Is Something Unique: Riyadh Al-Maidani Mosque Delivers Friday Sermon in English
Is Pushing To Build an Isolation Camp for 30,000 Iraqis Who Lived Under ISIS in
Rights Chief Says ‘Appalled’ By Iran Execution of Two Minors
Azhar Slapped With Assets Freeze, Travel Ban in Pakistan
Army Top Brass Endorses All ‘Initiatives towards Regional Peace’
Bride Shamima Begum Will Be Hanged If She Comes To Bangladesh: Foreign Minister
in America Is About Politics More Than Religion
Accuses China Of Using 'Concentration Camps' Against Muslim Minority
Crackdown on Ethnic Minorities at the Heart of China's Belt and Road
Bombers Visited Kashmir for Training’: Sri Lanka Army Chief
report calls for the disarmament of Lebanon’s Hezbollah
won’t let Turkey control even one centimetre of Syrian territory: Deputy FM
calls on Lebanese government to prevent Hezbollah holding weapons
to show first-ever Egyptian king’s tomb treasures
may be forced to work with Syria on refugee issue: Aoun
Operation against ISIS Remnants in Iraq’s Kirkuk
in peace thanks to Turkey: Erdogan
calls for protecting inhabitants of Syria’s Idlib
court dismisses Nawaz Sharif's petition seeking bail extension
support Afghan peace process
negative impact of UN move against Masood Azhar, says envoy
won’t have presidential system, says PM Imran
orders prices of essential items fixed in Ramzan
Never Did Politics In National Interest: Sirajul-Haq
US Should Stop Violence Instead Of Asking Militants to Lay Down Arms
using Afghanistan as bridgehead, says Russia’s defence minister
ISIS militants including Pakistani, Uzbek nationals killed in East of
of a family killed, 9 wounded in Taliban militants attack in Faryab: 29th Shaheen
least 80 Taliban, ISIS militants killed in latest airstrikes, Special Forces
grand council ends with call for peace talks
militants killed in northern Afghanistan
landlord who refused to rent to Muslim men settles lawsuit
imposes sanctions on Iran enriched uranium exports, but renews nuclear work waivers
Zarif rules out US-Iran war, but says ‘accidents’ possible
Senate fails to end military assistance to Saudi war in Yemen
to extend waivers tied to Iran's nuclear program
home minister hits back at claims Pakatan Harapan is eroding Muslim rights
claims cops gave go-ahead for tomorrow’s rally, but with conditions
acts continued after 2014, ban on SIMI must: Cops tell tribunal
Morocco prevent further terror strikes in Sri Lanka
IS arrest, Kerala on edge ahead of Ramzan, Thrissur Pooram
Wani aide Lateef Tiger may be among 3 militants killed in J-K’s Shopian
Israeli Group Expands, Palestinian Houses Face Demolition
Civilians Killed In Yemen in Suspected Al-Qaeda Bombing
jets, soldiers kill 4 Palestinians in Gaza Strip
says not moving away from NATO with S-400 deal
Palestinians killed by Israeli military in Gaza
civilians killed in Yemen in suspected Al-Qaeda bombing
Turkey Reject Trump’s Move to Classify Muslim Brotherhood as Terrorist
Sudan Parties Agree On Six More Months To Form Unity Government
persists in Tripoli after overnight fighting
by conflicts, Tripoli residents feel the pinch in Ramadan
urges for halt of military operations, warns of ISIS infiltration to oil
Haram kills at least 14 loggers in Nigerian village
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Al-Maidani Mosque in Al-Wurud district in Riyadh welcomes the followers of
Islam every Friday to pray, but here, there is something unique: The mosque
delivers the sermon in English.
Abu Shaban, who delivers the sermon after the Friday prayer every week, told
Arab News that expatriate worshipers asked for the translation for the benefit
of non-Arabic speaking attendees.
started this translation over 10 years ago, it was organized in cooperation
with Imam Abdus Salam, who kindly arranged this session with the Ministry of
Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance, for our non-Arabic speakers,” said Shaban.
the beginning, we started with just the session in the mosque, then soon we
launched our YouTube channel where we record the session, and then we broadcast
it for our viewers. Anybody can search for our video.”
who is from Australia, underlined that Saudi Arabia had a duty, as the
“country” of Islam, to help people to benefit from hearing the Friday sermon.
believe there are similar sessions in some other mosques and we will encourage
that, to benefit the maximum number of non-Arabic speakers, as it is our duty
to make it available to the whole Muslim community,” he said.
the ministry is fully behind it and promoting it. It's the least we can offer
to fellow Muslims.”
noted that there are considerable number of people who do not speak and
understand Arabic currently living in the Kingdom who would benefit from the
the years many, even some non-Muslims, have come, and every few months we see
new people becoming Muslim. This is another blessing that will encourage us to
continue with the session and presenting what is the teaching of Islam as the
people come to know it.”
Enders, a German national who is now practicing Islam and attends the session,
told Arab News: “I learned about this session from a colleague who brought me
here and introduced me to the English sermon.” This is very beneficial to me,
and I am also attending an English lecture at the King Khalid Mosque every
is pushing to build an isolation camp for 30,000 Iraqis who lived under ISIS in
Louisa Loveluck and Mustafa Salim
Iraq — Senior Iraqi officials are pressing to establish a special detention
camp to isolate as many as 30,000 Iraqis who lived in the Islamic State’s final
stronghold in Syria, captured in March by U.S.-backed forces.
as Iraq prepares to repatriate citizens now held in Syria, humanitarian groups
have been resisting efforts to move them to a single detention facility,
fearing this could create prison camp conditions that would prevent them from
reintegrating into society and, in some cases, further radicalize them.
from humanitarian groups have already scuttled a proposal to set up a new camp
near Tal Afar in the northern province of Nineveh. Senior Iraqi officials,
however, remain opposed to the idea of scattering the Islamic State returnees,
mostly women and children, among existing displacement camps around the area,
according to high-ranking figures in the Displacement Ministry and parliament.
goal is to select a special place to contain those people,” said one Iraqi
official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized
to discuss the issue. “It’s for security reasons, but also to keep them alive.
If they return to their areas, they’ll be singled out for revenge attacks by
people who lost relatives to the Islamic State.”
Islamic State committed atrocities in Iraq and Syria during the nearly five
years it controlled territory there. But its rise to power was made possible,
in part, by its success in selling itself as a protector and liberator of
disaffected Sunni Muslim communities, which felt marginalized by the
governments and security forces of those countries. How the Iraqi government
proceeds in the coming weeks could have far-reaching consequences for whether
those wounds can be closed or whether the sense of grievance only deepens.
in Baghdad have spent months negotiating a deal to repatriate just more than
30,000 civilians who are now under the control of Syrian Kurds, allied with the
United States, who have neither the means nor desire to continue holding them.
Iraqi families had spent years living under the Islamic State’s self-declared
caliphate, moving to Syria as the militants lost their Iraqi foothold and then
leaving the proto-state only as it crumbled. Now, they are packed into the
teeming al-Hol displacement camp in northern Syria as Iraqi officials decide
their fate and aid groups look on with alarm. The Iraqis represent more than
two-fifths of those held at al-Hol and are by far the largest group other than
Syrians themselves. Iraqi fighters who have been captured are now jailed in
either Syria or Iraq.
date, the Iraqi government has shown an unusual willingness to repatriate
citizens who signed on with the Islamic State. Most other countries — in
Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere — have been reluctant to
bring their nationals home amid security fears that continued to spike after
the recent devastating attacks in Sri Lanka, for which the Islamic State has
20,000 Iraqis have voluntarily returned to Iraq since the start of the fight
against the Islamic State, humanitarian officials say. More than 1,700 families
at al-Hol have also registered with the United Nations for voluntary
repatriation, according to humanitarian agencies. The timeline for their return
remains unclear, and they are expected to be transferred in batches over an
doing everything we can to avoid the prison camp scenario,” one aid worker
said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of
the topic. Humanitarian groups are urging that the returnees be placed in four
existing camps, where the United Nations already provides food, medical care
and other services.
challenge, recognized by Iraqi officials as well as aid groups, is how to map
out a future for the returnees that does not involve indefinite confinement. In
existing camps in northern Iraq, families displaced by previous waves of
fighting already fret that they cannot go home, citing fears of violent retribution
by militias or neighbors the Islamic State had displaced.
of thousands of Iraqis with alleged links to the Islamic State — some to its
fighters, others to civil servants who kept working when the militants rolled
in — have been languishing in those camps for several years. Their experience
underscores the dangers of a prolonged stay in the camps. But it also
highlights the barriers to leaving or reintegrating into Iraqi society.
biggest concern for us now is that some of our camps are fostering the best
environment for a new extremism,” said an Iraqi aid worker whose group is
funded by the government. “Even if a family is innocent, it is now being looked
at with hatred by [Iraqi] society accusing them of being ISIS families. The
government achieves the same by not issuing them papers or giving them proper
schools. . . . Organizations will recruit them selling
the idea of revenge.”
the sprawling Khazir camp near Irbil, its roads churned to mud after heavy
spring rains, families with ties to the militant group see no good options.
They say that staying in the camp would leave them permanently displaced and
vulnerable to exploitation by armed groups and predatory camp officials.
Khazir camp near Irbil, Iraq, already holds thousands of internally displaced
Iraqis. (Mohamed El-Shahed/AFP/Getty Images)
the camps, women who lost their husbands to airstrikes or prison say they are
targeted for sexual violence, by militiamen and camp guards, or forced
marriage. Kawakip, 40, who now lives in the Khazir camp, said that two of her
daughters had recently been coerced into short-lived marriages with camp
outsiders after guards let them in to choose a wife. In a nearby tent, another
family said the same had happened to three of their children.
marriages are just sex marriages, but you can’t say no,” said Muntahar, a girl
in a floral dress who looked younger than her 16 years. She pointed to a
divorce certificate from February. “Then they take you for a week, or for a few
months, before throwing you back into the camp. They just tell you, ‘You’re a
daughter of ISIS. I don’t want you anymore.’ ”
visits to the camps last year, researchers from Amnesty International said they
had witnessed a deepening sense of resentment among families accused of links
to the Islamic State. “There was a real lack of faith and often extreme fear,”
said Razaw Salihy. “There was a real belief that the government knew exactly
what was happening to them, and that it constituted a punishment.”
of going home
leaving the camps can be daunting and expose families to violence by mostly
Shiite militias — known in Arabic as the Hashd — that had battled the Islamic
State, a radical Sunni group.
were told that the Hashd would rape our daughters if we tried to go home,”
Kawakip said. “I tried to cross a checkpoint to get to the documentation office
so I could get permission to return home, but they stopped me at a checkpoint.
They told me they’d kill me if I came back and tried again.”
variety of armed groups, including Sunni tribal and Shiite militias, control
territory that many of the returnees would have to traverse to get home. Many
of these militias have escalated their threats to block people with a “first
degree” connection to the Islamic State — perhaps a brother, father or sister —
from going back to their areas of origin.
babies born in the time of the caliphate lack official Iraqi birth
certificates, meaning the children have no government recognition and could be
shut out of Iraq’s education system forever.
visits to four displacement camps, members of every Islamic State-connected
family interviewed said they had been threatened by Iraqi officials when trying
to procure documentation for children born in areas controlled by the group or
to replace documents that had been damaged or stolen. These refugees spoke on
the condition that their full names be withheld because they feared further
senior aid official at al-Hol said Iraqi officials are becoming increasingly
suspicious that returnees from Syria pose a hostile threat. For their part,
many Iraqis at al-Hol, after years of Islamic State indoctrination and menacing
statements by Iraqi militias, fear they could be killed if they go back across
within the camp itself have started to unregister from returning because of
this rhetoric and concern about what might happen to them,” the aid official
rights activists and Western diplomats say that returnees who remained with the
Islamic State until its final stand are those most likely to be treated as
social outcasts by other Iraqis. Any camp built explicitly for repatriated
families, the activists and diplomats warn, risks fueling the same grievances
that aided the group’s rise in the first place.
important to look at families who had alleged links to ISIS and to look at the
reasons that might have happened. One of the reasons these families have always
told us is it that they felt marginalized, they felt like they were from communities
the government didn’t care about or that was targeted with impunity,” said
Belkis Wille, a researcher at Human Rights Watch.
Sheikh Mohammed Nasser al-Bayati, a commander with one of northwestern Iraq’s
most powerful Shiite militias, expressed little sympathy for those who might
try to return to their hometowns or villages.
I’m afraid we won’t be able to stop the people from attacking them,” Bayati
said as he sat in his group’s base in the city of Tal Afar last week. When
asked about returnees from Syria, he bristled. “They should all be prosecuted
or killed,” he said.
Cunningham in al-Hol, Syria, contributed to this report.
Rights Chief Says ‘Appalled’ By Iran Execution Of Two Minors
UN human rights chief voiced outrage on Friday at Iran’s execution of two
17-year-old boys charged with rape and robbery, stressing that executing
children is banned under international law.
