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Sinicisation Erasing ‘Arab-Style’ Mosques In China

New Age Islam News Bureau

02 October 2021


A view of the Dongguan mosque in downtown Xining in Qinghai province in July, 2011. Photo: AFP / Emeric Fohlen / NurPhoto


• ‘South African Muslims Helped Gandhi Fight Against Injustice’

• Taliban Say They Have Raided Islamic State Hideout North Of Kabul

• Egypt Thwarts Plot to ‘Revive’ Muslim Brotherhood

• Pakistan Can Repel Militants, Protect Nukes, Says US Report

 Southeast Asia

• Accusing PAS of hypocrisy, Mat Sabu touts Guan Eng as Tabung Haji saviour, DAP for upholding Islamic values



• Nigeria facing most difficult period in history: President Buhari

• Tunisia police block MPs’ access to suspended parliament amid political crisis

• Around 700 migrants try to cross into Spain’s Melilla enclave

• UN clarifies position on Ethiopia's expulsion of humanitarian officials


South Asia

• 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan' appointed envoy seeks UN recognition

• Bangladesh Vows ‘Stern Action’ Against Killers Of Rohingya Leader

• UN committee to review Taliban credential issue to meet in November

• Russia urges calm between Tajikistan, Afghanistan

• Taliban reiterate commitment to ensuring security of foreign diplomats

• Degeneration of journalism, Afghan journalist making bricks to feed family


Arab World

• Lebanon PM Says Working to Repair Relations with Arab States

• US names al-Qaeda commander killed in Syria

• Turkish company halts power supplies to crisis-hit Lebanon after contract expires

• Saudi Defence Forces destroy Houthi drone aimed at Jazan



• Pakistan Govt in Talks with TTP, Reveals Imran Khan

• Pakistani Taliban denies talks with Islamabad

• Pakistani scholars highlight importance of Arbaeen at conference in Lahore

• Pakistani Taliban announces 20-day ceasefire in South Waziristan

• Pakistan blames ‘lobbies, neighbours’ for US bill seeking sanctions

• Pak Senate seeks report on killing of Sikh Hakeem

• Pakistan: Changes needed on EU plan on rights in Afghanistan


North America

• Khashoggi Fiancee Urges Biden to Fulfil Pledge About Saudi Journalist's Death

• Uyghurs protest anniversary of China in US capital

• US official calls for Pakistan action on terrorism before visit



• Organization of Islamic Cooperation Condemns Israel’s Violation of Rights in East Jerusalem

• FM: Iran Not to Tolerate Israel's Presence near Borders

• Iran: Israeli Regime's Dream Never to Come True

• Clashes break out in Aden between STC members, four fighters killed: Security sources

• Iran warns ‘enemies’ against uncalculated moves amid tensions with Azerbaijan

• UN agency for Palestinian refugees needs $800 mln

• IRGC’s Quds Force members are soldiers outside the borders: Iranian FM

• Iran begins war games near border, despite criticism from Azerbaijan

• At least three hurt in Iran quake: Official media



• Afghan interpreters who worked for the Dutch summoned by Taliban: TV

• Belgian Muslims Turn to Strasbourg Court after Halal Slaughter Ban

• Russia’s Ancient city of Phanagoria sheds light on history with Turkish traces

• UN says it does not have 'meaningful' access to China's Xinjiang region



• Gurugram: People Offer Friday Prayers under Police Vigil amid Several Protests

• UP Police accuses journalist Siddiqui Kappan of inciting violence, instigating Muslims

• LeT terrorist killed, another held with grenade in separate Shopian ops

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Sinicisation Erasing ‘Arab-Style’ Mosques In China


OCTOBER 1, 2021


A view of the Dongguan mosque in downtown Xining in Qinghai province in July, 2011. Photo: AFP / Emeric Fohlen / NurPhoto



In the normally quiet city of Xining, the capital of northwest China’s Qinghai province, everyday interactions between the city’s ethnic groups – Han Chinese, Hui Muslim, Tibetans, Turkic Salars and others – usually pass without conflict or fanfare.

But thanks to the municipal government’s controversial demolition of the entrance hall of the city’s famous Dongguan Mosque, one of the largest in China, the city finds itself squarely in the cross-hairs of a nationwide campaign to make Islam more Chinese or “sinicize” it – in official language – “to guide Islam to be compatible with socialism.”

The removal of the “Arabic-style” domes and minarets from the front gate of the mosque has sparked a backlash from local residents and even captured the attention of foreign diplomats. The story of the Dongguan’s renovation signals the expansion of an ongoing crackdown on Islam in China, which has thus far largely been enacted against Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims.

On July 9, 2021, images of a notice from the Xining municipal government announcing the renovation of the front gate of the Dongguan Mosque circulated on social media sites such as Sina Weibo and Zhihu.

Similar changes were enacted at the city’s other mosques – at least 10 of which stand in the city’s central Chengdong District, alone. Twitter users in Xining documented and shared images of these changes as they swept across the city.

The displeased reaction of the local Hui Muslim community – which comprises 16% of Xining’s population – was palpable. On July 15, a woman wearing a hijab prostrated herself in prayer on the street in front of the mosque while she sobbed.

Captured on video, the woman’s lone protest spread online, inspiring a cartoon that went viral.

But protests proved futile. On September 13, a tweet from Christina Scott, the British deputy head of mission to China, who was visiting the city, compared the photo of the building in a recent guidebook which displayed its Arabesque features, to the current state of the building, denuded of its dome and minarets.

The sinicization of the Dongguan Mosque suggests a worrisome trend toward a state-driven, coercive assimilation of Muslim minorities by the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

Campaign of sinicization

The demolition of the front gate has happened against the backdrop of a much larger crackdown on Islamic identity unfolding across China.

The most notable aspects of this campaign have occurred in the area China refers to as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region as a part of the so-called “People’s War on Terror,” a repressive campaign that criminalizes many aspects of everyday religious behavior.

Turkic Muslims have been detained in concentration camps, sentenced to lengthy prison terms and subjected to forced labor.

For Hui communities, this crackdown has resulted in the foreclosure of non-state approved expressions of faith. Internal party speeches have likened Islam to a “virus.” It’s this mentality that drives the regime to curtail overtly Islamic architecture in public spaces.

The Nanguan Mosque in Yinchuan underwent a similar transformation in 2020. Linxia Hui Autonomous County in Gansu removed loudspeakers – usually used to broadcast the call to prayer – and Arabic signs from mosques in June 2018.

In December the same year, three mosques in Yunnan were demolished, having been declared “illegal unregistered buildings.”

By late 2019, reports from Henan, and Shandong, pointed to the national expansion of the campaign. Even shops and restaurants have seen their Arabic signage sinicized.

Center of Islam

The symbolic importance of the Dongguan Mosque is hard to understate. Politically, the Dongguan has long represented power within the region.

When I visited the area several years ago to research my forthcoming book, Pure and True: The everyday politics of ethnicity for China’s Hui Muslims, one of the people I interviewed referred to the neighborhood it dominated as the “de-facto Islamic capital of China.”

The area is home to countless businesses, restaurants and cultural resources. The mosque provides classes in Arabic and posts collection boxes for donations to charitable projects.

As a place of worship, the Dongguan is the only Yihewani mosque in Xining that holds weekly Friday afternoon prayers. As many as 70,000 people attend in a typical week, spilling out into the street.

During Ramadan, more than 200,000 people might gather for Friday prayers, with Eid celebrations drawing as many as 300,000.

Friday prayers at the Dongguan Mosque were seen as prominent examples of cooperation between local government and the mosque. The local government assisted in crowd management by sending traffic officers to direct heavy traffic on the street during prayers.

Even though the mosque’s front gate, a recent addition built in the early 1990s, is not by any means a “heritage” feature, it still stands as a visible cultural symbol at the community’s heart.

The fact that it is being stripped of iconography which visually links it to Islam is jarring. The emotional impact of this decision on community members will undoubtedly be significant.

The future of Islam in Hui communities

To date, sinicization has been met with little resistance. In August 2018, in rural Weizhou township, east of Qinghai, the proposed demolition of the community’s Grand Mosque sparked demonstrations by the clergy in protest.

While the building was ultimately spared from total demolition, its “Arabian-style” architectural features were sinicized, its dome removed and remodeled with a Chinese-style roof.

On my visit in early 2016, residents of Weizhou expressed pride in their mosque as a sign of their community’s ascent to moderate prosperity from the depths of rural poverty. The demonstrations of 2018 spoke to the residents’ shock that their symbol of successful cooperation with the state could be targeted for demolition.

As the sinicization campaign arrives on the doorstep of China’s most prominent and culturally important mosque, such sentiments of discontent will only magnify. In enacting aggressive measures of standardization the party threatens to undermine the stability it seeks to preserve.

