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Islamic World News ( 22 March 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Sharif denies secret meetings with Osama

Probe team may visit US in April to quiz Headley

Karachi project focus on 3 states

 ‘LeT keeps me awake the most’

US asked to free Aafia to win hearts and minds

Pak terrorists eye Bangladesh as next HQ

Pakistan police: Plot foiled on hotels, diplomats

Bangla hospital bans burqas for female staff to prevent theft

Niqab becoming a flash point in Canada

For tracking Malegaon blast plot, Express gets IPI Excellence award

India ready with text of convention against International terrorism

Tel Aviv urged to make difficult choices for peace

Netanyahu in US: Jerusalem not a settlement

No decision yet on giving India direct access to Headley: US

Pakistan army chief begins US strategic dialogue

US to announce a range of actions for Pak

US should guard against diversion of anti-terror funds: BJP

US must consider Pak track record before N-deal: Krishna

Pak may object to India’s role in Afghan

Afghan Hezb-e-Islami militants hold peace talks in Kabul

Pak govt seeks to ban A Q Khan from giving media interviews

Blair was paid $1.5m to advise Kuwait rulers

Cold War guide by MI5 to be printed

Bangladesh shuts down controversial photo show

Burma proposes to re-draw sea border with Bangladesh

Top Yemeni religious leaders oppose ban on child marriages

Qatar to supply 4 mt of LNG from 2013

Botox in Baghdad: Iraqis go for a little nip & tuck

Dubai sniffs for booze in sauces & soups

‘Sanctions on Iran will take time’

2,000 Muslim families living as migrants in Jammu: Minister

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/sharif-denies-secret-meetings-with-osama/d/2609


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Sharif denies secret meetings with Osama

23 March 2010

A spokesman of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) on Monday "strongly contradicted" the claim of Khalid Khwaja, a former official of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, that he arranged meetings between former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and al-Qaida kingpin Osama bin Laden.

"The former spy is in the habit of making unscrupulous allegations and indulging in self-glorification. He was too small an entity to arrange Nawaz Sharif's meetings with Osama or the Saudi royal family", said the spokesman.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Sharif-denies-secret-meetings-with-Osama/articleshow/5713607.cms

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Probe team may visit US in April to quiz Headley

23 March 2010

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) would send a team of investigators to the US by April to question LeT terrorist David Coleman Headley, who has admitted to plotting the audacious Mumbai terror attacks.

Sources in the Union Home Ministry on Monday said the US Department of Justice in a communication had asked officials here to be ready with a team to avail access to Headley resulting from the plea bargain agreement between him and the American Government.

The Home Ministry is consulting the Law Ministry to study the terms of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the US. Sources said the team could leave in April. They said a final decision would be taken only after Home Minister P Chidambaram returned from his official visit to the UK.

Under the plea bargain, India can have access to Headley by deposition, video-conferencing or through Letters Rogatory. Sources said India will like to explore all the three. Senior officials in the Home Ministry said the visit will be undertaken on mutually accepted dates as teams from Pakistan and Denmark are also likely to go to the US to question Headley. They said the team could go even before the NIA files a chargesheet against Headley or after it.

Meanwhile, a special court on Monday rejected the plea to make Headley a witness in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks case after the prosecution argued that he is one of the accused and part of a module which had filmed targets in the city.

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam opposed the plea by Sabauddin Ahmed, arrested in connection with the 26/11, for examining Headley as a witness, saying he was an accused and therefore cannot tender evidence.

It is learned that the NIA may file a fresh case against Headley under the Passport

Act for misrepresenting the facts by not divulging his original name - Daood Gilani.

Headley had last week pleaded guilty to all the 12 terror charges of conspiracy involving bombing public places in India, murdering and maiming persons and providing material support to foreign terrorist plots and Pakistan-based LeT besides aiding and abetting the murder of six US citizens in the 26/11 attacks that killed 166 people.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/244089/Probe-team-may-visit-US-in-April-to-quiz-Headley.html

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Karachi project focus on 3 states

23 March 2010

New Delhi, March 22: With the recent arrests of suspected ISI agents in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, senior officials of the central intelligence agencies say that now the focus of the “Karachi project” is to recruit a large number of over ground workers (OGWs) from these states.