Sohrabifar and Amin Sedaghat were executed on April 25, after a trial that the
UN rights office said appeared to have “seriously breached fundamental due
am appalled,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in a
statement, urging Tehran to immediately halt all executions of people accused
of committing crimes while children.
prohibition of executions of child offenders is absolute under the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and under the Convention
on the Rights of the Child,” she said.
is a party in both those treaties.
said the cases of Sohrabifar and Sedaghat were particularly deplorable since
“both boys were reportedly subjected to ill-treatment and a flawed legal
two boys were 15 years old when they were arrested and accused of rape and
robbery in 2017.
UN rights office said it had received information that they were held in police
detention for two months, and were initially deprived of their right to a
lawyer and had been beaten.
also pointed to reports that the boys, who originally denied all charges, had
reportedly been coerced into making false confessions before they were
convicted and sentenced to death.
boys’ families had brought the case to the Supreme Court, which overturned the
lower court’s sentence and ordered a retrial.
lower court again convicted the boys and sentenced them to death.
neither the victims nor their families were aware that the executions were
going to take place,” the rights office said.
two were reportedly flogged before their execution, it said, stressing that
flogging amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and possibly torture
under international law.
once again call on the authorities to halt all executions of juvenile
offenders, and to immediately commute all such death sentences,” Bachelet said.
Azhar slapped with assets freeze, travel ban in Pakistan
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), the country’s
financial regulatory agency, has directed all nonbanking financial companies
(NBFCs) and other regulated entities to immediately freeze all investment
accounts of Jaish-e-Muhammed chief Masood Azhar soon after the UN placed him on
its global terror list.
has also imposed a travel ban on Azhar.
SECP issued the freeze order after the Pakistan foreign office asked all
concerned entities, including State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and SECP, to freeze the
funds, accounts and other financial resources of the JeM chief.
entities include securities brokers, commodities brokers, insurers, and NBFCs.
SECP has asked the NBFCs to scan their customer databases for any match with
the stated designated/proscribed person in the attached SRO (issued by the
foreign office) and report the results to the SECP within three days.
in case of a true match or suspicion of a proscribed/designated person, some
strict action has to be taken immediately. These actions, according to SECP,
would be to freeze without delay the customer’s fund or block the transaction
if it is an existing customer; reject the customer if the relationship has not
commenced; lodge a suspicious transaction report with the Financial Monitoring
Unit, notify the SECP; notify the ministry of foreign affairs in case that
person is designated under UNSC Resolutions; and notify the National
Counter-Terrorism Authority in case that person is designated under the
AntiTerrorism Act, 1997.
note that non-compliance with the above shall lead to penal action under the
SECP Act, 1997. You are therefore advised to comply with the legal requirement
within the prescribed time as contained in the regulations, guidelines and SRO respectively,”
the SECP instructions added.
interior ministry official said the JeM chief was already on the Fourth
Schedule of the Anti-Terrorist Act (ATA) and could not travel without
permission from the police. He was also barred from owning any weapon due to
the listing under the ATA.
name was also already on the list of proscribed persons maintained by the
National Anti-Terrorist Authority.
Army Top Brass Endorses All ‘Initiatives Towards Regional Peace’
Pakistan Army’s top brass on Friday reiterated their resolve in supporting all
initiatives towards regional peace, said a statement released by the Inter-Services
Public Relations (ISPR).
of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa chaired the 221st Corps Commanders
Conference at the General Headquarters (GHQ) and the military’s high command
reviewed the evolving geo-strategic situation.
efforts by security forces to bring enduring peace in the country were also
discussed and progress on the ongoing Operation Raddul Fasaad was discussed.
month, the COAS had reiterated that Pakistan was focused and determined to
achieve peace and stability.
his visit to National Defence University (NDU), the army chief emphasised upon
the internal and external security situation of the country and expressed his
vision of an enduring peace within Pakistan and the region.
bride Shamima Begum will be hanged if she comes to Bangladesh: Foreign Minister
UK's runaway ISIS bride Shamima Begum will be hanged for supporting terrorism
if she visits Bangladesh, the country's Foreign Minister has warned.
Abdul Momen said the 19-year-old girl - who fled Bethnal Green for Syria and is
currently living in the al-Hol desert refugee camp in Syria - would be punished
severely as the country has a "zero tolerance" for terrorism.
was one of three schoolgirls to leave Bethnal Green to join the terror cult in
2015 and resurfaced at a Syrian refugee camp in March.
19, Begum was stripped of her British citizenship in February by Home Secretary
have nothing to do with Shamima Begum. She is not a Bangladeshi citizen. She
never applied for Bangladesh citizenship.
was born in England and her mother is British," Momen told UK's ITV News.
anyone is found to be involved with terrorism, we have a simple rule, there
will be capital punishment. And nothing else. She will be put in prison and
immediately, the rule is, she should be hanged," he said.
Foreign Minister added he would be "sad" if Begum was left stateless,
but said it had "nothing to do with us".
see so many people who are stateless," he said.
likened the British government's decision to strip Begum of her British
citizenship and potentially leaving her stateless to the treatment of the
Rohingya by the Burmese authorities.
they're being persecuted and killed, we open our doors to save humanity,"
claims it is currently hosting almost 1.1 million Rohingya refugees after they
fled over the border to escape persecution in their native country.
British government is yet to respond to Momen's comments.
who fled London as a 15-year-old schoolgirl to join the Islamic State (ISIS)
terrorist group, is believed to be entitled to Bangladeshi citizenship by
virtue of her parents' heritage.
fled to join ISIS in February 2015 and married Dutch ISIS recruit Yago Riedijk
as a so-called jihadi bride.
27-year-old husband, who is being held in a Kurdish detention centre in
north-eastern Syria, recently said in a media interview that he wanted his wife
and baby to be allowed to return to the Netherlands.
the Netherlands and Bangladesh have since denied that Begum would have a right
to entry into either country.
international law, the UK can revoke a citizenship of a British national only
if the individual would not be made stateless.
British citizenship was revoked on the grounds that she is eligible for
citizenship of Bangladesh until the age of 21 through her parents' Bangladeshi
Bangladesh's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has since ruled out such a possibility
of her being considered for Bangladeshi citizenship
in America is about politics more than religion
feelings about Muslims depend more on your politics than your faith, according
to a new survey.
American Muslim Poll 2019, a research project by the Institute for Social
Policy and Understanding (ISPU), found that a range of factors determine
people’s views on Muslims, including their politics, views about other
minorities, and whether or not they have a Muslim friend — but not how
religious they are.
survey polled nearly 2,400 people in January 2019 to gather insight into the
views of Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, white evangelical, and
religiously unaffiliated Americans.
with Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative, a research project on
Islamophobia, the ISPU measured the extent to which the public endorses five
anti-Muslim stereotypes in an “Islamophobia Index.” On a scale of 0-100, the
public’s endorsement of negative stereotypes about Muslims increased from 24 in
2018 to 28 in 2019.
poll found that one of the strongest predictors of whether people hold
favorable views of Muslims is whether they identify as a Democrat or liberal.
That may explain why a large majority of Muslims who voted in the 2018 midterm
elections were more likely to vote for a Democrat for Congress (76%) than a
Republican, the study noted.
strong predictor of Islamophobia was a person’s views on other minorities —
specifically on black Americans, Jews, and LGBTQ people. The survey found that
respondents were more likely to have favorable views of Muslims if they have
favorable views of other minority groups. This proved to be an even better way
to predict someone’s feelings toward Muslims than whether or not they actually
know a Muslim person. Favorable views of feminists were a moderate predictor of
favorable views towards Muslims.
knowing something about Islam generally was a stronger predictor than knowing a
Muslim person, the report found, which “suggests that knowledge of the faith
helps dispel generalized tropes about the people even more than knowing one
good individual member of that group, who can be dismissed as an exception or
‘one of the good ones.'”
income was a moderate predictor of whether someone holds favorable views of
Muslims. One’s sex, age, education, nativity to the United States, and
religiosity were not clearly linked to Islamophobia.
is therefore clearly more political and ideological than theological for most
Americans,” the report concludes.
religiosity — measured as either spiritual engagement, group solidarity, or
importance of religion in daily life — was not correlated to Islamophobia in a
meaningful way, the study did note that faith groups in America view Muslims
Americans scored the lowest on the Islamophobia index (18), after Muslims
themselves, while white Evangelicals scored the highest (35). A majority of
Jewish Americans (53%) hold favorable views of Muslims, while white evangelicals
are twice as likely to hold negative views (44%) about Muslims than positive
ones (20%). One reason for that is how many of them actually know a Muslim.
According to the report, three in four Jews actually know a Muslim, while only
one in three white evangelicals do. (For comparison, about half of the general
public know a Muslim.)
report offers clear solutions on combating Islamophobia, including educating
the public on Islam and fostering more human interaction between people of
different backgrounds. The report also stresses the importance of building
coalitions with other marginalized communities in America.
to the link between lower Islamophobia and favorable views of black Americans,
Jews, and LGBTQ people, the report concludes that “Islamophobia is just one
branch on a bigger tree of bigotry.”
Islamophobia in coalition with other impacted communities,” the authors
suggest. “Work to end racism and religious bigotry more generally.”
accuses China of using 'concentration camps' against Muslim minority
United States has accused China on Friday of imprisoning more than a million Muslims
in “concentration camps” in some of Washington’s strongest condemnation of
Beijing’s treatment of minorities.
comments by Randall Schriver, who leads Asia policy at the US defense
department, are likely to increase tension with Beijing, which is sensitive to
international criticism and describes the sites as vocational education
training centres aimed at stemming the threat of Islamic extremism.
detainees have described being tortured during interrogation at the camps,
living in crowded cells and being subjected to a brutal daily regimen of party
indoctrination that drove some people to suicide.
of the sprawling facilities are ringed with razor wire and watch towers.
[Chinese] are using the security forces for mass imprisonment of Chinese
Muslims in concentration camps,” Schriver told a Pentagon briefing during a
broader discussion about China’s military, estimating that the number of
detained Muslims could be “closer to three million citizens”.
an assistant secretary of defense, defended his use of a term normally
associated with Nazi Germany as appropriate, under the circumstances.
asked by a reporter why he used the term, Schriver said that it was justified
“given what we understand to be the magnitude of the detention, at least a
million but likely closer to three million citizens out of a population of
about 10 million”.
a very significant portion of the population, (given) what’s happening there,
what the goals are of the Chinese government and their own public comments make
that a very, I think, appropriate description,” he said.
Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for
secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Thursday used the term re-education camps to
describe the sites and said Chinese activity was “reminiscent of the 1930s”.
US government has weighed sanctions against senior Chinese officials in
Xinjiang, a vast region bordering central Asia that is home to millions of
Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities. China has warned that it would
retaliate “in proportion” against any US sanctions.
governor of Xinjiang in March directly dismissed comparisons to concentration
camps, saying they were “the same as boarding schools.”
officials have said China has made criminal many aspects of religious practice
and culture in Xinjiang, including punishment for teaching Muslim texts to
children and bans on parents giving their children Uighur names.
and journalists have documented grid-style police checkpoints across Xinjiang
and mass DNA collection, and human rights advocates have decried martial
law-type conditions there.
crackdown on ethnic minorities at the heart of China's Belt and Road
travel freely through the bustling Khorgos special economic zone that straddles
the Kazakhstan-China border, but signs on the Chinese side bear a blunt warning
— no veils or long beards allowed.
a stark reminder of the severe security policies that China has imposed on
mostly Muslim ethnic minorities in its vast border region of Xinjiang, which it
considers crucial to the success of President Xi Jinping's cherished Belt and
Road Initiative (BRI).
gateway to Central Asia and key project partner Pakistan, Xinjiang is at the
heart of the globe-spanning trade infrastructure programme.
series of riots, bombings and stabbings blamed on ethnic Uighurs over the years
prompted authorities to launch a massive security crackdown in the far western
BRI is an important factor behind the central government's urge to bring the
restive region of Xinjiang once and for all under its control,” said Adrian
Zenz, an independent German researcher specialising in Xinjiang.
drastic measures have included placing as many as one million Uighurs and other
mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking minorities, including ethnic Kazakhs and Kyrgyz,
in internment camps that Beijing downplays as “vocational education centres”.
away, forgotten: Muslim Uighur wives of Pakistani men
wives of Pakistani traders have also been swept up in the dragnet.
crackdown has put the leaders of Central Asia and Pakistan, who attended a Belt
and Road summit in Beijing last week, in an awkward position. Key recipients of
BRI projects, they have refrained from publicly criticising China's Xinjiang
approach despite discontent within their own countries.
I don't know much about that,” Prime Minister Imran Khan told the Financial
Times in March when asked about China's treatment of Uighurs.