The demolition of the front gate prompted frustration and mobilization, suggesting that strong currents of dissatisfaction run beneath the surface.

David R. Stroup, Assistant Professor in Chinese Studies, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester

Source: Asia Times

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‘South African Muslims Helped Gandhi Fight Against Injustice’

Hassan Isilow  



On the 152nd birth anniversary of India’s freedom icon Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi, on Saturday, a South African lawyer recalled the contribution of Muslim families to help him fight against injustice.

Gandhi arrived in South Africa in 1893 and in no time became the leader of the Indian community. He worked as an attorney and activist till 1914. In his own words, he was born in India but was made in South Africa.

“Muslim families helped Gandhi generously through hosting and financing him as he set up his operations in Natal and South Africa,’’ Saber Ahmed Jazbhay, a leading lawyer, told Anadolu Agency.

He said Muslim businesses at the time were largely affected by colonial oppression and racism.

“Gandhi did not only influence Indians in South Africa but all races were touched by his philosophy, as he showed there was an alternative to violence,” he said.

While marking the centenary of Gandhi’s non-violent movement in January 2007, the late Nelson Mandela had acknowledged that Gandhi’s philosophy had contributed to the peaceful transformation and attempted to heal the divisions created by the detestable practice of apartheid.

Attorney Jazbhay, who started studying Gandhi’s philosophy in the early 1970s, said his teachings are still relevant in the 21st century.

“Gandhi began his non-violent movement while in Johannesburg in 1906. Young Gandhi was invited to South Africa to represent the Dada Abdullah business firm owned by a Muslim family regarding a dispute involving their land and businesses in Johannesburg,” he said.

- Removed from whites-only carriage

Jazbhay said it was when Gandhi left Johannesburg to travel to KwaZulu-Natal that he realized how badly Indians were being treated, as he himself was kicked out from the train for traveling in the first class, meant only for the white people.

“Muslim families helped Gandhi generously through hosting and financing him as he set up his operations in Natal and South Africa. The overall purpose of those who helped Gandhi was to see him get them the social justice that they wanted,” said the top lawyer.

While many African leaders fighting colonialism have eulogized Gandhi for his philosophy, off late there have been attempts to portray him as a "racist," for standing up for the rights of Indians only living in South Africa and ignoring the Black population.

In 2018, Gandhi’s statue was removed from the University of Ghana, just two years after it was unveiled by then Indian President Pranab Mukherjee. Some political parties in South Africa have been also asking for the removal of Gandhi’s statute in Johannesburg at the iconic Gandhi Square.

But several pro-Gandhi advocacy groups, including his granddaughter Ela Gandhi, have strongly contested the allegations of racism against India’s freedom icon.

Achieving goals through non-violence losing relevance

But Mustafa Mheta, a Johannesburg-based researcher, said the concept of achieving goals through non-violence has lost relevance in Africa.

“The majority of the people have got such deep-seated anger in them, and the bulk of that anger is either arising from the state treating its people ‘brutally ‘or from economic hardships,'’’ he said.

Iqbal Jassat, executive member of Media Review Network, a Johannesburg-based think tank, said Africa is confronting a range of challenges from poverty, malnutrition, joblessness, and refugee issues, coupled with corruption and dictatorships.

“Overcoming these requires firm opposition which regrettably, as is evidenced in Egypt and elsewhere, is met with violent repression,’’ he said.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Taliban say they have raided Islamic State hideout north of Kabul

1 October 2021

KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban fighters raided a hideout of the Islamic State group north of the Afghan capital on Friday, killing and arresting an unspecified number of militants, a Taliban spokesman said.

Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August, there has been an increase in attacks by IS militants targeting Taliban members. The Taliban and IS are enemies, and the attacks have raised the specter of a wider conflict between the long-time rivals.

In late August, an IS suicide bomber targeted US evacuation efforts outside Kabul international airport in one of the deadliest attacks in the country in years. The blast killed 169 Afghans and 13 US service members.

Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi told The Associated Press that Friday’s raid took place in the city of Charikar in Parwan province. He did not provide more details and his statement could not be independently verified.

The raid followed an arrest by the Taliban of two IS members linked to a roadside bombing that targeted their vehicle in the city, wounding four fighters, Karimi said. The two were questioned and the information they provided helped the Taliban identify the hideout, he added.

The IS is based largely in eastern Nangarhar province but the group has ramped up attacks across Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover. Several Taliban fighters have been killed in IS attacks in the provincial capital of Jalalabad. In response, the Taliban have carried out crackdowns in Nangarhar.

Source: Times of India

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Egypt Thwarts Plot to ‘Revive’ Muslim Brotherhood

1 October, 2021

Egyptian authorities said on Thursday they have thwarted a plot aimed at financing the banned Muslim Brotherhood and reviving its activities in the country.

The plot aimed to funnel funds using imprisoned Brotherhood leader Safwan Thabet’s companies into “terrorist activities,” the interior ministry said in a statement, adding that $8.4 million and ammunition had been found in an apartment in Giza, across the Nile from central Cairo.

According to the statement, the National Security Agency found out that Brotherhood member Yehia Mahran Othman played a prominent role in the plan.

Thabet assigned Othman to use his companies in transferring and concealing the terrorist organization’s funds in an attempt to circumvent the legal measures taken to freeze his assets, Akhbar el-Yom reported, quoting the statement.

Thabet was arrested in December on charges of joining an outlawed group, inciting violence, and financing a terrorist group. His son Seifeldin was detained in February after taking over as chairman.

Egypt banned the Brotherhood in 2014, designating it as a terrorist organization.

It has been accused of involvement in violent acts that took place after the ouster of president Mohammed Morsi – a member of the group – in 2013.

Hundreds of its leaders and supporters, including its supreme guide Mohammed Badie, are on trial on charges largely related to incitement to violence. Several verdicts, including death sentences, have been issued against the suspects.

Commenting on the latest security operation, former Assistant to the Minister of Interior, Farouk al-Mekrahi told Asharq Al-Awsat the ministry is keen to take preemptive measures against the group to avoid any attempts that would harm Egypt’s security.

Source: Asharq Al-Awsat

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Pakistan can repel militants, protect nukes, says US report

Anwar Iqbal

October 2, 2021

WASHINGTON: Pakistan is capable of repelling any ‘jihadi’ attempt to seize power and of protecting its nuclear weapons, says a report by a prestigious US think-tank.

The Brookings report — “The Agonising Problem of Pakistan’s Nukes” — argues that the Taliban victory in Afghanistan has emboldened militants in Pakistan, stirring fears of a resurgence of militant activities in the country.

“The fear now includes the possibility that jihadis in Pakistan, freshly inspired by the Taliban victory in Afghanistan, might try to seize power at home,” the report claims.

“Trying, of course, is not the same as succeeding. If history is a reliable guide, Pakistan’s professional military would almost certainly respond, and in time probably succeed,” the author, Marvin Kalb, adds.

But the report warns that even a failed attempt could reopen “the floodgates of a new round of domestic warfare between the government and extremist gangs.”

The Brookings report warns that a resurgent insurgency would “leave Pakistan again shaken by political and economic uncertainty.”

The report then turns to another possibility that Pakistan has often warned against — instability in South Asia increases the possibility of a nuclear conflict in the region. Pakistan uses this argument to strengthen its demand for international arbitration to settle the Kashmir and other disputes in India.

The Brookings report does not mention the Kashmir dispute but it acknowledges that “when Pakistan is shaken, so too is India, its less than neighbourly rival and nuclear competitor.”

Change in Kabul

Going back to the Taliban victory in Afghanistan, the report claims that the development has increased the possibility of a “terrorist regime” in Pakistan “from a fear into a strategic challenge that no American president can afford to ignore.”

The report, however, notes that Pakistan’s political and military leaders have assured a succession of “anxious (American) presidents” that this cannot happen as the country is strong enough to fight back the militants.

The report also notes that Pakistan’s security establishment has always closely wat­ched various terrorist groups operating in the country.

Pakistani officials tell their American counterparts that “whether it be Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, the Haqq­ani network, Lashkar-e-Tai­­ba, Tehreek-i-Labaik, (they are) under our constant surveillance, checked and rechecked.

“We keep a close eye on everything, even the madrassas, where more than 2 million students are more likely studying sharia law than economics or history. We know who these terrorists are and what they’re doing, and we’re ready to take immediate action.”

Despite such assurances, the report claims, the United States remains concerned about Pakistan’s nukes. “Ever since May 1998, when Pakistan first began testing nuclear weapons, American presidents have been haunted by the fear that Pakistan’s stockpile of nukes would fall into the wrong hands,” the report adds.

