New Age Islam
Fri Aug 14 2020, 07:28 AM

Islamic World News ( 3 March 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

UN panel probes Pakistan army's role in Bhutto murder

Kabul hotel attackers came in burqa, one got away

No burqa, no problem, Bangladesh court tells police

Tipu Sultan collection highlight of Sotheby’s April sale

Pakistani Taliban loses ‘Hilton’ complex used for rest and recuperation

Islamist militants jailed for ´second 9/11´ plot

Clashing realities in the Muslim world

Manmohan defends Obama

Norway sees Pakistan role in Afghan stability

Daniyal Mueenuddin wins the Story Prize in New York

Mullahs promote birth control in Afghanistan

Indian missions under fresh terror threat

1993 Surat bombing key suspect held in UK

Arrest of Kandahar accused leaves intel agencies red-faced

‘Iran court upholds death for 20-yr-old’

Philippines Muslims welcome anti-suicide Terrorism 'fatwa'

Yemen security forces arrest 11 Qaeda suspects

Govt. probes ‘bungling’ in Haj pilgrimage

Pak’s changing K-tune puts Hurriyat in a fix

Valley’s new trough operation in Sopore

Moving targets in Marja in Afghanistan

Terrorist group, possibly linked to Jemaah Islamiyah, arrested

'More birth defects' in Iraq's Falluja

India, Pakistan, Afghanistan & the US

Opinion building, not emotion, key for Islamic Banking in India

Hamas official slams spy-claim book

Gilani: Talks only way forward to resolve Indo-Pak issues

10 rebels killed in clashes between two rival Taliban factions

Jammu & Kashmir govt focusing on development of rural areas: Omar

India keeps doubts to itself on Kabul attack

Arabs give Palestinian-Israeli talks ‘final’ chance

CNIC on Rigi lands Nadra into trouble

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/un-panel-probes-pakistan-army-s-role-in-bhutto-murder/d/2534

 

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UN panel probes Pakistan army's role in Bhutto murder

March 04, 2010

In a new twist, the UN Commission, probing into the assassination of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, is now suspecting involvement of Pakistani soldiers in the plot.

Pakistani officials said they were searching for four military personnel who had disappeared just before the suicide attack on Bhutto during an election rally in Rawalpindi in December 2007.

The missing soldiers were retired army personnel who were among the eight army men related to the main accused and a proclaimed offender in the case Ibad Ur Rehman, interior ministry officials said.

The investigators were facing difficulties in determining the exact status of these soldiers and so far no record had been provided. The four other soldiers are still serving the army, the officials told DawnNews.

The four missing army personnel had never been mentioned before in the legal proceedings.

Pakistan had sought a UN probe a year ago after its own investigations and those by Scotland Yard failed to make headway into Bhutto's killing Dec 27, 2007 in a gun and bomb attack as she left a political rally in the garrison town of Rawalpindi.

The four-member probe commission which was constituted in June last year is expected to submit its report by the end of this month.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/UN-panel-probes-Pakistan-army-s-role-in-Benazir-Bhutto-s-murder/H1-Article1-515031.aspx

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Kabul hotel attackers came in burqa, one got away

Raghvendra Rao

Mar 04, 2010

Piecing together the jigsaw of the February 26 terror attacks on the two hotels in Kabul that killed 19 persons including seven Indians, investigators are now searching for one of the attackers who, they believe, escaped from one of the hotels by posing as a guest.

Having recovered a vest laden with explosives, some ammunition and weapons from a particular spot in Park Residence, investigators are now looking at the possibility of one of the suicide bombers having shed his weapons and suicide vest before fleeing.

It has now been established that three of the four terrorists involved in the attack were clad in burqas while the fourth one acted as the driver of the vehicle which carried them to the site of the attack. The terrorist posing as the driver got past the security checkpost saying he was ferrying three women. Once the vehicle crossed the checkpost, the three terrorists got down from the vehicle, took off their burqas and headed for Noor guest house and Park Residence. The terrorist driving the vehicle, meanwhile, drove towards Noor and rammed the explosive-laden vehicle into the boundary wall killing the two Afghan guards on duty.

Following this explosion, one of the terrorists—wearing a suicide vest and carrying a Kalashnikov and hand grenades—entered Noor guest house and started firing indiscriminately. The Indian doctors and other medical staff in Noor took refuge in a room which was then targeted with hand grenades by the terrorist. The hand-grenade explosions resulted a fire in this room, sources said.

Full report at: www.indianexpress.com/news/kabul-hotel-attackers-came-in-burqa-one-got-away/586652/3

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No burqa, no problem, Bangladesh court tells police

04 Mar, 2010

DHAKA: Bangladesh's High Court has ordered police in the Muslim-majority country to stop harassing women who choose not to wear the full-face veil, lawyers said Wednesday.

The order was in response to police officers in the northern town of Rangpur who on Monday detained nine teenage couples found in “compromising positions” at a local zoo and allegedly ordered the girls to wear the burqa or niqab.

