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Taliban Bring Back Executions, Stonings and Amputations In Afghanistan

New Age Islam News Bureau

16 November 2022


Protesting women chant “Bread, work and freedom” on August 13, 2022 in Kabul. Nava Jamshidi/Getty Images


• More Discrimination Awaits Muslims Under British Premier Sunak; Suella Braverman Remains At Her Post, Despite Her Xenophobic Remarks

• Human Rights Chief: Anti-Iranian Media Posing Terror Threats

• Israel Produces Weapons Of Mass Destruction Under West’s Protection: Syria

• US Probe Of Palestinian-American Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh’s Death ‘Important Step’: Family

• Court Defers Verdict On Malaysia’s Sisters In Islam's Appeal To Challenge Fatwa that Says Ideologies Of Liberalism And Pluralism Are Deviant

 South Asia

• New Landing Page Launched For The Afghan Family Reunification On The U.S Department Of States Website

• Maldives arrests 14 for alleged Islamic State-tied bomb plot

• UN emphasizes on women’s access to education and public life in Afghanistan

• Afghans waiting in Pakistan to migrate to Canada face jail risk



• Belgium throws out French imam arrest warrant

• Denmark contradicts own report on endangering Syrians, says Danish Refugee Council

• Terrorism is common fight, European Council president says on terrorist attack in Türkiye

• Qatar responds to criticism, boycott calls in Europe ahead of World Cup



• Report: US Instructors Trained Perpetrator of Terrorist Attack in Istanbul

• Iranians take to the streets to mark 2019 protests in fresh rebuff to ruling clerics

• Iran sentences second anti-regime protester to death

• Israel swears in most right-wing Knesset in history

• FM: Iraqi Gov't Responsible for KRG's Hostile Moves Against Iran

• Iran Lashes Out at Israel for Blocking Efforts for WMD-Free West Asia

• UN: 2022 Deadliest Year for Palestinians in West Bank Since 2005

• Iran power change ‘neither possible nor desirable’: Ex-president Khatami

• UN calls on Iran to release peaceful protesters


Arab World

• UAE affirms commitment to international cooperation at G20 summit

• Turkey to pursue Syria targets after Iraq operation against Kurdish militants

• Egypt to perform autopsy on body of Jordanian actor Talfah after mysterious death

• Three lightly hurt in fire at Baghdad airport

• Israel allows TotalEnergies, Eni to search for gas offshore post Lebanon border deal

• Encouraged by Qatar World Cup, fans gather to practice chants to support Arab teams

• Saudi Arabia funds 12 Indonesian development projects, programs worth $401.6 mln

• UK’s Rishi Sunak discusses energy market stability with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince

• Iraq decries 'blatant violation' of sovereignty after Iranian strikes in Kurdish region

• Turkish forces, allied militants shell villages in Syria’s Hasakah: Report


North America

• Canada’s Trudeau Deletes Viral Tweet Falsely Claiming Iran Sentences 15,000 To Death

• US offers $10M bounty to help hunt down terrorist al-Shabaab leaders

• Canada Muslim charity aims to build village in Syria


Southeast Asia

• At recent R20 Summit Haji Syed Salman Chishty highlights importance of inter-religious dialogue

• Rohingya refugees discovered off coast of Indonesia

• Pua demands Chegubard apologise over Tabung Haji contract ‘slander’

• PN participation may deprive PH and BN of some Malay-Muslim votes: Analyst

• Chinese community wants fair govt policies, says MCA sec-gen



• UP, Bihar: BJP eyes Extremely Backward Classes, Pasmanda Muslims in new social coalition bid

• Muslims Lose In Ticket Run: Congress, BJP Cite Winnability In Gujarat Polls

• 3 Injured In Clashes During Event On Late Muslim Leader Palani Baba In Tamil Nadu's Hosur

• Bharat Jodo Yatra’s Impact Forced RSS Chief To Visit Madrasa And Mosque, Soon PM Modi Will Start Wearing ‘Topi’: Digvijaya

• October Hate-Tracker: Hindu-Muslim Clashes Mark Navratri, Dusshera, Milad-Un-Nabi

• Love Jihad Running In Country In ‘Well-Planned Manner’: Giriraj Singh



• Legal Tweak To Allow PM To Retain Army Officers With Stroke Of Pen

• PDM, PTI politics revolve around new army chief: Siraj

• Railing against election czar, Imran seeks CJP’s intervention

• Bilawal decries ‘national obsession’ with COAS appointment

• Pak PM Shehbaz Sharif tests Covid positive after London trip

• Firing on police mobile patrol in Lakki Marwat kills 6: state media

• Arshad Sharif sustained multiple injuries before death: Pims

• Four TTP men killed in D.I. Khan



• Two Political Opposition Figures Detained In Jordan To Head Off Protests

• Tunisia union hits out at ‘defamation’ case against news site

• Libya at risk of partition 1 year into elections postponement: UN

• UK to end troop deployment to UN mission in Mali earlier than planned

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Taliban Bring Back Executions, Stonings and Amputations In Afghanistan


Protesting women chant “Bread, work and freedom” on August 13, 2022 in Kabul. Nava Jamshidi/Getty Images


by Countercurrents Collective — 15/11/2022

Executions, stonings and amputations are possible punishments for crimes once more in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada ordered Afghan judges to impose Sharia-law punishments for certain crimes, according to a tweet from Zabihullah Mujahid, Mr. Akhundzada’s spokesman.

Mullah Akhundzada has ordered Afghan judges to fully implement sharia law and its punishments, which include mutilations, flogging and executions. The announcement was made on Sunday by the Taliban’s chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

“Carefully examine the files of thieves, kidnappers and seditionists. In those files in which all the Sharia conditions of Hudud and Qisas have been fulfilled, you are obliged to implement. This is the ruling of Sharia, and my command, which is obligatory,” Mujahid quoted the elusive supreme leader, whose voice has not been recorded since the Taliban takeover last August, as having said.

In Islamic law, the so-called Hudud crimes require both very conclusive evidence for the accused to be convicted, while carrying heavy, traumatic punishments such as amputation of hands or feet, as well as flogging and execution. This group of crimes includes such offenses as theft, highway robbery, apostasy, adultery and falsely accusing someone of it, slander, drinking alcohol, and rebellion.

Qisas is effectively an Islamic variant of retributive, “eye for an eye” justice. The concept covers such crimes as deliberate injury or murder, while, at the same time allowing victims or their families to accept material compensation instead of punishment.

Qisas are punishments for murders or physical assaults that are determined by a judge. The University of Texas School of Law said that can often involve a retaliation by the victim or relatives of the victim, or by paying blood money.

The Taliban has been gradually tightening its grip on power, while bringing life in Afghanistan into line with the strict Islamic norms the group follows. In April, the Taliban government lived up to its promises and banned the cultivation of poppy, the source of sap that is refined into morphine and heroin. Afghanistan is estimated to have accounted for 90% of the global opium trade in 2021, with poppy cultivation being its major source of income.

“If anyone violates the decree, the crop will be destroyed and the violator will be treated according to Sharia law,” the group warned at the time.

Women Banned From Parks By Taliban

Bottom of Form

Women in Afghanistan have been banned from parks by the Taliban, according to a Reuters report.

A spokesman for the Afghan Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, Mohammad Akif Muhajir, told local media that Afghan women would no longer be permitted to visit parks.

Muhajir said, “For the last 14 or 15 months, we were trying to provide an environment according to Sharia (Islamic law) and our culture for women to go to the parks,” he said, according to Reuters.

“Unfortunately, the owners of parks did not cooperate with us very well, and also, the women did not observe hijab as was suggested. For now, the decision has been taken that they are banned,” he continued.

It was not made clear how long the ban would last.

In May of this year, the Taliban ruled that women must cover their faces in public, with the ideal face covering being the all-encompassing burqa.

Should a woman not abide by these rules, her father or closest male relative will be visited and eventually imprisoned or fired from government jobs.

Since the Taliban seized Kabul in August 2021, they have enforced punitive laws restricting women’s lives and activities.

Gyms And Public Baths Off-limits For Afghan Women: Declares Taliban

Other media reports said:

The Taliban declared on Sunday that gyms and public baths are now off-limits to Afghan women.

This comes after the Taliban last week banned women from parks and funfairs.

Despite the hard-line Islamists promising a softer version of the rule that characterized their first stint in power, the Taliban are increasingly squeezing women out of public life since their return last year.

Most women working for the government have lost their jobs.

Women are also barred from travelling without a male relative, and must cover up with a burka or hijab when out of the home.

Schools for teenage girls have also been shuttered across most of the country since the return of the Taliban.

“Gyms are closed for women because their trainers were male and some of them were combined gyms,” Akif Mohajir told reporters.

Activists have said the increasing restrictions on women are an attempt to stop them from gathering to organize opposition to the Taliban’s rule.

Small groups of women have staged frequent flash protests in Kabul and other major cities, risking the wrath of Taliban officials who have beaten and detained them.

In March, the theocratic group closed girls’ high schools and issued orders for girls aged 12-18 to stay home.

The Taliban have also introduced rules limiting women’s travel without male chaperones.

The UN has issued several statements decrying these decisions, saying that Taliban leaders are institutionalizing large-scale and systematic gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls and limiting their education, was “profoundly damaging to a generation of girls and the future of Afghanistan.”

Afghan Women Arrested While Defending Rights

A report by Scoop ( said:

Responding to the arrests of at least three prominent women human rights defenders Zarifa Yaqoobi, Farhat Popalzai and Humaira Yusuf and their colleagues by the Taliban in the last ten days, Samira Hamidi, Amnesty International’s South Asia Campaigner, said:

“The recent wave of arrests of women human rights defenders in Afghanistan is yet another attempt to quell all forms of peaceful protests and any dissent against the Taliban’s oppressive policies that violate human rights, particularly of women and girls. Such arrests will no doubt increase the environment of fear and reprisal in a continuing system of repression that goes unchecked.

“As the de-facto authorities, the Taliban must comply with international human rights law and standards, and immediately and unconditionally release these women human rights defenders and their colleagues who have been arrested solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly. We are further concerned about the safety and integrity of Zarifa Yaqoobi, Farhat Popalzai and Humaira Yusuf and their colleagues who have been detained. In the past, those arbitrarily detained under the Taliban have been tortured and otherwise ill-treated, many times denied access to legal remedies and family visits.

“The Taliban must be held accountable for their human rights abuses and violations as they continue to act with impunity. The international community must condemn these acts, both publicly and in their private interactions with the Taliban and send a clear message that their current policies towards women and girls are not acceptable.”

On 4 November, Taliban detained women human rights defender Zarifa Yaqoobi and her colleagues during a press conference announcing the formation of “Afghan Women Movement for Equality” in Dasht-e Barchi area of Kabul. Reportedly, about 60 Taliban members stormed the press conference venue to disrupt the event and deleted photos and video from cellphones of all event participants.

The next day, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a statement on the arrests urging the de facto authorities to respect the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly without fear of arrest or intimidation.

On 5 November, in a press conference, the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that the women’s rights activists ‘are being encouraged and told to protest and create distrust against the Islamic Emirate.’

On 8 November, prominent young activist Farhat Popalzai was arrested by the Taliban according to reports by the Afghan news agency Jaama Press. She is one of the founders of the ‘Spontaneous Movement of Afghan Women’.

On 13 November, another woman human rights defender, Humaira Yusuf, was taken into custody by the Taliban as per information from sources to Amnesty International.

This recent wave of arrests of women human rights defenders and peaceful protestors comes after months of suppression of the rights of women and girls in the country by the Taliban documented by Amnesty International and other civil society organizations. Women and girls have been barred from exercising their most basic rights, including the rights to freedom of movement, to education – as girls’ school beyond grade six remained closed – and political participation.


 More Discrimination Awaits Muslims Under British Premier Sunak; Suella Braverman Remains At Her Post, Despite Her Xenophobic Remarks


A girl waves a U.K. flag during a national Muslim memorial for the late Queen Elizabeth II, London, U.K., Sept. 15, 2022. (AP Photo)


Enes Taha Ersen


Rishi Sunak, Britain's new prime minister, is guilty of using discriminatory rhetoric against Muslims, and under his government, “more discrimination” awaits Muslims, according to a British political scientist.

Suella Braverman, Sunak’s choice for home secretary, came under fire late last month after branding people seeking asylum in the UK – many with darker skin, often from Muslim countries – an "invasion,” but she has remained at her post, despite the xenophobic remarks.

Braverman's remarks as well as Sunak's remarks about Islam and extremism show the direction of the government's immigration policies, said Muhammed Cagri Bilir of the University of Leeds' School of Politics and International Studies.

"When Sunak launched a campaign for the conservative leadership (to become prime minister), he produced a discourse such as the fight against 'Islamic extremism' and equating Islam with terrorism," Bilir told Anadolu Agency.

"He was criticized for ignoring the demands of Muslim deputies to take a clear stand against Islamophobia. As a result, he received a lot of backlash," he said.

A 2019 study found Islamophobia rife within the ruling Conservative Party, and Boris Johnson, who stepped down from the premiership this July, was known for making Islamophobic remarks.

"Not much will change during Sunak’s term,” added Bilir, warning that in fact “we are entering a period where more discrimination awaits Muslims.”

"In Sunak government's approach to immigration, asylum seekers are categorized, and a distinction is made as to whether they really escaped from human rights violations or whether they came with only economic motives," he explained.

"The legitimacy of the asylum requests of those who came by boat, especially via France, is being questioned," he added.

Bilir said that those seeking asylum in the UK will be strictly examined under the Rwanda plan, a controversial plan announced by Johnson this April to send people seeking asylum in Britain to the small African nation of Rwanda to await a decision.

On Oct. 24, Sunak succeeded Liz Truss, the UK's shortest-serving prime minister, who served for only 44 days.

Sunak, of Indian origin, made history as the country's first prime minister from an Asian background.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Human Rights Chief: Anti-Iranian Media Posing Terror Threats


Photo: Fars News



Qaribabadi made the clarification for representatives of about 100 countries from the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and the UN in New York.

Speaking to the Iranian reporters in New York, the official said his meetings with groups and individuals focused on presenting a true image of the developments that occurred recently in Iran.

He went on to stress that his meetings during the three-day stay in New York challenged the silence and stance of the US and Western countries on the October terrorist attack on a holy shrine in the Southern Iranian city of Shiraz in which 15 people were killed and 19 others were wounded.

“In fact, the anti-Iran Persian-language media’s moves are completely contrary to the laws and regulations, and we hold the British government responsible in this regard,” the secretary of the high council for human rights stated

Qaribabadi said British media regulator Ofcom must investigate such media violations which are supported by the UK government.

"The role of anti-Iran media outlets is no less than that of terrorist groups or their members, as they have incited violence, crime, insecurity and terrorist acts across Iran," he added.

Pointing to Iran’s recent designation of the London-based news network Iran International as a “terrorist organization” for instigating deadly riots in Iran following the death of a young Iranian woman two months ago, the Iranian official warned that the same fate also awaits the UK’s state-funded BBC Persian.

The human right chief further noted that in his talks with representatives from some 100 countries, he explained that the UK’s state-funded BBC Persian and Saudi-funded Iran International have conducted hundreds of interviews with members of separatist and terrorist groups who incited violent and criminal acts in Iran.