The report argues that since the recent debacle in Afghanistan, and Pakistan’s alleged role in it “serious questions have been raised about America’s embarrassing predisposition to look the other way.”

Source: Dawn

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Southeast Asia


Accusing PAS of hypocrisy, Mat Sabu touts Guan Eng as Tabung Haji saviour, DAP for upholding Islamic values

02 Oct 2021


KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 ― DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng was the protagonist who saved Tabung Haji for Malaysia’s greater good, Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu proclaimed during an online ceramah in Kelantan last night.

Popularly known as Mat Sabu, the former defence minister said it was Lim who convinced the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Cabinet in 2019 to “save” the Muslim pilgrims’ fund which had assets in excess of RM80 billion, news portal Malaysia Dateline reported today.

“If he did not work to save Tabung Haji, Malaysia’s rating would fall. That is why he argued to save the Muslim body.

“It is because of that, that the Cabinet at the time decided to save Tabung Haji and inject several billions into it,” the Kota Raja MP was quoted as saying during the one-hour programme titled “Santai Bersama Presiden Amanah”.

Mohamad noted that Lim was finance minister at that time and under fire from Umno and PAS detractors who accused the DAP leader and the PH government of having sold Tabung Haji to China.

The Amanah leader claimed many “ustaz” in Umno and PAS would persistently make unsubstantiated allegations about Tabung Haji and “attack” Lim, the DAP and PH during the by-election campaigns in Cameron Highlands, Semenyih and Tanjung Piai, “saying the government has sold out to China, DAP now rules the government, Islam is at risk”.

Mohamad accused PAS leaders of being the most “savage” in the attacks against Lim and the DAP to create the impression that the Malays must band together to “save Malaysia from being threatened by the Chinese”.

In his talk, Mohamad said it was the democratic socialist DAP that stood up for Islamic values and pushed anti-gambling policies.

Source: Malay Mail

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Nigeria facing most difficult period in history: President Buhari

Olarewaju Kola 


LAGOS, Nigeria

Nigeria is experiencing the most difficult time in its history, the country’s president said in his Independence Day address on Friday.

Muhammadu Buhari said growing insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic have hampered Nigeria’s drive for economic stability, but assured citizens of efforts to redress the situation.

Nigeria broke free from British colonial rule on Oct. 1, 1960 after years of political struggle.

The West African country, the most populous one on the continent, has been grappling with a host of challenges over the past two years, including kidnappings, terror attacks, lawlessness, and even agitation for self-determination in some parts.

“The past 18 months have been some of the most difficult periods in the history of Nigeria,” he said, adding that the country has not faced “a period of more heightened challenges” since the civil war from 1967 to 1970.

The president said the escalating insecurity and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the government “to shift gears and re-strategize.”

Speaking about the pandemic, Buhari said Nigeria had managed to avoid the predicted “doomsday scenario.”

“Even as the Delta variant continues to spread, we have built the capacity we need to respond now and into the future,” he said.

“I appeal to Nigerians not to take COVID lightly, adhere to public health and social measures, put your mask on and get vaccinated. We can control this pandemic, but it requires effort on everybody’s part.”

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Tunisia police block MPs’ access to suspended parliament amid political crisis

01 October ,2021

Security forces deployed heavily around Tunisia’s parliament on Friday to block MPs demanding access to the legislature, whose activities were suspended by President Kais Saied in July.

AFP reporters saw uniformed and plain-clothes police using metal barriers to encircle the building in Le Bardo district of Greater Tunis, blocking access for pedestrians and cars.

More than 80 deputies, mostly from the Ennahdha party and its ally Qalb Tounes, had called for members of the 217-seat assembly to gather outside and demand it be reopened.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Saied on July 25 suspended the legislature, sacked the government and seized control of the judiciary, later moving to rule by decree.

On Wednesday he appointed geologist Najla Bouden to form a government, which Saied himself will technically head under measures he announced last week.

Parliament remains frozen and its members stripped of their immunity, salaries and other privileges.

Yet despite dozens of MPs joining calls for a gathering to demand entry to parliament, AFP reporters only saw one.

“As a member of parliament, I’ve come to resume my work at parliament, but I found the doors closed,” said Mohamed Goumani from Ennahdha.

Supporters of Saied accosted him as plain clothed police looked on.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Around 700 migrants try to cross into Spain’s Melilla enclave

01 October ,2021

An unprecedented group of 700 migrants tried to cross the fence into Spain’s Melilla enclave overnight but were rebuffed by Moroccan border forces, a Spanish official said Friday.

“There were about 700 people who tried to reach the border fence,” a spokesman for the Spanish government delegation in Melilla told AFP.

None of the group, all of whom were from sub-Saharan Africa, were able to cross thanks to coordination between the Spanish and Moroccan security forces, the spokesman said.

Although hundreds of people had tried to cross the fence before now, “we haven’t seen a number like 700 before,” he said, describing their efforts to reach the fence as “very well-coordinated.”

“It was very well organized, they were trying to reach different points of the border fence at the same time, to split up the security forces who were trying to stop them,” he said, describing the approach as “relatively new.”

“There are those who lead, those who split off and those who act as scouts, in other words everything is perfectly coordinated and planned.”

Spain’s two tiny enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla have Europe’s only land border with Africa, making them a magnet for migrants desperate to escape grinding poverty and hunger.

Source: Al Arabiya

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UN clarifies position on Ethiopia's expulsion of humanitarian officials

Gozde Bayar  


A day after Ethiopia ordered seven UN humanitarian staff to leave the country, UN said on Friday it is the long-standing legal position of the organization not to accept the application of the doctrine of persona non grata, with respect to UN officials.

"This is a doctrine that applies to diplomatic agents accredited by one state to another state," said Farhan Haq, the spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, at a press briefing.

"The application of this doctrine to United Nations officials is contrary to obligations under the Charter of the United Nations and the privileges and immunities to be accorded to the United Nations and its officials," he added.

The spokesman also said Guterres received a call on Friday from the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed, in which he reiterated the "position of the United Nations, which was formerly conveyed today to the permanent mission".

He said the rule is that when concerns arise with regard to the conduct of UN personnel, the requirement is that such concerns are appropriately conveyed to the organization and then the Secretary-General will make the necessary determinations and take the necessary steps to address the matter.

On Thursday, Ethiopia ordered the UN officials to leave the country within 72 hours.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, staffers from different UN organizations have been declared “persona non grata” for "meddling in the internal affairs" of the nation.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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South Asia


'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan' appointed envoy seeks UN recognition

October 1, 2021

Suhail Shaheen, the United Nations envoy nominated by the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” (IEA) has once again urged the world body to recognise him as the representative of the Taliban-ruled country, saying the former Kabul government “exists no more”.

The UN last month rejected Shaheen's appointment as Afghanistan's representative, extending the tenure of Ghulam Mohammad Isaczai, the permanent representative of Afghanistan to the UN-appointed by the former president Ashraf Ghan-led administration.

The Islamic Emirate's appointed envoy to the UN, Shaheen, once again called on the UN to allow him to represent Afghanistan, Tolo News reported. Shaheen, the Taliban spokesman, said that since the former government of Afghanistan has collapsed, its envoy cannot represent Afghanistan, it said.

“The Kabul Administration exists no more and has no components of a government while the IEA, having all components of a government, is the only and real representative of the people of Afghanistan,” Shaheen, who now identifies himself as the IEA Permanent Representative-designate to UN, tweeted on Thursday.

No country has officially recognised the IEA government in Afghanistan. India has made it clear that the future Afghanistan government in Kabul must be inclusive, respecting the rights of women, children, and minorities.

Tolo News, meanwhile, quoted Kabul-based political analysts as saying that no representation at all the UN could spell negative outcomes for the war-torn country.

“The presence of Mr Ishaqzai at the UN is meaningless and useless. The president fled and there is no Republic in Afghanistan," political commentator Salim Kakar was quoted in the report. Global relations educationist Hamid Obaidi said: “The Taliban should understand international relations--the international issues and mutual interests.”

Source: India Today

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Bangladesh vows ‘stern action’ against killers of Rohingya leader

02 October ,2021

Bangladesh's foreign minister vowed “stern action” on Saturday against the killers of Rohingya refugee leader Mohib Ullah as calls grew to investigate his shooting.

Mohib Ullah, who was in his late 40s, was killed by unknown gunmen in a camp in Cox’s Bazar on Wednesday night.

He led one of the largest community groups to emerge since more than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar after a military crackdown in August 2017.

“The government will take stern action against those who were involved in the killing. No one will be spared,” Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen said in his first comment since the killing.

Momen said in a statement that “vested” interests were responsible for the killing as Mohib Ullah had wanted to return to Myanmar. “The killers of Mohib Ullah must be brought to justice.”

