java, and a drive-by shooting that killed two police officers in Palu, Central Suluwesi, in May.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/06/16/police-confirm-arrest-terrorist-suspect-c-jakarta.html

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Terrorist who gave Osama info freed by Pak, working with al-Qaeda again

Jun 16 2011

Washington: The terrorist described as the linchpin in the hunt for Osama bin Laden has rejoined al-Qaeda after the Bush administration released him from a secret CIA secret prison under pressure from Pakistan, according to former and current US intelligence officials.

Shortly after the CIA decided to close the secret prisons, the US intelligence agency returned al-Qaeda operative Hassan Ghul in 2006 to his native Pakistan.

Pakistan held Ghul for at least a year before he was released, eventually making his way back to al-Qaeda to help with operations against the US, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Pakistan’s decision to free Ghul, a midlevel al-Qaeda operative, is yet another troubling revelation at a time when the US is rethinking its relationship with Pakistan and whether it can be a trusted ally in combatting terrorism.

Ghul’s return to Pakistan also raises questions about how the Bush administration, which was committed to keeping arguably less dangerous detainees locked up at the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, could hand over the man who provided the key information about Osama’s trusted courier, intelligence that in May led to Osama’s death in a US raid.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/804294/

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Video of abuse by Pak forces emerges: Reports

Jun 16 2011

Islamabad: A video purportedly showing Pakistani armed forces personnel physically abusing four blindfolded men has emerged just days after a paramilitary trooper was filmed shooting and killing a teenage youth in a park in Karachi.

The new video, posted on social media sites like Facebook this week, shows a man in fatigues sexually assaulting and beating at least four blindfolded men whose hands are bound to window and door frames.

The man, who is seen grinning, is aided by another man. The blindfolded men’s screams and the laughing of someone off-camera are audible in the video, media reports said on Wednesday.

Though the authenticity of the video could not ascertained, it has emerged at a time when the armed forces are facing intense scrutiny for several incidents of extra-judicial killings and abuses.

Paramilitary troops and policemen were filmed gunning down five unarmed foreigners, including a pregnant woman, in southwestern city of Quetta last month after declaring them “suicide bombers”. Last week, a TV cameraman filmed a paramilitary personnel shooting Sarfraz Shah, 18, at point blank range in a park in Karachi.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/804295/

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Army ‘mole’ who gave US Osama info held but Pak denies news

By Badar Alam in Karachi

PAKISTANI spy agency ISI has arrested some people on suspicion of supplying information to the CIA on Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad. The New York Times reported that one of those arrested include a serving Pakistan Army major, a claim which was rubbished by the security establishment.

“ No army officer has been detained. The story is false and totally baseless,” the army said in a statement, quoting its spokesman.

The newspaper quoted American officials as saying that “ Pakistan’s top military spy agency has arrested some of the Pakistani informants who fed information to the Central Intelligence Agency in the months leading up to the raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden”. The New York Times said those arrested included “ a Pakistani army major who officials said copied the license plates of cars visiting Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in the weeks before the raid.” It also claimed, quoting American officials, that CIA director “ Leon E. Panetta raised the issue when he travelled to Islamabad last week to meet with Pakistani military and intelligence officers.” A source in the interior ministry in Islamabad, however, said not too much should be read into the reports about the arrests.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Pak SC refuses to request India for release of Pak prisoner

By Hasnaat Malik

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, rejected a petition seeking its involvement to make a request to the Indian president, prime minister and Rajasthan governor for remittance of sentence, release and repatriation of a Pakistani educationist and scientist detained in a jail in India’s Ajmer district.

The court observed that the Foreign Office had already been making efforts for release and repatriation of Saiyyad Muhammad Khaleel Chishti, and remarked that the concerned authorities would take up the issue with the Indian government in accordance with relevant rules and protocols.

