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Islamic World News ( 27 Sept 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Pakistan Home to 12 Foreign Terrorist Organisations, Five of Them Being India-Centric: Congressional Research Service

New Age Islam News Bureau

28 September 2021

 

Pakistan home to 12 foreign terrorist organisations/ Image Source: PTI

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• Taliban Appreciated Pakistan for Supporting the Islamic Emirate of Taliban

• Pakistan Should Take Credible Steps to End State-Sponsored Terrorism: India at UNHRC

• Muslim Scholars Urge Youth to Shun Deviant Teachings; It Was Time Religion Became A Key Driver for the Youth: Sheikh from Al Azhar University

 

Pakistan

• Everyone Must Play Role to Make Pakistan Islamic State like Riyasat-e-Madinah: Pakistan Ulema Council

• Pakhtuns not Taliban sympathisers: ANP

• Taliban Victory in Afghanistan Fuels Terror Attacks In Pakistan

• Pakistan: Hindus raise concern after local administration builds boundary wall inside temple in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Karak

• Pakistan flag returned from space journey handed over to Pakistan embassy in Beijing

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South Asia

• Tajikistan Interfering in Afghanistan’s Affairs: Mullah Baradar

• Afghanistan PR calls off speech in UNGA to preserve national interests

• Afghanistan’s economy on the brink of collapse, banks run out of cash: Norway

• Life changing under Taliban, just not all at once

• ICC prosecutor seeks authorization to resume Afghanistan war crimes investigation

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Europe

• EU urges Iran to allow UN nuclear watchdog access to TESA Karaj site

• 'Greece has no intention of entering into an arms race with Turkey'

• Turkey, Poland defines cooperation to continue: Envoy

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Arab World

• Radio broadcast of Grand Mosque's lessons and sermons in international languages launched

• Israel Gears Up To Take Part In Expo 2020 Dubai

• Bahrain calls for a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in Middle East

• UAE diplomat slams Iran, ‘external’ interference in Arab region at UNGA

• Jordan to fully reopen main crossing with Syria on Sept. 29

• In apparent reference to Hezbollah, UN calls on Lebanon to commit to disassociation

• Beirut port blast probe faces derailment for second time

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India

• Kanpur IAS Officer, Iftikharuddin, Accused of Promoting Conversion to Islam, Probe Ordered Over Viral Video

• How Kerala’s Left Hopes To Benefit from Polarisation of Christians and Muslims

• Assam Violence: Muslim Organisations Meet CM; Two Local Leaders Held

• Pune city Muslims to protest ATS arrest of cleric in Uttar Pradesh

• 1 Pak terrorist killed in Uri sector of Jammu and Kashmir

• India-Saudi Arabia Relationship Is No Longer Cosy

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Mideast

• Houthis Are Following Behaviour of ISIS, Al-Qaeda: Yemen’s FM to UN General Assembly

• Iran Sends Protest Letter to IAEA over Inaccurate Report

• Amir Abdollahian: Iran Responds Goodwill with Goodwill

• Iranian President: No Limit for Expansion of Ties with Sri Lanka

• Iran’s VP in Moscow to discuss nuclear cooperation: RIA

• At UN, Israeli PM Bennett says Iran has crossed nuclear “red lines”

• Palestinian officers go on trial over death of Abbas critic Nizar Banat

• Iran: Two IRGC members killed in fire at research centre

• Al-Aqsa: Settlers Storm Mosque and Raise Israeli Flags

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Africa

• At Least 15 Al-Shabaab Terrorists Killed By Their Own Bomb in Kenya

• Tanzanian opposition decries intimidation of leaders

• US military commander for Africa visits Algeria, meets President Tebboune

• Algeria hands new jail terms to two ex-premiers for graft

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Southeast Asia

• PMYT Cult Leader Calls on Followers to Repent, Return To True Teachings of Islam

• China, NATO officials discuss Afghanistan, regional tensions

• Global Peace Mission chief Azam is now special adviser on Afghanistan

• PMO says appointments of special advisor and special envoy is vital, not waste of resources

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North America

• Al Qaeda Operated From Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Karachi: US Congressional Research Service Report

• Joe Biden has no plans to call Imran Khan soon: Spokesperson

• US State Department no. 2 to visit Pakistan, India after Taliban takeover

• Pentagon leaders to face hearings in Congress over Afghanistan troop withdrawal

• Scientists reconstruct 3D faces of Egyptian mummies from over 2,000 years ago

• US national security adviser to travel to Saudi Arabia, UAE

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:  https://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/pakistan-foreign-terrorist-india-centric/d/125458

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Pakistan Home to 12 Foreign Terrorist Organisations, Five of Them Being India-Centric: Congressional Research Service

 Sep 28, 2021

 

Pakistan home to 12 foreign terrorist organisations/ Image Source: PTI

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WASHINGTON: Pakistan is home to at least 12 groups designated as ‘foreign terrorist organisations', including five of them being India-centric like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammed, according to a latest Congressional report on terrorism.

US officials have identified Pakistan as a base of operations or target for numerous armed and non state terrorist groups, some of which have existed since the 1980s, the independent Congressional Research Service (CRS) said in the report.

The report released by the bipartisan research wing of US Congress on the eve of the historic Quad summit here last week, said that these groups operating in Pakistan can be broadly categorised into five types -- globally-oriented, Afghanistan oriented, India- and Kashmir-oriented, domestically oriented, and Sectarian (anti-Shia).

The Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) was formed in the late 1980s in Pakistan and designated as a foreign terrorist organisation (FTO) in 2001.

“LET was responsible for major 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, as well as numerous other high-profile attacks,” the CRS said.

Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) was founded in 2000 by Kashmiri terrorist leader Masood Azhar and was designated as an FTO in 2001. Along with LET, it was responsible for the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament, among other attacks, it said.

Harakat-ul Jihad Islami (HUJI) was formed in 1980 in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet army and was designated as an FTO in 2010. After 1989, it redirected its efforts toward India, although it did supply fighters to the Afghan Taliban.

“With an unknown strength, HUJI today operates in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, and seeks annexation of Kashmir into Pakistan,” the report said, adding that HUM was designated as an FTO in 1997 and operates mainly from Pak-Occupied Kashmir and from some Pakistani cities.

Finally, Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) was formed in 1989— reportedly as the militant wing of Pakistan's largest Islamist political party—and designated as an FTO in 2017. It is one of the largest and oldest militant groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir.

Among other terrorist groups operating from Pakistan are al-Qaida, CRS said, adding that it has operated primarily from the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas and in the megacity of Karachi, as well as in Afghanistan. It has since 2011 been led by Ayman al-Zawahiri and reportedly maintains supportive ties with many of the groups inside the country.

CRS said according to the US State Department's Country Reports on Terrorism 2019, Pakistan has “continued to serve as a safe haven for certain regionally focused terrorist groups,” and has “allowed groups targeting Afghanistan ... as well as groups targeting India ...to operate from its territory”.

The Department also noted “modest steps” taken by Pakistan's government to counter terrorism financing and to “restrain” some India-focused militant groups following an early 2019 terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir.

It assessed, however, that “Islamabad has yet to take decisive actions against India- and Afghanistan-focused terrorists,” and that “progress on the most difficult aspects of its 2015 National Action Plan to counter terrorism remains unfulfilled—specifically its pledge to dismantle all terrorist organisations without delay and discrimination”.

On the topic of “terrorist safe havens,” the Department concluded that Pakistan's government and military “acted inconsistently with respect to terrorist safe havens throughout the country. Authorities did not take sufficient action to stop certain terrorist groups and individuals from openly operating in the country”.

Other terrorist groups inside Pakistan are al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent(AQIS), Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISKP or IS-K); the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Jundallah (aka Jaysh al-Adl), Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ).

CRS reports are not an official report of the US Congress. Independent experts prepare these reports at periodic interval for the US lawmakers to take informed decisions.

Source: Times of India

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-home-to-12-foreign-terrorist-organisations-crs-report/articleshow/86574100.cms

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Taliban Appreciated Pakistan For Supporting The Islamic Emirate Of Taliban.

September 27, 2021

 

Courtesy TOI/ Photo - AP

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Taliban spokesman and Afghanistan’s Acting Deputy Information Minister Zabihullah Mujahid in an interview to Pakistan Television noted that Pakistan had demanded of the international community to establish better ties with Afghanistan, reported Geo News.

Mujahid said Afghanistan would be further connected by road to Peshawar and different cities of Pakistan.

To a question, he said the desecration of the Pakistani flag at the Afghan border was an unfortunate incident.

The acting deputy minister assured the media that action would be taken against anybody who would damage relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, reported Geo News.

To a question, he said if an invitation was extended to the Afghan leadership for a visit to Pakistan, it would be considered.

Mujahid also said Afghanistan wants good relations with other countries and desires to expand trade and economic ties, reported Geo News.

“We hope that our neighboring countries will continue to extend support to Afghanistan internationally,” he said, noting that many countries had also raised their voices “in our favor” at international forums and in conversations with US representatives.

Acting Deputy Information Minister of Taliban, also claimed that war had ended in Panjshir and “we do not desire war with anybody”.

The time has come for the Afghan nation to work for the progress and prosperity of Afghanistan, he said, reported Geo News.

After achieving peace in Afghanistan our priority was to expand trade with other countries, he added.

The Taliban spokesman warned of action if any group attacks in Afghanistan or fights with the Taliban government.

Source: The Kabul Times

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://thekabultimes.gov.af/taliban-appreciated-pakistan-for-supporting-the-islamic-emirate-of-taliban/

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Pakistan should take credible steps to end state-sponsored terrorism: India at UNHRC

Sep 28, 2021

GENEVA: India on Monday (local time) asked Pakistan to take credible and irreversible steps to end state-sponsored terrorism and dismantle the terrorist infrastructure in all the territories under its control.

India's statement came while exercising its Right of Reply at the 48th session of the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in response to Pakistan's comments.

The Permanent Mission of India at UN, Geneva hit out against Pakistan and said, "This is yet another attempt by Pakistan to make baseless and fabricated allegations against India, in its bid to deflect the attention of the Council from its failure to guarantee basic human rights and fundamental freedoms to the people living in its territories and Indian territories occupied by it."

"The Council has seen incessant and irrelevant rants by Pakistani delegates during debates under various agenda items, which only reflects their desperation and paranoic state of mind. The entire territory of Jammu and Kashmir, including the territories occupied by Pakistan, has been, is and shall continue to be an integral part of India. Pakistan, instead of wasting the time of the Council, should devote its attention to the grave human rights situation in Pakistan," read India at UN statement.

"It is ironical that a radicalised and failed State like Pakistan, with no regard whatsoever for values and culture of democracy, dares to preach the largest and most vibrant democracy like India," added the statement.

Enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings and arbitrary detentions of those who try to speak against the establishment carried out by the State's security agencies are rampant in Pakistan with impunity, it said.

"Last week, speaking at the Committee of Enforced Disappearances, Amina Massod shared the grief and pain inflicted upon her and several other families by the Pakistani authorities. It has been 16 years, she is still searching for her husband who was picked up by the Pakistani forces in 2005," read the statement.

Pakistan has consistently maintained its position as the world's epicentre of terrorism and the leading exporter of terror and violence.

"Pakistan is a country whose former Presidents and Prime Ministers have openly acknowledged the support and inter-operational linkages between Pakistan's state machine, and the UN proscribed terrorist organisations," added the statement.

