New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 2 March 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Pakistan’s Islamic Scholar Pacifies Muslims as Gujarat Remarks Spark Row

US House Brings resolution on religious freedom in Gujarat, an Indian State

Turkey: Schools, Economy, Move in Islamist Direction

73 killed in violence in Pak tribal belt

NATO air strikes in Libya killed 60 civilians: report

Pakistan Christians appeal to pope to make "Shahbaz Bhatti, a martyr of the Church"

Activists allege execution-style killings in Syria

Qaeda moving from Iraq to Syria: Iraq PM

US- BASED Kashmiri separatist leader pleads guilty in ISI’s Kashmir plot in Washington

Time to get rid of ‘strategic depth’ hangover: Pak FM

Mistakes led to Afghan Quran burnings: Official

Egypt court clears tycoon of Islam insult

Kashmiri teen’s trauma exposes flawed Indian justice

Delhi defaming K-movement: Chairman Hurriyat Conference (M)

Suicide bomber attacks NATO convoy in South Afghanistan, 7 wounded

American-born al Qaeda associate jailed for 27 years

West’s undignified exit is a gift to Taliban

Guilty plea deal to expedite Guantanamo trials

Three shot dead in Dera Bugti

Suicide bomber attacks NATO convoy, 7 wounded

India refuses govt guarantee on Syria oil imports

US-Afghanistan deal in danger as Karzai holds firm on demands

PM Gilani reaffirms resolve to cooperate Afghanistan against terrorism

Saudi holds Pakistanis, Iranians over drugs bust

Islamabad visit provided opportunity to pursue trilateral dialogue: Karzai

Zardari knew of raid: Ijaz

Pakistan: IIUI to hold Int’l conference on Muslim societies

Barack Obama warns against premature strike on Iran

Netanyahu says he won't set 'red lines' for action on Iran

Syria's Christians: Caught Between Supporting Assad and Fears of an Islamist Takeover

Arab Spring falls victim to Russia-US rivalry

Iran parliament vote seen bolstering Supreme Leader

India: NIA terror case against 2 Pakistanis

Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Turkish School

URL: 

http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/pakistan’s-islamic-scholar-pacifies-muslims-as-gujarat-remarks-spark-row/d/6780

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Pakistan’s Islamic Scholar Pacifies Muslims as Gujarat Remarks Spark Row

By Jitender Singh -

Hyderabad/India: Mar 3rd, 2012, Pakistan’s Islamic scholar Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri’s reported remarks advising Muslims to forget the Gujarat riots have sparked a row with some Muslim organizations.

Qadri reportedly made the remarks during his five-day visit to Gujarat. He is on a visit to India till March 18 and will address religious meetings in Ajmer, Mumbai, Raipur and Bangalore.

According to an Indian media report, the controversial Pakistani scholar, while addressing a meeting at Vadodara in Gujarat Feb 25, reportedly advised Indian Muslims to forget the post-Godhra carnage and move on.

He also thanked Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the man who is considered responsible for Gujrat bloodshed, for providing him security.

The media reports said Qadri faces threat to his life in Pakistan and mostly lives in the West.

The reports said the Pakistani scholar addressed the gathering from behind a huge bullet-proof screen and was escorted by his personal security guards and city policemen.

Leaders of Jamiat-ul-Ulema, which has a huge following here, have accused Qadri of speaking the language of the West.

“By praising the killer of Muslims and calling Muslims terrorists, he is expressing the views of either America and Israel or the RSS and Bajrang Dal,” said Moin Ahmed, a leader of the organisation.

Another leader accused Qadri of linking Muslims to terrorism to appease the West. Moulana Naseeruddin, a leading cleric who was arrested and jailed by Gujarat Police, alleged that Qadri was adding insult to the injury of Muslims by asking them to forget the massacre.

However, Qadri on Saturday clarified that he never asked Muslims to forget the violence that engulfed Gujarat a decade ago. Under fire from a section of the Muslim community for his remarks on the Gujarat riots, Qadri accused a section of the media of distorting his statement made last week. “I was repeatedly asked about Gujarat incidents.

I only (told people) not to repeat such unfortunate incidents and to learn to live in peace,”he was quoted by an Indian newspaper as saying

http://www.thenewstribe.com/2012/03/03/tahir-ul-qadri-pacifies-muslims-as-gujarat-remarks-sparks-row/#.T1IhzvHrpUM

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US House brings resolution on religious freedom in Gujarat

March 03, 2012

A Congressional resolution urging Gujarat government to restore religious freedom in the state has been introduced in the US House of Representatives on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of communal riots.

The non-binding resolution (H Res 569) "recognising the 10th anniversary

of the tragic communal violence in Gujarat" was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Keith Ellison, early this week.

Unlike most of such resolutions, it has no co-sponsors.

The resolution has been sent to the House Foreign Affairs Committee for necessary action.

