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Islamic World News ( 12 Dec 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Saudi Woman Beheaded for 'Sorcery'

Girl’s primary school blown up in Mardan

War crimes charges pressed against former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Ghulam Azam

Saudi Muslims Cautioned against Looking at Women through Western Prism

Awami League hand behind extrajudicial killings: Bangladesh Opposition Party

Islamist parties' electoral success in Egypt has Copts worried

Capital punishment for human traffickers in Bangladesh

Uprising Overshadows Syria Polls

Dubai: Bigger role for police in human rights protection

Honesty pays for Sharjah cabbie

'Al-Qaeda jail break' in Yemeni city of Aden

Pak-based outfit claims responsibility for attack on J&K minister

Pakistan airspace may be closed for US: Gilani

Ghulam Nabi Fai claims to have met Indian cabinet ministers

Uni-Direction technology used in Karachi blasts

ISAF Command does not rule out more strikes on Pakistan

Delhi Police arrests two Pakistani spies; claim to foil ISI plan

Pakistan to decentralise issuing of passports

Pakistan Taliban shift focus to Afghanistan

Musharraf sees winds of change in Pakistan

US meets deadline to vacate Pakistan air base

Pakistan PM says NATO blockade could last weeks

Gargash marks 40 years of UAE-Russian Relations

Pakistan to expand rail links to Europe, Middle East

2003 Mumbai blasts: Verdict on death sentence deferred

64th International Tablighi congregation ends in Bhopal

Compiled By New Age Islam News Bureau



Saudi Woman Beheaded for 'Sorcery'


RIYADH: Dec 12, 2011,  A Saudi woman was beheaded on Monday after being convicted of practising sorcery, which is banned in the ultra-conservative kingdom, the interior ministry said.

Amina bint Abdulhalim Nassar was executed in the northern province of Jawf for "practising witchcraft and sorcery," the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency.

It is not clear how many women have been executed in the desert-kingdom, but another woman was beheaded in October for killing her husband by setting his house on fire.

The beheading took to 73 the number of executions in Saudi Arabia this year.

In September, Amnesty International called on the Muslim kingdom where 140 people were on death row to establish an "immediate moratorium on executions."

The rights group said Saudi Arabia was one of a minority of states which voted against a UN General Assembly resolution last December calling for a worldwide moratorium on executions.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia's strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.

Amnesty says Saudi Arabia executed 27 convicts in 2010, compared to 67 executions announced the year before.


Girl’s primary school blown up in Mardan

December 12, 2011

MARDAN: Terrorists blew up a girls primary school in Jamal Garhi village late Saturday night, police and locals said. “The blast, which took place at the Government Girls Primary School in the Srekh Banada in Jamal Ghari in the limits of Jabbar police station at 12:30am, destroyed rooms and the boundary wall of the school.” No casualty was reported in the incident. Following the incident, the police launched a search operation in the area but no arrest had been made till filing of this report. Police registered a case against unidentified terrorists. The sources said that for the last several weeks, terrorists had stepped up their activities in the district and targeted several girls and boys schools in rural areas in the limits of Chura, Jabbar and Katlang police stations in Mardan. On November 2, a bomb disposal unit defused a locally made bomb planted under a bridge in Par Hoti Police Station limits. The same day, the authorities defused another device planted to a telecommunications tower of a private firm in the limits of City Police Station. Sources further said that the authorities defused two device planted to a deserted shop in Begut Gunj Bazaar in the way of Yaum-e-Ashur procession. online\12\12\story_12-12-2011_pg7_16


War crimes charges pressed against former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Ghulam Azam Ghulam Azam

Star Online Report

Prosecution asks for his arrest

The prosecution on Monday pressed charges against former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Ghulam Azam in connection with crimes against humanity committed during the 1971 Liberation War.

While placing the charges before the International Crimes Tribunal, Chief Prosecutor Ghulam Arieff Tipoo also placed a prayer for issuing warrant of arrest against the ex-Jamaat ameer for trial.

