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Islamic World News ( 26 May 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Turkish Officials Claim Capture of New Islamic State Leader, Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi

New Age Islam News Bureau

27 May 2022

 

In this October 13, 2014 photo, a man shows an IS flag at an Islamic bookstore in the Fatih district of Istanbul. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

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• Reporters without Borders Call the Taliban’s Recent Actions against Female Anchors a Violation of Human Rights

• Hijab Row Again After a Degree College in Mangaluru Issues a Ban on Hijab or a Headscarf inside the Campus

• Americans Urge Israel to Avoid Muslim Quarter in Controversial Flag March

• Iraq Makes It Illegal to Attempt Normalizing Ties with Israel

 

Mideast

• Probe finds Israeli soldier shot at Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

• President: Iran Establishes Headquarters for Defusing Sanctions

• Iran's UN Envoy: Int'l Humanitarian Law Violated in Middle East

• Israel informed US officials it killed Iranian colonel: Report

• Gaza War Survivor Commemorates Family Victims Of Israeli Airstrike In Paintings

• Iran says US foreign policy 'taken hostage' by Israel

• Blast in Yemen fish market kills at least 4 people, wounds over 30

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South Asia

• Eight Members Committee Formed to Reopen Girls' Schools: Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

• US Special Representative Thomas West Meets Dr. Abdullah Abdullah

• India engages Russia, China, US on Afghanistan; Taliban say country terror free

• Four bombs kill at least 16 in Afghanistan

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India

• 4 Tourists Booked Under Riot Provocation Charge for Offering Namaz at Taj Mosque

• Claims of petitioners contradictory: Gyanvapi mosque side in court

• Hindu plaintiffs suit not maintainable, says mosque panel

• Mathura court directed for speedy disposal of plea for deputing advocate to survey Shahi Idgah mosque

• Muslim side questions maintainability of Gyanvapi petition

• Four Lashkar-e-Toiba militants killed in two encounters in Kashmir

• Special ties with Afghan people will guide India's approach: NSA Doval

• Terrorists involved in killing of female TV artist killed in encounter in Kashmir

• Two held for killing Hindu man over interfaith relationship in Karnataka: Police

• Karnataka: Muslim students blame ABVP for anti-hijab protest

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North America

• Former New York resident found guilty of aiding Islamic State in Syria

• US urges Yemen’s Houthis to free US Embassy’s local staff

• Mexican envoy highlights multifaceted, historical ties with Turkiye

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Arab World

• Turkish forces shell Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Aleppo: Report

• No Saudi, Iranian foreign ministers meeting in foreseeable future: Saudi official

• Turkish soldier killed in northern Iraq during military operation

• Lebanon’s election sees political vote buying and intimidation

• Saudi crown prince, Greek PM discuss boosting joint cooperation

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Pakistan

• Pakistan's National Assembly Approves Bill to Deprive Overseas Citizens from Voting, Stop Use of EVMs

• Pak PM Imran Calls off March, Gives Ultimatum to Govt to Dissolve NA

• PTI’s march cost government Rs149 million

• Imran Khan, other PTI leaders booked over ‘vandalism, arson’ charges during Azadi March

• FM Bilawal reaffirms Pakistan’s desire to strengthen trade, economic ties with Iran

• Bilawal rejects foreign intervention claim, rebuilds ties with West at Davos

• Imran Khan Era Electoral Changes Overturned With Bill In Pakistan: Report

• Pakistan: Fault lines visible in Shehbaz govt as PML-N calls for immediate elections

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Southeast Asia

• Penang Allocates 9.24 Acres of Land for Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Other Religions Places of Worship

• Tokyo government reaffirms connections to Islamic countries

• Indonesia summons Britain's envoy after furore over rainbow flag

• Indonesia should become global halal industry’s major player: MPR

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Africa

• Morocco, Israel Sign Agreement on Scientific Research

• Nigeria’s Insecurity May Become Uncontrollable – Islamic Leaders

• Security forces descend on capital as Sudanese protests enter eighth month

• Firefighters contain blaze at Sudan Red Sea port

• Tunisian president decrees a referendum for new constitution

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Europe

• Six Pakistani Peacekeepers Awarded Medals of Courage

• Greece tells UN that Turkey is challenging its sovereignty

• Afghan asylum seekers being ‘brutally mistreated’ by Bulgarian authorities: Rights group

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:   https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/turkish-islamic-state-hashimi-qurashi-/d/127105

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Turkish Officials Claim Capture of New Islamic State Leader, Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi

 

In this October 13, 2014 photo, a man shows an IS flag at an Islamic bookstore in the Fatih district of Istanbul. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

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May 26, 2022

Jeff Seldin

WASHINGTON —

The reign of new Islamic State terror group leader Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi may be over, less than three months after it began.

The Turkish website OdaTV first reported the arrest of Abu al-Hassan Thursday, saying Turkish police captured him without firing a single bullet during a raid on a house in Istanbul last week.

The website further reported the IS leader was being questioned and that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to formally announce the arrest and share additional details in the coming days.

Separately, two senior Turkish officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the arrest to Bloomberg News, adding that Erdogan has been informed.

U.S. officials, however, remained cautious.

“[We] can’t confirm the reports about al-Qurashi,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters Thursday. “Obviously we've been looking at this all day, but we're just not in a position where we can actually confirm that press reporting.”

IS named Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi as the terror group’s third leader in March, saying he took over shortly after the death of his predecessor during a raid by U.S. special forces in northwestern Syria in February.

IS followers quickly lined up behind the new leader, with the terror group’s media division sharing photos and videos of fighters from Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan, the Philippines and elsewhere pledging their allegiance to Abu al-Hassan.

Yet despite the show of support, there are still questions about the new leader’s true identity, which may be making it more difficult to verify Turkey’s claims.

Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi is a nom-de-guerre meant to indicate the new leader is a descendant of the Hashemite clan of the Qurashi tribe, which by bloodline would link him to Prophet Muhammed — an IS requirement for any would-be caliph.

And so far, Western counterintelligence officials have yet to form a firm consensus about who is really leading IS.

There are, however, several theories.

New Lines Magazine in February identified Bashar Khattab Ghazal al-Sumaidai as next in line to lead the terror group.

"Known by numerous noms de guerre, including Ustath Zaid (Teacher or Professor Zaid), Abu Khattab al-Iraqi, Abu al-Moez al-Iraqi and Abu Ishaq, he returned to Syria from Turkey about a year ago," New Lines said, adding that al-Sumaidai had become increasingly popular in jihadist circles.

But Iraqi and Western officials told Reuters in March that the new leader was actually Juma Awad al-Badri, the brother of former IS caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Still, no matter who it is that Turkey ultimately captured, some analysts say as long as Turkish officials have a senior IS leader, it could help further weaken IS operations.

“It could end up being an intelligence boon once he’s interrogated and questioned,” Colin Clarke, director of research at the global intelligence firm The Soufan Group, told VOA.

“We’ve long known that the organization’s financiers and logisticians had strong networks in Turkey, but now it seems like senior leadership is active there as well,” Clarke said.

“A country like Turkey is a double-edged sword for groups like ISIS,” he added, using another acronym for the terror group.

“On the one hand, Turkey has capable security forces,” Clarke said. “On the other hand, unlike a country like Afghanistan that is somewhat isolated, Turkey can serve as a safe haven for terrorists, and it’s connected to the illicit financial system, communications, [and] transportation.”

Source: VOA news

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

https://www.voanews.com/a/turkish-officials-claim-capture-of-new-islamic-state-leader-/6591292.html

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Reporters without Borders Call the Taliban’s Recent Actions Against Female Anchors A Violation of Human Rights

 

Photo: The Khaama Press

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By Saqalain Eqbal

26 May 2022

The Taliban’s recent actions against female TV presenters have been strongly condemned by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) as a flagrant violation of human rights and media freedom.

With their recent order to require women to wear masks, the Taliban made a last-ditch effort to crack down on and suppress the media and violate women’s rights, according to Christophe Deloire, the organization’s Director General.

Reporters Without Borders stated in a statement that it stands with and supports Afghan journalists who bravely work in the country.

The organization demanded that the Taliban immediately lift their unjustified restrictions, which have resulted in breaches of women’s rights and press freedom.

Nevertheless, the Taliban’s Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prohibition of Vice has made it mandatory for presenters in the visual media to cover their faces.

The Taliban’s action sparked widespread condemnation around the world.

Rina Amiri, the US Special Envoy for Women and Human Rights in Afghanistan, and Thomas West, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan, repeatedly called on the international community to unite against the Taliban’s strict policies.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/reporters-without-borders-call-the-talibans-recent-actions-against-female-anchors-a-violation-of-human-rights46484/

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Hijab Row Again After a Degree College In Mangaluru Issues A Ban On Hijab Or A Headscarf Inside The Campus

 

The hijab controversy resurfaced in Karnataka’s Mangaluru district on Thursday, with a degree college in the city issuing a ban on hijab or a headscarf inside the campus. (ANI)

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By Arun Dev

May 27, 2022

The hijab controversy resurfaced in Karnataka’s Mangaluru district on Thursday, with a degree college in the city issuing a ban on hijab or a headscarf inside the campus.

On May 16, the college decided to ban the hijab on the college premises, and a notice was issued the next day.

This week, a group of students, some of them affiliated with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), held a protest and claimed that the order is not being enforced.

Following this, a group of Muslim students approached the district commissioner KV Rajendra on Thursday, alleging discrimination inside the campus.

On the same day, hundreds of Hindu students boycotted their classes and sat in protest outside the Mangalore University College in Mangaluru’s Hampanakatte.

“We had written a letter to the principal on May 10 asking her to ban hijab in the college. She said that we would take a decision on May 16 after holding a meeting. We approached them again, and they said a decision would be taken in a syndicate meeting, but nothing has been conveyed to us. We will start wearing saffron shawls if hijab is not banned,” a protesting student said.

The college principal, Anasuya Rai, said that the syndicate decided to ban the hijab after some students had approached the college management seeking a ban on the hijab. “On May 16, a syndicate meeting was held, where a decision to ban hijab was taken. We had put out the same on the notice board on May 17. After that, a few Muslim students are not attending classes,” the principal told reporters.

Mangalore University registrar Kishore Kumar visited the college campus and held a meeting with the principal and lecturers on Thursday. After the meeting, the registrar also met the protesting students and assured them that the hijab ban in classrooms would be enforced. Based on the assurance, students withdrew their protest.

One of the Muslim students who approached the Dakshina Kannada DC said that the Karnataka high court verdict on the hijab is not applicable to degree colleges.

On March 15, a three-judge bench comprising chief justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, justice Krishna S Dixit and justice JM Khazi delivered a 129-page verdict, in which they ruled that the hijab was not an “essential religious practice”, paving way for the ban on hijab in pre-university colleges in the state.

“First of all, the ban of hijab is not as per the high court order since it clearly says the order will not be applicable to degree colleges. Secondly, we have a copy of the prospectus of the college which clearly states that headwear will be allowed. Until now, we were wearing a hijab, and the new order is politically motivated. No court order has said that a dress code of the college can be changed during the academic year,” said the student, who didn’t identify herself.

Mangaluru South MLA, D Vedavyasa Kamath, has called a meeting with college authorities on Friday to discuss the issue.

“I am in Bengaluru and cannot get there now. But I will speak to the relevant authorities on the issue as it has not been brought to my notice yet. It is 100% the college’s responsibility to implement the HC order and the duty of every citizen to follow it,” Kamat told News 1. Mangaluru DC was not available for comment on the issue.

In December 2021, at least eight Muslim students were stopped from entering class wearing the hijab. On January 1, the college development council (CDC) passed an order banning the hijab inside campuses, leading to students sitting outside the college building, but within the campus, in protest.

College authorities maintained that the hijab was never allowed inside classrooms. By February, as the controversy spread across the state, there were counter-protests with some students wearing saffron shawls. On February 3, a video of the government PU college principal shutting the gates on at least 25 hijab-wearing students in Udupi’s Kundapura turned the issue into a wider movement.

Source: Hindustan Times

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

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/bengaluru-news/hijab-row-again-after-college-enforces-ban-in-mangaluru-101653591881896.html

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Americans Urge Israel to Avoid Muslim Quarter in Controversial Flag March

 

Right-wing flag march enters Jerusalem Muslim quarter through Old City Damascus Gate in 2021(Photo: EPA)

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05.26.22

The U.S. administration on Thursday appealed to Israeli officials to express their concern over the controversial right-wing flag march next week and its route through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The Americans said the march as it was approved, could cause further friction and asked officials in Jerusalem to reconsider their decision.

