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Islamic World News ( 15 March 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Palestinians clash with police in East Jerusalem

British boy kidnapped in Pakistan found

American Muslim groups protest use of un-Islamic full body scanners at airports

Iraqi PM holds slim lead in partial poll tally

Iraqi nationalists must deliver

Minority status for Jamia demanded

Yemen says militants died in raid

Pakistan drone raid 'kills three' in North Waziristan

For the first time there are voices questioning Israel’s strategic value

Terror suspects linked to fugitive ganglord

Mumbai arrests cast light on jihadist-mafia nexus

Backlash from Taliban attacks forces Pak to act: Holbrooke

Apex court may recall Gujarat riots probe team

Jalil Andrabi case: Major Avtar's passport questioned

Dhaka, New Delhi to strengthen military ties

Indian paintings evoke Kazakh interest

Iran to step up Afghan presence

Bin Laden son seeks release of relatives in Iran

Attack on US diplomats in Pak may have alarming effect’

Campaign launched in support of ElBaradei

Indonesia urges US to reconsider ban on training

India has no plan to scale down operations in Afghanistan: Rao

Egypt's opposition calls for constitutional reform

Muslims divided over reservation

Three senior Taliban commanders killed in Pak

Dawood wants to shift family out of Pakistan: Hamza

India is clueless on Afghanistan

US should put 9/11 to rest with facts

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/palestinians-clash-with-police-in-east-jerusalem/d/2586

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Palestinians clash with police in East Jerusalem

March 16, 2010

Palestinians burned tyres and threw rocks and police fired stun grenades as rioting broke out in a number of areas.

The rioting follows Israel's plan to build 1,600 new East Jerusalem homes, angering the US. Its Mid-East envoy, George Mitchell, has delayed his visit.

The reopening of a synagogue in the Old City also drew Palestinian protests.

The clashes broke out in a number of areas, including Qalandia, the Shu'fat refugee camp, Wadi al-Jouz, al-Eisaweyah, Silwan, Ras al-Amoud and near the al-Aqsa mosque.

The Israeli police said they had deployed 3,000 officers across the city and about 15 Palestinians had been arrested.

A number of protesters were injured, Palestinian medical sources said.

'Day of rage'

The clashes come amid a lingering US-Israel row over the settlement announcement.

The announcement came during Vice-President Joe Biden's high-profile Middle East visit last week, aimed at trying to kick-start stalled peace talks.

The US says it is still awaiting a "formal" response from Israel to the row and has urged Israel to show it is committed to Middle East peace efforts.

Mr Mitchell, who was to leave for the region on Monday, has now delayed his departure.

The US Embassy in Israel has informed President Shimon Peres that Mr Mitchell will not be in Israel for the planned Tuesday afternoon meeting with Mr Peres.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has stood by Israel's settlements policy, saying there can be "no curbs" on Jewish building in Jerusalem.

 The reopening of the Hurva synagogue angered Palestinians

The BBC's Paul Wood in Jerusalem says there seems to be an impasse - if Mr Netanyahu caves in and cancels the new settlements, the stability of his government may be in doubt; if he does not, it is hard to see how the peace talks can take place.

The reopening of the twice-destroyed Hurva synagogue close to the al-Aqsa mosque - Islam's third holiest site - has also inflamed tension.

Hatem Abdel Qader, Jerusalem affairs spokesman for the Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said: "This synagogue will be a prelude to violence and religious fanaticism and extremism."

Militant group Hamas had declared Tuesday a "day of rage" against the move.

Thousands of people turned out in Gaza on Tuesday to protest against the rededication of the synagogue, Agence France-Presse news agency reports.

Our correspondent says the call by some Palestinian officials for people to defend the Haram al-Sharif or Temple Mount, site of the al-Aqsa mosque, comes amid rumours of plans by Jewish extremists to take control of the area.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8569548.stm

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British boy kidnapped in Pakistan found

By YOUSAF AWAN and MUNIR AHMED

JHELUM, Pakistan — Kidnappers released a 5-year-old British boy unharmed Tuesday almost two weeks after abducting him from his grandparents' house in central Pakistan, British and Pakistani officials said.

