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Islamic World News ( 2 Jul 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Rich Tributes paid to Muslim saints of Kashmir by Scholars, Ambassadors, Ulema and Sajad-e-Nasheens

Middle East Ban makes Maids Return for Unsafe Abortions

Pak priest gets jail for demanding gilrs’ sacrifice

Burning of 2002 Communal Riots Documents unpardonable: Indian law Minister

ISI aids and abets terrorist sanctuaries in Pak: Ex-US general

Charge pressed against Jamaat-e-Islami secretary general and others in Bangladesh

50 Yemen soldiers missing after clashes with ‘al-Qaeda’

Roadside bombs kill 17 civilians in Afghanistan

Iran to prosecute 26 American officials, MP says

2 dead, 4 wounded in attack on tribal elder Child killed In Pakistan

Muslims obligated to resist democracy, say radicals

UK joins US, Israeli Iranophobia hype

Haqqani leader tied to Kabul hotel siege killed in Nato air raid

Yemen Republican Guards killed in clashes with anti-regime gunmen

Attackers shoot and kill peacekeeper in Darfur: UN

Libya rebels welcome AU's 'Gaddafi-free' talks offer

US tells Gaddafi to deliver democracy, not threats

Clinton calls on Gaddafi to step down

US renews demand for Gaddafi to abandon power

Libyan rebels say bracing for a new Tripoli push

US slams Gaddafi threat to attack Europe

Pakistan's attitude towards terror has altered: Nirupama Rao

Hezbollah leader Nasrallah rejects Hariri indictments

Malaysian repression of reform activists, condemned

Pak, citing nest of spies, tries to restrict AQ

'US halted drone attacks from Pak 3 months ago'

Iran to seal its Pak-Afghan border

Shelling, militant raids dog thaw with Afghanistan

US shifts supply routes from Pakistan: report

Anti-Pakistan demo held in Kabul

Commander Underlines Iran's Naval Power to Safeguard World Interests

No military personnel at Shamsi base: US

2,000-year-old objects found in Pakistan's Taxila

Nato caused ‘Rs110bn damage to roads’in Pakistan

Zardari underscores intelligence sharing with UK

Assad sacks Hama governor, as Syria death toll mounts

Afghan district governor kidnapped: official

National dialogue a historic chance: Bahrain

Filipinos fight for US citizenship in Afghanistan

Key Taliban leader arrested in Islamabad

Britain to pull 800 troops from Afghanistan

Bahrain to try protesters in civilian courts

Yemen’s wounded president bedridden: Officials

Saudi Kingdom at forefront of fighting financial crimes

Abbas says Hamas row hobbles bid at UN

Syrian prez sacks governor

Al-Qaida facing financial crunch and manpower shortage: Report

Zardari meets British deputy PM, discusses ties

Kargil cashes in on peace

Germany aims to reduce Afghan force by 500 this year

Gaza flotilla aims to leave Greece next week

Protests set after Moroccan king wins vote landslide

Hezbollah rejects Hariri indictments

US praises China's role in Sudan crisis

Syrian president sacks Hama governor

US denies support for Syrian road map

Morocco answers ‘Arab Spring’ with vote on reform

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/rich-tributes-paid-to-muslim-saints-of-kashmir-by-scholars,-ambassadors,-ulema-and-sajad-e-nasheens/d/4955

 

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Rich tributes paid to Muslim saints of Kashmir by scholars, Ambassadors, Ulema and Sajad-e-Nasheens

July 3, 2011

Srinagar, July 03 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, prominent personalities including clerics and Ambassadors of different countries paid rich tributes to the Muslim saints of Kashmir and highlighted their contribution.

A big number of world famous scholars, Ambassadors, Ulema and Sajad-e-Nasheens of various shrines assembled at International Convocation Hall of Kashmir University where contribution of Aulia-e-Kiraams of Kashmir was highlighted.

The Ambassador of Tajkistan, Syed Baig, a decedent of family of Hazrat Shah-e-Hamdan from Khatlan also delivered a research oriented address on the arrival of Hazrat Bulbul Shah and Hazrat Shah-e-Hamdan in 14th century.

Grand Mufti of the occupied territory, Mufti Basheer-ud-Din presided over the conference, while as, the Vice-Chancellor of Kashmir University, Professor Talat Ahmed, Vice-Chancellor Islamic University Awantipora, Professor AR Trag, Vice-Chancellor Central University, Professor Abdul Wahid, Chairman Minhaj-ul-Islam, Maulana Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Naqib, General Secretary Anjuman-e-Ahanaf, Peerzada Maulana Akhzar Hussain, Mirwaiz North Kashmir, Peerzada Maulana Syed Lateef, Sajada Nasheen Hazrat Mukhdoom Sahib, Peerzada Shahid Jeelani Makhdoomi, the representative of  Mirwaiz South Kashmir late Qazi Amanullah, Moulvi Umar Farooq Amjadi, Directors of various departments, Ulemas of various Khankhas and shrines spoke on the occasion.

At the start of the function, the book by Khawaja Renzu Shah “OOSH TE KHOON”  (Blood and Tears) and its Sufi CD was also released. Two books on Sufism and Rishiyat written by Professor Hamid Naseem Rafiabadi were also released.

http://www.kmsnews.org/news/rich-tributes-paid-saints-kashmir

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Middle East Ban makes Maids Return for Unsafe Abortions

03 Jul 2011,

KOCHI, KERALA NEWS: At the first sight, it is just another maternity hospital in Kochi. The tense faces of some women make it evident that they are waiting to see the gynaecologist. The thick perfume wafting in the air and the travel bags with international tags underline a Gulf-connection.

Prob further and the information is shocking. Many of these women are NRKs

working in the Gulf, back home for ‘treatment’. It is when one goes further into

the details that the sordid details tumble out.

They are ‘domestic maids’ waiting for treatment. The disease: ‘Unwanted pregnancy’. In medical terms, what they want is Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) done.

No, it is not a planned holiday, though it is a paid one. After the ‘treatment’

they will fly back in a week.

Almost 500 such maids from the length and breadth of Kerala fly down every year to finish the ‘procedure’ and get back to work in the Gulf.

Clearly, there is a spike in the number of domestic workers returning to Kerala

for abortion. Only this month, three domestic maids returned from the Gulf seeking the services of gynaecologists at this hospital.

“We know several instances of domestic maids from Kerala working in Gulf countries coming back to get their pregnancies aborted. Some of them had to even remove their uteruses after the case became complicated,” said Mary Thankappan, Animator, Ernakulam District, National Domestic Workers

Movement. “Many of them return to the Gulf after the procedures.

To protect their job, they hesitate to reveal the ordeal they undergo,” she said.

The women going abroad as domestic maids bypass laws and seek the help of recruitment agencies. “Most of them avoid the proper channel and seek the help of various agencies which push them to the destination countries bypassing emigration checking,” said V J Varghese, professor, Centre for Development Studies. “They work there under terrible conditions. However, they are vulnerable even back home as well. So, their mobility should not be checked in view of such incidents,” he said.

Ban on abortion coupled with the high cost for illegal treatment force the domestic maids working in these countries to flock to Kerala for the purpose. The cost MTP or abortion comes to Rs 2,500 to 5,000 in Kerala. As per Sharia, Arab countries consider MTP as an act of blasphemy. The receding

population also forces these countries to adhere to anti- MTP laws.

According to sources in the medical industry, the number of MTPs is around

one lakh a year in the state, but the govt puts the number at 25,000 _ of course, that’s the figure from government hospitals in the state.

Even as the doctors in private hospitals cater to the demands of these women on

a large scale, the government does not have any statistics on MTP conducted by private hospitals.