Recognising the suffering of the people affected by the 2002 violence in Gujarat, including those who lost their lives in the Godhra train fire; the resolution shares the opinion of the US Department of State that the Gujarat government has not adequately pursued justice for the victims of the 2002 violence.

Expressing concern over reports from journalists and human rights groups about alleged complicity of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 violence; the resolution commends the US Government for denying a visa to Modi in 2005 on the grounds of a religious freedom violation under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), in a statement welcomed the introduction of the Congressional resolution.

"Congressman Ellison's resolution is an important effort to memorialise all those who were killed in the horrific sectarian violence of Gujarat in 2002," said Shaheen Khateeb, IAMC president.

"It is an opportunity to renew our pledge to continue the struggle for justice and reparation for the victims and to combat the discrimination and the economic hardships that plague minorities in Gujarat," he added.

In a statement, IAMC urged Indian American community to call upon their local Congressional representatives and urge them to become a co-sponsor of the House Resolution.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Americas/US-House-brings-resolution-on-religious-freedom-in-Gujarat/Article1-820078.aspx

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Turkey: Schools, Economy, Move in Islamist Direction

02 MARCH 2012

The results of parliamentary elections in Egypt appear to indicate that the future of that nation will find it more closely aligned with the Islamist agenda. At the same time, another "moderate" Muslim nation, Turkey, seems to be moving in an increasingly radical direction.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is personally committed to a more decidedly Islamist ideology than has been typical of Turkey as a whole. And now, changes in government policy indicate that Turkey may be taking incremental steps away from so-called secularism toward becoming an overtly religious state.

According to a February 24 story for ANSAmed, Turkey’s Prime Minister is pushing for "reforms" in the nation’s school system that would reduce the required amount of formal schooling in Turkey, while simultaneously increasing the prominence of Koranic schools:

The goals of an education reform bill introduced by the Islamic party of Turkey's Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan have been characterised by opposition parties as aiming to halve the length of compulsory schooling to promote more Koranic schools and veil wearing. The opposition secular press, trades unionists and other commentators, have for a month now, but especially over the past two days, been aiming their criticisms at the Islamic tendencies of the reforms of alleged faults in the country's education system.

As noted in the ANSAmed article, the educational "reform" would reduce the required years of formal education from eight years to a mere four years of school. At the same time, Islamic schools would be promoted:

A reduction in the number of years of compulsory education would also promote the so-called ''Imam Hatip Lisesi'', the religious Islamic schools, like the one in which Mr Erdogan was educated. Following its third electoral victory in succession, with nearly 50% of votes cast, Erdogan's single-party pro-Islamic government has already abolished the minimum age requirement for attendance at such schools and this reform would encourage children to give up attending their secular secondary schools in favour of religious institutions which now would take over some of the functions of the grammar schools.…

The move is seen as being linked to the increasing pressure on young girls in country areas to give up their schooling and the dangers deriving from a reduction of the age for starting an apprenticeship to eleven.

At the same time that Erdogan’s party is moving education in Turkey in a more Islamist direction, they are also pushing for changes in the nation’s economy that would move it more closely in line with the teachings of sharia law. For the first time in the history of its government, Turkey will begin issuing sharia-compliant bonds (sukuk) later this year. For Muslims, the sukuk is an alternative to interest-bearing bonds. Since sharia law forbids the charging of interest, a system of "renting" sukuk back to its issuer takes the place of interest. Given the size of the global Islamic community, and the need for channeling funds into investments while avoiding interest, the decision of Turkey to enter the sukuk market is drawing worldwide attention. Reuters reported on February 22:

Despite espousing Islamic values, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government shied away from taking the plunge with a sukuk issue during its first decade in power, out of fear of giving ammunition to critics who accuse the ruling AK Party of seeking to roll back state secularism by stealth.

"For a few billion dollars of funding there could be negative results in domestic politics," said a deputy chief executive at a leading Turkish bank, who declined to be named because of the political sensitivity of the subject.

In 2008, the Supreme Court came close to shutting down Erdogan's AK Party after ruling it was a centre of Islamist activity. But since then, the government has won the upper hand over old foes in the military and judiciary.…

"Turkey could very easily issue a couple of billion dollars worth of sukuk. It will probably issue $500 million or $1 billion at first and see how it goes," said Osman Akyuz, secretary general of the Participation Banks' Association of Turkey.

Critics, alarmed at developments both in education and the Turkish economy, can easily point to Erdogan as a master of incrementalism.

Erdogan has been Prime Minister of Turkey since 2003, but his record for militancy was well-known long before he assumed that office. As BBC News reported in November 2002, Erdogan’s extreme views “earned him a conviction in 1998 for inciting religious hatred”:

He had publicly read an Islamic poem including the lines: "The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers..."

He was sentenced to 10 months in jail, but was freed after four.

However, because of his criminal record, he was barred from standing in elections or holding political office.

Parliament last year changed the constitution to allow Mr Erdogan to stand for a parliamentary seat.

And, within two years of that constitutional change, the man who had been jailed for his Islamist extremism was ruling the entire nation.