Wearing the veil is not mandatory in Bangladesh and the police action drew loud protests from women's rights groups, prompting lawyers to apply to the High Court for a ruling on the issue.

“The High Court ordered late Tuesday that if a girl or a woman does not wear a burqa, she cannot be harassed or humiliated by anyone,” lawyer Mahbub Shafiq, one of the petitioners, told AFP.

Deputy attorney general Rajik Al Jalil confirmed the ruling, saying: “A girl can only be arrested if there is a criminal case against her, not because of what she is wearing.”A full investigation into the incident has been ordered by the court.

Bangladesh has the world's fourth-largest Muslim population. Islam is the state religion although only a small but visible minority of the country's women wears the burqa.

Rangpur police chief Saleh Tanvir denied that police had ordered girls to wear the burqa.

“We picked up nine couples as they were found in compromising positions. We took action after we received numerous complaints from people that they couldn't take their families to the zoo because of these couples,” Tanvir said.

He added that the couples had been released to their parents or guardians. –AFP

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/18-no-burqa-no-problem-bangladesh-court-tells-police-am-04

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Tipu Sultan collection highlight of Sotheby’s April sale

March 4, 2010

Following the phenomenal success of its first edition, leading auctioneers Sotheby’s will bring the second part of ‘The Tipu Sultan Collection’ next month featuring seven lots relating to one of the great heroes of Indian history.

The collection features outstanding weaponry and other rarities captured after the British stormed Tipu Sultan’s palace at Seringapatam in May 1799.

Important highlights in the collection include a very rare sword and scabbard with tiger-form hilt, from the Palace Armoury of Tipu Sultan, circa 1782-99 (estimated 50,000-70,000 pounds).

The collection also features an extremely rare Indian bronze cannon cast by Ahmad Pali at the Royal Foundry at Seringapatam for Tipu Sultan, India, dated 1790-1 (estimated 120,000-150,000 pound), formerly the property of the Royal United Services Institute.

The auction will be part of Sotheby’s bi-annual Arts of the Islamic World Sale on April 14 presenting an exceptional array of fine and rare works of art that span from the rise of Islam in the 7th century through to the 19th century. The auction, which will also feature important examples of ancient manuscripts, ceramics, metalwork, weaponry, textiles, ceramics and paintings from North Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, Islamic Spain and South Asia, is estimated to realise in excess of 4 million pounds.

Full report at: www.dailypioneer.com/239650/Tipu-Sultan-collection-highlight-of-Sotheby%E2%80%99s-April-sale.html

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Pakistani Taleban loses ‘Hilton’ complex used for rest and recuperation

By SAJJAD MALIK

Mar 3, 2010

DAMADOLA:  Taleban militants tired from weeks of fighting NATO forces in Afghanistan were once happy to check into a complex known as their "Hilton" for rest and recuperation. Those days are over, however, because the installation was seized by the Pakistani military on Feb. 6.

The complex, located close to the Afghan border in Damadola in Pakistan's Bajaur region, consisted of a large cave attached to about a dozen tunnels.

There were no lifts or piped music, but it was a relatively luxurious home away from home for fighting units operating in the pine-clad mountains.

"The Taleban used to call it their Hilton because this was the place where they would rest after they returned from fighting in Afghanistan's Kunar province or other parts of Bajaur," said Tariq Khan, the head of the paramilitary Frontier Corps, which leads the fight against the insurgents in the border region.

Facilities in Damadola were crude but included dormitories with mattresses and blankets and a canteen providing warm food for fighters, a welcome change from surviving in the field on a couple of naan breads and a large bottle of water a day.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/world/article25466.ece

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Islamist militants jailed for ´second 9/11´ plot

DUESSELDORF

March 04, 2010

A German court on Thursday jailed four Islamic militants who dreamed of "mounting a second September 11" for a thwarted plot to attack US diplomats, soldiers and civilians.

Sentencing the extremists to between five and 12 years, Judge Ottmar Breidling said that they planned to stage a "monstrous bloodbath."

The four included two German converts to Islam, Fritz Gelowicz and Daniel Schneider, who each received 12 year jail terms. Adem Yilmaz, a Turkish citizen got 11 years while Atilla Selek, a German of Turkish origin was given five years.

The self-confessed extremists were convicted in a high-security courtroom in the western city of Duesseldorf after a more than 10-month trial.

Judge Breidling said they had aspired to "mounting a second September 11, 2001.

"If the accused had managed to do what they planned, it would have led to a monstrous bloodbath, primarily among US army personnel and also civilians." The judge added that there were now "many impressionable young men and men who have already been led astray, ready to kill for notions of Jihad.

Full report at:  http://www.javno.com/en-world/islamist-militants-jailed-for-second-911-plot_296471

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Clashing realities in the Muslim world

Brian O'Neill

March 4, 2010

Words have been around for as long as we have been human - they may even be what makes us human. They inspire us, shape our minds and control our perceptions. Certain phrases can raise or deflate, and alter therealities.