A three-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Tariq Pervaiz and Justice Amir Hani Muslim, was hearing the petition filed by Shoa Jawaid, daughter of Chishti. During the course of the proceedings, the CJP questioned whether the court could pass an order that was applicable on the Supreme Court of India.

Full report at: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\06\16\story_16-6-2011_pg7_13

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14 parties registered but Musharraf has to wait

By Irfan Ghauri

June 16, 2011

ISLAMABAD: The newly constituted Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in its maiden meeting on Wednesday enlisted 14 new political parties while the issue of Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) which is facing legal objections over its proposed name and electoral symbol has been deferred.

While dozens of parties are registered with the commission, only a few actively participate in the election process.

The commission recommended the parliament to give constitutional cover to validate 23 MPs elected in by-polls held while the ECP was functioning without its four mandatory members.

The cabinet has also given approval to give legal cover to these 23 members by introducing 20th amendment in the constitution.

These 23 lawmakers, including three Senators, nine National Assembly and 11 provincial assemblies’ members were elected after April 2010 when the 18th amendment was adopted.

The commission also decided that instead of serving judges, retired High Court judges will head election tribunals to decide election related petitions in all provinces. These retired judges will be bound to decide such appeals within 120 days.

The commission approved the plan of revision of electoral lists with the cooperation of NADRA while it also fixed July 9 as the new date for by-elections in PB-26 Jaffarabad.

Meanwhile, the ECP did not take up registration of Musharraf’s APML, applied by his party members last year. Sources in the ECP said two separate objections against Musharraf’s party were pending before the commission.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2011.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/189848/14-parties-registered-but-musharraf-has-to-wait/

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Explosions at compound of Libya leader Muammar Gaddafi

Jun 16, 2011

TRIPOLI: A series of loud blasts rocked central Tripoli early on Thursday morning and smoke could be seen rising above the fortified compound of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi's sprawling compound has been the target of repeated NATO air strikes.

More details of this strike are awaited.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Explosions-at-compound-of-Libya-leader-Muammar-Gaddafi/articleshow/8872694.cms

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Barack Obama has legal power in Libya campaign: White House

Jun 16, 2011

WASHINGTON: The White House insisted on Wednesday that President Barack Obama has the legal authority to press on with US military involvement in Libya and urged skeptical lawmakers not to send "mixed messages" about their commitment to the NATO-led air war.

Senior administration officials, offering a detailed legal analysis to Congress to justify Obama's Libya policy, argued he had the constitutional power to continue the US role against Muammar Gaddafi's forces even though lawmakers had not authorized the mission.

Tensions in Washington over the Libya conflict reflected unease over US entanglement in a third conflict in the Muslim world in addition to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and pressure for Obama to clarify US goals in the North African country.

The White House's defense of Obama's Libya policy followed a warning on Tuesday from House Speaker John Boehner that Obama was skating on thin legal ice by keeping US forces involved in Libya for nearly three months without direct congressional approval.

Boehner accused Obama of "a refusal to acknowledge and respect" the role of Congress in military operations and a "lack of clarity" about why the United States was still participating in the Libya campaign.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Barack-Obama-has-legal-power-in-Libya-campaign-White-House/articleshow/8871404.cms

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Hackers target 51 Malaysian government websites

Jun 16, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: Hackers have attacked Malaysian government websites following a threat by the "Anonymous" activist group which accused Malaysia of censoring the Internet, authorities said on Thursday.

Fifty-one government websites were targeted, causing disruptions to at least 41 of them, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said in a statement.

It said the attacks on websites with the .gov.my domain started shortly before midnight Wednesday and lasted several hours, but appeared to have caused little damage.

"The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission confirms that there were indeed attempts to hack several websites," it said.

"However, we do not expect the overall recovery to these websites to take long as most websites have already recovered from the attack," it added.

The commission said it would work with enforcement agencies, security experts and service providers to keep the situation in check.

