New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 23 March 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

The Petraeus briefing: Biden’s embarrassment is not the whole story

Indo-Israel Nexus & Saudi Arabia

Students Islamic Organisation of India demands judicial probe in Batla House encounter

'Burka like a paper bag on head' remark lands Brit MP in trouble

US to engage Indo-Pak on addressing water tensions

India, Pakistan have shared interest in Afghanistan: NATO chief

Govt advised to push for Headley's extradition

Pakistan comes with specific wishlist for US

“219 Kashmiri Pandits killed by militants since 1989”

Gilgit-Baltistan gets its first woman governor

US missile strike kills six in North Waziristan

Madanjeet Singh to give $ 0.5m for Kashmir varsity building

Jordan says envoy was targeted in foiled plot

Taliban say not involved in Kabul peace talks

Iraq’s Shiite blocs discuss merger

Pakistan seeks energy, Kashmir role from US

Libya frees 214 Islamists, including three top figures

No homecoming for Kashmiri Pandits

Pak gives US 56-page wishlist

Palestinian says he was tortured in Jerusalem jail

Call for liberation of held Kashmir through jihad

Charges being framed against ex-Blackwater chief

Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki Nears Agreement With Rival Shiites

Muslim prisoners fast and pray during Navratri

Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Association of Ghana holds congress

Not all tension in Turkey is West v Islam

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/the-petraeus-briefing--biden’s-embarrassment-is-not-the-whole-story/d/2614

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The Petraeus briefing: Biden’s embarrassment is not the whole story

By Mark Perry

On Jan. 16, two days after a killer earthquake hit Haiti, a team of senior military officers from the U.S. Central Command (responsible for overseeing American security interests in the Middle East), arrived at the Pentagon to brief Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The team had been dispatched by CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus to underline his growing worries at the lack of progress in resolving the issue. The 33-slide, 45-minute PowerPoint briefing stunned Mullen. The briefers reported that there was a growing perception among Arab leaders that the U.S. was incapable of standing up to Israel, that CENTCOM's mostly Arab constituency was losing faith in American promises, that Israeli intransigence on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was jeopardizing U.S. standing in the region, and that Mitchell himself was (as a senior Pentagon officer later bluntly described it) "too old, too slow ... and too late."

The January Mullen briefing was unprecedented. No previous CENTCOM commander had ever expressed himself on what is essentially a political issue; which is why the briefers were careful to tell Mullen that their conclusions followed from a December 2009 tour of the region where, on Petraeus's instructions, they spoke to senior Arab leaders. "Everywhere they went, the message was pretty humbling," a Pentagon officer familiar with the briefing says. "America was not only viewed as weak, but its military posture in the region was eroding." But Petraeus wasn't finished: two days after the Mullen briefing, Petraeus sent a paper to the White House requesting that the West Bank and Gaza (which, with Israel, is a part of the European Command -- or EUCOM), be made a part of his area of operations. Petraeus's reason was straightforward: with U.S. troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. military had to be perceived by Arab leaders as engaged  in the region's most troublesome conflict.

"CENTCOM did have a team brief the CJCS on concerns revolving around the Palestinian issue, and CENTCOM did propose a UCP change, but to CJCS, not to the WH," the officer said via email. "GEN Petraeus was not certain what might have been conveyed to the WH (if anything) from that brief to CJCS."

The Mullen briefing and Petraeus's request hit the White House like a bombshell. While Petraeus's request that CENTCOM be expanded to include the Palestinians was denied ("it was dead on arrival," a Pentagon officer confirms), the Obama administration decided it would redouble its efforts -- pressing Israel once again on the settlements issue, sending Mitchell on a visit to a number of Arab capitals and dispatching Mullen for a carefully arranged meeting with the chief of the Israeli General Staff, Lt. General Gabi Ashkenazi. While the American press speculated that Mullen's trip focused on Iran, the JCS Chairman actually carried a blunt, and tough, message on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: that Israel had  to see its conflict with the Palestinians "in a larger, regional, context" -- as having a direct impact on America's status in the region. Certainly, it was thought, Israel would get the message.

Israel didn't. When Vice President Joe Biden was embarrassed by an Israeli announcement that the Netanyahu government was building 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem, the administration reacted. But no one was more outraged than Biden who, according to the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, engaged in a private, and angry, exchange with the Israeli Prime Minister. Not surprisingly, what Biden told Netanyahu reflected the importance the administration attached to Petraeus's Mullen briefing:  "This is starting to get dangerous for us," Biden reportedly told Netanyahu. "What you're doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That endangers us and it endangers regional peace." Yedioth Ahronoth went on to report: "The vice president told his Israeli hosts that since many people in the Muslim world perceived a connection between Israel's actions and US policy, any decision about construction that undermines Palestinian rights in East Jerusalem could have an impact on the personal safety of American troops fighting against Islamic terrorism." The message couldn't be plainer: Israel's intransigence could cost American  lives.

