Sunday, 12 February 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
12 Feb.2017: 14 Jamadiul Awwal 1438: Vol:8, No:114
6,650 Muzaffarnagar riot victims fail to cast their vote
Meerut: “Being a riot victim is like a black spot. We have lost our house and now, our right to vote,” said Mohd Arun, 70, resident of Kasavan colony in Muzaffarnagar. Arun is among several riot victims who could not cast his vote on Saturday as he did not possess a voter identity card though he had filled the form for the card. Many Muzaffarnagar riot victims – now settled in various colonies of Muzaffarnagar and Shamli – do not have voter ID cards. According to a survey by an NGO, nearly 6,650 riot victim voters still do not have voter ID cards.At least 35% of the total voters who got displaced after Muzaffarnagar riots are not registered with the Election Commission, a survey conducted by Afkar India Foundation, an NGO working for the riot victims has found.“There are nearly 1,300 riot victims living in Alflan colony on Dhebri Khurd in Shamli. Of these 900 voters not have voter ID cards. Only 11 people have them so far. We had filled forms for voter identity cards and submitted them to the booth level officers too but none of us got the voter id cards. When the riots took place, we had fled from our respective homes without taking anything. Identity cards is the last thing anybody could have thought of when people were coming to kill us,” said Shehzaad Saifi, 32, from Alflan colony of Dhebri Khurd village in Shamli’s Kairana block. timesofindia
UP polls: In Akhlaq's Bisada, out of 224 Muslim voters only 18 cast their votes
Dadri: Village of Bisada, situated 50km from national capital Delhi, wore an eventful look on Saturday as the first phase of UP assembly polls began across 79 constituencies. The tiny hamlet — which usually wears an eerie silence echoing the 2015 lynching of 55-year-old Ikhlaq— voted peacefully, authorities said.Before Ikhlaq’s lynching, Bisada had 60 families. Over the last one-and-a-half-years, of 60 families, 25 have relocated to different locations.On Saturday, amid a tight security cover, four booths were set up inside Rana Sangram Singh Inter College in Bisada for 4,447 voters.Authorities said there were 224 Muslim voters in Bisada of which just 18 cast their franchise in the village. All the 18 voters who cast their votes on Saturday were elderly.18 Muslims of Bisada reached the polling station in two groups cast their votes. The men chose early morning to cast their franchise while women flocked in after 11 am to the polling station. Elaborate security arrangements had been put in place, with armed police personnel being deployed across village.None of the youngsters from the community came out to cast their votes to avoid any conflict at the polling centre.“We have cast our votes to make sure everything remained normal. We couldn’t have stayed among the villagers peacefully if we didn’t do this,” said Haji Mohammad Tasneem, 71. He added that none of the members of his community were approached by any candidates during the campaigning. Muslim voters believe that their small number was insignificant to make any difference to any political party.66-year old Haji Abdul Sattar said the poor turnout among the community was cause of a reason. Sattar said youngsters were asked to stay indoors as the elders suspected that they might lose their cool in a charged atmosphere.“For the last one week, tension has been gripping the village again. No one threatened us, but when we walk on streets, people do mutter under their breaths that the 14 accused who are in jail will be released soon. The youngsters from the Hindu community campaigned here for a party with the promise that those in jail for the lynching will be released. It does trigger a fear psychosis,” said Sattar.HT
Dadri: Akhlaq’s family unable to vote: the hindu
The family members of Akhlaq, who was lynched in Bishada in 2015, could not cast their votes even as his brothers Jaan Mohd. Saifi, who lives in Dadri, and Zameel Ahmad, who lives in Loni, Ghaziabad, exercised their franchise on Saturday.Saifi said Akhlaq’s eldest son Sartaz, an Indian Air Force officer, had left for Chennai while the rest of the family members – Sartaz’s mother Ikraman, his wife, younger sister and brother Danish – were staying in the IAF-allotted falt in Delhi.“We have cast our votes, but I believe Danish, Ikraman and the others in the family did not vote as Sartaz is in Chennai and nobody was there to bring them from Delhi," he said.