The annual event, marking the 'reunification' of east and west Jerusalem after the 1967 Six Day War has become a demonstration of Israeli sovereignty over the city by the right-wing and religious population, and includes organized groups of school children from religious schools.

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev said last week that the police will approve the march based on recommendations from security agencies.

The U.S. embassy in Jerusalem said it was forbidding its staff and their families from visiting the Old City on Sunday and in fact ordered them to refrain from entering the ancient city's walls from Thursday through Monday.

The embassy also published a warning to all Americans in the area to be especially vigilant.

Israel's security agencies and the IDF recommended the route remain unchanged from past years in order not to cause the appearance of weakness after Hamas threatened violence in response to it.

In discussions, the officials said that if Hamas initiates violence in the wake of the march like it did last year, Israel's response should be significant. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was also decisive in the discussions and said the route must remain unchanged.

On Wednesday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said participants in the march intend on destroying the mosque on top of the Temple Mount compound.

"The Palestinian resistance said the march will not go unanswered," leader of the Iran-backed terror group said.

Source: Ynet News

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

https://www.ynetnews.com/article/syhty11ad5

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Iraq Makes It Illegal To Attempt Normalizing Ties With Israel

 

Followers of Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr hold a poster with his photo and wave an Iraqi flag as they celebrate the passing of a law criminalizing the normalization of ties with Israel, in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq on May 26, 2022.

AP Photo/Hadi Mizban

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26 May, 2022

Iraq's parliament approved a law on Thursday that will ban normalizing relations with Israel, at a time when several Arab countries have established formal ties.

The Iraqi parliament has been unable to convene on any other issue including electing a new president and forming its own government, prolonging a political standoff.

Iraq has never recognized the state of Israel since its establishment in 1948 and Iraqi citizens and companies cannot visit Israel, but the new law goes further, specifically criminalising any attempts to normalize relations with Israel.

The law was proposed by influential Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr whose party, which opposes close ties with the US and Israel, won more seats in parliament in elections last October.

“Approving the law is not only a victory for the Iraqi people but to the heroes in Palestine and Hezbollah in Lebanon,” said Iraqi Shia lawmaker Hassan Salim who represents Iranian-backed militia Asaib Ahl al-Haq.

Lawmakers from Sadr's party said they proposed the law to curb any claims by Iranian-backed rival parties that Sadr is making coalitions with Sunni and Kurds who may have secret ties with Israel.

Some Gulf states, including the UAE and Bahrain, are forging ties with Israel against a backdrop of shared concerns about the threat that Iran may pose to the region.

Saudi Arabia, a close US ally, has made it a condition of any eventual normalization with Israel that Palestinians' quest for statehood on territory captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war must be addressed.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/05/26/Iraq-makes-it-illegal-to-attempt-normalizing-ties-with-Israel-

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 Mideast

 Probe finds Israeli soldier shot at Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

May 27, 2022

JERUSALEM: The Palestinian Authority’s attorney general said on Thursday that its investigation proves an Israeli soldier shot Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in a targeted killing in Jenin on May 11.

The bullet that killed Abu Akleh is a 5.56mm round with a steel component used by Nato forces, he said, adding that the Palestinian Authority will not hand the bullet over to Israel.

Al Jazeera TV Network will refer the killing of its journalist Shireen Abu Akleh to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), it said in a televised statement on Thursday.

Al Jazeera’s legal team alongside international legal experts will prepare a file on the killing of Abu Akleh to refer it to the ICC, according to Reuters.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, Palestinian Attorney General Akram al-Khatib said: “It was clear that one of the [Israeli] occupation forces … had fired a bullet that hit journalist Shireen Abu Akleh directly in her head” while she was attempting to escape.

Abu Akleh, 51, was hit with an armour-piercing bullet, the attorney general said, while she was wearing a helmet and a vest that was clearly marked with the word “PRESS”.

Al-Khatib was reporting on the findings of a Palestinian Authority investigation into the killing of Abu Akleh, who was shot on May 11 while covering an Israeli army raid in the West Bank city of Jenin.

“The only source of firing was by the occupation forces with the aim to kill,” he said.

Al-Khatib said his investigation was based on interviews with witnesses, an inspection of the scene and a forensic medical report.

Witnesses and colleagues who were present at the scene had previously said Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli forces. Al Jazeera Media Network said Abu Akleh was “assassinated in cold blood”.

Al-Khatib said the investigation found there were no Palestinian fighters near the scene of the shooting, contradicting claims made by Israeli officials that she could have been killed by armed Palestinians.

He said the Israeli forces were able to see Abu Akleh and other journalists, who were all clearly marked as members of the press.

According to al-Khatib, an autopsy and forensic examination conducted in Nablus after Abu Akleh’s death showed she was shot from behind, indicating that she was attempting to flee as Israeli forces continued to fire towards the group of journalists.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1691690/probe-finds-israeli-soldier-shot-at-al-jazeera-journalist-shireen-abu-akleh

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President: Iran Establishes Headquarters for Defusing Sanctions

2022-May-26

“We are striving so that the conditions would become such that these issues are eliminated, and the people’s lives, livelihoods, and businesses would become such that they can live differently from the past, and the conditions become better and better,” Rayeesi said, addressing an event on Wednesday to commemorate 4,000 martyred clerics.

He further said the enemy’s strategy is to dishearten the Iranian population while the Islamic Republic’s strategy is to hearten the people.

“Today, anyone who disheartens people with a stroke of their pen or with taking a step – whether intentionally or unintentionally and/or knowingly or unknowingly – is taking the enemy’s path, and if they take a step to hearten people, they are following the Islamic [Republic]’s path,” Rayeesi added.

He underlined that his administration will not tie the country’s progress to the removal of sanctions, reiterating that neutralization of the impact of sanctions is being resolutely pursued, separate from efforts to remove them through talks in Vienna.

“Just as we do not deem the enemy’s threats a hindrance, we do not [intend to] put off the country’s progress until the removal of sanctions,” Rayeesi said.

“We have shown this in practice and announced through official tribunes that our strategy is that of the Leader, but at the same time we are pursuing the removal of sanctions as well.”

Rayeesi was referring to negotiations in the Austrian capital to persuade Washington to remove its illegal sanctions on Iran, four years after it unilaterally withdrew from the landmark Iran deal and launched a so-called campaign of maximum pressure against the Islamic Republic.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010305000192/Presiden-Iran-Esablishes-Headarers-fr-Defsing-Sancins

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Iran's UN Envoy: Int'l Humanitarian Law Violated in Middle East

2022-May-26

“The protection of civilians in armed conflicts is a fundamental principle of humanitarian law,” Takht Ravanchi said on Wednesday, addressing a UN Security Council meeting.

”However, the international community is witness to the non-compliance of international humanitarian law as well as the lack of accountability for its grave violations,” he added.

“Conflicts have had devastating effects on our volatile region, the Middle East, where international humanitarian law is being flagrantly violated,” Takht Ravanchi said.

He cited the situation in Yemen, Palestine, and Syria as cases in point for the places which are witnessing the highest number of violations against civilians and civilian infrastructure in the already volatile Middle East region, saying that Yemen is experiencing “acute food insecurity” due to rampant attacks against schools, hospitals, telecommunications infrastructure, roads, factories, houses, and other civilian objects.

Palestine is playing host to deterioration of the humanitarian situation as a result of the Israeli regime's decades of occupation and apartheid policies, the envoy added.

In Syria, meanwhile, continuing occupation, terrorism, and unilateral sanctions has displaced millions of people, damaged infrastructures, limited access to vital resources, and disrupted trade and supply of food and agricultural inputs, he said.

The ambassador finally urged strongly against politicization of humanitarian assistance and respect for the international humanitarian law among other things in conflict zones across the globe.

Also, in March, Takht Ravanchi had said that his country was highly worried about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in war-hit Ukraine.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in and around Ukraine,” Takht Ravanchi said at the time, addressing a UN General Assembly meeting.

“Iran reiterates its principled position regarding the need for peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law,” he added.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010305000234/Iran's-UN-Envy-In'l-Hmaniarian-Law-Vilaed-in-Middle-Eas

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Israel informed US officials it killed Iranian colonel: Report

26 May, 2022

Israel has told US officials that it was behind the assassination of Iranian Colonel Sayad Khodae, according to an intelligence official briefed on the communications.

Khodaei was killed on Sunday by two motorcyclists who fired five bullets at him near his house, according to Iranian media reports.

According to the intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity to the New York Times, the Israelis informed Washington that the aim of the operation was to warn Tehran to suspend the activity of Unit 840, a secret group within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’-Quds Force(IRGC-QF).

“Unit 840 is tasked with abductions and assassinations of foreigners around the world, including Israeli civilians and officials, according to Israeli government, military and intelligence officials,” the NYT reported, adding that Iran has never acknowledged the existence of Unit 840.

In the aftermath of the assassination, Iran vowed to avenge the murder, with Revolutionary Guards commander Hossein Salami saying Tehran will harshly respond to threats.

“Iran’s response to any threat or action will be harsh. But we will determine when and how it will be and in what circumstances. We will definitely take revenge on our enemies,” Salami said on Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, Majid Mir-Ahmadi, a member of Iran’s National Security Council, blamed Israel for the assassination, adding that the culprits will regret their deeds.

“The assassination of [Khodaei] was unquestionably carried out by the Zionist regime, and the culprits must brace themselves for a heavy slap in the face from Iran,” he said, according to state news agency IRNA.

Iran called on the UN to condemn the “cowardly” killing of Khodaei.

Iran’s ambassador to the UN, Majid Takht Ravanchi, urged the UN in a letter to denounce the assassination on the basis of “its responsibilities to genuinely fight terrorism and in a non-discriminatory manner,” IRNA reported on Thursday.

Describing him as a “martyr,” Ravanchi said Khodaei who was “cowardly” murdered was a member of the country’s armed forces who significantly contributed to combating terrorism and ISIS in the region.

Meanwhile, Israeli media reports said Israeli officials were surprised by the leak, with The Times of Israel saying Israeli officials were “infuriated.”

MK Ram Ben Barak, who heads the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, denied the NYT’s report, noting that such leaks “mainly harm trust,” and voiced hope that the US investigates the leak to figure out why it happened.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/05/26/Israel-informed-US-officials-it-killed-Iranian-colonel-Report

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Gaza war survivor commemorates family victims of Israeli airstrike in paintings

26 May ,2022

A Palestinian woman artist who lost 22 of her extended family in an Israeli air strike in last year’s war, has used art to release sorrow and despair at her loss, drawing paintings to commemorate the victims’ first anniversary.

Among those Zainab Al-Qolaq lost when a series of Israeli airstrikes destroyed buildings and roads in Gaza City on May 16,

2021, were her mother and three siblings.

Palestinian health officials said Israeli strikes killed 42 Gaza civilians, including 10 children in Qolaq’s neighborhood

that day.

The Israeli military said the civilian casualties were unintentional. It said its jets attacked a tunnel system used by militants, which collapsed, bringing the homes down. Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, called it “premeditated killing.”

Qolaq drew nine paintings to document moments she recalled from that day. One shows 22 dead people, minors and adults,

wrapped in white cloth, another with several others, some are headless, and a third shows rescue workers at the rubble of her

house.

“Each of those paintings expresses a tragic moment, a certain time I had lived because of the occupier,” she told Reuters at a gallery, named “I am 22 and I lost 22 people,” hosted by the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor in Gaza.

“The language of art spreads faster, it is the language of all people regardless of our languages and nationalities. My

message is that I want the occupier to be punished,” said Qolaq, surrounded by paintings drawn in grey and black colors.

The 2021 conflict subsided after 10 days following a ceasefire brokered by Arab and international mediators, but recent tension in the West Bank and at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem revived concerns of renewed fighting across the border.

Palestinian officials said at least 254 people were killed in Israeli military strikes over those 10 days. Israel said 13 people were killed by Gaza rockets and a guided-missile attack.

Qolaq was pulled out of the rubble of her house, where she was trapped for 12 hours. When she woke up, she said she was too afraid to ask who was left alive.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/05/26/Gaza-war-survivor-commemorates-family-victims-of-Israeli-air-strike-in-paintings

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Iran says US foreign policy 'taken hostage' by Israel

Syed Zafar Mehdi  

26.05.2022

TEHRAN, Iran

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Thursday Tehran is committed to reaching a deal during the Vienna nuclear talks, adding that US interests and foreign policy have been "taken hostage" by Israel.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he accused the Biden administration of being "indecisive" in talks to salvage the landmark 2015 nuclear deal following the previous administration's maximum pressure policy against Iran.