“The private hospitals in the district do not provide any details of MTP. They

normally give information on communicable diseases only,” said Dr Haseena, Additional District Medical Officer, Ernakulam.

http://www.keralanext.com/news/2011/07/01/article288.asp

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Pak priest gets jail for demanding gilrs’ sacrifice

03 Jul 2011,

Islamabad: A Pakistani court has handed a Hindu priest to the police for remand after he demanded sacrifice of three girls, reports our Pakistani correspondent. The judicial magistrate in Mirpurkhas city of the Sindh province remanded the Hindu priest, court officials said. "He was demanding sacrifice of three girls. He has been remanded to the police custody for four days," said a court official. The investigation wing of the Mirpurkhas city police station had produced the priest- indentified as Pundit Khetomal- in the court of civil judge and judicial magistrate. Police officials said the priest was apprehended by town police in a raid on a tip off.

Asian Age

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Burning of 2002 Communal Riots Documents unpardonable: Indian law Minister

July 3, 2011

Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily has described the Gujarat government's claim of having “destroyed” some police records relating to the 2002 communal riots in the State as “totally unpardonable”.

Mr. Moily, who was on a day's visit to Gujarat on Saturday, told media persons that he was not aware of the details of the documents claimed to have been destroyed by the State government, but was informed about the development by State Congress president Arjun Modhwadia.

He said such a move was “totally unpardonable” when both the G.T.-Nanavati-Akshay-Mehta judicial inquiry commission and the Supreme Court were seized of the matter and was investigating into various aspects of the 2002 communal riots. “This may amount to destruction of evidence that is totally unpardonable,” he said.

Mr. Moily also lashed out at the civil society group team led by Anna Hazare, even going to the extent of hinting that it could have some “hidden agenda” of its own. “We really don't understand what they want.” He claimed that the government had accepted almost “each of their legitimate demands” and still “they are not satisfied”.

Team Anna, he said, wanted to bypass both the parliamentary system and the Constitution and place the institution of Lokpal above all three wings of the democratic system — the executives, the elected representatives and the judiciary. “They know very well that it is not permitted in the Constitution; they also knew very well that the joint drafting committee cannot rewrite the Constitution. Yet they kept insisting on incorporating certain provisions that will mean violating the Constitution,” Mr. Moily said.

Pointing out that the government had accepted 34 of the 40 “principles” submitted by Team Anna, Mr. Moily attacked the civil society group for having “double standards.” He claimed that during the meetings, the five representatives of the group, including Mr. Hazare himself, would agree with the points raised by the government and accept the objections put forth by it on the grounds of Constitutional violations. But once out of the meeting, they would go back to accusing the government of not being serious in fighting corruption.

Claiming that the Lokpal Bill was actually the Congress party's agenda to fight against corruption and not that of the civil society group, Mr. Moily recalled that even before the last parliamentary election, party president Sonia Gandhi, in her address to the Congress plenary session, had announced the party's five-point programme, in which the creation of the Lokpal was one of the points. “The civil society group has only tried to hijack the Congress agenda,” he said.

Holding Mr. Hazare responsible for the delay in the passage of the Bill, Mr. Moily said the government had, at the instance of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, drafted the “strongest possible” Bill last year. It would, he said, have been moved and adopted in the last session of Parliament “but for the agitation launched by Mr. Hazare and his supporters”.

Reiterating the Centre's resolve to fight against corruption, Mr. Moily said the Lokpal Bill was only one of the aspects and there were several other measures that were being taken which too would go a long way in fighting corruption in high places. He named several such Bills, including the Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Bill, which was approved by the Union Cabinet only on Thursday, and the Electoral Reforms Bill, which too would help fight against corrupt practices.

Asked why the government agreed at all to incorporate civil society representatives in the drafting committee when drafting a Bill was supposed to be an administrative job, Mr. Moily said the government wanted to take “extraordinary steps” in the “extraordinary situation,” but had still failed to satisfy Team Anna.

He said the government had “no hidden agenda” on the Lokpal issue. It would now be up to Parliament to decide on the final format of the Bill, he said. He made it clear that there would be no more meetings of the joint drafting committee.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2153951.ece

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ISI aids and abets terrorist sanctuaries in Pak: Ex-US general

Jul 3, 2011

WASHINGTON: Pakistan spy agency ISI not only aids and abets terrorist sanctuaries in the country, but also provides training and intelligence inputs to extremist outfits, a former top Pentagon general said.

Gen (rtd) Jack Keane also charged that Pakistan Army headed by General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, who once headed ISI, has been repeatedly lying to the United States on the matter.

But still, the retired American General argued that the US has no other option but to have strategic partnership with Pakistan, given its significance in the war against terrorism.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-07-01/pakistan/29725816_1_pakistan-spy-agency-pakistan-army-nuclear-arsenal

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Charge pressed against Jamaat-e-Islami secretary general and others in Bangladesh

July 03, 2011

Investigators on Sunday pressed charges against former state minister Lutfozzaman Babar, Jamaat-e-Islami secretary general Ali Ahsan Mojahid, former premier Khaleda Zia’s political secretary Harris Chowdhury and 27 others in August 21 grenade attack at Bangabandhu Avenue.

The 30 have been accused in a supplementary charge sheet which investigation officer Abdul Kahar Akand, a special superintendent of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police, submitted before the Court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Dhaka in the afternoon.

On August 21 in 2004, a barrage of grenade blasts at an anti-terror rally of the AL killed 24 people including party leader Ivy Rahman, and wounded over 500 others. Almost the entire leadership of the party was present at the rally. Party chief Sheikh Hasina narrowly escaped the attacks

Two cases were filed in connection with the blasts -- one under explosive substances act and the other for killing people.

Full report at: http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=30657

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50 Yemen soldiers missing after clashes with ‘al-Qaeda’

July 03, 2011

Fifty Yemeni troops have been posted as missing after clashes with Islamist militants around the southern city of Zinjibar, a commander said on Saturday, accusing top brass of abandoning them to al-Qaeda.

‘We have lost all trace of 50 soldiers after an attack by al-Qaeda elements enabled them to recapture control of the Al-Wahda stadium’ outside Zinjibar, the commander serving with the 25th Mechanised Brigade said.

He was unable to specify whether the troops had been killed, captured or deserted in the battle for the stadium which the army had recaptured from the militants only Friday.

The commander accused the defence ministry of abandoning the brigade’s soldiers to their fate in the face of repeated attacks by the militants of the Partisans of Sharia (Islamic Law) movement who seized much of Zinjibar in late May.

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/24715.html

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Roadside bombs kill 17 civilians in Afghanistan

Jul 03, 2011

Roadside bombs have killed 17 people in southern Afghanistan, including 13 who died when an explosion ripped through the van they were traveling in on Saturday morning, the government said.

The Ministry of Interior said four women and two children were among those who died in the van in Shamulzayi district of Zabul province.

In neighboring Kandahar province, two civilians riding a donkey were killed on Friday night when the animal stepped on a bomb in Maruf district, said Gen. Abdul Raziq, police chief in Kandahar province.

When villagers came to recover the bodies, another roadside bomb went off and killed two more civilians, he said.

President Hamid Karzai has condemned the attacks, saying in a statement that bombings that kill innocent civilians are the work of people who don't want the nation to have a life without sadness'.

Full report at: http://www.asianage.com/international/roadside-bombs-kill-17-civilians-afghanistan-815

Shelling, militant

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Iran to prosecute 26 American officials, MP says

July 3, 2011

Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- Iran plans to prosecute 26 current and former American officials, an Iranian lawmaker said Sunday, potentially escalating a tit-for-tat dispute between the two countries.

"The American officials will be tried in Iranian courts in abstentia before they are referred to the relevant international tribunals" if Iran's parliament approves the plan, Tehran member of parliament Esmaeel Kowsari said, according to Mashregh News.