Sources in the central intelligence agencies said that the interrogation of the suspected ISI agents reveal that only three states — Bihar, UP and West Bengal — are now the target of the Karachi project. It is basically a plan of Pak-based militant outfits and ISI to involve Indian jihadis for carrying out terror activities in India. The revelation came following the arrest of ISI agent Gulam Waris, who was arrested in Katihar district of Bihar recently by the security forces.

“Prior to this, a dismissed jawan of the Indian Army working as an alleged ISI agent was arrested from Kankarbagh area of Patna in Bihar in the month of September last year. Security agencies also recovered important military papers relating to the Indo-Pak border from his possession”, sources said. The suspected ISI agent revealed that Pak-based militants were planning their strategies to recruit Over Ground Workers (OGWs) in these three states only, sources added.

Further, sources revealed, suspected ISI agent Pervez Tanda, who was killed in Nepal in the month of December last year, was assigned the job to recruit maximum number of OGWs for Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Hijbul Mujahideen, Indian Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammad in these states. Tanda was wanted by Uttar Pradesh police in 23 criminal cases and he was carrying a reward of Rs 50,000. He was also wanted by UP’s Anti-Terrorist Squad for his nexus with the ISI.

“Tanda was inducted as a member of notorious ISI agent Mirza Dilshad Beg’s band, but later set up his own gang in Nepal. He independently started working for the ISI. A Pakistani national and ISI agent Jabbar, who had been arrested by UP ATS last year had mentioned Pervez Tanda as his Nepal conduit for getting entry into India”.

Another, suspected ISI agent, Waqas Ahmed, arrested by UP police last year, too disclosed that UP, Bihar and WB were now the targets of the ISI.

http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6483:karachi-project-focus-on-3-states&catid=35:india&Itemid=60

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‘LeT keeps me awake the most’

23 March 2010

New Delhi and Washington are expected to review counter-terrorism cooperation during a visit here by Daniel Benjamin, the US State Department’s coordinator for counter-terrorism.

The US official will be in India for five days, until March 26. The discussions will take place amid anxiety here over the US attitude towards Pakistan, made worse in recent times by its apparent indifference to encourage India to pursue the investigation of Mumbai terrorist attacks to a logical conclusion.

What has compounded New Delhi’s worries is Washington’s reluctance to either part with either David Coleman Headley, a conspirator of the Mumbai attacks, or information about the plot that would have exposed Pakistan’s duplicity.

The 26/11 dossiers given by India to Pakistan mention Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed as the mastermind of the Mumbai attacks but Islamabad has done nothing to disrupt, dismantle and defeat it.

By his own admission, Mr Benjamin has said the LeT is one terrorist group that keeps him awake the most. In remarks attributed to him, he also noted that the LeT has a lot more men under arms than Al-Qaeda has.

Mr Benjamin is understood to have concluded a visit to Pakistan where he discussed the war on terror and the US-Pakistan strategic dialogue to be held on March 24 in

Washington.

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and her Pakistan counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi will co-chair the first US-Pakistan strategic dialogue, which will be attended by Pakistan Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani and ISI chief Lt. Gen. Shuja Pasha.

The counter-terrorism coordinator’s visit will follow that of Robert Blake, the US assistant secretary of state for south and central asian affairs, who held consultations with external affairs ministry to prepare for the US-India strategic dialogue in Washington.

http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6487:let-keeps-me-awake-the-most&catid=35:india&Itemid=60

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US asked to free Aafia to win hearts and minds

23 Mar, 2010

HYDERABAD: British journalist Yvonne Ridley, former Taliban captive who later embraced Islam, urged the US government here on Monday to immediately repatriate Dr Aafia Siddiqui to Pakistan if it really wants to win hearts and minds of Pakistanis.

She along with Dr Aafia’s sister Dr Fauzia Siddiqui led a rally in the city to highlight the case of Dr Aafia who has been held guilty of seven charges in a recently concluded trial in New York by a jury.

Ms Ridley addressed the Hyderabad District Bar Association and spoke at meet the press programme besides talking to Dawn.

Ms Ridley described Dr Aafia’s trial as a “Mickey Mouse game and a farce which should not have been allowed to have happened.”