Akhlaq’s son, daughter omitted from voters’ list
Missing Akhlaq kin names on list tell Bisada story
Bijnor murder may hang over next UP poll phase
Friday’s murder of a 17-year-old Jat boy in a village in Bijnor may polarise 7 Assembly constituencies in the district and the larger area which will vote in the second phase of elections in UP on Feb.15. A group of 8 Muslims is alleged to have attacked Vishal Singh and his father. One of accused has been arrested. The murder figured prominently in speeches by BSP candidates of 7 seats Saturday, as well as in Mayawati’s speech. The incident came 5 months after an alleged incident of eve-teasing had led to the death of 3 Muslims here in Sept. Most of those accused in Friday’s incident are relatives of those Muslims killed, also eyewitnesses in that case. Murder appears to be another chapter in the area’s Jat-Muslim fight conflict. Most of the disputes are sparked by alleged harassment of girls by either Jat or Muslim boys, depending on whom you ask. While BJP candidate from Bijnor is Suchi Chowdhary, wife of one of the accused in the Sept killing of Muslims, BSP has fielded a Muslim, Rashid Ahmad. On Saturday, as voting in neighbouring districts of Meerut and Muzaffarnagar commenced and followers of BSP gathered for Mayawati’s rally at a ground in the town, Suchi joined Jat protesters in blocking one of the main intersections. RLD’s Bijnor candidate Rahul Singh also joined the agitation. Pushpendu Agarwal said the entire political calculation in the area had shifted because of the murder. According to him, incumbent MLA Ruchi Vira of SP, “who has done a lot of work in constituency”, could have won. “But not anymore.”BSP Dhampur candidate Muhammad Ghazi said in his speech that he was confident those who murdered Vishal were members of BJP. “And our people were blamed, it was said we had committed the murder,” Ghazi said. indianexpress
Tensions simmer in Bijnor after teenager’s murder
 SP vs BSP - Muslim leaders conduct battle royale for community's vote in state: Spl story on UP polls
Rampur: It is a furious battle between BSP and the Samajwadi Party (SP) to win the Muslim vote in the crucial UP elections. And while Mayawati seems to have pulled off a coup by getting support of various prominent Muslim religious groups; western-educated elite Muslim class and alumnus of AMU, are still rooting for the success of the SP-Congress alliance in the state polls. These elections are also turning out to be a fight to the finish between 2 prominent Muslim faces, Naseemudin Siddique of BSP and Azam Khan of the SP. Their respective party bosses have entrusted them with the responsibility of luring the Muslim electorate to the party fold, a crucial factor for the SP or BSP to return to the throne in Lucknow. The extent of support of Muslims to any of these parties will also expand or decrease the political clout of both these leaders, post the polls.After the Friday sermon, here at Delhi's historic Jamia Masjid, Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari — after blasting the SP-Congress coalition —publicly appealed to Muslims to vote for the BSP. 3 other Muslim groups — Azamgarh based Rashtriya Ulema Council (RUC), All India Majlis Ulame-e-Hind (AIMUH) and All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB) have also issued appeals in support of the BSP, suggesting that Siddique has pulled the rug from under Khan's feet.Interestingly, AIUMB had played a sheet anchor for BJP, particularly PM  Modi, to gain a foothold within the Muslim community, by helping the govt  to arrange the World Sufi conference in Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi last year.It is not clear who had approached Shahi Imam to enlist his support for the BSP, but sources here said that Siddique was in touch with him, after his fallout with the SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and a tiff with Azam Khan. Interestingly, the Imam had appealed to Muslims to vote for the SP in the 2012 UP elections.Apart from Shahi Imam, Siddique's other major coup has been to convince RUC to withdraw its 84 candidates in favour of BSP. An influential group in Azamgarh district and around the state, RUC had originally begun as a protest group to protest against the killing of two youth from Azamgarh in the Batla House encounter in New Delhi. Led by Maulana Aamir Rashadi Madni and Maulana Tahir Madni, it had contested 100 seats in 2012. Though, it did not win any seats, it secured nearly 6,00,000 votes.While Siddique has successfully enlisted support of religious groups, Khan has pulled alumnus of AMU and modern looking Muslims to support SP-Congress alliance. Countering these religious groups, including Shahi Imam's appeal, ex-Rajya Sabha MP Mohamamd Adeeb, prominent lawyers ZK Faiza and Ilyas Malik asked for supporting the SP-led alliance to halt the march of the BJP.dnaindia