Sahil Saeed, who is of Pakistani origin, was found in a small village in Punjab province, some 20 miles (30 kilometers) southeast of Jhelum city where armed robbers seized him on March 4, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said. Pakistani authorities have said someone in the family was involved in the abduction — a charge the family denies.

British High Commissioner Adam Thomson expressed relief the boy had been found and thanked Pakistani authorities for their cooperation in the search.

"This is fantastic news that brings to an end the traumatic ordeal faced by Sahil and his family," Thomson said in a statement.

The boy was examined by a doctor, Hafeezur Rehman, who said he looked "healthy and happy."

"There was no sign of depression on his face," Rehman told The Associated Press. "He was playing with toys at a government rest house when I examined him."

Senior police official Mohammad Aslam Tareen told reporters that the British High Commission now has custody of the boy and has been communicating with his parents.

But questions remain about who kidnapped the boy, how he was released and whether a ransom was paid.

Malik did not reveal the identity of the kidnappers but said someone from the family was involved in the abduction, echoing a charge made by several other Pakistani officials.

Malik said the boy's father, Raja Naqqash Saeed, returned to Britain last week against Pakistan's wishes.

The family initially denied he had left the country. But Manchester police said Tuesday that he was indeed in Britain and was cooperating with authorities.

"There's still a very active criminal investigation and Greater Manchester Police and the Pakistani authorities are still determined to bring people to justice," said Assistant Chief Constable David Thompson.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told AP Television News that the boy's father was not a suspect, saying he "is not involved in this."

"An international gang was involved in it, and it was demanding the ransom (be paid) outside Pakistan in a European country," he said.

The boy's father previously said the kidnappers had demanded 100,000 British pounds ($150,000) in ransom, an amount he said the family could not afford.

Sahil's grandfather, Raja Mohammed Basharat, told ARY television Tuesday that "according to my information, no ransom has been paid."

But Sanaullah disputed that claim, saying a ransom had indeed been paid.

"But it is too early to say who arranged this and how," he said.

The number of kidnappings for ransom has soared in Pakistan, where Taliban-led militancy and a struggling economy have fueled crime. Most victims are Pakistani nationals.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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American Muslim groups protest use of un-Islamic full body scanners at airports

March 16, 2010

WASHINGTON: Two American Muslim groups have objected to the use of full body scanners at airports in the United States, stating that the devices are inconsistent with the tenets of Islam.

The full body scanners made their debut at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Monday and the two Islamic groups claim the technology is too invasive.

The Fiqh Council of North America, a body of Islamic scholars located in Plainfield, Indiana, said the screening imagery is a violation of Islam.

Last month the council issued a statement that said the full body imagery “is against the teachings of Islam, natural law, and all religions and cultures that stand for decency and modesty.”

“It is a violation of clear Islamic teachings that men or women be seen naked by other men and women,” the statement continued. “There must be a compelling case for the necessity, and the exemption to this rule must be proportional to the demonstrated need.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Washington-based civil rights advocacy group, agreed.

Its Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper said CAIR plans to track Muslims concerns with the scanners before deciding what actions to take next.

“Modesty is a basic principal of the Islamic faith, it’s very important and always has been. People say, ‘I’ll do anything for safety,’ but that’s not the question. Everybody wants to be safe. Muslims fly like anybody else… you can be safe and secure and still maintain your privacy rights,” Hooper said.

The number of full-body scanners at US airports is to triple in 2010, reports the Christian Science Monitor (CSM).

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has deployed 150 scanners across 21 US airports this month, partly in response to the failed Christmas Day bombing of a Detroit-bound jetliner, where bomb-making materials were hidden in a passenger’s underwear, something full-body scanners would have seen.

The TSA expects to install an additional 300 scanners in nine additional airports by the end of this year.

But security officials say they will be able to accommodate the wishes of passengers, Muslim or otherwise, who object to the full-body screener.

The technology is “completely optional for all passengers,” says Jim Fotenos, a TSA spokesman, and those who choose not to participate get “an equal level of screening,” which includes a walk through a metal detector and a physical pat-down by an officer of the same sex.

To stress the anonymity of the process, the TSA says officers review the images in a remote location and never see the actual passengers. What they do see via their monitors is automatically deleted from the system once the passenger passes review.