We live in an age of instant controversy. The polarization of our politics, combined with the accessibility of information, has led to the ability to manufacture outrage and accusations of hypocrisy at a moment’s notice. A paper published in college, an off-the-cuff mark to reporters, an extemporaneous answer in a public setting- all of these can now come back to haunt people years later, even if they are removed from context, and even if- possibly especially if- they are antithetical to what the person now believes. All of this is used for political gain.

The latest pseudo-controversy involves President Obama’s appointment to the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC), a disjointed and ideologically heterogeneous body to whom appearance is more valuable than substance. The appointee, Rashad Hussain, is accused of being sympathetic to radical Islam and of being a closet jihadist. Several statements are used to back this up, including his claiming in 2008 that “"[T]he terrorist ideology is advocated by small, fringe groups and rejected by a vast majority of Muslims . . . as American policymakers and leaders have recognized, Islam rejects terrorism.”

Full report at: http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20100304/OPINION/100303020

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Manmohan defends Obama

March 4, 2010

Veteran BJP leader LK Advani took the Government to task for ‘succumbing’ to US pressure in opening dialogue with Pakistan and demanded clarity on Kashmir, claiming there had been a shift in the US stand on the vexed issue. On the defensive, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh vehemently argued for the United States, claiming its President Barack Obama had assured him there had been no deviation of the US’ stated policy on the matter.

The verbal spat between the two leaders also covered other subjects such as the one-rank-one-pay for the armed forces, and took place on Wednesday during a discussion on Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address.

Advani attacked the Government and demanded that Singh come out clean on Kashmir. Speaking on the issue and resumption of dialogue with Pakistan, Advani said, “What have you gained with these talks? SM Krishna says it was a constructive dialogue. But his counterpart in Pakistan says we don't want to engage in cosmetic engagement. Why are we unnecessarily inviting insults? What is the point of this kind of dialogue?”

The senior BJP leader said there were reports that the Government was trying to reach a “secret agreement” on Kashmir. “We would want that, in his reply, the Prime Minister should tell the House what has happened formally and informally on Kashmir? There has been a shift in US policy on Kashmir. Earlier the policy was that they would not intervene unless both the sides wanted it to. But even during Obama's presidential elections he said in his speeches that ‘I’ll solve Kashmir problem’.”

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/239807/Advani-attacks-PM-on-Kashmir.html

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Norway sees Pakistan role in Afghan stability

Arshad Sharif

04 Mar, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Norway’s foreign minister said on Wednesday that Afghanistan was ceasing to be a battlefield of hidden agenda of different countries, and because of its strategic position and historical links Pakistan could be a key player for peace and stability in the war-torn country.

In an exclusive interview with Dawn, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store described Pakistan as Afghanistan’s key neighbour which could play a significant role in resolving the crisis in that country.

Mr Store on Wednesday held a meeting with Prime Minister Gilani on bilateral as well as regional issues.

In reply to a question about reasons for failure of the regional approach for Afghanistan in the past, Mr Store said countries from near and far had brought their differences to the Afghan theatre.

Since Norway had in the past been involved in mediation between warring sides in various conflict zones, Mr Store’s arrival in Islamabad after holding talks in Delhi sparked curiosity about Oslo’s desire to broker peace between India and Pakistan.

When asked if Norway was playing any secret role in promoting peace between Pakistan and India on the model of Oslo accord between Palestinians and Israelis, Mr Store said both countries had given him a clear message that they could themselves deal with bilateral issues.

Full report at: www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-norway-sees-pakistan-role-in-afghan-stability-430-hh-03

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Daniyal Mueenuddin wins the Story Prize in New York

04 Mar, 2010

NEW YORK: Writer Daniyal Mueenuddin won the Story Prize for short fiction on Wednesday for “In Other Rooms, Other Wonders,” a compendium of eight interconnected short stories set in the 1980s amid feudal lands in southern Pakistan.

Mueenuddin, a former lawyer who lives in London and Punjab, thanked his agent and his recently deceased mother after being presented the sixth annual award, which includes a $20,000 prize.

“She was the person who, when I was little, made me think that being a writer was a legitimate thing to do,” Mueenuddin said. “She was behind me all the way.”

By contrast, the people on the farm in Punjab where he lives part of the year seem “slightly embarrassed” by his work, thinking “it’s certainly nothing to be proud of.”

The winning collection, published by W.W. Norton, boasts a cast of characters from an aging feudal landlord and his Western-educated daughters to desperate servants and farm workers, corrupt judges and assorted aristocrats.

A self-described romantic, Mueenuddin noted after reading from his story “Saleema” that “I’ve been accused of being too dark” in his writing.

Full report at: www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/culture/07-daniyal-mueenuddin-wins-the-story-prize-in-new-york-ha-02

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Mullahs promote birth control in Afghanistan

March 3, 2010

Study: Contraception use jumps when benefits are explained one-on-one

Some mullahs in Afghanistan are distributing condoms. Others are quoting the Quran to encourage longer breaks between births. Health experts say contraception is starting to catch on in a country with the world's second highest maternal death rate.