Malaysian authorities had Wednesday braced themselves for cyber attacks after Internet activists Anonymous warned on a website that they would target the government portal www.Malaysia.gov.my.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Hackers-target-51-Malaysian-government-websites/articleshow/8872463.cms

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Militants seize parts of Yemeni city: Officials

June 16, 2011

Islamic militants launched a surprise dawn attack on a southern Yemeni provincial capital today, seizing entire neighbourhoods of the city after gunfights with government forces, security officials said.

Al-Qaida members were believed to be among the attackers and after the dawn raid, the militants were in control of several neighbourhoods of Houta, the provincial capital of Lahj province, the officials said.

The officials also said that bands of militants drove through some neighbourhoods in the southern port city of Aden early today, opening fire on security and forces. They had no further details.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/346139/Militants-seize-parts-of-Yemeni-city-Officials.html

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Iran assures Russia of nuclear compliance

Vladimir Radyuhin

MOSCOW: Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has assured Russia that Tehran has no plans to build nuclear weapons and is willing to resume six-party talks.

“Iran's President stated unambiguously that his country has no intention to acquire nuclear weapons,” said Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Astana, Kazakhstan, where the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) held its 10th anniversary summit on Wednesday.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev discussed Iran's nuclear programme at a trilateral meeting with Mr. Ahmadinejad and Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev before holding a one-to-one meeting with the Iranian leader on the sidelines of the SCO summit.

Mr. Ahmadinejad promised to share more information about Iran's nuclear programme with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and said Tehran was ready to reopen talks with the group of six without any intermediaries.

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2011/06/16/stories/2011061666882100.htm

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US-Pakistan security ties hit new low: Report

June 16, 2011

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates speaking to Pakistan Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani in Washington, October 22, 2010. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

WASHINGTON: The US-Pakistan security relationship has dipped to its lowest point since the September 11, 2001 attacks, threatening counterterrorism programs, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

US and Pakistan officials told The Washington Post that the ties could deteriorate even further amid growing pressure from within the Pakistani military to reduce ties with the United States in the wake of last month’s US Special Operations Forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.

Pakistan’s army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, is “fighting to survive,” an unnamed US official told the newspaper. “His corps commanders are very strongly anti-US right now, so he has to appease them.”

Full report at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/189961/us-pakistan-security-ties-hit-new-low-report/

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CIA informants: Up to 40 people detained nationwide

June 16, 2011

A policeman is seen keeps guard outside the compound where al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad May 3, 2011. Pakistani intelligence agency has arrested up to 40 people believed to have been working with the CIA. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON: Up to 40 people had been rounded up across Pakistan including an army major of the medical corps, for aiding and abetting the CIA operation against Osama bin Laden in early May. While US defence secretary Gates dismissed the story as “real world we deal with.”

In a report published by the Washington Post, security personnel on condition of anonymity revealed that between 35 -40 people had been picked up by intelligence agencies across Pakistan for facilitating the CIA for the May 2 US raid that resulted in Osama bin Laden being killed in his Abbottabad villa.

Sources said that an army major, who lived next doors to bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Maj. Amir Aziz, and four other people, including peasants who till the surrounding agricultural land had not been seen since shortly after the May 2 incident.

Robert Gates, who is due to step down as the Defence Secretary to make way for Leon Panetta, was answering questions at a Capitol Hill hearing. He was asked by Dem. Sen. Patrick Leahy regarding the accusations that Pakistan was cracking down on CIA informants. Though Gates did not overtly confirm the reports, he suggested that Pakistan and US relations were not exactly copacetic, saying that “most governments lie to each other,” that spying on each other was  ”real world we deal with.”

Full report at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/189273/isi-arrests-informants-who-provided-cia-with-obl-information-reports/

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Covert crackdown: ‘Army major was not CIA informant’

By Nadir Hassan

June 16, 2011

ISLAMABAD: An army major allegedly picked up by intelligence agencies in connection with the Osama Bin Laden raid was not, as reported by the international press, a CIA informant, alleged an official privy to the situation.