The Fiqh Council, however, is urging followers to request pat-down searches as an alternative.

CAIR’s Hooper also advocates an increase in federal funding for alternate screening technologies that do not require visual screening, such as the Puffer, a machine that can identify chemical particles a person may have on their body and analyze whether or not they are harmful.

http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_american-muslim-groups-protest-use-of-un-islamic-full-body-scanners-at-airports_1359638

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Iraqi PM holds slim lead in partial poll tally

Mar 16, 2010,

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki edged ahead on Sunday in a tight race in the country’s parliamentary elections after partial results from all of Iraq’s 18 provinces showed his bloc leading in seven — two more than his chief rival. The early tally strengthens al-Maliki's chances of retaining the prime minister’s post, although he is unlikely to win a majority necessary to govern alone. Instead, the narrow race could lead to months of political wrangling as leaders try to cobble together a coalition government that will rule as American forces leave Iraq in 2011.

The March 7 vote was Iraq’s second for a full-term government since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. According to the partial count from all of Iraq's 18 provinces released by the country's electoral commission, al-Maliki's State of Law coalition leads in seven provinces. His closest challenger, the secular Iraqiya bloc led former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, leads in five provinces, while the religious Shiite Iraqi National Alliance and the main Kurdish coalition each lead in three. The results were based on partial vote counts released over the past three days, with the percentage of polling stations counted in each province ranging from 10 to 67 percent.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/242377/Iraqi-PM-holds-slim-lead-in-partial-poll-tally.html

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Iraqi nationalists must deliver

Mar 16, 2010

Despite mortar attacks and bombings, mainly in Baghdad and mostly by Sunni Islamists, which killed 38 people and wounded 110 more, the Iraqi general election took place as planned on March 7. About a million security personnel were deployed. The turnout was about 62 per cent. The electorate of 19 million, including 1.4 million outside the country, had the opportunity to elect a 325-seat Council of Representatives from 18 provinces. Under the law, a quarter of Council seats must be held by women, and the Council serves a four-year term. The campaign front-runner was the State of Law coalition led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Dawa Party. The coalition faced strong competition from former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's secular-nationalist Iraqiya List, and from the Iraqi National Alliance, a Shia-majority grouping. For their part, the provinces that fall within, or partly within, the autonomous northern region of Kurdistan saw a challenge mounted by the Kurdish Gorran (Change) party against the Kurdistania Alliance, which comprises President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and Massoud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party.

Counting has been delayed by technical problems and by the complicated nature of the ballot. The shape of the government may not emerge for several weeks. But initial results reveal significant political issues.

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/16/stories/2010031655651000.htm

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Minority status for Jamia demanded

Urvashi Sarkar

March 16, 2010

NEW DELHI: Several associations from Jamia Millia Islamia assembled at Jantar Mantar here on Monday demanding Muslim minority education status for the institution, asserting that it was not a communal demand but a demand for social justice.

There were also protests against the University Grants Commission's directive last year to implement 27 per cent reservations for the Other Backward Classes.

The UGC directive states: “…. the University may be instructed to implement the OBC reservation as mentioned in Central Educational Institutions (Reservations in Admissions) Act, 2006, immediately as it is a statutory requirement…if the university fails to comply [with] the instructions of Government of India, MHRD/UGC, the non-plan grant of JMI from the financial year 2010-11 may not be released”.

Jamia was recognised as a Central University by the Jamia Millia Islamia Act, 1988.

Supporters of minority status for Jamia have cited Section 4(c) CEI Act, 2006 (Reservation in Admission) which states that the reservations mentioned in Section 3 of the Act would not apply to minority educational institutions.

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/16/stories/2010031660780300.htm

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Yemen says militants died in raid

March 16, 2010

Two al-Qaeda militants killed in Yemen have been identified, government officials have said.

A third suspected senior militant has also reportedly been killed in two days of air raids by the Yemeni airforce.

The bombing raids were carried out Sunday and Monday on the southern province of Abyan.

Also on Tuesday, a series of small blasts reportedly went off in the southern city of Aden, which officials attributed to southern separatists.