Afghanistan has one of the world's highest fertility rates, averaging more than six babies per woman despite years of war and a severe lack of medical care. Awareness of, and access to, contraceptives remains low among many couples, with UNICEF estimating 10 percent of women use some form of birth control.

But use of the pill, condoms and injected forms of birth control rose to 27 percent over eight months in three rural areas — up to half the women in one area — once the benefits were explained one-on-one by health workers, according to the report published Monday in Bulletin, the World Health Organization's journal.

"The main take-home point is that for women who do not want to be pregnant now, it can be a double tragedy for her to die from a pregnancy she did not want — especially when we could have helped her," said lead author Dr. Douglas Huber, who conducted the study for U.S.-based nonprofit Management Sciences for Health. "The fastest, cheapest, easiest way to reduce maternal deaths in Afghanistan is with contraception."

Full report at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35683222/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/

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Indian missions under fresh terror threat

March 4, 2010

Indian missions in Afghanistan are under fresh threat from terror outfits as intelligence inputs suggest that such groups are planning new attacks.

The fresh inputs received from Indian as well as international intelligence agencies said that terrorists may target Indian missions in Kabul and Jalalabad, Union Home Ministry sources said.

The inputs come days after the February 26 attack on Indians in Afghanistan by LeT terrorists who targeted hotels, killing seven Indians associated with developmental work in the country, including three Major rank Army officers.

The victims in the Kabul massacre included seven Indians, one Italian, a French filmmaker, three Afghan policemen, four civilians and another person whose body was too dismembered to identify.

This is the fourth attack targeted at Indians in Kabul since July 2008 when 60 people, including four Indian embassy officials, were killed in a massive car bomb attack on the embassy building.

Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, responsible for the Mumbai attack, has been blamed by an Afghan intelligence official for the attack last week.

Holbrooke's comments on Kabul attack surprises India

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/239817/Indian-missions-under-fresh-terror-threat.html

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1993 Surat bombing key suspect held in UK

March 4, 2010

A key 1993 Surat terror bombing suspect, hunted by police worldwide for over 17 years, was arrested from a north England grocery store and a city court here will decide over his extradition to India.

Mohammed Hanif Umerji Patel alias Tiger Hanif was traced to the grocery store in Bolton by Scotland Yard and later arrested from a house in Astley Street in Halliwell on February 16, a spokesman of the metropolitan police said on Wednesday.

Tiger Hanif has been remanded in custody and will appear at City of Westminister Magistrate Court on March 25 where the India government application for his extradition will come up.

Hanif is wanted by the Indian authorities in connection with a terror bombings in Surat in Gujarat which killed an eight-year-old schoolgirl and left 12 others wounded.

After the terror attack, Indian police issued a Red Corner notice for him through Interpol, which activated a worldwide hunt for the suspect.

The Met spokesman said: "Mohammed Hanif Umerji Patel - also known as Tiger Hanif - was arrested on behalf of the Indian under an extradition warrant alleging conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions."

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/239818/1993-Surat-bombing-key-suspect-held-in-UK.html

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Arrest of Kandahar accused leaves intel agencies red-faced

Karn Pratap Singh

March 4, 2010

The arrest of Belal Hosain alias Nanu Mondal aka Bilal by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) of Bangladesh Police has left Indian security agencies red-faced. Bilal was first arrested soon after the IC-814 hijack in 2000. At that time, his arrest was claimed as a major breakthrough in the IC-814 hijack case. How and when Bilal managed to cross over to Bangladesh is something which the security agencies will find it difficult to explain.

According to sources, a team of investigators from the IB and RAW will soon leave for Bangladesh to question Bilal in connection with several bomb attacks, including those in Bangalore and Surat in 2008. It's being talked in hushed tones that Bilal was released from a prison in Guwahati some years later and he crossed over to Bangladesh.

How the security agencies failed to keep a tab on his movements is also being questioned. The security agencies woke up with a startle after Bilal disclosed before the interrogators in Bangladesh Police, which in turn went to town, that he had played a key role in the IC-814 hijack. It's also being asked how he reached the Guwahati jail when he was arrested by West Bengal Police within their jurisdiction.

Full report at: /www.dailypioneer.com/239809/Arrest-of-Kandahar-accused-leaves-intel-agencies-red-faced.html

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‘Iran court upholds death for 20-yr-old’

03 March 2010

Tehran, March 3: An Iranian appeals court has confirmed a death sentence handed down to a 20-year-old student over anti-government riots late December, several Opposition websites reported on Wednesday.

Mohammed Amin Valian was found guilty of Moharebeh (waging war against God) for throwing stones at security forces during bloody protests on the Shia mourning holiday of Ashura in Tehran on December 27, Kaleme.Com and Rahesabz.Net said.

There was no immediate official confirmation of the upholding of the death sentence. Kaleme identified Valian as an electoral campaigner for Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, who rejected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election in June 2009 as massively rigged, sparking months of street protests. He was also a member of the pro-reform Students’ Islamic Association in the university of Damghan, a town in northern Iran, the website said. The reports did not say when the student had gone on trial but the Iranian judiciary said on February 3 that an unidentified person had been condemned to capital punishment by the court of first instance over the Ashura upheavals.