The major, Amir Aziz, was a doctor in the army’s medical corps and lived just a couple of hundred yards from the compound where Bin Laden was picked up.

Though the military’s information wing has denied that an army major was picked up by intelligence agencies, the source said that the agencies had picked up Aziz and others living close to the compound as a standard precautionary measure for interrogation after they heard about the Bin Laden raid.

At the time, they were more worried whether Aziz had helped out Bin Laden himself, and that any such link between the army and the al Qaeda chief would hurt the military’s reputation.

The source also added that Aziz’s house in Abbottabad had his nameplate on the door and that this was removed only a day after the raid. Had he been a CIA informant, said the source, he would not have been living so openly. Journalists who were in Abbottabad the day Bin Laden’s killing was announced did report that Aziz’s nameplate was present on his door.

Full report at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/189852/covert-crackdown-army-major-was-not-cia-informant/

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Prez Zardari to lend name as father of all children of ‘unknown parentage’

Jun 16, 2011

PAKISTAN President Asif Ali Zardari has asked the national database of Pakistan to use his name as the father’s name in official documentation for children of unknown parentage, a top official has said.

The move is an attempt to legalise the status of a large number of children who were born legally but whose parentage is unknown, national database and registration authority chairman ( NADRA) Malik Tarek said.

NADRA plans to issue identity cards to thousands of children of unknown parentage, a majority of whom were dropped by their parents at welfare centres, Tarek told Pakistani newspaper The Nation.

“ A large number of such children arrived at welfare centres after losing their parents in the 2005 earthquake and last year’s devastating floods,” he said.

“ NADRA was at a loss about filling the registration forms for such children as it is mandatory to mention the name of the father and mother,” the chairman added.

“ When it came to the knowledge of President Zardari, he voluntarily offered his name to be used in the father’s name box for such people,” Tarek said.

“ I want you to make a strategy to make thousands of children with unknown parentage responsible citizens of the state.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Headley filmed Oberoi to kill time

Jun 16, 2011

WASHINGTON: Oberoi Hotel, one of the sites attacked during the 2008 Mumbai strikes, was not originally on the list of targets for surveillance given to David Headley by his ISI handler. He made a video of it as he had an hour to spare before he could catch a movie after he had filmed Chhabad House, the Pakistani-American LeT operative said in a Chicago court during the recently-concluded Tahawwur Rana trial.

Headley said Chhabad House was added to the list at the direction of his ISI handler Major Iqbal, who told him that the Israeli spy agency operated from there.

"First of all, did you take videotape of it, Mr Headley?" he was asked. "Yes," he said.

"Okay. Why? It was not on your list that you just mentioned a moment ago?" the US attorney asked. "Because I was in the area, and I was going to watch a movie in a nearby theatre, and I had about an hour left. So I went there and I just made the video," Headley said.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Headley-filmed-Oberoi-to-kill-time/articleshow/8870012.cms

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In Afghanistan, no takers for 'cursed' car number 39

Jun 16, 2011

KABUL: Afghanistan's booming car sales industry has been thrown into chaos by a growing aversion to the number "39", which almost overnight has become an unlikely synonym for pimp and a mark of shame in this deeply conservative country.

Drivers of cars with number plates containing 39, bought before the once-harmless double digits took on their new meaning, are mocked and taunted across Kabul.

"Now even little kids say 'look, there goes the 39'. This car is a bad luck, I can't take my family out in it," said Mohammad Ashraf who works for a United Nations project.

Other "39" owners flew into a rage or refused to speak when asked whether their car was a burden. No one is quite sure why the number became so contaminated so fast, but Kabul gossip blames a pimp in neighbouring Iran, which shares a common language with much of Afghanistan.

