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Islamic World News ( 23 Sept 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Pakistani scientist sentenced to 86 years in US prison

Pakistanis furious over Aafia Siddiqui’s sentence

UK arrests 6 in suspected Qur'an burning

Afghanistan adds women to boost fledgling army

Pakistan hikes defence budget by Rs 110bn

Prophet Muhammad: The perfect concept of God

19 killed in fighting in Somali capital

95 percent Pakistani youth favours women education, says survey

Aspects of Islamic Faith: Cementing ties within the Muslim community

U.K. Muslim group protests Rithambara's visit

400,000 kids, 20,000 mothers die each year in Pakistan

Israel ready for settlements 'compromise': official

9/11 Conspiracy Theory Not as Popular as Ahmadinejad Says

'Qaida gearing up for small-scale attacks in US'

India, Pak back to square one on J&K

Tipu artefacts to go under hammer

FMCT: India sticks to stand, Pak dithers

More pressing issues than Ayodhya dispute: Rahul

Sohrabuddin case: Key witness turns hostile, says CBI threatened him

‘Only court can solve issue’

Pak passport, but Indian

Iran ready for ‘fair’ nuclear talks, says Foreign Minister

SC PUTS AMITY BEFORE BABRI MASJID VERDICT

Frustrated Ayodhya wants quick decision

‘Case will drag till all of us are dead’

Centre to reach out & free stone-pelters

PPP and MQM ‘marriage of convenience’ on the rocks

Amnesty in civilians' appeal to Yemen

Afghanistan adds female officers to swelling army

ANP activist shot dead in Karachi

Al Qaeda warns France not to attempt rescue of hostages

Two girls’ schools blown up in Peshawar

Civil society demands democracy must continue

Jail for brothers who fire-bombed Swedish artist

Obama asks world to help rebuild Pakistan

Families of jailed Azeri bloggers appeal to US

Women spies caught in Hamas net

Iraqi police say blast kills 3 children in Baghdad

Al-Qaeda ally claims Tajik attack, threatens more

Saudi youth delegation explores China

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/pakistani-scientist-sentenced-to-86-years-in-us-prison/d/3462

 

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Pakistani scientist sentenced to 86 years in US prison

Sep 24, 2010

NEW YORK: A US federal court on Thursday sentenced a Pakistani woman scientist to 86 years in prison for the attempted murder of US officers in Afghanistan, in a high-profile case closely watched in Islamabad.

Aafia Siddiqui, 38, a neuroscientist trained at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was found guilty in February of trying to kill American servicemen in Afghanistan.

"It is my judgement that Dr Siddiqui is sentenced to a period of incarceration of 86 years," judge Richard Berman told on Thursday's hearing.

As the sentence was read out, a woman among about a dozen Siddiqui supporters in court yelled: "Shame, shame on this court!"

But Siddiqui repeatedly pleaded with Muslims to take her sentencing calmly. "Forgive everybody in my case, please.... And also forgive Judge Berman," she said, as her legal team said an appeal would be lodged.

"The important part is that an appeal go forward and that those errors be addressed, because there were a lot of errors in this case," attorney Charles Swift told journalists after the hearing.

Siddiqui, a mother of three, was found guilty of grabbing a rifle at an Afghan police station in the town of Ghazni where she was being interrogated in July 2008 and trying to gun down a group of US servicemen.

Prosecutors said she had picked up the rifle and opened fire on US servicemen and FBI representatives trying to take her into detention. She missed and in a struggle was herself shot by one of the US soldiers.

Defense lawyers argued there was no physical evidence, such as finger prints or gunpowder traces, to show Siddiqui even grabbed the rifle.

Siddiqui, her face wrapped in an ivory-white shawl, denied shooting at US officers and said in rambling court commentaries that she had been held in secret prisons for years and tortured at the Bagram US military base near Kabul, where she was "brainwashed."

A frail-looking woman who excelled in her US studies, Siddiqui featured on a 2004 US list of people suspected of al-Qaida links.

Her case had already attracted the attention of human rights groups after she disappeared for five years.

And protests erupted in Pakistan in February when Siddiqui was found guilty by the New York court.

Family members and some human rights groups claimed Siddiqui was imprisoned by US forces after disappearing along with her three children in Pakistan in 2003 and that she is now mentally disturbed.

Her lawyers tried to prove Siddiqui, who reported disturbing hallucinations involving her missing children, was insane. However, a judge ruled her fit to stand trial.

Although she was not charged with terrorism, prosecutors described her as a would-be terrorist who had also plotted to bomb New York.

And the trial failed to shed light on the mystery of what had happened to the petite, academically brilliant mother of three.

Human rights groups have long speculated she may have been secretly imprisoned and tortured at the US base in Bagram, Afghanistan.

Siddiqui vanished in Pakistan at a time of intense efforts by US-backed local security forces to root out al-Qaida. And relatives believe she may have been grabbed in one of the operations. But the US military has denied she was ever held at the base.