“How can judge hold a trial in New York of a crime which is allegedly committed in Afghanistan,” she asked.

She criticized Pakistan’s Ambassador to US Hussain Haqqani and said: “He had turned up one day and had a private meeting with judge. I now know from my colleagues in western media that after trial he briefed the judge against Dr Aafia and had said unhelpful things about her,” she said.

She said that the Pakistan government had delivered nothing and the moment they paid $2m to lawyers they became a client and a conflict of interest arose, adding that the legal team had ignored Aafia and her family.

She criticised US President for not opening archives that he promised while contesting elections. “He has seen the images of woman like Aafia, possibly Aafia being abused there. He knows if he let these images released there will be a huge backlash and hatred will be unleashed against every American across the world. So he decided against opening them,” she said.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/us-asked-to-free-aafia-to-win-hearts-and-minds-330

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Pak terrorists eye Bangladesh as next HQ

23 March 2010

International terrorists now consider Bangladesh as safer place than Pakistan and Afghanistan, top security experts have warned, amid increasing number of leaders of militant outfits, including Pakistan based LeT and JeM, being arrested from the country.

"The recent arrests of some leaders and activists of Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed in and around Dhaka are the signs that the terrorists are considering Bangladesh as a softer destination," said Maj Gen (retd) ANM Muniruzzaman, the President of Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS).

He said "terrorists have been finding new places to hide (in Bangladesh) as the Afghanistan and Pakistan authorities are becoming tough on militants."

Security experts taking part in an international workshop on 'Counter Terrorism Capacity Building' in the capital yesterday said international terrorists now consider Bangladesh as safer place than Pakistan and Afghanistan.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pak-terrorists-eye-bangladesh-as-next-hq/594077/

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Pakistan police: Plot foiled on hotels, diplomats

23 March 2010

Pakistani officials say two highly experienced Taliban militants have been arrested while planning to attack top hotels and kidnap diplomats in Pakistan.

One of the men claims to have helped plan previous attacks.

The two men, both deserters from a government paramilitary force, were arrested recently in a hotel in Rawalpindi, a crowded city near Islamabad, said Islamabad Police Chief Bin Yamin. He declined to say when the men were arrested or what information lead authorities to them.

One of the arrested men, speaking to reporters at a police station, said their targets included five-star hotels and a club for Westerners.

Yamin said police also seized two suicide vests and weaponry in the raid.

 http://www.hindustantimes.com/Taliban-plot-on-hotels-diplomats-foiled/H1-Article1-522182.aspx

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Bangla hospital bans burqas for female staff to prevent theft

23 March 2010

A leading state-run health facility in Dhaka banned burqas for its female staff on Monday and enforced strict uniform regulations to prevent growing incidents of theft of mobiles and wallets at the hospital wards.

"We have just enforced the regulation asking women staff to wear the prescribed hospital uniform and carry ID cards while they are on duty inside the patients wards," Abdul Majid Bhuiyan, administrative director of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, the largest hospital of Bangladesh, told PTI.

He said the order was issued for the female staff only against the backdrop of growing incidents of theft of wallets or mobile phones particularly from female and children wards. In most of the cases, the outsider women identifying them as hospital staff, were found to be involved in the thefts.

"This part of the disciplinary measures also to ensure hygienic standards of the facility...The female staffs are allowed to use the burqas outside the (hospital) wards," he said.

Bhuiyan, however, added that the visitors or patients were "in no way" come under the purview of the order.

Despite being a Muslim-dominated country, a small number of women in Bangladesh wear burqas.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/bangladesh/Bangla-hospital-bans-burqas-for-female-staff-to-prevent-theft/Article1-522086.aspx

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Niqab becoming a flash point in Canada

23 March 2010

TORONTO: The niqab worn by Muslim women has become a flash point in Canada, with most people seeking ban on the veil in public. But liberals and the media are comparing the ban demand to a Taliban dress code.

Canada has about one million Muslims in its population of 34 million, and their population is expected to triple in the next two decades.

Barring those from orthodox Middle East countries, a majority of Canadian Muslim women don't wear the hijab or niqab. But the veil is quite visible in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver where most Muslim immigrants live.