Total 52 allegations of crimes against humanity have been raised against Ghulam Azam.

After submission of the charges, the tribunal asked the prosecutors to submit the formal charges against Ghulam Azam through the ICT registrar office.

The tribunal will decide on whether charges against Ghulam Azam will be taken into cognisance after receiving the charges through the registrar’s office.

Prosecution sources claimed that Ghulam Azam and some Jamaat-e-Islami leaders had close relations with the Pakistani military rulers even before the ‘Operation Search Light’, the crackdown by the Pakistan army on the unarmed Bangladeshis on March 25, 1971.

Thousands of innocent Bangalees – many of them teachers and students of Dhaka University – were massacred as the military launched a genocide, which continued throughout the nine-month Liberation War.

Prosecution sources also claimed they have proof that Jamaat leaders had met the then Pakistan president Gen Yahya Khan and Gen Tikka Khan, the infamous “Butcher of Baluchistan”, and hailed ‘Operation Search Light’ saying that Pakistan and Islam had been saved.

Prosecution sources said they have found that Ghulam Azam, the ameer of then East Pakistan Jamaat-e-Islami, was the civilian supreme commander of the Peace Committee, Razakar, Al Badr and Al Shams, which had collaborated as auxiliary forces with the Pakistan occupation army in 1971.


Saudi Muslims Cautioned against Looking at Women through Western Prism


RIYADH: Dec 12, 2011, The head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs argued in Riyadh on Saturday that general perceptions about Western lifestyle and culture have played a major role in influencing public opinion on women’s rights in a Muslim society.

Saleh Abdurahman Al-Hussein’s remarks came at a gathering of more than 1,000 participants attending a forum on the rights and duties of women in Islam.

Al-Hussein, who is also president of the King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue, was addressing the first Saudi conference on women’s rights organized by the Researchers’ Center for Women Studies (RCWS).

A large number of prominent Saudi scholars, charitable organizations and human rights advocates participated in the event. The first session was presided over by Yousof Al-Aqeel.

Al-Hussein said these perceptions based on the concept of Western culture may be either correct or incorrect. However, it has heavily affected the culture, language and even the dress style of Muslims, he said, adding the same influence is seen when it comes to the evaluation of women’s rights.

In his inaugural speech, Fuad Abdul Kareem Al-Abdul Kareem, RCWS' secretary-general, said the forum’s main focus, among other issues, is on the socioeconomic factors of Saudi women based on Saudi law.

“This conference is merely intended to be a research and scientific forum where we can come up with resolutions and solutions to some social and financial problems facing Saudi women.”

There are other aspects to be tackled during the course of the discussion, such as divorce problems and an increasing number of unmarried women.

However, in an interview on the sidelines of the conference on the current campaign in favor of allowing Saudi women to work for the first time at shopping malls, Al-Abdul Kareem said that there are discussions on this matter among Saudi intellectuals.

He said people would allow Saudi women to work within the framework of Islamic teachings and for their financial needs. There are some who reiterate their belief that Saudi women have major family responsibilities, adding that other countries' experiences with regard to working women were not very encouraging and did not necessarily change their economic situations.

Pointing out that in Islam men are obliged to take care of their women’s financial needs, he said in this conference they are going to address the issue in line with Islamic teachings and the rights due to them under the existing system.

Al-Abdul Kareem said that imposing Western views on Saudi and Muslim women with regard to their rights amounts to interference.

He added every country has its own way of dealing with issues. "We deal with our Muslim women in our own way and provide for all their needs, including the right to education, health and other expenses within the framework of our religion.”

He said Muslim women in their countries should be left alone to carry out their religious obligations because of the prevalent values of democracy and freedom.

They should not be accused of being backward because of their religion, he added. He said if Westerners want to know the reality about Muslim women, they should read books available on this issue, he observed.

Ali Al-Namlah, the former minister of social affairs who spoke about philosophy on women's rights in the East and West, said that there is no comparison between Muslim women and their counterparts in the West in terms of value.

