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Islamic World News ( 27 Jun 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Taliban releases video of 17 beheaded Pakistani soldiers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eight, Including Policeman, Killed In Quetta Blast

South Asia

Taliban releases video of 17 beheaded Pakistani soldiers

Afghan Rape Case Turns Focus on Local Police

Taliban insurgents ambush: Deadly Day for Afghan Police

Taliban representative in Japan for peace forum

West worried by China-Pakistan atomic ties

Myanmar pledges action on child soldiers: UN

Afghanistan aims to restore its cultural heritage

Poet Jasimuddin's Asmani' brought to Dhaka for treatment

Afghan envoy urges Pakistan to help revitalise talks

 

Europe

German Ruling against Circumcising Boys Draws Criticism

UN leader criticizes Iranian leader’s comments on Jewish law

Russia Says Transition Is Needed in Syria but Cannot Be Imposed

 

India

Protests intensify over Muslim League ‘hijack’ of Kerala Govt

J-K police crackdown on youth involved in violence

LeT trained Jundal to fly planes for a 9/11-style attack on India

India for 'concerted action' against 'terrorism syndicate' in Afghanistan

Family's DNA Samples Never Taken, Says Abu Jundal's Mother

Marathwada becoming Pakistan, Thackeray says

LeT operative married a Pakistani woman & fathered a child

Kashmir commander recruited Abu Jundal into terror outfit

Two-day shutdown called against shrine fire in J&K

Beed refuses to believe Jundal is 26/ 11 plotter

AMU Students Create World Record with 39ft X 27ft Envelop With A Message of Peace

Don't want to get into 'slanging match' with Pak interior minister: Krishna

Freed from Pak jail, Surjeet Singh crosses over to India, says 'I was a spy'

Sarabjit and Prof. Bhullar cases should be treated equally, memo to PM

With sacred threads, Abu Jundal tried to colour 26/11 saffron

J&K: Four revenue officials booked for forgery

After Pak U-turn, India renews appeal for Sarabjit's release

India in touch with Saudi Arabia to bring back missing Fasih

Pak may have done Sarabjit U-turn under Jihadi pressure

Heartbreak and joy at midnight

26/11 handler Abu Jundal first arrested in 2003 in domestic case

I will be safe, Jundal had told his father before disappearing

Will not return to Pak, says Surjeet Singh after release from jail

Sarabjit's family regrets Pak u-turn, Surjeet's kin rejoice

Sarabjit's family doesn't buy Pak mistake story

 

Pakistan

Pak high commission invites Kashmiri separatists for meet in New Delhi

Former Pakistan minister detained at US airport for possible links with Hafiz Saeed

Pakistani Taliban leader Fazlullah Re-emerges as a Security Threat

Separate province right of Pakhtuns of Balochistan: Tahir Bezinjo

5 killed, 18 injured in blast at railway station in Balochistan

26/11 was an Indian plot, claims Pakistan

Majority of Pakistanis feel India greater threat than Taliban

Opp files adjournment motion against students’ suicides

Court puts Pakistan president, PM on notice

Zardari has abysmally low approval rating in Pakistan: Survey

Dead man talking: Visions of a noose haunt a man condemned to death

 

Southeast Asia

Bali Bomber Umar Patek Won't Appeal Verdict

Foreign Minister Bob Carr criticises High Court for ruling against ‘Malaysia Solution'

 

Mideast Asia

Israel 'breaching UN convention on children's rights'

Hamas member 'assassinated' in Syrian capital Damascus

Turkey deploys anti-aircraft guns at Syria border

Israel: Hamas Leader Convicted

 

Arab World

Bombings kill 14 around Iraqi capital Baghdad

Syria is at war says Assad as violence spirals

Bahrain human rights activist Nabeel Rajab released

Kofi Annan proposes interim government for Syria

Syrian Arrests Are Said to Have Snared Tens of Thousands

 

Africa

Nigerian police kill 17 suspected militants

Islamists seize buildings in north Mali town

 

North America

'Without Pak support, US will have to go for airlift in Afghan'

Clinton hails Egypt vote but warns it’s ‘just the beginning’

Jundal arrest exposes Pak stand: US expert

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Afghan Rape Case Turns Focus on Local Police

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/taliban-releases-video-of-17-beheaded-pakistani-soldiers/d/7772

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Eight, Including Policeman, Killed In Quetta Blast

June 28, 2012

QUETTA: At least eight people, including a policeman, were killed and 20 people were injured when a bus carrying pilgrims was targeted with a bomb in Hazar Ganji area of Quetta, DawnNews reported.

The passengers of the bus were going to Iran’s city Taftan for a religious pilgrimage.

The bus was collided by a car before both the vehicles exploded, eye witnesses told the media representatives.

The impact of the explosion was so intense that the bus turned over, eye witnesses added.

There is no confirmation on the nature of the blast as yet.

There were around 80 passengers in the bus. Rescue teams are busy in taking passengers out from the bus.

The injured are being shifted to the civil hospital of the city and Ghulam Medical complex hospital. Emergency has been imposed in all the hospitals of Quetta.

Police and Frontier Corps (FC) cordoned off the area after the incident as investigation went underway.

http://dawn.com/2012/06/28/eight-including-policeman-killed-in-quetta-blast/

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South Asia

 

Taliban releases video of 17 beheaded Pakistani soldiers

Jun 28 2012

Kabul : The Taliban has released a video, which they say shows the heads of Pakistani soldiers who they captured in a cross-border raid from Afghanistan and beheaded.

The beheading, claimed by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, took place on Sunday when Taliban militants from Afghanistan infiltrated into the northwestern district of Upper Dir.

A senior security official in Peshawar confirmed that a total of 17 soldiers were targeted by the attackers who came from Afghanistan’s Kunar province.

“Six troops were killed on the first day and another seven were slaughtered the next day,” News24 quoted the official, as saying.

“Four were missing and now they have also been beheaded,” the official added.

According to the report, the video prepared by the Taliban's media wing shows 17 severed heads of soldiers placed on a white sheet while masked men stand behind clutching assault rifles captured from the soldiers.

Local security officials confirmed that all the victims were Pakistani soldiers.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/967764/

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Afghan Rape Case Turns Focus on Local Police

By ALISSA J. RUBIN

28 June, 2012

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan — The policeman spoke with calm and assurance as he insisted that he could not have raped the teenage daughter of a local shepherd, because a mullah had married them just before intercourse.

“Once the marriage contract is done, any sexual intercourse is not considered rape,” said Khodaidad, 42, who until he was detained in the case had worked for the American-trained Afghan Local Police.

His brother Ghulam Sakhi, accused by the young woman of participating in her abduction, sat beside Khodaidad on the floor of a small traditional reception room at the provincial jail here. He chimed in: “In Pashtun culture, the girls do not have the right to say who they marry and who they don’t want to marry. Whomever their parents choose for them, they should marry.”

Neither man has been formally charged, and both deny the abduction and rape allegations.

Prosecutors, family members and human rights advocates vehemently disagree with the suspects’ description of what happened to Lal Bibi, the young woman. They say there is little doubt that she was abducted and raped and that there was no marriage. They also challenge the idea that any marriage in such circumstances could be legitimate or exonerate the rape. Forced marriage is illegal under Afghan law, said Gen. Mohammed Sharif Safi, the military prosecutor in Kunduz.

However, for many people here, including the Kunduz police chief and the spokesman for the Interior Ministry — both of whom insisted that the case involved forced marriage, not rape — the former appeared to be less objectionable, although others would regard the line between the two as thin.

Interviews with more than a dozen people connected to the case suggest that much more is at stake than the fate of an 18-year-old shepherd’s daughter. Her plight illuminates the persistence of tribal custom, the fragility of newly legislated protections for women, and the power of armed men.

What constitutes rape is only one of the contentious issues in this case, which first came to light about a month ago, when Lal Bibi and her family took the rare step of going public with their accusations. The case galvanized President Hamid Karzai, who ordered that the culprits be brought to justice and that the police unit involved be disarmed.

However, some members of Afghanistan’s National Security Council argued that pursuing the allegations could tarnish the image of the Afghan Local Police, a network of American-trained militias they view as essential to maintaining security and keeping the Taliban at bay.

While sharing the goal of security, prosecutors and human rights advocates want to show that this is a new Afghanistan, where the rule of the gun should not trump the rule of law.

“The problem is that these people are illiterate and uneducated,” said General Safi, the military prosecutor, speaking of the police, particularly the unit involved in the case. “They haven’t been told their job description, they don’t have a code of conduct, most are former militia members who still have the mentality they had 15 years ago — they still think they can kill with impunity, rape with impunity.”

“I am very supportive of the Afghan Local Police program,” he added, “It’s a very good program, but I am very critical of the recruitment and selection process.”

Still, General Safi said, despite the program’s flaws, as a prosecutor he would much prefer to deal with the local police, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Interior Ministry, giving him greater authority to act than is the case with other armed groups.

Amid all the shouting, Lal Bibi and her family are very unsure whether justice will be done or whether they will be forever humiliated in their community for having a daughter who, by Pashtun tribal traditions, has been tarnished. Families in similar circumstances sometimes kill the victims because of the perceived dishonor.

Last week, the family, which had never visited the sprawling Afghan capital, made the 10-hour journey by taxi from the city of Kunduz, where they had taken refuge, to Kabul and paid for hotel rooms so that the girl’s father and grandfather could try to persuade government officials to hear their story.

“We had never been here before, and you know, it is very difficult to get officials to meet with you,” said Lal Bibi’s grandfather, Hajji Rustam, looking down at his shoes, which he had polished for his visits to the ministries.

Lal Bibi and her mother had come as well, because as women they could not stay home alone in Kunduz. But they were in another room and were not in a condition to see visitors, Lal Bibi’s father said.

Two more suspects were detained last weekend, including the man who is alleged to be the ringleader in the crime, Cmdr. Muhammad Ishaq Nezaami, who commanded the local police unit and is accused of ordering Lal Bibi’s abduction. Previously, the Kunduz police chief and others said that Commander Nezaami and the other man had left the area, but the two were apprehended in the outpost where they previously worked.

Mr. Karzai’s order to disarm the police unit involved in the episode seems to have been largely overtaken by events, now that four of the five unit members have been detained.

In the meantime, Gen. Samiullah Qatra, the Kunduz provincial police chief, and Col. Mohammed Shokur, the head of the local police program in Kunduz, have brought in a new unit. It is led by the brother of Commander Nezaami, a move that has angered local people who view it as a deliberate taunt.