Earlier, India had slammed Imran Khan in its Right of Reply in response against Pakistan Prime Prime Minister's references to Kashmir in his United Nations General Assembly virtual speech and stated that Islamabad has an established history of actively supporting terrorists.

Source: Times of India

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/pakistan-should-take-credible-steps-to-end-state-sponsored-terrorism-india-at-unhrc/articleshow/86580845.cms

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Muslim Scholars Urge Youth to Shun Deviant Teachings; It Was Time Religion Became A Key Driver for the Youth: Sheikh from Al Azhar University

September 27th 2021

Muslims across the country have been asked to follow the true teachings of religion with following an upsurge in deviant teachings.

According to scholars from Al Azhar University in Egypt, who presided over a lecture at the Riyadh Mosque in Lamu County on Monday, the Quran has the right teachings but there are those who are taking advantage of the naivety of the youth and teaching the opposite.

Sheikh Abdelmeguid Elsayed from Al Azhar University said it was time religion became a key driver for the youth, noting that many a youth were now walking away from religious teachings, and now choosing a different lifestyle.

"Mosques are losing youth to the world. The number of people going to religious institutions is reducing and this should be a worry, “said Sheikh Elsayed.

He added: “Terror cells are targeting our youth and they are unrelenting. If we do not go back to the roots, we may lose our youth to the world.”

Taking the example of Lamu, where the lecture was held, the scholars, backed by their Kenyan counterparts, insisted on the need for Muslims, especially the youth to abide by the plain teachings of Islam.

“The youth in Lamu are increasingly being recruited into terror groups and quite often enticed by wrong teachings of Islam. We urge the youth to abide by the plain teachings of Islam,” said Sheikh Ramadhan Mohamed.

The scholars, who have been on a mission in different parts of the country, spreading the gospel of embracing the real teachings of Islam and peaceful co-existence between religious outfits, noted that in the course of their studies, it has been found that there is a sharp decline in the uptake of religion, especially among the young people.

The Al Azhar mission from Egypt has pledged to support the initiative with scholarships to youth, both within and without the county.

Source: The Standard

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/coast/article/2001424654/muslim-scholars-urge-youth-to-shun-deviant-teachings

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Pakistan

 

Everyone Must Play Role to Make Pakistan Islamic State like Riyasat-e-Madinah: Pakistan Ulema Council

September 27, 2021

FAISALABAD   -   Special Representative to Prime Minister on Religious Harmony and Central Chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi has said Pakistan will become a model Islamic state like Riyasat-e-Madinah if every segment of society plays its religious and constitutional role.

Addressing the Ulema Mashaikh Pakistan Solidarity Convention at Jamia Masjid Kutchehry Bazaar here on Sunday, he said the recent changes in neighbouring country (Afghanistan) had foiled nefarious designs of those who were conspiring against Pakistan. He said after 20 years, a major world power had been defeated in Afghanistan. Ashrafi said that India was still conspiring to initiate a hybrid war so that a chaotic situation could be created in the region, but Ulema would foil all those conspiracies with their vision and religious insight.

Tahir Ashrafi said, “We give equal respect to all religious leaders. It is our ideology to make Pakistan a model Islamic state.” He said no one could force anybody to change his faith.

He said that government was striving to transform Pakistan into Riyasat-e-Madinah. “Pakistan will become a model Islamic state when we will start realising our individual obligations,” he said.

He urged all faithful to follow in the footsteps of Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah Be Upon Him). He said, “In Riyasat-e-Madinah, the great Caliph Hazrat Umar (RA) was also accountable to a common man, but we have failed to do so because of the influential segments of our society.”

He said in 1990, during the Benazir era, the slogan of accountability was raised, but not even a single case was decided. He said, “It was our own faults that we could not make Pakistan a model Islamic state.”

Hafiz Ashrafi said much hype was being created about the new faith conversion law, but everyone should rest assured that we would not allow any law to be enforced in Pakistan which was contradictory to Quran and Sunnah.

Source: The Nation

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://nation.com.pk/27-Sep-2021/everyone-must-play-role-to-make-pakistan-madinah-like-state-ashrafi

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Pakhtuns not Taliban sympathisers: ANP

September 28, 2021

PESHAWAR: Awami National Party has criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan for describing Pakhtuns sympathisers of Taliban in his speech at UN General Assembly.

ANP central general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain in a statement here on Monday said prime minister twisted the history by saying that Pakhtuns were sympathiser of Taliban.

“We are Pakhtuns and have never been sympathisers of terrorists and Taliban,” he said and added that connecting Pakhtuns with such people was tantamount to distorting their history. He said history was witness to Pakhtuns’ sacrifices in the war against terrorism.

Mr Hussain said that about 80,000 people lost their lives in the war against terrorism and most of them were Pakhtuns including 144 students of Army Public School Peshawar. He said that terrorists had not only killed the people mercilessly but also destroyed worship places, historical buildings, hujras and bazaars.

The ANP leader said that the war was imposed on Pakhtuns, who suffered the most during the past 40 years. He said that nationalist Pakhtuns also signed agreements with the terrorists in Malakand division but terrorists violated the agreements and the entire area was cleared of them.

In reaction to the operation against terrorists, Mr Hussain said, his only son was also martyred. He asked Imran Khan to avoid distorting historical facts and hurting emotions of Pakhtuns.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1648809/pakhtuns-not-taliban-sympathisers-anp

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Taliban victory in Afghanistan fuels terror attacks in Pakistan

Sep 28, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Deadly terrorist attacks in Pakistan have increased to the highest level in over four years as US troops left Afghanistan and the Taliban took power, a sign of growing instability in the region that could hurt business and investments.

Pakistan has seen 35 attacks that left at least 52 civilians dead in August, the highest since February 2017, according to data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal. Most of the violence has been attributed to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, an offshoot of the Afghan militant group that has been encouraged by developments next door.

The Pakistani militant group “has been emboldened further by what happened in Afghanistan,” Umar Karim, a visiting fellow at the London-based Royal United Services Institute, said over the phone. “The terrorist group had already been growing stronger much before the situation in Afghanistan with splinter groups merging over the past year or so.”

Rampant violence

With the Taliban in control of Afghanistan, there are concerns in Islamabad that a spillover in terror activities could affect investments, including China’s Belt and Road Initiative that has seen $25 billion poured into power plants and road projects. Pakistan is already facing pressure from Beijing who called on the government to protect such projects after a bus explosion in July killed 12 workers, including nine Chinese citizens.

Holding back

The growing instability and increased risk in the region have already prompted at least one foreign investor to hold back on acquiring a Pakistani company, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named, citing the private nature of the information.

Pakistan is not talking about it openly, but it’s concerned about the re-emerging threat of the Pakistan Taliban, which had been crushed by a combination of US drone strikes and domestic military operations, said Asfandyar Mir, a senior expert at the United States Institute of Peace.

Source: Times of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/taliban-victory-in-afghanistan-fuels-terror-attacks-in-pakistan/articleshow/86576623.cms

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Pakistan: Hindus raise concern after local administration builds boundary wall inside temple in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Karak

28 September 2021

Karak (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)[Pakistan], September 28 (ANI): Hindu community in the historic town of Terri in Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan have raised concerns over the encroachment of the Hindu temple premises by the district administration and construction of a boundary wall inside the temple premises.

A local cleric of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazi (JUI-F) named Hafiz Faizullah who runs a religious seminary near the temple, along with his local supporters raised various objections over the temple. After those objections, the district administration started the construction of a boundary wall inside the premises of the temple in the name of security and even the commissioner, deputy commissioner did not listen and considered any argument, reports The Express Tribune quoting an elderly Hindu man.

He added that the special assistant (minority affairs) Wazirzada to the province's Chief Minister was not willing to solve the issue, fearing that this could annoy the local Muslims in the area.

Faizullah raised an objection that the word 'Mandir' has been written on the newly constructed building instead of Samadhi and the Hindu community had also expanded the building. He even objected to the construction of rooms that would accommodate the pilgrims at the temple, claiming that it would lead to the temple's enlargement and goes against the agreement between the Hindu and Muslim communities, said members of the Hindu community.

Last year, a mob led by a local cleric Maulana Sharifullah of JUI-F and others had attacked the temple and demolished it completely.

After the incident, an FIR was lodged and several attackers were arrested by the police. But a Member of the Provincial Assembly of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party Ziaullah Bangash intervened and persuaded the government and Hindu community to forgive the people who were arrested for attacking the temple.

As Bangash had a personal interest in the incident, the negotiations reached between both the groups that reconstruction of the temple will be allowed by the Muslim community but the reconstruction will take place within the limits of 'Sharia'.

Source: Yahoo News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/pakistan-hindus-raise-concern-local-061233623.html

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Pakistan flag returned from space journey handed over to Pakistan embassy in Beijing

September 28, 2021

Pakistan's national flag, which was carried to China's space station onboard the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft, was handed over to the Embassy of Pakistan in Beijing at a ceremony at the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST).

The national flags of Pakistan and China were sent by China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) to outer space to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The flags were sent aboard the Long March-2F carrier rocket on June 17, 2021 and returned via Shenzhou-12, China's manned spacecraft after staying in space for three months.

Read more: Pakistan to send its first person to space in 2022, says Fawad Chaudhry

The Shnezhou-12 space mission carried three Chinese astronauts to space for building Tiangong, a Chinese space station which is expected to be completed next year.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Moin ul Haque congratulated CMSA, CAST and other Chinese research institutions for the successful manned space mission.

He said the space journey of national flags of the two countries was a special demonstration of a unique friendship between Pakistan and China and a befitting way to celebrate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1648942/pakistan-flag-returned-from-space-journey-handed-over-to-pakistan-embassy-in-beijing

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South Asia

 

Tajikistan interfering in Afghanistan’s affairs: Mullah Baradar

28 Sep 2021

The first deputy of the Prime Minister of the Taliban Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar accused Tajikistan of interfering in Afghanistan’s affairs.

Mullah Baradar in his recent interview with Al Jazeera though did not mention any specific action, said that there is a reaction to every action.

Tajikistan’s president Emomali Rahman had recently said that there should be transparent elections in Afghanistan and an all-inclusive government should be established through this means.

On the other hand, Rahman in his UN speech said that they are forging further security layers on the border with Afghanistan in order to prevent the spread of terrorism from Afghanistan.

Source: Khaama Press

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.khaama.com/tajikistan-interfering-in-afghanistans-affairs-mullah-baradar-79587485/

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Afghanistan PR calls off speech in UNGA to preserve national interests

28 Sep 2021

Afghanistan’s permanent representative in the United Nations Ghulam Muhammad Ishaqzai said that he abandoned his speech in the UNGA in order to preserve national interests and Afghanistan’s seat.

Ghulam Muhammad Ishaqzai was due to give a speech at the UN’s 76th General Assembly on Monday, September 27 but called off his intention.

Afghanistan’s Mission in UN in a Twitter post said that they will continue working with UN Security Council to preserve Afghanistan’s seat in the UN.

Earlier, Taliban’s political office member Sohail Shaheen said that they have the right to participate in the UN and criticized the decision of excluding them in this year’s UNGA.

Source: Khaama Press

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-pr-calls-off-speech-in-unga-to-preserve-national-interests-7457457/

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Afghanistan’s economy on the brink of collapse, banks run out of cash: Norway

27 Sep 2021

The Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland who is currently visiting Afghanistan said that Afghanistan is on the countdown to economic collapse.

The Secretary-General in a statement said that the formal banking system could collapse any day now because of a lack of cash.

