New Age Islam
Thu Oct 29 2020, 12:50 PM

Islamic World News ( 5 Apr 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

U.S. Aims to Ease India-Pakistan Tension

India, Pak to launch major wargames at same time

Bombs strike Baghdad apartment buildings, 39 dead

Authorities Ease Up on Alcohol Ban in Dubai Restaurants

Chinese hackers target India, defence data compromised

Video shows US soldiers firing at unarmed Iraqis

Israeli FM warns Palestinians not to declare state

Hindus and Muslims together invoke gods for 80 sailors’ release

Israeli military criticises troops who killed youths

Ahmadis slam target-killings in Faisalabad

BCA launches sharia unit, expects 35% growth a year

Bhutto death sentence was a judicial murder: Pakistan PM

Move to make imams and madrasa teachers computer-savvy, technically smart

The 706th Urs of Hadhrat Nizamuddin Aulia concludes today

Pakistanis miss the good old 'Khuda Hafiz'

Muslims No Longer ‘Demographic Reserve’ For Russia

FIFA dress code rules Iran's girls out of Olympics

Post-26/11, Headley scouted Israeli targets in India to ‘avenge’ Gaza war

Obama’s Anti-Israel Jihad

Muslim world to promote ‘green haj’ concept

Saudi cleric announces visit to Jerusalem

S M Krishna seeks China's support for convention against terrorism

12 dead, 10 missing in US mine blast

J&K govt invokes ESMA as employees continue strike

60 notices but few responses to Kandhamal riots probe

Mamata Banerjee wants sub-quota for Muslims in Women's Bill

Qazis: A Muslim male is allowed four wives

'India didn't block water even during war'

India may gain access to Headley next month

Malaysia to set up interfaith committee

Pak-origin cab driver pleads not guilty to terror charges in Chicago court

Drones batter al-Qaida in Pakistan

US axes fast food at Afghan bases

US admits to killing women in bungled raid

Turkey’s Erdogan calls for diplomacy with Iran

‘Pakistan must improve storage to avoid water woes'

10 militants killed in NATO’s Afghan raid

Dawood aided 26/11 attackers

Islamic Jihad says no promise made to halt rocket firing

Family of 6, including 4 children, gunned down in Iraq

The Kandahar gambit

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/us-aims-to-ease-india-pakistan-tension/d/2665

 

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U.S. Aims to Ease India-Pakistan Tension

By PETER SPIEGEL and MATTHEW ROSENBERG

President Barack Obama issued a secret directive in December to intensify American diplomacy aimed at easing tensions between India and Pakistan, asserting that without détente between the two rivals, the administration's efforts to win Pakistani cooperation in Afghanistan would suffer.

The directive concluded that India must make resolving its tensions with Pakistan a priority for progress to be made on U.S. goals in the region, according to people familiar with its contents.

The U.S. has invested heavily in its own relations with Pakistan in recent months, agreeing to a $7.5 billion aid package and sending top military and diplomatic officials to Islamabad on repeated visits. The public embrace, which reached a high point last month in high-profile talks in Washington, reflects the Obama administration's belief that Pakistan must be convinced to change its strategic calculus and take a more assertive stance against militants based in its western tribal regions over the course of the next year in order to turn the tide in Afghanistan.

A debate continues within the administration over how hard to push India, which has long resisted outside intervention in the conflict with its neighbor. The Pentagon, in particular, has sought more pressure on New Delhi, according to U.S. and Indian officials. Current and former U.S. officials said the discussion in Washington over how to approach India has intensified as Pakistan ratchets up requests that the U.S. intercede in a series of continuing disputes.

Pakistan has long regarded Afghanistan as providing "strategic depth"—essentially, a buffer zone—in a potential conflict with India. Some U.S. officials believe Islamabad will remain reluctant to wholeheartedly fight the Islamic militants based on its Afghan border unless the sense of threat from India is reduced.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already taken the political risk of pursuing peace talks with Pakistan, but faces significant domestic opposition to any additional outreach without Pakistani moves to further clamp down on Islamic militants who have targeted India.

U.S. and Indian officials say the Obama administration has so far made few concrete demands of New Delhi. According to U.S. officials, the only specific request has been to discourage India from getting more involved in training the Afghan military, to ease Pakistani concerns about getting squeezed by India on two borders.

"This is an administration that's deeply divided about the wisdom of leaning on India to solve U.S. problems with Pakistan," said Ashley Tellis, an analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who has discussed the issue with senior officials in the U.S. and India. "There are still important constituencies within the administration that have not given up hope that India represents the answer."

India has long resisted outside involvement in its differences with Pakistan, particularly over the disputed region of Kashmir. But, according to a U.S. government official, a 56-page dossier presented by the Pakistani government to the Obama administration ahead of high-level talks in Washington last month contained a litany of accusations against the Indian government, and suggestions the U.S. intercede on Pakistan's behalf.

The official said the document alleges that India has never accepted Pakistan's sovereignty as an independent state, and accuses India of diverting water from the Indus River and fomenting separatism in the southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has signaled that Washington isn't interested in mediating on water issues, which are covered by a bilateral treaty.

The White House declined to comment on Mr. Obama's directive or on the debate within the administration over India policy. The directive to top foreign-policy and national-security officials was summarized in a memo written by National Security Adviser James Jones at the end of the White House's three-month review of Afghan war policy in December.

An Indian government official said the U.S.'s increasing attention to Pakistani concerns hasn't hurt bilateral relations overall. "Our relationship is mature—of course we have disagreements, but we're trying not to have knee-jerk reactions," the Indian official said.

According to U.S. and Indian officials, the Pentagon has emerged in internal Obama administration debates as an active lobbyist for more pressure on India, with some officials already informally pressing Indian officials to take Pakistan's concerns more seriously. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the U.S. government's prime interlocutor with the powerful head of the Pakistani army, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, has been among the more vocal advocates of a greater Indian role, according to a U.S. military official, encouraging New Delhi to be more "transparent" about its activities along the countries' shared border and to cooperate more with Pakistan.

In interviews, U.S. military officials were circumspect about what specific moves they would like to see from New Delhi. But according to people who have discussed India policy with Pentagon officials, the ideas discussed in internal debates include reducing the number of Indian troops in Kashmir or pulling back forces along the border.

"They say, 'The Pakistanis have this perception and you have to deal with the perception'," said one foreign diplomat who has discussed India's role with Pentagon officials.

An Indian defense ministry spokesman said his country's army has already moved about 30,000 troops out of Kashmir in recent years.

