New Age Islam
Sun Aug 09 2020, 06:36 PM

Islamic World News ( 25 March 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

Qatar becomes 1st Arab country to fly over Libya

Libyan Rebels Say They Have Retaken Ajdabiya After Night of Airstrikes

Coalition strikes killed 114 in Libya: ministry

Libyan Woman Struggles to Tell Media of Her Rape

Obama says Libya mission saved 'countless' lives

NATO to take command in Libya as early as Monday: Diplomat

Egyptian joins 'jihad' on Libyan front

Kadhafi under pressure from barrage of air strikes

Hundreds of Saudi Shias protest in east

Pak court rejects plea to declare Kasab, Ansari fugitives

Suspects arrested in Benazir Bhutto murder case: Malik

Talks on for 'honourable solution' over Muhammad Yunus row: FM minister

Imran resolves to ensure justice for everyone

Obama speaks to Congressional leaders on Libya

Allied operation in Libya to last 'weeks'

US assails Quran desecrationUS assails Quran desecration

Singh invites Zardari, Gilani to watch high voltage match

Swamy asks PM not to attend Indo-Pak tie at Mohali

Muslim states put off UN drive on defaming religion

Mideast turfs out presidents who would be king

Blasphemy of Quran OIC asked to lodge protest with US, UN

Sydney apologises to Kabul over racist remarks

Protests against Quran desecration

Motorcycle bomb kills child, hurts 3

Above limit radioactive iodine detected

Appeal to keep Twitter data from WikiLeaks probe

OIC asked to lodge protest with US, UN over desecration of Quran

Tough battle ahead for state’s women

A million voices tell Yemen prez ‘Leave!’

Pak bluffing on terror? India not taking chances with World Cup

Pak court adjourns hearing in Musharraf extradition case

Protests and shooting in Syria as unrest spreads

UAE to send 12 planes to patrol Libya

Ceasefire or risk attack: Pentagon to Gaddafi forces

India and China had similar considerations on Libya

Muslim Brotherhood in deal with military for big role in Egypt?

Syrian Troops Open Fire on Protesters in Several Cities

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/qatar-becomes-1st-arab-country-to-fly-over-libya/d/4349

 

---------

Qatar becomes 1st Arab country to fly over Libya

Mar 26, 2011

TRIPOLI: Fellow Arab and African nations raised the international pressure on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, with tiny Qatar flying the Arab world's first combat missions over his country and the African Union imploring him to move toward democratic elections.

The military operation against Gaddafi, which on Friday also included airstrikes by British and French jets, remains a US-led operation, though NATO was preparing to assume at least some command and control responsibility within days.

A Libyan government delegation meeting in Ethiopia with African leaders but not the rebels seeking Gaddafi's ouster said he is ready to talk with his opponents and accept political reform, possibly including elections.

But the delegation also said Libya is committed to a ceasefire that Gaddafi's forces have flouted since the government announced it, and blamed the current violence on "extremists" and foreign intervention.

NATO named Canadian Lt Gen Charles Bouchard to lead its Libyan operation, finalising what it hopes will be a unified command to oversee military action against the North African nation.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Qatar-becomes-1st-Arab-country-to-fly-over-Libya/articleshow/7793444.cms

---------

Libyan Rebels Say They Have Retaken Ajdabiya After Night of Airstrikes

By KAREEM FAHIM and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

AJDABIYA, Libya — Rebels seized Ajdabiya on Saturday, government and rebel forces said, succeeding in an effort to retake this key town in the east following another night of allied air strikes against forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

Libya’s deputy foreign minister, Khaled Kaim, acknowledged in a news conference that the Qaddafi government forces had “pulled back” from Ajdabiya and reiterated accusations that the international air strikes were killing civilians as they provided air cover for the advancing rebel forces.

In Ajdabiya, hundreds of cars were seen streaming toward the strategic town, which had been in the control by government forces for almost two weeks. Three large tank transport carriers also headed toward the city. There were reports of pockets of fighting, and heavy damage could be seen in the eastern part of the city as the rebels advanced. “People are celebrating,” said Najib al-Mukasabi, who was driving out of Ajdabiya north toward Benghazi. “The west and east gates are liberated. They’re back in Brega,” he said, referring to the government troops.

The rebel success in Ajdabiya came a week after coalition airstrikes began to enforce a U.N.-mandated no-fly zone over Libya, and followed preparations by NATO to assume leadership from the United States of the military campaign against Colonel Qaddafi’s forces. Allied officials on Friday scrambled to work out the precise command arrangements.

The agreement came as President Obama, facing criticism from his political opponents, began trying to seize control of his message about the Libyan conflict. In his weekly address, Mr. Obama said on Saturday that the American mission was “clear and focused” and that while the American role would be limited, “We’re succeeding in our mission.”

  “Along with our allies and partners, we’re enforcing the mandate of the United Nations Security Council,” he said, noting that Qatar and the United Arab Emirates had each committed aircraft.  “And as agreed this week, responsibility for this operation is being transferred from the United States to our NATO allies and partners.

“As I pledged at the outset, the role of American forces has been limited,” he added. “We are not putting any ground forces into Libya. Our military has provided unique capabilities at the beginning, but this is now a broad, international effort. Our allies and partners are enforcing the no fly zone over Libya and the arms embargo at sea.”

 On Friday, Mr. Obama defended his handling of the Libya crisis in a White House meeting and conference call with more than 20 Democrat and Republican Congressional leaders.

The White House also announced that he would give a speech to the nation on Libya on Monday night. And his two top foreign policy advisers — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates — prepared to appear on the Sunday talk shows to explain the administration’s Libya policy.