The annual event brings together over 2,000 representatives of governments, business organizations, civil society and media leaders to discuss global challenges.

In a session moderated by CNN's Fareed Zakaria, Iran's top diplomat said Tehran has put forward a number of initiatives to Washington to salvage the nuclear deal, but the Biden administration has been dragging its feet over them.

The marathon talks in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, also known as joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA), are currently stalled due to key disagreements between Tehran and Washington.

Amir-Abdollahian said the pause in the talks has been due to "lack of economic guarantees" from the US and due to the fact that the new administration has followed the Donald Trump administration's policy against Iran.

He said Iran must enjoy "full economic benefits" of the deal, and the agreement must facilitate the country's economic and trade activity with the world.

The top diplomat, referring to one of the key sticking points in the talks — de-listing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from foreign terrorist organizations (FTO) — said the issue has been magnified by Israel.

He said the "main factor" is the full economic benefits of the deal for Iran and its people, while adding that the Biden administration must "show goodwill" in de-listing IRGC.

Amir-Abdollahian added that Iran has endured sanctions for 40 years and has "other different options" on the table if the talks in Vienna do not lead to a "good and lasting agreement.”

He also spoke about tension-easing talks with regional arch-foe Saudi Arabia, saying the two sides have made small but significant progress and have agreed to hold talks at the level of foreign ministers in near future.

The talks between Tehran and Riyadh have been underway since April last year, brokered by the Iraqi government. Despite pauses and tensions, both sides have noted progress.

Amir-Abdollahian said Iran has "always kept its door open" for Saudi Arabia and is ready for normalization of ties with the Gulf neighbor, adding that it will contribute to stability in the region.

His remarks came a day after Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan told the Davos forum that progress had been made in talks with Iran, adding that "hands remain stretched" to Tehran.

Commenting on Russia's war in Ukraine, Amir-Abdollahian said Iran condemns the war, as well as conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, without mentioning or condemning close ally Moscow. He said Tehran is willing to mediate between the two warring countries.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/iran-says-us-foreign-policy-taken-hostage-by-israel/2598262

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Blast in Yemen fish market kills at least 4 people, wounds over 30

May 26, 2022

ADEN: At least four people were killed and more than 30 injured at a Yemen fish market when an explosive device planted in a trash can detonated, police in the port city of Aden said on Thursday.

Medical charity Doctors Without Borders said on Twitter that its trauma hospital in Aden received 50 wounded patients, five of whom had died while six were seriously injured.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2090601/middle-east

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South Asia

 

Eight Members Committee Formed to Reopen Girls' Schools: Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

27 May, 2022

The Islamic Emirate said it has formed a committee of eight members to facilitate the reopening of girls’ schools.

The committee will be chaired by the Supreme Judge, Abdul Hakim Haqqani, according to Inamullah Samangani, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.

“This committee has eight members. It includes clerics and scholars. The committee has done some work to reopen the girls’ high schools. We hope it can be solved in the near future,” he said.

The female students above grade six have been banned from going to school for more than 250 days.

Meanwhile, girls said that they are fed up with the long delay in the reopening of girls’ school.

“These are just excuses they are making, moving the responsibility from one department to another. We want the schools to be reopened,” said Hadisa, a student.

“We can reach our dreams through school and can make progress. Without school we cannot contribute to any development,” said Oranous Sadat, a teacher.

This comes as women held a protest in the capital city of Kabul and called for the reopening of girls’ school.

“This is to appeal for the reopening of schools. For the past nine months, the children of this land have been deprived of education due to Gender apartheid,” said Monisa Mubariz, a protester.

Source: Tolo News

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

https://tolonews.com/index.php/afghanistan-178190

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US Special Representative Thomas West Meets Dr. Abdullah Abdullah

By Saqalain Eqbal

26 May 2022

Thomas West, the US Special Representative to Afghanistan, tweeted that he had met with Abdullah Abdullah, the former chairman of the High Council for Reconciliation, after many months.

In a tweet on Thursday morning, May 26th, West welcomed the Taliban’s decision for permitting Dr. Abdullah Abdullah to visit his family and return to Afghanistan.

Special Representative West did not specify where he met the former Afghan official in his tweet.

On 30th April, Abdullah Abdullah, who had been in Kabul since the collapse of the previous Afghan government on August 15, left Afghanistan.

Former President Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation, are among the major political figures that have remained in Afghanistan since former President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani was ousted from power.

According to the US Special Representative to Afghanistan, issues crucial to Afghanistan’s future and relations with the international community were discussed at the meeting with Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.

Special Representative West also discussed the need for a political process, human rights violations, the significant role of women in society, the humanitarian situation, and the threat of terrorism in Afghanistan with Dr. Abdullah.

Source: Khaama Press

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https://www.khaama.com/us-special-representative-thomas-west-meets-dr-abdullah-abdullah37465/

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India engages Russia, China, US on Afghanistan; Taliban say country terror free

May 26, 2022

NEW DELHI: As the world remains focused on Ukraine, India is intensifying engagement with all stakeholders in Afghanistan, a country enormously important for India's own security.

NSA Ajit Doval left for Tajikistan capital Dushanbe on Thursday to participate in a regional security dialogue that will review the situation in Afghanistan at a time the Taliban is being accused of reneging on promises they made after seizing power last year in August, not least for protection of the rights of women and girls.

However, ahead of the conference on Friday, the Taliban told TOI they are abiding by the Doha Agreement and not allowing anyone to use the soil of Afghanistan against any neighboring and regional country.

"If any one has issue, we are ready to talk and resolve it through peaceful means. We want Afghanistan to become a hub of trade. For that, we would like to have good relations and cooperation with all. Now, it is for others to reciprocate. Tactics of pressure have never worked in Afghanistan," said Suhail Shaheen, currently the head of the Taliban political office in Doha and also ambassador-designate to UN.

The remarks on terrorism are particularly significant for India as Doval is expected to emphasise in the Dushanbe meeting that Afghanistan under no circumstances is allowed to be used by Pakistan based terror groups to target India and other countries in the region. The Taliban have so far done nothing to hurt India's security interests and have expressed deep appreciation for India's decision to send 50000 MT of wheat to Afghanistan through the land route with Pakistan setting aside its differences with Islamabad.

Doval will be joined by his Russia, Chinese, Iranian and all central Asian counterparts for the conference in Tajikistan on Friday. He is also expected to have bilateral meetings.

Days before the conference, India on Wednesday also hosted US special envoy for Afghanistan Thomas West. The timing of the meeting is significant and suggests India, despite the hasty US withdrawal last year that left the government wrong-footed, believes the US remains an important stakeholder. Foreign minister S Jaishankar had recently, while addressing a question on India's position on Ukraine, accused the West of throwing the Afghanistan civil society under the bus.

Thomas West said in a tweet after his meetings here that India is "providing critical humanitarian aid, has interests to protect, brings enormous capability and experience to supporting Afghan people".

"We’ll continue to partner with India and others in the region to advance shared goals," he said.

The security dialogue in Dushanbe is being held in continuation of the NSA-level conference that Doval hosted in November. Apart from focusing on terrorism, he is also expected to underline the need for an inclusive government in Afghanistan that takes care of the rights of women, children and minorities.

The Taliban have been slammed by the international community in the past few months for their clampdown on women's rights and also for human rights abuses.

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/india-engages-russia-china-us-on-afghanistan-taliban-say-country-terror-free/articleshow/91819351.cms

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Four bombs kill at least 16 in Afghanistan

May 26, 2022

KABUL: The death toll from four bombs that ripped through minibuses and a mosque in Afghanistan has risen to at least 16, officials said on Thursday, with some of the attacks claimed by the Islamic State group.

A top UN expert called on Taliban authorities to investigate Wednesday's attacks, as well as a series of previous deadly blasts that targeted members of the minority Shiite and Sufi communities.

While the number of bombings has dropped across the country since the Taliban seized power in August, several fatal attacks rocked the country last month during Ramadan.

On Wednesday, at least 10 people were killed when three bombs placed on separate minibuses exploded in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, a health official and police said.

Najibullah Tawana, head of the Balkh health department, said three women were among the 10 killed in the blasts.

Hours after the explosions the Islamic State group (IS) said on Telegram that its "soldiers" were responsible.

Late on Wednesday one other bomb exploded inside a mosque in the capital Kabul, killing six and wounding 18, according to police spokesman Khalid Zadran.

The interior ministry said the bomb was placed inside a fan in the mosque.

It was unclear whether Wednesday's bombings targeted any specific community, and no group has so far claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack.

- 'Crimes against humanity' - Dozens of civilians were killed in Kabul and other cities in primarily sectarian attacks during the holy month of Ramadan, which ended on April 30 in Afghanistan, with some claimed by IS.

Many of those attacks targeted the Shiite Hazaras and Sufi communities.

UN special rapporteur on human rights in Afghanistan Richard Bennett told reporters such attacks "reflect elements of an organisational policy" and so bear the "hallmarks of crimes against humanity".

Bennett called for an investigation as he wrapped up his visit to Afghanistan, where he met several Taliban officials and visited some of the sites targeted by recent attacks.

On April 29, at least 10 people were killed in a Sunni mosque in Kabul in an attack that appeared to target members of the minority Sufi community performing rituals.

A week earlier, a bomb at a Shiite mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif killed at least 12 worshippers and wounded scores more.

The deadliest attack during Ramadan came in the northern city of Kunduz, where another bomb targeting Sufi worshippers tore through a mosque on April 22.

At least 33 people were killed in that blast and scores more were wounded.

The regional branch of IS in Sunni-majority Afghanistan has repeatedly targeted Shiites and minorities such as Sufis, who follow a mystical branch of Islam.

IS is a Sunni Islamist group, like the Taliban, but the two are bitter rivals.

The Taliban have pursued an Afghanistan free from foreign forces, whereas IS wants an Islamic caliphate stretching from Turkey to Pakistan and beyond.

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/four-bombs-kill-at-least-16-in-afghanistan/articleshow/91810675.cms

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India

 

4 Tourists Booked Under Riot Provocation Charge for Offering Namaz at Taj Mosque

MAY 26, 2022

Four people were arrested for offering ‘namaz’ at the Shahi mosque in the Taj Mahal premises, police said on Thursday. The four were booked under section 153 of the IPC which punishes “provoking with intent to cause riots". “Four tourists were arrested for offering namaz at the mosque in Taj Mahal premises on Wednesday. Three of them are from Hyderabad and one is from Azamgarh. They have been booked under the section of 153 of IPC. They have been presented in the court," said Vikas Kumar, Superintendent of Police (City).

Superintending archaeologist, ASI, Agra Circle Raj Kumar Patel said there is a Supreme Court order that prohibits offering of namaz inside Taj premises on all days except Friday. He said even on Friday only the residents of Tajganj locality – where the mausoleum is located – are allowed to pray between 12 pm and 2 pm. The four men were spotted offering namaz at the Shahi mosque at about 5 pm on Wednesday evening. They were accosted by the officials from the Archaeological Survey of India and CISF and were handed over to the local police.

According to some, prohibition on offering of namaz inside the Taj mosque was unheard of till a few days back. “Namaz has been offered at the mosque of the Taj Mahal regularly.

But some days ago the Archaeological Survey of India claimed that as per the order of the Supreme Court of India offering Namaz is prohibited in the mosque premises except Friday, said Ibrahim Zaidi, the head of the Intezamia Committee at Taj Mahal. Zaidi said the committee has asked the ASI to give the prohibition in writing with proof and also display a board announcing the prohibition to the tourists.

Source: News18

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https://www.news18.com/news/india/4-tourists-booked-under-riot-provocation-charge-for-offering-namaz-at-taj-mosque-5252317.html

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Claims of petitioners contradictory: Gyanvapi mosque side in court

Lalmani Verma | Varanasi

May 27, 2022

THE CLAIMS of petitioners in the Gyanvapi mosque case is “factually contradictory” with no supporting evidence, lawyers from the mosque side told the Varanasi District Court as hearings began Thursday on the application challenging the maintainability of the plea seeking the right to worship at Maa Shringar Gauri Sthal on the outer wall of the complex.

“We presented our argument for two hours. Our argument is that their (petitioner’s) claims are factually contradictory and have no evidence. Their claims are barred by various legal provisions. Our argument has not been completed. The next date of hearing is May 30, and our argument will continue on that date,” said Abhay Nath Yadav, counsel for Anjuman Intezamia Masjid management committee.

The first day of the hearing began at 2 pm with only the 27 lawyers representing different sides, the five Hindu women petitioners and six respondents permitted inside the courtroom.