Kazakhstan has stated that the well-being of ethnic Kazakhs in China is an
“important factor” in ties with Beijing, it has also voiced support for China's
battle against terrorism, extremism and separatism.
authorities are holding an activist on suspicion of inciting inter-ethnic
hatred after he highlighted the treatment of ethnic Kazakhs in Xinjiang, while
an escaped Chinese national who described conditions in an internment camp has
been denied asylum.
for these countries it's quite difficult because they have this economic
partner which is only going to become bigger and more powerful,” said Raffaello
Pantucci, director of international security studies at the Royal United
need to try to manage that relationship while at the same time make sure that
they are representing their people to some degree,” Pantucci said.
picked Kazakhstan's capital to launch his pet project in 2013, a symbolic
choice highlighting Central Asia's historic place on the ancient Silk Road.
has invested $410 million in 16 projects including a highway connecting China,
Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, a railway tunnel in Uzbekistan and a regional
natural gas pipeline, according to the Xinjiang government.
investments in Central Asia pre-date BRI as Beijing has long seen development
in the region as key to pacifying Xinjiang, Pantucci said.
China's perspective, the long-term answer to problems — separatism, unhappiness
in Xinjiang — is basically economic prosperity,” he said.
and China share the massive, special trade hub in Khorgos, where traders can
shop for clothes, kitchenware and other goods without needing a visa to go
through security checkpoints.
goods are cheaper there. Every day we can come to the border without it
(feeling) like a border,” said Aida Massimzhanova, a resident of Kazakhstan's
largest city Almaty.
Khorgos is also a reminder of China's tightening stance on the Muslim faith
that is dominant in Kazakhstan.
Kazakh journalist on a press tour was told by Kazakh officials that she would
not be able to pass through the Chinese security check if she kept her hijab.
She chose to stay back.
the Chinese side, journalists were prevented from approaching a sign showing
Muslim veils are prohibited — an apparent violation of an agreement on a common
law governing the special trade zone.
have banned a number of Muslim practices in Xinjiang, including wearing
Kurmanaliyeva associates the special economic zone on the border with the long
arm of Beijing after her cousin Asqar Azatbek was allegedly snatched by unknown
Chinese people on the Kazakh side in December 2017.
Kazakh foreign ministry raised the case with Beijing and told Kurmanaliyeva
that Azatbek, a Chinese-born Kazakh passport holder, was jailed for breaking
Chinese citizenship laws.
don't know where he is (being held) or how he is,” Kurmanaliyeva told AFP.
Kyrgyzstan, a committee was formed by relatives of those vanished in Xinjiang's
security sweep. Marat Tagayev, who joined the committee over fears for friends
living in China, said the foreign ministry reported that most Kyrgyz have left
the internment camps.
how many still remain in the camps?” Tagayev said.
statements to AFP, the Xinjiang government said Azatbek's case "doesn't
exist" and it denied having any foreign nationals in the camps, while the
Chinese foreign ministry said BRI "has become the main line of cooperation
between China and Central Asian countries".
Pakistan, which hosts the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor
linking Xinjiang to the port of Gwadar, traders have protested over the
detention of their Uighur wives in the Chinese region.
Ibrar, a 39-year-old trader from northern Pakistan married to a woman from
Xinjiang, has been involved in a push to bring abuses there to the attention of
is not only silent about the plight of Uighur Muslims but is also aiding and
abetting China by forcing people like me to silence,” he alleged.
bombers visited Kashmir for training’: Sri Lanka army chief
chief of Sri Lanka’s army said some of the people who carried out the April 21
serial bombings in his country had travelled to regions such as Kashmir and
Kerala in India to possibly be part of terrorism training activities, according
to an interview with the BBC published online on Friday.
comments by Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayke is the first confirmation by a
senior security official in either of the countries of the terrorists having
travelled to India, a link that Indian security agencies have been pursuing
since shortly after the attacks in the island nation.
had gone to India, travelling to Bangalore, Kashmir and Kerala state,
(according to) information available with us,” Senanayke said.
if he was aware of the purpose of those visits, the army commander replied: “It
would have been for some sort of a training or to establish links with other
organisations outside the country”.
agencies such as the National Investigation Agency have carried out raids in
parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, where they have picked up several people for
suspected links to the Islamic State – the Syria-based terror group that
claimed responsibility for the attack.
to Indian officials who have not to be named, at least two of the suicide
bombers had travelled to India in 2017.
Union home ministry official did not comment on the Sri Lanka Army chief’s
comment. “Sri Lanka hasn’t shared any such information with us. Importantly,
Sri Lankan security agencies themselves have ruled this out after
investigation,” a senior official in the security establishment, who did not
wanted to named, said. Till now, Indian investigators have not mentioned a
Kashmir link to the Lankan bombers, though leads were still being followed.
of the key suspects who is believed by Indian officials to have visited India
is Islamic preacher Maulvi Zahran Bin Hashim – leader of Sri Lanka National
Towheed Jama’at (NTJ) and the ringleader of Easter Sunday attackers.
officials refused to share details about the purpose of Hashim’s visit or the
people he was in touch with. Hashim, an official said, was initially associated
with Tamil Nadu Towheed Jama’at (TNTJ) but the organisation was not found
involved in any terror activities. He subsequently broke away from TNTJ to form
his own – Sri Lanka National Towheed Jama’at (NTJ) and started preaching
violent form of Islam in the island nation.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called again for the disarmament of
Lebanon's Hezbollah and the halting of its military interventions in
neighboring Syria, in a semi-annual report released Friday.
that the new Lebanese government is making the economic situation its priority,
Guterres stressed that “it is also important to look into (the) development of
a national defense strategy.”
also said that the omnipresence of weapons beyond the control of the state,
coupled with the existence of armed militias, continues to jeopardize Lebanon’s
security and stability. “The fact that Hezbollah still has significant military
assets beyond the control of the Lebanese State remains very worrying,”
secretary-general also argued that Hezbollah’s commitment to the conflict in
Syria risks “bogging Lebanon into regional conflicts and threatens its
stability as well as that of the region.”
again call on Hezbollah and all other concerned parties to refrain from any
military activity inside or outside the country, in accordance with the
provisions of the Taif Agreement and resolution 1559,” said Guterres.
won’t let Turkey control even one centimeter of Syrian territory: Deputy FM
Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad says the Damascus government “will not
allow Turkey to control even one centimeter of the Syrian territory,” stressing
that Ankara should know that “Damascus will not accept the survival of militant
groups” in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib.
Damascus government’s resolution is to liberate every inch of the Syrian
territory, and Idlib is no exception,” Mekdad said in an exclusive interview
with the Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network.
added, “The Turks and others should know that the Syrian government is
determined to recover all of Syrian soil. Turkey must also understand that its
support for terrorism and its occupation of the Syrian territory will not
high-ranking Syrian official then advised US-sponsored Kurdish militant groups
active in northern Syria to stop being used as a pawn by Washington, and to
prove loyalty to their homeland.
told the pro-government and Arabic-language al-Watan daily newspaper on
November 4 last year that “occupation” forces from Turkey must depart the
territories of his conflict-plagued Arab country in order for security and
stability to be restored there.
Syrian Arab army is the only party that stands against the Turkish occupation of
the Syrian territories,” he said.
believe that these (Kurdish parties) should return to the spirit of citizenship
and to believe in their homeland; not to use Americans, Israelis and others
against the interests of their native soil,” Mekdad said when asked about calls
by some Kurdish militant groups in the areas controlled by the US-backed Syrian
Democratic Forces (SDF) to stand against Turkish attacks.
Syrian deputy foreign minister added, “The Syrian army stands with all groups,
parties and tribes in order to tackle terrorism for the benefit of Syrian
stated that Syria will eventually emerge victorious over terrorism and its
sponsors, and all areas will be liberated from the clutches of Americans, Turks
and separatists, thanks to the high motivation and sacrifices made by the
Syrian nation and Syrian army.
senior Syrian official highlighted that the Damascus government cannot trust
Turkish assurances, because Ankara’s objectives are colonial and expansionist.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the Lebanese government to
prevent Hezbollah and other groups from owning weapons in a report issued by
the UN on Friday.
report added that the presence of armed militias threatened Lebanon's stability
also stressed the need for the state to monopolize weapons and the use of
May 2018, Guterres strongly criticized Hezbollah for operating as the most
heavily armed militia and a political party in Lebanon and urged the militant
group to halt military activities inside and outside the country, including in
a report to the Security Council, Guterres also called on Lebanon’s government
and armed forces “to take all measures necessary to prohibit Hezbollah and
other armed groups from acquiring weapons and building paramilitary capacity”
outside the authority of the state.
a democratic state, it remains a fundamental anomaly that a political party
maintains a militia that has no accountability to the democratic, governmental
institutions of the state but has the power to take that state to war,” he
which is mainly financed by Iran, is considered a terror group by the US,
Canada, Israel and the Arab League.
heavily armed group has a large militia that has taken part in Syria's civil
war alongside President Bashar Al-Assad's government, and also has elected
members of parliament and positions in Lebanon's national unity government.
group's influence over Lebanese state institutions has expanded in the last
year. Together with allies that view its arsenal as an asset to Lebanon, it won
more than 70 of parliament's 128 seats in an election last year.
Visitors to the world’s largest museum devoted to one civilization will be able
to view never-before-seen items belonging to Egyptian King Tutankhamun, thanks
to the latest technology.
Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), due to open in late 2020, is to use holographic
displays to exhibit hundreds of objects excavated from the ancient pharaoh’s
of the priceless relics have never been put on public show, and GEM will be
dedicating two giant galleries to the life of the boy king.
Tourism Minister Rania Al-Mashat announced the major exhibition during an
interview on the Extra News channel and said King Tut’s famous mask would be
taking center stage among the vast array of items on display.
the 1922 excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb by renowned British archaeologist
Howard Carter, only some of the thousands of objects found there have been on
public display. It took experts eight years to empty the burial chamber.
decided to focus on quality, not quantity,” said Al-Mashat, adding that GEM,
which is situated at the edge of the pyramids of Giza, had taken a “unique”
approach to promoting the exhibits.
at the Egyptian booths can wear 3-D glasses and experience delving into Luxor’s
archaeological sites or diving in Egypt’s Red Sea,” Al-Mashat added.
is not the first time Egypt has turned to hologram technology. Last month the
technique was used at a concert starring the late iconic singer Abdel Halim
use of digital technology in tourism is aimed at attracting more foreign
tourists to the country. Last year, visitors were able to tour Queen
Nefertiti’s sacred tomb using virtual reality glasses.
is very impressive,” Taiyo Coates, a graphics designer, told Arab News.
the culture is not always viewed as the most technological, Egypt currently has
some of the best examples of technology out there. It’s crazy to see the
of the 7,000 square-meter galleries that GEM is dedicating to Tutankhamun will
take visitors on a journey, explaining how the young king ate, dressed and
lived. The holograms of his treasured items will be seen within the two
completed, the museum will be one of the biggest in the world, exclusively
showing snippets into the ancient Egyptian civilization.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun told Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell on
Friday that Lebanon is hoping the EU will change its stance over the return of
Syrian refugees “to avoid repercussions for Lebanon.” Aoun warned Borrell that
Europe’s current stance “will force us to take steps to organize this return
with the Syrian government.”
a meeting with Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on the same day, Aoun
said that Syrian refugees “face political incitement and exploitation because
they have not returned to their country, which raises questions about the
Thursday, Volker Türk, the assistant high commissioner for protection at the
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), announced in a talk at
the American University of Beirut (AUB) that the UNHCR’s goal during the next
10 years is to resettle a million refugees around the world in other countries.
want to encourage countries to host refugees,” he said. “This number does not
only include Syrian refugees, because the refugee crisis has worsened since
2011, due to conflicts that have erupted around the world.”
said that there are more than 6 million internally displaced persons (IDPs)
inside Syria and more than 10 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries.
“The peak of this displacement was when Syrian refugees suddenly flocked to
Europe, and European countries did not have the mechanisms in place to deal
with this matter,” he said. There are 1.1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon,
according to the UNHCR.
flew to Beirut after a visit to Syria, during which he held meetings with Syrian
officials and discussed the issue of Syrian refugees. “The discussion with the
Syrian side was forthright, and they conveyed a clear message that they want to
work with us (to assist) Syrian refugees who wish to return,” he told Arab
News learned that, during his visit, Türk met an assistant to Syria’s deputy
foreign minister, but did not meet with any senior officials from the Syrian
said that he and his accompanying delegation visited the Zabadani district,
much of which has been destroyed by the Syrian conflict. He said that he
focused during his meetings with IDPs who have returned to their homes “on the
quality of life they lead as well as their needs.”
believes that the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), adopted by the UN General
Assembly in 2018 by a large majority to improve the way the crisis is managed
at an international level “(will) keep the asylum issue in the international
community’s mind in a sustainable manner instead of addressing it
emphasized that the importance of the GCR is that it includes an item on the
protection of refugees who cannot return to their countries, notes the
situation of refugees living below the poverty line, and makes clear to the
international community that it has a responsibility to deal with the
consequences of these crises and to find solutions to them.