Jamil Nasser Abdullah al-Ambari, 25, believed to be the leader of al-Qaeda in southern Abyan province, was one of two militants killed in the overnight raid, the security official told AFP.

The other militants were named as Smir Al-Sayari, and Ahmed Al-Zarba by local media.

The al-Qaeda operatives were connected to the failed bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner on Boxing Day, government officials told journalists.

It is not clear how many other people were killed in the airstrikes.

Separatist fight

Full report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/country_profiles/8569903.stm

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Pakistan drone raid 'kills three' in North Waziristan

March 16, 2010

Missiles fired by a suspected US drone have killed at least three people in north-western Pakistan, officials say.

The missiles hit a militant compound in the hills near Datta Khel village close to Miranshah, the main town in the North Waziristan district.

A local official told BBC Urdu that the compound was being used by militants from the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group.

North and South Waziristan are known sanctuaries for al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

The United States has recently stepped up drone attacks in the region.

More than 700 people have died in nearly 80 drone strikes since August 2008.

Pakistan has publicly criticised drone attacks, saying they fuel support for militants, but observers say the authorities privately condone the strikes.

The American military does not routinely confirm drone operations, but analysts say the US is the only force capable of deploying such aircraft in the region.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8569728.stm

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For the first time there are voices questioning Israel’s strategic value

Richard Beeston

March 16, 2010

Sit down at any dinner table in the Arab world and the conversation will inevitably turn to one of the enduring mysteries of the region. How is it that America has shown such unwavering support for Israel over the decades?

The answer provokes all manner of tortured conspiracy theories about the power of the Israel lobby, the influence of right-wing Christian groups and varied explanations for the gravity-defying trick that enables a tiny tail to wag such a big dog.

Few accept a simpler answer. America supported Israel during the Cold War and built the Jewish state into the most formidable military power in one of the world’s most strategic regions.

While America enjoys strong relations with various Arab regimes, none has come close to matching Israel as a stable democracy and regional superpower.

Full report at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7063214.ece

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Terror suspects linked to fugitive ganglord

Praveen Swami

Mar 16, 2010,

NEW DELHI: Karachi-based ganglord Bashir Ahmad Khan Ain-ul-Haq Khan had recruited two Mumbai-based men arrested over the weekend for plotting terrorist attacks, intelligence sources have told The Hindu.

Khan, a key lieutenant of top mafioso Mushtaq Abdul Razzak Memon, is wanted for his alleged role in planning and executing the 1993 serial bombings in Mumbai, which left 254 people dead and more than 700 injured.

Khan is a paternal uncle of Abdul Latif Sheikh, one of the two men arrested by the Mumbai police. Sheikh is married to the sister of Riyaz Ali, the second suspect.

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/16/stories/2010031659190100.htm

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Mumbai arrests cast light on jihadist-mafia nexus

Praveen Swami

Mar 16, 2010,

NEW DELHI: Dawood Ibrahim Kaksar believed in the kind of paradise built with bricks and hard cash.

His last known home in Karachi sprawled across 6,000-square metres, complete with a private swimming pool, gym and tennis courts. In the evenings, he would travel in a car picked from his fleet of Mercedes, clad in designer suits, a $1,000 Patek Philippe watch on his wrist, for all-night orgies.

“Dawood and his companions,” the Pakistani investigative journalist Ghulam Husnain recorded in a 2001 exposé, “quit only at dawn and collectively offer Fajr [dawn] prayers.”

For years, India's intelligence services have been watching the emergence and flowering of a curious alliance between Dawood Ibrahim's Karachi-based organised crime empire and Pakistan's jihadists: men driven by the belief that the sacrifice of life in god's name will unlock the gates of a very different kind of paradise.

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/16/stories/2010031655891200.htm

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Backlash from Taliban attacks forces Pak to act: Holbrooke

S Rajagopalan

Mar 16, 2010,

US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke has expressed the view that the growing backlash from Taliban attacks is eliciting greater cooperation from Islamabad in the operations against the Afghan Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Apart from the extraordinarily high level of attention it has received from the US, Islamabad's recognition of the erosion in the distinction between Afghan Taliban and Pakistani Taliban "has led the Pakistanis to take a very much more forward leaning position," Holbrooke said in an interview to CNN. "Plus, above all, the backlash from the (Taliban's) attacks in places like Lahore or Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Kashmir, Karachi, have all contributed to an evolution," he said.