Senior judge picked by top court

On May 20, the Supreme Court had transferred the suit from the court of the Civil Judge Senior Division to the Varanasi district court saying an experienced judge should hear the matter, given its complexities and sensitivity.

District Court judge Ajaya Krishna Vishvesha is hearing the matter following directions from the Supreme Court last week.

Incidentally, May 30 is also the date of hearing in a fast track court of a petition seeking permission to worship a “Shivling” claimed to have been found in the Gyanvapi mosque complex during a videography survey mandated by a local court.

On May 17, the Supreme Court, while declining to stay proceedings before the Varanasi court, had asked the District Magistrate to secure the area where the “Shivling” was claimed to have been found.

Source: Indian Express

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

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/claims-of-petitioners-contradictory-gyanvapi-mosque-side-in-court-7938541/

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Hindu plaintiffs suit not maintainable, says mosque panel

MAY 27, 2022

The Anjuman Intenzamia Masjid Committee, representing the management of the Gyanvapi Mosque, began its arguments on Thursday in District and Sessions court, Varanasi. It is challenging the maintainability of the Hindu plaintiffs’ suit under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

Senior Advocates Abhay Nath Yadav and Mumtaz Ahmad, appearing for the Muslims’ side, argued that the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, barred the suit and it was not maintainable. They submitted before Judge A.K. Vishvesha that rumours were being spread about the existence of a “Shivling” inside the premises without it being proven. This was causing “public disturbance”.

Advocate Ranjana Agnihotri, a lawyer representing one of the plaintiffs, said the Muslims’ side read out portions of their suit on Thursday to start their submissions. She said the defendants would continue their arguments on Monday (May 30) at 2 pm. The plaintiffs would begin their submissions after the defendants conclude theirs. 

The suit currently being heard by the Varanasi district court has been filed by five Hindu women and seeks the right to pray at a Hindu shrine behind the western wall of the mosque all year round.

Source: The Hindu

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

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/gyanvapi-case-hindu-plaintiffs-suit-not-maintainable-says-mosque-panel/article65464668.ece

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Mathura court directed for speedy disposal of plea for deputing advocate to survey Shahi Idgah mosque

26th May 2022

MATHURA: An additional district judge here on Thursday directed a lower court for speedy disposal of a plea for appointing a court commissioner to survey the Shahi Idgah mosque and verify the claims of temple's signs in it.

The petitioners moved the court of additional district judge with a revision application after the lower court of civil judge (senior division) on May 23 asked Shahi Idgah mosque's management committee and others to file their objections to a plea seeking survey of the mosque and fixed July 1 as the next date of hearing on the reopening of courts after summer vacation.

"Revision application was disposed of with the direction for the lower court to dispose of the plea regarding sending an advocate commissioner to the mosque on a day-to-day basis from next hearing," District Government Counsel Sanjai Gaur said.

Rajendra Maheshwari, the counsel for the petitioners of the suit, said, "Lower court of civil judge (senior division) has also been directed by Additional District Judge Sanjai Chaudhari (in-charge district judge for appeal and revision) not to delay hearing of the application pertaining to sending an advocate commissioner (to mosque). The application was submitted by Delhi-based Jai Bhagwan Goyal and four others."

The petitioners had filed an application in the court of Civil Judge (senior division) Jyoti Singh on May 23 for sending an advocate commissioner to survey Shahi Idgah Masjid complex claiming presence of temple marks in the mosque, Maheshwari said.

The court instead of disposing of the application filed under urgency clause, had set July 1 for next date of hearing, the petitioners' counsel said.

Aggrieved by the decision, the petitioners moved a revision application against the order of civil judge (senior division) in the court of District Judge Mathura, who transferred the application in the court of ADJ (7th) on Thursday, Maheshwari said.

In the revision application, the order of lower court was termed defective since the urgency clause mentioned in the application was not considered, the counsel said.

The lower court is hearing a bunch of suits for the removal of Shahi Idgah Masjid from near the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple in the Katra Keshav Dev Temple complex and subsequent interim applications for appointing a court commissioner to survey the mosque.

The petitioners have sought the mosque's survey, claiming the existence of several signs of temples, like those of "om, swastika and lotus" inside it besides its alleged "Hindu architecture".

The pleas have been filed by deity Thakur Keshav Dev Ji Maharaj virajman (in-situ) in its capacity as a juristic person, represented by advocates Mahendra Pratap Singh and Rajendra Maheshwari as its "next friend", among others.

The other petitioners included United Hindu Front founder Jai Bhagwan Goyal, a Delhi resident, and Vrindavan's Dharm Raksha Sangh president Saurabh Gaur.

Source: New Indian Express

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

https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2022/may/26/mathura-court-directed-for-speedy-disposal-of-plea-for-deputing-advocate-to-survey-shahi-idgah-mosqu-2458351.html

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Muslim side questions maintainability of Gyanvapi petition

26th May 2022

Varanasi: The Muslim petitioners on Thursday questioned the maintainability of the Hindu side’s plea in the Gyanvapi dispute case.

As the hearing began in the court of District Judge Dr AK Vishvesha, the Muslim lawyers cited the Places of Worship Act 1991 and claimed that the petition was not maintainable.

Abhay Yadav, the lawyer for the Muslim side, said that rumours of a ‘Shivling‘ being found inside the mosque were being deliberated and floated to create confusion.

He contended that the ‘Shivling‘ had not yet been established by the court and the court should put an end to such rumours.

Meanwhile, Vishnu Jain, a lawyer for the Hindu petitioners told reporters outside the court that holes had been drilled into the ‘Shivling‘ to make it look like a fountain.

Only 36 persons, including the lawyers, were allowed inside the court where the hearing was heard under tight security.

Source: Siasat Daily

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

https://www.siasat.com/muslim-side-questions-maintainability-of-gyanvapi-petition-2335026/

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Four Lashkar-e-Toiba militants killed in two encounters in Kashmir

27.05.22

Four Lashkar-e-Toiba militants, including two who were involved in killing a female TV artist, were killed in two separate encounters in Pulwama and Srinagar districts of Jammu and Kashmir, police said on Friday.

An encounter broke out at Aganhanzipora locality in Awantipora area of Pulwama district late on Thursday night, a police spokesman said.

He said two ultras, who were responsible for killing TV artist Amreen Bhat in Budgam district a day earlier, were trapped in the cordon.

"Both killed newly joined local #terrorists identified as Shahid Mushtaq Bhat R/O Hafroo Chadoora #Budgam & Farhan Habib R/O Hakripora #Pulwama. They had #killed TV artist on the instruction of LeT Cmdr Lateef. 01 AK 56 rifle, 4 magazines and a pistol recovered," IGP Kashmir zone Vijay Kumar tweeted.

Another encounter broke out in Soura area of Srinagar city where two LeT ultras were shot dead, the police said.

Source: Telegraph India

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

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/four-lashkar-e-toiba-militants-killed-in-two-encounters-in-kashmir/cid/1867118

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Special ties with Afghan people will guide India's approach: NSA Doval

May 27, 2022

NEW DELHI: India has always stood by the people of Afghanistan and this sentiment will continue to guide its approach, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval said on Friday at the 4th Regional Security Dialogue on Afganistan in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

National Security Advisers of Tajikistan, India, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan and China are participating in the dialogue.

The NSAs discussed the situation in Afghanistan and the region at a time when the Taliban government in Kabul is being accused of reneging on promises they made after seizing power in August last year.

They highlighted the need to find constructive ways to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan and combating risks from terrorism emanating from the region.

"India has historical and civilisational relations with Afghanistan. India has always stood by the people of Afghanistan. This will continue to guide India’s approach. India has focused on infrastructure, connectivity and humanitarian assistance over the decades," said Doval.

He added that since August 2021, India has provided Afghanistan 17,000 MT of wheat out of a total commitment of 50,000 MT, 5,00,000 doses of Covaxin, 13 tons of essential life-saving medicines and winter clothing as well as 60 million doses of polio vaccine.

'Enhance Afghanistan's capability'

Doval said there is a need for all present at the dialogue to enhance the capability of Afghanistan to counter-terrorism and terrorist groups which pose a threat to regional peace and security.

Calling for an inlcusive government, Doval highlighted the need for representation of all sections of Afghan society, including women and minorities, so that the whole Afghan population contributes to nation building.

"Women and youth are critical for the future of any society. Provision of education to girls and employment to women and youth will ensure productivity and spur growth. It will also have positive social impact including discouraging radical ideologies among youth," Doval added.

With collective efforts of regional dialogue members, we can help the proud people of Afghanistan build a prosperous and vibrant nation once again, he concluded.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/special-ties-with-afghan-people-will-guide-indias-approach-nsa-doval/articleshow/91827655.cms

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Terrorists involved in killing of female TV artist killed in encounter in Kashmir

May 27, 2022

SRINAGAR: Four Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, including two who were involved in killing a female TV artist, were killed in two separate encounters in Pulwama and Srinagar districts of Jammu and Kashmir, police said on Friday.

An encounter broke out at Aganhanzipora locality in Awantipora area of Pulwama district late on Thursday night, a police spokesman said.

He said two ultras, who were responsible for killing TV artist Amreen Bhat in Budgam district a day earlier, were trapped in the cordon.

"Both killed newly joined local #terrorists identified as Shahid Mushtaq Bhat R/O Hafroo Chadoora #Budgam & Farhan Habib R/O Hakripora #Pulwama. They had #killed TV artist on the instruction of LeT Cmdr Lateef. 01 AK 56 rifle, 4 magazines and a pistol recovered," IGP Kashmir zone Vijay Kumar tweeted.

Another encounter broke out in Soura area of Srinagar city where two LeT ultras were shot dead, the police said.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/terrorists-involved-in-killing-of-female-tv-artist-killed-in-encounter-in-kashmir/articleshow/91824316.cms

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Two held for killing Hindu man over interfaith relationship in Karnataka: Police

May 27, 2022

By Arun Dev

Kalaburagi police have arrested two 19-year-old men for killing a Hindu man who was in a relationship with his sister, officials said on Thursday. The accused belonged to the Muslim community, police said.

The victim, identified as Vijaya Kamble (25) was stabbed and attacked with an iron rod in Wadi town in Kalaburagi on Monday night, said the police. Kamble was a resident of Bheema Nagar Layout and is the third person to be killed over an interfaith relationship in Karnataka in the past year.

Kalaburagi Superintendent of Police, Isha Pant, identified the accused as Shahabuddin (19) and Nawaz (19).

“Kamble was in a relationship with Shahabuddin’s older sister. The family had come to know about the relationship, and since it was an interfaith relationship, there was resentment. It over this displeasure that Shahabuddin murdered him,” said Pant, adding that the accused have been booked under section 304 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code.

According to the SP, the murder took place at around 8.30 pm on Monday near a bridge in Wadi railway station. Shahabuddin and Nawaz found Kamble on the railway bridge at night, and there was an argument, during which they attacked him using a knife and an iron rod.

“There were multiple injuries on his neck, and there were hit marks on the head. He died on the spot. From the investigation so far, we have found that the attack wasn’t pre-planned, but we are in the process of finding more evidence,” she said.

After the incident, security has been beefed up in the district, especially in the Wadi town, on Thursday. According to the police, there are some sensitive areas in town and additional police forces have been deployed there.

In October last year, after a 24-year-old Muslim man’s decapitated body was found on a railway track in Karnataka’s Belagavi district, 10 people, including the parents of a woman he was in a relationship with, were arrested for his murder. Police first registered a case of unnatural death when Arbaz Mullah’s body was found on September 28, 2021.

The Belagavi Police said the woman’s parents, Eerappa and Susheela Kumbhar, and Maharaja Nagappa alias Pundalik Mutgekar, a member of the Hindu group Sri Ram Sena Hindustan, are the prime suspects in the murder.

In a statement, police added the parents opposed the woman’s relationship with Mullah and approached Nagappa to end it. But the woman remained adamant. Police said the parents met Nagappa multiple times, and when Mullah refused to end the relationship, they threatened him. As the threats did not work, Nagappa allegedly hired seven contract killers to kill Mullah on September 28. The killers dumped his body on the railway tracks.

Source: Hindustan Times

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

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/bengaluru-news/two-held-for-killing-hindu-man-over-interfaith-relationshippolice-101653591882000.html

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Karnataka: Muslim students blame ABVP for anti-hijab protest

26th May 2022

Mangalore: Karnataka’s hijab row seems to have resurfaced, as Muslim students on Thursday protested outside the District Collectorate in Mangalore seeking action against the protest held at Mangalore University.

The Muslim girls, enrolled at the university claimed that Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had planned the protest held in the university. In a video shared on Twitter, a girl can be heard demanding the collector to allow them in the university while sporting the hijab.