The State Department has resisted such moves to pressure India, according to current and former U.S. officials, insisting they could backfire. These officials have argued that the most recent promising peace effort—secret reconciliation talks several years ago between Indian Prime Minster Singh and then-Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf—occurred without U.S. involvement.

A senior State Department official involved in Indo-Pakistani issues said Mr. Singh, in particular, has risked his political standing domestically by suggesting India would decouple talks on issues such as trade and travel from Indian demands that Pakistan act more aggressively against terrorist groups, particularly Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Islamist movement believed to have masterminded the 2008 attacks in Mumbai.

"Our principal interest has always been to encourage the talks to resume, but we also understand where the Indians are coming from, which is that there has to be some progress on these bilateral counterterrorism" issues, said the official.

The official noted that recent arrests by Pakistani authorities of top members of the Afghan Taliban have come without any major progress on Indo-Pakistani talks, raising questions about the link between the two.

Separately, Pakistan has been more forcefully raising concerns about Indian activities in Afghanistan with the U.S. Senior Pakistani officials allege India is using its Afghan aid missions as a cover to support separatists in Baluchistan and the Pakistani Taliban, and say they have presented evidence of that to U.S. officials. Indian officials deny the accusations.

A Pakistani security official said his government also has pressed the U.S. about India's ties to the Afghan intelligence agency, the National Security Directorate, and argued that Indian consulates in Jalalabad and Kandahar are outposts for India's spy agency.

"Something has to be done to stop Afghanistan from being a jumping-off point for Indian intelligence," said the security official.

Indian officials said they have received no requests from the U.S. to scale back India's rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan, and don't plan to change those initiatives."We're in Afghanistan to help the government; we don't do anything they aren't asking us to do," said an Indian official. India's engagement with Kabul is broad and deep, giving Afghan President Hamid Karzai an important diplomatic ally in the region. It has given Afghanistan more than $1.5 billion in aid, building roads and laying power lines, among other projects. India, with its own well-developed bureaucracy, trains about 700 Afghan civil servants a year in India.

The senior State Department official said the U.S. remains skeptical of Pakistani accusations about India in Afghanistan.

Amol Sharma in New Delhi contributed to this article

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303450704575159901541431846.html?mod=livemint

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India, Pak to launch major wargames at same time

Rajat Pandit

Apr 6, 2010

India, Pak to launch major wargames at same time

NEW DELHI: In a coincidence that has the potential of raising tension levels, the Indian and Pakistani militaries would be conducting major wargames later this month virtually within shouting distance from each other.

Both exercises, involving thousands of troops, aim to test offensive strategies in the event of an armed conflict with the other side and will have active participation of their respective air forces.

The Indian Army will launch its month-long wargames in mid-April in the Thar desert. Called 'Yodha Shakti', the games will involve one of its three principal 'strike' formations, the Mathura-based 1 Corps.

It will practice a 'pro-active' war strategy revolving around the objective of mobilizing fast under 'the cold start' doctrine and striking hard across the border to pulverize the enemy.

Around the same time - from April 10 to May 13 - Pakistan will conduct its 'Azm-e-Nau-III' (new resolve) exercise, described as its biggest wargames in two decades, to train for a conventional war with India.

The manoeuvres will be held near the border in the country's Punjab and Sindh provinces - close to Rajasthan's Thar desert.

Pakistan's exercise will be massive. "It's aimed at validating and refining newly evolved doctrines," the head of Pakistan army's military training directorate, Muzammil Hussain, said in Rawalpindi. Azm-e-Nau-III will mobilize 20,000 troops in the beginning, rising to 40,000 to 50,000 towards the end, he said.

The Indian Army, learning lessons from the slow mobilization during Operation Parakram - the 10-month forward troop mobilization after the December 2001 terrorist attack on Parliament - will practice launching self-contained and highly-mobile 'battle groups,' with Russian-origin T-90S tanks and upgraded T-72 M1 tanks at their core, within 96 hours.

"The exercise will be a two-sided, day-and-night affair, with rapid and deep offensives being undertaken by the battle groups to assault and capture 'enemy' territory. It will also validate our logistics infrastructure as well as new acquisitions," said a senior officer.

The wargames will also have a big IAF component in the drive to achieve greater synergy. Both the western and southwestern IAF commands have stepped up coordination with the different Army commands in the western theatre to synergize efforts to build "an integrated and organic" air-land war-fighting machinery.

Though the Indian armed forces may be now raising two new infantry divisions and an artillery brigade as well as deploying Sukhoi-30MKI fighters in the eastern sector to counter China, they are not diluting their traditional focus on the western front with Pakistan.

The forces, in fact, are reinforcing their offensive punch along the entire western front. For one, IAF will operationalize a forward airbase at Phalodi in Rajasthan on Tuesday. Jaguars will be the first fighters to land at the new airbase on Tuesday to mark its inauguration by IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik.

The Phalodi airbase, strategically located since it falls in the middle of the 'triangle' constituted by Jaisalmer, Nal (Bikaner) and Jodhpur airbases, aims to plug operational and air defence gaps in the western front.

"The 24x7 airbase, equipped to handle potent fighters like the Sukhoi-30MKIs and heavy-lift aircraft, will provide us

with requisite flexibility," said a senior officer.

This comes even as the newish South-Western Army Command (SWAC) at Jaipur, established as the sixth operational command of the 1.13-million strong Army in 2005, is fully up and running now.

With the Mathura-based 1 'Strike' Corps and Bhatinda-based 10 'Pivot' Corps under it, SWAC is responsible for offensive operations on the western front in conjunction with the Chandimandir-based Western Army Command (WAC), which controls the Ambala-based 2 'Strike' Corps.

Northern and Southern (which has the Bhopal-based 21 'Strike' Corps) Army Commands, at Udhampur and Pune respectively, will of course play crucial roles in the event of a war but it will be SWAC and WAC which will assume the pivotal roles.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-Pak-to-launch-major-wargames-at-same-time/articleshow/5763799.cms

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Bombs strike Baghdad apartment buildings, 39 dead

Apr 06, 2010

Bag : At least five massive bombs hit apartment buildings across Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 39 people and wounding more than 130 in the latest sign Iraq's fragile security could dissolve in the chaos of the unresolved election.

It was the fourth attack with multiple casualties across Iraq in five days, a spate of violence that has claimed more than 100 lives since Friday. The attacks have spiked as political leaders scramble to secure enough support to form a government after the March 7 parliamentary elections failed to produce a clear winner.