Erdogan pushed for Turkey to be admitted as a member nation of the European Union, but his own conduct during trips throughout the EU raised further questions about his views. For example, Erdogan’s inflammatory conduct during a trip last year to Germany raised questions in the German media about the direction in which the Turkish ruler was seeking to lead his nation. As reported for The New American in March 2011, Erdogan openly mocked the notion that Turks in Germany should assimilate into German society:

The Prime Minister of Turkey has a message for the 3 million people of Turkish origin now living in Germany: "You are part of Germany, but you are also part our great Turkey." Speaking on February 27 to an audience of thousands gathered to hear him in Düsseldorf, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his “compatriots” to resist assimilation into German society ("Yes, integrate yourselves into German society but don't assimilate yourselves.”) even as he engaged in saber rattling as he stoked his audience: "Now Turkey will at last start building its own war planes."

At the same time, Erdogan continues to press for Turkey to become a full member of the European Union — a move which would allow unrestricted Turkish immigration into the rest of the EU.

According to a story at Spiegel Online, Erdogan intended to provoke the nation that he was visiting: “Erdogan knows that this statement amounts to a provocation in Germany — no politician here is demanding that Turkish immigrants should deny their roots or give up their culture.”

Erdogan appears to be signaling to his nation and the world that he now understands his position — and that of his political party — to be secure. And if the changes currently underway in Turkey are any indication, that nation may be making incremental steps toward the type if Islamic state envisioned by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-mainmenu-26/asia-mainmenu-33/11054-turkey-schools-economy-move-in-islamist-direction

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73 killed in violence in Pak tribal belt

FRIDAY, 02 MARCH

REZAUL H LASKAR

At least 73 people, mostly militants, were killed on Friday in separate incidents of violence, including a suicide attack outside a mosque and a fierce clash between security forces and terrorists, in the restive tribal belt of northwest Pakistan.

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a mosque in the volatile Khyber tribal region this afternoon, killing 23 militants of the banned Lashkar-e-Islam group and injuring over 20 others, officials of the local political administration told the media.

The attacker detonated his explosive vest near the gate of the mosque as the Lashkar-e-Islam militants were leaving after Friday prayers. The incident occurred in Nakai area of Tirah Valley, located near the border with Afghanistan.

The area is controlled by the Lashkar-e-Islam, which is led by a warlord named Mangal Bagh Afridi. Another militant faction led by Tariq Afridi claimed responsibility for the attack.

Officials said they feared the death toll may rise as some of the injured were in serious condition. The explosion, which damaged the mosque and nearby structures, occurred in the same area, where an overnight clash left 10 security personnel and 23 militants dead.       PTI

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/47048-73-killed-in-violence-in-pak-tribal-belt.html

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NATO air strikes in Libya killed 60 civilians: report

March 03, 2012

“Amongst the 20 Nato airstrikes investigated, the commission documented five airstrikes where a total of 60 civilians were killed and 55 injured,” read the unedited version of the report obtained by AFP.

The commission also probed two Nato airstrikes which damaged civilian infrastructure and where no military target could be identified, it said.

For Full Report at :

http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/03/nato-air-strikes-in-libya-killed-60-civilians-report.html

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Pakistan Christians appeal to pope to make "Shahbaz Bhatti, a martyr of the Church"

by Jibran Khan - Shafique Khokhar,  03/03/2012

Masses are celebrated and prayer vigils held in various cities on the first anniversary of his death. In the capital, a torchlight procession reaches the scene of his murder by Muslim extremists. Paul Bhatti receives the APMA flag as an encouragement to continue Shahbaz's mission. Thanks to latter's work, four seats have been reserved for minorities in the upcoming senate elections.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Pakistani Christians, but also Muslims, Hindus and other minorities are appealing to Pope Benedict XVI to make "Shahbaz Bhatti, a martyr of the Church". They did so at ceremonies marking the first anniversary of the Catholic minister assassinated on 2 March 2011. Masses and prayer vigils were held in Faisalabad, his birthplace of Khushpur (Punjab), Lahore, Multan, Karachi and other locations.

For Full Report at :

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Pakistan-Christians-appeal-to-pope-to-make-Shahbaz-Bhatti,-a-martyr-of-the-Church-24137.html

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Activists allege execution-style killings in Syria

March 03, 2012

BEIRUT: Syrian activists accused regime forces of carrying out execution-style killings and burning homes on Friday as part of a scorched-earth campaign in a restive neighbourhood in the city of Homs, and the Red Cross said the regime blocked the group’s access to the area following a bloody, month long siege to dislodge rebel forces.

The humanitarian group said it received permission from the government on Thursday to enter Baba Amr, and a convoy with seven truckloads of aid was poised to do so on Friday. Humanitarian conditions were believed to be catastrophic, with extended power and water shortages during frigid, snowy winter.