“Nezaami’s brother was driving Nezaami’s truck, so people think he is back and that scares them,” said Hajji Balkhi, an elder from Lal Bibi’s village. “It is an insult, not just to Hajji Rustam, but to all of us.”

Kunduz Province, where the events occurred, is perhaps the most turbulent in northern Afghanistan. While a tenuous security has been achieved recently, barely 18 months ago the Taliban were a direct threat to the provincial capital of the same name; they assassinated the previous governor and the previous police chief , Gen. Daoud Daoud. Like General Qatra, the previous chief had once served as a commander with the Northern Alliance that supported American forces in overthrowing Taliban rule in 2001.

General Qatra, like his boss, Interior Minister Bismullah Khan, was enthusiastic when the Americans proposed forming the Afghan Local Police, groups of lightly armed local men trained by Special Operations forces to help fight the Taliban. Some informal armed groups with links to the Northern Alliance, as well as some Taliban who renounced the insurgency, were folded into these new local units, Colonel Shokur said.

For his part, General Qatra would rather view Lal Bibi’s case as a family affair than as a serious crime.

“There hasn’t been any rape involved; it was a forced marriage,” he said briskly. “And in this case, the family has claimed their daughter was given as ‘baad.’ ” Baad is the practice of trading women as a payment to resolve disputes between families, clans or tribes. Typically, when a girl is given in baad, it is the result of a meeting of elders in which both families have representatives.

General Qatra did not deny that Commander Nezaami’s brother now led the unit, but said it was irrelevant. “A crime is a personal thing, whoever does a crime should be punished,” he said. “You cannot punish my brother for the crime I have committed.”

He brushed off the idea that he might be trying to intimidate the family, saying that he had no choice but to replace the unit with another one. “We need that outpost to prevent that village from falling into the hands of the Taliban,” he said.

That is small comfort to Lal Bibi and her family, since they feel they cannot return to their tents and sheep. They say they are under threat because they spoke out against the armed men who are supposed to keep them safe.

General Safi, the prosecutor, said that he had dealt with a lot of cases, but that this one “reaffirmed my stance against the mistreatment of women.”

Referring to the many women’s projects financed by the international community, he added, “I realized — all this money they spent to improve the situation of women, and there are still a lot of women who are mistreated every day and whose life condition has not changed much.”

Habib Zahori contributed reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/world/asia/afghan-rape-case-turns-focus-on-local-police.html?ref=global-home&gwh=FD9D54857BD236A67224BCEF5E7A0FF8

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Taliban insurgents ambush: Deadly Day for Afghan Police

28 June, 2012

KABUL, Afghanistan — Ten police officers died in violence across Afghanistan on Wednesday, including the district chief of a counterterrorism unit in Herat Province in the west of the country, officials said.

Taliban insurgents ambushed the counterterrorism unit while it was on a night patrol in the Ghurian district of Herat, said Mohyaddin Noori, a spokesman for the Herat governor’s office. The unit’s chief and three others were killed.

Herat is relatively secure, at least compared with more volatile and more Pashtun-dominated provinces in the south and east, and attacks by the Taliban are comparatively rare there. Ghurian district is in the west of the province, toward the Iranian border.

Four policemen died in southern Helmand Province when explosives they had discovered earlier detonated while being loaded into their vehicle. Two other officers were wounded in the explosion.

And in the city of Kunduz, in the northeast, two police officers died and three were wounded when their vehicle struck a land mine.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/world/asia/10-policemen-are-killed-across-afghanistan.html?ref=world&gwh=C0D50F6AB5FEB5B1B37869DA805B6180

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Taliban representative in Japan for peace forum

June 27, 2012

A Taliban representative on Wednesday joined an Afghan government official for a peace conference hosted by an elite university in Japan, an academic said. In a rare joint appearance, Din Muhammad, a member of the Taliban's political council, was invited by the private Doshisha University

to a "peace-building" forum, along with Masoom Stanekzai, internal security adviser to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

They and other Afghans were in Japan to discuss what steps need to be taken to build peace and bring reconciliation in the war-torn nation, the forum's organiser said.

Masanori Naito, professor of Middle Eastern studies and migration studies at the university, said the aim had been to get all sides to the table.

"We brought opposing parties together to debate paths toward peace," he told AFP.

Muhammad's visit to Japan comes less than a week after Taliban fighters stormed a lakeside hotel near Kabul, killing 18 people in a 12-hour standoff with the security forces.

The attack highlighted the instability in the country ahead of the 2014 departure of NATO combat troops, who have been fighting a more than decade-long insurgency that erupted after the US-led invasion in 2001.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/RestOfAsia/Taliban-representative-in-Japan-for-peace-forum/Article1-879771.aspx

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West worried by China-Pakistan atomic ties

Jun 27, 2012

VIENNA: Western states pressured China at closed-door talks last week to address concerns about its plans to expand a nuclear power plant in Pakistan and provide more information, but were rebuffed, two diplomatic sources said on Wednesday.

Beijing's atomic relations with Islamabad have caused unease in Washington, Delhi and other capitals due to Pakistan's history of spreading nuclear arms technology and fears about the integrity of international non proliferation rules.

"A number of countries asked questions and expressed concerns," said one official, speaking about the annual plenary session of the 46-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), held on June 21-22 in the U.S. city of Seattle.

But China showed no sign of reconsidering its position on building two more reactors at the Chashma nuclear power complex in Pakistan's Punjab region, the official and another source said, a stance Beijing also took when the issue was raised in last year's NSG talks in the Dutch city of Noordwijk.

As its ties with the United States have suffered, Pakistan has been trying to move closer to Asian powerhouse China, which has welcomed Islamabad's overtures.

The two-day meeting also debated the issue of India's possible membership in the NSG, a consensus-based cartel that seeks to ensure nuclear exports are not used for military purposes by agreeing rules for such trade, the sources said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/West-worried-by-China-Pakistan-atomic-ties/articleshow/14435217.cms

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Myanmar pledges action on child soldiers: UN

28 June, 2012

YANGON: Myanmar on Wednesday signed an agreement with the United Nations pledging to prevent the use of child soldiers and allow access to military units to check for underage recruits, the UN said Wednesday.

The action plan, inked by senior military officials and UN representatives in the capital Naypyidaw, is the result of years of negotiation with the government, the UN office in Yangon said in a statement. “We will be able to work closely with the Ministry of Defence and visit various military units to identify under-age children if any, have them registered and released and provide assistance for their reintegration with their families,” said Ramesh Shrestha, the country representative for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“The signing also means serious commitments from the government to ensure that there will be no more recruitment of under age children in the military,” he told AFP, adding that he expected an improvement in screening for recruitment.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\28\story_28-6-2012_pg14_4

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Afghanistan aims to restore its cultural heritage

28 June, 2012

KABUL: Interred a quarter century ago in Pakistan, the remains of Afghan poet Ustad Khalilullah Khalili now lie in a forlorn corner of Kabul University, brought here to be reburied so that no one else can lay claim to the revered poet-philosopher.

He has no epitaph; only a few wilted bouquets lie at the grave of Afghanistan’s most prominent 20th century poet. Three policemen guard the site.

But if President Hamid Karzai – who ordered the remains be disinterred from a grave in the Pakistani city of Peshawar last month – has his way, the reburial will become an assertion of Afghan culture over encroachment by Pakistan and Iran.

“We brought him back from Pakistan because he was our poet and scholar,” said Mohammad Hussain Yamin, head of the Persian and Dari department at Kabul University.

“We don’t want someone in future to say that he belonged to Pakistan just because he lived the final years of his life there.”

The assertion of cultural sovereignty is part of an effort to unite Afghanistan and prove it can stand on its own after most foreign troops leave at the end of 2014.

The government says it wants an end to “foreign interference”, usually a reference to Pakistan, but also Iran with which it is locked in a fierce debate over ownership of some of the greatest poets and philosophers in the region.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/28/afghanistan-aims-to-restore-its-cultural-heritage/

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Poet Jasimuddin's Asmani' brought to Dhaka for treatment

June 28, 2012

Asmani, embodiment of well known literary character portrayed in the poem 'Asmani' by Polli Kobi Jasimuddin Ahmed, was transferred to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital in the capital yesterday.

With critical health conditions, Asmani, 97, was earlier undergoing treatment at Faridpur Medical College Hospital under the close supervision of a six-member medical board headed by Faridpur Civil Surgeon Dr Sirajul Haque Talukder.

She was in coma and suffering from old age complications, said ASM Jahangir Chowdhury, principal of Faridpur Medical College.

Earlier on last Saturday, Asmani was admitted to Faridpur General Hospital as she was attacked with brain haemorrhage and high blood pressure, said Asmani's grandson Akram Mollick.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=240074

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Afghan envoy urges Pakistan to help revitalise talks

28 June, 2012

KABUL: Afghanistan’s top peace negotiator urged Pakistan on Wednesday to free Taliban prisoners and push militant leaders into peace negotiations, saying Islamabad must do more to help bring an end to the 10-year Afghan war.

Salahuddin Rabbani, in his first Western media interview since taking his job in April, said he hoped to revive a process many Afghan and Western officials see as the best chance of restoring calm before a 2014 pullout of foreign combat troops.

Rabbani was chosen to replace his father, Burhanuddin, the revered former president and anti-Soviet fighter killed last year by a suicide bomber that some Afghan officials believe was dispatched from Pakistan. Islamabad denies any involvement.

Rabbani, a soft-spoken, bespectacled former diplomat who may struggle to command the same veneration his father enjoyed, spoke ahead of visits to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, where he will discuss Afghan government efforts to jumpstart talks offering an alternative to a persistent insurgency.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/28/afghan-envoy-urges-pakistan-to-help-revitalise-talks-2/

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Europe

 

German Ruling against Circumcising Boys Draws Criticism

By NICHOLAS KULISH

BERLIN — A German court in Cologne ruled on Tuesday that circumcising young boys represents grievous bodily harm, a decision that could have significant repercussions for religious groups.

The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany condemned the decision as “an unprecedented and dramatic intrusion on the self-determination of religious communities” and called on the German Parliament to pass legislation protecting circumcision as a religious practice.

The case centered on a 4-year-old boy whose Muslim parents had him circumcised by a doctor, which led to medical complications. Although both Muslims and Jews circumcise infant boys as a religious practice and many other people do so for health reasons, the court found that the child’s “fundamental right to bodily integrity” was more important than the parents’ rights.