“If the economy collapses, even the most basic services will no longer function, and humanitarian needs will soar even higher. Dealing with the liquidity crisis is critical as aid organizations seek to scale up to meet urgent humanitarian needs.” Reads the statement.

Egeland has called on the international community to provide the people of Afghanistan with urgent humanitarian assistance as the winter is approaching and this will make the lives even difficult for those who are have been displaced and living on the streets.

Source: Khaama Press

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.khaama.com/afghanistans-economy-on-the-brink-of-collapse-banks-run-out-of-cash-norway-798696/

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Life changing under Taliban, just not all at once

Sep 28, 2021

KABUL: Life in Kabul has changed in the six weeks since the Taliban swept into the Afghan capital- just not all at once.

Some things that remain the same: Traffic is back to a noisy, congested snarl. The young men still play cricket and watch traditional wrestling matches in the city's Chaman-e-Hozari Park. Under their previous rule, the Taliban banned many sports, but so far have not done so this time.

Many women seemed to stay off the streets in the days after the Aug. 15 takeover, but in the weeks since, more and more are appearing back in public, some in longer coats and headscarves, some in the all-covering burqa, which has been worn traditionally by many in Afghanistan regardless of the Taliban.

Cars wait in traffic as Afghans shop in a local market in Kabul (AP Photo)

One woman on a recent day passed a row of beauty salons, where some ads on the windows had been defaced or covered to scratch out images of women, but some ads were untouched.

It's emblematic of the in-between place where Kabul resides for the moment. Will the hard-line Taliban impose the harsh restrictions they did when they ruled in the 1990s, or will there be some margins of flexibility? Photos of all living things, even animals, were banned under their previous rule. So far that hasn't happened, but it is still unknown how far the Taliban themselves have decided to go.

Women are already feeling restrictions. Female employees in the Kabul city government have mostly been told to stay home, and high school girls have not been allowed back to class.

One subtler visual change: Fewer men are seen wearing Western dress. Government employees were the ones who most often wore Western-style clothes, and they have now switched over to the traditional shalwar-kameez combination of long shirt and baggy pants.

The most blaring change is the presence of the Taliban themselves. Taliban fighters directing traffic or manning the many checkpoints have largely put on blue camouflage uniforms, giving them a more official air. But many other fighters wear the shalwar kameez. Most have never been to Kabul in their lives.

On one evening, fighters sat guarding a building where Taliban are being housed. Behind them on the blast walls, an old mural depicted a woman behind barbed wire, originally painted to comment on the harshness of war. On another day, a group of Taliban, cradling their automatic weapons, enjoyed a day boating on a lake near Kabul, talking about how strange life was for them in this city.

Other signs show the growing economic desperation. The economy was already deteriorating before the Taliban came, with more than 55% living below the poverty level. Now after the takeover, it is crumbling fast, with the UN warning 97% could be below the poverty level by the end of the year.

Makeshift markets have appeared everywhere, stocked with furniture and household goods as people sell off what they can. At one, women picked around rugs for sale. Another on the fringes of Chaman-e-Hozari Park was poorer, with old men peddling piles of old clothes. Districts with upscale restaurants and shops are emptier. Everyone talks of leaving the country.

Source: Times of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/life-changing-under-taliban-just-not-all-at-once/articleshow/86579948.cms

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ICC prosecutor seeks authorization to resume Afghanistan war crimes investigation

27 September ,2021

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Monday said he was seeking approval to resume a war crimes investigation into Afghanistan, focusing on the actions of the Taliban and the ISIS-K militia.

A statement said the request was being made to the court’s judges in light of developments since the extremist Taliban movement seized control of Afghanistan in a lightning advance last month.

The ICC had already spent 15 years looking into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan before opening a full investigation last year. That probe was put on hold by the Afghan government, which said it was investigating the crimes itself.

The Hague-based ICC is a court of last resort, intervening only when a member country is unable or unwilling to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide.

The fall of the internationally recognized Afghan government and its replacement by the Taliban represent a “significant change of circumstances,” new prosecutor Karim Khan said in a statement.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/09/27/ICC-prosecutor-seeks-authorization-to-resume-Afghanistan-war-crimes-investigation

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Europe

 

EU urges Iran to allow UN nuclear watchdog access to TESA Karaj site

27 September ,2021

The EU on Monday urged Iran to allow inspectors access to a nuclear site, while Tehran argued the facility was exempt from a recent agreement with the UN watchdog.

The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Sunday it had been denied “indispensable” access to the TESA Karaj centrifuge component manufacturing workshop near Tehran contrary to a September 12 agreement with Iran.

Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA Kazem Gharibabadi on Monday rejected the charge on Twitter.

“During the discussions in Tehran and Vienna, Iran indicated that... equipment related to this Complex are not included for servicing,” he wrote, referring to IAEA work on its surveillance equipment.

Sunday’s IAEA statement “isn’t accurate and goes beyond the agreed terms,” he added.

At a Vienna meeting of the IAEA board of governors, the EU said it urged Iran to allow access “without any further delay”, expressing its “deepest concern.”

“This is a worrying development,” the statement said.

This month’s agreement between the IAEA and Iran came days after the nuclear watchdog had decried a lack of cooperation from Tehran.

Agency inspectors had been allowed to service monitoring and surveillance equipment and to replace storage media at “all necessary locations” except the TESA Karaj workshop, the IAEA said on Sunday.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi in his latest report on Iran informed member states that the Islamic republic had granted all other access from September 20–22.

The IAEA’s latest report comes amid stalled EU-brokered negotiations to revive a 2015 landmark agreement scaling back Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

That deal started to fall apart in 2018 when the US withdrew from it and reinstated sanctions. Iran in turn again started to ramp up its nuclear activities.

Talks began in April in Vienna between Tehran and the remaining five parties to the 2015 deal aimed at bringing Washington back into the agreement.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/09/27/EU-urges-Iran-to-allow-UN-nuclear-watchdog-access-to-TESA-Karaj-site

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'Greece has no intention of entering into an arms race with Turkey'

Derya Gülnaz Özcan, Tevfik Durul 

28.09.2021

Greece’s prime minister said Monday that he has no intention to enter into an arms race with Turkey.

In an exclusive interview with Greece’s state-run broadcaster ERT, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who is in Paris for a two-day official visit, said: "I had predicted in the spring that we would have a quiet summer. I see no reason why we shouldn’t have a quiet autumn and a quiet winter. I believe that Turkey understands that the tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean will ultimately not benefit anyone."

Stating that cooperation can be reached with Turkey on common issues such as the climate crisis and the refugee problem, Mitsotakis underlined that economic cooperation is possible as part of good neighborly relations and respect.

He said the only way to solve the problems in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea is international law.

"I will tell you frankly: Agreements can be reached that require a mutual stepping back on some issues so that we can ultimately achieve solutions that benefit everyone."

He also emphasized the need for the modernization of the Greek Army.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/greece-has-no-intention-of-entering-into-an-arms-race-with-turkey/2376564

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Turkey, Poland defense cooperation to continue: Envoy

Omer Tugrul Cam 

27.09.2021

Deep-rooted relations between Turkey and Poland recently led to defense cooperation, and it will continue to grow, Ankara’s ambassador to Warsaw has said.

“We have sold very important defense equipment to Poland, a NATO and EU country,” Cengiz Kamil Firat, who came to inaugurate Turkey's honorary consulate in the city of Wroclaw, told Anadolu Agency. "This is a start and will continue."

In May, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said his government would purchase 24 Bayraktar TB2 drones from Turkey, becoming the first NATO member to buy Turkish-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Bayraktar TB2 entered the Turkish army inventory in 2014, and it is currently in use by several countries, including Ukraine, Qatar, and Azerbaijan.

Highlighting that diplomatic relations between Turkey and Poland date back at least 600 years, Ambassador Firat said the Poles have a positive view of Turkey, and there are many common cultural aspects.

Recalling that Polish President Andrzej Duda visited Turkey in May, the ambassador said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also expected to visit Poland within the next year.

According to Firat, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar will come to Poland next week.

On trade relations, Firat said the two countries have a trading volume of around $6 billion, with President Erdogan aiming to grow it to $10 billion per year. He added that $8 billion worth trade has already taken place this year.

The ambassador said Turkey is one of the top three tourist destinations for Poles, with about 900,000 of them visiting Turkish cities before the COVID-19 epidemic.

Turkey expects to receive 500,000 Polish tourists in the first year after the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, one million the following year, and over 1.5 million annually over the next three years, he said.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkey-poland-defense-cooperation-to-continue-envoy/2376218

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Arab World

 

Radio broadcast of Grand Mosque's lessons and sermons in international languages launched

September 27, 2021

MAKKAH — President of the Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Sudais inaugurated Monday a 24-hour live radio broadcast of Grand Mosque's lessons and sermons via the Manarat Al-Haramain platform in many international languages.

Dr. Al-Sudais stressed that the launch of the direct broadcast of the lessons and sermons comes as a continuation of the plans and digital programs that the Presidency is working on to serve those wishing to benefit from the services being provided by the Two Holy Mosques.

Source: Saudi Gazette

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/611451/SAUDI-ARABIA/Radio-broadcast-of-Grand-Mosques-lessons-and-sermons-in-international-languages-launched

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Israel gears up to take part in Expo 2020 Dubai

27 September ,2021

Israel is gearing up to take part in Expo 2020 Dubai when the world fair opens Friday, a spokesman said, a year after the UAE and Israel normalized ties.

“We’re very happy to be here,” Menachem Gantz told AFP, the spokesman of Israel’s Pavilion at the six-month world fair.

“This is the first time the expo is in the Middle East, and the first time Israel is participating in an event of such a large scale and importance (in an Arab country)”.

On September 15 the United Arab Emirates marked one year since normalizing ties with Israel, a move that leaders hope could reap a trillion dollars in trade and business.

Previously, Egypt and Jordan were the only Arab states to have peace agreements under which they recognize Israel, and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas called the deal a “betrayal” of their cause.

After the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan also agreed to normalize ties.

The Israeli pavilion, which includes a large, illuminated sign saying “Towards Tomorrow” using both Arabic and Hebrew -- will be open to all.

Inside, pathways run between sand dunes made of a thin layer of concrete and sand-colored rubber.

“Our pavilion... is made of things that integrate us, that show how similar we are,” Gantz said.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/09/27/Israel-gears-up-to-take-part-in-Expo-2020-Dubai-

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Bahrain calls for a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in Middle East

27 September ,2021

The Kingdom of Bahrain calls for the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East region, said Bahrain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani, during an address to the UN General Assembly.

“The Kingdom reaffirms its support for international efforts aimed at preventing Iran from acquiring the ability to develop a nuclear weapon, stressing the need for Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA to ensure the maintenance of regional and international security and stability,” he added.

The Foreign Minister added that Bahrain, in cooperation with allied and friendly countries, has made continuous efforts to pursue sources of terrorist financing and money laundering, and has seen remarkable achievements in this regard, placing it first in the Arab world in the Basel Anti-Money Laundering Index.

“In this context, we renew the commitment of the Kingdom of Bahrain to continue its efforts as part of the Global Coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and all extremist terrorist organizations, and to dry up their sources of funding, stressing the importance of partnership and international cooperation in combating terrorism and confronting the ideology of extremism,” he added.

The minister added that the Middle East region continues to be in a state of instability and insecurity, with the people of a number of nations suffering difficult conditions due to the wars, crises and conflicts it is witnessing.

“These have resulted in the loss of lives, the displacement of millions of refugees and displaced persons, and the destruction of cities, villages and infrastructure, turning the lives of these people into a painful tragedy of daily suffering, driving away opportunities for peace, security and stability,” he added.