Mr. Obama had come under criticism from Republicans in Congress for failing to provide a coherent explanation of the weeklong operation. Administration officials portray it as an already successful effort to prevent the Libyan leader from attacking his own people. But the military campaign has been dogged by friction over its ultimate mission, and which of the disparate countries involved should command the operation.

As Mr. Obama said in his address, the allied effort had won rare military commitments in the Arab world on Friday when two Qatari fighter jets flew on patrol with the Western allies and the United Arab Emirates said that it would send warplanes to join them.

NATO had agreed late Thursday that it would take over not only command and control of the no-fly zone, but also the much riskier campaign to protect civilians through aggressive coalition airstrikes on Colonel Qaddafi’s troops on the ground, the officials said. Details of the second part of the operation will be worked out in a formal military planning document in time for a meeting of coalition foreign ministers in London on Tuesday, the officials said.

“It’s been handed over to military planners,” Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman, said on Friday.

As the air campaign entered its seventh day, allied warplanes and Tomahawk cruise missiles pounded Libyan air defenses, communications posts and troops. At the Pentagon, Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, the director of the joint staff, said that the airstrikes were making it harder for Colonel Qaddafi to supply and communicate with his troops, but that they had not yet seriously weakened the Libyan military forces or pushed them to heed the Americans’ call to defy their leader.

In an apparent bid to bolster the loyalty of Colonel Qaddafi’s armed forces, Libyan state television said Friday without details that the military would promote all its officers, implying a raise in pay. A government spokesman, Musa Ibrahim, said that similar raises were carried out during earlier crises, like Colonel Qaddafi’s failed war with Chad in the late 1980s.

The London meeting of coalition foreign ministers and subsequent meetings will deal with the larger political campaign, including sanctions and other measures intended to put more pressure on Colonel Qaddafi to quit. It will also have representation from the United Nations, the Arab League and the African Union. But that meeting of what the British are calling “the contact group” will not be running the military side of the operation, the officials said.

Left unresolved, of course, is how long the campaign will last, because Colonel Qaddafi shows no sign of obeying the United Nations Security Council resolution demanding a cease-fire and refuses to pull his troops back to barracks. At the same time, the ragtag opposition may not be strong enough, even with the coalition’s air power, to force the colonel from his redoubt in Tripoli.

NATO officials said Friday they thought the no-fly zone would last about three months, but Pentagon officials privately expressed fears that it could last much longer.

A sticking point in the negotiations to broadening NATO’s control was what military officials call the “no-drive zone,” the bombing of Colonel Qaddafi’s ground forces, tanks and artillery outside Libyan cities. France wanted to have a clearer leadership role in the campaign, while Turkey was concerned about the operation’s evolving into one involving ground troops. Many countries, like Italy and Norway, however, said they would participate only if NATO ran the entire military operation.

France was placated by the London coalition, while Turkey’s fears were allayed by putting the military campaign under the full control of NATO, which operates only by the unanimous consent of its member nations.

The United States, which contributes most of NATO’s military capability and traditionally dominates behind the scenes, is in this case eager to hand off responsibility and will have more limited roles, officials said. Reinforcing that point, Canada said Friday that one of its officers, Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard, would be taking command of NATO no-fly operations in Libya.

The United Arab Emirates agreed on Friday to commit 12 aircraft — six F-16 and six Mirage warplanes — to join patrols enforcing the no-fly zone, the official Emirates News Agency reported. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar are the only members of the 22-nation Arab League that have committed planes to an active role in enforcing the no-fly zone. On Friday, British and French officials said their planes had conducted assaults on loyalist forces around the beleaguered eastern city of Ajdabiya, which controls the approaches to the de facto rebel capital of Benghazi. Pro-Qaddafi units have been holding their easternmost line against rebels in Ajdabiya, thwarting any rebel advance to the west toward Tripoli, but rebel forces say they have been trying to negotiate the withdrawal or surrender of one loyalist unit in the strategic crossroads town.

Gene Cretz, the American ambassador to Libya, said on Friday that the United States was in regular touch with leaders of the Libyan opposition, and stood ready to offer them political training and legal advice as they try to form a provisional administration. But Mr. Cretz said the United States had not yet decided whether to recognize the rebels as the legitimate government of Libya, saying that raised legal questions.

He also said no decision had been reached on whether to provide weapons to the rebels. “The full gamut of potential assistance that we might offer, both on the non-lethal and the lethal side, is a subject of discussion within the U.S. government,” he said.

Kareem Fahim reported from Ajdabiya, Libya, and David D. Kirkpatrick from Tripoli, Libya. Steven Erlanger contributed reporting from Brussels, and Eric Schmitt and Mark Landler from Washington.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/world/africa/27libya.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=print

---------

Coalition strikes killed 114 in Libya: ministry

March 26, 2011

TRIPOLI: At least 114 people have been killed and 445 wounded in four days of coalition strikes on Libya, a health ministry official said on Friday.

"From March 20 to March 23, raids (by the coalition) killed 114 people and wounded 445 others," the official, Khaled Omar, told a news conference in the Libyan capital.

But he was not able to say how many were civilian casualties and how many were from the armed forces.

Omar said 104 people were killed in Tripoli and the suburbs between Sunday and Wednesday, while 10 were killed in Sirte, the hometown of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, some 600 kilometres (372 miles) south of the capital.        

A government spokesman, giving a provisional toll, had said on Thursday that almost 100 "civilians" were killed in the coalition raids launched Saturday against Kadhafi's forces. (AFP)

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13170

 

---------

Libyan Woman Struggles to Tell Media of Her Rape

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

TRIPOLI — A Libyan woman burst into the hotel housing the foreign press in Tripoli Saturday morning and fought off security forces as she told journalists that she had been raped and beaten by members of the Qaddafi militia. After nearly an hour, she was dragged away from the hotel screaming.