The niqab controversy has been triggered by an Egyptian immigrant's refusal to remove her veil in her French language class in Montreal, forcing the school and the provincial Quebec government to ban her.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Niqab-becoming-a-flash-point-in-Canada/articleshow/5714375.cms

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For tracking Malegaon blast plot, Express gets IPI Excellence award

23 March 2010

Stressing that the media is accountable to the reader and the nation, former Chief Justice of India and former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission A S Anand today asked journalists to stay within the “lakshman rekha of ethical practice”.

Justice Anand was speaking at an event held here to present the 2009 International Press Institute India Award for Excellence in Journalism.

The award was given to The Indian Express and Bidisha Ghosal of The Week. The Indian Express won for its sustained investigation into the Malegaon and Modasa blasts of 2008 and the alleged role of Hindu extremists and organisations. Ghosal was awarded for her reports on the exploitation of widows of debt-burdened farmers in Maharashtra.

Union Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal, who presented the awards to the winners, pointed out that freedom of expression is at its most powerful when those without a voice can express themselves through the media. Both stories that were rewarded today fulfilled that role.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/for-tracking-malegaon-blast-plot-express-gets-ipi-excellence-award/594406/

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India ready with text of convention against International terrorism

23 March 2010

India on Monday said it is ready with the text of the Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism and it will press for its early adoption by the United Nations.

"We now have a text on the table," Indian envoy to the United Nations Hardeep Singh Puri told PTI.

"It is a text, which draws on all the work that has been done in the last eight or nine years," he said, adding the text would appear to by and large an acceptable basis for negotiations.

However, there remain two outstanding issues that still needed to be resolved dealing with what kind of armed struggle, for instance a liberation movement, would not be called a terrorist act, and secondly would military forces be within the scope of the convention.

"Both of them have been discussed and I believe there is hope for language that will be the basis for the overall acceptance. I believe it is on the table," Puri said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/india-ready-with-text-of-convention-against-international-terrorism/594047/

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Tel Aviv urged to make difficult choices for peace

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

WASHINGTON: - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday urged Israel to make “difficult but necessary choices” for Middle East peace as she warned that Jewish settlements undermine fresh negotiations. But Clinton also told the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC — which is worried about the open rift between the allies over settlements — that US support for Israel’s security is “rock solid, unwavering, enduring and forever.”

Nor will President Barack Obama’s administration “compromise its commitment” to prevent Israel’s arch foe Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb, said the chief US diplomat who conceded new UN sanctions that bite will take time to adopt.

Each time she stood up for Israel’s security, Clinton prompted standing ovations from the estimated 7,500 delegates at the annual policy conference of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.She also drew applause on the US push for peace and triggered no sign of discord when she repeated US opposition to settlements in east Jerusalem — something Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to continue.

Clinton insisted that the March 9 settlement announcement — which came during a visit to Israel by US Vice President Joe Biden to highlight new Palestinian-Israeli talks — was not a case of “wounded pride.”

Full report at: http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=230551

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Netanyahu in US: Jerusalem not a settlement

23 March 2010

Declaring "Jerusalem is not a settlement," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu struck a defiant note on Monday after new US criticism of Jewish home construction in disputed territory in and around the city.

His speech in Washington to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, an influential pro-Israel lobby group, contrasted sharply with an address Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made at the same forum hours earlier.

Clinton, who followed up her speech with low-profile talks with Netanyahu, said Israeli settlement policy in East Jerusalem and the West Bank endangered peace talks with the Palestinians, an argument the prime minister dismissed.

"The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 years ago and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today. Jerusalem is not a settlement. It's our capital," Netanyahu said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/netanyahu-in-us-jerusalem-not-a-settlement/594449/

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No decision yet on giving India direct access to Headley: US

23 March 2010

In a surprise development, the US on Tuesday said it has taken no decision to provide Indian investigators direct access to Pakistani-American David Headley, who has confessed to plotting the Mumbai terror attacks.

Four days after US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Robert Blake publicly stated here that the Indian investigators would have access to Headley, American Ambassador Timothy J Roemer said in a statement that "no decision on direct access for India to David Headley has been made."