The talks focused on giving correct and true explanations about developments in Iran and what is called “peaceful” gatherings by some Western countries and the United States, he continued.

Protests erupted in several cities across Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who fainted at a police station in mid-September and days later was pronounced dead at a hospital. The demonstrations soon turned violent.

An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization announced that Amini’s controversial death was caused by an illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.

Iranian officials blame Western countries for orchestrating the riots to destabilize the country.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei severely censured the deadly riots, saying they were orchestrated in advance by the United States and the Israeli regime.

“I state it clearly that these developments were planned by America, the Zionist regime and their acolytes. Their main problem is with a strong and independent Iran and the country’s progress. The Iranian nation proved to be fairly strong during recent events and will bravely come onto the scene wherever necessary in the future,” he added.

Iranian officials have blamed the United States, the European Unions, and several Western states for meddling in Iran's internal affairs over the death of Mahsa. They advised the US and its allies against "opportunism and instrumentalisation of the issue of human rights" by misusing the incident.

Tehran reminded that the countries, which, themselves, towed a "long history of warmongering and violence" throughout the world, lacked the legitimacy that could authorize them to "moralize others" concerning the human rights.

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry has announced that the United States and the United Kingdom were “directly” involved in the recent riots across the country.

Dozens of terrorists affiliated with the Zionist regime and anti-revolution groups have been detained during the recent days of unrest, the ministry said in a Friday statement.

The Iranian Intelligence Ministry underlined that 49 MKO terrorists had been arrested for actively propagating fake news, inciting the rioters to organize acts of terror and destruction, directing slogans and being present on the streets to damage public property.

The ministry added 77 members of anti-Iran terrorist groups had also been arrested in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

The statement pointed to the detention of five members of Takfiri terrorist outfits with 36 kilograms of explosives that were to be used to carry out bombings in gatherings.

The ministry further underscored 92 people affiliated with the former US-backed Pahlavi regime had been identified and arrested in the riots. It added that nine nationals from Germany, Poland, Italy, France, the Netherlands, and Sweden, among others, were arrested during the riots.

It said a significant number of pistols, various types of machine guns and cartridges as well as shotguns and ammunition were seized.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Israel Produces Weapons Of Mass Destruction Under West’s Protection: Syria


Photo: Pars Today


15 November 2022

Permanent Representative of Syria to the United Nations, Bassam Sabbagh, says Israel must join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and eliminate its stockpile of nuclear weapons in order for a nuclear-weapon-free zone to be established in the Middle East.

Speaking at the Third Session of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction in New York, Sabbagh lambasted Western countries, particularly the United States, for their generous support of the Israeli regime.

He argued that the approach has emboldened the regime to possess and develop more such munitions and to refuse to subject its nuclear facilities to international supervision, which have posed serious threats to regional peace and security.

He also complained that the tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons failed to introduce practical steps that would guarantee the effective implementation of the 1995 Middle East Resolution, which serves as a fundamental pillar in supporting the non-proliferation regime on the regional level.

The senior Syrian diplomat said Damascus supported the UN General Assembly resolution as a path parallel to the implementation of the Middle East Resolution, and not an alternative to it.

“Ever since the adoption of the resolution, Syria has cooperated with regional states participating in the conference to achieve their common goals. The progress made by the conference indicates the sincere and serious efforts made by participating countries, and reveals, on the other hand, the disregard of Israel and the United States for the international will. This practice goes hand in hand with their obstructionism to create a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction,” Sabbagh noted.

“Syria considers establishment of a Middle East free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction as an important measure on the path of disarmament, empowerment of the non-proliferation regime, and a serious contribution to the protection of regional and international peace and security,” he said.

“Syria is a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and tabled a draft resolution in 2002 and 2003 aimed at establishment of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction. The United States, however, aborted that initiative to protect Israel,” the Syrian diplomat said.

Israel, which pursues a policy of deliberate ambiguity about its nuclear weapons, is estimated to possess 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal, making it the sole possessor of non-conventional arms in West Asia.

The illegitimate entity has, however, refused to either allow inspections of its military nuclear facilities or sign the NPT.

What has emboldened Tel Aviv to accelerate its nuclear activities, according to observers, is the support from the United States and Europe, the two parties most critical of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.

Source: Press TV

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US Probe Of Palestinian-American Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh’s Death ‘Important Step’: Family


Palestinians in May visit the site where veteran Palestinian-American reporter Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed, in the West Bank city of Jenin. AP


November 15, 2022

The family of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh — who was likely killed by an Israeli soldier — on Tuesday praised a US decision to open a probe into her death.

“This is an important step,” a statement from the Palestinian-American family said, voicing hope for a “truly independent, credible and thorough probe”.

Abu Akleh was killed while covering an Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank on May 11.

The veteran Al Jazeera reporter was wearing a bulletproof vest marked “Press” and a helmet when she was shot in the head in the Jenin refugee camp, a historic flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Israeli army conceded on September 5 that one of its soldiers had likely shot Abu Akleh after having mistaken her for a militant.

The Abu Akleh family statement noted that it had been asking for a US probe “since the beginning”.

“It is what the United States should do when a US citizen is killed abroad, especially when they were killed — like Shireen — by a foreign military,” they added.

Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz said Israel “will not cooperate with an external investigation”.

“The decision taken by the US Justice Department to conduct an investigation into the tragic passing of Shireen Abu Akleh, is a mistake. The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) has conducted a professional, independent investigation, which was presented to American officials with whom the case details were shared,” Gantz said in a statement.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has refused to confirm or deny the investigation.

However, Politico reported that the FBI was probing the May 11 shooting.

No prosecution

The Israeli army’s top lawyer has said that criminal charges against the soldier likely involved in the shooting were not merited, as the individual was acting in what Israel considered to be an active combat zone.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid has also rejected suggestions that the soldier should be prosecuted.

“I will not allow an IDF soldier that was protecting himself from terrorist fire to be prosecuted just to receive applause from abroad,” Lapid said at a military ceremony.

Last week, Abu Akleh’s family and colleagues told UN investigators that she had been deliberately targeted as part of Israel’s “wide-scale war” on Palestinian media workers, and called for accountability and justice.

Doha-based Al Jazeera and the Qatari state have also alleged that Abu Akleh was deliberately targeted by Israeli soldiers.

Source: Dawn

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Court Defers Verdict On Malaysia’s Sisters In Islam's Appeal To Challenge Fatwa that Says Ideologies Of Liberalism And Pluralism Are Deviant


The Court of Appeal has deferred its verdict to decide on SIS Forum (Malaysia)’s appeal to quash a fatwa that declared the organisation as deviant. ― Reuters pic


15 Nov 2022

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 15 — The Court of Appeal has deferred its verdict to decide on SIS Forum (Malaysia)’s appeal to quash a fatwa that declared the organisation as deviant.

Justice Datuk Has Zanah Mehat, who led a three-member panel, said they need more time to deliberate and to give their decision on the appeal as the matter was important and of public interest.

The other two judges presiding on the panel were Justices Datuk Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali and Datuk M. Gunalan. The court proceedings were conducted online.

The court heard submissions from SIS Forum’s lawyer Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar who argued that the fatwa, prepared by the Selangor State Fatwa Committee and subsequently gazetted by the Selangor Government on July 31, 2014 stating that SIS Forum, individuals, organisations and institutions adopting ideologies of liberalism and pluralism are deviant and against the teaching of Islam, is disproportionate and unconstitutional.

“The fatwa does not define or even indicate as to what amounts to pluralism or liberalism. The fatwa also did not provide proper notice to the appellants (SIS Forum) as to what conduct would result in them committing a crime,” he said.

He said SIS Forum was incorporated in 1993, to promote a framework of women’s rights in Islam that considers woman’s experiences and realities, to eliminate injustice and discrimination against women, and to increase public awareness and reform laws and policies within the framework of justice and equality in Islam.

He said SIS Forum’s activities in advocating fair and just treatment towards women are in line with the overall Quranic ethos of justice and compassion, adding that there were insufficient materials before the court to show that their activities were within the meaning of “liberalism and pluralism”.

Malik, who was assisted by A. Surendra Ananth, said any law that seeks to impose criminal sanctions but does not give fair notice to a person of the conduct that is deemed as criminal, can be declared to be unconstitutional.

The court also heard submissions from lawyer Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar representing the Selangor State Fatwa Committee, Yusfarizal Yussoff representing the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) and Selangor state legal adviser Datuk Salim Soib@Hamid representing the Selangor Government.

Zainul Rijal argued that the acronym for SIS Forum is Sisters in Islam and by its name, the organisation showed that it has a connection with Islam and the organisation’s founding members, who are directors, are all Muslim women, adding that its activities included matters pertaining to Islamic affairs.

He said SIS Forum has published many of its views and stands on the teaching of Islam under the name of SIS Forum which the Selangor state Fatwa Committee found to consist of elements of liberalism and pluralism that went against the teaching of Islam.

Zainul Rijal said the objective to control and restrict any belief which is against the teaching of Islam as empowered under Article 11 (4) of the Federal Constitution would be ineffective if any statement or views against the teaching of Islam was made under a company’s name such as SIS Forum.

Meanwhile, Yusfarizal argued that SIS Forum is not challenging the constitutionality or statutory compliance of the fatwa but their challenge was on the validity of the content of the fatwa which should be under the Syariah Court’s jurisdiction and not the Civil Court.

On August 27, 2019, the High Court dismissed the judicial review application filed by SIS Forum, its founder Zainah Mahfoozah Anwar and former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim.

In their judicial review, they are seeking a certiorari order to quash the fatwa which was prepared by the Selangor State Fatwa Committee and gazetted by the Selangor state government, declaring that SIS Forum, any individual, as well as groups that adopted the deviant ideologies of liberalism and pluralism, were deviating from the teachings of Islam. — Bernama

Source: Malay Mail

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South Asia


New Landing Page Launched For The Afghan Family Reunification On The U.S Department Of States Website

November 15, 2022

A new landing page has been launched for the Afghan family reunification on the U.S Department of States website.

The U.S Department of States announced on Monday that the new page will help the Afghans in the United States to obtain specific information on how they can get reunited with their family members in Afghanistan depending on their immigration status or entry method to the United States of America.

Link to the new page is located on the websites of the U.S Department of State, USCIS and the U.S Mission to Afghanistan.

This comes as since August 2021, dozens of thousands of Afghans have been brought to the United States as SIV applicants or on a 2-year parole humanitarian entry visa. Many of these individuals or families brought to the U.S have got immediate family members left behind in Afghanistan or in a third country.

According to the new portal, Afghans in the United States who hold citizenship, their immediate family members including spouse, children and parents are edible to immigrate to the United States immediately. However, they may also be able to file petition for their siblings and unmarried adult children.

Afghans holding lawful permanent residency such as a green card may be able to apply for bringing their spouse, unmarried children below the age of 21 and unmarried sons and daughters to the United States.

SIV holders who have been received the title of being a lawful permanent resident, their immediate family members including spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 can immigrate to the United States under through the SIV program.

Refugees and asylees’ immediate family members including spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible to immigrate to the United States of America.

Source: Khaama Press

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Maldives arrests 14 for alleged Islamic State-tied bomb plot

Nov 15, 2022

MALE: Police in Maldives have arrested 14 people allegedly working with foreign Islamic extremists to carry out a bombing in the tiny archipelago state, police said.

The suspects had been working with the Islamic State group and apparently planning an attack with the intent of killing many people, Uswath Ahmed, the nation's counterterrorism head, told reporters Monday night. He did not elaborate.

He said the suspects were arrested last Friday in three locations in the country and 13 homes were raided.

Maldives is known for its pristine beaches and expensive island resorts, but there has been a rise in religious extremism in recent years. The Sunni Muslim nation of 500,000 people had the highest number of people per capita fighting in foreign wars.

Source: Times Of India

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UN emphasizes on women’s access to education and public life in Afghanistan

November 16, 2022

The United Nations office in Afghanistan has reacted to the Taliban’s recent announcement on barring women from visiting public parks and baths.

In a twitter message, the UNAMA has emphasized on Afghan women’s access to education and public life.

UNAMA is deeply concerned by recent Taliban officials’ statements and mounting on-the-ground reports of women being prevented from using parks, gyms and baths, UNAMA News tweeted on Tuesday.

All Afghan’s rights should be upheld, particularly women’s access to all forms of public life and girls right to education, UNAMA said.

This comes as the Taliban authorities in Afghanistan have recently announced that women are not allowed to visit parks, gyms and public baths as these activities are against the Sharia law.

Taliban regained power on the 15th of August 2021 after the former President of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani fled and the country’s national army collapsed.

A number of limitations were imposed on Afghan women including barring them from work and education. Any kind of pressures on Taliban by the international community to uphold the basic rights of Afghan women, did not help. Based on Taliban’s interpretation from Islam, women must be fully covered in Hijab and do not appear in a shared space with men.

Source: Khaama Press

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Afghans waiting in Pakistan to migrate to Canada face jail risk

November 16, 2022

Afghan families in Pakistan waiting to immigrate to Canada as part of Canada’s newly announced immigration program, are facing jail risk as their visas have expired or some have crossed the border paperless and do not hold any legal documents.

According to Canada’s CBC news channel, Pakistan has warned paperless refugees of facing up to three years jail time if they do not renew their visas by the end of 2022.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior has been streaming a video ad message on governmental social media channels and televisions since the beginning of October, warning over staying foreigners to be sentenced up to three years of imprisonment after December 31, NBC reported.

“The messaging by the Pakistani government that those Afghans that are in Pakistan illegally will be deported and potentially arrested is very troubling,” said Brian Macdonald, executive director for Aman Lara, a non-profit organization of Canadian veterans and interpreters who have been working for more than a year to bring Afghan refugees to Canada.

This comes as Canada recently announced 3,000 immigration visas for Afghan nationals who live in any third country and do not hold UN’s refugee card. According to Khaama Press’s monitoring desk, thousands of Afghans have crossed the border without holding valid documents to apply for Canada immigration program which resumed on October 17th.

In the meantime, Pakistani media outlets recently reported that one 1,000 Afghan nationals who did not hold valid travel documents including an entry visa to Pakistan, have been imprisoned.

Afghanistan’s former President, Hamid Karzai in one of his recent remarks accused Pakistan of mistreating Afghan refugees and he called on the UN and international human rights organizations to watch Pakistan government’s behavior towards the refugees.

Pakistan authorities must treat Afghan refugees according to international laws and policies, Hamid Karzai said in his series of tweets.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and Global Affairs Canada has said in media statements that they have active and constructive dialogue with the Pakistan’s government on issues related to safe passage for vulnerable Afghans, CBC report said.

Pakistan is the only country that has an open border for Afghans to facilitate their travel abroad, while Tajikistan and India have closed their consulate services since August 2021 and do not issue visas for Afghan Nationals.

Afghans can travel to Iran too, but due to the imposed international sanctions, refugees cannot file asylum applications from Iran.

Source: Khaama Press

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Belgium throws out French imam arrest warrant

Simon Rushton

Nov 16, 2022

An arrest warrant for French-Moroccan imam Hassan Iquioussen, who was accused of making hateful remarks, has been thrown out by a Belgian court.