There are important and powerful lobbies in America: the NRA, the American Medical Association, the lawyers -- and the Israeli lobby. But no lobby is as important, or as powerful, as the U.S. military. While commentators and pundits might reflect that Joe Biden's trip to Israel has forever shifted America's relationship with its erstwhile ally in the region, the real break came in January, when David Petraeus sent a briefing team to the Pentagon with a stark warning: America's relationship with Israel is important, but not as important as the lives of America's soldiers. Maybe Israel gets the message now.

[UPDATE 2--from Mark Perry: A senior military officer told Foreign Policy by email that one minor detail in my report, "The Petraeus Briefing" was incorrect: a request from General Petraeus for the Palestinian occupied territories (but, as I made clear, not Israel itself), be brought within CENTCOM's region of operation was sent to JCS Chairman Mullen - and not directly to the White House. My information was based on conversations with CENTCOM officials, who believed they were giving me correct information. It is significant that the correction was made, not because it is an important detail, but because it is was inconsequential to the overall narrative. In effect, the U.S. military has clearly said there was nothing in this report that could be denied.]

/mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/03/14/the_petraeus_briefing_biden_s_embarrassment_is_not_the_whole_story

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Indo-Israel Nexus & Saudi Arabia

March 24, 2010

India and Saudi Arabia has signed extradition treaty and number of other pacts to enhance cooperation in various sectors, like economy, energy and defence in recent visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saudi Arabia. According to the Hindu media, leaders of both the countries also emphasized for long-term strategic relations between two states. It is also a known fact that Saudi Arabian king in one to one meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has  shown concern over the regional and global adverse security environment and urged him to resolve bilateral issues with Pakistan. India never liked Saudi interference on occupied Kashmir issue and always tried to tone down the conflicts in negotiations with Saudi leadership.  Indo-Israel growing ties are also alarming for the Arabs and other non-Arab Muslim leadership.

Arab world including Saudi’s leadership must be well aware of the facts that India has provided bases to Israel to strike Iran and Syria.  India is seeking cooperation from Israel in aerospace industries and at the same time to meet her local crude oil energy requirements approached Saudi Arabia.  It is also notable here that she also recently went into arms deal with Israel purchasing over $ 200 million arms and naval crafts with a view to strengthen  armed forces as one  feature of her per-planned  hegemonic design. Saudi rulers should be mindful to the increasing influence of Israel in central Asian region. As per Israel’s greater design, Madina (Muslim Holy City) falls in the jurisdiction of future Israeli state.

Both India and Israel are also united on one point that is anti Muslim agenda through sectarianism.  They have decided to force US and NATO forces to stay in Afghan region. They do not support any negotiations, talks and agreements which should be helpful in bringing regional peace. They always try to use multi dimensional approaches to   sabotage the talks. They use Jews controlled media, anti Muslim think tanks and lobbies to target Muslim countries. For example, New York Times, Times of India and Washington post started thrashing out Pakistan forces and its nuke programmes prior to the start of under going PAK-US Strategic dialogues. The said newspapers are alleging Pakistan security forces and intelligence agencies for supporting Taliban and depicting Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as safe heaven of Taliban and are also alleging Iran for supporting Taliban against America. But the reality is different, in fact   a group of 100 men have been inducted and trained by Indian embassy located in Tehran and consulates in Zahedan, There are some reports that some trained terrorists have been pushed into Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia for creating instability, target killing of important dignities and American top listed personalities.  Indian media in collaboration of their Jews masters has decided to create differences between Iran & Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan, Afghanistan & Iran while creating sectarian problems in the revealed countries.

Thus Islamic countries need to be united to defeat anti Muslim campaign. The most pertinent factor of under discussion topic could be that whether indo-Israel nexus would be suited to Saudi Arabia or not. Saudi Arabia is one of the country that always been considered as the centre of the Muslim community. India, since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, has preferred to maintain amicable relations with Israel USA and Arab countries too.  Indian leadership also knew that India’s domestic politics and dependence on the Arab world will most likely be criticized in extremist Hindu circle. India’s double standards towards Muslim ummah are now an open secret. She has dual face and playing double game with Saudi Arabia while declaring that Saudi Arabia and anti Muslim Israel as her strategic partner in the same frame of time,

Indian ulterior and interior motives show two different scenarios. Her Research Analysis Wing’s (RAW) is funding South Asian Analysis group for proving  Saudi connection with Al-Qaeda and is  also advocating that terrorism is being multiplied through “Wahhabism”. In short she is promoting sectarianism through fomenting “anti Wahabism” venom in the Muslim masses. For example in  an article “JIHADI TERRORISM: The Saudi Connection”  B.Raman (former Additional Sectary of Indian Intelligence Agency RAW) reveals "Like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia has been following a dual policy on terrorism," said B. Raman, a senior analyst with the South Asia Analysis Group. While the Saudis have taken "ruthless action" against al-Qaida elements within Saudi Arabia, Raman said, "it has avoided taking action against Wahhabi organizations which have been supporting terrorism in other countries."