While two of Siddiqui's children are missing -- one presumed dead -- one son Mohammad Ahmed, a teenager, now lives with her relatives in Karachi.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistani-scientist-sentenced-to-86-years-in-US-prison/articleshow/6616363.cms#ixzz10Q63Yefr

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Pakistanis furious over Aafia Siddiqui’s sentence

24 Sep, 2010

KARACHI: Pakistanis burned tires and chanted anti-US slogans after a New York judge handed down an 86-year sentence to an American-trained Pakistani scientist convicted of trying to kill US agents and military officers in Afghanistan.

The strange case of Aafia Siddiqui has long stirred passions in Pakistan, a key US ally in the fight against Terrorist militancy but also a place where anti-American sentiment is widespread.

Many Pakistanis believe the US abducted Siddiqui and kept her in a secret prison for years as it pursued its war on terror. US officials deny those claims, though they long listed Siddiqui as a suspect wanted for alleged links to al-Qaida.

After vanishing for five years, Siddiqui was caught in Afghanistan in 2008, where she is said to have shot at US interrogators.

During a three-hour hearing in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday, Siddiqui tried to dispel rumors she was being tortured while in New York, and urged calm over her plight.

“Tell the Muslims, please don’t get emotional,” she said, addressing reporters in the audience.

But in Pakistan, news of the harsh sentence immediately sparked anger and disbelief.

In the northwestern city of Peshawar, dozens of people took to the streets, burning tires and shouting ''Down with America!'' and slogans against Pakistan's president and prime minister. Some hit a portrait of President Barack Obama with their shoes.

“This sentence is a slap in the face of our rulers, who have pledged and made promises to bring back Aafia,” Siddiqui’s sister Fauzia said at her home in the southern city of Karachi.

The Pakistani government, which helped bankroll Siddiqui’s defense, was “disappointed at the sentence and sad that our efforts to get her back to Pakistan did not succeed,” said Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit. ''We are in touch with the US administration to see what possible options are available. We are not giving up.''

Calling Siddiqui an ''enigma,'' US District Judge Richard M. Berman started the sentencing by outlining Siddiqui's history, noting that she was educated in the United States at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University in the early 1990s.

Berman said she returned to her native Pakistan in 2003 and married a purported al-Qaida operative, a nephew to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the admitted mastermind of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Both men are held at Guantanamo Bay.

Her whereabouts between 2003 and 2008 are unclear, though Siddiqui told the court she was held in a secret prison in Afghanistan for many years. She turned up in Afghanistan in the summer of 2008 carrying notes referencing a ''mass casualty attack'' on New York City landmarks and some sodium cyanide.

At her trial earlier this year, jurors heard eyewitnesses describe how, after she was detained by Afghan police, Siddiqui grabbed a rifle and tried to shoot US authorities who had gone to interrogate her. They said she yelled, ''Death to Americans!'' before she was wounded in return fire and subdued.

Siddiqui testified in her own defense at the trial, saying charges that she purposely shot at soldiers were ''ridiculous.''

Just before she was sentenced, Siddiqui said she was at peace. Afterward, she insisted that her lawyers not appeal.

''It's useless, pointless,'' she said. ''I appeal to God.''

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/44-pakistanis-furious-over-aafia-siddiquis-sentence+-fa-07

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UK arrests 6 in suspected Qur'an burning

Sep 24, 2010

LONDON: British police say they have arrested six men on suspicion of stirring racial hatred after they posted a video on the Internet in which they appear to burn two Qur'ans on Sept. 11.

Northumbria police say the men posted bail and were released. They will face further court hearings for their actions in the town of Gateshead in northern England, police said in a statement.

The arrests were made public Thursday. Police say two men were arrested Sept. 15 and four on Sept. 22. Police would not say how much bail was required.

The arrests follow a controversy that started when a Florida pastor said he would burn a Qur'an on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Gateshead officials said Thursday that the behavior does not reflect community values.

http://arabnews.com/world/article145298.ece

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Afghanistan adds women to boost fledgling army

Sep 24, 2010

KABUL: Afghanistan's army got its first female officers in decades on Thursday when 29 women graduated in a class of new recruits who hope to help take the lead role in national security from foreign forces by 2014.

President Hamid Karzai, Nato and the US have been pushing to expand and train Afghanistan's army, police and other security forces to allow them to take over during a planned drawdown of foreign troops. The US has said it will start its withdrawal in July 2011, although the process may take years.

"I am fully committed to serving my country, the same way as my Afghan brothers currently serving in the army . That is why I decided to join," said female officer Mari Sharifi after the graduation ceremony at the Kabul Army Training Centre.

The women will not be sent to the frontline of the fight against the insurgency, which is raging at its strongest since the 2001 overthrow of the Taliban government, and instead will largely be doing administrative work. Women served in the army of Afghanistan's communistbacked regime in the 1980s but retreated from military service during the civil war and Taliban rule that followed after the Soviet retreat from Afghanistan in 1989.

The British officer who oversaw their training said all the new recruits were good and enthusiastic soldiers. "( They are) all keen as mustard to join the Afghan National Army, and I think you will have seen today a very professional display — and that is the bottom line," said General David Peterson, Commander of the Army Training Centre.