“It is unacceptable that people who have been in need of emergency assistance for weeks have still not received any help,” said ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger. “We are staying in Homs tonight in the hope of entering Baba Amr in the very near future.”

The Syrian regime has said it was fighting ‘armed gangs’ in Baba Amr, and vowed to “cleanse” the neighbourhood over the past month. State TV showed footage on Friday of devastation, with pockmarked buildings and shattered windows.

For Full Report at :

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\03\03\story_3-3-2012_pg7_1

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Qaeda moving from Iraq to Syria: Iraq PM

March 03, 2012

Al Qaeda is moving from Iraq to Syria, where the government is carrying out a bloody crackdown on an uprising, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said in an interview published on Friday.

"Al Qaeda has started migrating from Iraq to Syria, and maybe it will migrate from Syria to

another country, to Libya or to Egypt or to any region where the regime is unstable and out of control," Maliki said in an interview with Saudi daily Okaz.

"Yesterday, Syria was considering itself outside the circle of the terrorism problem, and today, it is in the heart of the terrorism problem," Maliki said.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been carrying out a bloody crackdown on an uprising against his rule since March 2011, in which more than 7,500 people have died, according to the UN.

For Full Report at :

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/RestOfAsia/Qaeda-moving-from-Iraq-to-Syria-PM/Article1-819942.aspx

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US- BASED Kashmiri separatist leader pleads guilty in ISI’s Kashmir plot in Washington

March 03, 2012

PTI

US- BASED Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai on Wednesday pleaded guilty to federal charges of spying for the Pakistani spy agency, the ISI, and illegally lobbying the Congress to influence the American policy on Kashmir.

Fai, 62, also acknowledged secretly receiving money from the ISI through clandestine routes and causing revenue losses to the US government to the tune of $ 200,000 to 400,000.

Pleading before the US Eastern District Court of Virginia, Fai, head of the Kashmiri American Council ( KAC) pleaded guilty and agreed to the charges of federal prosecutors that he received at least $ 3.5 million from the ISI between 1990 to 2011.

His sentencing is scheduled for March 9. Fai agreed before the court that he was in direct contact with the ISI officials, including the head of its security directorate. The guilty plea was announced by Neil MacBride, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. He conceded receiving talking points from the ISI regarding what to say and write. He agreed that he received directions from the ISI with regard to which specific individuals to invite for KAC conferences.

For Full Report at :

http://epaper.mailtoday.in/epaperhome.aspx?issue=8122011

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Time to get rid of ‘strategic depth’ hangover: Pak FM

March 03, 2012

Baqir Sajjad Syed

ISLAMABAD, March 2: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has said she hopes for a relationship with Afghanistan based on trust and called for leaving behind the past associated with interference in that country and support for Taliban.

“Recognise what we are doing now without overshadowing it with whatever has been Pakistan’s historical baggage. We are moving out of that hangover,” Ms Khar said at a meeting with a group of journalists at her office a week after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani launched an appeal for all Afghan groups to join an intra-Afghan process for peace and reconciliation.

ut there is definitely no remorse for “the historical baggage” because she said all the countries that helped create the “Frankenstein” should share the blame.

After his visit to Islamabad last month for the trilateral summit, Afghan President Hamid Karzai had said Pakistan’s support was crucial, but regretted that there were (at the time) impediments to peace.

For Full Report at :

http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/03/time-to-get-rid-of-strategic-depth-hangover-khar.html

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Mistakes led to Afghan Quran burnings: Official

March 03, 2012

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN: A series of mistakes led to the burning of Qurans at a US military base in Afghanistan and at least five American military personnel involved may face a disciplinary review over the issue, a Western official said on Saturday.

The official said a joint investigation by senior Afghan and U.S. military officials had convinced them that there was no intent to desecrate the Qurans and other religious texts.

The Feb. 20 incident touched off a weeklong series of deadly riots that killed more than 30 Afghans, as well as six US troops who were fatally shot by Afghan security forces or militants disguised in their uniforms. It also brought relations between the US-led military coalition and the Afghan government to an all-time low and spurred the most serious wave of anti-American and foreign sentiment across the country during the 10-year war.

President Barack Obama and other US officials apologized and said the burning was an accident. But the apologies failed to quell the anger, although Muslim protests over the burnings have now ebbed.

For Full Report at :

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Mistakes-led-to-Afghan-Quran-burnings-Official/articleshow/12122374.cms

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Mistakes led to Afghan Quran burnings: Official

March 03, 2012

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN: A series of mistakes led to the burning of Qurans at a US military base in Afghanistan and at least five American military personnel involved may face a disciplinary review over the issue, a Western official said on Saturday.

The official said a joint investigation by senior Afghan and U.S. military officials had convinced them that there was no intent to desecrate the Qurans and other religious texts.

The Feb. 20 incident touched off a weeklong series of deadly riots that killed more than 30 Afghans, as well as six US troops who were fatally shot by Afghan security forces or militants disguised in their uniforms. It also brought relations between the US-led military coalition and the Afghan government to an all-time low and spurred the most serious wave of anti-American and foreign sentiment across the country during the 10-year war.