The Indian writer also alleged Saudi Arabia for supporting many of the charity organizations in India, Bangladesh and the United States that fund terrorist organizations are of Saudi origin.

He further stressed that Saudis have paid only lip service to complaints of such sponsorship and requests to halt funding of Sunni Wahhabi groups.

Wahhabi Islam, which originated in Saudi Arabia, is the primary religious movement behind extremist Islam, including al-Qaida and the Sunni Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Raman confirmed, "There has been a long history of links between jihadi terrorist elements in India and Saudi Arabia."

Any how, this classic example of propaganda carried out by RAW funded and planted agent against Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.  King of Saudi Arabia and his subordinates must remember that India and Israel can never be the friends of the Muslim community. India and Israel have to understand that Saudi government cannot establish cordial relations with them at the cost of Muslim ummah.   Both countries are notorious for crushing Kashmiries, innocent Ghazans, Sikhs and even Christian Communities.  OIC should mount pressure on India to resolve bilateral issues with Pakistan. Moreover Saudi Arab should also stop favouring New Delhi stance of becoming full member of OIC.  Indian status of ambassadors should also be terminated till the time she doesn’t stop propagating sectarianism and resolving regional conflicts with Muslim countries (Pakistan & Bangladesh) . World community should force Israel and India to stop brutality against innocents Palestinian and Kashmiries.

http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?225788

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Students Islamic Organisation of India demands judicial probe in Batla House encounter

March 24, 2010

New Delhi, Mar 24 (ANI): The Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIOI), a forum of Muslim students on Wednesday sought judicial probe in the high profile Batla House encounter that took place in New Delhi in September 2008, in which the Delhi Police killed two suspected Indian Mujahideen militants and also lost one of its ace inspectors.

Over hundreds of SIOI activists took out a rally through the streets in the vicinity of Jamia Millia Islamia University that adjoins Batla House terming the shootout as fake.

"We believe that the encounter is fake, this is a cold-blooded murder and we believe that these both (killed suspected militants) were killed before bringing to the site of shootout. The Delhi Police staged this entire drama," said SIOI National Secretary Shahnawaz Ali Raihan.

"We demand that there should be impartial probe by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court and the truth should come before us," Raihan added.

The post-mortem reports of the two suspected militants killed in the encounter, obtained by a Jamia university student, have raised many questions.

The four-page autopsy reports of the suspects reveal that they had suffered injuries by a blunt object apart from gunshot wounds.

Two suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists who were killed were identified as Atif Amin and Mohd Sajid. Two other IM suspects Mohd Saif and Zeeshan were arrested from the Batla House area.

http://news.oneindia.in/2010/03/24/studentsislamic-organisation-of-india-demands-judicialprob.html

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'Burka like a paper bag on head' remark lands Brit MP in trouble

March 24, 2010

London, Mar.24 : A Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) has invited trouble by abusing the 'burka', as a probe has been ordered against him for inciting racial hatred.

During a parliamentary debate last month, Philip Hollobone had urged the House of Commons to 'seriously consider' banning the garment, which is often used by Muslim women.

"Wearing a burka was like going round with a paper bag over your head," Hollobone had reportedly said on the floor of the house.

Meanwhile, Hollobone has criticised the Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council (NREC) for complaining against him.

He blasted NREC for challenging the freedom of speech while attempting to have him prosecuted.

"It's complete hypocrisy. They talk on one hand about freedom of speech and expression and then without even making contact try to get me prosecuted. In this country you should be able to have a debate about controversial subjects without the threat of police action. That's how democracy works," The Sun quoted Hollobone, as saying.

It may be noted that NREC had sent letter to the MP criticising his stance on Muslim women who choose to wear the burka in public.

Speaking during a debate on the occasion of International Women's Day (March 11) last week, Hollobone had insisted that wearing a burka was not in accordance with the country's culture.

"This is Britain. We are not a Muslim country. Covering your face in public is strange and to many people both intimidating and offensive," Hollobone had said.

According to an estimate, burkas are worn by about 100,000 of the 2.4million Muslims living in Britain. (ANI)

http://news.oneindia.in/2010/03/24/burkalike-a-paper-bag-on-head-remark-lands-brit-mp-intro.html

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US to engage Indo-Pak on addressing water tensions

Mar 24, 2010

WASHINGTON: The US said on Monday it will engage Pakistan and India to help resolve tensions over the distribution of water between the two countries, as Washington wants the two South Asian neighbours to avoid any conflict over the lingering dispute.

“I think we need to work on this some and find ways to make sure that especially in the Pakistan-India case, we can help move things forward to an improved situation,” Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero said at a US State Department briefing on the occasion of the World Water Day. “What we want to make sure that we can do is help countries avoid conflicts over water,” said the US diplomat.