Following Blake's statement and a telephonic discussion with US Attorney General and Head of the Department of Justice Eric Holder, Home Minister P Chidambaram had directed NIA and other agencies concerned in the case to quickly prepare documents necessary to start a judicial proceeding in which Indian authorities could require Headley to answer questions and to testify.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/no-decision-yet-on-giving-india-direct-access-to-headley-us/594488/

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Pakistan army chief begins US strategic dialogue

23 March 2010

Pakistan's army chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani has met US defence leaders in Washington as the two countries begin a week-long strategic dialogue.

He held talks with Defence Secretary Robert Gates and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is to meet Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday.

The US wants to strengthen its ties with Pakistan, a key ally in the fight against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Gen Kayani's meetings with Mr Gates and Adm Mullen "focused primarily on bilateral defence issues, but it was part of the larger US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue," the Pentagon said in a statement.

Full report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8582211.stm

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US to announce a range of actions for Pak

23 March 2010

Special US Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke on Tuesday said that the Obama Administration would soon announce a range of actions for Pakistan in the field of water, energy and security.

Holbrooke, who had a preview meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi ahead of Wednesday's US-Pak Strategic Dialogue, said the Congress would be involved in the process.

The meeting was held at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department; which among others was attended by Pakistani Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us-to-announce-a-range-of-actions-for-pak/594466/

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US should guard against diversion of anti-terror funds: BJP

Mar 23, 2010

NEW DELHI: Even as Opposition BJP on Monday termed as "highly disturbing" reports that the US may sign a civil nuclear deal with Pakistan, similar to the one it has signed with India, it asked that the Barack Obama administration should ensure its funds are not siphoned off to anti-India terror groups.

"A highly disturbing news coming on the eve of the Nuclear Security Summit to be hosted by US President Barack Obama in Washington on April 12-13 is that the so-called civil nuclear deal that US has inked with India may be inked with Pakistan too," BJP spokesperson Tarun Vijay said.

The BJP regretted that both "India, a victim of terror, and Pakistan -- the perpetrator", would be treated at par at the Washington summit.

In the light of these developments, BJP has demanded that the PM assure Parliament about his plans for the meet.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/US-should-guard-against-diversion-of-anti-terror-funds-BJP/articleshow/5713310.cms

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US must consider Pak track record before N-deal: Krishna

By Iftikhar Gilani

NEW DELHI: Reports that the US is inking an India-type nuclear deal with Pakistan has shocked Indian political circles and the strategic community, with External Affairs Minister SM Krishna saying America needs to take a “holistic view ... the US should consider Pakistan’s track record before any deal”.

Earlier on Monday, government sources said India hoped the international community would strike “the right balance” in helping any country meet its energy needs while taking on board its track record on proliferation of nuclear technology.

The main opposition Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to convene an all-party meeting ahead of a nuclear summit in Washington to discuss the possibility of a US nuclear deal offer for Pakistan. BJP spokesman Tarun Vijay described Pakistan as “an unreliable nuclear state vulnerable to nuclear pilferage by non-state actors”. He also called on Washington to institute a foolproof monitoring mechanism to assure that aide given to Islamabad “does not fall in the hands of terror groups working against India”.

Full report at: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\03\23\story_23-3-2010_pg7_22

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Pak may object to India’s role in Afghan

Betwa Sharma

Pakistan is expected to object to “India’s growing role in Afghanistan” in its key strategic dialogue with the US this week as Islamabad seeks to torpedo New Delhi’s offer to train Afghan forces with a similar offer of their own. “India’s growing role in Afghanistan was also high on Pakistan’s agenda,” said Gen Athar Abbas, the spokesman for the Pakistani military.

In ongoing talks with Washington, Pakistan’s top officials are raising red flags about India’s presence in Afghanistan, and are aiming to torpedo New Delhi’s offer to train Afghan forces with a similar offer of their own.

Pakistan would be “conveying very clearly” its displeasure with India’s offer to help train the Afghan Army at the behest of American and NATO forces,” the New York Times reported. Citing Pakistani analysts, the American daily noted that Islamabad has made a counteroffer to train the Afghans — “an offer that Pakistan knows is unlikely to be accepted but that it made to pressure Washington to stop the Indian proposal.”