GCR — which is not binding — was ratified by 181 countries. America and Hungary
voted against it, and the Dominican Republic, Eritrea and Libya abstained.
compact contains four main objectives: Taking pressure off host countries;
promoting the self-reliance of refugees; broadening access to third-country
solutions; and contributing to securing the necessary conditions for the
refugees’ safe and dignified return to their countries of origin.
GCR also includes a paragraph on the adoption of the 2016 New York Declaration
for Refugees and Migrants, which focuses on the protection of people who are
forced to flee their countries and on supporting the countries that host them.
the AUB session, there was a lively discussion about the extent to which
countries can be pressured to resettle refugees. Türk was also confronted by
skepticism about the resettlement of refugees — with some suggesting that they should
be have to remain in the first host country they enter.
Mitri, former Lebanese minister and director of the Issam Fares Institute,
which organized the session, said: “Lebanese society is divided between demands
for the immediate repatriation of refugees and support for their voluntary and
safe return; thus, this society is in fear. The most important question is
whether the Syrian regime wants the refugees to return at a time when it is
immersed in engineering a new demography in Syria. And what has become of the
Russian initiative to facilitate the return of refugees? Its owners are now
saying during private meetings that it has become so difficult to implement.
They have even admitted that pressure from the Syrian regime has stopped the
initiative, and that this has nothing to do with securing finance for the
reconstruction of Syria.”
stressed that it is important for Syrian refugees to obtain birth and
citizenship documents, adding that this is a right for all refugees as per
while he insisted on that refugees who wish to return home must be allowed to
do so, he did not offer any assurance that the Syrian authorities are willing
to receive them.
commander in Iraq's Joint Operations Command has confirmed that Iraqi forces
backed by US-led coalition warplanes have launched a military operation against
ISIS remnants in Kirkuk province.
commander, who refused to be identified, spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat a day after
the US Central Command announced that two US Air Force F-35A Lightning II
aircraft conducted an air strike at Wadi Ashai, Iraq, in support of Combined
Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve on April 30.
said that Wadi Ashai has a rugged terrain that ISIS militants can turn into
US Central Command said on Tuesday that the April 30 strike marked the F-35A’s
first combat employment.
F-35As conducted the airstrike using a Joint Direct Attack Munition to strike
an entrenched ISIS tunnel network and weapons cache deep in the Hamrin
Mountains, a location able to threaten friendly forces, said the statement.
F-35As, recently deployed from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, joined the Combined
Forces Air Component team in the US Central Command area of operations on April
15,” it added.
member of Kirkuk’s council told Asharq Al-Awsat that the operation against ISIS
remnants is considered the largest since Iraq announced the organization's
defeat late 2017.
least 35 terrorists have been killed and more than 8 ISIS hideouts have been
destroyed,” the source said.
is indebted to Turkey for hosting 4 million refugees, Turkey's president said
European countries are living in peace today, it is thanks to Turkey for
hosting 4 million refugees," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in the Istanbul
Congress Center, where he attended a week-long event on innovation.
has been the main route for refugees trying to cross to Europe, especially
since 2011, the beginning of the Syrian civil war.
that Turkey has been unable to find sufficient support in its efforts to
rebuild Syrian security, Erdogan said Turkey would not allow any threat against
itself remain in Syria.
stressed that his country would continue its fight until all of Syria is
delivered to its real owners, the Syrian people.
economic and political moves against the independence of our country are doomed
to fail," Erdogan said.
has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime
cracked down on pro-democracy protests.
then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million
displaced, according to UN officials.
European Union on Friday called for protecting inhabitants of Syria’s
northwestern Idlib province and ensuring humanitarian access to the province.
the marked increase of airstrikes over Idlib province and northern Hama over
the past weeks and days, we are once again running the risk of a dangerous
escalation in Idlib," said a statement by the EU spokesperson.
civilian population cannot afford this risk: they have already suffered far too
much," the statement added.
noted that the recent attacks have been carried out on densely-populated areas,
homes, medical facilities, and settlements for internally displaced people.
drew attention to the importance of the Sochi agreement reached last September,
where the Astana guarantors Turkey, Russia and Iran committed to safeguard
Idlib as a de-escalation zone.
agreement needs to hold: a military escalation in Idlib would put at risk the
lives of more than three million civilians living in the region," the
said: "Only a political process that respects the freedom and the dignity
of all Syrian people in accordance with UNSC Resolution 2254 and the Geneva
Communiqué can bring about a lasting solution to the conflict".
Thursday, five civilians were killed in attacks by Assad regime forces on
residential areas located inside northern Syria’s de-escalation zones.
airstrikes and artillery attacks targeted the villages of Kansafra, Termela,
Bsekla Has and Abdin in Idlib province, along with the village of Al-Huwaiz and
the town of Kafrnabuda in Hama province, sources said.
Kansafra and Bsekla, the attacks left five civilians dead, including a woman
and two children, according to the White Helmets civil-defense agency.
was no "imminent threat" to his life, the court noted.
apex court on Friday dismissed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's petition
which sought an extension for a bail granted to him on medical grounds.
three-time former Pakistani Prime Minister was sentenced to seven years in prison
by an accountability court on December 24 after he was found guilty in the Al
Azizia Steel Mills corruption case. The ailing Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz)
leader was granted bail on medical grounds by the Pakistani Supreme Court on
March 26 for six weeks, according to Geo News. He was, however, not allowed to
leave the country while on bail, which is set to expire on May 7.
April 25, Nawaz had filed a review petition for a bail extension citing medical
reasons again. His bail extension petition was heard by a three-member bench
headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who rejected the Pakistani's leader's
Friday's hearing, the Chief Justice remarked that the conduct of petitioner
(Nawaz) showed that there was no "imminent threat" to his life,
adding that it was possible to treat the former Pakistani Prime Minister in
prison as the superintendent would be "empowered" to send him to the
hospital when required, according to local media.
has been lodged in the Lahore Kot Lakhpat Jail since his conviction in December
2018. He was removed from power in 2017 by Pakistan's Supreme Court amidst
hearings of corruption charges against him, which stem from the Panama Papers
The Pakistan Army on Friday reiterated its support for Afghan peace process and
vowed to continue working for sustainable peace in the country.
support for Afghan peace process was reaffirmed as the latest round of talks
between the United States and Taliban in Qatar ran into a fresh stalemate due
to the latter’s refusal to accept the American demand for a ceasefire. The US
has made it clear that a peace deal would require simultaneous agreement on
troops withdrawal, counterterrorism assurances, intra-Afghan dialogue, and
reduction in violence leading to a comprehensive ceasefire.
reiterated to continue its efforts for bringing enduring peace in the country
while supporting all initiatives towards regional peace,” ISPR said in a
statement on the corps commanders’ conference held at the GHQ, which was
chaired by Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.
facilitated the talks between the US and Taliban and more lately Prime Minister
Imran Khan pledged neutrality in Afghan conflict. “Pakistan will not be party
to any internal conflict in Afghanistan anymore,” Mr Khan said in a policy
statement on Afghan peace last week in which he denounced violence by both
sides of the conflict. The prime minister’s statement was welcomed by the US
such categorical statements from Islamabad too have failed to push the peace
process forward with the Taliban first refusing to talk to the Afghan
government, then last month cancelling a meeting with Afghan representatives in
Doha, and now refusing to observe a ceasefire. The Taliban, it should be
recalled, had on the occasion of Eidul Fitr last year observed an unprecedented
ceasefire raising hopes for peace. In a related development the Loya Jirga in
Afghanistan ended on Friday with demands for peace and ceasefire.
commanders’ meeting, which is a monthly feature, discusses internal and
external security situation and professional matters of the Army.
reviewed evolving geo-strategic environment and security situation of the
country including progress of operation Raddul Fasaad,” ISPR said.
spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor had at a press briefing earlier this week said
that Operation Raddul Fasaad (RuF) was progressing satisfactorily. Sharing
statistics, he said 47 major operations and 100,000 intelligence-based
operations had been undertaken, which resulted in the recovery of over 64,000
weapons and 5.1 million units of ammunition.
major success under RuF has been the border fencing. A total of 1,000kms of
border has so far been fenced decreasing chances for unauthorised border
crossing. Additionally, the security of the border with Afghanistan has been
buttressed by construction of 300 border forts. A total of 843 forts are
planned to be constructed.
There will be no negative repercussions of Masood Azhar’s designation as it
only reinforces Pakistan’s commitment to fighting terrorism with the
international community, says Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan.
Pakistani ambassador, who is on a rare visit to Houston this week, noted that
the United States also appreciated Pakistan’s commitment in its first reaction
to the designation on Thursday.
United States was the main sponsor of a proposal that a UN sanctions committee
adopted on Wednesday by declaring Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar a global
terrorist. The adoption happened only after China, which had vetoed the move on
four previous occasions, withdrew its objection.
the adoption, China and Pakistan worked jointly to delink the designation from
the Kashmiri struggle for freedom and the Feb 14 Pulwama terrorist attack. The
delinking allows Pakistan to continue to support the Kashmiri freedom
see no reason why this designation should have a negative impact on our
relations with the United States or China,” said the ambassador while talking
to the media after his address at the World Affairs Council in Houston on
Thursday night. “It reinforces our commitment to fight terrorism.”
address to the council, the ambassador also spoke about improvements in
US-Pakistan relations after a recent dip. “This is a very important and
consequential relationship,” Mr Khan said. “We are keen to have a strong
ambassador also spoke about Pakistan’s role in promoting US-Taliban talks in
Doha. Pakistan, he said, helped in the formation of a powerful Taliban
delegation for the talks. “Without this, there could not be a significant
progress in the talks.”
Khan said that while Pakistan’s role was important, other regional actors
must also play their parts.
he said, also supported US efforts for a broad-based intra-Afghan dialogue,
which should include the Afghan government and the Taliban. Mr Khan hoped that
progress in the Afghan peace process would improve Pakistan’s relations with
the United States.
As rumours regarding presidential system make rounds in the media, Prime
Minister Imran Khan on Friday allayed these reservations, assuring the nation
that “the government hasn’t even thought of imposing the presidential system in
the country”. “There’s no truth in these rumours. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
(PTI) government is not considering any such move,” Imran said while talking to
a select group of journalists at Prime Minister’s House.
also revealed that former finance minister Asad Umar would soon rejoin the
federal cabinet, weeks after the latter resigned from his position in protest
when he was told to take charge of the Energy Ministry.
who has mentioned on multiple occasions that changing ministers is just like
changing batter orders, said that the govt will make use of all suitable
individuals for the good of the country.
prime minister said that he doesn’t have enough experts, so he was using
technocrats for the job. He was apparently responding to the criticism raised
by the opposition on the inclusion of technocrats into his government.
the absence of experts, we are employing technocrats,” the premier said, adding
that he has to show the performance of his government.
who came into power on his promises to eradicate corruption, said that
government won’t give an NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance] to anyone and
he won’t let the opposition parties get away with their corrupt practices using
democracy as an excuse.
his resolve, the prime minister said he does not care about his premiership but
will not sign another “deal”.
2016, Chaudhry Nisar stated that Bilawal Bhutto and Ayyan Ali’s bills were
being paid by the same accounts. Are these cases made up by me,” asked the
prime minister while referring to the ongoing accountability process in the
also shared that the government was bringing forth seven bills for the welfare
of the public.
the bills introduced in the National Assembly included Legal and Justice
Authority Bill 2019, Whistleblower Protection and Vigilance Commission Bill
2019, Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill 2019, Letters of Administration and
Succession Certificates Bill 2019, Enforcement of Women’s Property Right Bill
2019 and Muslim Family Law (Amendment) Bill 2019.
as to how the government would get the bills passed from Senate where they
lacked required majority, he said the government was going to play its role for
public welfare and desires a positive behaviour from the opposition.
opposition stands with us to pass these bills, it will be a good thing,” he
was a hue and cry after Imran Khan came into power. It was being claimed that
the military supported him to seize power. A commission was also formed to probe
the alleged rigging. However, there has been headway in this regard.
was asked to make an inquiry commission for alleged election rigging and I did
that, but the opposition did not even show up for the making of the
Imran further claimed that he felt ashamed to sit in the National Assembly
because of the unsavoury language used by the opposition. “I am unable to
comprehend what happens in parliament. For eight months, there has only been
the premier has made these comments, but according to a report— in January – in
a local media outlet the prime minister himself has attended only six out of 34
National Assembly sittings, meaning thereby that he has to date been part of
only 17.65 per cent sessions.
journalists about the salient features of the bills, Federal Law Minister
Barrister Firough Nasim said under the Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act 2019,
the government had proposed a two-tier concept of legal system.
first tier, the main case would be heard and not be interrupted till
finalization of the proceedings. In case of miscellaneous petition or stay
order, these would be heard in second tier by a different judge.
to the new concept, losing side would pay the winning side the cost of
litigation along with compulsory “adjournment costs” of Rs 5,000 for seeking
adjournment as well as special costs if any party was found of abusing the
court process through frivolous litigation.
bill the government proposes to authorize the National Database Registration
Authority to issue Letters of Administration or Succession Certificates to the
legal heirs of a deceased in respect of the immovable or movable property in
accordance with the Family Registration Certificate maintained by NADRA where
there was no dispute among the heirs.
said under Enforcement of Women’s Property Right Bill 2019, the government had
proposed to utilize the existing Women Ombudsperson for receiving the
complaints of any woman deprived of ownership or possession or properties.
the case required in-depth inquiry, the matter would be referred to the civil
court preferably within 60 days that would save the women themselves from
filing the cases in the said courts. After passage, the law would be applicable
to the federal capital, while the provinces have been asked to follow the suit.