Ayad Allawi, whose bloc came out ahead in the vote by two seats over Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's, said the political deadlock caused the recent wave of violence. "This is blamed on the power vacuum, of course," Allawi told The ‘Associated Press’ in an interview Tuesday, saying "extreme forces" are trying to exploit the political uncertainty.

Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, an Iraqi military spokesman for Baghdad's operations command center, said the attackers detonated blasts using homemade bombs and, in one case, a car packed with explosives. He said there were at least seven blasts; the US Embassy in Baghdad said there were five.

"There are casualties, and we are counting them right now with the Health Ministry," said al-Moussawi, who blamed al-Qaida in Iraq insurgents for the explosions and said Iraq was in a "state of war" with terrorists.

He said most of the buildings are two stories, but one in the Allawi district downtown was five stories. Police and medical officials said the death toll was at least 39, and that women and children were among the dead. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to release information publicly.

The explosions started at about 9:30 am at a residential building in the Shula area of northwest Baghdad. Then a car bomb struck in an intersection about a mile away, damaging nearby buildings, police and hospital officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak with the press.

A few minutes later, at 9:45 am a bomb left in a plastic bag exploded at a restaurant in the Allawi district downtown, near the government's Culture Ministry. Dozens of people gathered at the bomb site in the hours after the explosion, digging through bricks in the hopes of finding survivors.

College student Ali Hussein, 22, was riding the bus to school when one of the Shula bombs exploded. He described "people running in different directions with fear."

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/600758/

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Authorities Ease Up on Alcohol Ban in Dubai Restaurants

Apr 06, 2010

Having previously shown absolutely no tolerance whatsoever towards alcohol, the authorities of Dubai have started to ease up. New regulations expect to respect Islamic laws about alcohol and appease the drinking and gastronomic habits of non-Muslims.

Avoiding alcohol is understandable, banning alcohol is understandable yet seemingly unnecessary, whereas not allowing a drop of alcohol in cooking seems utterly absurd. However, due to strict Islamic laws, this is the situation in Dubai. No coq au vin, no flambéed sweets and no brandy sauces. Basically, any French restaurant in Dubai is likely to face bankruptcy. The fines introduced to hotels reached up to $130,000 for persistent offenders and fear of alcohol reigned in the gulf sheikdom.

Full report at: travelvideo.tv/news/uncategorized/04-06-2010/authorities-ease-up-on-alcohol-ban-in-dubai-restaurants

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Chinese hackers target India, defence data compromised

Apr 06, 2010

Toronto : Major Indian missile and armament systems may have been compromised as Chinese hackers have reportedly broken into top secret files of the Indian Defence Ministry and embassies around the world.

Among the systems leaked out could be Shakti, the just introduced advanced artillery combat and control system of the Indian Army and the country's new mobile missile defence system called the Iron Dome.

A new report called 'Shadow in the Clouds' by Canadian and American researchers based at the University of Toronto has said that a spy operation called 'Shadow Network' based out of China has tapped into top secret files of the Indian government.

In the investigations conducted over eight months, the report claimed that systematic cyber espionage was carried out from servers located in China that "compromised" government, business, academic and other computer network systems in India.

Full report at: indianexpress.com/story-print/600710/

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Video shows US soldiers firing at unarmed Iraqis

Apr 06, 2010

Washington: Classified US military video showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters that killed a dozen people in Baghdad, including two Reuters news staff, was released on Monday by a group that promotes leaking to fight government and corporate corruption.

The group, WikiLeaks, told a news conference in Washington that it acquired encrypted video of the July 12, 2007, attack from military whistleblowers and had been able to view and investigate it after breaking the encryption code.

A US defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the video and audio were authentic.

Major Shawn Turner, a spokesman for US Central Command, said an investigation of the incident shortly after it occurred found that US forces were not aware of the presence of the news staffers and thought they were engaging armed insurgents.

"We regret the loss of innocent life, but this incident was promptly investigated and there was never any attempt to cover up any aspect of this engagement," Turner said.

Full report at: ibnlive.in.com/news/video-shows-us-soldiers-firing-at-unarmed-iraqis/112762-2.html

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Israeli FM warns Palestinians not to declare state

Apr 06, 2010

Jerusalem : Israel's hard-line foreign minister warned Palestinians on Tuesday against plans to unilaterally declare independence next year, saying such a move could prompt Israel to annex parts of the West Bank and annul past peace agreements.

The remarks by Avigdor Lieberman took aim at a Palestinian policy that has emerged as U.S. attempts to restart peace talks have stalled.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, whose Western-backed government has a limited governing role in the Israeli-controlled West Bank, has announced plans to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state, possibly as early as the summer of 2011 - even without a peace deal.

Toward that aim, Fayyad has begun ambitious reforms of the government and security forces, building up Palestinian institutions and developing the economy in preparation for independence.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/600837/

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Hindus and Muslims together invoke gods for 80 sailors’ release

By D. P. Bhattacharya in Salaya ( Kutch)

FAMILIES of more than 80 sailors aboard ships hijacked by Somali pirates are invoking the gods in the ancient port town of Salaya.

Boundaries of religion have no meaning for them as a common thread of hope binds them together.

They have organised an all- religion prayer for the safe release of the sailors from six ships still in the captivity of Somali pirates.

“ The security agencies will do their work, the government its own, but we can only pray,” said Ahmed Haji Hasan, a vessel owner.

His 500- tonne vessel, Osmani , was seized by the pirates on March 28. So far, Ahmed has not heard from either the pirates or the crew.

Full report at: Mail Today, New Delhi

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Israeli military criticises troops who killed youths

6 April 2010

The Israeli military has criticised its own soldiers for killing four young Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank in March.

The Palestinians, one of whom was 15 years old, were shot in the space of 24 hours in two incidents near Nablus.

Israeli Defence Force commander Maj Gen Avi Mizrahi said the incidents were "an unnecessary operational occurrence with dire consequences".

The IDF will now decide whether to take disciplinary action against soldiers.

X-ray

Mohammed Qadus, 15, and Osayed Qadus, 20, were killed during protests on 20 March in which stones were thrown at soldiers near an Israeli settlement.

Palestinian and human rights groups said the young men were killed with live ammunition.

They produced an X-ray image that appeared to show a bullet lodged in the skull of one of the victims.