“They say that we are all Libyans and we are one people,” said the woman, who gave her name as Eman al-Obeidy. “But look at what the Qaddafi men did to me.” She displayed a broad bruise on her face, a large scar on her upper thigh, several narrow and deep scratch marks lower on her leg, and marks that seemed to came from binding around her hands and feet.

She said she had been raped by 15 men. “I was tried up and they defecated and urinated on me.,” she said. “They violated my honor.”

She pleaded for friends she said were still in custody. “They are still there, they are still there,” she said. “As soon as I leave here they are going to take me to jail.”

Ms. Obeidy said she was a native of the rebel stronghold of Benghazi who had been stopped by Qaddafi militia on the outskirts of the city. After being held for about two days, she said, she had managed to escape. Wearing a black robe, a veil and slippers, she ran into the Rixos Hotel here asking specifically to speak to the news service Reuters and the New York Times. “There is no media coverage outside,” she yelled at one point.

“They swore at me and they filmed me. I was alone. There was whiskey. I was tied up,” she told Michael Georgy of Reuters, the only journalist who was able to speak with her at length.“I am not scared of anything. I will be locked up immediately after this.” She added, "Look at my face. Look at my back.” Her other comments were captured by television cameras.

A wild scuffle ensued as journalists tried to interview, photograph and protect her. Several journalists were punched, kicked and knocked on the floor. A television camera belonging to CNN was destroyed in the struggle, and security forces seized a device that a Financial Times reported had used to record her testimony. A plainclothes security officer pulled out a revolver.

People who had previously appeared to be hotel staff began working in tandem with the Qaddafi security forces to try to apprehend her. Two members of the hotel staff grabbed table knives to threaten both Ms. Obeidy and the journalists. “Turn them around, turn them around,” a waiter shouted, attempting to block the foreign news media from having access to Ms. Obeidy. A woman on the staff shouted, “Why are you doing this? You are a traitor!” and briefly put a coat over Ms. Obeidy’s head.

There was a prolonged standoff behind the hotel as the security officials apparently restrained themselves because of the presence of so many journalists, but she was ultimately forced into a white car and taken away.

"Leave me alone," she shouted from the garden as one man tried to cover her mouth with his hand.

"They are taking me to jail," she yelled, trying to resist the security guards, according to Reuters. "They are taking me to jail."

Questioned about her treatment, Khalid Kaim, the deputy foreign minister, promised that she would be treated in accordance with the law. Musa Ibrahim, a government spokesman, said that she appeared to be drunk and mentally ill. “Her safety of course is guaranteed,” he said, adding that the authorities were investigating the case, including the possibility that her reports of abuse were “fantasies.”

Charles Glover of the Financial Times, who had put himself in the way of the security forces trying to apprehend her, was escorted out of the country shortly afterward. He said that that night before he had been told to leave because of what Libyan government officials said were inaccuracies in his reports.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/world/middleeast/27tripoli.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

---------

Obama says Libya mission saved 'countless' lives

Mar 26, 2011

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama told Americans on Saturday that the military mission in Libya is clear, focused and limited, and that it has already saved "countless" civilian lives.

A US-led coalition launched a bombing campaign last week with the aim of protecting civilians after Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, whose forces were advancing against rebel strongholds and threatened violent retaliation against them.

US and other international forces continue to strike Gaddafi's forces and armaments with missiles and precision bombs and are enforcing a no-fly zone over the country and an arms embargo at sea.

Obama said Libya's air defenses have been disabled, Gaddafi's forces are no longer advancing and in places like the city of Benghazi, a rebel stronghold where Gaddafi threatened to show "no mercy," his forces have been pushed back.

"So make no mistake, because we acted quickly, a humanitarian catastrophe has been avoided and the lives of countless civilians --innocent men, women and children-have been saved," Obama said in his weekly radio address.

Members of Congress -- from both the left and right -- have criticized Obama for failing to communicate thoroughly the goals of the military operation. Some have assailed him for failing to seek Congressional approval for the action, others for embarking on another military mission in a Muslim country when the United States is already embroiled in the Iraq and Afghan wars.

Obama said the role of US forces has been limited in what he described as a "broad, international effort." He stressed again that no US ground forces would go into Libya.

Obama will also address Americans in a speech on Monday evening to further discuss the Libya mission.

'CLEAR AND FOCUSED' NATO has already agreed to take over the lead role in enforcing the no-fly zone and arms embargo against Libya. Final details have not yet been worked out for NATO to take over air strikes against Gaddafi's equipment and military to prevent attacks on civilians.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Obama-says-Libya-mission-saved-countless-lives/articleshow/7793269.cms

---------

NATO to take command in Libya as early as Monday: Diplomat

Mar 25, 2011

BRISSELS: NATO will take command of the international coalition's military operations in Libya on Monday or Tuesday, a diplomat said.

"NATO countries are in agreement to launch final planning enabling it to take over the command from the coalition Monday or Tuesday," the diplomat, who asked not to be named, said on Thursday.

In Ankara, Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu also announced the NATO takeover after a conference call with his US, French and British counterparts.

Several NATO allies, including Britain and Italy, had urged the 28-member alliance to run the show.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/NATO-to-take-command-in-Libya-as-early-as-Monday-Diplomat/articleshow/7784029.cms

---------

Egyptian joins 'jihad' on Libyan front

March 26, 2011

NEAR AJDABIYA: Mohamed's mother thinks he is somewhere in Alexandria, on Egypt's northern coast, which is where he told her he was going when he left Cairo to join rebels fighting the Libyan government.   