He did not name them, but Iran's government-backed Press TV said in May that parliament planned sanctions on Americans including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the current and former commanders of the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

Paul Bremer, the U.S. civilian administrator of Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and Gen. Tommy Franks, who was head of U.S. Central Command during the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, are also on the list.

Full report at: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/07/03/iran.us.prosecution/

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2 dead, 4 wounded in attack on tribal elder Child killed,

July 03, 2011

JALALABAD (AIP): Unidentified gunmen ambushed a tribal elder in Laghman province Friday night, killing two people and four others, local residents said Saturday. The gunmen opened fire on the vehicle of tribal elder Haji Elam Gul Kabul-Jalalabad highway in Surkhakan area of Laghman province, a local resident Chaparhar district told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP).

Full report at: http://www.thefrontierpost.com/?p=34124

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Muslims obligated to resist democracy, say radicals

Linton Besser

July 4, 2011

Twentieth-century Islam ... Bilal Merhi speaks at the Uprising in the Muslim World Conference in Sydney. Photo: AFP

MUSLIMS in Australia were urged yesterday to join the uprisings that have toppled regimes across the Middle East, to renounce moderate forms of the religion and to reject democracy, during a day-long conference sponsored by a radical Islamic organisation.

Hizb ut-Tahrir, a fundamentalist group that calls for the establishment of a caliphate stretching from the Middle East to Indonesia, hosted the event at Lidcombe, which drew about 1000 people.

Full report at: http://www.smh.com.au/national/muslims-obligated-to-resist-democracy-say-radicals-20110703-1gxfw.html#ixzz1R3W9o1jR

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UK joins US, Israeli Iranophobia hype

Jul 3, 2011

Britain, the US and Zionist regime have joined hands in their malicious campaign to propagate Iranophobia in the Middle East region and around the world.

The stepped up rhetoric over what warmongers in London, Washington and Tel Aviv claim as “Iran's nuclear weapons program” is part of their fear mongering scheme to divert the public opinion of their own people, in particular, and provide a cover for their atrocities in the watchful eyes of the international community, in general.

The British government has always been using the Islamic Republic of Iran as a scapegoat to further its collapsed internal political agenda.

Foreign Secretary William Hague used a speech to the UK lawmakers at the House of Commons, yet again, to divert the attention of and to induce fear over Iran's peaceful nuclear program.

British war strategists as recently as four months ago conspired another invasion against the sovereign nation of Libya despite multiple financial woes at home and a nationwide public dissent over the country's unpopular war in Afghanistan, another sovereign member of the international community.

William Hague was deliberately practicing deceit when he told parliament that the “Iranians had tested missiles during their recent military exercises that are capable of carrying nuclear warheads”.

He also claimed that Iran was enriching uranium beyond that which was required for electricity generation.

Full report at: http://www.presstv.com/detail/187306.html

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Haqqani leader tied to Kabul hotel siege killed in Nato air raid

Jul 3, 2011

KABUL: Nato on Thursday said that a senior commander in the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network, wanted over this week's deadly attack on a leading hotel in the Afghan capital, had been killed in an air strike.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) identified Ismail Jan as deputy to the senior Haqqani commander inside Afghanistan and said he was killed in the eastern province of Paktya on Wednesday.

It was not possible to confirm Jan's death or position independently and ISAF provided no immediate details on how they knew he had been killed. It said security forces tracked his location based on intelligence reports from Afghan government officials, citizens and "disenfranchised insurgents" before calling in the air strike.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-07-01/south-asia/29722318_1_kabul-hotel-siege-haqqani-network-afghan-government-officials

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Yemen Republican Guards killed in clashes with anti-regime gunmen

Jul 3, 2011

SANAA: Four Yemeni Republican Guards were killed in clashes with anti-regime gunmen in Taez on Saturday, witnesses and tribal sources said, as 79 people were referred to court over a March massacre in the capital.

Fifty Yemeni soldiers were also reported missing around the southern city of Zinjibar, a commander said, accusing top brass of abandoning them to al-Qaida.

The fighting in Taez between the Republican Guards and "defenders of the revolution" against President Ali Abdullah Saleh began on Saturday morning and was still continuing in the evening, witnesses said.

The clashes erupted when the guards tried to enter a new area in the north of Taez, they said. Six houses were also destroyed in the fighting.

Taez has been a centre of protests calling for the departure of Saleh, who has been in power since 1978.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Yemen-Republican-Guards-killed-in-clashes-with-anti-regime-gunmen/articleshow/9080555.cms

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Attackers shoot and kill peacekeeper in Darfur: UN

Jul 3, 2011

KHARTOUM, Sudan: The international peacekeeping mission in the troubled Darfur region says one of its members was killed when assailants opened fire on a UN vehicle.

The UN-African Union Mission in Darfur said Saturday that the Ethiopian peacekeeper was traveling with four others in a UN vehicle in El-Geneina in West Darfur when the attackers opened fire.

The mission says the motive for Thursday's attack is under investigation.

The peacekeeper was wounded and later died of his wounds. Another peacekeeper was wounded and is in stable condition.

Darfur has been in turmoil since fighting broke out in 2003 between ethnic African rebels and the government and Arab militias.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Attackers-shoot-and-kill-peacekeeper-in-Darfur-UN/articleshow/9082103.cms

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Libya rebels welcome AU's 'Gaddafi-free' talks offer

Jul 3, 2011

Libyan rebel leaders have welcomed an African Union offer to open talks with the government in Tripoli without the direct involvement of Muammar Gaddafi.

The Transitional National Council said it was the first time the AU had recognised the people's aspirations for democracy and human rights in Libya.

The talks offer was agreed at an AU summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

The AU also told members not to execute an arrest warrant for Col Gaddafi from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The warrant "seriously complicates the efforts aimed at finding a negotiated political settlement to the crisis in Libya, which will also address, in a mutually reinforcing way, issues related to impunity and reconciliation," delegates said in a statement.

The chairman of the AU Commission, Jean Ping, said they were not against the ICC, but felt that the court was "discriminatory" and targeted only officials from the African continent.

A total of 31 states in Africa are signatories to the ICC, representing nearly a third of the nations where the mandate applies.

Full report at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14003786

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US tells Gaddafi to deliver democracy, not threats

July 03, 2011

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi yesterday to step down instead of brandishing threats of attacks on European civilians.

Clinton, on a visit to Nato ally Spain, demanded Gaddafi deliver democracy rather than menaces and vowed that the military alliance would complete its mission to protect Libyans from his regime.

"Instead of issuing threats, Gaddafi should put the well-being and interests of his own people first and he should step down from power and help facilitate a democratic transition," the secretary of state said.

"The Nato-led mission is on track and pressure on Gaddafi is mounting and the rebels have been gaining strength and momentum. We need to see this through," she told a news conference.

Clinton, speaking alongside Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jiminez, was responding to Gaddafi's warning Friday that the Libyan people could one day strike Europe.

"They could attack your homes, your offices, your families could become legitimate military targets because you have transformed our offices, headquarters, homes and children into military targets which you say are legitimate," Gaddafi said in Tripoli.

"If we decide to do so, we are capable of throwing ourselves on Europe like swarms of locusts or bees."

Full report at: http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=192552

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Clinton calls on Gaddafi to step down

July 03, 2011

3 July 2011 MADRID/TRIPOLI - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stepped up Western calls on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to quit, brushing off his threat to attack Europeans in their homes and offices.

“Instead of issuing threats, Gaddafi should put the well-being and the interests of his own people first and he should step down from power and help facilitate a democratic transition,” Clinton told reporters on a trip to Spain.

In an address relayed to some 100,000 supporters in Tripoli’s Green Square on Friday, Gaddafi urged NATO to halt its bombing campaign or risk seeing Libyan fighters descend on Europe “like a swarm of locusts or bees”.

“Retreat, you have no chance of beating this brave people,” Gaddafi said.