The minister added that Bahrain has always been keen to preserve the cohesion of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, due to the importance of its role in maintaining the security and stability of the region.

“Therefore, the Kingdom stresses the importance of the commitments included in the Al-Ula Summit Declaration, which was held in the brotherly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia earlier this year, that would promote interdependence and joint coordination and the achievement of greater cooperation and integration among member states,” he added.

The minister added that the Bahrain’s signing of the Declaration in Support of Peace with the State of Israel comes in line with the vision of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to promote the principles of peaceful coexistence and to consolidate a culture of peace, fraternity, dialog, cooperation and mutual respect with its noble goals endorsed by all monotheistic religions and enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

“We call on the international community to work for a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue that meets the aspirations of the brotherly Palestinian people to establish their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with the principle of the two-state solution, and resolutions of international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative,” he added.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2021/09/27/Bahrain-calls-for-a-zone-free-of-weapons-of-mass-destruction-in-Middle-East

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UAE diplomat slams Iran, ‘external’ interference in Arab region at UNGA

27 September ,2021

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday slammed “external” interference in Arab affairs and called for countries in the region to be included in any nuclear deal talks with Iran.

“We can’t ignore Iran’s development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, as well as its interference in the region,” UAE Minister of State Khalifa Shaheen al-Marar said during a speech at the UN General Assembly.

“Any future agreement with Iran must address the shortcomings of the JCPOA and involve the countries of the region,” the Emirati diplomat added.

The US has been engaged in indirect talks with Iran since President Joe Biden became US president. But the talks have been stalled since the new Iranian government was elected.

Regional countries have been left out of the nuclear deal talks, similarly to the secret talks held between Washington and Tehran under the Obama administration, which led to the original JCPOA.

Al-Marar also called on Iran to end its occupation of the three UAE islands: Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb, and Abu Musa.

As for the conflicts and wars in Yemen, Libya and Syria, al-Marar said all foreign interventions needed to come to an end.

“Crude regional interference in Arab Affairs must be halted to end the cycle of conflicts in the Arab region successfully,” he said, in an apparent reference to mercenaries from regional countries, including Turkey.

In Yemen, the Emirati diplomat said there was an opportunity to reach a ceasefire and sustainable peace.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2021/09/27/UAE-expresses-gratitude-to-member-states-for-its-election-to-UN-Security-Council

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Jordan to fully reopen main crossing with Syria on Sept. 29

27 September ,2021

Jordan will fully reopen its main border crossing with Syria from Wednesday, government and industry officials said, as a high-level Syrian team arrived in Amman to discuss how to ease the flow of goods hit by the coronavirus pandemic and a decade of conflict.

Although the Jaber crossing has been open since 2018 after the Syrian government drove opposition fighters from southern Syria, trade has yet to recover to the $1 billion pre-war level.

The pandemic led to measures to try to curb transmission of the coronavirus and those restrictions will be lifted from Wednesday, officials told Reuters.

They said a visiting trade delegation from Syria, led by economy, trade, agriculture, water and electricity ministers, would also discuss lifting tariff barriers.

“We hope the moves will restore previous trade dealings before the conflict and revive lucrative transit trade,” Jamal al Rifae, deputy head of Jordan’s chamber of commerce, told Reuters.

Interior Minister Mazen Faraya said restrictions on Syrian transit cargo to Gulf markets and Iraq through Jordan will also be lifted, which Damascus has been pushing for.

Transit cargo from the Gulf will also be allowed from Jordan to Syria along with unrestricted passenger traffic, Faraya told Jordan’s Al-Mamlaka public broadcaster.

Before the conflict in Syria, the Nasib-Jaber crossing was a transit route for hundreds of trucks a day transporting goods between Europe and Turkey and the Gulf.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/09/27/Jordan-to-fully-reopen-main-crossing-with-Syria-on-Sept-29

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In apparent reference to Hezbollah, UN calls on Lebanon to commit to disassociation

27 September ,2021

The UN Security Council Monday called on Lebanon to commit to a policy of disassociation from “any external conflicts,” an apparent reference to Iran-backed Hezbollah’s participation in wars across the region.

“The members of the Security Council called upon all Lebanese parties to implement a tangible policy of disassociation from any external conflicts, as an important priority, as spelled out in previous declarations, in particular the 2012 Baabda Declaration,” a statement from the Security Council read.

Hezbollah has admitted to intervening in the neighboring Syria war to prop up President Bashar al-Assad, while also fighting alongside other Shiite militias.

The group says it is fighting extremists, while much of the international community has accused them of slaughtering opposition fighters.

Hezbollah has also sent fighters, advisers and officials to Yemen and Iraq.

Their participation in these wars has led Gulf states, mainly Saudi Arabia, to bring its decadeslong support to Beirut to a near-halt.

Separately, the Security Council called on the new Lebanese government to “swiftly and transparently implement the well-known, necessary and tangible reforms” needed to unlock billions of dollars in international aid, soft loans and grants.

“Such reforms are key to respond to the dire needs and legitimate aspirations of the Lebanese population regarding the urgent security, economic, social and humanitarian challenges facing the country,” the 15-member UN body said. “They also underlined the importance of delivering those reforms in order to ensure effective international support.”

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/09/27/In-apparent-reference-to-Hezbollah-UN-calls-on-Lebanon-to-commit-to-disassociation

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Beirut port blast probe faces derailment for second time

27 September ,2021

A probe into the catastrophic Beirut port explosion faced being derailed for the second time this year on Monday when a senior politician wanted for questioning filed a complaint doubting the lead investigator’s impartiality.

The move followed a smear campaign by Lebanon’s political class against judge Tarek Bitar, who was appointed after his predecessor was forced out following similar accusations by officials he wanted to question about suspected negligence.

More than a year since the blast, attempts to bring any senior official to account for the more than 200 lives lost and thousands injured have made no progress, with powerful parties including the Iranian-backed group Hezbollah and others in the ruling elite alleging bias in the investigation.

The blast, one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions ever recorded, was caused by a huge quantity of ammonium nitrate that was unsafely stored at the port from 2013.

The probe was frozen on Monday on the basis of the complaint by Nohad Machnouk, a Sunni Muslim lawmaker and former interior minister Bitar wanted to question on suspicion of negligence.

A judicial source told Reuters the investigation must now remain on hold until the court of cassation decides either to accept or reject the complaint.

“There is great anger among the families. There is a type of disgust toward the political class,” said Ibrahim Hoteit, a spokesperson for victims’ families whose brother was killed in the blast, responding to Monday’s move.

The families, who accuse Lebanon’s entrenched political class of impunity, have demanded an international probe, saying every time the investigation begins it gets blocked.

“It’s clear they are using all legal means and immunities to stop the investigation,” Nizar Saghieh, head of The Legal Agenda, a research and advocacy organization. “The impunity system is defending itself in an ugly way without boundaries.”

Bitar has faced opposition since July, with politicians refusing to waive the immunity of several former ministers and security officials the judge wanted to investigate.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah last month accused Bitar of “playing politics” and called the probe “politicized.”

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/09/27/Probe-into-Beirut-blast-frozen-over-judge-impartiality-suit-source-says

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India

 

Kanpur IAS Officer, Iftikharuddin, Accused of Promoting Conversion to Islam, Probe Ordered Over Viral Video

Ranjai Singh

September 28, 2021

An IAS officer in Kanpur has been accused of promoting religious conversions and spreading propaganda against Hinduism after a video of him attending a conversion ceremony has gone viral on social media.

The senior IAS officer of Kanpur, Iftikharuddin, has been accused of spreading propaganda against Hinduism. The allegations have been levelled by the national vice-president of Math Mandir Coordination Committee Bhupesh Awasthi.

Awasthi has released the video of Mohammad Iftirakhuddin, who is presently serving as the Chairman of UP State Road Transport Corporation. The clip shows the IAS officer attending a religious event in Kanpur.

The video also shows a group of people sitting on the floor while a maulana is heard preaching religious sermons with the IAS officer in attendance. The IAS officer is seen talking about religious conversions while speaking to the audience.

Source: India Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/kanpur-ias-officer-iftikharuddin-promote-islam-viral-video-1858122-2021-09-28

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How Kerala’s Left hopes to benefit from polarisation of Christians and Muslims

FATIMA KHAN

28 September, 2021

Kerala: On 10 September, Joseph Kallarangatt, the Bishop of the Syro-Malabar Church in Kerala’s Pala town, warned Christian women of the threat of “narcotics jihad”, which according to him involved “jihadis” entrapping the women through drugs.

It’s been weeks since his remark and a subsequent clarification by the Pala diocese, but the controversy surrounding it refuses to die down.

Last Wednesday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan held a press conference, in which he dismissed any connection between narcotics and ‘jihad’. “Such campaigns would tantamount to sowing seeds of hatred in a state like Kerala where people from all communities live together,” he said.

But Vijayan’s statement came after the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) as well as critics repeatedly accused the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government of “playing it safe” on the matter, and not taking a strong and unequivocal position against it from day one.

The CPI(M) had initially even suggested that the bishop’s intentions were not to “create enmity”.

That didn’t go down well with the UDF, which is concerned by the emerging rift between its two strong vote-banks.

The BJP, meanwhile, has explicitly backed the bishop’s statement, with its state leaders even writing to PM Modi requesting protection for the bishop in light of the protests against him.

CPM on backfoot, accused of ‘muted reaction’

In his first reaction against the Pala bishop’s remarks, the CM on 10 September said the problem of narcotics in the state does not have “religious hues”. He added that the context of the bishop’s statement wasn’t clear, but that people in positions of responsibility should ensure there are “no religious schisms” in society.

Days later, however, the CM said the statement wasn’t meant to create enmity, before ruling out any action against the bishop, since the remark was part of a sermon from the pulpit to believers, and not a public statement.

The CPI(M)’s troubles were compounded by a leaflet, prepared by the party, which warned of alleged increasing attempts “to lure educated young women to extremism” at professional colleges. The leaflet, which was distributed among its cadres at its local meetings across various districts of the state, was slammed for pandering to the “love jihad” narrative.

“We kept insisting that the CM must hold an all-party and all-religion heads meet in order to pacify the situation and not let it boil over. But the CM refused to do so. They kept tip-toeing around the matter. Their initial reaction was very meek,” V.D. Satheeshan, Congress leader and the Leader of Opposition in the Kerala assembly, told ThePrint.

What has further complicated matters for the CPI(M) is that its newest ally, the Kerala Congress (M), endorsed the Pala bishop’s statement with its leader, Jose K. Mani, saying the priest was only pointing out “social dangers”.

The Kerala Congress (M) had broken off its alliance with the UDF ahead of the 2021 assembly polls, and had joined the LDF, which was seen as an advantage for the latter, as the KC (M) is the predominant Christian party of the state.

Under continued pressure to take a stronger stance against the bishop, the CM Wednesday not only urged the clergyman to rectify his statement, but also presented data to show how no religious group is connected with drug peddling.

CPI(M) politburo member M.A. Baby denied there being any duplicity in the party’s reaction.

“The CM has categorically said narcotics should not be connected to religion. All of us stand by his statement,” Baby told ThePrint.

UDF at risk of its minorities’ vote-bank being further dented

Fearing a growing rift between the Christian and Muslim community, the UDF has taken a strong position against the bishop’s remarks.

With 26 per cent Muslims and 18 per cent Christians, both communities make for a significant chunk of the voter base in Kerala. Both the minorities have traditionally supported the Congress-IUML coalition.