Iranian media reports suggest that in all 10 protesters charged with participating in the post-election unrest since last June have been sentenced to death

http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4236:iran-court-upholds-death-for-20-yr-old&catid=36:international&Itemid=61

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Philippines Muslims welcome anti-suicide Terrorism 'fatwa'

EDD K. USMAN

March 4, 2010,

Muslim leaders in the Philippines welcomed Thursday the “fatwa” or religious edict of a Pakistani-born Islamic cleric declaring that suicide bombing is not a form of jihad and goes against the principles of Islam.

News agencies reported that Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri, a Muslim scholar and head of the Minhaj-ul-Qur'an movement, issued on March 2 in London, England, a 600-page fatwa in response to rising suicide bombings in Pakistan.

In his fatwa, Qadri unequivocally condemned as "non-believers" the practitioners of suicide bombings.

"There is no place for any martyrdom and their act is never, ever to be considered jihad," he said.

"They can't claim that their suicide bombings are martyrdom operations and that they become the heroes of the Muslim Umma. No, they become heroes of hellfire, and they are leading towards hellfire," Qadri said.

He took a shot at the Al-Qaeda group of Osama bin Laden, describing the terrorist organization as an "old evil with a new name."

Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Mehol K. Sadain welcomed Qadri’s fatwa.

Full report at: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/246226/rp-muslims-welcome-fatwa

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Yemen security forces arrest 11 Qaeda suspects

March 4, 2010,

Yemeni security forces arrested 11 men in the capital Sanaa on suspicion of plotting attacks for Al-Qaeda, killing one man during the operation, a security source said on Thursday.

"The 11 men are currently under interrogation. They were planning to assassinate security officials and target interests in Sanaa," the source said, without specifying what interests the 11 were suspected of targeting.

The source added that the raid took place in a residential area of the capital.

Al-Qaeda militants have previously targeted Western embassies in the city.

The man killed in the raid, who was the father of one of the suspects, opened fire on security forces, wounding one of them, before being shot dead, the defence ministry's 26sep.net news website said.

One of the suspects also tried to resist but "all members of the cell were arrested," it added.

The deceased man's family told the Yemeni human rights group Hood that he did not fire at security forces during the raid.

The organisation identified him as retired 75-year-old police colonel Ahmed Azzam.

Yemen began an intensified campaign against Al-Qaeda in late December as international pressure mounted after a failed attempt to blow up a US airliner on December 25 was claimed by the militant network's Arabian Peninsula arm.

Security forces arrested three suspected members of Al-Qaeda on February 17 in Marib province, east of the capital, 26sep.net reported.

Full report at: www.alarabonline.org/english/display.asp?fname=2010\03\03-04\zsubz\912.htm&dismode=x&ts=04/03/2010%2011:03:26%20%C3%95

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Govt probes ‘bungling’ in Haj pilgrimage

March 4, 2010,

In what could turn out to be an embarrassment for the pro-minority UPA regime, the government is quietly investigating into charges of corruption in the Haj pilgrimage from India last year. There are complaints of over 3,000 seats having been sold — bypassing the official procedures — to people wanting to go on pilgrimage. These 3,000-plus seats were created due to the last-minute cancellations by pilgrims.

Sources told The Indian Express that a high-level probe has been initiated after complaints reached the PMO, Ministry of External Affairs and Cabinet Secretariat and it is now being conducted by MEA’s secretary (East) Latha Reddy.

What had rankled the establishment this time, the sources said, was that the role of the officials in the Haj Committee of India, based in Mumbai, was “under the scanner”.

Despite repeated attempts, the Haj Committee of India’s Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Owais was not available for comments.

As per the convention, the last-minute cancellations of the pilgrims need to be filled by the wait-listed candidates. Instead of following the convention, there are complaints that these cancellations were sold at prices anywhere between Rs 25,000 and Rs 40,000.

The matter was first brought to light when complaints landed in the PMO, MEA and the Cabinet Secretariat in late December last year. The PMO is understood to have been quite exercised at the corruption charges in the government-subsidised scheme of Haj pilgrimage. The government gave subsidy to the tune of about Rs 500 crore for the Haj pilgrimage last year.

n the past, there have been allegations of corruption in the Haj pilgrimage, but they have pertained to private tour operators. However, this time, the allegations involve the government agency responsible for the pilgrimage arrangements.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/govt-probes-bungling-in-haj-pilgrimage/586624/2

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Pak’s changing K-tune puts Hurriyat in a fix

RIYAZ WANI

Mar 04, 2010

Pakistan may have reverted to its traditional posturing on Kashmir, making a renewed pitch for the right to self-determination for Kashmiris, but this abrupt change in its stand has run into opposition from none other than the separatists in the Valley, who continue to see Pervez Musharraf’s four-point proposal as the “most pragmatic solution to the Kashmir dispute”.