Holbrooke also credited the turnaround to Obama Administration's extraordinary focus on ties with Pakistan, remarking that no Government on earth has received a higher level of attention in the last 13 months since the change of guard in Washington.

Besides Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit last October, there have been a string of visits by Defence Secretary Robert Gates, National Security Adviser James Jones and other top officials, Holbrooke said adding that he himself has made eight visits to Islamabad over the past year.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/242398/Backlash-from-Taliban-attacks-forces-Pak-to-act-Holbrooke.html

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Apex court may recall Gujarat riots probe team

Satya Prakash ,

March 16, 2010

The Supreme Court said on Monday it would consider recalling its order for a probe into the role of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 others in the 2002 riots in the state by a Special Investigation Team (SIT).

“We will consider if this order in its entirety is to be continued or recalled,” a three-judge bench headed by Justice D.K. Jain said, following the plea of BJP MLA Kalubhai Maliwad, who has challenged the order.

Appearing for Maliwad, counsel Ram Jethmalani argued that the complaint by Zakia Jafri, wife of slain Congress leader Ehsaan Jafri, was handed over to the SIT without hearing any of the 63 accused.

Full report at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/newdelhi/SC--may-recall-Gujarat-riots-probe-team/Article1-519518.aspx

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Jalil Andrabi case: Major Avtar's passport questioned

March 16, 2010

JAMMU: A Srinagar court on Monday asked the government as to how was a passport issued to Major Avtar Singh, the main accused in the murder of prominent human rights lawyer Jalil Andrabi. The Crime Branch told the court that the process of his extradition had already been taken up with concerned authorities in Delhi.

The case came up for hearing before Chief Judicial Magistrate, Srinagar, Mohammad Ibrahim Wani, who directed the prosecution to explain their stand on re-investigation by March 22. The CJM also directed the prosecution to explain as to how and who provided a passport to the accused and asked it to consult his relatives in Srinagar to seek his whereabouts.

Mr. Andrabi's brother Arshad Andrabi, who pleaded the case, told the court about the accused Major's in-laws living in Srinagar. The family of the slain lawyer had on November 19, 2009 submitted an application before the CJM asking for re-investigation of the case, claiming that Major Avtar was not the only accused in the case. The family claimed there were four more persons who accompanied him when Jaleel Andrabi was killed in custody in 1996.

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/16/stories/2010031662760500.htm

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Dhaka, New Delhi to strengthen military ties

Mar 16, 2010,

NEW DELHI: Chief of the Army Staff of Bangladesh General Mohammad Abdul Mubeen, who arrived here on a six-day goodwill visit, on Monday met his Indian counterpart, General Deepak Kapoor, and discussed issues of bilateral and regional interest.

The visit, to last till March 20, assumes special significance in the light of improving military cooperation between the two countries in consonance with India's growing relationship with Bangladesh.

Although no details were available, India has security concerns, including insurgency in the northeast where infiltrators from across the border are involved, besides the issue of smuggling of arms, explosives and drugs, including supply through sea routes connected to Bangladesh. Action against terror organisations such as the Harkat-ul-Jehad-al Islami (HuJI) known to provide training to insurgent groups is also among the issues.

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/16/stories/2010031663841200.htm

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Indian paintings evoke Kazakh interest

Mar 16, 2010,

NEW DELHI: As part of its outreach effort in Central Asia, India is hosting an exhibition in Shymkent city of Kazakhstan of 29 digitally produced prints of well-known works of Indian artists representing human figure forms created over a span of more than a century.

Starting with Jamini Roy, the exhibition also includes the works of Amrita Shergil, M.F. Husain, F.N. Souza and Krishen Khanna as well as some of the more contemporary and modern artists such as Anjolie Ela Menon, Manjit Bawa and Arpana Caur.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Indian ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar along with Aidar Niyazov, Director of the Department of Culture of South Kazakhstan, and Walikhan Bishimbayev, Rector of the South Kazakhstan University.