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/243918/Pak-may-object-to-India%E2%80%99s-role-in-Afghan.html

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Afghan Hezb-e-Islami militants hold peace talks in Kabul

23 March 2010

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has met a delegation from the country's second biggest militant group, officials say.

The Kabul talks are the first confirmed direct contact between Mr Karzai and envoys of former premier Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hezb-e-Islami faction.

Mr Karzai has yet to respond to a tentative peace plan from the group at talks two days ago, his spokesman said.

Talks with insurgents are seen as vital to securing peace although any deal is a long way off, BBC correspondents say.

Hezb-e-Islami fighters are based mainly in eastern Afghanistan and share many aims with the Taliban - the biggest militant group in the country. There have been recent tensions however, with the two groups clashing in the north.

Observers say the talks in Kabul may only be preliminary but they come at a fluid time in Afghan politics, with a peace jirga, or tribal gathering, due to be held some time next month and a surge in US-led troop numbers under way.

Full report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8579380.stm

 

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Pak govt seeks to ban A Q Khan from giving media interviews

23 March 2010

The Pakistan government on Monday asked a court to direct disgraced nuclear scientist A Q Khan not to give media interviews citing a "conspiracy" against the country's strategic interests.

A plea to this effect was made in a petition filed by the federal government seeking restrictions on the free movement on Khan in the Lahore High Court which reserved its verdict till March 24.

The government has informed the court that several foreign journalists had mentioned in their articles that they were in direct or indirect communication with Khan.

These reporters also attributed sensitive information to Khan, the government said. "There is a conspiracy against Pakistan's strategic interests and it is necessary to... take urgent measures in this regard," the government said in its application submitted to the court.

The government has demanded that Khan either deny or admit the claims made by the foreign journalists. The government was angry by two articles published in ‘The Washington Post’ recently that it claimed had "national security implications for Pakistan" as they contained allegations related to its sensitive atomic programme.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pak-govt-seeks-to-ban-a-q-khan-from-giving-media-interviews/594126/

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Blair was paid $1.5m to advise Kuwait rulers

23 March 2010

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was paid a whopping US$1.5 million to advise Kuwait’s royal family and had made great efforts to keep it a secret, a media report has said.

Blair, currently the official Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East on behalf of the UN, the EU, the US and Russia, received the amount for advising the first family of the oil-rich country and the deal was kept secret at the request of Kuwait Government, Daily Mail reported.

The deal came to light when the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACBA), the body vetting the jobs of former British ministers, released documents ignoring Blair’s objections. Blair has amassed an estimated fortune of US$30 million since he resigned as prime minister in June 2007 after a decade long tenure at 10, Downing Street, the paper said.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/243924/Blair-was-paid-$15m-to-advise-Kuwait-rulers.html

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Cold War guide by MI5 to be printed

23 March 2010

London: Britain’s Secret Service manual for its spies, diplomats and armed forces personnel on how to avoid being targeted by spies during the Cold War will be published for general public after almost 50 years.

The “for-official-use-only” booklet, titled Their Trade Is Treachery, was produced up by the security services in the 1963. The booklet was produced to warn British bureaucrats, diplomats and spies that Soviet spies were plotting to turn them into traitors by using “sex, blackmail and bribery.” The chapters in the book, include “How to foil a spy,” “How to become a spy (in six easy lessons)” and “How not to become a spy (in six not-so-easy lessons).” The booklet’s author is not known but there has been speculation that it cou-ld be either Ian Fleming or British journalist Chapman Pincher, who in 1981 wrote a book of the same name. The MI5 had said that the author of the booklet was “a member of our staff who is a successful author in his spare time.”

“Around 1963 MI5 decided they had to try to warn all the people who might come into contact with Russians what they were up to in the way of trying to recruit them,” the Daily Mail quoted Chapman Pincher, who had a copy of the booklet, as saying. “There was money and sexual blackmail. They would set them up in a room with cameras. The booklet was deadly serious and was a decision taken as a result of so many disasters,” he added.

http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6502:cold-war-guide-by-mi5-to-be-printed&catid=36:international&Itemid=61

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Bangladesh shuts down controversial photo show

23 March 2010

DHAKA—Bangladesh authorities closed a photography exhibition on extrajudicial killings that have been linked to the country’s security forces, officials and event organisers said Monday.