"I always wanted to be a part of the Afghan National Army and am so proud to wear this uniform," said 25-year-old Meena Sharifi, one of the soldiers at the graduation ceremony. "I want to defend my country against its enemies," she said

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Afghanistan-adds-women-to-boost-fledgling-army/articleshow/6617327.cms#ixzz10Q67LSKG

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Pakistan hikes defence budget by Rs 110bn

Sep 24, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani has hiked its defence outlay by Rs 110 billion over the budgeted allocation of Rs 442 billion for major military operations against the Taliban in the volatile tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

The changes, listed in a "country paper" presented by the government to the International Monetary Fund, include a reduction in the allocation for development by Rs 73 billion.

The allocations for military have been made while outlays on the development and non-development budgets have been slashed by 50% and 20% respectively to create fiscal space for rehabilitating the flood-affected population. The changes were made even before the first quarter of the current fiscal year has ended. The projected defence expenditure has been increased to Rs 552 billion from the Rs 442.2 billion in the 2010-11 budget approved by parliament . Chief military spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas said: "The increase in defence budget is not in my knowledge and matters related to military operations cannot be disclosed."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-hikes-defence-budget-by-Rs-110bn/articleshow/6617333.cms#ixzz10Q6A7EfD

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Prophet Muhammad: The perfect concept of God

Sep 24, 2010

I am one of millions and millions who believe in God Almighty, praise Him, acknowledge His glory and enjoy His blessings and grace. I have known God Almighty through Muhammad, the Arab Prophet (peace be upon him). I read the Qur’an, the book Muhammad delivered as God’s message to mankind, and I studied Muhammad’s life and history. As a result, I have found my heart and soul responding to his call. I became one of countless masses who have accepted God as the Lord of the universe, Islam as a faith and Muhammad (peace be upon him) as God’s Prophet and messenger.

There were people who had no idea of God, but Muhammad gave them inner light and led them to a clear knowledge of their Lord. There were others who had wrong ideas of God, imagining that He had a son or partners who acted as intermediaries, but Muhammad presented mankind with the clearest idea of God’s absolute oneness, showing clearly that God has no son, daughter, partner, counterpart or equal of any sort: “Have they chosen protectors other than Him? God alone is the Protector of all; He is the One who gives life to the dead; and He has power over all things. Whatever the subject of your disputes, the final word belongs to God.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/lifestyle/islam/article145338.ece

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19 killed in fighting in Somali capital

Sep 24, 2010

MOGADISHU: Heavy fighting between Islamist militants and pro-government troops raged in several parts of Somalia's capital Thursday, killing at least 19 people and wounding nearly 70, an official said.

Mortar shells pounded northern and southern neighborhoods in Mogadishu as militants launched attacks with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns, according to a witness.

In Mogadishu's south, government soldiers and African Union peacekeepers tried to push insurgent back from a strategic road often used by government officials.

Ali Muse, the head of the city's ambulance service, said at least 19 had been killed and 68 wounded.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article145297.ece

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95 percent Pakistani youth favours women education, says survey

Sep 24, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani youth takes their religion seriously without expressing a desire to impose it on other people. It was revealed in a research study conducted by Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) to examine thinking patterns of Pakistani youth.

The latest issue of ‘Conflict and Peace Studies’, a quarterly research journal of the institute carries the outcome of the survey.

According to the PIPS survey of postgraduate students from 16 public and private universities and postgraduate public colleges across the country, 79.4 percent of the respondents thought that the Pakistani Taliban did not serve the cause of Islam. Most of the respondents (85.6 percent) believed that suicide bombings were prohibited in Islam. The majority of the respondents (61.7 percent) supported military operations in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

At the same time, these young Pakistanis overwhelmingly considered religion an important factor in their life (92.4 percent), though 51.7 percent said that they do not offer prayers regularly.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\24\story_24-9-2010_pg11_4

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Aspects of Islamic Faith 72: Cementing ties within the Muslim community

Sep 24, 2010

Al-Bara’ ibn Azib reports: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered us to do seven things and to refrain from seven others: He ordered us to follow funerals, visit the sick, accept invitations, give support to the one suffering injustice, fulfil oaths, return greetings and bless a person who sneezes. He further ordered us to refrain from eating in silverware, wearing gold rings, silk, brocade, fine and thick silk.” (Related by Al-Bukhari).

Islam is keen to establish strong ties between its followers so that they are a solid community that suffers no internal divisions. The Prophet used every opportunity to point out actions and deeds that cement relations and increase feelings of unity among Muslims. The above-quoted Hadith mentions several things that we are ordered to do or to refrain from. When such matters are grouped together, they have a common purpose, and the purpose here is to strengthen relations within the community.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/lifestyle/islam/article145336.ece

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U.K. Muslim group protests Rithambara's visit

Hasan Suroor

Sep 24, 2010

LONDON: The Council of Indian Muslims (U.K.) on Thursday protested British government's decision to allow Hindutva activist Sadhvi Rithambara to visit Britain, arguing that her presence would affect community relations because of her role in the demolition of Babri Masjid.