His flashy car had a 39 in its number plate, the story goes, so he was nicknamed "39" and the tag spread.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/In-Afghanistan-no-takers-for-cursed-car-number-39/articleshow/8870569.cms

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Karachi violence: Coalition partners to revive code of conduct

By Hafeez Tunio

June 16, 2011

KARACHI: As the violence continued to burn Karachi, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Awami National Party (ANP) agreed on Wednesday to implement the 10-point code of conduct signed in the presence of prime minister in August last year.

The meeting of the coalition partners in the Sindh government, which was held under supervision of Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan and Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah at the Governor House, gave full powers to police and law-enforcement agencies to take strict action against suspects in troubled areas.

There were reports that Rangers had been given ‘shoot-at-sight’ orders, but sources privy to the meeting denied such reports, calling them baseless.

They said: “It has been decided to give full powers to police and (other) law enforcement agencies to deal with suspects irrespective of their political affiliations.”

The meeting also decided to revive the coordination committee, comprising members of the three parties, besides agreeing to form such committees at the town level to visit the violence-hit areas to appeal the people to remain calm.

“Wall-chalking and hoisting of party flags and banners will be banned in disturbed areas to defuse the tension,” the sources said.

Full report at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/189872/karachi-violence-coalition-partners-to-revive-code-of-conduct/

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US defence budget hearing: We cannot walk away from Pakistan, says Mullen

By Huma Imtiaz

June 16, 2011

WASHINGTON: US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen has warned that Pakistan could be a much more dangerous place if the US walks out on it.

“We cannot walk away from Pakistan, else it will be a much more dangerous place in ten years,” Mullen testified at the hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defence on the defence budget for the fiscal year 2012.

In his submitted statement to the committee, Mullen said that the Haqqani Network and the Quetta Shura were operating “unhindered” from sanctuaries in Pakistan, which were posing a threat to Nato and Afghan forces.

Chaired by Senator Daniel K Inouye, the Senate subcommittee met to discuss the new defence budget. Defence Secretary Robert Gates outlined the base budget request of $553 billion and an Overseas Contingency Operations request for $117.8 billion.

Referring to a New York Times article about Pakistan arresting five people who had helped find Osama bin Laden, Senator Leahy asked the panel why the US was supporting a country that was lying to them. Secretary Gates responded that most countries lie to each other.

Full report at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/189811/us-defence-budget-hearing-we-cannot-walk-away-from-pakistan-says-mullen/

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Obama and an elusive peace in Sudan

June 16, 2011

WASHINGTON: Fresh violence in Sudan has broken out, throwing up a roadblock just short of what had been expected to be the finish line for years of US efforts to help end the country’s civil war.

After 10 days of clashes, President Barack Obama stepped in on Wednesday to personally urge the North and South to end their hostilities, three weeks ahead of the scheduled independence for the South.

“There is no military solution,” Obama said in an audio message recorded late Tuesday for the US-funded Voice of America (VOA) broadcasting network.

“The leaders of Sudan and South Sudan must live up to their responsibilities.

“The government of Sudan must prevent a further escalation of this crisis by ceasing its military actions immediately, including aerial bombardments, forced displacements and campaigns of intimidation,” the US leader said.

The State Department earlier had warned Khartoum, capital of the North, that it could derail the normalization process if violence continued in South Kordofan.

Heavy fighting has flared up across South Kordofan state on the south Sudan border since June 5 between the northern Sudanese Armed Forces and allied militiamen against fighters aligned to the southern former rebel group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

The south is due to proclaim full independence on July 9, under a peace deal worked out after decades of conflict with the north, but the fighting threatens to overshadow the historic event, particularly if the southern army is drawn in.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/16/obama-and-an-elusive-peace-in-sudan.html

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Journalists protest Saleem Shahzad’s killing