Exhibition photographer Shahidul Alam said he had aimed to draw public attention to the hundreds of deaths attributed to the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), an elite paramilitary group formed six years ago this month.

The show included an Internet map and encouraged people to add details of alleged killings.

“The armed police have locked the gates, they’re warning us to take the show down and they’re not letting anyone in,” Alam told, adding that the police action only highlighted the themes raised by his work. he gallery had a show about Tibet closed down by police last year after complaints from the Chinese embassy.

The so-called “crossfire” killings by the RAB have been condemned by local and international rights groups, including Amnesty International, who allege the deaths are deliberate executions often targeting political activists.

RAB says that around 600 people have been killed by accident in “encounter/shootout” incidents since 2004.

Shah Alam, the local police chief, told AFP that the Drik Gallery had not obtained proper permission to stage the exhibition. The gallery had a show about Tibet closed down by police last year after complaints from the Chinese embassy.—Agencies

http://dailymailnews.com/0310/23/FrontPage/FrontPage14.php

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Burma proposes to re-draw sea border with Bangladesh

23 March 2010

Burma has proposed drawing up of a new line to demarcate the maritime boundary with Bangladesh which is currently in talks with its western neighbour India on the sea border issue.

Bangladesh insists on the principle of ‘equity and equidistance’ with its neighbours and has lodged complaints at the UN against both the countries.

The new line on the map proposed by Burma should be near the ‘Friendship line’ that is an imaginary line down to St Martins Island in the northeast part of the Bay of Bengal.

Burma proposed the formula last week at the two-day bilateral negotiation held in Nay Pyi Taw, the new capital, New Age newspaper said.

It quoted an unnamed Bangladesh Government official as saying: “Bangladesh will now weigh the new proposal of Burma.”

He said the two countries would continue maintaining a balance between the principles of equity and equidistance to resolve the dispute of maritime boundary demarcation.

All three nations are keen to join the race for exploration of hydrocarbons.

Bangladesh has problems with India and Burma on the ‘starting point’ on how to demarcate the boundary of the exclusive economic zones that apparently overlapped claims of the three countries because of the funnel-like shape of the Bay of Bengal.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/243910/Burma-proposes-to-re-draw-sea-border-with-Bangladesh.html

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Top Yemeni religious leaders oppose ban on child marriages

By ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mar 23, 2010

SANAA: Some of Yemen’s most influential Islamic leaders, including one the US says mentored Osama Bin Laden, have declared supporters of a ban on child brides to be apostates. The religious decree, issued Sunday, deeply imperils efforts to salvage legislation that would make it illegal for those under the age of 17 to marry.

The religious decree, issued Sunday, deeply imperils efforts to salvage legislation that would make it illegal for those under the age of 17 to marry.

The practice is widespread in Yemen and has been particularly hard to discourage in part because of the country’s gripping poverty — bride-prices in the hundreds of dollars are especially difficult for poor families to pass up.

More than a quarter of Yemen’s women marry before age 15, according to a report last year by the Social Affairs Ministry. Tribal custom also plays a role, including the belief that a young bride can be shaped into an obedient wife, bear more children and be kept away from temptation.

A February 2009 law set the minimum age for marriage at 17, but it was repealed and sent back to parliament’s constitutional committee for review after some lawmakers called it un-Islamic. The committee is expected to make a final decision on the legislation next month.

Some of the clerics who signed Sunday’s decree sit on the committee.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article33440.ece

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Qatar to supply 4 mt of LNG from 2013

23 March 2010

NEW DELHI: In a major initiative for achieving energy security for the country, Qatar on Monday agreed to supply four million tonnes of additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) to India but differences prevailed on the price at which LNG would be supplied.

The four million tonnes of LNG tie-up was reached at the bilateral meeting between the visiting Deputy Premier and Energy Minister of Qatar, Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora here on Sunday.

The announcement for the same was made at the 6 {+t} {+h} Asia Gas Partnership Summit being held in New Delhi by GAIL (India), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and International Gas Union.