According to the court, the religious freedom “would not be unduly impaired” because the child could later decide whether to have the circumcision.

Millions of Muslims call Germany home, as do more than 100,000 Jews, as part of a community that has enjoyed a significant resurgence here. Since World War II, many Germans have been careful to consider Jewish sensitivities as a result of the horrible crimes committed against Jews during the Holocaust in the name of the German Reich.

Jewish leaders reacted furiously to Tuesday’s decision. The central council’s president, Dieter Graumann, called it “outrageous and insensitive,” saying in a statement that circumcision had been practiced worldwide for thousands of years. “In every country in the world this religious right is respected,” Mr. Graumann said.

Germany has no law against male circumcision, as there is against female genital cutting. Experts said that the decision would not be enforceable in other jurisdictions. But the legal uncertainty and threat of possible prosecution could lead doctors to decline to perform the procedure.

The central council said the national Parliament, the Bundestag, should “create legal certainty and thereby protect religious freedom from attacks.”

The decision by the court “places an intolerable burden on the free exercise of religion by Jews and also by Muslims who practice male circumcision as part of their religious faith,” Abraham H. Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director in New York, said in a statement.

While the ruling did not appear to have specific anti-Semitic intent, Mr. Foxman said, “its effect is to say, ‘Jews are not welcome.’ ”

Holm Putzke, a criminal law expert at the University of Passau, told the German news agency DPA that the ruling was not binding for other courts, but could send a welcome signal.

“After the knee-jerk outrage has faded away, hopefully a discussion will begin about how much religiously motivated violence against children a society is ready to tolerate,” he said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/27/world/europe/german-court-rules-against-circumcising-boys.html?_r=1&hpw

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UN leader criticizes Iranian leader’s comments on Jewish law

28 June, 2012

UNITED NATIONS: UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday critized Iran’s vice president for saying that the Jewish book of law was a driving force behind the international drugs trade.

The comments by Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi have already been strongly condemned by Israel.

“The secretary general has on many occasions called on Iranian officials to refrain from these kinds of anti-Semitic statements. He does so again in response to these latest reported comments,” said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky.

“He believes it is the responsibility of leaders to promote harmony and understanding and he deeply regrets expressions of hatred and religious intolerance,” Nesirky added.

Rahimi launched his attack on the Jewish book of law, the Talmud, at a conference in Tehran on the narcotics trade in the presence of several foreign diplomats.

“The spread of narcotics in the world emanates from the teachings of the Talmud… whose objective is the destruction of the world,” Rahimi said in comments published by the official website of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as well as state media.

“The Talmud teaches that it is lawful to acquire wealth through legal and illegal means… which gives (the Jews) the right to destroy humanity,” he said.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman slammed the Iranian government for being “anti-Semitic fanatics” who seek the destruction of Israel. He also criticized the presence of Western representatives at the conference.

http://dawn.com/2012/06/28/un-leader-criticizes-iranian-leaders-comments-on-jewish-law/

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Russia Says Transition Is Needed in Syria but Cannot Be Imposed

By ELLEN BARRY, NICK CUMMING-BRUCE and RICK GLADSTONE

28 June, 2012

MOSCOW — Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, said on Thursday that Syria needs a period of political transition but reiterated Moscow’s resistance to any plan being imposed by the international community.

“In order to overcome the Syrian crisis and to finally establish stable rights and norms which satisfy all groups in the Syrian population, it is necessary to have a transitional period, this is obvious,” Mr. Lavrov said, at a news conference in Moscow, appearing alongside his Tunisian counterpart.

Mr. Lavrov’s comments came ahead of an “action group” meeting in Geneva on Saturday at which Kofi Annan, the United Nations and Arab League special envoy, could put forward a proposal for a national unity cabinet that includes opposition figures.

Mr. Lavrov said that Russia has not agreed to any new version of Mr. Annan’s faltering cease-fire plan and criticized diplomats for leaking details of the process to the press.

“There are no agreed-upon plans, work continues on a possible final document,” he said. He said a meeting of experts will convene in Geneva on Friday.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/world/middleeast/russia-says-syria-transition-needed-

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India

 

Protests intensify over Muslim League ‘hijack’ of Kerala Govt

 27 JUNE 2012

Protest is growing in Kerala against the alleged “hijacking” of the Congress-led UDF Government by the Muslim League, especially with respect to the affairs in the Ministry of Education which a Minister of that party is looking after. The Muslim League is the second largest constituent of the ruling coalition.

In the Assembly on Wednesday, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy revised a statement he made the previous day, allegedly under Muslim League pressure, to agree with its proposal to include 35 schools in Muslim-majority Malappuram district in the aided sector. He himself had said in the Assembly on Tuesday that no decision had been taken in this regard.

The somersault of the Chief Minister has irked the CPI(M)-led Opposition LDF as well as the majority community outfits. It prompted Opposition leader VS Achuthanandan to ask, “How many Chief Ministers does Kerala have?” while Vellappally Natesan, general secretary of Hindu Ezhavas’ outfit SNDP Yogam, said the League was plundering public resources.

G Sukumaran Nair, general secretary of the NSS, outfit of the Hindu Nair community, said “at this rate”, the Chief Minister’s office and the State Secretariat would have to be transplanted to Malappuram, known as the stronghold of the Muslim League.

Before leading the Opposition in a walkout from the Assembly in protest against the proposal and the Chief Minister’s somersault on Wednesday, Achuthanandan said the Muslim League was aiming to allot the schools to party-related managements through a huge corruption move.

Even the State’s Congress unit and its students’ wing have aired open protests against the move.

This is the second controversy the Congress-led Government in Kerala has fallen into in the past two months. The new issue has come up even before the dust stirred up by the controversy over the allotment in April of a fifth Cabinet position to the Muslim League by tilting the community balance in the Government and enraging the majority communities has settled.

After a meeting of the State Cabinet on June 13, Chandy had told mediapersons that the Government had decided to bring 35 schools in Malappuram district under its ownership. This decision was published in the Chief Minister’s official website also. The schools were started in 1990-91 under the Centre’s Area-Intensive Programme.

However, Muslim League’s Education Minister PK Abdu Rabb said in the Assembly on Tuesday that the Government had decided to include these schools in the aided sector. But, in his clarification, Chandy had said no final decision had been taken and it was up to him to take that decision as Chief Minister.

The Chief Minister revised this statement on Wednesday in the Assembly itself saying that the Government had already taken an in-principle decision to hand over the schools to the aided sector. He said the proposal was currently in the consideration of the Finance Department and that the UDF would discuss the matter if need be.

The Chief Minister’s statement brought the Opposition members to their feet and Achuthanandan said that Chandy revised his stand by bowing to the Muslim League’s pressure. “How many Chief Ministers does Kerala have? Is it that there is one for the Congress and another for the Muslim League?” he asked before announcing the decision for walkout.

Achuthanandan demanded expulsion of Abdu Rabb from the Cabinet, saying that he had derailed the Cabinet decision for the sake of corruption. Demanding a satisfactory explanation from Chandy (which he could not offer), the Opposition leader said the Government should cancel the decision to hand over the schools to the aided sector.

This is not the first time Abdu Rabb had invited the wrath of the majority communities. He was attacked last month for rechristening his residence Ganga in Thiruvananthapuram as Grace and for stating that it was a policy of the Muslim League not to light the traditional lamp (Nilavilakku, often associated with Hindu rituals) at public programmes.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/nation/76358-protests-intensify-over-muslim-league-hijack-of-kerala-govt.html

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J-K police crackdown on youth involved in violence

Jun 28 2012

Srinagar : Jammu and Kashmir police have launched a crackdown on youth allegedly involved in stone-pelting incidents that erupted in the old city following the destruction of the 200-year-old shrine of Dastageer Sahib in Khanyar area on.

Using video footage and photographs taken by undercover cops, the police has so far detained two dozen youth from various parts of the old city where stone-pelting took place on Monday after the Dastageer Sahib shrine was destroyed in a fire incident, police sources said.

They said police conducted night time raids in Nowhatta, Khanyar and adjoining areas to pick up the youth involved in stone-pelting incidents.

Inspector General of Police Kashmir S M Sahai said law will takes its own course in dealing with those who had created law and order problem following the fire incident.

"I do not have the number of persons detained or arrested but we cannot allow people to take law in their own hands," Sahai said.

Asked about the investigation into the cause of fire at the shrine, the IGP said preliminary investigations indicate that the fire was accidental. "We will have to wait for the final investigation report," he added.

Curfew-like restrictions have been imposed in six police station areas of old city following violent clashes on Monday.

The police station jurisdictions where the restrictions have been imposed include Khanyar, Nowhatta, Rainawari, Kralkhud and Safakadal.

More than 50 persons including 11 policemen were injured in the clashes between police and angry protestors, who even targeted senior separatist leaders and a state minister when they visited the shrine.

Last night, a group of youth thrashed the 'Sajada Nasheen' (custodian of the Holy relics at the shrine) for not giving due credit to local people for saving the relics.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/967826/

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LeT trained Jundal to fly planes for a 9/11-style attack on India

Jatin Anand

June 28, 2012

Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) trained 26/11 accused Abu Jundal alias Zabiuddin Ansari to fly planes, Delhi Police officials interrogating him have claimed.

Lashkar had planned to use him and two others in 9/11-style kamikaze attacks on Indian highrise

buildings and big dams, said his interrogators on Wednesday, requesting anonymity. They said Jundal’s interrogation revealed that LeT had revived its ‘naval wing’ and added flight training to its ‘curriculum’.

Ansari was among the six men directing the attack on Mumbai from a Karachi control room. The LeT commander has been in Delhi Police custody since he was sent back by Saudi Arabia on June 21. He will be questioned till his remand expires on July 5.

“Jundal was among two other men from Maharashtra — Fayyaz Kagzi from Beed and Mohammad Rahil Sheikh from Thane — who had been recruited together and received maritime and aviation training in Karachi. The elementary flying and seafaring classes took place when they went to Pakistan after the Aurangabad arms haul of 2006, in which Jundal played a key role,” said an officer.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/LeT-trained-Jundal-to-fly-planes-for-

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India for 'concerted action' against 'terrorism syndicate' in Afghanistan

 28 JUNE 2012

India has called for concerted action to isolate and root out the syndicate of terrorism including Al Qaeda, Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba, saying that terrorism supported from outside remains the principal problem in Afghanistan.