President Barack Obama and other US officials apologized and said the burning was an accident. But the apologies failed to quell the anger, although Muslim protests over the burnings have now ebbed.

For Full Report at :

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Mistakes-led-to-Afghan-Quran-burnings-Official/articleshow/12122374.cms

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Egypt court clears tycoon of Islam insult

By Samer al-Atrush (AFP)

CAIRO — March 03,12 A Cairo court on Saturday dismissed a complaint against Christian tycoon Naguib Sawaris accused of insulting Islam with a cartoon of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in conservative Muslim garb, Egypt's state media reported.

Hardline Islamist lawyer and MP Mamduh Ismail, who filed the complaint against the head of Orascom Telecom, told AFP he would appeal the decision.

Sawiris, also the founder of a liberal party, reposted on Twitter a cartoon of Mickey Mouse wearing a beard and turban and Minnie Mouse in a niqab, the face veil worn by ultra-conservative Muslim women.

The cartoon was a joking reference to what would happen should Islamists, who now control parliament, take over Egypt, but Sawiris was forced to apologise after calls for a boycott of his cell phone service provider Mobinil.

For Full Report at :

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5irY2mAqkGjtJZblws_j5x4xTgMwQ?docId=CNG.0542bb124c0190dc6ea169bbb2267118.21

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Kashmiri teen’s trauma exposes flawed Indian justice

AFP

SRINAGAR: March 3, 12 Syed Maqbool Shah, an aspiring teacher from India-administered Kashmir aged 17, was visiting his brother in New Delhi in June 1996 when police wrongly accused him of taking part in a bombing.

The car blast the month before had ripped through the bustling Lajpat Nagar area of shops and homes, killing 13 people and putting local law enforcement agencies under intense pressure to find the culprits.

Police swooped in a pre-dawn raid on Shah’s brother’s rented residence where evidence tying the teenager to the blast was said to have been found – including a spare tyre from a stolen car linked to the bombings.

Shah was arrested, charged and sent to Tihar Jail, the notorious high-security New Delhi prison that he would share with militants, rapists and other criminals for nearly 10 of the 14 years he was imprisoned.

For Full Report at :

http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/03/kashmiri-teens-trauma-exposes-flawed-indian-justice.html

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Delhi defaming K-movement: Chairman Hurriyat Conference (M)

 ‘No Talks Sans CBMs’

ZAHID MAQBOOL

Srinagar, Mar 2: Days after Delhi Police arrested two youth from Kashmir for their alleged militant links, Chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq termed it as a ploy to defame the movement of Kashmiris before international community.

“Whenever some progress is likely on the Kashmir issue between the two countries, agencies come up with theories of militant module and arrests of innocent boys,” Mirwaiz said while addressing the Friday congregation at historic Jamia Masjid here.

“They just want to give it a colour that Kashmiris are terrorists. It has become a routine business of some elements in India to arrest Kashmiris and charge them in different cases,” Mirwaiz alleged.

For Full Report at :

http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/2012/Mar/3/delhi-defaming-k-movement-mirwaiz-41.asp

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American-born al Qaeda associate jailed for 27 years

March 03, 2012

Betim Kaziu traveled from Brooklyn to Cairo, Egypt, in February 2009 to participate in attacks against US troops based in the Middle East and in the Balkans on behalf of al Qaeda, prosecutors said during the trial.

Testimony at trial established that Kaziu had been radicalized, in part, by Internet speeches of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric and leading figure in al Qaeda, who was killed in a US drone strike in Yemen last year.

Prosecutors also presented evidence from Kaziu’s social networking website that included quotes from Osama bin Laden.

While Kaziu was in Cairo, he allegedly tried to acquire automatic weapons and attempted to travel to Somalia to join al-Shebab, a Somali terrorist organization allied with al Qaeda, the court heard.

For Full Report at :

http://tribune.com.pk/story/344888/american-born-al-qaeda-associate-jailed-for-27-years/

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West’s undignified exit is a gift to Taliban

March 03, 2012

By: Con Coughlin       | 1

It did not have to end like this. Our valiant mission to defeat the Taliban and stabilise Afghanistan has been reduced to an undignified scramble for the exit by Nato leaders desperate to see who can be the first to bring their troops home.

It is, after all, little more than two years since Barack Obama committed America, by some distance the biggest contributor to Nato’s military mission to Afghanistan, to a comprehensive strategy of defeating the Taliban and bringing about political reconciliation in a country exhausted by three decades of conflict.

Had the politicians kept their nerve, the counter-insurgency strategy devised by the US general David Petraeus – and eagerly supported by his British counterparts – might just have worked. If, as the generals promised, we had continued to hit the Taliban “until their eyes bleed” there was a prospect that even the most irreconcilable elements would have treated for peace. Taliban fighters have families, too. This was certainly Britain’s experience during the 19th century when, despite suffering disastrous defeats at the hands of Afghan tribesmen, the military eventually succeeded in overpowering the insurgents and establishing a stable government. But the Obama administration’s commitment to counter-insurgency has always been half-hearted at best – Joe Biden, the vice president, has campaigned vociferously for the far less expensive option of zapping the bad guys from unmanned drones.