In the April 2021 assembly polls, however, there was a shift in both communities towards the LDF. According to Lokniti-CSDS post-poll survey data, nearly two-fifths Muslims and Christians voted for the LDF in 2021, a significant increase when compared to the one-third of both communities siding towards the LDF in the 2016 elections.

Speaking to ThePrint, M.K. Muneer, IUML leader and former social welfare minister conceded that “minorities are moving away from UDF”.

“This is because of the intense propaganda of the CPM. It’s only because the CPM believes in good optics,” Muneer said. “They will make strong statements against the CAA to appease the Muslim community, but they are not doing anything on ground for their empowerment.”

He further said that the CPI(M)’s “meek reaction” to the Pala bishop’s statement shows where the party “truly stands”. “They believe in political posturing, and want to make both communities happy without really doing anything for either,” he said.

‘Parties not taking on the bishop’

Experts said the LDF is likely to benefit from this concerted effort to “target and polarise the minorities”.

“Both Christians and Muslims are the backbone of the UDF. Polarisation among the two communities will only help the LDF as they will be able to chip away at the UDF’s two loyal vote-banks,” said political analyst G. Pramod Kumar.

But Kumar added that the Congress hasn’t taken on the bishop either, and is merely trying to “play peacemaker”.

“The UDF finds itself in a fix because they wouldn’t want to estrange either of the two communities. So while they want to seem like they are standing with Muslims, they are only speaking in a language of brokering peace, as opposed to confronting the bishop aggressively,” he said, adding that “except for the BJP, every party has tried to shove this matter under the rug”.

The Congress showed fissures of its own political position on the matter.

On Sunday, former finance minister P. Chidambaram wrote an article in The Indian Express slamming the Pala bishop for his stance, which invited the contempt of Kerala Congress president K. Sudhakaran, who said the KPCC was handling the matter and “outsiders need not aggravate the situation”.

‘Nothing wrong in what he said’: BJP backs bishop

The BJP has thrown its weight behind the Pala bishop’s remarks, given that it is in line with the party’s politics in the state.

Source: The Print

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://theprint.in/politics/how-keralas-left-hopes-to-benefit-from-polarisation-of-christians-and-muslims/741277/

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Assam violence: Muslim organisations meet CM; two local leaders held

27th September 2021

NEW DELHI: A joint delegation of two prominent Muslim organisations met Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday over the violence during an eviction drive in Darrang district which saw police firing, and demanded a high-level judicial inquiry into the incident.

Clashes borke out between police and alleged encroachers, resulting in the death of two persons and injuries to 20, during an eviction drive last week in Gorukhuti village in Assam's Darrang district.

The joint delegation of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind and the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind called on Sarma in Guwahati and expressed pain on the incidents in Darrang district and demanded that the Assam chief minister play his role in ensuring justice, a statement issued here by the Jamiat said.

The delegation demanded a high-level judicial inquiry should be conducted into the incident, Rs 20 lakh compensation to the family of those killed by police action, Rs 10 lakh to the injured person, immediate steps for relief and rehabilitation of evicted with minimum six bighas of land for agriculture and one bigha of land for residence, proper arrangement be made for health, sanitation and drinking water and foods for those people.

Maulana Hakeemuddin Qasmi, general secretary of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, who was part of the delegation, said that what happened in Darrang district was very distressing as human rights have paramount importance in the Constitution.

The delegation included Qasmi, vice president Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Maulana Ameenul Hasan, and secretary Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Mohammad Shafi Madani, among others.

Two local leaders were arrested for allegedly inciting violence during the eviction drive at Sipajhar in Assam's Darrang district on September 23 in which two persons, including a 12-year-old boy, were killed in police firing and over 20 injured, an official said on Monday.

The arrested are Shan Mahmood, president of Chanua gram panchayat, and Hasmat Ali, a former president of the Baznapathar gram panchayat and they are presently in the custody of the Crime Investigation Department (CID) which is probing the incident, a district police official said.

"The two were arrested on Sunday night for instigating the people to attack the police during the eviction drive. They were responsible for inciting violence in the area, which left two persons dead and several others injured, including 11 policemen," the official said.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had alleged on Saturday that there is evidence that the Popular Front of India was involved in the violence during the eviction drive and has written to the Centre to ban the outfit.

The PFI, however, denied the charge.

He had also alleged that according to intelligence reports, six people, including a college lecturer, had collected Rs 28 lakh during the last three months from these poor landless families with an assurance they are going to convince the government that there will be no eviction.

It is yet to be established whether the two arrested men had links with the PFI.

Meanwhile, a delegation of AIUDF MLAs called on the chief minister and urged him to provide a proper rehabilitation package for those who were evicted.

The package must include six bighas of land for agriculture and one bigha for residential purpose along with facilities such as drinking water, primary health care, education etc, the party said.

"Since people are living there for decades and had a settled life, therefore, before evicting people there should have been a proper rehabilitation package for them," according to a memorandum submitted by the party to the Sarma.

It should also not be forgotten that these people are landless and compelling circumstances forced them to occupy the land from which they were evicted, the memorandum said.

The AIUDF also alleged that revenue officials and other agencies gave only 12 hours' notice to the encroachers while it is impossible for them to vacate their land with families and belongings in such a short time.

Source: New Indian Express

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2021/sep/27/assam-violence-muslim-organisations-meet-cm-two-local-leaders-held-2364551.html

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Pune city Muslims to protest ATS arrest of cleric in Uttar Pradesh

By Nadeem Inamdar

SEP 27, 2021

PUNE The Kul Jamaat E Tanzeem, a group representing various Muslim organisations in the city will hold a protest in front of the District Collectorate on Wednesday afternoon, to protest the arrest of cleric Maulana Kalimuddin Siddiqui by Uttar Pradesh’s anti- terrorist squad (ATS) on September 22.

The group announced the protest at a press meet held at the Patrakar Sangh on Monday.

Convenor of the group Zahid Shaikh said, “The arrest of Maulana Kaleemuddin Siddiqui is aimed at targeting scholars of Islam and clerics, as part of the right-wing policy of the UP government. His arrest is ‘undemocratic’ and ‘unconstitutional’. The charges of illegal funding and conversions carry no grain of truth. We will strongly protest against the UP government and submit a memorandum to the district collector.”

Azar Tamboli, a Muslim leader present at the press meet said, “The UP government has deliberately targeted religious scholars taking into account the political dividend it wants to reap in the future. However, we will raise our voices through the democratic mode of protest, so that such injustices being done to the Muslim community are stopped by the right-wing government in UP. We demand that the fake cases lodged against clerics be withdrawn immediately. This incident is a pre-planned conspiracy, building a false narrative through propaganda for political benefit.”

Source: Hindustan Times

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/pune-news/pune-city-muslims-to-protest-ats-arrest-of-cleric-in-uttar-pradesh-101632754727198.html

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1 Pak terrorist killed in Uri sector of Jammu and Kashmir

Sep 28, 2021

NEW DELHI: In a big victory for security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, one Pakistani terrorist was killed by the Indian Army in an anti-terror operation in Uri sector on Tuesday morning.

Out of the two terrorists holed up in the region, one of them surrendered before the forces, sources said.

The operation was carried out by Pulwama police and troops of 50 Rashtriya Rifles, the Kashmir Zone Police said in a tweet.

Srinagar Police with assistance of Pulwama Police & 50RR arrested 02 #OGWs from #Pulwama. Their interrogation revea… https://t.co/HGPvk0ymLe

— Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) 1632803641000

Their interrogation revealed that LeT commander Riyaz Sathrgund had asked them to build a hideout in Rajourikadal area of Srinagar.

Source: Times of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/1-terrorist-killed-in-uri-sector-of-jammu-and-kashmir/articleshow/86576514.cms

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India-Saudi Arabia Relationship Is No Longer Cosy

By Syed Ali Mujtaba

27th September 2021

The foreign minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Prince Faisal bin Farhan was on a three-day visit to New Delhi from Sept 19 to 21. His visit was widely hailed by the Indian press as a great success. The media tamely published the handouts given to the Ministry of External Affairs and did not report some unsavory developments that took place during the Saudi Foreign Minister’s visit to India.

The Indian media brushed aside all the annoying developments and reported with glee that External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and KSA Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan discussed a plethora of issues related to their bilateral relationship, especially regional and international concerns of mutual interest. The two ministers reviewed the implementation of the Strategic Partnership Council Agreement signed during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia in October 2019.

However, there were some dark patches that emerged in the otherwise seemingly cordial relationship between India and the kingdom during the visit of the Saudi Foreign Minister to India.

MS Education Academy

The first was the KSA Foreign Minister chose Indian soil to declare that Kashmir is a disputed issue between India and Pakistan. This amounted to committing an act of sacrilege because New Delhi has been quick to respond when such views are aired.

Remember, hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raked up the Kashmir issue in his address to the UNGA, India’s External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar pounded on him with the statement that he needs to adhere to the relevant UN Security Council resolutions in respect to Cyprus. However, in the wake of the KSA Foreign Minister’s statement, New Delhi has chosen to remain silent and none loathed the KSA foreign minister for his unsavory comments.

Here it may be apt to mention that the KSA in October 2020 had released a banknote of 20 Riyal that showed Kashmir outside the Indian map. This was protested by India and the KSA quickly announced to withdraw the bank note. However, such an inadvertent error could be seen a part of a definite agenda to give discomfort to India.   

India and Saudi Arabia have been cozying around for some time as their mutually beneficial interests syncing with each other. India is looking for investment to shore up the country’s sagging economy and the Saudis see India as a huge market for its oil export. The economic allurement to both the countries entices each other and outweighs all other considerations. 

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia being the custodian of Islam and the Muslims of the world is turning a blind eye towards atrocities being committed against Muslims in India. While India is loathing the Sharia laws in Afghanistan, it pays no heed to the same laws being implemented in the KSA.

Similarly, KSA is opposed to the Sufi variety Islam being practiced by the Indian Muslims but prefers to remain silent, and so does India against the Wahabi – Salafi variety of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia. The swan song for both the countries is economic consideration whereas the rest is a waste of time. 

However, global politics have started changing after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Every country is busy playing hardball and international politics is no more a zero-sum game. In this realignment, KSA is looking beyond the USA by making forays for a handshake with China.

This new script in international relations started emerging since the KSA Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman demanded back from Pakistan his country’s $1 billion soft loans. This time Pakistan did not beg mercy but repaid the loan with the help of China. However, this development for the KSA came with strings attached. 

After the repayment of the loan to KSA, China stopped oil import from Saudi Arabia. This direct action of China hit KSA hard and it lost a huge market for its oil exports. The KSA was the largest oil supplier to the communist nation but after this episode, it lost its numéro uno position in the world’s oil export market.  

All this started after Pakistan made an unsuccessful attempt to counter the KSA-controlled Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) by organizing a parallel outfit with help of Turkey and Malaysia, accusing the KSA of abandoning the cause of Kashmir. 

Source: Siasat Daily

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https://www.siasat.com/india-saudi-arabia-relationship-no-more-cozy-2198162/

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Mideast

 

Houthis Are Following Behaviour of ISIS, Al-Qaeda: Yemen’s FM to UN General Assembly

27 September ,2021

Yemen’s Foreign Minister said that the Iran-backed Houthis are following the behavior of ISIS and al-Qaeda through committing crimes and human rights violations.

Yemen’s Foreign Minister, Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, affirmed on Monday that his country’s legitimate government has made many concessions for the sake of peace, adding that the Houthi militia rejected all these peaceful initiatives by order of Iran.