The appeals court ruled the offences were not criminal under Belgian law and dismissed the European arrest warrant.

France's Ministry of the Interior had wanted to deport Mr Iquioussen to Morocco for allegedly “inciting hate, discrimination and violence”, notably against women and the Jewish community.

The court in Mons upheld a lower-court ruling dismissing the European arrest warrant issued for Mr Iquioussen.

“The facts on which this arrest warrant is based do not constitute an offence under Belgian law,” a representative for the Mons appeal court said. “It is not valid, so we will not execute it.”

Mr Iquioussen's lawyers celebrated Tuesday's ruling.

“There is no offence in Belgium and we consider there is none in France either,” lawyer Lucie Simon said.

Some rights groups say the case is part of a wider crackdown on France's Muslim minority.

The imam successfully challenged his initial deportation order to Morocco, when a Paris administrative court ruled this would be “a serious and manifestly disproportionate interference with his right to lead a normal private and family life”.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin challenged the ruling and in August in the Council of State — which acts as the supreme court for administrative justice in France — ruled that the deportation order was justified.

Mr Iquioussen left for Belgium after that decision.

France's Human Rights League, a non-governmental organisation, said the Council of State had been politically influenced.

France's interior ministry said the Council of State had ruled based on the law and declined to comment on the Belgian appeal court's ruling.

While he prevailed in Belgium court, the Belgian ruling will not impact French law.

Four immigration lawyers and four administrative judges expressed concern that the Council of State's decision might create a legal precedent that reduces the rights of immigrants in France.

One of those judges, Maguy Fullana, who is also a representative for an administrative magistrates' union, said that the Council of State's ruling could influence how judges balance public order disruption with the right to a private life.

Source: The National News

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Denmark contradicts own report on endangering Syrians, says Danish Refugee Council

Leila Nezirevic 



The Danish Refugee Council accused its government of endangering Syrian refugees Tuesday by stripping their residence permits although they risk abuse and persecution if they return to Syria.

The Danish Immigration Service published a report earlier this year where it said Syrians are at risk of being exposed to persecution, problems with Syrian authorities and are at risk of being detained at checkpoints, according to media outlet, DR.

The report said Syrian authorities continue to arrest, detain, interrogate, torture, extort and kill Syrian refugees.

But the Danish Refugee Council said immigration authorities do not include those facts to a sufficient extent in their decision-making when revoking refugee residence permits in the Nordic country.

"It is a huge problem that, in our opinion, the Danish Immigration Service's report on persecution and abuse does not stand as a weighty reason in itself for granting a residence permit. It shows that the authorities are not taking it seriously enough," said Eva Singer, head of Asylum at the Danish Refugee Council, according to DR.

A report from the EU that was published in September and reviewed by the Danish Immigration Service, concluded that repatriated Syrians are subjected to interrogations, arrests, rape and torture, said DR.

Regardless, when it comes to case processing, the information is being significantly ignored, according to the Danish Refugee Council.

Singer said Syrians, on their return, are seen as enemies as "they have often left illegally."

That in itself can increase the risk of "persecution when they are sent home by the Danish authorities," Singer was quoted by the media outlet.

The Danish Immigration Service informed DR that the agency's report is included as background information in general in case processing.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Terrorism is common fight, European Council president says on terrorist attack in Türkiye

Merve Aydogan  


European Council President Charles Michel stressed Tuesday that the "fight against terrorism is a common fight."

Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, Michel responded to a question by Anadolu Agency on the deadly weekend terrorist attack on Istanbul’s Istiklal Street, saying "it is extremely important to be all together, try to prevent (such attacks), to cooperate at the level of intelligence services."

"The EU has a very strong position. We want to coordinate, cooperate in order to fight against terrorism everywhere," he added.

Michel also said there is no meeting planned with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Turkish police arrested the perpetrator of the attack on Istiklal Avenue, Ahlam Albashir, a Syrian woman who planted the explosives, in a pre-dawn raid, while dozens of other suspects were detained.

The police said Albashir has confessed that she was trained by the YPG/PYD/PKK terror group as an intelligence operative and entered Türkiye illegally from Afrin, Syria.

The attack left six people dead and injured 81 others, two of them critically.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

On the bilateral meeting between the leaders of China and the US on the sidelines of the summit Monday, Michel said it is "important" for both countries to engage with one another "even if there are different opinions on many topics with China."

"It’s important to listen to each other, try to develop mutual understanding," he said while affirming the need for dialogue to "defend our values, to defend our interests."

He further noted that the timing of the US-China meeting is not a coincidence and said "it is not a bad time."

Saying that the US needs to "rebalance its relations with China" while being firm on defending its interests and promoting values, Michel also said "we don’t want to make the same mistakes we maybe made with Russia on fossil fuels."

"We were very dependent on Russia for fossil fuels. And we have today difficulties in the field of energy. This is one of the consequences of the war by Russia but also because of that dependency from Russian fossil fuels," he said.

He said that with China, the EU does not "want to be too dependent for the innovative technology that we need today."

Asked about the possibility of further conflict amid Russia's war on Ukraine, Michel said "Russia decided to use food and energy as weapons, mass destabilization weapons."

Saying that there is an energy crisis in Europe, he said such a crisis in Europe also "has consequences everywhere in the world. The food security crisis has huge consequences, especially in the developing countries."

He further lashed out against Russia for using "nuclear rhetoric" and said it "is extremely dangerous, which is not responsible."

"We are trying in Europe to mobilize the rest of the world in order to defend the UN Charter," he stressed, noting that it is "a battle for the UN Charter. This is a battle for international law."

"There is a risk for further instability and more conflicts, but we don’t want (that)," he said.

On the G-20 Summit, the European Council president said he will use the meetings today and tomorrow "to convince all of the members of the G-20 to put more pressure on Russia."

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Qatar responds to criticism, boycott calls in Europe ahead of World Cup

Omer Tugrul Cam 



Qatar’s labor minister responded Monday to allegations about the conditions of migrant workers involved in construction work for the World Cup, saying a mechanism is already in place for those seeking compensation.

In response to boycott calls from some politicians and human rights organizations in European countries following reports of some workers dying or being injured during the construction work, Ali bin Samikh Al Marri said: “Have you ever boycotted any previous editions of the World Cup?”

“I just would like to confirm that each and every one of you is welcomed in Qatar to attend the matches,” he added.

Touching on allegations that some workers in Qatar have been unjustly treated, Al Marri said “there is a mechanism to which everyone can resort in order to seek remedy and get compensation.”

“At least $350 million has been given as compensation to workers,” he said.

The allegations about his country may have derived from a lack of communication, he said, adding the proper information on the issue should be received from the right source.

Al Marri invited everyone to Qatar for the FIFA World Cup, saying: “I can confirm to you that the Qatar World Cup will be the best in football history.”

The 2022 World Cup, hosted by the Gulf nation of Qatar, is set to kick off on Nov. 20 and end on Dec. 18.

Ahead of the World Cup, some politicians and human rights defenders in European countries are calling for a boycott of the sporting event, accusing the country of human rights violations.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Report: US Instructors Trained Perpetrator of Terrorist Attack in Istanbul


According to the newspaper, a Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), banned in Turkey, ordered the attack.

The terrorist was detained ten hours after she fled from Istiklal Street, where she had left a bag with an explosive device on a bench.

The newspaper noted that the Istanbul police used all its technical capabilities to search for the terrorist. They managed to track her down using 1,200 surveillance cameras.

The number of detainees suspected of involvement in the terrorist attack has risen to 50, the TRT TV channel reported on Tuesday, citing local security department.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag also confirmed this information to reporters.

Previously, 48 people were taken into custody, including the Syrian citizen who carried out the attack.

According to the Istanbul General Directorate of Security, the attack was carried out by Albashir, who was sent months ago from the Syrian city of Kobani and is affiliated with the PKK. When questioned, she confessed to the crime.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iranians take to the streets to mark 2019 protests in fresh rebuff to ruling clerics

15 November ,2022

Iranians went on strike in several cities on Tuesday to commemorate the 2019 protests over fuel prices, a display of dissent that was crushed by security forces in the bloodiest crackdown in the history of the Islamic republic.

The move will add to pressure on Iran’s clerical rulers, who have been battling two months of nationwide protests triggered by the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in the custody of the morality police.

In 2019, Reuters reported 1,500 people were killed in that wave of unrest which began over fuel price hikes but quickly turned political. Iranian authorities dismissed that death toll.

In the latest protests, the rights activist HRANA news agency said 344 people have been killed, including 52 minors. It also reported 40 members of the security forces being killed, in addition to 15,820 people being arrested.

The demonstrations have turned into a legitimacy crisis for the clerical establishment, which took power after the 1979 revolution toppled Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a secular monarch allied with the West.

Videos shared on social media showed strikes and gatherings in several cities and towns. Footage shared by the widely-followed activist 1500Tasvir Twitter account showed closed shops at Tehran’s Grand Bazaar. One video, unverifiable by Reuters, showed shopkeepers chanting: “This is a bloody year when (Supreme Leader Ali) Khamenei shall be overthrown.”

Bazaar merchants are traditionally the biggest financial ally of the clerical establishment.

Iran’s state news agency IRNA confirmed the strike in Tehran’s Bazaar, but said shopkeepers were forced by “rioters” to close down their shops.

Up to 19 of the thousands of people arrested face charges which carry the death penalty in the cities of Tehran and nearby Karaj, according to state media reports.

Protests overshadow nuclear talks

Iran, which said Amini’s death was due to pre-existing conditions, has accused its enemies, including the United States, of fomenting the unrest to destabilize the country.

Amini’s death, after her arrest for allegedly flouting Iran’s strict dress code imposed on women, has drawn international criticism.

On Monday, the European Union imposed additional sanctions over the crackdown on protests and French President Emmanuel Macron characterized the unrest as a revolution.

Iran and the United States have been trying for months to salvage Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that Washington exited in 2018, before reimposing tough sanctions.

But the protest crackdown and the sale of drones to Russia have turned the United States’ focus away from reviving the pact, Washington’s special envoy for Iran Robert Malley said.

Support for the protest movement is pouring in from lawyers, students, doctors, actors and athletes seeking a new political order. Famous retired footballer Ali Daei said on Instagram that he refused FIFA’s invitation to attend the World Cup in Qatar.

“In these difficult days when most of us are unwell, I have given a negative response to FIFA’s invitation and prefer to stay alongside my compatriots and share my condolences to families who have recently lost their loved ones,” Daei said.

A video on 1500Tasvir showed people running down a street in Tehran’s western neighborhood of Shahrak Gharb after several gunshots could be heard.

In the southern city of Marvdasht, social media accounts reported that security forces fired teargas and shot pellet bullets to disperse protesters.

The 1500Tasvir account also showed a video of people at a metro shouting “death to the dictator”, a slogan referring to Khamenei. Reuters could not verify the authenticity of the videos.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iran sentences second anti-regime protester to death

16 November ,2022

Iran’s judiciary sentenced a second protester to death on Tuesday, two days after it issued its first death sentence in connection with anti-regime protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody.

The defendant was sentenced to death for “terrorising people using a cold weapon, setting a citizen’s motorcycle on fire, and attacking and injuring a person with a knife,” Mizan, a news website linked to the judiciary, said.

It said the verdict was preliminary and could be appealed.

On Sunday, the judiciary issued its first death sentence against a protester since demonstrations began in mid-September. Five others were given prison terms ranging from five to 10 years.

Protests have rocked Iran since the death in police custody of 22-year-old Amini on September 16. Demonstrators have been chanting against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and calling for regime change.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Israel swears in most right-wing Knesset in history

15 November ,2022

After nearly four years of political deadlock and five elections, Israel swore in the most right-wing parliament in its history on Tuesday.

Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu is working to cobble together a far-right and religious governing coalition in the 120-seat parliament, or Knesset.

The surging popularity of a right-wing alliance once on the fringes of Israeli society helped propel Netanyahu's political comeback even as he stands trial on corruption charges.

The 25th Knesset was sworn into office with trumpets and choral music just hours after a Palestinian assailant went on a deadly rampage in an Israeli-controlled industrial zone in the occupied West Bank, killing three Israelis and wounding three more before being shot dead.

Netanyahu's likely right-wing coalition partners have vowed to act more aggressively against Palestinian attackers to protect Israelis.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog appealed for national unity in his speech after the country's five divisive elections, saying Israelis are “exhausted from the infighting and its fallout.”

“Now, the responsibility lies first and foremost with you, the public's elected representatives,” he said.

“Responsibility to try to wean us off this addiction to never-ending conflicts.”

The new parliament replaces one of the most colorful and diverse in Israel's history, which had an all-time high of 36 women and a small Arab Islamist party in the government for the first time in history.

This Knesset has just 29 women.

Source: Al Arabiya

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FM: Iraqi Gov't Responsible for KRG's Hostile Moves Against Iran


Amir Abdollahian made the remark in a Monday phone call with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein, and stressed that Baghdad bears full responsibility for any hostile move by the Kurdistan region against Tehran.

During the conversation, the Iranian diplomat described security as a key element both at regional level and in bilateral relations.

"The Islamic Republic does not expect to be threatened from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region in view of the two countries' excellent relations," the foreign minister said, adding, "The central government [in Iraq] is responsible to [stamp out] these [terrorist] measures."

Amir Abdollahian was referring to anti-Tehran terrorists' occasional attempts at using the semi-autonomous region's territory to target the Iranian soil or to smuggle weapons into the country, which have been used in recent riots to target Iran's security forces.

The Iraqi foreign minister, for his part, stated that "Baghdad will not allow its neighbors to be threatened from its soil".

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has in recent weeks launched a series of aerial operations on the headquarters of Kurdistan-based terror groups. The military operation came after the illegal entry of armed teams linked with the Kurdish terrorist groups into the Iranian border cities in recent months.

The IRGC Ground Force has announced that that the strikes against terror bases will continue until all anti-Iran separatist and terrorist outfits holed up in the rugged mountainous area lay down their arms and surrender.

The IRGC has on countless occasions attacked and destroyed terrorist hideouts in the Kurdistan region with artillery fire, missiles and drones.

On Monday, the IRGC once again smashed the strongholds of terrorist groups operating near the country’s Western borders in the Kurdistan region.

The IRGC has urged the Iraqi central government, as well as the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), to fulfill their commitments in ensuring the security of the common borders with Iran.          

It said in a statement that the IRGC attacks followed the “inactions and obvious and sometimes deliberate neglect” of the authorities of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region in dealing with these terrorist groups. 

The statement added that the security inside Iran and at the common borders is a redline of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the country will not tolerate the continuation of this situation.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran Lashes Out at Israel for Blocking Efforts for WMD-Free West Asia


"Such baseless accusations against Iran are raised in a situation where the main threat and obstacle to creating a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, namely, Israel, is provenly equipped with all types of these inhumane weapons," Iravani noted addressing the Third Session of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction.

The full text of his speech is as follows:

In the Name of God, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Madam. President,

Let me begin by extending my congratulation to Your Excellency, for endorsing you as the President of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction. Please rest assured of my delegation’s full cooperation. Let me further convey our appreciation to Kuwait and Jordan for helping to make the Conference successful thus far.