The girl is seen displaying the letter which they wanted to submit at the collector. The group also displayed WhatsApp messages which hint at a larger protest being planned in the coming days.

Earlier on Thursday, a group of students held a protest on Mangalore University campus demanding the varsity to implement the Karnataka high court order on the Hijab row.

Mangalore University protest

The protest happened in Mangaluru where students of Mangalore University protested outside the campus on Thursday alleging that the college authorities have failed to implement the Karnataka High Court’s verdict that wearing of hijab is not an essential part of Islam.

One of the students speaking in the video says, “There was a PTA meeting where many parents complained to the management of not following the HC’s verdict. But nothing was done. Around 40 Muslim students have been wearing Hijab and they are not stopped by the college management. That’s why we are protesting outside the college campus”

Background of the Hijab Row:

The hijab controversy erupted and has been raging since January, after students of a pre-university college in Karnataka’s Udupi were prohibited from wearing headscarves (hijab), as part of their religious obligation, on the college premises. The issue blew up after Hindu students turned up to their colleges wearing saffron scarves in a protest against hijabi Muslims being allowed to wear headscarves.

The state was forced to form a committee to decide on the issue and prohibited the students from wearing any religious garment, including the hijab until a decision is reached.

Source: Siasat Daily

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

https://www.siasat.com/karnataka-muslim-students-blame-abvp-for-anti-hijab-protest-2335131/

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North America

 

Former New York resident found guilty of aiding Islamic State in Syria

May 26, 2022

A former New York resident has been found guilty in Brooklyn federal court of traveling to the Middle East to recruit Islamic State fighters and obtain weapons for the militants which US authorities brand a terrorist group.

Mirsad Kandic, 40, will face up to life in prison at sentencing in November. Prosecutors said he was a “high-ranking member of ISIS” who traveled to Syria to join the group in 2013.

He then helped other volunteer fighters from Western countries travel to Syria, including a fellow New Yorker and an 18-year-old Australian, prosecutors said.

Court records showed a jury on Tuesday convicted him on six counts including providing material support to ISIS.

“Kandic’s actions were directly linked to attacks and significant loss of life,” Breon Peace, the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Lawyers for Kandic did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kandic, who was a legal permanent resident of the United States, was arrested in Bosnia and extradited to the United States in 2017.

Source: Syriahr

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

https://www.syriahr.com/en/253320/

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US urges Yemen’s Houthis to free US Embassy’s local staff

26 May, 2022

The United States on Thursday urged Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia to release all US Embassy local staffers that they had detained, following the death of one of them after seven months in captivity.

The Houthis seized the headquarters of the US Embassy in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa last October. They detained dozens of former staffers, many of whom were later released but at least 11 remained in the Houthis’ custody.

Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest nation, has been fractured by a brutal civil war since 2014, when the Houthis seized Sanaa and much of northern Yemen, forcing the internationally recognized government into exile.

In a tweet, the embassy, now operating outside of Yemen, said it was mourning Abdulhameed al-Ajami, a retired employee of the US Agency for International Development, describing him as “an innocent grandfather” and “a proud Yemeni” dedicated to educating children in his country.

“We extend our condolences to his loved ones and call on the Houthis to end this injustice and release every single current and former US Embassy employee now,” it said.

On Wednesday, the US State Department issued a statement confirming al-Ajami's death but did not mention any details on the time or the circumstances of his death.

“The United States has been unceasing in its diplomatic efforts to secure the release of our Yemeni staff in Sana’a. We demand the Houthis release detained current and former US employees,” spokesman Ned Price said.

The Houthis never charged al-Ajami or any of the other captives or brought them to trial.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/05/26/US-urges-Yemen-s-Houthis-to-free-US-Embassy-s-local-staff

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Mexican envoy highlights multifaceted, historical ties with Turkiye

Ahmet Gencturk  

26.05.2022

Mexico’s relations with Turkiye are not only cordial but also long-standing and deep, the country’s ambassador has said.

Jose Luis Martinez y Hernandez highlighted his country's multifaceted and historical ties with Turkiye in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency.

The first official contact between the Ottoman Empire and Mexico was in 1864, when Emperor Maximilian I sent Leonardo Marquez and Pablo Martínez del Rio as envoys to the Ottoman Empire, he noted.

In May 1927, not too long after the formation of the modern Republic of Turkiye, the Friendship Agreement was signed, which entered into force in July 1928 and laid the foundation of the contemporary excellent relations between the two countries, Hernandez further detailed.

He said bilateral relations gained a particular impetus in the last decade, and 2013 was a milestone.

That year, President Enrique Pena Nieto became the first Mexican head of state to pay a visit to Turkiye and bilateral relations were elevated to the level of a strategic partnership, Hernandez said.

What’s more, the two countries closely cooperate within the framework of international organizations and platforms including the G-20, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and MIKTA, of which both Turkiye and Mexico are members, he added.

Referring to economic ties, Hernandez said the bilateral trade volume between Mexico and Turkiye had reached $1.5 billion as of 2021 with much greater potential.

“If the Free Trade Agreement, whose negotiations are underway, can be concluded, bilateral trade and investments will soar greatly,” he said.

Hernandez moreover underscored that there are areas such as oil drilling and refining in which Mexico has expertise and is willing to share it with Turkiye.

“For example, Mexico can help Turkiye with exploitation of newly discovered natural gas reserves in the Black Sea,” he said.

Hernandez also praised Turkish Airlines -- Turkiye’s national flag carrier, which files to Cancun and Mexico City from Istanbul -- for its role in improving bilateral cultural, touristic and economic bonds.

The ambassador also indicated that cultural and academic relations between the two countries’ related intuitions and peoples are flourishing.

“There is a great interest from ordinary Turkish people towards any cultural event we organize, including movie festivals, exhibitions and conferences,” Hernandez said.

Similarly, the Yunus Emre Institute in Mexico City, in close coordination with the Turkish Embassy, successfully promotes Turkish culture and the Turkish language to growing numbers of Mexicans, he maintained.

Interest in Turkish culture is expanding in Mexico, he said, and added that Spanish-translated works of some Turkish authors including Orhan Pamuk and Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar find avid readers.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/mexican-envoy-highlights-multifaceted-historical-ties-with-turkiye/2597884

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Arab World

 

Turkish forces shell Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Aleppo: Report

27 May, 2022

Turkish forces shell areas under the control of Kurdish forces in northern Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory reported on Friday.

The shelling has reportedly impacted the areas of Samouqa, al-Hasakah, and Dam al-Shahba.

No information is currently available on the casualties, the report said.

Turkey’s current and future military operations on its southern borders do not target its neighbors’ sovereignty but are necessary for Turkish security, the country’s National Security Council (MGK) said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

The MGK statement followed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s declaration on Monday that Ankara would soon launch new military operations on its southern borders to expand 30-kilometer (20-mile) deep safe zones and combat what he described as terrorist threats there.

“Operations being carried out now and in the future to remove the terrorism threat on our southern borders do not target our neighbors’ territorial integrity and sovereignty in any way,” it said after a three-hour meeting chaired by Erdogan, Reuters reported.

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/05/27/Turkish-forces-shell-Kurdish-controlled-areas-in-northern-Aleppo-Report

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No Saudi, Iranian foreign ministers meeting in foreseeable future: Saudi official

27 May, 2022

No meeting between Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers has been scheduled in the foreseeable future, an official from the Saudi foreign ministry said on Thursday, adding that some progress has been made in talks with Teheran but “it's not enough”.

Iran foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on earlier on Thursday that he may meet his Saudi counterpart soon in a third country.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/05/27/No-Saudi-Iranian-foreign-ministers-meeting-in-foreseeable-future-Saudi-official

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Turkish soldier killed in northern Iraq during military operation

26 May, 2022

A Turkish soldier was killed Thursday during a military operation against Kurdish fighters in the north of Iraq, Turkey’s defense ministry said.

That brings the number of Turkish soldiers killed in the region to six since Tuesday.

Turkey’s official news agency Anadolu said the Turkish soldiers had clashed with fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara and its Western allies say is a terrorist organization.

The PKK has training camps and bases in autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan and has been waging a fight against the Turkish state since 1984, a conflict that has killed 40,000 people, many of them civilians.

Ankara has launched a series of operations against PKK fighters in Iraq and Syria, the latest one in northern Iraq beginning in April.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/05/26/Turkish-soldier-killed-in-northern-Iraq-during-military-operation

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Lebanon’s election sees political vote buying and intimidation

26 May, 2022

As the Lebanese population went to the polls on May 15, several observers noted a significant number of violations of the electoral law, potentially affecting the accuracy and respect of the legislative elections.

On his way to his polling station in Yarin, a village in southern Lebanon, Hussein Hamoud, a 35-year-old social media manager, noticed hundreds of cars queued and waiting for gasoline. This situation is reminiscent of the fuel shortages that the country experienced last summer, but which can be explained by another reason on the Election Day.

“All these people are waiting to fill their tanks with the political parties’ coupons in exchange for their vote. Here, nobody hides from vote-buying, which is a recurrent practice in Lebanon during elections time,” said Hamoud.

Vote-buying for cash or food

With the economic crisis that has gripped the country for over two years, a large part of the population has become impoverished and more dependent on traditional political parties. In one of its latest press releases, the World Bank accused the country’s political elite of deliberately orchestrating the economic depression by taking over the state and living off its economic rents.

For Aly Sleem, director of the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE), an organization that monitored the Lebanese election, the establishment and, to a lesser extent, emerging political groups have taken advantage of the economic crisis. With the collapse of public institutions, political groups offer services to the population in exchange for their electoral support. Unlike in 2018, when vote-buying was using cash, the traditional political parties now provide medicines, food, and other necessities.

According to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), people who suffered in Lebanon doubled from 42 per cent in 2019 to 82 per cent today, making the population even more vulnerable. In the largest city of Sour, where yellow and green flags affiliated with the two Shiite parties Hezbollah and Amal dominate the streets, Hamoud saw the impoverishment of the population and the buying of votes with essential resources linked to it.

“The fact that people struggle daily to survive helps the traditional political parties in their election campaign. The night before the elections, we could see the political parties distributing food boxes, trying to convince the inhabitants to vote for them. On the day of the elections, they distributed money to citizens in front of polling stations. It ranged from a few dozen dollars to several hundred, depending on the economic status of the people.”

Although detrimental to the democratic process, this practice is, however, legalized by the Lebanese electoral law. Article 62 states that candidates or institutions owned or managed by candidates or parties can provide gifts and donations with consistent identical amounts and quantities on a regular and consistent basis for at least three years before the campaign period are free to continue to do so.

People involved in the elections distinguish between the Lebanese electoral law that does not allow equal opportunities for all candidates and the international standards of free and fair elections. In several cases, some traditional political parties disregard the election law by breaking the secrecy of the vote.

“Some of the polling workers would even go with the candidate to vote, pretexting that they could not read or that some people were too old to understand what to do,” Hamoud claimed, adding that he had directly witnessed this while waiting to cast his vote.

When traditional political parties feel threatened by the potential outcome of the election, they can go further and change ballot boxes and replace votes with fakes that skew the result in their favor. It’s claimed that Hezbollah delegates were placing ballots in envelopes at a polling station in the Hermel sub-district of Bekaa III after the closure of polling stations.

A system of political intimidation

In addition to increased clientelism and a vigorous crackdown on electoral law, hate speech campaigns and misinformation also marked the electoral process. Ayman Mhanna, director of the freedom of democracy organization Samir Kassir Foundation, tracked the use of electoral armies by traditional parties such as Hezbollah, the Lebanese Forces, and the Free Patriotic Movement to influence the elections in their favor.

“Supporters of these political parties use astroturfing to flood social networks with content that makes voters believe they hold the majority opinion. Several studies have shown that this represents a major manipulation of public opinion as no one likes to be on the losing side,” he claimed.

“I am not surprised by the undemocratic practices of the traditional political parties that have had the same leaders for the past thirty years and are undemocratic by definition. We cannot expect any other behavior from them," he added.

On Election Day, the members of the various monitoring missions have suffered from a culture of intimidation. With the emergence of an opposition challenging the status quo in the wake of the October 2019 mass protests, online hate campaigns turned into intimidation and reportedly physical violence against candidates who claim to be independent.

Hamoud recalls the assaults that broke out in the town of Sarafand when supporters affiliated with the political party Amal, according to witnesses there, beat up candidates who wanted to announce the electoral list "Together for Change."