AIADMK crisis: Sasikala urges party MLAs to stay together to foil opposition’s ‘evil attempts’
In a further setback for AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala, 5 more party MPs joined Panneerselvam camp on Sunday. With Senguttuvan of Vellore, Jayasingh of Tuticorin, R P Marutharaja of Perambalur, Rajya Sabha MP, R Lakshmanan and S Rajendran of Villupuram switching sides, the caretaker CM currently now has the support of 10 of the 50 AIADMK MPs. The Panneerselvam camp expects at least 25% of the party MLAs to join them by Tuesday. "You all are aware as to what extent our opponents have gone against us, we must stay together and foil their evil attempts, says Sasikala while addressing MLAs at Golden Bay resort.indian express
Sasikala says delay on Governor’s part is to split the party
AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala has said that from tomorrow onwards, AIADMK would begin a new kind of protest. “Delaying tactics is an attempt to create divisions in party. Please wait and watch,” she told reporters. indianexpress
Sasikala sees delay in invitation to form govt  an attempt to divide AIADMK
If Kejriwal Wins Punjab, It May Change the Course of National Politics – Saeed Naqvi
OTHERS
Hundreds join Lucknow protest march, demand probe in missing JNU student case
Lucknow: Hundreds of students from Lucknow University and the Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama came out in support of Fatima Nafees, mother of missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, who led a protest here on Sunday.Demanding a thorough investigation into the incident, they raised slogans against PM Narendra Modi, home minister Rajnath Singh, BJP and RSS. Students also alleged that Delhi Police did not take adequate steps to trace Ahmed, who went missing from his hostel on October 15 last year. They demanded that the authorities take action against nine members of ABVP, against whom an FIR has already been lodged.JNUSU head Mohit Pandey,ex-union vice-president Shehla Rashid and retired professor Rajesh Mishra also participated in the protest.On Saturday, Fatima had made an emotional appeal to the student fraternity to help find her son. Similar protests will be held at Jamshedpur, Jabalpur, Hyderabad and 2 cities in Kerala on Sunday.TOI
Missing Najeeb's Mother Stages Protest in Lucknow
From Jamia Nagar to Jamshedpur, nationwide signature campaign underway for Najeeb
New Delhi:Today is 119th day since Najeeb Ahmed mysteriously disappeared from his hostel room at JNU, day after his scuffle with some student members of ABVP. Seeking justice for Najeeb, who hails from Badaun district in UP, SIO - national student body - is running a signature campaign in different parts of the country.SIO has targeted to collect 2.5 million signatures which will accompany a memorandum to National Commission For Minorities. "This situation is alarming for our constitutional rights, communal harmony and social justice. The incident of Najeeb and Rohit Vemula is a threat to the students from Dalits, SC, ST,OBC & Minority communities in the country and safety of Educational Institutions is now a prime concern for all the student fraternity," said Mohammad Kashif in Jamshedpur district of Jharkhand. He informed that a silent protest march will be taken out here on Sunday.In Badaun, Najeeb's mother Fatima Nafees also put her signature on the memorandum. IndiaTomorrow
Jaipur: Student groups calls for justice for Najeeb, Vemula
Jaipur: Muslim Students Organization of India called on the police to find Najeeb Ahmed, the JNU student missing since October last year, at the earliest.  At a press conference in Jaipur to mark 120 days since his disappearance after first being assaulted on campus on Oct. 14 last year, student leaders said police were able to act with alacrity and bring back the buffaloes missing from UP MLA Azam Khan's farm. Sadiq Chauhan, a member of MSO, said it was no coincidence that members of ABVP, the student wing of the RSS, were behind both the harassment of Dalit student Rohit Vemula in Hyderabad and Ahmed in JNU. Chauhan said the Muslim students' struggle is for justice not only for members of their own community but for Dalits and adivasis too. "We have taken up the cause of Rohit Vemula.We cannot afford complacency - what happened to Najeeb might happen to any of us."TOI