Upset over this “unilateral turnaround” by Pakistan, two Hurriyat executive members, Prof Abdul Gani Bhat and Bilal Gani Lone, have opted out of the upcoming visit of separatists to Islamabad. There is also internal pressure on chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq against making the trip.

Hurriyat reasoning is simple. “We have been working for the past four years to rally people in Kashmir around the four-point proposal for a settlement. Now, how will we go back to the same people and tell them we are back to the old position on Kashmir,” said a senior leader on condition of anonymity. “Policies on Kashmir can’t be changed on a whim. It is difficult for us to reconcile with these periodic swings in Islamabad.”

Hurriyat in the past launched several mass mobilisation drives across the Valley to create awareness about Musharraf’s proposal in 2006, which included demilitarisation, self-governance and a joint supervision mechanism.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/paks-changing-ktune-puts-hurriyat-in-a-fix/586445/2

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Valley’s new trough operation in Sopore

Muzamil Jaleel

Mar 04, 2010

When the Army called off the operation in Sopore after a 72-hour standoff last week, four of its men lay dead, including an officer of the elite Para unit, while 15 residential houses had been razed to the ground. However, the top militant commanders it was looking for, who were suspected to be holed up in the area, all escaped, leaving behind two lower-rung militants who had kept the troops engaged.

The security forces suspect that among those whom they failed to catch were Harkat top commander Nauman and Basharat Saleem, besides the Lashkar’s Salah-ud-din, who has been sent to replace its high-profile Valley chief, Abdullah Ooni.

However, it wasn’t the first major security operation to fail in this north Kashmir town and neighbouring Zaingir belt, which has emerged as virtually the capital of Valley’s resurgent militant movement. This movement comprises a new breed of highly trained, motivated militants who don’t hesitate trying to break through security cordons, instead of sitting holed up inside for long standoffs, and who have devised ways around the extensive electronic surveillance of the police and security agencies.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/valleys-new-trough/586424/4

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Moving targets in Marja in Afghanistan

Mar 04, 2010

This year will be the third in a row that tens of thousands of new United States troops have arrived in Afghanistan with plans to “clear, hold and build” areas controlled by the Taliban. Those previous surges have achieved little success at holding or building, as the international coalition and Afghan government have inevitably failed to come up with realistic plans for what happens after the fighting is done. Is the campaign in Marja destined for the same fate?

The international coalition’s strategic goal for Afghanistan is to build “an enduring stable, secure, prosperous and democratic state.” Only by focusing on the messy medium-term stages of reconstruction — those months, and possibly years, after the fighting dies down—- do we have any chance of achieving such a goal. In this regard, Marja presents us with four distinct hurdles. (Disclosure: I work as an analyst for a military contractor, but these views are my own.)

The most pressing problem is displaced civilians. During the weeks leading up to the offensive, Afghan and American authorities asked residents to leave their homes. Many obliged: according to the United Nations, several thousand families, representing upward of 25,000 people, have fled the area.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/moving-targets-in-marja/586590/4

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Terrorist group, possibly linked to Jemaah Islamiyah, arrested

Mathias Hariyadi

Mar 04, 2010

Jakarta  - Police and anti-terrorist group Densus 88 today arrested 15 terrorists with weapons of war, following an operation in the forests of Aceh Besar Regency, Aceh, and after a shootout. Inspector General Edward Aritonang, spokesman for the police, reported the episode saying that those arrested may be connected with the Islamic terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah. Automatic weapons, thousands of bullets, propaganda material, Islamic fundamentalist books and DVDs and military uniforms similar to Malaysian ones were seized. 

For days the police had combed the forest, looking for a military training centre for terrorists. In a first foray February 22 they  arrested 4 suspected terrorists after a gun battke in which militants killed two innocent bystanders, a man and his son. 

Yesterday at dawn, always in Aceh another suspected terrorist tried to escape carrying weapons and was killed in a shootout, after being stopped for inspection on board a bus in which he was travelling as a normal passenger. Two other people travelling with him escaped. Other passengers are under investigation. 

Full report at: www.asianews.it/news-en/Terrorist-group,-possibly-linked-to-Jemaah-Islamiyah,-arrested-17790.html

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'More birth defects' in Iraq's Falluja

Mar 04, 2010

FALLUJA - A pediatrician and parents have told the BBC of a high level of birth defects among children in Falluja, Iraq, blaming weapons used by the U.S. when subduing an uprising in 2004, the BBC reports on its Web site Thursday.

One hospital doctor is quoted as saying they see two or three cases of birth defects a day.

The U.S. military is quoted as saying it isn't aware of any official reports showing an increase in birth defects in the area and that it always takes public health concerns about any population now living in a combat theater "very seriously.

http://business.maktoob.com/20090000442750/_More_birth_defects_in_Iraq_s_Falluja_BBC/Article.htm

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India, Pakistan, Afghanistan & The US

By B.Raman

March 4, 2010

Here are my answers to four questions e-mailed to me on March 3,2010, by a correspondent of the "Washington Post":

Question: Is the Indian government growing increasingly frustrated over the Obama administration's policy of reconciliation with the so called good Taliban? And why or how will this impact India and U.S. relations? What position does this put India in?