“She is also being investigated for her links with various bomb blasts carried out by extremist Hindu organisations in India. The permission to such a person to enter Britain and address public meetings is outrageous, shameful and shocking despite the fact that we had already drawn Home Secretary's Theresa May's attention towards the Sadhvi's blatantly anti-Muslim and anti-Christian activities, “ said Council Chairman Munaf Zeena in a statement.

http://www.hindu.com/2010/09/24/stories/2010092455481700.htm

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400,000 kids, 20,000 mothers die each year in Pakistan

Sep 24, 2010

ISLAMABAD: At least 400,000 children below five years of age and 20,000 mothers die annually in Pakistan due to malnutrition, socio-economic problems and lack of access to proper health care.

This was revealed by health secretary of Punjab state, Fawad Hassan Fawad, at a programme held to kick-start the mother and child health week which would be observed till Sep 28, Online news agency reported.

Millions of people have been affected by various diseases due to the recent floods in the country and the majority of them are children and mothers.

The mother and child week, held in collaboration with Unicef, would try to provide better health facilities to around six lakh children and three lakh mothers in flood hit areas, he said, adding that they would be provided with special food packets for overcoming their nutritional deficiencies.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/400000-kids-20000-mothers-die-each-year-in-Pakistan-/articleshow/6618366.cms#ixzz10Qye2aU4

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Israel ready for settlements 'compromise': official

24 September 2010

 Israel raised the possibility of a compromise just ahead of the scheduled ending of curbs on settlement construction that threatened to derail three-week-old Middle East peace talks.

Just two days before the conclusion of the 10-month partial moratorium on settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, the government indicated it was willing to cut a deal acceptable to the United States and the Palestinians, who both want an extension of the restrictions.

“Israel is prepared to reach a compromise acceptable to all parties to consider extending the freeze on construction, provided that the freeze will not be total,” a senior government official said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “making intensive efforts to reach such a compromise before the expiration of the moratorium on September 26,” said, asking not to be named.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/September/middleeast_September493.xml&section=middleeast

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9/11 Conspiracy Theory Not as Popular as Ahmadinejad Says

By ROBERT MACKEY

Sep 24, 2010

As my colleagues Neil MacFarquhar and Liz Robbins report, at the United Nations on Thursday, Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, claimed that “the majority of the American people, as well as most nations and politicians around the world agree” that “some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated” the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

According to Mr. Ahmadinejad, the attacks were staged “to reverse the declining American economy” and to justify a military presence in the Middle East “to save the Zionist regime” of Israel.

Mr. Ahamdinejad, who has also questioned the reality of the Holocaust, has apparently endorsed this conspiracy theory about the 9/11 attacks on at least two occasions earlier this year. In March, he reportedly told intelligence officials in Tehran, “The September 11 incident was a big fabrication as a pretext for the campaign against terrorism and a prelude for staging an invasion against Afghanistan.” The following month, he wrote to the U.N. secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, to ask him to open an investigation into the attacks, claiming that they were “carried out as the main pretext to attack the Middle East.”

Full report at:

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/23/911-conspiracy-theory-not-as-popular-as-ahmadinejad-says/?ref=world

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'Qaida gearing up for small-scale attacks in US'

Sep 24, 2010

WASHINGTON: Al-Qaida and its allies are likely to attempt small-scale and less sophisticated terrorist attacks in the United States, senior Obama administration officials have said.

Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security Secretary, said: "Unlike large-scale , coordinated, catastrophic attacks, executing smallerscale attacks requires less planning and fewer pre-operational steps."

"Accordingly, there are fewer opportunities to detect such an attack before it occurs," she added.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Qaida-gearing-up-for-small-scale-attacks-in-US/articleshow/6617339.cms#ixzz10Q6D05aO

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India, Pak back to square one on J&K

Chidanand Rajghatta

Sep 24, 2010

WASHINGTON: Forget those tennis volleys; the verbal salvoes have returned. India and Pakistan have moved back to their 20th century positions on Kashmir, virtually erasing a decade of incremental progress that had brought the contentious issue off the boil and closer to resolution.

India's external affairs minister S M Krishna on Thursday asked Pakistan to "vacate" its "illegal occupation of certain parts of Jammu and Kashmi" before advising New Delhi "how to go about doing things in Kashmir," after Islamabad sought US intervention on the issue and questioned the state's accession to India.

The sharp escalation in tone and rhetoric came even as foreign ministers of the two countries attended events and held meetings on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York amid unprecedented crises which have shaken both countries -- the biblical floods, terrorism, and insurgencies across Pakistan, and the violence in the Kashmir Valley in India.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-Pak-back-to-square-one-on-JK/articleshow/6616960.cms#ixzz10Q6G1UGr

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Tipu artefacts to go under hammer

Neelam Raaj

Sep 24, 2010

NEW DELHI: Liquor baron Vijay Mallya made headlines eight years ago when he bought the famed sword of Tipu Sultan for a record price. Since then, only a few Tipu treasures have made it to auction rooms. Now, two upcoming sales in London will feature art and antiquities related to the Mysore ruler who reputedly vowed that it was better to live a day as a tiger than a lifetime as a sheep.