"The principal problem in Afghanistan remains the existence of terrorism, drawing upon ideological, financial and logistical support from beyond Afghanistan's borders," India's Permanent UN Representative Hardeep Singh Puri said during a UN Security Council debate Wednesday.

"We need concerted action to isolate and root out the syndicate of terrorism which includes elements of the Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other terrorist and extremist groups," he said.

Puri also stressed the need to create an enabling environment where the Afghan people can live in peace and security and decide their future themselves, without outside interference, coercion and intimidation.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/home/online-channel/top-story/76412-india-for-concerted-

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Family's DNA samples never taken, says Abu Jundal's mother

Jun 28, 2012

BEED: Amid reports that Saudi Arabia deported Abu Jundal after being convinced of his identity through a DNA test, the 26/11 Mumbai attack handler's mother on Thursday claimed their samples were never collected.

"Our (Rehana and her husband Zakiuddin's) DNA test was never done," Rehana Begum, the mother of Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal told reporters.

Jundal, believed to be one of the handlers of 26/11 terrorists who gave instructions to them from a control room in Karachi during the attack, was arrested by Delhi Police after he was deported from Saudi Arabia on India's request.

Asked if their DNA samples were taken anytime in the last 5-6 years, Rehana replied in the negative.

When quizzed about the first case lodged against Jundal in 2003 in which he allegedly stabbed and attempted to burn a woman, she said, "We do not know anything about it."

Asked about Jundal's alleged involvement in terrorism, Rehana said, "We want a proper investigation to be done."

"Where would we have searched for him," was her terse reply when asked why did the family not try to trace him after he went missing following the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul in which a huge cache of AK 47 rifles and explosives were seized.

Pointing out the difference in the earlier and recent photographs of Jundal released in the media, Rehana said she could not believe that those were her son's photos.

Meanwhile, police are keeping a strict vigil outside Jundal's house in Hatti Khana locality here.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Familys-DNA-samples-never-taken-says-Abu-Jundals-mother/articleshow/14463558.cms

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Marathwada becoming Pakistan, Thackeray says

Jun 27, 2012

MUMBAI: Marathwada region, from where the arrested LeT handler of 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack, Abu Jundal hails, is fast becoming the "new Pakistan", Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said today.

"Marathwada, which was earlier known as the land of saints, is now becoming the land of terrorists," the Sena patriarch said in an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.

In the last five-six years, the connection of any terrorist act anywhere in the country reaches Marathwada, which has become a recruitment centre of terrorists, only due to the lackadaisical functioning of the government and the home department, he claimed.

Be it the Ghatkopar blasts, German Bakery blast, Gujarat blast, the terrorists involved belonged to Marathwada, Thackeray said. "The new Pakistan that is emerging in Marathwada is dangerous not only for Maharashtra but for the country."

The Sena chief also wondered what the Mumbai Police was doing to counter the threats. "What does the intelligence department of police do, is a puzzle...," he remarked.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Marathwada-becoming-Pakistan-Thackeray-says/articleshow/14432801.cms

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LeT operative married a Pakistani woman & fathered a child

By Hakeem Irfan

28 June, 2012

SAYED Zabiuddin alias Abu Jundal alias Abu Hamza was recruited by the Lashkar- e- Tayyeba ( LeT) in 2005 by an operative of the terror outfit hailing from Kashmir.

After being drafted into the terror outfit, Jundal, the highest- ranking Indian in the LeT ranks, crossed over to Pakistan, where he married a local woman and fathered a child after the Mumbai attack in 2008. In 2010, he went to Saudi Arabia, leaving mother and child in Karachi.

Jundal, arrested on June 21, has told his interrogators that his LeT recruiter had come to Beed, from where he hails, in Maharashtra in 2005, and left an impression on him. The recruiter had spoken about the poor conditions of Muslims in India and the communal violence against the community in Gujarat in 2002.

Jundal has named the operative during interrogation but intelligence officials are not clear whether that person is in Kashmir or Muzafarabad.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Kashmir commander recruited Abu Jundal into terror outfit

 Jun 28, 2012

NEW DELHI: Abu Jundal, the "highest ranking" Indian in the Lashkar-e-Taiba, has told his interrogators that he was recruited into the terror outfit by LeT's commander of Jammu and Kashmir range Aslam Kashmiri. He said his friend Fayyaz Kagri was the one who introduced him to Kashmiri.

Jundal also told the cops that he married a girl, reportedly the daughter of a Lashkar member, in Karachi in 2009 and they have a child as well.

A member of SIMI for some time, Jundal was introduced to Kashmiri by Fayyaz in 2003-04 after which he underwent basic training programmes. He was involved in a bomb blast in Ahmedabad in 2006 along with Kashmiri and Fayyaz and again in the Aurangabad arms haul case, in which Kashmiri was caught but he managed to escape. The same year, he fled to Pakistan and started working closely with top LeT bosses and won over their confidence in a very short time.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Kashmir-commander-recruited-Abu-Jundal-into-terror-outfit/articleshow/14442258.cms

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Two-day shutdown called against shrine fire in J&K

Jun 28, 2012

SRINAGAR: Kashmir's Grand Muft Bashiruddin on Wednesday in Buchpora called for a two-day shutdown in the valley beginning tomorrow. He alleged there was a "conspiracy" in the fire at Dastgeer Sahib shrine. He also appealed for a march towards the gutted shrine at Khanyar from Lal Chowk on Friday.

The Mufti rejected the probe ordered by the J&K government to ascertain the cause of the June 25 fire at the shrine.

He said the state government should include Muslim scholars, Sajda-e-Nasheen, Syed Khalid Hussain Geelani and himself as part of the probe committee. He also accused the government of "destruction of evidence" at the shrine."

Meanwhile, holy relics of 11th century Muslim saint, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani, were displayed by their custodian Syed Khalid Hussain Geelani in Srinagar on Wednesday to put to rest speculation that they were destroyed in the fire. "The holy relics are being displayed to prove that all of them are safe," said Geelani.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Two-day-shutdown-called-against-shrine-fire-in-JK/articleshow/14444914.cms

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Beed refuses to believe Jundal is 26/ 11 plotter

By Krishna Kumar

28 June, 2012

THE family of Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal alias Abu Hamza has described as untrue reports that Saudi authorities handed him over to India because the Indian government had provided the Saudis with DNA samples of Jundal’s family members that matched that of the Lashkar- e- Tayyeba ( LeT) operative.

Jundal, one of the handlers directing the terrorists during the 2008 Mumbai attack from their control room in Karachi, was arrested on June 21 at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi after being deported from

‘ We can’t believe he spoke with Zaki- ur- Rehman Lakhvi’

Saudi Arabia on India’s request. Some reports have suggested that he was deported after the Indian government handed the Saudi authorities DNA samples of his family members.

Full report at: Mail Today

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AMU Students Create World Record with 39ft X 27ft Envelop With A Message of Peace

Jun 28, 2012

ALIGARH (UP): Students of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) have entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for making the world's largest paper envelop.

The 39ft x 27ft envelop was made in a period of ten days last month by a group of 24 students belonging to the faculties of Fine Arts, Engineering, Architecture and Law, a varsity official said.

The envelop is addressed to the United Nation Peacekeeping Operation and carries a message for world peace and human brotherhood.

The message on the envelop carries the signature of more than ten thousand youth, the AMU spokesperson said.

A copy of the Guinness certificate was released to reporters by a senior varsity official on Thursday.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the record for the largest envelop till now was held by a UK-based organisation Stanley Gibbons Co. That envelop, also made by a group of students, was 32ft x 23ft.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Aligarh-Muslim-University-students-create-Guinness-Book-of-World-Record/articleshow/14463045.cms

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Don't want to get into 'slanging match' with Pak interior minister: Krishna

Jun 28, 2012

NEW DELHI: Refusing to get into a "slanging match" with Pakistan interior ministry chief Rehman Malik, external affairs minister S M Krishna on Thursday asserted that mutual recrimination has to cease.

"We do not (want to) get into some kind of a slanging match with any distinguished person from Pakistan. Well, our efforts are directed for a constructive, cooperative agenda," he said when asked about statements made by Malik on Wednesday in Pakistan launching a bizarre tirade against India.

"I think mutual recrimination has to cease and we will have to look into brighter side that is available for both Pakistan and India," Krishna said.

The minister's remarks came a day after Malik rejected home minister P Chidambaram's assertion of "state support" to the terrorists behind 26/11 massacre, saying ISI was a target of "propaganda campaign".

Chidambaram's statement that Pakistan was sponsoring terror acts came in the backdrop of the arrest and interrogation of LeT's handler Abu Jundal, who was in the "control room" in Pakistan giving directions to the ten terrorists who attacked Mumbai in 2008.

However, Malik, within hours of Chidamabarm's statement, sought to stump the arrest of Jundal.

"Now things are getting clarified. Who knows that there was a sting operation by somebody from India?" Malik had said without elaborating what he meant by "sting operation".

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Dont-want-to-get-into-slanging-match-with-Malik-Krishna/articleshow/14460239.cms

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Freed from Pak jail, Surjeet Singh crosses over to India, says 'I was a spy'

Jun 28 2012

Wagah: After spending 31 years in Pakistani jail, Indian prisoner Surjeet Singh today walked free and crossed over to his home country to an emotional reunion with his family.

69-year-old Singh, who released from Lahore's Kot Lakhpat Jail this morning, crossed to the Indian side at Wagah border where he was welcomed with garlands and red shawls by his family and villagers, after completing official procedures on the Pakistan side of the border.

After flip-flop on Sarabjit, Pakistan frees Surjeet Singh

"After 30 years, I am meeting my children. I am very happy," he told reporters here.

He said he did not have any hardship in the Pakistani jail and he got everything daily necessities like food and clothes.

Referring to Sarabjit Singh, who on the death row in the Lahore jail, he said the Indian convict was doing fine. He said he used to meet him only a weekly basis.

Asked if Sarabjit Singh had sent any message for his family, he said, "No".

Singh served a life term following his arrest on charges of spying in the 1980s in Pakistan. He was given the death sentence under the Pakistan Army Act in 1985. The death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 1989 by then President Ghulam Ishaq Khan.

Pakistani security personnel had escorted Singh to the Wagah land border crossing, where he was handed over to Indian authorities.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/967771/

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Sarabjit and Prof. Bhullar cases should be treated equally, memo to PM

Jun 28, 2012

JALANDHAR: As India has renewed its appeal to Pakistan for releasing Sarabjit Singh and there is also a media frenzy on the issue, a prominent human rights organization has written to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh urging to abandon the "double standard" practiced by his government on the issue of death penalty and to have similar parameters in case of Prof Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, who is on death row in India.