"Our observers in the southern district, as well as in Baalbek-Hermel, and Saida, were harassed by the traditional political parties. Some were even beaten or slapped and had to leave the polling stations," Hamoud told Al Arabiya. "Our inability to monitor certain regions and the fact that voters were sometimes under significant pressure lead us to raise questions about the accuracy and respect of the process."

Similarly, five of the association's observers were not allowed to monitor the second round of counting inside the primary registration committee stations of Haret Hreik, Mazboud, and Beirut.

In addition to vote-buying practices and increased intimidation and threatening speeches, the official Lebanese Election Supervisory Commission also monitored at least 324 cases of breaches of electoral silence during voting. In its latest statement, it noted that "On Sunday, May 15, there was a very large number of violations of electoral silence by all the media, candidates, lists and political parties.”

Hope for positive changes

Despite all the severe violations of the election law (estimated by LADE to be as many as 3,600), there were signs of change. For example, Mhanna noted a broader representation of candidates appearing on national television stations, including LBCI, MTV, and Al Jadeed. Most TV appearances were paid for, which favored better-funded candidates.

Significantly, the quality of debates had improved, with pundits taking a much more in-depth look at political issues while ensuring the integrity of the information. Despite these improvements, the media still fell short of international standards for fair and equal access to all candidates and parties.

In Beirut, Hamoud carefully analyzes the election results after voting in his village.

"I'm quite happy with the results because I'm starting to see a glimpse of change in the country. People who have been members of parliament for the last few decades have not been elected for the first time."

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/05/26/Lebanon-s-election-sees-political-vote-buying-and-intimidation

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Saudi crown prince, Greek PM discuss boosting joint cooperation

May 26, 2022

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received a phone call on Thursday from Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Kingdom’s official SPA news agency reported.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2090676/saudi-arabia

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Pakistan

 

Pakistan's National Assembly Approves Bill to Deprive Overseas Citizens from Voting, Stop Use of EVMs

May 26, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's National Assembly on Thursday passed a bill to abolish the former Imran Khan government's election reforms giving expats the right to vote through I-Voting and the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the country.

The Elections (Amendment) Bill 2022 presented by parliamentary affairs minister Murtaza Javed Abbasi was passed with a majority vote in the lower house, with only members of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) opposing it.

Abbasi, before presenting the bill, presented a motion to allow the bill be sent directly to the Senate for its approval, bypassing the relevant standing committee.

The bill is expected to be sent to the Senate on Friday, Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reported.

Describing the bill of "immense significance", Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) minister Azam Nazeer Tarar recalled the ousted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had made multiple amendments to the Election Act, 2017, including those that allowed the use of EVMs and granted overseas Pakistanis the right to vote in general elections.

The PTI government had made the amendments through the Elections (Second Amendment) Bill, 2021, which it had bulldozed through the National Assembly along with 32 other legislations on November 17 last year, Tarar said.

The minister also said Thursday's bill sought to revive the Elections Act, 2017 in the shape prior to those amendments, ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections.

Under the new bill, Tarar stated, two amendments were being made to Sections 94 and 103 of the act, both pertaining to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) conducting pilot projects for overseas voting and the use of EVMs.

He said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had also expressed its inability to hold elections through I-Voting and EVMs in a short span of time and without proper homework.

The amendment under Section 94 of the Election Act, 2017, suggests the ECP may conduct pilot projects for voting by overseas Pakistanis in by-elections to ascertain the technical efficacy, secrecy, security, and financial feasibility of such voting and shall share the results with the government.

It said the report would be laid before both houses of Parliament within 15 days from the commencement of a session of a house.

According to the law minister, the Election Commission of Pakistan had also raised objections to the use of EVMs.

He however clarified the government was not against the use of the technology, and that holding polls using EVMs in a single day was "impossible".

"We only have concerns about the misuse of technology as the Results Transmission System had failed in last general elections to favour a particular political party," he said.

He also dispelled the impression that the amendments were aimed at depriving overseas Pakistanis of their right to vote.

"Overseas Pakistanis are a precious asset of the country and the government does not believe in snatching their right to vote," he said.

Meanwhile, the PTI has strongly criticised the move and termed it a “regressive and condemnable act” of the government led by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sherif.

PTI vice-chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi tweeted: "PTI gave over nine million Overseas Pakistanis the right to vote. Today, this band of thieves and thugs removed this, disenfranchising a staggering number of Pakistanis and barring the use of electronic voting machines.”

GDA lawmaker Ghous Bakhsh Mehr, on the other hand, said that EVMs were being used across the world and Pakistan should at least try using them. "If not the whole country, then use them in some areas," he said.

During the National Assembly session, details of the expenses for the next general elections were shared.

According to the electoral watchdog's estimates, fresh polls will cost about Rs 47.41 billion, of which around Rs 15 billion will be for ensuring security.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistans-national-assembly-approves-bill-to-deprive-overseas-citizens-from-voting-stop-use-of-evms/articleshow/91816730.cms

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Pak PM Imran calls off march, gives ultimatum to govt to dissolve NA

May 27, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Hours after ousted prime minister Imran Khan called off his march to Islamabad on Thursday after giving a six-day ultimatum to the government to dissolve the National Assembly and announce election, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif vowed that the elected house would decide the date for fresh polls after completing its current term next year.

In a speech on the floor of the Lower House of Parliament, Sharif lashed out at Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and its chief Imran for violent acts, saying: “I want to clarify to the leader of this group (PTI), your dictation won’t work. This House and the coalition government will decide when to hold elections in the country.”

Following a busy day of political drama and violence across Pakistan, PTI chairman Imran, after announcing a deadline, left for his palatial farm house in Bani Gala, Islamabad, leaving behind scores of his supporters wondering what actually had happened that changed the entire political scene. Thousands of PTI workers had arrived with preparations for a prolonged sit-in as they were told by their leaders. “I was surprised when Khan announced to end the march,” said Adam Shuja, a PTI supporter.

Till late on Wednesday night, Islamabad’s high security red zone resembled a war zone with PTI supporters attempting to counter teargas shelling and crackdown of law enforcers with stones and sticks, and setting metro bus stations, trees and green belts on fire.

Imran, however, could not reach Islamabad’s red zone and delivered his speech to his supporters at the city’s Jinnah Avenue on Thursday morning. “I have reached Islamabad after 30 hours of travelling from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The government tried every method to crush our Azadi (freedom) March. They used teargas on peaceful protesters, our homes were raided and our privacy was violated. However, I have seen the nation free itself of the fear of slavery,” he said.

Khan claimed three PTI workers had lost their lives in Karachi, while two workers were thrown off Ravi Bridge in Lahore and thousands others were arrested.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pak-pm-imran-calls-off-march-gives-ultimatum-to-govt-to-dissolve-na/articleshow/91821030.cms

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PTI’s march cost government Rs149 million

Munawer Azeem

May 27, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)’s ‘Haqiqi Azadi March’ cost the government Rs149 million to maintain law and order in the capital.

This amount was released to police after officials sent a written request to the government asking for the amount, police officers on condition of anonymity told Dawn. Despite repeated attempts, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Akbar Nasir Khan could not be contacted for comments.

Police were not able to participants of the march from reaching Red Zone; the participants removed blockades, confronted the security personnel and even set some trees on fire.

The police officers said request for the supplementary grant was made to the chief commissioner’s office, it then reached the interior ministry and then it was forwarded to the finance ministry for release of funds.

In the written request, the police said they would maintain law and order, and security personnel were also requisitioned from outside Islamabad.

Funds released on request of police for a supplementary grant, say officers

Besides this, other necessary items would be arranged, it stated, adding that a huge amount was already spent on the maintenance of law and order in the capital during the 48th session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers held in March 2022, vote of no-confidence against the ousted prime minster and the subsequent election of the incumbent prime minister.

For these events, Rs150 million were demanded, however, no funds had been been approved for the police so far. At present, no funds are available with the police to cater to requirements and besides this, vendors were reluctant to provide services due to their pending liabilities.

“In view of the above, additional funds are required on an urgent basis to ensure effective security measures during the law and order situation due to the PTI’s protest and sit-in,” the request said.

The amount of Rs149 million was demanded to bear expenses for five days, Rs47,500,000 was sought for hiring 380 containers (each costing Rs125,000 for five days use), Rs1,300,000 for four cranes (each costing Rs65,000 for five days) and Rs1,000,000 for four fork lifters (each for Rs50,000 for five days).

Likewise, Rs2,798,500 for 100 buses for transportation of the force from outside to the capital (each costing Rs27,985), Rs9794,750 for 350 buses for transportation of the force within capital (Rs27985 each), Rs2,798,500 for 100 buses for transportation of the force back to their respective districts (Rs27,985 each), Rs1,685,000 for 100 trucks for logistics teams, food, water (for five days and each costing Rs16,850), Rs260,000 for 10 water tankers for five days (each costing Rs26,000).

Moreover, an amount of Rs41,250,000 was also demanded for food charges for 15,000 officials of the capital and other district police for five days, the officers said, adding for the purchase of complete anti-riot kits another amount of Rs35,300,000 was demanded.

Similarly, Rs4,500,000 were sought for the purchase of miscellaneous items – water, coolers, torches, electricity, etc).

The officers further stated that during the current financial year, the capital police had been allocated very limited funds which have already been consumed. The police have already made re-appropriation within the allocated budget to meet the requirements and at present, funds are not available under any head of account which can further be re-appropriated to meet the requirements.

Sources in the chief commissioner office told Dawn that an amount of Rs70,001,000 had been allocated for vehicles and containers in the 2021-2022 budget and later the police got an amount of Rs67,815,000. So far, Rs157,816,000 have been spent under the head, they added.

Likewise, Rs38,500,000 were allocated for diet and food charges in the 2021-2022 budget and later the police got an additional amount of Rs34,500,000. So far, an Amount of Rs82,900,000 has been spent under the head.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1691655/ptis-march-cost-government-rs149-million

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Imran Khan, other PTI leaders booked over ‘vandalism, arson’ charges during Azadi March

May 26, 2022

Islamabad police on Thursday booked PTI Chairman Imran Khan and other leaders of his party in two separate cases over allegations of arson and vandalism in the capital the previous night.

A first information report (FIR) was registered at 1:50am at Kohsar police station over the complaint of Sub-Inspector (SI) Asif Raza under Sections 109 (abetment), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 186 (obstructing public service), 188 (disobedience), 353 (assault on public servant), 427 (causing damage) and 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

SI Raza, in the FIR, said he was on duty, along with other police personnel, at Jinnah Avenue’s China Chowk when at 11pm, 100-150 people with PTI flags suddenly moved towards Express Chowk. He said the police tried to stop the PTI supporters due to the imposition of Section 144 in Islamabad but they did not listen and instead pelted stones at the police officers and also setting fire to trees.

Raza said 36 individuals, who were acting at the “behest of Imran and other PTI leadership”, were “brought under control”.

Meanwhile, the second FIR was registered at 3:20am on the complaint of SI Ghulam Sarwar under the same sections as the prior FIR. Sarwar claimed that he and other police officers were on duty at Express Chowk when at 12:30am, 100-150 PTI protesters — equipped with rods and inflammatory materials — chanted slogans, incited people and set fire to the trees and Metro Bus station near Geo Chowk, along with smashing mirrors of Geo News’ office.

SI Sarwar said as the police tried to disperse the crowd, the PTI workers resorted to pelting stones and also damaged a government bus. He added that 39 individuals were subsequently arrested.

The FIR filed on SI Sarwar’s complaint named Imran as well as Asad Umar, Imran Ismail, Raja Khurram Nawaz, Ali Amin Gandapur, Ali Nawaz Awan among others.

Both FIRs revolve around the events that transpired on the streets of Islamabad during the PTI’s Azadi March last night. PTI party workers and supporters were present at D-Chowk on Wednesday in the face of intense police shelling.

Source: Pakistan Today

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

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/05/26/imran-khan-other-pti-leaders-booked-over-vandalism-arson-charges-during-azadi-march/

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FM Bilawal reaffirms Pakistan’s desire to strengthen trade, economic ties with Iran

May 26, 2022

DAVOS: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire to strengthen fraternal ties with Iran in all areas of mutual interest.

Talking to his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the foreign minister emphasised that there exists vast scope in bilateral trade and economic cooperation which should be tapped by both sides through various institutional mechanisms and innovative ways to identify new sectors.

The foreign minister underscored the importance of earliest completion of border markets to improve livelihood in the border region.

He appreciated Iran’s steadfast support for the Kashmir cause, especially at the Supreme Leader level.

The foreign minister also thanked Abdollahian for sending an Iranian aircraft to Pakistan which helped extinguish the forest fire in Balochistan.