“They can attack your homes, your offices and your families, which will become military targets just as you have transformed our offices, headquarters, houses and children into what you regard as legitimate military targets,” he said.

NATO announced it had stepped up strikes on Gaddafi forces in west Libya including the capital Tripoli, saying it had carried out more than 50 attacks since Monday.

Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez said the alliance stance was unchanged.

“Spain’s and the international coalition’s response is to maintain the unity and determination with which we have been working these past months,” she said.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/July/international_July100.xml&section=international&col=

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US renews demand for Gaddafi to abandon power

Jul 03, 2011

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton told Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Saturday to abandon power and said rebels are gaining strength after he threatened attacks on Europe.

Clinton, on an official visit to Nato ally Spain, called on the Libyan leader to deliver democracy rather than threats.

“Instead of issuing threats, Gaddafi should put the well-being and interests of his own people first and he should step down from power and help facilitate a democratic transition,” the secretary of state said.

“The Nato-led mission is on track and pressure on Gaddafi is mounting and the rebels have been gaining strength and momentum. We need to see this through,” she told a news conference.

Clinton, speaking alongside Spanish foreign minister Trinidad Jiminez, was asked about Gaddafi’s warning yesterday that the Libyan people could one day strike Europe.

Full report at: http://www.asianage.com/international/us-renews-demand-gaddafi-abandon-power-794

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Libyan rebels say bracing for a new Tripoli push

July 03, 2011

BENGHAZI, Libya, July 3 — Libyan rebels said yesterday they were gearing up for a new advance on Tripoli from the southwest in the next two days after their forces were pushed back by government troops earlier this week.

“(It) was obviously a strategic withdrawal because of the battlefield situation and the amount of bombardment that the revolutionary forces were receiving,” said Ahmed Bani, a rebel military spokesman.

“But we hope to counter that within the next 48 hours.”

The rebels had earlier advanced to within 80km of Muammar Gaddafi’s stronghold in Tripoli but retreated on Friday after coming under rocket fire from his forces.

Their push to the outskirts of the town of Bir al-Ghanam had raised the possibility of a breakthrough in a four-month old conflict in the North African nation.

Speaking in the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi, Bani said insurgents fighting in western Libya had enough supplies and manpower to counter Gaddafi forces and required no reinforcements from the east.

Full report at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/world/article/libyan-rebels-say-bracing-for-a-new-tripoli-push/

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US slams Gaddafi threat to attack Europe

July 03, 2011

A rebel fighter stands guard as Libyans attend Friday prayers near the courthouse in Benghazi, on July 1, 2011. — Reuters pic

TRIPOLI, July 3 —US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stepped up Western calls on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to quit yesterday, brushing off his threat to attack Europeans in their homes and offices.

In a telephone address relayed to some 100,000 supporters in Tripoli’s Green Square on Friday, Gaddafi urged Nato to halt its bombing campaign or risk seeing Libyan fighters descend on Europe “like a swarm of locusts or bees”.

“Retreat, you have no chance of beating this brave people,” Gaddafi said in his address.

“They can attack your homes, your offices and your families, which will become military targets just as you have transformed our offices, headquarters, houses and children into what you regard as legitimate military targets,” he said.

Nato announced it had stepped up strikes on Gaddafi forces in west Libya including the capital Tripoli, saying it had carried out more than 50 attacks since Monday.

“Instead of issuing threats, Gaddafi should put the well-being and the interests of his own people first and he should step down from power and help facilitate a democratic transition,” Clinton told reporters on a trip to Spain.

Full report at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/world/article/us-slams-gaddafi-threat-to-attack-europe/

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Pakistan's attitude towards terror has altered: Nirupama Rao

Jul 3, 2011

New Delhi: Pakistan's attitude towards tackling terrorism has "altered", a "concrete" development that India should take note of, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has said.

"I think the prism through which they see this issue has definitely been altered," Rao told Karan Thapar on "Devil's Advocate" programme on CNN-IBN.

She was replying to a question on whether India saw a change in Pakistan's attitude towards terrorism during the recently concluded Foreign Secretary-level talks.

Asked whether it was a positive development, Rao said it was an outcome that India must take note of.

"I think when they speak of the fact that non-state elements in this relationship need to be tackled, that we must look at safe havens and sanctuaries, that we must look at fake currency, we must look at all the aspects that are concerned with the business of terror, I think that is a concrete development," she said.

Rao, however, said she would not expect Pakistani officials to talk about the strategic link between the Pakistani state and militancy and terror.

Asked whether her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir accepted the revelations made by Mumbai attacks case accused David Headley in a Chicago trial court, Rao said the strategic link between the Pakistani state and militancy and terror needed to be broken.

"Well, he is not going to say that in so many words to me. I think it would be unrealistic for me to expect that the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan is going to say that," she said when asked whether Bashir admitted to the strategic link between the Pakistani state and terror outfits.

http://in.news.yahoo.com/pak-attitude-towards-terror-altered-nirupama-rao-064500351.html

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Hezbollah leader Nasrallah rejects Hariri indictments

Jul 3, 2011

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has rejected indictments of four of its members over the 2005 assassination of Lebanon's former PM, Rafiq Hariri.

He also said no power would be able to arrest the "honourable brothers", who have not yet been named officially.

It was his first reaction to the indictments issued by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) on Thursday.

The Shia Islamist movement has repeatedly denounced the UN-backed tribunal and vowed to retaliate.

Rafik Hariri and 22 others were killed in February 2005 in central Beirut when a huge bomb went off near his motorcade.

Hariri's son, Saad, welcomed the indictments and described them as a "historic moment" for Lebanon.

'Israeli plot'

Full report at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14004096

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Malaysian repression of reform activists condemned

Jul 3, 2011

Malaysian authorities are arbitrarily arresting and detaining scores of peaceful electoral reform protesters in the worse repression of free speech and freedom of assembly in recent years, says an international rights organisation.

Malaysian authorities are arbitrarily arresting and detaining scores of peaceful electoral reform protesters in the worse repression of free speech and freedom of assembly in recent years, Amnesty International said today.

Among those currently detained are 30 peaceful activists from the Socialist Party who were denied review of their detention today under accusations of “waging war against the king”.

Since 24 June, more than 100 activists have been arrested or questioned by police over their support of an electoral reform rally. The demonstration is being planned for 9 July by the Coalition for Fair and Free Elections, also known as Bersih 2.0, meaning ‘Clean’.

“The Malaysian authorities are muzzling calls for electoral reform by throwing peaceful protestors in jail,” said Donna Guest, Deputy Asia-Pacific Director at Amnesty International. “We have not seen such a crackdown on political activists across Malaysia in many years.”

People have been arrested for as little as wearing yellow (the colour of Bersih 2.0), are being held without charge, and face investigation for sedition and unlawful assembly.  The government has also threatened to invoke the draconian Internal Security Act over the rally, allowing for indefinite detention without trial.

Full report at: http://oneworldgroup.org/2011/06/30/malaysia-urged-to-end-repression-of-pro-reform-activists/

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Pak, citing nest of spies, tries to restrict AQ

Jul 03, 2011 –

Shafqat Ali

The Pakistani authorities have noticed “extremely suspicious movements and the presence of several foreigners” in the neighbourhood of nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, official sources said.

“Intelligence officials have noticed extremely suspicious movements and presence of several foreigners around the area where Abdul Qadeer Khan lives,” a senior interior ministry official told this newspaper citing intelligence reports.

The interior ministry official said the government has apprised the Islamabad high court (IHC) of the “suspicious activities” as that court had issued orders that Dr Khan’s house arrest end in 2009.

In a report submitted to the court regarding compliance with its February 6, 2009 orders, the ministry said, “Security officials have gathered information that several foreigners have taken houses on rent in the same sector/neighbourhood. More recently, it is learned that a foreigner is likely to shift to the house next door as well.”