US based rights organization Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) in a memorandum to PM has also sought to draw an analogy between Sarabjit and Bhullar's cases by pointing out that Bhullar was convicted only on the basis of his confessional statement based on a confessional statement obtained through torture in police custody and there was no independent corroborating evidence to convict him. "Moreover his death sentence was upheld by Supreme Court only through a split judgement," the memorandum to PM reads.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Sarabjit-and-Prof-Bhullar-cases-should-be-treated-

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With sacred threads, Abu Jundal tried to colour 26/11 saffron

Neeraj Chauhan

Jun 28, 2012

NEW DELHI: Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist Abu Jundal has confirmed that he and other 26/11 masterminds had plotted to make the attack appear as a handiwork of Hindu radicals upset with the slain Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare.

Sources familiar with Jundal's interrogation quoted him saying that it was the Maharashtra-born terrorist who thought of giving it a Hindu hue. Karkare, who was killed in the 26/11 terror attack, had arrested alleged Hindu terrorists — including Sadhvi Pragya Singh and Lt Colonel Prasad Purohit — for the 2008 Malegaon blasts.

As part of the deception, gunman Ajmal Kasab and the other terrorists were made to wear saffron wristbands (maulis). Also, IDs bearing Hindu names like Sameer Chaudhary, were organized. The terrorists were taught the basics of Hindi usage

by Jundal.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/With-sacred-threads-Abu-Jundal-tried-to-colour-26/11-saffron/articleshow/14446622.cms

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Will not return to Pak, says Surjeet Singh after release from jail

Jun 28, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Indian prisoner Surjeet Singh, who was released from Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail after three decades on Thursday, said that prisoners on both sides of the border should be released.

Addressing reporters outside the jail in Punjabi, Surjeet said he had been arrested on charges of spying and would not return to Pakistan because he might be accused of the crime again.

The 69-year-old, who spent over 30 years in Pakistani jails after being arrested on charges of spying, walked out of jail to a battery of camera crews waiting to interview him.

Surjeet, who now has a flowing white beard, said that he was looking forward to meeting his family -- waiting excitedly across the border in Attari to welcome him home.

He had completed his life term in 2005.

Surjeet would walk into India after Pakistani authorities complete all formalities at the border.

His family, including son Kulwinder Singh, were waiting on the Attari side of the joint border checkpost.

"We are very happy that he is being finally released. We will have big celebrations," Kulwinder Singh, who arrived here early on Thursday morning with family members, relatives and villagers, said.

Surjeet, 69, spent over 30 years in Pakistani jail after being arrested on charges of spying.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Will-not-return-to-Pak-says-Surjeet-Singh-after-release-from-jail/articleshow/14456452.cms

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Sarabjit's family regrets Pak u-turn, Surjeet's kin rejoice

Jun 28, 2012

FEROZEPUR: As joy turned into sorrow at the house of Sarabjit Singh in Amritsar's Bhikhiwind village, celebrations began at Phidde village in Ferozepur district, home to another Indian prisoner Surjeet Singh.

The Pakistan government's announcement to release Surjeet and not Sarabjit, both have been languishing in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail, reached his family as Islamabad made a complete U-turn late Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning, the entire Phidde village was in a jubilant mood and the villagers and relatives started pouring into Surjeet's house. Surjeet's elder sister Gurdeep Kaur rushed from Bhutiwala village in Faridkot to join the celebrations.

Surjeet's wife Harbans Kaur said, "I had lost all hopes of seeing my husband alive again. Till some years back we thought he was dead."

Surjeet Singh alias Makhan Singh was arrested in 1982 near the international border by the Pakistan Rangers on charges of spying and was given death sentence by the commanding officer of the 106 Brigade Headquarters, Lahore, Cantt, the same year. Six years later on December 8, 1988, Ghulam Ishaque Khan, the then president of Pakistan, converted his death sentence into life imprisonment following announcement of general amnesty by the government. Paving the way for his release, the Punjab government of Pakistan in May this year had informed the Lahore high court that Surjeet had completed his term and would be released.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Sarabjits-family-regrets-Pak-u-turn-Surjeets-kin-rejoice/articleshow/14445550.cms

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Sarabjit's family doesn't buy Pak mistake story

Jun 28, 2012

AMRITSAR/JALANDHAR: Terming Pakistan's turnaround as a cruel joke, family members of Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh said on Wednesday that it was highly unbelievable that a blunder like this could happen at such a high level.

Singh's wife Sukhpreet Kaur said the family was heartbroken and suspected there was more to Pakistan's U-turn than met the eye.

"It's a cruel joke played on us by the Pakistani government and we are heartbroken. They shouldn't have played with our sentiments like this," said Kaur.

She said there was possibility that Pakistan government could have changed the decision under pressure from fundamentalist groups.

Poonam Kaur, who was just 23 days old when her father Sarabjit Singh strayed into Pakistan in 1990, said that the family had made so many plans with Sarabjit after the news of his release broke on Tuesday.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Sarabjits-family-doesnt-buy-Pak-mistake-story/articleshow/14445475.cms

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J&K: Four revenue officials booked for forgery

 Jun 28, 2012

JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir police Crime Branch on Wednesday booked five persons including four revenue officials for alleged involvement in a land fraud case in Jammu.

The accused were booked after a complaint lodged by administrator of Auqaf Islamia, Jammu alleging that almost two acres of Wakf land notified as a graveyard in land records was removed from the records during the settlement operations and a part of it was registered in the name of Hassan Bibi fraudulently.

The Crime Branch said investigations revealed that the revenue officials falsified information causing wrongful loss to Auqaf Islamia.

"We have registered a criminal case against revenue officials - Mohan Lal Sharma, Khadim Hussain, Manohar Singh, Baisakhi Ram and Hassan Bibi alias Bano for their involvement in cheating, fraud, forgery and criminal conspiracy in Jammu," said a Crime Branch official.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/JK-Four-revenue-officials-booked-for-forgery/articleshow/14444905.cms

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After Pak U-turn, India renews appeal for Sarabjit's release

Jun 28, 2012

NEW DELHI: Stung by Pakistan's farcical volte-face over the release of Sarabjit Singh, a more circumspect Indian government on Wednesday urged Pakistan to release the prisoner who is serving a death sentence and has been in its custody for over two decades.

While refusing to speculate on what happened on Tuesday night, foreign minister S M Krishna requested Pakistan to take a more humanitarian view of Sarabjit's case even as he welcomed the move to release Surjeet Singh.

The Pakistani media was given to understand by authorities there on Tuesday that Sarabjit was being released, only to do a U-turn late later the night when they disclosed that it was actually another prisoner, Surjeet Singh, who was being freed. The Indian government was caught in a bind as it had already bought media reports that Sarabjit had been granted presidential pardon.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/After-Pak-U-turn-India-renews-appeal-for-Sarabjits-release/articleshow/14444682.cms

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India in touch with Saudi Arabia to bring back missing Fasih

Jun 28, 2012

NEW DELHI: The government on Wednesday said it is in touch with authorities in Saudi Arabia to bring back Indian engineer Fasih Mahmood, who mysteriously disappeared in that country last month. While Fasih is said to be an accused in the 2010 Chinnaswamy Stadium blast case, the government had told the Supreme Court earlier that it had no role in his detention in Saudi Arabia.

Fasih's wife Nikhat had moved court alleging that he had been picked up from his residence by Saudi police accompanied by some Indian intelligence officials.

Government sources said that they had taken up the matter with Saudi authorities. They added though Fasih's case has no connection with Abu Jundal, the 26/11 accused who had been detained in Saudi Arabia and who was successfully deported to India earlier this week.

Interpol had issued a Red Corner notice against Fasih on a request from CBI for offences of terrorism and crimes involving use of weapons and explosives.

Fasih is alleged to have played a role in the conspiracy behind the Chinnaswamy Stadium blasts in Bangalore on April 17, 2010.

They said that according to the `terrorists' of banned outfit Indian Mujahideen arrested during the last nine months, he had allegedly played a role in the Jama Masjid blasts in September, 2010.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-in-touch-with-Saudi-Arabia-to-bring-back-missing-Fasih/articleshow/14443964.cms

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Heartbreak and joy at midnight

By Vikas Kahol

28 June, 2012

FOR Sarabjit Singh’s family in Amritsar’s Bhikiwind village, it was a case of celebrating too soon. But for Surjeet Singh’s family in the border village of Phiddey in Ferozepur district, it was happiness at midnight.

Pakistani authorities, who had since Tuesday morning said that Sarabjit, 49, lodged in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail, would be freed, did a U- turn after midnight to ‘ clarify’ that Surjeet would be returning home instead of Sarabjit.

The development after Tuesday midnight put paid to the hopes of the family of Sarabjit, who faces death for his alleged involvement in a string of blasts in Pakistan’s Punjab

province. The 1990 blasts claimed 14 lives.

Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir Kaur, who had been hoping that her brother would be set free since his death sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment, said: “ It is a cruel joke on the family. We are badly hurt.” Sarabjit’s wife Sukhpreet Kaur stated that her husband should be

released since “ the family has already suffered enough”. Dalbir said it was “ difficult” to believe that Sarabjit would not be released.

Full report at: Mail Today

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26/11 handler Abu Jundal first arrested in 2003 in domestic case

 Jun 27 2012

Mumbai : Sayed Zabiuddin alias Abu Jundal's first brush with the law came at the age of 22 when he was arrested in Maharashtra in 2003 for allegedly stabbing a woman with whom his family had a marital dispute.

Zabiuddin, the arrested key handler of Pakistani terrorists who struck Mumbai in 2008, had attacked Fateema Sheikh Jaleel with sword and also attempted to burn her, according to Maharashtra Police sources while recalling the incident.

The cause, according to the probe at that point of time, was a family dispute with allegations being levelled by the family of Jaleel and Zabiuddin over dowry.

Zabiuddin, who hails from Beed in Maharashtra, had told the police at that time that Fateema's family had been demanding dowry from his father in connection with the marriage of his cousin sister.

However, due to the fall out of the case, Zabiuddin was arrested along with his accomplice and sent to jail.

A sessions court later granted him bail with a condition to appear on all relevant dates.

In this case, Zabiuddin was arrested and jumped bail from sessions court.

However, after some weeks, Zabiuddin never returned for the court dates and court summons went unanswered till Maharashtra Police realised in 2006 that Zabiuddin had become an important member of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashker-e-Toiba(LeT).