Muslim Family Law (Amendment) Bill 2019, concerning the Shiite school of
thought, the widow of the deceased would get 1/4th share. Moreover, under the
proposed bill related to the very sect, divorce would be ineffective if it was
done jokingly, under anger, intoxication or under coercion.
law minister said another bill to safeguard the overseas Pakistanis against the
fraudulent activities was also in process. Moreover, the reforms in CRPC and
NAB laws would also be introduced.
Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who is also the deputy parliamentary leader of
the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in National Assembly, told media that by passing
the said bills, the impression of the parliament should be rectified.
said the seven bills had been laid in the parliament and referred to the
standing committees concerned. The opposition had the opportunity to put in
their contribution to improving the legislation, he added.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday directed the authorities concerned to
ensure the provision of essential commodities at fixed rates during the month
prime minister gave the instructions during a meeting regarding Ramzan Package
2019 in Islamabad.
also ordered the administration officers to be present in the field and take
immediate action against profiteers and hoarders.
prime minister said that in order to make the administrative control effective,
control rooms should be set up at the provincial level to monitor provision of
essential commodities, electricity, gas and water during Ramzan.
said the relevant ministries and departments have been directed to ensure
supply of gas, electricity and water during Sehr and Iftar timings.
government realises the difficulties being faced by the people and we will make
all possible efforts to provide relief to the masses,” said PM Imran.
(UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 3rd May, 2019 ) :Ameer Jamaat e Islami,
Pakistan, Senator Sirajul Haq Friday said Pakistan Muslim League (PML)-N never
did politics in national interest and when the harsh time came they chose the
path to escape.
urged the government to set a new trend by reducing prices of essential
commodities in the month of Ramazan as in the west on Christmas Eve prices were
reduced to 50 per cent, he said while talking to media persons here outside the
the appointment of PAC chairman he said, the decision was already planned and
was taken after mutual consultation among the party leaders.
US should stop violence instead of asking militants to lay down arms
Taliban have called on the US to end the use of force in Afghanistan instead of
putting pressure on the militant group to lay down its arms.
spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid made the remarks in response to US special envoy
to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, who is engaged in a sixth round of talks with
the group in the Qatari capital Doha.
said in an opening session that this “is time to put down arms, stop the
violence, & embrace peace."
our opening session, I underscored to the Talibs that the Afghan people, who
are their brothers & sisters, want this war to end," Khalilzad wrote.
Taliban spokesman reacted to the remarks on Friday, saying that Washington
“should forget about the idea of us putting down our arms.”
of such fantasies, he should drive the idea home (to the US) about ending the
use of force and incurring further human and financial losses for the decaying
Kabul administration,” he added.
said the United States must stop repeating failed strategies while expecting
would be better if @US4AfghanPeace musters the courage to call a spade a spade,
not a gardening tool & accept the current realities."
five rounds of talks, Khalilzad claimed progress in the talks last month,
saying the two sides had reached an “agreement in draft” on the issues of troop
withdrawal and counter-terrorism assurances.
Taliban, however, insist that talks cannot move ahead until foreign forces
will require that we find common ground on four inter-connected issues: troop
withdrawal, counter-terrorism assurances, intra-Afghan dialogue & negotiations,
and reduction in the violence leading to a comprehensive ceasefire,"
Khalilzad said in his tweet.
will be final until we agree on all 4 issues,” he added.
Taliban have refused so far to meet with the government of President Ashraf
Ghani, calling it illegitimate.
Taliban’s five-year rule over at least three quarters of Afghanistan came to an
end following the US invasion in 2001, but 18 years on, Washington is seeking
truce with the militants, who still control large swathes of land.
forces have remained bogged down in Afghanistan through the presidencies of
George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump.
Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu has said that the Islamic State of Iraq
and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group is using Afghanistan as a bridgehead to
further expand its foothold into the region.
made the remarks at a meeting of the defense ministers of the Shanghai
Cooperation Organization in Bishkek.
is important to note that after the rout of the so-called Islamic State,
terrorists are moving from Syria and Iraq to other regions, including Central
and Southeast Asia,” he was quoted as saying in a report by TASS News Agency.
a result, cross-border crime is growing, a breeding ground is emerging for
extremist and separatist movements and terrorist cells are coming into
existence. The most complex situation is developing in Afghanistan,” Shoigu
concerns regarding the strengthening of ISIS positions in Afghanistan, Shoigu
said the group is using Afghanistan as a bridgehead for further expansion into
least 43 militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist
group were killed in two separate airstrikes which were conducted in East of
Ministry of Defense (MoD) in a statement said the airstrikes targeted two
training camps of the terror group in Chapara district of Kunar province.
statement further added that several Pakistani and Uzbek nationals were also
among those killed.
prominent Uzbek militant leader identified as Ismail, who was previously
cooperating with the Al-Qaeda terrorist network and had recently joined ISIS
ranks, was also killed in the airstrike, the Ministry of Defense added.
anti-government armed militants including ISIS sympathizers have not commented
regarding the airstrike so far.
is among the relatively volatile provinces in East of Afghanistan located along
the Line of Durand close to the tribal regions of Pakistan.
of a family killed, 9 wounded in Taliban militants attack in Faryab: 29th
least six members of a family were killed and nine others were wounded in an
attack by Taliban militants in northern Faryab province of Afghanistan.
209th Shaheen Corps in a statement said a group of Taliban militants stormed a
residential house in Qaisar district few days back targeting all members of a
statement further added that the attack was carried out in Kohi Village leaving
six members of the family dead including elders and children while nine others
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the incident so far.
least 80 Taliban and ISIS militants have been killed during the latest
airstrikes and operations of the Afghan Special Forces across the country, the
military sources said Friday.
sources further added that Afghan Special Forces conducted a raid in Nahr-e
Saraj district of Helmand province killing 6 Taliban fighters and destroying
200 Kg of narcotics.
Afghan Special Forces conducted two similar raids in Maiwand district of
Kandahar province on IED-making facilities killing 2 Taliban fighters,
destroying a house-borne IED, 3 jugs of homemade explosives, 3 pressure plate
IEDs and several IED components.
least 33 militants were killed in separate airstrikes conducted in Tarinkot
district of Uruzgan, Burkah district of Baghlan and Sinkay district of Zabul
province, the sources said, adding that 7 Taliban fighters in an operation of
the Afghan Special Forces in Andar district of Ghazni province.
Afghan Special Forces conducted an operation in Deh Bala district of Nangarhar
province killing 22 ISIS-K fighters and destroying 2 pressure plate IEDs, the
sources also added that the Taliban fighters attacked a 203rd Corps battle
position along Highway 1 in Muhammad Aghah district of Logar province but the
attack was repulsed killing 8 Taliban fighters.
Afghan National Civil Order Forces brigade conducted a successful ambush in
Muhammad Aghah district killing 2 Taliban fighters and wounding another,” the
Afghan grand council convened by President Ashraf Ghani ended on Friday with a
resounding call for peace with the Taliban and a promise from the president to
free 175 Taliban prisoners ahead of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month that starts
council, known as Loya Jirga, had brought together more than 3,200
participants, politicians, tribal elders, many prominent figures and others to
hammer out a shared strategy for future negotiations with the Taliban.
had sought to project a unified stance with the council but several prominent
Afghans boycotted the gathering, including Ghani’s partner in the government,
Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, exposing the deepening rifts in the
want to say to the Taliban that the choice is now in your hands,” Ghani said at
the closing ceremony in Kabul. “Now it is your turn to show what you want to
said the message of the five-day gathering was clear: “Afghans want peace.”
also offered a cease-fire but stressed that it would not be unilateral. The
proposal is likely moot as the Taliban have so far rejected a cease-fire until
US and NATO troops withdraw from the country.
Taliban have in recent months stepped up their attacks, inflicting staggering
casualties on Afghan forces, and now hold sway over half the country.
US, meanwhile, has accelerated efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the
17-year war, America’s longest conflict.
special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, appointed last year, has been
crisscrossing the region seeking consensus among Afghanistan’s neighbors, as
well as Russia and China, on the need for a peace settlement.
Donald Trump has also expressed his frustration with Washington’s longtime
involvement in Afghanistan, as well as a desire to bring the estimated 14,000
US soldiers home.
grand council produced a 23-point list for peace-talks with the Taliban,
including a truce for Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.
Loya Jirga also urged the government to form a strong negotiating team and said
at least 50 of its members should represent victims of wars.
wasn’t immediately clear whether that referred to wars that pre-dated the 2001
US-led invasion that toppled the Taliban regime.
council also backed women’s rights, in keeping with the tenets of Islam.
after opening the council on Monday, Ghani handed over the chairmanship to
Abdul Rasool Sayyaf, a former warlord with past links to Osama bin Laden and
the militants who took control of Kabul after the collapse of the communist
government in the early 1990s.
is known for adhering to a strict interpretation of Islam and refusing to meet
want a sustainable peace in our country,” said Hatifa Tayeb, the council’s
secretary and one of the women delegates. “No fight has a winner and no peace
has a loser, so we all want from the Taliban to stop the conflict and join the
this week, Khalilzad is holding a new round of talks with the Taliban in Qatar,
where the insurgents maintain a political office.
talks, however, are focused only on a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops
and guarantees from the Taliban that Afghan territory will not be used in the
future to harbor global terrorists.
Afghanistan, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Up to 15 insurgents loyal to the Taliban group
have been killed and 13 others arrested over the past 24 hours in the northern
Samangan province, said army spokesman Abdul Hadi Jamal on Thursday.
flared up in Ruyi Doab district on Wednesday after the security forces launched
cleanup operations and the insurgents resisted, and later fled the area leaving
15 bodies behind and 13 more captured.
A Denver landlord who was recorded telling her tenant to find an “American
person … good like you and me” to sublease her property instead of a Muslim
father and son seeking to open their second restaurant must pay the men
$675,000 under a settlement.
three men sued last year, generating local news coverage and online pleas to
boycott the woman’s business, which mirrored the response to racist comments
captured on tape or video across the U.S. in recent months. Public attention
soon faded, and attorneys said they were headed for trial until the night
before jury selection was set to begin in Denver.
parties finalised the settlement in April. Rashad Khan said it was a relief
after more than a year of reliving his first experience of someone refusing to
work with him and his father, Zuned, because of their faith and race.
dad and I just wanted to know that there’s justice, that she can’t do this,”
said Khan, 36.
dispute focused on a building in the Denver neighborhood of Capitol Hill,
surrounded by homes, coffee shops and grocery stores.
Caldwell began renting the building on a corner lot in 2016 but decided to
close his fried chicken restaurant there in late 2017.
had to continue paying rent for the five-year lease unless he could find
someone to sublease it. The Khans seemed like his solution.
hoped to open a second Indian restaurant, replicating a fast-casual model that proved
popular in the nearby city of Boulder. Caldwell was sold after checking their
financial records, trying the family recipes and seeing both father and son
working the counter at their business.
weeks went by without approval of the sublease agreement by the building’s
owner, Katina Gatchis. Caldwell said he was shocked when the woman’s son blamed
the Khans’ Islamic faith.
didn’t believe it, and I didn’t think anybody would believe me,” said Caldwell,
who is 71 and white.
decided to use a voice recording app on his cellphone during his next
conversation with Gatchis. In Colorado, it is legal to secretly record a
conversation if at least one participant consents.
person!” Gatchis said in the recording, provided to The Associated Press by
Caldwell’s attorneys. “American person, I need. Good like you and me.” Caldwell
returned to see her a few days later.
hoped Gatchis would change her mind, but she remained insistent in a recording
of that conversation.
bring all the Muslims from the Middle East, and then I have a problem around
here, bam boom, bam boom,” she said.
for Gatchis did not return phone or email messages seeking comment on the
recordings and settlement. In a court document filed in March, they said
Gatchis admitted making the statements “and that the recordings are accurate.”
acknowledged in the document that she “unlawfully discriminated” against the
Khans’ company but said Caldwell could not sublease to them without her
approval under the terms of his original lease.
took the recordings of Gatchis to his business attorney. He referred Caldwell
to Denver attorney Qusair Mohamedbhai, whose firm often handles discrimination
claims and other civil rights cases.
said proving discrimination is often difficult and credited Caldwell for
in Colorado and across the country should know that these laws are on the
books, they are highly enforceable, and that if they will discriminate, people
will stand up against them and tell them it is wrong,” Mohamedbhai said.