Full report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8604764.stm

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Ahmadis slam target-killings in Faisalabad

6 April 2010

LAHORE: The Jamaat-e-Ahmadia Pakistan on Sunday condemned the target killing of three members of its community in Faisalabad on April 1 (Thursday), Daily Times has learnt. The incident occurred around 10pm last Thursday when the three Ahmadis were returning home in their vehicle from their jewellery and cloth shops situated in Rail Bazaar in Faisalabad. As their car approached the Canal Road near Faisal Hospital, four or five unidentified militants – in a white car – ambushed them. The three Ahmadis were seriously injured when the men opened fire at them. The attackers managed to flee from the scene. The three men died before they reached the hospital. The deceased men include 60-year-old Sheikh Ashraf Parvez and 57-year-old Sheikh Masood Jawad – who were brothers –and Jawad’s 24-year-old son Asif Masood. staff report

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/?page=2010\04\05\story_5-4-2010_pg7_9

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BCA launches sharia unit, expects 35% growth a year

Nani Afrida

04/06/2010

Helping hand: A BCA Syariah staff member serves a customer after an opening ceremony at its headquarters on Jl. Jatinegara Timur in East Jakara on Monday. PT BCA Syariah, which starts operation Monday with total assets of Rp 776 billion and working capital of Rp 296 billion, will use BCA’s extensive network of ATMs and EDCs. JP/P.J. Leo

PT Bank Central Asia (BCA), one of Indonesia major banks, launched on Monday a sharia-based banking unit to reach out to the country’s large Muslim population, with an ambitious target of 35 percent growth a year.

“BCA Syariah is targeting to have 35 percent growth, in assets, financing and third-party funds,” BCA Syariah president director Yana Rosiana told reporters during the launch of the new sharia bank.

Full report at: thejakartapost.com/news/2010/04/06/bca-launches-sharia-unit-expects-35-growth-a-year.html

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Bhutto death sentence was a judicial murder: Pakistan PM

April 5,2010

New Age Islam News Bureau

Lahore: On the occasion of the 31st death anniversary of the former Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that the death sentence of Bhutto was a judicial murder and he wanted the case to be reopened, media reports said. Mr Gilani's remark has once again started the debate on whether the case can be reopened as the law experts are divided in their opinions.

Prime Minister Gilani's suggestion to reopen the Bhutto case has come at a time when Bhutto's own party is in power in the country and his anniversary celebrations are going  on across Pakistan.

This is not the first time that the demand to reopen the case has been made. Last year too, Mr Gilani had said that the case should be re-opened and the court also should take the case suo motto as it was a judicial murder.

It may be recalled that three of the seven judges of the Supreme court had opposed the decision of the death sentence to Bhutto but the appeal for revision of the decision was rejected unanimously.

A member of the bench of the Supreme Court that pronouced the death sentence, Justice Dr Nasim Hasan Shah is alive and has written in his book that the daughter of the former Prime Minister, Ms Benazir Bhutto had expressed her will to get the case against her father re-opened but despite her coming to power three times, no practical steps had been taken in this direction.

On whether the case could be re-opoened, barrister Aitezaz Hasan is of the opinion that it could be re-opened while the former advocate general of Punjab, Ausaf Ali says that  a case can be reopened on the basis of new evidences only. Some experts even say that the case cannot be reopened as the Supreme Court has rejected the appeal for revision, and for a retrial, the accused should be present.

Former Law Minister and Attorney General Syed Iqbal Haider says that it is a truth that Bhutto's death was a judicial murder and every one knows who the killers are. So it is meaningless to re-open the case now. Instead the killers of Benazir Bhutto should be brought to book.

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Move to make imams and madrasa teachers computer-savvy, technically smart

April 6, 2010 

New Age Islam News Bureau

New Delhi: In a bid to make the imams, muezzins and madrasa teachers computer savvy and technically proficient, the Delhi Minority Commission has chalked out a plan with the help of IGNOU which will benefit 1000 candidates. The plan will include the granthis of gurudwaras and priests from the churches.

 Under this plan, the representatives of religious bodies will be imparted basic training in computer, internet, spoken English, personality grooming and development and momory development free of cost.The expenses will be borne by the Commission. The plan which is in its  final stages will be launched in July this year and the first session will cosist of 5oo candidates.The computer course will be of three months and the responsibility of providing the infrastructure and the teachers will be of the IGNOU.

The Commission had sent the proposal of the plan to the NOIS and the IGNOU and the latter showed its keenness and readily came up with a project. The chairman of the Delhi Minority Commission, Mr Kamal Faruquee and the Muslim Advisory Committee approved the project.

After the completion of the first phase, this scheme will be extended to all the other states with the help of minority commissioner of respective states, said a spokesman of the commission.

According to reports, a delegation of Muslim organisations had met the Chief Minister of Delhi, Shiela Dixit and discussed the project. The CM had expressed her pleasure with the project and promised to extend her co-operation to make it a success.

The Chairman of the commission, Mr Kamal Farooqui said that this project will impart modern education to the imams and madrasa teachers who can in turn teach students. The imams of mosques can use the internet to know more about the government schemes for the minorities and can benefit from them. They can also download religious content from the net.

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The 706th Urs of Hadhrat Nizamuddin Aulia concludes today

April 6, 2010

New Age Islam News Bureau

New Delhi: The 706th Urs of the great sufi of India Hadhrat Nizamuddin Aulia has been going on since April 2 and will end on the 6th. As part of the five-day celebrations, a mushaira of devotional poems and a lecture session was also held yesterday in the Urs Mahal adjacent to Ghalib Academy.

 In the events organised under the patronage of Sajjada Nashin Peer Khwaja Ahmad Nizami Syed Bukhari a message from the President of India Pratibha Patil was read out and the participants delivered lectures on the life and teachings of Hadhrat Nizamuddin Aulia.

On the occasion dignitaries like Mr Swan from Canada High Commission, India's ambassador in Uzbekistan, Mr Manal Shah Al Qadri and the Project Manager of Agha Khan Foundation, Mr Ritesh Nanda also attended the programme and expressed thier views.

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Pakistanis miss the good old 'Khuda Hafiz'

Apr 6, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pakistanis are signing up for an online campaign that is pleading Muslims to stick to the good old "Khuda Hafiz" of Persian origin instead of the new Arabised version "Allah Hafiz" that became popular during the regime of former military ruler Zia-ul-Haq.

"Khuda Hafiz," traditionally used by Muslims in the subcontinent to bid goodbye, is being taken over by "Allah Hafiz". Most people in Pakistan have switched to "Allah Hafiz," which they think is more religiously correct.