Al-Namlah agreed Muslim women have been affected by the lifestyle of others. However, they have also exerted a positive influence on the West, particularly in America where Islam has gained a large number of followers.

Citing a forecast, the lecturer said that in Europe Islam is predicted to prosper within 12 years. In contrast, Al-Namlah said there are millions of women around the world whose moral values have been declining. This has resulted in numerous abortions due to their illegitimate relations with men.

At Saturday night's session, other lecturers who spoke were RCWS Director Noorah Ibrahim Al-Omar and Saad Nasser Al-Shithri, a senior religious leader in the Kingdom. Zaid Abdul Muhsin Al-Hussein, vice president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, acted as a moderator for the session.


Capital punishment for human traffickers in Bangladesh

Star Online Report, December 12, 2011

The cabinet on Monday approved the draft of a law introducing the provision for capital punishment for the human traffickers.

The 'Human Trafficking Prevention and Protection Act 2011' will also have the provision for slapping a fine up to Tk 5 lakh.

The approval came at a regular cabinet meeting on Monday at the Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

Briefing journalists, PM’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad said the prime minister is set to award 124, including people, organisations, heads of states and governments, between January 10 and March 26 next year for their outstanding contribution during the 1971 Liberation War.

The cabinet also approved ‘Prime Minister’s Education Assistance Trust Act 2011’, ‘Ship Breaking and Ship Recycling Act 2011’, ‘Bangladesh Citizenship Act’ and a draft of the president’s speech to be delivered at the first session of the parliament in 2012.


Awami League hand behind extrajudicial killings: Bangladesh Opposition Party

Dhaka, Dec 11 ( — The main opposition BNP has alleged that the ruling Awami League is executing 'planned murders' in the country through numerous extrajudicial killings.

"Continuous silent killings are a proof that the government is using its forces to carry out killings," acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said on Sunday at a press briefing organised at the party's headquarters in Naya Paltan by its student wing Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal.

"Unidentified bodies are recovered every now and then from Gazipur and Ashulia [located on the outskirts of Dhaka metropolitan city]. The government forces pick up people and kill them without trial. We believe the government has direct link with these killings."

The wing called for a three-day protest against 'killing' of three of their activists at the press conference, including agitation in Dhaka on Monday, in district headquarters on Tuesday and Dua-Mahfil for the deceased after Asr prayers on Wednesday at Naya Paltan.

The leaders are Dhaka University Surjo Sen Hall unit's publicity secretary Shamim Hossain Sohel, former chief of the wing's Dhaka North's ward 50 unit Ismail Hossain Al-Amin and Masum Hossain. The body of Ismail was recovered 11 days after he went missing.

Various human rights bodies including the National Human Rights Commission have expressed their anxiety at the increased frequency of such occurrences.

In most of the cases, the victims are picked up by people introducing themselves as law enforcers, especially as Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel. However, the law enforcers have denied the accusations.

"The three were picked up by people claiming to be RAB personnel. No step has been taken despite informing police. This shows the government is directly linked to the killings," the BNP leader added.

The media was informed that they were picked up by law enforcers from in front of Motalib Plaza at Hatirpool in the capital on Nov 28 after their return from the party's road march to Khulna. Ismail's body was recovered from Dhalehswari river near Munshiganj on Dec 8.

The elite crime buster RAB was formed during the tenure of the former BNP-led coalition government. National and international rights bodies have long been expressing anxiety over extrajudicial killing allegations levelled against the force.

Referring to statistics of various rights bodies, Fakhrul said 200 people have gone missing in November-December with 27 of them going missing in the last as many days.

Wing's chief Sultan Salauddin Tuku said, "The incumbent government is carrying out assassinations like BAKSAL and justice is being denied."

He alleged that the police did not act even when Ismail's mother Nasima Begum filed two general diaries with Kalabagan police.

"Only six months back, organising secretary of the wing's Uttara unit Noor Hossain Hiru went missing in the same manner and he is still traceless," the student leader added.

Family members of Shamim Hossain Sohel including his mother 'Momtaz' were present at the press meet along with Ismail's mother and family.