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/16/stories/2010031658442200.htm

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Iran to step up Afghan presence

Atul Aneja

Mar 16, 2010,

DUBAI: Within days of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Kabul, Iran has decided to increase its diplomatic presence in Afghanistan's sensitive border province of Nimroz.

Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency (FNA) is reporting that Tehran is planning to establish its consulate, during the Iranian New Year, starting from March 21.

“According to our country's Foreign Minister, Iran's consulate in Afghanistan's Nimroz province will be opened in the near future,” an Iranian official was quoted as saying.

Iran has a special security interest in Nimroz, which borders the country's turbulent Sistan-Balochistan province. Analysts say Iran has been badly hit by cross-border movement of drugs and militants into the Sistan-Balochistan province, which borders Afghanistan and Pakistan. Zaranj, the capital of Nimroz province, is also important for Iran's trade with Afghanistan. Goods from the Iranian port of Chabahar, after being ferried through Iranian territory, can be taken inside Afghanistan across a 215 km India-built highway from Zaranj to Delaram, a key junction connected to major Afghan cities.

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/16/stories/2010031656411500.htm

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Bin Laden son seeks release of relatives in Iran

Mar 16, 2010,

One of Osama Bin Laden’s sons has called on Tehran to release a number of his relatives said to be detained under house arrest in Iran, according to a letter.

The message, distributed by the Global Islamic Media Front and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group monitoring service, is purportedly from bin Laden’s son Khalid.

It directly addresses Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, calling on him to intervene to secure the release of the Bin Laden relatives. “After the Crusader attack on Afghanistan... They were forced to enter Iran through unofficial means, and most of those who did were women and children,” the letter said. It accuses Iran of having rounded up the unspecified number of Bin Laden family members.

“They requested a number of times to leave Iran, only to be beaten and silenced,” Khalid bin Osama bin Laden wrote. “Wasn’t their weakness, the pursuit of international forces of disbelief after them, and their being foreigners in a strange land away from their homes and families enough?”

Last year, Iranian media reported that six of the Qaeda leader’s children and one of his wives, missing since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, were under house arrest in Iran.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/242395/Bin-Laden-son-seeks-release-of-relatives-in-Iran.html

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Attack on US diplomats in Pak may have alarming effect’

Rezaul H Laskar

Mar 16, 2010,

US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson has expressed concern over security threats to American personnel in the country and said any attack on its diplomats in Lahore might have “alarming” effects on bilateral relations.

Patterson has written a letter to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in which she said the US mission in Pakistan has been receiving information about terror threats from various sources, including its own intelligence. She said Pakistani authorities too had sent diplomatic notes calling for strengthening security in view of the situation in the country. Patterson said: “Pakistani authorities had been unable to address the threats,” the Dawn newspaper quoted its sources as saying.

Patterson also expressed concern over media reports in which houses leased by some Americans in Lahore have been identified. She warned that any attack on US diplomats in Lahore would have “alarming effects” on bilateral relations and American investments in Pakistan.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/242390/%E2%80%98Attack-on-US-diplomats-in-Pak-may-have-alarming-effect%E2%80%99.html

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Campaign launched in support of ElBaradei

Mar 16, 2010,

Supporters of former IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei have launched a campaign to collect one million signatures in support of the National Association for Change, which is led by him.

The statute was launched by the former IAEA director general to demand political reforms, which include carrying out fair and free parliamentary and presidential elections through the provision of equal opportunity for all.

The people in charge of the campaign have already managed to collect tens of signatures. The document distributed include the demands of ElBaradei, most importantly limiting the terms of presidency to only two, using the national ID cards to vote, and amending some articles of the Constitution, which deal with the elections, as soon as possible.

The documents are entitled: "The independent popular campaign to support Al-Barad'i to run for presidency in 2011 - Together we will make a change".

Signatories write their names, addresses, ID or passport numbers, e-mails, telephone numbers, and sign that all the given data are correct and if otherwise they will be personally held responsible.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/242375/Campaign-launched-in-support-of-ElBaradei.html

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Indonesia urges US to reconsider ban on training

Mar 16, 2010,

The US should consider lifting a ban against working with a commando unit accused of human rights abuses a decade ago, saying Indonesia’s military has undergone significant reform, a Government Minister said on Monday.

Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa held talks with visiting US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell and expressed hope that full military cooperation between the two countries could resume. “I informed (Campbell) that the reform of the Indonesian military institution is a fact that is indisputable, is an a fact of life. Now it depends on how the US responds,” Natalegawa told reporters after meeting with the American diplomat on Monday. The issue is likely to feature in talks between President Barack Obama and his Indonesian counterpart, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, next week in Jakarta. Obama will be making his first trip as an American leader to a country where he had spent part of his childhood. Indonesia’s special forces have concentrated on counterinsurgency issues in recent years, but were accused of major human rights abuses in the former Indonesian province of East Timor in the late 1990s.

Several countries, including the US and Australia, suspended joint military training in the wake of the allegations, though Sydney resumed training in 2005.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/242379/Indonesia-urges-US-to-reconsider-ban-on-training.html

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India has no plan to scale down operations in Afghanistan: Rao

Lalit K Jha,

March 16, 2010

Noting that recent attacks on Indians in Afghanistan is an effort to force New Delhi to get out of the country, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao today ruled out scaling down India's operations in Afghanistan.

"We are not scaling down our operations in Afghanistan, we are taking all necessary security measures to safeguard Indian lives there," she said in response to a question at the Widrow Wilson Center.

Terming it a "barbaric attack against Indians engaged in humanitarian and development work in Afghanistan" she said, February 26 attack was by those who do not wish any other future for Afghanistan except one that suits their sinister ambitions.

"International community should understand that such attempts, if unchecked, would only embolden the same forces that held sway in Afghanistan in the 1990s and caused the tragedy of 9/11," she said.

Arguing that there could not be a distinction between a good Taliban and a bad Taliban, she said that would be disastrous for Afghanistan.

She said there was "no quick solution" to the Af-Pak situation and "it was important for international community, in its own interest, to stay the present course for as long as it was necessary."

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-has-no-plan-to-scale-down-operations-in-Afghanistan-Rao/H1-Article1-519573.aspx

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Egypt's opposition calls for constitutional reform

Mar 16, 2010

Cairo : Four Egyptian opposition parties are calling for sweeping constitutional reforms to ensure free elections.

The parties are pressing for all amendments that consecrate the holding of power by a single ruler to be scrapped. They also want laws restricting freedoms to be annulled, along with a decades-old state of emergency that gives the government sweeping powers.

Egypt has been led by President Hosni Mubarak for nearly three decades. A 2005 presidential election was the first to allow multiple candidates, but tough requirements limit who can run.

Monday's call was made by the Democratic Front Party, the Nasserite Party, the Wafd Party and the Tagammu Party. The next presidential election is in 2011. Mubarak has not said if he'll run again.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/egypts-opposition-calls-for-constitutional-reform/591396/

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Muslims divided over reservation

Mar 16, 2010,

NEW DELHI: Two rallies held by two groups of Muslims on quota brought out the divisions within a community that is supposed to act like a monolith on issues.

A group of backward Muslims on Monday demanded that Scheduled Caste status be extended to all religious minorities and that the Meo Muslims be given the status of Scheduled Tribes, as it mounted pressure for discussion on the Rangnath Misra commission report in Parliament.

A group called Popular Front held a march to demand reservation for entire Muslim community: a demand that has been motivated by concern that the acceptance of the demand of Pasmandas (backward Muslims) would split the community, but which “backward” Muslims see as a ploy by “upper caste” Muslims to corner the quota being sought in the name of the entire community.

At the heart of the matter is the status of “backwards” who embraced Islam and compose the overwhelming majority in the community. Islam does not recognise caste. But the “backward” Muslims insist on being differentiated from the upper caste or Ashraf Muslims and demand quota on the ground that switching faith did not end caste-based discrimination they had suffered from.

The demand by ‘Pasmanda Muslim Samaj’ is tantamount to recognition of caste in Islam, a no-go area which has its opponents.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Muslims-divided-over-reservation/articleshow/5688311.cms

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Three senior Taliban commanders killed in Pak

Mar 16, 2010,

PESHAWAR: Three senior Taliban commanders were killed on Monday by security forces in the restive Swat valley in northwest Pakistan, official sources said.