According to the report, the personnel deployed for the nuclear scientist’s security have spotted “some extremely suspicious” movements of persons and vehicles close to his residence.

Full report at: http://www.asianage.com/international/pak-citing-nest-spies-tries-restrict-aq-839

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'US halted drone attacks from Pak 3 months ago'

July 03, 2011

Omer Farooq Khan

There is considerable anger in Pakistan against Islamabad's move to allow the United States to use its soil for launching Drone strikes in the country.

ISLAMABAD: The US has halted the launch of Predator drone strikes against al-Qaida and other militant leaders from an airbase in Pakistan after a dispute over a CIA contractor who shot dead two Pakistani citizens in Lahore in January, a US newspaper quoted Pakistani and US officials as saying.

The Shamsi airbase in Baluchistan has been one of the facilities that Pakistan provided to the US for its counter-terrorism operations in the region. Under a secret arrangement, Islamabad had allowed the US to use the Shamsi airbase for its covert drone operations inside Pakistan's tribal areas.

The US has been using the place for more than seven years to launch Predator and Reaper drone strikes against al-Qaida and Taliban hideouts. The CIA presence at Shamsi was detected in 2004, when the first drone strikes were launched from the base. Google Earth images showed Predator drones parked on the runway at the base.

In recent days, Pakistan claimed that it had asked the US to close its operations from Shamsi following the secret commando raid in Abbottabad in May in which al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/US-halted-drone-attacks-from-Pak-3-months-ago/articleshow/9078512.cms

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Iran to seal its Pak-Afghan border

July 03, 2011

Iran will completely seal off its eastern borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan by 2015 to prevent drug smuggling and infiltration of armed groups, media quoted the police chief yesterday as saying.

"About 90 percent of Iran's eastern borders have already been sealed," Arman newspaper quoted General Esmaeil Ahmadi Moghaddam as saying.

"The remaining 10 percent, in the region of Saravan (near the southeastern border with Pakistan) will be closed within three years," he said. "The border will be sealed even to pedestrians."

According to official figures, some 3,700 members of Iran's security forces have been killed in a three-decade long battle with drug traffickers.

Nonetheless, the country is still a main corridor for drug traffickers who smuggle narcotics from Afghanistan

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=192612

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Shelling, militant raids dog thaw with Afghanistan

July 03, 2011

By Baqir Sajjad Syed

ISLAMABAD: Days ahead of the start of a drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan, Islamabad and Kabul are locked in fresh acrimony and tension over cross-border raids by militants into Pakistan and firing of mortar rounds.

The friction is threatening to undermine the recent improvement in relations between the two countries achieved after years of hostility, something that was being billed as this year’s only positive story on the foreign relations front other than revival of peace talks with India, which too have lately run into problems.

President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman Waheed Omar, talking to Dawn from Kabul, accused the Pakistan government of not responding to his country’s concerns about incidents of shelling of Afghan border areas.

He said the matter had been raised by President Karzai with President Asif Zardari, Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir over the past few days, but “there has been no response on Pakistan’s part”.

Pakistan army had earlier this week said that the mortar rounds could have “accidentally crossed the border” and denied that the shelling was intentional.

However, the issue got complicated with the Afghan National Army (ANA) firing rounds into Pakistani territory.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/03/shelling-militant-raids-dog-thaw-with-afghanistan.html

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US shifts supply routes from Pakistan: report

July 03, 2011

WASHINGTON: The US military is expanding its Central Asian supply routes to the war in Afghanistan, fearing that the routes going through Pakistan could be endangered by deteriorating US-Pakistani relations, a US newspaper reported late Saturday.

Citing unnamed Pentagon officials, the newspaper said that in 2009, the United States moved 90 per cent of its military surface cargo through the Pakistani port of Karachi and then through mountain passes into Afghanistan.

Now almost 40 per cent of surface cargo arrives in Afghanistan from the north, along a patchwork of Central Asian rail and road routes that the Pentagon calls the Northern Distribution Network, the report said.

The military is pushing to raise the northern network’s share to as much as 75 per cent by the end of this year, the paper said.

In addition, the US government is negotiating expanded agreements with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and other countries that would allow for delivery of additional supplies to the Afghan war zone, The Post said.

The United States also wants permission to withdraw vehicles and other equipment from Afghanistan as the US military prepares to pull out one-third of its forces by September 2012, the paper noted.

US President Barack Obama announced last month that 10,000 troops would leave this year and all 33,000 personnel sent as part of a surge ordered in late 2009 would be home by next summer, leaving a US force of some 65,000.

There are currently up to 150,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, including about 99,000 from the United States. Obama has indicated a series of drawdowns until Afghan forces assume security responsibility in 2014.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/03/us-shifts-supply-routes-from-pakistan-report.html

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Anti-Pakistan demo held in Kabul

July 03, 2011

Afghan protesters hold a banner that reads: "ISI clear enemy" during an anti Pakistan demonstration in Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday, July 2, 2011. Several hundred people demonstrated against rocket attacks that have killed an estimated 36 civilians along the eastern border with Pakistan in recent weeks. - AP Photo

KABUL: Around 200 Afghans joined a protest on the streets of Kabul on Saturday against what Afghanistan says are Pakistani rocket attacks.

The protesters carried banners with slogans such as: “We condemn Pakistan’s invasion on to our soil” and calling the country’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) a “known enemy” of Afghanistan.

The demonstration broke up peacefully after a couple of hours, a reporter at the scene said.

Separately, the border police commander of eastern Afghanistan, General Aminullah Amarkhail, confirmed he submitted his resignation on Thursday over the attacks.

Western and Afghan officials see assistance from Pakistan as crucial to efforts to open up a communication channel with the Taliban amid early stage contacts over peace talks in the near 10-year war in Afghanistan.—

http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/03/anti-pakistan-demo-held-in-kabul.html

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Commander Underlines Iran's Naval Power to Safeguard World Interests

July 3, 2011

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iranian Navy commander said as the country's interests are growing with the expansion of its ties with the other world countries the Navy is ready to safeguard Iran's interests whenever and wherever needed.

Speaking to FNA on Sunday, Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Gholam-Reza Khadem Biqam pointed to Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei's emphasis on the strategic importance of the Navy, and said this emphasis "signifies the Navy's capabilities as our naval forces will be present to safeguard the Islamic Republic of Iran's interests wherever needed".

Referring to Iran's naval presence and deployment of submarines in high-seas, Biqam said, "The Navy is constantly present in surface, sub-surface and even in the air since the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to have certain interests in the sea."

Full report at: http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9004120924

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No military personnel at Shamsi base: US

July 03, 2011

By Anwar Iqbal

 WASHINGTON: The US State Department said on Saturday that it was not aware if the United States still had military personnel at Shamsi air base and has not seen a specific request from Pakistan to vacate the base.

The Washington Post reported that the US had halted drone strikes from Shamsi three months ago after the Raymond Davis dispute. Since then all strikes that were launched from bases in Afghanistan.

The Post, however, noted in its Saturday report that the US still occupied the Shamsi airbase in Balochistan.

Commenting on Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar’s statement that Islamabad had asked the US to vacate the base, Mark Toner, the State Department spokesperson, said he could not speak for a foreign official, but as far as the State Department was concerned, there were no American military personnel at that base.

“We remain committed to our continued cooperation with Pakistan, and that includes counter-terrorism cooperation,” he said. “But as to the specific question about Shamsi air base, I’d refer you to the Pakistanis.”

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/03/drones-attacking-in-pakistan-launched-from-afghanistan.html

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2,000-year-old objects found in Pakistan's Taxila

July 3, 2011

About 200 objects dating back to the first century AD have been found during excavations near Pakistan's ancient site of Taxila.