Islamist parties' electoral success in Egypt has Copts worried

By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times

December 11, 2011

Coptic Christians are anxiously watching a theological and political battle between Muslim parties expected to win 60% of parliament seats. The struggle will define an emerging political Islam.

Reporting from Cairo— Fears and worries murmur like prayers beneath the hammered crosses of the Church of the Virgin Mary.

"The whole country will collapse," says Shenouda Nasri.

"I'm trying to get my family out," says Samir Ramsis.

"This is the Islamists' time," says George Saied.

A caretaker sweeps the stones, a woman slips into a pew. But these days Egypt's minority Coptic Christians are finding little serenity. Islamist political candidates, including puritanical Salafis, are dominating parliamentary elections. Sectarianism is intensifying and the patriotic veneer that unified Egyptians in overthrowing longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak is threatened by ultraconservative Muslim clerics whose divisive voices had been suppressed by the state for decades.

For Detail Report:

Amro Hassan of The Times' Cairo bureau contributed to this report.


Uprising Overshadows Syria Polls

12 December 2011

Syria is holding local elections despite continuing violence between security and opposition forces.

Authorities said the vote would be freer than in previous years, but the opposition has called for a boycott and launched a general strike.

Turnout is expected to be very low. Correspondents say many Syrian voters will not risk going to the polls.

Fighting is said to be continuing in several cities, with at least seven people reported killed on Monday.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the deaths had occurred in two restive regions - Idlib in the north and Homs further south.

The group said authorities had "forced dozens of people" in Idlib to vote despite the violence, adding that two people had been killed by security forces in the province.

Four other civilians were killed in the central province of Homs, the observatory added.

Fierce fighting is also reportedly continuing in the southern province of Deraa.

On Sunday, activists said up to 18 people had been killed across the country - including 11 in Homs and Hama.

For Detail Report:


Dubai: Bigger role for police in human rights protection

By Dina Aboul Hosn, Staff Reporter

Dubai: The General Department for Legal and Disciplinary Inspection has been renamed the General Department for Human Rights at Dubai Police.

The decision to rename the department was issued by Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai Police Chief, yesterday.

It aims to enhance the role of Dubai Police in human rights protection, according to the UAE constitution, which is derived from the Islamic principles of equality, he said.

The decision also aims to protect the human rights and freedom of all UAE residents in line with the Dubai Police 2015 strategy.

Since it was established, Dubai Police is serving the community, protecting their rights and caring for their interests. It has also simplified procedures for receiving complaints and offering solutions, he said.


"While human rights is being promoted as a Western concept, Muslims were educated about human rights over 1,400 years ago," said Islamic scholar Dr Omar Abdul Kafi.

In a seminar on human trafficking organised by the department yesterday, Dr Abdul Kafi said Islam urged its followers to respect the rights of women, children, the elderly, the sick, people with disabilities and people of all colours, ethnic backgrounds and religions.

Human trafficking started with the shipping of millions of African men and women to America as slaves, whereas the Prophet Mohammad, PBUH, told Muslims that "All of you are sons of Adam, and Adam was created of clay," Dr Abdul Kafi said.

Judge Adel Majid, the Arab League's expert on human trafficking affairs, highlighted the role played by Dubai Police to combat this crime.

The UAE was the first Arab country to issue a law on human trafficking, based on its Arab and Islamic values, and Dubai Police participated in forming the Arab common strategy to combat human trafficking.

"Arab and Islamic countries have a moral obligation to convey the principles of Islam and its values against crime, especially human trafficking, to the entire world," the judge said.


Honesty pays for Sharjah cabbie

By Ahmed Shaaban

A cabbie of the govt-operated Sharjah Taxi firm returned 200,000 Saudi Riyals and other valuables to a passenger who commuted from Sharjah Airport to the Butaina.

SHARJAH - 12 December 2011,  Honesty is the best policy and that holds good for Sharjah cabbies.