June 16, 2011

LAHORE: Journalists from all parts of the country, including Tribal Areas, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, on Wednesday, held a sit-in in front of the Punjab Assembly to protest the murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad, and demanded the government to identify his assassin(s). The protesting journalists rejected a government decision to put Federal Shariat Court Chief Justice Agha Rafiq in charge of the inquiry into the journalist’s murder, calling instead for a commission under a Supreme Court judge. The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists warned that journalists would be compelled to announce their future course of action should the government failed to take a decision in this respect by 4pm on Thursday. No consensus could be reached as the protesting journalists rejected an offer by Firdaus Ashiq Awan and Farahnaz Ispahani to make a judicial commission under a high court judge. The government team assured them that the matter would be taken up with the president and prime minister and they (journalists) would be informed accordingly.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\06\16\story_16-6-2011_pg1_2

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Bahrain to sue The Independent for ‘libel’

June 16, 2011

DUBAI: Bahrain is suing British daily The Independent for alleged defamation after veteran writer Robert Fisk slammed the Gulf kingdom for becoming an extension of Saudi Arabia.

The Information Affairs Authority has appointed a UK-based lawyer to sue the newspaper, the official BNA news agency reported on Tuesday, quoting the acting head of press and foreign media, Nawaf al-Maawda.

“The Independent, through unrealistic stories and provocative op-eds, especially by its writer Robert Fisk, has deliberately targeted Bahrain and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia to falsify the truth,” BNA quoted him as saying.

The daily reported on Bahrain “without observing objectivity,” he charged.

Veteran Middle East correspondent Fisk wrote on Tuesday that tiny Bahrain, ruled by the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty has become a “confederated province of Saudi Arabia, a pocket-size weasel state from which all journalists should in future use the dateline: Manama, Occupied Bahrain.”

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\06\16\story_16-6-2011_pg4_4

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Zardari holds talks with Ahmadinejad

June 16, 2011

ASTANA - President Asif Ali Zardari and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here on Wednesday expressed their determination to continue close collaboration to further regional peace and stability.During a meeting on the sidelines of the summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the two leaders held fruitful discussion on bilateral,regional and international issues of mutual concern.They said that in the spirit of good brotherly and neighbourly relations, Pakistan and Iran would explore new opportunities of economic cooperation.

President Asif Ali Zardari Wednesday said Pakistan will work together with member states of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) for maintaining regional peace, spreading shared prosperity and defeating terrorism. Addressing the summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at its 10th anniversary in the capital of Kazakhstan, President Zardari said, “Pakistan looks forward to working together with the SCO countries for achieving shared prosperity and peace.” He said Pakistan has made great sacrifices in the fight against terrorism and militancy, which pose common threats to the region.

Full report at: http://dailymailnews.com/0611/16/FrontPage/index.php?id=6

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Syrian envoy holds crisis talks in Turkey

Jun 16, 2011

ANKARA: An envoy of Syrian President Bashar Assad held crisis talks with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday as Turkey pressed its once-close neighbor to end a crackdown that it has called "savagery".

The once-close ties between the neighbors appear close to breaking point, and Assad's envoy Hassan Turkmani faced Turkish impatience over Syria's repressive tactics and slowness to reform, as well as anger over a burgeoning humanitarian crisis.

As of Wednesday morning, some 8,500 Syrian refugees were lodged in tented camps on Turkey's side of the border. More have been arriving by the day. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu toured one of the refugee camps in Turkey's Hatay province, across from the Syrian city of Jisr Al-Shughour, just 20 km from the border.

Speaking to journalists before meeting Erdogan in Ankara, Turkmani said the refugees would stay in Turkey for a "short period of time." "Soon they will be returning. We have prepared everything for them, they have started returning."

Assad asked to send an emissary when he called Erdogan on Tuesday to congratulate him on winning a third term in office.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article455570.ece

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Makkah forum discusses ways to further ease Haj

By BADEA ABU AL-NAJA

Jun 15, 2011

MAKKAH: Speakers at the Haj Research forum on Wednesday agreed that facilitating smoother movement of pilgrims during the Haj and Umrah seasons must be a priority.