Authorities arrested three refugees in connection with the killing, said Naimul Huq, a police official in Cox's Bazar, giving gave no further details.

Mohib Ullah was known as a moderate who advocated for the Rohingya to return to Myanmar with rights they were denied during decades of persecution.

He was the leader of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights, founded in 2017 to document atrocities against Rohingya in their native Myanmar and give them a voice in international talks about their future.

But his high profile made him a target of hardliners and he received death threats, he told Reuters in 2019. “If I die, I’m fine. I will give my life,” he said at the time.

The killing has ignited grief and anger in the camps, the world’s largest refugee settlement, where some residents interviewed by Reuters say the killing is the latest evidence of mounting violence as armed gangs and extremists vie for power.

In a video circulated on social media, his brother, Habib Ullah, who said he witnessed the shooting, blamed the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, an armed group active in the camps.

Source: Al Arabiya

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UN committee to review Taliban credential issue to meet in November

Oct 2, 2021

UNITED NATIONS: The UN Credentials Committee that will review the Taliban's communication in which it nominated Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan's envoy to the UN is expected to meet next month, with the General Assembly president saying the entire 193-nation strong membership will decide on the matter once the committee submits its findings on who should sit at Kabul's seat in the world body.

Myanmar and Afghanistan were the only two countries out of the 193-nation strong General Assembly membership that did not speak at the just-concluded high-level UNGA week.

“Yes, I am in touch with the (Credentials) Committee. Sweden is the chair of the committee. I have communicated the correspondences to the committee chair. Usually, the committee meets in November, brings the report to the General Assembly in December for adoption and I am sure that Sweden will keep to the credentials schedule,” President of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid said in his first press conference here on Friday.

Shahid was responding to a question on whether he is in contact with the members of the Credentials Committee on the issue of representation of Myanmar and Afghanistan at the UN.

Initially, Afghanistan's Permanent Representative appointed by the ousted Ashraf Ghani-government, Ghulam Isaczai, was listed to speak for the country on the final day of the General Debate on September 27. However, Isaczai withdrew his participation.

The Taliban had written to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres nominating their spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan's ambassador to the UN and had asked to participate in the high-level 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

Following the February 1 coup in Myanmar, its military rulers have said the country's Ambassador at UN Kyaw Moe Tun has been dismissed and they want Aung Thurein to replace him.

The matter of who represents the two countries at the UN has now gone to the Credentials Committee, currently being chaired by Sweden and with the US, China, Russia, Bahamas, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Bhutan and Chile as members.

Shahid said the Credentials Committee will consider the matters on its agenda and they will submit the report, as other committees do, to the General Assembly.

“Of course, the General Assembly as the universal body makes a decision. So it will be the 193 countries who will decide,” he said, adding that the Committee will review and submit its findings and then the entire 193 member countries “will have the opportunity to decide. This has been the past practice and it's been done many many times”.

Shahid further said whenever the UN receives “conflicting” credentials communications, they are referred to the Committee. Sweden, as chair, will do the consultations and then a report is expected to be submitted to the General Assembly in December.

“So I'm waiting for the chair to convene the meeting,” he said, adding that the “final decision” on the credentials will be made by the General Assembly and then communicated to the administration “whichever way the General Assembly decides”.

Shahid also specified that apart from the letter from the Taliban last month, no other communication has been received from the group.

On September 20, on the eve of the commencement of the high-level UN General Debate, the Secretary-General had received a communication with the letterhead “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs” dated September 20, 2021, signed by “Ameer Khan Muttaqi” as “Minister of Foreign Affairs”, requesting to participate in the “76th session of the UN General Assembly on September 21-27, 2021”.

Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, had told PTI that the letter also indicates that as of August 15, 2021, “Mohammad Ashraf Ghani is ousted and [countries across the world] no longer recognise him as president”.

Ghani, who had fled the country as the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15, had appointed Isaczai as Kabul's envoy to the UN in June 2021.

Source: Times of India

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Russia urges calm between Tajikistan, Afghanistan

Oct 1, 2021

MOSCOW: Russia on Thursday urged Tajikistan and Afghanistan to maintain calm after reports of tension at their common border.

"We observe with concern growing tensions in Tajik-Afghan relations against the background of mutual harsh statements by the leaders of the two countries," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexei Zaytsev was quoted as saying by DW News.

Reports have also appeared about the deployment of armed forces by both countries on the common border.

"According to information from the Taliban, tens of thousands of special forces units have been deployed in the bordering [northern] Afghan province Takhar alone," Zaytsev added.

Tajikistan's president, Emomali Rakhmon, has refused to recognize the Taliban government, accusing the group of human rights abuses.

Source: Times of India

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Taliban reiterate commitment to ensuring security of foreign diplomats

Oct 1, 2021

KABUL: Taliban on Friday reiterated its commitment to ensuring the security of foreign diplomats in the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan's acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Motaqi said that ensuring the safety of foreign diplomats and envoys is the responsibility of the Taliban and added that they can come to eth ministry anytime they want to, reported The Khaama Press News Agency.

Afghanistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted Kabul-based diplomats and envoys on Thursday evening and the first deputy of Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar also attended the banquet.

The acting foreign minister who was addressing the guests said that they would like to have good governance inside the country and friendly relations with the neighbouring countries and the world, reported Khaama Press.

"We not only want positive relations based on our shared interests with the US but with our neighbours, Islamic world, Gulf states, regional and European countries," said Motaqi.

Motaqi also said that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is respecting all the legitimate demands of the world and wants the same from the international community, reported Khaama Press.

Source: Times of India

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Degeneration of journalism, Afghan journalist making bricks to feed family

01 Oct 2021

Zabiullah Wafa is one of the thousands of Afghans whose breadwinning source stopped right after the previous government fell and the Taliban took over the country.

Zabiullah was a local reporter for the Khaama Press News Agency and other media outlets in the western Ferz Koh city of Badghis province who has lost his job as a journalist and is now making bricks as labor to feed his ten-member family.

He was a well-known ten-year local journalist in Badghis province but was laid off and left unemployed due to the financial drawbacks of the local media.

“After the Taliban takeover, local media outlets laid me off and it has been two months for me to be wandering without job. To feed my family I decided to join my father in making constructional bricks.” Wafa told Khaama press.

The former Afghan journalist is not fully convinced of his income from making bricks though, it is still a small amount of money that can help his family members survive.

Wafa says that hundreds of Afghan journalists are living the same limbo and asked the international community to stand by them and help them in this dire situation.

Source: Khaama Press

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Arab World


Lebanon PM says working to repair relations with Arab states

01 October ,2021

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati says that he is working to rebuild relations with Arab states.

“The government will take all the required steps by itself to reconnect those who have been cut off in Lebanon’s relations with the Arab brothers, and we know in return the Arab brothers’ keenness to preserve Lebanon’s unity and protect it from any dangers that may surround it,” Mikati said in a statement published by Sawt Beirut.

“This country has always been a message to embody love and coexistence between religions, and the Arab brothers have always been quick to rescue it from its stumbles, whenever adversities befall it, based on their brotherly understanding of the privacy and diversity of its fabric.”

The comments were in a statement published to coincide with the Prime Minister’s visit to his home town of Tripoli, in the country’s north.

Source: Al Arabiya

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US names al-Qaeda commander killed in Syria

01 October ,2021

The US military on Friday named the senior Al-Qaeda commander killed in an airstrike in the Idlib region of northwest Syria on September 20 as Salim Abu-Ahmad.

The drone strike targeted a vehicle on the road from Idlib city to Binnish, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said two jihadist commanders died.

US Central Command acknowledged killing an Al-Qaeda official at the time, but did not name him.

In a statement on Friday, Centcom spokesman John Rigsbee said Salim Abu-Ahmad “was responsible for planning, funding, and approving trans-regional Al-Qaeda attacks.”

“There are no indications of civilian casualties as a result of the strike,” the statement added.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Turkish company halts power supplies to crisis-hit Lebanon after contract expires

01 October ,2021

A Turkish company supplying electricity to Lebanon from two power barges off the coast of Beirut said on Friday it has halted supplies after its contract with the Lebanese state electricity company expired.

The move by the Turkish company, Karpowership, which has provided electricity for the past eight years, was expected. It had said earlier that Lebanon’s state power company owes Karpowership overdue payments in excess of $100 million.

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Lebanon is grappling with an economic meltdown that includes fuel and power shortages; blackouts last up to 22 hours a day.

The country’s new government, voted in last week, has said that improving electricity production is one of its top priorities. Successive governments have failed to agree on a permanent solution for the chronic shortages, largely because of profiteering and endemic corruption.

“During our eight years operating in Lebanon, despite all the challenges, we have done all we can to support the Lebanese people,” Karpowership said in its statement.