"I told her I'm going towards Alexandria, which is true, but I just continued on after that. So I didn't lie to her," he says with a wry grin on his face, which is wrapped in a greying scarf that covers a skullcap.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13177

---------

Kadhafi under pressure from barrage of air strikes

March 26, 2011

TRIPOLI: Coalition forces kept up pressure on Moamer Kadhafi Friday with a relentless barrage of air strikes, as US officials said the veteran Libyan leader was arming volunteers to stave off the onslaught.    

Explosions rocked an eastern suburb of Tripoli early Saturday, and a witness said a military radar site was in flames on the eighth day of coalition air strikes. 

Coalition warplanes pounded Kadhafi's forces in the strategic eastern town of Ajdabiya, boosting the efforts of rebels who have come under sustained assault from pro-regime forces, AFP journalists reported.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13175

---------

Hundreds of Saudi Shias protest in east

MAR 26-03-11

RIYADH: Hundreds of Saudi Shias staged a protest in the kingdom’s oil-producing Eastern Province on Friday calling for prisoner releases and a withdrawal of Saudi forces from Bahrain, activists said.

The world’s No 1 oil producer and a US ally, Saudi Arabia has not seen the kind of mass uprisings that have rocked the Arab world this year. But dissent is simmering in the kingdom as unrest takes root in neighbouring Yemen, Bahrain and Oman.

There were rallies in two villages close to the main Shia centre of Qatif shortly after midday and afternoon prayers.

“There are around 400 protesters here at the moment and some are waving Bahraini flags,” said one protester who declined to be named. “The protests are peaceful and the riot police are well away from the demonstrators.”

Demonstrators called for political freedoms and an end to what they call sectarian discrimination against Saudi Arabia’s Shia majority by the absolute Sunni monarchy.

Saudi Shias have held a number of protests in Eastern Province, where most of the country’s oil fields are.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\26\story_26-3-2011_pg1_6

---------

Pak court rejects plea to declare Kasab, Ansari fugitives

Mar 26, 2011

ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism judge rejected an application by prosecutors to declare Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving attacker involved in the 2008 Mumbai incident, and terror suspect Fahim Ansari as fugitives, saying they were not deliberately avoiding court proceedings in Pakistan.

Judge Rana Nisar Ahmed of the Rawalpindi-based court, who is conducting the trial of seven Pakistani suspects charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks, gave his decision after hearing arguments by prosecution and defence lawyers on Saturday.

The judge subsequently scheduled the next hearing of the case for April 9.

During the hearing conducted behind closed doors at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, the judge questioned the prosecution's plea to declare Kasab and Ansari as "proclaimed offenders" or fugitives and pointed out that they were not deliberately avoiding the proceedings in Pakistan, the sources said.

Lawyers defending the suspects also told the judge that Kasab and Ansari had been in the custody of Indian authorities even before a case was registered by Pakistani law enforcement agencies against the seven suspects, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-court-rejects-plea-to-declare-Kasab-Ansari-fugitives/articleshow/7792495.cms

---------

Suspects arrested in Benazir Bhutto murder case: Malik

March 25, 2011

GUJJAR KHAN: Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Friday that suspects involved in the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto have been arrested, DawnNews reported.

Malik said that the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the Pakistan People’s Party will decide if the investigation report will be made public.

He said that while speaking to the media and added that the government had made a promise to the nation to arrest the culprits behind the assassination of the former prime minister.

Full report at:

http://www.statesman.com.pk/topnews/topnews1.htm

--------

Talks on for 'honourable solution' over Muhammad Yunus row: FM minister

Mar 26, 2011

DHAKA: The government in Bangladesh is seeking to reach an "honourable solution" to the unceremonious dismissal of Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus, amid stepped up pressure to end the row with the Nobel Laureate.

"Various proposals have to be considered to reach an honourable solution to the issue," said finance minister AMA Muhith.

The 70-year old Nobel Laureate was removed from the post of managing director of the bank he founded three decades ago.

26 US Congressmen on March 15 urged Hasina to amicably settle the issue, saying "we are troubled by the removal of Dr Muhammad Yunus from his position at Grameen Bank".

Yunus was fired last month from his Grameen Bank on grounds that his appointment as managing director of the institution in 2000 was faulty. He lost his appeal before the high court.

Yunus filed an appeal before the Appellate division of the Supreme Court against the high court order and the apex court is set to hear the prayer later this month.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Talks-on-for-honourable-solution-over-Muhammad-Yunus-row-FM-minister/articleshow/7788519.cms

---------

Imran resolves to ensure justice for everyone

March 25, 2011

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has expressed his party's firm resolve to ensure justice for every segment of society.

Addressing a PTI "Azadi rally" from Muslim Town to Qartaba Chowk Mozang, Imran Khan stressed upon the people and especially youth to forge unity against the forces of evil exploiting the rights of Pakistanis.

Khan condemning the drone attacks in Pakistani territory, demanded of the government to stop the US strikes. He announced to stage sit-in in Peshawar at the NATO Supply road if the drone attacks were not stopped within one month.

He urged the countrymen to stand united to stop the foreigner's Drone strikes against the country.

PTI Chief also announced to extend every possible support to the family of Ibad-ur-Rehman who was crushed to death by a vehicle allegedly driven by the friends of US official Raymond Davis on January 27.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13161

---------

Obama speaks to Congressional leaders on Libya

March 26, 2011

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama on Friday briefed key congressional leaders on Libya and made plans to address the US public on Monday as questions grow about the mission.

The White House said Obama would speak to the nation from the National Defense University in Washington at 7:30 pm (2320 GMT) to update Americans on the campaign so far, plans to turn over control to NATO, and "our policy going forward." 