Britain-based Amina Gillani has launched a campaign on social networking site Facebook to bring back the use of "Khuda Hafiz" in common parlance.

"Support Pakistan's innocent, historical goodbye - khuda hafiz. Stand against the essentialist ideology working to remove it from our colloquial discourse.

"All discussions on how either new words and phrases, or (excessive) use and absences of existing words and phrases, impact social realities and experiences are welcome," Gillani posted on her page.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistanis-miss-the-good-old-Khuda-Hafiz/articleshow/5766331.cms

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Muslims No Longer ‘Demographic Reserve’ For Russia

By Paul Goble

April 06, 2010

Despite what many still believe, neither immigration from Muslim nations in Central Asia and the Caucasus nor birthrates among Russia’s own Muslim nations represents a “demographic reserve” for the country, and consequently, Moscow must move beyond its current pro-natalist policies if it hopes to stem Russia’s demographic decline.

At a press conference last week devoted to the release of a UN Population Fund study on Russia, Natalya Zubarevich of the Moscow Independent Institute of Social Policy said the notion that Muslim regions within and outside Russia provide the country with a demographic reserve was “an illusion” (slon.ru/articles/344224/).

Even in Daghestan, the most Muslim of all North Caucasian republics, birthrates are declining and converging on all-Russian ones that are insufficient to maintain the population at the current level. And “already in the next generation,” Zubarevich said, “we will see how those residents of the Caucasus who have resettled in cities will copy the model of behavior there.”

Consequently, “we have no demographic reserve” from Muslim regions within the country, and the possibility of attracting immigrants from Central Asia and the South Caucasus, while significant, is likely to help only the capitals. Few immigrants, she said, are prepared to live outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg, which now attract 78 percent of all legal immigrants.

Another participant in the press conference, Nikolay Gerasimenko, the first deputy chairman of the Duma health committee, said bluntly that “the birthrate will fall whatever we do,” despite the uptick that has been observed in the last four years as an echo of higher births in 1985-1990 (slon.ru/articles/344217/).

Full report at: eurasiareview.com/2010/04/33117-muslims-no-longer-demographic.html

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FIFA dress code rules Iran's girls out of Olympics

Apr 6, 2010

ZURICH: Iran's girls football team has been kicked out of the Youth Olympic Games because FIFA rules prevent players wearing an Islamic head scarf.

Thailand was nominated on Monday to replace the barred Iranians, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said on its website.

“FIFA decreed that the wearing of Islamic hijab was not in accordance with the laws of the game,” the Asian governing body said in a statement.

Iran's national Olympic committee had called on FIFA, football's world governing body, and the International Olympic Committee to review the head scarf ban. The hijab is worn by girls and women to observe Islamic dress code.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke rejected the Iranian Olympic panel's request in a letter to the national football federation.

Full report at: arabnews.com/sports/article39512.ece

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Post-26/11, Headley scouted Israeli targets in India to ‘avenge’ Gaza war

Sagnik Chowdhury

Apr 06, 2010

Mumbai : Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Toiba operative David Headley was asked to return to India after the 26/11 attack in Mumbai by HuJI chief Ilyas Kashmiri and scout for fresh “Israeli targets” in the country as al Qaeda bosses in the Af-Pak region wanted to avenge the Israeli attack on Gaza in early 2009 in which hundreds of Palestinians were killed, sources said.

Headley conveyed this information to FBI interrogators in Chicago and this was shared with Indian agencies by their US counterparts, they said.

“Kashmiri told Headley that the elders were extremely unhappy with the Israeli attack on Gaza in 2009,” according to information passed on to India.

Headley, who last month pleaded guilty to all charges against him as part of a plea bargain, understood the “elders” to be top al Qaeda bosses to whom Kashmiri had access, US investigators have said.

Full report at: www.indianexpress.com/story-print/600566/

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Obama’s Anti-Israel Jihad

By Robert Spencer

Apr 6th, 2010

Greg Sheridan, Foreign Editor of The Australian, recently wrote that “Barack Obama’s anti-Israel jihad is one of the most irresponsible policy lurches by any modern American president.” This is true not solely because Israel has been a reliable and loyal American ally, and is the only free society in the Middle East. Obama’s animus toward Israel and bullying of our longtime ally is irresponsible because the President is simultaneously ignoring the steep rise in jihad activity by Muslims in the U.S. and U.S-born Muslims since he took office.

“Jihad is becoming as American as apple pie and as British as afternoon tea” – so said the American-born Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi recently. Al-Awlaqi, who was in contact with Nidal Hasan, the jihadist who murdered thirteen Americans at Fort Hood in November 2009, and with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the jihadist who tried to bring down an airplane as it landed in Detroit on Christmas day, had plenty of reason to claim that “jihad is becoming as American as apple pie”: evidence of U.S. Muslims engaging in terrorism grows every day.

Full report at: http://frontpagemag.com/2010/04/06/obama%E2%80%99s-anti-israel-jihad/

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Muslim world to promote ‘green haj’ concept

Adianto P. Simamora ,

04/06/2010

Muslim community representatives from 17 countries will hold an international conference on climate change to hash out tangible action to tackle global warming, including through the “green haj” concept.

The April 9-10 conference in Bogor will feature around 200 participants, including 90 from Islamic boarding schools across Indonesia.

“This is an action-oriented conference to motivate Muslims to protect the planet from the threat of global warming,” organizing committee member Ismet Hadad said Monday.

“We want to show the world that Muslims are also doing their part to combat climate change, which affects all people regardless of religious or ethnic background.”

The conference will be held at the Bogor Institute of Agriculture’s convention center, and will be funded in part by Conservation Inter-national.

Full report at: thejakartapost.com/news/2010/04/06/muslim-world-promote-%E2%80%98green-haj%E2%80%99-concept.html

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Saudi cleric announces visit to Jerusalem

Apr 6, 2010

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — A Saudi cleric announced Monday on his television show that he will visit Jerusalem next week to bolster Muslim claims to the city.

If Sheik Mohammed al-Areefi goes ahead with his plan, it would be an unprecedented trip for a prominent Saudi. Jerusalem is the third holiest site in Islam, but most Muslim countries — including Saudi Arabia — observe a strict boycott of Israel and ban travel there.

Al-Areefi told his viewers Sunday on the religious satellite channel Iqra that the next episode of his show would be about Muslim claims to Jerusalem and Palestine. Al-Areefi said he would visit the city next week, though he did not specify when.