Madam President,

Consistent with Iran’s deliberate option to reject all WMDs and as a party to all related treaties, namely, the NPT, BWC, and CWC, our active and constructive participation in this Conference is a robust testimony to our genuine call for the total and final elimination of all WMDs. This, indeed, is a clear manifestation of the firm and everlasting commitment of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the cause of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as the realization of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East, the nuclear part of which was initially proposed by Iran in 1974.

We expect that other Conference members will share this clear stance and that it will appear in the report of this session of the Conference. Any insinuation otherwise, will challenge and so hamper the objective of the Conference to happen early and completely.

Madam President,

To guarantee that all parties are on equal footing when it comes to joining the treaty, they should have previously ratified and implemented all major and important treaties and conventions, such as the NPT, BWC, and CWC. A nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ) is defined as an agreement that a group of states have freely established by treaty which prohibits the development, manufacturing, control, possession, testing, stationing, transit, or transport of nuclear weapons in a given area, with verification mechanisms, according to the 1999 Report of the Disarmament Commission and its guidelines on the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones reflected in document A/54/42.

Madam President,

On another note, I would like to join others in expressing their frustration with the failure of the two consecutive NPT Review Conferences in 2015 and 2022 as well as the failure of the fourth CWC Review Conference in 2018 causing continued disappointment for the lack of progress in moving forward in the implementation of the 1995 NPT Review and indefinite extension Conference resolution on the Middle East.

Let alone the drafted language in the recent NPT Review Conference that was the weakest language ever on the Middle East zone free of WMDs in the NPT context without even simple support required to extend to the UNGA track and also the way it was handled in a non-transparent and non-inclusive manner at the Review Conference. We are clearly warning about the implications of such an approach to the work and results of the Conference.

It is noteworthy to reiterate that the processes emanating from the NPT Review Conferences and UNGA decision 546 are two independent yet parallel avenues intended to achieve this long-overdue goal which should be fulfilled with the two tracks' action-oriented decisions. These two can complement, but cannot replace, each other.

However, in light of the reality on the ground, it is clear that both processes are confronted with significant impediments that might jeopardize their success. In light of the impediments around the creation of such a zone and as a main requirement to strengthen the regional security in the Middle East, the Israeli regime must first and foremost adopt a transparent policy and leave the so-called strategic ambiguity, renounce possession of WMDs, and join all relevant international legally-binding instruments.

Above all, it must unconditionally accede to the NPT while subjecting all of its nuclear facilities and activities to the IAEA's comprehensive safeguards. In this vein, its accession to an implementation of the CWC and BWC is an imperative.

Meanwhile, we reiterate our fundamental position that the Conference's success will be in jeopardy as long as Israel refuses to participate while the US supports it and does not participate in the Conference. We call on the international community to assist the region in overcoming these obstacles in establishing the Middle East free of all types of weapons of mass destruction.

The United States' unwavering support for the Israeli regime, which includes its condoning of Israel’s dangerous nuclear weapon program, as well as the US and Israel’s refusal to engage constructively in the work of the current Conference must be duly considered in the Conference aiming at exploring different channels to overcome these obstacles.

Madam President,

I should reiterate that for us, the treaty establishing a WMD-free zone in the Middle East, like all other similar regional treaties, is consistent with any group of States' right to conclude regional treaties to ensure the total absence of nuclear weapons in their respective territories as enshrined in Article VII of the NPT.  After the nuclear part of the treaty is concluded, the proper posture and solution for other types of WMDs should be thought through. The Working Committee, as the expert arm of the Conference, can enrich the discussions thereof.

Madam President,

A word of wisdom addressed to some speakers who raised issues regarding the JCPOA, Iran's nuclear activities, and other issues. From our perspective, this approach against Iran is unprofessional and pointless. Because the declared and practical policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is completely different from the alleged arguments.

Given the human considerations and religious teachings, rational calculations of national interests, the bitter experience of being a victim against a terrible type of weapons of mass destruction, and observing the failed experience of others, we reject weapons of mass destruction.

Such baseless accusations against Iran are raised in a situation where the main threat and obstacle to creating a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, namely, Israel, is provenly equipped with all types of these inhumane weapons.

Such allegations are raised at the cost of ignoring this main threat. We do not consider such an approach constructive or useful and doing so has not led so far to any benefits though made in various forums. We advise these speakers to abandon such a position and not to distort the current conference, which can approach the main goal with constructive talks.

On JCPOA the undeniable fact is that the US withdrawal from the JCPOA in 2018, as well as reimposing sanctions besides the unwillingness of the current US Administration to return to it, have caused immense damage to international efforts toward nuclear non-proliferation.

Iran has, however, consistently complied with its obligations under the Comprehensive Safeguard Agreement and has been cooperating with the IAEA. The technical interaction between Iran and the IAEA is going on and in response to the recent visit of an Iranian technical delegation to Vienna, we are to receive the IAEA team for further consultations aiming at resolving the outstanding questions.

And to the Western nuclear weapon States participating in this Conference as observers, we invite them not to abuse the opportunity given to them to consult with the countries of the region to create the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, but instead to focus on the main expectation from them in the framework of the Conference, which is the negotiation to grant negative security assurances to the countries of the region.

Ironically, these countries themselves have violated their legally binding obligations according to the NPT by strengthening their nuclear weapon arsenals, and beyond that by helping Israel obtain nuclear weapons.

Unfortunately, they remain silent against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by Israel With the support of the United States. They do not dare to take any position against the non-participation of these two in the Conference but raise baseless accusations against Iran. Such an approach should be stopped and if it continues on the part of these countries, the Conference should take the necessary decision in this regard.

Finally, it is my honor to state that, in continuation of Iran’s constructive policy, we will support the process emanated from the NPT to the establishment of a Middle East Zone free of WMDs and will continue to contribute to the subsequent sessions of this Conference until this goal is achieved. This will enhance the regional security in the Middle East and its sub-regions including in the Persian Gulf.

I thank you, Madam. President.

Iranian authorities have expressed frustration over the international community’s obsession with its nuclear program while ignoring Israel’s actual (suspected) weapons.

Source: Fars News Agency

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UN: 2022 Deadliest Year for Palestinians in West Bank Since 2005


Six Palestinians were killed and 28 were injured by Israeli forces during two Israeli undercover military operations in the old city of Nablus and Jenin refugee camp on October 25 and on November 3, it said, WAFA news agency reported.

In addition, five Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in four other incidents across the West Bank, the latest was a 15-year-old girl killed on Monday, while others were killed during alleged attacks.

In addition to the killings, the Israeli forces restricted the movement of Palestinians in several locations across the West Bank.

The Israeli authorities demolished, confiscated, or forced people to demolish 54 structures, in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank, citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits; seven of the structures had been provided as donor-funded humanitarian aid. As a result, 35 people, including 16 children, were displaced, and close to 200 people were otherwise affected.

The majority of targeted structures (41) were located in Area C, including 11 structures seized without warning, thereby preventing their owners from filing objections in advance. In addition, 13 structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, including six homes destroyed by their owners to avoid the payment of fines to the Israeli authorities.

The olive harvest season was disrupted by at least 23 setter violence incidents that resulted in the injury of 10 Palestinians by Israeli settlers and eight by Israeli forces, damage to more than 350 olive trees, and large amounts of stolen crops.

Separately, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates on Monday condemned the Israeli killing of a 15-year-old girl near Ramallah and called on the international community to put real pressure on Israel to force it to stop its bloody escalation against Palestinian people and to engage in serious negotiations with the Palestinian side that would lead to ending the occupation in the Palestinian territories.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran power change ‘neither possible nor desirable’: Ex-president Khatami

15 November ,2022

Former Iranian president and leading reformist Mohammad Khatami has rejected the idea of a change of power in the Islamic republic, while admitting there was dissatisfaction with the current government.

Iran has been rocked by two months of protests since the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, three days after her arrest for an alleged breach of the country’s strict dress code for women.

“The overthrow (of the system) is neither possible nor desirable but the continuation of the current situation leads to social collapse,” said Khatami, president from 1997 to 2005.

“The least costly and most beneficial way to restore the lost confidence of a significant part of society is through a self-correction of the system, both in its structure and its behavior,” he said, quoted Tuesday by reformist newspapers.

Authorities in Iran describe the protests as “riots” and accuse the country’s Western foes of fomenting them.

“The root of the tragic events must be sought from within, and they are the result of a mechanism full of errors and an incorrect method of governance,” said Khatami.

“Good governance requires the recognition of the rights of the people and respect for fundamental freedoms, especially the exercise of citizenship rights, because the people are composed of different tendencies, ethnicities, tastes and even religions,” he said.

It is also necessary to ensure the stability and security of the country with the presence and contribution of the people themselves.”

Khatami welcomed the fact that “despite attempts from outside, the protest has not taken on an ethnic, religious or separatist dimension.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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UN calls on Iran to release peaceful protesters

15 November ,2022

The United Nations on Tuesday demanded the immediate release of thousands of people arrested for taking part in peaceful demonstrations across Iran, which has imposed a harsh crackdown.

Iran has been hit by eight weeks of protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was arrested for an alleged breach of the country’s strict dress rules for women based on Islamic sharia law.

The UN Human Rights Office said one protester had already been sentenced to death.

“We urge the authorities to immediately release all those detained in connection to peaceful protests, and to drop the charges against them,” spokesman Jeremy Laurence told reporters in Geneva.

“Human rights law protects the rights of people to peaceful assembly and to freedom of expression.”

Laurence said more than 1,000 indictments had been issued against those arrested in connection with protests in Tehran province alone.

“Instead of opening space for dialogue on legitimate grievances, the authorities are responding to unprecedented protests with increasing harshness,” he said.

While one protester has been sentenced to death for “waging war against God” and “corruption on Earth” for allegedly damaging public property, at least nine others have been charged with offences carrying the death penalty.

“Crimes not resulting directly and intentionally in death can never serve as the basis for the imposition of the death penalty,” Laurence said.

“We therefore call on the Iranian authorities to immediately impose a moratorium on the death penalty, to refrain from charging capital crimes, and to revoke death sentences issued for crimes not qualifying as the most serious crimes.”

The demonstrations have grown into a broad movement against the theocracy that has ruled Iran since 1979.

Laurence said that the numbers killed this year had exceeded the 324 protesters killed in the 2019 demonstrations in Iran.

“As of November 12, excessive use of force used by security forces has led to the killing of at least 326 individuals, including 43 children and 25 women,” he said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Arab World


UAE affirms commitment to international cooperation at G20 summit

15 November ,2022

The United Arab Emirates’ delegation affirmed its commitment to ensuring international cooperation to address global challenges ahead of the G20 summit in Indonesia’s Bali, the official Emirates News Agency WAM reported on Monday.

Held under the slogan ‘Recover Together… Recover Stronger,’ this year’s G20 summit will be attended by world leaders, ministers and high-level officials looking to address major global challenges.

Leading the UAE’s delegation is Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who said that the Gulf country’s participation in the summit is of great importance given the challenges the global economy is grappling with, according to WAM.

“The UAE’s participation in the G20 Summit as a guest country comes as part of its commitment to working with international partners to stimulate economic growth and achieve equitable development around the world,” Sheikh Abdullah said.

“Improving economic outcomes in key sectors and ensuring that all societies live in dignity remain the UAE’s top priorities during its participation in the G20 process this year. This is an extension of the UAE’s foreign policy, which consistently seeks to support international partners and elevate the voices of other countries that are not represented in such meetings.”

Sheikh Abdullah added that the UAE remains committed to strengthening economic cooperation, serving as a reliable and responsible energy supplier, and pushing for stability in global energy markets.

He also noted that in its participation, the UAE will emphasize the need for dialogue and diplomacy to enhance international solidarity and trust, address crises, and build on common interests.

Minister of State Ahmed Ali al-Sayegh said that the UAE strongly supports the G20 process to address shared challenges and encourage a more balanced and sustainable global economic recovery, WAM reported.

“The UAE affirms its commitment to supporting the priorities outlined in G20 meetings and highlights the importance of this platform as a major economic forum that contributes to enhancing international cooperation and economic stability,” al-Sayegh said.

“Based on our successful experience as a guest country invited by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the G20 Summit in 2020, the UAE seeks to strengthen cooperation across a number of major issues through special committees and by focusing on global health, food security, climate challenges, combating corruption, digital innovation, women's empowerment, and other files raised in this year’s G20 process.”

Other officials also commented on their keenness to cooperate with the international community at the summit in Bali.

The UAE’s health minister Abdulrahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser al-Owais underscored the importance of the G20’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and to exchange experiences with other participating countries on how they navigated the global health crisis.

“The UAE has been keen to work in the spirit of solidarity with the international community since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was at the forefront of countries in providing medical aid that reached more than 135 countries and helped reduce the pandemic’s impact,” said al-Owais.

Minister of state for financial affairs Mohamed Hadi al-Hussaini said, “We look forward to the Leaders’ Summit outcomes on the most pressing challenges facing the global economy. These include achieving economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling inflation, and controlling food, fertilizer, and energy prices. This is in addition to identifying the best way to combat climate change and mitigate its impact, as well as implement the G20’s sustainable finance plans.”

The UAE’s energy minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazrouei affirmed the need for international cooperation and joint action to decisively address energy and climate challenges resulting from rapid global changes in recent years. He added that the UAE has been consistently working with various countries to advance sustainable development and implement world-leading projects in the energy field.

“We thank the Republic of Indonesia for inviting the UAE to take part in the G20 process this year. We reaffirm our commitment to cooperating with all nations through the G20 framework to foster equitable sustainable development around the world, particularly in under-represented countries. We hope the Leaders’ Summit will focus on stepping up collective climate action; protecting, preserving, and restoring ecosystems; and addressing the transformation of food systems and food security challenges worldwide,” said the UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment Mariam bint Mohammed al-Mheiri.

“The need of the hour is to adopt a participatory approach that brings together governments, private sector stakeholders, non-profits, academia, and civil society while empowering youth, women, and indigenous communities. We must demonstrate solidarity by forging meaningful regional and global partnerships that can help tackle common challenges in a proactive and systematic way rather than a reactive one.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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Turkey to pursue Syria targets after Iraq operation against Kurdish militants

15 November ,2022

Turkey plans to pursue targets in northern Syria after it completes a cross-border operation against outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in Iraq, a senior official said on Tuesday, after a deadly weekend bomb in Istanbul.

The government has blamed Kurdish militants for the blast on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue on Sunday that killed six people and injured more than 80.

Threats posed by Kurdish militants or ISIS extremist group on Turkey are unacceptable, the official told Reuters, adding that Ankara will clear threats along its southern border “one way or another.”

“Syria is a national security problem for Turkey. There is work being done on this already,” the official said, declining to be named as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

“There is an ongoing operation against the PKK in Iraq. There are certain targets in Syria after that is completed.”

There was no immediate comment from Turkey’s foreign ministry.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast on the busy pedestrian avenue, and the PKK and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have denied involvement.

Turkey has conducted three incursions so far into northern Syria against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which it says is a wing of the PKK. President Resep Tayyip Erdogan has previously said that Turkey could conduct another operation against the YPG.