A cabbie of the government-operated Sharjah Taxi firm returned 200,000 Saudi Riyals and other valuables to a passenger who commuted from Sharjah Airport to the Butaina area of Sharjah late on Saturday.

Arahama Al Shamsi honouring Mohammed Tahir Ameen

As cabbies are advised to take a quick look after a passenger gets off, Mohammed Tahir Ameen, the Pakistani driver, found a bag stuffed with cash, a laptop, a mobile phone, two passports, and important documents at the backseat of his cab.

Ameen, whose names means honest, rushed to the Sharjah Transport Office at the Sharjah Airport, and handed over the valuables he found, untouched.

The office then contacted the passenger using the last mobile numbers saved on his cell phone. He was then called to the office where he received his items after verification procedures.

For Detail Report:


'Al-Qaeda jail break' in Yemeni city of Aden

12 December 2011

Twelve al-Qaeda militants have broken out of a prison in the southern Yemeni city of Aden, officials have said.

The militants, and two others, escaped through a six metre tunnel dug from the yard at the city's central prison.

The escapees were in the process of being tried for bank robbery or were charged with assassinations of security officers, the Yemeni officials said.

In June, al-Qaeda fighters raided the central jail in the southern city Mukalla, freeing dozens of prisoners.

Yemen's army has been fighting heavy gun battles with al-Qaeda militants in different parts of Yemen.

The country is experiencing unrest and political crisis on several fronts - insurgency in the north, a separatist movement in the south, nationwide protests calling for reform and free elections, and gun battles between different factions in the capital Sanaa.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has governed for 32 years, agreed last month to hand his powers to his deputy and quit within 90 days.

The most intense fighting between the army and al-Qaeda is in the city of Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province, where militants control much of the city.

The United Nations says that suspected al-Qaeda fighters in southern Yemen have displaced 45,000 people.


Pak-based outfit claims responsibility for attack on J&K minister

PTI | Dec 12, 2011,

SRINAGAR: Pakistan-based Jamiatul Mujahideen on Monday claimed responsibility for the attack on Jammu and Kashmir minister Ali Mohammad Sagar saying it was in retaliation to NC president Farooq Abdullah's advocacy for reopening liquor shops in the Valley.

The "Al Jabbar" squad of the outfit carried out the attack on Sagar last night with the aim of killing the minister, Jamil Ahmad, spokesman of Jamiat, said in a faxed statement.

"The attack was carried out as a reaction to the shameful statement of Farooq Abdullah for reopening of cinema halls and liquor shops," he said.

He warned of attacks in future on the National Conference and other "pro-India" parties in Kashmir.

One policeman was killed and three others, including a civilian, were injured when militants made an abortive bid on the life of rural development minister in Nawab Bazaar area in the old city where he had gone to attend a family function.

Security has been beefed up in Srinagar city as police stepped up random checking of vehicles following the attack.


Pakistan airspace may be closed for US: Gilani


ISLAMABAD: Dec 12, 2011, Admitting a "credibility gap" between Islamabad and Washington, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has not ruled out closing Pakistan's airspace to US and said the blockade of the US supply lines into Afghanistan would stay in place for weeks.

The ban on NATO supply lines, already in its third week, would not be lifted until "new rules of engagement" were arrived with US, Gilani said in an interview to BBC.

Asked whether the blockade would continue for days or weeks, the Pakistani Prime Minister replied: "for weeks".

Highlighting that a "credibility gap" existed between Pakistan and the US, Gilani said: "we are working together and still we don't trust each other. I think we have to improve our relations".

Gilani's comments that Pakistan was contemplating shutting its airspace to Americans comes in the wake of Islamabad asking Washington to close down its UAV base at Shamsi in Balochistan, in signs that ties between the two sides continue to be strained after the NATO strike on the Pakistani border post which killed 24 soldiers last month.

Gilani indicated that Pakistan was working to set a new rules of engagement and operation with the US.

"We have a resolve to fight terrorism and therefore we want to set new rules of engagement," he said.

But Gilani stood by declaration that the border incident was a pre-planned attack, a charge rejected by the US.