He said he was not afraid of any "treachery from the Jews," as he had put his trust in God.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said while he was unfamiliar with the case, al-Areefi could apply for a visa from the consulate in Amman.

"Throughout the years many people from countries like Libya, Indonesia and other countries that don't have relations with Israel have visited Jerusalem," he said. "All these visits were naturally coordinated with Israeli authorities."

Al-Areefi is viewed as a comparative moderate among Saudi Arabia's conservative clergy.

His show is aimed at encouraging young people to get involved in their communities and contribute their time in humanitarian work. It features a studio audience of young people and live call-ins from viewers.

Al-Areefi is currently visiting Jordan.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press.

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S M Krishna seeks China's support for convention against terrorism

Apr 6, 2010

BEIJING: External affairs minister S M Krishna on Tuesday sought China's support for the convention against terrorism proposed by India at the UN, and said all nations should join hands to thwart the evil designs of terrorists.

Ahead of his talks with the Chinese leadership, Krishna said in view of the multi-dimensional threats posed by terrorism it has become necessary to step up the fight against the menace under the aegis of the United Nations.

"India has come out with a proposal for a comprehensive legislation or a convention in the UN to face terrorism as a universal thereat and every country should cooperate with each other in order to thwart the evil designs of terror and terrorists," he said while speaking to the media on sidelines of his address at an institute of Sino-Indian relations.

Krishna, who arrived here last night, would hold talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and premier Wen Jiabao tomorrow.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-seeks-Chinas-support-for-convention-against-terrorism/articleshow/5765534.cms

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12 dead, 10 missing in US mine blast

Apr 6, 2010

MONTCOAL (West Virginia): An explosion rocked a remote coal mine with a history of safety problems, killing 12 workers and trapping 10 others thousands of feet underground.

Rescuers early on Tuesday were making their way to the area where the workers were believed trapped at Massey Energy Co.'s sprawling Upper Big Branch mine, where the blast occurred around 3 p.m., said Kevin Stricklin, an administrator for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.

``It's important for us to try to get to the survivors as quickly as possible,'' said Stricklin.

He said officials hope the miners survived the initial blast and were able to reach airtight chambers that are stocked with food, water and enough oxygen for them to live for four days.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/12-dead-10-missing-in-US-mine-blast/articleshow/5765150.cms

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J&K govt invokes ESMA as employees continue strike

Apr 6, 2010

JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday invoked the Essential Service Maintenance Act (ESMA) against the government employees as they continued their strike for the third consecutive day.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Omar Abdullah on Monday evening.

The government employees have been observing strike in support of their demand for release of sixth pay commission arrears and enhancement of retirement age from 58 to 60.

Total strike was observed for third consecutive day today in government offices, civil secretariat and PSUs on a call given by various employees unions. Police lathicharged the employees when they tried to march towards Secretariat here.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/JK-govt-invokes-ESMA-as-employees-continue-strike/articleshow/5765416.cms

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60 notices but few responses to Kandhamal riots probe

Apr 6, 2010

BHUBANESWAR: The 2008 communal violence in Orissa's Kandhamal district may have attracted heated debate, but the anxiety seems to have whittled away with political parties, religious groups and the media cold-shouldering the inquiry commission set up by the government.

The one-man Justice Sarat Chandra Mohapatra inquiry panel has made virtually no headway in investigating the violence that followed the murder of a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader on Aug 23, 2008. Thirty-eight people were killed and thousands of Christians displaced from their homes, leading to widespread concern with many blaming the government and investigating agencies for not doing enough in the matter.

But the concern did not translate into responses from the stakeholders.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/60-notices-but-few-responses-to-Kandhamal-riots-probe/articleshow/5765518.cms

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Mamata Banerjee wants sub-quota for Muslims in Women's Bill

By Mohua Chatterjee

Apr 6, 2010

NEW DELHI: Trinamool Congress chief and railway minister Mamata Banerjee kept up her resistance to the women's reservation bill at the all-party meeting on Monday, categorically saying that Muslim interests should not be ignored.

She made it clear that she was "all for women's reservation but the bill, in its present form, does not seem to address the concerns of backward Muslims".

Mamata has also kept up her engagement with Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP), Lalu Prasad (RJD) and Sharad Yadav (JD-U), who have been demanding a quota within quota for backward women. While the SP and RJD chiefs had threatened to quit the UPA alliance if the bill went through in its present form, it is Mamata who, on behalf of the government, has helped in keeping them on board.

With arch rivals Left supporting the bill even as they sit in opposition, TMC fears losing out on mileage as a partner of the government.

More importantly, with assembly elections coming up in West Bengal, where one-fourth of the population is Muslim, Mamata has reasons to be concerned.

With Muslim delegations calling on her the day Rajya Sabha passed the bill last month, the TMC chief will only stand to gain if she is seen as forcing the government to review the bill to accommodate the concerns of backward Muslim women.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Didi-wants-sub-quota-for-Muslims-in-Womens-Bill/articleshow/5764942.cms

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Qazis: A Muslim male is allowed four wives

Apr 6, 2010

HYDERABAD: Shoaib Malik's legal tussle with Ayesha alias Maha Siddiqui may have landed him in a soup but won't be a hurdle to his wedding with Sania Mirza, top qazis and ulema of Hyderabad told TOI on Monday.

Noted religious scholar Mufti Syed Sadiq Mohiuddin said Ayesha's objections to Sania-Shoaib wedding wouldn't be a reason enough for a qazi to not perform the nikah. Mohiuddin, who heads Darul Qaza and Iftah (an NGO helping Muslims in their disputes in personal law), said that in Islam, bigamy isn't an issue.

"A Muslim male can marry for the second time without having to divorce his first wife. But if it's proved that Ayesha or Maha is Shoaib's first wife then it's incumbent upon him to provide sustenance," Mohiunddin said. "Shoaib could also divorce her if he so wants."

The Sadr (chief) Qazi of Shariat Panah (the old city of Hyderabad) Mir Qadir Ali asserted that since a Muslim male is allowed to maintain four wives, he doesn't have to seek permission from his first wife or divorce her to marry a second one.

Elucidating, Qazi Shakir said that even if Malik's passport is with the police, the nikah can be performed on the basis of its photocopy.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Qazis-A-Muslim-male-is-allowed-four-wives/articleshow/5764823.cms

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'India didn't block water even during war'

Apr 6, 2010

NEW DELHI: As Pakistan drums up officially-sponsored hysteria on the "water dispute" with India, the government believes Islamabad is giving political overtones to "technical" issues.