Hyderabad:SIO launches signature campaign for Najeeb
Hyderabad: Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) has announced that it will observe the month of February as ‘Month of Resistance’ and run a signature campaign across the country seeking people’s support for the demand for justice for Najeeb, missing JNU student. State president of SIO Laeeq Ahmed Khan cited Najeeb’s disappearance and Rohith Vemula’s suicide in University of Hyderabad to stress that it is an insidious way to thwart the ascent of marginalised sections into university spaces and higher educational institutions.thehindu
Signature campaign for JNU student
JNU students' protest on for fourth day, VC appeals for lifting blockade
New Delhi:Protesting against a new UGC notification on the 2017-18 academic session, a section of the JNU students have not allowed officials  including the VC to enter the administration block since the last four days.IndiaToday
Adivasi girl in Kerala college branded mentally ill; ostracised for speaking against discrimination: TCN
It is no secret that students from the marginalised communities have been at the receiving end of casteist abuse across the country, and Kerala is no different. While the tragic death of Rohith Vemula in Jan.2016 was a painful reminder of the same, it is also a fact that little seems to have changed since then.A few days ago, we had reported how SFI members have been attacking Dalit and Muslim students in Kerala colleges, but this time, it is college authorities who have been accused of discriminating against an Adivasi girl.Athira, a 2nd-year student of College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram (CET) underwent mental torture and a social boycott after she dared to raise voice against discrimination towards students belonging to SC and ST. Athira said, “Rohith (Vemula) chose to die. But I won’t. I will fail I die. I have decided to stand up.” Athira, hailing from a tribal hamlet at Vanchivayal in Idukki district, has been denied entrance to college hostel after she was portrayed as mentally disturbed. The issues started after she asked “What is your opinion about reservation for a student in CET?”  in a Facebook group. TCN
Calcutta HC’s Justice Karnan accuses SC of ‘upper caste’ bias over contempt notice
New Delhi: Courts have “no power to enforce punishment against a sitting Judge of the High Court”, Justice CS Karnan has said in response to a contempt notice by the Supreme Court for approaching PM  with a list of judges he considers corrupt. On Feb.8, a 7-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar had ordered the registrar general of the Calcutta HC to relieve Karnan of his duties. Justice Karnan was also asked to appear before the bench on Feb.13 to face contempt charges.In a letter to the registrar general of the Supreme Court on Friday, a copy of which is available with HT, Karnan wrote: “This said order does not conform to logic, therefore is not suitable for execution. The characteristic of this order clearly shows the upper caste judges are taking law into their hands and misusing their judicial power by operating the same against a SC/ST Judge with mala fide intention of getting rid of him. Therefore, the suo motu contempt order dated 08.02.2017 is not sustainable under law.”HT
Kerala: Temple festival at Azhikkal comes under scanner after charges of ‘untouchability’
Kannur: ‘Thiruvayudham Ezhunnallathu’ in connection with the Pampadi Aalinkeezhil temple festival at Azhikkal here was otherwise a normal event, except that it was under the scanner now in the wake of an allegation by activists that Dalit families living in area were excluded from being part of the ritual. The festival concluded on SaturdayThe ritual procession had not attracted any special attention till 2015 when the district unit of the Kerala Pattika Jathi Samajam (KPJS) raised an allegation that 200-odd Dalit families living in the area near the temple were victims of caste discrimination. The charge was that the four-day ritual procession carrying the sacred sword of the deity that visited all Hindu households in the area excluded Scheduled Caste (SC) families there. It acquired political colour when the Dalit activists stated that the temple was run by a committee controlled by the activists of the CPI(M). thehindu
Rajasthan minority groups demand higher budgetary allocation