The outreach to the public and congressional leaders comes amid growing complaints that Obama has failed to clearly explain US goals and strategy in the latest US military engagement in the Muslim world.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13172

---------

Allied operation in Libya to last 'weeks'

March 25, 2011

PARIS: France's Chief of Defence said Friday in a radio interview that he thought allied military operations in Libya would last a matter of "weeks" and hopefully not "months".(AFP)

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13138

---------

US assails Quran desecrationUS assails Quran desecration

March 25, 2011

WASHINGTON: As the US State Department condemned the desecration of the Holy Quran in Florida, one of the two controversial pastors responsible for this act said on Friday he would now visit America’s largest mosque to protest against ‘radical’ Islam.

Pastors Terry Jones and Wayne Sapp, who run a fringe church in Florida with less than a dozen followers, have stirred an international controversy by burning a copy of the holy book inside their establishment on March 20. Sate Department’s deputy spokesman Mark Toner told

a briefing in Washington that the Obama administration strongly condemned the burning.

Speaking at a press conference on the situation in Libya, the US official termed the burning of the Holy Quran an “abhorrent act”.

Pastor Jones, who created a similar controversy in September last year but later rescinded his plans to burn the book, apparently is enjoying the notoriety the burning has brought to him and his small religious outfit.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/26/us-assails-quran-desecration.html

---------

Singh invites Zardari, Gilani to watch high voltage match

By Baqir Sajjad Syed

26-03-11

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan welcomed on Friday Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s gesture of inviting his counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari to watch the Cricket World Cup semi-final between the two countries in Mohali on March 30, but deferred a final decision on the invitation till Mr Gilani’s return from Uzbekistan.

If accepted, cricket diplomacy will provide fillip to real time diplomacy, where the two countries are set to resume their bilateral dialogue when the interior secretaries meet just two days before their World Cup clash.

“Invitations for President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani from the Indian Prime Minister His Excellency Dr Manmohan Singh to watch the World Cup semi-final to be held at Mohali on March 30 have been received this evening at the Foreign Office,” spokesperson Tehmina Janjua said.

Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar termed the invitation a welcome gesture.

“We welcome the invitation. The prime minister is out of the country and a decision will be taken when he returns from Tashkent,” Mr Babar told reporters.

Mr Gilani is due to return on Saturday. He was earlier expected to return on Friday, but his flight at the end of the two-day official visit was cancelled because of bad weather over the Himalayas.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/26/singh-invites-zardari-gilani-to-watch-high-voltage-match.html

---------

Swamy asks PM not to attend Indo-Pak tie at Mohali

Mar 26, 2011

CHENNAI: Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to attend the Indo-Pakistan cricket World Cup semi-final at Mohali, saying it would create "undue pressure" on Indian players.

Noting that March 30 was also the founding day of the National Security Guards, he said Manmohan Singh was scheduled to attend the NSG function in the morning and attend the match in the afternoon that day.

"We have centrally held Pakistan guilty of the Mumbai attacks. It won't be proper for him to share the dais with Pakistani leaders which is a betrayal of NSG jawans' sacrifice," he told reporters here.

The Prime Minister had invited Pakistani leaders (RPT) leaders to watch the match.

Swamy suggested the Prime Minister may host the winner of the semi-final clash at his house later.

He said the presence of leaders would create undue pressure on Indian players.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Swamy-asks-PM-not-to-attend-Indo-Pak-tie-at-Mohali/articleshow/7792467.cms

---------

Muslim states put off UN drive on defaming religion

March 25, 2011

GENEVA, March 25: Muslim countries set aside their 12-year campaign to have religions protected from defamation, allowing the UN Human Rights Council to approve a plan to promote religious tolerance on Thursday.

Western countries and their Latin American allies, strong opponents of the defamation concept, joined Muslim and African states in backing without vote the new approach that switches focus from protecting beliefs to protecting believers.

Since 1998, the 57-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) had won majority approval in the council and at the United Nations General Assembly for a series of resolutions on combating defamation of religion.

Critics said the concept ran against international law and free speech, and left the way open for tough “blasphemy” laws like those in Pakistan which have been invoked this year by the killers of two moderate politicians in Pakistan.

They argued that it also allowed states where one religion predominates to keep religious minorities under tight control or even leave them open to oppression.

But Pakistan, which speaks for the OIC in the rights council, had argued that such protection against defamation was essential to defend Islam, and other religions, against criticism that caused offence to ordinary believers.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/26/muslim-states-put-off-un-drive-on-defaming-religion.html

---------

Mideast turfs out presidents who would be king

March 25, 2011

DUBAI: Revolts across the Arab world have targeted long-time presidents seen as eager to set up ruling dynasties, while the region’s established monarchies have so far emerged relatively unscathed.

“It is clear that the ones who have been in the line of fire of the Arab revolts are the presidents, but even the monarchies might not be immune to the contagion,” says analyst Saman Shaikh of the Brookings Institute in Doha.

Tunisia started the ball rolling in January when president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was sent packing into exile, to be followed by Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak the following month under the weight of mass street protests.

“People power” has since set its sights on embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh: between them, the three heads of state have amassed several decades in power.

“People have revolted against republicans that wanted to become royal families,” says Mustapha Alani of the Gulf Research Centre in Dubai.

“If you are president, you have to stick to your republican principles.”

Ben Ali and Mubarak were both perceived to have their sons lined up as successors to rule Tunisia and Egypt, respectively, in the decades ahead.

In Syria, which was unaffected until a tentative first protest on March 15, the date of a Facebook-organised “Day of Dignity,” Bashar al-Assad took over the mantle as president on the death of his father, Hafez al-Assad, in 2000.

But protests have since boiled over, with activists accusing security forces of killing more than 100 people on Wednesday alone in a southern town.

Algeria’s Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who has been president for the past 12 years and plans to run again in a 2014 election for another five, faces a growing protest movement.