“Changes and developments in recent years, such as the annual increase in the number of pilgrims and easier access to the Kingdom, warrant the need to chalk out smart plans for safer and comfortable pilgrimages in the coming years,” Undersecretary of the Haj Research Institute Basim Zafar said in the first session on the second day of the forum.  On behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, Second Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Prince Naif inaugurated the forum on Tuesday.

“Toward Realizing the Vision” is the title of the forum, which is organized by the Haj Research Institute of Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah. Zafar stressed the need to organize pedestrian movement so that it was more controlled. The session carried the title, “Crowd Management in Haj.”

Undersecretary at the Ministry of Haj for Transportation Sahl Al-Sabban said a foolproof scheme was being developed to simplify the process of grouping pilgrims and taking them to the Jamarat.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article455579.ece

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Ferry service for Egyptian pilgrims set to resume

By GALAL FAKKAR

Jun 15, 2011

JEDDAH: An official of the Egyptian Haj Mission said Wednesday pilgrim ferry service between Egypt and Saudi Arabia would be resumed this year.

“The ferry service was canceled last year because of poor safety arrangements in the vessels,” said Egyptian Haj Mission Deputy Chief Maj. Gen. Salah Hashim, adding that the Egyptian government has implemented measures to make the travel safer. Anticipating a decline in Haj pilgrims this year, pilgrims who had performed Haj in recent years would be exempted from the limit on repeat Haj visits within a certain number of years.

“There will be two types of draws this year. First is the normal draw from all Haj applications,” he said. “The second draw will be for those who could not go for Haj even though they were selected in the past. Such applicants would not be allowed to transfer their right to others.”

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article455577.ece

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Saudi Arab Airlines is not all that bad...

By ALI SAAD AL-MUSA

Jun 16, 2011

Anyone can criticize Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) and he will have every right to do so as long as our national carrier gives us cause for criticism.

However, there are those who wrote and attacked Saudia, diagnosing the problem but failing to suggest solutions. They did not study external factors that Saudia had no control over nor did they try to examine whether Saudia was a victim of others’ incompetence.

In fact, Saudia is a victim of the General Authority For Civil Aviation (GACA), which slept for three whole years and did not put a brick for a new airport, so the airline had to work in old and cracked facilities. The long queues of people at the airports, who are also victims of the GACA, criticize the wrong party. The moment they see a member of Saudia staff, they start yelling and shouting at him, not knowing that he was not to blame.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article455564.ece

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Jordan to go ahead with nuclear program

By ABDUL JALIL MUSTAFA

Jun 16, 2011

AMMAN: Jordanian Energy Minister Khalid Touqan said on Wednesday that his government would go ahead with its plan to build a nuclear reactor for peaceful purposes despite calls for giving up the idea following disaster in Japan.

”The nuclear program is a strategic choice for Jordan in its drive to enhance its energy resources and resolve the water shortage,” Touqan said at a press conference.

The minister said that the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) intended to open dialogue with the country’s civil society organizations with a view to arriving at ”a compromise with the Jordanian public opinion” regarding the site and benefits accruing from the venture.

Also on Wednesday, Touqan assured a delegation of lawmakers and politicians from the Mafraq area, where a new tentative site has been chosen for the reactor, that no step would be taken in this respect before the inhabitants there approve the idea.

Lawyers from Mafraq held demonstrations over the past few weeks urging the government to go back on the idea of building a nuclear reactor after a developed country like Japan was hit by a quake and tsunami at the Fukushima nuclear plant three months ago.

 Full report at: ttp://arabnews.com/middleeast/article455480.ece

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Troops from Sudan’s north, south clash in Abyei

Jun 15, 2011

NAIROBI, Kenya: Troops from Sudan’s north and south clashed on Wednesday in the disputed region of Abyei, as a southern military spokesman accused Khartoum of trying to expand the territory the north controls.