Bonhams is all set to auction an elaborately crafted tiger head on October 7. Part of a magnificent throne, the jewel-encrusted, golden tiger head was one of the spoils of war after the Tiger of Mysore was defeated and killed in battle with the British East India Company in 1799.

It is from the collection of an unidentified Canadian family who had no idea that stowed away in a trunk of souvenirs inherited from Scottish ancestors were 200-year-old heirlooms. Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Tipu-artefacts-to-go-under-hammer/articleshow/6616937.cms#ixzz10Q6J0BNV

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FMCT: India sticks to stand, Pak dithers

Sachin Parashar

Sep 24, 2010

NEW DELHI: Just ahead of the crucial Conference on Disarmament (CD) session in New York on Friday, which is being organised at the behest of UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon to break the deadlock over negotiations for a fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT), government sources said on Thursday that India continues to stand by its position that it will accept anything which is "universal and non-discriminatory" in nature.

The remark by highly placed sources came in response to Pakistan's announcement that it will not allow any forward movement on FMCT negotiations till its concerns over "asymmetries" in possession of fissile material by various states are addressed. Islamabad has steadfastly blocked any progress in the 65-member CD by not allowing the conference to carry out negotiations for FMCT, which seeks to ban all future production of fissile material.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/FMCT-India-sticks-to-stand-Pak-dithers/articleshow/6616997.cms#ixzz10Q6WwKRo

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More pressing issues than Ayodhya dispute: Rahul

Sep 24, 2010

GUWAHATI/SILCHAR: Rahul Gandhi on Thursday suggested that there are more important fundamental issues such as education and infrastructure than Ayodhya.

Interacting with students at IIT-Guwahati, Rahul said: "My personal view is that there are many many fundamental issues that are much more important such as infrastructure, the type of education we are providing to our youngsters and the type of technology we use."

He was responding to whether it was worthwhile to spend so much time and energy over whether a temple or mosque should be there at the disputed site. Rahul said: "We are a democracy and there are people in this country for whom those types of decisions are important and they have a perspective and view on this."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/More-pressing-issues-than-Ayodhya-dispute-Rahul/articleshow/6616932.cms#ixzz10Q6ZQtom

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Sohrabuddin case: Key witness turns hostile, says CBI threatened him

Sep 24, 2010

AHMEDABAD: In a significant development, a key witness in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter today told a court here that he was "threatened" by CBI into making false statements in the case.

In an affidavit filed in the special CBI court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate A Y Dave, Azam Khan retracted from the statement that the Central agency has included in the charge sheet filed in the 2005 case.

Khan said he did not know anything about the fake encounter of Sohrabuddin and the subsequent killing of Tulsiram Prajapati, an associate of the alleged gangster and one of the key witnesses in the case.

The witness said he had made the earlier statement after being "threatened" by CBI to implicate him in the Hamid Lala murder case by reopening it in the Rajasthan High Court.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Sohrabuddin-case-Key-witness-turns-hostile-says-CBI-threatened-him/articleshow/6615025.cms#ixzz10Q6kKUzz

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‘Only court can solve issue’

September 24, 2010

Mohd Hasim Ansari (90), lone surviving plaintiff of the 60-year-old vexed Ayodhya title suit, reiterated on Thursday that only the court, not deliberations, could solve the controversial issue.

Reacting to the Supreme Court’s order to defer the verdict of the Lucknow Bench, he said the apex court might have seen some ray of hope in solving the dispute through dialogue. However, he did not have much expectation. “There is no scope for dialogue anymore,” Ansari told The Pioneer on Thursday.

The three-judge Bench of Allahabad High Court was scheduled to pronounce its verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit on Friday.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/285209/%E2%80%98Only-court-can-solve-issue%E2%80%99.html

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Pak passport, but Indian

September 24, 2010

The Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Vadakara on Thursday concluded that C Ibrahim, who holds a Pakistani passport, was an Indian citizen.

Ibrahim of Vallikkad, now 55, had lived in Karachi for nine years due to a mix-up during a Gulf trip. He had come back to Kerala with a Pakistani passport. Kerala Police had taken Ibrahim to Wagah border to deport him in 2004 but Pakistani authorities refused to accept him for want of sufficient documents in 2003.

“I am very relieved,” Ibrahim said after the court recognised him as an Indian citizen. I don’t know why I was being treated like an enemy. I was an Indian, am an Indian and will remain an Indian. The only mistake I committed was to take a passport from Pakistan due to my ill luck,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/285203/Pak-passport-but-Indian.html

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Iran ready for ‘fair’ nuclear talks, says Foreign Minister

September 24, 2010

Iran is ready to resume long-stalled talks over its nuclear programme provided they are “fair”, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was quoted on Thursday as saying.

Mottaki’s remarks come as world powers on Wednesday announced in New York that they wanted an “early negotiated solution” to the standoff with the Islamic republic over its nuclear ambitions.