In 2006, Zabiuddin was nearly caught by central security agencies at Aurangabad but he managed to slip under the cover of darkness.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/967388/

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I will be safe, Jundal had told his father before disappearing

un 28, 2012

BEED: "Dont worry about me, I will be safe. I will come home after a while," were the last words that Lashkar terrorist Syed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Hamza, alias Abu Jundal had spoken to his father Zakiuddin Ansari. It was on the same day in May 2006 that the Aurangabad rural police and the state anti-terrorism squad seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition from Ellora Ghat. Jundal was allegedly involved in the gun-running case and managed to escape from the police.

"On that day, the policemen came to our home and told me that my son was involved in an arms transportation case," the 70-year-old Zakiuddin told TOI on Wednesday. "I didn't have the faintest idea of his activities. He was attending to some work at his shop when I called him on the phone. After waiting for him for about an hour, I went to the place where he was working. People there said that Zabi had just left for home, saying he would be back soon."

Zakiuddin said that since then they had no news of him, except the newspaper reports attributing "negative" things to him and suggesting that he was a terrorist. "I wonder where he got the time to indulge in all these activities. He used to get up early and go to work, as my earnings were too little to meet the household expenses. He was very hardworking and honest. So people would give him work.''

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/I-will-be-safe-Jundal-had-told-his-father-before-disappearing/articleshow/14442629.cms

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Pakistan

 

Pak high commission invites Kashmiri separatists for meet in New Delhi

 Jun 28, 2012

SRINAGAR: Acting Pakistan high commissioner to India, Babar Amin, has invited various Kashmiri separatist leaders for a meeting in New Delhi on July 3, 2012.

The meeting of Pakistan High Commission officials with the separatist leaders has gained significance in the wake of secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan scheduled to be held early next month. India's foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai will hold talks with his Pakistani counterpart Jalil Abbas Jilani in New Delhi on July 4, 5 to discuss peace and security, including CBMs, Kashmir and promotion of friendly exchanges.

Chairman of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umer Farooq confirmed that he had received an invitation from the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. "I have been invited for consultations on July 3 at 5pm by the Pakistan foreign office," Mirwaiz said.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik and prominent separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah have also received the invitation, sources said. However, chairman of another faction of Hurriyat conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani will seek the advice of the advisory committee to take a call on the invitation.

Geelani's spokesman, Aiyaz Akbar told the TOI that Geelani had also received an invitation from the Pakistan High Commission but he chose to seek the advice of the advisory council of the Hurriyat on whether to meet the high commission officials or not.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pak-high-commission-invites-Kashmiri-separatists-for-meet-in-New-Delhi/articleshow/14464699.cms

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Former Pakistan minister detained at US airport for possible links with Hafiz Saeed

Jun 28, 2012

HOUSTON: Former Pakistani minister Shaikh Rashid, known for his pro-LeT leanings, was detained at Houston airport on arrival for his possible links with the terror group's founder Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the Mumbai attacks.

61-year-old Rashid, leader of the Awami Muslim League of Pakistan, was detained soon after he arrived by an Emirates flight last evening and was freed after five hours of interrogation.

Sources said Rashid was detained for his possible links with Saeed.

It is understood that he was scheduled to attend a fundraiser and meetings with his supporters in the US.

The US department of homeland security was not immediately available for any comments.

According to Pakistan's Geo News channel, the former minister was released after Pakistan's ambassador to the US, Sherry Rehman, asked the Pakistani consulate here to help him out.

Following her directives, Pakistan's consul general in Houston, Aqil Nadeem, reached the airport to talk to the immigration authorities following which the former minister was allowed to leave the airport after five hours of interrogation, it said.

Rashid had in recent past actively attended the rallies and meetings organised by Defa-e Pakistan Council, an alliance of extremist and hardline groups formed by JuD chief Saeed.

He had accompanied Saeed to the rallies and press conferences where they both made statements against India and the US.

Rashid had served as the federal minister for railways in Pakistan from 2006 to 2008.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Former-Pakistan-minister-detained-at-US-airport-for-possible-links-with-Hafiz-Saeed/articleshow/14456941.cms

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Pakistani Taliban leader Fazlullah Re-emerges as a Security Threat

28 June, 2012

ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR (Reuters) - Shortly after sneaking across the Afghan border this week, more than 100 militants loyal to Pakistani Taliban leader Fazlullah waited patiently on a mountain for Pakistani troops to approach.

Several days later, the fighters released a video of what they said were the heads of 17 ambushed soldiers, along with their identification cards.

Laid across a white sheet, they were a chilling reminder of the major security threat the man once known as FM Mullah still poses to U.S. ally Pakistan, three years after the army pushed him out of the Swat Valley, a former tourist spot he terrorized.

"He is a very big problem for Pakistan," said a Western diplomat.

During his heyday, Fazlullah, who like many senior Taliban members is known as a mullah, or preacher, organized thousands of fighters who roamed picturesque Swat, imposing his radical version of Islam.

Opponents, and those deemed immoral, were publicly flogged, or even beheaded and hung in squares and at intersections. Girls' schools and government buildings were burned down.

Nowadays, Fazlullah's men control a 20-km (12-mile) stretch of the rugged and largely unpatrolled border with Pakistan from areas in Afghanistan's forbidding Nuristan province, described by nearby U.S. troops as "the dark side of the moon".

From there, Fazlullah, a burly man in his thirties with a heavy black beard, plots cross-border raids that don't kill many soldiers but agitate Pakistan's military, which thought it had defeated him during a Swat offensive in 2009.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/06/28/world/asia/28reuters-pakistan-militants-

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Separate province right of Pakhtuns of Balochistan: Tahir Bezinjo

By Mohammad Zafar

28 June, 2012

QUETTA: National Party (NP) Central General Secretary Tahir Bezinjo said that historically Pakhtun areas in Balochistan had never been part of Balochistan and the Pakhtuns of those areas were free to decide for a separate province or becoming a part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Addressing a press conference at the Quetta Press Club on Wednesday, he said that efforts to create differences among the people of the province were unwise. The NP leader said that accusations against the Baloch of stirring a Pakhtun usurping in the province were completely baseless as the Baloch were themselves oppressed people struggling for their rights.

He said that natural gas was discovered in 1952, and Quetta was provided the facility after 32 years of the discovery, while most of Balochistan was still deprived of the facility. “Army has been used several times in Balochistan and decomposed bodies of Baloch youth are being recovered,” he said.

Bezinjo said that NP believed in Baloch-Pakhtun unity and would play its role in strengthening brotherhood between both nationalities.

To a query about a Pakhtun province in Balochistan, he said he respected Pakhtun leader Mehmood Khan Achakzai, adding that the slogans for formation of a new province in Balochistan were aimed at political point-scoring keeping in view the upcoming general elections.

“As far as the issue of creation of a Pakhtun province is concerned, it should be taken up with Islamabad,” he said, adding that the Baloch would not become a hurdle in formation of a separate Pakhtun province.

Referring to mega projects in the Baloch-dominated areas, the NP leader said the so-called mega projects had not benefited the Baloch as they had no control over those projects.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\28\story_28-6-2012_pg7_20

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5 killed, 18 injured in blast at railway station in Balochistan

28 June, 2012

At least five persons were killed and 18 others injured when a powerful bomb went off at a railway station in the restive Balochistan province of southwest Pakistan on Thursday, officials said.

The bomb, hidden in a tea stall on the platform of Sibi railway station, was triggered by remote control late tonight while the Jaffar Express train was at the station.

“Five persons, including a railway policeman, were killed and 18 were injured. Eight of the injured are in a critical condition,” Deputy Commissioner Shahid Saleem Qureshi told the media.

Preliminary investigations had shown that the bomb was triggered by remote control, Mr. Qureshi said.

Security forces cordoned off the area after the blast.

The Jaffar Express train was going from Rawalpindi to Quetta.

No group claimed responsibility for the blast though such attacks are usually blamed on Baloch nationalist groups.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3579886.ece

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26/11 was an Indian plot, claims Pakistan

Jun 28, 2012

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM/NEW DELHI: THIRUVANANTHAPURAM/NEW DELHI: Abu Jundal's disclosures — about the involvement of Pakistan's official agencies in the 26/11 plot and Islamabad's determined effort to block the deportation of one of the Mumbai attacks' masterminds to India — threaten to strain the bilateral ties.

Pakistan that worked hard to block Jundal's deportation for almost a year on grounds that he was actually Riyasat Ali from Pakistan, suddenly switched track to audaciously suggest that Jundal being an Indian national suggests that 26/11 could have been an Indian plot.

Even as Jundal gave details of the collaboration of Pakistan's state agencies in the 26/11 plot, its Interior Ministery adviser Rehman Malik blithely said India should focus on the role of Indians like Jundal, Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Ahmed in the Mumbai attacks. "Zabiuddin is Indian, he was caught in India, he did everything in India. Why are you blaming Pakistan? He is your citizen. That means your agencies failed to control their citizens. Please have a look at your system as well," Malik said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/26/11-was-an-Indian-plot-claims-Pakistan/articleshow/14441370.cms

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Majority of Pakistanis feel India greater threat than Taliban

Jun 28 2012

Washington : Nearly three-fifths of the people of Pakistan believe that India poses a greater threat to their country than those from the Taliban and al-Qaeda, a latest survey results released today said.

Only 22 per cent of Pakistanis have a favorable view of traditional rival India, although this is actually a slight improvement from 14 per cent last year.

Moreover, when asked which is the biggest threat to their country, India, the Taliban, or al-Qaeda, 59 per cent named India, said Pew Research Center.

Pakistanis, it said, have consistently identified India as the top threat since the question was first asked in 2009.

The percentage fearing India has increased by 11 points since then, while the percentage naming the Taliban has decreased by nine points.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/967723/

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Opp files adjournment motion against students’ suicides

By Aliya Mirza

28 June, 2012

LAHORE: Taking notice of the suicides by young students, opposition party in the Punjab Assembly, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), has filed an adjournment motion in the assembly secretariat.

Declaring it a serious issue of the province, the party said that parents were worried by the government’s educational policies.

It is worthy to mention here that after the announcement of matric results in different areas of the province, around half a dozen young students had reportedly committed suicide after failing in the examinations.

On June 10, a student committed suicide in Rawalpindi due to examination stress, and three days ago, a student of Punjab University also killed himself.