Recognising conflict: “So the effort is to elevate the water issue in our diplomatic engagement with countries, to help states increase their own capacity to address these issues... [and] also find ways to increase the supply of water. So the issue is the recognition of water as a potential source of conflict in our elevated effort to address it with greater priority than we have in the past,” she added.

Asked if the Obama administration was specifically talking with India and Pakistan on issues related to the distribution of water, Otero said, “I think we’re beginning to do that. The role that the US will play in any kind of existing relationship between the two countries is one that has to be carefully focussed.”

When her attention was drawn to the fact that India is building dams on rivers flowing into Pakistan and that Pakistan is facing a severe water shortage, Otero said, “We’re clearly aware of the enormous importance of this fact... I think the message that we’re sending today is that the US is elevating the role that it seeks to play in issues related to water. Whether it will become the mediator in any particular conflict is not something that we’re prepared to say right now.” app

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\03\24\story_24-3-2010_pg7_29

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India, Pakistan have shared interest in Afghanistan: NATO chief

Mar 23, 2010

LONDON: India and Pakistan have shared interest in a stable Afghanistan and improved ties between the two nations are crucial to prevent a failure of the Afghan peace efforts, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said.

Advocating moves to improve Indo-Pak ties, Rasmussen said the south Asian region stands to lose if stability eluded Afghanistan.

"In order to pursue a peaceful process in Afghanistan... Pakistan as well as India have shared interest in stability in Afghanistan because the whole region will be affected negatively if we see a failure in Afghanistan," he was quoted a saying in Brussels.

The NATO secretary general said Afghanistan was one of the reasons that made it vital to improve the relationship between Pakistan and India.

"Therefore it is crucial to improve the relationship between Pakistan and India," he said.

Rasmussen also advocated an intensified dialogue between NATO and India for ensuring a positive development in the region.

"This is also the reason why I have suggested and intensify dialogue between India and NATO because I think dialogue will serve the purpose of ensuring a positive development in the region," he said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/India-Pakistan-have-shared-interest-in-Afghanistan-NATO-chief/articleshow/5716517.cms

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Govt advised to push for Headley's extradition

Dhananjay Mahapatra

Mar 24, 2010

NEW DELHI: As it mulls how to source information from David Coleman Headley, the government has been advised to seek not just direct access to him but also extradition of the Lashkar terrorist who has pleaded guilty to being part of the 26/11 plot.

According to sources, solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam on Tuesday advised the government to make the effort, notwithstanding the plea bargain under which Headley pleaded guilty to 12 counts in lieu of promise from the US authorities that he will be spared execution and extradition to India.

The SG has based his argument on the doctrine of dual sovereignty which is one of the important features of the US Constitution and under which an accused can be tried by both federal and state governments for same or related offence. Subramaniam's contention is that India can invoke the same principle, citing the enormity of the crime committed by Headley against India by laying out the groundwork for 26/11 attack on Mumbai. Of the 12 counts Headley has pleaded guilty to, nine relate to the Mumbai massacre. This, according to the SG, gives enough basis for India to seek direct access to Headley.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Govt-advised-to-push-for-Headleys-extradition/articleshow/5717790.cms

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Pakistan comes with specific wishlist for US

Mar 24, 2010

Pakistan has given a wish list to Washington ahead of high-level meetings, pushing for talks on nuclear cooperation as well as pilotless drones and helicopters, said US and Pakistani officials on Tuesday.

Islamabad's 56-page document, set to be discussed in talks in Washington on Wednesday and Thursday, also outlines other priorities such as water and electricity requirements for energy-starved Pakistan as it struggles with power cuts.

Speaking after talks with US lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said his country's civilian government and the military had a "very clear plan" for what needed to be done.

"We articulated that collectively, you know, what the Pakistani priorities are," said Qureshi, who met Senator John Kerry, one of the authors of landmark legislation last year for a five-year, $7.5 billion aid package for Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-comes-with-specific-wishlist-for-US/articleshow/5718025.cms

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“219 Kashmiri Pandits killed by militants since 1989”

Shujaat Bukhari

24,202 Pandit families migrated out of the Valley due to turmoil

Centre sanctioned special package for return, rehabilitation of migrants

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday said 219 Kashmiri Pandits were killed by militants since 1989 while 24,202 families were among the total 38,119 families which migrated out of the Valley due to turmoil.

Replying to a question from People's Democratic Party member Syed Basharat Bukhari, Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla told the Assembly in Jammu that “219 Pandits were killed in Kashmir from 1989 to 2004. From 2004, no killing of any person from the community [Kashmiri Pandits] took place till now,” Mr. Bhalla said.

A total number of 38,119 families comprising 1,42,042 Kashmiri migrants were registered with the Revenue and Relief Ministry till now.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/24/stories/2010032461230900.htm

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Gilgit-Baltistan gets its first woman governor

Omer Farooq Khan

Mar 23, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Dr Shama Khalid on Tuesday took oath as Governor of Gilgit-Baltistan at a special investiture ceremony, becoming the first woman assuming governorship in the country's history.