The United States and the four other permanent members of the UN Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia — and Germany (P5+1) announced the new diplomatic overture on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

“Mottaki reiterated Iran’s readiness for negotiations with the Vienna group and the P5+1,” state television’s website reported.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/285191/Iran-ready-for-%E2%80%98fair%E2%80%99-nuclear-talks-says-Foreign-Minister.html

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SC PUTS AMITY BEFORE BABRI MASJID VERDICT

By Gyanant Singh in New Delhi

Sep 24, 2010

Apex court explores possibility of last- minute reconciliation given fragile communal atmosphere preceding the historic judgment

THE Supreme Court on Thursday gave reconciliation one more chance in the bitter dispute between Hindus and Muslims over the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.

A bench comprising Justice R. V. Raveendran and Justice H. L. Gokhale stayed the pronouncement of the much- awaited verdict on the 60- year- old title suits by the Allahabad High Court to explore possibilities of an out- ofcourt settlement of the dispute through talks.

The bench put on hold the judgment set to be pronounced by the high court at 3.30 pm on Friday despite a difference of opinion among the two judges.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Frustrated Ayodhya wants quick decision

By Rajat Rai in Ayodhya

Sep 24, 2010

THE Supreme Court decision to defer the verdict might has come as a temporary relief for the Uttar Pradesh government and the Faizabad district administration, but has frustrated residents of Ayodhya.

“ It is a frustrating situation for us. We are losing business every day. We request the court to announce the verdict at the earliest.

Be it in favour of Hindus or Muslims, it should be spelled out so that we can go back to our normal life and business,” Prabhunath Yadav, a shopkeeper at the Ramjanmabhoomi market, said.

The number of visitors to the temple town has dropped in the past few days.

“ Normally, over 5,000 devotees come here every day, giving us ample business. But the figure has dropped to barely 100,” Vikas Chand, another shopkeeper, said.

Full report at: Mail Today

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‘Case will drag till all of us are dead’

By Poornima Joshi in Ayodhya

Sep 24, 2010

DISAPPOINTMENT and anger against the Supreme Court’s deferment of the judgment to stay the High Court order in the Babri case spilled over in this temple town.

Even more pronounced was the rage against “ political forces”, read the Congress, behind moving the Supreme Court. Anxiety over who will win the case was replaced by helpless rage among locals who have experienced the crests and troughs of this politico- legal dispute over the last six decades.

“ What can I say, I feel absolutely helpless,” said Haji Mehboob, one of the six plaintiffs in the claim over the disputed land filed by the Sunni Central Waqf Board. “ I had thought that this case will be settled one way or the other. We were mentally prepared.

The Muslims have already said we would follow the court’s decision. But I suppose they want it to linger on till all of us are dead.” The other plaintiff, Hashim Ansari, lashed out: “ This is wrong.” According to Faizabadbased lawyer Khaliq, the Muslims gravitated towards the Congress in the last Lok Sabha polls. “ But the Congress is toying with us. The Muslims will now side with whoever says they will back a court- backed settlement in the dispute,” Khaliq said.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Centre to reach out & free stone- pelters

By Aman Sharma in New Delhi

Sep 24, 2010

AFTER encountering the harsh ground realities of the Valley, leaders of the all- party delegation that visited Jammu and Kashmir last week met Union home minister P. Chidambaram at North Block on Thursday. And the outcome was a positive one, as the first healing touch for Kashmiris may be round the corner.

Some of the alleged stonepelters are likely to be released from prison early next week as part of confidence- building measures to end the current crisis in the state. There is a consensus among various political parties on this issue.

The BJP’s Arun Jaitley and the CPM’s Sitaram Yechury were among the leaders at the meeting.

“A special cabinet committee on security meeting on Kashmir could be called early next week, maybe Tuesday, after opinions of all political parties are consolidated and a consensus is arrived at. Some confidence- building measures could be announced then — such as the release of youngsters from jails by the state government against whom there are no serious charges,” a government source said.

Full report at: Mail Today

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PPP and MQM ‘marriage of convenience’ on the rocks

24 September 2010

ISLAMABAD — The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is mulling the option to part ways with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) with which it is sharing power in Sindh provincial government and the federal government.

President Asif Zardari, who is also Co-chairman of the PPP, has held intense consultations with party leaders on the subject. He spent nearly three weeks in Sindh where rank and file of the party have strong views against continuing the uneasy ties with the MQM.

On Wednesday night Zardari had a long session with ‘core committee’ of the PPP which debated current political situation in the country amid speculations of impending change. Informed sources said the party leaders believed that the present situation was created by virulent speeches of MQM chief Altaf Hussain on August 22 in which he urged ‘patriotic generals’ to take “Martial Law-like” action to oust government of corrupt, inept and oppressive feudal classes.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2010/September/international_September1104.xml&section=international&col=

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Amnesty in civilians' appeal to Yemen

Sep 24, 2010

SANAA – A human rights groups expressed concern over the displacement of “a shocking number of people” during fighting in south Yemen and warned against any disproportionate offensive against suspected al Qaeda fighters.