In the context of the situation in Afghanistan, Blawal noted that as neighbours, Pakistan and Iran have been closely coordinating. He underlined that sustained engagement between the international community and the Interim Afghan government is critical to advance shared objectives of peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Source: Pakistan Today

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

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/05/26/fm-bilawal-reaffirms-pakistans-desire-to-strengthen-trade-economic-ties-with-iran/

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Bilawal rejects foreign intervention claim, rebuilds ties with West at Davos

May 26, 2022

DAVOS: The foreign minister on Wednesday rejected claims by former prime minister Imran Khan that the United States had plotted his downfall.

Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari told Reuters that Khan’s ouster last month was in fact a milestone for Pakistan’s democracy.

“Pakistan has a history of prime ministers who have been removed undemocratically, unconstitutionally through various means,” Zardari said in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos.

“We’ve had a prime minister who was removed and hanged!” Zardari said with reference to his grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, part of a family history repeatedly marked by violence as well as high office.

At just 33, he is hoping to appeal to Pakistan’s young population and step into the shoes of a political dynasty. As the leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), he said will run in the next elections and seek to form a government.

For the moment, he says he is focused on Pakistan’s foreign policy challenges around the world.

While Davos has been dominated by fears around trade blocs and more siloed nations, Bhutto Zardari said multilateral cooperation with neighbouring countries and the West is the way forward for Pakistan.

That has opened his government to attacks from Khan and his supporters. Khan accuses Washington of conspiring with his political opposition to oust him because of his independent foreign policy, which included a trip to Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Washington denies Khan’s allegation.

“He’s doing whatever he can to adopt maximalist extremist positions, whip up anti-American sentiment and draw parallels to the Taliban’s struggle in Afghanistan to undermine this space for this democratic transition,” Zardari said.

ILLUSTRIOUS LEGACY’

Zardari has already met with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and arrived in Davos fresh from a trip to China.

He said he envisaged a role for Pakistan in bridging the gap between the two nations. His grandfather Zulfikar Ali also served as foreign minister.

“The initiation of diplomatic relations between China and the United States has a history that’s connected to my party and my country,” he told Reuters.

“My grandfather played a role at the time of Henry Kissinger and Nixon in facilitating the early communications between the two countries.”

“I am lucky and fortunate that I have such an illustrious legacy, such imposing historical figures in my own family to look up to, and who still guide me and drive me in the way that their mission, their ideology, their manifestos are my driving force,” he said.

Zardari was 19 when he became the leader of his PPP. Now, he hopes to reclaim both his family history and the optimism of his youth.

“We were promised a very different world,” he said.

“I was born in 1988, so the fall of the Berlin Wall and at a time when we were going to see the end of history and the international institutions like the United Nations were going to come together. And unfortunately, we have really been shortchanged.”

In a country where 64 percent of the population are under 30, according to a 2018 UN estimate, he says he believes it is “about time” someone of his age was represented in government.

“We will grow up in a world that is affected by the climate crisis in a way the generation before us cannot understand and cannot appreciate. We will be paying the debts that they incur, and that’ll be a liability on our progress.”

Benazir Bhutto’s killer has never been caught, and a UN inquiry found that Pakistani authorities had failed to protect her or properly investigate her death.

Zardari said that despite growing up in the full glare of the public eye, he was not afraid for his own safety.

Source: Pakistan Today

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

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/05/26/bilawal-rejects-foreign-intervention-claim-rebuilds-ties-with-west-at-davos/

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Imran Khan Era Electoral Changes Overturned With Bill In Pakistan: Report

May 26, 2022

Islamabad: Pakistan's National Assembly on Thursday passed a bill to abolish the former Imran Khan government's election reforms giving expats the right to vote through I-Voting and the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the country.

The Elections (Amendment) Bill 2022 presented by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Murtaza Javed Abbasi was passed with a majority vote in the lower house, with only members of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) opposing it.

Abbasi, before presenting the bill, presented a motion to allow the bill be sent directly to the Senate for its approval, bypassing the relevant standing committee.

The bill is expected to be sent to the Senate on Friday.

The current National Assembly would complete its five-year term in August next year, which would be followed by the general elections. However, the prime minister can dissolve parliament any time and call fresh elections.

Describing the bill of "immense significance", Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) minister Azam Nazeer Tarar recalled the ousted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government had made multiple amendments to the Election Act, 2017, including those that allowed the use of EVMs and granted overseas Pakistanis the right to vote in general elections.

The PTI government had made the amendments through the Elections (Second Amendment) Bill, 2021, which it had bulldozed through the National Assembly along with 32 other legislations on November 17 last year, Tarar said.

The minister also said Thursday's bill sought to revive the Elections Act, 2017 in the shape prior to those amendments, ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections.

Under the new bill, Tarar stated, two amendments were being made to Sections 94 and 103 of the act, both pertaining to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) conducting pilot projects for overseas voting and the use of EVMs.

He said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had also expressed its inability to hold elections through I-Voting and EVMs in a short span of time and without proper homework.

The amendment under Section 94 of the Election Act, 2017, suggests the ECP may conduct pilot projects for voting by overseas Pakistanis in by-elections to ascertain the technical efficacy, secrecy, security, and financial feasibility of such voting and shall share the results with the government.

It said the report would be laid before both houses of Parliament within 15 days from the commencement of a session of a house.

According to the law minister, the Election Commission of Pakistan had also raised objections to the use of EVMs.

He however clarified the government was not against the use of the technology, and that holding polls using EVMs in a single day was "impossible".

"We only have concerns about the misuse of technology as the Results Transmission System had failed in last general elections to favour a particular political party," he said.

He also dispelled the impression that the amendments were aimed at depriving overseas Pakistanis of their right to vote.

"Overseas Pakistanis are a precious asset of the country and the government does not believe in snatching their right to vote," he said.

Meanwhile, the PTI has strongly criticised the move and termed it a “regressive and condemnable act” of the government led by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sherif.

PTI vice-chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi tweeted: "PTI gave over nine million Overseas Pakistanis the right to vote. Today, this band of thieves and thugs removed this, disenfranchising a staggering number of Pakistanis and barring the use of electronic voting machines.” GDA lawmaker Ghous Bakhsh Mehr, on the other hand, said that EVMs were being used across the world and Pakistan should at least try using them. "If not the whole country, then use them in some areas," he said.

During the National Assembly session, details of the expenses for the next general elections were shared.

According to the electoral watchdog's estimates, fresh polls will cost about ₹ 47.41 billion, of which around ₹ 15 billion will be for ensuring security.

The election commission had estimated the cost of conducting electronic voting at ₹ 5.6 billion, while printing ballot papers would cost ₹ 4.83 billion. Further, ₹ 1.79 billion would be spent on training polling staff.

Source: ND TV

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https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/imran-khan-era-electoral-changes-overturned-with-a-new-bill-in-pakistan-3012554

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Pakistan: Fault lines visible in Shehbaz govt as PML-N calls for immediate elections

27 May, 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], May 27 (ANI): A faction of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has shown its support for holding an immediate election in the country and expressed that if prices of petroleum products are hiked to meet the latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) demand it will dent the party’s popularity among the masses.

This comes after the Fund rejected giving another tranche of loan to Pakistan while emphasizing the urgency of concrete policy actions including the removal of fuel and energy subsidies in the fiscal year 2023 budget, to achieve programme objectives.

This latest revelation is also a departure from PML-N and its allies’ earlier announcement where they said that the current setup will complete its tenure till August 2023 and the general elections would be held at the stipulated time next year.

The PML-N leader added that accepting the IMF conditions will be an unpopular decision for the party. According to the sources in conversation with ARY News, the coalition partners of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s government are gripped by confusion, however, the majority of the PML-N leaders have favoured the immediate organisation of the elections.

Sources of the media outlet also reveal that Shehbaz will hold meetings with the coalition partners for making a final decision in which budget recommendations will also be tabled.

The IMF rejected the USD 3 billion economic relief program for Pakistan and demanded that fuel subsidies must be removed.

The Fund pointed out that there are “deviations” on fiscal sides from the policies agreed upon in the last review. The Fund emphasized the urgency of concrete policy actions and including the context of removal the fuel and energy subsidies in the fiscal year 2023 budget, to achieve programme objectives.

Source: The Print

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https://theprint.in/world/pakistanfault-lines-visible-in-shehbaz-govt-as-pml-n-calls-for-immediate-elections/972716/

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Southeast Asia

 

Penang Allocates 9.24 Acres of Land for Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Other Religions Places of Worship

By Opalyn Mok

27 May 2022

GEORGE TOWN, May 27 — Penang has increased its allocation for the development of Islam in the state to RM19.95 million, an increase of RM1.34 million from 2021, said Penang Yang diPertua Negri Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak.

He said the allocation totalling RM18.61 million last year for the development of Islam in the state were for projects such as the development of the Falak Sheikh Tahir Centre, religious schools, Darul Hidayah Complex and Kolej Islam Teknologi Antarabangsa.

Other than the increase in allocation for the development and strengthening of Islam in the state, he said the state also provided basic infrastructure for those of other religious beliefs.

“The state has allocated a 9.24 acres of land for non-Islamic places of worship in Ampang Jajar that is equipped with basic infrastructure,” he said in his opening speech at the state legislative assembly today.

He said a total 35 religious associations consisting of Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and other religions were offered lands on the site.

“The state has offered the land in individual lots to the applicants and it is on a lease rate of 50 per cent less than the value of the land,” he said.

He said the 35 associations were given the lease on February 15 where the lease officially starts from June 1 after the infrastructure works on the lands were issued the Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC).

Source: Malay Mail

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https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2022/05/27/penang-increases-allocation-for-islam-developments-also-allocates-924-acres-of-land-for-non-muslim-places-of-worship/9151

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Tokyo government reaffirms connections to Islamic countries

May 26, 2022

TOKYO: Diplomats from Islamic countries and regions took part in a Tokyo policy briefing and discussion meeting at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office on Wednesday.

Tokyo Gov. KOIKE Yuriko, who has strong ties with Arabic and Islamic countries, made the opening remarks.

“It is a great pleasure and honor to welcome you to the ‘Tokyo Networking.’ I am very pleased to have you here in person this year after two years of cancelations due to COVID-19.

“These two years have been a long battle against the virus. Through regular communication with you, we have been able to keep it from spreading extensively. Thank you everyone for your enormous cooperation,” Governor Koike said.

“Japan and the followers of Islam have long enjoyed friendly relations in various fields. It is my sincere hope that good relations with your countries will continue.”

Forty-nine Islamic countries and regions were invited and 27 attended the meeting.

Palestinian Ambassador Waleed Siam made a speech as a representative of the diplomats.

“Today, we are here to participate and support the Tokyo Metropolitan Initiative for improvement of the environment for the multi-faith community,” he said. “The Muslim community is an important and large part of society as a whole.

Source: Arab News

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https://www.arabnews.com/node/2090496/world

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Indonesia summons Britain's envoy after furore over rainbow flag

23 May 2022

Indonesia summoned Britain's ambassador on Monday to explain the raising of a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) flag at its embassy, and urged foreign missions to respect local "sensitivities" following a backlash among conservatives.

Barring the sharia-ruled province of Aceh, homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country, although it is generally considered taboo.

The rainbow LGBT flag was flown alongside the British flag at the country's embassy in Jakarta on May 17 to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, according to an Instagram post by the embassy.

Alumni 212 Brotherhood, an influential conservative Islamic movement, in a statement said the flag sullied the "sacred values of Indonesia".

Teuku Faizasyah, foreign ministry spokesperson, confirmed British ambassador Owen Jenkins had been summoned.

"The foreign ministry reminds foreign representatives to be respectful of the sensitivities among Indonesians on matters relevant with their culture, religion and belief," he said.

A British embassy spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Faizasyah said that though an embassy is a sovereign territory, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations stipulates only that nation's flag can be flown.

Indonesia is becoming less tolerant of its LGBT community as some politicians become more vocal about Islam playing a larger role in the state, according to activists and human rights groups.

A 2020 survey by the Pew Research Center also showed that 80% of Indonesians believe homosexuality "should not be accepted by society".

Last week, Indonesia's chief security minister said a revision of the criminal code being deliberated by parliament included some articles aimed at the LGBT community, a move backed by some conservative lawmakers.

Source: Bdnews24

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https://bdnews24.com/lifestyle/2022/05/23/indonesia-summons-britain-s-envoy-after-furore-over-rainbow-flag

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Indonesia should become global halal industry’s major player: MPR

May 27, 2022

Indonesia, with the largest Muslim population worldwide, should become a major player in the global halal industry rather than merely a market target of the industry, according to the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) speaker.