Gilgit-Baltistan, formerly known as "Northern Areas", was granted self-rule by the current government on 29 August 2009 by passing the Gilgit and Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order 2009.

The chief judge of the Supreme Appellate Court of Gilgit-Baltistan administered the oath to Dr Shama Khalid. The ceremony was witnessed by President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan Syed Mehdi Shah and federal ministers.

The president also conferred civil and military awards on outstanding individuals at an investiture ceremony held in connection with Pakistan Day. Overall 190 individuals were conferred awards on Pakistan Day, out of which the President himself gave away 75 civil and 56 military awards in different categories, at the special ceremony.

President Zardari decorated Prof Dr Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the secretary general of Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), with Hilal-i-Pakistan, at the ceremony.

Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is the only recipient of Pakistan's highest civilian award Nishan-i-Pakistan and has already been conferred with the award during his visit to Pakistan in October last year.

The Pakistan civil awards are given in recognition to the contribution of those who rendered meritorious service to the country in their respective fields or performed exemplary acts of gallantry.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Gilgit-Baltistan-gets-its-first-woman-governor/articleshow/5716637.cms

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US missile strike kills six in North Waziristan

24 Mar, 2010

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MIRAMSHAH, March 23: Missiles fired from US drones on Tuesday killed at least six militants in North Waziristan a restive area bordering Afghanistan, security officials said.

“US drones fired two missiles on a militant vehicle parked outside a compound. At least six militants were killed and three others were wounded,” a senior security official told AFP.

“The compound, being frequented by militants recently, was also destroyed in the attack,” he added.

Another security official and two intelligence officials confirmed the missile strike and death toll.

The official said it was not immediately clear whether any “high-value target” was present at the time of the attack, which took place in the suburbs of Miramshah.

Residents said that militants had started sifting through the debris and removing the bodies.

Militants immediately cordoned off the area around the destroyed vehicle and the compound, a local tribesman told AFP on condition of anonymity.—AFP

www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/us-missile-strike-kills-six-in-north-waziristan-430

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Madanjeet Singh to give $ 0.5m for Kashmir varsity building

Serena Josephine M.

Mar 24, 2010

PUDUCHERRY: UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and South Asia Foundation (SAF) founder Madanjeet Singh will grant $ 0.5 million to establish a building for the Institute of Kashmir Studies at the University of Kashmir.

The decision was taken after consulting Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah during his visit to Puducherry on Tuesday, Mr. Singh told TheHindu.

The Institute of Kashmir Studies is one of the institutes of excellence established by the SAF in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

“Both of us have agreed that I will give half-a-million dollars from my private account to establish a building for the institute as in other institutes of excellence,” Mr. Singh said.

10th anniversary

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/24/stories/2010032465261500.htm

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Jordan says envoy was targeted in foiled plot

Mar 24, 2010

AMMAN (Jordan)—Jordan’s ambassador to Pakistan was the target of a Taliban kidnap attempt foiled by authorities in Islamabad and is now safe, the Jordanian information minister said Tuesday.

The incident followed calls for attacks on the Jordanian government by an al-Qaida double agent who killed seven CIA operatives and a Jordanian agent in Afghanistan last December.

On Monday, Pakistani police announced the arrest of two highly experienced Taliban militants planning to attack top hotels and kidnap diplomats in Pakistan. The militants’ identities and their targets weren’t disclosed at the time.

Jordanian Information Minister Nabil Sharif said ambassador Saleh al-Jawarneh was the target of plot and was now safe in Jordan. He said Jordanian security was in contact with Pakistan for detailed information on the probe under way.

Full report at:

http://dailymailnews.com/0310/24/FrontPage/FrontPage4.php

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Taliban say not involved in Kabul peace talks

Mar 24, 2010

KABUL—The Taliban are not involved in peace talks between an insurgent faction and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and will not agree to talks until Western troops are withdrawn from the country, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

Karzai’s office said on Monday he had held his first direct talks in Kabul with a senior delegation from Hezb-i-Islami, one of the three main insurgent groups in the country and rivals to the Taliban.

The meeting was an unprecedented success in Karzai’s efforts to reach out to insurgents this year, a crucial time when Washington is sending a “surge” of extra combat troops before planning to start withdrawing next year.

Although the talks appeared to be preliminary, the publicly acknowledged face-to-face meeting was a significant milestone: previous contacts with insurgents have been furtive and conducted through mediators, mostly overseas.

Full report at:

 http://dailymailnews.com/0310/24/FrontPage/FrontPage10.php

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Iraq’s Shiite blocs discuss merger

Mar 24, 2010

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s two main Shiite political blocs, one led by Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and another whose leaders have close ties to Iran, are discussing a merger that could widen Iraq’s sectarian divide.