Since 2013, the company has been providing around 370 megawatts — about a quarter of Lebanon’s supply — from giant generators on its two barges, docked south and north of the capital, Beirut.

Karpowership said its contract expired at midnight on Thursday. In May, the company briefly shut down its operations over delayed payments and the threat of legal action against its vessels.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Saudi Defence Forces destroy Houthi drone aimed at Jazan

02 October ,2021

Saudi Defense Forces said Friday that they intercepted and destroyed an explosive-laden drone fired by the Iran-backed Houthis.

The drone was fired at Saudi Arabia’s Jazan.

Colonel Muhammad al-Ghamdi, said that the defense received a number of notifications of falling and scattering shrapnel on a residential neighborhood in Uhud al-Masarha governorate as a result of the interception of a booby-trapped drone launched by the terrorist Houthi militia backed by Iran towards the kingdom.

The spokesperson added that several homes, the railway station and a number of shops have been damaged.

“These damages did not result in any injuries or deaths,” the colonel added.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Pakistan govt in talks with TTP, reveals Imran Khan

Oct 2, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan said on Friday that his government was in talks with some terror outfits of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), seeking a reconciliation with the umbrella organisation that had declared war against the country after mid-2000s, which still continues unabatedly with terror attacks almost on a daily basis on the security forces.

Khan said the talks are taking place in Afghanistan and have been facilitated by the Afghan Taliban. “There are different groups which form the TTP and some of them want to talk to our government for peace. So, we are in talks with them. It’s a reconciliation process,” he said in an interview with the TRT World, a Turkish news channel.

TTP is said to be regrouping in its former strongholds of North Waziristan and South Waziristan tribal districts. Pakistan had launched its final offensive against the TTP in North Waziristan in 2014 after a series of military operations that had started against the terror organisation in other tribal districts and the northwestern mountainous regions of Swat and Dir in 2009.

When asked if his government was asking them to lay down arms, Khan responded: “Yes, we will forgive them if they become normal citizens.”

Responding to a question why the TTP was conducting attacks on Pakistan’s security forces when they were in talks with the government, Khan said it was just a “spate of attacks”.

Just a day ago, TTP had killed a captain of the Pakistani army during an intelligence-based operation in the Tank district, which is next to South Waziristan.

“We might not reach some sort of conclusion or settlement in the end but we are talking,” Khan said.

As the talks are taking place in Afghanistan, the Afghan Taliban were mediators in it, he added.

Khan said that he didn’t believe in military solutions. “I stand for anti-military solution, and as a politician, I believe political dialogue is the way ahead.” He added that dialogue was the only way out in the case of Afghanistan also.

In mid-September, Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had expressed similar sentiments, saying the TTP should review its policies.

“Our government would pardon them if they (TTP terrorists) promise not to get involved in terrorist activities and submit to the Pakistani Constitution,” Qureshi had said.

Before the foreign minister, Pakistan’s president Arif Alvi had suggested that the government could consider giving an amnesty to those members of the TTP who are ready to disarm and agree to adhere to the Pakistani Constitution.

Source: Times of India

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Pakistani Taliban denies talks with Islamabad

02 Oct 2021

Pakistani media have reported that the Pakistani Taliban-Tahrik-e-Taliban Pakistan- have denied reconciliation talks with the Pakistani Taliban.

Recently Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that they have started negotiations with the Pakistani Taliban in Afghanistan which has been mediated by the Afghan Taliban.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has not commented on the issue yet.

The TTP has also denied having reached a ceasefire with the Pakistani government in Northern Waziristan.

Source: Khaama Press

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Pakistani scholars highlight importance of Arbaeen at conference in Lahore

October 2, 2021

Experts, and religious personalities highlighting the importance of Arbaeen in different schools of thought of Islam described it as the basis for unity and solidarity among Muslim nations.

They were addressing at a symposium on "The Role of Arbaeen in Uniting Islam" hosted by Culture Center of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, Pakistan.

The meeting was attended by Shiite and Sunni scholars, religious thinkers and experts, as well as the Consul General of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Lahore and the Director of the Iranian Culture Center.

The speakers highlighted the importance of Arbaeen in different school of thoughts of Islam and said that the glorious Arbaeen march in Iraq and other countries, including Pakistan, paved the way for strengthening unity and solidarity among the Muslim Ummah which causes despair in the world of infidelity and arrogance.

"Every year, millions of Shiite and Sunni Muslims and followers of other religions participate in the great Arbaeen Hosseini March with religious spirit,” " said Jafar Ronas, Director of the Iranian Culture Center.

He added according to the twelfth principle of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, all Islamic sects have full respect and their followers are free to perform religious ritual according to their own jurisprudence.

Ronas said in the field of education to meet the educational needs of the Sunni community of Iran  Planning Council of Sunni religious schools has been formed with the presence of nine prominent scholars.

The Consul General of the Islamic Republic of Iran expressing his views said the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) is a symbol to fight against injustice and oppression.

Mohammad Reza Nazeri added the uprising of Ashura became a role model for the followers of all religions.

The Iranian diplomat praised the glorious presence of the Muslim people of Pakistan in this year's Arbaeen march in different cities of the country, and said: I was thrilled by the sincere and loving presence of women, children, men and the elderly in this great march, and I was deeply moved by the empathy, oneness and unity among them.

He also referred to some of the recent speeches of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution in a meeting with some young people and said the Supreme Leader has called the presence of millions of Muslims in the Arbaeen march a great blessing.

Allama Akif Hayat Qaderi, one of the Sunni scholars of Pakistan, considered the expression of devotion to the Ahl al-Bayt (AS) as part of the faith of every Muslim.

He added Imam Shafi', expressing his devotion to the Ahl al-Bayt (AS), said: If love for the Ahl al-Bayt (AS) causes me to be called a Shiite, I consider myself a Shiite."

Source: ABNA

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Pakistani Taliban announces 20-day ceasefire in South Waziristan

Oct 2, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announced a 20-day ceasefire in South Waziristan on Friday after reaching an agreement with the Pakistan Army to halt all hostilities between the two, a media report said.

"Our leaders have asked all fighters to observe a ceasefire from today to October 20," Pakistan Today reported TTP as saying in a statement on Friday.

Further, the TTP stated that it is engaged in "secret talks".

Earlier on Friday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that the government is in talks with some groups of the banned TTP with the aim of having the group lay down their weapons and making them agree to adhere to the country's Constitution.

"There are different groups which form the TTP and some of them want to talk to our government for peace. So, we are in talks with them. It's a reconciliation process," Khan said during an interview with the TRT World on Friday.

Further, Khan clarified that he is expecting a deal to come out of the talks but again nothing is certain. He sees dialogue as the only solution and is willing to 'forgive' the TTP if an agreement is reached.

Experts have cautioned Pakistan to tread carefully in the wake of recent developments in Afghanistan post-Taliban takeover and asked Islamabad to avoid oversimplifying the Afghan issue.

The frequent attacks by the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) raised concerns about the security and safety of Chinese projects in the country. Analysts have warned that TTP may continue its attacks in Pakistan and cause damage to China's projects and personnel in the country, Global Times reported.

Source: Times of India

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Pakistan blames ‘lobbies, neighbours’ for US bill seeking sanctions

Oct 2, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan lashed out on Friday at its "neighbours and lobbies" for having a hand in the US bill tabled by Republican senators seeking sanctions against it for its alleged role in aiding the Taliban.

Last Monday, the "Afghanistan Counterterrorism, Oversight, and Accountability Act" was tabled in the US Senate by 22 Republican senators, demanding a deeper investigation into the Taliban victory in Afghanistan and sanctions on non-state and state actors, including the government of Pakistan, who had assisted them in ousting the Ashraf Ghani-led regime.

"Pakistan will protect its interests and defend its position. The US has to understand the role played by Pakistan in facilitating the peace process," Qureshi said at a joint press conference with the visiting foreign minister of Denmark, Jeppe Kofod. "Scapegoating Pakistan would in fact mean overlooking the ground realities," he remarked.

Qureshi said Pakistan would not ignore the implications of the bill on Pakistan, adding that "we are cognisant and can explain".

He pointed out that the bill did not have a bipartisan understanding and was presented by a group of Republican senators who were even critical of some US policies and also against the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. "Let us not be excessively obsessed with the bill. There are lobbies in the US and our neighbours in the region who would like to play it up," he said.

Source: Times of India

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Pak Senate seeks report on killing of Sikh hakeem

Oct 1, 2021

AMRITSAR: A day after a 45-year-old Sikh Unani medicine practitioner was shot dead in his Peshawar clinic, the incident rocked the Pakistani Senate on Friday with Pakistan’s only Sikh senator Gurdeep Singh taking up the issue in the Upper House.