The commanders, identified only as Naseebullah, Jaja and Khalid, were killed during an operation in Khwazakhela area of Swat district, the sources said.

All three men were linked to the Qari Abdullah group. They were also allegedly involved in a suicide attack in Mingora, the main city in Swat, two days ago that killed more than a dozen people.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Three-senior-Taliban-commanders-killed-in-Pak/articleshow/5685615.cms

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Dawood wants to shift family out of Pakistan: Hamza

Somendra Sharma

March 16, 2010

Mumbai: Dawood Ibrahim and his close associates want to shift their family from Pakistan to some other country where there will be no interference from the Inter Services Intelligence.

Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan, alias Hamza, a close aide of Dawood recently arrested by the crime branch of the Mumbai Police, has revealed this to his interrogators.

Hamza, an accused in the 1993 serial blasts, told the police that Dawood and his close associates want to relocate their families to South Africa. “Dawood, Chhota Shakeel, Anees Ibrahim, and Tiger Memon — according to Hamza — are looking for a place where their families can feel safe,” a crime branch officer said.

“They want them to come out of the clutches of the Inter Services Intelligence.”

The unrest in Pakistan, the officer said, was affecting the lifestyle of the families of these high-profile criminals who are wanted in India. The recent spate in bombings in Pakistan has made them feel insecure. “The ISI has set rules for these people in Pakistan,” he said.

“It is mandatory for their families to stay in Pakistan when they move out of the country and vice versa. Since Dawood and his associates in Pakistan are looking to relocate their families, it is almost certain that they will have to stay in Pakistan. They can never move out of the country.”

Full report at: http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_dawood-wants-to-shift-family-out-of-pakistan-hamza_1359551

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India is clueless on Afghanistan

Mar 16, 2010

The Hamid Karzai regime, the Americans and the Taliban are all promoting a role for Pakistan in Afghanistan. This has left India nowhere, says CP Bhambhri

That Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s foreign policy is completely focussed on Pakistan is an understatement. During his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, he said that “there is no alternative to talks with Pakistan”. However, while dealing with Pakistan, India has to also deal and negotiate with the United States and Afghanistan. India’s foreign policy towards Pakistan cannot be concretised without integrating its policy towards Afghanistan and taking into account the position of the US in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In fact, Indian foreign-policy-makers will do well to learn some lessons from the Pakistanis in this department. Pakistan’s main foreign-policy focus is India, and to pursue its anti-India goal Pakistan has succeeded in engaging its friends like the US and China to broadened its options. Just a couple of days before the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan met in New Delhi on February 25, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, during his visit to China, offered a “blank cheque” to the Chinese to mediate in India-Pakistan disputes. Islamabad has always been keen on involving a powerful third-party in the India-Pakistan dialogue process, especially on Kashmir. Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, after the meeting with his Indian counterpart, stated that the “Kashmir dispute is the core issue between two countries” while Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao retorted that the “export of terrorism from Pakistan’s territory to India is the core issue between the two neighbours”.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/242452/India-is-clueless-on-Afghanistan.html

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US should put 9/11 to rest with facts

March 16, 2010

Why should any challenge to official version be treated as treachery?

It’s been almost nine years since the Sept. 11 attacks yet questions still remain and accusations keep coming. Last week an influential elected member of Japan’s ruling Democratic Party and head of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs Yukisha Fujita said he believes that 9/11 was perpetrated by shadowy forces within America and then covered-up. He also claims that at least eight of the hijackers are still alive and suggests that The World Trade Center Building 7 was deliberately demolished with explosives.

Last week, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has regularly characterized 9/11 as a “suspect event,” said the attacks were “a big lie” used by the US to elicit sympathy to pave the way for its entry into Afghanistan. It appears that Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez is on the same page. Just last Tuesday, he suggested that the US government may have orchestrated the 9/11 attacks. In an earlier statement, he agreed with Fujita’s hypothesis that Building 7 had been dynamited.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/opinion/columns/article30535.ece

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/palestinians-clash-with-police-in-east-jerusalem/d/2586


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