Civil Rights Commission, which investigates discrimination complaints, does not
track incidents by specific religions or race. According to its most recent
annual report, the commission received 96 complaints of discrimination based on
religion and 432 complaints based on race during the last fiscal year.
said his father did not seem surprised by Gatchis’ remarks, but he himself was
to look at my name and assume everything in my life, everything that I am,” he
said. “I was angry, I was disappointed. I started to have a little bit of
self-doubt. It kind of creeps into your mind: Who else is thinking these
things? Is she the only one?”
came to the United States when he was 11, sponsored by his father, who had a
green card and was then working in Phoenix. They later moved to Boulder.
earned a degree at the University of Colorado Boulder and worked in information
technology before teaming up with his dad. Their restaurant’s recipes are
influenced by the family’s roots in Bangladesh and England, where Khan was
a typically busy weekday, staff at Curry n Kebob carried platters of naan,
basmati rice and varieties of meat and curry to customers waiting for lunch.
said he received constant support from customers and friends as the suit
wrapped up and still hopes to find a Denver location to grow the family’s
it weren’t for me being (in America), I wouldn’t have the life I do,” he said.
“I wouldn’t enjoy the freedoms I have, and I wouldn’t have the justice system
that allowed her to have the consequences for acting like she did.”
imposes sanctions on Iran enriched uranium exports, but renews nuclear work
administration of US President Donald Trump has imposed sanctions on Iran's
export of enriched uranium but at the same time
renewed three key waivers that will allow European allies, Russia and
China to cooperate with the Islamic Republic on civil nuclear program.
involvement in transferring enriched uranium out of Iran in exchange for
natural uranium will now be exposed to sanctions. The United States has been
clear that Iran must stop all proliferation-sensitive activities, including
uranium enrichment, and we will not accept actions that support the
continuation of such enrichment," the State Department announced in
statement issued on Friday.
Iran's 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
(JCPOA), Tehran is limited to keeping 300 kilograms of uranium enriched up to
3.67 percent. As part of the JCPOA, Iran is allowed to sell any enriched
uranium above that threshold on international markets in exchange for natural
uranium, with Russia a key player.
waivers, due to expire Saturday, are extended for 90 days, the State Department
waiver extensions pertain to the Bushehr nuclear power plant, the Fordow
enrichment facility, the Arak nuclear complex and the Tehran Research Reactor,
a senior US official said, on condition of anonymity.
May 8, 2018, Trump announced that he would abandon the JCPOA, reached between
Iran and six world powers – the US, the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany.
the JCPOA, Iran agreed to limit parts of its peaceful nuclear program in
exchange for the removal of all nuclear-related sanctions.
August, Trump ordered all nuclear-related sanctions that were removed under the
deal to be reinstated immediately.
new decision comes after the Trump administration took other steps to crack
down on Iran. Trump said in a statement on April 22 that, in a bid to reduce
Iran's oil exports to zero, buyers of Iranian oil must stop purchases by May 1
or face sanctions.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismisses the likelihood of a war between
Iran and the United States but says certain "accidents" might ignite
a military confrontation.
a recent interview with the British online newspaper Independent at Iran’s
Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, Zarif said although he did
not think a war between Iran and the US was imminent, “accidents can happen”
that then spiral into a "military conflict."
response to a question about the nature of such accidents, Zarif gave the
example of a recent move by US President Donald Trump to put Iran's Islamic
Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on its blacklist of foreign
lack of "vital communication" between the IRGC forces and ships going
through the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway where
most of the world’s oil exporters pass through, can easily lead to conflict.
United States in April officially registered the IRGC as a "foreign
terrorist organization," according to a notice published on the website of
the US Federal Register.
Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) slammed the US government as
"supporter of terrorism," designating American forces in West Asia,
known as the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), as a "terrorist
a statement, the Iranian top security council said the designation came as a
"reciprocal measure" against US President Trump's "illegal and
unwise" move to blacklist the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization.
a meeting with IRGC personnel and their family members in the capital Tehran,
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the recent
US decision is rooted in America’s “rancor” against the force, which has been
in the forefront of the fight against enemies.
IRGC is the vanguard both on the field confronting the enemy on [Iranian]
borders and even several thousand kilometers away [in Syria] as well as on the
political battleground against the enemy,” the Leader said, adding that
Americans hold a grudge against the force for that reason.
in his interview, the top Iranian diplomat mentioned an incident happened in
the Persian Gulf in January 2016 when the IRGC naval forces arrested 10 US
sailors after their patrol boats entered Iran's territorial waters.
said that "a direct line of communication" between him and his US
counterpart at the time John Kerry let the two top diplomats control the
situation and secure the quick release of American sailors, adding that no such
communication channel exists today.
a similar incident in the Persian Gulf could quickly get out of hand," he
January 13, 2016, the IRGC announced that ten US Marines, who had drifted into
the country's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf and had been taken into
Iranian custody, had been released after Americans apologized for the incident.
asked about Zarif's interview with Fox News, the Iranian foreign minister said
he wanted to reach out to Trump’s base in American mainstream “because it is
important to speak to the other side sometimes”.
he noted that it was not his first interview with Fox and that he had talked to
the channel years ago when he was Iran’s ambassador at the United Nations in
US Senate has failed to override President Donald Trump’s veto of a
congressional resolution demanding an end to American military support for the
Saudi-led coalition waging war in Yemen, a country plagued by more than four
years of a devastating conflict.
vote on Thursday was 53 to 45, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed
to override a veto, despite a handful of Trump’s fellow Republicans joining
Democrats in backing the War Powers Act, which limits the president’s ability
to send troops into action without congressional authorization.
resolution’s passage earlier this year marked the first time both the Senate
and House of Representatives supported the provision of the War Powers Act.
of the resolution said they wanted to reassert the constitutional power of
Congress to declare war, and send a strong message to Saudi Arabia about the
devastating civilian toll of the war in Yemen.
Saudi-led war in Yemen has killed tens of thousands of people and spawned what
the United Nations calls the world’s most dire humanitarian crisis, with the
country on the brink of famine.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the former
Saudi-sponsored government back to power.
US along with some Western countries are complicit in the ongoing aggression as
they supply the Riyadh regime with advanced weapons and military equipment as
well as logistical and intelligence assistance.
November, Washington stopped providing aerial refueling for the coalition’s
warplanes. It only halted the support after the coalition grew independent of
members of Congress have also become angry with Riyadh over the murder of
dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a US resident and columnist for the
intelligence agencies believe Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered
some observers believe the anti-Saudi sentiment in Congress is not genuine and
Riyadh continues to have widespread support in Washington.
spent $27 million on hiring lobbying firms in 2017 to influence Congress,
compared with $10 million in 2016, according to the Center for International
Policy, which tracks foreign influence spending in the US.
Senate vote on Thursday comes less than two weeks after the beheading of 37
Saudi nationals across the kingdom.
leaders and several human rights organizations have expressed shock and
condemnation over the mass execution.
U.S. said Friday it would extend waivers granted to nations involved in the
2015 Iran nuclear deal that allow them to take part in nonproliferation
projects designed to make it harder for Tehran to obtain a nuclear weapon.
projects include reactor redesigns to prevent the creation of plutonium and
infrastructure projects that will help ensure that some facilities are not used
for uranium enrichment.
must stop all proliferation-sensitive activities, including uranium enrichment,
and we will not accept actions that support the continuation of such
enrichment," the State Department said in a statement.
extensions for the projects were granted for 90 days with the potential for
them to be renewed.
U.S. introduced the measures as a continuation of previous policies aimed at
curbing Iran's ability to revive its nuclear weapons program.
those policies are an oversight of the country's civil nuclear program which
the department said would constrain Iran's ability to shorten its
"breakout time" in terms of getting a nuclear weapon.
department introduced further restrictions including sanctions on the transfer
of enriched uranium out of Iran in exchange for natural uranium and warned that
any assistance to expand Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant beyond the existing
reactor unit could be subject to sanctions.
U.S. also said it would no longer permit Iran to store heavy water, a byproduct
of nuclear enrichment.
Trump administration continues to hold the Iranian regime accountable for
activities that threaten the region’s stability and harm the Iranian
people," the State Department said in the statement. "This includes
denying Iran any pathway to a nuclear weapon."
moves taken by the State Department are the latest in a series of actions to
assert economic pressure on Iran.
Trump administration re-imposed sanctions on Iranian oil exports in November
after the president pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal between Tehran,
Washington and five other countries.
LUMPUR - Malaysia's Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Friday (May 3) hit back
at a Muslim organisation planning a mass rally, saying these so-called
defenders of Islam were nowhere to be seen when pilgrimage fund Tabung Haji and
plantation agency Felda lost millions of dollars under the previous
Pembela Ummah (Muslim Defenders Front) is planning a mass rally in Kuala Lumpur
on Saturday, asking Muslims to come together to defend their rights that the
non-governmental organisation claims are being eroded by the year-old Pakatan
Harapan (PH) government.
Sri Muhyiddin's response, as quoted by Malay Mail news site: "They are
doing all this on the expense of religion to get more followers and support.
in reality, if they were really interested in defending Islam, where were they
when Tabung Haji issue cropped up?"
Malaysian government has bailed out Tabung Haji with a RM17.8 billion (S$5.8
billion) plan that removed financially distressed assets from its books. PH has
said Tabung Haji was weakened by bad management, including paying above-market
rates for a plot of land owned by scandal-tainted state fund 1Malaysia
Development Berhad (1MDB).
another RM6.3 billion is being used to rescue the Federal Land Development
Authority (Felda), a palm and rubber plantations agency that helps rural Malay
PH government has been hit by claims that it was eroding Muslim rights since it
came to power and appointed non-Malays to powerful positions such as the
finance minister and the attorney-general, with such claims rising in frequency
in recent months.
two biggest Malay Muslim parties, Umno and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), have
banded together in an informal opposition alliance, and has placed race and
religion at the front of their campaign to weaken PH.
rally is to take place at the downtown KL mosque of Masjid Jamek, a popular
gathering place for peaceful demonstrators from the time the four PH parties
were in the opposition.
protesters then plan to march to the Sogo shopping centre nearby to listen to
speeches by rally leaders.
to Mr Muhyiddin, claims that Malay Muslim rights need defending now do not make
sense. He is also president of PH member Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chaired
by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
were they when our country's debt was revealed?" he asked. "If they
meant well for Islam, what did they do?"
like Felda... which a big part of it involved Muslims. In the end it was us,
Pakatan Harapan who took responsibility to figure out big debts such as RM17
billion," he said, as quoted by Malay Mail.
Muhyiddin dismissed the Saturday rally as a publicity stunt, and advised the
organisers not to misuse religion to sow public discord.
I can say is don't evoke Islam sentiments or make us look like we are not
protecting Islam," he said.
is no evidence till now to show Islam has been neglected or any of Islam's
institutions were meddled with or demolished by PH."
Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
LUMPUR, May 3 — Organisers of the Himpunan Pertahanan Kedaulatan Islam rally
will go ahead with the planned demonstration tomorrow, claiming to have
received approval from the district police.
to Aminuddin Yahaya, chairman of Gerakan Pembela Ummah (Ummah), the approval
came with the condition that the rally was not used to stir up negative views.
told Malay Mail the demonstration is set to go ahead as planned from 2pm to
said representatives from his movement had a meeting with Dang Wangi district
police yesterday evening, where the approval from the enforcers soon followed.
just informed us not to incite other religions or races.
expect a crowd of around 5,000 to 10,000, but we never know as the response is
so good from the rakyat,” he told Malay Mail, adding that heads of NGOs are
expected to deliver speeches tomorrow.
is one of the organisers for the rally.
added that the police’s approval letter giving the go-ahead for the rally was
received by the body today following their meeting yesterday.
the issues the rally aims at protesting is the stance of the Pakatan Harapan
(PH) government who have been blamed for apparently sidelining the Malay
community and challenging the sovereignty of Islam.
rally also plans to raise issues pertaining to the Roman Statute, the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination (ICERD), PH’s stance on the Unified Examination Certificate
(UEC) and Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI),
and the untimely death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim during riots at the
Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Seafield last November.
plans for participants to gather at Masjid Jamek in the city centre for Zohor
prayers, where they will then march to the Sogo shopping complex along Jalan
Tuanku Abdul Rahman where speeches and a ‘people’s declaration’ will be
recited, before dispersing at 6pm.
Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday advised those looking to attend the
rally not to fall for the propaganda of certain quarters who he claimed would
purposely fan racial and religious sentiments at the rally.
English daily The Star quoted Dang Wangi district police chief Assistant
Commissioner Mohd Fahmi Visuvanathan Abdullah who confirmed the meeting between
organisers and the police.
said the approval was given after all requirements under the Peaceful Assembly
Act were met.
report quoted Mohd Fahmi as assuring the public that sufficient numbers of
police personnel would be on the ground to ensure public order.
will also facilitate traffic for the convenience of other road users as such
gatherings are bound to cause some congestion,” he said in the report.