“Moreover, last January, Vice President Ma’ruf Amin initiated the Global Halal Hub ecosystem as part of the national synergy movement to make Indonesia as a global halal producer hub in 2024,” MPR Speaker Bambang Soesatyo noted in his statement.

According to the speaker, the State of Global Islamic Economy Report 2020-2021 revealed that global consumption of halal products is expected to increase, from US$1.17 trillion in 2019 to US$1.38 trillion by 2024. The same report also highlighted that the consumption of Islamic fashion globally is expected to rise, from US$277 billion to US$311 billion, he remarked.

“The increase not only occurs in Muslim-majority countries, such as those in the Middle East but also in countries not dominated by Muslims, such as those in Europe. Non-Muslim consumers have convinced that the halal label in products not only has religious significance but also proves the products’ cleanliness and safety,” the speaker noted.

During his earlier engagement with the Islamic organization Al Muttaqien Care Foundation in Jakarta, Soesatyo lauded the foundation’s initiatives to assist the verification process for 10 million MSMEs to obtain free halal certificates.

“Al Muttaqien Care Foundation’s assistance (is provided) through the temanQu digital platform to collect application data more accurately and faster and is part of their involvement as the Halal Product Assurance Agency’s (BPJPH’s) strategic partner,” he affirmed.

The speaker noted that the provision of 10 million free halal certifications for MSMEs demonstrates President Joko Widodo’s commitment to supporting Indonesian MSMEs’ entry into the global halal industry.

Source: Pak Observer

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https://pakobserver.net/indonesia-should-become-global-halal-industrys-major-player-mpr/

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Africa

 

Morocco, Israel sign agreement on scientific research

Esat Firat 

27.05.2022

RABAT, Morocco

Morocco and Israel signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday in the field of scientific research.

Moroccan Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation Minister Abdellatif Miraoui and Israeli Science and Technology Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen met in the Moroccan capital Rabat, according to a statement issued by Farkash-Hacohen’s office.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Rabat, Miraoui said the memorandum of understanding will encourage rapprochement and exchanges of expertise and experience between institutions in both countries.

For her part, the Israeli minister said the agreement signed between the two ministries is within the framework of the normalization agreement signed between Morocco and Israel on Dec. 22, 2020.

Noting that this agreement opens up promising horizons for bilateral cooperation, Farkash-Hacohen said the two countries will work together to advance common issues in various fields by strengthening cooperation on issues related to renewable energies, water technology and science, as well as health and climate change.

In December 2020, former US President Donald Trump announced that his country recognized Morocco's sovereignty over the Western Sahara region and that a US consulate would be opened in the regional city of Dakhla.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/morocco-israel-sign-agreement-on-scientific-research/2598845

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Nigeria’s insecurity may become uncontrollable – Islamic leaders

May 26, 2022

By Wale Odunsi

The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) on Thursday warned that insecurity in Nigeria may become uncontrollable.

The body urged the Federal Government and the States to take concrete actions against enemies.

A statement by the Secretary-General, Khalid Aliyu told the authorities to immediately take control of forests and swampy areas occupied by outlaws.

The Islamic leaders also demanded the arrest and prosecution of all criminals and gangs.

“Proactive measures should be taken in nipping the situations from the bud, before becoming uncontrollable.

“We advise the governments to strategise and bring an end to orgies of killings; desperate situations need desperate measures,” he said.

JNI further called for the identification and trial of the “unknown gunmen” terrorizing the South-East.

For the region, they suggested the constitution of a joint task force to stem the rising tide of killings.

“Governments at all levels should act beyond mere verbal condemnations on security related matters,” he added.

Source: Daily Post Nigeria

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https://dailypost.ng/2022/05/26/nigerias-insecurity-may-become-uncontrollable-islamic-leaders/

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Security forces descend on capital as Sudanese protests enter eighth month

26 May, 2022

Security forces fanned out across a wide swathe of central Khartoum on Thursday, a Reuters reporter witnessed, as police attempted to block the latest protests against military rule in seven months.

Thousands of protesters, the most seen in about two months, the reporter said, marched towards the presidential palace in downtown Khartoum demonstrating for civilian leadership and against an Oct. 25 military coup.

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

“We will continue until the end,” said Abdallah Mohamed, a 28-year-old protester. “Either we die or we win civilian rule. Our only hope for life is to achieve democracy.”

The country remains without a prime minister since January, amid political deadlock and an economic spiral after military leadership removed a joint civilian and military-led government from power. An ongoing United Nations and African Union-sponsored process has yet to yield an agreement between the country’s main political factions and the military.

A Reuters reporter estimated that protesters were met with about 2,000 members of police as well as the Central Reserve Forces, which have been subject to US sanctions for alleged human rights violations.

Security forces blanketed the residential neighborhoods around the protest route, aiming tear gas at protesters starting about 3.5 kilometers away from the palace.

Protesters continued marching for about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles), burning tires and tree branches to block roads along the way. Security forces could be seen chasing protesters down some side streets and some protesters were seen injured and carried away.

Local authorities have often stated that the downtown area, about a kilometer away from the palace, is restricted from protests for security reasons. Barbed wire and water trucks could be seen blocking the area.

At least 96 people have been killed in the protests since October by security forces, according to medics, and thousands have been injured. Lawyers say dozens of protesters and activists remain in detention.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/05/26/Security-forces-descend-on-capital-as-Sudanese-protests-enter-eighth-month

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Firefighters contain blaze at Sudan Red Sea port

26 May, 2022

Firefighters have contained a large blaze that erupted in a cargo area of the Sudanese Red Sea port of Suakin, the port’s director said Thursday.

The fire, which raged for hours, broke out in the cargo drop off area of the port on Wednesday sending plumes of acrid smoke into the sky.

It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze.

“The fire has been brought under control following the intervention of civil defense forces and port workers,” port director Taha Ahmed Mokhtar said.

He said an investigation had been launched to determine the cause of the fire, and a commission set up to assess the scale of the losses.

A port official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, had earlier described the damage as “catastrophic.”

The blaze at the port came as Sudan is gripped by a chronic economic crisis which deepened after last year’s military coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The military takeover triggered punitive measures, including aid cuts by Western governments, who demanded the restoration of the transitional administration installed after the 2019 ouster of longtime president Omar al-Bashir.

The historic port town of Suakin is no longer Sudan’s main foreign trade hub, a role which has been taken by Port Sudan, some 60 kilometers (40 miles) away along the Red Sea coast.

But there have been moves to redevelop the port.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2022/05/26/Firefighters-contain-blaze-at-Sudan-Red-Sea-port

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Tunisian president decrees a referendum for new constitution

26 May, 2022

Tunisian President Kais Saied issued on Wednesday a decree to call voters to a referendum on a new constitution on July 25, the official gazette said, ignoring the opposition’s calls to reverse the controversial move.

Saied last week named law professor Sadok Belaid to head an advisory committee that included law and political science deans, to draft a new constitution for a “new republic,” excluding political parties from restructuring the political system.

The main political parties have said they will boycott the unilateral restructuring of politics.

The powerful UGTT union also refused to take part in a limited dialog proposed by the president as he rewrites the constitution. The union said it would hold a national strike at state firms and public services.

Belaid said earlier on Wednesday he would go ahead with whomever participates in the panel after prominent academics refused to join it, raising fears the restructuring of the political system would not have a broad consensus.

The only question on the referendum will be: “Do you agree the new constitution?” the gazette said.

The gazette added that polling will start at 6 a.m. and end at 10 p.m. on July 25.

Saied, who took executive power and dissolved parliament to rule by decree, has since said he will replace the democratic 2014 constitution with a new constitution via referendum and hold new parliamentary elections in December.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2022/05/26/Tunisian-president-decrees-a-referendum-for-new-constitution

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Europe

 

Six Pakistani peacekeepers awarded medals of courage

Anwar Iqbal

May 27, 2022

UNITED NATIONS: Six Pakistanis were among 117 UN peacekeepers who were awarded UN medals of courage on Thursday for sacrificing their lives for the cause of peace.

Five of the six — Tahir Ikram, Tahir Mehmood, Mohammed Naeem, Adil Jan and Mohammed Shafiq — were from the armed forces, while the sixth, Ibrar Syed, was a civilian.

At the UN Headquarters, Secretary-General António Guterres laid a wreath to honour the nearly 4,200 United Nations peacekeepers who have lost their lives since 1948. And later, he presided over a ceremony at which the Dag Hammarskjöld Medals of Courage were awarded posthumously to 117 military, police and civilian peacekeepers, including six Pakistanis, who lost their lives serving under the United Nations flag in 2021.

Captain Abdelrazakh Hamit Bahar of Chad posthumously received the “Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage”. Major Winnet Zaharare of Zimbabwe received the Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award and was declared a champion of gender equality.

Pakistan is one of the longest serving and largest contributors to UN Peacekeeping for decades. Since joining the United Nations on Sept 30, 1947, Pakistan has participated in 70 UN peacekeeping missions across the globe. The Pakistan armed forces are the third largest contributor of troops to UN peacekeeping efforts, behind India and Ethiopia.

“We are committed to helping the vulnerable communities affected by conflict and will continue to adapt to the changing environment and needs of the peacekeeping operations,” said Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Munir Akram.

Recognising the sacrifices of the six Pakistanis who lost their lives in 2021, Ambassador Akram said: “We share the grief of their families and will never forget these heroes who won respect and recognition for their homeland.”

Source: Dawn

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1691691/six-pakistani-peacekeepers-awarded-medals-of-courage

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Greece tells UN that Turkey is challenging its sovereignty

26 May ,2022

Greece has told the head of the United Nations that Turkey is directly challenging its sovereignty over islands in the eastern Aegean Sea, and pursuing a hostile and “revisionist” policy that is destabilizing the region.

The four-page letter to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, dated May 25 and signed by Greece's permanent UN representative, Maria Theofili, was seen by The Associated Press on Thursday.

“Greece solemnly calls upon Turkey to stop questioning Greece’s sovereignty over its Aegean islands, in particular through legally baseless and historically false assertions (and) to abstain from threatening Greece with war,” the letter reads.

Greece and Turkey have been at odds for decades over sea boundaries, but the disagreement flared in 2020 as oil and gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean intensified.

Turkey is demanding that Greece demilitarize its eastern islands, maintaining the action is required under 20th century treaties that ceded sovereignty of the islands to Greece. The Greek government calls the demand a deliberate misinterpretation and has accused Turkey, a fellow NATO member, of stepping up hostile actions in the area.

“Highly threatening acts by Turkey (include) repeated overflights of Greek territory by fighter jets in contravention to international law,” the letter said.

The Greek-Turkish dispute largely centers around oil-and-gas drilling rights in the eastern Mediterranean, specifically around Greek islands near Turkey’s coastline.

A Turkish survey mission two years ago triggered a tense naval stand-off that Western allies had warned ran the risk of escalating into a military conflict.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/05/26/Greece-tells-UN-that-Turkey-is-challenging-its-sovereignty

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Afghan asylum seekers being ‘brutally mistreated’ by Bulgarian authorities: Rights group

Talha Ozturk 

26.05.2022

BELGRADE, Serbia

Using police dogs and other violence, Bulgarian authorities are “brutally mistreating” Afghan and other asylum seekers and migrants before pushing them back to Turkiye, an international rights group said on Thursday.

“Bulgarian authorities are brutally and summarily pushing back migrants and asylum seekers across the land border with Turkey,” Michelle Randhawa, refugee and migrant rights officer at Human Rights Watch (HRW), said in a statement.

According to the statement, the rights group interviewed 15 Afghan men between November 2021 and April 2022, adding that 14 of the 15 men said that Bulgarian police, or men they believed to be Bulgarian police, beat them either when they were detained in Bulgarian territory, and/or in the course of forcibly returning them to Turkiye.

“Ten of the men said Bulgarian authorities stole their belongings and stripped them of their clothes, in some cases leaving them without shoes, only in underwear and t-shirts in freezing temperatures,” it said.

A 27-year-old Afghan man told HRW: “They were kicking us like soccer balls. They kicked me on every part of my body, I was just able to protect my head. They were wearing … [heavy] boots … and the toe of the boots was made of steel. On the border, they beat us again … and they told us, ‘Don’t come back again’.”

The HRW official called on the EU to ensure that Bulgaria immediately stops the “illegal and dehumanizing pushbacks” at its borders and allows asylum seekers access to fair asylum procedures.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/afghan-asylum-seekers-being-brutally-mistreated-by-bulgarian-authorities-rights-group/2598501

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