Yemen’s Red Crescent said this week that up to 12,000 civilians had been forced to flee clashes between suspected al Qaeda militants and government forces in and around the town of al-Hota in the southern province of Shabwa. Amnesty International said some inhabitants of al-Hota had told the rights watchdog that the suspected militants were in fact armed tribesmen with grievances against the government. “The nature of the assault may be – for a law-enforcement operation – grossly disproportionate,” Amnesty said in a statement.

The Yemeni government has confirmed that civilians had been asked to move out of the area to avoid being caught up in military operations.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2010/September/international_September1093.xml&section=international&col=

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Afghanistan adds female officers to swelling army

Sep 24, 2010

Afghanistan’s army got its first female officers in decades on Thursday when 29 women graduated in a class of new recruits.

The new recruits hope to help take the lead role in national security from foreign forces by 2014.

President Hamid Karzai, NATO and the US have been pushing to expand and train Afghanistan’s army, police and other security forces to allow them to take over during a planned drawdown of foreign troops.

The US has said it will start its withdrawal in July 2011, although the process may take years.

“I am fully committed to serving my country, the same way as my Afghan brothers currently serving in the army. That is why I decided to join,” said female officer Mari Sharifi after the graduation ceremony at the Kabul Army Training Centre.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2010/September/international_September1092.xml&section=international&col=

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ANP activist shot dead in Karachi

Sep 24, 2010

KARACHI: An activist of Awami National Party was gunned down in Gulistan-i-Jauhar area of the city on Thursday night.

Police and party sources said Abdul Munaf, 45, was sitting in a stall near Jauhar Chowrangi when men on a motorbike fired at least three shots at him.

The assailants escaped, leaving Munaf in a pool of blood.

Sharae Faisal SHO Rustam Nawaz said the ANP activist lived in Karimabad but frequently visited the stall selling caps, prayer beads and fragrance.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/anp-activist-shot-dead-490

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Al Qaeda warns France not to attempt rescue of hostages

Sep 24, 2010

DUBAI: Al-Qaeda has warned Paris not to attempt to rescue five French nationals kidnapped by the jihadists in Niger, SITE monitoring group said Thursday, as France mobilised its forces to find them.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb posted a statement on jihadist forums in which it said the kidnappings came in the “context of retaliation” promised by AQIM leader Abu Musab Abdul Wadud to France, the US-based group said.

SITE said the statement carried a warning to France that they should not attempt another rescue mission “like they had done for Michel Germaneau.” AQIM militants have made increasing threats against France and its citizens since a July deadly Sahara raid in a bid to rescue French hostage Michel Germaneau in which seven of its members were killed.

The group said it had executed the 78-year-old as a reprisal for the raid, vowing further revenge against France.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/44-qaeda-warns-france-not-to-attempt-rescue-of-hostages-site-fa-08

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Two girls’ schools blown up in Peshawar

Sep 24, 2010

PESHAWAR: The Taliban on Wednesday blew up two more girls’ schools in the provincial capital amid a security operation against the terrorists in the bordering area of FR Peshawar, police and locals said.

The Taliban bombed five schools in a week’s time in the capital, spreading terror in the school-going children and their parents. Badha Bair Police Station Muharrir Mukamil Shah told Daily Times that the Taliban blew up two girls’ schools at Sulmankhel village of Bada Bhair, a suburb area of Peshawar.

He said the Taliban bombed Girls High School Sulman Khel and Girls Primary School Sulman at around 1am and both schools were situated alongside each other. About the damage, he said six classrooms were destroyed in the girls’ high school and four classrooms were destroyed in the primary school.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\24\story_24-9-2010_pg7_4

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Civil society demands democracy must continue

Sep 24, 2010

LAHORE: National politicians, journalists, civil society members and intellectuals signed a statement on Thursday demanding continuity of democracy in the country.

Gathered under the banner “Citizens for Democracy”, the participants at the event expressed concern over institutional, financial and social destabilisation in the country, which was straining to cope with double challenge of terrorism and floods. They said the state of strategic and political uncertainty and power struggle among various institutions of the state was a cause for alarm.

The participants expressed full faith in a constitutional, democratic and representative system that ensured freedom, fundamental rights, an independent judiciary, a free and responsible media and sovereignty of country’s people through the federal and provincial legislatures. They emphasised the need for evolving a broad consensus on major national issues. The concerned members of society said the future of federation and the nation was linked with democracy and continuation of the constitutional, federal and democratic set up. Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\24\story_24-9-2010_pg7_7

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Jail for brothers who fire-bombed Swedish artist

Sep 24, 2010

STOCKHOLM: A Swedish appeals court on Thursday upheld jail sentences handed to two brothers who firebombed the home of a Swedish artist for committing blasphemy. But it refused a request by the prosecutor to increase the sentences. The court of appeal for the regions of Skaane and Blekinge confirmed the jail sentences handed down Mensur Alija, 20, and his brother Mentor, 21, for the attack on Lars Vilks. They received two and three-year sentences respectively for attempted arson. The brothers, Swedish nationals of Kosovar origin, were originally convicted in the southern city of Helsingborg in July. Both had denied any involvement in the crime and appealed for their convictions to be overturned or failing that, their sentences shortened. agencies

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\24\story_24-9-2010_pg7_9

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Obama asks world to help rebuild Pakistan

Sep 24, 2010

UNITED NATIONS: US President Barack Obama called upon the international community on Thursday to help and support people of Pakistan “recover and rebuild”.