Qatar has agreed to supply additional four million tonnes of LNG but at more than double the price Reliance Industries Limited's (RIL) KG-D6 gas cost. Qatar, known as the world's largest LNG exporter, is seeking a price linked to crude oil that at prevailing rates comes to over $10 per million British thermal unit (mBtu).

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/23/stories/2010032354941800.htm

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Botox in Baghdad: Iraqis go for a little nip & tuck

23 March 2010

BAGHDAD: Dr Abbas al-Sahan's patient wasn't a war victim. She didn't have a scar that needed cosmetic surgery. All she wanted was a cute nose. And she got it.

Speaking after the surgery, bandages and swelling gone, 23-year-old Sarah Saad Abdul-Hameed was ecstatic. Friends who visited "were surprised with the change in my face,'' she said. "They compared my nose to Nicole Kidman's!''

Even in the worst spasms of violence that followed the 2003 US-led invasion, cosmetic surgery didn't go out of style. Now, as the country has quieted down, nose jobs, Botox and liposuction are all the rage. Al-Sahan, one of Baghdad's premier plastic surgeons, said he averages about 20 cosmetic surgeries a week — 70% on women. Interest in plastic surgery has blossomed since the fall of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, and the end of economic sanctions that isolated Iraqis from the influences and pop culture of the outside world. Also, doctors who fled the violence are trickling back.

But Iraq being an overwhelmingly Muslim country, some have inevitably sought guidance from the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the country's most revered Shiite religious figure. The verdict on his website? Hair implants are preferred over a wig, which can fall off during prayer. Liposuction to remove fat, and surgery to make breasts smaller or bigger, are OK as long as female patients go to a woman doctor.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Botox-in-Baghdad-Iraqis-go-for-a-little-nip-tuck/articleshow/5713559.cms

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Dubai sniffs for booze in sauces & soups

23 March 2010

DUBAI: Dubai inspectors are looking for illegal alcohol, but this time inside sauces, soups and desserts.

Media reports on Monday said Dubai authorities plan to step up enforcement of a 2003 law prohibiting restaurants from using booze in food preparation. Alcoholic drinks are widely available in Dubai and the 2003 law has been mostly disregarded.

But the latest move appears aimed at easing worries from Muslim restaurant goers that no wine or liquor were used in preparing their meals. Fines for violators can run nearly $5,500.

Several Dubai chefs have argued that strict enforcement of the ban would compromise their dishes. They are in talks with the municipality for less severe regulations.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Dubai-sniffs-for-booze-in-sauces-soups/articleshow/5713547.cms

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‘Sanctions on Iran will take time’

March 23, 2010

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday the United States will not “compromise its commitment” to prevent Iran getting a nuclear bomb, but sanctions that bite will take time.

In excerpts of a speech she will deliver to the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, Clinton said it “is taking time to produce these sanctions... but we will not compromise our commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring these weapons.”

Clinton said that elements in Iran’s government have become a menace, both to their own people and in the region, saying that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fomented anti-Semitism and threatened to destroy Israel.

“In addition to threatening Israel, a nuclear-armed Iran would embolden its terrorist clientele and would spark an arms race that could destabilise the region,” the secretary of state said.

“This is unacceptable. Unacceptable to the United States. Unacceptable to Israel. And unacceptable to the region and the international community.” She added that the United States was determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Full report at: http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=230552

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2,000 Muslim families living as migrants in Jammu: Minister

2010-03-23

There are more than 2,000 Kashmiri Muslim families living as migrants in Jammu, a state minister said Tuesday.

Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla, replying to a question by Peoples Democratic Party's Syed Bashrat Bukhari in the state legislative assembly, said the government was looking after all migrants -- Kashmiri Pandits, Muslims and Sikhs.

'While there are 38,149 Kashmiri Pandit families registered as migrants, 2,168 Muslim families and 1,749 Sikh families were also registered as migrants with the office of the relief commissioner in Jammu,' he added.

Normally, the term Kashmiri migrants brings into focus the Kashmiri Hindus, a microscopic minority of the valley. There were, however, Muslims and Sikhs too.

Several Muslim families fled the valley in 1990s under fear of militants.

Bhalla said the government is committed to their return and rehabilitation.

All rights reserved. India News Portal, Sify.com

 

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/sharif-denies-secret-meetings-with-osama/d/2609


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