For Full Report at :

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/international/03-Mar-2012/west-s-undignified-exit-is-a-gift-to-taliban

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Guilty plea deal to expedite Guantanamo trials

March 03, 2012

Majid Khan, 32, who has spent the last nine years behind bars, was to plead guilty on Wednesday to a raft of charges connected to his role in alleged terror plots hatched by accused September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

In exchange for a sentence of 25 years, Khan – who had faced life in prison – will testify against other “high value” detainees, including Mohammed and four others alleged to have taken part in the 2001 attacks.

Many of the terms of the plea agreement remain classified, and the Washington Post reported that the military plans to delay Khan’s sentencing for four years to ensure he complies with the agreement.

“It’s part of a strategy of building more solid cases against the handful of defendants that the government plans to try before the commissions,” said Jonathan Hafetz, a lawyer who has represented other Guantanamo detainees.

More than 10 years after the September 11 attacks, Mohammed and four co-defendants accused of plotting them are still awaiting trial at the prison, part of a US naval base in Cuba.

For Full Report at :

http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/29/guilty-plea-deal-to-expedite-guantanamo-detainee-trials.html

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Three shot dead in Dera Bugti

March 03, 2012

DERA BUGTI - At least three persons were killed and another injured when unknown armed men opened fire at them here on Saturday.

According to Levies sources, unidentified armed motorcyclists opened fire on a farm house in Gardan area of Dera Bugti. As a result of firing three workers of the farm house were killed on the spot while another sustained critical wounds.

The accused managed to flee from the scene after committing triple murder. The dead bodies and injured were shifted to civil hospital Dera Bugti.

Levies cordoned off the area and launched search operation but no arrests could be made.

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/03/three-shot-dead-in-dera-bugti/

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Suicide bomber attacks NATO convoy, 7 wounded

March 03, 2012

A suicide bomber on a motorcycle attacked a NATO convoy in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar today, wounding seven people including four soldiers, an official said.

"A suicide attacker rammed his explosives-laden motorcycle into a convoy of NATO troops in Dand district

injuring four foreign soldiers, one policeman, one translator and one civilian," provincial governor Toryalai Weesa told AFP.

A spokesman for NATO'S International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed the attack, but would not give details of any wounded soldiers, saying only that none had been killed.

For Full Report at :

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Afghanistan/Suicide-bomber-attacks-NATO-convoy-7-wounded/Article1-819957.aspx

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India refuses govt guarantee on Syria oil imports

March 03, 2012

ndia has refused to provide its sovereign guarantee for oil imports from Syria, two government sources said, frustrating refiners looking for alternative sources of crude to hedge against possible supply disruptions from sanctions-hit Iran.   The oil ministry had hoped that

the government would underwrite Syrian oil cargoes after Indian insurance firms failed to find re-insurers for shipments from the Middle East nation, which is also targeted by Western sanctions.

New Delhi's stand on Syrian oil comes after it voted last month in favour of a UN resolution endorsing an Arab League plan calling on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

"This is true that the government has denied sovereign guarantee for import of Syrian oil. This was done because of India's vote against Syria in the United Nations," said one of the sources.

Both sources had direct knowledge of the decision and declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

For Full Report at :

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/India-refuses-govt-guarantee-on-Syria-oil-imports/Article1-820074.aspx

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US-Afghanistan deal in danger as Karzai holds firm on demands

March 02, 2012,

Hopes that the US can fix conditions for a long-term military presence in Afghanistan before an unofficial May deadline are fading because Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, is not prepared to compromise on two demands that have stalled negotiations for months. Washington and its allies want to have the US-Afghan strategic partnership agreed before May, when a Nato conference in Chicago is expected to pledge long-term help to Kabul with finances and military training. But negotiations have dragged on for over a year and Karzai is adamant he will not give ground on his two main demands – for Afghan control of jails and an end to night-time raids on Afghan homes. Western officials say the first is not practical and the second would compromise the military effort. "If they don't change their position there will be no strategic partnership before Chicago," said a senior Afghan official familiar with the negotiations. "We are not willing to compromise when it comes to sovereignty."

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/international/02-Mar-2012/us-afghanistan-deal-in-danger-as-karzai-holds-firm-on-demands

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PM Gilani reaffirms resolve to cooperate Afghanistan against terrorism

March 02, 2012,

By: APP |

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Friday expressed his resolve to continue support and cooperation with Afghanistan against the menace of terrorism. In a brief talk with mediamen after his arrival here at local airport, the prime minister, while answering a question about a letter sent by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to him, said that it was a positive move seeking further improvement in the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/national/02-Mar-2012/pm-gilani-reaffirms-resolve-to-cooperate-afghanistan-against-terrorism

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Saudi holds Pakistanis, Iranians over drugs bust

March 03, 2012

Saudi security services “foiled an attempt to smuggle half a tonne (1,102 pounds) of hashish through the kingdom’s eastern coasts,” the ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.