In a speech before the United Nations General Assembly, he said that the legitimate government extended its hand to peace several times to spare the Yemenis destruction, adding that the Houthi escalation in Marib gives a clear picture of the militias’ intentions and their position on peace.

“We have accepted all peace initiatives in Yemen, especially the Saudi initiative,” he added.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2021/09/27/Houthis-are-following-behavior-of-ISIS-al-Qaeda-Yemen-s-FM-to-UN-General-Assembly

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Iran Sends Protest Letter to IAEA over Inaccurate Report

2021-September-27

Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi called on the IAEA not to disrupt the constructive process with “purposeful and biased reports”.  

He said that after the inaccurate report by the IAEA chief, the Iranian ambassador to the Agency provided some explanations.

Kamalvandi said that Iran has sent a protest letter to the IAEA.

On Sunday, Iran’s Representative at International Organizations in Vienna Kazzem Qaribabadi rejected the UN nuclear watchdog's claim that an agreement had been made with Tehran on access to TESA Karaj Complex, a centrifuge component manufacturing workshop in Northern Iran.

Qaribabadi made the remarks in a tweet thread, addressing a claim that had been made by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s Director-General Rafael Grossi in an earlier report who alleged that Iran was failing to fully comply with a joint statement issued by the two sides on September 12 by refusing to allow the agency access to the TESA Karaj Complex.

Source: Fars News Agency

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https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14000705000420/Iran-Sends-Pres-Leer-IAEA-ver-Inaccrae-Repr

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Amir Abdollahian: Iran Responds Goodwill with Goodwill

2021-September-27

"Very productive UNGA. In 50+meetings with political leaders, diplomats, experts and journalists, I outlined our balanced, active and smart foreign policy," Amir Abdollahian wrote on his twitter page on Sunday, referring to his recent visit to New York to attend the UN General Assembly meeting.

"Iran values diplomacy, always reciprocates respect, and responds to goodwill with goodwill," he added.

Last Monday, upon arrival in New York for the 76th United Nations General Assembly Session, Amir Abdollahian said that talks with his counterparts in New York would be based on a balanced foreign policy outlook and active diplomacy.

“I hope that, with the opportunity that has arisen, we will be able to hold talks with counterparts in line with the 13th [Iranian] Administration’s balanced foreign policy and active, dynamic, and smart diplomacy,” he said.

Source: Fars News Agency

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https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14000705000227/Amir-Abdllahian-Iran-Respnds-Gdwill-wih-Gdwill

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Iranian President: No Limit for Expansion of Ties with Sri Lanka

2021-September-27

Iran feels no limit for further promotion of economic and trade relations with Sri Lanka, Rayeesi said in a meeting in Tehran with new Sri Lankan Ambassador to Iran Wishwanath Aponsu where the new ambassador submitted his credentials to the Iranian president.

He expressed the hope that the two countries would take new steps towards enhancement of relations with the launch of a joint economic cooperation commission.

Aponsu, for his part, referred to age-old relations between the two countries, saying Sri Lanka has always supported the Iranian government and nation in international organizations.

He also called for further expansion of mutual cooperation in different energy, trade and commercial areas.

Iran has prioritized ties with the neighboring and Asian states.

Earlier this month, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization officially admitted Iran as a new member of the Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance at its 21st summit in Dushanbe.

Source: Fars News Agency

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https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14000705000237/Iranian-Presiden-N-Limi-fr-Expansin-f-Ties-wih-Sri-Lanka

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Iran’s VP in Moscow to discuss nuclear cooperation: RIA

28 September ,2021

Iran’s vice president and head of the country’s atomic energy organization, Mohammad Eslami, has arrived in Moscow for talks with the chief executive of Russian state nuclear firm Rosatom, the RIA news agency cited Iran’s embassy as saying on Tuesday.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/09/28/Iran-s-VP-in-Moscow-to-discuss-nuclear-cooperation-RIA-

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At UN, Israeli PM Bennett says Iran has crossed nuclear “red lines”

27 September ,2021

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday that Iran had crossed “all red lines” in its nuclear program and vowed that Israel would not allow Tehran to acquire a nuclear weapon.

In his first speech before the United Nations General Assembly, Bennett said Iran sought to dominate the Middle East under a “nuclear umbrella” and urged a more concerted international effort to halt Iran’s nuclear activities.

But he also hinted at the potential for Israel to act on its own against Iran, something it has repeatedly threatened in the past.

“Iran’s nuclear program has hit a watershed moment, and so has our tolerance,” Bennett said. “Words do not stop centrifuges from spinning.”

Bennett, a far-right politician who ended Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year run as prime minister in June, wants US President Joe Biden to harden his stance against Iran, Israel’s regional arch-foe. He opposes the new US administration’s efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that Biden’s White House predecessor, Donald Trump, abandoned in 2018.

Indirect US-Iran talks in Vienna have stalled as Washington awaits the next move by Iran’s new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi.

Bennett struck a less combative tone before the United Nations than Netanyahu, who often relied on props and visual aids to dramatize his accusations against Iran, an approach that critics derided as political stunts.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/09/27/At-UN-Israeli-PM-Bennett-says-Iran-has-crossed-nuclear-red-lines-

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Palestinian officers go on trial over death of Abbas critic Nizar Banat

27 September ,2021

A Palestinian military court on Monday began the trial of 14 security officers charged with beating to death a prominent critic of President Mahmoud Abbas, in a case that has drawn widespread protests and calls for his resignation.

Nizar Banat’s death following his arrest on June 24 has heightened criticism of Abbas’ Palestinian Authority and his security forces, who human rights groups say regularly arrest critics in the occupied West Bank. Abbas denies the charges.

An autopsy carried out the day Banat died showed he was struck in the head and over the body with metal rods, leading to his death. The PA, which has limited self-rule in the West Bank, has vowed to hold those responsible to account.

Appearing in Monday’s court session in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the indicted officers pleaded not guilty as prosecutors read out a charge sheet including battery, abuse of power and violation of military instructions.

But Banat’s family have demanded that senior Palestinian officials be held to account over his death, accusing Abbas and his prime minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, of deflecting blame.

“This is an incomplete and partial court case, and everyone in it is a scapegoat, until the interior minister, the head of the Preventive Security Services and his deputy are behind bars,” Banat’s brother, Ghassan, said outside the courthouse.

Security Services spokesman Talal Dweikat said on Sept. 5 that an internal inquiry found its deputy director for the city of Hebron, where Banat was arrested, was not involved in his death. The indicted officers’ lawyer did not provide comment.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/09/27/Palestinian-officers-go-on-trial-over-death-of-Abbas-critic-Nizar-Banat

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Iran: Two IRGC members killed in fire at research centre

27 September ,2021

Two members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) died after a fire broke out at a research center belonging to the IRGC in the capital Tehran on Sunday, the force announced on Monday.

IRGC members Morteza Karimi and Hossein Abedi died due to the severity of their injuries, the IRGC said in a statement carried by state media.

The IRGC had said in a separate statement on Sunday that a fire erupted at one of its research centers in western Tehran, injuring three employees who had to be taken to hospital.

The statement did not address the cause of the fire or the extent of the damage to the center.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/09/27/Iran-Two-IRGC-members-killed-in-fire-at-research-center

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Al-Aqsa: Settlers storm mosque and raise Israeli flags

27 September 2021

Hundreds of Israeli settlers on Monday stormed al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem's Old City and raised Israeli flags, in a move seen as "provocative" by Palestinians.

Over 770 Israeli settlers, accompanied by security officers, broke into the Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem on Monday morning and again in the afternoon, local media reported.

They entered through the Moroccan Gate on the western side of the site, which the Israeli authorities have controlled since the beginning of the occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967.

A settler raised an Israeli flag in the area outside Al-Aqsa Mosque, while Israeli police restricted Palestinians from entering the compound during the settlers' tour. One Palestinian man was arrested when he attempted to obstruct the settlers' tour by praying in their path.

Jerusalem's Islamic Waqf has repeatedly described the settlers' tours as "provocative" and said that Palestinian worshippers and guards at al-Aqsa Mosque feel uncomfortable with the presence of Israeli police and settlers touring the Muslim holy site.

Israeli far-right activists have repeatedly pushed for an increased Jewish presence at al-Aqsa, despite a longstanding joint guardianship agreement between Israel and Jordan.

Some right-wing Israeli activists have advocated for the destruction of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound to make way for a Third Temple. But others want to seize the eastern area of the al-Aqsa compound, known as al-Rahmeh Gate, to turn it into an exclusive Jewish praying site, accessed by an ancient gate in the eastern wall of the Old City.

'Dangerous development'

Palestinian Muslims and Christians do not seek to pray in the Western Wall Plaza, the holiest site in Judaism to the east of al-Aqsa Mosque. Their access to the site, however, has to go through a strict security check.

Azzam al-Khatib, the general director of Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem, said that Israeli police turned al-Aqsa Mosque into "a military barracks" on Monday and that settler numbers breaking into the compound had surged in recent weeks.

Khatib said these tours were "unacceptable" and that al-Aqsa "is a mosque for Muslims that could not be partitioned or shared".

On Sunday, almost 1,000 Israeli settlers entered al-Aqsa Mosque.

Radwan Amr, the head of the manuscripts department in al-Aqsa, said that Monday's events pointed to "a dangerous development, that settlers raised the flag of the occupation inside al-Aqsa Mosque, while in place were the restrictions imposed on worshippers and barring them from praying in al-Aqsa's yards during the settlers' tour".

Source: Middle East Eye

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https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-palestine-aqsa-settlers-storm-raise-flag

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Africa

 

At least 15 al-Shabaab terrorists killed by their own bomb in Kenya

Andrew Wasike 

28.09.2021

NAIROBI, Kenya

At least 15 members of the al-Shabaab terrorist group were killed over the weekend in Kenya when their vehicle ran over an improvised explosive device (IED), police said Monday.

Other militants from the group had earlier planted the explosive device in Lamu County near the border with Somalia.

Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) spokesperson Esther Wanjiku confirmed the incident to local media, noting that it happened Sunday morning between Sarira and Ras Kiamboni near Ishakani.

Al-Shabaab terrorists have long carried out IED attacks in Kenya targeting security officers patrolling key routes on the porous Kenya-Somali border.

In 2018, more than 100 Kenyan police were killed in separate IED attacks along the border.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/at-least-15-al-shabaab-terrorists-killed-by-their-own-bomb-in-kenya/2376535

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Tanzanian opposition decries intimidation of leaders

Kizito Makoye 

28.09.2021

Tanzania’s main opposition party, CHADEMA, has expressed deep concern about rising intimidation of its leaders and individuals who are increasingly criminalized under the guise of spreading false information online.

The move comes after the arrest and detention of Freeman Mbowe, CHADEMA’s national chairman, who is accused of terrorism and economic sabotage -- crimes he strongly denies.

The East African country has seen a sharp decline in respect for basic rights of expression and association as authorities target dissenting voices, according to human rights groups.

The opposition is accusing the government of adopting and enforcing repressive laws to restrict free expression, muzzle independent journalism and undermine democracy by giving officials sweeping powers to ban political activities.

CHADEMA Secretary-General John Mnyika has demanded the government repeal laws that restrict the right to free speech and association.

“These are constitutional rights, they’re flagrantly being violated with impunity,” he said.

But government spokesman Gerson Msigwa denied the allegations that authorities are targeting critics for punishment.