Answer:"Frustrated" is not the word. India is increasingly concerned over the US belief that there are good fundamentalists and bad fundamentalists and that it can do business with the good fundamentalists and bring them into the mainstream. India looks upon the "war" against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan as directed not only against these organisations, but also against their ideology of religious obscurantism by projecting before the Afghan people the ideas of a secular and liberal democratic society.If it makes a deal with the so-called good Taliban even if they do not give up their medieval ideas, the US will be admitting beforehand that it has lost the ideological battle. It will not be good for Afghanistan and other Muslim countries. And it will not be good for India, which has the second largest Muslim community in the world.

Full report at: http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2010/03/indiapakistan-afghanistan-us.html

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Opinion building, not emotion, key for Islamic Banking in India: Dr Manzoor

By Mumtaz Alam Falahi

3 March 2010

New Delhi: Please do not present or campaign for Islamic Banking in India as an emotional or communal issue. This is a serious economic issue for which there is a need for opinion building among Muslim masses on one hand, and non-Muslim intellectuals on the other. In fact, non-Muslim intellectuals favoring interest-free banking system should be given leadership of such campaigns. This is the only wise way to make environment conducive for Islamic Banking in a communally polarized society like India. Dr Mohd Manzoor Alam, Chairman, Institute of Objective Studies, expressed these views at a lunch with Muslim journalists here today.

Addressing 20-odd journalists representing almost entire Muslim press in Delhi, Dr Alam who is also General Secretary of All India Milli Council, said that presenting the Islamic Banking issue emotionally will do more harm than benefit. He was just short of condemning Muslim groups and individuals, without naming them, for presenting it as a community issue and meeting person A or person B in power corridors without preparing ground within Muslim community and without involving non-Muslim intellectuals who are in support of interest-free system.

Full report at: twocircles.net/2010mar03/opinion_building_not_emotion_key_islamic_banking_india_dr_manzoor.html

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Hamas official slams spy-claim book

By Tom Evans, CNN

March 4, 2010 -

A top official in the Palestinian militant group Hamas lashed out at the son of a Hamas founding member who says in a new book he was an Israeli spy for a decade.

"The Israelis issued this book as a kind of propaganda. When you say that he was working for his enemies, it means that he lies for his own people, and we expect that there are big lies in this book," Osama Hamdan told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview from Damascus, Syria.

"He's a big liar. He lost his faith. He lost his moralities. And he's working for the enemies who are killing his own people, who are arresting his father, and who are occupying his country," Hamdan declared Wednesday.

In his book, Mosab Hassan Yousef says he gathered information about Hamas terrorist plots and fed them to Israel's domestic security service Shin Bet, and thereby saved countless Israeli and Palestinian lives.

Yousef, in an interview with Amanpour, said he did it because he came to believe that Hamas was practicing "exceptional cruelty" against its members and "killed people for no reason."

He wrote a book, "Son of Hamas," from his new base in the United States, where he has lived since 2007.

CNN could not independently confirm his story, and Israel has refused to comment.

A journalist specializing in intelligence matters on the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Yossi Melman, said he believes Yousef's story, even though some people say he is exaggerating his role.

Full report at: http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/03/03/spy.claim/

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Gilani: Talks only way forward to resolve Indo-Pak issues

March 4, 2010

Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani has said dialogue is the only way forward for resolving all issues between India and Pakistan despite a perceived lack of progress during the recent Foreign Secretary-level talks.

“We raise our hopes and then disappoint ourselves,” Gilani said, referring to the February 25 talks between Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in New Delhi. However, he said, talks are the “only way forward”.

Gilani expressed his views in response to a question about the parleys during an interview with Geo News channel. Referring to his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Sharm el-Sheikh in July last year and an expected meeting on the sidelines of the upcoming Saarc summit in Bhutan, he said “whenever we meet, it would be meaningful.”

Responding to a query about Singh’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Gilani described it as a good development. He said it would not have any impact on Pak-Saudi ties as the two countries are members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and enjoy close and friendly relations.

Asked about military exercises recently conducted by India at Pokhran, Gilani said Pakistan’s defence is in secure hands and the country is aware of its defence capabilities. “We are not worried about such things,” he said. Replying to a question about the Indo-US agreement on civil nuclear cooperation, he said, “We have told (the US) that they have to do something for Pakistan too in order to avoid regional instability.” Pakistan will not make any compromise on its defence and nuclear policy and the country’s sovereignty and integrity will be upheld, Gilani said.

Full report at: www.dailypioneer.com/239657/Gilani-Talks-only-way-forward-to-resolve-Indo-Pak-issues.html

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10 rebels killed in clashes between two rival Taliban factions

March 3, 2010

Peshawar: At least 10 rebels were killed in clashes between two rival Taliban factions over the past two days in the Kurram tribal region in northwest Pakistan, official said today.