Jaipur: Minority groups in Rajasthan have demanded higher allocations in the upcoming State budget for 2017-18 while accusing the BJP govt of ignoring the welfare of vulnerable sections among the Muslim, Sikh, Christian and Jain communities.In a joint statement issued here, representatives of minority communities said the State govt  had over the years allocated an average of 0.07% of the total budget outlay for the minorities, who constituted 11.41% of State’s population. Seeking budgetary allocations in proportion to the minorities’ population, Pratham Rajasthan’s managing trustee Kulbhushan Kothari said universal coverage of welfare schemes in health and education sectors had ignored some specific sections of society which were left behind due to their special “incapacitating conditions”Helping Hand Foundation’s general Secretary Naeem Rabbani said students of minority communities were finding it difficult to get scholarships meant for them, Waqf properties were being encroached upon and the unemployed youths were not able to get loans because of tough conditions in BJP regime. The hindu
Court asks NIA to return Rs 9 lakh cash to Zakir Naik’s kin
Mumbai: A special MCOCA court recently directed the NIA to return a 48-year-old man Rs 9 lakh (in denomination of the old Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes) cash seized from his house while investigating the Zakir Naik. This is because the agency could not prove there was prima facie evidence to show that the amount seized from Aamir Gazdar’s house was related to the now banned IRF or any of the entities linked with it. Amount was seized on Nov.19, 2016. Special MCOCA judge VV Patil passed this order on an application moved by advocate Ishrat Ali Khan on behalf of Gazdar, who is into the business of marble contracting. Gazdar is one of Naik’s relatives and has a share in most of Naik’s entities.The plea was moved seeking back Rs 9 lakh cash seized by NIA during a raid in Gazdar’s residence. The raid was part of a series of raids that were conducted at offices and residences of people close to Dr Naik.“Apart from cash the NIA had seized books, jewelleries, cash, laptop, pen-drives, memory cards, hard disc, passport, driving license, identity cards etc belonging to the family members of the applicant but we sought for return of cash amount, jewellery because all these things were arranged at home because his (Gazdar’s) daughter’s marriage was scheduled in Dec. 2016,” said advocate Khan. He also said the court had already allowed return of jewellery worth around Rs 7 lakh and cash of Rs 80,000.Asian Age
Indore: Maha ATS takes SIMI man’s brother into custody
Indore: A team of Maharashtra police’s ATS has detained a man here in a case registered under the UAPA, city police said on Saturday.Zadil Pervez, a resident of Khijrabad Colony here, was taken into custody by the Maharashtra ATS on Friday, Khajrana police station incharge Kamlesh Sharma said.Zadil was allegedly in contact through Facebook with one Tabrez from Thane in Maharashtra, who is the main accused in the UAPA case, Sharma said. Zadil hails from neighbouring Ujjain district and was living with relatives in Khijrabad Colony for the last two months, he said. Zadil’s brother Aamil was among the 13 SIMI activists arrested from Shyam Nagar here on March 26-27, 2008. Local police were also probing Zadil’s activities, Sharma said. free press journal
Kerala: Jamaat demands repeal of UAPA
Malappuram: The district conference of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind was held at Puthur, near Kottakkal, on Saturday. The conference raised a demand to declare Islamophobia a crime. The meeting also demanded the repeal of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. It also sought resumption of Haj operations from Karipur.A resolution passed by the conference asked the State govt  to apply pressure on the Union govt  to resume Haj operations from Karipur airport.Thousands witnessed an exhibition named Sakshyam. Jamaat national assistant ameer Nusrat Ali inaugurated the conference. The hindu
UN body defers NHRC accreditation
New Delhi:An organisation affiliated to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has deferred NHRC’s re-accreditation until Nov.2017. Global Alliance for National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) has cited appointment of political representatives as one of the reasons for it. It has referred to NHRC’s failure in ensuring gender balance and pluralism in its staff, among other reasons for the deferment.GANHRI has noted that the panel’s selection process was “not sufficiently broad and transparent”. In its November 2016 report, it had criticised NHRC for its “practice of having police officers and former police officers involved in the investigation of human rights violations, particularly in circumstances where the alleged perpetrators are the police”.  Indian express