Taking the issue of suicide among students as serious and alarming for the nation, PML-Q MPA Khadija Umar Farooqi submitted an adjournment motion in which she demanded the assembly to take up the issue for general debate in the House.

In the motion, she said that students in Punjab were committing suicide due to pressure of the examination system and failure of the computerised registration system, which was becoming a major reason for suicides among students. She also gave a reference of computerised registration process of students of matric, especially the Class-9 students.

She stated that the boards of intermediate and secondary education (BISEs) were registering Class-9 students using the computerised system, due to which they are facing serious problems.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\28\story_28-6-2012_pg13_8

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Court puts Pakistan president, PM on notice

Jun 28, 2012

LAHORE: A Pakistani court on Wednesday directed President Asif Ali Zardari to act on its earlier order to dissociate himself from political activities and to stop using the presidency for political purposes, failing which contempt of court proceedings could be initiated against him.

A three-judge bench of the Lahore high court headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial made the observation in response to two petitions filed against Zardari for not quitting the political office of head of the ruling Pakistan People's Party.

Chief justice Bandial remarked: "The court is issuing a short order directing the president to implement the Lahore high court's order in this regard, otherwise contempt of court proceedings may be initiated against him."

The bench noted that the HC had issued an order on May 12, 2011 that said it expected the president to disassociate himself from political activities as soon as possible.

It said adequate time would be given to the president to act on this order. The court questioned the petitioners on whether the president had any immunity under Article 248 of the Constitution.

A K Dogar, the counsel for one of the petitioners, claimed the president had no immunity in civil cases.

Dogar is also the lawyer for Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Court-puts-Pakistan-president-PM-on-notice/articleshow/14446726.cms

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Zardari has abysmally low approval rating in Pakistan: Survey

 Jun 28, 2012

WASHINGTON: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's popularity has dipped to an abysmally low, lower than his predecessor Pervez Musharraf, while cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan has the highest popularity ratings in the country.

"Only 14 per cent view Zardari favorably, little changed from last year (11 per cent in 2011), but down significantly from 64 per cent in 2008," the Pew Research said releasing the results of its survey in Pakistan on Wednesday.

Former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who was recently convicted of contempt and dismissed from office by Pakistan's highest court, fares only somewhat better, at 36 per cent favorable.

Gilani received similarly poor ratings last year (37 per cent), although as recently as 2010 a majority of Pakistanis expressed a favorable view of him.

The most popular leader included on the survey is Imran Khan.

Seven-in-ten Pakistanis offer a favorable opinion of the former cricket star and leader of the Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI).

This is essentially unchanged from last year (68 per cent in 2011), but up significantly from 2010 (52 per cent).

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Zardari-has-abysmally-low-approval-rating-in-Pakistan-Survey/articleshow/14444475.cms

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Dead man talking: Visions of a noose haunt a man condemned to death

By Rabia Ali

 June 28, 2012

KARACHI: After spending nine years in jail for killing a lawyer in court, Behram Khan is waiting for the day the executioner will tighten the noose around his neck.

“Most of my day is spent thinking about the noose,” said the 40-year-old inmate who was sentenced to death in 2003 by the Anti-Terrorism Court. “Sometimes I can feel it tightening around my neck but when I touch my neck, there is nothing there. It is horrible.” By May, Khan’s life changed. President Asif Ali Zardari rejected his mercy petition and the ATC set the execution process in motion. The court issued a black warrant and set a date, May 23, for the hanging. A few days before the execution, the president issued a stay order which delayed the hanging to June 30.

Karachi Central Prison authorities claim that Khan will not be hung on Saturday as they will have to write to the ATC and set a new date for the execution.

In the beginning, Khan spent his time at prison making caps and reminiscing with other prisoners, now, he says that it is difficult to make it through the day. He has no idea if he is going to make it back alive from the ‘Condemned Ward’, a secluded barrack for death row prisoners.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/400181/dead-man-talking-visions-of-a-noose-haunt-a-man-condemned-to-death/

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Southeast Asia

 

Bali Bomber Umar Patek Won't Appeal Verdict

Bayu Marhaenjati | June 28, 2012

Convicted Bali bomber Umar Patek has decided not to appeal the court verdict that last week sentenced him to 20 years behind bars.

His lawyer on Thursday claimed Patek made the decision because he felt responsible for the bombings and was sorry for what he did.

“Two days ago, after discussion with [his] wife, uncle and two younger brothers, we decided not to appeal. His reason is he feels guilty for getting involved, even just combining a small amount of the chemical, 50 kilograms out of 1,000 kilograms,” said Patek’s lawyer Asludin Hatjani, referring to the charge that his client had helped to make the bombs.

Asludin said regardless of the decision, Patek was disappointed with the severity of the court’s sentence.

“His involvement is not comparable with what Idris did and he was only sanctioned 10 years,” he said.

Muhammad Ikhsan, also known as Idris, was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the South Jakarta District Court for his role in the bombing of the JW Marriot Hotel in Jakarta.

Patek’s sentence is actually much lower than the life sentence that prosecutors had sought.

Judges on June 21 said the court found convincing evidence that he was involved in the October 2002 Bali bomb attacks that killed 202 people and had a role in the Christmas Eve bombings at churches throughout the country in 2000.

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/bali-bomber-umar-patek-wont-appeal-verdict/527343

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Foreign Minister Bob Carr criticises High Court for ruling against ‘Malaysia Solution'

 June 28, 2012

FOREIGN Minister Bob Carr has taken aim at the High Court for ruling against the "Malaysia Solution" last year.

Senator Carr said arrivals had tripled from 313 in October to 895 in November after the court's ruling last August

"I must say it was one of the most questionable and curious High Court decisions in memory."

"Without the Malaysia arrangement what we have is an improvised, cobbled-together Indonesia arrangement that the Indonesians don't want," he said.

The comments were part of an emotionally charged debate in the Senate, where politicians will vote on the asylum seeker Bill that looks set to fail.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young broke down and cried as she spoke about the plight of detainees, while senior Gillard Government frontbencher Chris Evans revealed the legislation challenged some of his "philosophical" positions.

The Bill revives the Gillard Government's scuttled Malaysia people-swap deal and would allow for offshore processing on Nauru - the opposition's preferred option.

Full report at:

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ipad/tragedy-another-asylum-seeker-boat-capsizes/story-fnbzs1v0-1226411266905

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Mideast Asia

 

Israel 'breaching UN convention on children's rights'

28 June, 2012

A UK government-backed report has accused Israel's security forces of regularly breaching the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

A delegation of senior lawyers visited Israel and West Bank and analysed the effects of Israel's military judicial system on Palestinian children.

They found "undisputed facts" showed six UNCRC articles had been breached.

The lawyers urged Israel to address differences in the way Israeli and Palestinian children were treated.

Israeli military law is applied to Palestinian children detained by the Israeli authorities in the West Bank because it is under military occupation.

However, Israeli children - including those living in Jewish settlements on occupied land in the West Bank, which are considered illegal under international law - are subject to Israeli criminal and civilian law.

Currently, the maximum period an Israeli child can be detained without charge is 40 days. For a Palestinian child the period is 188 days.

'Spiral of injustice''

The nine British lawyers, including leading barristers, said much of the reluctance to treat Palestinian children in conformity with international norms stemmed "from a belief, which was advanced to us by a military prosecutor, that every Palestinian child is a 'potential terrorist'".

Their report, Children in Military Custody, said such a stance seemed "to be the starting point of a spiral of injustice, and one which only Israel, as the occupying power in the West Bank, can reverse".

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18608900

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Hamas member 'assassinated' in Syrian capital Damascus

28 June, 2012

The Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas says one of its members has been assassinated in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Kamal Ghanaja was killed on Wednesday by a group of people who entered his home, a Hamas official told AFP agency.

Other unnamed Hamas officials say they believe Israel's intelligence service, Mossad, was behind the killing.

In a statement on its website, Hamas said it would investigate the death, but did not directly blame Israel.

When asked by Israeli Army Radio to comment on the incident, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak refused to confirm or deny any involvement.

"According to the background published, he wasn't one of the righteous men of the generation," Mr Barak said.

'Tortured'

Mr Ghanaja, who is also known as Nizar Abu Mujahid, is believed to have been a former deputy of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior operative who was assassinated in Dubai in 2010.

The killing was announced on Facebook on by Izzat al-Rashak, a member of the Hamas Political Bureau, which used to be based in Damascus.

He said the dead man had been a member of Hamas for many years, and that he had served his movement and the Palestinian people, adding that his "blood would not be wasted".

Syrian opposition activists have meanwhile blamed the Syrian government. Hamas sources have been quoted in reports as saying Mr Ranaja was tortured before his death.

The Hamas Political Bureau's senior leaders left Damascus earlier this year after they refused to back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's violent crackdown on anti-government protests.

The group's political leader, Khaled Meshaal, now lives in Qatar. His deputy, Moussa Abu Marzouk, is based in Egypt.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18626026

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Turkey deploys anti-aircraft guns at Syria border

 Jun 28 2012

Ankara : Turkey deployed anti-aircraft guns and other weapons alongside its border with Syria, state television reported today, days after the downing of a Turkish military jet by Syrian forces heightened the tensions between the two countries.

A small convoy of military trucks, towing anti-aircraft guns, entered into a military base near the border town of Yayladagi, TRT television footage showed. The television said several anti-aircraft guns have also been deployed elsewhere alongside the border.

Turkey has warned Syria to keep its troops away from the countries' troubled border or risk an armed response.

A Syrian minister said yesterday his country's forces may have mistaken the Turkish plane they shot down for an Israeli one.

Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoebi was quoted as telling Turkish news channel A Haber in a telephone interview yesterday that his country did "not want a crisis between Turkey and Syria."

Al-Zoebi said Turkish and Israeli fighter jets were mostly US-made, which may have led the Syrian forces to mistake it for an Israeli jet.

The downing of the jet has aggravated tense ties between the two neighbors.

Turkey has repeatedly called on Syria's President Bashar Assad to step down as 33,000 Syrians have sought refuge in Turkey, fleeing a government crackdown on a popular uprising.