Taxila shows the different stages in the development of a city on the Indus that was influenced by Persia, Greece and central Asia and which, from the 5th century BC to the 2nd century AD, was an important Buddhist centre of learning.

It lies 30 km northwest of Rawalpindi.

Dawn reported that a team of Taxila Institute of Asian Civilisation (TIAC) found the 200 objects during excavations at an ancient Buddhist Stupa and monastery near Taxila.

The objects are mostly stamped pottery parts of terracota, iron pieces and lamp.

The institute's director Mohammad Ashraf Khan noted that the site had the potential of holding ancient treasures.

He said the first excavation at the site was carried out in 1916-17 by Sir John Marshall, the second in 2005 and then in 2006.

Khan said the history of Taxila should be rewritten in light of the fresh discoveries.

http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_2000-year-old-objects-found-in-pakistan-s-taxila_1561506

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Nato caused ‘Rs110bn damage to roads’

July 03, 2011

By Bakhtawar

ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary committee asked the ministries of finance, foreign affairs and defence on Saturday to take notice of the damage caused to roads by the heavy Nato vehicles supplying goods and fuel to troops in Afghanistan.

The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on States and Frontier Regions observed that Nato should provide funds for the repair and maintenance of the damaged road infrastructure.

According to the National Highway Authority, the Nato containers weighing 60-70 tons use the N-5 National Highway, from Karachi to Torkham, and N-25, from Karachi to Chaman, for supplying goods to Nato forces in Afghanistan.

They have caused damage of more than Rs110 billion to roads.

The authority informed the ministries of finance and foreign affairs of the situation and demanded compensation but in vain.

The committee said all the relevant ministries and departments, including finance, foreign affairs, communications and railways, should assess the damage and prepare a comprehensive report so that the issue could be taken up with Nato authorities.

The committee also discussed the damage caused by vehicles used for Afghan transit trade.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/03/nato-caused-rs110bn-damage-to-roads.html

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Zardari underscores intelligence sharing with UK

July 03, 2011

LONDON: President Asif Ali Zardari in his meeting on Saturday with British Home Secretary Theresa May, underscored the need for further enhancing intelligence sharing with the UK to combat militancy and terrorism.

Matters pertaining to Pakistan-UK bilateral relations, the role of Pak-origin British citizens in Pakistan and their positive contributions and operations against terrorism were discussed during the meeting.

Chairman, Pakistan People’s Party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was also present during the meeting.

British Home Secretary Theresa May was accompanied by Charles Farr, DG Security and Counter Terrorism, and senior Home Office officials Fiona Cunningham and Faye Johnson while from Pakistan’s side Secretary General Salman Farouqi, High Commissioner Wajid Shamusul Hasan, Spokesperson Farhatullah Babar and other senior officials were also present during the meeting.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/02/zardari-underscores-intelligence-sharing-with-uk.html

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Assad sacks Hama governor, as Syria death toll mounts

July 03, 2011

DAMASCUS: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sacked the governor of Hama on Saturday, a day after half a million rallied against the regime in the hotbed city, an as activists said the crackdown on dissent claimed 28 new lives.

Anti-regime dissent billowed on Friday in response to a call by a Facebook group for massive protests to demand the ouster of Assad and his autocratic regime.

In Hama alone there were 500,000 people on the streets, activists said, calling it the single largest demonstration of its kind since the pro-democracy movement erupted on March 15.

Assad reacted to the affront by sacking the governor of Hama, a city with a bloody past where an estimated 20,000 people were killed in 1982 when the army put down an Islamist revolt against the rule of his late father, Hafez al-Assad.

“The Syrian president signed a decree today relieving Doctor Ahmad Khaled Abdel Aziz of his post as governor of Hama,” said a news flash on state television.

Most of Friday’s victims were killed in Idlib province, where troops backed by tanks have swept through villages all week to crush dissent.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/02/assad-sacks-hama-governor-as-syria-death-toll-mounts.htm

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Afghan district governor kidnapped: official

July 03, 2011

ASADABAD, Afghanistan: Suspected militants have kidnapped the governor of a volatile Afghan district near the border with Pakistan, a senior local official said Saturday.

Musafir Khan Qayumzai, district governor of Ghazi Abad, was snatched Friday along with his son and two bodyguards, said Kunar provincial governor Sayed Fazlullah Waahedi.

“When he was en route to his office from home, he was taken out of his car by unidentified men and was taken away,” Waahedi said.

He added that local officials have now “taken steps to release the district governor through tribal mediation and negotiation with the Taliban.” The Taliban and other militants frequently kidnap police, soldiers and NGO workers in Afghanistan but it is relatively rare for them to target prominent local politicians.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/02/afghan-district-governor-kidnapped-official.html

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National dialogue a historic chance: Bahrain

July 03, 2011

aimed at getting reforms back on track, buoyed by an 11th-hour decision by the main opposition bloc to take part.

arliament Speaker Khalifa bin Ahmed Al dhahrani opened the forum by hailing the gathering as “a historic opportunity for all of us to overcome this critical stage of the nation’s history through dialogue”.

He told the session, which was broadcast by state TV, that the dialogue would have “no preconditions and no ceiling” on the demands that could be raised by delegates. The aim was to draw up “common principles for the relaunch of the political reform process”. The main opposition party Al Wefaq joined the dialogue after a protracted debate on whether to take part that was resolved only late on Friday.

Senior Al Wefaq official Khalil Al Marzooq said the group’s five member strong delegation would maintain its demand for the prime minister to be drawn in the futurefrom the bloc in parliament, Al Wasat newspaper reported. “We do not intend to sabotage the dialogue but we do intend to bring to it the demands of the people,” Marzooq was quoted as saying.

The US welcomed the national dialogue and praised Al Wefaq’s decision to join in. “Al Wefaq’s participation adds an important voice of Bahrain’s political opposition to a process that has the potential to serve as a vehicle for reform and reconciliation,” State department spokesman Mark Toner said.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/July/middleeast_July58.xml&section=middleeast

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Filipinos fight for US citizenship in Afghanistan

July 03, 2011

3 July 2011 KHOST — Darby Ortego, 25, endures gunfire and mine attacks fighting for the United States army in Afghanistan, but this July 4 will be his first as a citizen of the country he serves.

Ortego, who battles insurgents in the violent eastern province of Khost with Bravo Company, 1-26 Infantry, recently attended a naturalisation ceremony at a US base near Kabul ahead of this year’s Independence Day celebrations.

Like thousands of fellow Filipinos, he sees the US military as a fast-track to American citizenship, securing his own future and also helping his family back home.

I joined up to get my mom to America,” said Private Ortego, who is deployed at Combat Outpost Sabari in Khost, where US troops clash with Taliban rebels based across the border in Pakistan.

“I want to bring my mom from her village in the Philippines to Nevada, where I live. I want her to be with me.”

Ortego is one of the roughly 9,000 legal immigrants who join the US armed forces each year from countries as far apart as Panama, Nigeria, Liberia and Turkey.

He has “Green Card” permanent residency in the US, and was living with his divorced father in Nevada when he signed up for the army two years ago.

Other benefits to military service include a free college education, which Ortego says he hopes to use to study business management.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/July/international_July111.xml&section=international&col=

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Key Taliban leader arrested in Islamabad

July 03, 2011

The arrest was made during an overnight raid Saturday in the Pakistani capital Islamabad. However, there is uncertainity over the exact identity of the Taliban leader.

Conflicting reports in Pakistan’s local media suggested the arrested leader is

Zia-ur-Rahman, who was in-charge of the intelligence network of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

He is being questioned for his activities, said one report while adding there is no official word on the arrest.

The name of the arrested leader has created confusion as there is another senior Taliban leader with the name of Qari Zia-ur-Rahman.