A union between Al-Maliki’s State of Law and the Iraqi National Alliance, two of the top three vote-getters in Iraq’s March 7 parliamentary election, could sideline secularist former Premier Iyad Allawi, whose cross-sectarian Iraqiya coalition won strong support from minority Sunnis.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article33886.ece

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Pakistan seeks energy, Kashmir role from US

24 March 2010

Pakistan's foreign minister asked on Wednesday for a "constructive" US role on Kashmir and "non-discriminatory" access to energy at the opening of high-level talks with the United States.

Speaking alongside Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi pledged support for action against extremism but also said that Pakistan had key wishes from the United States.

"Pakistan is committed to doing its part to facilitate the world community's effort for peace and stability in Afghanistan," Qureshi said.

"We hope the world community will be equally responsive to our legitimate concerns and help advance common interests," he said.

"We hope non-discriminatory access to vital energy resources will also be made available to us, so that we too can pursue our economic and industrial development plans," Qureshi said.

Full report at:

http://www.france24.com/en/20100324-pakistan-seeks-energy-kashmir-role-us

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Libya frees 214 Islamists, including three top figures

Mar 23, 2010

TRIPOLI: Libya has freed 214 Islamists from prison, including three top figures of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, the son of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi said on Tuesday.

"Today, the Libyan state announces the liberation of 214 prisoners from different Islamist groups among which are 34 members of the LIFG, including the three leaders of the group" — top boss Abdelhakim Belhaj, military chief, Khaled Shrif and ideological official Sami Saadi, Seif al-Islam told a press conference.

"With the release of these leaders, we have brought to a conclusion our programme of dialogue and reconciliation," he added, in reference to a policy of reaching out to Islamists begun in 2007 by the Kadhafi Foundation, which he leads.

"Since the beginning of this programme, 705 Islamists have been freed, while 409 are still in prison, and 232 of them will be set free soon," Islam added.

In 2007, al-Qaida announced that the LIFG had joined the jihadist network. But last year, the Kadhafi Foundation announced that Islamists being held in Libyan prisons that had previously had links with al-Qaida had renounced those ties.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Libya-frees-214-Islamists-including-three-top-figures-/articleshow/5716959.cms

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No homecoming for Kashmiri Pandits

Mohit Kandhari | Jammu

Even after constructing secure accommodation for Kashmiri migrant families, living in exile across different States, the State and Central Government succeeded in motivating only 31 Kashmiri migrant families to return home to safety.

There has not been any favourable response despite the security situation on ground showed signs of improvement and near normalcy returned to Kashmir.

Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla on Tuesday told the Lower House of the State Legislature, “The Government had constructed 200 flats in Kashmir to facilitate their safe return at an estimated cost of Rs 22.90 crore at Sheikhpora in Budgam district. But so far, only 31 internally-displaced Kashmiri Pandit migrant families have gone back and occupied these flats. The remaining flats are still lying vacant.”

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/244141/No-homecoming-for-Kashmiri-Pandits.html

 

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Pak gives US 56-page wishlist

S Rajagopalan | Washington

Pakistan has submitted to the United States a 56-page document that is largely in the nature of an extensive wish list, seeking more economic aid, more military hardware, an India-type civil nuclear deal and a direct American role in resumption of the stalled Indo-Pak dialogue. News of the submission of the document, reported by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, comes bang on the eve of the first-ever US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue that gets under way in Washington.

In return for the enhanced American assistance, Pakistan is said to have made what some American officials reckon to be an implicit offer to crack down on the Afghan Taliban. The document reportedly raises concerns over India’s modernisation of its defence forces and its close ties to the Afghan Government as it makes the push for increased economic and military aid.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/244121/Pak-gives-US-56-page-wishlist.html

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Palestinian says he was tortured in Jerusalem jail

Mar 24, 2010

JERUSALEM: A Palestinian man who organized demonstrations in a village south of Bethlehem and was arrested a week ago was released without charge on Monday.

Omar Alaaeddin from the village of Al-Ma’asara was released having been tortured at the Israeli Russian Compound Jail in Jerusalem. He was arrested while making his way back home from Ramallah with a group of students and university professors.

Alaaeddin was beaten repeatedly, both by the soldiers who detained him, and later in jail. He said he was kicked, punched and even electroshocked with a Taser.

He was brought to a judge for the first time on Sunday. Following a short hearing, the judge harshly criticized the prosecution and police, saying there is no evidence connecting Alaaeddin to any violence and ordered his release.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article33889.ece

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Call for liberation of held Kashmir through jihad

By Tariq Naqash

24 Mar, 2010

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MUZAFFARABAD, March 23: Kashmiri militant leaders vowed on Tuesday to strengthen their armed struggle and called upon Islamabad to adopt a concrete strategy for liberation of occupied Kashmir from the Indian yoke.