“Our country follows the rule of law and there’s no freedom without responsibility,” he told Anadolu Agency.

Arsenal of laws

The 2015 Cybercrimes Act was passed that year in Tanzania, which imposes hefty penalties and jail times for posting false information online. It was followed by the Statistics Act, which until its amendment in June 2019, criminalized publishing statistics without government approval.

When Samia Suluhu Hassan became President of Tanzania after the death of John Magufuli in March, she rekindled hope when she ushered in a new era of democracy after the heavy-handed rule of her predecessor.

Hassan, who inherited a divided nation, created a sense of optimism when she released political prisoners, condemned attacks on free press and called for reconciliation and national unity.

Eight months on, critics say hopes have been suddenly slashed.

“We are on the brink of a total disaster, our democracy is under attack,” said Mnyika.

A poster bearing a message in Swahili “Mbowe siyo Gaidi,” meaning, Mbowe is not a terrorist, held by a female protester outside Tanzania’s high court Thursday in Dar es Salaam, captured the state of desperation that has engulfed supporters of the country main opposition party, whose chairman is detained indefinitely for allegedly committing serious offences.

Mbowe was charged with conspiracy to commit terrorist acts and indirectly funding terror acts in a case widely perceived as a politically motivated move to shatter his political influence.

He is accused of plotting to kill a public official, and giving 600,000 Tanzanian shillings ($260) under a ploy to blow up petrol stations and public gatherings and cutting down trees to block roads -- charges he vehemently denies.

The 60-year-old outspoken politician has been behind bars since July 21 when he was arrested in a nighttime police raid hours before he was scheduled to hold a public forum on constitutional reforms.

Armed wing

In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Tundu Lissu, deputy chairman of CHADEMA and former presidential candidate, accused authorities of abducting Mbowe and illegally keeping him incommunicado for six days.

“Mbowe was not arrested. He was abducted at gun point in the middle of the night and was driven 1,100 kilometers (684 miles) to Dar es Salaam where he was held illegally without access to his family and his lawyers,”

Lissu strongly condemned the attack on civil liberties by authorities and described the charges against Mbowe as “bogus and fabricated.”

“We are dealing with a predatory police force that's being used by the ruling regime as its armed wing to attack civil liberty,” said Lissu.

He said the only mistake that Mbowe seems to have made is calling for constitutional reforms and a new political order.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/tanzanian-opposition-decries-intimidation-of-leaders/2376651

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US military commander for Africa visits Algeria, meets President Tebboune

28 September ,2021

The head of the US military command for Africa visited Algeria on Monday, meeting President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and praising US ties with the North African country.

“The US appreciates the important role Algeria plays in promoting peace, security and prosperity in the region and beyond, and we hope to continue building on our strong bilateral relationship,” Africom commander General Stephen Townsend said in a video tweeted by the US embassy.

In meetings also attended by Algerian army chief Said Chanegriha, Townsend discussed “security in the Sahel region and ways of expanding the capacities of countries in the region, notably in terms of the fight against terrorism,” said Algerian state media outlet APS.

Townsend visited Algeria in September 2020, but the latest tour was his first since Morocco became the fourth Arab state to normalize relations with Israel in December last year, to the ire of Rabat’s regional rival Algiers.

The US-backed deal also saw Washington recognize Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara, which Morocco considers its sovereign territory but where Algeria has backed the Polisario independence movement.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2021/09/28/US-military-commander-for-Africa-visits-Algeria-meets-President-Tebboune

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Algeria hands new jail terms to two ex-premiers for graft

27 September ,2021

Two detained former prime ministers under Algeria’s longtime ex-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika were handed additional prison sentences on Monday for corruption, local media reported.

Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal were sentenced to six and five years respectively for money laundering, wasting public money, abuse of office and “awarding contracts in violation of public procurement regulations,” according to the newspapers Ennahar, Echorouk and El Hayat.

The charges related to Hamid Melzi, the former boss of a state firm that runs a luxury residence for government officials as well as a publicly owned hotel company.

Melzi was sentenced to five years in prison, and also faces trial for industrial espionage and “harming the national economy.”

Ouyahia served four times as prime minister between 1995 and 2019, while Sellal led the government from 2014 to 2017 and managed all four of Bouteflika’s election campaigns.

Bouteflika resigned in 2019 under pressure from the army, following weeks of mass protests against his bid for a fifth term in office.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2021/09/27/Algeria-hands-new-jail-terms-to-two-ex-premiers-for-graft

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Southeast Asia

 

PMYT Cult Leader Calls on Followers to Repent, Return To True Teachings of Islam

27 Sep 2021

SHAH ALAM, Sept 27 — The head of the religious cult “Perjalanan Mimpi Yang Terakhir” (PMYT), Masitah Ab Jalar, who announced her declaration of repentance (Istitabah) today, has called on her followers to repent and return to the true teachings of Islam.

During the ceremony held at the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque, here, Masitah, 39, who is also known as “Sittah Annur”, said she was making the declaration willingly and without coercion from any party.

“I repent and will practice the teachings of Islam based on authentic sources of knowledge.

“Therefore, I call on all parties or any individual who had listened to, followed, or believed in my ‘dream’ to immediately stop any form of belief built upon my statements, and return to the true teachings of Islam,” she said.

Masitah then signed the declaration of repentance document.

Selangor Mufti Datuk Anhar Opir; Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) director Datuk Mohd Shahzihan Ahmad; Selangor Islamic Religious Council Secretary Ahmad Shahir Makhtar and Department of Islamic Development Malaysia’s Syariah Prosecution Enforcement Coordination Division director Mohd Ansor Rullah Mohd Hassim signed as witnesses.

In the meantime, Mohd Shahzihan said Jais would continue to monitor Masitah, and if she did anything that was against the teachings of Islam, enforcement action would be taken against her.

He said the religious authorities did not want to take action that would distance individuals from God, adding that today’s ceremony was arranged with Masitah’s voluntarily consent in order to inform the public, especially individuals or parties who believed and adhered to the statements regarding her “dream” to also admit the mistakes made, repent and return to true Islamic principles.

Source: Malay Mail

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2021/09/27/perjalanan-mimpi-yang-terakhir-cult-leader-calls-on-followers-to-repent-ret/2008818

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China, NATO officials discuss Afghanistan, regional tensions

Sep 28, 2021

BEIJING: China's top diplomat has held a virtual meeting with NATO's chief to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, amid longstanding disagreements between Beijing and the US-led alliance over regional policies.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that the discussions had been “positive and constructive”. Foreign Minister Wang Yi and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had spoken the previous day, according to the statement, focusing on “issues of common concern.”

Chinese officials gave no further details of the talks.

Beijing long opposed the presence of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan — with which it shares a narrow border — while benefiting from the relative stability that presence provided. It has been strongly critical of the shambolic US withdrawal that paved the way for the Taliban sweeping to power, calling it hasty and irresponsible.

Beijing said the two officials speaking Monday agreed to “raise the standard of dialogue to advance practical cooperation” between China and NATO on issues including counterterrorism, anti-piracy, cyber security and international peacekeeping.

Stoltenberg told China's foreign minister that the alliance “went into Afghanistan to ensure the country did not serve again as a platform for terrorists,” according to NATO's press release Monday, adding that no attacks against China or alliance members had been organized from the country since 2001.

Stoltenberg also stressed in the meeting the importance of a "coordinated international approach, including with countries from the region, to hold the Taliban accountable for their commitments on countering terrorism and upholding human rights, not least the rights of women.”

China has kept open its embassy in Kabul and maintained dialogue with the Taliban group, including hosting a delegation in July led by top leader Abdul Ghani Baradar.

At that meeting, Wang referred to the Taliban as “a pivotal military and political force in Afghanistan" that is “expected to play an important role in the in process of peace, reconciliation and reconstruction."

Beijing has also called on the Taliban to uphold its pledge to restrain militants seeking independence for the traditionally Muslim northwestern region of Xinjiang. Wang has urged the group to keep border crossings open, while offering $31 million in humanitarian assistance, along with 3 million doses of Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccines.

China has also previously signed deals for oil, gas and copper mining in Afghanistan, although those have long been dormant.

Source: Times of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/china-nato-officials-discuss-afghanistan-regional-tensions/articleshow/86580225.cms

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Global Peace Mission chief Azam is now special adviser on Afghanistan

September 26, 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: Ahmad Azam Ab Rahman, commissioner to the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), has been appointed as Wisma Putra’s special adviser on Afghanistan.

In announcing this, foreign minister Saifuddin Abdullah said Azam’s experience and networking could help Wisma Putra to obtain first-hand information on Afghanistan.

“Currently, other than providing information and advice, he also helps Wisma Putra to facilitate humanitarian efforts by Malaysian NGOs.

“Looking at the prevailing uncertainties, it is crucial for us to keep in contact with reliable sources. This is where Azam has an upper hand.

“This is very important so that we have proper understanding of the latest developments. Definitely, Wisma Putra will be utilising many sources but his experience and networking will help us to obtain additional important information.”

He announced the appointment at the KL Conference on Afghanistan: Re-emergence of a Nation, held virtually today.

The event was jointly organised by Global Peace Mission (GPM) Malaysia and the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim). Azam is also the chairman of GPM.

Saifuddin said Malaysia would continue to monitor political developments in Afghanistan closely, and provide assistance in the reconstruction of the war-torn country.

Malaysia should also not be influenced by Western narratives on the situation in Afghanistan, he said.

“We need to have our own understanding of what is happening in Afghanistan today, what happened in the past and how we can move forward,” he said.

The government has repeatedly stated that peace negotiations, reconstruction and rebuilding of Afghanistan should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.

“I believe it is the Afghanistan people who know best what needs to be done. They know better their history, their problems or challenges, the new reality they face and the way forward.

“We in Malaysia, the ummah and the peace-loving citizens of the world must show our support and solidarity and try our level best to give whatever assistance possible to the Afghan people,” he said.

The foreign minister said that although Malaysia has yet to recognise the new Kabul government, it was committed to assisting Afghanistan with humanitarian aid as well as in reconstruction and rebuilding the country.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2021/09/26/global-peace-malaysia-chief-azam-is-now-special-adviser-on-afghanistan/?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=pmd_F0U04abH61kzR7BbofJUekE4CEREh__YaLH4dM.3qHg-1632823480-0-gqNtZGzNApCjcnBszQxl

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PMO says appointments of special advisor and special envoy is vital, not waste of resources

27 Sep 2021

BY EMMANUEL SANTA MARIA CHIN

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — Appointments of politicians into posts of special envoys to specific nations and as a special advisor to the prime minister are not a waste of resources and are significant roles, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said today.

In a written Parliamentary reply to a question posed by Tenom MP Noorita Sual, the PMO explained that individuals appointed into these roles are those with a specific set of networks, experience, and expertise that can bring benefits to efforts of developing national interests.

Noorita had questioned the government to state their position on these roles within the government, and the amount of salaries they would receive.

The PMO also explained that these “minister-level” statuses granted to the appointees are different from those in the Cabinet and of not the same level as federal ministers as contained  within Article 43(2)(b) of the Federal Constitution.

“Generally, Special Envoys to the Prime Minister are appointed to assist and advise the Prime Minister in matters that are related to the country, or field they are tasked with.

“They are given duties and responsibilities to increase the two-way communications between Malaysia and the country or region they are entrusted with, which covers increasing foreign relations, economy, trade, investments, and education,” it said.