While the PKK is deemed a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, Washington allied with the YPG against ISIS in the conflict in Syria.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Egypt to perform autopsy on body of Jordanian actor Talfah after mysterious death

15 November ,2022

Egypt’s Public Prosecution office said it would perform a post-mortem autopsy on the body of Jordanian actor Ashraf Talfah after they found signs of a brain hemorrhage and unexplained injuries on his body.

Talfah was found unconscious in a rented residence just outside of the Egyptian capital of Cairo.

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The building’s supervisor discovered the Jordanian actor lying face down on the balcony of his apartment, according to a report received by the General Prosecutor.

The supervisor then immediately contacted the police as well as the victim’s friends and relatives in the city, who said that his siblings had been trying to contact the actor for some time, but to no avail.

The actor was transferred to a hospital by an ambulance, where authorities had planned to question him on the incident but found that he was unconscious.

Health officials at the hospital found multiple injuries, including burns, on different parts of his body, according to the public prosecution. A medical diagnosis showed that he had a brain hemorrhage, blood clots, and scabies on the lungs.

Prior to his death, a relative had confirmed that Talfah – who was grabbling with diabetes – was still alive but was in a coma.

The report noted that police officers found no sign of a break-in or robbery and all the belongings in the residence were accounted for.

Public Prosecution questioned several witnesses, including the property’s landlord, his brother, and his close friend who also lived with the victim. They said found no evidence of any criminal suspicion involved in the actor’s death.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Three lightly hurt in fire at Baghdad airport

15 November ,2022

Three people were lightly hurt Tuesday when a brief fire broke out at Baghdad's international airport, an Iraqi official said, adding that flights were unaffected.

Videos on social media showed flames reaching the ceiling near check-in counters at one of the terminals, with the hall engulfed in smoke.

“The fire lasted several minutes and three people were treated for light respiratory difficulty,” the civil defense official told AFP, requesting anonymity.

“The fire did not affect air traffic,” the same source added, without identifying the cause of the blaze.

State news agency INA said the fire broke out “at a refreshments area in the departure hall”.

Conflict, neglect and endemic corruption have left oil-rich Iraq's infrastructure in disrepair.

Safety standards in both the transport and construction sector are frequently flouted, and accidents are a common occurrence.

Baghdad's airport has not undergone considerable internal renovations since it opened in the 1980s during the era of dictator Saddam Hussein.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Israel allows TotalEnergies, Eni to search for gas offshore post Lebanon border deal

15 November ,2022

Israel has signed an initial agreement with TotalEnergies and Eni that allows the energy companies to start exploring for natural gas within the framework of a landmark maritime border deal with Lebanon.

Lebanese and Israeli leaders last month finalized a US-brokered maritime demarcation deal, bringing a measure of accommodation between the enemy states.

A focus of the deal was settling a dispute over a potential gas field in Lebanon's offshore Block 9 that extends into Israeli waters. TotalEnergies is the operator of Block 9 with a 60 percent interest. Eni holds 40 percent.

“The Block 9 partners will initiate the exploration of an already identified prospect which might extend both in Block 9 and into Israel waters south of the recently established maritime border line,” TotalEnergies said on Tuesday.

Lior Schillat, director-general of Israel’s energy ministry, said the agreement would “allow the development of a gas reservoir that crosses the border between enemy states, an unusual event in the global energy market.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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Encouraged by Qatar World Cup, fans gather to practice chants to support Arab teams

16 November ,2022

Few hundreds of Arabic-speaking fans gathered at a sports hall ahead of the World Cup in Doha on Tuesday for a quick training session on how to chant in unity in different dialects of the Arabic language.

Soccer fans from Middle Eastern countries, Tunisia, Morocco, Qatar, Lebanon and other Arabic-speaking nations who live and work in Qatar participated in a training session organized by enthusiasts speaking different dialects.

“We mixed different types (of slogans) together and changed them to make it easier to sync in different dialects,” spokesperson of Arab Fans Initiative, Mohammed al-Tammimi, said.

For some fans, chanting in different dialects was challenging but they still felt at home.

“We feel ourselves at home when we support the teams from our country. It is almost the same as we have at home,” a soccer fan from Morocco Mohammed El Ajjani said.

There will be 32 teams competing in Qatar, from former winners Brazil, Germany, Argentina, France and Spain to Japan, Senegal, Costa Rica and Saudi Arabia, with 64 matches in total.

Organizers have told diplomats and police from qualified countries they intended to show flexibility for fans who commit relatively minor infringements, Reuters reported last month.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Saudi Arabia funds 12 Indonesian development projects, programs worth $401.6 mln

16 November ,2022

Saudi Arabia, through the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), has funded 12 development projects and programs in Indonesia worth over $401.6 million, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Wednesday.

The funds will be used in the sectors of transport, communications, agriculture, infrastructure, shipping, health, and education – which is expected to contribute to Indonesia’s social and economic growth, according to SPA.

The Kingdom has an extensive track record of funding development projects across the world through the SFD and working with international organizations to support multiple sectors in various fields.

Since 1976, Saudi Arabia has pushed for Indonesia’s sustainable development as part of efforts to strengthen the close relations between the two countries, according to SPA.

The SFD has funded hundreds of projects and programs that are aimed at improving the living conditions of millions of people around the globe and providing them with job opportunities.

It has also encouraged Saudi companies and consultants to launch their own international development projects, with the help of SFD, in different countries.

Source: Al Arabiya

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UK’s Rishi Sunak discusses energy market stability with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince

15 November ,2022

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called Tuesday for efforts to stabilize oil markets in talks with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The new British prime minister met separately with the Crown Prince as they gathered for the Group of 20 summit on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

“In light of the global increase in energy prices sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the prime minister said he hoped the UK and Saudi Arabia could continue to work together to stabilize energy markets,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iraq decries 'blatant violation' of sovereignty after Iranian strikes in Kurdish region

Ahmed Asmar  


Iraq has denounced Monday’s Iranian strikes near Erbil as a “blatant violation” of its sovereignty.

At least one person was killed and 10 others injured in aerial strikes in northern Iraq that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said targeted Kurdish armed groups.

In a phone call with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fouad Hussein termed the “continuation of these unilateral actions as dangerous,” according to an Iraqi Foreign Ministry statement issued on Monday evening.

Hussein described the Iranian attacks as “a blatant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and the security of its citizens.”

He also emphasized the “importance of dialogue as a way to stop this unjustified hostile escalation,” the statement added.

Iranian state media quoted IRGC officials as saying on Monday that “terrorist positions” in northern Iraq were targeted with missiles and drones, referring to the headquarters of the Komala Party and the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan.

The locations targeted were in the Iraqi city of Koye, near Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq.

Iranian authorities accuse anti-Iran Kurdish groups based in northern Iraq of fomenting unrest in the country in the wake of the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in police custody.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Turkish forces, allied militants shell villages in Syria’s Hasakah: Report

16 November 2022

Turkish military forces allied Takfiri militants have reportedly shelled residential areas in the countryside of Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah, as the threat of a new Turkish military incursion into the neighboring Arab country looms.

Syria’s official news agency SANA, citing local sources speaking on condition of anonymity, reported that Turkish troops and their allies stationed in the towns of Aniq al-Hawa and Dawoudiyah struck the villages of al-Rbeiaat and Um Harmala in the Tal Abu Rasin district on Tuesday.

The sources added that the strikes caused material damage to residential buildings and private properties.

The development took place days after at least two militants affiliated with the US-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were killed and several others injured as the Turkish military carried out a string of fresh airstrikes against the positions of the militant group in Syria’s northern provinces of Hasakah and Raqqah.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human rights reported that a Turkish combat drone struck a vehicle on Sunday as it was traveling along a road on the outskirts of Qamishli city in Hasakah province.

A high-profile militant affiliated with the US-sponsored and Kurdish-led SDF and his driver were killed in the attack, while three others sustained injuries.

An SDF militant was also killed and two others were seriously wounded when a Turkish drone targeted an area east of Ayn Issa town in the Tal Abyad district of Syria’s northern province of Raqqah.

Turkey has deployed forces in Syria in violation of the Arab country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Ankara-backed militants were deployed to northeastern Syria in October 2019 after Turkish military forces launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion in a declared attempt to push members of the YPG, which forms the backbone of the SDF, away from border areas.

Ankara views the YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other senior officials have said Damascus will respond through all legitimate means available to Turkey’s ongoing ground offensive.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already stated that a new Turkish operation against the YPG militants will remain on the agenda until security concerns are addressed.

Source: Press TV

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North America


Canada’s Trudeau deletes viral tweet falsely claiming Iran sentences 15,000 to death

16 November ,2022

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has deleted a widely circulating tweet that falsely claimed Iran was planning to execute 15,000 protestors to death.

The prime minister had on late Monday tweeted that Canada denounces the “Iranian regime’s barbaric decision to impose the death penalty on nearly 15,000 protesters,” but the tweet was deleted just 12 hours later.

While Iranian authorities have been cracking down on protesters and have arrested thousands, a Canadian government official told CNN that “the post was informed by initial reporting that was incomplete and lacked necessary context. Because of that, it has since been deleted.”

Instagram has also flagged the post as “False Information” and said, “Independent fact-checkers say this information has no basis in fact.”

The post, which showed a woman holding an Iranian flag with the caption “Iran sentences 15,000 protesters to death – as a ‘hard lesson’ for all rebels,” was shared by thousands worldwide on social media platforms

Iran’s judiciary has so far sentenced two protesters to death for their involvement in anti-regime demonstrations that were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody on September 16.

Source: Al Arabiya

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US offers $10M bounty to help hunt down terrorist al-Shabaab leaders

Zehra Nur Duz  


The US is offering up to $10 million for information that helps bring to justice three leaders of the terrorist group al-Shabaab, as the al-Qaeda-aligned group has stepped up its attacks on government forces and civilians in Somalia in recent days.

“Al-Shabaab is responsible for numerous terrorist attacks in Somalia, Kenya, and neighboring countries that have killed thousands of people, including US citizens,” the State Department said in a statement on Monday.

The US government is urging Somalis and other people in the region to provide information that will help cut off the terror group’s resources and arrest top al-Shabaab leaders.

The three leaders – al-Shabaab’s “emir,” Ahmed Diriye; his second-in-command, Mahad Karate; and Jehad Mostafa, a US citizen described by the State Department as the leader of the group’s foreign fighters and media wing – are accused of involvement in several deadly terrorist attacks in Somalia and Kenya.

Somalia has been plagued by insecurity for years, with al-Shabaab being one of the main threats in the Horn of Africa country.

Since at least 2007, al-Shabaab has waged a deadly campaign against the Somali government and international forces that has claimed thousands of lives, including a car bomb attack in late October in the capital Mogadishu that killed at least 100 people and wounded some 300.

The UN has also warned of growing instability in the country, with its periodic reports on Somalia this year detailing attacks by al-Shabaab and pro-Daesh/ISIS groups.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Canada Muslim charity aims to build village in Syria

Barry Ellsworth  



A Canadian Muslim charity wants to provide a haven for displaced Syrians by building a village for them in the war-torn country.

Hope Village Project would see 500 homes, a hospital, mosque and school built at an estimate cost of CAN$2,250,00 (US$1.7 million) through money raised by Human Concern International (HCI).

The ambitious project would be constructed in the Al-Bab or Afrin region to provide permanent shelter for the displaced Syrians.

According to the charity, when the settlement is completed, it will house 3,500 people who will live in homes that consist of two rooms, a kitchen, bathroom and living room, with clean water and electricity. But the village will provide much more than shelter for the poverty-stricken Syrians.

"$1,850,000 will go towards building 500 homes and $1,250,000 to build a Mosque, School, Multiple Parks, Soccer Field, and Marketplace," HCI said. "The Village will provide displaced Syrian families with a renewed sense of stability, dignity, and a new place to call home."

According to the project, schools can welcome 1,000 students each.

"The space includes 16 classrooms, 6 washrooms (3 for boys, and 3 for girls), administrative rooms, a solar energy system to provide the school with energy, and all the school furniture and equipment required," said the organization.

The construction cost of a single home is CAN$3,700.

A masjid will be built in the center of the community for social gatherings, Friday prayer and five daily prayers, Taraweeh, and more, according to the project.

The project will take from 12 to 16 months to complete, HCI estimated. The target is to build the first 35 homes this month.

Fundraising is nationwide in Canada and anyone can undertake construction of a house or other unit, and even the smallest donation will help, HCI said.

"Your donations will go directly towards fulfilling the project goals," the charity said.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Southeast Asia


At recent R20 Summit Haji Syed Salman Chishty highlights importance of inter-religious dialogue

15 November, 2022

Bali [Indonesia], November 15 (ANI): At the first Religion Forum (R20) which has been introduced under Indonesia’s G20 Summit Presidency and was held in Indonesia recently, Haji Syed Salman Chishty, Gaddi Nashin – Dargah Ajmer Sharif, Chairman of Chishty Foundation and General Secretary of AIUMB represented Ajmer Sharif.

A permanent secretariat of the G20 Religion Forum R20 has been established in Jakarta by Indonesia largest Islamic Spiritual and Educational Organization – The Nahdtal Ulema with over 100 million active members and followers in Indonesia.

The largest organization of Ulema and Ma’shaikh in India, represented Ajmer Sharif at the forum on the personal invitation of the Chairman of the Central Board of Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU) KH Yahya Cholil Staquf (Gus Yahya) to share the views during the R20 Summit.

At the summit, Haji Syed Salman Chishty highlighted the importance of inter religious dialogue to address global problems, including “extremism, radicalization and violence in the name of faith and religion when the essence of faith and religious practices are mercy, unconditional Love, compassion, serving all with care and gratitude,” according to the press released by Chishty Foundation.

In his address, Haji Chishty praised the “visionary leadership” of Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo and “examplary guidance” of Nahdtal Ulema Spiritual leadership for “maneuvering the largest Muslim populated nation in the world as an example for global communities and nations to learn from the great celebration of Unity in Diversity” and educating the people to be respectful towards each other and following the moderate progressive path in issues related to state and religion.

KH Yahya Cholil Staquf (Gus Yahya) received two awards at the R20 Forum International Summit of Religious Leaders 2022. He received the “Global Peace Award” from Haji Syed Salman Chishty in commemoration of the 15th International Sufi Rang Festival and an award from the Cambodian representative for Nahdlatul Ulama’s initiative for implementation of the G20 Forum Religion.

Notably, the First R20 Summit which has been introduced under Indonesia’s G20 Summit Presidency and a permanent secretariat of G20 Religion Forum R20 have been established in Jakarta by Indonesia’s Islamic Spiritual and Educational Organization – The Nahdtal Ulema.

The R20 summit took place under the theme ‘Revealing and Nurturing Religion as a Source of Global Solutions: A Global Movement for Shared Moral and Spiritual Values’. 32 nations were present at the R20 summit and the forum included 45 speakers from five continents. KH Yahya Cholil Staquf (Gus Yahya) handed over the G20 Religion Forum to Indian religious leader, Ram Madhav in Bali.

The two religious leaders were accompanied by several dignitaries, including Chairman of the Muslim World League (MWL) for Southeast Asia and Australia Sheikh Abdurrahman Al-Khayyat, Indonesian government representative Muhsin Syihab, and a number of religious figures from India including Govinda Dev Giri, Swami Mitrananda, Swami Bhadresdas at the R20 Summit.