NHRC urges for a report on E. Ahamed's death
The controversy of an apparent 'cover up' of ex-Union Minister E. Ahamed's death has now reached the NHRC.NHRC has directed the Delhi police commissioner and the medical superintendent of RML Hospital to submit within four weeks an Action Taken Report (ATR) on a complaint that the govt and the hospital authorities colluded to cover up and withhold information about the death of veteran parliamentarian and E. Ahamed, for “certain motivated reasons”, reports The Hindu. Two MPs from Kerala and a lawyer from Supreme Court filed a petition with the NHRC, seeking a probe into allegations that his death was kept a secret and his relatives prohibited from seeing him in hospital, according to the TOI. out look
MPs, SC lawyer move NHRC for Ahamed’s death probe
E Ahamed death: Muslim League MP seeks breach of privilege motion against hospital
Rajasthan: Pak spy detained by CID and Border Intelligence Police in Jaisalmer, investigation underway
Jaisalmer: An alleged Pak spy was detained by CID and Border Intelligence Police near Indo-Pak border in Jaisalmer Rajasthan. A joint interrogation is underway. More details awaited.In August 2016, Nandlal, an alleged Pakistani spy hailing from Sangad district in Pakistan was arrested from a hotel in Jaisalmer and items containing information on India’s defence institutions were seized from him.
Pak spy detained by CID & Border Intelligence Police near Indo-Pak border in Rajasthan; interrogation underway
Gujarat: Sex racket gets bigger: 35 women lured by BJP workers, says rape victim
Ahmedabad:Over 35 women were reportedly lured into prostitution by local businessmen and politicians in Kutch district, according to a 23-year-old woman who was allegedly gang-raped by four BJP workers, among 5 others.On Friday, State BJP general secretary KC Patel told reporters in Kutch that the party suspended the workers immediately after their names figured in the police complaint. The accused party workers are: Shantilal Solanki, the Abdasa taluka president of the party’s Baxi Panch; BJP councillors in the Gandhidham municipality Govind Parumalani, Ajit Ramvani; and Vasant Bhanushali, a party worker.As per the details given by the victim in an affidavit, the accused had lured the women with the promise of jobs. The victim has also named nine persons in FIR.The incident has put the ruling BJP in a fix ahead of the Assembly polls scheduled later this year. the hindu
Indian Muslims are peace loving: Dalai lama
Hyderabad: Islam is practised in many parts of the world, but it is the local culture that defines how tolerant or intolerant they are, said the Dalai lama here on Saturday." Cultural heritage of the country or region plays a big role.For example, unlike the Muslims in China or other neighbours, those from India are peaceful and harmoniously co-exist with people of other faiths. It is the same religion but culture makes the difference," the Tibetan spiritual head told 139 IPS probationers and 15 officer trainees from Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal at the event.TOI
J&K: 3 jawans, 4 militants killed in Kulgam encounter
3 army jawans were killed and 2 others injured in an encounter with militants in J&K’s Kulgam district, ANI reported on Sunday. 4 militants have been neutralised in the encounter after security forces, in a joint operation with police, conducted searches in Frisal. The forces launched a cordon and search operation in Frisal area of Kulgam district around 4.30 am following information about presence of a large number of militants in the area, a police official told PTI.Out of the 4 militants, 3 have been identified as Mudasir Ahmed Tantray, Farooq Ahmed Dar and Azhar Ahmed Clashes between protesters and law enforcing agencies broke out soon after the encounter ended, police official said. indian express
Post unrest, ‘freedom’ songs make waves in Kashmir