ATS and CID officials on Friday deposed before the Unlawful Activities
(Prevention) Tribunal constituted by the Centre to ascertain whether there was
sufficient cause to extend the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India
tribunal, presided by Justice Mukta Gupta of the Delhi High Court, began its
hearing in Pune on the premises of SPPU.
Superintendent Ravindrasinh Pardeshi, who supervises terrorism cases in Pune
and 10 other districts in the state, has filed an affidavit before the tribunal
justifying the ban on SIMI.
deposing on Friday, Pardeshi submitted information on the Mumbai local train
bombings of July 2006, in which alleged SIMI operative Ethesham Siddiqui was
convicted by a court. He said that alleged terror operative Abdul Subhan
Qureshi alias Tauqeer, arrested last year and allegedly involved in several
terror cases including the 2006 Mumbai train bombings, was also associated with
Pardeshi said that Mirza Himayat Inayat Baig, convicted in the 2010 German
Bakery blast in Pune, was convicted under the UAPA Act for his links with SIMI.
While a lower court in Pune had awarded death sentence to Baig, the Bombay High
Court had set it aside and awarded him life imprisonment while convicting him
under the Explosives Act.
further told the court about a 2011 fake currency case, in which an alleged
SIMI operative was arrested. He also submitted details of the blast of July 16,
2014 near Faraskhana-Vishrambag police station in Pune. Investigation and CCTV
footage had revealed the involvement of five alleged SIMI operatives. Three of
the accused died in an encounter with police in Madhya Pradesh while two died
in Telangana, he told the tribunal.
that SIMI continued to indulge in terror activities even after 2014, Pardeshi
told the tribunal that banning the outfit was essential.
DELHI: India and its key partner in North Africa, Morocco, have collaborated to
prevent further terror strikes in Sri Lanka after the Sunday Easter bombings in
what can be described as a major success in counter-terror operations in the
subcontinent in recent times.
which maintains a substantial information bank on ISIS and its network provided
leads to Sri Lanka in collaboration with India that led to an operation in
Colombo to eliminate terrorists who were planning second round of attacks after
Easter Sunday bombings, ET has learnt.
additional information was provided by Morocco to Sri Lanka that helped to preempt
other terror attacks that ISIS was planning to orchestrate, according to
persons familiar with the developments.
within hours of the attack Morocco had shared intelligence with Delhi and
Colombo to identify nine suicide bombers responsible for Eastern Sunday
has wide-ranging and effective counter partnerships with leading countries including
USA, France, Spain and India among other countries and signed three
counter-terror pacts with Delhi since last year. In February, Rabat and Delhi
during Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj visit signed a memorandum of
understanding to fight terrorism.
fact Morocco that follows a moderate school of Islam, has one of the successful
records of counter-terrorism and de-radicalization.
year Abdelhak Khiame, Head of Morocco's Central Bureau of Legal Investigation
(BCIJ), said Moroccan security services dismantled "183 terrorist
cells" in the country that were in the various stages of planning
"361 devastating terrorist projects". More than 3,000 people,
including 292 individuals with previous criminal record, have been arrested by
Moroccan authorities over the past decade.
over the year has adopted three major national counterterrorism measures,
officials told ET. The first was a ‘home affairs’ approach to security. In
October 2014, the Ministry of the Interior launched Operation Hadar (Arabic for
‘vigilance’), requiring the security forces to work together to combat
terrorism. This resulted in enhanced security at airports, train stations and
second measure was to strengthen the legal system. In 2015, the Moroccan
parliament amended the country’s counterterrorism laws to criminalise a range
of possible terrorism-related activities, including travel to Syria.
third step was creation of BCIJ as the lead agency for counterterrorism in
Morocco. Since 2015, it has been responsible for numerous terrorism-related
arrests and is credited with preventing several terrorist attacks in Morocco.
works closely with Morocco’s security agencies -- Morocco’s general
directorates of national security and territorial surveillance to raid terror
cells across Morocco. On April 24, Morocco arrested a seven-member terror cell
which was plotting to undermine the security of the country. The operation is
one of many that BCIJ has carried out throughout the year against terrorists.
countries have been working closely with Morocco (Africa's second biggest
economy), and conducting joint anti-terror operations with Moroccan security
Kerala police has beefed up security in the port city of Kochi and Thrissur
where the state’s biggest cultural festival ‘Thrissur Pooram’ is scheduled in
ten days, after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) broke up a module of
terror outfit Islamic State in Kerala with the arrest of a suspected terrorist
on April 29, a senior official said.
arrested terrorist, Riyas Abookacker, a native of Palakkad, reportedly told the
NIA that he was ready for a suicide attack in Kerala but his friends had let
him down by not providing explosives and logistic support.
his interrogation, the NIA had raided many suspected hideouts in Tamil Nadu in
the last two days and seized incriminating documents, sources with the NIA said
adding at least 60 people from both states, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, were under
interrogation, Riyas reportedly admitted that he had been following the
speeches of Zahran Hashim, the mastermind behind the Lankan bombings, for more
than a year and he was eager to carry out a terror attack in a tourist spot in
Kerala, where foreigners were frequent visitors.
was also found that he was in touch with Abdul Raashid from north Kerala who
reportedly joined the IS three years ago, through encrypted social network
Telegram. Raashid had earlier sent a fiery speech exhorting his supporters to
attack soft targets in Kerala, including the Thrissur Pooram festival.
the revelations made by Riyas, police have combed hotels, home stays and
resorts in Kochi. “We are on high alert and co-coordinating with central
agencies well,” a senior police officer said. Though the NIA detained two more
people from north Kerala’s Kasargode they were let off later for lack of
evidence. But it could not locate a person from south Kerala’s Kollam who was
closely associated with Riyas.
Tiger, a top Hizbul commander and a close associate of the slain separatist
poster boy Burhan Wani was among the three militants killed on Friday by the
security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district, sources said.
has, however, so far officially only confirmed that three militants have been
killed in this encounter which has now ended.
identities of the slain militants will be confirmed after we recover their dead
bodies,” an officer said.
soldier of the Indian Army was injured in this joint operation carried out by
the Rashtriya Rifles (RR), special operations group (SOG) of state police and
the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
house in which the militants were hiding was destroyed in the gunfight while
two other houses were partially damaged.
broke out at the site of the gunfight between the civilian protesters and the
youth has sustained pellet injury during the mob control operation by the
also erupted in Anantnag, as news of Tiger’s possible elimination spread.
Lateef Tiger belonged to Awantipora town of Pulwama district.
few of the other areas in South Kashmir were also reporting clashes as news of
the encounter spread despite authorities suspended mobile Internet facility in
all the four south Kashmir districts.
services between Srinagar and Banihal towns those passing through south Kashmir
districts have also been suspended.
was killed in Adkhara village of Imam Sahib area and with the end of Lateef
Ahmad Dar -- 11 out of 12 members of the so-called ‘Burhan Brigade’ in south
Kashmir is all but over. Only of the remaining 12, Tariq Pandit, was arrested
by the security forces in 2016.
Israeli group expands, Palestinian houses face demolition
20 years, Hala Kashour has lived with her husband in what she called
“paradise,” a bucolic meadow that rolls through a Palestinian neighborhood of
coveted pasture, which Israel calls the “Peace Forest,” lies in the crosshairs
of a long-simmering conflict between the city government and its Palestinian
residents that flared up on a recent spring morning as Kashour, 47, was jolted
awake by the sound of bulldozers crushing her neighbor’s house.
60 houses in the grassy quarter, known to its 500 residents as Wad Yasul, are
facing demolition by Israel.
this month, the Supreme Court declined to hear the residents’ appeal against
demolition orders, saying the structures were built without required permits in
a municipally designated green space.
willing, we won’t be next,” said Kashour, who claims she built the
neighborhood’s first house, a stone cottage ringed with rose bushes, on land
her family has owned for 50 years.
of unauthorized Palestinian-owned structures in east Jerusalem is not unusual.
municipality contends it cracks down on zoning violations. Palestinians say it
is nearly impossible to receive building permits, and that Israel is severely
restricting their ability to build on land they claim for the capital of their
the Peace Forest demolitions have drawn particular attention because of
accelerating construction by a nationalist Jewish organization in the same
the support of Israel’s Tourism Ministry, the City of David Foundation has set
up lodging structures, operates a Segway tour through the woodland and is
advancing plans for several tourist attractions, including a visitor center and
what it bills as the country’s largest zip line.
foundation said it has leased 4% of the park’s total area from the government.
city regulations forbid construction of any kind in designated parks, the
municipality confirmed it was working to alter zoning restrictions and
retroactively authorize City of David’s construction and facilitate its
and Palestinian residents say the case of the Peace Forest highlights
discriminatory Israeli policies that have propelled a housing crisis in
overcrowded east Jerusalem.
government zoned this area in an intractable way to prevent Palestinian
construction, and now we can see the designation being altered to serve Jewish
settlement,” said Aviv Tatarsky from Ir Amim, an Israeli group that advocates
equality in Jerusalem.
Supreme Court’s dismissal of the case brought an end to the residents’ costly
decade-long legal battle to get their houses, in many cases built decades ago
on inherited family land, authorized by Israel.
belonging to two families were destroyed immediately following the decision,
and two more homes were demolished on Tuesday. Pending demolition orders for
the rest of the area can go into effect at any time, said Zyad Kawar, lawyer
for the Palestinian residents.
residents view the park zoning as a government ploy to force Palestinians out
of east Jerusalem, which Israel considers an indivisible part of its capital.
don’t want to give us permits, that’s the bottom line,” said Nasser Burqan, 42,
whose cousin owned a house demolished this month. “It’s displacement.”
captured east Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast War and annexed it, a
move not internationally recognized.
then, Israel has boosted the Jewish presence there, building neighborhoods
where over 200,000 Jews now live.
Peace Forest sits in the larger Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, long a
focal point of Jewish settlement for its proximity to some of the world’s most
sensitive religious sites in the walled Old City.
City of David Foundation runs popular archaeological and touristic sites in and
around Silwan - spots it emphasizes as centerpieces of ancient Jewish
City of David projects are not planned on the ruins of the demolished homes,
and the foundation says the city’s demolition plans go back long before it
critics say the demolitions on one hand, and the green light to City of David
on the other, illustrate two sets of standards for Jews and Palestinians in the
organization has also drawn sharp criticism for helping to settle Jewish
families in Arab neighborhoods, fueling suspicions that its tourism projects
mask efforts to erase the line between east and west Jerusalem, and with it,
hope for an independent Palestinian state.
two-state dream seems more distant than ever after newly re-elected Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised on the campaign trail to annex West Bank
is poised to form a governing coalition with right-wing parties that reject
re-election comes a year after the Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as
Israel’s capital and moved the US Embassy to the city.
Trump says his move does not determine the city’s final status, it was seen by
the Palestinians and others as recognizing Israel’s claim to the city,
including its eastern sector.
At least six civilians, including children, were killed in Yemen on Friday when
a roadside bomb believed to be planted by Al-Qaeda went off in the country's
southeast, a Yemeni security official said.
least six others were wounded in the blast, the second attack in less than a
week in Al-Qatn village in the vast Hadramaut region
local affiliate in Yemen, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has taken
advantage of a civil war between the Iran-aligned Houthi group and President
Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's government to strengthen its position in the
operates in several provinces in south and eastern Yemen, including in Abyan,
Shabwa and Al-Bayda.
Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli air raid on the Gaza Strip shortly
after Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinian protesters taking part in the
weekly “Great March of Return” rallies, leaving two of them dead and at least
50 others injured.
sources confirmed on Friday that Israeli aircraft had targeted a position
belonging to the Palestinian resistance in the al-Maghazi refugee camp, located
in the center of the Gaza Strip.
attack reportedly killed two members of Hamas' military wing, known as the
Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades. The airstrike also injured three other Gazans.
sources also reported that the Israeli military had shelled the Bureij refugee
camp at the center of the Gaza Strip.
attacks came shortly after two Israeli soldiers were wounded by alleged sniper
fire on the Gazan border.
resistance groups have vowed to respond to the attacks.
is Arab, Syrian’
Syrian flags, Palestinian demonstrators participating in the "right to
return" rally also protested Tel Aviv’s occupation of Syria’s Golan
Palestinians shouted slogans saying that the Heights belonged to "Arab
demonstrators decried United States President Donald Trump's March 25
proclamation recognizing Israel's "sovereignty" over the Syrian
strongly condemned the move and called it a "blatant attack on the
sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Syria.
decision was also denounced by the Arab League which stated that "Trump's
recognition does not change the area's status."
Friday protest comes as Palestinians in Gaza have been holding weekly rallies
to demand the right to return for those driven out of their homeland by Israeli
aggression and an end to the siege on the enclave since March last year.
than 270 Palestinians have been killed since then, and over 16,000 have been
United Nations fact-finding mission found earlier that Israeli forces committed
rights violations during their crackdown against the Palestinian protesters in
Gaza that may amount to war crimes.
Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007, causing a decline
in living standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar says his country is not distancing itself from the
US-led NATO military alliance by acquiring Russian S-400 missile defense
said Ankara should not be excluded from the F-35 fighter jet production program
over the deal, noting that such a move would put "very serious"
burdens on the other partners in the project.
is no clause saying 'you will be excluded if you buy S-400s' in this
partnership. Excluding us just because any one country wants so would not be in
line with justice, laws or rights. This should not happen," Akar said in
an interview with broadcaster NTV on Friday.
United States announced on April 1 that it would be suspending all “deliveries
and activities” related to Turkey’s procurement of F-35 jets over Ankara’s
plans to purchase the S-400s.
and Ankara finalized an agreement on the delivery of the S-400 in December
2017. Back in April 2018, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his
Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin said in Ankara that they had agreed to
expedite the delivery of the S-400. At the time, it was said that the delivery
could be made between late 2019 and early 2020.
US and a number of NATO member states criticized Turkey for its planned
purchase of the S-400, arguing the missile batteries are not compatible with
those of the military alliance.
US also warned of tough sanctions if Turkey pursued plans to acquire S-400.
Ankara, however, said it would not go back on the deal with Russia.
also proposed to form a working group with the US to determine whether the
S-400s pose a threat to the F-35s, but says US officials have not responded to
the offer yet.
said that Ankara was attempting to clarify to the US and other partners in the
F-35 project that the S-400s would not pose a threat to the F-35s, and added
that his country had taken measures to prevent that.
Erdogan on Tuesday criticized the US for threatening to stall the delivery of
F-35 fighter jets to his country, saying “The F-35 project is bound to collapse
if it excludes Turkey.”
in his remarks, the Turkish minister said his country was still assessing the
latest US offer to sell Raytheon Co. Patriot missile defense system, which he
described as more positive than Washington's previous offers.
said two weeks ago it expected US President Donald Trump to use an S-400
sanctions waiver, after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that Ankara
could face penalties under a law that calls for sanctions against countries
buying military gear from Russia.
S-400 is an advanced Russian missile system designed to detect, track, and
destroy planes, drones, or missiles as far as 402 kilometers away. It has
previously been sold only to China and India.
is striving to boost its air defense, particularly after Washington decided in
2015 to withdraw its Patriot surface-to-air missile system from Turkish border
with Syria, a move that weakened Turkey’s air defense.
gravitating towards Russia, the Turkish military reportedly walked out of a
$3.4-billion contract for a similar Chinese system. The withdrawal took place
under purported pressure from Washington.
Three Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire in the Gaza Strip Friday,
authorities in the territory said, after Israel said two of its soldiers were
wounded in a shooting on the border.
of the Palestinians was shot dead along the frontier while the two others were
killed in an air strike, the health ministry in Gaza said.
Israeli army said the air strike was in retaliation for the shooting incident
on the border that left its soldiers wounded.
Gaza ministry named the men killed in the air strike as Abdullah Abu Mallouh,
33 and Alaa al-Bubli, 29, while the man killed in the clashes was 19-year-old
Raid Abu Teer.
Israeli military said it had hit a base belonging to Gaza's rulers Hamas after
sh ots were fired at its forces along the border.
army said "one soldier was moderately injured, and another soldier was
lightly injured" when they came under fire during renewed protests.
army spokeswoman said around 5,200 Palestinians had taken part in the
demonstrations throughout the day.
did not immediately comment on the affiliation of the Palestinians killed but
pledged to respond to what it called an "Israeli aggression."
have been taking part in often violent demonstrations along the border for more
than a year, calling on Israel to ease its crippling blockade of the strip.
least 268 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the protests
began in March 2018, the majority along the border.
civilians killed in Yemen in suspected al-Qaeda bombing
least six civilians, including children, were killed in Yemen on Friday when a
roadside bomb believed to be planted by al-Qaeda went off in the country’s
southeast, a Yemeni security official said.
least six others were wounded in the blast, the second attack in less than a
week in al-Qatn village in the vast Hadramaut region
local affiliate in Yemen, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has taken
advantage of a civil war between the Iran-backed Houthis and the Arab
Coalition-backed Yemeni legitimate government to strengthen its position in the
and Iran on Wednesday criticized the United States over President Donald
Trump's attempt to classify the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.
has rejected the US move, which the White House confirmed on Wednesday, saying
it would promote "anti-Islamism" in the West and around the world.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, for his part, accused Washington of
supporting terrorism in the region, stressing that Tehran opposed the inclusion
of the "Muslim Brotherhood" on the US list of "terrorist
US is not in position to (..) start naming others as terror organizations and
we reject by any attempt by the US in this regard,” Zarif was quoted by Reuters
as saying. “The US is supporting the biggest terrorist in the region, that is
Israel,” he added.
House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that Trump “has consulted with his
national security team and leaders in the region who share his concern and this
designation is working its way through the internal process.”
to Reuters, the inclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood on the US list allows
sanctions to be imposed on those who have relations with the group, which is
classified as terrorist in a number of Arab countries.
US announcement comes three weeks after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah
el-Sisi's visit to Washington. According to the New York Times, which revealed
information about Trump's attempt to classify the Muslim Brotherhood, the
president’s initiative faces strong objections, especially within the Pentagon.
did not officially comment on the US move against the Muslim Brotherhood, but
members of the parliamentary foreign relations committee welcomed it.
Sudan parties agree on six more months to form unity government
Sudan’s ruling and opposition parties agreed on Friday to give themselves six
more months to form a unity government as part of a peace deal they signed in
September, the regional group IGAD said in a statement.
on Friday, President Salva Kiir lifted a state of emergency imposed in 2017 in
five northern states of the country, South Sudan Radio reported, in a bid to
help foster peace.
Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011 but descended into a civil war two
years later. After a string of failed agreements, a peace deal was signed last
September between the two sides, represented by Kiir and his former deputy
turned rival, Riek Machar.
part of the peace deal, the two sides aimed to form a national unity government
by May 12. The parties met in neighboring Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on
Friday to seek a way forward on the unity government.
Parties identified lack of political will, financing and time constraints as
the major challenges that have delayed implementation of the Pre-Transitional
tasks and underscored the need to ensure that specific pending tasks are
adequately funded within a clearly set out and reasonable timeframe,” IGAD said
in a statement.
light of the above, the Parties unanimously agreed to extend the
Pre-Transitional period by an additional six months effective from 12th May
2019 to enable the execution of the critical pending tasks,” the
intergovernmental group added.
the peace deal has helped to reduce fighting and partly alleviated the
humanitarian crisis afflicting the country, a UN panel of experts on South
Sudan said in a report on Tuesday that the country still faces significant
which has been helping to mediate between the two sides, said the new agreement
will be presented for consideration at its council of ministers meeting to be
held on 7th to 8th May in Juba in South Sudan.
fighting raged overnight in the battle for the Libyan capital Tripoli, with
neither faction able to secure gains on the frontlines as an offensive by
eastern commander Khalifa Haftar entered its fifth week.
Libyan National Army (LNA), which is allied to a parallel administration based
in Benghazi, has in the past week brought up more troops and heavy guns to the
it has been unable to breach the defenses in the city’s southern suburbs of
forces loyal to the internationally recognized government in Tripoli.
fighting raged from Thursday afternoon until early morning Friday in the area
of the former international airport but the frontline has changed little,
LNA moved up on one part of the front earlier this week but was repelled by the
Tripoli forces, who had built barriers, including shipping containers, on
southern roads where tanks and artillery guns are in position.
Tripoli forces regained some ground but analysts say the threat of the LNA will
persist as long as it keep its forward base in Gharyan, about 80 km (50 miles)
south of Tripoli.
town is difficult to take because it lies in mountains that rise from the
coastal plain on which Tripoli sits.
Shoppers throng Tripoli’s Souk Al-Hout market but their mood is somber as
Libya’s capital is again hit by violence and prices have shot up ahead of the
holy month of Ramadan.
country is famous for its dates,” a staple which Muslims eat first to break the
Ramadan dawn-to-dusk fast, says shopkeeper Abdallah Al-Chaibi.
no one is able to buy them because their price has doubled,” he adds as he
struggles to woo shoppers to buy the celebrated degla variety which are grown
in southeastern Libya.
cannot imagine an iftar without dates,” he says.
Ramadan, Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and
having sex from dawn to dusk.
break the fast with a meal known as iftar and before dawn they have a second
opportunity to eat and drink during sahoor.
the days ahead of Ramadan — which begins on May 5 this year — families embark
on shopping sprees to stock up on food for the iftar meal, which is often a
feast that draws friends and relatives.
renewed clashes between rival forces in and around Tripoli, a cash shortage and
rising prices mean that this year’s iftar will be more frugal than those of
previous years, and in oil-rich Libya that hurts.
large part of the population is unable to buy even basic items and guaranteeing
(iftar) meals has become a challenge,” says Chaibi.
a wealthy country like Libya we are not used to this.”
has been plagued by chaos, violence and economic hardship since the ouster of
Muammar Qaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011.
April 4, military commander Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive to seize
Tripoli pitting his Libyan National Army against the Tripoli government forces
backed by powerful militias in Tripoli’s southern suburbs.
ensuing deadly clashes have killed 376 people according to the World Health
than 40,000 have been displaced, according to the UN, but the figure does not
include the many families who have sought safety with relatives.
will be the most difficult Ramadan in years,” said Malek Mohamad, a resident of
Tripoli in the covered Souk Al-Hout market, where shoppers can find everything
from fish to spices.
said the fighting had forced thousands of residents of southern districts to
flee with just a few of their belongings. “They now have to buy things and this
will eat into their meagre budgets,” he said.
2011, insecurity and shortages have been part of the daily lives of Libyans.
Economic reforms launched last year were supposed to tackle a chronic lack of
liquidity, but have been hit by the flare-up.
time there is a glimmer of hope, a new military conflict erupts among Libyans,”
says Mohamed Al-Noueri, who ekes out a living selling spices and garlic from a
tiny stall in the market.
69, says he is responsible for the needs of a family of 10, including a
daughter with a physical disability and sons who study at university.
himself is diabetic and says he “struggles to buy my medication.”
am tired like many other (Libyans) who try to resist year upon year. And now
war awaits us,” he adds, his face wrinkled and sad.
Manal Khayri is also desolate on the eve of Ramadan.
spent three days queueing outside a bank and only managed to withdraw 500
dinars (around $350),” she says.
will be barely enough to cover our needs for the first week of Ramadan,” says
the mother of four as she shopped for pulses for her iftar meals.
pray to God to bring the Libyan people closer to each other,” she adds.
say they have taken measures to ensure there will be no shortages of basic food
products during Ramadan.
Chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) Mustafa Sanallah urged in an
interview with Al-Hurra TV Channel for ending military operations in southern
Tripoli and warned of ISIS militants' infiltration into oil facilities due to
the war or the militarization of the oil sector.
warned that if the war would linger, then oil production could be affected or
stopped, saying the only solution is to halt the military conflicts and that
the oil sector must remain outside this war and neutral.
are warships in Ras Lanuf port and Sidra port is still closed. There have been
two attempts to seize two tugboats at the port. All in all, the workers in
Sidra convinced the military unit to back off from seizing the tugboats as it
could lead to the shutdown of the port." He explained.
said the NOC is working with all institutions in eastern and western Libya all
alone and is based in Tripoli as the only legitimate body to operate the oil
sector in the country, adding that they are working with the Presidential
Council's government which is overseeing the work of the NOC since it is the
legitimate government in Libya.
rift over oil privileges in Libya is untrue. The NOC is operating with Italian
Eni and French Total." Sanallah remarked.
May 2 (Xinhua) -- At least 14 bodies of loggers from a village in Nigeria's
northeastern state of Borno were evacuated to a police station following an
attack by terror group Boko Haram earlier this week, the head of a local
militia group told Xinhua on Thursday.
of Duwabayi village, in the state's Monguno area, found the bodies of the
loggers killed after a Boko Haram attack on Tuesday evening and alerted the
Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), which helps the military fight the militants,
said Ali Bulama, head of the CJTF in the area.
victims were in search of trees to cut down in a bush near the village when the
Boko Haram fighters attacked and shot them. We found bullet wounds on all the
corpses and took them to the police station," Bulama said via telephone.
police have declined to comment on the attack.
village was deserted sometime last year after residents fled and took refuge in
a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Monguno due to incessant Boko
Haram attacks in the area.
is located 135 km north of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, and hosts a
military formation. The town has been repeatedly attacked by Boko Haram
militants who have made several failed attempts to overrun the military base.
Haram has repeatedly attacked farmers, loggers and herders, accusing them of
giving information to the military and the pro-government CJTF.
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African
Muslim News, Arab
World News, South
Asia News, Indian
Muslim News, World
Muslim News, Women
in Islam, Islamic
In Arab, Islamophobia
in America, Muslim
Women in West, Islam
Women and Feminism