Source: The Print

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Rohingya refugees discovered off coast of Indonesia

15 November ,2022

More than 100 Rohingya Muslims who had been traveling in a boat for more than a month were found along the coast of Indonesia’s Aceh province on Tuesday.

The refugees are the latest group believed to be making hazardous sea voyages from Myanmar.

Local fishermen saw the 110 Rohingya early in the morning at a beach in the village of Meunasah Baro.

The group included 65 men, 27 women and 18 children, according to Muara Batu police chief Herman Saputra.

They were reported to be weak and hungry and were moved to a community hall in the village for health checks until authorities decide where to accommodate them.

Muhammad Amin, one of the refugees, said that before they were stranded in Aceh waters, they were aiming for Malaysia as their final destination.

In March, 114 Rohingya refugees were also found on a beach in Bireuen district in Aceh province.

Hundreds of thousands Rohingya Muslims have fled from Buddhist-majority Myanmar to refugee camps in Bangladesh since August 2017, when the Myanmar military launched operations in response to attacks by a rebel group.

Myanmar security forces have been accused of mass rapes, killings and the burning of thousands of Rohingya homes.

Groups of Rohingya have attempted to leave the camps in Bangladesh by sea to seek better life in other Muslim-majority countries in the region.

Malaysia has been a common destination for the boats even though many Rohingya refugees who land there face detention.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Pua demands Chegubard apologise over Tabung Haji contract ‘slander’

November 15, 2022

PETALING JAYA: Lawyers for Tony Pua have issued a letter of demand to Perikatan Nasional’s Badrul Hisham Shaharin for claiming that the ex-Damansara MP owned an IT firm that was awarded a Tabung Haji contract in 2019, when he was an aide to the then finance minister.

Pua accused Badrul, better known as Chegubard, of slandering him and trying to incite members of the public, especially the Muslim community, against Pakatan Harapan (PH), DAP and himself.

“I would like to emphasise that I no longer own a single share in the company, Cyber Village Sdn Bhd, for the past 15 years. I used to lead the company up until 2006.

“It is public information that I sold all my shares in Cyber Village before I entered politics in 2007. I no longer have any links to the company,” he said in a statement.

Pua also said Tabung Haji was not a federal statutory body under the finance ministry, insisting that the ministry was not involved in the pilgrim fund’s dealings when PH was in power.

An exception was when an injection of RM17.9 billion in funds was needed from the finance ministry to “save” Tabung Haji, he said.

“Therefore, any malicious accusations from Chegubard are completely unfounded,” he said.

The DAP leader demanded Badrul apologise and retract his claims or he would file a suit in court.

He pointed out that Badrul had to apologise to him in May over two other Facebook posts in 2019, after Pua had filed a suit in court.

Yesterday, Badrul claimed that a contract worth RM4.53 million was given to Cyber Village by Tabung Haji for the maintenance of the pilgrim fund’s THIjari online platform.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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PN participation may deprive PH and BN of some Malay-Muslim votes: Analyst

Charles Ramendran

16-11- 2022

PETALING JAYA: While past general elections have mainly seen battles between just two coalitions, the entry of Perikatan Nasional (PN) in the 15th general election (GE15) is expected to bring mixed results for Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN), said Ilham Centre head researcher Assoc Prof Dr Mohd Yusri Ibrahim.

He said PN would gain part of the Malay-Muslim votes meant for BN, and this might result in the latter losing several of its traditional seats in constituencies in Pahang, Perlis and Perak.

In constituencies populated with more than one race and previously won by PH, he said the split in votes would cause PH to lose Malay votes and put BN at an advantage.

Mohd Yusri said PN had a slim chance in constituencies with a multiracial population as it has minimum support from non-Malays, adding that after a week of campaigning, voter enthusiasm appeared “damp and cold” compared with GE14.

“Since nomination day, BN’s campaigns appeared to be static. However, PH’s campaigning is developing well in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and parts of Negri Sembilan.

“PN is making similar progress in Terengganu, Perlis, Kedah and parts of Perak while keeping the status quo in Kelantan and Pahang. In East Malaysia, GPS appears favourable in Sarawak while Warisan is at an advantage in Sabah.”

Merdeka Centre programme director Ibrahim Suffian told theSun its research indicated PH may see a gradual increase in support from Malays in the days before polling.

He said the number of non-Malays eager to cast their votes is rising and if this continues until Saturday, PH stands to garner the largest share of seats in parliament, adding that PN was gaining traction with Malay support and putting BN in a precarious situation.

“Which party will get the most votes depends on the turnout of non-Malay voters in areas where Malay votes will swing. Our research shows most of the ‘undecided’ voters are women and the younger generation. In the Klang Valley, a majority of voters have decided (on who to vote for) except maybe for first-time voters,” he said.

Emir Research head of social, law and human rights Jason S.W. Loh said while all three coalitions claim to have the support of a majority of voters, it was safe to say that none have the upper hand, even with just days before polling, as uncertainties continue.

He said with PN contesting in the elections, a substantial chunk of Malay votes which could go to PH or BN would be lost.

“Whoever wins will still have to rely on support from Sabah and Sarawak to have a stable majority to form the federal government. Hence, we could have a hung parliament with no coalition being able to claim to have the majority.

“Even if PH wins, there is no guarantee it can automatically form the federal government due to the aversion of Sarawak’s GPS, which is expected to win the lion’s share of the 31 parliamentary seats in the state.

“In Sabah, GRS will provide the numbers to boost BN. PN will also prefer to throw its support for BN while it is unknown where Warisan’s support would swing,” he said.

Source: The Sun Daily

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Chinese community wants fair govt policies, says MCA sec-gen

'Ainin Wan Salleh

November 16, 2022

PETALING JAYA: MCA secretary-general Chong Sin Woon says the Chinese community wants “fairness” in government policies.

“They want to see fairness for all. Don’t discriminate,” he said during a Facebook panel discussion hosted by Khairy Jamaluddin today.

Chong said there is a perception within the Chinese community that the government does not help them, adding that this needs to be changed in the next five years.

“I think the Chinese (community) do not look to the government (for help), but that does not mean they don’t need the government,” the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for Raub said.

He also said the Chinese want fair pro-business policies that do not impose restrictions and limitations that would hamper growth and economic expansion.

BN’s Kuala Langat candidate, Mohana Muniandy Raman, said if the coalition wins the general election, it will champion female empowerment beyond just 30% representation in politics and government.

“We’ve always been talking about 30% (female representation), but I don’t think it should be just 30% but based on ability and capacity,” she said.

She said female politicians should be given more challenging roles at policy-making levels and not just put in charge of the women’s ministry, citing the example of Rafidah Aziz, who was formerly international trade and industry minister.

“We need to put women on a level playing field where they are economists, can motivate businesses, and talk about policy level changes,” said the Wanita MIC chief.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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UP, Bihar: BJP eyes Extremely Backward Classes, Pasmanda Muslims in new social coalition bid

by Liz Mathew

November 16, 2022

Fearing an erosion in its Other Backward Classes (OBCs) votes in politically- crucial Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the BJP has now chalked out a strategy to build a new support base comprising Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs), Pasmanda (backward) Muslims, and non-Jatav Dalits in these states in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

With the BJP already making efforts to woo the backward Muslims in UP and Bihar in order to cobble up the new social coalition that could compensate for the potential loss of votes among its existing base, the party leaders say even winning 10 per cent votes of the new coalition would make it “comfortable” in these crucial states in the coming general election. Party leaders say backward Muslims account for about 70 per cent of the total Muslim population in UP.

The BJP has already conducted sabhas for Pasmanda Muslims in Rampur, Lucknow and Bareilly in UP. The BJP has planned to hold an event in Patna on the Constitution Day on November 26 for which participants from EBCs, Dalits, tribals and Pasmanda Muslims would be roped in to work as a group to “demand for their dues”.

In UP, the BJP has entrusted deputy chief minister Brajesh Pathak and minister of state for minority welfare, waqf and haj Danish Azad Ansari with its proposed new social engineering, giving Ansari the responsibility to reach out to Pasmanda Muslims. Senior BJP leader and member of the Bihar Legislative Council Sanjay Paswan is leading the party’s bid in Patna.

During his stint with the BSP in early 2000s, Pathak gained the experience of working on a social engineering move when Mayawati had tried it to expand her support base beyond Dalits.

Ahead of the UP Assembly polls early this year, a number of non-Yadav OBCs leaders had switched from the BJP to the Samajwadi Party, which was believed to have dented the saffron party’s OBC base. While making attempts to bring some of these leaders back into its fold, the BJP hopes a parallel effort to stitch up another social coalition could compensate for a perceived OBC erosion, party sources said.

Along with ensuring an electoral edge, the social coalition mission, say UP party leaders, would “help CM Yogi Adityanath to shed his image as a minority-basher”.

Sources said the UP CM’s recent meeting with an Iranian delegation in which Ansari was also present, was also part of this “image makeover.” The nine-member Iranian delegation – which was in India as a part of a programme organised by India Foundation and Institute of Political and International Studies, Iran – had an elaborate meeting with Adityanath, who invited Iranians to UP’s global investment meet, slated for February 2023, while seeking stronger economic collaboration with Iran.

The BJP’s new social coalition push comes months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing its national executive conclave in Hyderabad, urged the party to reach out to “the deprived and downtrodden” sections in communities other than Hindus.

“Under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we have been trying to reach out to every section with our welfare programmes for the poor. As a part of this we are trying to organise those exploited in the Muslim communities – which includes Pasmanda Muslims, bangle sellers, carpet makers, vegetable vendors etc – so that they can avail the benefits of the government schemes like better education, house and drinking water,” Pathak told The Indian Express.

Pathak said the party will organise sabhas in all UP districts to mobilise marginalised Muslims. “There have been more than 5,000 Pasmanda Muslims present in such meetings,” he said. The party will also organise an event to distribute appointment letters on the lines of Rozgar Mela – only for the marginalised Muslims in the state, sources said.

In these meetings, the BJP leaders talk about how the electoral and social space for the minority community has always been dominated and the benefits enjoyed by its “top layer” leaving the larger community marginalised. “We tell them, it’s Modiji’s idea to uplift them and bring them to the mainstream. It is the BJP that is concerned about addressing them while their rich and the elites have so far enjoyed all the benefits meant for the minorities under the previous regimes,” said Satyendra Tripathi, a UP BJP activist.

Paswan said, “Pasmanda Muslims, EBCs and Adivasis are eager to join the BJP bandwagon because Prime Minister Modi has spoken about them.”

Pointing out that the organisation “Kabir ke log” has been trying to bring all these sections together in Bihar, Paswan added: “I as a BJP man want to keep these groups together with the BJP. We have to make inroads into these communities and all these are experiments. A large section of them were supporting Nitish Kumar but they felt cheated when he joined hands with the RJD. Some efforts from the BJP can bring a chunk of them with us.”

BJP sources claimed that with the efforts it has initiated the party can mobilise 40 per cent of these communities in Bihar, which make up more than 50,000 of the population in every state Assembly constituency. “Some of them are already with the BJP. If we manage to win 10 per cent more votes from these sections, it can be a game-changer for the BJP in Bihar. It is not impossible with a consistent effort,” said a BJP leader.

Source: Indian Express

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Muslims Lose In Ticket Run: Congress, BJP Cite Winnability In Gujarat Polls

Nov 15, 2022

The last time the Congress fielded 10 or more Muslims in Gujarat assembly polls was in 1995. And the sole minority member to contest in the history of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat was 24 years ago.

In Gujarat, 9% of the population, Muslims, have never had proportionate representation in the legislative assembly. Representation of Muslims in the state assembly has consistently dwindled, with both major political parties citing ‘winnability’ as the chief criterion.

While the Congress has six Muslims among the 140 candidates it has nominated so far, there isn’t a single one among the BJP’s 166. The minority wing of the Congress has sought 11 tickets for Muslims this election. However, the last time the number of Congress tickets given to Muslim candidates was in double digits was 27 years ago.

In the past four decades, the highest number of Muslim candidates the Congress has fielded was 17 in 1980, when former chief minister Madhavsinh Solanki successfully introduced his KHAM (Kshatriya, Harijan, Ahmed Adivasi, Muslim) electoral arithmetic. The results were encouraging, with voters sending 12 Muslim candidates to the assembly. However, despite their success, the Congress, while pushing forward the KHAM formula, reduced its Muslim candidates to 11 in 1985. Eight were elected. By the 1990 assembly election, the BJP’s Ram Janmabhoomi campaign had paved the way for Hindutva politics. The BJP and its ally, the Janata Dal, did not field any Muslim candidates in that election, and the Congress fielded 11, of whom only two were successful. In 1995, all 10 Muslims that the Congress fielded lost. Usmanga ni Devdiwala was the only Muslim MLA elected as an independent from Jamalpur. Muslim representation improved slightly in 1998. The Congress fielded nine Muslims, and five won. The BJP also fielded a Muslim candidate, Abdulgani Kureshi, from the Vagra seat in Bharuch district, who lost. He remains the only Muslim the BJP, since its inception, has fielded in Gujarat’s as sembly elections. Since then, the BJP has not given its ticket to a Muslim candidate. The Godhra train burning in 2002 and the ensuing riots in the state polarized voters. With elections in the state increasingly becoming a two-party battle, the Congress gave Muslims just five tickets in the 2002 election. Since then, the party’s distribution of tickets to Muslim candidates has never exceeded six.

The BJP has cited ‘winnability’ as the sole criterion in choosing candidates. Its minority cell president, Mohsin Lokhandwala, said, “Except for reserved seats, the party only considers the winnability of a candidate. Not only for assembly elections but even in nagarpalika or municipal corporation elections, what matters is the candidate’s ability to win. ” The BJP fields Muslim candidates during civic elections in areas predominantly populated by the minority community.

This sentiment seems to have seeped into the Congress as well. Its MLA from the Khadia-Jamalpur constituency, Imran Khedawala, said, “Political parties consider the winnability of a candidate after looking at the equations of a constituency. The Congress gives tickets to minorities, but that also depends on local equations. ”Khedawala represents the only assembly constituency where Muslim voters form a majority (61%). However, the Chhipa subcommunity to which Khedawala belongs insists on the MLA from this seat being one of them. The Congress fielding a Muslim candidate from another subcommunity in 2012 led to former Congress MLA Sabir Kabliwala, a Chhipa, contesting as an independent. This led to Muslim votes being split and resulted in a win for the BJP candidate. In the outgoing assembly, the Congress has three Muslim MLAs – Imran Khedawala from JamalpurKhadia, Gyassudin Shaikh from Dariapur and Javid Pirzada from Wankaner constituencies.

However, it is wary of the incursion of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) on seats where Muslim votes matter the most and not without reason. AIMIM wonseven seats in the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) election two years ago, hurting the Congress’s prospects in Jamalpur and Behrampura wards. Kabliwala, who defected from the Congress and was a factor in the party’s defeat in Jamalpur in 2012, is AIMIM’s chief in Gujarat.

With Muslims marginalized by what AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi calls majoritarian politics, the minority cell of the Congress must strive harder for a share of the pie.