Qari, who had been living for years in northwest Pakistan, is now leading his fighters in Afghanistan’s Kunar province. He had moved to Afghanistan in the wake of major military operation in Bajaur in 2008-2009.

Qari was wanted both by the US and Pakistani sides for attacks in Pakistan’s Bajaur tribal region and attacks on US security forces in Afghanistan.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/July/international_July110.xml&section=international&col=

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Britain to pull 800 troops from Afghanistan

July 03, 2011

The move comes after last month’s announcement that thousands of US troops would start being withdrawn later this year as part of a process of handing security over to Afghan forces.

“UK force levels in Afghanistan are kept under constant review,” a Ministry of Defence spokesman said.

“The prime minister (David Cameron) has been clear that there will be no UK troops in combat roles in Afghanistan by 2015 and it is right that we bring troops home sooner where progress allows and taking account of military advice.”

The British government announced in May that it would pull about 400 troops from Afghanistan over the following nine months, trimming its force to 9,500.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/July/international_July109.xml&section=international&col=

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Bahrain to try protesters in civilian courts

July 03, 2011

Bahrain on Thursday stopped bringing anti-government protesters to trial at a special tribunal with military prosecutors, a lawyer said.

The tribunal was set up in March when the Bahrain government imposed martial law to help quash protests by the opposition demanding political freedoms.

A lawyer for a doctor who is among 47 health professionals on trial said the proceedings have been moved to civilian courts. The medical staff are charged with participating in an effort to topple Bahrain’s government.

A hearing in the case of 20 doctors set for Thursday was cancelled, the lawyer said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The decision to shift trials to civilian courts comes as the government tries to open reconciliation talks with the opposition.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/July/middleeast_July8.xml&section=middleeast

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Yemen’s wounded president bedridden: Officials

July 03, 2011

SANAA, Yemen: Senior Yemeni officials say President Ali Abdullah Saleh has had “very limited” access to the outside world since he was flown to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment.

Facing months of protests calling for his resignation, Saleh suffered serious burns and other wounds in a June 3 attack on his palace in the Yemeni capital. Little information about his condition has been released.

A Riyadh-based Yemeni official said Saturday that only relatives and Saleh’s top adviser have been permitted to visit him.

Another government official in Sanaa says Saleh has been “unable to leave his bed” and has “severe and extensive burns.” The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

Tribal head seeks talks with militants

 A powerful tribal leader in southern Yemen, meanwhile, called for talks between the army and suspected Islamist militants who have seized control of a provincial capital as a political crisis in Yemen drags on.

With mass protests demanding an end to Saleh’s 33-year rule still paralyzing the Arabian Peninsula state, its southern province of Abyan has been scene to violence after militants suspected of ties to Al-Qaeda took control of its capital Zinjibar last month. Militants have clashed daily with the army.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article465565.ece

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Saudi Kingdom at forefront of fighting financial crimes

July 03, 2011

By GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has occupied an advanced ranking among the G20 countries and other developed nations in fighting money laundering and terror financing, according to a financial watchdog.

"This has been made possible by enacting stringent rules for eradicating financial crimes and by complying with the provisions of international bodies like the France-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF)," said Talat Zaki Hafiz, secretary-general of Saudi Banks, a watchdog set up by banks to curb financial crimes.

Hafiz said the Kingdom had complied with all 40 recommendations for combating money laundering issued by the FATF.

"It has also approved the nine recommendations on combating terror financing," said Hafiz, while launching the third fraud awareness campaign in Riyadh Saturday. The event was attended by senior banking officials.

Hafiz said the initiative to curb money laundering, fraud and terror financing has been strongly backed by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency. SAMA has set up a special unit that regulates and supervises all local banks to ensure the banking system is not exploited by money launderers.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article465696.ece

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Abbas says Hamas row hobbles bid at UN

July 03, 2011

By ALI SAWAFTA

RAMALLAH, West Bank: President Mahmoud Abbas urged Hamas on Saturday to relent in a dispute over the formation of unity government for the Palestinians, saying their bid to become a UN member state in September was at stake.

Abbas’s Fatah movement and Hamas formally ended their four-year feud in April but remain split over the president’s insistence that his prime minister, Salam Fayyad, head the proposed new cabinet of political independents.

“We want to go to the United Nations united, and we have to understand, and Hamas and others have to understand, that this government isn’t a nationalist government — it is a technocrat government,” Abbas told Voice of Palestine radio.

“They (Hamas) do not understand that we are subject to very sensitive and fateful conditions. We are entering a very tough battle at the United Nations and they are thinking in terms of ‘this minister is for us, and that minister is for you’.”

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article465659.ece

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Syrian prez sacks governor

July 03, 2011

Syrian forces killed 28 civilians on a day of massive anti-regime rallies and in shelling of villages in the northwestern province of Idlib, human rights activists said. State television meanwhile reported that president Bashar al-Assad sacked the governor of Hama, a day after half a

million protesters flooded the central city demanding the ouster of their embattled leader.

Most of Friday's victims were killed in the Idlib province, where all week troops backed by tanks and armoured personnel carriers have swept through villages to crush dissent against Assad's autocratic regime.

"Sixteen people were killed" in Idlib on Friday," Ammar Qorabi, the head of the National Organisation for Human Rights, told AFP in Nicosia. Three of them were women who died when the army shelled a chicken hatchery in the village of Al-Bara, Qorabi said.

Another 10 people were killed when security forces opened fire to disperse protests in several cities, including eight in the central protest hub of Homs and two in Qadam.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/world/Syrian-prez-sacks-governor/Article1-716610.aspx

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Al-Qaida facing financial crunch and manpower shortage: Report

Jul 3, 2011

WASHINGTON: Details of communication between al-Qaida leaders derived from Osama bin Laden's computers indicate that the terror network is facing massive financial crunch and difficulties in replacing cadres lost in combat with US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other places, a media report said on Saturday.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Al-Qaida-facing-financial-crunch-and-manpower-shortage-Report/articleshow/9076151.cms

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Zardari meets British deputy PM, discusses ties

Jul 3, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari met British deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in London and discussed bilateral ties as well as the prospect of expanding Pakistan-Britain trade, it was reported here.

Zardari and Clegg also spoke on Britain's support to Pakistan's access to European markets, Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

Pakistan Peoples Party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was present in the Thursday meeting.

Zardari, during the day, also met a delegation of British businessmen.

He said Britain and Pakistan need to work closely to further enhance their partnership in diverse areas in trade and investment.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-07-01/pakistan/29725510_1_asif-ali-zardari-pakistan-s-president-farhatullah-babar

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Kargil cashes in on peace

July 03, 2011  

Khursheed Wani

The ripple effect of the much-cherished summer peace in Kashmir Valley is being felt in far-off Kargil town, where hotels are packed and tourists are flowing in abundance. This is in contrast to last year’s dull season that haunted the tour operators despite prevalence of complete peace in the hill resort.

“Kashmir Valley is the fountainhead of tourism activity in the region. When Kashmir is abuzz with tourists, Kargil too receives its full share,” admitted Chief Executive Councillor of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Kachoo Ahmad Ali Khan. “This year our hotels are packed to capacity,” he added.

Tourists of all hues are arriving in this hill town which is struggling to cope with the unexpected rush. They are bikers coming from Leh on their adrenaline-testing expedition starting from Delhi, Chandigarh or Manali or culture enthusiasts who visit the remote villages to peep into old culture and traditions of Ladakhis. There is a sizeable number of domestic tourists eager to see the landmark summits — Tiger Hill and Tololing, which were recaptured by Indian Army in 1999 Kargil War.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/350333/Kargil-cashes-in-on-peace.html

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Germany aims to reduce Afghan force by 500 this year

July 03, 2011

BERLIN, July 3 — Germany will reduce its troop levels in Afghanistan by about 500 from the current force of 4,800 at the end of the year, the chief of staff of Germany’s armed forces said in an interview to be broadcast today.