NATO has apologised for the air strike, calling the attack a "tragic unintended incident".


Ghulam Nabi Fai claims to have met Indian cabinet ministers

PTI | Dec 12, 2011,

WASHINGTON: US-based Kashmiri separatist Ghulam Nabi Fai has claimed that he met several Indian ministers on a regular basis during last two decades of his activities in Washington and had "a channel of communication" opened with the Indian embassy.

62-year-old Fai, who last week in a US court pleaded guilty to the federal charges of being an ISI agent, said in a statement that meeting these Indian officials was part of his strategy to communicate with New Delhi.

In his statement titled 'Why Kashmir is Important to Me?', Fai claims, "During the past twenty years, I along with Ambassador Yusuf Buch, former Senior Advisor to the UN Secretary General and late Ayub Thuker, President, World Kashmir Freedom Movement, have met with various Indian Cabinet Ministers, belonging to the administrations of Prime Ministers Chandra Shekhar, Narasimha Rao, Atal Behari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh."

However, Fai did not respond to PTI email on the names of these Indian ministers and officials.

"And during the past eleven years, I also met with four different officials at the Indian embassy who succeeded each other periodically and introduced me to the new incoming official before leaving for a new post," Fai claimed.

The embassy did not respond to a PTI email seeking a response to the allegations being made by Fai on its official who used to meet him regularly or if it was incorrect.

Fai claimed that it has always been his habit to keep the channel of communication open to the Indian embassy.


Uni-Direction technology used in Karachi blasts

By Atif Raza

KARACHI: December 12, 2011, The law enforcement agencies (LEAs) have expressed concern over the use of latest technology (Uni-Direction) in all four blasts during Muharram.

According to sources in investigation department, the Uni-Direction technology, which was brought from Afghanistan by some outlawed, could target the object at specific direction.

They said although all four blasts not create disastrous impact, yet the technology was used in these blasts to demonstrate the power. They said the investigators were still unable to identify the targets of the militants through these blasts but they termed that technique as massacre. The sources said the investigators were presently busy to identify the precautionary measures to avert the use of this technology in any other terrorist activity.

They said the relevant department had also written a letter to Crisis Management Cell calling for help to overcome the issue. The sources said the group behind all those blasts had so far not identified, therefore, the LEAs were going to conduct search operation at massive scale, especially at Afghan settlements to grab the real culprits.

For Detail Report:\12\12\story_12-12-2011_pg7_1


ISAF Command does not rule out more strikes on Pakistan

By Monitoring Desk

KABUL - 12th December 2011, The ISAF Commander in Afghanistan John Allen said that we would not give any surety of not occurring incidents like Mohmand Agency during the war in Afghanistan.

This came in a statement by the ISAF Commander General John Allen in an interview in Kabul.

The NATO Commander refers to it as a tragic unpremeditated error, adding that the militants would try to target Pakistan, Afghanistan and ISAF and we were trying to restore relations with Pakistan.


Delhi Police arrests two Pakistani spies; claim to foil ISI plan


NEW DELHI: 12 DEC, 2011,  Delhi Police today claimed to have foiled an ISI plan to ensure smooth operations by a woman spy in the country with the arrest of two Pakistani nationals.

Imran (40) and Soofia Kanwal (38), both from Karachi, were apprehended from New Delhi Railway Station on December five on a tip off, Ashok Chand, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), said.

They had entered the country without any valid documents. "We had a tip off that two Pakistani nationals are going to illegally enter India through the Indo-Nepal border. On December five, we got inputs that they have illegally entered India through Sanouli border in Gorakhpur of UP and would be coming to Delhi by Gorakhdham Express.

"On this information, a trap was laid at New Delhi Railway Station and two persons were apprehended," Chand said.

During interrogation, he claimed, Imran told police that he originally belongs to Ahmedabad but migrated to Pakistan in 1988 and since then has settled in Pakistan and has acquired Pakistani citizenship.