The head of Congress’s minority cell, Wazir Khan, says, “We have asked for 11 tickets. It is a fact that minority representation in the house is negligible. After the 2002 riots, minority candidates on very few seats have been able to win. Leaders from the minority communities now play a significant role in the back-room strategy of the party.”

Source: Times Of India

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3 Injured In Clashes During Event On Late Muslim Leader Palani Baba In Tamil Nadu's Hosur

Akshaya Nath

Nov 15, 2022

Three people were grievously injured after a clash broke out between two groups at a public meeting that was held to commemorate late Muslim leader Palani Baba at Hosur in Tamil Nadu's Krishnagiri district.

A meeting was held in Hosur on behalf of the Tamil Nadu People's Democratic Party and Palani Baba Peravai to celebrate the birthday of Palani Baba, who was the founder of a fundamentalist Islamic front. More than 250 people participated in the meeting.

When food was being served to the participants after the meeting, Taj (22) and Makhooph (30) got into a dispute. The dispute took an ugly turn when Makhooph attacked Taj. Infuriated, Taj went back home and brought along his friends, who arrived at the spot with weapons and attacked Makhooph.

Makhooph's associates snatched the weapons from Taj's friends and both the parties got involved in the fight and attacked each other. During the attack, Taj and his friend Pawan Prakash were attacked with a sickle and sustained many injuries. Other participants of the meeting immediately informed Hosur Sipkot police about the incident.

Source: India Today

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Bharat Jodo Yatra’s impact forced RSS chief to visit madrasa and mosque, soon PM Modi will start wearing ‘topi’: Digvijaya

November 15, 2022

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Tuesday said RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat was “compelled” to visit a madrasa and a mosque due to the impact of Rahul Gandhi-led ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ and soon Prime Minister Narendra Modi will start wearing a “topi” (cap).

Singh, who heads the organising committee for the Yatra, claimed PM Modi wears a “topi”- an apparent reference to the skull cap worn by Muslims- in Saudi Arabia and other countries but avoids doing so after returning to India.

“The BJP is targeting Rahul Gandhi these days because (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan) Bhagwat started visiting madrasa and masjid within a month of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. PM Modi will also start wearing a topi in a few days,” Singh told reporters.

Narendra Modi had refused to put on a skull cap offered by a Muslim cleric during his sadbhavna fast in Ahmedabad in September 2011 when he was chief minister of Gujarat.

Bhagwat visited a mosque and a madrasa (Islamic seminary) in Delhi in September and held discussions with All India Imam Organisation chief Umer Ahmed Ilyasi.

Within two months of the Yatra, which started from Kanyakumari on September 7, a senior Sangh leader had to say the poor of the country are becoming poorer and the rich are getting richer, Singh said.

“You will see what happens when this yatra reaches its final destination, Srinagar,” he said.

On President Droupadi Murmu attending the state government’s ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Divas’ event in Shahdol district, Singh alleged the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party relied only on gimmickry in the name of the welfare of people belonging to SC and ST communities.

“We are proud that Droupadi Murmu is the President of our country. We hope she will speak about atrocities committed on tribals in Madhya Pradesh. If she does not want to speak on this subject, she can give some time to our delegation to discuss this issue with her,” the Rajya Sabha MP said.

Singh said earlier Ramnath Kovind, who belongs to Scheduled Caste, became the President.

“The Prime Minister should tell what benefit his government provided to crores of Dalits of the country during President Kovind’s tenure,” he said.

On the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and All India Majlis-e-Ittehad ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) canvassing for the next month’s Gujarat assembly elections, the Congress veteran reiterated these parties are parts of the “Sangh’s vision of ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’. “They are the B team of BJP,” he alleged.

Source: Indian Express

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October Hate-tracker: Hindu-Muslim clashes mark Navratri, Dusshera, Milad-un-Nabi

Veena Nair

15th November 2022

Hyderabad: October is the festival season in India. While it is always a joyous occasion, the month was also unfortunately marked with incidents of hate and communal fights between Hindus and Muslims India. As part of‘s efforts to track hate-crime against minorities and marginalised groups, here is a list of such incidents that were reported on different days from across India:

October 1: As the country celebrated Garba, Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain district members of the right-wing Bajrang Dal claim that it had handed over three “non-Hindus” to the police for allegedly entering a Garba venue by hiding their identities.

October 2: Savli town in Gujarat’s Vadodara district experienced communal clashes between Hindus and Muslims which threw stones at each other. The incident took place on October 1 after there was a heated argument over installing community flags over electric poles. Soon the argument snowballed into a stone-pelting incident. Around 36 people from both communities were arrested.

On the same day, in Karnataka’s Udupi district, a massive rally of 10,000 workers was carried out by the right-wing organisation Hindu Jagarana Vedike. Calls for a “Hindu Rashtra” were made and some workers were spotted carrying swords even as the state police walked alongside them. Udupi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Raghupathi Bhat was also spotted at the rally.

October 3: The Mandsaur district administration in Madhya Pradesh bulldozed three Muslim houses claiming that those were built illegally. The incident was preceded by a clash between a 14-year-old Muslim boy Salman Khan and a 32-year-old Hindu man Shivlal Patidar during the seventh day of Navratri.

Shivlal had complained to Salman’s grandfather over the teenager’s alleged rash driving. The grandfather was seated close to a Garba pandal. A heated argument soon turned into a fight. Police reached the spot, and detained three Muslims while arresting four more in a late-night search. The next day, the houses were bulldozed.

On the same day, in Uttar Pradesh’s Etawah, a “singer” Dharmendra Pandey asked Hindus to be prepared to take up arms for what he termed a ‘Hindu Rashtra’. “The Prime Minister has tested you by asking you to hoist a flag on your houses, beating thalis and lighting lamps. You should all keep a sharpened sickle in your homes and the sisters should sharpen their tongs – you may need this when Modi ji gives a call for Hindu Rashtra,” Pandey said in a viral video.

In the Kawardha district of Chattisgarh, clashes broke out on the occasion of Milad-un-Nabi (birth anniversary of the Prophet Muhammed) over the hoisting of green crescent flags. According to Free Press Journal, members of a right-wing organisation Hindu Sena reportedly took out flags and tore them up grossly offending Muslim sentiments.

October 4: Clashes broke in the Kheda district of Gujarat during the Navratri celebrations. A group of Muslims reportedly entered a Navratri Garba venue in Undhela village and started pelting stones. Six persons were reportedly injured, according to the police. Three people were arrested. However, police officials resorted to flogging the accused in full public view instead of taking the path of law.

The video received sharp criticism from Twitter. Network 18’s news anchor Aman Chopra described the flogging incident as ‘Gujarat Police ka Dandiya’ encouraging police brutality.

On the same day, another communal incident transpired in Surat where Bajrang Dal activists and ‘bouncers’ from the minority community clashed during a Garba event. They conducted a surprise check on the eve of Garba night and found out that the organiser had hired a security team, which had Muslim bouncers. The activists asked the organiser to cancel the security service and ensure that no Muslim bouncer was on duty. However, that did not happen, and lead to a clash that occurred between the right-wing organisations and Muslim men.

October 5: Commotion prevailed at Byathole village, Kandi Mandal, in Telangana’s Sangareddy district (about 60 kms from Hyderabad) after some miscreants hoisted a saffron flag and carved Hindu religious inscriptions at an ancient mosque. The place of worship is a Golconda or Qutb Shahi era mosque (1518-1687), and was desecrated during Dussehra festivities. The village elders including the sarpanch and other leaders of the ruling party hoisted a saffron flag on the mosque and inscribed the ‘Om’ symbol.

October 6: A Hindu mob forcefully performed pooja at Mahmud Gawan Madrasa mosque in Bidar, Karnataka. A video sourced from The Hindustan Gazette shows a Hindu group, which was taking a ‘Devi procession’ on the occasion of the Dasara festival, forcefully breaking the lock. spoke to a high court advocate Syed Talha Hashmi who said the incident occurred at around 1 am. “The Hindu mob was chanting slogans of Jai Shree Ram, Jai Hindu Dharam, Vande Mataram. They performed pooja on the mosque premises.” Based on a complaint filed by Mohammed Shafiuddin, who is a mosque committee member nine people were booked by the Bidar police.

October 8: On the occasion of Milad-un-Nabi, clashes between two communities were reported in Kolkata’s Mominpur area after Muslim religious flags were allegedly vandalised. Around 40 people were detained. Additionally, five people, including BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar were arrested in connection with the violence. The police imposed Section 144 Cr Pc from October 10 to 12 to maintain peace.

October 8 to October 9: Young Muslims allegedly created inconvenience to the general public by chanting provocative slogans and playing loud DJ music. In Karnataka, police detained 19 young Muslims for brandishing swords and machetes on the streets of Siddapura district. In Rajasthan, young men began allegedly raising ‘sar tan se…’ slogans, worrying local residents.

In Maharastra‘s Amravati district, two people were arrested in connection with raising inflammatory slogans. In Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi district seven people including two minors were detained by the police for raising ‘sar tan se juda‘ slogans.

October 22: In the Shivamogga district of Karnataka, a bike rally called ‘Savarkar Samrajya‘ was conducted in which Ashwini, the sister of slain Bajrang Dal activist Harsha reportedly took part. Reports emerged that Ashwini along with 10-15 persons vandalised a car of a Muslim teacher named Syed Parvez. Syed lodged a police complaint accusing Ashwini and 10 more people of damaging his car that was parked outside his house and also shouting “Jai Shree Ram”.

Source: Siasat Daily

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Love Jihad Running In Country In ‘Well-Planned Manner’: Giriraj Singh

16th November 2022

Patna: Union Minister Giriraj Singh on Tuesday cited the gruesome murder of Shraddha Walker to claim that a large number of girls like her have become victims of “love jihad”.

“There is a well-planned conspiracy taking place in the country to target Hindu girls through love jihad. It is the party of Nitish Kumar, party of Lalu Prasad Yadav and the party of Rahul Gandhi that are responsible for it. They have to reply on it,” he said while interacting with media persons here.

“In the past, we have seen how Muslim people took away Hindu and Sikh girls from the marriage ceremonies (Mandup) and Gurudwaras in Pakistan. Lakhs of Shraddhas become victims in India too. It is a well-planned conspiracy under which the youths of Muslim community are establishing relationship with Hindu girls and forcing them to change the religion. If Hindu girls are not ready for conversion, they have been killed like Shraddha,” Singh alleged.

Source: Siasat Daily

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Legal tweak to allow PM to retain army officers with stroke of pen

Riazul Haq

November 16, 2022

ISLAMABAD: At a time when the country’s military is preparing for a change of command, the government seems to be considering amending the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 in a way that would empower the appointing authority — i.e. the prime minister — to retain any candidate through a simple notification, rather than having to go through a complex, constitutional process, it has emerged.

The summary regarding a slew of changes is all set to land before the Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC), following approval by the Ministry of Defence last month, after which the proposed legislation is expected to be laid before parliament.

As per the proposed amendment in Section 176 titled ‘Power to make rules’, sub section (2-a), in clause (a) of the PAA, the word ‘retention’ shall be inserted after ‘reappointment’ in the current text of the law, while the word ‘resignation’ would be inserted after the word ‘release’.

The clause in question currently reads: “The [Federal Government] may make rules for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this act… Without prejudice to the generality of the power conferred by sub­section (1), such rules may provide for the appointment, reappointment or extension, retirement, release, discharge, removal or dismissal from the service of persons subject to this Act, including the Chief of the Army Staff and / or the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.”

In the current political climate, the development is being viewed as a critical one which may change the equation around the change of command expected in the military.

Dawn reached out to Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb as well as several other members of the federal cabinet, but none of them responded to requests for comment.

A senior lawyer with experience in dealing with military-related cases told Dawn that through this amendment, the prime minister would gain the power to have the army chief, or any other senior officer who is set to retire soon, continue in his role until further orders.

“The current legislation calls on the government to follow a set procedure to reappoint or extend the tenure of the army chief, i.e. a summary through the Ministry of Defence, followed by the PM’s approval and a final nod from the president,” he said.

The lawyer added that the proposed change in the PAA could allow the premier to simply issue a notification that orders the ‘retention’ of the army chief, with or without specifying a duration.

Incumbent army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa is all set to retire by November 29 after serving for six years, which included one extension in his term. In addition, Lt-Gen Asim Munir, the senior-most of those said to be in the running to become the next army chief, is set to retire a few days before Gen Bajwa’s tenure comes to an end.

It may be recalled that in Nov 2019, the Supreme Court had suspended a notification regarding the extension, stating there were glaring technical errors in the appointment summary issued by the government.

After three days of dramatic hearings, the apex court had asked the government to amend the army act within six months. Subsequently, in 2020, parliament amended the PAA to allow the chief executive, i.e. the prime minister, to extend the tenure of four star generals.

Speaking on a TV channel on Monday, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah possibly alluded to the bill that is in the works when he said that the legislation enacted to extend the tenure of the army chief under the PTI regime should be abolished to avoid controversy over the appointment of a new army chief.

It is also interesting to note that the CCLC meeting, which was originally scheduled on Nov 11 to consider the PAA amendment, was cancelled for unknown reasons.

On Monday, the government also notified Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Communications Minister Asad Mahmood as the members of the body. This is a deviation from the norm, as the busy finance minister is not usually part of the CCLC, which is often chaired by the law minister himself.

If it is approved by the CCLC, the draft will be presented before the federal cabinet, or it would be approved through circulation to cabinet members.

Source: Dawn

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PDM, PTI politics revolve around new army chief: Siraj

November 16, 2022

LOWER DIR: Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq has said that leaders of both Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) were eager to win support of the international establishment and America.

He was addressing a convention of social media activists organised by the JI youth wing at a local hotel in Timergara here on Tuesday as chief guest. The convention was also addressed by JI district chief Izazul Mulk Afkari, former MNA Sahibzada Yaqub Khan, former MPA Saeed Gul, Shad Nawaz Khan, JI youth wing district president Ateequr Rehman and others.

Sirajul Haq said that politics of both PDM and PTI revolved around the appointment of chief of army staff as they had nothing to do with the people and their miseries.

He said that a new social contract among the leaders of political parties was need of the hour.

JI chief calls for new social contract among leaders of political parties

He said that political parties should make an agreement for civil supremacy, electoral reforms and mechanism for the neutralisation of the establishment.

The JI chief said that there was no difference in the policies of PDM and PTI regarding national economy, international relations and social reforms. He said that both of them ruined the economy of the country.

About the interest-free economy, he said that it was a good omen that the federal government had withdrawn its appeal against the Federal Shariat Court. He said that it was ironic that there was still a 15 per cent mark-up in all banks of the country. He demanded of the government to take practical steps for abolishing interest on internal loans during the next five years and then on foreign loans.

Siraj said that a meeting of religious scholars from different sects in that regard would be held in Karachi on November 30 under the supervision of prominent scholar Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani.

About Imran Khan’s recent stand regarding relations with the USA, he said that it was not beyond understanding. He said that it was a continuation of his U-turns.

The JI chief said that six per cent of the total Rs299 billion GDP was swallowed by the elite class while Rs5,000 billion were plundered annually in the country.

He said that media was not independent in the country. He said that social media was the only platform for freedom of expression. He asked the participants of the convention to utilise social media for spreading the message of Islam and ideology of Pakistan.