“The narcotic was seized and 11 people involved in its smuggling were arrested – six Pakistanis and five Iranians.”

“Preliminary investigations have shown that those arrested are part of a criminal network involved in drug trafficking from Iranian territories into the kingdom and Gulf Cooperation Council states,” it added.

The group was arrested while they were “handing over the drugs” in Saudi Arabia’s territorial waters, it said.

The kingdom imposes the death penalty on people convicted of drug trafficking.

Earlier on Friday, a Saudi national was reportedly beheaded after being convicted of smuggling over one million “banned narcotic pills” into the country.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/344484/saudi-holds-pakistanis-iranians-over-drugs-bust/

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Islamabad visit provided opportunity to pursue trilateral dialogue: Karzai

March 03, 2012

By IQBAL MUSTAFA

ISLAMABAD – Afghan President Hamid Karzai praised the Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani in a letter sent to him, it is essential that we sustain brotherly and equitable collaboration. The Afghan President wrote that the Third Afghan-Iran-Pakistan Trilateral Summit in Islamabad offered yet another opportunity to pursue our bilateral dialogue.

Showing his express, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Friday said in his reply that his resolve to continue support and cooperation with Afghanistan against the menace of terrorism. He said it was a positive move seeking further improvement in the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

The President in his letter to PM Gilani further wrote that he has often mentioned both privately and publicly that Afghanistan and Pakistan were twins and as such it was essential that they sustained brotherly and equitable collaboration.

The President expressed that he had a strong sense of a shared determination to ensure peace, security and prosperity for both the countries, assuming his government’s full cooperation in realizing the mutual commitments made in Islamabad.

President Hamid Karzai also expressed his thanks for the warm reception and brotherly hospitality extended to him during his recent visit to Pakistan.

http://dailymailnews.com/0312/03/FrontPage/index.php?id=12

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Zardari knew of raid: Ijaz

March 03, 2012

Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz on Friday alleged that President Asif Ali Zardari had prior knowledge of the U.S. raid in Abbottabad and had ordered the army not to attack the helicopters that entered Pakistani airspace to take out al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011.

Mr. Ijaz — who authored the ‘memogate' controversy with his allegations that the former Ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani, had sought American intervention after the raid to pre-empt a coup in Pakistan — made this charge in London ahead of another round of his deposition via video conference before the Islamabad-based judicial commission from the Pakistan High Commission in London. He refused to come to Pakistan on the premise that his life would be under threat.

For Full Report at :

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2954307.ece

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Pakistan: IIUI to hold Int’l conference on Muslim societies

ISLAMABAD, 10 Rabi al-Thani/3 March (IINA)-International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI) would organize an international conference on “Pakistan, South Asia and Muslim Societies” from 6 to 7 March.

The Iqbal International Institute for Research and Dialogue (IRD) of the IIUI is organizing a conference in collaboration with the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies (ACSIS) and the South Asian Muslim Studies Association (SAMSA) in Faisal Mosque Campus of IIUI on March 6-7.

The scholars at the conference would speak about issues related to Islam, culture, politics, economy and society in the context of Pakistan, South Asia and other Muslim societies.

It is obvious the Pakistan cannot be seen in isolation from its South Asian geo-strategic location and associated historical, linguistic, cultural and geographical influences. Islam is one of the major religions in the region alongside Hinduism, Buddhism and other faith systems.

For Full Report at :

http://iina.me/wp_en/?p=1007070

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Barack Obama warns against premature strike on Iran

March 03, 2012

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama has warned that a premature attack on Iran would allow it to play the "victim" in the nuclear crisis just days before key talks with Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

In some of his toughest comments yet on Tehran's nuclear drive, Obama also warned that Israel and Iran should take seriously possible US action against Iranian nuclear facilities if sanctions fail to stop the country's atomic ambitions.

"I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don't bluff," Obama told the Atlantic Monthly magazine in remarks published Friday.

"I also don't, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. But I think both the Iranian and the Israeli governments recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say."

Netanyahu arrived in Canada early Friday ahead of key discussions Monday with Obama at the White House, against a backdrop of growing fears that Israel could unilaterally strike suspect Iranian nuclear facilities.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only but Western nations suspect the Islamic republic is leading a covert program to develop a nuclear weapons capability and is not far from achieving its goal.

For Full Report at :

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Barack-Obama-warns-against-premature-strike-on-Iran/articleshow/12114163.cms

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Netanyahu says he won't set 'red lines' for action on Iran

Mar 03, 2012

AFP | Ottawa

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday he will not set ‘red lines’ for military action against Iran, insisting he wanted to preserve the Jewish state's freedom to maneuver.