And leading the Arab pack in longevity, self-styled “king of kings” Moamer Kadhafi has ruled Libya for more than 40 years and was apparently grooming son Seif al-Islam to take up the baton.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/26/mideast-turfs-out-presidents-who-would-be-king.html

---------

Blasphemy of Quran OIC asked to lodge protest with US, UN

March 25, 2011

KARACHI (PPI): A large number of people staged a protest rally here on Friday against desecration of a copy of Holy Quran by an American priest Tarry Jones in Florida, USA. The protest was organized by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi chapter. The protestors gathered at the New Town Masjid after the Friday prayer and marched to the Mazar-e-Quaid. Addressing the rally JI Karachi chief Mohammad Husain Mehnti urged Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to register a string protest against the US and the UN for the blasphemous act committed by the US priest. He said that profane act of the evil priest had hurt the feelings of Muslims. He said such blasphemous acts being carried out in the West after regular intervals are aimed at to increase tension between the followers of different religions. Mehnti lambasted the pastor Terry Jones and his patrons. He said that Quran is the Devine Book, which teaches the lesson of peace and harmony. He recalled that vested interests in the western countries had had depicted blasphemous caricatures and now desecrating the Holy Quran is tantamount to open proclamation of war with Islam. He said Priest Terry Jones should be handed down death sentence for this blasphemy and hurting sentiments of Muslims. He said that defiant attitude of the western countries towards Islam is highly condemnable. He said that the lonely act of the evil priest Terry Jones should not infuriate the Muslims of Pakistan against the Christian community. He said that Pakistani Full report at:

http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=qn&nid=864

---------

Sydney apologises to Kabul over racist remarks

March 25, 2011

SYDNEY (Agencies): Australia has issued an apology to the Afghan government after it emerged that soldiers had posted racist comments on the internet calling Afghans “sand niggaz” and “dune coons”. Stephen Smith, the Australian defence minister, apologised to Abdul Rahim Wardak, his Afghan counterpart, Abdul Rahim Wardak, on behalf of the 1,550 Australian troops based in Afghanistan’s restive Uruzgan province. “I said, ‘I am ringing you, minister, because I don’t want this to lower our standing,’” he told ABC radio. “He said that in his mind, in his own view it would not.” The Australian military said it had launched an investigation into the offensive Facebook remarks, which included troops joking about running over and shooting Afghans. The defence force have warned that the comments could jeopardise the country’s mission in Afghanistan. Smith described the postings, in which Afghans are referred to as “ragheads”, as appalling. Other posts by soldiers on the social network described Julia Gillard, the Australian prime minister, as a “*** ranga,” in reference to her red hair, and Kevin Rudd, the foreign minister, as a “tool”.

 Full report at:

http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=an&nid=722

---------

Protests against Quran desecration

 March 25, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Countrywide protests were held after Friday prayers to condemn the desecration of the holy Quran by US pastor Terry Jones in Florida. In Islamabad, dozens of protestors assembled at G-9 Markaz Karachi Company and recorded their protest. The protest was organised by Jamaat-e-Islami in collaboration with local traders, in which the people from various sects and organisations participated to express their anger against the heinous act of Terry Jones. Leading the protestors, Mian Mohammad Aslam and Syed Bilal from Jamaat-e-Islami warned the United States to immediately halt such acts which might pose a major problem for US across the globe. Mian Aslam said that Dr Aafia Sidiqui, Raymond Davis release, strikes against Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan were eye-openers for the Muslim community across the globe. The protestors set ablaze the effigies of the US President Obama and flag of the United States. Imamia Students Organisation activists assembled in Sadiqabad and took out another protest rally on Murree Road, Rawalpindi. Chanting slogans against the United States they condemned the brutal act of Terry Jones terming it a major blow to the efforts for global peace and security. Protestors also condemned the recent terror strike by terrorists in Hangu and urged the government to arrest the culprits and to ensure safe recovery of the abducted citizens of Kurram Agency. Another Rally was taken out from the Sidique-e-Akbar Mosque Blue Area, which was jointly organised by Jamatud Dawah and Jamaat-e-Islami. Addressing the protestors the clerics leading the rally said that United States and the West were continuously involved in such deeds to harm the sentiments of the Muslims. Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e Fiqah-Jafferia activists carried out another major rally under the banner of ‘Hurmat-e–Quran Rally’ at Akhari stop, Tench Bhata area of Rawalpindi.. TNFJ office bearers also condemned the firing incident at Hangu in which dozens of people lost their lives and many others were abducted. LAHORE: Chairman Sunni Ittehad Council Sahibzada Haji Fazal Karim and Nazim-e-Ala Jamaat Ahl-e-Sunnat Pir Riaz Ahmad Shah led the protest rally held in front of Lahore Press Club. A large number of workers of Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan (Fazal Karim), Jamaat Ahl-e-Sunnat and Anjuman Talaba Islam participated in the protest rally. Addressing the rally, Pir Riaz Ahmad Shah said that the pastor tried to destroy the international peace and the US Establishment should declare the pastor as terrorist and hang him. He said that Jamaat Ahl-e-Sunnat will stage protest demonstration in front of US Consulates in 45 countries and also evolve a campaign to boycott the US products. TIMERGARA: Strongly condemning Terry Jones for desecration of the Holy Quran, activists and leaders of the religious parties urgedthe Pakistani rulers to lodge strong protest to America over the incident and press for his arrest and punishment

 Full report at:

http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=ts&nid=1972

---------

Motorcycle bomb kills child, hurts 3

March 25, 2011

KANDAHAR (AIP): A child was killed and three more wounded in a bomb blast on Friday in the bordering Spin Boldak district of southern Kandahar province, the spiritual capital of Taliban, police said.  An explosive-rigged motorcycle detonated at approximately 4:00 p.m. (local time) in Naway Killi, Spin Boldak district, killing one child and wounding three others, said General Abdur Raziq, commander of border police in Kandahar. He told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) that the motorcycle bomb had been planted by Taliban to target security forces but it went off prematurely, adding security forces were not present in the area at the time of the blast. There was no claim of responsibility by Taliban till the filing of this report. Mine blast leaves two children dead: A roadside bomb killed two children and wounded another on Friday in Behsud district of eastern Ningarhar province, an official said. The bomb planted in a garbage dump went off at approximately 9:00 a.m. local time, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, spokesman of Ningarhar governor, told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP). He said two children were killed and another wounded in the blast which happened in Bangar area of Behsud district, adding a team has been sent to the area to probe the incident .