On Saturday, Sharat Sabharwal, Indian envoy to Pakistan, described Islamabad's attempts to paint a picture of India as a water thief as "preposterous and completely unwarranted".

Even though Pakistan submitted a "non-paper" to India during the foreign secretary talks in February, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was quoted as telling TV interviewers on Friday that it wasn't India stealing Pakistan's water but Pakistan was wasting its water.

"The total average canal supplies of Pakistan are 104 million acres/ft. And the water available at the farm gate is about 70 million acre/ft. Where does the 34 million acre/ft go? It's not being stolen in India. It's being wasted in Pakistan," Qureshi is reported to have said in an interview.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-didnt-block-water-even-during-war/articleshow/5764118.cms

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India may gain access to Headley next month

Apr 6, 2010

NEW DELHI: After a long wait, Indian investigators are likely to gain access to Pakistani-American Lashkar operative David Coleman Headley sometime in May. The government is expected to dispatch a formal request to US authorities ahead of Parliament reconvening on April 15.

The decision to send a formal request follows several rounds of discussions between Indian and US authorities. American ambassador Timothy Roemer met home minister P Chidambaram on Monday and the Headley issue is understood to have been touched upon.

With the budget session due to resume, the government is keen to complete its paperwork and senior sources said the US was expected to respond within a month. The government expects to gain face-to-face access with Headley who has been charged with being a conspirator in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-may-gain-access-to-Headley-next-month/articleshow/5763995.cms

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Malaysia to set up interfaith committee

06 April 2010

Malaysia will set up an interfaith committee to promote religious harmony, a cabinet minister said on Tuesday.

The interfaith committee will look into religious groups' disputes with one another and promote understanding among them, Koh Tsu Koon, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, was quoted by the online version of the Star newspaper as saying.

The development came a week after the government dropped a caning sentence imposed on a woman for drinking beer.

The woman, Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, was sentenced to six strokes of the cane and a fine after she was caught drinking beer by Islamic enforcement officials two years ago at a hotel lounge in the central state of Pahang.

Malaysia practises a dual-track legal system, with Islamic criminal and family law applicable to Muslims. Non-Muslims, who make up about 45 percent of the Southeast Asian country's 28 million residents, are subject to civil law.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/news_detail.php?id=56592

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Pak-origin cab driver pleads not guilty to terror charges in Chicago court

Apr 6, 2010

CHICAGO: A Pakistani-origin taxi driver indicted on charges of providing material support to terror group al-Qaida and accused of having links with HuJI chief Ilyas Kashmiri on Monday pleaded not guilty in a US court here.

Wearing an orange prison jumpsuit with his hands shackled, 56-year-old Raja Lahrasib Khan appeared before Judge James Zagel in US District Court here for his arraignment.

After taking an oath, stating his name and age, Khan said he was pleading not guilty to the charges of providing material support and funds to Osama bin Laden's terror group.

During short session, the Judge set May 5 as the date for next hearing. Members of Khan's family, including his son Omar and wife Diane, as well as a few cab drivers were also present during the hearing.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Pak-origin-cab-driver-pleads-not-guilty-to-terror-charges-in-Chicago-court/articleshow/5764722.cms

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Drones batter al-Qaida in Pakistan

Jane Perlez & Pir Zubair Shah

Apr 6, 2010

PESHAWAR: A stepped-up campaign of American drone strikes over the past three months has battered al-Qaida and its Pakistani and Afghan brethren in the tribal area of North Waziristan, according to a mid-ranking militant and supporters of the government there.

The strikes have cast a pall of fear over an area that was once a free zone for al-Qaida and the Taliban, forcing militants to abandon satellite phones and large gatherings in favor of communicating by courier and moving stealthily in small groups, they said.

The drones, operated by the CIA, fly overhead sometimes four at a time, emitting a beelike hum virtually 24 hours a day, observing and tracking targets, then unleashing missiles on their quarry, they said.

The impact of the drone strikes on the militants' operations has been difficult to divine because North Waziristan, at the nether reaches of the tribal area, is virtually sealed from the outside world.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Drones-batter-al-Qaida-in-Pakistan/articleshow/5764494.cms

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US axes fast food at Afghan bases

Apr 6, 2010

KANDAHAR: Fast food joints where soldiers wolf down burgers and pizza will soon be a thing of the past at bases in Afghanistan, as the US military reminds soldiers they are at war and not in "an amusement park".

In the sprawling military base at Kandahar, the fast food outlets facing the axe include Burger King, Pizza Hut, and the US chain restaurant TGI Friday's that features a bar with alcohol-free margaritas and other drinks — all set along the bustling "Boardwalk" area of the base.

On any given day, the giant square-shaped walkway features the surreal sight of soldiers sipping gourmet coffee and eating chocolate pastries with guns slung across their shoulders, while Canadians play ice hockey at a nearby rink and fighter jets thunder overhead.

The US military says its beef with the burger joints is that they take up valuable resources like water, power, flight space and that cutting back on non-essentials is key to running an efficient military operation. "This is a war zone — not an amusement park," Command Sgt Maj Michael Hall wrote in a blog.

For now, fast food joints like Burger King which operate out of little shacks along the Kandahar boardwalk are still doing brisk business, with lines snaking outside their counters, but their contracts are not expected to be renewed when they expire. A motley crew of other stores selling Afghan books, jewellery and phone cards and the busy Canadian Tim Horton's outlet that sells coffee and doughnuts will stay on.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/US-axes-fast-food-at-Afghan-bases/articleshow/5764505.cms

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US admits to killing women in bungled raid

Apr 6, 2010

KABUL: After initially denying involvement or any cover-up in the deaths of three Afghan women during a badly bungled American Special Operations assault in February, the American-led military command in Kabul admitted that its forces had, in fact, killed the women during the nighttime raid.

The admission late on Sunday, immediately raised questions about what really happened during the February 12 operation on a home near Gardez in southeastern Afghanistan, including a new report that Special Operations forces dug bullets out of the bodies of the women to hide the nature of their deaths.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/US-admits-to-killing-women-in-bungled-raid/articleshow/5764519.cms

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Turkey’s Erdogan calls for diplomacy with Iran

April 6, 2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Turkey's prime minister said diplomacy, not sanctions, is the only way to solve the current crisis over Iran's nuclear program.