The country is also hosting civilian opposition groups as well as members of the Free Syrian Army, which is fighting against the Syrian regime.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/turkey-deploys-antiaircraft-guns-at-syria-border/967800/

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Israel: Hamas Leader Convicted

28 June, 2012

An Israeli military court on Wednesday convicted a Hamas leader as the principal planner of suicide bomb attacks that killed dozens of Israelis and wounded hundreds during a Palestinian uprising in the past decade, the military said. The man, Ibrahim Hamed was found guilty in the killing of 46 people and the wounding of more than 400 others. “He was responsible for some of the worst terror attacks in the country’s history,” the military said. The attacks included bombings of a Jerusalem cafe, the cafeteria at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and other public places during the uprising that began in 2000.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/world/middleeast/israel-hamas-leader-convicted.html?ref=middleeast&gwh=DC4D9D13C471990AFAC5F5495C5B4DF9

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Arab World

 

Bombings kill 14 around Iraqi capital Baghdad

By BUSHRA JUHI

28 June, 2012

BAGHDAD (AP) — Bombings in and around Baghdad killed 14 people and wounded more than 45 on Thursday, authorities said, as a spike of violence made June Iraq's bloodiest month in almost a half a year.

The attacks pushed the monthly death toll up to 200, the highest since January, when insurgents pounded the nation in the weeks following the U.S. military's withdrawal.

Thursday's deadliest strike came around 9:30 a.m. in the Shiite neighborhood of Washash in western Baghdad, where eyewitnesses said a taxi exploded outside a local market. Eight people died and 26 were injured, police and hospital officials said.

Hadil Maytham and her two children were eating breakfast in their nearby house when they heard the explosion.

Full report at: Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press.

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Syria is at war says Assad as violence spirals

ATUL ANEJA

June 27, 2012

Syrian opposition fighters attacked a high-profile military facility and armed assailants bombed a pro-regime television station near Damascus on Wednesday, forcing President Bashar al-Assad to announce that his country is at war.

In an address to his Cabinet on Tuesday, Mr. Assad said that Syria was in a “real situation of war”. His comments came after an emboldened armed opposition targeted an elite Republican Guard facility on the outskirts of Damascus. Six people were killed in the attack.

Syria’s state-run news agency, SANA is also reporting that anti-regime forces stormed the offices of al-Ikhbaria satellite channel on Wednesday. The assailants “planted explosive devices in the headquarters of al-Ikhbaria following their ransacking and destroying of the satellite channel studios, including the newsroom studio which was entirely destroyed,” the official Syrian news agency SANA reported. SANA initially said that three employees were killed, but later revised its estimate to seven during the attack on the privately owned, pro-government channel, located 22 km south of the capital. Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said the killings marked “the worst massacre against journalism and the freedom of media.” He warned that this “massacre won't go unpunished and the broadcast of the Syrian al-Ikhbaryia Satellite will not stop and we hold the EU and Arab and International organisations responsible for this massacre”.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3576796.ece

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Bahrain human rights activist Nabeel Rajab released

28 June, 2012

The prominent Bahraini human rights activist, Nabeel Rajab, has been freed after three weeks in detention.

Mr Rajab was detained on 6 June over comments posted on social networking websites.

It is the second time in two months that he has been arrested and released. His lawyer says his next court appearance is due on 9 July.

Mr Rajab has helped organise many pro-democracy protests, which have been led by the Gulf kingdom's Shia majority.

He is also one of the most well-known activists in the Arab world, frequently speaking to the world's media and having more than 150,000 followers on Twitter.

Shortly after his release on Wednesday, Mr Rajab told the Associated Press news agency that he would "keep defending the people's rights".

The president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights was arrested after alleging on Twitter that residents of Muharaq had welcomed the prime minister during a visit because he had offered them subsidies.

Prosecutors said they had received complaints that Mr Rajab had "talked on social networks about the people of Muharaq in a way that questioned their patriotism and insulted them".

Mr Rajab is now facing trial on four separate charges - two for posting comments on Twitter deemed insulting to the government and the Sunni community, and two others relating to protests.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18611222

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Kofi Annan proposes interim government for Syria

Jun 28, 2012

DAMASCUS: Peace envoy Kofi Annan is proposing a transitional government for Syria including members from both sides of the country's war, diplomats said Wednesday.

The call came after UN investigators reported on atrocities committed inside the country, where rights groups say more than 15,000 people have been killed since an uprising began against President Bashar al-Assad.

Monitors tracking the violence said the last week had been the bloodiest since the fighting started, as a deadly attack on a pro-government television station sparked international outrage.

Annan's proposed interim authority would exclude officials whose presence might jeopardise the transition "or undermine efforts to bring reconciliation," according to a summary given by one UN diplomat.

The major powers -- the US, Britain, France, China and Russia, a key Assad ally -- generally back the plan that will be discussed at a meeting of foreign ministers Annan has convened in Geneva on Saturday, the diplomats said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Kofi-Annan-proposes-interim-

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Syrian Arrests Are Said to Have Snared Tens of Thousands

28 June, 2012

DAMASCUS, Syria — After Syrian secret police officers spotted Azam at a peaceful demonstration in the heart of this city, he said, they chased him down and dragged him off to prison, where he was tortured during his 40 days in confinement.

“They take people and forget them because there are so many others coming in,” said Azam, who asked to be identified by only his first name. He said he had been detained by air force security officers, members of one of more than a dozen secret police services in Syria.

While the world’s attention has been focused on the military escalation in Syria, the government has also waged an unrelenting campaign of arrests that has snared tens of thousands of people, according to lawyers and activists in Syria and human rights groups. They say the arrests have focused on two groups: secular activists, including those organizing humanitarian aid, and men and boys from the towns that the Syrian Army has besieged or has retaken from the armed opposition.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/world/middleeast/beyond-arms-syria-uses-arrests-

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Africa

 

Nigerian police kill 17 suspected militants

28 June, 2012

Nigerian security forces killed at least 17 suspected members of the militant group Boko Haram in a shoot-out in the northern town of Kano, authorities said on Wednesday.

A police corporal was also killed in the drawn-out clash which occurred late Tuesday, said Ibrahim Idris, police commissioner for the state, also called Kano.

The militants had planned coordinated attacks at several locations, including police stations and schools, around the country’s second-largest city, Mr. Idris said.

“During the gun duel, the superior power of police killed 10 of the extremists” in the city’s Dala Division, he said.

“They abandoned their motor vehicles — a Golf car and bus containing large quantity of drugs and syringes, 10 undetonated explosives and some drugs for first aid were also discovered.” The security forces killed another seven militants at a police outpost, said Ikedichi Iweha, spokesman for the Kano Joint Security Task Force, in a press statement.

One police officer was killed as the attackers detonated several bombs and tried to access the outpost’s arms depot.

“Their plans to loot the arms store were, however, foiled by the swift response of security forces,” he said.

He compared Tuesday’s incident to the January 20 attacks across Kano state.

Two weeks ago in Kaduna, about 200 kilometres south—west of Kano city, more than 60 people were killed in multiple church attacks.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3580630.ece

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Islamists seize buildings in north Mali town

Jun 27, 2012

BAMAKO, Mali: A resident and a doctor in the north Mali city of Gao says that fighters belonging to an Islamist rebel group forced their way into buildings controlled by a secular rebel faction, seized control and raised their flag.

Resident Hamadada Toure said that a shooting between the two groups began on Wednesday morning and lasted until around 2 pm local time. When he emerged, he found that the Islamist MUJAO group had taken over all the buildings in Gao that previously had been occupied by the secular National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, or NMLA.

He said that he also saw five bodies of NMLA soldiers near the building that served as the NMLA's headquarters.

Doctor Mohamed Diamoye said that three bodies had been brought to the local hospital, including one of a MUJAO fighter. The two others were civilians.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Islamists-seize-buildings-in-north-Mali-town/articleshow/14434815.cms

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North America

 

'Without Pak support, US will have to go for airlift in Afghan'

 Jun 28 2012

Washington : The US would have to rely on “more extensive” use of airlift during the 2014 drawdown of troops from Afghanistan if the ground routes closed by Pakistan do not open in time, a top Pentagon commander has said.

He also acknowledged that the closure of ground lines of communication (GLOCs) by Pakistan in protest against the NATO raid that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November last year has proved to be costly for the United States.

Transportation of one container of goods from the US to Afghanistan through the Northern Distribution Network costs around USD 20,000 as against USD 7,000 to USD 8,000 that went through Pakistan earlier.

While the Pentagon is trying various innovative measures to bring down the cost of this transportation, Vice Admiral Mark Harnitchek, Director of the Defence Logistics Agency, said that if the Pakistan GLOCs do not open in time before the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan begins, the Department of Defence would have no other choice but to leave a significant amount of its stuff behind - either destroy them or scrap.

“Ground movement of cargo without Pakistan is a challenge. If we do not get Pakistan back, as part of the network as the drawdown begins, that implies more extensive use of airlift than the ground routes,” Harnitchek said at a breakfast meeting with Defence Writers Group in response to a question.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/967832/

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Clinton hails Egypt vote but warns it’s ‘just the beginning’

28 June, 2012

HELSINKI: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday congratulated Egypt’s newly elected president, but cautioned that the election was just a first step towards true democracy.

“We have congratulated President (Mohamed) Morsi and the Egyptian people for continuing on their path to democratic transition,” Clinton told reporters in Helsinki.

President-elect Morsi, of the once-banned Muslim Brotherhood, is in the process of forming a government after he was proclaimed Egypt’s first democratically elected president on Sunday, a year and a half after street protests toppled veteran strongman and US ally Hosni Mubarak.

“We have heard some very positive statements so far,” Clinton said, hailing among other things Morsi’s pledge to honour international obligations, “which would, in our view, cover the peace treaty with Israel,” signed in 1979 and which many feared could be abandoned with an Islamist in power.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/28/clinton-hails-egypt-vote-but-warns-its-just-the-beginning/

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Jundal arrest exposes Pak stand: US expert

28 JUNE 2012

India’s arrest of Abu Jundal has completely exposed Pakistan’s role in the Mumbai attacks and any further dithering by it in proceeding against the terror masterminds would only “hasten the country’s international isolation and slide toward pariah state status”, says noted South Asia expert  Lisa Curtis.

While the State department confined itself to calling for the arrest prosecution of all those responsible for 26/11, Curtis commented that Jundal’s reported confession on the presence of Pakistani intelligence officials in the  control room from where he directed the attackers  was “explosive”.

“If true, these accusations will undermine an already shaky US-Pakistan relationship and further tarnish Pakistan’s global image, as the gruesome attacks were televised across the world,” said Curtis, Senior Research Fellow for South Asia at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/76375-jundal-arrest-exposes-pak-stand-us-expert.html

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/taliban-releases-video-of-17-beheaded-pakistani-soldiers/d/7772

 

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