Full report at:

http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=an&nid=720

---------

Above limit radioactive iodine detected

March 26, 2011

OSAKA: The operator of Japan's disaster-hit Fukushima nuclear plant has detected radioactive iodine 1,250 times above the legal limit in Pacific Ocean waters nearby, the nuclear safety agency said Saturday.

In a test by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, "radioactive iodine-131 at 1250.8 times the legal limit was detected several hundred metres offshore near reactor number one," the agency official told AFP.

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13179

---------

Appeal to keep Twitter data from WikiLeaks probe

March 26, 2011

LONDON: Internet rights attorneys on Friday appealed a US judge's order that Twitter must hand over data of three users in contact with the controversial website WikiLeaks.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenged the March 3 ruling on behalf of Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir, one of the Twitter users targeted by the decision.      

The EFF and ACLU want Magistrate Judge Theresa Buchanan's decision overturned and WikiLeaks investigators to reveal any similar requests for information from other Internet firms.       

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13176

---------

OIC asked to lodge protest with US, UN over desecration of Quran

March 25, 2011

KARACHI: A large number of people staged a protest rally here on Friday against desecration of a copy of Holy Quran by an American priest Tarry Jones in Florida, USA.

The protest was organized by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi chapter. The protestors gathered at the New Town Masjid after the Friday prayer and marched to the Mazar-e-Quaid.

Addressing the rally JI Karachi chief Mohammad Husain Mehnti urged Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to register a strong protest against the US and the UN for the blasphemous act committed by the US priest.

He said that profane act of the evil priest had hurt the feelings of Muslims. He said such blasphemous acts being carried out in the West after regular intervals are aimed at to increase tension between the followers of different religions.

Mehnti lambasted the pastor Terry Jones and his patrons.

He said that Quran is the Devine Book, which teaches the lesson of peace and harmony. He recalled that vested interests in the western countries had had depicted blasphemous caricatures and now desecrating the Holy Quran is tantamount to open proclamation of war on Islam.

Full report at:

http://www.statesman.com.pk/national/national.htm

---------

Tough battle ahead for state’s women

March 25, 2011

THE CENTRE may be struggling to implement the 33 per cent reservation for women in assemblies and in Parliament, yet the Maharashtra government has gone one step ahead and announced 50 per cent reservation for women in local bodies. This would mean municipalities, zilla parishads, gram panchayats and gram sabhas would all have 50 per cent women representatives.

Full report at:

http://epaper.mailtoday.in/epaperhome.aspx?issue=2632011

---------

A million voices tell Yemen prez ‘ Leave!’

March 25, 2011

YEMENI President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Friday he was ready to cede power to prevent more bloodshed in the country, but only to what he called safe hands as a massive Day of Departure street protest against him began.

Western countries are alarmed that al- Qaeda militants entrenched in the Arabian Peninsula country could exploit any chaos arising from a messy transition of power if Saleh, a pivotal US and Saudi ally fighting for his political life, finally steps down after 32 years in office.

“ We don’t want power, but we need to hand power over to safe hands, not to sick, resentful or corrupt hands,” Saleh said in a rousing speech to supporters shown on state TV as protesters rallied elsewhere in capital Sanaa.

Across town, people converged on a square in front of Sanaa University chanting slogans calling for Saleh’s ouster and waving red cards emblazoned with the word “ leave”, despite fears of more violence.

The protesters declared Friday a Day of Departure, hoping to bring thousands more onto the streets in a further attempt to oust Saleh, a serial survivor of civil war, separatist movements and militant attacks.

Full report at:

http://epaper.mailtoday.in/epaperhome.aspx?issue=2632011

---------

Pak bluffing on terror? India not taking chances with World Cup

Mar 26, 2011

NEW DELHI: Pakistan might have arrested someone, who was plotting to target the ongoing cricket World Cup as claimed by its interior minister Rehman Malik on Thursday, but Islamabad has "so far" not shared any details with New Delhi.

Amid reports and intelligence inputs of the existing threat, India, however, on Friday said it was taking every precaution to prevent any untoward incident.

Stating that "every precaution is being taken and no one need (to) have any worry on that score", Union home minister P Chidambaram said adequate measures have been taken by the state government in Mohali, where India will clash against Pakistan in the World Cup semi-final on March 30. "The central forces have also been made available to the states," he added.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pak-bluffing-on-terror-India-not-taking-chances-with-World-Cup/articleshow/7790721.cms

---------

Pak court adjourns hearing in Musharraf extradition case

Mar 25, 2011

LAHORE: A Pakistani court on Friday adjourned till March 29 the hearing of petitions seeking the extradition of former President Pervez Musharraf and the registration of case of high treason against him for imposing emergency in 2007.

Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh of the Lahore high court put off the case after deputy attorney general Muhammad Ilyas appeared in court and sought an adjournment as government lawyer handling the case was not available.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-court-adjourns-hearing-in-Musharraf-extradition-case/articleshow/7787943.cms

---------

Protests and shooting in Syria as unrest spreads

March 26, 2011

President Bashar al-Assad faced the deepest crisis of his 11 years in power on Saturday, with one city in the grip of anti-government protesters and unrest spreading to other parts of Syria. Dozens of people have been killed over the past week around the southern city of Deraa, medical officials ha

 ve said, and there were reports of more than 20 new deaths on Friday, during demonstrations that would have been unthinkable a couple of months ago in this most tightly controlled of Arab countries.

There were also protests in the capital Damascus and in Hama, a northern city where in 1982 the forces of Assad's father killed thousands of people and razed much of the old quarter to put down an armed uprising by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood.

Government officials accused armed opponents of taking part in demonstrations and they justified the use of force.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Protests-and-shooting-in-Syria-as-unrest-spreads/H1-Article1-677770.aspx

---------

UAE to send 12 planes to patrol Libya

March 25, 2011

The United Arab Emirates will send 12 planes to take part in operations to enforce the no-fly zone in Libya, the state news agency said on Friday.

"The UAE air force has committed six F-16 and six Mirage aircraft to participate in the patrols that will enforce the no-fly zone now establi

UAE participation in the patrols will commence in the coming days," WAM said, quoting UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan.

The statement said the UAE planes would be an extension of the Gulf Arab state's humanitarian operations in Libya.

Qatar has already contributed two fighters and two military transport planes to the coalition enforcing the no-fly zone.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/restofasia/UAE-to-send-12-planes-to-patrol-Libya/Article1-677451.aspx

---------

Ceasefire or risk attack: Pentagon to Gaddafi forces

March 25, 2011

US-led coalition forces have asked Gaddafi forces in Libya to declare cease-fire or risk attack from international partners, a top Pentagon official has said. "Our message to the regime troops is simple: stop fighting, stop killing your own people, stop obeying the orders of Colonel Gaddafi," Direc

tor, Joint Staff Vice Admiral Bill Gortney told Pentagon reporters at a news conference.

"To the degree that you defy these demands, we will continue to hit you and make it more difficult for you to keep going," he said. Giving details of military operation in Libya, Gortney said coalition forces continue to strike the regime's integrated air defence capabilities as well as command-and-control facilities, logistics nodes and ammunition supplies.

"We are vigorously planning to enable the delivery of humanitarian assistance by interested governments and non-governmental agencies," Gortney said. "And we will continue to conduct coordinated attacks on regime ground forces that threaten the lives of the Libyan people," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/africa/Ceasefire-or-risk-attack-Pentagon-to-Gaddafi-forces/Article1-677449.aspx

http://www.hindu.com/2011/03/26/stories/2011032667762000.htm

---------

India and China had similar considerations on Libya

Ananth Krishnan & Sandeep Dikshit

Both were against use of force, at the same time they did not want to upset ties with the West and Arab countries

Military action causing more civilian casualties and a greater humanitarian crisis: China

Military intervention has its risks…we do not condone the loss of innocent lives: Nirupama Rao

BEIJING/NEW DELHI: Without consulting each other intimately, India and China adopted largely similar stands while abstaining from the United Nations Security Council resolution on approving a no-fly-zone over Libya.

China's decision to abstain from the UNSC vote, according to officials and analysts in Beijing, reflected a difficult balancing act between a historical opposition to any kind of military intervention and concerns about isolating itself among both Western powers and Arab countries that backed the resolution.

Similar considerations also compelled India to abstain instead of opposing the resolution. India has always opposed the use of force and it did so this time in its explanation of vote. Government sources pointed out that when read with the explanation of vote on the first UNSC resolution on Libya that imposed sanctions, it becomes clear that India was opposed to the direction that the issue was taking.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/03/26/stories/2011032666941600.htm

---------

Muslim Brotherhood in deal with military for big role in Egypt?

Mar 25 2011

Cairo : The Muslim Brotherhood, the banned Islamic group that is considered as Egypt’s main political opposition, is reportedly poised to be at the forefront of post-revolutionary Egypt, having reached a tacit agreement with the military.

According to the New York Times, as the best organized and most extensive opposition movement in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood was expected to have an edge in the contest for influence, but what surprises many is its link to a military that vilified it.

“There is evidence the Brotherhood struck some kind of a deal with the military early on,” said Elijah Zarwan, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group.

“It makes sense if you are the military - you want stability and people off the street. The Brotherhood is one address where you can go to get 100,000 people off the street,” he added.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/767323/

---------

Syrian Troops Open Fire on Protesters in Several Cities

MAR 26-03-11

CAIRO — Military troops opened fire during protests in the southern part of Syria on Friday and killed peaceful demonstrators, according to witnesses and news reports, hurtling the strategically important nation along the same trajectory that has altered the landscape of power across the Arab world.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators in the southern city of Dara’a and in other cities and towns around the nation took to the streets in protest, defying a state that has once again demonstrated its willingness to use lethal force.

It was the most serious challenge to 40 years of repressive rule by the Assad family since 1982, when the president at the time, Hafez al-Assad, massacred at least 10,000 protesters in Hama, a city in northern Syria.

Human rights groups said that since protests began seven days ago in the south, 38 people had been killed by government forces — and it appeared that many more were killed on Friday. Precise details were hard to obtain because the government sealed off the area to reporters and would not let foreign news media into the country.

“Syria’s security forces are showing the same cruel disregard for protesters’ lives as their counterparts in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

The new round of protests and bloodshed came one day after the Syrian government tried to appease an increasingly angry popular revolt with talk of improved political freedoms and promises of restraint.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/26/world/middleeast/26syria.html?hp

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/qatar-becomes-1st-arab-country-to-fly-over-libya/d/4349


Loading..

Loading..