Volker Wieker, the inspector general of the Bundeswehr, told Deutschlandfunk radio that Germany was looking to reduce its contingent by about the same number of troops — 500 — that it added to the international deployment last year.

“That’s the framework being looking at,” Wieker said, according to an excerpt of the interview released yesterday.

He said, however, the final number would depend on how many troops the United States withdraws from the north, where Germany’s troops are based.

Germany, the third largest troop contributor, had previously said it hoped to begin pulling troops out from the end of 2011 but had not before mentioned any number nor set any deadline for a complete withdrawal.

US President Barack Obama said in June he planned to withdraw 33,000 of its 100,000 troops by the end of next summer.

Wieker called the US target ambitious and added: “One could have expected a somewhat longer time frame for that.” — Reuters

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/world/article/germany-aims-to-reduce-afghan-force-by-500-this-year/

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Gaza flotilla aims to leave Greece next week

July 03, 2011

ATHENS, July 3 — A pro-Palestinian flotilla hopes to leave Greece early next week to challenge Israel’s sea blockade of the Gaza Strip despite the arrest of the American captain of one of the vessels, organisers said yesterday.

The convoy of cargo and passenger boats carrying volunteers from countries including the United States, Canada, France and Spain was due to depart at least a week ago but has been held up amid allegations of sabotage sponsored by Israel.

“Monday will be a day of action where we plan to continue sailing,” Adam Shapiro, one of the organisers, told reporters in Athens.

A boat ferrying mostly American activists, “The Audacity of Hope”, tried to leave left Perama port near Piraeus yesterday.

It was turned back by the Greek coastguard, which said the captain, John Klusmire, 60 (right), had been arrested and would appear before a court on Tuesday to face felony charges.

Full report at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/world/article/gaza-flotilla-aims-to-leave-greece-next-week/

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Protests set after Moroccan king wins vote landslide

July 03, 2011

Morocco’s ‘Arab Spring’ protesters vowed on Saturday to pursue demonstrations after King Mohammed scored an avalanche referendum victory on constitutional changes they say do nothing to ease his tight grip on power.

Preliminary results of Friday’s poll showed 98.5 per cent of voters approved the text on turnout official estimated at 73 per cent. Opposition said the turnout figure looked inflated and alleged irregularities in voting procedures.

The charter explicitly grants executive powers to the government but retains the king at the helm of the cabinet, army, religious authorities and the judiciary.

The result followed a state media campaign in favour of the ‘yes’ vote that appealed to a widespread sense of loyalty to the head of the Arab world’s longest-serving dynasty. It will be studied by Gulf monarchies who have so far dodged reform calls.

‘We shall continue to be the only real opposition in this country, the opposition in the street,’ Najib Chawki, one of the coordinators of the leaderless ‘February 20’ street movement.

‘Tomorrow we will see how people react,’ he said of nationwide rallies called by the group for Sunday. Protests staged last Sunday drew tens of thousands to the streets of the capital Rabat, economic hub Casablanca and the port Tangiers.

Ali Bouabid, of the executive committee of the main Socialist Union of Popular Forces party, queried voting procedures at his local polling station on his Facebook page.

Full report at: http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/24721.html

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Hezbollah rejects Hariri indictments

July 03, 2011

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has rejected indictments of four of its members over the 2005 assassination of Lebanon's former PM, Rafiq Hariri.

He also said no power would be able to arrest the "honourable brothers", who have not yet been named officially.

It was his first reaction to the indictments issued by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) on Thursday.

The Shia Islamist movement has repeatedly denounced the UN-backed tribunal and vowed to retaliate.

Rafik Hariri and 22 others were killed in February 2005 in central Beirut when a huge bomb went off near his motorcade.

Hariri's son, Saad, welcomed the indictments and described them as a "historic moment" for Lebanon.

'Israeli plot'

Full report at: http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=30656

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US praises China's role in Sudan crisis

July 03, 2011

China has played a helpful role in encouraging Sudan to move forward with reconciliation with the south, a senior US official said Friday, despite concerns over Beijing's role in Darfur.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir enjoyed a red-carpet welcome this week in China, outraging human rights groups as he is wanted by the ICC on charges of war crimes in the Darfur region.

"We have every indication that their (China) message to President Bashir has been, 'Look, you've got to resolve the issues of the CPA,'" Princeton Lyman, the US special envoy on Sudan, said, referring to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement which set the stage for southern independence.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=192558

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Syrian president sacks Hama governor

July 03, 2011

28 civilians killed in Friday's protest across country

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sacked the governor of Hama yesterday, a day after half a million rallied against the regime in the hotbed city, an as activists said the crackdown on dissent claimed 28 new lives.

Anti-regime dissent billowed on Friday in response to a call by a Facebook group for massive protests to demand the ouster of Assad and his autocratic regime.

In Hama alone there were 500,000 people on the streets, activists said, calling it the single largest demonstration of its kind since the pro-democracy movement erupted on March 15.

Assad reacted to the affront by sacking the governor of Hama, a city with a bloody past where an estimated 20,000 people were killed in 1982 when the army put down an Islamist revolt against the rule of his late father, Hafez al-Assad.

Most of Friday's victims were killed in Idlib province, where troops backed by tanks have swept through villages all week to crush dissent.

"Sixteen people were killed" in Idlib on Friday, Ammar Qorabi, the head of the National Organisation for Human Rights, said yesterday.

Another 10 people were killed when security forces opened fire to disperse protests in several cities, including eight in the central protest hub of Homs and two in the Damascus neighbourhood of Qadam.

Full report at: http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=192607

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US denies support for Syrian road map

July 03, 2011

Time is running out for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday, one day after a report in the Guardian claimed Washington was supporting a draft road map for peace.

“It is absolutely clear that the Syrian government is running out of time. There isn’t any question about that,” Clinton was quoted as saying by Agence France-Presse in a speech at an international democracy conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Friday.

A report published in the British daily Thursday quoted Syrian opposition sources as saying the U.S. had lent its support to a draft road map of reform circulated by opposition members who met in Damascus on Monday.

“We know what they have to do,” Clinton was quoted as saying by the Associated Press, referring to Assad’s regime. “They must begin a genuine transition to democracy and allowing one meeting of the opposition in Damascus is not sufficient action toward achieving that goal.”

Full report at: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=us-denies-support-for-syrian-road-map-2011-07-01

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Morocco answers ‘Arab Spring’ with vote on reform

July 03, 2011

Moroccans are set to vote Friday in a referendum to curb the near absolute powers of their king, Mohammed VI, who has moved quickly to offer reforms in the wake of anti-regime uprisings throughout the Arab world.

Faced with protests modeled on the Arab Spring uprisings that ousted long-serving leaders in Tunisia and Egypt, Mohammed VI moved this month to get ahead of protesters by offering to devolve some of his wide-ranging powers to the prime minister and parliament.

Under a new draft constitution to be voted on Friday, the king would remain head of state, the military, and the Islamic faith in Morocco, but the prime minister, chosen from the largest party elected to parliament, would take over as head of the government.

Mohammed VI, who in 1999 took over the Arab world’s longest-serving dynasty, offered the reforms after the youth-based February 20 Movement organized weeks of pro-reform protests that brought thousands to the streets.

The reforms fall short of the full constitutional monarchy many protesters were demanding and the movement has urged its supporters to boycott Friday’s vote. The reform plan has been hailed abroad, however, with the European Union saying it “signals a clear commitment to democracy.”

Full report at: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=morocco-answers-8216arab-spring8217-with-vote-on-reform-2011-06-30

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/rich-tributes-paid-to-muslim-saints-of-kashmir-by-scholars,-ambassadors,-ulema-and-sajad-e-nasheens/d/4955


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