The chairman of the Senate sought a report from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) police on the murder of Satnam Singh, even as social media was abuzz with reports of the Islamic State–Khorasan (IS-K) claiming responsibility for the murder owing to his polytheistic views.

While talking to TOI over phone, Gurdeep, the first Sikh senator of Pakistan, said that minorities in Pakistan were under attack by the militants.

When asked about the reason behind killing a Sikh, the senator replied that the exact reason is not known yet but it appears to be an outcome of a deep-rooted conspiracy hatched by anti-national elements to destabilise the country and scarce the minorities.

“The chairman of the Senate, Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, has sought a report on the murder of Satnam Singh from the inspector general of police, KPK,” said Gurdeep, the former vice-president of ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf who became the senator in March 2021.

However, Pakistani rights activist Radesh Singh Tony said that IS-K had taken the responsibility for killing Satnam to terrorise the Sikhs living, not just in KPK, but across the nation.

Notably, Satnam, a member of the Tira tribal community of KPK’s Orkazai Agency was shot dead in his Unani medicine clinic on Thursday by some unidentified persons.

A local reporter Muhammad Saleem on Friday tweeted that the IS-K released a statement, taking responsibility for the murder of Satnam. Their statement read, “ the grace of God Almighty, the soldiers of the Caliphate targeted a follower of the polytheistic Sikh sect, in the area of Faqirabad in the city of Peshawar, with pistol shots, which led to his death, praise be to God.”

Source: Times of India

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Pakistan: Changes needed on EU plan on rights in Afghanistan

Oct 1, 2021

GENEVA: Pakistan's Foreign Ministry wants the European Union to scale back its plans to boost scrutiny of human rights under the new Taliban leadership in Afghanistan, which is hoping to emerge from decades of war and instability.

Islamabad says "further improvements" to a resolution at the UN's top human rights body are needed, including concrete pledges of assistance for the war-wracked country without using human rights as the sole criteria. Pakistan is arguably the Taliban's closest state interlocutor, with historic ties and ostensible influence with the religious militia.

The European bloc is leading an effort backed by more than 40 countries at the Human Rights Council to pass a resolution next week that would, among other things, name a special rapporteur on Afghanistan to help the country uphold its international commitments on human rights and offer support to advocacy groups- much of whose work has been disrupted under the new leadership.

The Europeans want consensus for the resolution at the council, which counts Pakistan among its 47 member countries. The rapporteur would benefit from expertise in legal affairs, torture and degrading punishment, the right to education, and the rights of women, girls and minorities, according to the resolution.

Pakistan and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation led a unanimous resolution at the council during a special session in August- before the full departure of international forces- that expressed concerns about the rights situation in Afghanistan, and called for the UN human rights chief to monitor the situation, with a written report planned next March. Some advocacy groups said it didn't go far enough.

In comments to The Associated Press late Thursday, Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Asim Iftikhar said the EU draft resolution "needs further improvements" and that delegations were working closely on it. He said Pakistan believes the EU initiative "does not add any value to the OIC resolution adopted just a month ago with agreement of all council members."

Source: Times of India

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North America


Khashoggi Fiancee Urges Biden to Fulfil Pledge About Saudi Journalist's Death

Servet Günerigök  



The fiancee of Jamal Khashoggi urged US President Joe Biden to fulfill his promise to not let Saudi journalist's death be in vain during an emotional speech in the US capital late Friday.

Hatice Cengiz spoke at an event organized by the Freedom First campaign on the National Mall to mark the third anniversary of the journalist's murder.

"Jamal was not just a journalist. He was not just a prominent champion for the rights of Saudi people and the broader Arab world. He was my Jamal and he was taken from me," said Cengiz.

Khashoggi, a US resident and columnist for The Washington Post, was brutally murdered and likely dismembered after being lured by Saudi officials to their consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. While Riyadh initially denied any role in his death, it later sought to pin blame on what it said was a botched rendition operation.

That explanation has been widely rejected.

A report released in February by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) under the Biden administration said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the killing.

The report added that the crown prince, the kingdom’s de facto leader, “approved an operation … to capture or kill” Khashoggi.

Cengiz recalled that Donald Trump was the US president when the Saudi journalist was murdered, saying the former leader of the free world continued to support the Saudi government and refused to hold bin Salman accountable for the grisly killing.

She then quoted Biden's remarks when he was a presidential candidate: "Khashoggi and his loved ones deserve accountability. Jamal's death will not be in vain."

"President Biden and Vice President [Kamala] Harris! When will you step up and fulfill your promises? When will you translate your words into action?" said Cengiz.

The event hosted several speakers including Philippe Nassif, MENA Advocacy Director at Amnesty International USA, Eason Jordan, senior adviser at the Freedom Initiative and a veteran of CNN, NowThis and the Malala Fund, as well as Nadine Farid Johnson, Washington Director at PEN America.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Uyghurs protest anniversary of China in US capital

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A group of Uyghurs gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial in the US capital on Friday to demand China end its treatment against the Muslim minority.

More than 100 activists dressed in black shirts, lined up in the memorial area while speakers addressed the crowd.

Among them were Republican congresswoman Vicky Hartzler from Missouri, Democratic congressman Tom Suozzi from New York, Rabbi Jack Moline and Nury Turkel, vice-chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

Hartzler said US companies doing business in China have an ethical and moral obligation to move their supply chains out of the Uyghur region.

Suozzi said he is with Uyghurs "100 percent" against China's "genocide."

Activists also demanded an end to the encampment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang province.

According to UN data, at least 1 million Uyghurs are held against their will in places Beijing calls "vocational training centers" and what the international community defines as "re-education camps."

Source: Anadolu Agency

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US official calls for Pakistan action on terrorism before visit

01 October ,2021

A top US official called Friday for Pakistan to take action against all extremist groups ahead of a visit to Islamabad, which has sought reconciliation with militants both at home and in Afghanistan.

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will meet on October 7-8 with officials in Pakistan, which has long faced US accusations of playing a double game in Afghanistan where the Taliban swept back to power in August.

“We seek a strong partnership with Pakistan on counterterrorism and we expect sustained action against all militant and terrorist groups without distinction,” Sherman told reporters.

“Both of our countries have suffered terribly from the scourge of terrorism and we look forward to cooperative efforts to eliminate all regional and global terrorist threats,” she said from Switzerland, her first stop on a trip that will also take her to India and Uzbekistan.

Pakistan points to its efforts against militants and the thousands who have died in attacks at home, but it has also faced criticism for not doing more to curb Islamist radicals that target neighbor and arch-rival India.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, a longtime critic of US military campaigns, said in an interview aired Friday that his government had opened talks with Pakistani Taliban about laying down their arms.

“Some of the Pakistani Taliban groups actually want to talk to our government for some peace, for some reconciliation,” he told Turkey’s TRT World television.

He said the discussions were taking place in Afghanistan with sections of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, which has waged years of deadly attacks.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Organization Of Islamic Cooperation Condemns Israel’s Violation Of Rights In East Jerusalem

Çağrı Koşak


The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned Israel’s violation of rights in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday.

The OIC warned of the consequences of the ongoing Israeli occupation policy, ethnic cleansing and forced displacement of Palestinians.

Israel tries to change the historical identity and legal status of East Jerusalem and separate it from Palestine, the group said in a statement.

It condemned Israel's prevention of Palestinians from accessing Masjid al-Aqsa for worship, its attitude toward holy places and its open violation of freedom of worship.

The Fanatical Jews entered the courtyard of the Masjid al-Aqsa in occupied East Jerusalem on the occasion of the Jewish Sukkot feast, accompanied by Israeli police, and unfurled the Israeli flag in Haram al-Sharif on Sept. 27.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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FM: Iran Not to Tolerate Israel's Presence Near Borders


"The Islamic Republic of Iran does not tolerate the presence and activities of the Zionist regime against its national security and will take due measures accordingly," Amir Abdollahian said in a meeting with Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Tehran on Thursday.

He reiterated that the countries have the right to hold military exercises within their territories in line with safeguarding their national sovereignty.

The top Iranian diplomat, meantime, emphasized the importance of mutual relations between Tehran and Baku in the context of neighborly relations.

The new Azeri envoy, Ali Alizadeh, for his part, called for good and deep bilateral relations between Baku and Tehran.

Iran recently held military drills in the country’s northwestern border area, which was criticized by Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said he was “very surprised” by Iran's decision to hold drills close to his country’s borders, and questioned the timing of the maneuvers.

Reacting to Azerbaijan’s criticism, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said the Islamic Republic has only been exercising its right to sovereignty by holding the drills.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran: Israeli Regime's Dream Never to Come True


Mousavi's remarks came in reaction to the recent anti-Iran allegations by Israel's envoy in Baku.