Casualties were reported after the clash near what southerners call the Kiir River, but southern spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said he didn’t immediately have an exact casualty toll.

Abyei — a fertile land near oil fields — is the major flashpoint between the north and the south as the south prepares to secede and become the world’s newest nation on July 9.

Aguer said the northern troops tried to cross the river on Wednesday. A UN spokeswoman said there were conflicting reports indicating that either northern troops or southern troops tried to cross.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article455475.ece

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Iran’s president calls for alliance against West

Jun 16, 2011

ASTANA, Kazakhstan: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for a security alliance dominated by China and Russia to form a united front against the West.

Ahmadinejad’s address Wednesday to heads of state at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit being held in Kazakhstan will likely serve to deepen suspicions that the bloc is intended as a counterweight to the United States across Central Asia.

The bulk of the Iranian leader’s fiery speech was devoted to leveling a series of thinly veiled accusations against unnamed Western countries, whom he described as “enslavers, colonialists (and) invaders.” The security alliance was formed in 2001 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to address religious extremism and border security.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article455229.ece

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Israel holds drill for Gaza-bound flotilla

Jun 16, 2011

JERUSALEM: The Israeli military says it's holding a drill ahead of the next Gaza-bound flotilla with pro-Palestinian activists who could try to breach Israel's naval blockade of the territory.

Last year, an Israeli commando raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla left nine activists dead and propelled the blockade controversy to center stage of international politics. Israel said its soldiers were defending themselves. A military spokeswoman would not provide details of the drill under way Wednesday.

Israel's Army Radio says commandoes were practicing the takeover of a ship and that troops have been trained to board vessels more quickly than they did last year to minimize any violent confrontations. The flotilla is to depart at the end of June from various European ports.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article455537.ece

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Top charge dropped in NYC terror case

Jun 16, 2011

NEW YORK: The top charge has been dropped against two men accused of plotting to blow up synagogues in New York City.

Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges including criminal possession of a weapon as a terror crime.

But a grand jury evidently rejected the initial top charge against them, conspiracy as a terror crime. It carried the potential for life in prison.

The top charge now carries up to 32 years if they’re convicted. Mamdouh’s lawyer calls the charges “significantly” reduced. Ferhani’s lawyer calls the case “bogus.”

She says authorities knew he’d repeatedly been institutionalized for psychiatric problems. The Manhattan attorney says the men’s intentions amounted to an act of terrorism.

http://arabnews.com/world/article455521.ece

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Palestinians youths injured by Israeli firing

Jun 15, 2011

WEST BANK: Two Palestinian youths in their 20s were hit by live ammunition fired by Israeli forces during a demonstration against settlement expansion in the village of Dier Qaddis Wednesday.

One, a 24-year-old, was shot twice – in the pelvis and in the shoulder, and the second, a 22-year-old, was shot in the back of his thigh and will require an operation. Mohammed Amirah, a member of the Ni'lin popular committee, was arrested, apparently for incitement.

Residents of Deir Qaddis, accompanied by Israeli and international supporters, marched to their lands in order to stop the construction of a new neighborhood in the settlement of Nili on their lands.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article455548.ece

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New Riyadh center big boost for treatment of liver, tumor

By MD RASOOLDEEN

Jun 16, 2011

RIYADH: Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah laid the foundation stone for King Abdullah Center For Tumor and Liver Diseases at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh on Tuesday. The minister also launched a new expansion of an accelerated nuclear department at the Hospital's Research Center and inaugurated the Hospital's electronic health services, which is in its second phase.

Speaking on the occasion, Al-Rabeeah said: “We are thankful to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for having magnanimously agreed to call the new facility after his name.”

The proposed facility is part of an integrated strategy to treat tumors and liver diseases.”

The center would cost SR906 million and will have 300 beds to serve citizens and residents in the Kingdom.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article455602.ece

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/pakistan-ranked-third-in-survey-on-violence-against-women/d/4848


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