The remarks by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in an interview published Tuesday by the French newspaper Le Figaro, come a day after Erdogan said that Turkey would come to the defense of Muslims around the world, according to a report by CNN-Turk.

We cannot be indifferent to the problems of the Islamic world of Jerusalem," Erdogan reportedly said Monday at a ceremony to mark the opening of an Arab-language television and radio company.

"Our task is the integration with the Western world but we did not turn our back to the East," Erdogan continued. "Arabs and Turks are brothers and we share the same values."

Israel's Foreign Ministry responded to Erdogan's statements Monday, saying it is not interested in confrontation with Turkey.

"The impression that is being created is that the Turkish prime minister is seeking to integrate with the Muslim world at Israel's expense," read a ministry statement.

Erdogan began a two-day official visit to France on Tuesday. He told Le Figaro that he had told his "dear friend" Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that there should be no nuclear arms in the region.

He also referred to the unconfirmed fact that one country in the region, Israel, already has nuclear weapons, adding "I don't see why anyone should get bogged down with this case." 

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/04/06/1011464/turkeys-erdogan-calls-for-diplomacy-with-iran

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‘Pakistan must improve storage to avoid water woes'

Sandeep Dikshit

‘Should use available water during lean season by constructing storage projects, canals'

India has not used any of the western rivers' waters to avoid strain on Pakistan's resources

[Available water] is not being stolen by India; it is being wasted in Pakistan: Qureshi

NEW DELHI: India feels Pakistan should improve its storage capacity to ensure adequate water flow during the lean season instead of raising the pitch over sharing of river waters.

India had offered joint storage under adequate supervision, which would address the immediate water needs of Pakistan and cater to its requirements if the need arises and as per the Indus Water Treaty (IWT).

In fact, it is to avoid any strain on Pakistan's water resources that India has so far refrained from using any of the water of the western rivers for storage, which is allowed under the IWT. Of the water permitted to be used for irrigation, India has been using only two-thirds, officials associated with sorting out water issues between the two countries point out.

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/04/06/stories/2010040662221300.htm

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10 militants killed in NATO’s Afghan raid

Apr 06, 2010

NATO forces said they killed 10 militants in a raid on a compound near the Pakistani border early on Monday, while gunmen seriously wounded an Afghan provincial councilwoman in a drive-by shooting in the country’s increasingly violent north. NATO also confirmed that international troops were responsible for the deaths of five civilians, including three women, in February.

Such killings have strained ties between the government of President Hamid Karzai and his Western backers, which have been further inflamed by Karzai’s recent allegations of foreign manipulation of last year’s presidential election. Members of parliament said that in a closed-door meeting Saturday, Karzai twice threatened to abandon the political process and join the Taliban insurgency if pressure continued from lawmakers and foreign backers who have demanded he do more to end graft, cronyism and electoral fraud.

The lawmakers, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid political repercussions, said Karzai also dismissed concerns over damage to relations with the United States. He told them he had already explained himself in a telephone conversation Saturday with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that came after the White House described his comments as troubling.

Lawmakers say they felt Karzai was pandering to hard-line or pro-Taliban members of parliament. But such statements have also given the impression the president who relies on thousands of US and NATO forces to fight the insurgency and prop-up his weak Government is increasingly erratic in his pronouncements.

dailypioneer.com/247071/10-militants-killed-in-NATO%E2%80%99s-Afghan-raid.html

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Dawood aided 26/11 attackers

Apr 06, 2010

Washington : Karachi-based D-Company of the fugitive Indian underworld don Dawood Ibrahim possibly had an important role in 26/11 carnage by providing logistic support to the LeT-operatives to carry out the deadly operation, adding a new dimension to the Mumbai terror attacks.

The involvement of the D-Company in the Mumbai attacks has come out in a report on Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) released by the Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College, the Department of Defence, which says that the D-Company is now closely tied with LeT activities in India.

According to the report, Dawood Ibrahim is believed to have resided in Pakistan since 1993 and now owns malls, luxury homes, and shipping and trucking lines that smuggle arms and heroin into India.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/600749/

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Islamic Jihad says no promise made to halt rocket firing

Apr 06, 2010

Palestinian women show pictures of family members jailed in Israel, during a weekly protest calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners at the International Red Cross building in Gaza City on Monday.

By HISHAM ABU TAHA | ARAB NEWS

Published: Apr 5, 2010 21:12 Updated: Apr 6, 2010 05:07

Islamic Jihad movement in Gaza on Monday denied a report that the group has agreed to stop firing homemade rockets at Israeli territories.

An Islamic Jihad leader who spoke on condition of anonymity to an Internet website affiliated with Islamic Jihad that "rocket fire is one of the means of resistance," and his group will use it when and as it sees fit, depending on conditions on the ground. He asserted that his movement would retaliate against any Israeli military attack on Gaza.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article39497.ece

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Family of 6, including 4 children, gunned down in Iraq

Apr 06, 2010

BAGHDAD: Police say gunmen in Iraq have killed a Shiite family of six, including four children.

Police commander Maj. Aziz Al-Amarah says the killings happened Monday afternoon about 40 km south of Baghdad. He said the motive was not known.

The victims were a married couple and their four children, ages 11, 10, 9 and 6. The father owns a clothing shop in the area.

The violence comes after several bloody days in Iraq. On Friday, gunmen killed 24 villagers execution-style in a Sunni area. And suicide bombers detonated three car bombs on Sunday near foreign embassies in Baghdad, killing more than 40 people.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article39492.ece

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The Kandahar gambit

Apr 06, 2010

Last week, the US’ top military officer, Adm. Michael G. Mullen, journeyed carefully into Kandahar, the capital of Afghanistan’s conservative Pashtun heartland, to talk with community leaders at a shoura, the Afghan equivalent of a town meeting.

It was a tense event in a dangerous place. To reach the meeting in the provincial governor’s palace — a graceful, arched building on a grassy square where Mullah Omar, founder of the Taleban, once ruled — Mullen, his aides and a group of reporters climbed into armored vehicles that rolled through eerily empty downtown streets as aircraft patrolled overhead.

But the real source of tension was the battle that was about to begin. Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city, has been advertised as the target of a major US-led offensive this summer. The operation will aim to break the back of the Taleban on its own turf. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called the offensive “the cornerstone of our surge effort and the key to shifting the momentum” in the 9-year-old war — as important to the Afghan struggle, he said, as pacifying Baghdad was to Iraq.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/opinion/columns/article39545.ece

 

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/us-aims-to-ease-india-pakistan-tension/d/2665


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