He floated his own textile company in Pakistan but in 2007-08, he incurred huge losses and was in deep financial crisis.

For Detail Report:


Pakistan to decentralise issuing of passports

Islamabad:  December 12, 2011, Pakistan has decided to decentralise the printing and issuing of passports within two months.

Passports would now also be issued at provincial headquarters and even in districts, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said, adding that authorities concerned had been told complete the process within two months.

Malik said passports were earlier issued only from Islamabad, but the decentralisation process would help those living away from the national capital as well as overseas Pakistanis.

The minister said the staff strength in 36 passport offices of Pakistan worldwide would be doubled and in future these offices would also have facility of printing passports, reported Associated Press of Pakistan.

He said more passport offices were being established in Multan, Lahore and Dera Ghazi Khan while passport offices in Haripur and Chakwal would start functioning soon.

Bureau Report


Pakistan Taliban shift focus to Afghanistan

By Amir Mir

ISLAMABAD - With the Pakistan Taliban finally holding peace talks with a government in Islamabad that is increasingly seen at odds with the United States in the aftermath of the November 26 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) air strike that killed 25 soldiers, Pakistani suicide bombers seem to have shifted the focus of their deadly attacks from their homeland to neighboring Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has seen a sharp increase in suicide bombings in recent months, the latest being the December 6 attack targeting Shi'ite worshippers at a Kabul mosque, killing 56 people.

It was the first major anti-Shi'ite attack in Afghanistan since the fall of the Afghan Taliban a decade ago in 2001. The bombing took

place on the concluding day of the Bonn conference on Afghanistan that was boycotted by Pakistan.

For Detail Report:


Musharraf sees winds of change in Pakistan


THATTA - 12th December 2011 ,   Former president and chief of All Pakistan Muslim League General Pervez Musharraf (Retd) said on Sunday that winds of change in the country had started blowing and urged the youths to come forward and play their due role for bringing an end to the politics of ‘liars and gangsters’.

In his telephonic address from New York to gathering at a local ground in front of Thatta Press Club, Musharraf announced returning to Pakistan before March 23 next year and said his heart weeps over the situation prevailing in the country.

“I visited Thatta thrice during my tenure as President and announced hundreds of millions for the cyclone affected people but the present rulers have plundered the national exchequer instead of resolving the masses problems,” he said.

“Pakistan has no shortage of gas and petrol, as it is blessed with all the natural resources.

Had the rulers worked honestly, there would have been no problems.

The only dearth Pakistan has is the dearth of good and honest leadership,” he said.

Musharraf announced holding such public meetings in Sukkur and Karachi very shortly.


US meets deadline to vacate Pakistan air base

By NBC News

The last U.S. cargo planes were loaded and took off Sunday from the Shamsi Air Base after the Pakistan government ordered the United States to vacate the base by a Dec. 11 deadline.

"Last flight carrying left over US Personnel and Equipment departed Shamsi Base today and the Base has been completely vacated. The control of the Base has been taken over by the Army," the Pakistan Army said in a statement.

After a Nov. 26 NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, Pakistan immediately shut down NATO supply routes and demanded the U.S. vacate Shamsi Base, which had been used by American forces, including the CIA, for operations to attack militants linked to al-Qaida, the Taliban and Pakistan's home-grown Haqqani network.

Relations between the United States and Pakistan have been strained since the deadly drone attack. Though U.S. officials and Pakistan's prime minister have said they believe the ties between the two countries can be rebuilt eventually, military commanders on both sides say the relationship is the worst it has ever been.

President Barack Obama stepped up the drone campaign after he took office. U.S. officials say it has produced major successes in decimating the central leadership of al-Qaida and putting associated militant groups on the defensive.

Since 2004, U.S. drones have carried out more than 300 attacks inside Pakistan.


Pakistan PM says Nato blockade could last weeks

Agence France-Presse

London, December 12, 2011, Pakistan's blockade of the US supply line into Afghanistan, ordered in retaliation for a border strike, is likely to stay in place for weeks, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has told the BBC.