"We have special respect for all Jews, Christians, and other followers of the divine religions; But we are sure that the Republic of Azerbaijan and Palestine will remain Islamic countries forever," Mousavi wrote in his Twitter account on Friday.

"The dreams of Zionism for this region will never be interpreted," he added.

In relevant remarks earlier on Friday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh strongly condemned a visit by the Israeli regime's foreign minister, Yair Lapid, to the Bahrain capital of Manama, and said the visit put lasting stain on tiny Persian Gulf country.

"Bahrain's despicable welcoming of Israeli foreign minister (Yair Lapid) to Manama is at odds with the will of the Bahraini people," Khatibzadeh said.

The Iranian foreign ministry reiterated that the visit left an "unremovable stain" on the reputation of that country.

Lapid arrived in Bahrain on Thursday to open the Israeli regime's embassy in Manama and sign cooperation deals with the Arab country.

Khatibzadeh lamented Bahrain’s ignoring of the Zionist regime’s daily atrocities against the oppressed yet resistant people of Palestine.

"Such actions will not give a boost to the legitimacy of the Zionist regime and will not affect the ideal of liberating al-Quds al-Sharif as the first qibla of the world’s Muslims," he said.

The spokesman also emphasized that Bahraini rulers will not be able to remove the mark of disgrace.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Clashes break out in Aden between STC members, four fighters killed: Security sources

02 October ,2021

Clashes broke out in the Yemeni city of Aden on Saturday between members of the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) and at least four fighters were killed, two security sources said.

Residents reported heavy gunfire in Aden’s central Crater district that houses government headquarters and the central bank.

The city has seen tension between the internationally-recognized government and the STC over control of the south.

The prime minister returned to Aden last week from Saudi Arabia and is residing at the presidential palace in Crater along with other government ministers.

Yemen’s president is based in Riyadh. South Yemen has been paralyzed by the power struggle between the government and the STC, leading to protests in recent months over widespread poverty and poor public services.

They are nominal allies under an Arab-led coalition which has been battling the Iran-backed Houthi movement that ousted the government from the capital Sanaa in late 2014 and now holds most of northern Yemen and main urban centers.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iran warns ‘enemies’ against uncalculated moves amid tensions with Azerbaijan

01 October ,2021

Iran’s defense minister on Friday warned Tehran’s “enemies” against making any uncalculated moves amid tensions with neighboring Azerbaijan, saying the Islamic Republic would give a “crushing” response to any such actions.

“Iran’s enemies will certainly receive a crushing response should they take any irrational and ignorant action, and they will incur a heavy cost,” Brig. Gen. Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani said in a tweet shared by Iran’s state broadcaster.

The Iranian army’s ground forces started military exercises near the country’s border with Azerbaijan on Friday despite criticism from Baku over the drills.

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev earlier this week criticized Iran for holding military drills near his country’s borders.

“Every country can carry out any military drill on its own territory. It’s their sovereign right. But why now, and why on our border?” Aliyev said in an interview published Monday with Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency.

In response, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday the drills near the border with Azerbaijan were a “question of sovereignty” and added that Tehran “will not tolerate the presence of the Zionist regime” near its borders – a reference to Azerbaijan’s relations with Israel.

Source: Al Arabiya

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UN agency for Palestinian refugees needs $800 mln

01 October ,2021

The UN agency supporting Palestinian refugees announced Friday it was seeking $800 million at a donor conference scheduled for November in Brussels.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York that the organization needed “predictability” for its operations.

To fund UNRWA’s “three core activities” -- education, health and social services -- “we are seeking $800 million a year,” he told reporters ahead of the gathering, organized by Jordan and Sweden.

“The main objective of the conference is to have a better predictability” and to “promote visibility” the Swiss diplomat said.

The funding would allow the agency to keep open the 700 or so schools it managed, catering to 550,000 children, as well as health centers and to provide social welfare to Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

In addition to the $800 million, Lazzarini said there was also a need for funds for the humanitarian aid provided by UNRWA, which varies from one year to the next, depending on the crisis, but which the agency estimates will be around half a million dollars in 2022.

Source: Al Arabiya

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IRGC’s Quds Force members are soldiers outside the borders: Iranian FM

01 October ,2021

Repeating previous statements issued by commanders in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on Friday, that the Quds Force, the foreign arm of the Guards, are “soldiers without borders,” referring to their military missions outside Iran.

Abdullahian's words came during his meeting with Brigadier General Esmail Qaani, commander of the Quds Force, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to congratulate him on his appointment as a minister in the government of hard-line Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

The conservative minister also praised the activity of the Quds Force, considering that they have made significant contributions to security assistance in the country as well.

He added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will follow the path of Qassem Soleimani, in a statement recalling the leaked recordings that shook the country last May, when former Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif revealed the impact of what he described as “the field” on foreign diplomacy in the country, in reference to the pressures of the Revolutionary Guards and Soleimani in particular on the Ministry's plans, international discussions and regional policy.

These statements came days after a prominent military commander in the country announced that his country has 6 armies outside its borders that work for it and defend it.

Ali Ghulam Rashid, the commander of what is known as "the headquarters of Khatam al-Anbiya", confirmed in statements carried by the Iranian Mehr Agency that Qassem Soleimani, the former commander of the Quds Force, revealed, three months before his death, that he had organized 6 armies outside Iranian territory with the support of the Guard Command and the Army's General Staff.

He admitted that these armies have ideological tendencies, and their mission is to defend Tehran against any attack, according to his claim.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iran begins war games near border, despite criticism from Azerbaijan

01 October ,2021

The Iranian army’s ground forces began holding maneuvers near the country’s border with Azerbaijan on Friday, state media reported, despite criticism from its neighbor.

The exercises took place in open areas in northwestern Iran, said state television, which showed tanks, howitzers and helicopters firing at targets on the ground.

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“We respect good neighborly relations but we do not tolerate the presence of Zionist regime (Israeli) elements and ISIS terrorists in the region,” ground forces commander Brigadier General Kioumars Heydari told state TV.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev had criticized the Iranian war games in an interview published on Monday.

“Every country can carry out any military drill on its own territory. It’s their sovereign right. But why now, and why on our border?” he told Turkish news agency Anadolu.

His comments were rebuffed by Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh.

Source: Al Arabiya

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At least three hurt in Iran quake: Official media

01 October ,2021

Three people were hurt on Friday when an earthquake struck southwestern Iran and caused some damage, the country’s official IRNA news agency said.

The United States Geological Survey said the quake measuring a moderate 5.2 struck at 4:45 am (0115 GMT) at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) near the port city of Genaveh in Bushehr province.

A 4.6 magnitude aftershock followed more than two hours later, USGS added.

Local officials cited by IRNA said three people were hurt but there was no significant damage.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Afghan interpreters who worked for the Dutch summoned by Taliban: TV

02 October ,2021

Afghan interpreters who worked for the Netherlands have been summoned to appear in court by the Taliban who have threatened their families, Dutch public television NOS reported on Friday.

The interpreters are in hiding but their family members will be held responsible if they fail to show up in court “and severely punished to teach other traitors a lesson,” said a letter from the Taliban, which was aired by the broadcaster.

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NOS said the recipient, who worked for the EU’s policing agency Europol in Afghanistan, was accused of taking “dishonorable and forbidden money” from foreigners.

“We will take revenge. If we are not able to get hold of you, we will settle scores with your near ones,” said another letter to an interpreter whom the Taliban accused of being responsible for the deaths of some of their fighters.

All indications show that the letters, which bear official seals, were dispatched by the Taliban, NOS said.

It said it had contacted about 10 interpreters or people who had worked for the Dutch and who all said their situation was becoming increasing difficult.

The Taliban in June urged interpreters who had worked for foreign forces to repent but urged them to stay on in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of foreign forces and assured them they would not be harmed.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Belgian Muslims turn to Strasbourg Court after halal slaughter ban

Agnes Szucs 



Muslim associations will appeal at the European Court of Human Rights against the decision of Belgium's Constitutional Court banning ritual halal animal slaughter, they announced on Friday.

The Executive Office of Muslims in Belgium and the Coordination Council of Islamic Institutions of Belgium decided to appeal against the ruling at the Strasbourg-based European court after Belgium's top judicial body approved the ban on Thursday, the organizations said in a statement.

"Current religious slaughter techniques constitute a full-fledged alternative to stunning animals and are fully compatible with public health, food safety, and animal welfare requirements," they explained.

"The stunning obligation, on the other hand, is only an emotional symbolic measure, which simply serves, to the detriment of religious minorities, to appease the conscience of the average consumer and to obscure the reality that animals are raised as objects of consumption in industrial mega-stalls," they added.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Russia’s Ancient city of Phanagoria sheds light on history with Turkish traces

Emre Gurkan Abay  



Known as Russia's Atlantis, the ancient city of Phanagoria reveals many discoveries, including traces of Turks.