Srinagar: Almost a month into last year’s civil unrest in Kashmir, as violence on the streets spiralled and civilian death toll increased, Ali Saffudin, 23, — a rock singer here — uploaded a song titled ‘tum kitne jawa maroge’ on YouTube.His song goes: “Tum kitne jawa maroge, har ghar se jawa niklega/ Jo lahoo hai behta rag rag mein, wo junoon banke ubhre ga…” (How many youth will you kill, from every home a youth will come out/The blood which flows in the veins, will rise into a frenzy, madness)The song became quite popular and had 30,000-odd views on YouTube. Indian express
I lost 13 yrs, my wife and my mother because of false terror charges: Hanif Pakitwala
Shahid Azmi death anniversary: Remembering the crusader who was silenced 7-ysr-ago: By Zeeshan Shaikh
Adv Shahid Azmi: Son for two mothers: Rehan Ansari
WORLD
Pak boycotts UN meet as US delays visa to deputy chairman
Islamabad:Pakistan Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani announced a boycott of UN-sponsored International Parliamentary Union (IPU) being held in New York next week, after the US failed to issue a visa to his deputy, who was to represent Pakistan at the forum, media reported on Sunday. Senate Chairman has also directed that no Senate delegation will visit the US "unless an explanation (for) the delay in issuance of visa" to Deputy Chairman Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri was given by US govt or its embassy in Pakistan, Dawn reported. Haideri, who belongs to Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), was scheduled to travel to the US with PML-Nawaz Senator Lt. Gen. (retd) Salahuddin Tirmizi on Sunday to attend IPU hearing at the UN HQRS on Feb.13-14.According to an official statement released by the Senate secretariat, Rabbani has also directed that "no delegation, member of Congress or diplomat of the US will be welcomed by the Senate of Pakistan, Senate standing committees and senators in their official capacity (until) this issue is resolved".IANS
US expects India to be a major partner in fight against Islamic radicalism, says Trump aide
US expects India to be a major partner in fight against Islamic radicalism and terrorism, according to US President Donald Trump’s close aide Shalab Kumar who is presently visiting India. According to a report in The Hindu, Shalab Kumar, who heads the Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC), said that the US also wants India to provide soldiers to fight terrorism in Afghanistan.“It will be nice if Indian soldiers could be there to support US forces in places like Afghanistan. It is my feeling that the Donald Trump administration wants India to partner counter terror operations in Afghanistan,” he said. indiatvnews
4th Muslim group rejects federal grant to fight extremism
Washington: A California Islamic school wanted to keep an open mind before Donald Trump took office. But less than a month into Trump's presidency, school rejected $800,000 in federal funds aimed at combatting violent extremism.The decision made late Friday night by Bayan Claremont graduate school's board to turn down the money — an amount that would cover more than half its yearly budget — capped weeks of sleepless nights and debate.Many there felt Trump's rhetoric singling out Islamic extremism and his travel ban affecting predominantly Muslim countries had gone too far.It also marked the fourth organization nationwide under the Trump administration to reject the money for a program created under President Obama known as countering violent extremism, or CVE, which officials say aims to thwart extremist groups' abilities to recruit would-be terrorists.AP
Swiss referendum on citizenship after anti-Muslim row
Switzerland is holding a referendum on Sunday on whether to make it easier for third-generation immigrants to become citizens, after a campaign tainted by anti-Muslim messages and charges of religious prejudice.The govt, as well as most politicians and political parties, supports the proposal that would allow the grandchildren of immigrants to skip several steps in the lengthy process of securing a Swiss passport.But the outcome of the referendum, the latest in Switzerland's direct democracy system, has been clouded by the far right nationalist Swiss People's Party (SVP), which put issues of Islam and national identity at centre of the debate. aljazeera
Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Nayef receives CIA award for 'counter-terrorism'