“The conference firmly believes that liberation of Kashmir from the Indian yoke can counteract India’s water terrorism and also mark the completion of Pakistan. Therefore, Pakistan must stick to its principled stand on Kashmir and adopt a concrete strategy for its freedom,” said a declaration adopted by a ‘Defence of Pakistan Conference’ in Kotli.

The participants raised pro-freedom and anti-India slogans and expressed support for the armed struggle in the occupied territory.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/call-for-liberation-of-held-kashmir-through-jihad-430

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Charges being framed against ex-Blackwater chief

24 Mar, 2010

WASHINGTON: Government prosecutors in the United States are considering weapons charges against former executives at Blackwater Worldwide over allegations the private security company illegally stockpiled automatic rifles at its headquarters, reports AP.

Senior Justice Department officials are reviewing a draft indictment against former president Gary Jackson, former Blackwater general counsel Andrew Howell, and a third man who used to work at the firm’s armoury, people close to the case said. A decision is not expected until at least next month.

Blackwater has repeatedly been under federal scrutiny — from the FBI to Congress to agencies that have hired the firm.

While some of the company’s guards have faced charges for their actions overseas, Blackwater’s executives have managed to weather a range of investigations.

Any indictment would be unwelcome news at a business trying to rehabilitate its image since a 2007 shooting involving Blackwater guards in Baghdad left 17 people dead.

Under a new name, Xe, the company is trying to win Defence Department approval to train police in Afghanistan.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn- framed-a

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Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki Nears Agreement With Rival Shiites

By Kadhim Ajrash and Caroline Alexander

March 24, 2010

Bloomberg -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki is close to reviving an alliance with former Shiite Muslim rivals that may create the biggest bloc in the newly elected parliament, a political ally of the premier said.

An accord between al-Maliki’s State of Law bloc and the Iraqi National Alliance of cleric Ammar al-Hakim will probably be announced in the coming days, State of Law member Safia al- Suhail said in an interview in Baghdad.

“There are important steps that the State of Law and the Iraq National Alliance are taking on the road to integration and creating a big bloc in the next parliament,” Suhail said. “There are ongoing meetings to announce this accord.”

Full report at:

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-03-24/iraqi-prime-minister-maliki-nears-agreement-with-rival-shiites.html

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Muslim prisoners fast and pray during Navratri

2010-03-24

Barabanki (Uttar Pradesh): They are Muslim prisoners but they have been fasting, singing hymns and performing 'yagnas' at a jail here, hoping their prayers will be heard during Navratri. Never mind if it is a Hindu festival.

Nearly 30 Muslim prisoners of the district jail in Barabanki, about 35 km from Lucknow, are taking part in prayers to goddess Durga during the nine-day festival of Navratri in the hope of atoning for their sins.

Hindus, Muslims rebuild shrines and peace in Bareilly

"The uncommon practice of Muslims observing the Navratri fast in the jail is surely an example of communal harmony. It would promote amicable relations between the two communities," deputy jailor Ritwik Priyadarshee said.

"For me, it's really surprising to see their faith in the almighty. Most of them are serving sentences for murder, drugs smuggling, abduction and other heinous crimes," he said.

"Ever since Navratri started, they wake up early in the morning and undertake Hindu rituals to get ready for the festival," he added.

Full report at:

http://sify.com/news/muslim-prisoners-fast-and-pray-during-navratri-news-national-kdyiNriijjb.html

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Supreme Court: Muslim inmates won't receive chametz during Passover

Aviad Glickman

Muslim prisoner appealed district court decision not to provide him with fresh bread during holiday, however Supreme Court rules he must consider his fellow Jewish inmates

Bad news for non-Jewish inmates. Supreme Court justices Elyakim Rubinstein and Edna Arbel rejected Wednesday an appeal filed by a Muslim inmate against a district court decision not to provide him with fresh bread during Passover.

Madabe Mahmoud Rayiq, serving a prison sentence in an integrated section which includes Jews and Muslims, requested in his petition to be allowed to receive bread during Passover since there was no Israeli law imposing kashrut in state facilities.

He claimed that according to the halacha, a non-Jew subject to Jewish authority is allowed to eat chametz during Passover and denying him that violates his basic rights.

The prosecution claimed the Prison Service enables thousands of prisoners from various cultures and religions to observe their religious rules, but Rayiq's motion suggests that his wish to eat chametz during Passover supersedes his fellow inmates' right to observe their religion.

Full report at:

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3867580,00.html

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Ann Coulter Is Now the Victim of a Hate Crime, Says Ann Coulter

3/24/10

Ann Coulter Is Now the Victim of a Hate Crime, Says Ann Coulter

Who would have guessed that a letter from the University of Ottawa warning Anne Coulter not to be overly hateful when she speaks there would spawn a larger controversy? The answer is everyone, and everyone was correct. But before Coulter's event at the University of Ottawa yesterday, she first spoke at the University of Western Ontario on Monday. It was there that Coulter told a 17-year-old Muslim girl to "take a camel" if she didn't own a flying carpet — a reference to an old Coulter remark about what Muslims should do after being banned from flying on planes. It's "satire," Coulter later told Canadian television.