Pakistan's fragile alliance with the United States crashed to new lows after November 26 when

Nato air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in what the Pakistan military called a deliberate attack.

Gilani said in an interview with the BBC aired Sunday that the ban, already in its third week in the longest closure of the 10-year war, would not be lifted until new "rules of engagement" were agreed with Washington.

Asked whether that would be a matter of days or weeks, he replied: "weeks".

Gilani said there was still a "credibility gap" with the United States.

"We are working together and still we don't trust each other. I think we have to improve our relationship."

"We want to set new rules of engagement and cooperation with United States. We have a resolve to fight against terrorism and therefore we want to set new rules of engagement," he added.

For Detail Report:


Gargash marks 40 years of UAE-Russian Relations


ABU DHABI— 12 December 2011,  Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash attended on Saturday a reception hosted by Russian Ambassador to UAE Andrew Andreev on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of UAE-Russian diplomatic relations.

In a speech delivered on the occasion Gargash hailed the bilateral strategic relations between UAE and Russia and their fruitful growth over the last four decades.

He also stressed UAE’s keenness to develop the standing friendship and cooperation, particularly in the fields of economy, investment and trade.

He also alluded to the major role Russia plays on the regional and international arenas as well as its efforts to establish peace and stability in the region.

In his speech, the Russian Ambassador congratulated the leadership and people of UAE on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the National day.

He said that the time also marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between UAE and Russia.

For Detail Report:


Pakistan to expand rail links to Europe, Middle East


Islamabad - Dec, 12 2011, As part of its endeavor to expand the rail network to Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, Pakistan is set to become a member of the inter-governmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) soon, allowing businessmen to export goods worldwide through uniform tariff.

Pakistan would have to fulfill the limitations, precautions and liabilities under the Codification of Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (COTIF), acceded by the European Union (EU) in July, 2011 in order to enjoy the full status as a member of the organisation. Set up in 1985, the objective of the organisation was to develop a uniform system of law for the international carriage of passengers and freight through rail. It would take Pakistan at least six months to install the system, finalise the freight charges and the volume of traffic under the OTIF. Pakistan would pay annual fee to the OTIF to enjoy access to various parts of the world. Currently, 46 states are OTIF members and benefit from the international carriage on railway infrastructure of around 250,000 kilometers and the complementary carriage of freight and passengers on several thousand kilometers of shipping routes, inland waterways and roads.

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2003 Mumbai blasts: Verdict on death sentence deferred

TNN | Dec 12, 2011,

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has deferred its judgement on confirmation of death sentence awarded to three LeT activists in the 2003 Mumbai twin blasts that claimed 52 lives.

The new date for the verdict has not been fixed yet.

The arguments in the case had concluded on December 12 at a special hearing by a division bench of Justices AM Khanvilkar and PD Kode after which the court reserved its verdict for December 12.


64th International Tablighi congregation ends in Bhopal

PTI | 03:12 PM, Dec 12, 2011

Bhopal, Dec 12 (PTI) The 64th International Islamic congregation ended today here with a grand prayer offered for the world peace and harmony. The prayer at the three-day Tablighi Ijtema was delivered by Maulana Zubair-ul-Hasan of Nizamuddin Markaz, New Delhi, who prayed for peace and harmony in the country and the world, particularly for those suffering from various diseases and asked devotees to follow the path shown by Prophet Mohammad. World famous Islamic scholars like Maulana Saad, Maulana Ahmad Laat, Maulana Mustaqeem, Maulana Ismail and others delivered sermons on the life and practices of the Prophet and Islamic Shariat (law). Like previous years, about 450 mass marriages (nikah) were also performed during the Ijtema by the prominent clergy. More than 10 lakh people, including about 20,000 jamaats(group) from all over the country and 300 delegates from 10 countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa, Afghanistan, England, Russia, Poland, Indonesia, Malaysia, UAE, Iran, Canada, America and China participated in the jamboree, the third biggest annual Islamic congregation after Haj pilgrimage and the meeting in Bangladesh, the organisers said.