Source: Malay Mail

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2021/09/27/pmo-says-appointments-of-special-advisor-and-special-envoy-is-vital-not-was/2008833

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North America

 

Al Qaeda Operated From Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Karachi: US Congressional Research Service Report

Sep 28, 2021

NEW DELHI: Al Qaeda has operated primarily from Pakistan's former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), now incorporated into the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province; And in the megacity of Karachi, as well as in Afghanistan, according to a report by the US Congressional Research Service (CRS).

US officials have identified Pakistan as a base of operations and/or target for numerous armed, non state militant groups, some of which have existed since the 1980s, said the report.

Many observers predict a resurgence of regional terrorism and militancy in the wake of the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan last month, it added.

Twelve of the 15 groups listed as based in Pakistan are designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) under US law and most, but not all, are animated by Islamist extremist ideology.

The CRS said that among the India- and Kashmir-oriented militants, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was formed in the late 1980s in Pakistan and designated as an FTO in 2001.

Led by Hafiz Saeed and based in both Pakistan's Punjab province and in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), it is more recently fronted by the ostensibly charitable Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

The LeT was responsible for major 2008 attacks in Mumbai, as well as numerous other high-profile attacks.

The Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) was founded in 2000 by Kashmiri militant leader Masood Azhar and was designated as an FTO in 2001. Along with the LeT, it was responsible for a 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament, among numerous others.

Based in both Punjab and in PoK, the JEM's several hundred armed supporters operate in India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. JEM also has openly declared war on the US.

Harakat-ul Jihad Islami (HUJI) was formed in 1980 in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet army and was designated as an FTO in 2010. After 1989 it redirected its efforts toward India, although it did supply fighters to the Afghan Taliban. With an unknown strength, HUJI today operates in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India.

Harakat ul-Mujahadeen (HUM) was designated as an FTO in 1997 and operates mainly from PoK and from some Pakistani cities.It was responsible for the 1999 hijacking of an Indian airliner, leading to the release from an Indian prison of JEM's future founder; most HUM cadres subsequently defected to that group.

Hizb-ul Mujahideen (HM) was formed in 1989 reportedly as the militant wing of Pakistan's largest Islamist political party and designated as an FTO in 2017. The HM's cadre of unknown size is composed primarily of ethnic Kashmiris. Although Kashmir based, the group reportedly has key funding sources in Pakistan.

According to the US State Department's Country Reports on Terrorism 2019 (released in June 2020), Pakistan has "continued to serve as a safe haven for certain regionally focused terrorist groups", and has "allowed groups targeting Afghanistan, as well as groups targeting India, to operate from its territory".

The Department noted "modest steps" taken by Pakistan's government to counter terrorism financing and to "restrain" some India-focused militant groups following an early 2019 terrorist attack in Kashmir.

It assessed, however, that "Islamabad has yet to take decisive actions against India- and Afghanistan-focused militants," and that "progress on the most difficult aspects of its 2015 National Action Plan to counter terrorism remains unfulfilled— specifically its pledge to dismantle all terrorist organizations without delay and discrimination".

On the topic of "terrorist safe havens", the Department concluded that Pakistan's government and military "acted inconsistently with respect to terrorist safe havens throughout the country. Authorities did not take sufficient action to stop certain terrorist groups and individuals from openly operating in the country".

Source: Times of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/al-qaeda-operated-from-khyber-pakhtunkhwa-karachi-report/articleshow/86580051.cms

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Joe Biden has no plans to call Imran Khan soon: Spokesperson

Sep 28, 2021

NEW YORK: Joe Biden has no immediate plans to call Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has blamed Washington for the Afghanistan mess and its fallout in Islamabad, according to the US President's spokesperson Jen Psaki.

Asked by a reporter if Biden would call Khan "soon", Psaki said on Monday: "I don't have anything to predict at this point in time."

While officials at various levels of the US government have spoken to their Pakistani counterparts, Biden has not reached out personally to Khan.

The reporter said that while Biden was "mid-meeting" with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 24, Khan at the UN delivered "some scathing criticism of the US's actions in Afghanistan. And he's lamented the lack of direct engagement between himself and President Biden".

"Why hasn't the President used this aggressive diplomacy to answer that call from the Prime Minister of Pakistan to engage directly?" she asked.

Psaki replied: "The President has not spoken with every foreign leader at this point in time; that is absolutely true. But he, of course, has a team -- an expert team deployed to do exactly that.

"I wouldn't overread into a leader-to-leader call in that particular regard."

Khan had given a similar reaction when an interviewer had asked him about Biden's silence.

Asked by a CNN interviewer earlier this month about not having had a personal conversation with Biden, Khan said: "I would imagine he's very busy, but our relationship with the US is not just dependent on a phone call, it needs to be a multidimensional relationship."

At Monday's briefing, Psaki said: "We have been in touch at very high levels with leaders in Pakistan from the State Department, from the Department of Defence, and from other key components of the administration.a

"We are continuing to work together and work on initiatives where we can, make clear where we have concern."

Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi last week in New York and has held several phone conversations with him.

Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has also spoken several times with Pakistan's Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is scheduled to visit Pakistan next month on a trip that will also take her to India.

On September 24, Khan spoke at the UN just after Biden's Quad summit with Modi and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan and Scott Morrison of Australia.

"There is a lot of worry in the US about taking care of the interpreters and everyone who helped the US. What about us?" the Pakistani leader asked.

Source: Times of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/joe-biden-has-no-plans-to-call-imran-khan-soon-spokesperson/articleshow/86575061.cms

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US State Department no. 2 to visit Pakistan, India after Taliban takeover

27 September ,2021

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will travel next month to Pakistan and India, bitter rivals that have clashed on the way forward in Afghanistan, the State Department announced Monday.

Sherman, after CIA chief Bill Burns, will be one of the first high-level officials under President Joe Biden to visit Pakistan, which has long irritated the United States over its relationship with the Taliban.

Sherman will meet senior officials in Islamabad on October 7-8 after an earlier visit to New Delhi and Mumbai on October 6-7, when she will meet officials and civil society leaders and address the US-India Business council’s annual “ideas summit,” the State Department said.

The trip comes as India, one of the top allies of the Western-backed Afghan government that collapsed last month, urges the world to pay closer attention to Pakistan’s role in the turmoil.

Pakistan was the primary backer of the 1996-2001 Taliban regime, and has been accused by US officials of keeping the insurgents alive through covert support.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, in an opinion piece published Monday in The Washington Post, called his country a “convenient scapegoat.”

“In Afghanistan, the lack of legitimacy for an outsider’s protracted war was compounded by a corrupt and inept Afghan government, seen as a puppet regime without credibility, especially by rural Afghans,” he wrote, elaborating on themes in his address Friday to the UN General Assembly.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/09/27/US-State-Department-no-2-to-visit-Pakistan-India-after-Taliban-takeover

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Pentagon leaders to face hearings in Congress over Afghanistan troop withdrawal

28 September ,2021

President Joe Biden’s top military leaders are expected to face some of the most contentious hearings in memory this week over the chaotic end to the war in Afghanistan, which cost the lives of US troops and civilians and left the Taliban back in power.

The Senate and House committees overseeing the US military will hold hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, where Republicans are hoping to zero in on mistakes that Biden’s administration made toward the end of the two-decade-old war.

That will follow similar questioning two weeks ago that saw US Secretary of State Antony Blinken staunchly defending the administration, even as he faced calls for his resignation.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is expected to praise American personnel who helped airlift 124,000 Afghans out of the country, an operation that also cost the lives of 13 US troops and scores of Afghans in a suicide bombing outside the Kabul airport.

Austin is expected to “be frank about the things we could have done better,” a US official told Reuters.

That will also certainly include the US military’s last drone strike before withdrawing, which the Pentagon acknowledges killed 10 civilians, most of them children - and not the ISIS militants it thought it was attacking.

“We lost lives and we took likes in this evacuation,” the official said.

Ahead of the hearing, Senator James Inhofe, the Senate Armed Services Committee’s top Republican, wrote to Austin with a long list of requests for information, including on the Aug. 26 airport bombing, equipment left behind and the administration’s future counter-terrorism plans.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, said lawmakers would also press about “a lack of coordination and a real plan for how we were going to get all the Afghans who helped us out of the country.”

“I don’t know if we’ll get answers. But questions will be raised again about why we got to the point that we did in Afghanistan,” she told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Many of the hardest questions may fall to the two senior US military commanders testifying: Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Marine General Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command.

McKenzie called the drone strike a “tragic mistake,” one that critics say raises hard questions about America’s ability to properly identify counter-terrorism targets in Afghanistan following the US withdrawal.

But McKenzie and other US officials will be under pressure to defend the Biden administration’s plans to address future counter-terrorism threats from groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS by flying in drones or commandos from overseas.

Republicans have accused the Biden administration of downplaying the risks associated with that so-called “over the horizon” capability.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2021/09/28/Pentagon-leaders-to-face-hearings-in-Congress-over-Afghanistan-troop-withdrawal-

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Scientists reconstruct 3D faces of Egyptian mummies from over 2,000 years ago

28 September ,2021

Researchers in the US have used DNA data from mummified remains to create 3D reconstructions of the faces of three men who lived in ancient Egypt more than 2,000 years ago.

The mummies came from Abusir el-Meleq, an ancient Egyptian city to the south of Cairo, and they were buried between 1380 B.C. and A.D. 425, LiveScience reported.

In 2017, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Tübingen, Germany have successfully sequenced the DNA from Egyptian mummies for the first time.

Taking on the technology, researchers at Parabon NanoLabs, a DNA technology company in Reston, Virginia, have used that genetic data to create 3D models of the mummies’ faces.

The experts created the faces through a process called forensic DNA phenotyping which uses genetic analysis to be recreate the shape of facial features and other aspects of a person’s physical appearance.

“This is the first-time comprehensive DNA phenotyping has been performed on human DNA of this age,” Parabon representatives said in a statement.

Parabon revealed the mummies’ faces on Sept. 15 at the 32nd International Symposium on Human Identification in Orlando, Florida.

Scientists used a phenotyping method called Snapshot to predict the men’s ancestry, skin color and facial features.

The findings reveal that these ancient people were more genetically like populations living in the eastern Mediterranean — a region that today includes Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and Iraq — than people living in modern-day Egypt. The researchers then generated 3D meshes outlining the mummies’ facial features, and calculated heat maps to highlight the differences between the three individuals and refine the details of each face.

Parabon’s forensic artist then combined these results with Snapshot’s predictions about skin, eye, and hair color.

Worldwide, the remains of thousands of mummies from ancient Egypt have been excavated, but obtaining intact, undamaged DNA from the bodies has proved challenging.

Other research teams made at least previous attempts to sequence DNA from mummies but proved inconclusive. The first undertaking occurred in 1985 and was later shown to be flawed, because the samples had become contaminated with modern DNA.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2021/09/28/Scientists-reconstruct-3D-faces-of-Egyptian-mummies-from-over-2-000-years-ago

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US national security adviser to travel to Saudi Arabia, UAE

Servet Gunerigok 

27.09.2021

WASHINGTON

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan will travel to the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said the White House National Security Council on Monday.

According to a statement by National Security Council's spokesperson Emily Horne, President Joe Biden's adviser will be joined by National Security Council Middle East and North Africa Coordinator Brett McGurk and US special envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking.

"Mr. Sullivan will meet with senior leaders on a range of regional and global challenges," said the statement.

According to the Associated Press, Sullivan will meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the Yemen war, while he might also meet with Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman, a brother to the crown prince, said the US network, citing two senior administration officials.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/us-national-security-adviser-to-travel-to-saudi-arabia-uae/2376252

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