The ancient Greek city of Phanagoria in Taman Peninsula, located in the Krasnodar region in the south of Russia, is estimated to be about 2,500 years old. It was first discovered thanks to a tombstone that washed up in the 18th century.

Another feature in the Phanagoria, which is one-third of which is underwater, is that there are many traces of the Turks and the Ottoman Empire.

Recently, the discovery of a 16th-century coin thought to belong to a Turkish officer in the Ottoman army has created excitement, especially among historians.

The coin is believed to have been brought to the Phanagoria as a trophy by the Turkish military after the victories in Cyprus.

While it is known that the Ottoman Empire fleet once established a base in Phanagoria, a few Ottoman-era structures in the region are among the recent discoveries.

Although Phanagoria is a region in the south of Russia today, it was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th to 17th centuries. Experts consider it a strong possibility that more traces of Turks will emerge over time.

The region is of great importance for Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin had also done scuba diving in the region in the past years.

Importance of Phanagoria in the history of Black Sea

Speaking to the Anadolu Agency excavation director at the ancient city Dr. Vladimir Kuznetsov said that the region is very suitable for excavations because it is in an undeveloped area.

Pointing out Istanbul as a challenging area for historical excavations, Kuznetsov said that there is a huge and powerful cultural layer that allows tracing not only the history of the city but also the region.

Noting that the region is of great interest to Turkey, Kuznetsov said: "As for Turkey, of course, the northern and southern coasts of the Black Sea have always been closely linked."

Pointing out Turkey's Black Sea province of Sinop was an important trading city, he said: "In Phanagoria, there are many (ancient) Sinop jugs from the 3rd and 2nd centuries to the present.

Coin belonging to Ottoman officer was discovered

Pointing out that the direct route between the north and the south of the Black Sea was discovered before the 4th century, Kuznetsov said that Turkish sailors were among the best in Europe, they were captains who knew all the subtleties of seafaring, and they constantly sailed to Phanagoria.

"The southern and northern shores of the Black Sea were always connected, and we can see the trace of this with archaeological materials," he added.

On the coin that was discovered in the region recently and believed to be belonging to an Ottoman officer, Kuznetsov said: "Our numismatist found that Venetian money was brought here after a military operation in Cyprus."

Source: Anadolu Agency

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UN says it does not have 'meaningful' access to China's Xinjiang region

Peter Kenny 



The United Nations Human Rights Office said Friday that it does not have "meaningful" or "other" access to China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokesman Rupert Colville said his office has no permission from China to access Xinjiang, where ethnic Uyghur Muslims have reportedly been subjected to years of abuses of their identity and culture.

“We've had no access to Xinjiang, meaningful or otherwise,” said Colville in an answer to a question from Anadolu Agency at a UN news conference. “Obviously, this is not the only avenue we're pursuing.”

He said the UN Rights Office chief Michelle Bachelet is “finalizing an assessment of the available information we have on allegations of serious human rights violations in Xinjiang to make that public sometime down the line.”

Since she assumed office in 2018, Bachelet has been calling on China to allow her office access to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

At the Human Rights Council on Sept. 13, she said she was sorry that there was no progress on the issue.

According to the UN data, at least 1 million Uyghurs are kept against their will in places Beijing calls "vocational training centers" and the international community defines as "re-education camps".

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Gurugram: People Offer Friday Prayers under Police Vigil Amid Several Protests

By Abhishek Behl

Oct 2, 2021

Amid threats of disruption from a group of people, members of the Muslim community offered prayers under police vigil at around 24 places in Gurugram on Friday.

Police said their deployment in Sector 47 was high as many people gathered near the prayer spot to protest against the practice. “We have asked the protesters to hold a meeting with the district administration to resolve the matter,” said the police.

Over the past two weeks, offering prayers at public places like parks, parking areas on Fridays has become a major issue after a group run by members of the Hindu community in Gurugram started appearing at these sites to oppose the practice. The issue was widely discussed on social media, which made the police department issue a clarification to the people on September 27, in which it said that “the matter was in cognisance, and asked the people to refrain from spreading misinformation”.

Members of the Muslim community, who were present in Sector 47 on Friday, said that the prayer spot was away from the nearby residential area. “Muslims offer congregation prayers only on Fridays, Eid, and Eid al-Adha. There’s only a small mosque in Sector 57, New Gurgaon, and everyone can’t go there on Fridays or on these occasions... Lands have not been allotted for mosques for quite a long time now. We want the Haryana government to allot us land for mosques in every sector, so that we can comfortably offer prayers there,” said Altaf Ahmad, founder member, Gurgaon Nagrik Ekta Manch -- a Gurugram-based civil society organisation.

Ahmad said that opposition to prayers is becoming a regular affair, and some vested persons have been engaged in this. “We faced similar problems earlier in March-April this year, and it hurt the religious sentiments of the masses,” he said, calling for strict action against such elements.

Source: Hindustan Times

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UP Police accuses journalist Siddiqui Kappan of inciting violence, instigating Muslims

Abhishek Mishra

October 1, 2021

The charge sheet filed against Delhi-based journalist Siddiqui Kappan by the Uttar Pradesh Police accuses him of inciting violence. The charge sheet says that apart from instigating Muslims, Kappan also sympathies with Maoists and Communists.

The 5,000-page charge sheet was filed by the Uttar Pradesh Police's Special Task Force (STF) on January 23, 2021. It also has 36 articles that Siddiqui Kappan wrote for a Malayalam media house. These articles were based on the Nizamuddin Markaz gathering during Covid, anti-CAA protests, Northeast Delhi riots, Ram Temple in Ayodhya, and the arrest of Sharjeel Imam on charges of sedition.

STF has filed a charge sheet against all the accused, including KA Rauf Sharif, National General Secretary of Campus Front of India, the student wing of Popular Front of India, Treasurer Atiq-Ur-Rehman, journalists Siddiqui Kamran Mohammad Alam and Masood Ahmed for inciting riots in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras.

A note mentioned in the charge sheet says, "These writings of Siddiqui Kappan can, to a large extent, be classified as communal. Taking names of minorities during riots and talking about incidents related to them can inflame emotions. Responsible journalists do not do such communal reporting. Kappan reports only instigated Muslims, which is a hidden agenda of the Popular Front of India (PFI). Some stories were written to sympathise with Maoists and Communists".

The charge sheet was again filed in April this year, months after Kappan, PFI members Atiq-Ur-Rehman and Masood Ahmed, and their driver Alam were arrested in Mathura on their way to Hathras on October 5 last year. He was booked under UAPA and on charges of sedition.

Significantly, the STF has claimed that the PFI wanted to create unrest and a riot-like situation under the guise of protests demanding justice for the Hathras victim. As per the case diary note, the article has been recovered from the forensic lab from Kappan's laptop. In the note, the police claimed that Kappan acted as a think tank of the PFI. He used to publish anti-Hindu stories in Malayalam media.

Source: India Today

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LeT terrorist killed, another held with grenade in separate Shopian ops

Oct 2, 2021

SRINAGAR: A Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist, who had joined the outfit barely 20 days ago, was killed in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Shopian district early Friday. In another anti-terror operation, a joint team of security forces apprehended a LeT terrorist with a hand grenade and 29 rounds of 7.62mm calibre from Shopian’s Mujhmarg Junction later in the day.

At least 113 terrorists (including infiltrators) have been killed in anti-terror operations across Kashmir Valley this year so far, said a police officer. As per officials, July has so far been the deadliest month during which 31 terrorists — most of them from LeT — alone were slain.

Meanwhile, more than three months after J&K Police inspector Parvez Ahmad was gunned down by LeT terrorists, police on Friday claimed to have solved the case with the arrest of one of the accused, identified as Muheeb Bashir Dar from Nowgam, on the outskirts of Srinagar.

Around 5am, a joint team of Army’s 34RR, CRPF’s 178Bn and J&K Police launched a cordon-and-search operation in Rakhama village in Shopian’s Vehil hamlet, based on specific inputs about the presence of a terrorist. “We found that a local terrorist was hiding there. He was repeatedly asked to surrender but he opened fire at the search party instead, and was killed in retaliatory fire,” a police spokesman said.

“The slain terrorist was identified as Mujeeb Lone from Redwani Bala in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district. Arms and ammunition including one pistol and a magazine were recovered from the spot,” said the spokesman.

Later in the day, a joint team of the Army’s 1RR, CRPF’s 178Bn and Shopian Police set up a special checkpoint in Shopian’s Mujhmarg Junction based on intelligence inputs about terrorists’ movement and possible plans to attack security forces.

Source: Times of India

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