Source: Dawn

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Railing against election czar, Imran seeks CJP’s intervention

Ahmad Fraz Khan

November 16, 2022

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday cast aspersions on the role of Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, as he urged Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial for intervention to “set things right”.

Addressing the long march rallies in multiple cities via video link, the former prime minister claimed the election commissioner was working on an “anti-PTI agenda”. He alleged that Mr Raja was not only a ‘PML-N man’ but was also allegedly working for the ‘handlers’ — a euphemism for establishment.

The PTI chairman asked the chief justice to hear the case filed by the former ruling party against the election watchdog head. “This man is targeting me with two cases: foreign funding and Toshakhana — both fake ones. He has so far taken eight (anti-PTI) decisions and all were turned down by the courts, clearly indicating his bias against the PTI,” Mr Khan claimed.

Imran Khan lamented that former president Asif Ali Zardari, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and PPP leader Yousuf Raza Gillani also received gifts from Toshakhana during their tenure, but he was the only one being targeted for taking gifts.

Ex-PM claims CEC working for ‘handlers’, urges SC to hear reference against him

The former premier also sought the top court’s intervention over the issue of FIR registration in the Wazirabad gun attack case. Mr Khan said the CJP should also take notice of the custodial torture of Azam Swati and the murder of journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya.

“All three cases merit intervention by the chief justice of Pakistan. It is my fundamental right to get the names of [whom Imran suspects] included in the FIR. However, the police, working under our own government [in Punjab], have refused to do so, saying that they cannot move against ‘them as they were too powerful’.”

According to the PTI chief, the stance of the police “vindicated” him. “This country has two types of laws: one for the powerful and the other for the powerless. Only the chief justice of Pakistan can set things right.”

Mr Khan also criticised journalists, who, according to him, have “stooped to nitpicking instead of reporting his views”. “It is a work done by a propaganda cell through a bunch of stooge journalists,” the PTI chief claimed without corroboration. “They have gone down to a level, where foreign journalists are clarifying points being misinterpreted by local journalists,” he claimed.

Imran-Moonis meeting

Meanwhile, sources in the PTI told Dawn that Imran Khan and Moonis Elahi of the PML-Q discussed details of the joint investigation team formed to investigate the assassination attempt on Imran Khan. In a meeting at Zaman Park where Imran Khan is staying, they discussed security details for the march as well.

Source: Dawn

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Bilawal decries ‘national obsession’ with COAS appointment

Imran Ayub

November 16, 2022

KARACHI: Terming the gossip, debate and speculation over the upcoming appointment of the chief of army staff “unfortunate”, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Tuesday warned that the national obsession with this particular office would not contribute to the stability of our democracy, nor would it help the nation to grow.

Talking to reporters after attending a ceremony at the Dow University of Health Sciences’ (DUHS) Ojha Campus, Mr Bhutto-Zardari was quite upfront with his views, even criticising leaders from the ruling coalition who were constantly discussing the army chief’s appointment in the public domain and on national media.

“It’s so unfortunate that for a quite long time, this appointment of COAS is being discussed,” he said to a question about the recent remarks of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s “consultation” over the choice of the new chief.

“We are witnessing totally unnecessary politics on this subject. Whether these people are in the ruling parties or in the opposition, we should not do this. We should keep our national interest as our priority. His [Imran Khan] politics actually revolve around this issue [COAS appointment], and let me say that until our politics don’t come out of this subject, our democracy will not get stronger and we won’t grow as a nation.”

He reiterated that any decision on these lines would reflect the government’s resolve to stick with the Constitution.

IDEAS inaugurated

Earlier, the foreign minister inaugurated the 11th edition of the IDEAS Defence Expo 2022 at Karachi Expo Centre, where he was the chief guest. In his inaugural address, Mr Bhutto-Zardari showed the government’s willingness to have “meaningful dialogue” for “peace and harmony in the region”. Although he did not name any country, it was understood that he could have been referring to India.

“Pakistan, being a responsible state, is always committed to play its role for international peace, stability and order,” he said.

“The government of Pakistan always believes in meaningful dialogue on the basis of equality not only to resolve bilateral issues but also to give a chance to peace and harmony in the region. At our end, we in collaboration with our partners are steadfast to this unflinching commitment for peace and stability in the world.”

He called IDEAS “a regional gateway” for international manufacturers and suppliers to explore new avenues of defence cooperation through joint ventures, outsourcing and collaboration. The country’s industry, he said, has reached the threshold of quality and reliability wherein its products are competing in the international market.

Source: Dawn

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Pak PM Shehbaz Sharif tests Covid positive after London trip

Nov 16, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif tested positive for Covid Tuesday, a day after his return from a five-day private London trip where he reportedly discussed the next army chief’s appointment before this month-end with elder brother and self-exiled three-time former PM Nawaz Sharif.

This is the third time Shehbaz has tested positive for the virus, having done so earlier in June 2020 and January this year.

Earlier this month, the PM had travelled to UN climate summit COP27 in Egypt and from there went on the private London trip amid a buzz that he consulted Nawaz on who would succeed General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the incumbent army chief due to retire on November 29.

Shehbaz was scheduled to return home Friday but changed his plan at the last minute saying he was feeling unwell. This stoked speculation that the PM had taken more time to discuss the army chief’s selection with his brother. The PM’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has been tight-lipped on the London talks.

Away from the spotlight on the Sharifs, Gen Bajwa’s farewell visits and garrison tours in recent weeks have capped speculation that he may be given an extension, though the army is yet to move a “summary” to the PM to select one from the recommended top generals for the top job.

The PM, however, has the discretion to ignore all recommended names and pick someone else. Defence minister Khwaja Asif, who had accompanied the PM during his visit to London, said his ministry had not so far received the summary. He had recently rejected reports that a call on the new chief had been taken in London, conceding that while discussions did take place on the issue, no final decision had been made.

Former PM Imran Khan, however, lashed out at the Sharifs again in a televised address to protesters of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party marching towards Islamabad to demand early elections.

“The PM had flown to London to meet a “convict and absconder” (Nawaz) to discuss an important appointment,” the cricketer-turned-politician, who blames Shehbaz for the recent assassination attempt on him, said.

Source: Times Of India

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Firing on police mobile patrol in Lakki Marwat kills 6: state media

Zahid Imdad

November 16, 2022

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan sought a report from the provincial police chief after a police mobile patrol came under gunfire in Lakki Marwat on Wednesday morning.

State-run Radio Pakistan has reported that six police personnel, including an assistant sub-inspector and the driver, have been killed in what it described as a terror attack. has reached out to KP police for details.

In a statement, CM Mahmood Khan said the incident was “very unfortunate” and the “sacrifice of the martyrs will not be in vain”.

He extended condolences to the bereaved families.

Later, a statement by KP police’s public relations officer said the province’s inspector general, Moazzam Jah Ansari, had taken strict notice of the “target killing” in Lakki Marwat.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also strongly condemned the incident. In a statement, he said “terrorists are the enemies of Pakistan and every possible step will be taken to safeguard the country”.

Paying tribute to the slain policemen, he said the “whole nation salutes the sons of the soil who sacrificed their lives for the motherland”.

He urged the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to immediately announce Shuhada package for the martyred police personnel.

National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Deputy Speaker Zahid Durrani condemned the attack. They “also urged Govt. to act against terrorist with full force,” according to a statement tweeted by the National Assembly.

Source: Dawn

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Arshad Sharif sustained multiple injuries before death: Pims

Munawer Azeem

November 16, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Journalist Arshad Sharif, who was shot dead by Kenyan police last month in an alleged case of ‘mistaken identity’, sustained multiple injuries, which give credence to the speculations of torture, prior to his death, according to a report of the autopsy conducted by Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims).

Sources familiar with the investigation said that an eight-member medical board which conducted the autopsy on October 26, a day after the body was received from Nairobi, was of the opinion that “all the injuries were antemortem in nature”. The term antemortem injuries” is used for injuries that occur before death.

As per the report quoted by sources, the deceased died due to firearm injuries that caused “damage to the brain and right lung”. The report added that the right clavicle bone (collarbone) and right third rib were also found fractured.

The sources said a part of the left upper parietal bone (skull) of the slain journalist was found to be missing. During the autopsy, the doctors found a dozen injuries on the body, besides wounds at his left lower neck and the left shoulder, they added.

According to the post-mortem report, Mr Sharif was missing four nails on his left hand while the nail bed of his middle and ring fingers was also bruised. His left eye was found black as well, they added.

Source: Dawn

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Four TTP men killed in D.I. Khan

Muhammad Irfan Mughal

November 16, 2022

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Four alleged terrorists belonging to outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Gandapur group, were killed in a clash with members of security forces in Maddi area of Kulachi tehsil on Tuesday.

According to a police spokesman, the terrorists were planning to carry out terror activities in the area and they were killed in a joint operation of the police’s Counter-Terrorism Department and security forces.

The spokesman said that when security personnel encircled the area, the TTP terrorists opened fire, triggering a clash. During the clash, an improvised explosive device exploded, killing the four terrorists on the spot.

The security forces also destroyed several hideouts of the militants.

Source: Dawn

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Two political opposition figures detained in Jordan to head off protests

15 November, 2022

Two high-ranking members of the Islamic Action Front (IAF) – the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood and Jordan's main opposition party – were arrested on Monday as authorities sought to head off protests.

Hamad al-Harout and Thabet al-Aasaf, two leading members of the IAF, were arrested by security forces amid calls for protests in Madaba, a city just south of the capital Amman. Aasaf was released on Monday night, but al-Harout is still in detention.

Others were also arrested alongside the two IAF members, but The New Arab was unable to verify how many or under what charges they were detained.

The demonstrations were planned to commemorate Arab Spring protests a decade earlier and express grievances against Jordan's worsening economic conditions.

Al-Harout was taken into "precautionary detention" early on Monday, according to IAF party spokesperson and former MP Dima Tahboub.

Al-Aasaf, the secretary-general of the IAF, said he was arrested at a checkpoint alongside other activists while en route to a protest.

He told TNA that the arrest of him and the other activists were an "assault on the constitution … and on the rights of the general public."

"These arrests do not offer a good sign of the government's intention to support democracy … and clashes with the claims of political development," Tahboub told TNA.

The spokesperson for Jordan's Public Security Directorate did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publishing.

In recent years, Jordanian authorities started the practice of arresting activists they suspected might participate in protests before the events being held. Activists are often arrested on the day of or before protests and held in detention until the demonstrations finish.

Human rights activists have condemned the practice as a form of arbitrary arrest.

"If there is a call for a protest in the streets, they will detain people from morning until night to foil the protest. This is a new practice used in the last two years or so," Malak Abu Oraibi, a human rights lawyer, told TNA.

Protests in Jordan are relatively common, particularly as the country's economy continues to worsen. Youth unemployment sits around 50 per cent, and prices have increased across the board alongside global economic trends.

Jordan embarked on a mission to 'modernise' its political system and passed a series of constitutional amendments meant to increase the role of political parties last in December 2021.

Analysts, however, have said that the amendments have actually increased the monarch's power at the expense of parliament, the country's elected legislative body.

Despite the attempts for reform, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said that authorities have “crushed” civic space over the previous four years.

Source: The New Arab

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Tunisia union hits out at ‘defamation’ case against news site

15 November ,2022

The Tunisian journalists’ union accused authorities on Tuesday of trying to “intimidate the media,” after a minister sued a news outlet for “defaming” the prime minister.

The Business News website had published an editorial last week under the title “Najla Bouden, the gentle woman,” reviewing the premier’s 13 months in office under President Kais Saied.

Since starting the job in October 2021, Bouden had “achieved nothing,” the article claimed, accusing the government of “continuing to put sticks in the the wheels of Tunisia’s economy.”

Bouden was appointed by Saied in the wake of a July 2021 power grab that has sparked fears for democracy in the birthplace of the Arab Spring uprisings.

Saied has since issued a string of presidential decrees seen as repressive by rights groups, including one in September restricting press freedom.

On Friday, justice minister Leila Jaffel filed a complaint against Business News for defamation, “false allegations against a public official” and “contempt of the head of government.”

The justice ministry declined to give AFP any further details on the case.

On Monday, Business News director Nizar Bahloul was questioned by police in Tunis, he told AFP, saying they had asked about the article and the expressions it used.

The vice president of the SNJT journalists’ union, Amira Mohamed, said Tuesday the column contained “no defamation.”

“The move to press charges shows that the authorities want to intimidate the media and journalists in order to silence them,” she told AFP.

“We condemn this kind of repressive practice, under a draconian text.”

Business News would be the first media outlet to be prosecuted under the September 16 decree.

The law allows courts to issue heavy fines and jail terms of up to five years against anyone “who deliberately uses communication networks and information systems to produce, promote, publish or send false information or false rumors.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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Libya at risk of partition 1 year into elections postponement: UN

Betul Yuruk 



The UN warned Tuesday that Libya is at risk of partitioning since elections, which were scheduled for Dec. 24, were postponed last year.

Abdoulaye Bathily, the UN envoy for Libya, said some institutional players are actively hindering progress toward elections.

''The genuine political will of these actors needs to be tested against reality, as we approach December 24th, the first anniversary of the postponement of elections and the 7th anniversary of the signing of the Libyan Political Agreement, '' Bathily said as he shared Libyans’ concerns about delays to the long-awaited elections in a briefing to the Security Council

''Further prolonging the interim period will make the country even more vulnerable to political, economic and security instability and could put the country at risk of partition.''

He urged Libyan leaders to work with resolve toward holding elections as soon as possible.

Bathily also encouraged the 15-member Council to send an unequivocal message to obstructionists that their actions will not remain without consequences.

Oil-rich Libya has remained in turmoil since 2011 when longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted after four decades in power.

The situation has worsened since last March when East Libya-based parliament appointed a new government led by former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha, but Tripoli-based Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, one of the two figures claiming power and authority in Libya, insists he will cede authority only to a government that comes through an "elected parliament," raising fears that Libya could slip back into a civil war.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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UK to end troop deployment to UN mission in Mali earlier than planned

Aysu Bicer


The UK announced Monday that the country is ending troop deployment to the UN mission in Mali earlier than expected, with British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey saying that two coups in Mali in three years had "undermined" international efforts to maintain peace.

"The Wagner Group is linked to mass human rights abuses, and the Malian government's partnership with the Wagner Group is counterproductive to lasting stability and security in their region," Heappey said in a statement to the House of Commons.

"This government cannot deploy our nation’s military to provide security when the host country’s government is not willing to work with us to deliver lasting stability and security," he noted.

Known as a Russian private military company, Wagner Group has reportedly operated in Ukraine, Syria and Libya and some African countries including Mali and the Central African Republic.

The group has been targeted in the raft of sanctions imposed on Russia by Western countries. Russia denies any links to the group.

Heappey added, however, that the country's commitment to West Africa and the important work of the UN is undiminished.

"I will join colleagues from across Europe and West Africa in Accra to coordinate our renewed response to instability in the Sahel," he said.

Since 2012, Mali has been battling growing violence orchestrated by militants in its northern and central regions targeting both soldiers and civilians.

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution in 2013 to establish a Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) to support political processes in the country and carry out security-related tasks.

In 2014, the 12,000-strong UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) peacekeeping force began deployment in the troubled country.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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