Well, the students at the University of Ottawa, who already opposed Coulter's appearance there, thought it was more like Coulter being a racist she-devil. Hundreds of them massed at the entrance to the auditorium where Coulter was set to speak last night to protest her appearance. Ultimately, Coulter's bodyguard, in consultation with security, decided it was too dangerous for her to enter the building, and the event was canceled. It's kind of ironic, actually, that people expressing their right to free speech were deemed a threat to someone who was herself deemed a threat over her expression of free speech. Consider our mind blown.

Full report at:

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/03/ann_coulter_is_now_the_victim.html

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Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Association of Ghana holds congress

Mar 24, 2010

A religious leader, has called on the youth to pursue education to be abreast with technological advancement, to enable them to understand issues around them and improve their living standards.

Alhaji Maulvi M. Yusuf Yawson, Acting Ameer and Missionary in-charge of Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana, made the call at the 11th Annual National Congress of Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Association of Ghana (AMSAG), at Ashongman, Accra at the weekend.

He said "Education without practice is like un-utilised heap of salt. The knowledge acquired through learning should be of great service to your religion and society".

The congress attended by over 2,000 Ahmadi Muslim Students from both secondary and tertiary institutions was under the theme:"The Role of Students in Nation Building".

Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, Minister of Education, in a speech read on his behalf, said government had instituted interventions for quality education to ensure that students excelled in their academic work.

He urged students to be disciplined and study hard to meet their goals.

Madam Sakeena Bonsu, an Executive Member the Association, who spoke on "Contemporary Fashions and Islam," said Islam came to lift women from ignorance and self-slavery to a dignified state.

She advised the students to always dress decently, because any attire put on by a woman, communicated to the society, the character of the woman.

Source: GNA - Ghana News Agency

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Coulter speech canceled amid fears of violence

By Joel Provano

A speech by conservative pundit Ann Coulter was canceled at the University of Ottawa late Tuesday amid concerns that protesters would become violent.

The speech was called off moments before it began by organizers of the event, who feared for Coulter's safety, the Canadian news network CTV reported. Organizers called off the speech after someone triggered a fire alarm as people were entering the building, CTV said.

Tuesday's incident followed a speech Coulter gave Monday at the University of Western Ontario in which she told a Muslim student to "take a camel" instead of flying, CTV said.

The camel comment came after the student asked about Coulter's earlier remarks that Muslims shouldn't be allowed on airplanes and should take "flying carpets" instead. The student,  Fatima Al-Dhaher, said she did not own a flying carpet and asked Coulter how she should travel.

Full report at:

http://www.ajc.com/news/coulter-speech-canceled-amid-399305.html

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Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Association of Ghana holds congress

24 March 2010

A religious leader, has called on the youth to pursue education to be abreast with technological advancement, to enable them to understand issues around them and improve their living standards.

Alhaji Maulvi M. Yusuf Yawson, Acting Ameer and Missionary in-charge of Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana, made the call at the 11th Annual National Congress of Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Association of Ghana (AMSAG), at Ashongman, Accra at the weekend.

He said "Education without practice is like un-utilised heap of salt. The knowledge acquired through learning should be of great service to your religion and society".

The congress attended by over 2,000 Ahmadi Muslim Students from both secondary and tertiary institutions was under the theme:"The Role of Students in Nation Building".

Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, Minister of Education, in a speech read on his behalf, said government had instituted interventions for quality education to ensure that students excelled in their academic work.

Full report at: Source: GNA - Ghana News Agency

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Not all tension in Turkey is West v Islam

March 25, 2010

A HISTORIC power struggle is afoot in a Muslim-majority country of the greatest importance to the future of the Islamic world and to the West's relationship with it: Turkey.

In October 2008, prosecutors launched a case against a broad array of figures, including senior military officers, journalists and academics, who were formerly considered untouchable. According to indictments, the defendants belonged to a network called Ergenekon (after a mythical Turkish valley) that was determined to sow chaos to pave the way for a military coup against the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

The alleged network includes former and serving military officers, policemen, academics and journalists. The accused belong to a powerful class, known as "Kemalists" after the Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who are devoted to containing the influence of Islam. The AKP is led by politicians who began their careers as junior members of Islamist parties. After the military forced the last overtly Islamist party from government in 1997, a group of young pragmatists broke with that party's leader, Necmettin Erbakan. They recognised that Islamist politics had no future in Turkey, where most people are fairly religious Muslims but the great majority also respect the military and value the role it plays in containing the influence of religion in politics. That group, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul, eventually formed the AKP and won government.

 They describe themselves as "conservative democrats".

Full report at:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/not-all-tension-in-turkey-is-west-v-islam/story-e6frg6zo-1225844940269

 

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/the-petraeus-briefing--biden’s-embarrassment-is-not-the-whole-story/d/2614


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