Followers of Malik Noor Jamal alias Mulla Toofan, the head of the Taliban in Aurakzai tribal region, have clashed with supporters of commander Muhammad Rafique in Kurram Agency, the officials said.

Ten militants have died so far in the fighting, the officials said.

Mulla Toofan rose to prominence after the reported death of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud in a US drone attack.

He claimed to be Mehsud's successor. In another incident, militants blew up a basic health centre in Manto area of Kurram Agency.

All equipment and other materials in the centre were destroyed.

http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_10-rebels-killed-in-clashes-between-two-rival-taliban-factions_1354932

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Jammu & Kashmir govt focusing on development of rural areas: Omar

March 3, 2010

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government is focusing on faster and balanced development of remote areas in the state, chief minister Omar Abdullah said here today.

"Fast track development of far-flung areas is our priority concern. While measures have been initiated to upgrade the five important sectors of road communication, health, education, water and power supply, steps are also afoot to ensure integrated development of horticulture, agriculture and allied sectors in rural areas," he said.

In his meeting with a delegation from Banihal led by MLA Viqar Rasool, Abdullah said under a comprehensive rural development strategy put in place by the government, the necessary thrust has been given on providing basic amenities to the people.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_jammu-and-kashmir-govt-focusing-on-development-of-rural-areas-omar_1354930

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India keeps doubts to itself on Kabul attack

Seema Guha

March 3, 2010

New Delhi: With the intention of reviving peace talks with Pakistan, India is being extremely cautious about jumping to conclusions before investigations into the terrorist strike in Kabul last week are

completed.

But senior Indian officials indicated that prime minister Manmohan Singh's hopes of reviving bilateral engagement with Pakistan will be abandoned if there is decisive evidence of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) involvement.

In fact, while Singh spoke in Riyadh about walking the extra mile to mend fences with Pakistan, he had the rider that Islamabad had to act on terror.

Despite the best of intentions, Singh cannot ignore domestic public opinion.

Preliminary indications suggest that the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which was responsible for last year’s car bomb crash on the perimeter of the Indian embassy compound, or the Haqqani network, which carried out the July 2008 embassy bombings, are responsible for the attack on Indians at the guesthouse on Friday.

Both are close to the Pakistani army establishment, mainly the ISI. Yet, New Delhi has kept its doubts to itself, waiting for the final report.

Full report at: www.dnaindia.com/india/report_india-keeps-doubts-to-itself-on-kabul-attack_1354949

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Arabs give Palestinian-Israeli talks ‘final’ chance

March 04, 2010

CAIRO: Arab foreign ministers agreed on Wednesday to back one last round of indirect Palestinian-Israeli talks despite scepticism over Israel’s readiness to revive peace efforts, Arab League chief Amr Mussa said.

The move, which came after months of US-led shuttle diplomacy, was swiftly welcomed by Israel but was slammed by the Islamist Hamas movement which controls Gaza as an “excuse” for Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to rejoin negotiations that would “only lead to failure.”

Mussa said that the Arab ministers had called for a four-month deadline for the indirect talks. “Despite a lack of conviction over Israel’s seriousness, (Arab foreign ministers) will give indirect talks a chance, for the final time, in order to facilitate US efforts, within four months,” he said.

“There was a consensus that Israel is not interested in peace, the proof being what is taking place on occupied land... acts which are meant to provoke the Arab and American sides,” he added. Negotiations have been on ice since Israel launched a devastating attack on the Gaza Strip in December 2008.

Full report at: http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=227152

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CNIC on Rigi lands Nadra into trouble

Syed Irfan Raza

04 Mar, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The recovery of a Pakistani Computerised National Identity Card from the possession of Abdolmalek Rigi, an Iranian terrorist and head of Jundallah group, has put a question mark on the Nadra’s “self-proclaimed secure” registration system.

The card was recovered by Iranian security personnel when Rigi was arrested while travelling on a flight heading to an Arab country via Pakistan on Feb 23.

The interior ministry claimed that it was a fake card, and not issued by the National Database Registration Authority.

Iranian authorities are reported to have informed Pakistan about the recovery of the CNIC carrying photograph of Abdolmalek Rigi and sought an investigation into the matter, but the government did not make it public.

However, the interior ministry had to issue its point of view only when a TV channel telecast the news about Rigi’s identity card.

The recovery of CNIC from the terrorist leader has thrown a challenge to security of Nadra’s database and its official slogan “deception no more”.

At the time of arrest Rigi was allegedly carrying a CNIC bearing number 42201-5884556-1 issued in the name of Saeed Ahmed, son of Ghulam Haider. The card shows his year of birth as 1978.

A press release issued by the interior ministry said: “Rigi’s brother, also an Iranian national, possessed a fake national identity card of Pakistan, who was later extradited. Pakistan has always claimed that Rigi has not been staying here and the stance has been ratified by his recent arrest while holding Afghan passport.”

Full report at: www.dawn.com/

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/un-panel-probes-pakistan-army-s-role-in-bhutto-murder/d/2534


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