The heir to Saudi Arabia's throne has been awarded a medal by the new director of US CIA, who honoured his contributions to "counter-terrorism" work.Mike Pompeo, making his first overseas tour since being confirmed as CIA chief in late January, made presentation to Crown Prince Muhammed bin Nayef at a weekend ceremony, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.Bin Nayef, 57, has been interior minister since 2012 and has years of experience in intelligence work.He oversaw a crackdown on al-Qaeda, a group that killed security officers and foreigners in the kingdom between 2003 and 2007. Pompeo awarded him George Tenet Medal in recognition of his "excellent intelligence performance, in the domain of counter-terrorism and his unbound contribution to realise world security and peace". Aljazeera
Israeli PM hails US veto of Palestinian as Libya envoy
Jerusalem: PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday hailed the US veto of a Palestinian to be named UN envoy to Libya, saying the world body failed to give equal consideration to Israelis."I was informed of the possibility of the appointment of Salaam Fayyad to a UN position," he said at Israel's weekly cabinet meeting."I said that the time has come for reciprocity in the UN's relations with Israel and free gifts cannot be constantly given to the Palestinian side," Netanyahu said, welcoming the US veto. According to Israeli media reports, Jewish state could accept the appointment of Fayyad, ex-Palestinian premier, if Tzipi Livni, a former foreign minister of Israel, were offered the post of a UN deputy secretary of state.UN chief Antonio Guterres defended his choice of Fayyad to be the UN peace envoy to Libya, a day after US blocked it.AFP
South Korea calls on Israel to stop settlement expansion
South Korea expressed its disappointment on of Israeli Knesset’s approval of the settlement bill which retroactively legalises previously illegal settlement outposts built on private occupied Palestinian land, Mesralarabia.com reported. “South Korean govt calls for Israel to stop building settlements in the West Bank,” said spokesperson and Deputy Minister for PR in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cho June-hyuck. middleeastmonitor
Erdogan: Turkish troops enter ISIL-held Al Bab
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies have entered the centre of the ISIL bastion Al Bab, saying its capture was just a "matter of time"."Al Bab is now besieged from all fronts ... Our forces entered the centre" with Turkish-backed Syrian rebels, Erdogan told journalists in Istanbul on Sunday before leaving for a tour of Gulf countries.Erdogan said it was "only a matter of time" before the allied forces took full control of the flashpoint town in northern Syria. aljazeera
IS Syrian stronghold should be isolated by spring, says UK minister: Reuters
Inter-Shi'ite tension mounts in Baghdad after clashes
Tension between Iraq's Shi'ite leaders mounted on Sunday as toll from protests in central Baghdad on Saturday increased to 6 killed, 5 demonstrators loyal to fiery cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and one policeman.At least 174 other protesters were injured in clashes that pitted police and Sadr's followers who had gathered to demand an overhaul of a commission that supervises elections, ahead of a provincial poll due in Sept.The clashes broke out as the protesters attempted to cross the bridge that links Tahrir Square where they had gathered and the heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses govt buildings, embassies and international organizations. Reuters
91 mosques were attacked in Germany in 2016: ministry
German govt says 91 mosques were attacked in the country in 2016.The interior ministry said in a report late Friday that most attacks — 21 of them— took place in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which is the country's most populous state with a high number of Muslim immigrants.AP
Lohan scared to return to US due to her interest in Islam
New York: Actress Lindsay Lohan has revealed that her interest in Islam made her feel “scared” about returning to the US.30-year-old has returned to New York and opened up about the recent speculation that she would be converting to Islam.“I’ve studied the Quran for quite some time. It’s a process to convert to anything. I respect all religions… It’s a beautiful religion and I am a very spiritual person. It’s something I’ve been studying,” Lohan said.“You can’t just convert overnight to a religion,” she added. Lohan, who has been spending time in Greece and Turkey, revealed that she was in doubt about returning. “I was scared to come here with everything going on because of my personal beliefs,” she said. siasat
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:38 PM)

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