“Since the rains came and the floodwaters rose in Pakistan, we have pledged our assistance, and we should all support the Pakistani people as they recover and rebuild,” said Mr Obama while addressing the 65th Annual General Assembly session in New York.

Mr Obama urged fellow world leaders to press forward with renewed determination in the quest for Mideast peace, an effort that he acknowledged had encountered “few peaks and many valleys”.

Without an agreement, he said, “more blood will be shed” and “this Holy Land will remain a symbol of our differences, instead of our common humanity”.

Mr Obama’s call for a Palestinian state drew a burst of applause from throughout the hall.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/obama-asks-world-to-help-rebuild-pakistan-490

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Families of jailed Azeri bloggers appeal to US

Sep 24, 2010

BAKU: Relatives of two Azeri bloggers jailed in a case condemned by rights groups appealed to US President Barack Obama on Thursday to press for their release during talks with Azerbaijan’s leader Ilham Aliyev.

The case goes to the heart of the West’s delicate balancing act with the ex-Soviet republic, an energy supplier to Europe and a transit country for US troops in Afghanistan, but where democratic freedoms are shrinking under Aliyev. The families of Adnan Hajizade and Emin Milli, jailed last year, issued an open letter to Obama asking him to raise the case during talks with Aliyev scheduled for Friday on the margins of the UN General Assembly.

The meeting, following a July visit by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Baku, is part of an effort to shore up relations with the mainly Muslim country – strategically located between Russia, Turkey and Iran — after Azerbaijan complained Washington was ignoring its interests.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\24\story_24-9-2010_pg20_8

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Women spies caught in Hamas net

Sep 24, 2010

GAZA CITY: Hamas announced Thursday that its security forces have uncovered and arrested a number of collaborators who participated in missions for Israeli intelligence services.

Ihab Al-Ghussien, a spokesman for the Hamas-run government’s Interior Ministry declined to reveal the names of the collaborators, but said they include women. At a news conference in Gaza, Al-Ghussien said: "The occupation (Israel) failed to transform Gaza into a quagmire of collaborators ... the internal security apparatus achieved a significant success in this matter and managed to direct a big blow for the occupation."

Those found guilty face possible execution.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article145531.ece

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Iraqi police say blast kills 3 children in Baghdad

Sep 24, 2010

BAGHDAD: Iraqi police say a bomb attached to a car has exploded in eastern Baghdad, killing three children and wounding their parents.

Police say the blast in the Ghadir district tore through the car of Anmar Taha Ridha, who works on the maintenance crew of Iraq's government headquarters. Ridha and his wife were injured and their three children -- aged six, eight and 10 -- were killed Thursday.

The police officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Hospital officials confirmed the death toll.

Elsewhere in Baghdad, friendly fire killed one policeman at a checkpoint near the Finance Ministry.

Police say guards opened fire after the police vehicle attempted to bypass the barricades.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article145317.ece

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Al-Qaeda ally claims Tajik attack, threatens more

Sep 24, 2010

DUSHANBE: A militant group linked to Al-Qaeda on Thursday claimed responsibility for killing 28 soldiers in Tajikistan and threatened more attacks, as government troops hunted down rebels in the mountains of the Central Asian state.

The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), whose exiled members have fought with the Taleban in Afghanistan, said via a radio station that they attacked a column of Tajik soldiers on Sunday in retaliation for a government crackdown.

Abdufattoh Ahmadi, who presented himself as a spokesman for the IMU, made the statement in a video message sent to the Tajik service of Radio Liberty.

"This is our response to Tajikistan's government, which has lately shut down a thousand mosques, which arrests Muslims without any reason and prohibits women from wearing Muslim clothes," Ahmadi was quoted as saying, in Tajik, by Radio Ozodi.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article145341.ece

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Saudi youth delegation explores China

Sep 24, 2010

SHANGHAI: Twenty young Saudis are marking the 20 years of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and Saudi Arabia by participating in a forum hosted by the All-China Youth Federation.

Speaking at the Saudi-Chinese Youth Forum presentation at Fudan University in Shanghai on Wednesday, Prince Mansour bin Miteb, minister of municipal and rural affairs, said the coming together of the youth of the two countries is a good augury.

“This cooperation between our youngsters will help us build bridges of understanding which in turn will benefit the whole of humanity,” he said.

The prince conveyed the good wishes of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for the success of the forum and underscored the role of youth in building a peaceful world for tomorrow.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article145554.ece

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/pakistani-scientist-sentenced-to-86-years-in-us-prison/d/3462


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