"I have not set down red lines to the United States and will not set down red lines," he said. "I want to reserve Israel's freedom to maneuver in light of threats, every country would demand that."

Netanyahu arrived in Canada on Friday ahead of White House talks next week expected to focus on halting Iran's controversial nuclear drive.

For Full Report at :

http://www.asianage.com/international/netanyahu-says-he-wont-set-red-lines-action-iran-055

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Syria's Christians: Caught Between Supporting Assad and Fears of an Islamist Takeover

3-2-2012

President Bashar al-Assad appears to have declared war on his own people through a brutal, year-old crackdown that has claimed the lives of at least 7,000 people. So it is perhaps surprising to learn that Syria has long been a diverse society in which minorities and women have enjoyed certain rights and freedoms unknown in most other Arab nations.

Aside from Sunni Muslims, the dominant community, Syria's population also boasts communities of Christians, Kurds, Armenians, Druze and Greeks.

Assad is himself a minority belong to the Alawites, who are Shia Muslims.

International Business Times spoke to an expert on the Middle East to explore Syria's demographic features, particularly its Christian population.

H.L. Murre-van den Berg is a professor at the Institute for Religious Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

For Full Report at :

http://www.aina.org/news/20120302175404.htm

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Arab Spring falls victim to Russia-US rivalry

March 03, 2012        | 1

MARWAN KABALAN

On Sunday, the attention of the world’s media will be focused on Moscow, where millions of Russians will cast their votes in one of the most important presidential elections since the collapse of the former Soviet Union.

It is almost a certainty that current Prime Minister and former president Vladimir Putin will win the vote and thus return to the Kremlin. The question will be whether Putin will win enough votes from the first round and how much popular support will he receive. This will affect his image as Russia’s strongman in the years to come and shape his policies, both domestic and foreign.

As most analysts believe that the return of Putin to the Kremlin will mark the beginning of a new era in Russian foreign policy, concerns grow — especially among Arabs — at the impact of the deteriorating Russia-US relations on the transformation process in the Arab world. A more hawkish Russian policy has already complicated things in Syria, resulting in more violence.

For Full Report at :

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/international/03-Mar-2012/arab-spring-falls-victim-to-russia-us-rivalry

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Iran parliament vote seen bolstering Supreme Leader

March 03, 2012

TEHRAN: Iranians voted on Friday in a parliamentary election likely to reinforce Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s power over rival hardliners led by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iranian leaders were looking for a high turnout to ease an acute crisis of legitimacy caused by Ahmadinejad’s re-election in 2009 when widespread accusations of fraud plunged the Islamic Republic into the worst unrest of its 33-year history.

Iran also faces economic turmoil compounded by Western sanctions over a nuclear programme that has prompted threats of military action by Israel, whose leader meets US President Barack Obama in the White House on Monday.

The vote in Iran is only a limited test of political opinion since leading reformist groups stayed out of what became a contest between the Khamenei and Ahmadinejad camps.

“Whenever there has been more enmity towards Iran, the importance of the elections has been greater,” Khamenei, 72, said after casting his vote before television cameras.

“The arrogant powers are bullying us to maintain their prestige. A high turnout will be better for our nation … and for preserving security.”

The vote will have scant impact on Iran’s foreign or nuclear policies, in which Khamenei already has the final say, but could strengthen the Supreme Leader’s hand before the presidential vote next year. Ahmadinejad, 56, cannot run for a third term.

For Full Report at :

http://dailymailnews.com/0312/03/FrontPage/index.php?id=5

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India: NIA terror case against 2 Pakistanis

March 03, 2012

Aman Sharma/ New Delhi

THE NATIONAL Investigation Agency ( NIA) has lodged a terror- funding case against two Pakistani nationals for pumping in ` 80 crores into Jammu and Kashmir for terror activities.

The NIA said both the accused work for the Hizbul Mujahedeen — the terror outfit that the NIA believes is also behind the Delhi High Court bomb blasts of September 7 that killed 15 people. This is the first such case registered by the NIA regarding cross- border terror funding into J& K from Pakistan.

According to the FIR, a charitable organisation run by Hizbul- Mujahdeen in Pakistan- occupied Kashmir ( PoK), the Jammu & Kashmir Affectees Relief Trust ( JKART), is being used as a front to channel terror funds into J& K to various terror outfits to perpetrate violence.

Chairman of JKART, Mehboob Ul Haq and general secretary Masroor Dar were named as the accused by the NIA in the FIR, which says both these persons are based in Pakistan.

The case has been lodged on basis of information from a confidential source under sections 17, 18, 39 and 40 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, and on charges of waging a war against the country and criminal conspiracy under the IPC. NIA said no arrests had been made yet in the case and the investigation is in progress.

http://epaper.mailtoday.in/epaperhome.aspx?issue=8122011

URL: 

http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/pakistan’s-islamic-scholar-pacifies-muslims-as-gujarat-remarks-spark-row/d/6780

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